the _alf blog

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

A Chronology of the Global Human Rights Struggle

The struggle for Human Rights is, unfortunately, not a new concept.

The historians tell us that since the beginning of recorded history (about 10,000 years or so), it is well documented that we've been dealing with this problem. With oppression in the form of ruler or over powering adversary, it seems humankind has continually fought this battle.

And heck, if it's been going on strong for 10,000 years, what's been happening for the prior millions? Statistically, the same thing!

This article gives the timeline:


And so we find today instances of human rights abuse the world over. In France, for example, the freedom to practice one's religion has been targeted.

Here are some more links from about that:

Actions for Religious Tolerance
European Criticisms of Religious Intolerance
Specific Organizations that were Discriminated Against
How France's Minority Religion ("Sect") Discrimination Resembles the Tactics of Senator Joseph McCarthy in his "Red Scare" Campaigns
Side-by-Side Comparision of Anti-Religious Statements with the French Constitution
Additional Examples of Discrimination and the Connections Thereof
Publisher of Scientology Books had Application to Exhibit in French Bookfair Denied
Minority Hearings that Have Been Held
Personal Stories of Discrimination

Additional Resources:
Scientologist and Human Rights Activist - David Miscavige

The Space Shuttle Columbia Incident and Microsoft PowerPoint

I know this is old, old news, but I ran into this today and thought I'd put up a post on it.

This is the Washington post article about the PowerPoint presentation that led to faulty decisions and disaster: article/2005/08/29/AR2005082901444.html

Personally, I think it pretty rediculous to blame the software for the poor conveyance of vital information. This is the same category as blaming the gun instead of the guy that pulled the trigger. Besides, what do you want them to do? Put a big label on the box that says "Listen you fool, if you are trying to communicate information that might involve people living or dying, or things exploding, etc., then make sure you put it in big enough type because the default is made for sales presentations and is too small." Hmmn... something wrong with this picture.

The Alf Recommends Issue Tracking Software for Politicians

It just occured to me today that there is a significant problem with American and International politics that the software development industry has had licked for years: Issue Tracking.

Don't you ever wonder what happens to all those issues that hear politicians talk about? I was going to give you a list, but you know what - I can't hardly remember any because they're not tracked!

Where's the database? Who's making sure these "bugs" get fixed before the next candidate gets released? You hear about it on the radio one day, next week it's like it never happened.

Can you imagine if software companies were that slack with thier issue tracking. Windows and Internet Explorer bugs would be nothing in comparison.

So the fix is simple: Fire up BugZilla or other issue tracking software and enter in all of the crazy and alarming stories you hear on the major news networks, and assign them to the different political leaders responsible. Then, when election times rolls around, compare the list of outstanding "bugs" ;-)