Personal freedom is, in most senses, an illusion

​As with astronomy the difficulty of recognizing the motion of the earth lay in abandoning the immediate sensation of the earth’s fixity and of the motion of the planets, so in history the difficulty of recognizing the subjection of personality to the laws of space, time, and cause lies in renouncing the direct feeling of the independence of one’s own personality. But as in astronomy the new view said: “It is true that we do not feel the movement of the earth, but by admitting its immobility we arrive at absurdity, while by admitting its motion (which we do not feel) we arrive at laws,” so also in history the new view says: “It is true that we are not conscious of our dependence, but by admitting our free will we arrive at absurdity, while by admitting our dependence on the external world, on time, and on cause, we arrive at laws.”

 In the first case it was necessary to renounce the consciousness of an unreal immobility in space and to recognize a motion we did not feel; in the present case it is similarly necessary to renounce a freedom that does not exist, and to recognize a dependence of which we are not conscious.

War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

Artistic Discovery

Erik gave me an account on his blog, so I thought I’d make my first post about something outside his usual scope – art.

Today at work I came across a new magazine shipment and flipped through the pages of an issue of Art Lies. A piece by an artist called Andrea Zuill caught my eye, so I checked out her site. Her pieces are surreal and darkly humorous; here are a few good ones:




“Elephant Dancing”

“My Time as a Bear”

And here is a sculpture called “Grunt with Bow”

I enjoyed her work. Her site is

Hello world!

Welcome to Erik’s web blog.

I’ve had many failed blog attempts in the past, but those were on sites where it was more designated as a “journal”/diary, and keeping a documentation of my life is vain and boring. Reminding myself of how mundane I am seems like a great waste of time.

I hope to do a lot with this, and my aims are to discuss whatever topics come to mind. Probably meaning computing, science, politics, news, philosophy, religion, and life(mine or otherwise) in general.

And if I end up not doing much with this, I’ll at least have a domain to show off to the other nerds I come across.