Numeric Citizen Blog (Test)

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@numericcitizen @mandaris I happen to have some time this weekend and a list of updates I've been wanting to push out. I do try to be responsive, and at least acknowledge any requests. Fixing my Github notifications helped with that. :)

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Diverted Attention

With recent events in Israel, we no longer hear about the conflict in Ukraine. I understand this could pose a problem for this conflict because people’s attention is severely diverted. Support for Ukraine was already waning before the attacks in Israel. Military aid packages are harder to get. Any interruption in weapons could destroy any small advances by the Ukrainian army. There is no magic here, to fully reverse the dynamic in Ukraine, look no further than into Israel’s army reaction to the Hammas. The West needs to sharply increase their support, not the opposite, in order to kick the Russians out of Ukraine.

Another 9-11

Can we say that Israel just got their 9-11? It all seems they didn’t see that one coming… it’s such a familiar situation, but in a quite different context… even Israel’s reaction to these events is similar to the American’s back then… and you know what? I’m afraid of what is coming ahead.

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Sorry But No Sympathy for Russian

From a lunar rover to a plane (probably, to be confirmed) carrying the head of the infamous Wagner group (plus a few of his “friends”), they all crash and burn in hell. I don’t care about the root causes, I have no sympathy at all for Russian failures. The more, the better. Eventually, some will wake up and make a revolution.

#ukrainewar

A Simple Message to NATO

The world is watching. Don’t waste your second chance.

#ukrainewar #nato

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On Belgorod Events

What is going on there? Who are behind these actions? Where does the equipment come from? Will it last? Is the Ukrainian government behind these guys? How many are they? Will it make a difference in the grand scheme of things? How is it possible to cross a frontier like this so quickly without much resistance? Is anybody home?

So many questions and so few answers.

I’m following the news about this unexpected turn of events with great attention and hope. Now, if only they could go up 763 km north and get to Moscow!

#ukrainianwar #belgorod

Is NATO Prolonging War in Ukraine?

Found on Reddit:

NATO has always pandered to Putin, says former officer Samantha de Bendern. “If we’re gonna help Ukraine, we have to go in and help them with as much as we can as fast as we can. Drip feeding weapons is what’s prolonging the war

Indeed. I cannot see how, today, NATO could be more involved in the Ukrainian conflict. Politically it’s a big challenge to put boots on the ground.

#ukrainewar

What I Should Have Done Earlier

I’ve been following the war in Ukraine on a daily basis since the very beginning. It’s an enduring journey, to say the least. Imanyo much sad and ugly stories anaw so many images from this conflict. Some of them are powerful symbols of any war’s ugly side. What I should have done was to collect images so I can remember what Ukrainians went (and are still) going through. Historic moments are being played right before our eyes; we should pay attention as they will define the next decades of international relations.

#ukrainewar

Discuss…

Brazil's Stupid Suggestion to End Ukrainian War

As reported by The Kyiv Independent, Brazil’s proposal to get a peaceful resolution between Russia and Ukraine:

“Brazil’s President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva suggested that Ukraine should be open to the idea of giving up Crimea in exchange for peace with Russia.” — Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva

Wow. That’s quite a suggestion. How can a sound man be so sure and trust Russia to bring peace by giving up a piece of land? Who do they think Putin’s Russia is? They already had Crimea, for god’s sake!!! It didn’t stop them from invading the rest of the country! Putin and Russia cannot be trusted, now and in the future. I find this proposal utterly irresponsible and lacking any sense of realism. What a clown.

#ukrainewar

Discuss…

The Trees of Death

These are the trees of death. This is what I call them. This scene was taken from a video in a combat zone near Bakmut. They all look the same, only the base trunk is standing, and the rest is pulverized with repetitive bombing and shelling. These skeletons of what used to be trees with thinner branches, leaves and life are now dead in a vegetal expression. It’s all gone now. it will take a generation or two before it comes back. So sad.

#ukrainewar #death

Discuss…

365 Days...

365 days of destruction.

365 days of murdering.

365 days of looting.

365 days of terror.

365 days of raping.

365 days of horror.

365 days of lies.

365 days of absolute nonsense because of one man’s ego.

Discuss…

#ukrainewar #ukraine

What Comes After Missiles and Fighter Jets?

I walked today with my dear wife and quickly chatted about the Ukraine war. My wife asked me a question I didn’t expect: what if western countries who had already sent armaments to Ukraine were sending soldiers with a promise not to attack Russia on their territory? Is this what should happen after sending fighter jets if we ever get there? I don’t recall Zelensky asking for boots on the ground. Will he eventually get there? How is this going to be perceived by the clowns in the Kremlin?

Discuss…

#ukraine #ukrainewar

No Olympic Games for Russians — Here's Why

Should Russians be allowed to participate in the Olympic Games in Paris, France, next year? The question is out, and the debate is already raging. For me, the answer is simple and unequivocal: no. My reasons are multiple. Here are a few of them.

First of all, we cannot pretend that Olympic Games are apolitical. Participation or non-participation in games can also have a political character. History has shown it on several occasions. In addition, the symbolism behind the Olympic Games and sports, in general, is not compatible with the behaviour of Russia internationally. The Russians are doing anything but show fraternity towards other countries like Ukraine.

Cases are well documented that local Olympic organizations are often close to the government, especially in countries like Russia and China. Governments jump at the opportunity of hosting or participating in games to promote political agendas, to make propaganda tacitly or explicitly. We cannot provide them with this opportunity.

Furthermore, we cannot contribute militarily, financially and humanly to the legitimate defence of Ukraine and, on the other hand, allow Russian athletes to come and strut as if nothing had happened alongside Ukrainian athletes. This is nonsense and an insult to Ukrainian athletes.

Some will say that it is not the role of the International Olympic Committee to act as a police officer. However, it is not about that but about a moral question that goes beyond the committee’s mission. The respective countries will be responsible for demonstrating their coherence with their actions towards Ukraine by abstaining from presenting themselves at the Olympic Games, if appropriate. I count on the Canadian government to show consistency and courage equal to that of the Ukrainians.

Finally, the question of the athletes themselves arises. Some will say that we must not unduly hinder athletes from participating in the games after so many efforts and sacrifices. Do I need to remind you that thousands of Ukrainian civilians are making the ultimate sacrifice of their own lives? Russian athletes can stay home and suffer a little bit. Besides, isn’t this one of the objectives of international sanctions against Russia, to make the government and its people suffer? Otherwise, what good is it?

I say it, I repeat it, it would be immoral to allow Russians to participate in the Olympic Games next year, and even in any other sporting competition, as long as the war is raging and Russia has not paid reparations.

#ukrainewar #olympics #war

Discuss…

Much More Than Tanks Will Be Needed

I’m super happy to see so many countries contributing to the war efforts. Kyiv has been asking for tanks for a long time. Finally, the last roadblock to a significant contribution has been lifted thanks to the German government, who seemingly found the light and made the right decision. Now for serious questions…

Will those tanks, a few hundred of them, of all sizes, models and with various capabilities, really reverse the tide in favour of the Ukrainians? I’m afraid we will have to face reality sooner than later. Much more will be needed to put Russia’s army on its knees and force them to retreat or be defeated. Fighter jets are next. But again, I don’t see that as being enough. Remember when Iraq invaded Kuwait? We had to send people on the ground, not just boats, tanks or fighter jets.

I guess that, collectively, the west is not ready to accept this fatality. The time will come.

#ukraine #war

Genuine Questions About The War in Ukraine

Here are a few questions that pop up in my mind when reading the news about the war in Ukraine.

  1. How do they estimate Russian casualties? They are around 500-800 KIA per day. That’s a lot. Is this number inflated for propaganda purposes?

  2. Why is Putin not saying, “Any country sending arms to help Ukraine is, in fact, a declaration of war against Russia”? What would be the implications of such a declaration? Putin looks like a low-profile leader. So why is Putin not more vocal against the west?

  3. Why is the west not sending military aid to Modlova to put pressure on the 1200 Russian soldiers in Transnistria? How is this possible for Russia to feed them with the required resources?

  4. Why are tanks so much needed as opposed to other types of weapons? Are fighter planes effective? What is the aviation role in Ukraine? Are they making a difference?

  5. How many Ukrainian soldiers are killed each day? Why don’t we get these numbers as much as the Russian KIA?

So many unanswered questions.

Discuss…

#ukrainewar #warfare #war

The Write.freely Ecosystem Explained

The time has come for the return of a more open web. I’m embracing this movement by joining platforms or services that are built on open standards and promoting the open web in general as a byproduct.

Write.as is an instantiation version of the WriteFreely writing platform, available as an open-source project. Think of WriteFreely as the open-source version of WordPress. Anyone can get the source and install their own instance.

In May 2022, I took advantage of five-year special pricing to subscribe to the Write.as platform. Without exactly knowing what would be my use case for it, I decided to support the platform, just like I’ve been supporting Micro.blog since 2018. After a while, I discovered the many facets of this writing ecosystem and found it to be a bit confusing. In this article, I explain all the parts of the open and dedicated blogging platform.

First, let’s see what ChatGPT says about Write.as (unedited responses from ChatGPT):

Aaron Taylor is the founder & CEO of Cosmic.org and a team of remote employees who work on the Write.as and Remark.asplatforms. He is passionate about creating secure, anonymous spaces where people can express themselves without judgement or censorship. He has worked to create tools and features that make anonymous publishing easier and more secure for users. He is also the creator of the Remark.as platform, which gives users more control over how and when they share their thoughts.

Write.as is a project of a small team led by the founder & CEO, Aaron Taylor, at Cosmic.org. They are a remote team based all over the world, from Portland to Berlin to Mexico City.

Write.as is a platform designed to help people express themselves freely and anonymously. It provides a space for everyone to post their thoughts without worry of judgement or censorship. All posts are public and open to comments, however, the identities of the posters can remain anonymous. The project offers a suite of applications and services to make anonymous publishing easier, more secure, and more secure for users. It also provides a way for people to follow topics, publications, or users, engaging in thoughtful dialogue and idea exchange.

Remark.as is a project that is a part of the Write.as platform. It is designed to help users to have conversations with each other in an anonymous, secure, and censorship-free environment. Remark.as has features like tagging topics and publications, creating polls, and engaging in private forums. It also gives users more control over how and when they share their thoughts. Remark.asalso provides users with the ability to create polls, surveys, and other interactive features to encourage public participation.

All in all, Write.as and Remark.as are projects by Aaron Taylor and the team at Cosmic.org that provide users with an anonymous, censorship-free space in which to express themselves freely and engage with others. They are both designed to make anonymous publishing easier, more secure, and to give users more control over how and when they share their thoughts.

Write.as is a simple, privacy-focused writing platform. It allows users to create and publish anonymous blog posts, journal entries, and other types of writing without the need for an account or personal information. The platform also includes a built-in editor and the ability to customize the appearance of your writing with different fonts and themes. Additionally, Write.as supports markdown formatting and has a feature called “focuses” which allows users to group related posts together. The platform is designed for those who value privacy and simplicity.

More seriously, here’s a brief description of each component, starting with an overview.

An Overview of the WriteFreely Ecosystem

The following diagram shows all the parts making up the Write.as service, which is part of the WriteFreely ecosystem.

  • The Write.as service is where all the writing experience happens. Since this article isn’t a review, suffice it to say the editor offers a minimalistic and distraction-free environment. Write.as supports adding tags to any blog posts. Cross-posting content in Write.as is available for other platforms like Tumblr, Ghost and Twitter. I connected my account to Ghost but rarely cross-post over there. It’s nice to have, though.

  • The writer can attach photos at the end of each post by dragging them on the bottom bar. Photos attachments go to the “snap.as” minimalistic photo sharing add-on, tied to Write.as. All photos attachments are shown in one place, on snap.as. Photo galleries are available, albeit with a 10$ one-time purchase. Some features are marked as coming soon, but I suspect they are long in coming. I’m unsure if I would invest in this as I prefer dedicated services like Glass.

  • Submit.as is another add-on to Write.as. As the name suggests, it is a way for an author to accept submissions from other writers. No registration is required from the submitter, helping a frictionless experience. This service is not cheap and comes with a 12$ per month minimal fee. It’s not cheap and I don’t know why. Again, integration with other platforms is marked as coming.

  • Remark.as is yet another add-on closely tied to Write.as and offers commenting to any of the writer’s blog posts. Commenting is enabled on a per-post basis by adding a special <—discuss—> line anywhere within the post.

  • Read.write.as is like a content feed coming from other writers. Content published on Write.as gets published on this feed. It comes from the hosted version of Write.as. According to this website, content is cross-posted to an RSS feed, Mastodon and Twitter, but I fear this has been abandoned as the content is somewhat old.

  • The Mail add-on is where you’ll receive comments from other writers. Those comments are grouped in one place and are public.

  • Café is a place for discussion, but frankly, I don’t know how posts get promoted there. Those discussions are conversations happening on the Read.write.as section.

  • Other add-ons like a post signature are available for a one-time purchase of 10$ and eBooks export is also available for another one-time purchase of 10$.

    Still with me? I know it’s not simple. Write.as certainly feels like a bunch of add-ons taped together.

Some remarks about the whole thing

  • The Write.as experience is minimalistic and in need of some polishing. I didn’t see improvements since I’m subscribing to the platform. This annoys me.
  • Overall, the Write.as ecosystem feels minimalistic and unfinished. I don’t expect many improvements to come to the platform. Yet, Matt, the founder of Write.as, is active on discuss.write.as discussion forum, so it’s a good sign.
  • There’s a Mac app for the Write.freely ecosystem, which should support Write.as but it has been in beta for more than a year. iOS and iPadOS are also available. All apps are available here. I didn’t test these, preferring the web experience.
  • All these services are part of a suite called the Musing Studio. It’s more of a branding thing. The site hasn’t been updated for a while.

With this article, I hope I shed some light on this open-source project dedicated to writers and bloggers. Overall I like Write.as, even with some rough edges or unfinished integration. If I failed to explain something correctly, let me know in the comments!

Update #1: Some references to subscription fees for add-ons have been corrected to one-time purchases, as required. It was an error based on the documentation miss-interpretation.

#tools #services #openweb #opensource

Here's What I Would Do After Winning $1.35 Billion Jackpot

After I told my wife that the second-biggest jackpot had been won, she asked me what I would do with all that money. So here’s what I would do.

First, after the usual and probably mandatory press conference, I would get home and patiently wait for the deposit. Once received, I would call my bank to set aside a few million for my personal needs (and for my immediate family, of course).

Then the fun would begin.

Second, I would reach the highest Canadian Government representative, telling him I wanted to meet with Zelensky from Ukraine. The sooner, the better, and I would make sure he gets the message that he should accept my request and wouldn’t regret any minutes of this meeting.

Once in Ukraine, I would ask to meet with the government’s and army’s top lieutenants. My question for them: I have more than $1 billion at your disposal; what do you need the most? I would make sure they get what they are asking for.

After my meeting, I would ask for a joint press conference with Zelensky, telling the world about our agreement and explaining what will happen with all my money spent on helping this country and its people. Next, I would read a message aloud to the wealthiest people in the world and ask them to move their butt and make something out of their money to help Ukraine. Third, and lastly, I would read another special message, this time directed at Putin: “now is the time to put me on the ‘banned from Russia list’” and I would conclude with, “you can go fuck yourself.”

This is what I would do after winning a $1.35 Billion Jackpot. Thank you.

#ukraine #war #project #fuckputin

⚙️ FYI — From Write.as to Micro.blog

To my readers, I wanted to let you know that all my posts on Write.as are also cross-posted on my Micro.blog feed from where you can respond or comment, on top of what Write.as offers via remark.as. Be sure to follow me there (Micro.blog supports RSS feeds too).

#meta

🇺🇦 Putin is Complaining Again

Poor Putin, now he complains that Ukraine is sending drone on their military bases to destroy military assets and make it hard for planes to take off in direction of Ukraine to commit crimes on civilians. Poor little boy. Fuck him. He’ll wait forever for any kind of negotiation if you ask me.

#ukraine #war

(Discuss…)