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AFRICABIZ VOL 1 - ISSUE : 7
NOVEMBER 15 - DECEMBER 14, 1999
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Editor: Dr. Bienvenu-Magloire Quenum
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FEATURED ARTICLE

 
LIVE FREE IN AN UNFREE WORLD!

By Robert Smith.

If you haven't already read it, then I suggest you get yourself a copy of "How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World" by Harry Browne.

This book is a classic, and is now back in print.

What makes the book worthy of the description "classic" is in the way it identifies two ways to working toward change - the "direct action" method and the "indirect action" method.

This is not a review of the book - but I would like to elaborate on these alternative direct/indirect action strategies, as I believe such an understanding to be crucial to anyone seeking greater personal freedom.

Let's say you're sitting in front of the TV - and fuming over the type of news you are being subjected to. Things like: new taxes proposed, infringements on freedom of speech, reports on how education is failing young people, welfare abuse - and so on.

You get the picture - a typical week's fare of news!

Of course, a lot of people couldn't give a hoot - and happily gulp down another beer, and return to their life of grazing (as in sheep!) But if you DO give a hoot, then you have a couple of options.

The most popular by far is to "do something about it" by becoming politically active. By this I don't necessarily mean joining a political party, but that one can do "political" things - like writing letters to the editor, or joining pressure groups.

Let's take one example. You're fed up with high taxation, so you decide to do something about it by joining a political party that promises to reduce it. You also bring it up in conversations and join some tax-reducing lobby group. Soon, many hours of your life are taken up by these actions.

In this case, you would have subscribed to a strategy of "indirect action". Why indirect? Because all your efforts to reduce your tax burden are put into "indirect" ways of achieving it - things like letter writing, attending meetings, delivering pamphlets, calling talkback radio - all in the hope of persuading OTHER people to listen up and do something about it. It is "indirect" because your actions do not directly reduce your tax.

Now, politicians LOVE indirect action like this, including the ultimate indirect action - the VOTE. They love it because it saps your energy - without any corresponding results. It makes you feel as though you are achieving something - when you're not (well, not much anyway). It is the ultimate energy-drain and I am quite convinced this is a major trap for the otherwise sane person intent on making his life freer.

Okay, let's look at the opposite strategy - direct action. Using the same scenario - you're fed up with high taxation - how would you tackle this using "direct" means? Well, I'm sure you already know the answer. You take whatever steps necessary to personally reduce your own tax burden.

So, instead of diverting your energy to letter writing, meeting attendances, talkback phone calls etc, you direct your energy to finding out and implementing ways to actually reduce your tax bill.

You might decide to do more "cash" jobs. You may decide to open an offshore account and start a tax-free nest-egg. You may decide to get a very creative accountant to ensure you get the greatest number of deductions. You get the picture!

The argument in favor of "direct action", rather than "indirect", is that it takes far less personal energy to achieve measurable results - that directly affect your own life.

As a comparIson: you could spend 5, 10, 20 years of your life working for "change" from within the system. And at the end you could fail miserably - because the system is almost impenetrable.

Or, you could work directly to change your own personal situation and see results in months - or a year or two at most.

Let's take one more example: You're not happy with the education your kids are receiving. The "indirect" way of dealing with this could consist of any or all of the following: join the school board in the hope of bringing change; vote for a party that promises change; write letters to the editor; argue with your teacher friends, march in the streets - and so on.

Or, you could simply withdraw your child and place him/her in a private school with a record of achievement, or do the teaching yourself.

One strategy would actually impact on your child's education, the other one would simply drain your energy.

Of course I can hear a dissident voice saying: "But isn't this rather selfish, only solving your own problem - when you could be bringing about necessary societal changes - for the benefit of all?"

Precisely. It is selfish - and rightly so. You have every right to act in your own self interest. Your life isn't long enough to take on the burdens of the world - at the expense of your own or loved one's life. Think of it this way: If you had a child who could die of some hard-to-cure disease, would you rather direct your energy to lobbying the politicians and medical profession to get their act together - or put all your effort into trying to save the life of your child (by seeking potentially effective treatment)?

If you want to do a bit of both - direct and indirect - because it makes you feel better, then that's okay. But be very clear, if its results you want, then you'll achieve far more by directing your energy where it matters - on your own life.

You can start to take direct action by taking a good look at:

http://offshoreprofit.com and http://freedomflash.com

By Robert Smith, office@offshoreprofit.com

* Copyright 1999, Robert Smith, OPC International, Inc.

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CONTROL YOUR DESKTOP

 
In previous issue, our column about "Control your desktop" showed you how to perform back-up without additional device.
In this issue let's see together which important folders / files to back-up in particular; using WINDOWS COMMANDER and the extended "send to" facility of Microsoft "PowerToys for Windows 95/98" in order to have a safety-net against possible disaster.

FOLDERS / FILES TO BACK-UP IN PRIORITY WITHOUT ADDITIONAL DEVICE

I have three partitions on my system: C:/; D:/; E:/ - I presume that you have the same.
You can easily back-up files and folders from one partition to the other without the need of any additional hardware; you need only your partitions and the dedicated software I suggested to you in the last delivery of AFRICABIZ: WINDOWS COMMANDER

C:\Windows

If you have enough space within your D:\ or E:\ partitions, the first folder and the only one to back-up is: C:\Windows\ You may create in D:\ or E:\ a folder called for instance "WinBack" in which you can transfer the totality of C:\Windows using WINDOWS COMMANDER.

Open Windows Commander and drag the C:\Windows directory into your D:\WinBack or E:\WinBack and after each installation of a new piece of software you can update the "WinBack" directory either by performing the same as above i.e. dragging C:\Windows into the "WinBack" or by clicking on "Mark" in Windows Commander Menu tabulation and choosing "Compare Directories" between the two panels of Windows Commander and implementing the "synchronize" procedure.

This way of backing-up C:\Windows is great in case of complete disaster if you have to re-install your operating system in C:\ - Once the reinstallation is performed, you can restore D:\WinBack or E:\WinBack into C:\Windows and have your final configuration as it was before the disaster.

C:\Windows\Application Data\

If you do not have enough space in your D:\ or E:\ partitions, you need to back-up at least C:\Windows\Application Data\ into a back-up directory created in D:\ or E:\
That will help you keep (and easily restore) your:

  • Address Book

  • Email system
  • other important user's data.

OTHER FOLDERS

I have a folder D:\Reserve in which I used to park all the downloads I have performed; they are handy when I need to reinstall any of them.
I also always perform a back-up and constant update of my C:\Windows\Favorites folder from C:\ to E:\BackFavorites.

In AFRICABIZ next issue, we will see the IMPORTANCE of Windows "Start-up" disk; and the difference between the "Start-up" disk set-up from Windows 95 and the one originating from Windows 98. You may need these "Start-up" disks to perform restoration of your system after a crash or reconfiguration it if a nasty bug pops up and stops the booting of the operating system.

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FREEBIE

 
Visit the following link and have a look at this new comer in the search engine world which proposes a very useful power tool for websurfer:

http://www.gurunet.com


GuruNet is a new instant lookup service. GuruNet analyzes the context of any word on your screen and chooses the closest match from a huge selection of concepts. The GuruNet window opens automatically, displaying information about the concept from a range of databases. GuruNet is a powerful search engine which displays precise information about your inquiry. Install it, try it and judge by yourself.

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