Some years ago I happened across a fascinating book titled Wicked River: The Mississippi When It Last Ran Wild. If you have any fondness for Mark Twain (as I do – I own and have read the complete works), you need to read this book. The book is an extended argument that Twain’s late-Victorian portraits… Continue reading Wicked River: the movie
If you were reading A&D a year ago, you may recall that I invented a new version-control system to occupy an odd little niche that none of the exiting ones serve very well. Well, actually, it’s a shell around a very old version-control system that makes a reasonable fast version-storage manager but has a crappy… Continue reading SRC 1.0 is released
Once upon a time, back during the Age of Exploration, there was a marvellous practice called the “silent trade”. It was a solution to a serious coordination problem between groups who had no languages in common, or distrusted each other so much that they refused to come within range of each others’ weapons. What makes… Continue reading The silent trade: universal objective ethics in action
I struck a small blow for better security today. It started last night on an IRC channel with A&D regular Susan Sons admonishing the regulars to rotate their ssh keys regularly – that is, generate and export new key pairs so that is someone cracks the crypto on one out of your sight it won’t… Continue reading Announcing sshexport
An underappreciated fact about U.S. Constitutional law is that it recognizes sources of authority prior to the U.S. Constitution itself. It is settled law that the Bill of Rights, in particular, does not confer rights, it only recognizes “natural rights” which pre-exist the Bill of Rights and the Constitution and which – this is the… Continue reading What Amending the Constitution Cannot Do
A&D regulars will probably not be much surprised to learn that I’m something of a topic expert on the history of the duel of honor. This came up over on Slate Star Codex recently when I answered a question about the historical relationship of the duel or honor with street violence. I’ve read all the… Continue reading What killed the duel?
I released reposurgeon 3.30 today. It has been five years and a month since the first public release. In those five years, the design concept seems to have proved out very well, finding use in many repository conversions. But the project exhibits an unusual sociology; I don’t get lots of casual contributors, only a few… Continue reading Cometary Contributors
After 20 years of evading joining the NRA, I finally did it last week. I’ve never been a huge fan of the NRA because, despite the fearsome extremist image the mainstream media tries to hang on it, the NRA is actually rather squishy about gun rights. A major symptom of this is its lack of… Continue reading Why I joined the NRA