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The Passion for Freedom Quartet

Sunday, January 14th, 2018

[ by Charles Cameron — slyly smiling ]
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London had an exhibit titled Passion for Freedom:

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The idea was to support freedom of speech. But then some rabbit and squirrel toys from the blissful land of Sylvania were encroached upon by the ISIS-flag-waving MICE-IS terrorists, and the British police felt the tableaux showing them —

— might be problematic, so they intervened, freezing the free speech in its tracks:

In Isis Threaten Sylvania, rabbits, mice and hedgehogs go about their daily life, sunning themselves on a beach, drinking at a beer festival or simply watching television, while the menacing figures of armed jihadis lurk in the background. “Far away, in the land of Sylvania, rabbits, foxes, hedgehogs, mice and all woodland animals have overcome their differences to live in harmonious peace and tranquility. Until Now,” reads the catalogue note. “MICE-IS, a fundamentalist Islamic terror group, are threatening to dominate Sylvania, and annihilate every species that does not submit to their hardline version of sharia law.”

The decision to remove the work from Passion for Freedom came after the Mall Galleries consulted the police, who raised “a number of serious concerns regarding the potentially inflammatory content of Mimsy’s work”. The gallery cited a clause in the exhibition contract which allowed it the right to request removal of an artwork.

The Guardian, Artwork showing Sylvanian Families terrorised by Isis banned from free speech exhibition

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Of course, ISIS can’t afford to let a bunch of MICE-IS clowns represent them without some come-back, so today Jihadology, Aaron Zelin‘s brilliant counter-terrorism website, brought news of ISIS-in-India’s response: a thirteen-page theological wallop named, appropriately enough, Passion for Freedom

— In this ponderous tome, Muhammad Miqdaad asserts:

Passion for freedom is an innate nature of Human beings. There is a hunger for freedom inside us; no sane person will accept others’ slavery willingly. For freedom, we’ve fought wars in all ages; so this is the case today and will remain the same in the future.

The citizens of Sylvania would no doubt agree.

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And so their story, disallowed from featuring in a freedom of speech exhibit, has now been liberated, and may be purchased as a baby book:

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Let Freedom Ring!

And all the chairs are musical

Tuesday, August 29th, 2017

[ by Charles Cameron — two cases of unreal real estate, Moscow & Washington ]
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Putin:

Clinton:

Like father, like son

Thursday, August 24th, 2017

[ by Charles Cameron — a DoubleQuote in the Wild ]
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This came up in my feed today —

Richard Landes was just tweeting –

Ouch!

Not like me, not like my sons, btw.

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Or as Baudrillard might say:

Reality no longer has the time to take on the appearance of reality. It no longer even surpasses fiction: it captures every dream even before it takes on the appearance of a dream.

Ouch. Pinch me.

On the Intelligence of the Artificial, thus far

Saturday, August 12th, 2017

[ by Charles Cameron — YouTube removing videos that document war crimes in the Middle East, Elgar ]
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YouTube removes video documenting Islamic State’s destruction of Nimrud artifacts (AFP)

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Here we are on the merry-go-round:

YouTube AI deletes war crimes evidence as ‘extremist material’

YouTube is facing criticism after a new artificial intelligence program monitoring “extremist” content began flagging and removing masses of videos and blocking channels that document war crimes in the Middle East.

Middle East Eye, the monitoring organisation Airwars and the open-source investigations site Bellingcat are among a number of sites that have had videos removed for breaching YouTube’s Community Guidelines.

The removals began days after Google, which owns YouTube, trumpeted the arrival of an artificial intelligence program that it said could spot and flag “extremist” videos without human involvement.

But since then vast tracts of footage, including evidence used in the Chelsea Manning court case and videos documenting the destruction of ancient artifacts by Islamic State, have been flagged as “extremist” and deleted from its archives.

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Without human involvement?

Humans were involved in the decision to let this AI proceed in real time “without human involvement”.

H Sap or AI? — who’s to trust?

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YouTube, Nimrod Barenboim conducts Elgar:


Compare “YouTube removes video documenting Islamic State’s destruction of Nimrud artifacts”, illustrated above

Love and terror, a two-way street

Wednesday, May 3rd, 2017

[ by Charles Cameron — better to fall in love and out of terror ]
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One can perhaps sympathize with the bumbling jihadist Mark Taylor, lonely in Syria and in need of female companionship: no wonder he appeals on an “Islamic marriage” datng site:

I need a righteous practicing Muslim lady who wants to do Hijrah [immigrate] here inshallah

It may be, however, that he’s the one who should be making hijrah away from Syria and jihad..

I say this because Bruce Hoffman‘s Atlantic piece from 2001 shows that love can transform terrorists into a, well, less destructive member of society. When Arafat wanted to de-fang members of Black September, he invited a hundred beautiful young women to a meet-up:

here, in a sort of PLO version of a college mixer, boy met girl, boy fell in love with girl, boy would, it was hoped, marry girl. There was an additional incentive, designed to facilitate not just amorous connections but long-lasting relationships. The hundred or so Black Septemberists were told that if they married these women, they would be paid $3,000; given an apartment in Beirut with a gas stove, a refrigerator, and a television; and employed by the PLO in some nonviolent capacity. Any of these couples that had a baby within a year would be rewarded with an additional $5,000.

I imagine Mark Taylor would face serious prison time if he did indeed return — a far cry from $3,000 and an apartment with gas stove, refrigerator, and television — but hey, conjugal visits? I dunno.

Love may lure some unfortunate women into terrorism — but it can also draw dedicated fighters out of it. It’s a mighty forceful force, is all I’m saying.

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Sources:

  • NZ Herald, Bumbling Kiwi jihadist Mark Taylor who is fighting for Islamic State in Syria
  • The Atlantic, All You Need Is Love

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