What’s Going On 04

No ride today. It’s not just the cold front and high winds, but I’ve got too much to do. That is, there is a pile of stuff I really want to read, and I’m way behind on updating my commentary on the Gospels. And in order to do it properly, I also need the time to contemplate and pray about everything. My flesh isn’t as fast as my spirit.

I’m not going to use FreeBSD. I took a good look at the current state of things. On the one hand, I dearly love how FreeBSD refuses to commit harikari by moving away from the modular approach. One of the things that makes Windows so vulnerable is the highly complicated and centralized Registry. The whole system depends on it; get one little thing wrong and it refuses to boot. What’s in there carries more authority than you with your administrator password. You cannot overrule it, and it’s hellishly difficult to edit the thing correctly. It’s crazy that there is a permission structure that trumps the owner of the hardware with “system level” permissions.

This is part of the paradox of using antivirus software. It has to have that system level authority, but the software itself then opens doors to hacking in the process. AV software is no less buggy than any other software. Because of how the fundamental system design works with the Registry and that vendor-controlled permission structure taking things out the user’s hands, it simply is not possible to truly secure Windows. At some point this whole thing is going to fall apart, because hiding things from users doesn’t hide them from computer crackers, and the crackers keep getting better at breaking it faster than Microsoft can fix things.

Linux is harder to break because it began without any need for vendor controls; there is no “system level” authority. As the owner, you have full permission, and it’s awfully hard for someone outside the system to hijack that authority. Risky, but it’s all in your hands, and the information you need to exercise that control doesn’t come via expensive courses or a computer science degree. The system is not designed specifically to frustrate your control as Windows is. The information is free and open, widely available on the Internet in thousands of places. But lately the mainstream of Linux development has fallen into the trap of trying to centralize things under something called “systemd” — it’s the Linux version of the Registry. That is, it controls everything and when something in it breaks, there’s not a darned thing you can do to fix it. As development goes forward, more and more of the system functions are pulled into this thing. So, for example, while the kernel and the drivers have gotten better at handling hardware, systemd interferes so that suspend and hibernate now don’t work as well as they did before.

FreeBSD won’t go that route; everything remains modular by doctrine. It adheres to the fundamental Unix philosophy. But then, the FreeBSD community also has precious little interest in desktop use. That is, the number and expertise of people involved in making it useful on the desktop is not sufficient to resolve long-standing issues. For example, any web browser you can get on FreeBSD may not properly connect to the sound system, because FreeBSD sound is such a boondoggle. It’s a boondoggle in the sense that no one else does it that way (and can’t be bothered to help the FreeBSD folks at all). Most of the desktop software available to FreeBSD is written by folks who don’t like the FreeBSD approach. The whole FreeBSD operating system is designed to support server operations, and it does that better than almost anything I’ve seen, but it results in a system that just does not work consistently with the mainstream web browsers. The resources to modify the code and bring those things together just aren’t there. Those resources are heavily invested elsewhere. By the way, in recent years, the Internet presence of FreeBSD desktop systems has fallen dramatically, running somewhat less than 0.02%. No FreeBSD on my tower; it’s Xubuntu for me.

Just a reminder: Yours truly is a clownish fellow. Expect sarcasm and subtle humor; I don’t take myself that seriously. It’s my folksy ways that stuck with me since childhood. I was born and raised in a Southern Baptist family household. Unlike the prissy middle class suburbanites, we were educated peasants (some of us), rural Southern Baptists. When I left behind the Baptist theology — indeed, abandoned the entire Western approach to Christianity — I didn’t leave behind the folksy ways. Most of you, dear Readers, seem familiar with that Southern Baptist “charm” and can read through it to what I’m actually trying to say. You know that I still sound like them, but that they want nothing to do with the path I’ve taken, and vice versa.

I teach that God revealed Himself not in a mere document, but in a nation who left us some documentation. He built a nation that knew nothing of Western ways because that was His choice for revealing Himself and what we need to know about Him to live in Creation after the Fall. This puts on us the burden of striving to recover something of what that nation had from His hand (never mind that they threw it all away later). Their intellectual assumptions are the very foundation of revelation, so we have to understand them. You cannot read and understand the Bible in any language unless you have some idea how their language worked — and it shares little with English in how it worked. You cannot bring your English language assumptions to Scripture and get any useful answers; you cannot approach religion and spiritual questions from the Enlightenment epistemology. The Enlightenment is hostile to genuine faith. Southern Baptists remain firmly within the Enlightenment traditions and it really hinders their exercise of faith. I’m not a part of that, but I have found that my best service to the Kingdom of Heaven includes sounding a bit like them.


About Ed Hurst

Disabled Veteran, prophet of God's Laws, Bible History teacher, wannabe writer, volunteer computer technician, cyclist, Social Science researcher
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