The Sovereign Cyborg

Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun. PDF Print E-mail
Written by Hash   
Thursday, 13 December 2012 19:01
Raj Mathur

Raj Mathur was a hacker with mad skillz, FOSS evangelist extraordinaire, and an all around awesome guy. His untimely passing yesterday is a devastating shock.

Raj was my Unix mentor. I will always remember fondly the many late nights I diligently worked through his whiskey stock while he sipped on his Old Monk rum, as we played with daemons, kernels, pipes, forks and sockets, and even kermit.

He was also my first ever business partner. Always the consummate professional, he made sure clients got more than what they paid for, on time, with full documentation and great support.

As one of the first and most active FOSS hackers in India, Raj directly touched the lives of thousands of FOSS users and developers all over the country, through his participation in conferences, educational initiatives, media outreach, users groups and mailing lists. His home was always a hive of eager young hackers with whom he freely shared the intellectual wealth of his considerable experience.

He was a man of broad vision and a love of freedom. He understood the risks to individual freedom posed by government surveillance and censorship, and campaigned tirelessly against such attacks on our personal liberties. Just a few weeks ago I was surprised to see him on ABC News in Australia, talking about the privacy implications of the proposed Universal ID card in India.

Above all, for me, he was one of my best friends. Despite his busy schedule he was always up for any adventure. His positive outlook and quirky sense of humour made him an awesome co-conspirator both in front of the computer and away from it. And when the chips were down, he could always be counted on to come through.

It seems impossible that a person so full of life and energy can suddenly be gone. I just can't come to grips with it.

Adios my friend. I sure hope you're out there in the Civilization of the Universe, enjoying some truly out-of-this-world psychedelic trance.

Back on Earth, you are sorely missed!


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How Many Idiots Does It Take To Screw The Lightbulb? PDF Print E-mail
Written by Hash   
Saturday, 28 March 2009 15:47

I just saw the stupidest thing ever, on Google's home page.

It's called "Earth Hour".

I'll let the geniuses at Google explain:

"Earth Hour invites one billion people in more than 2800 cities representing 83 countries to turn off their lights for one hour – tonight, Saturday, March 28 from 8:30pm to 9:30pm in their local time zone. On this day, cities around the world, including Paris, Sydney, London, Cairo, New York, Los Angeles and Cape Town, will join together to demonstrate their commitment to energy conservation and sustainability."

Beautiful. So taking us back to the literal dark ages - without electric lighting - is supposed to demonstrate a commitment to "sustainability".

Sustainability of what, I wonder. Of stupidity? Of ignorance? Of political propaganda posturing as science? Of the cancer of fascism and communism?

There is no need for energy conservation on planet Earth. Decades ago, human beings learned to harness the energy that is released by splitting atomic nucleii, the same process that powers the Sun. We don't have no steenkin' energy problem - we have a means of creating virtually unlimited energy! James P Hogan wrote a great piece about this long ago, titled "Know Nukes".

We do have a steenkin' envirofascist problem, and it has infected all of the world's biggest companies now.

And they want us to switch of our lights. Sit in the dark. Or maybe use candles? Oh no, won't that cause CO2 emmission? Better sit in the dark.

And maybe crawl back into a cave too. If it was good enough for homo erectus, it's good enough for us!

Yet another illustration of Packwood's Law ("Sufficiently advanced stupidity is indistinguishable from evil").

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iPhone / iPod Touch PDF Print E-mail
Written by Hash   
Sunday, 11 January 2009 17:39

Got me an iPod Touch 2G recently. That's an iPhone without the phone, the camera, and the integrated microphone.

Been playing with it a bit and I must admit it's more revolutionary than I expected it to be, from what I'd read about it.

For starters, it is eminently usable for even complex tasks with just one hand. That in itself is a giant leap for mankind - or cyborgkind.

Gun Control Claims 195 in Mumbai PDF Print E-mail
Written by Hash   
Saturday, 29 November 2008 00:00

The 26 November terror attacks in Mumbai have provoked outrage and widespread "condemnation" from all quarters. Everybody's calling for the government to "do something", "enact stricter laws", and "send a message" to the terrorists.

What most fail to realize is that attacks like the one in Mumbai are entirely facilitated by the Indian government, through its long-standing policy of keeping civilians disarmed.

It is a testament to the government's propaganda power that the statement above will provoke indignation from most Indians, who tacitly accept the government party line that guns cause crime and terrorism. Most Indians would be inclined to ask for stronger gun control as a means to fight terrorism.

But this is precisely the opposite of what's really needed.
Liberty and Immigration PDF Print E-mail
Written by Hash   
Monday, 21 April 2008 11:30

Just read a great article over at Classically Liberal, which neatly exposes the hypocrisy of those who claim to be "Libertarian" and yet favor immigration controls on the basis that as long as a welfare system exists, immigrants get something for nothing and so must be controlled and limited.

The article begins by pointing out the obvious, that further assaults on liberty are no solution for the problems caused precisely by previous statist assaults on liberty. It then takes off on a train of thought that blows away all the smoke and mirrors around the issue of immigrants and welfare, in much the same way as Bastiat puffed away the gaseous sophisms used to justify trade protectionism.
Be A Necessary Evil PDF Print E-mail
Written by Hash   
Friday, 18 April 2008 05:29

It's official. As reported by IWR, "Google's board is asking shareholders to vote down attempts to set up a review body to examine the company's role in human rights and to take any steps to stop web censorship."
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