Friday, August 27, 2010


"I do not agree with a word you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." -- Voltaire

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A bit of this

This video is quite worth an honest laugh.

Over at Raj Patel's site, he brought peoples attention to a film about farmer suicides: a slightly upbeat and comical look, but still a very effective medium to transport information. 

Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Quote.

Seek out argument and disputation for their own sake; the grave will supply plenty of time for silence.

There you go: in a single sentence, Christopher Hitchens has summarized a principle that I always found difficult to express. Inquiries about why I "can't keep my mouth shut." now have a solid answer.

Letters to a young contrarian has had a profound impact on me. It has led me to question my own "resistance" to "popular culture" (read: Apple, energy drinks, and brand-name clothing), and has left me with a bitter taste that insists on recurring every time people dismiss my entire being as "a phase", whether directly and consciously or not.

My deepening respect for Mr. Hitchens though, has been made a sad affair by the most diabolical of medical maladies. If I understood his writing as it was intended to be interpreted, the odds of defeat seemed stacked against him.

One last challenge, it appears, for the face of contrariness and controversy the world round.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Hypocrisy of "Pirates"

I am pro-filesharing.

But that doesn't mean that I have any patience for the hypocrisy that can be found on torrenting sites.

I'm talking about believing that they have some form of "ownership" over what they upload. Yes, as in "that douche copied my torrent." or "don't go to that site, they just copy other people's torrents." 

If you think that someone can own these torrents, then how can you believe that it is morally or legally acceptable to upload the files in the first place? 

Freedom to share information and media is something that should, and will, happen universally, or not at all.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


I have to say that even I found his refusal to move strange.
That just makes it an even more compelling point: when, or more accurately, why, should the government be able to take a person's property and give it to another individual, or, in this case, a company?

Obviously, there needs to be some sort of balance. If a 1000 kilometer highway has to stop because someone refuses to sell the property that the road passes through, should the government have the power to confiscate it? What if the company just wants it? Is profit a factor, or do the rights of an individual not have a dollar sign attached?

Monday, August 2, 2010

Software Alternatives.

One of the greatest features of the computer and internet is that of freedom of choice: you can choose your operating system, your hardware, software, and have access to far more information and media that anyone has ever before had.Unfortunately, software has largely become dominated by a handful of different programs: Microsoft now has a voluntary monopoly over most operating systems and the software that they run. I won't go into the details, but a system with no competition does not foster creativity, innovation, or accountability. Choose software based on its merits and principles, not popularity. 

The following are alternatives to the most commonly used operating systems and software that I personally use and would recommend.


Right off the bat, lets start with the big one: your operating system. Chances are, you use Windows. I can just about guarantee that you aren't a supporter of the Microsoft Monopoly. A voluntary monopoly is one thing when the software actually works but entirely another when it's crashware. Sure you can but a Mac, if you have the money and don't mind the labels that are sure to be affixed to you, but it's still proprietary. Fortunately, some very smart people have spent a lot of time creating alternatives. 
Linux is really the way to go, but there are so many different distros that it can be hard to choose: I would recommend Ubuntu, although Mint is also an excellent alternative, and both work well for newbies, although I would recommend Ubuntu overall, but that's something to be saved for another post.

Windows media player has a whole host of alternatives. I personally use two: Songbird to manage my music collection, and VLC for video playback, along with quickly opening any other media files. 

Although it's been said over and over, it still bears repeating: OpenOffice is a free alternative to Microsoft Office, and is every inch it's equal in the standard office suite tasks.  

FireFox is the king of open-source, and for good reason. A lot of people spend time in their browsers, and the ability to customize and create to your hearts content is quite simply a necessity.