No, not the philosophical kid with the blanket. Incidentally, the complete Peanuts is coming out in permanent book form now. Here's one. It will take over a decade to release them all to the buying public. A full set will cost in the neighborhood of $400.
I grew up with Peanuts. When I have frivolous spending money, I might get a set for my kids. And if anyone out there in publishing land is listening, a DVD ROM set would go straight onto my wish list.
I finished Just For Fun, the autobiography of Linus Torvalds, this week. Linus is the originator and still dictator for life of Linux, the Unix-clone operating system kernel that is free to inspect, copy, and obtain. Linus is an interesting character with an obvious gift for low-level software and the interface between it and hardware that he has planted himself in. That part of the book is quite interesting. In fact, I recommend it overall, although the story is bookended by a philosophy I am about to disagree with.
His exposition of the meaning of life is not so cogent. Essentially, he believes that human behavior comes down to essentially, a hierarchy of needs. The most basic need is survival. The next is social. The last is entertainment. They are not just like needs, they are also something like the stages of human endeavor and motivation.
Aside from leaving off the tops of Maslow's pyramid, which is itself an incomplete story at best, Linus' theory of behavior omits some other important motivators/stages.
There's no good and evil in Linus' world. I leave it to you whether the Carthaginian human sacrifice of children was an example of survival, social, or entertainment. On the good side of religion, there's the Kierkegaardian knight of faith, who follows the moral that is in some way beyond the mores of society. It would take reductionism in the extreme to call, say, Abraham's sacrifice of his son Isaac to God a product of the survival instinct or the social order, when a major point of the story is to turn exactly those things upside down. Here's the incomparable beginning:
Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, "Abraham!"
"Here I am," he replied.
Then God said, "Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about."
Early the next morning Abraham got up and saddled his donkey.
More stages: the ultimate end of entertainment is corruption and decay. See the Romans, Fox News, any decadent society (pre-bloodbath France). And religious/civil awakening seems to be a spontaneously generating toothbrush for that decay. You can often see the pendulum swing again to a state sponsorship of religion. I'm not sure where power fits into survival, social, or entertainment either.
I suppose it's possible that Linus is carefully couching these stages in terms of progress, so a lot of what I am talking about are the forces opposed to survival, social, and entertainment, but I think he's really aiming at a broader target than that.