"All collective undertakings require trust. From the games that children play to complex social institutions, humans cannot work together unless they suspend their suspicion of one another. One person holds the rope, another jumps. One person steadies the ladder, another climbs. Why? In part because we hope for reciprocity, but in part from what is clearly a natural propensity to work in cooperation to collective advantage."

Tony Judt, Ill Fares the Land (2010)

"Unjust laws exist; shall we be content to obey them, or shall we endeavor to amend them, and obey them until we have succeeded, or shall we transgress them at once? Men generally, under such a government as this, think that they ought to wait until they have persuaded the majority to alter them. They think that, if they should resist, the remedy would be worse than the evil. But it is the fault of the government itself that the remedy is worse than the evil. It makes it worse.

Henry David Thoreau, Civil Disobedience (1849)

"There is no justice in following unjust laws. It’s time to come into the light and, in the grand tradition of civil disobedience, declare our opposition to this private theft of public culture. We need to take information, wherever it is stored, make our copies and share them with the world. We need to take stuff that's out of copyright and add it to the archive. We need to buy secret databases and put them on the Web.

Aaron Swartz, Guerilla Open Access Manifesto (2008)

The Earthquake in Central Italy

Last night's earthquake in Italy was a tragic event which affected areas and people close to many of us in the Zapruder (World) community. While we mourn for those who died and attempt to help those who survived, we should also wonder what our institutions could be doing to better prevent these types of avoidable infrastructure-related tragedies.

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