So, keep your eyes on www.madphilosopher.xyz/ for future posts and exciting news.
I recently acquired a new domain and host for the MadPhilosopher blog. I'm trying to get it all set up and teach myself wordpress along the way. So, for this week, I won't be posting daily resource suggestions. I hope to still get a main post out at the end of this week, though, and I will likely be posting it on both this site, and the new site.
So, keep your eyes on www.madphilosopher.xyz/ for future posts and exciting news.
A friend of mine is trying her hand at being a DM for D&D 3.5. She asked for tips on helping noobs roll and level characters. I was happy to oblige, as I have a hard time, sometimes, with helping noobs roll their first characters and getting up-to-speed. I wrote up a quick set of steps and tips, with page numbers and everything.
I tried to make it into an infographic, but it was a pretty shameful attempt. as such, I uploaded the raw text as well, so you can actually read it.
Today's resource suggestion is a tool that I use about three-to-five times a week. Or, rather, an article about an invaluable tool. This article is an excellent discussion concerning the nature of the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Covering the methods, philosophy, and history behind the encyclopedia, the author explores why the SEP is the high-water mark of internet culture and it's role in society.
The author also addresses the strengths and weaknesses concerning the SEP, when compared to other resources such as Wikipedia. Addressing nearly every aspect of the SEP, this article is very useful in explaining how it works and why... unfortunately, they do not appreciate the fact that the SEP is currently funded by theft. In a free world, either private universities would be sustaining the SEP or, more likely, the SEP would be supported by private benefactors or hosted on MaidSafe, sustaining itself.
True to form, as a "philosophical encyclopedia", the SEP covers a wide array of subjects, many of which pertain to the daily life of non-philosophers. I have recently begun linking to SEP articles in my main blog posts, as it has come to my attention that I'm using vocabulary words that normal people have a hard time grasping. It seems to have helped at least a couple of my readers, and I think the SEP can help everyone understand the world a little bit better.
The Beastlick Internet Policy Commission Outreach Team recently produced a new media license, similar to the existing GPL license. However, unlike any other media license, it does not hinge it's enforcement on the violence of the state being used to enforce it.
As a matter of fact, it is the only valid license that allows use by anyone EXCEPT governments and government employees. Enforcement of the license hinges on honor and shame as opposed to the violence of the state used to enforce the benighted concept of intellectual property.
As is the case with all things created by Michael W. Dean, the BipCot NoGov License is simultaneously something functional and farcical. It is functional as a legitimate media license that operates in the typical legal jurisdiction of copyright, EULA, and copyleft, granting the user of such a license some degree of protection from the insanity of IP laws and courts. It is also farcical at the same time, mocking the entire system of copyright law and courts, hinging its enforcement on shame and disallowing government use demonstrates the anarchist ethos in a peaceful manner.
So, if you make anything and put it out on the market, I recommend you follow in teh footsteps of HYPERCRONIUS and Ninja Trek, by licensing it with the only anarchist media license that currently exists:
Due to licensing issues with Weebly, this blog is only partially covered by the BipCot license, but once I secure my own domain and host, you can rest assured that it will be fully covered by the BipCot license.
It's been a while since I've blatantly ripped off Tom Woods. Today is a good day to do so, though. Today's recommendation is Atlas MD.
"How would medicine possibly help the 'underprivileged' without socialist, nationalized healthcare?" Dr. Josh Umbehr, from Kansas, has a demonstrable and tested solution to just such a question. A thorough but simple exploration of his model of free (in the liberty sense, not monetary sense, but it's pretty damn close to no-cost) medicine recently appeared in Tom Woods Show Episode 481.
A project as simple and ambitious as Atlas MD is going to take some time to gain momentum, but the numbers recounting his success don't lie. His primary project is upholding the Hippocratic Oath while his secondary project is to encourage other physicians to do the same.
If people become more aware of this revolutionary approach of "charge a reasonable price and allow the market to do it's job" and ask for it, medicine may become a respectable career choice by the end of my lifetime.
AtlasMD has a podcast feed, blog, and a page oriented at helping other doctors join the free market. I strongly recommend that you listen to the podcast episode, and then talk to your primary care physician about it (and maybe ask about bitcoin, as well; my doctor takes it, and so should yours).
Windows 10 is great,as long as you fix it first. And by "fix", I mean "turn everything off."
Microsoft has a tendency to build a decent system, and then heap mountains of bullshit on top of it, turn it on by default, and charge you for it. More concerning than your machine doing things that you don't know about, or Microsoft trying to charge you for it, is the reality that each one of these settings presents a serious security risk.
Even though everyone knows why security is important (even if they choose to ignore them), it's important to remind people that even if you've got a boring vanilla machine that you use exclusively for words processing and email, these security risks open ones machine to being used by malicious crackers for whatever nefarious purposes. I am occasionally called upon to help people get a machine running after it bogs down or breaks... every time, it's so riddled with bitcoin miners for ISIS, data miners from the NSA, ad/spyware for evil corporations, tor nodes and proxy gateways... and any one of these things can, if the government so chooses, get one landed in prison or killed.
So, in a manner of speaking, making sure you don't use the default settings on Windows 10 is a life-or-death situation. Here's a handy guide to at least pretend you're being cautious.
And here's a short song about just one of the many ill-advised portions of the License Agreement:
Today's resource suggestion is a little odd. It's a Facebook Group that every parent on Facebook should be a part of. "Child Protective Services Victim Support Group" Is a group founded by Carlos Morales, a former-CPS-enforcer-turned-whistleblower. As Morales is prone to bring up in interviews, Child Protective Services is merely an extension of the DEA and a method of controlling the livestock population through the rhetoric that the state owns your children.
Anyone and everyone who has children can become the target of CPS for any reason. Usually do-gooder neighbors calling out of concern, opting out of the nationalized healthcare system, or simply because CPS has quotas to fill. The Facebook group is a point of contact between potential victims of CPS and people that know the system firsthand and can help sort through all the legal fictions in order to protect their children from the kidnap industrial complex. Even if you're doing everything right by the state (which is horribly, horribly wrong), you may find yourself under the scrutiny of these people, therefore, you ought to be a part of this group and in-contact with Morales or someone else, just in case.
I still haven't figured out how I feel about Adam Kokesh, the man. I know very little about his philosophical groundings, as well. However, this is a paradigm case of Nonviolent Communication in action.
If anyone read the book (or at least my post about the book) and was skeptical of how it could possibly work, here is Adam Kokesh turning what would have likely escalated to the point that somebody would die into a deep intellectual conversation in which someone was forced to address the shortcomings of their worldview.
Bitcoin, as both a technology and as a currency, is an invaluable tool for the rise of freedom and decentralization. There are those in governments (especially the US government) who understand this and are doing their best to smother it in its crib. The remainder are ignorant and happen to be blundering their way into attempting the very same sort of abortion.
Fortunately, the government cannot regulate Bitcoin, they can only regulate the points of contact between Bitcoin and the legacy systems that the government controls. This, of course, has made access through exchanges and more traditional methods of exchanging one form of money for another quite difficult and somewhat risky. Fortunately, where there is a market demand, the market provides:
Purse.io is a simple solution to a ridiculous problem. Much like Brawker, a previous endorsement of mine that has since gone out of business, Purse.io allows one to essentially use their credit/debit card to buy Bitcoins.
Basically, someone makes a wishlist entry on a site like Amazon and places an appropriate amount of bitcoin into an escrow wallet to purchase that item. You then order that item form their wishlist. When they receive the item, the bitcoin is released from escrow and sent to your account. Congratulations! You've just got yourself some invaluable magic internet money.
The process works in reverse, as well. If you want to spend your newly-acquired Bitcoin to buy something from Amazon (say the price jumps in value 600% again and your $50 in BTC becomes $300 in BTC overnight), You need only to make an Amazon wishlist entry and to place enough bitcoin to make the purchase worthwhile to another Purse.io user (people frequently get amazon products at a 5-25% discount buying in BTC) and just wait for someone to fulfill that wish.
I've only used the service once, but the UI was seamless and easy to use, the instructions were clear and simple, and I managed to get my Bitcoin right away, courtesy of same-day shipping on Amazon. This is a great starting place for people who are bit-curious but intimidated by all the paperwork and regulatory bullshit associated with using fiat to buy crypto-assets on exchanges.
The first podcast I ever downloaded, The Partially Examined Life, is a perennial staple of my podcast-listening and self-education. Their Zero Episode does a great job of introducing their project. I have gotten the most out of their podcast by reading the material ahead of time, listening to the podcast, and then talking to someone (anyone) about the material discussed and trying to tease any kind of intellectual response out of them.
Previous attendees of my mostly-defunct philosophy club will recognize several of these episodes and ideas. I understand several of the earlier episodes (my favorite ones) are behind a paywall these days, but people have to make a living, right? They're up on iTunes and all the other podcast aggregators.
My favorite episode is probably their 100th episode... however, their commentaries on Camus, MacIntyre, Antigone, etc. are amazing. I recommend starting at the beginning and moving on from there, as they do build on past episodes in order to be able to address higher-level and more esoteric concepts later on.