fluctuat nec cogitat

stevebellAs was alas predictable, the mass assassinations in Paris last Friday led to senseless gesticulations and warmongering declarations from French political leaders. Hence my title, borrowed from Paris motto: intended to mean “Fluctuating without thinking”, or, as Google translate would inadvertently put it in a strangely appropriate way, to “turn and toss”. Martial emergency order has been declared and is contemplated for months (months!) ahead. After the “Charlie Hebdo” law on intelligence voted a few months ago (which actually goes against everything Charlie stood for!), more attacks on civil liberties are now to come, with a revision of the Constitution with the next days (days!)… Hence this drawing from Steve Bell in The Guardian: While French military forces are engaged in Irak and Syria in a dubious campaign, I completely dispute the notion that France is “at war” and see present declarations and new legislations as catering to the rightmost fringes of the public opinion. With no other clear consequences than to pave the way for the French extreme right to win the coming election(s). Just as withdrawing French citizenship from double nationals who anyway do not consider themselves as French and who are determined to blow themselves on demand is ridiculously inappropriate. The similitude between the reactions of Bush after 09/11/01 and Hollande after 11/13/15 is striking and frightening in the lack of long-term vision and of mere rational thinking… To end up with another translation, “to rock with no purpose”, indeed.

One Response to “fluctuat nec cogitat”

  1. After the initial shock of the tragedy came my curiosity at the apparent failings of the intelligence agencies. One thing I worry about is that their quest for mass surveillance powers has perhaps in fact made their task of identifying signal from noise far more difficult; instead of a somewhat “designed” experiment (monitoring a small group of suspects based on prior information) they’ve switched to a naive “big data” analysis with no control on Type I/II errors.

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