04 November 2009

Quotes on tragedies

Thanks to A.Word.A.Day with Anu Garg I came across these great quotations. Perhaps they struck me because some of my thoughts after listening to a podcast about George Orwell and beginning von Hayek's Road to Serfdom.

The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom.
- Isaac Asimov, scientist and writer (1920-1992)
The tragedy of modern war is not so much that young men die but that they die fighting each other, instead of their real enemies back home in the capitals.
- Edward Abbey, naturalist and author (1927-1989)

24 October 2009

Political Parties

I tried getting more involved in the political process last year and attended our county republican convention. In many ways it was an interesting day, but I was left with a bad, frustrated taste in my mouth. After that I registered as an independent/un-affiliated voter. In the state of Colorado this means that I can't participate in the caucus process, I am only able to vote in the general elections. I did this even with a continual frustration at the thought that supporting independent or third-party politicians is too often a 'wasted' vote.

This article by Robert Higgs lays out many of my own frustrations with the American political party system.
I go through life constantly bemused by all the weight that people put on partisan political loyalties and on adherence to the normative demarcations the parties promote. Henry Adams observed that “politics, as a practice, whatever its professions, has always been the systematic organization of hatreds.” This marshalling of hatreds is not the whole of politics, to be sure, but it is an essential element.

I find the following a bit extreme, but it easily finds sympathy within my own feelings and frustrations.
Of course, it’s all a fraud, designed to distract people from the overriding reality of political life, which is that the state and its principal supporters are constantly screwing the rest of us, regardless of which party happens to control the presidency and the Congress. Amid all the partisan sound and fury, hardly anybody notices that political reality boils down to two “parties”: (1) those who, in one way or another, use state power to bully and live at the expense of others; and (2) those unfortunate others.

I am torn by the feeling that as much as I hate the current system the only way to have any influence is to play their game. The way around this would be to help educate the rest of the citizenry, help them understand more of the political party system as seen in the light of the founding fathers' intentions to free us from undue influence and power in the government. Unfortunately, I feel that the apathy and distraction with which so many live their lives makes the latter course one of futility.

I see any change in the political system coming from an individual level and spreading by personal interaction and local efforts. It may take a long time, much longer than any one voter's lifespan, but I still hold on to a little hope that there are enough people concerned with abuses of power in government that the ideals of personal freedom may live on.

21 July 2009

Mozy unlimited

We have been using Mozy online backup for a few years now and it has been great. We have used the free home version that lets you back up to 2 gigabytes of data and backed up our key files.

With a move to a new computer and a desire to clean things up we decided to go for a full backup and signed up for the unlimited home backup service with Mozy. At less than $5 a month, unlimited storage size, and a fully configurable client for the mac it wasn't a hard decision.

16 July 2009

MLK jr

A thought:
Cowardice asks the question, 'Is it safe?' Expediency asks the question, 'Is it politic?' Vanity asks the question, 'Is it popular?' But, conscience asks the question, 'Is it right?' And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular but one must take it because one's conscience tells one that it is right.
-Martin Luther King, Jr.

26 June 2009

Truth from the past

It has been a while since I last blogged, but I appreciated the following observation from a few centuries ago.

No protracted war can fail to endanger the freedom of a democratic country. -Alexis de Tocqueville

11 May 2009

BCS insanity

I get as frustrated with the college football BCS system as most Americans, but it isn't something our federal government should be getting into.

As usual this has been around for a while. I pulled it off of Cafe Hayek. As Russell Roberts points out,
Words fail me. Except to note that when Congress spends time doing stupid things it shouldn't be doing, it is not doing even stupider things it shouldn't be doing.

30 April 2009


"Self-sufficiency is the road to poverty."

This idea is from Russell Roberts, an economist who blogs at Cafe Hayek.

At first I found this idea to be incorrect, as I prize self-sufficiency. However after just reading a small portion of Roberts' argument I see the truth in the statement. Wealth is a product of specialization and the division of labor; being able to trade with others.

Even though I see the truth in the idea, I am still trying to think what role self-sufficiency should play in my life. There is an amount of satisfaction that comes in being self-sufficient, but I think this is an attitude only held by those who are privileged with enough leisure that self-sufficiency is a choice rather than a necessity.