My Second Phone Is In the Cloud

Jan. 23, 2020, 9:16 p.m.

You know what I want? I want my own private server, to run my own private software, and I want everyone else to have one as well. Let me explain:

I’ll start with privacy; it’s at the forefront of a lot of people's minds these days. Down with centralization of power! Embrace web-style topology over the hub and spoke model!

Continue reading

What's the Pulse on that?

Dec. 26, 2019, 6:46 p.m.

People claim today that there’s more controversy than ever, and that might be true. If pressed to say why, maybe they’d point to all the protests going on around the world, twitter flame wars, and the general feeling that there’s just a lot of people online who seem like they want to be angry about something.

You could talk about the psychology of the issue, and you wouldn’t be off track, but if I had to put my finger on what really changed, I’d point to the abundance of information.

Continue reading

States See Abstractions

Dec. 10, 2019, 2:20 a.m.

The paradox of the abstraction is that the more general the abstraction, the less it can tell you, and so the more useless it becomes. The essence of abstraction is to unify that which is common; the more that can be unified, the less you will find in common. When you’re limited to working only at the level of the abstraction, this can be extremely limiting.

In Seeing like a State, James C. Scott puts forward the idea that in their pursuit of control, States have negative effects on the quality of life of the inhabitants. The basic premise that the State can only make decisions on what it can see (understand), the state wants to see more, that there is a whole world of information that the State cannot see (Scott calls this metis), and that because the State cannot see the metis, the State inevitably ends up destroying said metis, at great cost to its inhabitants. I won’t dive into a full breakdown, for a fuller understanding I highly recommend this summary.

Continue reading

Thoughts on Cryptocurrency

Oct. 29, 2019, 1:02 a.m.

I get asked a lot about what I think about cryptocurrency. It’s a hard question to answer, nobody really knows what it is exactly. It’s different things to different people, and it’s not helping that it’s at least somewhat complicated to understand the underlying technology.

Part of why these discussions are hard to have is that there’s many ways of looking at cryptocurrency. You have financial analysts and governments looking at it as a regulatory nightmare with no oversight, and you have hardcore programmers looking at it philosophically as a tool against oversight.

Continue reading

Declarative Style Programming and Idempotent Design

Oct. 20, 2019, 10:56 p.m.

I’m going to argue that declarative style programming is going to be the future.

When I say declarative programming, I’m specifically talking about a code style in which you specify what you want, as opposed to what you want to do. The most popular example of a declarative language today is SQL; you don’t tell the database how to filter and join and group and order and what-have-you-not, you just YELL at the database what you want.

Continue reading

Corporate Cynicism

Oct. 13, 2019, 12:04 a.m.

The larger a corporation, the harder it is for me to believe their actions of selflessness are genuine.

It’s not hard to imagine a mom-and-pop shop helping out locals on prices, providing good customer support because they genuinely care, and sponsoring the local soccer team to support children. And yet, suddenly, when a huge corporation does anything public, it’s taken purely as profit-driven. They cut prices to increase sales, they give customer support in so far as they have to, and if they’re sponsoring anything, it’s only for cheap advertising.

Continue reading

Fracturing Reality

Aug. 8, 2019, 4:03 a.m.

I think that increasingly people are rejecting the reality that they are in, and that they’re choosing the reality that suits them the most.

Waaay back in the day we lived in caves, believed in Gods, and had very little information about just what the hell was going on. There wasn’t a whole lot to understand, mostly because there wasn’t a whole lot we could understand.

Continue reading

The Social Arguer

May 25, 2019, 8:42 p.m.

I’ve noticed that, for any given argument, there’s two core approaches: you can argue who is right, or you can argue what is right.

Arguing what is right is the rational act of finding out which base priors parties disagree on. This involves discussion of why each party believes what they believe, what support they have for said beliefs, and figuring out what information both parties are missing.

Continue reading