Most of the news today seems to be particular bad. But not this:
SpaceX has gotten good enough at reuse that it’s building fewer rockets.
Space travel is finally getting back to being as fun to follow as it was when they did moon landings. The big difference this time round is that then, money was no object. Now, money very much is an object. Huge improvement.
Remember that Hong Kong demo I photoed in January and belatedly mentioned here at the end of last month? Well, to remind you about that, and about what a nasty government they were demonstrating against, here are some more photos I took of that demo:
In Hong Kong, there was widespread use of face masks long before the Wuhan Flu, to resist another sort of threat, namely government surveillance.
I am pessimistic about Hong Kong, in any run but the longest. But it is possible to hope that the huge burst of negative feeling about China’s government may draw more attention to all the other nasty things they are doing, in China and in Hong Kong, and that this may get in the way of them swallowing up Hong Kong. I hope so.
I have long been noticing face masks, on those rare occasions when I saw one in use in London. Assuming I manage to deploy my camera quickly enough, they allow me to photo people, and show the photos on the Internet in a way that keeps faces unrecognisable. This demo was a target rich environment for such photoing, my wishes concerning unrecognisability being in line with the wishes of those I was photoing.
Sadly, face recognition is starting to see past face masks.
The Chinese government has been taking advantage lately of the fact that there is now only one media story, and is now crunching down on Hong Kong. Because now, this isn’t much of a story, compared to the big story.
As soon as the current round of dramas in Hong Kong began, I was pessimistic about the outcome in the short run, and I am even more pessimistic now. The only hope for the HongKongers, I think, is to get back at their tormentors by turning China itself, in the fullness of time, into something far different and far better, which won’t be so CCP friendly. And in the meantime torment their tormentors by making them scared, and angry that they are liable not to be written up very kindly by History. In short, the HongKongers must now settle down to try to win in the long run, along with everyone else in the world who would like China to be less horribly governed and generally a better place and less of a plague, so to speak, on the world.
But, to do my little bit for keeping Hong Kong as a story now, here are some photos I took of a pro Hong Kong demo in London on January 19th of this year, but never got around to showing anywhere, until now. These next few photos concentrate on the messages the demo-ers were proclaiming:
One weird thing though, the demo seemed to be outside this place:
What have the HongKongers got against the Royal Institute of British Architects?
This slice of google mappery explains:
The RIBA is across the road from the Chinese Embassy, and the demonstrators were shoved across the road. I have various guesses as to who made this happen and why, but I basically do not know.
Hong Kong just had two big reasons to celebrate. First, there was the result of their recent elections, which Hong Kong won and the Chinese Communists lost. And second, the USA just passed a law supporting the HongKongers, with wide support across the political spectrum. American politicians can agree about very little just now, but they do agree about what the Chinese Communists are doing to Hong Kong. They’re against it. Pretty much all of them.
And, since this is my blog, let me mention also that I too have today expressed my displeasure at the behaviour in Hong Kong of the Chinese Communist government of China, by posting a posting at Samizdata entitled How to defeat the Chinese Communists.
That’ll show them.
I have a meeting about Hong Kong at my home, tomorrow night. Judging by the RSVPs so far, the room will be comfortably full, and maybe even uncomfortably full.
Until recently, I had no idea what a gimbal is. But, recently, I attended an ASI event. Clearly, the important photos from that night were those I photoed of fearless Hong Konger Denise Ho. But I also took these photos, of the official Real Photographer for the event, in action, with a peculiar stick which I took to be something to do with stabilisation-while-videoing:
I asked him: What’s that? He said: It’s a gimbal. I said: Excuse me while I write that down. So, how do you spell gimbal? He said: g-i-m-b-a-l.
When I got home, I looked it up, because basically I didn’t believe this. I mean, really. Gimbal? But no, it’s true. Wikipedia establishes its reputation for truth telling, which it then applies to politics by telling lies, by telling the truth about things like the gimbal. So, I believe this account.
If you look at Photo 1, you see the word “Ronin”. So, is the gimbal in my photos, this gimbal? There appears to be just the one sort of Ronin gimbal, so: could well be.
Earlier this evening I attended an event at which Denise Ho answered questions put to her by an ASI guy, about the unfolding situation in Hong Kong. I photoed her:
Short summary. The protests continue, and the way for her side to win is to universalise the struggle, turning it from a merely local battle, which China is bound to win, into a global argument, which China is a lot less likely to win. Hence her presence in London (and many other spots around the world) to tell people about what’s happening in Hong Kong.
I heard another talk about Hong Kong on Monday that covered a lot of the same ground. My question then (which I thought rather than actually asked) was: What can we do to help? Answer, from Denise Ho this evening: a lot. Because “we” means everyone else in the world who wants to help.