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Living Freedom Posts

A question for you: Movies about inspirational people

Somebody asked me yesterday whether I still write movie reviews for the print version of Backwoods Home. Officially, I do (Dave willing). But as a practical matter, I ran out of family-friendly, English-language films of interest to a rural audience a long time ago. P.T., the person who asked the question, hoped I would review biopix of inspiring people — particularly women. Thought that was a great idea. With two reservations. First, most recent biopix (aside from often being about dissolute folk who wouldn’t be welcome on many backwoods homesteads) are just giant mess-blobs. Take movies like “Ray” and “La…


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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More on the census and GPS tagging

In today’s earlier post on the census, I mentioned that, starting last year, census workers have been sent out to record the GPS coordinates of every residence in the U.S. Some people were surprised by that. So here are a pair of backgrounders. The first is totally mainstream — an NPR article from 2006 extolling the planned GPS program and mentioning its potentially “life-saving” virtues. (Although it does note, too, that private companies and others would sure like to get their hands on all that juicy data.) The second is a more recent, more speculative, and more alarmist piece from…


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…


“As a Man Thinketh”

This tiny booklet, “As a Man Thinketh,” (free to read online in various formats from various sites) is more than 100 years old. But I’d never heard of it until a nice guy, A.G., pointed me toward it. There are also print versions, including one transcribed especially for women, which A.G. was kind enough to send me. It’s not very big on how-to. But there’s much food for thought there for anybody who wants to change his — or her! — life, starting from the mind outward. (And doesn’t every author dream of having works in print for more than…


“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.


Thank you

Before I really get going here, I need to stop and thank Dave for inviting me to blog and Oliver Del Signore for setting up this page (and for doing more over the years than anyone will ever know). Thank you also to Lenie for the perpetual good cheer and support (not to mention her delicious recipes). To Lisa for being a patient and friendly author liaison. And of course, Annie for being there to carry the flag for another generation. I’m sure there are other BHM people whose names I don’t even know but to whom I owe a…

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What on earth am I doing here?

Well, pretty much the same thing I always do when I’m not in work-avoidance mode: writing about my old favorite topic, personal freedom. The name of the blog says it all. The writings here will be about “living freedom” in our own lives (rather than waiting or fighting for it to be politically bestowed). The blog’s name also says that freedom is a living thing. Okay, not a “living and breathing” thing like a dog or cat or you or me. But freedom will live as long as human beings breathe. As Viktor Frankl made so eloquently clear, freedom can…