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A facebook friend has sent me this link 'Want to Know Julian Assange’s Endgame? He Told You a Decade Ago' (by Andy Greenberg, that appeared in WIRED in Oct 2016) and I couldn't resist bringing it to your attention.

To read it click on this image from the article:

 Assange t


Assange is an Australian who has already featured in several articles on this website:


As a founder of WikiLeaks Julian Assange has been seen as a prominent supporter of journalistic and personal freedom. He's has won many awards on these grounds and attracted support from many politicians and public figures, mainly associated with the political left.   On the other hand in the US he has been described as a cyber-terrorist and is alleged to be the subject of a 'sealed indictment' relating to a secret Grand Jury.  Perhaps in consequence of this he has attracted considerable support in Russia, including hosting a television show on Russia Today, Russia's English language news service.

He has now been holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London since August 2012, where he sought asylum after jumping bail imposed by a British court relating to extradition to Sweden to answer rape allegations. During this time the British public have spent over £13 million to keep him there.  As a result he has become a major celebrity.

Current allegations against him in the US relate to WikiLeaks exhibiting bias against Hillary Clinton in the recent US Presidential election by publishing her secret emails and those of others in her group while not doing the same to Trump or the Republicans.  It is alleged that these damaging documents were passed to WikiLeaks by state sponsored Russian hackers.  In his defence Assange admits to disliking Clinton and making disparaging remarks, particularly relating to disastrous US involvement in the Middle East during her period as Secretary of State, but claims to dislike Trump too, saying the choice was between 'cholera and gonorrhoea'.

Julian Assange is obviously very bright.

According to Wikipedia, when he was 20 years old and living in Melbourne, Assange was discovered to be a notorious computer hacker.  After being caught he was recruited by the authorities and began assisting the Victoria Police Child Exploitation Unit to catch paedophiles.  When his case was eventually heard in 1994 he pleaded guilty to twenty-five charges of hacking and related crimes, was ordered to pay reparations of A$2,100 and was released on a good behaviour bond.  Leniency was granted due to the absence of malicious or mercenary intent and because of his disrupted childhood. For more details go to his Wikipedia entry: Here...

By 1994 Assange was already gaining a reputation as an expert on cyber-security. While he was assisting corporations tighten up their cyber-security and writing encryption tools he seems to have began to crystallise rather contrary ideas about the evils of such secrecy.  These ideas are set out in his 2006 paper Conspiracy as Governance, published soon after WikiLeaks was established.

This paper is revealing and I argued in Six degrees of separation, conspiracy and wealth that his views about conspiracy are akin to extreme market economics, more Ayn Rand than Karl Marx. 

Maybe that's why they like him in today's Russia?  Or is it that the enemy of my enemy is my friend?

These contradictions make Julian Assange one of the more interesting celebrities of our age.  So do we know his endgame?  I don't think even he knows that!

I can't wait for the next instalment. 


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Southern France

Touring in the South of France

September 2014



Off the plane we are welcomed by a warm Autumn day in the south of France.  Fragrant and green.

Lyon is the first step on our short stay in Southern France, touring in leisurely hops by car, down the Rhône valley from Lyon to Avignon and then to Aix and Nice with various stops along the way.

Months earlier I’d booked a car from Lyon Airport to be dropped off at Nice Airport.  I’d tried booking town centre to town centre but there was nothing available.

This meant I got to drive an unfamiliar car, with no gearstick or ignition switch and various other novel idiosyncrasies, ‘straight off the plane’.  But I managed to work it out and we got to see the countryside between the airport and the city and quite a bit of the outer suburbs at our own pace.  Fortunately we had ‘Madam Butterfly’ with us (more of her later) else we could never have reached our hotel through the maze of one way streets.

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Fiction, Recollections & News

Recollections of 1963


A Pivotal Year

It appears that the latest offering from Andrew Lloyd Webber: Stephen Ward, the Musical, has crashed and burned after four months in London.

On hearing this I was reminded of 1963,  the year I completed High School and matriculated to University;  the year Bob Dylan became big; and Beatle Mania began. 

The year had started with a mystery the Bogle-Chandler deaths in Lane Cove National Park in Sydney that confounded Australia. Then came Buddhist immolations and a CIA supported coup and regime change in South Vietnam that was the beginning of the end for the US effort. 

Suddenly the Great Train Robbery in Britain was headline news there and in Australia. One of the ringleaders, Ronnie Biggs was subsequently found in Australia but stayed one step of the authorities for many years.

The 'Space Race' was underway with the USSR holding their lead by putting the first female Cosmonaut into obit. The US was riven with inter-racial hostility and rioting.  But the first nuclear test ban treaties were signed and Vatican 2 made early progress, the reforming Pope John 23 unfortunately dying mid year.

Towards year's end, on the 22nd of November, came the Kennedy assassination, the same day the terminally ill Aldus Huxley elected to put an end to it.

But for sex and scandal that year the Profumo affair was unrivalled.

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Opinions and Philosophy

Renewable Electricity



As the energy is essentially free, renewable electricity costs, like those of nuclear electricity, are almost entirely dependent on the up-front construction costs and the method of financing these.  Minimising the initial investment, relative to the expected energy yield, is critical to commercial viability.  But revenue is also dependent on when, and where, the energy can be delivered to meet the demand patterns of energy consumers.

For example, if it requires four times the capital investment in equipment to extract one megawatt hour (1 MWh) of useable electricity from sunlight, as compared to extracting it from wind, engineers need to find ways of quartering the cost of solar capture and conversion equipment; or increasing the energy converted to electricity fourfold; to make solar directly competitive.

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