Tuesday, 17 February 2015

More Telling Phrases...

When I read phrases in the 'Guardian' like 'the life and tragic death of...' and 'hounded to suicide at the age of 26 by a vindictive US administration' I know I'm bound to ask 'OK, what sort of criminal was he?'
He was arrested in January 2011 and pursued by federal prosecutors with a vindictive zeal, eventually being indicted on a raft of charges which carried a potential jail sentence of 35 years.
Ground down by this, he hanged himself on 11 January 2013. News of his death left countless people saddened and enraged.
What had made the Feds so vindictive? Sure, he had broken the law. But it wasn’t as if he’d hacked a bank.
Because hacking a bank would probably make you a hero in the eyes of most of the CiF commentariat.


Ian B said...

I think the point was that rather than hacking for commercial gain, he broke academic research papers out from behind the JStor paywall. I have a certain sympathy with this, I must admit.

It is worth noting that many of the academic papers published have direct consequences for ordinary people- every day articles announce triumphantly that a new study has proven [the need for some new regulation] etc. But us plebs can't afford to read them, even if we are allowed to pay; I remember once trying to access a paper, debit card at the ready, to discover that those not affiliated to institutions could not buy access, full stop. This annoys me no end. It's like the old days when the common proles weren't allowed to read the Bible. We fought wars over that kind of thing.

Greencoat said...

What greater love is there than that between the criminal and the Guardian newspaper?

tolkein said...

Ian B's point. We pay for this academic research, so why do we have to pay again? It is a racket, so in this case the Guardian are in the right. I know, I know, they drive me nuts too, but they do do proper reporting - see Ukraine and Russia, and once you account for their ideological prejudices, which is easy as they're in plain sight, I find there's more depth in their reporting than say the BBC which is bland and shallow.

andy5759 said...

Unpublished scientific papers should remain unpublished, otherwise fake science will gain traction. Publication proves peer perusal. Piss poor papers can't be published because they are piss poor or far too heretical. Beware the published unpublishable, there be dragons.

ivan said...

Andy, what you say applies to almost all scientific papers. There is one glaring exception - papers by climate scientists, they have a special pall review process that passes those papers that fit the religious word and denies those that buck the received wisdom.

JuliaM said...

"I have a certain sympathy with this, I must admit."

You can do a very noble thing and yet still break a law. The righteous man (or woman) takes this into account and takes their punishment accordingly.

Or did.

"What greater love is there than that between the criminal and the Guardian newspaper?"

Only approved sorts of criminals. Footballers need not apply, the racist, rapist brutes!

"We pay for this academic research, so why do we have to pay again? It is a racket.."

More to the point, since so much of it is bollocks (I'm looking at YOU, 'climate research'..) why do we even do it in the first place?

"Beware the published unpublishable, there be dragons."