Posts Tagged ‘freedom’

The Government Qwns Your Body

June 26, 2009

…at least according to The Supreme Court of Canada.

Most at the CBC seem quite happy with this decision – that a 14-year-old-girl’s rights were not violated when she was given a forcible blood transfusion against her wishes.

Read that again.

To me, this is one of the most horrifying decisions any court has ever made. The Court has said, essentially, that this girl did not own and control her body. Not even her parents owned and controlled her body.  The Manitoba Child and Family Services department did.

For the record, I abhor the idiotic, superstitious nonsense that is religion and what it does to people. But so long as no one is harmed by this choice except the person making the choice or others that consent, then, yes, one is free to believe any mythological baloney they want.

Sometimes being free means letting people make choices that are not those we would make, or even choices that are wrong, or choices that are based on idiotic beliefs.

That girl was not being beaten, not being starved or otherwise abused against her will. She made the choice knowing the probable consequences. And no one but her would pay those consequences.

Ask yourself this – would you want some fundamentalist Christian sect or Muslim sect that somehow attained power to have this same power over your children, the power to invade their physical bodies against your wishes and theirs?

“Saving lives” is the same excuse used by the Chinese government to harvest the organs of Falun Gong prisoners. After all, if it means saving a life – especially the life of a child – why shouldn’t the state be able to invade your body against your will?

It is the excuse the fetus fetishists use to try to take away a woman’s right to choose or control her body as well.

That is exactly what this decision says – given a good enough reason (decided by them, of course) the state has the right to violate the bodily integrity of someone against their will, or against the will of their parents or legal guardians.

That is horrifying.

Don’t let our natural instinct to help a child open us to giving the state the power to control our bodies. That is far worse than one 14-year-old girl making a bad or stupid choice and dying.

iPhone Agorism

May 21, 2009

It’s hard to be part of the counter-economy.

Most people want to be free of the clutches of the state and the manipulation by their corporate benefactors and lackeys. Agorism and counter-economics is, theoretically, a perfect way to starve the state and ignore the corporations, to “grow a new society within the shell of the old” as Kevin Carson is wont to say.

Of course what works in theory is harder  to do in practice.   Often, for most people, counter-economics brings up visions of “black markets” where nefarious people buy drugs and guns, indulge in hookers or take giant, risky leaps of faith like refusing to pay their taxes. For most it is a scary, dangerous leap that prevents most people from engaging in counter-economics who would like to.

But what if there was a small step, a small almost unnoticed action one could take that would start the journey? What if there was a way to join a counter-economy while still maintaining a facade, at least, of being a “law abiding citizen” and still participating in the regular economy on occasion?

There is.  If you own an  iPhone, jailbreak it and join in the growing market in applications for jailbroken phones.

Jailbreaking is easy and safe (and reversible) and opens up whole new worlds and capabilities for your phone. What it really does, however, if free you. YOU actually “own” your phone. No more restrictions on software and use implemented by Apple in order for them to enforce their monopoly on where these phones are used or from whom you can get applications. You also get capabilities (already built into the phone but turned off by Apple) such as a full bluetooth stack or full motion video and sound.

The iPhone is actually a high end 400 Meg desktop computer from 1999, but with modern graphics and 3D acceleration, an always on modern, high-speed network and a large hard drive. And it fits in you pocket and can make phone calls. But Apple won’t let you harness the full potential of this. Even after selling it to you, they seem to think its still “their” phone. Anything you can run on Unix, BSD or Linux can be run on an iPhone.

For the consumer, there is a wider selection of applications, both free and comercial covering a wider range of functions. Admittedly some are of a lower quality than the official App Store (Cycorder mentioned above has a pretty bad UI) but some simply blow away anything the App Store can offer. The consumer can still buy from the App Store, but now has alternatives and can can choose to purchase apps with capabilities not allowed by official Apple App store applications – record calls, scramble voices, games etc. And as more people use these alternate sources, the better the quality will be, from competition and the action of a truly free market.

For the developer and entreprenuer, applications for jailbroken phones opens avenues for better, more productive offerings (because Apple’s restrictions are gone) but also opens avenues for more revenue. As a legitimate Apple iPhone Developer, I can testify to the high barrier to entry of Apple’s process – it took months to get my acceptance to the program (while larger companies took days), still cost $99 USD, had a complex system for phone provisioning, and requires numerous, onerous tax forms to be filled out before they will accept applications to the App Store. They are know to reject apps for vague or no reasons and not provide pointers for developers to make the changes needed. Once in the store, Apple gets a 30% cut. This makes getting updates and add-ons out to clients very difficult and slow (though, to be fair, rumour has it this might be changing in iPhone 3.0).  The jailbroken app market is wide open. For the cost of creating a repository and maintaining it on a web host, a developer and entrepreneur can be to market almost imidieately and push out updated, changes and add-ons just as fast. One can give away or sell their applications and use a variety of payment methods not available in the App Store. And none of it need be reported.

It is a near perfect market and a real world demonstration of agorist principles that is easy to do and available to anyone of the 10 million+  iPhone users in the world.  Really own your phone, put on it what  you want, buy from where you want, earn money from your efforts without being forced to give up a cut or to pay the taxes against your will. For most people this could be the first, and easiest step into the counter-economy and truly the first step into “jailbreaking” their lives.

Jailbreak your iPhone and gain your freedom.

(or use an Android based G-phone and get all this without jaoilbreaking…;-) )

Update: Learning to proof read…thanks Mike