Linux and Open Source Software

Jason Quintana's picture
Submitted by Jason Quintana on Thu, 2006-02-23 19:57

During the last week I've been fiddling around with Linux. I installed a small Linux partition on my laptop and I am actually impressed with how good it is. The interface is clean, it multitasks very well and everything is free. Included or downloadable is all of the software --
An office suite, a web browser, media player etc etc. While for several reasons I don't think Linux is ready to compete with Microsoft as a legitimate alternative for the average user it is certainly moving in that direction.

So this begs the question. Can this free, open source software model compete with heavily capitalized software companies like Microsoft? I couldn't imagine something like this working in any other industry. This is the only case I have ever witnessed of a communal property production model having the potential to someday compete with privately owned capitalist businesses and privately owned intellectual property.

Recent Comments:
Linux and Open Source Software — by tfar on Sat, 2006-02-25 11:15
PMT — by sjw on Fri, 2006-02-24 18:01
SharpDevelop — by sjw on Fri, 2006-02-24 17:54

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Dialling 911 to get your ethics? Stop right there.

Peter Cresswell's picture
Submitted by Peter Cresswell on Thu, 2006-02-23 19:17

University ethics classes and late-night bull sessions are replete with discussions of hypothetical and unikely moral dilemmas. Whose responsibility is an abandoned baby in the woods? Should I dive into a turbulent river to save a dying woman? What should I do if I my boat sinks and I wash up on a desert island only to stumble across a locked but well-stocked hut -- can I break in and use the food and shelter? What if there are two if us in a lifeboat but only food for one? What if (for a dose of humour) we're a brain in a vat driving a runaway trolley down a rail line with with only two forks with five people standing on one and nine on the other but... Etc. Etc. Ad nauseum.

Recent Comments:
Utility's...Arithmetic-Utilitarianism — by Rowlf on Sat, 2006-02-25 00:27
>>Indeed, I'd say that the — by Utility Belt on Fri, 2006-02-24 23:22
'Utility' logic — by Rowlf on Fri, 2006-02-24 20:46

'Crystal Chapel' Project - Bruce Goff

Peter Cresswell's picture
Submitted by Peter Cresswell on Thu, 2006-02-23 08:31

Sketch and model of Bruce Goff's 1950 Crystal Chapel project, and Bruce Goff in his studio in 1962. I have to say that his office looks way, way tidier than mine!


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The Roots of Anti-Capitalism

AdamReed's picture
Submitted by AdamReed on Thu, 2006-02-23 07:02

Excerpt from this article:

This month, as Wal-Mart finally began clearing ground on the site, Gillespie introduced a new group, this time including Jesuits, Catholics, Baptists, Buddhists, Daoists, Lutherans and Anglicans, among others, to front the argument that Wal-Mart will blight the practice of religion in Guelph. This time the target is the constitutionality of the local bylaw that permits the Wal-Mart on the site.

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The Environmentalist Conservative: Behold the Purity of Obscurantist Evil

AdamReed's picture
Submitted by AdamReed on Thu, 2006-02-23 05:29

No Randian could fail to notice the incoherence of contemporary Conservatives, who combine nominal support for economic aspects of Capitalism with God-thumping social repression, and of contemporary Socialists (in America, "Liberals,") who combine nominal adherence to social liberalism with advocacy of Environmentalist prohibitions against economic progress. So here is an exhibit of pure evil: one Rod Dreher, a consistent advocate of obscurantist repression on all fronts - the Environmentalist Conservative.

Recent Comments:
What Adam said... Victor: — by Victor Pross on Thu, 2006-06-08 03:04
Environment and Capitalism — by AdamReed on Thu, 2006-06-08 02:14
Bob? What have ye to say? — by Victor Pross on Thu, 2006-06-08 01:46

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Ten Worst New Zealanders

Peter Cresswell's picture
Submitted by Peter Cresswell on Thu, 2006-02-23 03:16

A few local bloggers have listed their ten worst New Zealanders, predictably including the likes of Roger Douglas and Ruth Richardson (or proxies for them) even though the economic golden weather we are presently enjoying is in many ways due to the reforms they both instituted (and which have been left largely untouched by the Clark-Cullen Government) -- and unpredictably including the likes of Sarah Ulmer. Sarah Ulmer for goodness sake!?

Recent Comments:
what about the fat slag that — by michael fasher on Tue, 2007-07-31 10:11
Sarah Ulmlmer WTF!!! — by michael fasher on Tue, 2007-07-31 10:08
How about — by Hayden Wood on Tue, 2007-07-31 05:17

My wife's custom knife arrived today ...

Duncan Bayne's picture
Submitted by Duncan Bayne on Wed, 2006-02-22 19:47

I am incredibly pleased with the Hideaway Knife. It's custom-fitted to the first two fingers of her hand, manufactured from high quality stainless steel, two-toned black and bare-metal (unlike the single-toned sample image below - I'll be posting photos of my wife's knife shortly), and incredibly sharp - literally sharp enough to shave with. I've already used the complimentary band-aid supplied with the knife after I nicked myself putting it in the sheath.

Hideaway Knife

Recent Comments:
One caveat re. WarriorTalk - — by Duncan Bayne on Sat, 2006-06-03 00:12
> I am sure you have — by Duncan Bayne on Fri, 2006-06-02 08:31
"...I am good with my fists — by Ross Elliot on Fri, 2006-06-02 05:42

The target of Michael Moore's next film

Pete L's picture
Submitted by Pete L on Wed, 2006-02-22 03:32

Michael Moore's next movie will take on the American health care system. No doubt the underlying message will be that America needs a government financed system. On his website currently, he is appealing to Americans who have horror stories to share about their experiences with HMO's and insurance companies. Here's the link, if you think you can handle it without vomiting:

Recent Comments:
Michael Moore naked? — by Andrew Bates on Sat, 2006-03-04 20:46
Moron — by Andrew Bissell on Fri, 2006-02-24 01:13
National Healthcare — by jtgagnon on Thu, 2006-02-23 17:01

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The Austrian "school"

Jody Gomez's picture
Submitted by Jody Gomez on Wed, 2006-02-22 02:46

I have a basic question. I'm embarking on a study of economics(just purchased "Human Action" and "The Capitalist Manifesto"), but what are the basic tenets that distinguish the Austrian school from others? Also, what other "schools" are there?

Recent Comments:
Schools table — by Rick Giles on Mon, 2006-04-10 14:38
Capital Markets Vs Labour Markets focus — by Andrew Bates on Mon, 2006-03-06 06:10
Pay 80%! — by Andrew Bates on Mon, 2006-03-06 05:43

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Wiesenthal Center supports jail sentence for holocaust denial ...

Duncan Bayne's picture
Submitted by Duncan Bayne on Tue, 2006-02-21 23:17

It turns out that the Wiesenthal Center supports the jail sentence handed down to David Irving, a well-known & despicable historian & denier of the holocaust.

If there's one group of people you'd think would know better than to support fascism, it's the Wiesenthal Center! Anyway, I've submitted the item to under the 'Ironic' section - here's hoping they'll run it ...


Recent Comments:
Free speech advocates, be alarmed! — by Pete L on Wed, 2006-02-22 02:56

Some Propositions on Free Speech

Peter Cresswell's picture
Submitted by Peter Cresswell on Tue, 2006-02-21 21:54

The right to free speech means the right to express one's ideas without danger of coercion, of physical suppression or of interference by the state.

Censorship is interference by the state in the expression of ideas. Laws against murder, rape, assault and child sex are sufficient to cover any violation of rights in the censor's current domain.

A private network refusing to publish your views is not censorship - it is their choice.

A private network choosing to offend is their business. Choosing not to watch or to withdraw advertising is yours.

Bad ideas are still ideas. You should be just as free to air them as I should be to ignore them, or to pillory them.

Recent Comments:
250,000 watched C4 instead — by Ross Elliot on Fri, 2006-02-24 07:41
Clark can't help herself. A — by Ross Elliot on Fri, 2006-02-24 07:35
Another Important Aspect... — by Bikemessenger on Thu, 2006-02-23 07:06

Brokeback Mountain - again!

Derek McGovern's picture
Submitted by Derek McGovern on Tue, 2006-02-21 19:30

A couple of weeks back, I stopped reading the SOLO Homo thread on Brokeback Mountain because of the rash of plot spoilers that had appeared there.

Recent Comments:
Agreed on that — by Landon Erp on Sun, 2008-04-20 22:30
Why I love Brokeback Mountain — by Matty Orchard on Sun, 2008-04-20 07:03
I was just having a discussion about this yesterday — by Landon Erp on Thu, 2008-01-24 00:41

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The Nature of Poison

Casey's picture
Submitted by Casey on Tue, 2006-02-21 01:37

When my friend, James Valliant, had his book sent to the publishers, the galleys completed and the jacket copy and cover decided upon, I expected to have only limited involvement thereafter. A review posted at Amazon and Barnes & Noble, a response to some flagrantly erroneous articles that recycled lies about Ayn Rand that the Brandens told—that was about the extent of the contribution I anticipated after the book was out there for all the world to see and read.

However, I was surprised by the nature of the posts that were slamming the book before it was published at the old SOLOHQ site, where Barbara Branden herself held court, considering this was a site comprising individuals who claimed to admire Rand, or at least her novels and ideas.

Recent Comments:
Perspective — by Holly Valliant on Mon, 2006-03-06 05:08
Suspicious? — by sjw on Sun, 2006-03-05 19:20
Ok Shayne — by Michael Moeller on Fri, 2006-03-03 20:05

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Ciro D Agostino's picture
Submitted by Ciro D Agostino on Mon, 2006-02-20 22:26

FINALLY, SOMEONE GETS IT! CANBERRA AUSTRALIA:   Muslims who want to live under Islamic Sharia law were told on Wednesday to get out of Australia, as the government targeted radicals in a bid to head off potential terror attacks.  A day after a group of mainstream Muslim leaders pledged loyalty to Australia at a special meeting with Prime Minister John Howard, he and his ministers made it clear that extremists would face a crackdown.
Treasurer Peter Costello, seen as heir apparent to Howard, hinted that some radical clerics could be asked to leave the country if they did not accept that Australia was a secular state and its laws were made by parliament.  "If those are not your values, if you want a country which has Sharia law or a theocratic state, then Australia is not for you," he said on national television.  "I'd be saying to clerics who are teaching that there are two laws governing people in Australia, one the Australian law and another the Islamic law, that is false.  If you can't agree with parliamentary law, independent courts, democracy, and would prefer Sharia law and have the opportunity to go to another country which practices it, perhaps, then, that's a better option," Costello said.  Asked whether he meant radical clerics would be forced to leave, he said those with dual citizenship could possibly be asked to move to the other country.

Recent Comments:
Get Out of Britain! — by Kenny on Mon, 2006-02-27 23:12

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Casual Sex

Adam Buker's picture
Submitted by Adam Buker on Mon, 2006-02-20 21:35

I'm racking my brain looking for Objectivist writtings of any kind dealing with this subject. Besides Francisco's talk with Hank in Atlas Shrugged and the Playboy interview, I've not found much of anything that gives any in depth analyisis to this issue. I'm rethinking a great deal of what I previously thought on the subject and I am searching for more information and a discussion. My definition of casual sex is consen sexual activity occuring between two adults for the sole purpose of physical pleasure detached from the context of a relationship. I used to believe that casual sex was immoral in the sense that in order to take such an action implies that one has no self-esteem or is betraying it.

Recent Comments:
Adam, — by Duncan Bayne on Wed, 2006-04-12 02:06
Casual sex and...'CASUAL' sex — by Rowlf on Wed, 2006-04-12 01:20
Claudia's got it in one. Sex — by Ross Elliot on Mon, 2006-03-27 03:09

My WordCloud

Duncan Bayne's picture
Submitted by Duncan Bayne on Mon, 2006-02-20 19:11

Word Cloud

You can create one of your own here. [Hat tip Not PC]

Recent Comments:
Awww... — by Wes on Tue, 2006-02-21 18:13

The Future is Now: Heroes and Property Rights in the Final Frontier

jtgagnon's picture
Submitted by jtgagnon on Mon, 2006-02-20 18:29

On a crisp evening not long ago, I took a brisk walk through the park near my home. The sun’s radiance had long since faded giving way to far-reaching darkness, and the moon—understatedly luminous—had risen. As I strolled through the park, I observed a man in the distance standing rigidly, but with his head bent back at an awkward angle. He appeared to be transfixed by something overhead. Curiosity got the better of me and I approached him. When I asked what he saw, he replied simply: “The future.”

I didn’t understand what he meant at first. But then, I gazed up and witnessed the moon, the stars and the vast expanse of space. And, feeling a strange sense of exhilaration, I started to grasp the meaning of his statement.

Recent Comments:
This is very good. Thank — by John M Newnham on Wed, 2006-02-22 16:50
Very nice! — by Lindsay Perigo on Tue, 2006-02-21 01:34

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Thoughts on Heroism from the Gods...

JoeM's picture
Submitted by JoeM on Mon, 2006-02-20 01:43

From the closing scene of the movie CLASH OF THE TITANS:

On Mount Olympus, the Gods reflect on the victory of Perseus over the Kraken:

"What a dangerous precedent...what if one day there were other heroes like him? What if courage and imagination were to become everyday mortal qualities...what would become of us?"

"Then we would no longer be needed! Until then, there is sufficient cowardice, sloth...mendacity...down there on earth to last forever..."

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Heads-up to Multiculturalists: Time to Change your Mind.

Peter Cresswell's picture
Submitted by Peter Cresswell on Mon, 2006-02-20 01:19

There is a widespread view that it is wrong to criticise another's culture, that all cultures are equally valid, and that to do crticise cultural practices or mores is insensitive, if not outright racist. This viewpoint, known as cultural relativism, is as widespread as it is wrong. As a view that purports to accurately describe the way the world is (rather than how we might wish it might be), recent events have made clear it is a viewpoint that is increasingly untenable. It is an idea in crisis.

Recent Comments:
Al-Jazeera WordCloud ... — by Duncan Bayne on Mon, 2006-02-20 21:48
Excellent article — by sanjay on Mon, 2006-02-20 19:33
I've said it before... — by jtgagnon on Mon, 2006-02-20 04:11

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Neighbours ignore murder, thinking it was a 'domestic dispute'

Duncan Bayne's picture
Submitted by Duncan Bayne on Sun, 2006-02-19 19:29

According to this NZ Herald story:

Residents of Fyfe Rd in Waihi Beach say they heard the muted sounds of a BB gun or air rifle and "blood-curdling" screams from a woman about 1.40 yesterday morning.

But they thought it was a domestic dispute and went back to sleep.

What kind of fucking retard would do that? I mean, even if they were a bit testicularly challenged, or perhaps didn't feel like actually getting out of bed to investigate & possible save a life or two ... what's wrong

Recent Comments:
Yep, the AirSoft thing did — by Duncan Bayne on Wed, 2006-02-22 21:25
The neighbours’ reaction — by CVert on Wed, 2006-02-22 20:25
I once saw a strange guy — by Robert on Sun, 2006-02-19 22:59


seddon's picture
Submitted by seddon on Sat, 2006-02-18 22:18

You can look the other way once and it’s no big deal, except it makes it easier for you to compromise the next time and pretty soon that’s all you’re doing because that’s how you think things are done.
You know the guys I blew the whistle on. You think they were the bad guys—cause they weren’t. They weren’t the bad guy--they were just like you and me, except they compromised--ONCE.

Jack Bauer - the hero of "24" This is from season one, hour one.

Recent Comments:
Choices and Decisions are the heart of '24' — by Rowlf on Fri, 2006-05-12 00:54
"24" — by seddon on Thu, 2006-02-23 19:13
Good Shows... — by jtgagnon on Thu, 2006-02-23 17:08

Gumbel No Fan of Winter Games

Ashley's picture
Submitted by Ashley on Sat, 2006-02-18 21:01

Have you guys seen this? I just had a discussion a few days ago about whether events like board-x and halfpipe events were "really sports" (yes, they are). But I have never seen anyone so angry about the Olympics!

"Finally, tonight, the Winter Games. Count me among those who don’t like them and won’t watch them ... Because they’re so trying, maybe over the next three weeks we should all try too. Like, try not to be incredulous when someone attempts to link these games to those of the ancient Greeks who never heard of skating or skiing. So try not to laugh when someone says these are the world’s greatest athletes, despite a paucity of blacks that makes the Winter Games look like a GOP convention. Try not to point out that something’s not really a sport if a pseudo-athlete waits in what’s called a kiss-and-cry area, while some panel of subjective judges decides who won ... So if only to hasten the arrival of the day they’re done, when we can move on to March Madness — for God’s sake, let the games begin."

Recent Comments:
Artistic evaluation vs. physical observation — by sjw on Fri, 2006-03-17 16:31
Great post Robert. I'm in — by Landon Erp on Mon, 2006-02-20 00:51
Hmmm — by Robert on Mon, 2006-02-20 00:25

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A Quiet Contradiction

Senator Willcox L. CO's picture
Submitted by Senator Willcox... on Sat, 2006-02-18 06:44

In 1955 Graham Greene wrote perhaps his most famous novel: The Quiet American. (Yes, Greene was a Catholic and socialist, but bear with me.) It is the story of a very cynical English Journalist in Vietnam during the Viet-Minh-French war. The book is made up of his experiences concerning a very idealistic, innocent, and bloodstained American. The story is less important to my article though, than the idea of the Third Force.
The Third Force is a small army led by a General Thé, a man who supposedly finds the imperialist French and Communists evil. He leaves the French and takes those loyal to him to a Mountain stronghold to wage war on both the Viet-Minh and the French.

Recent Comments:
Follow Up — by Senator Willcox L. CO on Sun, 2006-02-19 00:42
'Senator', you described the — by Peter Cresswell on Sat, 2006-02-18 01:10

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It's more humorous by the day!...Flushing a Baldwin out of the Bush (or something like that)'s picture
Submitted by on Sat, 2006-02-18 04:28

Well, it official! Dick Cheney is a terrorist, according to actor Alec Baldwin. Yep! That's right, Alec-I'm-leaving-the-US-if-Bush-wins-Baldwin posted this lovely gem of a quote on Huffington's post:

"Cheney is a terrorist. He terrorizes our enemies abroad and innocent citizens here at home indiscriminately. Who ever thought Harry Whittington would be the answer to America's prayers. Finally, someone who might get that lying, thieving Cheney into a courtroom to answer some direct questions."

To view the whole post, go here:

Younkins on Hegel

seddon's picture
Submitted by seddon on Sat, 2006-02-18 03:04


Thanks for your article on Hegel. Just a few thoughts.

1. “Kant thus proposed the paradox that the world consists of antinomies—contradictions that cannot be resolved.” But they can be resolved and Kant himself proposed the resolution. Hence the title of Section VI, in Book II, chapter II, to wit: “Transcendental Idealism as the Key to Solving the Cosmological Dialectic.” (i.e., antinomies).

2. “the State, . . . is an end in itself.” And yet Hegel can write, human beings “are ends in themselves—not merely formally, as is the world of other living beings, whose individual life is essentially subordinate to that of man and is properly used us as an instrument. Men, on the contrary, are ends in themselves in regard to the content of the end. This defines those elements which we demand to be exempt from the category of means: morality, ethics, religion. [Remember that for Hegel, religion is a primitive form of philosophy.] Man is an end in himself. (REASON IN HISTORY, 44-5)

Recent Comments:
Hegel — by Neil Parille on Sun, 2006-02-19 13:18

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God's Original Plan for Humanity

Ergo's picture
Submitted by Ergo on Fri, 2006-02-17 18:55


Assume that the Genesis story in the Bible is true.
Therefore, God exists.

God created man in His image.
Then he created woman out of man.
Strangely, however, God commanded Adam and Eve to not eat the fruits of the tree of life and knowledge.
In other words, God made man and woman in His image except for the knowledge and immortal life part. So, “His image” is quite questionable as to what it means.
It is said in the book of Genesis that before eating of the forbidden fruit, man had no concept of sin or wrong or evil. It was after having eaten the fruit from the “Serpent” that sin entered into the world. Sin implies immorality – which also implies a possibility of morality.

Recent Comments:
'The Bible'...simplified — by Rowlf on Mon, 2006-04-17 02:35
The Origin & the last 2000 years — by on Sat, 2006-02-18 04:58

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A Picture Worth a Thousand Words

Robert's picture
Submitted by Robert on Fri, 2006-02-17 05:53

A picture is worth a thousand words

Photo shot Feb 15th (I think) in Islamabad, Pakistan.
Hat tips: and URL=

Recent Comments:
Landon, here comes Pigman, striking terror against Jihad..... — by Bosch Fawstin on Sun, 2007-08-05 05:18
'Hate' Speech — by Rowlf on Wed, 2006-04-12 01:56
Pig Man — by Landon Erp on Sat, 2006-02-25 03:02

Some Levity About Cheney's "Hunting" Accident's picture
Submitted by on Fri, 2006-02-17 05:01

Amid all of the media and liberal hysteria, I thought this quote of the day was just so funny I had to it pass on:


BTW: For those people who don't know what a quail is (the bird that Cheney & friends were hunting, when the veep pulled the trigger and shot his buddy in the face), it is a helpless little bird found in the great American Southwest, that lives under bushes, doesn't fly (except in short bursts) and is typically marked with an oh-so-cute little plume on the top of their heads. Quails hatch their young, which then follow the hen around in a little line (kind of like ducklings). As helpless little creatures, they are easy to find, shoot & kill...Much easier than bin Laden! PLUS, they taste GREAT BBQ'd and served with corn and beer! Really, though, to "hunt" quail is a misnomer, as you can generally his them with a good wrist-rocket!

Recent Comments:
Depends on when you're shooting — by Wes on Fri, 2006-02-17 17:47
As a former desert dweller, — by on Fri, 2006-02-17 13:12
Perhaps a bit too tongue & — by on Fri, 2006-02-17 13:10

Don't get hooptedoodle mixed up with your story

Peter Cresswell's picture
Submitted by Peter Cresswell on Thu, 2006-02-16 23:38

Heard the one about the doctor, the hooker and the libertarian?

Peter Cresswell's picture
Submitted by Peter Cresswell on Thu, 2006-02-16 23:34

Heard the one about the doctor who's opening a brothel 'cos he's sick of the health bureacracy pushing him around?

A certain Dr McGrath spoke up for the doctor a week or so ago, and last night at a packed public meeting in Mangonui Julian Pistorius put in a word or two for the hookers -- or at least the erstwhile Dr Benson's freedom to hire them. (Apparently Sue Bradford, a strong promoter of the Prostitution Reform Act was "very sympathetic," but alas apparently washing her hair last night and unable to attend).

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