Tag Archives: Stephen Fry

Posts are like buses…

and here’s the third of the day! Just wanted to post something I read on the BBC website, Stephen Fry talking about the web on the Analysis programme. I really liked the way he put this:

 This is an early thing I said about the internet at the time things like AOL were still huge. I said it’s Milton Keynes, that’s the problem with it. It’s got all these nice, safe cycle paths and child-friendly parks and all the rest of it.

But the internet is a city and, like any great city, it has monumental libraries and theatres and museums and places in which you can learn and pick up information and there are facilities for you that are astounding – specialised museums, not just general ones.

But there are also slums and there are red light districts and there are really sleazy areas where you wouldn’t want your children wandering alone.

And you say, “But how do I know which shops are selling good gear in the city and how do I know which are bad? How do I know which streets are safe and how do I know which aren’t?” Well you find out.

What you don’t need is a huge authority or a series of identity cards and police escorts to take you round the city because you can’t be trusted to do it yourself or for your children to do it.

And I think people must understand that about the internet – it is a new city, it’s a virtual city and there will be parts of it of course that they dislike, but you don’t pull down London because it’s got a red light district.

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Think

A whole load of bloggers are in Brussels today for the launch of Think about It, a blogging competition linked to this year’s European elections. There are a few Brits at the launch, some of them well-known blogs on EU subjects, such as Jon Worth, others up-and-coming. They’ll all go live on the site on 1 February, apparently. It’s also been launch day of bloggingportal.eu, which is an aggregator for EU-related blogs (and given the overlap between its creators and the Think About It project, I suppose that’s somewhere to look for them befoe 1 Feb). I should be clear that this is a project by individuals, nothing official from the EU, but it’s a great idea, and a first stop for anyone interested in seeing what EU issues are being talked about. There’s also a twitter feed going on from the conference, if you’re keen for a blow-by-blow account.

I’ve just got into Twitter and it is pretty addictive, though I’m not as crazy about it as Stephen Fry, who seems to send a tweet every two minutes!

I, like many others, have been perturbed by the decision of Sky and the BBC not to broadcast the appeal for Gaza. Never mind the rights and wrongs of the situation, people need help and it threatens the neutrality of the humanitarian space to bring the political in, no matter how well intentioned. This is from the EU’s consensus on humanitarian aid, and while not the most wonderfully drafted piece of prose, I think it shows why so many people are concerned:

Humanitarian actors today face a number of major challenges. There has been an increasing tendency for International Law, including International Humanitarian Law, Human Rights Law and Refugee Law, to be ignored or blatantly violated. The ‘humanitarian space’ that is needed to ensure access to vulnerable populations and the safety and security of humanitarian workers must be preserved as essential preconditions for the delivery of humanitarian aid, and for the European Union (EU) and its partners in the humanitarian field to be able to get assistance including protection to crisis-hit people, based on respect for the principles of neutrality, impartiality, humanity and independence of humanitarian action, enshrined in International Law, in particular International Humanitarian Law.

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Filed under European elections 2009, Media