The prosecution of the Pussy Riot women is more than an act of absurd injustice and cruelty; it is a sign that the Russian state is increasingly lashing out against those citizens it sees as overly modernized. Vladimir Putin has often said that modernization is the goal of his regime, but its policy is increasingly slipping toward something egregiously anti-modern, obscurantist, even medieval. The Pussy Riot case is a telling illustration of Putin’s political crackdown—and of his increasing reliance on the Russian Orthodox Church as a resort of the most conservative societal forces…
…According to prosecution, there were about a dozen “injured parties,” most of them security guards who happened to be on duty in the cathedral during the seconds that the “blasphemous act” lasted, plus a sacristan and a candle-keeper. Two lawyers representing one of the security guards claim that their client, Vladimir Potan’kin, was so deeply emotionally wounded that he is now suffering from sleeping problems. In an interview with a Russian newspaper last week, Potan’kin’s lawyers called Pussy Riot a “criminal conspiracy.”
If you’re wondering who’s behind the conspiracy, it’s Satan… No, seriously. Read through.
Simon Rogers of the Guardian data blog draws comparisons between the emergence of DIY tools for practicing data journalism and the founding ethics of punk.
The underlying question is if you learn a few “chords” (eg., Google Fusion Tools, Gephi) can you start making your data hum.
Says Dan Sinker, head of the Knight-Mozilla News Technology Partnership and former Punk Planet editor, in response to Rogers’ hypothesis:
While I agree with the premise - it’s never been easier to do this stuff than it is right now - I think there are a few steps beyond just learning three chords when doing data journalism. For one, Legs [McNeil, who coined the word ‘punk’] didn’t really say a band needed to be *good* but I’d like to think we’d require that for data journalism
Check the article. Rogers provides links to free data tools and curates a great discussion about the reasonable skills needed to getting started.
Image: Now Form a Band, from British punk fanzine Sideburns in 1977. Via the Guardian.