The Humanist Lifestance

“The lifestance of Humanism — guided by reason, inspired by compassion, and informed by experience — encourages us to live life well and fully” (Humanist Manifesto III).

“Humanism is a democratic and ethical life stance, which affirms that human beings have the right and responsibility to give meaning and shape to their own lives” (IHEU Minimum Statement on Humanism -1996)

Humanism is like a religion, but it is not a religion, because it doesn’t believe in Gods, priests, or holy books. It believes in making this world the best place for humans to flourish in harmony with Nature.

So what is Humanism? You could call it a philosophy of life, a worldview, or a way of life. Paul Kurtz even suggested calling it a Eupraxsophy. But the simplest term is lifestance.

So what is a lifestance? Wiktionary defines it as, “The relation that one has with what he or she accepts as being of ultimate importance, the presuppositions and theory of this, and the commitments and practice of working it out in living.”

Wiktionary’s “Usage notes” becomes insightful here:

The term was intended to be a shared label encompassing both religions and alternatives to religion, without discrimination in favour of either. A life stance differs from a worldview or a belief system in that the term life stance emphasizes a focus on what is of ultimate importance. Life stance differs from eupraxsophy in that the latter typically implies a strictly non-theistic outlook, whereas a life stance can be theistic or non-theistic, supernaturalistic or naturalistic.

Humanism is, of course, is “non-theistic” and “naturalistic.” But it is helpful to have a neutral term for either type of system.

After much consideration, I have decided to adopt the label “lifestance” to my work on Humanism. I will still use the terms philosophy of life, worldview, and other synonyms for clarification’s sake.

Cool Calender Desklet for Linux Mint 20

A desklet is a small applet that can be placed on top of the user’s desktop. Usually, they are clocks, calendars, and weather applets.

Here is how to install a calendar desklet that I like and recommend. Note, all clicks are left-clicked unless indicated otherwise.

Right-click on desktop, it will open a menu. Click on “add Desklet.”

It opens the Desklet menu. When it open it defaults to the “Manage” tab, switch to the “Download” tab.

In the search bar, search for “calendar.” Click the down arrow on “Calender desklet by kanchudeep”. That will download it.

But this does not add it to your desktop. To do that you have to go back to the “Manage” tab. Click once on the “Calendar desklet” so it is highlighted. Then click the plus button “+” on the bottom to add it to the desktop.

It is not added to your desktop. You can click and hold to move it to where you want it.

You will also want to customize it to your liking. You can right-click on your desklet to open a menu that will give you the option to configure or remove it, as well as an about file.

Personally, I leave most of the defaults alone. However, my preference is to not show time, since it is military time. I also make it completely transparent.

NOTE: If you get a crash installing a desklet, it will switch the whole Desktop into fallback mode and ask if you want to restart Cinnamon, just select “Yes”.

dpkg Interrupted Error in Linux Mint

Did you receive this error, “E:dpkg was interrupted, you must manually run ‘sudo –configure -a’ to correct the problem. E:_cache->open()failed,please report”?

The “dpkg” is the Debian Package manager. The automatic process has an issue and you must open up the terminal (Ctrl+Alt+t) and type in:

sudo dpkg --configure -a

Hit enter, enter your password, hit enter again, and it will run through the process to correct this.

You shouldn’t be getting this error. I am running an updated Kernal and a newer system, so that is probably why I had this issue.

Taking Risks

Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage. – Anais Nin

I am often amazed at my ability to buy into the illusion of permanence. Yesterday I took a risk. Only time will tell if it was wise or foolish.

What I am interested in is the feeling of insecurity it produced. I definitely like the feeling of security, whether financial or relational.

Even though I know that security is an illusion, the mirage is still there. A steady job, a strong relationship are both illusions. Knowing that does not destroy the illusion.

Maybe part of enlightenment is destroying the illusion of permanence and reliability. Until that time, the best I can do is recognize the illusion.

Recognizing the illusion has the benefit of helping me take risks. Calculated risks, yes, but risks nonetheless.

In order to move forward, you sometimes have to burn bridges. I don’t recommend doing it, but sometimes you have no choice.

I often think of a lyric I once heard, “Lady Luck favors the bold.” I think there is some truth in that, provided we don’t confuse boldness for rashness.

So here I go on the next stage of my life’s adventure.

Linux Alternatives to Window Programs

It is true that many Microsoft programs that run on Windows will not run on Linux. Some you can get running with W.I.N.E.

The good news is the Linux has many alternatives, most of which are equal to or better than their Windows equivalent. Here are eight that I recommend.

  1. Alternate to Microsoft Office Suite
    LibreOffice at http://www.libreoffice.org
  2. Alternate to Notepad / Wordpad (Text Editor)
    Gedit at https://wiki.gnome.org/Apps/Gedit
  3. Alternate to Photoshop (Graphics Editor)
    Gimp at http://www.gimp.org
  4. Alternate to Movie Maker (Video Editor)
    Kdenlive at http://www.kdenlive.org
  5. Alternate to Windows Media Player (Video Viewer)
    VLC Player at http://www.videolan.org/vlc
  6. Alternate to Microsoft Outlook
    Thunderbird + Lightning at https://www.thunderbird.net
  7. Alternate to Intuit’s Quicken
    GnuCash at https://www.gnucash.org/
  8. Alternate to Apple’s iTunes
    Clementine at https://www.clementine-player.org/

Why I Believe in Open Source Software

Why am I so passionate about Linux and open source? I will tell you why.

It is because freedom is important.

Freedom to choose what to do with your computer. Freedom to use it the way that you want to use it. Freedom to improve upon a program that you use. Freedom to customize that program to better suit your needs.

The freedom to be free from surveillance and an invasion of your privacy. In other words, freedom of choice is why I believe in Linux and open-source software.

The freedom to use the software you need, regardless of your level of income. Lennox and open source software is free, in both respects. It is free as in free beer, and it is free as in freedom of speech.

If we are ever going to have a world in which there is equality see, there needs to be access to the means of production. And in the information age, the computer is the means of production in many cases.

Expectation and Disappointment

I don’t think we realize that how tightly expectation and disappointment are tied together.

Our level of disappointment is correlated to the level of expectation. Expect a lot from a person or situation, and when they fail to meet your explanations, you feel very disappointed.

Expect nothing, and when you get nothing, you are not disappointed.

But expecting nothing is not that easy. It is hard going into a relationship without high expectations. It is hard not to have expectations, even if we know we’re setting ourselves up for disappointment.

Maybe a first step is to have more realistic expectations. Realizing that no one is perfect, that no job is without flaws, and that everything new becomes old, maybe we will expect more imperfections, frustrations, and broken devices.

This Epictetus quote is a good one to remember, “People are disturbed not by things, but by the views which they take of things.”

An Open Source Philosophy of Life

Today I want to introduce the idea of open source philosophy.

I will be adapting the basic philosophy of Richard Stallman’s ideas of free software. He is the architect of the GNU General Public License, which in turn inspired the creative commons license, which this website is licensed under.

My innovation is to apply these ideas to philosophy, specifically the idea of a philosophy of life. This is the worldview that guides one’s way of life.

An open source philosophy of life should have the freedom to live the philosophy, the freedom to modify it to your life and current evidence, the freedom to redistribute copies of the philosophy of life, and the freedom to distribute modified versions of the philosophy of life.

It is my belief that Humanism should be seen as an open source philosophy of life. It should be open for modification as new evidence comes in, and it should be customizable to one’s cultural and social context.

I believe that in order for philosophy to be useful it has to be hackable. Everyone should be able to modify it and publish their modification without copyright restriction.

This is why copyleft is so important. It keeps the philosophy of life open to correction and improvement by everyone.

And let’s be honest, everybody has their own twist to whatever religion or philosophy they hold. I just think we need to encourage free sharing so that improvement becomes easier.

Best Free VPN for Linux 2021

ProtonVPN is TechRadar’s “#1 free VPN – Unlimited data allowance without paying penny.”

The ProtonVPN Linux app is easy to use and packed with advanced security features.

Distros that are currently supported are Debian 10, Ubuntu 20+, Mint 20+
MX Linux 19+, Fedora 31+, Archlinux / Manjaro.

How to install a VPN on Linux Mint

The ProtonVPN Linux app officially supports Mint 20. If you are currently using the community-developed version of our Linux app, you should uninstall it before installing their official app.

1. Download their repo setup package

Download the ProtonVPN DEB package at:
https://protonvpn.com/support/official-linux-vpn-mint/

2. Install the ProtonVPN repository

Double-click the downloaded DEB package to install the repo using your default package manager.

3. Update the apt-get package list

Open Terminal and enter the command:

sudo apt-get update

4. Install the ProtonVPN Linux app

sudo apt-get install protonvpn

The ProtonVPN Linux app is now installed and can be run from your application launcher menu.

How to Use ProtonVPN

Here I will pass you off to the article by ProtonVPN: “How to use ProtonVPN on Linux.”

This is the only free VPN I currently recommend and use.

No Cookies and No Pop-ups

My website is unique in a number of ways. There are others who do the same, but it is not the majority.

First, there are no HTTP cookies used by this site. This means that no one is tracking you as you read my blog. Links on this site may take you to others sites that will track you.

Image

Doing this is very inconvenient for content creators. I can’t use Google Analytics or WordPress’s JetPack to get stats. I have to rely on my Webhosting stats alone. I also can’t offer their subscribe to blog by mail feature, which I used in the past.

Second, I also don’t have any affiliate links on the site. I used to have one to Green Geeks, but I removed the link but left the image, letting people know I run an eco-friendly website.

Third, I don’t have any annoying pop-ups. The only advertising is a link to my books on Amazon, and that is just for people who are interested.

This means that this blog makes me no money, but costs me to produce. I pay the Webhosting and domain name fees out of my own pocket. Why? It is a labor of love for you, my few readers.

What can you do? Subscribe and tells others about my site. That’s all I ask.