Disaster By Design

This very article began with my opening a text file, like so: bi nidotrt Wait, that's not right! I looked at the keyboard, and realized that one hand was one key too far to the right. I reset my hands, and typed vi misorder ... and here I am. Why invent the word "misorder" to… Continue reading Disaster By Design

Handwriting On The Wall

This famous phrase refers to a story told in Daniel 5:1-30. The actual phrase was "mene, mene, tekel, parsin" - three names for units of currency. In those days, a unit of currency was a specific weight of a metal just as, for a time in America, a dollar coin was defined as371 4/16 grain… Continue reading Handwriting On The Wall

A Country is not a House.

Any time we have a discussion of borders, and who should be able to cross these lines, somebody will say something like "You advocate open borders? I will break your locks, enter your home, and sleep with your daughter." A country is not a house. A much more realistic analogy, if you wish to compare… Continue reading A Country is not a House.

Please Don’t Feed Outrage Pr0n

A certain category of the "news" which clutters our feeds is so fake, the headlines stink of fraud. I refer to headlines of the form <horrible thing> done to <sweet things> by <enemies du jour.> These articles are merely poison to the mind. Often, the story is a complete fraud, from start to finish. Other… Continue reading Please Don’t Feed Outrage Pr0n

Fake News Shouldn’t Fake Us Out

Trusting a news source - any news source - should be categorized as a mental weakness. Michael Crichton once wrote about this problem: Briefly stated, the Gell-Mann Amnesia effect is as follows. You open the newspaper to an article on some subject you know well. In Murray's case, physics. In mine, show business. You read… Continue reading Fake News Shouldn’t Fake Us Out

Sealed Borders Are Not Gated Communities

"A sealed border is like a gated community" if and only if that gated community were a fortress owned by an autocratic tyrant. In the world in which we actually live, one may enter most gated communities if invited by ONE resident. I've been to parties which were hosted in gated communities. Say to the… Continue reading Sealed Borders Are Not Gated Communities

Firearms and Peace

Author Carlisle E. Moody studied the history of personal violence in Europe, and came to a surprising conclusion. Personal violence has declined substantially in Europe from 1200-2010. The conventional wisdom is that the state’s monopoly on violence is the cause of this happy result. I find some evidence that does not support this hypothesis. I… Continue reading Firearms and Peace

The Meshdek – A Demonstration

An early episode, from Jim's college days, has surfaced. Jim Wallenberg stepped onto the mat. He was facing Bruce Lee, the legendary martial artist - or, in any event, a lifelike simulacrum. The two sparred, trading blows, dodging, leaping, striking, kicking, spinning. He felt every blow as it landed; by the time the session stopped,… Continue reading The Meshdek – A Demonstration

Conversation With An Artillect

[This  is an excerpt from an upcoming novel. An Artillect, in this novel, is an entity with intelligence equal or greater than a human, the volition to make vis own decisions, and the legal status of a person.] The protester was neatly dressed, wearing a suit and a fab 'do. He wielded signboard and megaphone.… Continue reading Conversation With An Artillect