It is now Thursday morning. On Wednesday morning (Tuesday “night”) I spent about 4 hours downloading and installing mySQL Windows Essentials (a 38MB file that took more than 2 hours to download over my dail-up connection) and phpMyAdmin (a smaller file). I had not downloaded mySQL at school because I had a copy (the 107MB exe version – “essentials” is an msi file) that I had played around with earlier. However, on this install, the install program reported that one of the cabs in the exe (a self-extracting zip) was corrupt, so I couldn’t use it. The “essentials” install went fine, though it is technically challenging. The instructions in the text are very important. Data on the web on how to install is inferior.
I then got phpMyAdmin up and functioning. I was going to try one of the other GUI clients for mySQL (mySQL makes their own) but I thought I had better stick with the way the book does it. PhpMyAdmin is a funky way to do it. It’s all in php and the files reside on the server (it’s not a remote client, exactly) and you operate it from your browser.
Google’s New OS
While I was waiting for the download one of the things I read up on was Google’s new OS project. They just recently annownced that they were starting it. From what I can tell, the traditional desktop will basically be replaced by a browser (Chrome). You will do all your navigation, computer maintenance, settings, and computing (of course) from basically a browser interface. Google intends that the vast majority of your software (and your data) will be web-hosted and will not reside on your own machine. I think this is an assumption that will be disagreeable to some. But many already do most of their computing this way. By offloading your storage and computing resources to the “cloud” you can successfully work with grossly scaled-down hardware. The OS software will be built on top of a Linux kernel which will handle most of the hardware-specific work.
When I first started working with Vista (my desktop came with it – my netbook, which I use sort of like a proxy servcr, runs Win XP home) I thought “this looks like a browser!” I believe that all the major commercial players want to push us towards internet-based (or you could say server-based) computing. For some reason, they aren’t discussing the implications of this frankly (as far as I can tell) but only in marketing terms.
The Culture of Freedom versus the Culture of Security
The problem I see with it is that that the internet then becomes, instead of primarily a tool for the computer user, another tool of the new technocracy to control the information and communication channels available to us. The potential, as I see it, is to turn the internet into something that will reduce our freedoms instead of increase them. The technocray, as far as I can tell, is convinced that we are just bodies trapped on earth and that any hope for freedom is only illusory. It’s a sort of Matrix viewpoint, from what I can tell. The people who understand (correctly) that people are basically spiritual beings and innately free and immortal continue to be pounded with accusations of “lunatic” and “fringe,” while the technocracy itself was secretly making contacts and discoveries that could be, if they were widely known, used to support the idea of the workability of personal freedom.
Almost any government cringes at the idea that its populace could actually be composed of free beings. The United States was one of the first societies during this era in our planet’s history to base itself, at least at a PR level, on the desireability and workability of individual freedoms. And look at how we have been attacked for this! But look, also at what we have achieved! With our decision in the 1800’s to free the slaves, which then forced all other countries on the planet to (grudgingly) go along (many never really did it), a society was created that has become the dominant culture of earth. This was not achieved, though it was possibly supported, by our military power. It was essentially a product of our spiritual power – a celebration of the workable truth of spiritual freedom.
The new technocracy, European-based (some say Nazi-based; I don’t doubt it) as it is, does not value or (I think) even understand the power of personal freedom. They gave up on this idea a long time ago, if it ever even occurred to them. And thus we see the current face-off (if you can call it that) between a U.S.-based group that still values the concept of individual freedoms with a power structure that never did. The power structure is pushing the concept of “security.” Those of us on the freedom side of things believe they are doing this totally cynically. In other words, we think they are fully aware that their concept of a “better” society based on security is basically flawed, but that they do not have the strength of conviction to change their thrust towards this newest brand of slavery. I will probably get back to this in future posts.