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My small contribution to embrace freedom of speech, and promote my photos and thoughts, things of interest and interesting internet finds.


1 min read

Will need to come back and photograph this cracking dead tree on a clear starry night.

Guilty Until Innocent

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It’s an odd logic that votes cast in Barra are less legitimate than those cast in Bermondsey. Elected MPs, and their parties, gain legitimacy not by virtue of what they stand for – but by the fact that they were elected by their constituents. That’s how democracy works. At least that’s how it worked the last time I checked.

Cameron and Clegg are drifting into some very dangerous waters if they are arguing that Scottish votes are worth less than English ones. There’s extraordinary hypocrisy going on if ‘legitimacy’ can only be reached by electing pre-approved candidates and parties.

Human Rights

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Our human rights shouldn't be used as a political football. They're not to be debated, won, or taken away on a whim - they're fundamental to every single one of us.
Join the fight to protect the Human Rights Act:

Spring Equinox Eclipse

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So I had the day off today and wanted to see the eclipse. I got a bit depressed by the forecast so I thought I would just stay local, as it looked like equally good an opportunity for viewing it from around Inverness as anywhere. Unfortunately the cloud never broke so I resorted to a timelapse on manual settings to better illustrate how much the light was effected by the eclipse over time. If the camera was left on program, aperture priority or shutter priority mode then it would just compensate for the diminishing light by itself, and you wouldnt get the sense of the increasing darkness. The timelapse can be seen here: Spring Equinox Eclipse

And a similar timelapse of the totality:

And then as I was just about to pack up a tiny break in the clouds for a few seconds.

Edward Snowden's Libertarian Moment: We "Will Remove From Governments The Ability To Interfere With [Our] Rights"

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I thought I would just share this short excert from a recent Ask Me Anything session at Reddit that featured Edward Snowden, Oscar-winning documentarian Laura Poitras, and journalist Glenn Greenwald.

If people lose their willingness to recognize that there are times in our history when legality becomes distinct from morality, we aren't just ceding control of our rights to government, but our agency in determing our futures.

How does this relate to politics? Well, I suspect that governments today are more concerned with the loss of their ability to control and regulate the behavior of their citizens than they are with their citizens' discontent.

How do we make that work for us? We can devise means, through the application and sophistication of science, to remind governments that if they will not be responsible stewards of our rights, we the people will implement systems that provide for a means of not just enforcing our rights, but removing from governments the ability to interfere with those rights.

You can see the beginnings of this dynamic today in the statements of government officials complaining about the adoption of encryption by major technology providers. The idea here isn't to fling ourselves into anarchy and do away with government, but to remind the government that there must always be a balance of power between the governing and the governed, and that as the progress of science increasingly empowers communities and individuals, there will be more and more areas of our lives where—if government insists on behaving poorly and with a callous disregard for the citizen—we can find ways to reduce or remove their powers on a new—and permanent—basis.

Our rights are not granted by governments. They are inherent to our nature. But it's entirely the opposite for governments: their privileges are precisely equal to only those which we suffer them to enjoy.

For the full transcript if you can hack reddit:

A step in the right direction.

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Its hard to know how to take the news that spy agencies cannot justify mass surveillance using “secret interpretations of secret laws.”; on the one hand having it proved in court (and having an earlier decision reversed) that these agencies were basically defining their own operating procedures under laws that nobody new existed and therefor could do nothing about is a good thing. But having what amounted to ilegal mass surveilance at the time "okayed" by the court as long as they tell us all that we are being surveiled is not exactly a masisve leap forward.

Read all about it at The Intercept or UK-US surveillance regime was unlawful ‘for seven years’


And on an unrealated note. I detest adverts, If anyone is still using the Adblock Plus addon on Firefox they may want to consider a switch Adds allowed in some instances personally I dont want to see any adverts even if the companies can afford to have them whitelisted therefore I have long been using the Adblock Edge Firefox addon and remember to enable the privacy and annoyance filters as well as just the advert blacklists.

Bimbling around at Duntelchaig

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A cracking Sunday afternoon scrambiling around in the snow above Loch Duntechaig, cold breeze but otherwise really nice in the sunshine.

Out West

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Not my usual landscaps shot, but the weather wasn't playing ball at Loch Maree

And a couple from Gairloch Harbour.

Interesting results

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I have found these polls hugely interesting, certainly in some of the questions I would vote against the majority.  Basically the questions are divided into certain categories, the first two links address only single questions, the rest cover broader lines of enquiry,  leading up to the last link which addresses the more divisive questions.

Calm before the storm

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Loch Eribol

Loch Naver sunshine