Thursday, August 09, 2007

Dvorak is great!

I put in a little time to learn Dvorak, and through a kind benefactor was able to get my hands on a Typematrix keyboard, and the combination is wonderful. What I notice most of all about the new layout is the amount that my fingers remain on the home row. I am not continually reaching across the keyboard, especially with the dreaded pinky reach. With the Typematrix, there are additional benefits, namely the small size, gentle feel, and backspace and enter keys in the middle. It is a very clever design, and I don't want to use anything else.

If you want to learn more about the Dvorak keyboard, on which I typed the whole blog post with nary an error, go to

The locus of freedom is in the fast.

This phrase keeps coming to mind. As you know if you still read my occasional posts, I have been thinking about the problem of freedom lately. Not the problem of liberty, which is easily solved, and is quite a different problem anyway, but the problem of freedom. How is it that we are free? This question doesn't interest me, as I take the existence of regret as prima facie evidence that freedom does exist, at least as a possibility. It is possible for me to be free, whether or not I actually am free, and it is the possibility that I could have acted differently that gives rise to regret.

If I am free, where and when am I free? As I reflect on my life, I find that I generally follow my desires. In this I do exactly what an animal or plant does. I do what I want to do, within the constraints of my current situation, but my wants are the real driving engine. The dog follows his desires to the extent he has the liberty to do so, and so do I. There is no freedom here.

No, where freedom is evident is in the fast. When I desire something, and don't seek it, I am demonstrating that I am free. It is paradoxical, perhaps, that freedom is best shown when one does not do something. This is perhaps the greatest reason to fast, that we continually remind ourselves that sin is not inevitable. No matter how oppressive my desires are, no matter how constant the temptations, the fact that I can fast, even if only from something as inconsequential as soft drinks, is a light in the darkness.

The locus of freedom is in the fast.