Category: philosophy

  • Minority Rule

    Today is Independence Day, 2024. As it may be the last such occurrence in more than name only, we should enumerate what stands to be lost to minority rule. The majority clearly shares common preferences for a value system where you are emancipated from those who would deny you the ability to actualize yourself because…

  • Solving the problem

    There are lots of voices bemoaning the use of copyrighted materials in the training of large language models, how much energy and water is consumed by their creation, and how they are enclosing a commons to create a new generation of robber barons. Congress could, if they were a functioning part of human civilization, enact…

  • Middlemen

    Thirty-four years ago today I got off a bus in the middle of the night and stood on yellow footprints at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot to begin boot camp. It was a different world. The Berlin Wall had come down, the Soviet Union had effectively surrendered (though it would take another year or so…

  • 1600 hours

    We should be using 1600 hours as the annual amount of available labor per person when we calculate how long something will take, how much it will cost, or how much someone should earn. 1600 hours is 32 hours a week for 50 weeks. $15.00/hour for 1600 hours gets you enough to support a family…

  • There are only eight crimes

    Despite mountains of statutes enacted by governments making things illegal, there are really only eight crimes: The first five are straightforward uses of power to directly coerce someone to do something they don’t want to do. The next two subvert the will of another, often in a way that doesn’t require their presence. And then…

  • M.A.D. is broken

    Mutually Assured Destruction is the name for the idea that none of the nuclear powers will start a nuclear war because it will result in nuclear holocaust, destroying civilization and possibly ending the human race. But what if they don’t care? What if a nuclear power believes their decline and extinction as a nation is…

  • Police, again

    In a surprise to no one, police are again being unleashed in performative brutality against young adults demonstrating in protest against their elders’ lack of integrity to the espoused virtues of their country. Rather than dig deep into the many, many ways this particular hypocrisy is composed (because I don’t have anything but vitriol and…

  • On the management of the operations of information systems, or how to monitor your *aaS

    Operating any software is an expensive, mysterious, and terrifying proposition.  For most people software is an arcane craft and the people who author it are witches.  Operating software at any scale is to summon dark forces and try to harness their power as your own.  Operating software to provide it as a service requires the…

  • Does k8s encourage fragility?

    This is a question I’ve been toying with off and on since Kubernetes was made available. It goes hand-in-glove with a similar question about microservices, but I think of them as two separate questions, that happen to be related because there are loud voices urging us to deploy microservice architectures on Kubernetes, not as one…

  • Liars

    There is a joke that I’ve heard since I was a kid that has managed to remain inoffensive and true through out all the refinements of what we deem socially acceptable. It goes like this, “How do you know if a politician is lying? His lips are moving!” I like this because everyone can agree…