February 13th, 2009


Just say no to persecuting minorities

On my way into the supermarket, I was hailed by a stranger asking me if I wanted to support the fight against drugs. I just looked at him like he was crazy and moved on.

Actually the word he used in Norwegian was "narkotika", narcotics. This is how all illegal drugs are called here in Norway, regardless of whether they have any narcotic effect or even the opposite. This offers a first glimpse into the abyss of ignorance in which the whole debate takes place. The debate being not about whether we should allow people to retain their God-given freedom, but how much we should persecute those who choose another pleasure drug than the one popular with the establishment.

If mankind survives to evolve another inch, our persecution of drug addicts will be universally reviled in the same way as we today revile the slave trade, the pogroms and the witch hunts. And they will be ashamed to descend from people who were not content with merely being evil, but praised their evil as a virtue and a duty.
  • Current Mood
    cranky cranky
Type, Computer

Lesser rant

I don't think anyone can reasonably accuse me of being anti-American. But something is wrong when you can't buy an Asian computer and run an African operating system on it without paying a quite noticeable fee to an American corporation that has contributed nothing of value to the deal.

Yes, I am still opposing the Microsoft Tax, or the fact that computers are not sold separately from their operating systems. With an unshakable duopoly bordering on a monopoly, this is exactly one of the few cases where government should intervene in business. As already Adam Smith pointed out, businessmen can hardly get together without conspiring against their customers. For the market to function as intended, monopolies and non-competing duopolies must be broken.

How would you react if you could not buy a car without buying insurance from a particular company? If they told you, "sure you can get insurance elsewhere, but you still have to prepay this one first and you won't get it refunded." Not happy, I think. Why should PC users be more tolerant?

Putting my credit card where my keyboard is, I have ordered a MS-free netbook (Acer Aspire One) while they still exist. Because the only way for me to encourage MS-free computers is to buy them. (Those of you who are politically active may have other channels, but I am not destined for that.) According to Wikipedia, "Acer has stated that it will be pushing Linux aggressively on its new laptops and notebooks." One may hope that today's economic climate will boost this, but who knows. In any case, I am vindictive today. Besides, my tooth is already dead so a new computer is in order. This will be for the commute - I have none in that weight range today, except my pocket PC/mobile phone. (Which incidentally runs Windows and cost a lot more.)