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Hello and welcome to the gemini capsule of Nicksphere.com (mirrored on the web)! Here I blog about my own ideas and promote good ideas of others. I mostly talk about computing, philosophy, spirituality, privacy, and society.

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Free Will is Incoherent - Part 2

Date: 2020-08-22

Read time: 14 minutes

Summary: In part 1 I showed that free will is incoherent. In part 2 I discuss the implications of that fact on responsibility, compassion, justice and interpersonal relationships.

Ego Traps

Date: 2020-08-02

Read time: 8 minutes

Summary: Remember when you got stuck thinking about something but you didn't realize you were thinking until after? Even if you don't know what I'm talking about you've almost certainly had that experience before. Ego traps are the self-reinforcing thoughts that set you on the path of thinking without awareness of thinking.

Back Up Your Data

Date: 2020-07-26

Read time: 10 minutes

Summary: This post is a public service announcement about backups inspired by the post I lost. I've had my own backups for over 5 years, and never have I lost any data from those backups. The following advice is meant for individuals, not a corporate or business setting.

Why I Left ITS

Date: 2020-07-02

Read time: 7 minutes

Summary: This is the story of how I learned about free software, wrestled with my conscience and ultimately quit my job as a labs and classrooms technician at SIUe because I couldn't justify supporting the proprietary software anymore.

Free Will is Incoherent - Part 1

Date: 2020-06-19

Read time: 10 minutes

Summary: I present a formal, objective knock down argument against free will refuting the common arguments for it and show how lack of free will is actually liberating, not nihilistic.


Date: 2020-06-14

Read time: 15 minutes

Summary: What doublethink means in the context of this post is to feel a certain way about how you feel. It means to have an opinion of your own thoughts. It normally goes by the name metacognition. As novice practitioners of meditation quickly realize, you can "go meta" infinitely about your own thinking to the point that your mind becomes twisted into a complicated knot. In this post I talk about common ways the mind-knot is tied.

SIUe e-ID Creation and Maintenance Problems

Date: 2020-06-10

Read time: 8 minutes

Summary: Somehow SIUe can't create a decent looking webpage for managing your own university account. It should undergo a complete redesign, but that probably won't happen for a while since it isn't losing the university money.

SIUe Cyberstalking Feature

Date: 2020-06-06

Read time: 1 minute

Summary: Every SIUe student, faculty and staff member's full name, year, address and phone number has been available through the university search engine for years. It could facilitate stalking and it's a huge data privacy concern. It should at least be behind a login portal and remove phone numbers and addresses.

Exposing Zoom

Date: 2020-05-23

Read time: 20 minutes

Summary: Since COVID-19 spread everywhere, the world now relies on Zoom to provide video communication for job meetings, university classrooms, courtrooms, government meetings, mental health services and personal interactions. It is based in China, a surveillance state country with little government/corporate separation currently committing cultural genocide against Uyghurs. Zoom itself has an awful security and privacy track record and contains known malicious features. What could possibly go wrong?

The Self

Date: 2020-05-02

Read time: 11 minutes

Summary: There is no isolated, unchanging self that answers to the name of "I". The feeling that there is this self, this center to the flow of experience, is only an illusion. Experience has no center. The self is the unbearable burden that we're all better off without.

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