This weekend’s biggest news was that my favorite Linux distro, Crunchbang (#!), was being discontinued. One of the most compelling things about the world of Linux, and Free, Libre, and Open Source Software generally, is that it is so often controlled and directed not be some big organization, but by individual people–up to and including Linus Torvalds himself. Of course, there are the big companies and nonprofits that create much of the “major” distros on which the great variety of smaller distros are based, things like Ubuntu (Canonical, Ltd.), Fedora (Red Hat, Inc.), Debian (The Debian Foundation), and OpenSuSe (Novell). But while based on these big ones, so many of the distros–and countless smaller software projects–are executed by single people or small groups, creating boutique experiences that cannot be replicated by larger entities. There are, of course, so many positives and negatives to “boutique” anything, and these must be weighed and analyzed–but that deserves a larger meditation than what I can provide here. Perhaps a larger essay someday soon.
But regardless of all of that, with the discontinuation of #!–shut down by the sole developer because of personal reasons–I feel the sadness one feels when a favorite mom-and-pop has closed. And so I spent a fair amount of time this weekend deciding on a new distro and backing up/setting up/and tweaking my machine for this new distro. I decided on Trisquel–a much more traditional desktop than #!, and not as swift and nimble perhaps, but perhaps more visually attractive in its own right, and intensely devoted to privacy and freedom. We could all use some more of those, I think.
- The Problems with Television as the “new novel”
- The French contra gender theory
- Liberty and ownership in a digital society. Reading this, and reflecting on its implications for the technologies we use (reflections which seem to be underdeveloped in the essay), reiterates to me the importance of FLOSS–and tells me that embrace of FLOSS should be a conservative goal, perhaps even more so than a leftist one.
- “Engaged Humanism,” and a strategy for helping the humanities rise from their institutional graves.
- “‘I don’t want to be right-wing,’ [Scruton] says, ‘but I just am.’” An exploration of Scruton-the-man from 1996; this expressed sentiment is one I precisely share–it would be much easier, and perhaps even more pleasant, to be a liberal.
From my ongoing series of photographs of rural churches, this gem from a South Georgia village.
This photo taken from the excellent site Vanishing South Georgia, and all photographic credit goes to the proprietor of that fine venue.