Vikshepa Blog

Mental Distractions

10 Apr 2022

2022-04-10 Spread of Autocracy | Messaging | Degoogle resource | Libre-DNS | Sri Lanka

I am thinking to make the font size of this blog bigger. In my browser, I do that anyway, and I find that I like the look of blogs with a large font size.

The trend in countries all around the world, despite reversals, seems definitely to be towards more autocratic leaders. Jonathan Freedland [1] in the Guardian has an article about Putin lovers in the west. Orban was just re-elected. Marine Le Pen is inching towards leadership. Trump is still skulking in the background, as is Netanyahu. I'm not optimistic. Altogether the dunia is in such a sad state, it's funny.

I looked again at Delta Chat [2], which tries to use traditional email as a secure messenger, and makes a convincing case for it. I think the fragmentation of communications into proprietary services, Matrix, XMPP, etc. is really unfortunate. Email is/was a good format; it is decentralized and amenable to encryption. Why can't it be fixed and reused also as a messenger? Why do we need so many formats and different ways to communicate? Who profits from this fragmentation? Not us.

Links of the day

  1. Putin still has friends in the west – and they’re gaining ground | Jonathan Freedland | The Guardian https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/apr/08/vladimir-putin-viktor-orban-eu-marine-le-pen
  2. The e-mail messenger - Delta Chat

https://delta.chat/en/

Michael Moorcock: "I think Tolkien was a crypto-fascistâ" https://www.newstatesman.com/culture/2015/07/michael-moorcock-i-think-tolkien-was-crypto-fascist I think he's right about that.

Is this how Russia ends? - by Anand Giridharadas - The.Ink https://the.ink/p/is-this-how-russia-ends The title doesn't do justice to this important article - it's bursting with incites and deserves to be read.

Sri Lanka facing imminent threat of starvation, senior politician warns | Sri Lanka | The Guardian https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/apr/06/sri-lanka-facing-imminent-threat-of-starvation-senior-politician-warns

‘We’re finished’: Sri Lankans pushed to the brink by financial crisis | Sri Lanka | The Guardian https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/apr/09/sri-lanka-financial-crisis-protesters-call-for-gotabaya-rajapaksa-resignation-please

Sri Lanka is such a dire situation, under yet another corrupt autocratic. I still remember Paul Theroux's comical description of this tropical paradise, which is so fertile that even furniture comes alive again and starts to sprout leaves. Only a really bad leadership could produce starvation in such a place.

Pakistan is similarly in a state of deep crisis:

Pakistan parliament ousts Imran Khan in last-minute vote | Pakistan | The Guardian https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/apr/09/pakistan-on-brink-of-crisis-as-imran-khan-blocks-no-confidence-vote

La Quadrature du Net https://www.laquadrature.net/en/ an interesting privacy oriented site that I hadn't heard about.

A fantastic directory of programs and services to help everyone de-google https://githubhot.com/repo/obeho/degoogle

LibreDNS https://libredns.gr/ Publicly available encrypted DNS service, alternative to what Firefox is now offering I wasn't aware of encrypted DNS services, which some people see as an alternative to VPNs. But the following article argues that they should not be seen as such:

DNS over HTTPS (DoH) – A Possible Replacement for VPN? https://heimdalsecurity.com/blog/replacement-for-vpn/

Tags: current-events
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