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<?xml version='1.0' encoding='utf-8'?>
<?xml-stylesheet href="docbook-css/driver.css" type="text/css"?>

<!DOCTYPE article PUBLIC "-//OASIS//DTD DocBook XML V4.1.2//EN"
"/usr/share/sgml/docbook/xml-dtd-4.1.2/docbookx.dtd"[
]>

<article id="index">
    <articleinfo>
        <title>The Eternal Jew</title>
        <authorgroup>
            <author>
                <firstname>Shlomi</firstname>
                <surname>Fish</surname>
                <affiliation>
                    <address>
                        <email>shlomif@shlomifish.org</email>
                    </address>
                </affiliation>
            </author>
        </authorgroup>
        <copyright>
             <year>2004</year>
            <holder>Shlomi Fish</holder>
        </copyright>
        <legalnotice id="main_legal_notice">
            <!-- Ci vis pacem -->
            <para>
                <!-- belum. ;-) -->
                This document is copyrighted by Shlomi Fish
                under the
                <ulink url="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/">Creative
                    Commons Attribution License version 2.0</ulink> (or at
                your option a greater version).
            </para>
        </legalnotice>

        <revhistory>

            <revision>
                <revnumber>4902</revnumber>
                <date>5 June 2011</date>
                <authorinitials>shlomif</authorinitials>
                <revremark>
                    Change ASCII double quotes and single quotes to Unicode.
                </revremark>
            </revision>

            <revision>
                <revnumber>6067</revnumber>
                <date>8 October 2005</date>
                <authorinitials>shlomif</authorinitials>
                <revremark>
                    Fixed some broken links.
                </revremark>
            </revision>

            <revision>
                <revnumber>1407</revnumber>
                <date>8 October 2005</date>
                <authorinitials>shlomif</authorinitials>
                <revremark>
                    Fixed some typos, trailing whitespace, linked to
                    Objectivism, and changed “Mandrake Linux” to
                    “Mandriva Linux”.
                </revremark>
            </revision>

            <revision>
                <revnumber>962</revnumber>
                <date>8 February 2004</date>
                <authorinitials>shlomif</authorinitials>
                <revremark>
                    Added more to the “Warrior Philosopher”: charging for
                    performances, and the competing prime minister.
                </revremark>
            </revision>
            <revision>
                <revnumber>919</revnumber>
                <date>19 January 2004</date>
                <authorinitials>shlomif</authorinitials>
                <revremark>
                    Finished the entire document. Version as sent to my
                    friends.
                </revremark>
            </revision>

            <revision>
                <revnumber>889</revnumber>
                <date>6 January 2004</date>
                <authorinitials>shlomif</authorinitials>
                <revremark>
                    Finished the introduction, the essence of Judaism, and
                    the Value of Eternity.
                </revremark>
            </revision>
        </revhistory>
    </articleinfo>

<section id="introduction">

    <title>Introduction</title>

    <para>
        In his famous book <emphasis>Mein Kampf</emphasis> Adolf Hitler has
        given his vision
        of “The Eternal Jew” - a people that managed to survive throughout
        the ages, unharmed, maintaining its own identity, in countries out
        of his own. He maintained that this “Eternal Jew” was destroying
        civilization and had to be eradicated, so the more competent
        “Aryan Race” would be able to flourish.
    </para>

    <para>
        Well, Mr. Hitler, your vision has materialized: I have assumed the
        form of this Eternal Jew, and promise you that I will continue to
        haunt you and your likes forever. I, Shlomi Fish as one unified
        and eternal Jewish mind, body and soul.
    </para>

    <para>
        Yes, I plan on living forever. And yes, I’m a Jew. But
        “The Eternal Jew” is much more than that. The Eternal Jew is aimed at haunting
        “gentiles” - which are not necessarily Jews or non-Jews in the
        traditional sense. What they are is people who have disrespect for
        the basic values associated with modern Judaism. And I will indeed
        haunt them and if I have my way, eradicate all of the “gentility” off
        the planet.
    </para>

    <para>
        One final note: another famous Jewish myth similar to the Eternal Jew
        is “The Wandering Jew”. The Wandering Jew is also noble, but distinct
        from the Eternal Jew. This essay will focus solely on
        “The Eternal Jew”.
    </para>
</section>
<section id="essence_of_judaism">
    <title>The Essence of Judaism</title>
    <para>
        Before we continue, I will take the time to explain why I designated
        myself as “The Eternal Jew” instead of something else. First of all,
        it is because I am really a Jew by birth. Secondly, because Jews are
        a people (and as such noble) rather than a religion (and as such
        mystical and destructive).
    </para>
    <para>
        Judaism is a peopleship, if you may. The Jewish religion, while
        it does exist, is only a small part of Judaism. Other parts include
        the Jewish history, the Jewish creation (made by ancient and modern
        Jews), the Jewish culture, Jewish traditions, the Jewish ethics, and
        so forth. Labeling Judaism solely as a religion is a wrong thing to
        do for both Jews and non-Jews. Also, believing that you cannot have
        one without the other, is also completely not true. It is highly
        possible to be a member of the Jewish people, while not believing in
        the Jewish religion (as is the case for me).
    </para>
    <para>
        The Bible is not solely a religious book, albeit it has been
        filtered and preserved relatively religious-wise. What it does is
        contain various writings and testimonials of the ancient Jews and
        Israelites. It contains historical manifests, ancient Law and Ethics,
        religious writings, ancient Jewish philosophy, and various fictitious
        stories. I’ll be the last person to say that he supports the Ethics
        projected by it. But it nevertheless important for modern-day Jews.
    </para>
    <para>
        A final note regarding Jews and Israel. As well as being a Jew,
        I happen to be an Israeli and an Israeli citizen. Nevertheless, I
        fully realize that the State of Israel cannot have laws discriminating
        for or against non-Jews, as is the case today. Such laws are immoral,
        and have no excuse whatsoever. It is much more important to me that
        my children be noble and will denounce all forms of racism, no matter
        how apparently justified they are, than them being Jews. As such
        I call upon all Jews to support the separation of Religion from State
        in Israel, and turning it into an equal country. Israel is the country
        of the Israeli, not of the Jew.
    </para>
    <para>
        (That put aside, I should note that I am living in Israel by choice,
        because I think it is an otherwise good place to live, with good,
        moral people. Israel is heavily attacked in the global media, many
        times unjustifiably. While the Israeli Law leaves a lot to be desired,
        and I will do my best to remedy it, it is still much better than
        all of the surrounding countries.)
    </para>
</section>
<section id="value_of_eternity">
    <title>The Value of Eternity</title>
    <para>
        Most people believe that their death is inevitable. However, this may
        not necessarily be the case. It is highly possible that
        youth-rejuvenating biological immortality can be researched,
        implemented and become common. This will enable ordinary people to
        live forever, body, mind and soul. Why is it so important?
    </para>
    <para>
        If I know I am going to die, then everything I do now is pretty much
        meaningless. After all, I cannot enjoy the fruits of my efforts during
        my death, which will probably just mean the permanent termination of
        my consciousness. But if I know that I can live forever, if I indeed
        wish to do so, then suddenly, everything becomes meaningful, again.
    </para>
    <para>
        For thousands of years, philosophers had to deal with the inevitability
        of death. Some have tried to overcome it by several means. Others have
        tried to abuse this fact to assert some false conclusions. (like Kant
        who said that leaders must depend on promising their followers a good
        life after death - which is a blatant act of lying). All of these
        philosophies did not made the distance, because they accepted death.
    </para>
    <para>
        <ulink url="http://www.neo-tech.com/">Neo-Tech</ulink> is the first
        philosophy I’m aware of, to fully acknowledge the importance of
        youth-rejuvating biological immortality, and as such and due to other
        reasons, it is fully complete and fully integrated.
    </para>
    <para>
        I am The Eternal Jew partly because I fully intend to live forever. A
        Jew who is Eternal is someone who lives up to his greatest potential.
        (better even than “Jews” who are not Eternal).
    </para>
</section>
<section id="godless_man">
    <title>The Godless Man</title>
    <para>
        As well as being a Jew, I am an Atheist, and being an Atheist is
        very important to me as well. My parents being non-religious,
        I was an Atheist from a very early age. For a few years during
        Junior High School and High School, I became a deist - I believed
        in God, but mainly to explain why I had conscioussness. I slowly
        relieved myself of the belief in God, until I returned to my
        prisitine Atheist and God-bashing state.
    </para>
    <para>
        The first reason I don’t believe in God is because there isn’t a good
        reason to believe in him. One cannot pre-assume God exists just as
        much one cannot assume dragons exist, or that our neighbouring planets
        are inhabited by the Star Trek races, or that thought-reading is
        possible. It’s another assumption we are better not making because
        it won’t be scientific to do otherwise. (as scientists do not make
        assumptions without a good evidence to).
    </para>
    <para>
        The second reason is that all the arguments for the existence of God
        can be refuted. If God created the Universe, who created God? If the
        Universe exists because of God, why does God exist? Finally, if we
        need God to explain our consciousness, we’ll have an equally hard time
        explaining God’s.
    </para>
    <para>
        A better conclusion is to declare that existence simply exists and we
        as conscious individuals are aware of it. It always did, and always
        will, and wasn’t created (at least not conclusively). It simply exists.
    </para>
    <para>
        And if I die or get killed, would believing in God, while he in fact
        does not, help me in any way? And would it be logical to assume that
        a god who created such wondrous existence, would be so petty to think
        that we must believe in him, or else follow the requirements that he
        put forth?
    </para>
    <para>
        And further more, if I believe in God, which God should I believe in?
        The Jewish one? The Muslim one? The Catholic Christian? The Protestant
        Christian? My own self-invented God? The good thing about Gods is that
        you have so many to choose from.
    </para>
    <section id="god_for_control">
        <title>Why the God Concept can be used to Control</title>
        <para>
            One of <ulink url="http://t2.technion.ac.il/~shlomif/humour.html">my
                many Euphorisms</ulink> say that “The prefix ‘God Said’ has
            the extraordinary logical property of converting any statement
            that follows it into a true one.”. And it is true. Just witness
            the way believers blindly follow their leaders because they are
            infected with the belief in “God”. Be it Orthodox Jews who dress
            in Black Robes in the hot days of Israel’s July. Or be it Muslims
            who send themselves to their death knowing they won’t survive,
            but wishing to take as many “Kafirs” as possible with them. Or be
            it Nazi soldiers who march across Europe trying to conquer states
            they do not need to conquer just because they believe in their
            God-leader.
        </para>
        <para>
            No harmful doctrine is entirely free of the God concept, even if
            it blatantly claims to be so. That’s because such doctrines need
            a God to unite the people with. This God can be the State, the
            Aryan Race, “God”, the Common Good or anything else other than the
            well-being of the individual.
        </para>
        <para>
            By rejecting the God concept, one becomes mostly immune to such
            manipulations.
        </para>
    </section>
    <section id="godless_man_independet_thinker">
        <title>The Godless Man as an Independent Thinker</title>
        <para>
            The Godless man rejects any doctrine and any authority that
            attempts to go against him. He analyzes any truism that he
            encounters trying to see if it is factual. Furthermore, he
            gradually makes his beliefs more and more accurate, and adapts
            them to the new technological and philosophical advancements
            of his time.
        </para>
        <para>
            He is thus an independent thinker. Note that being Godless,
            means rejecting <emphasis role="bold">any</emphasis> god
            whatsoever. When you reject any God and any dogma, you will become
            “Godless”, independent and free.
        </para>
    </section>
</section>
<section id="most_powerful_man">
    <title>Who is the most Powerful Man on Earth?</title>
    <para>
        Who is the most powerful man on Earth? Take some time to think
        of it before you decide on the final answer. When you are ready -
        read on.
    </para>
    <para>
        Now, I’ll tell you what I would answer if someone asked me the
        question “Who is the most powerful man on Earth?”. I would tell
        them that “I am”.
    </para>
    <para>
        The statement “I am the most powerful man on Earth” is a statement
        of intent, rather than stating a fact. Naturally, there are some
        things other people can do that I cannot do, at least not yet. But
        it is irrelevant to the fact that I have the greatest influence on
        my future, and if I so wish, on the future of the world at large.
    </para>
    <para>
        Using this recognition, I can let no force, no matter how seemingly
        powerful stop me. Such a force cannot do this even if it greatly
        wanted to. If all people thought so, and never considered a single
        person their superior, the world would be a much better place.
    </para>
</section>
<section id="change_the_world">
    <title>I will Change the World</title>
    <para>
        Which brings us to the next issue. “I will change the World” is
        , in fact, my creed. It is not necessarily everyone’s creed (nor
        should it necessarily be, if one does not have the necessary
        ambition), but it is mine.
    </para>
    <para>
        Many people in history have changed the world. Many people are
        still changing it today. It is my desire to become one of these
        people, who will change the world in the future.
    </para>
    <para>
        There is still a great deal of evil, irrationality and stupidity
        in the world. Despite popular belief, it should not necessarily
        be that way, as people are not bad by nature. (and in fact, most
        of the people who claim or imply otherwise are the truly evil
        ones). I plan to do my best to eliminate this irrationality from
        the world.
    </para>
    <para>
        However, even after my co-conspirators and I succeed, I still
        believe there would be a place to change the world. One can change
        the world technologically or scientifically as well, as much as
        Galileo and Newton revolutionized the world of Physics up in their
        days, and Albert Einstein did it again among an otherwise
        enlightened scientific community.
    </para>
    <para>
        Many people have a negative sense of life and try to kill such
        ambitions among their peers. You can hear such things as
        “you have no influence”, “you are nothing”,
        “you are just a small screw in the machine”, etc. Yet, these claims have no basis in
        reality and are nothing but a pointless attempt to kill ambition.
        Some people were able to change the world for the better, some by
        intention and some by accident. They did it even though they were
        not particularly exceptional in their intelligence or other
        qualities. If they could do it, so can you and I.
    </para>
    <section id="i_am_the_messiah">
        <title>I am the Messiah</title>
        <para>
            And while I am at changing the world, let me make another
            preposterous claim: I am, in fact, the Messiah. And I think
            every man who agrees with the previous claim should say that
            (at least in the present troubled times).
        </para>
        <para>
            Some people have claimed that the Messiah will come when he
            is no longer needed. I have a vital correction to that: the
            Messiah will come when everybody assume his role. And I fully
            intend to be among the first to recognize this.
        </para>
        <para>
            Another reason why I say so, is to throw it in the face of
            all the religious types. They are so lame that they are
            <emphasis role="bold">waiting</emphasis> for a Messiah to come.
            Well, I  stopped waiting a long time ago, and simply became him.
            Are you going to wait as well?
        </para>
    </section>
</section>
<section id="define_myself">
    <title>How do I Define Myself?</title>
    <para>
        What would I say if you ask me “How do you define myself?”. As a Jew?
        As an Israeli? As an Objectivist? As a Liberal? I am all of these,
        but that’s not how I define myself. In fact, I define myself simply
        as “Shlomi Fish”.
    </para>
    <para>
        For once, I believe that defining myself as any property of me, does
        not do justice to myself. I am de-valuating myself this way.
        Furthermore, and equally as importantly, when malicious people try
        to convince me or other people of doing something, they would say
        “As a Jew, it is your responsibility to do X”,
        “Every self-respecting Israeli should do Y”. They will hardly ever say
        “as Shlomi Fish, you need to do X and Y”.
    </para>
    <para>
        The first thing a religion or a doctrine tries to take away from you
        is your personal identity. They want you to feel as if it’s more
        important to define yourself as a member of their collective, than as
        the individual that is yourself. No one should fall into this trap.
    </para>
</section>
<section id="ls_ms_rs_dwi">
    <title>LS-MS-RS-DWI!</title>
    <para>
        “LS-MS-RS-DWI!” stands for “Logic Sucks, Morality Sucks, Reality Sucks - Deal with it!”. This is one of my mottoes, and let me explain what
        it means.
    </para>
    <para>
        First of all there’s the part that I mention Logic, Morality and
        Reality, all of which are absolute in
        <ulink url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Objectivist_philosophy">Objectivism</ulink>.
        But I also say
        that they all suck and that one should deal with it. The implication
        is that you cannot go on blaming others or the world at large for
        your problems. It is up to you to make sure you manage your way
        through reality, despite whatever obstacles you encounter.
    </para>
    <para>
        You can often hear people irrationally blaming others or the world
        at large for their problems. Even some claimed Objectivists err on
        this part. Yet, this is a clear indication that they themselves are
        incompetent, or else they would not have needed to blame others or
        the world at large for their own problems.
    </para>
    <para>
        In fact, most destructive people actively emit such routine
        accusations. One common theme of most doctrines is the “scape goat”
        principle, in which you find an enemy that can unite the followers, so
        they would be willing to lose their freedom for the sake of fighting
        him. This was the case for the Jews in Nazism, the Capitalists in
        Socialism, Israel for the post-WWII Arabs. It is the case for drug
        users in many countries today, and recently fundamentalist Islamic
        terrorists volunteered to be just that. (in an attempt to deprive the
        liberty of the innocent people).
    </para>
    <para>
        As a godless person, it is important that one will have no scape goats
        of this kind, and that he or she will acknowledge that one’s problems
        are primarily his own, and that it is up to him to solve them.
    </para>
    <para>
        So, just “deal with it”!
    </para>
</section>
<section id="warrior_philosopher">
    <title>The Warrior Philosopher</title>
    <para>
        I am a warrior philosopher. What it means is that I’m not an Ivory
        Tower philosopher, who isn’t active in changing the way things are.
        Instead, I’m very active to promote the ideals I convey.
    </para>
    <para>
        As a warrior philosopher, I won’t rest until the last remnants of evil
        are eliminated from this world. Nothing can stop me, and nothing
        will. There is a very delicate way to enlarge the community of
        warriors philosophers: first, become one, then make others, who will
        spread and make others as well.
    </para>
    <para>
        Warrior philosophers are independent of one another, and each one can
        potentially make a world of difference for himself or herself and the
        surrounding society.
    </para>
    <para>
        Another thing that is apparent about a warrior-philosopher is his
        commercialization. While my philosophy is free-as-in-free-speech and
        publicly available for everyone to read, distribute, modify and
        re-use, my time and presence are not. In fact, when and if I become
        successful, I am routinely going to demand a price for giving speeches
        or presentations. Perhaps even higher and higher. While I may in fact
        do some things for free in certain occassions, as a whole I would be
        a performer looking to make a living out of one of the things he
        likes to do and does best. (i.e: philosophy)
    </para>
    <para>
        A warrior philosopher does not stand idly watching while the corrupt
        politicians are running his or her country and the world at large.
        Instead, he actively voices his opinion, criticizes the politicians,
        even claim he is the ultimate authority on what should be done. Thus,
        he or she is gradually taking more and more power out of the elected
        leadership, that the fact it was elected cannot give it more authority
        than if we consider the fact that a dictatorship of the majority is
        a good one.
    </para>
    <para>
        Here is a thought for you: why don’t you announce yourself as a
        competing prime minister/president in your country? A better, more
        honest, and less limited alternative to the elected prime minister.
        In Israel at least, the leadership (prime minister and members of
        the parliament) are a joke and I’m certain I can do better. I don’t
        see the fact that most people elected someone, as anything that
        gives him or her an authority to become the dictator of the people.
        So, I’m simply going to become a competing prime minister who will
        uphold Liberalism, Freedom, Capitalism, Individualism, and
        rationality, which I cannot say that any of our elected leaders
        consistently do.
    </para>
    <para>
        I won’t be a politician - just a statesman of integrity, and won’t
        have to constantly deal with my public image. If I am honest all the
        way, I don’t have to lie or to care about my public image. Some people
        will like me, some will hate me, but most of the people will respect
        me, because they’ll see I’m consistent, and eventually realize I’m
        very honest. Sooner or later, my co-conspirators and I will win.
    </para>
    <para>
        If you hesitate on becoming a warrior philosopher, just remember the
        Modified Parable of Yotam:
    </para>
    <para>
        <emphasis>
            The plants have gone to elect a king. They went to the vine and
            asked him: “would you be our king?”. The vine replied: “I have
            grapes to grow , so I don’t really have time for being your king.
            Sorry” They went to the Fig and asked him the same. The Fig
            replied: “Sorry, but I need to grow figs and big leaves, so I
            really can’t.”. And so it went on. After the ten or so plants,
            the Vine said: “This is getting ridiculous. Fine, forget the
            grapes. I’ll be your king.”
        </emphasis>
    </para>
    <para>
        <emphasis>
            The Vine was very quickly able to organize the plants that well,
            that they did not have to consult him on anything. Ever. Thus,
            while he was still technically the king, he had plenty of time
            to grow grapes, without missing a single season.
        </emphasis>
    </para>
</section>
<section id="reflecting_vs_leading">
    <title>Reflecting Society vs. Leading it</title>
    <para>
        I heard it more than once that artists claimed they did not try
        to advocate something bad through their work, just that they were
        reflecting the values (or lack of them) of society. This is something
        I’ll never do in my artwork or otherwise my life.
    </para>
    <para>
        It is my intent to actually guide society and convert it to something
        that is a whole better. I aim to be a beacon to others and behave in
        the most noble and outstanding way I can. That way, people can be
        inspired by me, or otherwise find comfort in my being.
    </para>
    <para>
        If people just reflect the values of others, the society as a whole
        will not advance, but rather maintain its own values, or deteriorate
        further. That’s why a noble man should aim to set up his own values
        of honesty, integrity, and individualism and not try to reflect what
        he sees in others.
    </para>
</section>
<section id="freedom">
    <title>The Value of Freedom</title>
    <para>
        Freedom in Liberalist thought means freedom from oppression, not
        freedom from responsibilities. The only limitation on freedom is
        that an entity cannot perform initiatory force, threat of force
        or fraud against any other entity or its property. Other than that,
        everything is allowed. This is despite the many non-crimes propagated
        as “crimes” by many governments or religions.
    </para>
    <para>
        As such, freedom means the freedom to harm yourself, either
        by consuming harmful substances (like Alcohol, Sugar, Tobacco, or
        the currently illegal drugs), or by holding irrational beliefs.
    </para>
    <para>
        Freedom also means the freedom to hold racist views, and even to
        practice discrimination against others, as long as they do not
        involve force, coercion or fraud.
    </para>
    <para>
        Freedom means freedom to bear arms and to form alternative militias
        to the government-sponsored ones. (and if necessarily oppose them)
    </para>
    <para>
        Freedom means being free to duplicate digital media, break the copy
        protection mechanisms imposed on it, and reverse engineer software.
    </para>
    <para>
        Freedom does not mean one is privileged to necessarily receive any
        kind of support from external entities. Thus, freedom means that the
        government has no right to forcibly extract money out of you for most
        of its whims.
    </para>
    <para>
        Freedom means the freedom to live and work everywhere you chose, as
        long as you find some means to support yourself. Thus, it is
        unethical for a government to impose immigration control on its
        territory.
    </para>
    <para>
        Freedom implies the freedom of expression, which must not be violated.
    </para>
    <para>
        Freedom means freedom of business practices, a free economy, and lack
        of government control of it.
    </para>
    <para>
        Freedom means not being forced to serve in the military against one’s
        will.
    </para>
    <para>
        Freedom means being able to gamble or provide gambling services,
        and practice or pay for prostitution.
    </para>
    <para>
        Finally, freedom must be fully satisfied. Partial freedom is not
        enough, and lack of freedom in some respects can always be abused to
        deprive even more freedom.
    </para>
</section>
<section id="open_source">
    <title>Open Source and what it Means to me</title>
    <para>
        No discussion of my philosophical foundations is complete without
        mentioning my involvement in the Open Source initiative. I am in
        fact a user of Open Source software, a developer and contributor to
        several open source packages, and also an open source advocate.
    </para>
    <para>
        If you don’t know what Open Source means, refer to
        <ulink url="http://www.shlomifish.org/philosophy/foss-other-beasts/">an essay I
            wrote about the subject</ulink>. Here I’ll just sum up.
    </para>
    <para>
        Most software written is not distributed outside the organization in
        which it originated. Software that is distributed to the outside can
        come in several classes. Being free (as-in-speech) software, which is
        mostly a synonym to open-source software means it is distributed with
        the source code, allows free modification of it and free
        re-distribution of it and modified forms, and that it’s use is not
        restricted for any purpose.
    </para>
    <para>
        Such software differs from software that either comes only in binary
        forms, cannot be re-distributed, costs money to use, or is otherwise
        restricted in its use.
    </para>
    <para>
        When I first seriously started working in a UNIX environment where
        open-source software has been common and dominant for years, I did not
        thought or knew too much about its guidelines or ideology. All I knew
        was that there was software that came in source forms, which I could
        download, compile and use free of charge, on the UNIX workstations and
        servers of the company in which I was employed.
    </para>
    <para>
        However, as I became more and more involved with Linux and the open
        source community, I became aware of the principles behind free
        software. There are a great deal of people who are very religious
        about it. They claim that distributed software that is
        non-open-source is evil and immoral, and that all software must
        become open source. I don’t hold this view, but I still see the
        importance of the open source movement.
    </para>
    <para>
        I routinely use open source software on a day to day basis. The
        system I work with most of the time on my home computer, involve
        the <ulink url="http://www.mandriva.com/">Mandriva Linux
            System</ulink>, the <ulink url="http://www.kde.org/">KDE
            Desktop Environment</ulink>, <ulink url="http://gcc.gnu.org/">
            the GNU Compiler Collection (GCC)</ulink>,
        <ulink url="http://www.perl.org/">the Perl Programming Language</ulink>
        , <ulink url="http://www.docbook.org/">DocBook/XML</ulink>,
        <ulink url="http://www.vim.org/">The Vim Editor</ulink> and other
        free software packages. I find these packages far superior to their
        commercial counterparts (Microsoft Windows and other software from
        Microsoft): far more enjoyable to work with, better documented,
        more robust, more independent of each other, and easier to debug and
        solve problems with.
    </para>
    <para>
        As a result, I am doing my best to reduce the amount of time I’m using
        Windows to a minimum as I can no longer stand using it.
    </para>
    <para>
        Generally, it is its open source nature that has enabled making this
        software superior. The code is there for everyone to
        contribute to, look at, or modify, and there isn’t a single entity that
        holds all the cards. Therefore, it is actively being developed by a
        large amount of contributors from around the world, with a lot of peer
        review, support and cooperation. The open source world at large has
        at its disposal human resources that one single company can never hope
        to have.
    </para>
    <para>
        I had the opportunity to contribute to several open source projects
        and even to head some projects of my own. The project I invested the
        largest amount of effort on so far is
        <ulink url="http://fc-solve.shlomifish.org/">Freecell
            Solver</ulink>.
        It started out as a command line application to solve games of
        Freecell, and gradually evolved. Now it can be compiled as a library
        for use within Solitaire implementations, and solve other variants of
        card Solitaire, is much faster, and has many more features that it
        started with. Most of the work on it was conducted by me, but I also
        received  a lot of feedback, input and even occasional code
        contributions from others. Without them, I would never have been
        motivated or inspired enough to further work on it.
    </para>
    <para>
        The amount of effort I invested in working on the code, and helping
        users who encountered problems, made me realize the amount of time
        and effort that is required to write a high-quality marketplace
        software (open source or otherwise). One could say that it turned me
        from just a “boy” who dabbled in open source to a “man” who invested
        a lot of time working on a serious program like that.
    </para>
    <para>
        Working on open source software is hard work but at the same time,
        highly enjoyable. Contributing to the body of open source software
        out there is a snow-ball effect: as the use value of this software
        increases, so are further contributions made easier. People feel
        motivated to contribute to open source software, because they actually
        can, because they use it legitimately without paying a price and so
        do not feel exploited, and because the developers of open source
        packages encourage contributions to the code. As a result, more and
        more people actively contribute to it, either by occasional bug reports
        or patches, or even by more serious involvement.
    </para>
    <para>
        Don’t get me wrong. I think the most important trait a software should
        have is that it will “just work”: be bug-free, easy to install and use,
        well-documented and get the job done. There is too much open source
        and non-open source software out there that fails to achieve that
        goal. Furthermore, if a non-free software can achieve the required
        goal better than a free one, I may recommend using it instead.
    </para>
    <para>
        Still the open source model (especially when following the <ulink
            url="http://www.catb.org/~esr/writings/cathedral-bazaar/">Bazaar
            Model</ulink> of development) has proved that it can competently
        fill more and more niches in an equal or better way than commercial
        software can. Open source software is very attractive to the user
        and the developer alike for the reasons I mentioned.
    </para>
</section>
<section id="finale">
    <title>Finale</title>
    <para>
        I hope you enjoyed reading this essay and that it inspired you in
        one way or the other. With best regards:
    </para>
    <itemizedlist role="centralized">
        <listitem>
            <para>
                The Godless Man
            </para>
        </listitem>
        <listitem>
            <para>
                The Most Powerful Man on Earth
            </para>
        </listitem>
        <listitem>
            <para>
                The Man who will Change the World
            </para>
        </listitem>
        <listitem>
            <para>
                The Messiah
            </para>
        </listitem>
        <listitem>
            <para>
                The Man who Defines himself as Shlomi Fish
            </para>
        </listitem>
        <listitem>
            <para>
                The Man who just deals with it.
            </para>
        </listitem>
        <listitem>
            <para>
                The Warrior Philosopher
            </para>
        </listitem>
        <listitem>
            <para>
                The Leader of Society
            </para>
        </listitem>
        <listitem>
            <para>
                The Believer in Freedom
            </para>
        </listitem>
        <listitem>
            <para>
                The Freecell Solver Guy
            </para>
        </listitem>
        <listitem>
            <para>
                Shlomi Fish
            </para>
        </listitem>
        <listitem>
            <para>
                The Man
            </para>
        </listitem>
        <listitem>
            <para>
                The Legend
            </para>
        </listitem>
        <listitem>
            <para>
                The Eternal Jew
            </para>
        </listitem>
    </itemizedlist>
</section>
</article>    <!-- End of the article -->