Freedom From Microsoft v1.01

Freedom From Microsoft v1.01

It seems that with each passing year, corporations design more and more to take the common customer as a resource to be exploited - “owned” even. Why would I say this? As a direct analogy let's take a look at our Personal Computer – the PC – and its software.
 
The “Personal Computer” - the very name describes an object that is an extension of ourselves. The myth is that our PC functions to empower us - with memory, processing power, personal and social communication. The PC was idolized even before the Internet; but with the coming of the Internet, ownership of a PC became immensely popular, and even necessary. Microsoft rapidly accrued an immense fortune furthering the networked development of the newly popular PC. But even then there were signs that something was wrong.
 
Not long before the advent of the PC there was another, less-noted revolution – the revolution of the Minicomputer (“mini” as relative to the “mainframe”). Minicomputers offered affordable computer power to small organizations - academic institutions, research facilities, laboratories, development teams, small and large businesses, all took advantage of the new machine. System manufacturing firms such as DEC, SUN, PRIME prospered. And one thing the minicomputer offered was community – a minicomputer was a shared resource for multiple users. And most of the software that was available at that time was offered as program source code (text), as well as pre-compiled. It was in just such a community that Richard M. Stallman – RMS came into his own.
 
RMS, and many others like him, developed software to be shared on the Minicomputer. It is true that Richard inhabited something of an ivory tower, MIT to be exact, but MIT was really just a leading-edge example of the kind of computing that was being done in many places at the time. Anyway, a day came when RMS needed to be able to modify some of the driving software for a new printer attached to the lab minicomputer, in order to communicate messages of printer-jams to other users. To his amazement and utter frustration, Richard found that the program source code to the printer software was strictly NOT available, and he was unable to address the lab's problem.

 

Vote Your Preference

Vote Your Preference

The Yes/No vote is a very poor answer to our desire for democratic selection of leadership. Anyone who seriously considers their vote between candidates in an election soon finds themselves in a quandry: Should I vote for the candidate who seems to hold the same beliefs and values as I do - or should I vote for the candidate who could bring more jobs and prosperity to the region? One candidate may be very desirable because of his/her concern about global warming – while at the same time undesirable because they have previously received campaign donations from ExxonMobil – and yet again very desirable because of their stand on race and gender issues - while the opposing candidate may possess yet another conglomeration of desirable and less desirable attributes. The list of factors to consider goes on and on. But your vote is only a simple Yes/No!

Robots' Law

Robots' Law

Lately there has been a lot of talk about robotic devices. First it started with simple innocent robotic vacuum cleaners. Now are some embryonic yet quite promising attempts at walking, humanoid robots, their utility easily imaginable. Now the focus is self driving autonomous cars and military drones. And in Japan, there are in development some very life-like female robots which one can easily imagine will become "fully functional" at least for their "intended purpose" very soon. Considering the demand for such "companionship", these life-like robots will become in very large demand. On another front, military drones are in heavy use today and are fully capable of taking human lives and frequently do, along with many collateral deaths. For the greater good, we are told. For the greater good. These are the mainstay of "defense" in countries and areas with US interests but where the US does not want the mess and the Hassle of " boots on the ground". But, we are told, the actual death button is pushed by a human being in a nondescript building in some central state 15,000 miles away. Years ago, many of these developments were foretold or imagined by Isaac Asimov. A great writer as well as a consummate philosopher. He however, was imagining a more human oriented somewhat caring robot, meant to serve and protect mankind. His vision was for robots to be mans servants, not their oppressive Masters. Meant for Mankind's growth and betterment. In fact,in his book "I ROBOT" he went so far as to put forth 3 important and overriding LAWS. LAWS that all robots would follow. These Laws being for the betterment and safety of mankind. His laws were as follows:

Democracy's Slide....

Democracy's Slide...

I suspect that a Clinton/Corporate Media campaign used myriad depictions of the "populist" Donald Trump to distract us from the message being promoted by Bernie Sanders - and then that strategy gained momentum, got out of control… and Trump won the election! This could be seen as a cause for optimism: it seems that the voters had prevailed in the General Election, voting for the "populist" Donald Trump to win over the corporate-sponsored Hillary Clinton. Joy was misplaced however, and short-lived.

 

Fake News? Censorship.

Fake News? Censorship.

This morning's reflection over three cups of coffee:

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