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Living Freedom by Claire Wolfe. Musings about personal freedom and finding it within ourselves.

Want to Comment on a blog post? Look for and click on the blue No Comments or # Comments at the end of each post.



Archive for the ‘Computers’ Category

Claire Wolfe

Weekend links

Sunday, August 2nd, 2015
  • Good one from Sheila Stokes-Begley on “smart” autos and “smart” guns.
  • I wouldn’t normally blog the death of a pro wrestler. But Rowdy Roddy Piper, who just died, age 61, also starred in John Carpenter’s terrific, underrated, and oh-so-apt freedomista social satire, They Live.
  • Where all the presidential candidates stand on pot legalization.
  • Speaking of which, even D.A.R.E. (that family-destroying, lying, totally ineffective-against-drug-abuse scourge of the 1980s) has now published an op-ed in favor of legal cannabis.
  • That CEO who raised the minimum wage at his company to $70,000 per year had some of his experienced employees quit for reasons that will sound like Econ 101 to freedomistas.
  • Can you imagine having a conversation with the kind of people who come up with this stuff?
Claire Wolfe

Thursday links

Thursday, July 23rd, 2015
Claire Wolfe

Tuesday links

Tuesday, July 21st, 2015
  • People. Possessed by computers. We have seen the future and it is weird and icky. (H/T MJR)
  • No more Mohammed cartoons, says Charlie Hebdo’s editor. The barbarians are inside the gates.
  • A “lite” one from Bovard: “Cops and Donuts Don’t Mix.”
  • A Silicon Valley billionaire revives the search for extraterrestrial intelligence.
  • Six state governments grow a brain and arm their National Guard members following the Chattanooga jihad attacks.
  • You will be shocked, I’m sure, to learn that the Bloombergians are against it. And hey, check out the “do not link” link! Great way to read an article on Bloomberg’s The Trace. Until it fails or Bloomy gets bored and defunds it, that new site is going to have some important articles on it — important not because they’re good but because they’ll look like serious, balanced journalism to those who don’t understand the issues while being covertly filled with codswallop.
  • Also lite: the good news about that quake that’s going to destroy the Northwest. :-)
Claire Wolfe

Midweek links

Wednesday, July 15th, 2015
  • This public murder + mass act of cowardice happened (in gun-free DC, no surprise) on July 4. I just heard about it. If this is how disarmed and “civilized” people behave, you can take your civilization and … ahem.
  • A social justice warrior has doubts about herself.
  • I’m no Rand Paul fan. But suing to stop the horrible FATCA law is a fine idea.
  • One good thing about the Greek crisis. If you’re in the market for a private island, you can now get a fire-sale price on one. Relatively speaking.
  • Are these the death throes of Flash? (H/T PT)
  • TZP has been hopping lately. Special attention to two very recent posts by Nicki. “Loopholes” and the South Carolina church shooter. And quite literally a “no-brainer” : a San Francisco supervisor wants to punish the berg’s only gun store (and any others that might ever be so foolish as to locate in the city) for something it didn’t even remotely do.
  • Fascinating and mostly well-done New Yorker article on the Big One that will someday wallop the Pacific Northwest. (Via jed in comments)
Claire Wolfe

Weekend links

Sunday, July 12th, 2015
  • The future of the web looks a lot like bitcoin. Rather technical, but about the onrushing tech model more than the currency. (H/T MSJ)
  • It just ain’t true that people have given up wanting online privacy. What’s going on is more like resignation. But resignation can lead to later resistance.
  • Ah, those peskily persistent census workers. They’re at it again. (Via Jim B. in comments)
  • How can someone — even if she is a politician — be such an empty vessel?
  • Last stand of the old white male politicians. Just because it’s by Mark Steyn and he writes so well.
  • Designer creates a font that reminds you whenever you type any of the thousands of the words that cue the NSA in to the fact that you’re a “terrorist.”
  • And just a reminder: If you haven’t yet v*ted for The Zelman Partisans there are still several more weeks. You can help not only by v*ting for TZP, but by spreading the word to your blog readers, friends, neighbors, gun club members, Twitter followers, FB friends, etc. It’s clear TZP isn’t going to set the world on fire, but it’s continuing to hold its own.
Claire Wolfe

Tuesday links

Tuesday, June 30th, 2015
Claire Wolfe

Monday links

Monday, June 29th, 2015

I’ve been collecting links on the Confederate flag idiocy — collecting links and absurdities by the thousands, it seems — then closing the pages again and letting them go.

I hope to have something to say about this cultural cleansing and how rapidly it’s consumed the brains of heretofore sane individuals and corporate managers. But frankly, the whole business is so flabbergasting I haven’t yet thought of the right words.

Joel had some appropriate words about it of course. I’ll try to find some good words myself.

Claire Wolfe

Tuesday links

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2015
Claire Wolfe

Thursday links

Thursday, June 18th, 2015
  • You thought maybe the TSA was the fedgov’s worst example of idiotic “security”? Hey, at least the TSA puts on an impressive pretense. OTOH, it appears that the Office of Personnel Management actually gave root access for all those now-hacked personnel files to contractors in Argentina and … yes, here it comes: China.
  • How Orange is the New Black misrepresents women’s federal prisons. Yes, but it’s a good show. And the memoir it’s based on is even better. More lesbian sex in the Netflix version, but the horror of petty people in power comes across even more strongly in the book.
  • What searching for Sasquatch can teach us about science.
  • Okay, time to have your little heart warmed courtesy of LarryA.
  • Yeah, I’m like this about dogs in movies, too. Never yet have been able to watch Old Yeller or Turner and Hooch. (NFI)
Claire Wolfe

More midweek links

Wednesday, June 17th, 2015

Yes, BHM was down

You may have noticed that BHM had problems yesterday. These were due to a major site overhaul and server move that should eventually produce good results (especially for mobile users).

But the upgrade was handled … um, gracelessly. We bloggers were caught by surprise (I was in the middle of posting at the moment things went unexpectedly haywire) and at least one reader reported getting a message that the site downage was due to a February 2010 upgrade. I gather there are still a few improvements to come, but things should be calmer today.

Claire Wolfe

Weekend links

Sunday, June 14th, 2015
  • Hastert may be a criminal. But other feds are worse. (Never mind that Hastert and his ilk made them worse.)
  • I admit it. Maeve Binchy, the mega-selling Irish author of simple domestic tales, is one of my guilty girly pleasures. Binchy died in 2012 of heart problems. While looking for something completely unrelated to her health, I stumbled upon this nice article about how she made the best of her initial diagnosis. Inspiring.
  • The fedgov has recently made it 5x more expensive to do. But Americans are again surrendering their citizenship in small but record-setting numbers. (Tip o’ hat to MJR)
  • “No cloud for me,” says security guru Bruce Schneier. And amen. (Via Brad at WendyMcElroy.com)
  • Okay, then, what exactly is the difference in principle between Caitlyn Jenner and Rachel Dolezal?
  • This Onion article’s been getting around, but once again it’s too funny not to link and too true to be really funny.
  • Can reading make you happier? Hm, dunno. Bibliotherapy??? (H/T PT)
  • Trees. Trained to grow into chairs. (H/T SC)
Claire Wolfe

The perplexity of complexity

Saturday, June 6th, 2015

Kind of strange. This whole business with the unfixable vehicle has got me feeling absurdly vulnerable.

Rationally, this makes no sense. Even with the car business coming on top of the broken ankle (and on top of $500 worth of car repairs in April), it doesn’t put me at any real risk. I’ve got neighbors who’ll pick up my mail or give me a lift to the post office. I’ve got friends who’ll get me to the grocery store. It’s not like I’m going to be stranded in a blizzard by the roadside and get eaten by passing Bengal tigers.

Yet I have to remind myself, “Calm down, Claire. You’re not doooooomed.” What’s really worrisome is the sensation of being lost in a strange world and helpless to do much about it. Of being out of control.

There was a time — not really that long ago — when an ordinary woman or man knew pretty much everything they needed to deal with an average day. Their lives might have been nasty, brutish, short, but they could fix a broken whatever or build a vital thig-a-ma-jig. If they couldn’t do it, their neighbors or tribespeople could, perhaps as a joint effort.

Oh yes, they lived in a world full of unsolved mysteries and random attacks by angry gods. But most could dismiss all that via a few rote rituals and accompanying mythology. No worries. An earthquake knocks the village down? God did it because … oh, you tolerated witches or something. Kill the witches, problem solved.

Okay, it wasn’t quite that easy. But ordinary people knew all the ins and outs of the technology (if you could call it that) that they lived with. Then they filled in the gaps in their knowledge of the wider world with beliefs and myths. Their answers may have been wrong, but they had confortable certainties in places where we have only questions. We know more but (except for the devoutly religious among us) we have no easy defenses against what we don’t know.

—–

Commentariat old-timers bemoan the loss of the good old carbureted Chevy. But even in those days, we were already on our way to complexity beyond the capabilities of Ordinary Joe or Josephine.

It’s far, far, far from original to note that as life got better, individuals became more specialized and now we are to the point of being improved to where we often know nothing. Nothing about the technologies our lives depend on. That’s just a given.

What’s said less often is how alarming that lack of knowledge can be even without the proverbial S hitting the proverbial F.

Yet the alarm is still often nonsense. So my Plan A (vehicle) and my Plan B (walking if vehicle dies) both got knocked out at once. Big deal. I’ve got a Plan C and Plan D. C and D get me closer to my neighbors and friends, inconvenience me and them only slightly, and aren’t bad at all. You, the Commentariat, have already done your bit in Plan C, thank you.

And that’s usually the way life works. A lot of bad things are really no more than inconveniences, and a lot of “bad” things actually turn out to have great, creative aspects. (Also a given.)

I think the scariest thing is realizing how little even the supposed “specialists” know now. The times are beginning to remind me of C.M. Kornbluth’s classic story “The Little Black Bag.”

 
 


 
 

 
 
 
 
 
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