Conservative Fukuyama and Liberal Soros

I just took some time to write a little comment on Soros’ book The bubble of American Supremacy – The costs of Bush’s war in Iraq, which I had in mind for some time. It was published as a comment to Michael Signer’s post on Democracy Arsenal. I think Soros’ extension of Popper is very useful in understanding present day issues like Intelligent Design and fundamentalism.

I conclude that Fukuyama’s sticking to natural rights still makes him a conservative, not a liberal.

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Fukuyama on the Roots of Terrorism

In the EU website a summary of Fukuyama’s article of 2 November in the Wall Street Journal – A Year of Living Dangerously, registration required – can be found :

..radicalisation .. is not purely, or even mainly, a religious phenomenon, but is a product of modernisation and globalisation. .. a solution lies in the true assimilation of immigrants into .. a ‘national identity’. This cannot be attained by, for example, Dutch insistence on a command of the language and a knowledge of Dutch history or UK ideas of a ‘citizenship test’ containing questions impenetrable to the average Brit, but by a ‘discussion of the interconnected issues of identity, culture and immigration’.

As for the British test, I think it rather stupid to request from immigrants to pass an exam that many Dutch will fail to pass (I barely passed, but my boss failed…)

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It was the “keywords”, stupid!

Tagore settings” is back amongst the first Google results. Within approx. 5 days after I corrected this the pages were picked up by the Google bots. Hooray!

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Is it the “keywords” attribute?

Tagore settings is back on top of Google! Apparently, a few days ago Google has indexed the index page for my blog, which was published on 30 September. The rest of the pages still has to be indexed, but, as they are new, I presume that by the beginning of November they will also be present in the index.

I guess that missing the “keywords” attribute within the META tag was what caused the low rating, though the keywords themselves were present.

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Revisited: search-engines & Tagore settings

I repeated my search-engine test for “Tagore settings” from 7 August 2002. Also registered as a zealot for the Directory at LookSmart, after passing the test (wow).


Search Engine 6 August 2002 2 October 2005
AllTheWeb 9: blog 1: old 2: new 3: old CD 6 blog
AltaVista 1: old 2: new 3: old CD 4 blog
AOL Search 1 old 2 blog
Ask Jeeves 1 old 2 blog
Google 1 old 2 blog
HotBot 1 old 2 old CD 3 blog
Inktomi N/A N/A
Lycos 14 blog 1 old 2 old CD 3 blog
Open Directory
Yahoo! 1 old 2 new 3 old CD 6 blog



Conclusion: still to register for Open Directory, and Google has disappeared! This is probably related to the lack of updating. For the text between quotes Google gives the result far better rating: 3re! Google also takes “setting” without plural s into account.

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Dutch biodiversity

On the Dutch biodiversity, which is one of the world’s most investigated.

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Dutch not that simple a language

A just reread an old article by Steve Pemberton on Dutch speling: “An Englishman’s Difficulties with the Dutch“. Nice if you understand Dutch and English. The Dutch overestimate the simpleness of their language compared to English.

Steve is also chairing the XHTML group of the W3C. He seems to be publishing an awful lot of stuff.

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O. Winston Link

Today, I visited FOAM, the photograpy museum in Amsterdam, which had an exhibition on O. Winston Link. The Link museum has a bio on this remarkable figure, who was an excellent engineer, inventor and artist all in one.

Just found out I missed the opportunity to attend a lecture by Francis Fukuyama, one of my heroes, nearby. Title: “The Future of Democracy. Culture and Immigration”. The organiser was the Nexus Institute (wbsite in Dutch only).

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New book by Fareed Zakaria

Fareed Zakaria, in his first year as editor of Newsweek International, came to international prominence with his cover-story The Politics of Rage: Why do they hate us?“, published three weeks after September 11, on October 15, 2001. His conclusion: Islamic countries had only imported some elements of the Western culture, but had troubles to import the “inner stuffings”, like a free market, political parties, rule of law.

He has now written a book, “The Future of Freedom: Illiberal Democracy at Home and Abroad”. For a full article on Zakaria, see “A beautiful mind” in The Indian Express.

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Which day is Tagore’s Birthday?

I noticed that there are several days in use as “Tagore’s Birthday”, which is an official holiday in Bangladesh. This year, 2003, the official Bangla day was 9 May, but 7 and 8 May are also in use.

It’s because the date according to the Bangla calendar can cause a little defection from the Western one, as his birthday was 25 Baishakh 1268. Which corresponds with 7 May 1861 on the Western calendar.

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