Shared posts

04 Jul 23:33

Felipe Sabino liked a review

How Civilizations Die by David P. Goldman
"There are much better and more thorough reviews out there. But for my part the book was a very interesting look at the history of dead or dying civilizations and the applications for us today.

Generally, fertility rate is key. Once the fertility rate gets below a certain limit, the country has reached a point of no return - where economic devastation is certain (barring a miracle of God - which history has not yet observed concerning this particular demographic).

What was most striking to me (and what covers the subtitle of the book), is that Islamic countries have achieved in just decades what it has taken the West centuries to achieve. Their fertility rate is now equal with secular European countries. Goldman showed a correlation of when women become literate, the fertility rate declines. It took Europe hundreds of years for the fertility rate to reach its current status (since women were becoming literate). It took Islamic countries just a couple decades to reach the same fertility rate (since women were becoming literate).

This ties to one of his other points about the importance of faith. The Christians as a sub-group have a steady and sometimes increasing fertility rate among other religions - despite their locale. The conclusion I myself am drawing here is that the literate women of Islamic countries are succumbing to the secular mindset of childbearing not being a priority in life, or are otherwise losing faith in the religion they were born into as they become more literate.

Christian women, on the other hand, even when literate (and they have been for centuries), are still viewing child bearing as a priority in life. This makes sense as the Cultural Mandate in Genesis speaks to this as well as how often God speaks of the blessing of children. Biblically minded Christians (whether literate men or women) should want to have large families as the norm. I understand that physical, political, and economic difficulties could prevent that in certain circumstances. And I certainly wouldn't have any judgment against those families in those situations. But the norm should be for us to want to multiply and fill the earth.

It's interesting to see God move in a way that those civilizations who disregard that command of His are facing, or will face, the death of their own civilization. Interestingly, this includes the Islamic countries that are so often portrayed in the news as the countries that are going to invade and destroy America. It seems from this analysis, they're going to destroy themselves first."
29 Jun 23:06

Denial: the Labour Party’s antisemitism

by Melanie

David Hirsh’s must-see video, Whitewashed: Antisemitism in the Labour Party (which you can view below) starts with a truly shocking clip of Jeremy Corbyn speaking. Having referred to the profoundly anti-Jewish, murderous terrorist organisations Hezbollah and Hamas as his “friends”, he says (of either or both): “The idea that an organisation that is dedicated towards the good of the Palestinian people and bringing about long term peace and social justice, and political justice, in the whole region should be labelled a terrorist organisation by the British government is a big, big historical mistake”.

Hirsh’s film not only highlights examples of the antisemitism in the Labour party, but observes the appalling way in which Jews who draw attention to this are dismissed as “lying for Israel”. It states what so many on the left deny: that while in theory it is possible to be anti-Zionist but not anti-Jew, in practice the distinction is meaningless.

As one speaker observes, the Labour Party cannot call itself an anti-racist party if it denies the existence of left-wing antisemitism. Through interviews with Jewish people whose evidence to Baroness Chakrabarti’s vacuous “inquiry” into the issue was ignored, it shows how a report that was supposed to point to solutions to anti-Jewish attitudes in the party ended up as just another manifestation of the problem.

The post Denial: the Labour Party’s antisemitism appeared first on

18 May 20:03

PostgreSQL 10 Beta 1 Released

The PostgreSQL Global Development Group announces today that the first beta release of PostgreSQL 10 is available for download. This release contains previews of all of the features which will be available in the final release of version 10, although some details will change before then. Users are encouraged to begin testing their applications against this latest release.

Major Features of 10

The new version contains multiple features that will allow users to both scale out and scale up their PostgreSQL infrastructure:

  • Logical Replication: built-in option for replicating specific tables or using replication to upgrade
  • Native Table Partitioning: range and list partitioning as native database objects
  • Additional Query Parallelism: including index scans, bitmap scans, and merge joins
  • Quorum Commit for Synchronous Replication: ensure against loss of multiple nodes

We have also made three improvements to PostgreSQL connections, which we are calling on driver authors to support, and users to test:

  • SCRAM Authentication, for more secure password-based access
  • Multi-host "failover", connecting to the first available in a list of hosts
  • target_session_attrs parameter, so a client can request a read/write host

Additional Features

Many other new features and improvements have been added to PostgreSQL 10, some of which may be as important, or more important, to specific users than the above. Certainly all of them require testing. Among them are:

  • Crash-safe and replicable Hash Indexes
  • Multi-column Correlation Statistics
  • New "monitoring" roles for permission grants
  • Latch Wait times in pg_stat_activity
  • XMLTABLE query expression
  • Restrictive Policies for Row Level Security
  • Full Text Search support for JSON and JSONB
  • Compression support for pg_receivewal
  • ICU collation support
  • Push Down Aggregates to foreign servers
  • Transition Tables in trigger execution

Further, developers have contributed performance improvements in the SUM() function, character encoding conversion, expression evaluation, grouping sets, and joins against unique columns. Analytics queries against large numbers of rows should be up to 40% faster. Please test if these are faster for you and report back.

See the Release Notes for a complete list of new and changed features.

Test for Bugs and Compatibility

We count on you to test the altered version with your workloads and testing tools in order to find bugs and regressions before the release of PostgreSQL 10. As this is a Beta, minor changes to database behaviors, feature details, and APIs are still possible. Your feedback and testing will help determine the final tweaks on the new features, so test soon. The quality of user testing helps determine when we can make a final release.

Additionally, version 10 contains several changes that are incompatible with prior major releases, particularly renaming "xlog" to "wal" and a change in version numbering. We encourage all users test it against their applications, scripts, and platforms as soon as possible. See the Release Notes and the What's New in 10 page for more details.

Beta Schedule

This is the first beta release of version 10. The PostgreSQL Project will release additional betas as required for testing, followed by one or more release candidates, until the final release in late 2017. For further information please see the Beta Testing page.


17 May 13:32

Machine Learning

The pile gets soaked with data and starts to get mushy over time, so it's technically recurrent.
12 May 20:03

The Existential Roots of Trump Derangement Syndrome

Trump did not merely derail the progressive political agenda.
24 Apr 23:14

Felipe wants to read 'United in Hate: The Left's Romance with Tyranny and Terror'

21 Apr 16:06

Survivorship Bias

They say you can't argue with results, but what kind of defeatist attitude is that? If you stick with it, you can argue with ANYTHING.
21 Apr 02:40

Bruce Momjian: Switchover vs. Failover

With streaming replication, Postgres allows sophisticated setups of primary and standby servers. There are two ways to promote a standby to be the new primary. A switchover is when the change happens in a planned way:

  1. All clients are disconnected from the master to prevent writes
  2. A sufficient delay allows the final write-ahead log (WAL) records to be transferred to all standbys
  3. The primary is shut down
  4. The standby is promoted to be the primary

A failover happens when the steps above can't be performed, usually because the primary has failed in some catastrophic way. The major difficulty with failover is the possibility that some of the final database changes contained in the WAL are not transferred to standbys, unless synchronous_standby_names was used. When a standby is promoted to primary after a failover, the final missing WAL records can cause problems:

  1. Some transactions on the old primary that were acknowledged to clients might be lost
  2. If the old master needs to be reconnected as a standby without reimaging, it might be necessary to use pg_rewind

Make sure you practice both methods of promoting a standby so, when you have to do the promotion in production, you are ready.

Continue Reading »

26 Mar 21:00

Book Review: 'The Benedict Option,' by Rod Dreher

On insulating from an increasingly toxic post-Christian culture.
04 Mar 00:36

Borrow Your Laptop

If used with software that could keep up, a scroll wheel mapped to send a stream of 'undo' and 'redo' events could be kind of cool.
02 Mar 02:57

Natalie added 'The Prayer of Jabez: Breaking Through to the Blessed Life'

The Prayer of Jabez by Bruce H. Wilkinson Natalie gave 1 star to The Prayer of Jabez: Breaking Through to the Blessed Life (Hardcover) by Bruce H. Wilkinson
bookshelves: theology
I got as far as page 20 in this "Christian" best seller, then I read the following

What counts is knowing who you want to be and asking for it

I totally disagree with this statement, since when has the Christian life been about what we want rather than what God wants and has in mind for us? The author suggests that we can access God's blessings by ritually praying certain words connected to Jabez, a little known Bible character. He even tells a story about someone seemingly on a tour of heaven who finds a box of blessings that they didn't ask for and therefore didn't receive. If we follow this thread to its logical conclusion, we would spend every waking minute listing all of the possible blessings we can think of in case God has one of them in store for us that might be missed if we don't speak it into existence.....

This book is another method approach to spirituality yet in reality there are no short-cuts (http://christianmissionaryuk.blogspot...)

The author claims to have lived a blessed life since beginning to pray this prayer but how can he possibly know whether his blessings can be attributed to this prayer or not? The Bible makes it clear that good things/blessings will fall on the righteous and wicked alike....

Don't waste your time with this. It is little different to casting spells or speaking positive words over someone or saying abracadabra. Unbelievable once again that Christians buy into this stuff.....Please just read your Bible and pray every day, it is a discipline, one that cannot be mastered in just under an hour or in less than 100 pages of incantations....

28 Feb 00:49

Natalie added 'Dancing with Max: A Mother and Son Who Broke Free'

Dancing with Max by Emily Colson Natalie gave 4 stars to Dancing with Max: A Mother and Son Who Broke Free (Hardcover) by Emily Colson
bookshelves: christian-biography
This was a really great story about Max, a young boy with severe autism and the relationship his mother Emily develops with him after her husband leaves her. Max is actually the grandson of the late Charles Colson who has written the forward and epilogue.

I enjoyed this book because it was so real and gives an outsider a glimpse into the daily struggles of life with a child like Max. Emily tirelessly seeks to find ways to communicate with him and improve his quality of life. Her example is one of complete selflessness, she obviously adores him and has sacrificed her life that he might experience some joy here on earth. They are Christians.

This book is actually pretty funny--Emily uses a lot of amusing metaphors and similes to try and help people understand exactly how she felt and how other people responded to Max's behaviour. There were many people who sought to connect with Max, others who didn't know what to do and still others who really should be ashamed of themselves. Emily perseveres through the ups and downs. The writing style is creatively unique, it's difficult to explain but I haven't read a book quite like this before.

An ideal gift for someone dealing with a child with disabilities or just for those who enjoy true stories of Christian hope in the midst of trials. There is no bad language, sexual content or violence.

27 Feb 20:57

Felipe is currently reading 'Christ Esteem: Where the Search for Self-Esteem Ends'

25 Feb 20:32

It's the Turn of the West

by Fabian Pascal
25 Feb 00:56

Location Reviews

Google and Yelp keep deleting my scathing reviews of the Mariana Trench, the Chernobyl reactor core, the jet stream, and the equator.
25 Feb 00:55

The left dies in daylight

by Melanie

The British political and media class is today poring over the entrails of yesterday’s by-elections. The Tories won an unprecedented victory in Copeland, while Labour defeated the UKIP leader in Stoke. The discussion is over whether Labour’s hapless far-left leader Jeremy Corbyn is finished or will use the victory in Stoke to stagger on, and whether the useless UKIP leader Paul Nuttall made a strategic error in targeting Labour rather than Conservative voters.

This all misses the point. The by-elections point to something rather bigger that is now taking place. The Conservative party is in the process of destroying any electorally viable alternative to itself.

This is because it has turned itself into the champion of the things that are of overwhelming importance to the British working class. These are stopping mass and unsustainable rates of immigration, restoring control over national self-government and working to make Britain once again a prosperous global trading nation, restoring in the process patriotic pride in national identity and in values such people recognise, identify with and share.

The Labour party currently stands for the opposite of all this. It is therefore unelectable whoever becomes its leader, because it is dominated by metropolitan progressive universalists who despise the (always) conservatively-minded working class.

UKIP supports that traditionalist working-class agenda but is demonstrably incapable of running a whelk-stall let alone a government. The Tories have now appropriated UKIP’s platform. Margaret Thatcher’s most famous aphorism, “There is no alternative” to conservatism, has therefore become a reality under Britain’s canny Prime Minister (and former Remainer) Theresa May.

In the US, President Trump is doing exactly the same in attracting the support of millions of working-class Americans. He’s done this by promising to restore jobs and defend the US against radical Islamism, thus giving ordinary Americans hope again in the future and in the idea that their country itself has a recognisable future.

Far from his leftist caricature as another Mussolini in the making, he is actually restoring constitutionality and the rule of law – in contrast to the Obama administration which undermined both. Trump is enforcing the law against illegal immigrants, for example; and when the courts made their dubious rulings against his own admittedly dubious order suspending immigration from states designated as a danger to US security, he didn’t ignore the courts but tore up his order and drafted a new one.

Amongst the public, people are getting the measure of this most unusual President and are coming to understand the distinction between his style and substance. While his loose-lipped way of speaking is far from ideal, because language matters and the US President should be careful to be accurate in what he says, people understand what he actually means – which by and large they find to be sensible and true. They discount the careless or coarse way he talks because that’s the way many of them talk too. What matters to them is not what he sounds like but what he actually does.

As we know, those who voted for both Trump and Brexit were repudiating the progressive consensus. The continuing reaction by those progressives not only confirms everything these who voted for Trump and Brexit thought. It is likely also to drive into their camp many who didn’t vote Trump or Brexit or who have serious reservations about either or both.

Whatever their concerns, they are looking now in horror at the opposition and recoiling from their sheer irrationality, obsessive hatred and contempt for democracy and the people. They understand that those shrieking daily that both Brexit and Trump are about to usher in a dark age of tyranny embody in themselves the greatest threat to freedom, reason and decency.

In Britain Gina Miller, the lead claimant in the court case brought to require Parliamentary approval for the triggering of the Brexit process, has now started a campaign to demand that Parliament is given a full vote on the terms of Britain’s departure that will be agreed with the EU.

“In the face of no opposition, whoever feels the need to be the voice of reason needs to speak up now,” she says. “Currently MPs are too weak to do that — so we must do it for them.”

Got that? If elected MPs decide not to demand such a vote, they must be brushed aside by Gina Miller on the grounds that she has a superior mandate simply because she disagrees!

In the Guardian today, Polly Toynbee accuses Theresa May of a “preposterous seizure of absolute power over the country’s most important decision” in exiting the EU. Mrs May’s “absolute shocker” is apparently to refuse “to give Parliament a meaningful vote on whatever deal, or no deal, she emerges with in two years’ time or to accept any of the Lords’ amendments”.

Hang on! The House of Commons voted overwhelmingly to trigger Brexit following the decision of the people in last June’s EU referendum. At the end of Britain’s Brexit negotiations with the EU, Parliament will be given the opportunity to accept or reject that deal. So where’s Mrs May’s “absolute power”?

The House of Lords is merely a revising chamber. It cannot insist on its proposed amendments because, since the Brexit bill consists merely of the go-ahead to trigger the departure process, there is nothing to amend. The Lords’ amendments are therefore nothing of the kind but rather a sneaky attempt to fetter the Government in negotiating Brexit as now mandated by the Commons.

The Lords are perfectly well aware of their absolute requirement not to behave unconstitutionally. But Toynbee writes:

“Parliament itself is in the process of abrogating its rights by allowing the prime minister to refuse all amendments.”

So in Remainerverse, it seems, it isn’t possible for Parliament to reach a legitimate democratic decision if this doesn’t serve the Remainers’ purpose. The constitution is only of value when it delivers what they want.

In the US, the Trumpophobes display a similar contempt for democracy, truth and balance.

The New York Post recently fired a sportswriter for a tweet likening Trump’s inauguration to the Pearl Harbour and 9/11 attacks. Before that a Politico contributing writer tweeted out a suggestion the president might be having an incestuous relationship with his daughter Ivanka.

In the New York Times, Nicholas Kristof ruminated: “We’re just a month into the Trump presidency, and already so many are wondering: How can we end it?” Pondering how this might be done, he identified the main problem: “Trump still has significant political support, so the obstacles are gargantuan.” Hmmn, yes, democracy is such a nuisance, isn’t it.

In the New Yorker, George Packer writes longingly of Section 4 of the Twenty-Fifth Amendment to the Constitution, which allows for the removal of a President who can no longer discharge his duties. Packer writes: “After a month in office, Donald Trump has already proved himself unable to discharge his duties. The disability isn’t laziness or inattention. It expresses itself in paranoid rants, non-stop feuds carried out in public, and impulsive acts that can only damage his government and himself. Last week, at a White House press conference, the President behaved like the unhinged leader of an unstable and barely democratic republic.”

In fact, that press conference was loudly cheered by millions of Americans who were delighted that the President was giving the despised media such a public kicking. Asked whether they relied more upon the President or the media to tell the truth, the public favoured Donald Trump by 45 per cent to 42 per cent.

So how much insight or contrition does the media display in the face of such public disdain? None. Kristof asked: “And what does it say about a presidency that, just one month into it, we’re already discussing whether it can be ended early?” Nothing. It says everything instead about himself and the rest of the media witch-hunt.

In the New Yorker, Packer concludes: “An authoritarian and erratic leader, a chaotic Presidency, a supine legislature, a resistant permanent bureaucracy, street demonstrations, fear abroad: this is what illiberal regimes look like. If Trump were more rational and more competent, he might have a chance of destroying our democracy.”

The words “living”, “different” and “planet” spring irresistibly to mind. As Michael Barone writes in the Washington Examiner, in just five weeks Trump has already delivered on his promises to a very high degree:

“The Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines are now headed for approval, and the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan and Waters of the United States mega-regulations are on the way out.” Some of Trump’s appointments, such as Judge Neil Gorsuch, Defence Secretary James Mattis and National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster have been clearly first-rate. And Trump has had amicable and constructive meetings with the elected leaders of Britain, Japan, Canada and Israel.

The Washington Post has put up on its masthead just below the title the rubric “Democracy dies in darkness”. A newspaper that not only defines its entire existence in opposition to the democratically elected US President but misrepresents all available evidence to state falsely that he is destroying democracy is no longer to be taken seriously as a newspaper.

The left doesn’t realise it but it is staring at its own electoral demise.

The post The left dies in daylight appeared first on

23 Feb 12:59

Sloppy words but the substance was true

by Melanie

We are told by his detractors that Donald Trump is such a stranger to the truth he thinks he can create his own reality. Well, now he appears to have done just that! One day after seeming to suggest falsely that there had been immigrant-related violence in Sweden the previous night, precisely such violence promptly broke out the following night!

Amazing. Not only is President Trump a liar, it appears, but he is a liar with the prophetic gift of second sight. Who knew?

What Trump said was this. “You look at what’s happening in Germany, you look at what’s happening last night in Sweden. Sweden, who would believe this? Sweden. They took in large numbers. They’re having problems like they never thought possible.”

It turns out he’d been talking about a TV documentary on this subject to which he’d seen a reference the previous evening. This was a report by Ami Horowitz which said there had been a surge of gun violence and rape once Sweden began its “open door” policy towards immigrants, that the government had “gone out of its way to try to cover up some of these problems” and that the country now had Muslim “no-go zones” ruled by sharia law.

That report itself was criticised for being distorted. Swedish politicians rushed to state that such problems were simply unknown. The city of Malmo was a model of multicultural harmony. One of the police officers interviewed by Horowitz said their comments had been taken out of context. “He is a madman.” And so on.

Just a few hours later, violence erupted in the Stockholm suburb of Rinkeby after a mob of around 30 began attacking officers with rocks and setting fire to cars. But Trump had not been exercising metaphysical powers of prophecy. Both he and Ami Horowitz were accurately reflecting Swedish reality, as has been steadily reported over many years despite attempts by the Swedish authorities to suppress such information.

A few weeks previously, three police officers were taken to hospital after being attacked by a mob in Rinkeby, and officials placed more than 50 areas on a high risk list of places with high levels of migrants where police admit they do not have control. National Police Commissioner Dan Eliasson said he needed a further 4,100 officers and specialist staff to deal with the surge in incidents since migrants entered the nation in their thousands. He said: “We have to go to work against unrest in the asylum centres which places a much greater demand than might appear outwardly.”

There have been increasing attacks by asylum-seekers against Swedes. This report details many such attacks merely during June last year. This was the entry for June 26:

The Östersund police department admitted that the many sexual attacks against women in the town in February and March of this year, were mostly committed by “asylum seeking youths.” When the rapists were most active, the police put out a warning to women not to go outside alone evenings and nights. The local chief of police, Stephen Jerand, told the daily, Östersunds-Posten: “When we take in people who are fleeing, it is important to inform them early on about what the rules are in Sweden, and that said rules also apply to women.

A significant increase in rapes in Sweden has coincided with a huge increase in immigration. In 1975, 421 rapes were reported to the police; in 2014,the number was 6,620. Sweden is now number two on the global list of countries for rape offences. A report states:

Twenty-one research reports from the 1960s until today are unanimous in their conclusions: Whether or not they measured by the number of convicted rapists or men suspected of rape, men of foreign extraction were represented far more than Swedes.

The Swedish police have been accused of trying to conceal the nature and scale of this immigrant violence. There were claims they tried to hush up a series of sexual assaults by asylum-seekers at Europe’s largest teen pop festival, with one senior officer saying the police wanted to avoid “playing into the hands” of the anti-immigration Sweden Democrat party:

Officers identified a group of approximately 50 men, “so-called refugee youths, predominantly from Afghanistan,” whom they suspected of being behind the attacks, adding that “several of the gang were arrested for sexual harassment”. Despite a record number of girls reporting crimes, police made no mention of the phenomenon in the report on the festival posted to their website, which said instead only that there had been “relatively few crimes and few arrests given the number of attendants”.

There have been many reports of attacks on Jews in Malmo. According to a report in 2013:

The city is infamous for having the largest number of antisemitic incidents in the country, many of them perpetrated by members of the Muslim community… Many of [Malmo’s remaining Jews] are afraid to leave their homes; many want to leave the city and do not want their children to grow up there. There are only about 600 Jews remaining; many have left for Stockholm and other cities because they can’t take the hatred.During the first six months of 2013, Malmo police reported 35 attacks on Jews – triple the previous year.

There have also been attacks on immigrants and on mosques, as well as intra-migrant gang violence. This report from September 2016 said:

Earlier this year, a boy of 12 was raped in refugee accommodation by another refugee who claimed to be 15. A dental X-ray suggested the attacker was closer to 19. Later that month, a 22-year-old Swede (herself the daughter of immigrants) was stabbed to death by one of the refugees she was caring for — another adult claiming to be 15. Such horrific stories raise the fear that the authorities have lost control. This is reflected in the extraordinary rise of the Sweden Democrats. There have also been a spate of attacks on refugee centres, some of which have been burnt down.

Trump’s loose lip over Sweden gave his enemies in the media a field day. They were able to claim not only that he lied but that the claims he made about Sweden were untrue. They were not.

His supporters appear to be discounting the falsehoods or inaccuracies in his loose and careless talk because they have decided he is telling the truth about the stuff that actually matters and they can work out perfectly well what he is saying. The distinction they appear to be making is not between truth and falsehood but between Trump’s sloppy inaccuracies or boastful exaggeration on the one hand, which they don’t think are that important, and on the other hand the lies or omissions by the mainstream media, which they think matter a great deal.

Be that as it may, Trump needs to be far more careful about how he talks. Words matter, and it is simply not on for the President of the United States to make comments which are so carelessly inaccurate. It allows his enemies to paint him as a liar, obscuring the fact that the essential point he is making may be true. That’s what happened over Sweden and, unless he starts exercising far more discipline over what he says, it will happen again and again.

The post Sloppy words but the substance was true appeared first on

23 Feb 01:47

by Eduardo Maçan

Sérgio Moro deve ser um cara chato. Nerd e chato. Eu não o conheço e dele só sei ao certo que é "pé vermeio" como eu (embora ele tenha nascido a 200Km do Centro do Universo, que como todos sabem, coincide espaço-temporalmente com Santa Mariana).

Não o conheço, mas posso supor algumas coisas pela maneira como uma improvável onda de virtude e eficiência tem se espalhado por todas as instâncias da justiça a partir de seu trabalho.

Ele deve dizer muitos nãos, para pessoas mais poderosas que ele. Deve dizer vários "não" daqueles olhando no olho, é verdade, mas não é a esses que me refiro. Me refiro aos "não" que o trabalho dele diz, porque num universo de inesgotáveis contestações e reversões de sentença em instâncias superiores, seu julgamento tem sobrevivido mais ou menos intacto, MESMO com um jogo de interesse e poder paralelo que todos sabemos que existe.

E se seu julgamento sobrevive é porque ele deve fundamentar seu trabalho em princípios e regras que todos assumem justas e verdadeiras (a lei?) e estruturar seus argumentos de modo a minimizar a margem de contestação dentro da zona cinzenta das interpretações.

Ou seja, é um cara que conhece as regras a fundo, segue um conjunto coerente de princípios, é atento a detalhes e eficiente na tomada de decisões. Quase uma definição de dicionário para "nerd chato".

Círculos virtuosos são raros, mas uma vez que de um círculo virtuoso surja de um bom trabalho, quem vai querer pintar um bigode na cara da Mona Lisa? Quem vai querer "restaurar o Ecce Homo"[1]? (link ao final, para quem não se lembra).

Eu não coloco em pauta aqui o que ou quem ele julga, apenas a impressão que tenho ao acompanhar seu trabalho muito à distância. Moro não tem nada de herói ou de vilão, ele é provavelmente apenas mais um "nerd chato".

Eu admiro nerds chatos.

21 Feb 18:17

Alexey Lesovsky: Deep dive into postgres stats: Introduction

Everything you always wanted to know about PostgreSQL stats

This blogpost is all about postgres activity stats. Stats are the very important since they allow us to understand what's going on with the system. With that in mind, stats also have some weak points and that’s what I would like to discuss here.

In these blog series I will try to explain how to use stats effectively and how to detect and solve problems with their help. I will start with an overview and will move on discussion on specific usages with receipts and built in tools.

I hope my posts will provide you with some hands-on tools that will help you using postgres stats and will reassure you that stats aren’t as scary as they seems at first glance.
What is postgres? For people who are not familiar with postgres, it's a bunch of processes in the 'ps auxf' output. What they can see are operating system’s metrics, such as CPU usage, memory or swap consumed by these processes, but nothing more. This, however, is not sufficient to effectively troubleshoot postgres. To do that one needs to know how postgres stats are collected throughout postgres lifetime and to also be able to properly use them.

If we look inside postgres and try to understand what it consists of, we see that there are many subsystems that work together and problems in one part may cause problems in the other parts. Generally, postgres can be splitted with two abstract parts, first is the servicing clients and second is the background service operations, e.g. vacuums, checkpoints, write ahead logs. Thus slow down in background operations will negatively affect servicing clients tasks and vice versa. Postgres activity stats are used for observing, predicting or eliminating possible problems, and almost all postgres parts have specific stats which describe what's going on there.

Even provided all these strengths, stats also have a few weak points. First, is the fact that there are so many of them and one should know which source to use in each particular case. Second, almost all stats are provided as permanently incremented counters and often you can see billion values that say nothing to you. Third, stats don't provide history, so there is no built-in way to check what happened five, ten or thirty minutes ago. And last and the least is that postgres doesn't provide handy tool for working with stats, and end-user has to use only sql clients, such as psql.

Despite all that, stats are the first thing which can help you to troubleshoot postgres. Let's take a closer look. Stats provide different types of information, these are
  1. Events that happened in postgres instance (counters), such as table or index operations, number of commits and rollbacks, such as block hits, reads etc.
  2. Database's objects properties (current values), e.g. transactions or queries start time and states and relations sizes.
  3. Time spent for reading and writing operations (counters).
Tracking stats are enabled by default and there are no additional steps for configuring them (except for stats that are provided by contrib modules). Stats interface based on functions and views, these functions and views available by default in all existing and new created databases. Thus getting stats is possible using psql or any other client and SELECT queries to these views.

As mentioned above, there are many stats functions and views and in addition postgres has multiple subsystems. This information can be represented in the following diagram.
postgresql observability

In my next post in this series I will be focusing on particular stats view and will explain what kind of problems it allows to solve and how to do it.
21 Feb 18:17

John Piper wrote a blog post: Jews Come Home to Jesus

Nearly sixty thousand Jewish people live in the Twin Cities metropolitan area I call home. More than five million live in the United States, and over fourteen million in the world. The vast majority do not embrace Jesus as their Messiah and Savior. In fact, they believe that to do so would mean the end to their true Jewishness. Even though thousands of Jewish people embraced Jesus in the early days of the Christian church (three thousand in Acts 2:41; at least another two thousand in Acts 4:4), some also claimed that Christians aimed to “destroy [the temple] and change the customs that Moses delivered to us” (Acts 6:14). Nevertheless, the first and greatest Christian missionary, a Jew himself and former Pharisee, the apostle Paul, protested that he was “saying nothing but what the prophets and Moses said would come to pass: that the Messiah must suffer and that, by being the first to rise from the dead, he would proclaim light both to our people and to the Gentiles” (Acts 26:22–23). Great Sorrow, Unceasing Anguish There have always been Jewish people in every generation who have believed this — that Jesus did not “come to abolish the Law or the Prophets,” but “to fulfill them” (Matthew 5:17). But the great sadness of true Christians — along with humiliation and grief at the way Jews have been treated through the centuries — is that most Jewish people still turn away from Jesus as the one who fulfills the promises of God in the Jewish Scriptures. This rejection brought anguish to that great Jewish missionary and apostle. The most poignant words Paul ever wrote concerned his Jewish kinsmen: I am speaking the truth in Christ — I am not lying; my conscience bears me witness in the Holy Spirit — that I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, my kinsmen according to the flesh. (Romans 9:1–3) Great sorrow and unceasing anguish. This is simply astonishing. “Great” and “unceasing.” Nothing else burdened Paul like this. I have often wondered how he kept on going. He had evidently learned a rare secret: that it is possible to be profoundly restful and content at the same time as being profoundly sorrowful (Philippians 4:11–12). In fact, he said he lived “as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing” (2 Corinthians 6:10). Reject Jesus, Reject God Out of this mysterious mingling of joy and sorrow, his prayers overflowed for his Jewish people: “Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved” (Romans 10:1). Which means that his sorrow and his prayers were moved by the heart-wrenching reality that they were not “saved” — that Jews who reject Jesus reject eternal life. When Paul’s message about Jesus was rejected by the Jewish leaders in Antioch of Pisidia, he said, “It was necessary that the word of God be spoken first to you. Since you thrust it aside and judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life, behold, we are turning to the Gentiles” (Acts 13:46). This is the heart of the matter. The good news of Jesus, coming and dying for sinners and rising again, was for Israel first. But that privilege did not mean Jewish people would escape judgment if they rejected the good news of Jesus. To the Jew First A priority is given to the Jewish people in the Christian mission. Jesus himself came first “to the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (Matthew 10:6; 15:24), not to the Gentiles. Only later did the good news for Israel spill over for all the nations (Matthew 8:11; 21:43; 28:19–20). The first missionaries of the Christian church preserved that priority for Jewish people in evangelism. “[The gospel] is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek” (Romans 1:16). This was God’s design: “God, having raised up his servant [Jesus], sent him to you [Israel] first, to bless you by turning every one of you from your wickedness” (Acts 3:26). But neither Jesus nor his apostles taught that this priority meant Israel would be rescued from judgment in spite of turning away from Jesus. Jesus did not come as one among many ways to God. He came as the true and only Jewish Messiah and Mediator between God and man. “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). And he taught plainly that to reject him was to reject God. Accepting him was the litmus test of whether anyone’s claim to know God was real. For example, he said, “You know neither me nor my Father. If you knew me, you would know my Father also.” (John 8:19) “Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him.” (John 5:23) “I know that you do not have the love of God within you. I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not receive me.” (John 5:42–43) “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and I am here.” (John 8:42) “No one who denies the Son has the Father. Whoever confesses the Son has the Father also.” (1 John 2:23) “It is written in the Prophets, ‘And they will all be taught by God.’ Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me.” (John 6:45) So, it is not only the apostle Paul who says that the Jewish people who reject Jesus as the Messiah also reject eternal life, but Jesus himself said the same thing: “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him” (John 3:36). Great Hope for Israel But in spite of these weighty warnings, the New Testament holds out spectacular hope for the people of Israel. The apostle Peter calls Israel to “repent . . . that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus” (Acts 3:19–20). Then, more fully than anyone in the New Testament, Paul unfolds the hope of the gospel for Israel. Not only is there a “remnant, chosen by grace” in every generation who will believe on Jesus (Romans 11:5), but also the day is coming when the “full inclusion” of Israel will turn to Jesus and be saved (Romans 11:12). As a Gentile, I am, so to speak, a wild olive branch, not a natural one. The “olive tree” of the Abrahamic covenant is not “naturally” mine. But because Jesus is the Messiah for all peoples, I am grafted in “contrary to nature.” I owe my salvation to inclusion in the Jewish tree. With this analogy, Paul argues, “If you [Gentiles] were cut from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and grafted, contrary to nature, into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, the natural [Jewish] branches, be grafted back into their own olive tree” (Romans 11:23–24). Then, stunningly, he says, “In this way all Israel will be saved” (Romans 11:26). Tragic Present, Glorious Future This New Testament picture of the glorious future of Israel in relationship to Jesus, together with the picture of the tragic present of Israel out of relationship to Jesus, is what makes my heart ache for ethnic Jews today. Perhaps you have Jewish friends who fear that faith in Jesus would be an end to their Jewishness. Consider the words of Jewish Christian Avi Snyder: Faith in Yeshua is not a threat to our Jewish existence. Rather, faith in Yeshua is an affirmation of our identity as Jews. The God who saved us through our faith in Jesus is the very God who deepens our Jewish identity through that very same faith. More often than not, Jewish people who believe in Yeshua experience a heightened commitment to their Jewish heritage and roots. By coming to Jesus, we discover that we’ve come home. Let’s not give up on praying for a great ingathering of ethnic Jews for Jesus in our day, and let’s heed Snyder’s plea that we Gentile Christians not give up on getting the Messiah’s gospel to his kinsmen: Silence about the gospel is not love. Silence is the enemy of the salvation of my people. Silence is the enemy of the salvation of any people.
21 Feb 18:16

The uprising against moral extortion

by Melanie

Join me here as I argue that people in the west are in revolt against the dictatorship of virtue that has sought for decades to enslave them. The transcript of my remarks follows beneath the video.

As we never stop being told by furious commentators, Britain and America are descending into a neo-Nazi, xenophobic, fascist hell on earth. Britain’s Brexit vote was anti-immigrant. President Trump is a fascist. Steve Bannon, his senior adviser and formerly of Breitbart news site, is a white supremacist.

None of these claims is true. Britain is not anti-immigrant but against uncontrolled mass immigration. President Trump is not a fascist but wants in fact to restore the rule of law and respect for the US constitution. Steve Bannon is not a white supremacist but someone who believes in western national identity based on Judeo-Christian values.

In other words, the opposite of fascism. But those making this charge aren’t just diminishing and trivialising the horrors of true fascism or bigotry. They are also demonising all those who voted for Brexit or Trump. Millions of people. One British columnist wrote:

“Compulsive liars shouldn’t frighten you. They can harm no one, if no one listens to them. Compulsive believers, on the other hand: they should terrify you. Believers are the liars’ enablers. Their votes give the demagogue his power. Their trust turns the charlatan into the president. Their credulity ensures that the propaganda of half-calculating and half-mad fanatics has the power to change the world.”

Listen up, folks: if you voted for either Brexit or Trump, he means you and me. We are the compulsive believers, apparently, enabling liars and charlatans and half-mad fanatics. Such as you-know-who. This writer went on: “We are now at the beginnings of a new opposition movement, a liberal version of backlash politics, which feels the urgent need to drive the right from power”.

In similar vein, the former British Prime Minister Tony Blair has urged Britain to rise up against Brexit on the basis that the people didn’t understand what they were voting for. Please bear in mind that not only did the British people vote for Brexit but the House of Commons has overwhelmingly voted to trigger Britain’s exit from the EU. All that apparently counts for nothing. The public’s democratic choice must not be allowed to stand.

Now this isn’t just monumental arrogance and hubris. These anti-democrats are the real compulsive believers, the real demagogues. Everyone who opposes them is a fascist, it seems, and so they feel not just entitled but morally obliged to impose their own vision over the will of the people – who are of course all fascists too. How can this be?

This week, Britain’s Channel Four TV is to screen a documentary presented by Trevor Phillips, the former head of Britain’s Equality and Human Rights Commission. Once upon a time, Mr Phillips was a fully paid-up member of the metropolitan liberal set. Now, if I might use the well-known phrase, he appears to have become yet another liberal who has been mugged by reality.

In his documentary, he will apparently blame political correctness for the rise of populism throughout the west. He’s basically right. The reason no-one saw the people’s revolt coming is that political correctness is too easily dismissed. At best it is viewed as a kind of idiocy that takes the avoidance of giving offence to absurd lengths; at worst, as an unpleasantly assertive politics of identity and group rights.

Trevor Phillips appears to understand that, much worse, the pc culture has corroded the very basis of moral accountability. “It was a clear statement”, he observes, “that some groups can play by their own rules”. Those pc rules derive from secular ideologies such as anti-capitalism, anti-imperialism, feminism, multiculturalism, moral relativism and environmentalism. All these and more are based on the core idea that the white, male-dominated, Judeo-Christian west is the embodiment of oppressive global power, the political source of original sin.

So white western men or Christians can never be offended or hurt because they are themselves innately offensive and hurtful, while “powerless” women or minorities can never be other than their victims. In other words, such victim groups are given a free pass for their own questionable behaviour.

The reason these secular, individualistic and utilitarian ideologies are unchallengeable is that they’re held to represent not a point of view but virtue itself. That’s because they are all utopian. In their different ways, they represent an idea of the perfection of the world. So, class divisions would give way to equality, the capitalist despoliation of the planet would be replaced by organic communes and all hatred, prejudice and irrationality would be excised from the human heart.

Like all ideologies, these utopian fantasies wrench facts and evidence to fit their governing idea. Because they purport to embody unchallengeable truths, they can permit no dissent. Independent thought thus becomes impossible. Everyone who opposes them must be bad.

So there’s a moral imperative to drive dissenters out of civilised society altogether. For questioning multiculturalism, Trevor Phillips found himself accused of being a fellow-traveller of the truly neo-Nazi British National Party.

Reason has thus been supplanted by a secular inquisition, complete with an index of prohibited ideas. It is in effect a dictatorship of virtue, drawing upon the doctrine first promoted by Jean-Jacques Rousseau of forcing people to be free.

Of course it’s not freedom at all but a form of moral extortion: extracting a free pass for bad or questionable behaviour under threat of character assassination and social opprobrium.

As it happens, my own experience parallels Trevor Phillips’s journey. From the late eighties, when I was working for the Guardian newspaper, I challenged one politically correct doctrine after another. Lifestyle choice, I argued, was by and large a disaster for the children involved in such fractured families. Multiculturalism would dissolve the glue that held society together. National identity, far from being xenophobic, was essential for democracy and the defence of liberal values.

I was appalled to be told the untruth that racism was endemic in every institution. Social work staff were reduced to tears when told their refusal to confess to racism was itself proof they were racist. Any curb on immigration was racist. To me this was absurd, oppressive and culturally suicidal.

For challenging these and other pc views, I was denounced in streams of invective: called deranged, insane and a bigot. And it didn’t stop at name-calling. My literary agent told me that I had been blacklisted by every major UK publishing house. As Trevor Phillips says, the social infrastructure of advancement, rewards and status depends entirely on having politically correct views. If not, social and professional ostracism follows.

Well, people have finally had enough of this institutionalised attack on accountability, natural justice and freedom. It turns out that what I’ve been arguing for decades is supported by millions throughout Britain, the US and Europe who voted for Brexit and Trump. Now those millions are being vilified in turn as neo-fascist, racist and too stupid even to know what they’ve voted for.

Their uprising is being called populism. I call it a return to decency and reason.

The post The uprising against moral extortion appeared first on

20 Feb 12:32

Natalie added 'Agents of Babylon: What the Prophecies of Daniel Tell Us about the End of Days'

Agents of Babylon by David Jeremiah Natalie gave 5 stars to Agents of Babylon: What the Prophecies of Daniel Tell Us about the End of Days (Hardcover) by David Jeremiah
bookshelves: prophecy
Wow, this book is incredible! Better than Agents of the Apocalypse.

When I was looking for a study of biblical prophecy a number of years ago, I ended up settling for listening to sermons because I couldn't find a book that delivered. I wanted something that explained which prophecies had been fulfilled including when and how and which were yet to be fulfilled. I also wanted a little about the differing views on the subject and to know which were the prevailing views and why. I wanted to know how prophecy proved the Bible and what to expect in the future (as far as is possible.) I did find what I was looking for in audio messages by John MacArthur but some of it was too academic and because it was audio I didn't absorb as much as I would have liked. This book was what I had been looking for....

Agents of Babylon uses the Biblical narrative in Daniel to create fictional stories around the events. The author then explains the Scripture, the different views, his own view and the reasons for it and the application for today. Rather than confusing the Biblical narrative, the fictional accounts enhance them and bring the text to life, this is because it is so closely based on Scripture and the author hasn't insisted on inserting personal views into the writing.

Having read this book and the prequel (sequel?) I finally feel like I understand the biblical history and the prophecies that have yet to be fulfilled. I personally have never been one to doubt the authenticity of the Bible but for those who struggle with doubt, read this book! The author states that some atheists even dispute when the book of Daniel was written due to the accuracy of the fulfillments to date. This book should give us confidence that God will fulfill His outstanding prophecies as specifically as He has done in the past.

I usually research authors if I am beginning to seek out their books. I will add that I have read some concerns about the methods the author has used to increase sales of his books. I do not know whether the claims are true. I don't think they have much bearing on whether or not I will recommend this book as they have nothing to do with the content. The book is clean--no bad language, or sexual content and limited violence.

I highly recommend this book for those wanting to understand biblical prophecy in layman's language and for those who want to be encouraged to trust the authenticity of the Bible.
20 Feb 12:32

Felipe Sabino liked a review

Praying the Bible by Donald S. Whitney
"Most Christians at some point find that in their prayers, they are praying the same old things about the same old things. This little book is a practical guide to using the Bible itself as a basis for prayer. Chapter 7 is, as Whitney says, "The Most Important Part of This Book:" that is, putting into practice what he has been talking about. Up to Chapter 7, Whitney provides brief clear directions. After Chapter 7 he provides many examples to encourage the reader. Highly recommended."
20 Feb 12:31

Douglas added 'Rejoicing in Christ'

Rejoicing in Christ by Michael Reeves Douglas gave 5 stars to Rejoicing in Christ (Paperback) by Michael Reeves
bookshelves: theology
Reeves writes with zest, and is very engaging. He is steeped in Scripture, and his exploration of the basics of Christian living is really good. On top of that, he has the classic Puritan writers at his fingertips and brings them in frequently to buttress or make a glorious point. This is a very good book.
20 Feb 12:16

Who Maintains That Stuff?

by Michael Catanzaro

If you use GNOME or Ubuntu, then GNOME Disks is probably what you rely on if you ever need to do any disk management operations, so it’s a relatively important piece of software for GNOME and Ubuntu users. Now if you’re a command line geek, you might handle disk management via command line, and that’s fine, but most users don’t know how to do that. Or if you’re living in the past like Ubuntu and not yet using Wayland, you might prefer GParted (which does not work under Wayland because it requires root permissions, while we intentionally will not allow applications to run as root in Wayland). But for anyone else, you’re probably using GNOME Disks. So it would be good for it to work reliably, and for it to be relatively free of bugs.

I regularly receive new bug reports against GNOME Disks. Sometimes they’re not very well-constructed or based on some misunderstanding of how partitioning works, in which case I’ll close them, but most of them are good and valid. So who fixes bug reports against GNOME Disks? The answer is: nobody! Unless it’s really, really easy — in which case I might allocate five minutes for it — nobody is going to fix the bug that you reported. What a shame!

Who is the maintainer? In this case, it’s me, but I don’t actually know much anything about the application and certainly don’t have time to fix things; I just check Bugzilla to see if anybody has posted a patch, so that contributors’ patches (which are rare) don’t get totally neglected, and make new releases every once in a while, and only because I didn’t want to see such a critical piece of software go completely unmaintained.

If you’re a software developer with an interest in both GNOME and disk management, GNOME Disks would be a great place to help out. A great place to start would be to search through GNOME Bugzilla for issues to work on, and submit patches for them.

Of course, Disks is far from the only unmaintained or undermaintained software in GNOME. Last year, Sébastien set up a wiki page to track unmaintained and undermaintained apps. It has had some success: in that time, GNOME Calculator, Shotwell, Gtranslator, and Geary have all found maintainers and been removed from the list of unmaintained modules. (Geary is still listed as undermaintained, and no doubt it would be nice to have more Geary maintainers, but the current maintainer seems to be quite active, so I would hesitate to list it as undermaintained. Epiphany would love to have a second maintainer as well. No doubt most GNOME apps would.)

But we still have a few apps that are listed as unmaintained:

  • Bijiben (GNOME Notes)
  • Empathy
  • GNOME Disks

No doubt there are more GNOME modules that should be listed. If you know of some, please add them or leave a comment here.

Help would be very much welcome with any of these. In particular, Empathy and Bijiben are both slated to be removed from Fedora beginning with Fedora 27 due to their unacceptable dependencies on an old, insecure version of WebKitGTK+ that is about to be removed from the distribution. Most of the work to port these applications to modern WebKitGTK+ is already done (and, in the case of Empathy, I’ve already committed the port to git), but an active maintainer is required to finish the job and get things to a releasable state. Last I checked, Bijiben also still needed to be ported to GTK+ 3.20. If nobody is interested in helping out, these apps are going to disappear sooner rather than later.

Disks, fortunately, is not going to disappear anytime soon. But the bugs aren’t going to fix themselves.

P.S. This blog is not the right place to complain about no longer allowing applications to run as root. Such applications can and should use Polkit to move privileged operations out of the GUI and into a helper process. This should have been done roughly a decade ago. Such applications might themselves be unmaintained or undermaintained; can you help them out?

20 Feb 01:18

Douglas added 'The Portable Dante'

The Portable Dante by Dante Alighieri Douglas gave 4 stars to The Portable Dante (Paperback) by Dante Alighieri
bookshelves: poetry
Of course, glorious and wise. Well worth it. But I was struck -- and perhaps unfairly -- with the Christlessness of his Heaven.
18 Feb 23:30

Natalie Vellacott wrote a blog post: Why I Won't Be Watching "The Shack"

Reviewing books on Goodreads, I find that many of my most popular reviews are actually those where I have given a one star rating. I have also observed that these tend to be the best-selling books especially in the Christian book market. ( The Purpose Driven Life , The Shack, Heaven is for Real) The popularity could be because more people are aware of the books hence more likely to read a review about them, consider reading them or have read them in the past. On the other hand, it could be that Christians are lacking discernment in the books that they buy, read and recommend. Therefore, these books end up clogging up the best-seller lists when they really shouldn’t be there in the first place. Tim Challies has written a good review series on Christian best sellers including The Shack. I am sympathetic to those who act in ignorance or through naivety. I’m sure there have been books I have bought in the past that I wouldn’t want to read now and maybe books that I would read now that I will look back on with a different attitude. This is how the Christian life should be as we progress in holiness and sanctification. What I struggle with, however, is Christians who are aware of the error and decide to overlook it because they want to be entertained.  The Shack is a book that I have warned a lot of people away from over the years. I was given it as a gift by a well-meaning friend and just read the first few chapters before throwing it away. I was annoyed by the profanity and don’t think it's ever okay for a Christian to swear or use blasphemy in their books whether fiction or non-fiction. My most popular blog post to date is interestingly on that topic. Aside from the cursing, I couldn’t believe it when members of the Trinity began to appear to the main character as black women.  Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t about race, it is about gender and the representation of God.  Representing God the Father as any image or human is a serious error even in fiction. We are not to build an image in our minds of God--we cannot "reduce" Him to our level of comprehension as He is so far above us in all things. Jesus had to die a painful death to reconcile us as sinful humans to God the Father due to His holiness. Jesus is the bridge and mediator, we cannot approach God apart from Him, let alone misrepresent Him in this careless way. Why represent God as a woman? The Bible makes it clear that the authority structure is for a man to be at the head. The Shack is more dangerous because it feeds society's attempts to undermine the biblical gender roles and provides direct support for the feminist agenda. Christians should be standing against cultural trends where they conflict with the Bible, not promoting and supporting them. And now, there is a movie. Hooray! In the same way that Christian authors have a responsibility to ensure they are not promoting and advancing erroneous theology, even in fiction. Christian readers must exercise discernment in their reading. It is not legalism it is necessary and biblical. Why should this be any different for a movie?If enough Christians refuse to go and see this movie on the basis that the theology is erroneous, even dangerous, then it at least sends a message that the Bible cannot be undermined in this way. It also ensures that non-believers aren’t confused by the misrepresentation of the Christian message like some have been by the Da Vinci Code.  If you are not put off by the issues mentioned already, then an examination of the agenda of the author should be enough to make you think twice before reading the book or going to see the movie. This documentary from Paul Flynn is worth watching. Sadly, I know that many Christians will still go to see this movie. They will go for the entertainment factor and some will say it is so they can critique it afterwards or start a Christian conversation with a non-believing friend. But, why start with something so confusing and potentially lead your friend down a blind alley from the outset, there are definitely easier ways to start an evangelistic conversation. Why not pray then try—would you like to come to church with me on Sunday? or, have you read this Christian book?—Ultimate Questions by John Blanchard is a good opener and the PDF is free here. God didn't teach us to walk along danger lines or to study falsehood in order to learn error. We should instead study the truth (the Bible) so that we can recognise error. We are taught to resist evil and to flee from temptation. If we walk along danger lines instead of seeking to be more like Jesus by staying away from the lines, we will eventually veer across the line and fall into sin. It’s human nature and there is an active enemy seeking to devour us! Christians who go to watch the movie are endorsing the errors in the teaching, undermining the Bible, funding this series and future projects and encouraging other authors and movie makers to write more of this type of thing. We need to remember that it is the broad way that leads to destruction and the narrow way to life. In the latter times, people will gather teachers that say what their itching ears want to hear and we are warned that many will be deceived. The popular way is not God's way. Simply put in this modification of a quotation from G. K. Chesterton, Wrong is wrong even if everyone else is doing it. Right is right even if no one else is doing it  Christians, let’s boycott this movie! Psalm 101 vs 3 I will not set before my eyes anything that is worthless. Romans 16 vs 1 Now I urge you, brethren, keep your eye on those who cause dissensions and hindrances contrary to the teaching which you learned, and turn away from them. 1 Timothy 4 vs 7 But have nothing to do with worldly fables fit only for old women On the other hand, discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness; Philippians 4 vs 8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. 2 Timothy 4 vs 3-4 For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. Proverbs 4 vs 14-15 Do not enter the path of the wicked, and do not walk in the way of the evil. Avoid it; do not go on it; turn away from it and pass on.
17 Feb 21:44

European Commission responds to the FSFE's information request for Horizon 2020

European Commission responds to the FSFE's information request for Horizon 2020

The European Commission Directorate-General for Research and Innovation responds to a Freedom of Information (FOI) request about the use, development and release of software under Horizon 2020 - submitted by the FSFE on January 9, 2017.

With this FOI request, the FSFE directly aimed at shedding light on how much money is spent on the use and purchase of proprietary software licences through the Horizon 2020 funding for the beneficiary projects. Respectively, it intended to figure if and what kind of data is collected, apropos of Free Software licences. The FOI request followed the publication of the FSFE's position paper for the endorsement of Free Software and Open Standards in Horizon 2020 and all publicly-funded research.

However, the response by the Commission revealed that no information is being collected on how the EU funds are being spent, when it comes to the software used and developed by the beneficiary projects within Horizon 2020:

"[...] we checked if the requested information existed and the competent Commission services informed us that the European Commission does not systematically collect information about open source software used or developed under Horizon 2020 grants, as this is not a reporting requirement in the Horizon 2020 legal basis. Consequently we are not in a position to provide you the information that you are looking for. The same applies to data concerning Horizon 2020 projects paying licence fees for software or developing software on their own."

Breaking down the EC's reply

The EC is justifying the lack of information with the argument that "it is not legally mandatory" to collect data concerning the use and acquisition of software licences.

According to the Article 14(1) of the Regulation (EU) No 1291/2013 establishing Horizon 2020, particular attention in the framework shall be paid to the development and application of key enabling and industrial technologies as well as future and emerging technologies; and shall contribute to the Digital Agenda for Europe initiative. Regarding this particular point, the interim evaluation of Horizon 2020 shall assess the efficiency and use of resources, with particular attention to cross-cutting issues and other elements referred in the Article 14(1). Software is no doubt falling under all of the points that Horizon 2020 is supposed to focus on when it comes to both industrial and emerging technologies, as well as part of the Digital Agenda for Europe. The absence of monitoring the use of resources Horizon 2020 projects are allocating to the use and development of software in Research and Innovation will not allow to assess the efficiency and use of resources of Horizon 2020 in its Interim evaluation.

Indeed, in the first Annual Monitoring Report 2014 which focuses on the implementation of the first year of the programme, information regarding the share of EU financial contribution to the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Research and Innovation was missing. According to the second report for 2015, however, preliminary data show that over one fifth of the EU funding in Horizon 2020 contributes to ICT Research and Innovation.

What "no information" means for Free Software and Open Science

The absence of data about the use of software within Horizon 2020 beneficiary projects makes almost impossible the accurate estimation of the amount of both proprietary and Free Software, being used or developed under Horizon 2020 grants.

Taking into consideration the fact that nowadays, scientists irrespective of their field of study depend on software in order to successfully conduct their research, it is indisputable that almost every beneficiary project spends a considerable amount of the hand-out grant in the purchase of software licences. The fact that the EC does not collect data on the spending of public money for software licences disregards an essential part of the modern research.

Consequently, without relevant data, Horizon 2020 monitoring and evaluation processes cannot draw safe conclusions. Critical factors, such as the re-use of software being developed with Horizon 2020 funding, or the costs for re-purchasing the same licences cannot be scrutinized and therefore, cannot lead decision-makers to optimised funding solutions. Albeit, the most significant complication is the fact that the EC is not in position to prove with a degree of certainty that Open Access and subsequently Open Science, two of the Horizon 2020 most fundamental principles, are implemented in practice. As already argued in the FSFE's recent position paper, Open Science can neither be achieved nor be sustainable in long-term without Free Software being its chief constituent.

Support FSFE, join the Fellowship
Make a one time donation

10 Feb 00:06

Recommended: Thucydides’ Melian Dialogue

by geoffreysteadman

A Professor of Classics at Mt. Holyoke College has just published a 96-page commentary on the Melian Dialogue in the same format that is used in the volumes on this website. The book is available in paperback for 8.95 USD on Amazon (link).


I recommend this book to anyone reading Greek at the intermediate level or above and hope that teachers of ancient Greek will consider using this inexpensive commentary in their courses.

If you consult the “Look Inside” search function on the Amazon website, you will have full access to the introduction, bibliography, core vocabulary, and a few pages of the commentary itself.

The book is well worth a look.



08 Feb 20:59

Focus Knob

Maybe if I spin it back and forth really fast I can do some kind of pulse-width modulation.