Friday, January 21, 2011

The wrong government of The Netherlands

Hello everyone,

I wanted to blog about some recent developments in The Netherlands. It is internationally known that The Netherlands are a quite strong ally of the US. Recently, they've been exceeding limits what most people accept in that.

It started with 9/11. The Netherlands cooperated with the US government like an US pet. They handed out information about Dutch citizens, like bank transactions, travel information, criminal records, and more. This has all been made possible by parties like the CDA, VVD and later on the PVV. These right wing parties (extremist right wing in the case of the PVV), give in to US demands, without getting things back for the Dutch people. I see them as traitors of The Netherlands.

Also, the people of The Netherlands are kept in the dark about all of this. It's important information which we need to judge our government well, but the media has largely been trying to cover things up. In the case of wikileaks, they gave a US-favoring spin towards it. Even the recent releases about the acts of the current and past government members towards several people are given a spin sometimes.

The acts of past and recent government members are despicable. They asked the US to illegally murder people, to put allies in the government under pressure (and even giving advice how to do so!), and so on. Even the prime minister (Balkenende) even asked the US to put the vice prime minister under serious pressure!

As it was said on a certain news outlet: "Politics are all about trust. When you can't trust your own government members any more, the government comes to an end and a new one needs to be formed after elections.". It's good to know that certain former government members could stand up to the extreme pressure put on them by the US. These people, like Wouter Bos, kept their own opinions, even when under alot of pressure. That's also why we were allowed to have new elections.

These elections seem to have been manipulated into a certain direction though. It has been proven that the CDA (Balkenende/Verhagen's party, currently in power)) went to the US and said "If you get us into power, we will make sure that The Netherlands remains a strong ally". There are even rumors that the VVD (currently mostly in power, next to the CDA and PVV) did this too. If this proves to be true, I would like to say that the elections have been 'rigged' then through the media.

Also, the deals which The Netherlands maintains with the US, are even so unfair that even the Chinese are more fair (and that means alot!). Dutch citizens can be extradited towards the US, even when the US has nothing more but a claim (so even no proof!). They even have a law which allows them to bring back US citizens with violence when they are arrested or imprisoned in The Netherlands!

It seems clear to me that the past and current Dutch governments are traitors of The Netherlands. They even are destroying the whole educational system now! This is really outrageous!

What is it to be a Dutch citizens, to feel Dutch? Should we feel like US pets, or should we take up our own direction? It should stop right now. The government should care again about it's people, and place their own people which empower them as a first priority. That's why I vote for the Dutch Pirate Party, since they place the people as first priority. Will you vote for them too?

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Minecraft as useful tool - take 2

Hello everyone,

I had posted earlier about why Minecraft is useful for teambuilding. I will expand on this and explain more things about the background.

Games are not toys
Many people are sceptical about using games in a useful way. Games are generally seen as toys, and nothing more. This is mostly seen this way by people who have never played any real educational or teamwork games. They're free to have that opinion, since we're always free to have our opinions.

I have a different opinion. In my eyes, games can be great tools, especially since they're interactive. Not every game is suited for serious purposes though. Still, there are many which are. One of the games which seems like a simple toy, but isn't when used correctly, is Minecraft. I used this way to make a teambuilding environment, which is cheaper and more effective than most teambuilding methods used by corporations.

Several reasons why Minecraft is better than conventional teambuilding
Let me explain this: Minecraft currently costs €15,- per person. Looking up the cheapest teambuilding places in my country, that price is around €20,- to €30,-. That's 25% to 50% cheaper than the cheapest normal teambuilding methods. Even then, it's likely even cheaper, since these conventional teambuilding methods can only be used once. Minecraft can be used infinitely when purchased, in contrary to the conventional teambuilding methods (which include doing various tasks in real life together for an afternoon).

Even if we leave the Minecraft is cheaper argument out of the discussion, you still have several other things to look into. Minecraft is a so called 'Creative Game'. This means that you get dropped in a 'sandbox' (a game which never ends, with no clear goal) and you can let your fantasy and imagination flow freely. This creates a very relaxed environment. Coupled with working together on massive buildings, this makes for very clear positive interaction between the members.

But not only is there clear interaction between members... There's also the advantage that people don't have to travel to a certain place to meet, which also saves on time, cost and effort. Also, Minecraft is a quite 'easy' game in means of controls. The only buttons which you mostly use, are the mouse buttons, the movement keys and the inventory key. Next to an easy-to-use interface, the game also requires hardly any prior knowledge. You need to learn some things about Minecraft though once you play it. It is also available for most platforms, which makes it also not bound with a certain operating system, for instance windows. All this makes Minecraft very accessible.

Rounding stuff up
I think that it is clear now why Minecraft is a very useful tool for teambuilding. I've been pioneering teambuilding in Minecraft together with some others. But many people don't know that they're also pioneers in it. Virtually everyone who has played on an online server, and worked together with people, has been doing this. Many friendships have been created, and many more will be created in Minecraft.

Thanks for reading!

Roberto