The Tenth Commandment

When looking for something on the web, I’ve met the following thought:

I’ve never in my years as a Catholic Christian heard a sermon on the Tenth Commandment. We can’t possibly preach on “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s goods” because Western society is based on that. It’s called capitalism. Mass advertising tells us we need things none of us need. It sows confusion about what’s important for life. The level of need has moved to such a level of illusion and sophistication that what were once ultimate luxuries have become necessities. In our culture, people cannot feel good about themselves unless next year’s vacation is more luxurious than last year’s, unless everything is upgraded – while most of God’s people on this earth starve.

The affluent West has made happiness impossible. We’ve created a pseudo-happiness, a pseudo-success, a pseudo-security that will never satisfy the human heart. Most of God’s people are forced to learn to find happiness and freedom at a much more simple level. The gospel says that’s where happiness is always to be found.

That is about as traditional, old-fashioned, conservative a gospel as there, is, and it will never change. We have to keep saying it: There is a Tenth Commandment.

(from Preparing for Christmas With Richard Rohr)

Portable AllegroServe in action

So this site runs on Portable AllegroServe now. The main problem with AllegroServe was it couldn’t run CGI scripts on SBCL, but I succeeded in porting the corresponding code. It’s not ready for submitting a patch, but if you’re interested in it, tell me.

I’ve chosen Portable AllegroServe because it’s highly and easily configurable and written in Common Lisp (with no UFFI involved) so it’s easy to hack it when needed.

Web server software

It’s amazing how difficult it is to find a good web server other than Apache. I tried to find any web server which is regularly maintained, provides basic functionality (serving static pages, CGI scripts with arguments in the form of path, providing index files and virtual servers), actually works, is sufficiently documented, performs reasonable logging and is not too complex. thttpd, bozohttpd, Boa, Cherokee, Yaws, Twisted, Roxen, AOL, Portable AllegroServe all failed this criteria.

Finding working weblogging software which doesn’t use an SQL engine for storing its data and is well configurable may not be easy too. If you use Debian and try Pyblosxom, don’t use its sarge version suffering from a bug preventing it to run with some web servers, use the version from unstable.

The parasites try to charge us even more

The local entertainment industry organizations (e.g. OSA) already put quite a lot taxes on us here in Czech Republic:

  • They charge me for hardware I use for storing my own works and for making backup copies of damaged music CDs which I’ve already paid them for.
  • They charge me for media I use for storing my own works and for making backup copies of damaged music CDs which I’ve already paid them for.
  • They charge me for copying services I use for making copies of materials having absolutely nothing to do with the entertainment industry.

Their greediness to take money from people for nothing seems to be unlimited. They are already infamous for various ridiculous attempts to dig money anywhere. Now they try to start us charging even for buying mobile phones. I hope they won’t succeed.

Taxes on devices primarily used for recording copyrighted works make sense. Of course it’s good to pay artists for their works we like. There are still problems though, i.e. I guess at least some of the artists I like are not OSA members (honor to them!) so they don’t receive any single cent from my spendings on recording devices.

But charges on things like tools for work and data media? They charge us for buying media regardless we use them for storing our data or copyrighted works of other people. Given that they succeeded in stopping CD lending offices in our country!

Why should I pay for storing my own data and works? And even worse, why should I pay for them to someone whose products are stupid and inferior (actually they should pay to me if I have to listen to them in public places)? I hope a system in which I could pay directly to artists whose works I actually like instead of paying to artists united in organizations charging us for buying computers will establish sometimes.

In the meantime, I suggest to use reusable media, using scanners instead of charged copying services, buying mp3s instead of CDs, etc. whenever possible. It’s considerate to our living environment anyway.

Vega Strike

A few days ago I dreamed about flying a space ship. Now I’ve found it’s actually possible thanks to the Vega Strike game. Although Vega Strike doesn’t run on my computer very well and I don’t have time to actually play it, it’s nice to see another high quality Free Software project.