[erlang-questions] An appeal. Fwd: Simon Singh's weird idea that might just work

G.S. <>
Thu Feb 11 11:27:06 CET 2010


So it seems we're going back to the dark ages then. I bet they just can't
wait to burn us Scientists... or as they used to call us: heretics.

On Thu, Feb 11, 2010 at 2:16 AM, Joe Armstrong <> wrote:

> You're forgiven - the defense of freedom of speech is more important
> than programming anyway.
>
> I've signed up. For those of you who haven't followed Singh's dilemma.
> Singh was sued for
> libel for daring to say that certain alternative medicine practices
> had no scientific validation of their
> claims - Indeed were I to repeat his claims here - I might be sued.
>
> So it seems like that with the support of the English courts nobody
> anywhere in the world
> can say that "this is unscientific" without being in danger of being
> sued for libel.
>
> Since I often say "this is unscientific" this is kind of disturbing.
>
> /Joe
>
> On Thu, Feb 11, 2010 at 10:51 AM, Robert Virding <>
> wrote:
> > Sorry for posting something completely out of context on this
> > mailing-list but it is something which I feel is important enough to
> > warrant that. Posting it here is my idea so complaints goto me.
> >
> > Please support it.
> >
> > Robert
> >
> >
> > ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> > From:  <>
> > Date: 10 February 2010 22:32
> > Subject: Simon Singh's weird idea that might just work
> > To: 
> >
> > Dear Friends,
> >
> > I’ve had an idea – an unusual idea, but I think it might just
> > work.
> >
> > As you know, England’s chilling libel laws need to be reformed. One
> > way to help achieve this is for 100,000 people to sign the petition
> > for libel reform before the political parties write their manifestos
> > for the election. We have 17,000 signatures, but we really need
> > 100,000, and we need your help to get there.
> >
> >
> http://libelreform.indiemedium.com/lt.php?id=ZkQFVwkEBlAYDEgEBgALUg%3D%3D
> >
> > My idea
> >
> > My idea is simple: if everyone who has already signed up persuades
> > just one more person each week to sign the petition then we will reach
> > our goal within a month!
> >
> > One person per week is all we need, but please spread the word as
> > much as you can. In fact, if you persuade 10 people to sign up then
> > email me ( <mailto:>
> > ) and I promise to thank you by printing your name in my next book
> > … which I will start writing as soon as I have put my own libel case
> > behind me. I cannot say when this will be, but it is a very real
> > promise. My only caveat is that I will limit this to the first
> > thousand people who recruit ten supporters.
> >
> > When persuading your friends remember to tell them:
> >
> > (a) English libel laws have been condemned by the UN Human Rights
> > Committee.
> >
> > (b) These laws gag scientists, bloggers and journalists who want to
> > discuss matters of genuine public interest (and public health!).
> >
> > (c) Our laws give rise to libel tourism, whereby the rich and the
> > powerful (Saudi billionaires, Russian oligarchs and overseas
> > corporations) come to London to sue writers because English libel laws
> > are so hostile to responsible journalism. (In fact, it is exactly
> > because English libel laws have this global impact that we welcome
> > signatories to the petition from around the world.)
> >
> > (d) Vested interests can use their resources to bully and intimidate
> > those who seek to question them. The cost of a libel trial in England
> > is 100 times more expensive than the European average and typically
> > runs to over £1 million.
> >
> > (e) Three separate ongoing libel cases involve myself and two medical
> > researchers raising concerns about three medical treatments. We face
> > losing £1 million each. In future, why would anyone else raise similar
> > concerns? If these health matters are not reported, then the public is
> > put at risk.
> >
> > My experience has been sobering. I’ve had to spend £100,000 to
> > defend my writing and have put my life on hold for almost two years.
> > However, the prospect of reforming our libel laws keeps me cheerful.
> >
> > Thanks so much for your support. We’ve only got one shot at this
> > – so I hope you can persuade 1 (or maybe 10) friends, family and
> > colleagues to sign.
> >
> > Massive thanks,
> >
> > Simon
> >
> >
> http://libelreform.indiemedium.com/lt.php?id=ZkQFVwkEBlAYDEgEBgALUg%3D%3D
> >
> > The Libel Reform Campaign is a coalition of English PEN, Index on
> > Censorship and Sense About Science.
> >
> > So far, 188 MPs have signed our Parliamentary Early Day Motion
> > calling for libel reform and the Justice Secretary Jack Straw has
> > formed a working party that the Libel Reform Coalition is represented
> > on.
> >
> > Please also considering donating to keep our campaign going:
> >
> http://libelreform.indiemedium.com/lt.php?id=ZkQFVwkEBlEYDEgEBgALUg%3D%3D
> >
> >
> >
> > --
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> >
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> >
> > To update your preferences and to unsubscribe visit
> >
> http://libelreform.indiemedium.com/lt.php?id=ZkQFVwkEBlcYDEgEBgALUg%3D%3D
> > Forward a Message to Someone
> >
> http://libelreform.indiemedium.com/lt.php?id=ZkQFVwkEBlQYDEgEBgALUg%3D%3D
> >
> >
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