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So many issues.

While the sun is shining outside and the flowers are getting ready for spring bloom, other stuff is blooming, too – but not in a nice way, unfortunately.

One of the issues is, again, harassment at conventions. I believe the current wave of discussion was sparked by Mark Oshiro’s post about how he was treated when he was Guest of Honor at ConQuesT 46. Jim Hines has a post about the importance of not only having a harassment policy at a con, but also enforcing it, with more links to issues. Rachel Caine, in the wake of this, is declaring to act accordingly in the future, and I wouldn’t be surprised if more will join her. We can hope for changes, right?

Another issue, of a less geeky nature, is the nightmare of the EU VAT madness still going on. It is having an impact not only on the tiny firms, though – Ghost (a UK digital platform) will be closing down its business in the UK and reincorporate in Singapore to avoid the VATMESS. Advice and guidance for small businesses has been, and still is, conflicting – it’s not gotten any better. As far as I know, the plan to expand this madness to all goods, including physical ones, is still alive (though it has not been pushed through this last January, as was planned previously) even though the problems with the current digital tax have not been solved.

Even more bad news (not an issue, however) – Peter Lustig died yesterday, aged 78 (link to a German page). He was one of my childhood’s TV stars, explaining things, researching and tinkering, first in the TV show “Löwenzahn” (dandelion) and later in a show called “Mittendrin” (in the middle/in the thick of things) (though I’d almost outgrown the format by then).

Huh. Sometimes I wonder how bad things can get, for us as a society or as a culture, and for humankind overall, especially looking at how we ruin our environment, and how hard it is to keep one’s footprint small. However, ignoring problems or bad things usually tends to make them worse, not better…

I promise more upbeat things on the blog tomorrow…

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