Mindblown: culture, urbanism, leadership, technology.

  • Federation is contextual

    Federation at the server instance is different from federation at the account instance. That feels like it is obvious, but still needs saying. Server federation is email. Account federation is spycraft in cold war Berlin. The reason why spam is endemic is that server federation must be default-accept to be valuable. The reason why PKI…

  • Portability

    Played Cyberpunk 2077 for five hours yesterday (because I’m an adult, 😛 ) and all I have to show for it is this: AAA video games that don’t let me save+clone+version+re-hydrate+share character state like skill trees, point allocations, and gear are starting to feel like a missed opportunity. We’re talking about the digital version of…

  • The same boogieman

    Privacy advocates and gun advocates fear the same boogieman but only privacy tech can stop it short of war and war is rarely an invited guest. The fear of authority gone awry and reaching towards authoritarianism is not irrational. The desire to have tools that protect you from authoritarianism is not irrational. The desire to…

  • why VR?

    The “high-tech, low-life” aesthetic that makes cyberpunk cool is the only setting where VR/AR doesn’t seem out of place as “consumer tech”. The problem for Apple is that they are a luxury goods brand that is out of place in the aesthetic. It’s like if the child soldier in Africa was using a Louis Vuitton…

  • Power is the means to coerce compliance

    Power comes in four flavors:– Physical power, which coerces with threats of death– Financial power, which coerces with threats of poverty– Reputational power, which coerces with threats of shame– Cultural power, which coerces with threats of exile and of assimilation Threats can appear to be lessor — a beating or a lay-off, but the threats…

  • Abundance obsoletes Efficiency

    Efficiency often gets framed as inherently good by economists and engineers, but that obfuscates any consideration of Enough. Trying to find Efficiency on the abundant side of Enough is waste; all you are striving for is Excess.

  • Failure

    Every failed project I’ve been around can trace its failure back to a lack of agreement among the participants about what problem the project is trying to solve.

  • Fear will keep them in line

    Star Wars has a formula. When it gets followed, the stories are pretty solid and, with competent film making they lead to good films or shows, when it doesn’t, you don’t. One of the most important parts of the formula is that there has to be a totalitarian power that promotes evil for the heroes…

  • Types of meetings

    I have a lot of experience having my time wasted in meetings that don’t serve a purpose other than to “have a meeting”. They don’t make a decision, they don’t make the participants better or smarter or more valuable, and they don’t convey information very well. What they did do is show me how not…

  • Thoughts on “what programming language should I learn?”

    “What programming language should I learn?” is a perfectly reasonable question. You might have asked it yourself. Almost every answer to that question you’ll get is bunk. The one that isn’t, sounds something like, “It depends on what you want to do.”. Which is, while not complete bunk, still very bunk-ish because it isn’t really…