The Story of Aaron Swartz and What Entrepreneurs Should Learn From Him

Aaron Swartz was, in addition to being a young man of conscience, a poster child for the terms “computer whiz” and “child prodigy”. He was still just a child of 12 when he created the Info Network, a forerunner of Wikipedia, and by the age of 13, he’d already become a co-founder of Reddit and one of the authors of Creative Commons(1).… [Read more]

Government Spying and ME

No, “ME” isn’t an acronym for a data collection system. Well, I guess in a way it is, but this “ME” is simply “me”, or as I’m officially known (middle name omitted)—Patrick White. This post is about my feelings about the NSA looking through Verizon data and other systems that the government uses to “keep tabs” on us citizens.… [Read more]

From the Mouths of Babes: Free Speech and Technology in Schools

Mark Twain, sage of the 19th century Mississippi that inspired his Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, once suggested that when he was a teenager, his own father was so irredeemably stupid that the old man’s mere presence was unbearable ….and how amazing it was that the dumb bastard relic had got a lot smarter by the time Twain passed his 21st birthday.… [Read more]

Protecting Free Speech or Supporting Bigotry?

On the issues of censorship and free speech, the erudite liberal thinker John Stuart Mill wrote “If all mankind minus one were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind.” For, he argued in his treatise On Liberty, that “if the opinion is right, they are deprived of the opportunity of exchanging error for truth: if wrong, they lose, what is almost as great a benefit, the clearer perception and livelier impression of truth, produced by its collision with error.”

The liberal thinker John Stuart Mill was a strong proponent of free speech and expression.… [Read more]

Act Now by Saying ‘No’ to ACTA

Tomorrow in Europe, the protest posters and banners will state it clearly: “Say YES to an Open Internet by Voting ‘NO’ on ACTA.”  For those who aren’t aware, ACTA is the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement that is entering its final vote in the European Union’s parliament.

What’s the big deal? Unless it is voted down, online privacy as we know it will cease to exist.… [Read more]

In Defense of Reason Part 4: Sticks and Stones and Concentration Camps

On May 13, 2012 in North Carolina‘s Providence Road Baptist Church, Pastor Charles L. Worley publicly advocated the forced relocation, imprisonment, and subsequent death of gays and lesbians. Apparently not only does pastor Worley believe that a 100-mile-long electrified fence would be adequate to hold the entire gay population, but also that such an act of Christian charity would cause the species known as homo queer-ius to become extinct, due to the hereditary nature of sexual preferences.… [Read more]

No Free Speech In School

A high school Biology class is learning about genetics and cell research.  The class has already covered the memorization parts about terms and procedures, and have done punnett squares and other problems to be able to apply their new knowledge.

Their teacher has now had them read articles about bioethics in regard to patient consent in “donating” cells. … [Read more]