Gongol.com Archives: September 2014

Brian Gongol


September 13, 2014

News What to call it: ISIS, ISIL, QSIL?
The clearest, most direct language would be "Al Qaeda-land", even if that's not precise. Neither are a lot of other names, but precision is a luxury in this case. They are executing a long-standing Al Qaeda plan, and the leaders come from within Al Qaeda, so it's hard to think of a reason to call it anything else. Doing so only serves to confuse a global public which ought to be galvanized against allowing a group like this to permanentize and legitimize as a state. Don't think it couldn't happen. It's imperative that we use the simple, recognizable language with which we have all become quite uncomfortably familiar since at least 2001. Renaming the threat to something more complicated or less direct doesn't make it any less serious.

Computers and the Internet LA school district puts brakes on iPads-for-all program
Besides there being something rather fishy about the bidding process, it's never been entirely clear that the program was anything much more than a stunt. When people think that "technology" will somehow be "the solution" to everything, they lose the credibility that comes from having thought through the problem systematically first. Too many organizations get buffaloed into thinking that they just need to spend more on technology of some sort, and that spending will make everything better. There has to be a compelling reason why the technology is going to help, not just a vague hope that it'll be a magic bullet.

Computers and the Internet Stupid behavior on Twitter sinks a professor's teaching job

News Prostitution ring busted at Quad Cities casino
And somehow, none of the hookers look like Julia Roberts, and none of the johns look like Richard Gere.

Science and Technology An interesting perspective on everyone's family tree

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