Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Governance vs. Government

Get yours at
A fundamental disagreement between the Statist and the Anarchist is whether or not a system can be self-organizing. Bear with me, this will take a moment to frame.

To get the definition out of the way up front, by "state" I am not talking about any particular political subdivision. The "state" is the institution with the monopoly on legitimate coercion. When a soldier kills, for example, it is not "murder" because he is acting as an agent of the state. What is robbery if I do it is "tax collection" when performed by an agent of the state. And so on. The act that is otherwise criminal is declared to be legitimate specifically because an agent of the state is doing it. They are "only following orders".

Updated 20121214

Monday, November 5, 2012

The Linux Live CD

It's been 12 years since Mark Knopper first created Knoppix, ushering in an amazing way to try running Linux: directly from a CD.

No installation hassles, no worries about losing data during an upgrade. No getting stuck in the middle of an install and not having a machine to use to track down documentation.

Just a running machine. Easily, quickly, and best of all temporarily.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Morality and Ethical Behavior

Morals. Ethics.

These are two words that are generally not taught to students, and certainly not in the government schools, until they have to deal with the generalized concepts in places like law school, or college accounting classes, where it's pointed out that knowing the law, and not following it, is "unethical" or "immoral".

Usually, people first encounter the idea in the context that someone can be prosecuted for "unethical behavior" while in office, while politicians who do not keep campaign promises are considered perfectly normal. This is hypocrisy, and deserves to be addressed.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Software Patents and "Rent Seeking"

"Rent Seeking" is a term in economics used to denote the effort of those with "political" power, that is, the ability to leverage the violence of the state, to use that leverage for personal gain.

Inspired by the recent Mises.org article on the subject, I'd like to give my own perspective on the issue.

While most of us think of "rent" only as paying one's landlord for the use of their property, this common use of the term is not as far from the more technical "economic" term as it seems at first. Let it stew for a while, see if it doesn't make sense.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Go fsck yourself, part duh

You remember last time, when I said, "I'm writing this blog entry on the same disk image that was giving me nightmares just 7 hours ago"? Hahaha, well, that was then, and this is now.

It's four hours later, and this time, I'm writing from the laptop.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Go fsck yourself

Interesting experience today.

My daily use machine has a SATA disk drive, and it would not boot this morning. GRUB would begin, and then fail saying it could not find any initrd or kernel.

I was able to boot using a Live CD, but several of the ones I have didn't work. Time to purge my "rescue disk" collection, download the latest Trinity Rescue and Knoppix, etc.

The one that did work would not recognize that the HD even existed. So no fdisk, no mounting the partitions for backup, nothing. Doomed, I thought. Fried disk. Right.