Archive for the ‘philosophy’ Category

the philosophical difference between free software and open source software

January 17, 2012

captured in links:

The advantages of Free Software.

The advantages of Open Source Software.

general thoughts on economics and government, IMO

March 9, 2011

Some thoughts after a discussion with a friend and self-described “libertarian”:

Government isn’t a means to a socially prosperous end. However, government can serve a positive (or negative) role during the process of social change. It’s a tool that may be beneficial or harmful depending on how it’s put to work. Regarding contemporary economics, implementing a purely laissez-faire or strict command economy will surely stifle. Our nature (which we’ve inherited yet differs from, the animals) demands a nuanced approach. We must be given the freedom to learn as individuals yet our aggression is best kept in check, at least to some degree. I think of our current existence as wounded yet promising. We’re often in conflict; that is our history and present. Confronted with scarcity and a fear of it, greed often dominates and we ruthlessly compete. Yet, we are capable of deep compassion and often, with no strings attached, care for others and the environment. I think government can be useful medication for the wound as we heal; or it can be salt.

one difference

February 24, 2010

Used from here without permission from Calamities of Nature.

Einstein: smarter than he let on

May 15, 2008

Albert Einstein:

The word god is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honourable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish.


For me the Jewish religion like all others is an incarnation of the most childish superstitions. And the Jewish people to whom I gladly belong and with whose mentality I have a deep affinity have no different quality for me than all other people. As far as my experience goes, they are no better than other human groups, although they are protected from the worst cancers by a lack of power. Otherwise I cannot see anything ‘chosen’ about them.

I relate to and consider Einstein’s “cosmic religious feeling” (see article) sensible. It’s a tremendous fact that we’re connected to all that is, ever was, and ever will be (how can it be otherwise?). This fact alone is more than enough impetus to give serious consideration toward the question of living morally. It’s sane and sensible to deny the outrageous idea that any particular group of people are “chosen” by a personal “god” to play a privileged role in human history. Such nonsense, like other childish religious beliefs, can only stir trouble.

god delusion index

February 2, 2008

I scored zero on the humorous GDI continuum, though question #5 had me considering 5 points if not for its disagreeable meaning of “meditation”. Meditation is neither extraordinary thought (as implied by the question) nor an act of “contemplation”. Therefore, I answered “no”.

a permissive post

December 18, 2007

Using “freer” to describe the difference between a modified BSD license and the GPL is confusing. Doing so leads to ill-defined conclusions:

The BSD gives greater freedom, the GPL gives more freedom.

A modified BSD license is better described as permissive in contrast to a license implementing copyleft. Some define freedom as the maximization of choice regardless of the effects upon others. However, is a society permitting unwarranted aggression toward others a “freer” society? Only the most obstinate argue so.

“authors” not “creators”

October 31, 2007

So I’m having an interesting discussion in Moodle with my high school class. A student posts –

After reading the first chapter of Free Culture, I came to ponder what creation really is […] What is a creation? Moreover, is it important for the so-called “creator” of a piece of art to be well known?

Sure enough, it takes a nanosecond for the discussion to turn in the direction of chicken-egg philosophy and biblical accounts of the origin of the universe. I had to split the discussion off to a “Philosophical Discourse” forum. Don’t get me wrong, we’re loving that ongoing discussion and I encourage continued participation in it. But the fact is, that discussion has nothing to do with the original post. Stallman has a point.

i don’t have time for this

September 10, 2007

Why do some believe that time (i.e. the past and future) is an actual set of events occurring beyond thought? Mustn’t that absurd belief be present in order to take this seriously?

Via Technocrat.