Picidae – Journey to the end of the Internet

The readings for the human rights and the Olympics piece are becoming more interesting every day. It might be because the acumulation of knowlegde lead to the creation of a bigger and understandable picture but might also be because the more I read, cystitis the more questions arise and the more challenges come with them. Nevertheless, hemorrhoids I find the online battle of ideas to be most interesting. Just put “human rights and 2008 Olympics” on YouTube and more than 25 videos will pop up, all them making a positive or negative statement and linking it with the future Olympics. Or, simply set up a Google Alerts for the same keywords and every week  you’ll get (as I do) an e-mail with links, among others, to the  blogs where a related story was published. The internet hosts both partisans of the 2008 Games as powerful voices against them and moreover, gives both parties, an opportunity to interact. 

For example the very active YouTube user and blog host called “noolympics” has found strong debate oponents such as the “olympicblogger” or the daily, neutral in tone but favorable in attitude blog of the “2008gamesbeijing“. All these writers are very vocal advocates of their causes and the the discourse they use can make an interesting study of rhetorics. But what makes it most interesting and very relevant to the human rights article my professor and I are working on, is the fact that the main issue of debate IS the human rights issue… and this when the IOC and Olympic Charter state fairly clearly that the choice of an olympic host is dependent on other criteria than the human rights abuses record one has.

Yet, when the Olympic Charter mentions the Olympic goals (see below), one cannot stop asking how can human dignity, respect, non-discrimination and human rights be treated as separate notions when they are, in fact, inseparable?

  • ‘the establishment of a peaceful society concerned with the preservation of human dignity’,
  • ‘respect for universal fundamental ethical principles’,
  • incompatibility with ‘any form of discrimination with regard to a country or a person on grounds of race, religion, politics, sex or otherwise’
  • use of sport to educate the youth of the world ‘in the values of peace, justice, mutual understanding and international friendship 

A friend of mine sent me today this link. It is a project developed by two Berliners aimed to help people accessing the Internet from highly monitored/firewalled/secured locations visualize websites that are normally forbidden. Their project and the way they present it is highly humanitarian and works for giving Internet users access to a non-censored Internet by tricking the firewall system by allowing the user to connect to an outside proxy or server. They say that tested their idea in the heart of Beijing accessing “forbidden” websites in plain daylight and from public Internet Cafes.

According to the authors, geriatrician
when accessing an unauthorized website in countries with high Internet censorship a message signaling a network problem will be shown. What the user has to do then is to invoke the pici-server and fill in the same web address that was reported as unreachable. “The pici-server then creates an image of that website and sends this back. To make surfing on that image possible, view
pici-server analyses the web site and puts links via image maps onto the image where they can be seen on the web site. So one can click in the web browser with the mouse onto the links like on the “true” web page.”

I wonder what the Chinese Virtual Policeforce (see some posts ago) said to this?

For more info check: http://www.picidae.net/

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