A while ago a friend wrote a brief review of this book and it immediately caught my attention! Now it's my turn to tell you what I thought about it.
My attention was caught by the fact that it is set up in Macao, an “ancient [ex-]Portuguese colony” and it's about the true love story between an East India Company officer, Thomas van Mierop, and his mistress, Martha.
Let me tell you that this is not going to be a deep review of the book. That, my dear reader, will have to be done by yourself!
But I can tell you that the book met all my expectations:
It is a vivid portrait of 18th century Macao;
It pictures the Portuguese presence in Macao with absolute clarity;
It draws a perfect image of the British presence in Macao;
It depicts clearly the Chinese community in Macao;
It shows us the intricate relations that were established between these societies and how that made Macao society and all its complexity;
It presents us with a beautiful love story that overcomes all the complex relations between all these communities and lives beyond the end of the book.
So, if you like History and a bit of romance, as well as understanding the way societies and human relations have evolved through times, this is a great read!
It is also a great read if you enjoy a well written book!
In the end, there's only one thing I'm yet to understand: How on Earth hasn't a film been made based on this beautiful story?!
Today, exactly two months have passed since I've received my Tuxedo PC and I decided that I had to upgrade it from TuxedoOS 18.04 LTS to TuxedoOS 20.04 LTS, a flavour of Ubuntu with Budgie desktop.
To do this I used their WebFAI tool that automates the whole process.
@firstname.lastname@example.org have really created a great way to upgrade their machines, making it a no-brainer process! Everything went on flawlessly and during the afternoon I was able to perform the upgrade, install all the programmes that I need, another complete distro on VirtualBox and Windows 10 + Office and some other programmes on a second VirtualBox installation! And all my hardware is also set up!
What else can I say? Perhaps that Linux rocks and Tuxedo Computers rocks too!
I joined the Fediverse in February 2019 after having erased my 9-year old accounts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!
I erased my old accounts because I was tired of being a supporter of networks owned by Mark Zuckerberg, a man that doesn't respect anyone but himself and who has made his name and fortune based on the creation of networks that make money through the abusive use of our personal data whether we agree with it or not! This was the only reason why I left his networks. I had to be true to my principles! There was no other reason whatsoever. There had been absolutely no problem with anyone during those 9 years!
That happened in December 2018. In February 2019, as I told you before, I joined Mastodon.
So, how has my 500-day experience on the Fediverse been?, you may ask.
Well, I can say that travelling this road hasn't been as smooth as I wished it to be. Let's see why...
This post deals with some serious stuff, as you may have guessed by its tittle, stuff that worries me as we see the growth of the Capital Punishment or Death Penalty in various forms.
IRL (In Real Life) the Capital Punishment is still present in many countries, — fortunately not as many as it used to —, and has the aim of putting an end to the life of someone that has committed any crime that violates the country laws or to silence the voice of someone that has ideas which are in opposition to the will of those in power. In the later case the ones who hold the power lack the ability of persuading that person of the virtues of the politics they are implementing. So, they turn to this radical measure as a means of avoiding other/different opinions from spreading.
Recently, unfortunately, we've been witnessing the resurgence of radical forms of punishment IRL and also on the virtual world, that world where people thought it wouldn't be possible to have this type of punishment and where people thought they could create a world of freedom where democracy, free speech and liberty would reign.
We're used to read about governments imposing measures like censorship, both IRL and online, and the Capital Punishment when they want to preserve power or pass laws that result in maintaining that power regardless the people's will. But we aren't used to think about other forms of censorship and Capital Punishment. I'm referring to individuals imposing the same hideous measures.
What's interesting is that we tend to find these measures unacceptable when they are imposed by governments but accept them when they are applied by individuals, even though they are as hideous as when they are applied by the former!
It is also interesting that we find this daily on our beloved Fediverse, a place where FOSS reigns and where, I believe, open mind, free speech and respect should prevail! Not so, in some cases, I must say!
Today I woke up very early. Sometimes that happens... It was about 5 a.m. and little did I know that I had awoken to a big surprise!
I went to the bathroom and, while there, I checked my e-mail and there was this e-mail waiting for me: mastodon.social was informing me that my account had been suspended and everything I had posted during the past year had been permanently erased!
The e-mail explained the reason why such action had been taken:
“Some of your toots have been reported as advocating hate, or violence against minorities.”
It's not a secret that I'm a big fan of my Merkur Progress, an adjustable double edge safety razor, which was launched back in 1955 in Germany! Yes, that's 65 years ago! And it is still being produced!
The Merkur Progress is the oldest double edge safety razor in production today!
And I'm a big fan of it because it allows me to have great shaves every single day!
Yes, “I have a dream...” is the title of a very famous and marking speech given by Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1963. It was a speech that wanted to make a stand, a stand for freedom, for the fulfilment of the “promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the “unalienable Rights” of “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
“I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.”, he said.
And he ended his speech saying:
“And when this happens, and when we allow freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual:
Sometimes, —far too many times, I would say—, I find myself in the situation of landing on a webpage for the first time because one of my online friends shared it and I found it interesting.
Then, one of two things usually happen: either I am presented with a pop-up window asking me to select the type of cookies that I will accept or I I'll have another pop-up window asking me to accept the entire family of cookies that resides there! And I find this very strange and, at the same time, stupidly interesting!
How come that webpages that are supposed to abide by the GPDR try to force the reader to accept their cookies to be able to access their content?
How come that not giving the readers the chance to choose the type of cookies they allow to enter their computers is abiding by the GPDR and respect the reader's freedom of choice, privacy and security?
How come that these sites are still allowed to be online?
How come that we continue to accept this situation?
These sites aren't showing any respect for their readers when they give us the ultimatum: accept if you want to read or leave!
Fortunately, we still have the choice and, unless it's really mandatory to use it, I LEAVE!
Before I start, let me make a brief introduction to this series of blog entries that I'm about to start, so that I may contextualize them.
I'm a very curious person. I love learning about new people, new cultures, new countries. Well, we can say that I love everything new, and old too!
And I also like using computers, writing blog entries and using social networks. Federated, open source, decentralized social networks, that is. Well, the Fediverse.
One of the reasons why I like social media is because we get to know a bit about other people. Unfortunately, we usually don't get the chance to know much about their culture or their countries because people don't talk much about that on social media. People usually focus on computer talk, causes, hobbies, etc. Not that that's wrong. No, by no means! It's just that I really miss that cultural part of our existence as human beings who share this beautiful home: the Earth!
Yes, I know I could watch National Geographic, Discovery, History and Odisseia. And I do! But nothing beats a first hand information or experience that we share with someone!
So, I decided that I should do something about it! And there's nothing better than a good search engine to start my quest! So, I fired MetaGer and decided to search for some interesting facts about one of the countries that I really like: Norway!