Category Archives: vendetta

Wooden Shoes As A Service

In international trade, the practice of selling state-subsidized goods far below cost – often as a way of crushing local producers of competing goods – is called “dumping”: Under the Tariff Act of 1930, U.S. industries may petition the government for relief from imports that are sold in the United States at less than fair […]

Mechanized Capital

Elon Musk recently made the claim that humans “must merge with machines to remain relevant in an AI age”, and you can be forgiven if that doesn’t make a ton of sense to you. To fully buy into that nonsense, you need to take a step past drinking the singularity-flavored Effective Altruism kool-aid and start […]

Even the dedication to reason and truth might, for all we know, change drastically.

The following letter, written by Carl Sagan, is one of the appendices of the “Expert Judgement on Markers To Deter Inadvertent Human Intrusion into the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant” document, completed in 1993. It’s on page 331, and it hurts to read. Dr. D. Richard Anderson Performance Assessment Division 6342 Sandia National Laboratories Albuquerque, New […]

Minimum Viable Basic Human Decency

I’ve been batting this around for a few weeks now, ever since I started drafting Free As In Health Care. I’m not sure where to take it at this point, so I’m going to publish it and see what happens. I’d like to thank a number of my friends and colleagues for feedback with this […]

Free As In Health Care

This is to some extent a thought experiment. The video below shows what’s called a “frontal offset crash test” – your garden variety driver-side head-on collision – between a 2009 Chevrolet Malibu and a 1959 Chevrolet Bel Air. I’m about to use this video to make a protracted argument about software licenses, standards organizations, and […]

Culture Shock

I’ve been meaning to get around to posting this for… maybe fifteen years now? Twenty? At least I can get it off my desk now. As usual, it’s safe to assume that I’m not talking about only one thing here. I got this document about navigating culture shock from an old family friend, an RCMP […]

Witness Me

Having recently forced myself to play through the ending-plus-the-real-ending of The Witness, I’m finding myself wondering if it was worth playing. I’m surprised to find myself thinking that it wasn’t. As far as you can “spoil” something without a meaningful narrative (which is itself a spoiler, I suppose) then there are spoilers ahead, so make […]

In Transit

Barbiephonic (redux)

I have a funny story about the recent Hello Barbie networked-device security failure. This is doubly a repost – it started its current incarnation as a twitter rant, and longtime readers may remember it from the dim recesses of history, but the time has come for me to tell it again. Back in 2007 Mattel […]

The Devil And Strong Crypto

Period scenery-chewing aside, this is largely how I feel about strong, backdoorless cryptography. When the last wires were tapped, your last passwords broken and the State finally turns on you, how would you hide, with all your secrets exposed? The internet is a forest of crypto from coast to coast – the user’s crypto, not […]