Held a Talk. Found an App.

Two weeks ago I held a talk on Scientology in the southernmost city in Norway, Kristiansand. JessicaX, an original Anonymous Norway, took pictures and videos. Then I was told about Magisto – a creative video app. Downloaded… and a few days later… voilá:

Click the image to watch the video

Click the image to watch the video

The talk was in Norwegian, so I’ll leave you with this fancy trailer.

And when I thought I couldn’t get closer to Nerdvana

… doors started to open.

I have written about my technical setup before. But now, ladies and gentlemen, it is getting HOT. Like hard core porn hot.

The setup goes like this: Linux (Ubuntu 14.04) as the operating system (easy package management – it does the job well). No kludgey memory-hogging desktop environment, just a damn good Window Manager straight – the i3. Lean, mean, keyboard driven and very efficient. Check out my config here.

The i3 window manager in action

The i3 window manager in action

Adding a conky bar with essential info at the top of the screen. And the perfect e-mail setup for good measure.

The e-mail client, mutt

The e-mail client, mutt

I am a vi-guy to the core, and I prefer to use console tools as much as I can (urxvt is the terminal with zsh as the shell). With key bindings for everything and with minimal use of the mouse, I get the speed and efficiency I want.

I use VIM for almost all my text editing – from writing books and articles (with the added benefit of LaTeX) to writing hyperlists, all my e-mails… and this very blog post. I swear by mutt as the e-mail client. It spawns vim as the editor. Essential vim plugins are netdict, visincr and gundo.

Newsbeuter - the rss reader

Newsbeuter – the rss reader

I use newsbeuter for newsfeeds, irssi as the Internet Relay Chat client and mcabber for my facebook chat :-) Zathura is the pdf reader of choice.

Using irssi to chat

Using irssi to chat

Just the other day, as I was struggling with a bug in the latest release of the trust old vifm console file manager, I came across an alternative – ranger. An ultra-neat file manager capable of all sorts of acrobatics – like displaying images right in the console (via w3m)! Wanna dig in? My config file should get you grooved in.

The amazing ranger - file manager on steroids

The amazing ranger – file manager on steroids

Then it’s the browser. I have been very happy with uzbl – until the latest git updates. Stability issues started creeping in and I was forced to look for alternatives. I have tried plenty – and I gave luakit another go. The config files are written directly in the programming language of lua. A bit of steep curve for simple configuration tasks but as you get used to lua, it offers amazing extensibility to the browser. As I started to fell in love with luakit, another vi-like browser popped up on the radar – dwb. How could I have missed this gem in all my trails and tribulations trying to find the perfect keyboard driven browser? OMG what a browser! Don’t leave home without it. With such an easy configuration, you’ll be up and running and turning into a fan in no time.

Dwb - über-cool browser

Dwb – über-cool browser

I have spent 14 years choosing my tools, fine tuning their operations and polishing every detail. I owe much work efficiency to this passion.

When I thought I couldn’t get closer to Nerdvana, I stumbled right into its core. Sadly, I now have few ideas left of how to improve my tools set :-/


What will the future bring for Scientology?

The latest blog post by Marty, “Standard Scientology“, was quite a bombshell judging by the fallout – 700 comments in three days. I usually only skim through Scientology related blogs. This one I both read and left a few comments. And in doing so, I came across a comment by the nick, “NolongercareaboutScn” that I found succinct and quite true:

Scientology cannot deliver on the major promises of the states of Clear and OT. Instead it DELIVERS some temporal life improvements (which are not without value) while continuing to SELL advanced states of being that it cannot and never has delivered.

If the written promises of the tech were more aligned with the results, or if the results of the application of the tech were more aligned with the written promises, then the entire subject would be more worthy of serious consideration.

As it stands today, Scientology as a subject is a hoax. Hundreds of thousands of dollars are charged for promised results that are not and never have been delivered, specifically the states of being described as Clear and OT.

In the business world, that is called fraud. Elsewhere it is sometimes called religion. What it looks like from here is a fraudulent business pretending to be a religion, regardless of the branding of those doing the delivery.

When I say “quite true”, it is because many of the gains I have gotten in Scientology have lasted for decades and may last until I die or longer. While there are temporal gains for sure, gains like recovering my creativity, improved communication skills and freedom from shame, blame and regret are so far permanent.

But the description that Scientology is a fraud is correct – because it has never delivered the states of Clear or OT while it continues to sell these states as real, attainable and delivered. In the business world, that is a felony.

I should add that I agree fully with Marty’s blog post. And it makes one ponder what the future will bring for Scientology.


If you have been tracking the Sciosphere – with the Church’s accelerating demise as passangers are vacating the Titanic, formerly Scientology friendly blogs turning critical and the independent field is marked by infights, fractioning and shrinkage – the future does look bleak.

In a year from now I doubt there will be many blogs or forums left promoting Scientology, except for perhaps the die-hard Milestone Two. The Church will be shrinking ever faster while battling mounting court cases.

But does it matter? Does it matter if Scientology fades further until it isn’t even a social joke?

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, waffles and growing up

Dad, can I get 298 kroner to buy the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles toy?

No, you can’t. Maybe you have another solution?

Hmmm… OK

Without hesitation, Niklas turned around went over to his grandmother and struck a deal. My mother got busy making waffles and lemonade, and together they carried a plastic table down the stairs and put it up right at the intersection off the property. While she hid behind a tree, the 3½ year old boy wasted no time. He stopped every car and offered waffles with jam and freshly made lemonade. In just a short time he was sold out and counted 400 NOK in earnings. He went over to his grandmother and paid her a 100 for the job, ran up the stairs and asked me, “Dad, can you drive to the store for 2 kroner?” “I sure will” Niklas got his dream toy and a great experience along the way.

This week, we’re in New York together, and after the third day we decided to go to see the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie. The story unfolds in New York and we could see many places we had just visited. And Niklas got to reflect on his first day as a business man almost 12 years ago.


The case against patents

Thomas Jefferson once said:

Accordingly, it is a fact, as far as I am informed, that England was, until we copied her, the only country on earth which ever, by a general law, gave a legal right to the exclusive use of an idea. In some other countries it is sometimes done, in a great case, and by a special and personal act, but, generally speaking, other nations have thought that these monopolies produce more embarrassment than advantage to society; and it may be observed that the nations which refuse monopolies of invention, are as fruitful as England in new and useful devices.


And the debate on patents are more relevant than ever. Big companies suing each other for billions has become commonplace. Collecting patents to fuel an arsenal of defensive legal leverage, tip-toeing the mine field of patents when trying to invent something new, using patents to stifle competition rather than innovate, forging patents alliances that centralizes power and keeps the smaller players off the playing field. The list goes on. And the net value is hardly innovation incentive.

I want to bring to your attention an article that details the economic effects of patents (link to the full article). The abstract reads:

The case against patents can be summarized briefly: there is no empirical evidence that they serve to increase innovation and productivity, unless productivity is identified with the number of patents awarded—which, as evidence shows, has no correlation with measured productivity. Both theory and evidence suggest that while patents can have a partial equilibrium effect of improving incentives to invent, the general equilibrium effect on innovation can be negative. A properly designed patent system might serve to increase innovation at a certain time and place. Unfortunately, the political economy of government-operated patent systems indicates that such systems are susceptible to pressures that cause the ill effects of patents to grow over time. Our preferred policy solution is to abolish patents entirely and to find other legislative instruments, less open to lobbying and rent seeking, to foster innovation when there is clear evidence that laissez-faire undersupplies it. However, if that policy change seems too large to swallow, we discuss in the conclusion a set of partial reforms that could be implemented.

The article is an excellent read and complements the book, “Against Intellectual Monopoly“.

Also check out Johanna Blakley’s neat TED talk on the same: