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Where are Mulder and Scully when you need them?

This is a copy of one of the little news articles from the latest Nexus magazine. The original article comes from `From The Wilderness’.
MYSTERIOUS DEATH OF MICROBIOLOGISTS
In the four month period from November 12, 2001 through February 11, 2002 seven world-class microbiologists from different parts of the world were reported dead.
Six died of “unnatural” causes, while the cause of the seventh’s death is questionable.
In the six weeks prior to November 12, two additional foriegn microbiologists were reported dead. Some believe there were as many as five more microbiologists killed during the period, bringing the total to as high as fourteen. These two to seven additional deaths, however, are not the focus of this story. This same period also saw the deaths of three persons involved in medical research on public health:

On November 12, Benito Que, 52, was found comatose in the street near the labratory where he worked at the University of Miami Medical School. He died on December 6.
On November 16, Don C. Wiley, 57, vanished and his abandoned rental car was found on the Hernando de Soto Bridge outside Memphis, Tennessee. His body was found on December 20.
* On December 10, Robert Schwartz, 57, was found murdered in his rural home in Loudoun County, Virginia.
On December 11, Set Van Nguyen, 44, was found dead in the airlock entrance to a walk-in refrigerator in the labratory where he worked in Victoria, Australia.
On February 8, Vladimir Korshunov, 56, was found dead on a Moscow street.
On February 11, Ian Langford, 40, was found dead in his home in Norwich, England.

Prior to these deaths, on October 4 a commercial jetliner travelling from Israel to Novosibirsk, Siberia was shot down over the Black Sea by an “errant” Ukrainian surface-to-air missile, killing all on board. The misssile was over 100 miles off course.
Despite early news stories reporting it as a charter flight, Air Sibir 1812 was a regularly scheduled flight.
According to several press reports, the plane is believed the have had as many as five passengers who were microbiologists.
At the time of the Black Sea crash, Israel journalists had been sounding the alarm that two Israeli microbiologists had recently been murdered, allegedly by terrorists.

2 comments
yaksox, you know that Victoria one you mention, well, it actually happened about half an hour from where we live. so there you go.

gene – 31.03.02, 23:39

Crikey! The CIA visiting here?!
Indeed, as you mentioned – there was a thing in one of the local papers – saying that Set somehow got `stuck’ in the refrigerator all weekend. And of course, such mainstream non-boat-rocking newspapers wouldn’t let on if he was strangled first or not.
It was at a CSIRO lab in a ‘burb called Moolap.
R.I.P Set.

yak – 01.04.02, 11:14

YS @ 10:21 am, April 30, 2002

This is just a bookmark

There’s a peice on K5, here about the human computer interface, and specialisation withing society and science — all of which is inneresting and may come in handy for the next volley of essays.
Also, Just had a look at SuSE 8.0 — looks mighty tempting, but is $153 – still maybe worth going that bit extra for things like their multimedia apps. looked like some neat mixin’ stuff there.
Wonder if I could get an academic discount?

2 comments
SuSE 8.0 rocks – much nicer instal than earlier versions. Recommended.
nolo – 01.05.02, 22:27

Yeah – i have 7.0 and ran that for a while. All the `pay’ programs that come with it are a real bonus. Will have another look at their updates system/updates support situation and have a thinks.
yak – 02.05.02, 18:21

YS @ 9:55 pm, April 29, 2002

ah disappointment…

how it can jump out at me.
It’s all expectations you realise.
Last week I was at a newsagents and I saw this Linux magazine, which in itself is nothing special. I’ve seen it before – is English but don’t remember the name of it — it costs around 20 bucks so I’ve never bought it. But last week I saw two issues stickytaped together for the normal price, and it had Smoothwall on one of the CDs. But I didn’t have enough smash on me at the time. I really wanted it too. Wanted the gratification of purchasing something.
Then excersised delayed-gratification on the weekend because saw a different copy of the mag (but also a double CD) over the other side of the bay – while there with Gene, looking after her sisters.
I thought, no I’ll wait — and on Monday I’ll go to Smellmont and get that one I saw. And I was looking forward to it all day, even withh that littlw voice in back-of-head saying `perhaps it won’t be there’. I sez `Pipe down you!’.
But it wasn’t. It probably wasn’t even bought by anyone – just the next issue came out and the old one went back. The new one had KDE3beta on the CD but I’m not interested in getting that that way.

Then once that happened (and i allowed myself to get disappointed) everything else seemed crappy too. I got a 2nd hand coppy of a This Digital Ocean cd – but the case was broken and the store guy still didn’t cut the price of it.
I could go on whinging but there’s not much point to it.

CART Racing in Montegi, Japan tonight. Think I’m gonna tape it though – staying up late for the last one zombified me for the next day.

Got back here late-ish last night qnd started up Jugger and it looked kindof strange. I thought it must’ve just been that I was away for a couple of days. Then Started Opera and did a little browsing – and all the fonts were barby and aliased — and I thought that I must’ve d/loaded the newer version of it the other day before leaving but this was the first time I was seeing it running — becasue the decor was grey instead of creamy (blends with the rest of the theme) … then I get to visiting whirlpool, and go to reply to one of the threads and realise that the ‘S’ key isn’t working.

Now a Woodnose user might suspect they’d caught a virus … buut the other week a similar thing happened but it was the ‘T’ key instead. I think it’s got something to do with the X-window system messing up and not loading properly – only takes a restart of X and it’s okay.
But I got enormous laughs when I realised I was gonna have to write this post without an S. That kind of thing tickles my funnybone bigtime.

YS @ 9:54 pm,

Do gaol-birds really make liscense plates?

I amm a little skeptical about this … it it were true wouldn’t they only make ones like: IKILLU, CANNED, SLAMER, IN4LIFE, INOCNT,

******************
“The Electrician”, hereforth referred to as anto finally made it here yesterday evening…
Was really good to see him, we stilll have a lot in common. This can’t always be garunteed when not seeing a bud ffor three years. He’s always got a lot off funny stories. Might be moving back this way at the end of the year. Spurred me to pull out the guitar lst night and have a little strum. Haven’t done that for a while. my fingers have gone all soft and uncallussed and it was painful ….woooe. Acoustic guitar never really got my blood pumpin’.

Got my communication stud.s assignment back – HD. Pretty sweet. Also happened by a pawn (yes, not the other kind) shop in Belmont (a.k.a Smellmont) the other day and picked up Soma’s first CD, self-titled, which is pretty cool – from 1993. One track on there is qite memorable.

YS @ 9:53 pm, April 25, 2002

At this juncture …

I probably shoud apologise for the all too gruesome detail about me and my nose, and say that it was the Strepsils talkin’, but I’m not going to. Being human is a messy business.

Re: tv turn off week: I probably shouldn’t be pushing that barrow…
We actually got it mixed up here, and started last tuesday. All was going well til saturday night when the reality of our empty shallow post-modern and fragmented lives hit us.
My excuse is that I was hed-fuced and I couldn’t focus on a book page due to constant allergy attack.
So, we didn’t make it through a week without box.
I think the main thing I get from it is laughs. Fuunny little things that pop back into head the next day.

***************************

Yak was expecting a buddy to get here this evening, but it seems he didn’t make it out of Adelaide (alive … just kidding!). This friend shall here forth be referred to as ‘The Electrician’. Anyway, he’s on 5 weeks hols, and is heading this way on the way to up the east coast. I aint seen The Electrician for a couple of years, and in combination we’re too blokey to have much of a convo on the phone. Known him for ages, since the lefty days.

***************************
For these brief few next days I’m gonna appreciate not having the pressure-swords of essays-due hanging over my head.
Am slowly starting work on getting some stories etc back on the net.

YS @ 9:21 pm, April 22, 2002

Don’t forget Folks:

TV Turn-Off Week, April 22-28

Boy, this psychology essay is whippin’ me. I don’t have much else to say – had some hell last night with my nose, but is a little better today… snot starting to thicken up… pretty soon (I know) I’ll be receiving one large bloody filth-coloured chunk of gristle staright from me to the hankerchief. :^P

YS @ 9:20 pm, April 20, 2002

Moreover, cogent

Moreover, cogent
Moreover, …. cogent
Moreover, ……. cogent

Moreover, moreover-moreover
cogent … cogent … cogent …
Moreover, cogent-cogent moreover cogent moreover moreover moreover
More cogent over cogent over

More

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Moreover, cogent

YS @ 9:18 pm, April 19, 2002

So How’s it goin’? school/Juggernaut

Apart from the pressure of the continual assignments, it’s good to be having so many ideas and stuff being put in front of me. There’s interesting stuff happening in all four subjects.
Looking at advertising and the connotations and symbolism in it in communication studies — that’s very much up my ally, remends me alot of when I was doing myth+symbol, and writing for telly/screenwriting. Apparently the next assignment in onn that kind of stuff, so once I learn the spcific technical terms that they apply to this stuff, it’ll be fine.

Am kind of frustrated with comms (and psychology — both the 1st year subjects) because we’re not given any opporunity for class discussion on the stuff, and I feel like I’m not really getting to know the other people in the class – and I’d like to. i’m curious I s’pose.

That’s the good thing about the other two 9the 2nd year ones – Social Theory and IR/T.E.O.T.W.A.K.I? – Lot’s of dissco – particularly in IR – the other kids are actually intelligent and have opinions. Actually the difference is quite stark. I dunno what it is about Social Theory (I do know that (for some reason) it’s a requirement that people wanting to do primary school teaching have to do it) but there’s a lot of dead-heads in the class. We’re given plenty of chances to speak up but it’s like 75% of the class are mutes. Or they remind me a lot of the 1st year students – they seem to be able to read the material, but have no opinion on it, or can’t relate it to life, or if they do have an opinion then it’s way off.

We’re doing tradition in science at the moment, veddy inderestink … science is like the new religion to a lot of people. That much is evident on Whirlpool. I have very definite opinions on it – all anti-cappo and Nexus-based, and I don’t think that it’s blocking me from seeing the topic in a more objective way…. I hope it’s not.

*******************************
It seems that my ibm hard disk doesn’t like work in the morning. it worries me a tad. When I boot, and self-test starts, hard disk initialises and it goes `click – click – click -click’ it rolls over to `operating system not found’ and I have to alt-ctrl-del and on the second go it finds Lilo and boots proper, but once or twice it’s taken like 5 goes. i dunno … I’mm scared to actually open the thing up, I fear it most proably will not be something that I can do anything about – i don’t see how a wire getting in the way could cause that sort of thing.
A wishlist is starting to develop in my head:- – a digital camera,, about $300 – a set of speakers, also about $300 – a network card (apparently Blooey the iMac already has one inside it, so if I had one, then with a bit of tinkering) both machines could be on the net at the same time) – a little (4 or 6 gig) hard drive to put woodnose on – a copy of FreeBSD 4.5 (I keep asking PCWORLD to put it on one of their cover disks, but they don’t seem to give a lot of space to Linux even these days, let alone featuring another OS) (Also, I don’t know how much time I’d have to really muck around with it at the moment) – Red Hat 7.3 SkipJack – i’m just waitng for this to hit the newsagents. I’ve got bugger-all of the 7.2 updates on here, and frankly it’d be a pain in the arse to have to deal with it all. Apparently it has evolution without having to have `the most dreaded’- Ximian. – a USB scanner. Ambivelent about this, wish I had the time and brain pwer to get SANE backends sorted so I could use my old prarlell scanner. It really sucks, there’s alot of stuff I wanna scan. Ah well – the old 200Mhz box of Gene’s is still here, I’ll give the neighbours another week to come and pick it up, after that I’m requistioning it, so that I can have something running woodnose95 so that I can use the scanner, and do these dumb-woodnose-based psychology things.

I surprise myself that I’ve not wanted to muck around with Blooey the iMac hardly at all. i don’t exactly know why,, but I’m pretty happy with this set up right here – and this OS – and using KDE, while the most woodnose-ish, is very functional.

Having a frightful amount of hassle with Grip – and ripping my CDs – it’s like all there needs to be is one little mark on one and it won’t bloody rip and the little Grip-face cracks the sads at me, or is stickin its toungue out at me. Will have to look into this.

Am happy and respectful that Mozilla is finally reaching 1.0 — and I’ve been using .99 a bit and it’s fairly good. For some reason, fonts still look better in Opera. I like both of them, and Konqueror too, but Opera always just seems to have its nose out in front. The moouse gestures keep it in front of konqi, and its smooth look beats moz.

Okay, I better go hit the green tea and lemon.

YS @ 9:17 pm,

Hipocracy of sovereignty recognition

Here’s that assignment i did for international relations. man I hope I get a good mark for it. I find out next Wednesday. I had Shappy’s classes this week and i get the feeling he’s read it. He’s mentioned East Timor a lot as an example (to do with the birth of a nation compared to the birth of a state) and because he has such shit handwriting (he really does! I thought my hand writing was bad — and the teachers at primary school used to tell me off and think i was retarded or that I was destined to become a doctor — but Shappy, when he does even just a little writing on the blackboard it’s kind of like those, `I’m dead and I’m scrawling this in my own blood’ type jobs) we have to drop by his office to pick the essays back up, to get feedback. I’m thinking it could go either way – extremely good or extremely bad.
Anyway, here t’is:

Charles Tilly argues that `states make war and war makes the state’. But which factor is more important in defining the modern state, war making or the recognition of sovereignty by other states?
Tilly uses the analogy of states’ war-making as being like, `a local strongman forcing merchants to pay tribute in order to avoid damage’ (Tilly, 1985). My continuation is that today, the neighbourhood’s quota for strongmen is filled with no postions opening up in the near future. The only way for a new state to gain sovereignty is to emulate the strongmen (without being offensive) and co-operate with them.

War-making in feudal Europe was the catalyst for the process I like to think of as, `big fish eating little fish’. A small but crucial factor in speeding this process was the invention of the longbow, pike, cannon and trace italienne (low profile, thickened walls), as listed by Opello. More men were involved in wars and warring became expensive. Either a Prince had the resources to survive in this changed environment or his lands were over run by one who did. While the distinction between an `internal threat’ and an `external threat’ to a ruler’s authority was very much liquid to begin with, more definition to boundaries eventually took shape, and the ruler successfully maintained the monopoly of violence within their territory.
So, with larger groupings and territories came organising structures and a kind of depersonalistaion of the process of war, neatly described as, `… human beings, the state’s subjects, available to be used as objects by the state apparatus in the name of order and as expressions of the power of the state’ (Opello, 1999).

The big-fish/little-fish idea is the same concept that drove mercantile capitalism which existed symbiotically alongside of state-making during the late medieval times and period of the `absolutist state’ (roughly covering 1500-1775).
A major shift in the nature of war-making/state-making happened when Francis I of France (after losing the city of Milan and experiencing hardtimes financially) decided to keep warring, rather than lose territory. He borrowed money from the merchants of Paris on the condition that interest be payed on the loan. From then on the French national debt soared and more efficient and ruthless ways of extracting wealth from the populace were introduced. The same happened in other European states.

As Tilly states in his quote of Jan de Vries, `Behind every successful dynasty stood an array of opulent banking families’ (Tilly, 1985). Or more pointedly, one banking family; the Rothschilds’. Mayer Rothschilds had his five sons establish banks in the cities of Frankfurt, Vienna, London, Naples and Paris. By 1800 bankers came to be known as the `power behind the thrown’ (Carmack, 1998).

The treaty of Westphalia is, by most, seen as the beginning of what we loosely term as sovereignty.
The most important things to come out of the treaty were that it gave a ruler the right to practice which religion they chose, and that all kings were seen as equal, while still rulers of their respective realms.

Regarding the first point, Krasner adds that, `it then went on to violate this very principle through many specific provisions’, including, `Catholics and Protestants in German cities with mixed populations would share offices’ (Krasner, 2001). It’s ironic that a concept as subjective and multi-meaninged as sovereignty should start in this way.

Fowler & Bunck (1992), rightly point out that the basic ingredients that a state needs to become sovereign are a, `territory, people and a government’. From there, a state must be able to show its internal supremacy (ie. a monopoly on the means of violence) and external independence, which according to Fowler & Bunck means, `politically and juridically independent of any superior’. Together these are termed de facto autonomy. The other key term in this area is de jure independence;
to govern, legislate and pass legal sentence free of influence from external states.
To gain recognition of sovereignty sometimes proof of one of these is enough, sometimes both, and sometimes even both is not enough.
My favourite example of all these concepts in action is that of Sealand (FOOTNOTE AT BOTTOM).

`…[B]ecoming a member of the ranks of sovereign states is something like joining an exclusive club’, say Fowler & Bunck. The conditions of entry shift depending on the situation. The outcomes (post WW2) are guided primarily by US economic and strategic interests.
In 1991 the US quickly lead the UN into the defense of Kuwait against Iraq. Why would it do this (apart from protecting US-based oil company resources located in Kuwait) but not aid of East Timor which was invaded by Indonesia in 1975?
East Timor had been recently decolonised by Portugal and had formed a government.
But Indonesia was a `client’ of the US and giving, `attention to the Indonesian invasion would have embarrassed a loyal ally and quickly disclosed the crucial role of the United States in providing military aid and diplomatic support for aggression and slaughter’ (Herman & Chomsky, 1988).
Yet, doesn’t the UN exists to stop this kind of hypocrisy? During 1975, the US’s UN ambassador was Daniel Patrick Moynihan. Here’s a little of what Chomsky compiled on the role of Moynihan in 1975. `He had more to say about these matters in his memoir of his years at the United Nations, where he describes frankly his role as Indonesia invaded East Timor in December 1975:

The United States wished things to turn out as they did, and worked to bring this about.
The Department of State desired that the United Nations prove utterly ineffective
in whatever measures it undertook. This task was given to me, and I carried it
forward with no inconsiderable success. (Chomsky, 1991)

So while the UN (as a meeting place for the international community) seems like a great idea, rarely does it bring about justice. In order for a state to gain sovereignty, recognition by other sovereign states is important but the pecking order of already-established sovereign states corresponds with the order of states war-making capabilities. Every sovereign state is given a vote in the UN, but only a handful can vito a decision that the UN makes.
When it is the economic or strategic interests of that handful to grant a new state sovereignty (through recognition) then it will happen, and when it doesn’t it won’t.

The UK has considerable war-making capabilities, so does France, China and Russia but today the Godfather and boss of the neighbourhood strongmen is the United States.

Sealand is quarter the size of an oil rig, and in a nutshell, is two very large cement pipes with a platform and living quarters on top. It’s located seven nautical miles off the east coast of England. It was used by England during WW2 then abandoned. Roy Bates occupied it and proclaimed himself supreme ruler and king of the principality of Sealand in 1967.
The British courts attempted to try Roy for tresspassing and other crimes, but found that, because the platform had been officially abandoned and lay outside of British waters, they had no jurisdiction. Roy claimed this to be de facto recognition of the state’s sovereignty.

He then wrote a constitution. While it may not have contained a full written set of procedures for a functioning legal system, it probably contained a clause that said something like, `If and when legal judgment needs to be passed, it will be done by me or other members of the royal family and that law will be final within the principality of Sealand.
Germany and The Netherlands have also acknowledged Sealands sovereignty.

There was even a situation where Roy showed in practice his ability to defend Sealand from external threat, internal threat,hand down judgment on offenders and negotiate with international diplomats. All of which were done successfully.

References

Carmack, Patrick, S. J. 1998, The Money Masters: How International Bankers Gained Control of America, Royal Production Company, OK. USA

Chomsky, Noam, 1991, Deterring Democracy, Vintage, London, p.-200

Fowler & Bunck, M. R. & J. M. 1992, `What Constitutes the Sovereign State?’, Review of International Studies, Vol. 22, pp. 381-404

Herman & Chomsky, Edward, S. & Noam, 1988, Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy and the Mass Media, Vintage, London, p.- 302

Krasner, Stephen, D. 2001, `Sovereignty’, Foreign Policy, vol. January/February, no. 122

`The History of Sealand’ http://www.sealandgov.org/history.html

YS @ 9:16 pm,

Bone:

archaic : as in pointing the bone – where a witch-doctor’s authority and mystery gave them power of influence over more ignorant members of the community.

For me, Bone still happens but the doctor is in my head. If I believe something willl happen then it probably willl, even if I consciously deny it, the unconscious still has power.
eg. At deakin, it bugs me howw few self-opening doors there are — I have to touch so many door handles, and I got thinking, `this is way germy’ (plus also, the cleaners clean the desks with some kind of harsh chemicals which slightly irritates the skin, and makes my eyes itchy, so I itch my eyes, and whalla :: if there’s anything to be got, then I have a good chance of getting it)

The upshot of all this is that I have a snot-nose-head-cold.

Damn Bone. Takes some pretty hardcore rewiring to change that kind of belief system.

YS @ 9:15 pm,

which muppet are you?

Someone posted this on whirlpool.

You are Kermit!
Though you’re technically the star, you’re pretty mellow and don’t mind letting others share the spotlight. You are also something of a dreamer.

YS @ 9:14 pm, April 17, 2002
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