Saturday, January 10, 2015
I am Charlie
I completely agree with the following, written by Onkar Ghate of the Ayn Rand Institute:
We call on everyone to post and publicize the content that these totalitarians do not want us to see, as we are doing here.The below images were among the latest excuses used by jihadist barbarians to murder human beings:
It does not matter whether you agree or disagree with the particular book, cartoon or movie that they seek to silence. We must defend our unconditional right to freedom of thought and freedom of speech.
My own contribution to the same sacred cause, made some time ago, can be found here.
The fact that these savages are claiming that a drawing merits execution speaks volumes. For starters, they are merely interested in telling people what to do, given the insignificance of the act they have focused on. And if this is supposed to be bad, I am sure they could have cooked up another excuse to murder the same people or someone else had these drawings never been made. The simple fact is, until we in the West choose leaders who will hunt these animals down, we are all in danger of being senselessly executed at the drop of a hat. Other than that, the only notice such acts deserve is explicit defiance -- not that going about one's daily life wouldn't "offend" these brutes.
In the bigger picture, let me express my disgust at the elevation of mere offense to the level of a capital crime, for which we can blame the multiculturalist movement. This movement has neutered our culture and made such slaughter a near-daily part of our lives. No one can live rationally in perpetual fear of what any random stranger might claim to be offensive, and it is beyond obscene to say, as some have, that the staff of Charlie Hebdo basically had it coming when they published those cartoons.
Let me suggest a thought exercise for anyone who thinks such commentators have a point: Imagine what your life would be like if you sincerely tried never to offend anyone. Now, knowing that there is evil in the world, imagine further what would happen when an evil person gets wind of your slavery to the professed offenses of others. That's right: Such people will very quickly put you on an unimaginably short leash. If drawing something is forbidden, what isn't? (And if murdering someone over this is supposed to be good, what wouldn't someone like this ask you to do?)
In today's atmosphere, it has become debatable that it is even a matter of bravery to defy murderous fanatics: If everything is a potentially a capital offense to some people, then why even consider the opinion they express at any given moment? (This is not to say that "arguments" based on a religious text deserve serious consideration, otherwise.)
"[W]hy does life have to be such a rush in the first place?" -- Michael Hurd, in "Pay Off Your Sleep Debt" at The Delaware Wave
"If your to-do list is realistic and based on a rational hierarchy of your concerns, you won't need to resort to rigidity to get things done." -- Michael Hurd, in "Being Organized: Not a Skill, But a Mindset" at The Delaware Coast Press
My Two Cents
The Hurd piece on being organized, when contrasted to many others, reminds me of the old saw about blind men trying to describe an elephant: He rightly emphasizes having a rational hierarchy of values while others often take this for granted or ignore it altogether as they discuss technique. That said, I think many techniques can be usefully thought of as needing practice. In my experience, this is particularly true of such humdrum things as grocery lists and vehicle inspections, which can derail doing what's really energizing or fun, if they aren't attended to. Some things do seem to "organize themselves" while others don't.
Another Reason to Learn Emacs
An "An Honest Letter from Your I.T. Department" reminds me of a few other benefits of learning the venerable, if arcane, text editor:
Although we refer to this as an upgrade, it is, at best, a lateral move. The software does the same things as before, except your favorite features have been moved to a place where you will never find them again. The features you never use, on the other hand, have been assigned keyboard shortcuts that are maddeningly easy to type. For example, "Hide All Menus" (Shift+E) or "Quit Without Saving" (Spacebar).Once I become fluent with this, I won't have to worry about some third party suddenly making big changes and negating much of the effort I spent migrating. Indeed, quite the opposite is true, as it seems that I will be able to modify almost anything to my liking.