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Wait. What? 20 May 2013

Posted by uggclogs in Life, Philosophy.
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Last week, at the hearings on alleged tax evasion, the chairwoman of the British parliament’s Public Accounts Committee, Margaret Hodge, described Google as ‘evil’.

For allegedly trying to pay less tax.

Now, taxation, especially international rules surrounding the plethora of systems and legislation out there, is an entire separate kettle of fish, which I will not jump into.

But to describe tax evasion (whether perceived or real) as ‘evil’ is a bit much isn’t it?

The word ‘evil’ is defined (by my very limited internet search) as ‘profoundly immoral and malevolent’.

Genocide is evil. Tax evasion is, at best, not very nice, or at worst, illegal.

And I am sorry, it simply does not qualify as a moral issue. Taxes are a man-made invention. It is not actually a measure of ‘right’ and ‘wrong’. It is an agreement that we as humans have imposed on ourselves to be able to provide a ‘greater good’.

And I get that it was a play on words, as Google’s mission is ‘do no evil’. And that we all have to pay our fair share. And that without taxes, a government can’t implement all the lovely things it would like to implement.

So if Google has broken laws in what it has done, let them pay restitution. Throw the book at them, or whatever. If they have not broken any laws, and you still disagree with the level of tax they paid – then change your laws.

But let’s not water down the English language and start calling all the things we disagree with as ‘evil’.

As they are plainly not.

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I am in denial 15 April 2013

Posted by uggclogs in Life, Technology.
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Every morning, I scan Google Reader for updates on interesting things, news, and articles. I have all my favourite blogs in one place, organised in folders. They are wide-ranging, from my daily hit of the best cartoons of the web (at the moment, the favourite is SMBC) and things I find amuzing, humour and blogs of friends to economics, news, finance and trading blogs.

I have an entire folder dedicated to things I am working on right now, giving me an edge over colleagues. I am given credit for being ‘a person in the know’ as well as a person who hears the gossip about things happening behind the scenes.

I also follow several job ad blogs, so I keep up to date with what skill sets employers that are hiring are looking for, and I occasionally send off an application based on what comes my way through Google Reader.

And, finally, Google Reader is my one-stop-shop to find out what happens in Canberra socially. Because, sadly, Canberra is one of those cities where marketing is sorely lacking, and mostly you hear about events after the fact. (Don’t get me started on that).

So I am in denial.

Google Reader is going to be discontinued. And I am yet to do anything about it.

I don’t want to lose my portfolio of knowledge, built over years. I have starred recepies that I am yet to try and articles I am yet to read. I have no patience for blogs that do not allow RSS feeds, and I could not imagine going to all of these (literally hundreds) of blogs on an individual basis to see whether updates are available.

So I should be looking for an alternative.

But I like Google Reader.

In fact, I even like Google, the company.

Why! Why are you making my life harder, rather than easier (like you always have in the past?). Why are you even making me think about how to find my information, how to export it, and how to maintain it?

You didn’t hear my cries when you discontinued Google Wave. I know hardly anyone used it, so I was understanding then. This time, I am angry. And sad. And in denial. I still have not even looked for a solution. Because looking for a solution to my problem would mean acknowledging that this is really happening. July is coming up fast, and you will stop being part of my life. And frankly, Google+ is not floating my boat.

So let me break my cycle of denial right here with you, readers: Has anyone found a suitable RSS feeder they could recommend?