The Week Link: in which our blogger talks to friends on the internet.

Finally, I decided to give up on my alliterative titles for the links. Rather than a disappointment for you, I’m sure it will come as a relief!

Yesterday I caught up with some friends in Germany via Skype. It struck me just how great it can be to get in touch with people you’ve known for a long time. We’ve emailed and written over the last twenty years or so, and it’s very cool to think about where we’ve come from, since meeting in our late teens, to now, when we’re sitting their with babies on our laps, talking about work and life in general. It also confirmed how much I really need to practise my German!

This morning, though, I’ll be baking some biscuits (cookies) and trying to get some washing dry before the apparent thunderstorm which will arrive this afternoon. Right now it’s blue skies and sunshine, so I’m not sure what to expect.

Enjoy this week’s links!

I’m concerned that now we’ve opened the Pandora’s Box of drone strikes, that there might be no turning back, but as there is more distance between those who kill and those who are killed, the impact of those deaths lessens, and apologies for missed targets mean very little to those left behind to pick up the pieces. There’s no doubt that drones are able to kill their targets more effectively than previously, but when so many people are collateral damage, and when individuals in many parts of the world know that they could be potential victims, then how can we label such attacks as successful, even given that they also eliminate the enemy?

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After four years, Wikileaks has begun accepting tips and leaks on its website. I’m firmly on the side of more transparency, not less, so I see this as a good thing, if only because it might encourage our governments to regulate themselves a little more, for fear of being exposed.

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This is a very good discussion about the concept of online outrage, and why it is we so easily fall into a mob mentality when online, especially dealing with others on social media. Some excellent points made by all parties, and well worth a listen. I like the concept that the internet and social media can be seen as a game, with rewards for certain kinds of remarks or comments, but without the boundaries of the social norms which dictate our face-to-face interactions. Well worth a listen.

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What an interesting piece by Mona Eltahawy, talking about wearing the hijab, and how difficult and complicated the decision is to wear or remove it. I also admit that I didn’t realise how drastically the cultural acceptance around this item of clothing had changed in Egypt, just in the last forty years or so. As much as it is a choice for each woman to make, those choices are heavily loaded, and not simple at all.


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