I plan to not just explain why I love open source software (libre software) but why I’m not fond of proprietary software. First I think it is best to help people gain a minimal understanding of what open source software is. In terms of open source, the meaning of “open” in this particular description is freely available/visible. Source code is the code written by a software developer, it is written in one of the many programming languages. Source code is then run through a compiler which turns the language into something the computer can understand called binary.
What this means is that anyone and everyone can see how the software works and they can modify it to meet their needs completely. There are many software licenses written to be compatible with this kind of software. There are ones that mean the code can never be “closed” and made proprietary. There are others that do allow the software to be closed if someone chooses to do so.
The fact that everyone is able to view the source code of open source software means that anyone with the skills can fix problems or make it better if they choose to do so. This creates communities of like minded people helping each other to produce amazing software. One of my favourite communities is based around the Linux based Operating System, Ubuntu.
I often discover how to resolve a problem while searching the Ubuntu Forums, sometimes I even help other people resolve their problems. Helping to correct issues people are having is my way of giving back to the community, as I have very little understanding of any programming language. This is how many people help out in the community, there are so many different ways to help an open source project.
When you see the amazing support and time given by all of these people involved in open source software it can make you rather hateful of proprietary software. This is why I dislike companies like Microsoft and Apple. I find it bizarre that people choose to be adamant fans of these companies. Apple took open source software, FreeBSD, and then closed the source and made it their own. This is the software you use when you own an Apple notebook, desktop or server.
I can’t say they haven’t given back to the open source community, because they have in a large way. I think if they could they would close the source of other open source software they have purchased if the license did not forbid it. One of my favourite projects that they have purchased and increased the quality of is called CUPS. This is a system for making printers available to Unix-like operating systems.
Besides these redeeming features I believe that the negatives out-weigh the positives. Apple is a known anti-competition company. There has been companies that have built machines using hardware that runs Apples OS X operating systems. They are purchasing the software from Apple legally and installing it on their own hardware. Apple has a huge problem with this and they have sued these companies into oblivion. I also hate Steve Jobs as he is a selfish bastard, I do love him for his backing of Pixar though.
I believe most people are rather objectionable towards Microsoft, so I see no reason to go into all the bad they do. I will mention that their ex-CEO is an amazing man. There are a lot of reasons to love Bill Gates, if you can ignore his past with Microsoft.
Other well known open source software include Mozilla Firefox, the Android operating system for smart phones and tablets, and WordPress.
This is something neither I nor my partner ever believed we would do. Prior to having children we were in the mindset that having your baby sleep in your “adult” bed was rather weird, not appropriate and possibly dangerous. It’s amazing how much can change in the first few months of becoming a parent. I also knew, prior to our daughter being born, that I wanted to use cloth nappies but didn’t know I would cope with it so well and now be an avid advocate for them.
When I think back on my views on co-sleeping, I am unsure what all of my arguments were concerning this option for sleeping arrangements. I know one of them was the regular, “Where do you have sex?” kind of inane arguments. There are many options on the, as Dr. Sheldon Cooper often says, “coitus” front. I have no reason why I ever believed this was a sensible argument and I cannot recall a single worthwhile argument I had, possibly flawed safety arguments. It seems to all have been cultural beliefs and feelings towards this practice and not critical argument.
If you look at this method of parenting sensibly, it’s hard to come to a conclusion other than there being very little problem with it. It’s a perfectly natural and normal situation. Why in our culture do we view a baby sleeping next to it’s mother strange but a baby sleeping in a separate room in a wooden box as completely reasonable? Why is it not seen as a form of neglect to leave your children in another room by themselves with the “comfort”of a toy and a night light? Many non-western people would probably call it neglect and frown upon it. I am not suggesting that this is a negligent and problematic way to have your baby sleep. I’m just wondering why this is normal and sleeping with your baby is weird.
This isn’t exactly an argument in favour of co-sleeping but it is something I am enjoying immensely. I love waking up in the morning to my daughter wanting to play, this mostly occurs on the weekend when we can sleep in and wake together. She will climb all over me, smiling and laughing. It is an incredibly nice way of waking up. This is also similar at night before she goes to sleep. Sometimes she just wants to crawl around and poke you in the face and laugh until she eventually falls asleep with her feet in your face and her head against her mothers. These behaviours at times can be annoying but I believe the positives well outweigh the negatives.
There are lots of claims that co-sleeping reduces the incidence of SIDS. I came across some articles by Dr. James McKenna that make this claim. Although he makes a fairly reasonable argument in favour of co-sleeping reducing SIDS it seems to be correlation and not causation. He makes the argument that, “In Japan where co-sleeping and breastfeeding (in the absence of maternal smoking) is the cultural norm, rates of the sudden infant death syndrome are the lowest in the world.” Making the statement that it is the “lowest in the world” is simply not true. There are other countries with an equal or lower rate than Japan i.e. Hungary, Netherlands and Finland. These are also countries that, I am guessing, do not have high rates of co-sleeping in the form of bed sharing. It is possible that these countries do have high rates of co-sleeping where the baby is in the same room as the mother but I can’t find any information about this.
It needs to be stated that bed sharing is not for everyone. It is also something you should not do as a whim. It is best to research and look at the safest approach to bed sharing, as there are many risks involved when sharing your bed with a baby. Dr. James McKenna does state this in his article that I previously mentioned. He makes a good point in favour of it also, “Whether involving cribs or adult beds, risky sleep practices leading to infant deaths are more likely to occur when parents lack access to safety information, or if they are judged to be irresponsible should they choose to follow their own and their infants’ biological predilections to bedshare, or if public health messages are held back on brochures and replaced by simplistic and inappropriate warnings saying “just never do it.” Such recommendations misrepresent the true function and biological significance of the behaviors, and the critical extent to which dangerous practices can be modified, and they dismiss the valid reasons why people engage in the behavior in the first place.”
If we were to make it acceptable in our society, as it is something that feels natural (to me), we could have the safety information available to everyone who is expecting a baby. This should help reduce infant deaths by asphyxiation since parents will have the knowledge of how to sleep safely with their babies.
There might be no solid evidence to point to co-sleeping as being the best option for the development of babies. There is also no evidence to say that it is not. There is absolutely no reason at all for sleeping with your baby to be thought of as strange. If it works for you, I believe you should do it. You need to remember to be sensible about it and take precautions in the same way you would if your baby was sleeping in a cot, e.g. no pillow or soft toys.
I became involved in a discussion, with women of the Islamic faith, that revolved around their wearing of the hijab and other Islamic garb. In this discussion there were a few women who made statements on why they wear these “modest” clothes. It is an argument made often by Islamic women for why they choose to wear hijabs and the like.
The statement is that they wear it for the purpose of being judged for their intelligence and personality as opposed to their attractiveness when they are speaking to someone (specifically male). People may behave in this manner of judging purely on personality and intelligence in some situations but find it unlikely that it is the case in most. If they are not being perceived initially based on their attractiveness they will still be viewed based on what they are wearing, which completely dismantles their statement.
I believe in most cases an Islamic woman wearing a hijab will be perceived quite poorly in Australia. I, not trying to be rude but realistic, will have an idea in my mind prior to speaking to a woman dressed in a hijab. This idea would not be, what I would call, reasonable but I will make this discrimination prior to my better sense jumping in.
In general, I would have positive thoughts in my head when speaking to an attractive woman dressed modestly (jeans and a T-shirt). I would, initially, have mostly negative thoughts in my head when speaking to an Islamic woman dressed in a hijab. I will also have negative thoughts for a woman dressed “slutty” but for different reasons. This is possibly my failing but I believe I have good reasoning behind this but I will not go into that reasoning now.
I hope, that not just I, but all people one day make no judgment of a person based purely on appearance. I do not mean to behave this way but I believe it is just part of nature to assess all things based on appearance. The reason I judge an Islamic woman in religious clothing is because I view it as an affront to freedom. They may say they are free in making the decision to wear it but I disbelieve this. I see in no way how a person can feel like they are free in making a decision when indoctrination is involved. Are they truly making a decision of their own free-will or are they indoctrinated to believe they are making that decision themselves?
Are they using this viewpoint, of modesty and being treated as something other than “a piece of meat,” as an excuse instead of a genuine reason? I believe in the majority of cases this could be answered with a definite “yes” or am I asking the wrong question. I know there is really no way we can know for sure that they are doing this from their own well thought out decision. I just cannot accept that a person feels free in making a decision that ends with them dressing as below (I know this is an extreme form of the dress).
When it boils right down to the last, they are wearing a hijab on the basis that it is to show their faith to their religion. This is what bothers me more than anything. They think that reducing their freedoms will increase the appearance that they accept their bronze age myths thoroughly. I can in no way see how this is freedom, no matter how much they might claim they are free to make the choice. I try to make this argument as reasonable as possible but I know I am very stubborn in this subject as I see it as misogynistic.