Against War: Standards

Folks who read or listen to me know that I am deeply against war; indeed, I have been against war since my earliest memories, going back to the Vietnam War. But why? To answer simply: I have moral standards. War is about "breaking things and killing people;" especially the latter. Now, I am no pacifist;… Continue reading Against War: Standards

Interview with Open Access Nigeria

research should be accessible to flourish.

Sauropod Vertebra Picture of the Week

Last night, I did a Twitter interview with Open Access Nigeria (@OpenAccessNG). To make it easy to follow in real time, I created a list whose only members were me and OA Nigeria. But because Twitter lists posts in reverse order, and because each individual tweet is encumbered with so much chrome, it’s rather an awkward way to read a sustained argument.

So here is a transcript of those tweets, only lightly edited. They are in bold; I am in regular font. Enjoy!

So @MikeTaylor Good evening and welcome. Twitterville wants to meet you briefly. Who is Mike Taylor?

In real life, I’m a computer programmer with Index Data, a tiny software house that does a lot of open-source programming. But I’m also a researching scientist — a vertebrate palaeontologist, working on sauropods: the biggest and best of the dinosaurs. Somehow I fit that second…

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Makework Expands To Fill Time

Why are school lessons so bad? Perhaps we overlook the most crucial of reasons, discovered by Parkinson: work expands to fill time. Compulsory attendance laws mandate that children attend to something for ever-increasing parts of their lives, under the direction of professional educators, at ever-increasing cost. It simply wouldn't do to pay these educators to… Continue reading Makework Expands To Fill Time

Freedom Zone Confronts City Council

"Let's bring this meeting to order," said the Mayor. "Order, please." He banged the gavel. Quiet emerged in the packed City Council Chambers. Cameras flashed. "All right, to begin, this is a highly informal meeting, at the request of a group which calls themselves the Freedom Zone. This group, and the area where they reside,… Continue reading Freedom Zone Confronts City Council

Bum Finds Place To Crash

Officers Larry and Cass spotted a bum sleeping on the street, and decided to have some fun. They kicked him awake. Frightened, he tried to ward off the blows. They beat him with their batons. "Halt! Leave that man alone." Larry and Cass turned to face the voice. They bristled, shifted batons to their off… Continue reading Bum Finds Place To Crash