Sunday, March 05, 2006

Bloody Borders: Updates

Firstly, and most importantly, I think the problem experienced by Mac and/or Firefox users with the Flash animation has been fixed, thanks to an alert reader who tipped me to what the problem was. Many thanks! You know who you are. People who had trouble viewing it are invited to go over to The Bloody Borders Project and try it now.

Secondly, I have received a lot of emails with ideas and suggestions, and I’m working on them. The most interesting (and feasible) one is to make larger partial maps for some of the areas. More than one correspondent thought Israel simply got lost in those little maps I posted yesterday.

Making new larger versions will take some time, since it requires writing new program code. But I’ll work on it — and maybe have it ready for the first update, around the end of March.

Last, but not least, I have some logos that people may use if they want to link to the Bloody Borders Project on their own blogs:

The Bloody Borders ProjectThe Bloody Borders ProjectThe Bloody Borders Project

They’re all .gif files. The one on the left is designed to be transparent over the Gates of Vienna color scheme (we’ll be using it on our sidebar eventually). The one in the middle is transparent over a white background. The one on the right is for other color schemes, and carries its background with it.

Feel free to use any of them, either to link to the post or the or to the Project.


Cubed © said...


Your "picture" idea is wonderful.

For some reason that I have a lot of trouble grasping, far too many people seem to think that actually viewing events, or at least accurate pictures of events, leads to lack of objectivity.

In truth, the more data - conceptual or sensory (audio, visual, etc.) one can acquire, the more reliable - and objective - our assessment of something can be.

They say "A picture is worth a thousand words." They're often right; a great deal of information can be conveyed by a picture, and the information is often so complete that it stirs the emotions.

Emotion can certainly overwhelm reason under some circumstances, but it usually doesn't, and when it does, the effect is nearly always temporary.

Emotion not only produces the neurotransmitter "glue" that helps us hold data in the memory, it is also a means of instantly guaging the importance that something (like the event in a picture) has for us.

Having seen the picture, having felt the emotion, then we must determine conceptually whether we are justified in ascribing that level of importance to the event.

But to deny ourselves the sensory data is to deny ourselves an opportunity for the very objectivity that many (including judges) say they want to promote.

Emotion, per se, is not non-objective. If we see the remains of concentration camp victims and experience horror, that is objective; if we see Saddam's sons torturing someone and experience loathing, that is objective; if we see our child drowning in a pool and experience fear, that is objective.

We would do well to have access to all the pictures we can get our hands on, from the "jumpers" of the Twin Towers (that the press concealed from us), to the burned remains of contractors hanging from a bridge in Iraq (that the press concealed from us), to the stoned remains of women in Iran (that the press conceals from us).

I would love to see an entire GALLERY of pictures!