Dawkins v Pope

After the pope made some idiot and untrue claims about how atheism causes the holocaust Richard Dawkins politely corrected the fool. Naturally many of us could not be there to listen to him but thanks to GrrlScientist the links to the speech and a youtube version of Richard Dawkins’ unedited speech at ‘Protest the Pope’ march in London – Richard Dawkins takes the piss out of Pope Ratzinger in London on Saturday are available. She writes:

If you, like I, could not attend the “Protest the Pope” rally in London this past weekend, you’ll want to see this. This amateur video captures Richard Dawkins’ short but empassioned response to Pope Ratzinger’s weak attempt to confuse the public by claiming that Hitler was an atheist, and it was his supposed atheism that led to the Holocaust. Of course, Ratzinger conveniently ignores the fact that Hitler made no secret of his Roman Catholicism and in fact, Hitler used remarkably Catholic-sounding arguments to defend his indefensible actions.

Dawkins replies

The pope lands in Scotland and makes some strange claims

The Pope also praised Britain’s fight against Hitler’s “atheist extremism”, saying that “Britain and her leaders stood against a Nazi tyranny that wished to eradicate God from society and denied our common humanity to many, especially the Jews, who were thought unfit to live”.

Richard Dawkins promptly replies (via Humanistbloggen):

This statement by the pope, on his arrival in Edinburgh, is a despicable outrage. Even if Hitler had been an atheist, his political philosophy was not based upon atheism and had no connection with atheism. Hitler was arguably (and by his own account) a Roman Catholic. In any case he enjoyed the open support of many of the most senior catholic clergy in Germany and the less demonstrative support of Pope Pius XII. Even if Hitler had been an atheist (he certainly was not), the rank and file Germans who carried out the attempted extermination of the Jews were Christians, almost to a man: either Catholic or Lutheran, primed to their anti-Semitism by centuries of Catholic propaganda about ‘Christ-killers’ and by Martin Luther’s own seething hatred of the Jews. To mention Ratzinger’s membership of the Hitler Youth might be thought to be fighting dirty, but my feeling is that the gloves are off after this disgraceful paragraph by the pope.

I am incandescent with rage at the sycophantic BBC coverage, and the sight of British toadies bowing and scraping to this odious man. I thought he was bad before. This puts the lid on it.


A worthy cause

A worthy cause is worth spreading!

To promote music published under a Creative Commons license and the artists that stand behind the music Musikpiraten (Musicpirates) e.V. in 2010 organized the Free! Music! Contest for the second time. While mainly German bands and musicians competed last year, it is a truly international competition this year: 130 artists from more than 30 countries entered their pieces! Since [date] a sampler put together by a jury is available for download. [1] The finale of the Contest will be a party on October 2nd at the Kreativfabrik in Wiesbaden with five live bands. [2]

“This enormous increase in participants was only possible because of the support of many bloggers, online magazines, free radios and internet radios who all covered the contest.” says Christian Hufgard, president of Musikpiraten e.V. “Special mention has to be given to Cory Doctorow who acted as patron of the Contest” he added. [3]

The Musikpiraten’s server now yields two CDs packed to the brim with 36 legally shareable Creative Commongs songs. For those who like it particularly free there is version in OGG-format to download while a “classic” MP3 version is available, too. Both versions can be loaded via via BitTorrent, eDonkey2000 or directly through the browser. All download possibilities can be found on the website with the Contest’s results. [1]

The scope of musical styles of “Freeloaded” – that’s the sampler’s name – is as wide as that of it’s predecessor. German punk by “Das frivole Burgfräulein” – “Bonn’s best beach punk band of the world” – rock from Berlin by Shearer, synthpop by the upcoming Zoe. Leela (also from Berlin) are joined in harmony with the folk of the well known singer songwriter David Rovics (USA) and the metal from Spain (Cautiva). Also there is alternative metal by Umbra Summi Nobis (Venezuela), chiptunes from Norway (Binärpilot), Austrian acoustic rock (Amitiy in Fame), Argentinian 80s-style pop (The Kyoto Connection) and a lot more.

These two CDs display the wide variety that Crative Commons music has in the maintstream and also contains genres that hardly ever get any airplay on the radio.

There is a public voting that is open until September 30. [4] 10 t-shirts sponsored by 3DSupply are given away to the bands present on the CD. Three more prizes (sponsored by GetDigital) a music pillow, an equalizer-t-shirt and a working bongo drum t-shirt were given away using the random number generating function of OpenOffice.org. They go out to Reboot from Spain, the Sanchez Band (also Spain) and Tetania from Belarus.

October 2nd will be the climax and the end of the Contest: Das frivole Burgfräulein (Bonn), Shearer (Berlin), lax-o-mat (Chemnitz), oliversebastian.cc (Butzbach) and the Fuzzy Tunes (Darmstadt) will rock Kreativfabrik [5] in Wiesbaden with live music. Admission will be 5 and the doors open at 8pm. If at least 27 people register with kopfüber [6] there will even be a bus from Leipzig/Dresden to Wiesbaden.

At this date the sampler will be available as CD. With a pressing of 1,000 copies it will be hand numbered and sold for 2,50? (plus shipping and handling). Reservations can be made through the Musikpiraten’s website. [7]

The recognized non-profit organization Musikpiraten e.V. has the purpose of promoting free culture with a focus on music as means of artistic expression. Musikpiraten e.V. accomplishes this through the organization and sponsoring of events and competitions, supporting artists and running the internet portal http://musik.klarmachen-zum-aendern.de as a central meeting point for artists and art consumers.


[1] http://musik.klarmachen-zum-aendern.de/nachrichten/free_music_contest_2010_-_der_sampler-533
[2] http://musik.klarmachen-zum-aendern.de/nachrichten/free_music_party_2010-520
[5] http://www.kreativfabrik-wiesbaden.de/programm/2010/10/43
[6] http://kopfueber.wordpress.com/2010/09/01/denn-wiesbaden-ist-ibiza/
[7] http://musik.klarmachen-zum-aendern.de/content/fmc-sampler-bestellung

Open is nothing new

At times I feel that I am forever discussing openness. Mainly – but not exclusively – Creative Commons, Free Software & Open Source. Often I am arguing the basics of the idea with people unfamiliar with the concept and I need to overcome a great deal of skepticism. The skeptics argue that now way can it be a good idea to give away material and they are rarely convinced with the growth of modern examples. They lean back as if to say: just you wait, it will go terribly wrong.

This is why it is nice to present the skeptics with established, old examples. And recently I came across an excellent new old example.

Can you name an eighteenth century furniture designer? Most of us cannot, but all the same many of us are familiar with the name of Thomas Chippendale (1718-1779) and not because of the dancers. Thomas Chippendale was the first furniture designer to become famous – before Chippendale furniture was known by styles, monarchs or famous buyers, but not the designers.

So what did he do?

After working as a journeyman cabinet maker in London he became the first cabinet-maker to publish a book of his designs. The Gentleman and Cabinet Maker’s Director is still available in print today. The amazing thing about the publication was that it created open source furniture and allowed other furniture makers to make copies of his designs. Of course he may have lost a few commissions but going open source ensured that his fame lasted long after his death. Which is more than can be said of his contemporaries.

Sharing is caring – sharing is good business.

Now the monks are doin’ it!

SPAM just reached a new level. This just in from a Capuchin monk

I’m a Capuchin monk of the Holy House of Loreto in Marche in the centre of Italy.

Through the site www.santafamigliatv.it we are committed via Internet for the new evangelization.

To this  aim,  we ask you for one of your film footage. (any format DVD, VHS, minicassette) you have already realized, so as to include in our Schedules and our Archives.

The topic could be the presentation of your institute, your busisness vocation, your missions, ….
The movie will be offered for a year (once a week) and permanently in our archive always freely available.
In support of this activity religion we ask you for your contribution of 100€.

We invite you to know the meantime visitors to our site.

in SS Hearts of Jesus and Mary
P. Giovanni Maria Leonardi