Nat Friedman

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The surrender of life is nothing to sinking down into acknowledgment of inferiority.
John C. Calhoun
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Nat Friedman (born 6 August 1977) is an American open-source advocate and programmer.


  • People rag on western medicine a lot for its disregard of indirect causalities and holism, for its antisceptic deconstructivism, for its blindness to things like the union of mind and body, and for its proclivity for post-facto treatment...But these criticisms notwithstanding, modern medicine is the accumulation of years and years of human effort to taxonomically observe, understand and explain an enormous set of conditions within a massively complex, underspecified system. To me, this is impressive. Also, they use cool phrases like "the radiolucent lungs" and "ligamentous laxity."
  • The whole youth-idolatry oh-god-not-another-birthday thing has to be the most sure-fire way to be unhappy about the way things are progressing in your life.
  • If ordinary people can really figure out how to set the alarm at a hotel, then we are going to make OpenOffice default to vi keybindings in the next Novell Linux Desktop.


  • I once read somewhere that it's a sign of enlightenment to be able to hold two contradicting ideas in your head at the same time.
    • Friedman may have been making either a sarcastic or an incorrect reference to an idea expressed in George Orwell's book 1984 (end of Chapter IX): 'Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.'

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