Thoughts and Ramblings

General things I find of interest.

Only Tax Payers Vote

In “Starship Troopers” Heinlein proposed the idea that only citizens can vote and only those who served in the military can become citizens (no inheritance of citizenship). The idea is interesting in that voting is limited to only those with skin in the game (military service). While I read the novel many years ago, recently I considered an similar interesting thought experiment: What if only tax payers can vote? Here, by “tax payers” I mean those who net pay money to the government.

Deep State

It’s no secret that the culture inside Washington is different from the rest of the nation. It is so strong that many elected officials who go to Washington get corrupted into betraying their principles and becoming one of them. They are told “how things are done” and accept it as they chip away at their integrity until they are no longer the same person. This is one of the ways the culture in Washington encourages a type of group-think.

Our "Democracy"

When I was in Greece a bit over a year ago, I hiked up to The Acropolis with some friends. While up there, I heard a tour guide mention that what the ancient Greeks called democracy is not the same as what we call democracy. The reason is because the Greeks had a democracy. What is called “democracy” in western nations isn’t. The founding fathers of the United States expressly didn’t want a democracy as a system of governance.

"Our" Democracy

The phrase “Our Democracy” is often repeated by politicians particularly when when claiming something is a “threat to our democracy.” The phrase is meant to scare because the people will assume that the “our” includes them. What if doesn’t? What if the “our” is not the country as a whole but just the Washington insiders? With this definition of “our” in mind, the phrase “threat to our democracy” make much more sense.

Growing Sense of Entitlement

As many of you know, I work on Open Source Software (OSS). This means I release several projects free of charge that I create using my time. I’ve gotten a large amount of appreciation from users, but there is another side that’s quite disturbing. What’s worse is it appears to be indicative of a far more serious problem. Often a user will ask for a feature that is not implemented. Sometimes I like the feature and it’s something I’ll use myself so I implement it immediately, sometimes it’s one I’ll work on if I have time, and other times I don’t care for it at all so I suggest that others work on it.