Monthly Archives: January 2012

The Ion Luca Paradox: the mystery of Caragiale’s birth date

I love you as the sclave loves…. light and the blind…. liberty!” – Rică Venturiano, a very confused citizen (character from a famous play of I.L.Caragiale, “O Scrisoare Pierdută” [“A Lost Letter”])

Yesterday, 30 January 2012, Google celebrated 160 years from the birth of Ion Luca Caragiale, a famous romanian playwright best known for his satirical humor. 

The problem is that Wikipedia, champion of knowledge, had let us totally perplex by providind 4 different dates of birth for Ion Luca Caragiale, two by old style (the Julian Calendar), and other two by new style (the Gregorian Calendar). At that interval of time (1800 – 1900), there was a difference of 12 correction days between the two calendars. 

So, the four dates of birth are 18 January (O.S.), 30 January (N.S.), 1 February (O.S.), 13 February (N.S.). But which is correct? Searching deeper into the problem, I found that: 

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The ribbon is out, but censorship isn’t

As you can see, the “anti censorship” ribbon is out on every platform along the WordPress blogosphere…. but the censorhip isn’t. 

Last Thursday, on 26 January 2012, Romania, along with other 21 European states, signed the ACTA (Anti Counterfeiring Trade Agreement), a law similar to SOPA and PIPA, who may lead to a similar censorhip of the Internet in the European Union. 

ACTA isn’t new at all: it had been in debate long before the Stop Online Piracy Act (26 October 2011) or the Proiect IP Act (12 May 2011) and even its predecessor, the COICA – Combating Online Infrigement and Counterfeits Act (20 september 2010): actually, it has been discussed for more than four years, since October 2007. But the strange part is that the negocations had been carried out in secret until being exposed by Wikileaks on 22 May 2008. 

There is something beyond my understanding, but not comprehension: why does the population begins to have more thrust in organizations such as Wikileaks or Anonymus instead of the governments or the president? Why do we to lose faith in the leaders of state and international organizations such as the European Union, the International Monetary Fund, the North-Atlantic Treaty Organization or the United Nations? 

In a world in which information travels with the speed of sound, the possibilities of communication are extraordinary and the freedom of speech and knowledge is great, liberty is a essential condition. There can be no democracy without it. And if through democracy will laws such as PIPA, SOPA and ACTA be adopted, then anarchy may be preffered above it. In matters as great such as the information travel in the World Wide Network, not a group of people should decide but the whole wide world 

I won’t stop writing about this matter. Because it is fundamental. Because it is about values such as freedom and liberty. Because it is about a matter which concerns the entire world. And because I have hope that there will be a future, and one which may last millions or billions of years from now….  

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The Wallet of Soul

Our soul is like a wallet

In it we keep what is valuable 

 

Actually, I think it is more like a money box

In it we keep our savings 

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The Blackout is over…. for now

Yesterday, the Internet wasn’t a good place to navigate.

The Network “oceans” were shadowed….

Every time I wanted to learn something, I kept hitting myself by the locked doors of knowledge. Wikipedia had been blacked out….

Every time I wanted to search the definition of a certain word, a black screen appeared in front of me. The Romanian Explicative Dictionary had been blacked out….

 

So yes, the blackout wasn’t a nice thing.

But how would you feel if this happened to you every day?

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Wikipedia “Blacked out”

 Today, 18 January 2012, as a sign of protest against the legislation proposed in the United States – SOPA and PIPA – Wikipedia in English is now in total darkness. 

 Today, 18 January 2012, as a sign of sympathy towards this protest against measures that could harm the free and open Internet, the blog “theodorvisanmiu” also goes black (but only by background color). 

 Although I am Romanian and the U.S. laws cannot directly affect me, I rely on Wikipedia in English very much and I believe that an act whose purpose is to do good may do quite the opposite, and this may be the case for the bills against Piracy and protection of Intellectual property.  

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The Last Supper

 

 Says Christ: “One of you 

Shall sell me!” And then

Sorrow embraced the apostles 

And they asked Him:

“Lord, it is i?”

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History of some Russian Beards

Beards were and are still a reason of great pride for many. The history of beards is a thick one, especially that of russian beards. In old mother Russia, the beard was a sign of maturity. Tsar Ivan the Fourth was a terrible one, but his beard was amazing.   

But there was a tsar which amused himself greatly on the “facial jewelry” of his subjects – first, he obliged them to shave it: some were brought to the barber by force, but if they didn’t want to conform themselves to this new command, they had to pay a….  tax on beard! The funny guy which introduced this tax was a moustached man named Peter the Great, and the russians of his time protected their beard with pride: not only they emptied their pockets, filling the tsar’s treasury, but even wore a medal to certify in public that their beard was….ridiculous.  

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