Daily Archives:December 17th, 2010

Canine calculations

My friend Jon Crowcroft told me recently that “On the Internet, everyone now knows you have a dog”. I took the point, and will try to moderate my doggy posts: Tilly has been with us for a year now, so I should be over that annoying new-parent enthusiasm.

It did strike me the other day, though, as we strolled across icy fields, that I walk her about two miles every morning and Rose does the same in the afternoon. Tilly, when she’s off the lead, runs at least a further three miles that we don’t.

This means that over 12 months Rose and I have each walked further than the length of the British Isles.

Tilly, on the other hand, has run a distance roughly equivalent to the width of the United States, which I feel is not a bad achievement before you reach 15 months old!

OK. Proud father signing off now…

Topic of the weeki

Everybody’s talking about Wikileaks, so in general, I haven’t. People like John are doing a much better job than I ever could.

There was some discussion on a couple of the Twit.tv podcasts about the heightened emotions directed at Wikileaks itself, though, and I thought they came to some sane conclusions, which were roughly as follows:

  • The person who committed a crime was the original source, who is now being dealt with by the law
  • Wikileaks did no more than any newspaper would have done if it got its hands on the material, and is no more or less culpable than the New York Times and the Guardian and others who have been republishing it.
  • Wikileaks just did it more efficiently and for different, and some would argue, more honourable, motivations than a newspaper’s. [This is the real novelty. People know how to interpret newspapers’ actions.]
  • Those hackers attempting to target organisations that failed to support Wikileaks are guilty of suppressing the kind of freedoms of speech and action for which Wikileaks stands.
  • The big danger is that any measures brought in to ‘deal with’ Wikileaks could be used against the New York Times and the Guardian in the future.

That seemed to me a pretty good executive summary, but what a lot of fun debate is going on about these, and all the ramifications, especially as initial outrages give way to more careful considerations.

They’re all missing the real question, of course: who will play Assange when the movies start to come out?

© Copyright Quentin Stafford-Fraser