• Articles: The Quiet Revolution: How the New Left Took Over the Democratic Party

    Posted in Everything on Sep 03, 2015


    Gramsci argued that communists’ route to taking power in developed, industrialized societies such as Europe and the United States would be best achieved through a “long march through the institutions.” This would be a gradual process of radicalization of the cultural institutions -- “the superstructure” -- of bourgeois society, a process that would in turn transform the values and morals of society. Gramsci believed that as society’s morals were softened, its political and...

  • The declining half life of secrets

    Posted in Everything on Jul 13, 2015

    If I had time I'd write a book on this immediately and expect it would sell well -- there is a hungry audience for this kind of analysis. Bruce Schneier linked to this, and I find it fascinating. It's a powerpoint, so to make it easy for you, I'm including a few screenshots below. The title is: "The Declining Half Life of Secrets." Here's a summary quote: "The decline of secrets is the rise of transparency."



    I like that it's obvious that refusing to hire someone who supports EFF is a bad...

  • Visual Studio breakpoints break in the wrong place

    Posted in Developing Software on Jul 05, 2015

    This is obscure, so I'm posting it here to save someone the few hours I just spent. I recently clicked "Tools/Options/Debugging/Require source files to exactly match the original version." A little later, without realizing it was related to this config change, I discovered my debugging cursor was moving through code in a strange manner.

    The highlight bar was wrong, it was stopping on lines with no code, and it even looped where there was no loop. It took me several hours to discover the cause: I was attaching to a running process, believing that the running process was actually using the same ...

  • Ten things to give your children (DRAFT)

    Posted in Everything on Jun 21, 2015

    1. Children natively love both parents no matter what, as a force more powerful than just about any other they carry. This is the essence of what we destroy in children to make them into grumpy grownups like us -- it is what was destroyed in us, remember? (Oh child of the Cold War where everybody hated everybody or else the world would end.) Therefore be nice to their other parent -- even if they don't deserve it -- because your children do deserve it. No matter how angry or disappointed you may be at the other, always encourage a child's love for the other parent, especially when the child bri...

  • It's simple. If we can't change our economic system, our number's up

    Posted in Everything on Jun 21, 2015

    Monbiot "buries the lede" in this story, but it's a good one from this point forward:

    The Ecuadorean government decided to allow oil drilling in the heart of the Yasuni national park. It had made an offer to other governments: if they gave it half the value of the oil in that part of the park, it would leave the stuff in the ground. You could see this as either blackmail or fair trade. Ecuador is poor, its oil deposits are rich. Why, the government argued, should it leave them untouched without compensation when everyone else is drilling down to the inner circle of hell? It asked for $3.6bn an...

  • Walking away

    Posted in Everything on Jun 06, 2015

    My father taught me well how to walk away from what I love. I have since learned that this is not the best use of the skill of walking away. I am now learning how to walk away from what I hate. I believe it is a much more sustainable use of this difficult skill.

  • Thoughts on whether homeopathy operates at a quantum mechanical level

    Posted in Everything on Jun 01, 2015

    1. We know by the dual slit experiment that consciousness operates directly on matter and transforms it from wave to particle at the quantum mechanical level.

    2. We have proven that consciousness does this at least four times faster than the speed of light, and in fact quite possibly instantaneously. This is not against the speed limit of light, which only holds for things that have mass -- consciousness is not bound by this limit.

    3. We know that quantum entanglement breaks any sense of locality common to classical physics by moving information instantaneously. The state of one particle can affe...

  • On pursuing perfection and never finding it

    Posted in From the Archives on May 31, 2015

    The following excerpt from Simple Tools for Clarity, Understanding and Betterment by Stephen Pirie reminds me of an almost identical conversation I had with someone I used to look up to... until this conversation happened. Now I look across at him as an equal; the illusion is gone (lightly edited for clarity).

    Not so long ago I was walking with a friend through a beautiful park overlooking one of Sydney's glorious beaches, discussing the downside of believing in perfection. When, lo and behold, we happened upon a group of people keen for us to join them and learn about meditation, and ... how ...

  • Resilience: How to Preserve Structure

    Posted in Everything on May 28, 2015

    The term “resilience” comes from Latin resilere, “to spring back, start back, rebound, recoil, retreat”, and is often intended and defined as the ability to cope with or recover from change. Resilience is defined as: “the capacity of a system to absorb disturbance and reorganize while undergoing change so as to still retain essentially the same function, structure, identity, and feedbacks” (Brian Walker). Resilience corresponds to the Aristotelian concept of entelechy “exercising activity in order to guarantee one’s identity”. Resilience shows the boundaries to sustainability. It shows what ty...

  • Phillip K. Dick on the intersection of time, fiction and reality

    Posted in From the Archives on Mar 01, 2015

    The following excerpt from "How to Build a Universe That Doesn't Fall Apart Two Days Later" is interesting, good reason to re-evaluate the meaning of some of the more peculiar episodes of my own life:

    One afternoon I was talking to my priest - I am an Episcopalian — and I happened to mention to him an important scene near the end of the novel in which the character Felix Buckman meets a black stranger at an all-night gas station, and they begin to talk. As I described the scene in more and more detail, my priest became progressively more agitated. At last he said, ’That is a scene from the Boo...