Category Archives: science

Rogue Cryptocurrency Bootstrapping Robots

I tried to explain to my daughter why I’d had a strange day. “Why was it strange?” “Well… There’s a thing called a cryptocurrency. ‘Currency’ is another word for money; a cryptocurrency is a special kind of money that’s made out of math instead of paper or metal.” That got me a look. Money that’s […]

Citation Needed

I may revisit this later. Consider this a late draft. I’m calling this done. “Should array indices start at 0 or 1? My compromise of 0.5 was rejected without, I thought, proper consideration.” — Stan Kelly-Bootle Sometimes somebody says something to me, like a whisper of a hint of an echo of something half-forgotten, and […]

Algorithmically Marginalized

I wouldn’t have thought that mathematics or signal processing would have a cultural bent, but I just sat through a conference call where everyone was reasonably clear except for one guy, with a pronounced central-African accent, whose voice was getting audibly butchered by the noise cancellation algorithm on the line. The beginning of every sentence, […]

Crypto Is Not A Panacea

I was going to write this to an internal mailing list, following this week’s PRISM excitement, but I’ve decided to put it here instead. It was written (and cribbed from other stuff I’ve written elsewhere) in response to an argument that encrypting everything would somehow solve a scary-sounding though imprecisely-specified problem, a claim you may […]

That’s Too Much Machine For You

Man, how awful is it to see people broken by the realization that they are no longer young. Why are you being cantankerous, newly-old person? It’s totally OK not to be 17 or 23, things are still amazing! Kids are having fun! You may not really understand it, but just roll with it! The stuff […]

Today, In Orbital Panopticon News

This is really astounding, though perhaps it shouldn’t be. The Department of Defence has given NASA a gift of two better-than-Hubble telescopes it built but never used, because despite this quote describing them… They have 2.4-meter (7.9 feet) mirrors, just like the Hubble. They also have an additional feature that the civilian space telescopes lack: […]

Bring Your Daughter To Work Day

Seen here wearing her favorite Rocket Shirt, this is Maya is helping me change the tires on my car. It’s important to get kids started early on this sort of work, I think.

Early Signs Of Anthro

Noted psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan has an interesting theory about infant development, something called the “Mirror Stage”. The idea is that at some point very early in a child’s development they will, on seeing themselves and a parent in the mirror, look from themselves to their parent back to themselves, in shock and laughter; this is […]

On The Perpetual Threat Of Regressive Nonsense In Children’s Literature

We took Arthur’s Science Fair Trouble out of the library for Maya the other day, and let me tell you: I had always suspected that most of what adults tell you is bullshit, but children’s books live at some horrible Venn overlap of Moore and Sturgeon’s respective Laws where 90% of everything is not only […]

Even A Change Of Hats

Sufficiently advanced fashion is indistinguishable from cosplay. The obvious corollary to that is: fashion that is easily distinguished from cosplay is insufficiently advanced. I mentioned this to somebody in passing the other day; today, my goodness, the Internet Provides: If you wear a white coat that you believe belongs to a doctor, your ability to […]