Category Archives: vendetta

The Minimum Viable Context

This is not a subtweet; if I thought this should be about you, I’d have said so to your face months ago. If you get all the way through it and still kind of suspect it’s about you, though, you should spend some time looking inward and gear yourself up to deal with whatever you […]

A Security Question

To my shame, I don’t have a certificate for my blog yet, but as I was flipping through some referer logs I realized that I don’t understand something about HTTPS. I was looking into the fact that I sometimes – about 1% of the time – I see non-S HTTP referers from Twitter’s t.co URL […]

What I’m Talking About When I’m Talking About Biking

It’s a funny little quirk of Ontario traffic laws that the fine for killing a cyclist is often less expensive than the bike they were riding when they were killed. I’m a cyclist. I own bikes for different jobs, I commute to work every day I can on a bike, and ride for fun when […]

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 […]