Breivik killed 92 people. And that is a horrible, terribly sad atrocity. But what is coming could even be worse and that is that Breivik is about to get a global platform to promote hatred: his trial.
What we know about terrorism is that terrorists don’t need to win elections. They don’t need to form a coalition governments or win by a majority. Terrorists win when they recruit an incredibly small amount of like minded people to commit similar atrocities. Think of how few people it took to undertake the mass murders of 9/11, of March 11 in Madrid, of July 7 in London. So while the vast majority of the population of Europe will be horrified by Breivik, Breivik is not targeting them. He is targeting the tiny minority who thinks like him, who thinks that the socialists governments of Europe are destroying the ethnic purity of Europe and whatever other neonazi theories that he has. And if we give him a global media platform he will get those few new terrorist recruits. Breivik’s trial itself is a bigger danger than Breivik. It is the trial Bin Laden did not get.
Breivik deserves a fair trial. But not the publicity he seeks. I hope the whole procedures take place without TV cameras in the court house.
Do you live in a culture in which people believe it is fine to occasionally scare children with things like this so they behave? I know in Germany there are also characters that are meant to scare children into good behavior, like a bad Santa helper that punishes bad kids, Knecht Ruprecht, or long nailed Struwwelpeter. We don’t have those scary characters in Latin cultures, nor in USA.
When my Leo misbehaves I say “only good boys get to play with the iPad” 🙂
You can see other frightening illustrations from Norwegian children’s books here.
Struwwelpeter in a 1917 edition – Via Wikipedia
Sixty per cent of my Twitter stream is not in English. Instead it is mostly in Spanish with a little French and Italian, occasionally some Portuguese and Catalan, and a few times I struggle to decipher it in German. But my Google+ is a different story. So far, almost everyone who shows up in my Google+ writes in English. And I have bad news to all the people who treasure their own languages. The quality of the content is far better.
Without offending anyone who is mostly a non English speaker, and prefers Spanish and/or other languages, I have to admit that one of the successes of Google+ is that almost everything I get is of above average quality AND in English. My mostly Spanish Twitter stream has many tweeterers from Spain and Argentina. While I was born in Argentina and live in Spain, I realize that the problems of Spain or Argentina are repetitive and hardly inspirational. I am so fed up of reading about what a crook Cristina Kirchner and her cronies are or how incompetent Zapatero and his colleagues can be dealing with the Spanish economic crisis. I am obviously following too many people in Spanish that add little discovery, novelty and inspiration to my life. And if they point out to new things, I generally read them in English first.
This also makes me think that while there are 400 million people who speak Spanish and maybe another 300 million who speak the other languages my Tweets are in (French, Italian, Portuguese, Catalan and German) it is hard to find something truly original and new in languages other than English. This is sad but true. Indeed the most original thinkers in those other native languages, write in non native English (half of the creative minds of Silicon Valley were not born in USA). This is not about saying that no genius emerge from the Spanish, French, German, Italian and other cultural circles. They do. But when they do they are rarely expressing themselves only in their native languages. Yes, literature may be an exception but there is hardly any of that in the limited world of the 140 characters of Twitter. And I love that in Google+ I don’t need to struggle with excess brevity.
I wonder if anyone has studied how many discoveries, original sciences, or amazing start ups, happen in all the other languages my Twitter stream is in. Because if Google+ is any indication, sadly not much. Non English languages are probably 60% of my tweets but only 10% of what’s new and awesome. And my Google+ because it is in English and because I am following quality rather than friendship or national interest is mostly new and frequently awesome in a way that only Quora has been to me lately. And this is why I have decided that while I continue to tweet in different languages and follow people in different languages, Google+ will be English only for me. I won’t even answer comments in other languages so as to keep the flow in English.
This does not mean that my life will only be in English. And not even my life on the internet. After the birth of Google+ I will leave Facebook even more as a place to interact with friends. Indeed I erased 4000 people from Facebook lately and I left it as a site mostly of people who I know and care about. I will probably soon erase some more and go down to a few hundred. So when it gets to express love, emotions, and local society and politics Spanish will continue to be my main language and Facebook and Twitter my vehicles. But that will not happen in Google+.
Now that I have Google+ I will keep Facebook for love and emotional relationships, Twitter for sharing and learning about information, Quora for elaborate thoughts and Google+ for intelligent conversations and discoveries. As far as Tumblr and my blog are concerned I will continue to use them the way I have until now. I generally start a thought on Tumblr and when I elaborate on it enough it moves to my blog as this post probably will.
Today, 21 European early-stage VC firms released a standard term sheet they will use as guideline for their future investments (actually they released 2 term sheets – one for “general use” and another designed to facilitate the EIS tax relief for investments in small private companies). Both docs were drafted for the UK market, but the general idea should be the same in most countries. Especially first-time entrepreneurs in Europe without much experience in dealing with investors can benefit greatly from this document. While the terms will still be adjusted as required for each transaction, these general guidelines give entrepreneurs a good idea of what is considered “common practice” in a term sheet. This will also help to reduce legal costs and speed up the whole investment process.
Of course not all start-ups will end up winning. Some might have been able to negotiate more favorable terms if the SeedSummit term sheet had not been published. But the positive effects will surely far outweigh such drawbacks (TechCrunch readers seem to agree – so far almost entirely positive comments). Even with all the information available on the web about term sheets, there are still many entrepreneurs out there who have no clue of what should and should not be included in a term sheet. Even top MBA candidates have this problem, as I observe frequently among my students at IE.
As with most innovation in the European VC sector, this move comes more than a year later than the US Series Seed documents, which were adopted in March 2010 by a group of prominent US seed investors, such as SV Angel (Ron Conway), First Round Capital, Mike Maples, and others. But better late than never!