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Category: Practical Freedom

A broad category of things we can do, or things others are doing, to increase personal freedom

Linux: This time, it really IS time

Every once in a while, I beat the drum for Linux. I swear it’s not just for geeks any more. After all, I’m no geek and I’ve been using Linux — and watching it get better and better — for 12 years. Windows users usually ignore me when I bang my Linux drum. Ah well; so it goes. But a couple of things happened recently that convinced me Linux has finally, truly, really, no-kidding gone beyond being a contender against Windows for the average desktop user. It has become clearly superior to Windows for the average desktop user. So, you…



Panama. That’s where I was for most of the last month, as several people astutely guessed. I went because it’s freezing here and warm there. That was nice. I went to recharge my batteries, as Kevin Wilmeth put it. I went to play tourist. I went … just to go. And I went to answer the question, “Can I be more free outside the U.S.?” A lot of Americans have expatriated or retired to Panama, including a few I know. Some have urged me to head down that way and have a look, saying they found the place much freer,…


More on free-market medicine

Travlin’ … Sorry for the “lite” posting the last few days. I will have more soon. But fact is that lazing, shopping, and basking in the sun don’t make exciting blog material, alas. Neither does routine traveling (even when you’re wedged into a strange little jumpseat next to a lavatory that has no water and whose door keeps flopping open every time the bus hits a bump). Ah well. In the meantime, I see that James Dunlap has an article on about free-market medicine outside the U.S. His piece is different from, but reflects the same values as, my…


More un-American acts

Lorri, my traveling companion, speaks scarcely a word of the local Furrin. But this morning she was able to walk into a pharmacy, raise her glasses, display an allergy-swollen eye, and walk out with a cream that would have required an $80 doctor visit in the U.S. Testing the system, I went into two pharmacies and showed a card on which I had written (courtesy of a request for a certain other pharmaceutical. I gave its generic name and all the brand names I could find online. In both cases, women behind the counter identified the drug by its…


Does anybody know …?

I’m going to be traveling soon (more about that in the coming weeks) and will be spending time in places where you Don’t Drink the Water. Or else. I already know about some common pitfalls and mistakes. I know, for instance, that you also Don’t Use the Ice Cubes. And Don’t Eat Fruit unless you’ve peeled it yourself. Ditto on not eating raw veggies, which may have been washed in the Dreaded Water. (Which pretty much blows my whole nutritional plan. Ah well.) I’ll brush my teeth only with bottled stuff. But I can’t figure this: Can you wash dishes…


New level of search privacy

Dr. Katherine Albrecht — who is as beautiful as she is intelligent and (I can personally testify) as kind as she is gorgeous* announces via YouTube a new level of search-engine privacy to debut this [now LAST] Thursday. The search engine she represents, StartPage (aka IXQuick in Europe), already bills itself as the world’s most privacy-respecting. This week it adds a proxy service to, “… revolutionize the way people surf the web by allowing completely anonymous access to virtually any page on the web. … We are upping the ante by allowing users to privately visit the websites they find…

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The census and the death of civil society

One more reason to resist the census, courtesy of that great thinker and great lady, Wendy McElroy. One way in which civil society breaks down — and social engineering ascends — is by making individuals turn against each other so that the peaceful activities of my neighbor are seen as harmful to me. Most of the current arguments for participation in the American census are based on the idea that my desire for privacy damages society. How? Last year one of my acquaintances was thrilled to get a job doing preliminary census work (e.g. GPS tagging other people’s homes). She…


Money and “The perfect is the enemy of the good”

The other day, I noodled about that famous Voltaire quote. While googling the phrase, I came across series of 14 articles on the Get Rich Slowly site. (The ninth article in the series is “The Perfect is the Enemy of the Good.”) Since avoiding unnecessary debt and financial dependency are among the basics of living free, I thought I’d toss the series to you for a read. It’s filled with solid advice even if you don’t aim to get rich, slowly, quickly, or any other way. In fact, the last article in the series is “It’s more important to be…


“The perfect is the enemy of the good”

Voltaire, a favorite philosopher, said, “The perfect is the enemy of the good.” So did Gustave Flaubert. And apparently also Joseph Addison. Plagiarism or just “great minds”? No matter. It’s a fine thought, and I try to remind myself of it when I’m otherwise inclined to say, “Oh, to heck with even trying.” Perfection and procrastination are evil twins. Unfreedom is their kissing cousin. Because we can’t have perfect results, to heck with it; we just won’t bother. This losing game is as true in self-liberation as it is in learning to draw, building a house, running a marathon, or…


Thought for the day: Using our freedom

“To know how to free oneself is nothing; the arduous thing is to know what to do with one’s freedom.” — Andre Gide Wouldn’t exactly say freeing ourselves is “nothing.” But I suspect Gide meant simply that it’s easier to break free than it is to know how to make the best use of the freedom we win. Seems to me that if we envision first how we want to use our freedom, we’ll be more inspired to figure out how to begin.