Jan 262013

I just found out I lost another friend. Brian Charles Folse. I met him in 2000-something when I worked at Franklin Press.

He was the guy that got me started with Linux. I probably wouldn’t ever have gotten off the ground with my first Debian install without him. It was way before the net installs, it was a kernel compiling nightmare and he was totally patient and supportive and I’d have given up without his help. He was a brilliant programmer and a good guy and he was too young for this.

I don’t have a lot to say right now- I’m still pretty upset that he died and that I found out so late.

I’m a very shitty friend and I don’t have that many of them. I never keep in touch with people. I’m just so fucking wrapped up in my own head that I can only be friends with people that are very independent so I don’t worry about them. Because of that I’m pretty distant even from those few people I consider friends. I’m very sorry for that. Anyone who would tolerate me as a friend deserves much better than me as a friend. Fortunately people like Brian have lots of friends besides me.

Sorry Brian. I’m glad I knew you and I called you a friend. I wish we could have worked on building robots or something. I thought it would be great if someday I could start a company with or hire Brian as an engineer and work on something like that. I actually thought that might happen someday.

Thanks for everything Brian. I’ll keep the Folding@Home trilarian team account working for you. Hope that’s something. Goodbye and I hope it’s better where you are.



Jan 182013

With these words this man has summed and totaled my feelings about human existence. I envy and pity this man. His mind was a gift to humanity, and it must have been agony for him to know the powers that would squander his gifts. My life would lack substance were it not for his ideas, the understanding of the elegance of the universe that he helped shape. But were it not for his ideas I might not know the scale of mankind’s will to do harm to himself. What should he have done? What should any of us with a mind do? Should we cherish it alone and hide it from the world so the world cannot misuse it? Should we share it wantonly and absolve ourselves of the responsibility? I don’t know, hell, it’s arrogant of me to ask since my ideas are not profound like his were… anyway… here is what he said.


“How strange is the lot of us mortals! Each of us is here for a brief sojourn; for what purpose he knows not, though he sometimes thinks he senses it. But without deeper reflection one knows from daily life that one exists for other people — first of all for those upon whose smiles and well-being our own happiness is wholly dependent, and then for the many, unknown to us, to whose destinies we are bound by the ties of sympathy. A hundred times every day I remind myself that my inner and outer life are based on the labors of other men, living and dead, and that I must exert myself in order to give in the same measure as I have received and am still receiving…

“I have never looked upon ease and happiness as ends in themselves — this critical basis I call the ideal of a pigsty. The ideals that have lighted my way, and time after time have given me new courage to face life cheerfully, have been Kindness, Beauty, and Truth. Without the sense of kinship with men of like mind, without the occupation with the objective world, the eternally unattainable in the field of art and scientific endeavors, life would have seemed empty to me. The trite objects of human efforts — possessions, outward success, luxury — have always seemed to me contemptible.

“My passionate sense of social justice and social responsibility has always contrasted oddly with my pronounced lack of need for direct contact with other human beings and human communities. I am truly a ‘lone traveler’ and have never belonged to my country, my home, my friends, or even my immediate family, with my whole heart; in the face of all these ties, I have never lost a sense of distance and a need for solitude…”

“My political ideal is democracy. Let every man be respected as an individual and no man idolized. It is an irony of fate that I myself have been the recipient of excessive admiration and reverence from my fellow-beings, through no fault, and no merit, of my own. The cause of this may well be the desire, unattainable for many, to understand the few ideas to which I have with my feeble powers attained through ceaseless struggle. I am quite aware that for any organization to reach its goals, one man must do the thinking and directing and generally bear the responsibility. But the led must not be coerced, they must be able to choose their leader. In my opinion, an autocratic system of coercion soon degenerates; force attracts men of low morality… The really valuable thing in the pageant of human life seems to me not the political state, but the creative, sentient individual, the personality; it alone creates the noble and the sublime, while the herd as such remains dull in thought and dull in feeling.

“This topic brings me to that worst outcrop of herd life, the military system, which I abhor… This plague-spot of civilization ought to be abolished with all possible speed. Heroism on command, senseless violence, and all the loathsome nonsense that goes by the name of patriotism — how passionately I hate them!

“The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of true art and true science. Whoever does not know it and can no longer wonder, no longer marvel, is as good as dead, and his eyes are dimmed. It was the experience of mystery — even if mixed with fear — that engendered religion. A knowledge of the existence of something we cannot penetrate, our perceptions of the profoundest reason and the most radiant beauty, which only in their most primitive forms are accessible to our minds: it is this knowledge and this emotion that constitute true religiosity. In this sense, and only this sense, I am a deeply religious man… I am satisfied with the mystery of life’s eternity and with a knowledge, a sense, of the marvelous structure of existence — as well as the humble attempt to understand even a tiny portion of the Reason that manifests itself in nature.”