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Category: Thoughts

Why is the American Right antisocial and against freedom?

Why is the American Right antisocial and against freedom?

I use this headline partly as a play on words but also as a way to focus a question: What does the left and right agree on and how can their shared goals be met?

Anti Social

It seems that socialism is mostly equated with communism, with the democratic socialism of Scandinavia being ignored. A key point here is that the term ‘capitalism’ is used to describe the western economic model but capitalism is simply the system of putting the money (capital) where it can generate the most capital in return, in other words it is a system prioritising the creation of wealth, which inherently has the opposite effect of increasing the citation of workers since the money is free to go where it can procreate and under no obligation to do external good, such as invest in communities. The language I used in the last sentence is a bit strong but the fundamental aspect is the movement of money for its most effective deployment.

When many use the term capitalism it looks like what they really mean is simply ‘free market’ and it is clear that free markets have contributes significantly more to humanity’s well-being than state controlled economies. It is also clear that markets, when left unchecked, turn into monopolies quite quickly and consumer and environmental protections are externalised since they do not fit on balance sheets and reputations are too slow to seriously affect companies. To achieve effective, open markets require strong government oversight when some companies become too dominant or too destructive but it is also important to have a robust public debate as to where those limits should be and how they should be enforced.


The term freedom is often bandied about without explanation or clarifications; freedom for what and freedom from what? The word ‘liberal’ derives from ‘liberty’ of course so when some on the right decry that that liberals are against freedom it sounds a bit odd but of course the meaning is that they view their priorities of freedom differently. For example, the freedom to own a firearm vs. the freedom to live in a society without firearms being prevalent.

Just a few thoughts on language. Both sides share a desire to be free but have different perspectives on what is and how to go about achieving and sustaining it. In many cases the ideal might be in the middle somewhere and in other cases it might become clear to the extremes of either sides that their notion of freedom is based on layers of beliefs and impressions which may not be in sync with present reality and should be allowed to mature.

How can you and I both be free, without imposing on each other is one question. How can we be free while supporting each other is another. What are the deepest questions we can ask for the betterment of ourselves and our species? If we can get together to work to define better questions, we can build better answers together.

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Liquid | Flow Browser Plugin

I think the data for the liquid view should be stored on WordPress.

I can currently add to WordPress using Liquid Flow’s hyperGlossary’ command. This includes adding connections to previous entries and I can manually create more links later, to fit connections to new entries. This is useful for wikipedia entries and entries for people:

What I need is a way to quickly add academic documents as glossary terms as well. Therefore, being able to go to a download site and both download a PDF with correct meta-automatically attached, such as name, authors, date and so forth and at the same time also have this added to the glossary as a blog entry could be very useful. The two should be linked: The downloaded Rich PDF and the blog post glossary so that when viewed as nodes in the liquid view they can be clicked on to open the Rich PDF.

The issue can be seen here: At the bottom I have a link to the thesis document Ivan Sutherland wrote for this project but it should of course be a link to another blog post glossary elements where all the parts of the documents are surfaced, such as author, title and so on, so that the Liquid View can import it and show it, all the while retaining a link to the actual document on the users computer.

Perhaps a single plugin can do both? This would provide fodder for any visualisation application and make the local documents quick to cite from.


Safari, Chrome and/or Firefox, starting with whichever is easier to build in.


It should look exactly the same as the add to glossary window in Flow (as shown above).

User invokes it through keyboard shortcut or by selecting text and mouse over the Liquid icon: 

If the plugin finds bibliographic material on the page and a PDF download option, a button appears at the top of this dialog:

The Ideal interaction is that one command should both populate this glossary entry and download the PDF with the author, title etc. attached, if this is possible.

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