Nothing can hold meaning without context. A lot of what I write, think, and do is informed by a lot of implicit context. This page is an attempt at making some fraction of that more explicit.
I value consent and freedom from violence and violent coercion above pretty much all else; most of my attitudes and opinions are based on the fundamental idea that we human beings should not be forcing others to do things they do not consent to doing.
It is an astounding thing just how much of our modern civilization is built upon a total lack of respect for this concept. A huge number of our daily interactions in society are a result of someone using violence or the threat of same to force a second party to undertake an action, and it’s utterly disgusting. It’s further disgusting how many people seem to be oblivious to this, or, worse yet, okay with it.
It was a sad day indeed that I realized that the majority of the people in our society, instead of abhorring violence, are actually quite hungry for it given the right circumstances.
I live parallel existences out in the internet that are completely and utterly fictitious. Since I have worked in an unusual way and have lived in a kind of unusual way, of course the world reacts by attributing a certain persona to me. I can live with it. I know who I am. That’s enough.
— Werner Herzog, Mar 2020
In an unjust society the only place for a just man is prison.
— Henry David Thoreau
Being all equal and independent, no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty, or possessions.
— John Locke
“Do not remind me that it pertains only to this life on Earth. I am concerned with no other. Neither are you.”
— Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged
Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add ‘within the limits of the law’, because law is often but the tyrant’s will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual. […] No man has a natural right to commit aggression on the equal rights of another, and this is all from which the laws ought to restrain him.
— Thomas Jefferson (in a letter to Isaac Tiffany)
If the government derives its power from the consent of the governed, then how can it possibly be justified that the government can legally keep secrets from those it governs? Can one not consent without being fully informed about that to which one is consenting?
Without being informed, consent is meaningless and irrelevant, and such a consent (necessarily from a subset, and likely a minority subset, of those being governed) cannot legitimately be used as a justification of keeping secrets from the governed.