I know my diary entries are intermittent but so is my
life. Thanks to badvogato for a very questionable
Really, I don't intend on arguing against the existance
of God. There are perhaps as many spoken unrational
arguments for the existance of God as there are spoken
unrational arguments against his existance. And lately, I
have concluded that little true wisdom can be percieved
from logic alone. As Spock once said "Logic is only the
beginning of wisdom, not the end." Wise man for a vulcan.
However, a conclusion on God's existance isn't needed to
wonder why people believe in God. Since there is no proof
and no real evidence for him, why do so many cherish this
belief? And that is why I said that is just one other
common dilusion that we as humans invoke. It answers many
of our philosophical wonderings--which it seems just as
much to human nature.
It seems that perhaps the most devout (if this word has
any true meaning here) atheists are materialists and can't
believe in a God since they, by definition, don't believe
in spirit. Also, it seems that many of these materialists
exist here in the hacker and technical cultures since it is
the material world that we spend so much of our time with.
And it is harder to believe in spirit when you learn of the
magic computers bring are really the products of the
material world--of electrons flowing through
semiconductors, forming logic gates which provide the basis
of further and further abstractions. In fact, it is the
materialists who most believe in artificial intelligence
(pardon the vague use of "believe") since they believe that
human intelligence can also be taken apart just as a
computer can be built.
In my last paper in English I wrote how I believed that
artificial intelligence was possible with computers and how
I thought that computers are universal machines. I no
longer hold that view. Because while some believe that the
nature of computers are numbers and the on/off nature of
Boolean values, some more thought leads me to believe that
the nature of today's computers is symbolism. Because while
in the material world digital signals rise and drop to
certain levels, it is we humans who interpret these signals
as one's and zeros. In fact, there can be no real
computation without programmers to hold within their minds
what these symbols represent. That is why we need
programmers and is why computers can't really program
But imagine a computer capable of symbolism. It simply
boggles my mind. But I believe that intelligence requires
the ability to symbolize and therefore AI with computers
isn't possible. Not that I'm an expert or anything.
Heh. Not trying to parrellelize "On God" with "On RMS"
or anything, BTW.
But I can't understand how people can expect someone as
fiercely individual and independent as Stallman to submit
his will to a more collective will. That is the very nature
of compromise and it is what people are asking of him.
People talk of dividing the community as a bad thing.
While, there are pros and cons--there is one release-
critical bug in the community as I see it is an unproven
theorem of "popular, therefore good". And that is why most
people here seem to be after. They want more users, they
want businesses to use the software they create. When
people speak of user interface policy--I can only think
that its the noncommercial form of marketing. Since it
seems that a nice interface is whatever interface that will
draw the most users.
Let me point at a different goal. "Whatever allows me to
do what I want to do is good." Extend this philosophy to a
community of users and developers and you get Unix and you
get Emacs. You get a flexible environment to achieve your
The thing is that humans are not very sophisticated.
Most of us will only use a computer as a fancy typewriter,
arcade machine, or messaging device. But for the rest of us
who have sophisticated needs, we have almost everything we
need to meet them needs. This is what attracts me to free
But I have to say the Stallman's ideals have been very
influential to me. The concept that software should be free
is a very challenging philosophy to understand. I am still
uncertain on its validity. If anyone wishes, I can