Friday, December 30, 2011

Why Europe is failing and America may be next.

There are fundamental laws that rule everything and everyone.

- One, the strongest will prevail.
This is fundamentally true and most importantly, fair. The idea of taking from them to give to those who struggle just decreases the motivation, the quality, the work and the contribution of the succeeders.

- Second, the path of least resistance.
Anyone who gets stuff for free, will not want to work for it in the future. This is valid not (just) for welfare and social aids, but also to "acquired rights" of some working classes that are now (over the years) just attributed benefits automatically, without merit (despite it's existence in previous generations).

I believe it is not fair to take (1/3 is the current approximate rate) from those who work, to give to the (able) ones that do not.

I believe it accomplishes nothing, since there is no merit, no incentive to work, quite the opposite.

Actually, the very reason you think there is a need for a system that takes form those that have, is that people don't want to just "give". So why would someone that gets something for free, give it away to work instead?

Do you believe those that work and pay taxes are "bad people" that do not want to help, so you think the government must force them, and poor people are "nice people" that would work if they could? Are you that naive?

What is worst, is that this system creates grounds for freeloaders, leachers and opportunists that work the system to their profit. Both by not being active and productive (working) or by the corruption and "high level" lobbying. And no, more courts, rules or policing are not the solution. It only adds more unnecessary jobs, paid by the government, more lobbying, more... you get the picture.

"The second you have a government which concerns itself with wealth redistribution is the second your government turns into a tool of corporate conquest and privilege, whoever can game the system best gets all the stolen loot which is supposed to 'help the poor' or whatever other excuse they give. It doesn't work, it never will, and it never has."

You're shocked? This is not "politically correct" and you feel this is "just wrong" and selfish. I understand. I really do.

Facts, life and reality are hard. Made from a very different stuff than ideals and "feelings".

So tell me, even if overtaxing the hard working population to compensate and redistribute wealth to those that "need it" is all very well and nice, and may make you feel all good and warm inside, in reality (as in your Country/community):

- does the help get to the needy?
- to how many "really" needy?
- at what cost, how much is "wasted", "lost", "miss-assigned" or spent in "the process" on the way?

And now I ask you, how many times did you give anything to the needy? And I mean YOU, think about it. When or how frequently do you go out of your way to help someone in need?

When you find you have no use for something, do you give it away, or do you sell it on e-Bay or even trash it?

When there are campaigns to gather food for the (really) needy, do you contribute? Or do you dismiss the volunteers lying about already having given?

Do you do pro-bono or volunteer work anywhere?

Well that is where people should give back, voluntarily, and not vote for liars that say that they'll do it for you and everyone else, in a fair proportioned way.

Because "ideals" make you feel warm inside, you vote for people that say they will take from the rich who have too much, to give to the poor that have little. Because that "feels" fair. But it ist'n really. You're just voting out of guilt of being / living as capitalist.

And by promising (and actually doing) that, is how you win elections (and stay in power) in Europe. And screw the left wing, right wing. Every non-socialist party has a "social agenda" these days. And it's not because it's fair or "right" or "honorable" or "humain", it's because it wins elections.

Current european governments were elected mostly by people who vote for humanitarian social programs while bitching about the ills of capitalism. That feels and makes them feel better, while they actually do nothing or close to nothing "socially" to actually help those in need, or stop acting as capitalist jerks. "You" are basically (though many naively) being hypocrites. Or you just don't vote and complain, and that's pure hypocrisy right there.

And for what do you want to win? Well, democracy in Europe is so roten that in the best case scenario, anyone just wants to win and do good in government, to look good, have a career, be reelected, and/or thrive in the private sector after leaving the government. In the worst case scenario, to freeload, work the system and get rich (or their families, friends and partners, so they don't get caught).

"Socialism is not a way to help the poor, that's just a front they use to get the poor to go along with the government robbing everyone. The poor actually get hurt the most under socialism because goods are drastically more expensive (due to the "rich" being taxed 50%+ on all their income) and all the subsidized industries keeping prices high"

So do I believe in "Libertarianism" (anarcho-capitalism) instead? No. The rich will never voluntarily care for the handicapped, the old, the sick (even their own sometimes). That's the whole point, that's why communism and socialism emerged.

I do believe "public" institutions should care for the handicapped, the old, the sick. Pensions, health and education. And for free, not by paid administrators, secretaries, and other elected or assigned position.

But I do not condone with the path the world is following. Providing for social aids or social housing, or any free stuff to those who are physical and mentally able to WORK FOR A LIVING will be the death of society as we know it.

And yes, unemployment is a problem. But it would be a small(er) one if people would have motivation to work, instead of being paid to stay home.

As in having to work in SOMETHING (even if it's not what you trained for, or if it gets you callous in your hands...) instead of staying home living off of the money of those who actually work for it. And that includes your parents. And here I mean direct leaching, not by taxes.

The cosy feeling of "socialism" and "do-gooding" has fed public institutions and governments to the point they have become a slow, sick, giant "monster" that has to be killed off, the sooner the better.

Either that or one of these days the hardworking, stronger, "rich" libertarian anarcho-capitalists will join up in a New Country of their own. And then, there will be now one to leech take from to give to the needy, and the "not so needy".

There are fundamental laws that rule everything and everyone. Believing that beautiful ideals (any thing ending in "ism") will prevail over those and make things better for everyone is naive.

And even if it makes things better for some for a while, it will eventually fail and make things worst for everyone, for a long time.

And I'm not just saying that, it is actually happening... right?

Quotes are from a comment of Chris from infolib :

Thursday, December 22, 2011


Recebido por e-Mail, de autor desconhecido. Eu assino por baixo...

(Versões alemã e portuguesa)

Versão alemã
A formiga trabalha durante todo o Verão debaixo de Sol. Constrói a sua casa e enche-a de provisões para o Inverno. A cigarra acha que a formiga é burra, ri, vai para a praia, bebe umas bejecas, dá umas quecas, vai ao Rock in Rio e deixa o tempo passar. Quando chega o Inverno a formiga está quentinha e bem alimentada. A cigarra está cheia de frio, não tem casa nem comida e morre de fome.

Versão portuguesa
A formiga trabalha durante todo o Verão debaixo de Sol. Constrói a sua casa e enche-a de provisões para o Inverno. A cigarra acha que a formiga é burra, ri, vai para a praia, bebe umas bejecas, dá umas quecas, vai ao Rock in Rio e deixa o tempo passar. Quando chega o Inverno a formiga está quentinha e bem alimentada. A cigarra, cheia de frio, organiza uma conferência de imprensa e pergunta porque é que a formiga tem o direito de estar quentinha e bem alimentada enquanto as pobres cigarras, que não tiveram sorte na vida, têm fome e frio.

A televisão organiza emissões em directo que mostram a cigarra a tremer de frio e esfomeada ao mesmo tempo que exibem vídeos da formiga em casa, toda quentinha, a comer o seu jantar com uma mesa cheia de coisas boas à sua frente.

A opinião pública tuga escandaliza-se porque não é justo que uns passem fome enquanto outros vivem no bem bom. As associações anti pobreza manifestam-se diante da casa da formiga. Os jornalistas organizam entrevistas e mesas redondas com montes de comentadores que comentam a forma injusta como a formiga enriqueceu à custa da cigarra e exigem ao Governo que aumente os impostos da formiga para contribuir para a solidariedade social.

A CGTP, o PCP, o BE, os Verdes, a Geração à Rasca, os Indignados e a ala esquerda do PS com a Helena Roseta e a Ana Gomes à frente e o apoio implícito do Mário Soares organizam manifestações diante da casa da formiga.

Os funcionários públicos e os transportes decidem fazer uma greve de solidariedade de uma hora por dia (os transportes à hora de ponta) de duração ilimitada.

Fernando Rosas escreve um livro que demonstra as ligações da formiga com os nazis de Auschwitz.

Para responder às sondagens o Governo faz passar uma lei sobre a igualdade económica e outra de anti descriminação (esta com efeitos retroactivos ao princípio do Verão).

Os impostos da formiga são aumentados sete vezes e simultaneamente é multada por não ter dado emprego à cigarra. A casa da formiga é confiscada pelas Finanças porque a formiga não tem dinheiro que chegue para pagar os impostos e a multa.

A formiga abandona Portugal e vai-se instalar na Suíça onde, passado pouco tempo, começa a contribuir para o desenvolvimento da economia local.

A televisão faz uma reportagem sobre a cigarra, agora instalada na casa da formiga e a comer os bens que aquela teve de deixar para trás.

Embora a Primavera ainda venha longe já conseguiu dar cabo das provisões todas organizando umas "parties" com os amigos e umas "raves" com os artistas e escritores progressistas que duram até de madrugada. Sérgio Godinho compõe a canção de protesto "Formiga fascista, inimiga do artista...".

A antiga casa da formiga deteriora-se rapidamente porque a cigarra está-se cagando para a sua conservação. Em vez disso queixa-se que o Governo não faz nada para manter a casa como deve de ser. É nomeada uma comissão de inquérito para averiguar as causas da decrepitude da casa da formiga. O custo da comissão (interpartidária mais parceiros sociais) vai para o Orçamento de Estado: são 3 milhões de euros por ano.

Enquanto a comissão prepara a primeira reunião para daí a três meses, a cigarra morre de overdose.
Rui Tavares comenta no Público a incapacidade do Governo para corrigir o problema da desigualdade social e para evitar as causas que levaram a cigarra à depressão e ao suicídio.

A casa da formiga, ao abandono, é ocupada por um bando de baratas, imigrantes ilegais, que há já dois anos que foram intimadas a sair do País mas que decidiram cá ficar, dedicando-se ao tráfego da droga e a aterrorizar a vizinhança.

Ana Gomes um pouco a despropósito afirma que as carências da integração social se devem à compra dos submarinos, faz uma relação que só ela entende entre as baratas ilegais e os voos da CIA e aproveita para insultar Paulo Portas.

Entretanto o Governo felicita-se pela diversidade cultural do País e pela sua aptidão para integrar harmoniosamente as diferenças sociais e as contribuições das diversas comunidades que nele encontraram uma vida melhor.

A formiga, entretanto, refez a vida na Suíça e está quase milionária...


Monday, December 12, 2011

The Nokia N9 rant / review...

Ok, so I've been using a Nokia N9 for quite a while now. Long enough to form a well based opinion and to let the "new toy" effect wear off. Time to get down with it's faults and marvels.

1 - Software. 

Let me get this out of the way right now. About the MeeGo platform:

1st - I'm not an Android hater. It's just that, ironically, I haven't found a single device sporting the Android OS that made me lust for it. And having Huawei Ice Cream Sandwich devices coming is really a turn off for me...

2nd - I'm not an Apple hater, nor a fanboy. Proof of that is I went from "can't be bothered with it" on the 1st iPhone, to adopting the iPhone 4 as personal phone. And now left it for the N9. (Although it remains to be seen if it's a permanent or temporary situation).

3rd - I believe MeeGo is not a dead platform. The sentence is still pending, and a "pardon" from "Governor" Eloop may (and I believe, will) come at the last moment. Nokia needs to be selling Windows Phone and can't be seen as distracted with other projects. But there is no reason this project can't be pursued as a pet project in the future. A nursery to test out new things and get a feel for the public opinion on them before going mainstream. And there are many out there that will love to be on the front row, experimenting new things. Many like me.

As for the OS itself and it's features, in one word, it's refreshing.

I'm seriously tired of the hype around another iOS release and how many features from android will be "finally" implemented/copied, or a new Android release and how much more fragmented or closer to the iPhone the platform becomes.

This, is "think different". Betting on the simplicity Apple has lost some iOS releases ago, maintaining core functionality "taken" from the best (including from Nokia past, like the "beep" mode), and adding new concepts like swiping and real, proper multitasking. With a "close all" option.

Granted, there isn't much on the Ovi Store to choose from. And if a play-phone is what you want, steer away from this. This is a "serious" phone, that addresses all basic and essential "serious" needs. That is why it has "Drive" for free, and native support for mostly any serious service out there:

It is not a "super-feature phone" as some say. It's as good as a feature phone, as a mobile phone. It has brilliant radio performance. Better than any smartphone, and especially better than an iPhone, which remais very poor in that regard. On the other extreme, it can be "rooted" simply (as in: turn developer mode on), it runs linux, and you can do virtually anything you want with it, if you know how. It is truly open. Jumping on the lack of apps from the Ovi Store to say it's not a smartphone is plain dumb. It's like saying that you're gay cause you don't have enough kids.

As a N900 user, I never missed any core app on it. This N9 is an even better device, and has plenty more stuff available. The few games out there free, freemium, payed, or "cracked" are awesome. There are however no "how many times can you fart in a minute" game/apps.

So, this is enough for me IF (and it's a big if), I get to keep my iPad. Cause if you wanna play games or novelty "fart" apps, this is not it. So to have it all, I'd still choose the iPhone 4.

2 - Hardware.

The N9 design is excellent. I never thought any iPhone looked particularly pretty, and Android devices mostly just lack personality (droid RAZR appart), let alone have any "esthetically pleasing" lines.

So this is pretty, besides functional and original. But it does have some faults.

Lets first address what I've been reading and what "others" mostly complain about:

a) the top micro-USB connector lid having a bad design and being prone to breaking:
The flip-lid is an obvious risk, granted. But that only means you should be especially careful with it. Complaining about it is like complaining about your car's fuel tank lid. If you drive off with it open or with "something" still attached to it,  you screwed up. It could be avoided if the device was thought to be manhandled like a cheap feature phone? Yes. But this isn't one...

b) the lack of a camera (hard) button:
The "camera hard key" deserves a rant of it's own... Seriously. Apple has even conceded in adding camera shutter functionality to one of the volume buttons on the iPhone just to shut some rather annoying whiners.

1st: Pressing a button produces movement. FACT.
That is why in low light conditions without flash, there is a photo technique where you use the timer and wait (or use a remote trigger) instead of jerking the camera with a button push. Like I did with a Canon 400D on this blog's background picture.

2nd: If you're holding a smartphone with one hand and literally hitting it with a finger on the opposite side to snap pictures, then I'm sorry but you are doing it wrong. 

Free lesson: keep both hands on the phone, and use only the thumb to touch. Wait, and when your sure its focused and are ready for it, lift your finger. You're welcome...

This causes little or no jerking, and if not better, it's surely not worse than the movement the button always causes. Thus there is now dire "need" for a camera hard key, nor it's absence is a "major drawback" or a "design fault". Having one only means the device is meant to be used by, or the manufacturer has caved to the whining of, the "masses". Which again, it's not this phone's purpose, is it?

c) notification bar:
The whine: "There's an icon for missed calls, e-mail, sms or updates, but when you touch the bar, there is nothing there."
Again, you are doing it wrong. This is not the Android (or the Apple conceded iOS 5) notification center. If there's a notification up there, swipe right. Don't touch the bar. It's different, it has personality, it works and at the very least, it's not worst than said notification centers.

Would it be easier for Joe Six-Pack to use it? Yes. But is this a "Joe Six-Pack phone"? No.

d) the display:
I can't see where people put this display in order to find any faults in it. It has one of, if not the most perfect display I've seen on a mobile. And trust me, I've seen plenty... If you know anything about image quality, this will suffice: The N9 is a Panasonic VT30 Plasma. Contrast, black levels, definition, colors: stunning. There is really no contest.

Now for "my" complaints...

a) The case.
After some usage, it's slightly scratched on top and bottom, right after the display ends. Ironically, from the usage of the standard included silicone case. It's also starting to make some plastic creaky noises.

b) The camera.
It's not bad. Still could be better. I can easily reproduce distorted pictures with just a bit of movement, some vignetting, etc but not bad at all for a phone camera. (And no, that photo isn't mine.)

c) Audio/Music
It's poor. It's just like any other average phone. You stuff music inside it and it plays it with average quality and low power. The iPhone, which is ill-equalized and has a predominance of high frequencies that annoys me and thus has room to improve, is still the best Audio/Music phone. "In the world..."

Which may come from the fact that it's an iPod with added smartphone features. Still, there's room here to improve and beat Apple but no one can seam to do it, and the N9 is certainly no audiophile device.

So again, if I can complement this device with a quality sound source on-the-go, it's enough. If not, I'll take the iPhone 4.

In conclusion:

Yes, this has some faults. Some more serious than other and always subjective to the user or usage. But mostly, these faults are not what's being picked on out there.

People are finding faults in pre-commercial hardware, and are taking their inability to adjust or comprehend the new design/features/device as faults.

That, done just for the sake of publishing a quick review is... Well, actually it's just what so called "analysts" do best.

Keep in mind this is no iPhone killer, no Android wannabe, and no Windows Phone 7 reject. This is a serious smartphone with strong character. If it matches your character and needs, then you'll be more than happy with one. Just don't expect and don't criticize what it's not.

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