Sunday, 30 October 2011


I've been hanging around Slashdot (yes, i'm a nerd, fuck off), and i came across the story about Anonymous threatening Mexican drug cartels for kidnapping one of their members. Now, aside from the fact that this is a highly unlikely and unusual story in the first place, the comment section quickly descended to the whole "War on Drugs" thing. I admit i might be a little biased on this matter, but i always was pro marijuana legalization. Well, not always, but you get what i mean.

So, one of the commenters wrote a lengthy post that is so true that i will just quote the (almost) entire post here. Have a nice read, folks.

As for your "less incentives for the drugs to come here in the first place" plan, I agree wholeheartedly. Legalizing marijuana would be a phenomenal step in social management, as well as reducing the financial support we give to entities we can nearly all agree should not be profiting from us. I don't think it will "drop the value of all those illegal [drug] runs to zero", since we have pharmaceuticals crossing both the Mexican and the Canadian borders on a daily basis - apparently, it's orders of magnitude cheaper to ignore the patent-based monopolies in the US and acquire (supposedly) the exact same chemicals quasi-legally over the border; at least, that's what the spam in my inbox seems to indicate. Not just for "V1@GR@", but a wide array of prescription medications, everything from pain pills to antibiotics.

Marijuana has been clinically proven to be less physically damaging than either tobacco or alcohol (both of which are legal, albeit age-restricted), even with long-term usage. It keeps the (consuming) population docile, and it's incredibly cheap. Taxing it sounds like a great idea, but even just decriminalizing it would hit the drug cartels harder than sending 100,000 troops down to shoot at them, and it would hurt them where it matters: in the wallet. Why import it from Mexico, when it's so much less expensive to get it (literally, even) from your own back yard?

Marijuana grows in just about any conditions, that's part of the reason for the nickname "weed". Outlawing it is akin to outlawing carbon dioxide; how do you stop it? It has taken decades of strenuous effort to get rid of most of the "naturally occurring" cannabis growing alongside our nation's highways, never mind in a planter on someone's back porch. Criminalizing marijuana has simply given the cartels a (in effect, government-granted) monopoly on its production and distribution.

Patty Hearst and the paper industry were responsible for outlawing marijuana in the first place, because it was an economic threat - it's cheaper to make paper from marijuana than from trees. An acre of cannabis produces more paper than an acre of trees, because you can harvest every month instead of every few years. An acre of cannabis also produces more oxygen per year than an acre of trees - and it grows faster than the trees, with much less maintenance required, making it a much more renewable resource with a smaller carbon footprint. Add in the fact that you can grow hemp in a field with other plants, whereas trees pretty much exclude anything except grass, and the hemp seems (from an objective view) to become much more economically viable and environmentally friendly than many other products.

Hemp fiber is extremely versatile, and can be used to make all kinds of things that are currently made from less renewable resources - paper, clothing, rope, and even plastics and bio-fuels have been made from hemp. For example, replacing cotton with hemp would increase production by several orders of magnitude - cotton requires an entire growing season to become usable, whereas hemp is mature and ready for harvest in a much shorter time, allowing multiple "growing seasons" in the same amount of time; in addition, the cotton is confined to boles, whereas nearly the entire hemp plant is useful for its fibers.

As for its use in "self-medicating", it is interesting to note that "industrial" hemp has so little THC in it that it's barely measurable - you could smoke an entire industrial hemp plant and only receive a headache and burning lungs for your troubles. I don't recommend requiring that property in the legalization, mind you, because I believe that its medicinal properties far outweigh any negative arguments. While I have heard of people smoking too much and passing out, I have never read a news article claiming someone died from an overdose of marijuana. Ever. I have on my refrigerator a newspaper clipping where a man was arrested for walking into a convenience store to use their microwave to dry out his stash, but I have never heard of someone smoking marijuana and then robbing a liquor store. Alcohol leads to more domestic violence in this country than one would think possible, yet I have never heard of someone getting stoned and then beating their wife to death because "her" dog peed on the living room carpet. Again. Potheads do some really ridiculously stupid things, but I've never encountered one who could be said to be violent due to their use of marijuana. Poor judgement? Sure. "Obtain twinkies" rates higher than "pay electricity bill" sometimes, you know how it is.

Violent anti-social behavior? Not so much. Hitting people takes effort, man.
Voted "most likely to sit on the couch"? Absolutely. Hey, dude, you got any potato chips?

Better still, if we had a legal option for "getting high", one that doesn't come with an annoying and debilitating hangover the next day, then people might choose not to pursue the illegal options (read that as "the dangerous ones") such as cocaine, methamphetamines, heroin - you know, the ones that make people violent, or that kill the users outright. They might also choose marijuana as their "legal drug of choice", instead of (for example) alcohol, leading to comparatively healthier and less violent recreational drug usage (Go ahead, tell me alcohol isn't a recreational drug, or that it doesn't cause violence. I have a truckload of reading material for you; why don't you start with Googling "Correlation of Alcohol and Domestic Violence").

Why bother with the expensive stuff that can kill you and/or get you arrested, when you could use an inexpensive, legal, and relatively safe alternative? Why risk being being arrested for domestic violence, when you can toke up with your spouse, sit on the couch, and giggle while discussing deep philosophical issues such as whether anything would happen if you were driving your car at the speed of light and then turned on your headlights?

Speaking of driving, I'm not suggesting that we get rid of any of the safeguards we have in place - operating a motor vehicle should be done while clean and sober, full stop.

If it weren't for the legal issues, and the fact that pharmaceutical companies can't patent it, marijuana would be hailed as a wonder drug. Despite these perception issues, it is used in several states to combat cancer (or more accurately, the side effects of cancer treatments), AIDS, and mental illness.

So, with all of these positive things to say about this plant, and very few negative things associated with it, why has our government spent absurd amounts of money trying to not only criminalize, but actually demonize it? Perhaps it is a matter of being "too cheap (or too prevalent) to tax"? Or perhaps the government employees making all that money "fighting the war on drugs" just don't want to find new jobs. Despite this, this drug is still amazingly prevalent in our society; I defy you to name somewhere in the US that one cannot simply buy a bag from someone within a few miles of any given urban location.

Why criminalize something that pacifies its users, making them less likely to commit violent crimes? Why criminalize a substance whose users are more docile and easier to catch if they do break a law? Most importantly, from a capitalist viewpoint, why grant a monopoly to organizations outside our control, allowing them to amass power and wealth because of senseless and puritanical regulation on our parts?

Couldn't have said it better myself.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Boycott jewels and bubbles!

These two games, while seemingly innocent, in fact promote racism and holocaust-like activity. Just look at this!

These two games both share the same principle - start on a board full of diversity, cobble together similar items and destroy them once you have enough of them together. Therefore i advice anyone and everyone to boycott these two games on the grounds of being racist abominations that should not be.

Friday, 21 October 2011

Gaddafi is dead

OK, guys, it's now official - Colonel Muammar Gaddafi is dead. Hillary Clinton screamed "wow!" and laughed out loud. I bet lots of people don't really have a clue about who's the real villain here.

You fought a good fight, Muammar. You weren't always right, but you are a warrior, and you died like one. Shame on your cowardly enemies. Shame on us all for allowing this to happen.

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Steve Jobs gave god no glory

I rarely see such stupidity. Seriously, this is way beyond what i would consider ridiculous. Some Baptist bitch claims that Steve Jobs had a huge platform and didn't use it to "give God glory".

You know what, Mrs. Margie J. Phelps? Boo fucking hoo! I wonder how many people will find your sentiments not inducing a metric fuckton of laughs. First of all, if God is so great and all - why the fuck he needs to be given glory in the first place? But that's beside the point actually, because i'd also say that you're not giving God any glory either. You're a disgrace on the face of Christianity. You're making a farce out of somewhat sane religion. Of course, having baptists, protestants, orthodoxes, catholics and a million of other Christians is already a farce, but, to their credit, there are some good people involved. Sometimes. Those people, are, however, sane despite, not because they appear to serve God. I already had a big rant about religion, and this "woman" is exactly the kind of pitiful idiot that doesn't get the religion at all.

Also, there's this another thing. Steve Jobs was a Buddhist. He was under no obligation to give your god glory. Apparently, that escaped the poor bitch. She just keeps whining about how God created iPhone for the purpose of her telling the world that Steve Jobs will burn in hell. Uh-huh. Pride comes before the fall, bitch, you should know that. In fact, she had already fallen. At its roots (that is, in a Bible), Christianity is a peaceful religion - thou shall not kill, thou shall love your neighbor and all. But apparently, the more "blessed with God's will" the individual becomes, the more killing and hating on people becomes negotiable. Yea, that's a direct quote from George Carlin, i know that. I love the guy.

But that's not all, folks! We have another winner! I've never mentioned this guy before, but i've always found him a bit... well... strange sometimes. I mean, to his credit, he is the father of what is now considered a big movement towards liberation of our computing, and he continues to work towards that goal, and has come to very notable achievements. Yes, i'm talking about Richard M. Stallman. The weird bearded guy who invented GNU and GPL. Unfortunately, somewhere along the ride he became an enemy of common sense. Well, he wasn't a very good friend of common sense to begin with, but his recent antics are way beyond what i consider passable.

Basically, he said that Steve Jobs, the creator of computer jail made cool, is gone. And a bunch of other stuff. In short, he wasn't very fond of Steve Jobs. Now, i kinda agree with what he said. Apple is computer jail made cool. I once had an Apple iPod, and the only reason i was using it was because i could install Rockbox on it. I am going to buy me a MacBook soon, but only because i can install Linux. I will never buy another iPod, and i will never buy an iPhone because recent iPods and all iPhones don't let me install whatever i want on them.

But the thing is, Steve didn't just bring anal slavery to whatever he touched. His company, while being a fanboy breeding center, while bullying and trolling other companies with bogus patent claims and trademark infringement suits, while locking the fuck down their own OS and their devices, still maintains or contributes to numerous OpenSource and Free Software projects like WebKit, Darwin, CUPS, Bonjour (aka Zeroconf), GCC and a bunch of other stuff. It also made Free Software better by showing that "look, you fucking stupid freetards - usability matters!". It's mostly because of OSX being so pretty we now have all glossy and slick Windows, GNOME and KDE. Apple's iOS is mostly what's made Android happen - the innovations iOS brought into mobile scene greatly influenced both Android and other projects like Maemo/Moblin/MeeGo/Mer/Tizen/whateverthefuckelseLinuxbased.

Don't also forget Steve's Pixar and wonderful cartoons they made - starting from Toy Story and upwards to Wall-E which literally made me cry. Steve Jobs was no angel, that's true, and i despise every single bit of his software, his ways of locking everything down and many other things - but you've got to admit that 1) it wasn't all bad, and 2) the guy was genuinely one of his kind in that he had a clear vision, an idea, a world he imagined and then built, and made fucking billions off of it you cheapskates!

So, to conclude, Margie J. Phelps - you can suck my dick. You're probably doing this to get some money out of Steve's remaining family and to bring some attention to your church of idiocy. In other words, you're an attention whore. And RMS - you can suck my dick too. True, you have achieved something that wouldn't be possible without you being such an asshole, but you're still an asshole, and you can suck my dick. Just because.

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Why GPL doesn't suck

I have recently stumbled upon quite a few blogposts bashing GPL for being "less free" than BSD/MIT/whatever licenses.

The main argument is almost always the following: basically, GPL forces developers to release the source code. Whatever modifications they make, they must release the source "so the whole community benefits". This is somehow presented to be an argument against the "freeness" for GPL and GPL ends up being accused of hypocrisy. I see this as complete bullshit, and here's why.

In GPL, developers don't matter. It doesn't matter who wrote the code, and why did he/she wrote it. It doesn't matter whether they did or did not make money off it, it doesn't matter if they did it as a hobby or professionally, it doesn't matter if they existed at all. What matters is the code. It's not the work of developers that gets licensed, it's the code that gets licensed.

How does that possibly make sense and what implications does it have? The BSD/MIT/Apache/whatever license is aligned to the interests of developers. Ideally, a developer doesn't really care if his code gets seen, used, forked, relicensed, whatever, as long as he is attributed and given credit - in other words, developers often look at their work pragmatically. However, the GPL license is not aimed towards developers, it is aimed towards the code. The code itself, whatever the modifications, should exist and should be freely accessible, freely modified and freely used.

All the people that bash GPL for being "unnecessarily" restrictive, miss the point of freedom. There is no freedom to do whatever you want. There is only freedom to do anything you want as long as you don't infringe on other people's freedom. You have your rights, but you have no right to take away rights of others. Thus, when you close the source code - you take away my right to read, copy and modify the code. And while you as a developer might want to take away that right from me (or allow others to do that), that doesn't mean that you can have that kind of freedom.

Friday, 7 October 2011

If Steve Jobs was Michael Jackson

What if Steve Jobs was Michael Jackson? If Apple was his band, and iPods, iPads and other iDevices were his albums?

Would there be any "1st generation iPod reissues" and "remasters"? Would there be collector's editions of all the iPhones, conveniently packed in one box and costing hell of a lot more than they would normally cost? Would there be any "complete box set" of all things Apple?

Would the sales of Apple IIe boost because of Steve's untimely death? Would there be people who hunt down second-hand and "unauthorized" iPhone sales? Would there be people who prevent people from giving you iPhone to your friend?

And why do we allow this to happen to our music? Why are we allowing to collect royalties for something recorded 20, 30, 40 years ago instead of giving it away and sharing the beauty of the works of art? Why are we holding on to Beatles instead of moving the fuck on with our lives and embracing new stuff?

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Steve Jobs no more

Rest in peace, Steve. I hate your gadgets, i hate your bullying of other companies, i hate the mindless consumerism and gadget objectification that you have inspired... I hate a lot of things about you.

BUT! I have never ever seen a person like you. A person, of which i hate just about everything, and still have a deep and everlasting respect for. A visionary. A brilliant technologist. A man capable to make religion out of a smart phone. A man capable of surrounding himself with the best of the best. A man capable not of fulfilling the markets, but of creating the market. A man capable of not listening to the customer, but of telling the customer what he needs and why he needs it. A man capable of making the whole world to listen to what he says. A man capable of thinking different.

You are my hero.

Rest in peace, Steve. You deserve it.