A fig leaf

There has been lots of talk lately about the need to embrace the gold standard for currency again because of America abusing the dollar. There are two issues that need to be separated, and the answers are not as simple as it might seem.

The reason why gold functioned as currency for the majority of history is that mankind had a solar powered economy. This means it was restricted by the amount of agricultural land that was used to convert solar energy into carbohydrates. Also, solar power was used for energy, in form of wood and coal. This made the total supply of energy available to mankind more-less constant. Also, technology was primitive and constant. This made the economy constrained, and its volume could be represented by another constrained resource, gold. Essentially, you could dig out just enough new gold to match the eventual growth of the economy. However, the problems started with the industrial revolution, where new inventions could multiply the size of the economy, and the monetary supply remained constricted. When petroleum use freed mankind from solar restrictions on energy by tapping into a huge energy buffer of oil reserves, invention of electricity broke all restrictions wide open, and Haber-Bosch method of synthesizing artificial fertilizers allowed for a huge increase in food supply, the economy and population started growing exponentially, and the monetary supply needed to be expanded far beyond the constraints of any single constrained resource. So, having in mind that the supply of gold couldn’t successfully cover the expanding economy even in the times of Tesla, Westinghouse and Rockefeller, and needed to be supplanted and eventually replaced by mechanisms based on mortgage loans and GDP calculations, suggesting an introduction of a currency backed by gold at this point reveals lack of understanding of the constrictive effect that would have on mankind. With gold, the totality of everybody’s wealth always equals the totality of gold in supply. With a gold standard, if you invent something that grows the economy by 30%, the supply of gold doesn’t grow by 30% to match, which causes a shortage of money in circulation and artificial appreciation of gold, favouring those who already hold the most gold, instead of giving power to the inventors and “new money”. Of course, if gold-backed paper money is used, the state will print more money in order to keep up with the economy, but then this money will lose convertibility into gold. This is the reason why gold standard was removed: it was a problem rather than a solution. When economy grew, for instance by the size of petroleum reserves, it was much better to use petroleum reserves as basis for currency than to try and dig out enough gold to represent the value of all the oil in the world, or to artificially inflate the value of gold to the comic proportions. Also, when someone came to the bank to request a loan, the bank could either say “sorry, but there’s not enough money in circulation to give you a loan, because we didn’t dig out enough gold this month”, or they could say “we can take the mortgage papers as backing for a low-interest loan we can get from the central bank, which will use this guarantee as backing and create new money which we will then sell you at increased interest”. Guess which turned out to be more acceptable for a growing economy.

However, when you allow someone to print papers saying “this paper represents a gold coin”, you will inevitably get more papers than gold coins, because the position where you can create money out of thin air is incredibly tempting. The first experiment with paper money in ancient China ended for exactly those reasons. But that is a separate matter: you can’t say that abuses of the fiat currency system justify returning to the gold standard, if the gold standard was not viable even in the 1930s, due to its restricting hold on economy. You can only make a currency that is required to be backed by actual physical resources, such as metals, petroleum, electric currency production, foreign currency reserves, and mortgages on physical assets. You can require solid backing for all newly printed money, but gold, there’s just not enough of it in existence to cover the value of our economy. It can’t even cover a minute fraction. And even if there were enough gold, it would work only if our economy remained constant. For a 5% growth in economy, you would need to have 5% of increase in total supply of gold, which is utterly unrealistic.

There is that other matter of dollar being an instrument of pressure and abuse, which warrants its removal from the position it presently holds. This would require the United States to relinquish a position where they can print new money out of thin air, and have the rest of the world pay for it; essentially, that’s what you get when everybody is forced to pay for petroleum in dollars. Instead of the normal inflatory effects you would get from increasing the supply of money in circulation, you get the situation where the rest of the world is artificially impoverished and American economy is artificially boosted. If you think America would relinquish this position without a very ugly world war, I have some real estate on the Moon to sell you.

However, there is a reason why America might actually find it preferable to have dollar crash and burn, despite all its obvious benefits. You see, all American debt is denominated in dollars. Also, American debt is so huge, it approaches the point of being unserviceable. There is a very easy and tempting solution for this: America can just print trillions of new dollars without any backing, and use them to cover their debts and thus reset their situation. Of course, that wouldn’t sit well with all the nations that hold American state bonds denominated in dollars, and would basically crash the world economy and monetary system in an instant, producing an avalanche of consequences, and that’s the reason why other great powers have been diversifying their assets, from US bonds to gold, rare earth minerals, etc.; because they see this coming. Either America will cause a world war to cover its naked butt, or remove any semblance of a fig leaf by simply resetting its debt to zero using the aforementioned method. Of course, having in mind that this would wipe out all retirement funds and personal savings of their citizens, this method would be hugely unpopular and would need to be covered up by some fabricated external factor. This is why I find a war to be much more likely. They will stir the pot so much, nobody will pay any attention to the little man behind a curtain pulling the levers and pressing the buttons. The plan seems to be to provoke Russia and China into a war, suffer a limited nuclear strike, introduce martial law, and then reset their debt and thus hide their plan behind some external villainous force, playing the poor victim of evil in the world. There is too much propaganda to that effect already in place for me to have any confidence in the possibility that I might be wrong.

About tantra

I wrote a lengthy email message to someone and decided that a part of it is too broadly useful not to be made public, so I publish a sanitized version here:

If a genuine tantric practice is to be found anywhere in the world, it would be in the West, rather than India. Tantra requires one to break the bondage of tradition, dogma, and was to Hinduism what the sexual revolution of the sixties and onward was to the West. Tantra was a method of provoking enlightenment, as they saw it, by breaking the bondage of seeing oneself as “pure” and “virtuous”. Elements of that can be found even in the ancient texts such as Mahabharata, where Shiva tests a brahmana by offering him the amrita nectar in an apparently “impure” form, by taking form of a hunter from the lowest caste and offering the brahmana to drink his piss. The lesson was that the great gifts of the Gods cannot be obtained if one fails to discard the rigidity of one’s religious customs.

This same principle lead Buddha to enlightenment when he discarded the rigorous self-torture and simply followed calm and serene consciousness to its source; this doesn’t seem radical to us now, but he was instantly despised by his peers and regarded as “fallen”. Tantra is usually associated with spiritualized sexuality, but that is a shallow view. If anything, tantra started as breaking the brahmacarya vows which made the sadhus “pure”, and the spiritualized aspects started as one felt this burden of “purity” drop off, and perceived his liberation from having to maintain all that tiresome pretense, and felt the actual reality of existence.

Sex was in fact the least of the taboos broken: a common tantric initiation was to render oneself, usually a member of brahmana caste in good standing, ritually impure by drinking a mixture of five impure substances (feces, blood, urine, sperm and sweat) from a human skull in a graveyard.

This is a very radical version of something people nowadays don’t even notice as radical: wearing the orange cloth. Orange cloth was something the lepers and outcasts had to wear to warn others not to get close to them lest they be rendered ritually impure. Nowadays the orange robe of swamis and buddhist monks is seen as a symbol of high status, but it was never meant to be seen as such. It was meant as taking upon oneself the status of lepers and outcasts, beggars of the lowest order, permanently and without recourse deprived of any positive social status.

There is a very profound meaning in this, as there is an opposite correlation between one’s investment in social status, and spiritual internalization. In essence, give people smartphones with a connection to social networks and they can kiss meditation goodbye. Also, in order to attain true spirituality, one needs to withdraw his spiritual energy from the world, and “world” is translated primarily as “games of social standing”. Tantra, in essence, understands that “purity” of the brahmana caste is a social game which absorbs one’s energy and inhibits true spirituality. That’s why the point of tantra is not sex with some pure divine being, but sex with a dobi, an “untouchable” laundry woman of lowest caste. The point of tantra is shattering one’s carefully crafted fictional being of social status, while preserving the core of one’s consciousness and realization. That’s what’s called dancing on the edge of the sword, or riding a tiger: this ritual self-destruction can actually destroy you unless you manage to detach yourself fully from your social persona. However, if done properly it can give you freedom by removing fictional restrictions, because it’s realization of God and actions that are performed by a consciousness absorbed in God that are truly pure, and any attempt at achieving purity by avoiding contact with “impure” persons or things is an illusion and a game of social standing – he who is most pure wins. A tantrika strives to achieve a state of correct action which arises from unity of energies that fuel action, and consciousness that is permanently absorbed in God. Thus all his actions are pure. This is the meaning of the symbolism of Kundalini Shakti sexually embracing Shiva seated in the ajna cakra: correct action, correct way of being present in the world.

That was my introduction. Now follows the description of my experience in the Puttaparthi ashram. (note: that was relevant in the context of the original inquiry)

Everybody there lived in some sort of a terrible fear of sexuality, to the point where any kind of contact between men and women was abhorred. And when I say “any kind of contact”, I mean that more literally than you can possibly imagine. The local store had working hours separated for men and women, so that they would never mix. The lines for coconuts were separated into male and female. The mess hall was separated into male and female sections. The darshan hall was separated into male and female sections. Et cetera, ad nauseam.

From what I quickly realized, Sai Baba merely affirmed all the local customs, prejudice and ignorant beliefs and made it grow big and proud of itself. He never did anything to make them question their beliefs and wake them up, he basically told everybody they are doing everything right, that every religion is right, it’s all good. All the vapid Hindu customs were praised and affirmed. He was feeding Hindu narcissism instead of shattering their bullshit with clear words of knowledge. In exchange, he was given the apparent power and wealth, but in fact he was a slave. He sold his soul.

And of course, since everybody was so afraid of sex, of course sex eventually broke out in the nastiest forms. I believe the reports of sexual abuses, they are only expected. Sai Baba himself was karmically poisoned by the compromises he made and all their filth manifested through him. It’s something completely expected if you see it with my eyes. All those brahmanic attempts at achieving purity exploded in the most depraved forms of filth, which was to be expected. The entire experience there was very educational, in a sense a concentration camp is educational: it shows you what must never be allowed to happen.

Everything Sai Baba did affirmed exactly that layer of traditionalism and hypocrisy tantra strives to destroy. Sai Baba was a false teacher, not in a sense that he himself was not spiritually powerful, but in a sense that he deliberately chose the easy path of telling people what they want to hear, because he chose the path of least resistance. Everything they taught in the Prashanti Nilayam “ashram” was so profoundly false, that it can be only made right by rejecting it outright and destroying it to the ground. Every single thing they taught people about spirituality is fully and profoundly wrong, to the point where doing the opposite would be awesome. To repeat myself, visiting that place can teach you many things about spirituality, the way visiting Auschwitz can teach you things about spirituality. Such a profound example of doing everything wrong can actually point out all your mistakes and set you on a correct path. If you are so inclined, of course, but most people don’t really have a habit of turning their brains on at any point in time.

What to do

In the previous article I explained what the Western “democratic governments” have in store for their population in case of a major disaster. The worldview behind their planning can best be described as “pragmatic materialism”, which BTW is how Satanists would describe themselves if asked. However, I can easily anticipate readers’ questions: if shit does indeed hit the fan that hard, what, if anything, can we do?

Well, I’ve been studying disasters and the answer doesn’t conform to this “pragmatic materialist” paradigm, to put it mildly.

The “conventional wisdom”, if you listen to the American “prepper” community, is that one needs to stock up on food, water purifying equipment, guns and ammo, and in case of a disaster, defend one’s property against intruders. Essentially, they sort people into three major groups: the hapless unprepared victims, the predatory criminals and the prepared homeowners. When I listen to their theories, I try to envision the world they are describing, and my conclusion is that there are unlikely to be any survivors.

Let’s say the supply of food, water and electricity is disrupted. There is no rule of law. Follow the Maslow hierarchy of needs combined with the game theory in order to figure out what’s going to happen. The most prized assets will be the off-grid farms that have private water sources and can grow food. Also, those places will have food and medicine caches. The most desirable assets will be taken over by the most powerful forces, those most likely to resort to murder and robbery. They will take over the farms, kill the owners, and allow everything to go to ruin because they don’t know shit about farming. So, the theory that the ones best prepared for a post-civilization life will survive is very implausible; a much more likely scenario is that they will be the prime targets of undisciplined, panic-driven violence, which will further disrupt the supply of resources. Once the predators run out of food, they will resort to predatory cannibalism, because humans will be the most abundant remaining source of protein. After that, everybody dies. The scenario is very similar to that of the extinction of the dinosaurs: in the initial chaos, the carnivores and the vultures wipe out the remaining herbivores, and then they die off as this short-term food buffer is exhausted.

However, regardless of what the Americans might believe in their satanic worldview, my study of limited disasters shows a different pattern. You see, when shit hits the fan, the course of action that is most likely to result in survival is not self-centered predation, but cooperation. You don’t try to hog resources, because you understand that you are always going to lack something someone else has. Eventually, the resources are going to run out. The sociopaths do exist, but they are immediately treated as a foreign entity and killed off. The non-sociopathic armed gangs will trade protection for food, essentially becoming the paramilitary force that will guard the farms against attackers. The farmers will accept this as preferable to being killed, and will become the new serfs. The armed forces will become the new lords of the realm, and will form a hierarchy among themselves, resulting in new feudalism. How do I know this? Because that is what happens every time there is a major civilization-ending crisis. The armed thugs divide the food-production resources (farmland with serfs) among themselves. The serfs get to survive, the armed “knights” and “lords” survive. The sophisticated intellectual part of the civilization is wiped out. Nothing unrelated to food production and fighting has great chances for survival. In essence, civilization is reduced to a territory under control of a mafia gang: people get to mind their own business and have some semblance of normal life, but the price of this is paying for protection by the well armed militia. The territory is divided into areas controlled by different militias, which wage turf wars, until at some point they decide to merge, and then you get a state with “police forces”, and you even get “democracy” where you are periodically asked to choose which gang gets its turn in exploiting you for resources. As the baseline of violence is reduced and commerce is established between territories, there is need for high-level products and technology, which gives birth to sophisticated trades, and later to science and technology. The more connected the world, the more abstract structures it can support, until you get the global civilization that veers so far into the abstract it ends up destroying itself, and you get a reset into barbarism, feudalism etc., ad nauseam. That’s history of civilization for you.

Of course, we are talking about a civilization-ending event, not a species-ending one, but the irony is, in a species-ending event, the best you can do is try to preserve your spiritual integrity by cooperating with others from the position of kindness, trading for resources, offering services in exchange for resources, being helpful and protective, and simply continuing to do the best you can until everybody eventually dies. This would be very hard for the materialists, who believe this life to be all there is, but for the religious and spiritually inclined people it would be quite easy: in fact, it would be just another day in life, where you’re supposed to do the best you can in the available circumstances, and thus show God that you’re a worthy person who will remain faithful even in the darkest of times. You see, for the best people life isn’t about surviving, or having your family survive. It’s about being faithful to God by doing the best you can until the very end. And that is what you should do when shit hits the fan. Be the best version of yourself you can be, and you will leave this world as a winner. Choose to desperately fight for scraps, trying to survive at all cost, and you will lose everything, and still die.

Zombie apocalypse

In the recent years it became popular for governments to train against the “zombie apocalypse” scenario, where hordes of the living dead threaten the living, who must quarantine and defend themselves at all cost. The zombies are, of course, completely dehumanized, depersonalized enemies; generic targets nobody feels any compunction in destroying. What you might not understand in this picture, is that they mean you.

In a major disaster scenario, regardless of the actual cause which might vary between disease, nuclear war or a volcanic super-eruption, people will be divided in two groups. There will be those who have underground bunkers with abundant storage of food, water, filtered air, medical supplies, and armed guards, and there will be you. You will live your normal daily lives, going to work, having a home with no more than a few cans of food storage, drinking tap water with no water reserves other than the tank for flushing your toilet, no energy reserves because you use gas and electricity from the grid, and no cash reserves because you live from pay check to pay check, and, in the majority of cases, you are in debt anyway.

In case of any serious disaster, you are the living dead. Your process of dying starts once the utilities of civilization, which you take for granted, stop. At this point, your death is a matter of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs: is the air safe to breathe? Is the water available and safe to drink? Is there food? Is there warmth? Are there men with guns and clubs who want to take your stuff? Can you detect and avoid radiation? Do you have antibiotics with which to treat minor wounds? Do you need medication in order to function?

If you need medication, you will quickly run out. You will have to drink contaminated water and likely get diarrhoea. Food is not your most pressing concern, because you will most likely be injured during the disaster, and you will be in some state of shock, with open wounds that will get infected. You will be either irradiated, infected by disease, inhale volcanic ash, or simply lost and without any idea what to do, surrounded by other injured, shocked, lost people. In a state of shock, you will initially do all the wrong things – get out and watch the nuclear blast, drink some water of unknown state of contamination because you’re thirsty, act as if things are normal for far too long. However, that would only matter in a limited disaster scenario. In case of anything serious, it’s not a matter of what you need to avoid in order to survive, but a matter of conditions that need to be met in order for you to survive. You need to have an underground bunker with non-perishable supplies, huge tanks of pure water, air filtration, medical supplies, and safety. If you don’t have those, you are at this point the living dead. Your process of dying already started, and you are doomed; you just don’t know it yet. Not knowing that you’re doomed, you will attempt to survive. You will seek access of supplies and shelter. You will be ready to use force if you are denied, because you will desperately need things. Those who have things will have a choice: give you things and thus decrease their own already slim chances of riding through the disaster, or defend against you, the living dead. You doomed yourself by not being prepared, by believing in the fiction of perpetually available tap water and electricity if only you pay your bills, and now you are a factor of the chain reaction of doom: in order to live one more day, you need to eat somebody else’s food, drink somebody else’s water, and use up somebody else’s antibiotics, taking them down with you in your hopeless downward spiral.

The government, whom you usually look to for help, will perform triage: who lives, who can be helped, and who dies. In normal circumstances, if you are wounded or sick, you expect to be helped. In these circumstances, those who are sick or wounded are a fatal drain on the resources, and are cut off, sentenced to death. The most likely people to survive are the armed soldiers protecting the underground bunkers. If you are armed and in the position of power, this power will be further cemented; if you are vulnerable, you will not only lose everything, you will be a danger that needs to be guarded against. You, the living dead, will be shot on sight if you try to approach government installations looking for help. You watched disaster recovery videos and you expect there to be distribution centres where you can get food, water and medical assistance, but that expectation is only valid in a limited disaster, where one area is impacted and others are not. When everybody is impacted, aid is no longer provided to those in need, because the resources need to be stretched out for as long as possible, in order to give at least some, the ones most likely to survive, some chance. There is no longer a “government”, only people with guns and food in protected installations, and the hordes of the “living dead” who want to get in. And at this point, they have been training for years to see you as nothing but inhuman targets, in order to be able to kill you without any compassion whatsoever, guarding their bosses, their personal safety, and their stocks of supplies. Have you stopped to consider why “zombies” are depicted as dirty, bloody and wounded? Because that’s what you, the normal people, are expected to look like when shit hits the fan. Read the descriptions of Hiroshima and Nagasaki aftermath; the “living dead” were walking around bloody, dirty, wounded, in shock, dying. You expect your government to be making plans for helping you, if that happens, but you are wrong. They are training their soldiers and personnel to see you as an inhuman threat, to guard against you and to shoot you on sight. What they are planning to do is stay in the position of power, use up all the resources for themselves, and stay safe from you, who paid for all of their power with taxes, and believed in the human rights and democracy bullshit they’ve been selling you.

Alternatives to Mac OS

Since Apple seems to be working very hard on alienating their Mac user base by introducing poorly designed “innovative” products with incredibly bad and unreliable keyboards, very breakable display cables, keyboards that rub on the display and abrade coating, and ports that would be excellent if everybody already used them for everything, which is not the case, I think I’m not alone in trying to figure out a plan B in case they just refuse to listen and keep releasing increasingly overpriced unreliable garbage.

Linux would be great on desktop if someone actually worked for real money on making it usable. So far, everybody just spawns distros that aren’t actually fixing the real issues, and I really tried making several of them work for me, but the list of issues is too profound for me to even get into. It’s a steaming pile of garbage designed to look good on screenshots and presentations, but which breaks apart when you try to actually use it. Also, Linux managed to alienate commercial software developers to the point where things don’t seem to have much hope of getting better.

Windows, on the other hand, has another set of flaws: updates are intrusive, frequent and tend to break the system ih a high percentage of cases. Also, it installs stupid games and other software without asking anyone, wasting space and bandwidth and annoying me in the process. Privacy concerns are significant. However, unlike Linux it actually runs all the software I need, and the hardware actually runs much faster under Windows than it does under Linux, no matter what the penguin geeks tell you. Windows 10 actually has the quickest boot out of all 3 desktop OSes, it has greatest hardware compatibility and the only thing it actually misses is the ability to run Unix console and software natively.

Or at least it used to be the case. Enter the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL). It’s basically something you turn on in Windows by running the following command in PowerShell (as admin):

Enable-WindowsOptionalFeature -Online -FeatureName Microsoft-Windows-Subsystem-Linux 

Then you reboot the system when prompted, and then go to the Windows store and install one of the WSL “distros”, such as Ubuntu, Debian, OpenSUSE, Kali, Arch, Fedora, or whatever. I’m using Ubuntu because I’m familiar with where stuff is. You install this “package”, open it and follow instructions. When it’s done creating your user account, you can install the service packages, for instance mysql-server, apache2, php, python and the like. Every shell application I tried works, except for nmap.

WSL, despite the name, doesn’t have much to do with Linux, since it doesn’t contain the Linux kernel; instead, it uses a translation matrix which translates Linux system calls to something Windows kernel can understand. It actually reports Windows kernel:

Linux DANIJEL-KANTA 4.4.0-17763-Microsoft #379-Microsoft Wed Mar 06 19:16:00 PST 2019 x86_64 x86_64 x86_64 GNU/Linux

Considering how it does its thing, it’s a lesser miracle that it works as well as it does, and it does work well.

All host partitions are mounted in /mnt and are presented as letters, in the usual DOS/Windows fashion.

danijel@DANIJEL-KANTA:~$ ls /mnt 
c d e

You can symlink the host directories into your WSL home folder; for instance, Documents, Pictures, Downloads, Dropbox etc., and when you modify them from WSL, the modifications are of course visible from Windows.

danijel@DANIJEL-KANTA:~$ ln -s /mnt/c/Users/danij/Dropbox/ .

Just don’t try to access the WSL directories from Windows because that won’t end well. There are other issues: the terminal in which the WSL runs doesn’t support tabs and has the PowerShell clipboard behavior, which is “standard” only in Windows, and incredibly confusing. Also, the Linux GUI applications don’t run by default. Both those issues can be resolved.

In order to run Linux GUI apps, you need an X11 server. This needs to be installed in Windows. People usually recommend XMing, but I advise against it because of the unreliable clipboard behavior. There is a version of XMing compiled in Visual C++ called VcXsrv, which solves this problem, however LibreOffice hangs when attempting to run in it, so I ended up purchasing X410 app from Microsoft store; it’s commercial and seems to work the best (edit: I had stability issues with it, it just seems to hang for no reason). Also, once you are able to run Linux GUI apps, you can install and run your Linux terminal emulator of choice, such as gnome-terminal, mate-terminal, or whatever. This solves the lack of a multi-tab terminal and gives you the expected Linux keyboard shortcuts.

sudo apt-get install gnome-terminal gedit galculator geeqie

Another problem is that the processes you start don’t detach from the terminal, which would be the preferred behavior. This can be fixed by writing the following /usr/local/bin/run script:

$1 $2 $3 </dev/null &>/dev/null &

Make it executable with

sudo chmod +x /usr/local/bin/run

and you’re set. Of course, in order for Linux to know where to send the GUI apps, you will need to append the ~/.bashrc file with the following lines:

export DISPLAY

Also, you will need to apply the dbus fix in order for things to work properly:

sudo apt-get install dbus-x11

You should also cat /etc/machine-id to verify that it’s a valid UUID with no dashes, and if it is, you can now run your Linux GUI apps:

You start them by invoking the “run” script we wrote before:

run gnome-terminal

This works great for almost everything, but I did write a few scripts that make things quicker, such as “edit”:

danijel@DANIJEL-KANTA:~$ cat /usr/local/bin/edit 
run gedit $1

Essentially, such scripts invoke the “run” command with pre-defined parameters: gnome editor and filename in this case. You can make similar scripts for terminal, or LibreOffice writer:

danijel@DANIJEL-KANTA:~$ cat /usr/local/bin/writer  
run libreoffice --writer $1

The way to open documents is with xdg-open, but of course it doesn’t detach from terminal so you would need to write a /usr/local/bin/open script invoking run:

run xdg-open $1 $2

As an example, this will open a PDF:

open price_list.pdf

It’s actually awesome that the application you run from WSL doesn’t have to be a Linux app, it can also be a native Windows one, and you can design your run-scripts accordingly. For instance, this version of /usr/local/bin/edit runs the Notepad++ which is Windows-native:

/mnt/c/Program\ Files\ \(x86\)/Notepad++/notepad++.exe $1

Unfortunately, you would actually need to write such run-scripts unless you want to manually add every Windows application to PATH, because manually typing this shit every time you want to edit something is not an option.

Good news which might eliminate the need for most of these hacks is that Microsoft seems to be working on a new and improved terminal for both WSL and PowerShell, and also on WSL2 which will actually include a Linux kernel.

So, with all those hacks included, is Windows 10 a good replacement for Mac OS? I guess it depends. First of all, Mac is not really a hack-free solution if you want a usable terminal environment. It’s missing almost all useful GNU shell tools out of the box, and those need to be installed via Homebrew or Macports. Also, its terminal needs a bit of tweaking in order to look good and work well. And I still have a Linux virtual machine on my Macbook pro, just in case. And there’s occasionally that odd piece of software that happens to run only on Windows. So, whichever way you decide to go you are unlikely to avoid workarounds and tweaks. Also, Time Machine on a Mac is a lifesaver: if your Mac happens to die without a warning, you can buy a new one and simply restore it from backup, and in a few hours you’ll have a carbon copy of your old machine, fully working. With Windows, 3rd party solutions exist and work well, but the built-in backup system was trash the last time I was unfortunate enough to attempt it, and it failed to do anything useful, forcing me to do a full system rebuild from ground up, taking days to get everything right. This sounds like a little thing, but I assure you it isn’t, especially when you have work to do and your main machine is FUBARed. It’s such a big deal I’d gladly pay a bit more money for a Mac, but if a Mac is built like shit and also overpriced, I might just get annoyed enough to look for alternatives, even if they require 3rd party solutions and hacks. I do use Windows on my desktop machine, and WSL with the aforementioned tweaks works really well, but the real question is what I would do if my Macbook pro suddenly died. I guess I would still wait for Apple to fix their present SNAFU, but I’m preparing just in case they don’t.