MOVING TO WORDPRESS.COM

Starting today, I’m moving my posts to a site hosted at WordPress.com. The site is named “b.smat.us” which allows old links to still retrieve old contents.

However, anyone typing in the regular URL, or following one of the old menus (recipes, Maypole, etc.) will go directly to this new site.

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Time for Linux?

With international abuse being poured upon Windows 8 – experienced Windows users can’t even figure it out – perhaps it’s time for the General Public to start using Linux. The “desktop friendly” versions like Ubuntu are comparable to Windows these days, and OpenOffice or LibreOffice provide MS-Office features at no cost.

Unlike Windows or Mac, Linux and its software are all FREE. No cost for the software. None.

This is the time to make the break. When you buy a new computer, get a Linux computer. Yes, you’ll hate it. It’ll be completely different from your other computers. But then, so is Windows 8.

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Debt and Culture

I just read an interesting book review (posted on Salon, but originally from the LA Review of Books) about the role of debt in civilization and history. The book, Debt: The First 5,000 Years, was written by David Graeber, who apparently played a big role in the Occupy Wall Street movement. I’m not a huge fan of anti-capitalist polemics, and some Amazon reviews accuse this book of being such. However, the review intrigues me by arguing that historians have traditionally overlooked the role of debt in culture.

Intuitively, I agree. I see how debt leads to enslavement in various forms. The problem is that debt, like all economic mechanisms, is vulnerable to abuse. Perhaps that’s why the Bible forbade the collection of interest – it’s too hard to manage a primitive economy fairly when you have such a mechanism. On the other hand, the author  Hernando de Soto (The Mystery of Capital) argues that South American economies would become incredibly prosperous if the residents of favelas in São Paulo and other giant cities – as well as farmers in the countrysides – had legitimate titles to their living spaces and could mortgage them.

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