Monthly Archives: September 2005

It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.

–Aristotle

Autoclave to DBAN

For years I have been using an autoclave floppy to securely delete my hard drives. Well, autoclave is no more but its creator is recommending another linux-on-floppy formatting disk known as Darik’s Boot and Nuke (aka DBAN.) The author of Autoclave has this to say about it:

DBAN has much better hardware support, better customization options, a better selection of erase methods, and a better user interface. It is better than Autoclave in all respects I can think of, and I say that as the author of Autoclave.

If that was not high praise enough, it should be pointed out that DBAN is used by the National Nuclear Security Administration to safely delete old hard drives.

SMB Invoicing

Newsforge has a nice tutorial on setting up a invoicing system with OpenOffice.org. It’s mostly aimed as small business markets who store their customer information in a generally available address book; but the information might be useful as a tool for SMB open source consulting.

Two for Today

Got a couple really cool links. The first is by a guy who built his very own Sentry Gun. Its made from an air-soft bb gun but who cares. That is what I call home defense!

The second link is 20 CSS tricks. Things like making rounded corners without images, styled lists, tab bars, etc.. Very cool stuff if you are into web design. Just make sure you are running a real web browser (i.e. non IE.)

Failed Ideology

American “bashing” has been a part collegiate academia for the better part of the twentieth century. One of the reason for this is the fundamental nature of professors to question the status quo. This role is entirely justified (and even required) in a free society. However, many of those outside of academia have noticed that this skepticism seems especially focused on the capitalistic nature of our democracy. Why the intensity of disdain for our American style capitalistic democracy?

Lee Harris writing for in the December 2002 issue of Policy Review says that at least part of it stems from the failure of progressive socialist Marxism. Specifically liberal socialism attempt to salvage Marxism by restructuring the theory of material separation (the immiserization thesis) from an absolute difference to a relative one. However, Harris points out that doing so invalidates one of the primary strengths of Marx’s “Communist Manifesto”; namely that the failure of capitalism rested on weakness in its fundamental nature and not some perceived Utopian ideal. Restructuring for relative differences put modern socialists in a position where they were pursuing a theoretical ideal; something Marx himself wholly condemned. Regardless if you agree with Harris or not; his article is wonderfully interesting and worthy of a weekend read.

Freedom: Part 2

Nowdays it is sometimes held, though wrongly, that freedom is an end in itself, that each human being is free when he makes use of freedom as he wishes, and that this must be our aim in the lives of individuals and societies. In reality, freedom is a great gift only when we know how to use it consciously for everything that is our true good.

-Redemptor Hominis

Freedom negates and destroys itself, and becomes a factor leading to the destruction of others, when it no longer recognizes and respects its essential link with the truth. When freedom, out of a desire to emancipate itself from all forms of tradition and authority, shuts out even the most obvious evidence of an objective and universal truth… then the person ends up by no longer taking as the sole and indisputable point of reference for his own choices the truth about good and evil, but only his subjective and changeable opinion or, indeed, his selfish interest and whim.

-Evangelium Vitae