The Future in Open-Source


This is not a revelation at this point in time, especially to those who have been following the progress of open-source, or have been studying its economic advantages to proprietary software. Our societies have been moving towards open-source for a long time now, to the point where it is not a matter of opinion, it is simply a fact.

Out of all the open-source code there is out there, the one that is expanding the most is Linux, a free as in freedom kernel, which is being used on multiple OS’s in all areas of computing. The most common of which are Ubuntu, Red Hat, Cent OS, and Debian. All these have their specific areas in the economy. Ubuntu does a great job at providing an alternative to Windows and Apple on PC’s, while Debian is mainly used as either a PC OS for programmers, or a server OS, seeing that the Debian community has a version of Debian for servers. Red Hat and Cent OS are often used for super-computers and clusters. Finally, the newest member to the big league Linux OS’s is Android, which has dominated the mobile and tablet markets.

Again, this is not a matter of opinion, these are facts. In the following link, you can see how Android is dominating the mobile market. If you look at the following Wikipedia article (yes, I know Wikipedia isn’t meant to be a valid source, but you can look up the information yourself and you’ll find about the same thing), it shows how Linux has dominated the mobile market, the server market, it’s rising in the tablet market, and it has taken over the supercomputer market (the supercomputer market is no surprise though).

However, open-source is also dominating the gaming mark. The new PlayStation 4 that has recently come out is using FreeBSD underneath as an OS. Recently Steam (a game distribution platform owned by the Valve corporation) is creating their new SteamOS which is based on Debian GNU/Linux, therefore, it must be open-source by law.

However, the reason why Linux and open-source are becoming such an important part of the technological world, is because they allow flexibility and stability. Flexibility because it allows, not only companies and governments, but also every day people, to change the source-code to their own needs, apart from knowing exactly what is in there. This is why the U.S. military uses Linux (specifically Red Hat, which is U.S. owned), because they can modify it and change it to their needs, and know exactly what is in there. So the flexibility makes it very attractive to companies, governments, and individuals alike. And Stability because open-source will always be open-source (especially if it is under a GNU Public License). Even if Linus Torvalds (the creator of the Linux kernel) decided to close the source-code to his kernel, all the people that previously worked on the Linux kernel would then just use the previous source-code and create a new kernel based on Linux, and there will always be an open-source kernel, and there will always be an open-source OS. And because it is open-source, for the most part it is also free. Therefore, companies, governments, organizations, communities, and individuals alike, have a guarantee for life that they will always have a free, and free as in freedom OS.

How Entities Control Our Lives


We many times like to think that even if we are been spied on, and we have a government which is letting major corporations getting away with poisoning our food and water, that we are still free as individuals, and that we individuals do not willingly give in to our own incarceration. However, the truth is that we do, and not only that, but we think it makes us special, we think it makes us more important.

Most will not be wondering what I am talking about, but the problem is, we see incarceration and a dystopian society in a way similar to George Orwell’s book 1984 where there was a totalitarian government that controlled every aspect of our lives, and we hated it. However, what if instead of a government, the ones that are truly controlling our lives are multinational corporations, who play puppet theater with our government, and us.

Now, to what this has to do with you as a consumer, it has everything to do with you. Corporations have found ways to turn every part of our lives into a transaction, a business, something where they can make a profit. The most obvious example is the gym (in the U.S. cultural sense of the term, which is more like a club where people go to do exercise), where people take their cars to go to the gym to be there for an exact amount of time doing exercise that they could have done just walking around.

However, this applies to much more than just people wanting to do exercise. You have dating websites, which are taking an extremely personal part of your life and making it a business. They are taking something that should be personal between two people, a decision that they make by themselves out previous knowledge of each other, and turning relationships into a market where they can make a profit.

Then, there is also the fact that nowadays people are hiring mentors for their children. The process of which is basically that you give one of these associations a request, and they give you a well rounded person to mentor your child. Something that should be done by either the parents, or someone that the family, and most of all the child, actually knows.

Then, there are these friend associations which are where they designate your child a friend to play with, that is considered socially acceptable. Which means they are taking you friendships and turning them into a business as well.

However, what do these have to do with your personal freedom? The fact is that these are all central parts of ones life where associations and businesses are giving you and your family people to socialize with that are specifically socially acceptable, and therefore act like the majority of people. Where these organizations can make sure you never encounter other people who are interested (as I would suppose the readers of this blog are) in alternative ways of living, in going against the norm, in rebelling against the current system. These people can stop you from meeting anyone else like you, and therefore turn you into a mindless zombie that can only talk about yesterdays football match, and how drunk your going to get this Friday, and if you’re a girl, who is going out with who, and what clothes you plan on buying this weekend.

But not only that, but then we end up with a society where everyone is booked from dawn to dusk (and later) with activities. I know kids who from 7:30 to 14:00 they are at school, then they have after school activities that last until 17:00, then they go to work until 22:00, and finally come home to eat some crap food and do homework while watching the latest TV show. And as I said in my post on Free-Time, most of these kids don’t even need these jobs, they just want to be able to consume more and more. But then, on weekends, they go shopping, they have more activities, they go to the gym, etc. People have their whole life on an agenda, and the only way to organize a time to meet with these people is to organize it weeks in advance.

So be careful what you do in your spare time, and how many activities you sign up for (and more importantly, what activities you sign up for). And always try to have at least an hour of free-time a day where you can sit down and just think about things. Think whether you really need to be doing something, or even more importantly, whether you really want to at all. Because life is short, and if you’re going to spend it by letting it go by so you can live a life as the majority, it’s not a life worth spending. Live your life, don’t waste time on these useless activities that you don’t need.

La Diferencia Entre Trabajo Y Persona


“Todos como yo: usurpando un honor que no merecíamos con un oficio que no sabíamos hacer. Algunos persiguen sólo el poder, pero la mayoría busca todavía menos: el empleo.”

– Señor Presidente, del libro Buen Viaje, Señor Presidente de Gabriel García Márquez.

Esta cita de Gabriel García Márquez de su cuento “Buen Viaje, Señor Presidente” habla sobre un tema que nos olvidamos siempre. Cuando pensamos en nuestros políticos, pensamos en ellos como personas; o mejor dicho, no distinguimos entre el político como persona, y el polítoco como cargo político. Pensamos que aplicarían los mismos valores que aplican en su vida diaria que aplican en su oficio. Y por tanto, si un político have algo malo pensamos que es porque ese tipo es mala persona.

Como bien indica el Señor Presidente del cuento en esta cita, hay políticos como eso, gente a quienes solo les importa el poder. Pero, también es verdad que la amplia mayoría de los políticos no son así, y por lo tanto, haran una cosa en el trabajo, y otra en su vida cotidiana. No son los políticos como persona que están mal, es el oficio, y harán cualquier cosa en su oficio para ganar las siguientes elecciones.

La consequencia de esto es que la gente normal (osea, la mayoría de nosotros en cualquier país) lo vé de una manera tan simplísta, que cambiamos los políticos año tras año sin darnos cuenta que lo que falla es el oficio, no uno, sino todos, el sistema entero. Y hasta que no se cambia el problema de fondo, no se solucionará nada.

Western Culture


I wrote an essay for my Social Studies class on Google Drive, and I thought it would be a good idea to share on my blog. Click here to read the document, and you can ask me questions or reply to it here on my blog.

Thanks!

The Deterioration of Education


These days, education has lost much of it’s meaning. As capitalism has been expanding, schools have been focusing more on the entertainment of the students than expanding their knowledge. I will give the example of the U.S. since that is where I am currently studying, but this does not mean that it doesn’t happen elsewhere in the world, and if it’s not there, it will be. Here in the U.S. there are a few new philosophies of teaching that are going around, one of them is that teachers try to make the subject “fun” by adding useless things like videos, raps, or The Simpsons and using them as teaching methods.

The reasons people give for this kind of education is that they say one of two things: “everyone learns differently” or “we want children to love learning”. Now, here are my arguments for these. First of all, people do not learn chemistry through a Simpsons video, that is absurd. I did a little experiment with my brother, I made him watch one of these “Bill Nye The Science Guy” videos and after I asked him questions. He barely remembered things then, and when I asked him the same question a few months later, he couldn’t answer a single one. Meanwhile, try the same experiment with a book, and you’ll see that people will remember much more about the book than the documentary; especially if the documentary was made to entertain the students, not teach them.

The next thing about the “everyone learns differently” is that it gives even more reason to show you other ways to learn. The main method of learning they should teach in schools is by reading and writing, because those are vital parts of out society. For instance, if your a programmer and someone wants you to fix a bug, and they send you a word document on how to fix it; if you say “Could you put it into a rap for me? I can’t understand it if it’s not in a rap”, they will at first think you are joking, and if you aren’t, you will be fired on the spot.

Raps are good for nothing when it comes to education, and videos are only good for more physical things, like chemistry labs. However, this does not mean humor videos either, only serious videos about things like replacing bike parts or computer parts or something like that.

Now, as for the “we want children to love learning”, if you want children to “love learning”, you’re doing it the wrong way. You don’t teach someone how to play a sport by changing the rules of the sport, you make the child learn and adapt to the rules of the sport. Same in education, you don’t change education to make it fun, you make the kids think that education is fun, that learning is fun.

To make children love learning, you need to start early, and they need to be surrounded by an environment where learning is the most important thing. However, what people (especially parents) don’t like about this is that they have to make an effort to raise their child well; and for those who already have children, it means that they haven’t done their job as a parent. I know that if you’re a parent with a kid that doesn’t like learning I have basically insulted you by saying this, however, the best thing you can do in this case is to help your grandchildren.

Teacher’s also don’t like the idea that the learning aspect mostly happens at home, because most teachers like to think that they are a vital part of their students’ lives. Truth is, the teachers are as important as the child’s distant cousin that they barely see. This is not to say that teachers have not influence on the child or that they are not important, but don’t think that teachers are the key to everything in a child’s life.

The reason we like to think that teachers are the most important thing is because of Hollywood, which constantly makes movies of how a teacher changes a class full of delinquents to a hard studying class. Truth is, this never happens, and even if you ask the people that were actually involved in this event (since a lot of those movies will say “based on a true story”), you will see that they say that it wasn’t like that at all, that the teacher didn’t change the whole class, just the lives of a few people.

The best example would be this: you go to school with a group of other people, you are in the same classes and same teachers with all these people throughout high school. Why is it that you all end up very different, and some more successful than others? The reason is because the teacher isn’t the key.

So, in general, the key to how the child ends up is at home. So to make sure that the child grows up to be an educated woman/man, you would have to make sure that at home he is taught that education is important.

Now, when I say that you have to teach them that education is important, I don’t mean that you have to be persistent about their grades, only 100% on everything. What I mean is that at home, instead of watching CSI: Miami or the latest season of Supernatural, you should watch a serious documentary about science, or math, or something like that. Or instead of playing games on a computer, find a way to teach them how to program one (you could enroll them in a class, which I would be happy to help you find one, because I personally have a hard time finding good computer programming classes).

Now, this is not to say that this is all they should do, I am the first one who would tell you that the most important thing for a child is to have some free-time (which gives me an idea for my next post, because free-time doesn’t mean the same thing everywhere), and socialization with friends and family (by family I mean extended family) every day (I don’t mean you have to see your grandmother every day, I mean you have to socialize every day). All I’m saying is that when it comes to teaching you child, you should show them to learn, instead of passively consuming what others have already done. You must teach your child to be productive, not just a consumer.

In conclusion, I think that schools are going to wrong way trying to educate children, that they are wasting time with things that don’t matter. We can’t do anything about this to help others, all we can do is to help the people we know, and hope for the best.

Thanks for reading. I hope you enjoyed it,

Mentality


One of the mistakes we have in our societies is that we still think of things in a national and static way. For instance, when you ask people about whether a glass is half empty or half full, they will either say “half empty”, “half full”, or “both”. Now, if you viewed things from a dynamic point of view you would say “Well, it depends, are you adding water to the glass, or are you taking it out?”. Things are dynamic and changing.

Another real life example, when people talk about debt they usually say a number of how high it is (i.e. 3 trillion), but the correct way to put it would be to say if it has been increasing or decreasing, and at what rate. Otherwise the data is meaningless and you are wasting your time.

The other things about how we view things nationally, is that we always see things in the old mentality, as if economies and the environment were still more local. This would not have been such a problem some hundred years ago, but by now capitalism and the economy have gone global. Now, pretty much everything affects the rest of the world.

This is also meant for those who are politically to the left. A lot of leftists think that the U.S. is responsible for everything, and that’s not true. Now, I am not denying that the U.S. is the belly of the beast, the heart of capitalism, but we do need to change that mentality, because the real people to blame are the social and economic elite in every country. They are the ones responsible, not only one country.

The world has gone global, and we need to start thinking as they do if we want to fully understand how they are controlling and manipulating us.

Finally, the most important thing to do is to think of things like a system. For many years, we have thought of things with Newtons philosophy, that everything is but a piece in a machine, and if every piece is placed correctly, the machine will run smoothly. The problem with this is that too many things are connected these days that it has turned from being a machine to being a system. We need to start thinking of social studies in a biological way, as if it were an ecosystem. Because that’s what it truly is, everything is interconnected in so many ways that it is too complex to be like a piece of clockwork, instead it is a system with many connections, like the internet.

We are entering into a new era where this is the mentality that will be needed to fully understand why and how things work. Once we see that, we will be prepared for the future; once we see that, we will be ready to take advantage of it and perhaps make a better future for the human race and the other being that live here with us.

Philosophy: A Guide To Happiness


Last night I was watching a few videos by Alain de Botton, who I believe wrote a book in which these videos are based on. These videos are about six philosophers and their ideas on how to achieve happiness. The first one is Socrates on self-confidence, where Alain talks about Socrates and his ideas. Socrates thought first of all that everyone can be a philosopher, like I said in my previous post. He also said that once you have your own opinion to know when to stick by it.

Here is the video about Socrates, I will post the links with their titles below so you can watch them later, and so it doesn’t take up too much space or memory.

 

Here are the links:

Philosophy: A Guide To Happiness – Socrates on Self-Confidence

Philosophy: A Guide To Happiness – Epicurus On Happiness

Philosophy: A Guide To Happiness – Seneca On Anger

Philosophy: A Guide To Happiness – Montaigne On Self-Esteem

Philosophy: A Guide To Happiness – Schopenhauer On Love

Philosophy: A Guide To Happiness – Nietzsche On Hardships