Abrasive Ice Cream

I really like Agave Dream. Found it on the right hand side of the co-op freezer. It has this chalky texture that I love, my housemates don’t, so more for me! I really like the lavender flavor, vanilla is OK.

Agave Dream

Abrasive Ice Cream

Young Jews Are Fantastic!

During work hours my web browser will often find itself in some political blog, occasionally I can’t help myself and I will spend time banging out some ranty comment in the post. Often the comment is moderated since I inconveniently didn’t confirm the blogger’s point of view.

Daniel Gordis wrote this, and I couldn’t help but reply. Since I spent time writing it, maybe it’s worth a post of my own? You’re welcome.

You may not like it, but I am extremely encouraged by where young people, in particular young American Jews are taking us. A new generation is taking a fresh look at Israel today, and it doesn’t like what it sees.

On one hand we learn about the American civil rights movement, about separation of church and state, about a progressive immigration policy, about multi-cultural multi-ethnic society, and about the rule of law. We learn to cherish and defend these principles especially as Jewish minority, especially after our experience in the Old World. And then we go to Hebrew school, where first we are lied to (“a people without a land, for a land without a people”), and later we are told to love Israel, an ethnocentric state where one set of laws does not apply to half of it’s population, where a secret police reigns supreme, where it views 1/5 of it’s population at best as a blight in the landscape and at worst as a fifth column or a “demographic time-bomb”.

We are lucky that this new Jewish generation is not outright schizophrenic, but overall has understood these contradictions in its education.

“Pro-Israel” advocates will try to re-brand and encourage the narrative of a pluralistic, secular, gay-friendly and technologically advanced Israel that is contrasted with its dark, backwards, violent, and poor neighbors. This is meant to appeal to democratic and progressive ears, but it is nothing more than veiled racism that simply rekindles our fear of the unfamiliar, of the brown, and of smelly poor people.

You say “the only association they have with Israel is the conflict with the Palestinians”. A good observation. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict rightly eclipses every other aspect of Israel’s image. It cannot be overstated, any attempt to trivialize it is simply dishonest. Even the word “conflict” deceives, as it implies the clash of two equal parties, where the reality is of an occupying power and a (increasingly) dispossessed and disenfranchised population.

Judging by the comments on this post, it seems like your readership is mostly middle-aged and concerned about their children’s attitude towards Israel. I just hope your kids manage to remind you what it’s all about and help you snap out of the euphoria and delusion you have been in since ‘67. Your children’s expensive education does not teach them to agree with you, even though you are footing the bill.

I was reminded of my moderated comment when I saw this essay by Peter Beinart that was just posted on The New York Review of Books.

Young Jews Are Fantastic!

Overdue

Haven’t blogged in a while. Sorry?

The Messiah is here

GUADEC 2010

I am going! And more importantly I am presenting. The title is Accessible by Universal Design: Why I love The iPhone. Did I provoke you yet? Hope so. In this talk I will show how smug designers with their high sense of aesthetic could be even better (and smugger). I am not racist, some of my best friends are designers.

Caribou

It will be in GNOME 3.0. I recently took over maintainership, which basically means cutting releases, making sure it’s translatable, accessible, packageable, and generally keeping up with the GNOME schedule. There seems to be a good amount of people interested in it, and there is even official funding for it in Spain, so we will be getting some good contributions in the near future.

iPhone Application

I have one in the app store. Before you accuse me of being a sellout and an Apple fanboy, let me just say that it was an interesting experience, and my motivation was mostly writing for something that everybody has (and it’s a real thrill). Took the better part of two weekends, Jenny and I are unveiling it in Megapolis in Baltimore this weekend, if you are in the area you should download it and give it a try. Future versions should have a lot more user-submitted content and work in other areas around the world. Maybe a Maemo and Android version too…

Work

It’s fun and interesting, hope to give an update on that once I actually have something to show.

Overdue