Choosing your weapons wisely

In the comments to my last post advising people not to panic-buy guns because of COVID-19, I got a request from a regular wondering how to choose a first firearm wisely, and about safe storage practices. He said: “I’m thinking in the next year of getting a gun for home defense, and I’d like myself… Continue reading Choosing your weapons wisely

Categorized as Firearms

PSA: COVID-19 is a bad reason to get a firearm

I’m a long-time advocate of more ordinary citizens getting themselves firearms and learning to use them safely and competently. But this is a public-service announcement: if you’re thinking of running out to buy a gun because of COVID-19, please don’t. There are disaster scenarios in which getting armed up in a hurry makes sense; the… Continue reading PSA: COVID-19 is a bad reason to get a firearm

The right to be rude

The historian Robert Conquest once wrote: “The behavior of any bureaucratic organization can best be understood by assuming that it is controlled by a secret cabal of its enemies.” Today I learned that the Open Source Initiative has reached that point of bureaucratization. I – OSI’s co-founder and its president for its first six years… Continue reading The right to be rude

The reality of the lizard people

One of the loonier and more wonderful conspiracy theories floating around the Internet is it many of the world’s elite are shapeshifting lizardoid extraterrestrials. This explainer seems to sum it up pretty well. When I first encountered this idea I was gobsmacked. How could anyone actually believe such a thing? And yet, apparently, many people… Continue reading The reality of the lizard people

Three reasons to believe the Wuhan virus is a bioweapon

I know it sounds like tinfoil-hat territory, but there are now three pieces of evidence pointing at the conclusion that the Wuhan coronavirus is an accidentally released bioweapon. UPDATE: Just two. The paper giving evidence for engineering was retracted s a few days after I wrote this.

Categorized as Science

Head-voice vs. quiet-mind

I’m utterly boggled. Yesterday, out of nowhere, I learned of a fundamental divide in how peoples’ mental lives work about which I had had no previous idea at all. From this: Today I Learned That Not Everyone Has An Internal Monologue And It Has Ruined My Day. My reaction to that title can be rendered… Continue reading Head-voice vs. quiet-mind

Categorized as General

Missing documentation and the reproduction problem

I recently took some criticism over the fact that reposurgeon has no documentation that is an easy introduction for beginners. After contemplating the undeniable truth of this criticism for a while, I realized that I might have something useful to say about the process and problems of documentation in general – something I didn’t already… Continue reading Missing documentation and the reproduction problem

30 Days in the Hole

Yes, it’s been a month since I posted here. To be more precise, 30 Days in the Hole – I’ve been heads-down on a project with a deadline which I just barely met. and then preoccupied with cleanup from that effort. The project was reposurgeon’s biggest conversion yet, the 280K-commit history of the Gnu Compiler… Continue reading 30 Days in the Hole

The Great Inversion

There’s a political trend I have been privately thinking of as “the Great Inversion”. It has been visible since about the end of World War II in the U.S., Great Britain, and much of Western Europe, gradually gaining steam and going into high gear in the late 1970s. The Great Inversion reached a kind of… Continue reading The Great Inversion

Categorized as Politics

Beware the finger trap!

I think it’s useful to coin pithy terms for phenomena that all software engineers experience but don’t have a name to put to. Our term of the day is “finger trap”.

Categorized as General

Some places I won’t go

A few minutes ago I received a request by email from a conference organizer who wants me to speak at an event in a foreign country. Unfortunately, the particular country has become a place I won’t go. Having decided that I want my policy and my reasoning to be publicly known, I reproduce here the… Continue reading Some places I won’t go

Categorized as Politics

Grasping Bloomberg’s nettle

Michael Bloomberg, the former Mayor of New York perhaps best known for taking fizzy drinks, and now a Democratic presidential aspirant, has just caused a bit of a kerfuffle by suggesting that minorities be disarmed to keep them alive. I think the real problem with Bloomberg’s remark is not that it reads as shockingly racist,… Continue reading Grasping Bloomberg’s nettle

The dream is real

Elon Musk’s new Starship is not the tall skinny pressurized-aluminum cylinder we’re used to thinking of a real rocket, but a fat cigar-shaped thing made of stainless steel, with tail fins. I just listened to an elaborate economic and engineering rationale for this. And I don’t believe a word of it. It had to be… Continue reading The dream is real

Gratitude for Beto

Beto O’Rourke is a pretty risible character even among the clown show that is the 2020 cycle’s Democratic candidate-aspirants. A faux-populist with a history of burglary and DUI, he married the heiress of a billionaire and money-bombed his way to a seat in the House of Representatives, only to fail when he ran for the… Continue reading Gratitude for Beto

Be the America Hong Kong thinks you are

I think this is my favorite Internet meme ever. Yeah, Hong Kong, we actually have a problem with Communist oppression here, too. Notably in our universities, but metastasizing through pop culture and social media censorship too. They haven’t totally captured the machinery of state yet, but they’re working on that Long March all too effectively.… Continue reading Be the America Hong Kong thinks you are