Materialism

Americans are so caught up in the idea of materialism through capitalism that they think that a pure capitalist system benefits everyone. The premise of capitalism is that everyone will do what advantages them or they die. Maybe not dead in a coffin and grave, but they would be homeless and incapable of competing in the market. The assumption is that people almost always will do what benefits them. For the most part I think it is a fairly valid assumption.

It lacks error handling. Many Americans care about their fellow human beings. The endeavor to help those who have made mistakes can be considered noble and merciful. Why is it necessary to help these people? Because all of us can and do make mistakes. Who knows when the homeless person is one of us?

Utilities are an essential aspect of life. They provide us those things that are necessary to function in society. Electricity, gas, telephone, cable, internet access. Did internet access surprise you? It shouldn’t… after all, how could you read this unless you or someone else has it?

A popular trend in this country is to deregulate access when large companies have too much control over a utility. We wanted to deregulate the long distance telephone companies to give smaller companies a chance. So these smaller companies can pay rent to the bigger ones? Naturally the bigger companies are at an advantage to limit access to resources as higher demand creates bigger prices.

We the consumers get screwed. The big companies get richer. We can’t go somewhere else because all of the small companies are getting screwed too.

The Computer Plan

Still hashing out the computer plan. Here is what I have so far… The end result is 3 computers (win 2000 x2, linux).

  1. The All-Around: This computer is a basic, normal computer that one could play games on (or with). It would not be the highest power gaming machine, but it would be just above normal. At present I am thinking that it should have at least 1GHz, 256 MB DDR RAM, 40 GB hard drive, great sound system (card and speakers), CD-RW, great video. Will spec this, but expect it to cost less than $2000 bought.
  2. The Graphics Machine: This toy is for doing web design and graphics design. This is the problem… I don’t know if I would want to get into video stuff, so I don’t know about the multimedia aspect to it. Here is what I have so far… best processor, 512 MB DDR RAM (2 256 cards), 80 GB hard drive, CD-RW, great graphics card. I’ve heard that few high powered cards are both great at video and graphics. Think I’d want to stick with graphic design and just take my chances with the video.
  3. The Linux Box: Since I really ought to be learning Linux, I could take my old 166 MHz and drop some cheap RAM and a bigger hard drive into it. This would give me a box to play around with Linux.

For all intents and purposes the All-Around box and the Linux boxes would be for playing (I like to install free & shareware programs). The Graphics box would be my stable box.

Netiquette

Netiquette or really any form of etiquette is not common sense. People in general do not know how to behave themselves in foreign cultures. As much as we might hate to admit it, cybercultures do abound and each have rules of behavior. They may not be posted, but members of the society know them. Many will be offended when these newbies, errm, newcomers enter the society and make blunder adter blunder.

So codify your rules (yeah, kinda like laws) so that newcomers will know what to expect. Also enforce them so that they retain meaning.