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Journal Journal: FreeMeshNet : Making Free Speech Free

Not being a technical person, I literally learned about wireless mesh networks just this week after reading about the MIT One Laptop Per Child project. I was immediately fascinated by the concept of mesh networks and did a web search to see if there was a chance I could be part of one.

No such luck.

Imagine if free speech were free (well $50 one-time hardware cost)

Why can't a free wireless mesh network made up of individuals who buy $50 wireless access points, plug them in to power and their own PC, download software and flash the access point, and then become part of a free wireless mesh network with their neighbors.

The technical know-how is beyond me, but it seems that if every household and business became part of the Free Mesh Network, we'd have fairly good coverage. And there would always be the Slashdot type geeks who would be working on providing long haul connections between community meshes just because they like to do geeky things.

We Don't Need No Stinkin Internet

Why would FreeMeshNet need to connect to the Internet? It would be free to connect your own web server to the mesh. And if there is a significant customer base on the FreeMeshNet, you can bet that businesses will be joining the mesh and providing access to the FreeMeshNet that they now provide on the internet. I can see search engines wanting to catalog the FreeMeshNet the same way that they catalog the internet. If we build it they will come.

Would a FreeMeshNet make all communications free?

A friend recently mentioned to me that he thought it would be neat if cell phones also could connect to an open wireless access point and make Voice Over IP calls. A FreeMeshNet would make Mobile Voice Over IP possible. And what about wireless net appliances like televisions and radios? Almost anyone can then have a television or radio station that broadcasts over the FreeMeshNet.

What do you geeks suggest as the next step in making free speech free?

United States

Journal Journal: Is the American Economic Bubble Getting Ready to Burst?

I've always likened government spending under this administration to a person who doesn't want to work so they quit their job (lower taxes) but maintain their standard of living through spending their home equity (trade deficit) and maxing out all of their credit cards (federal budget deficit). Sure, the economy can seem like it's doing great when you're spending 500 billion you don't have.

What happens when there's no more credit left?

From Reuters on August 27, 2005
"The housing boom will inevitably simmer down," the Fed chief said. "As part of that process, house turnover will decline from currently historic levels, while home price increases will slow and prices could even decrease."

Greenspan's latest house price warning came during concluding remarks to an annual Kansas City Fed symposium -- his last as Fed chief and one focused on a retrospective of his 18 years at the Fed. Greenspan intends to step down at the end of next January.

The central banker famed for Delphic utterances offered an unusually blunt assessment of the challenges he sees facing his still-unknown heir and his views of issues such as inflation targets, economic imbalances and the budget gap.

On Friday, he warned investors not to assume rises in the value of assets such as stocks and homes were "structural and permanent" and that the buying power fueled by those price surges could evaporate if buyers turned wary.


Journal Journal: Women's civil rights & the declining state of science in 12

I just joined Slashdot and read a posting about the declining state of science in America. http://politics.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=05/08/23/2012204&tid=126&tid=166&tid=219&tid=14

In the news it seems that all of the big investments and discoveries in science are coming from other countries. While here in America the Super Conducting Super Collider is just a hole in the ground and we can't even get the 30 year-old technology space shuttle to work properly.

But the attack on science is not only about technological superiority. Most people don't realize that the extremist religious right attack on science is directly affecting women's health and civil rights. I don't see any quick way to win the War on Women, but I've been talking with a friend and we do have a three point battle plan.

1. Build credibility for science fact and discredit faith-based science fiction.
2. Use science to establish when human life begins. Choice will never win if a human life is involved.
3. The government has no right to interfere with a woman's civil rights when there is not another life involved.

First, we need to stop talking about choice and start talking about science. The best weapon to use against the right wing extremists is the truth. And truth is what Science is all about. The extremist Christian right is anti-science because they know they can't win against the truth. We automatically reduce the credibility of faith-based science fiction by building up the credibility of science and science facts.

We need to make these messages a part of our every day life. Waiting in line is one of the best places to plant seeds by striking up conversations with those near you. When the opportunity opens to introduce a political thought, do so! But don't force it unnaturally. A couple of the things I do whenever someone brings up creationism is to ask, "Aren't those the ones who still believe the earth is flat?" I also like to reframe it as devolution because their thinking is taking America backwards. Devolutionists may look like men, but they think like apes. Their backward thinking is trashing the scientific foundations that took America to the moon and made us one of the strongest nations on Earth. Have we done anything amazing since the moon?

Second, we need to establish when human life begins. After establishing science as the authority on the physical world and religion as the authority on our spiritual life, we use science's credibility to establish when human life begins. Observing how our bodies work tells us spontaneous natural abortions of a fertilized egg occurs about 50% of the time. A spontaneous natural abortion is the loss of a fetus during pregnancy due to natural causes.

If God intended human life to begin at conception then why does God's creation spontaneously naturally abort 50% of those fertilized eggs? Spiritually that raises the question of whether God wastes souls. If our faith tells us that human life is precious, and science tells us that half of every conception ends in a spontaneous natural abortion, then Human life doesn't begin at conception.

Let us use our intellect to end this debate with a summit of recognized scientific experts from around the world to determine when human life begins. Until that question is answered, we cannot win the fight to keep government out of our health decisions. Nor should we want to win that fight if it means the taking of a human life.

Third, after it is determined when human life begins, it's a simple enough case that the government should not interfere with women's civil rights. If human life does not begin at conception, the government has no jurisdiction over a woman's medical decisions. It's her body, it's her right.

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The power to destroy a planet is insignificant when compared to the power of the Force. - Darth Vader