Victus Spiritus


Security versus Liberty in an Uncertain Economy

28 Aug 2010

My wife and I fiercely debated the merits of a potentially short term position that would help hone my web programming skills. Her position stressed that a new highly unstable job could vanish in a few months, and I'd sacrifice longer term unemployment. My counter position was that there are plenty of startups and companies that are in need of skilled developers. By living and breathing the web stack for even a couple of months while getting paid, I'd have the following benefits:

Since Michelle is spunky and extraordinarily determined I had to fall back on the crutch of Ben Franklin.
Ben's thoughts on the subject:

They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.

This was written by Franklin, with quotation marks but almost certainly his original thought, sometime shortly before February 17, 1775 as part of his notes for a proposition at the Pennsylvania Assembly, as published in Memoirs of the life and writings of Benjamin Franklin (1818). A variant of this was published as:

Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.

This was used as a motto on the title page of An Historical Review of the Constitution and Government of Pennsylvania. (1759); the book was published by Franklin; its author was Richard Jackson, but Franklin did claim responsibility for some small excerpts that were used in it.
An earlier variant by Franklin in Poor Richard's Almanack (1738): "Sell not virtue to purchase wealth, nor Liberty to purchase power."

*= G$ is my abbreviation for GarageDollar which on occasion boggles even my cofounder and Hacknical Guide Tyler. I strive to achieve complimentary strengths to my cofounder, while comprehending what technology he's using and why. Understanding what modern web tools are capable of fuels my creativity for utility and interfaces. That means it's my job to become completely comfortable with business development and marketing.