Thoughts I Have

Archive for July, 2010

Sword of Gideon


Gideon is a character from the Bible whom most associate with “Gideon’s Bible” however his story is different than one might infer from that stereotype. (I will include a link to the Wikipedia page about Gideon at the bottom of this post)

“““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““

Gideon or Gedeon (Hebrew: גִּדְעוֹן, Modern Gidʻon Tiberian Giḏʻôn), which means “Destroyer,” “Mighty warrior,” or “Feller (of trees)” was judge of the Hebrews. His story is recorded in the Book of Judges and this account is compiled in the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament. His story is told in chapters 6 to 8. He is also named in the Epistle to the Hebrews as an example of a man of faith.

Gideon was called to be a leader during the Period of the Judges.  Israel was being invaded by the Midianites, who came from the east on camels.  To see if God would deliver Israel by his hand, Gideon placed a fleece of wool on the ground.  He asked that there be dew on the fleece, but that the ground would be dry.  This sign occurred and Gideon prepared for battle.  God told him to reduce the number of his men by having them drink from a stream.  Those who drank directly from the stream were sent home and those who scooped water in their hands were kept.

Gideon did as God had asked. God chose only three hundred men to fight against a million Midianites. Then he said, “If you are afraid, take your servant Purah and go down to the Midianite camp tonight to see what I have done.” That night, Gideon and Purah went to the camp. They tiptoed up to a tent and listened to a conversation between two men inside.

“I had a dream,” one of the voices said. “A big loaf of bread came rolling through our camp and turned everything upside down.”That can only mean one thing,” replied a second voice, “that the God of Israel has given the Midianite camp to Gideon.”

When Gideon heard this, he looked up to heaven and said, “Thank you God for providing me with the strength to accomplish what you want me to do.”

He immediately ran back to his army of three hundred men. “Wake up everyone. God has given the Midianites into our hands. Listen to me and follow my orders exactly.”

Each warrior was given a trumpet, a jar, and a torch.  At the signal they blew the trumpets and smashed the jars.  Thrown into confusion, the Midianites fled before Gideon’s men. After the victory, people asked Gideon to be their ruler, but he refused the honor.

“““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““

So you see, Gideon was a great warrior in biblical lore. The “Sword of Gideon” was the divine will of God.

I’ve always loved that story. Like Gideon I might lack the strength and experience and I might require some evidence but when called upon I will do whatever is necessary to defend those to whom I feel loyalty.

Please don’t think I am one of the holy-roller types – just the opposite – I have broken all ties with organized religion. I have my own belief system to which I hold firm.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gideon_%28Bible%29


In Defense of RapidShare


In Defense of RapidShare

Now that the shock of the moment has diminished for me I have a new found respect and
understanding for Rapidshare’s decision.

When one considers that RS must have suspected there would be an enormous backlash
after the shift away from a rewards system one must ask why would they take such a risk?

Suddenly a light came on. It was for the money.

We all know that RapidShare has been repeatedly sued for copyright infringement. We can only
imagine what the cost to RS has been financially. They have stood their ground and so far avoided
any judgment against them. They have not turned over the names of uploaders nor downloaders. You
might say they have spent a large fortune defending our rights to share things among ourselves.
They are trying to protect us from the long arm of the studios’ attorneys and the authorities.

I cannot fault RS for trying to recoup there loses. I cannot fault them for creating a new way to raise
revenues for future legal troubles. I know the owners are all wealthy beyond our wildest dreams but even
that kind of wealth has it’s limits when faced with a consortium of studios who are fighting a losing battle
to ebb the free flow of community sharing. The authorities who are eager to wage legal war against the
freedom of information for their own personal and political gain.

RapidShare has stood alone against this attempt to stifle us as file sharers.

I have read all the replies in all the threads regarding this situation. I’ve learned a lot I didn’t know. It is my
understanding that MU has actually given the names of uploaders and downloaders to the authorities for
investigation. I’ve read that all file hosts (except RS) have indicated in their terms of service their policy of
providing names when required by law. This means they are keeping records on all of us. I’ve read that RS
has not given up any names of sharers. I’ve read that they are still the only ones who reportedly keep no records
of our uploads and downloads to provide.

This leads me to ask: what price is my privacy and freedom worth? Would I rather use RS who is committed to
protecting me (albeit at a higher cost) from possible prosecution for something I believe is no more than loaning
a friend a music cd or a new dvd I bought so they could enjoy something I enjoyed? Would I rather pay a
smaller fee for service from a host that specifically warns me they will turn me in if required to do so? What is
my freedom and privacy worth?

I’ve decided to keep one of my Premium Accts with RS and pay the price they ask. It will cost me more but I
feel better about that fact with the knowledge they are still defending my freedom and privacy.

I’m sure I can find a RS plan that will suit my needs at a price I can afford. If that means I will need to download
less sometimes and more other times so be it.

I hope you will consider what I have said and ask yourself “What is my freedom and privacy worth”?