General 2008-01-21 06:20


General 2006-07-16 04:44

As part of my ongoing quest to get rid of stuff, I’m converting my library of books from physical to virtual:
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American Jobs

General 2005-08-18 04:37

Do you support government policies which protect American jobs? If so, why?

There are two possible reasons to support trade protectionism, as such policies are called. Either…

1. You believe that Americans are in some way more worthwhile as human beings, and thus deserve any given job more than someone of equal qualifications who lives in another country.


2. You believe that Americans are in some way lazier, dumber, or otherwise more incompetent than someone living in another country. Thus they cannot be expect to compete fairly for employment.

It can only reasonably be one of the two. If you believe neither of these statements, then there is no reason to support trade protectionism.

The Virtues of Decentralization

General 2005-05-03 03:43

Lately there has been some buzz about decentralized systems such as Peer-to-Peer (P2P) file sharing, Wiki, and the Internet itself. These systems are different from our conventional notion of organization in that there is no single seat of power. Instead, responsibility is spread amongst many nodes of matching function. These nodes are sometimes called term peers, indicating their status with regard to one another. The immediately noticeable benefit of a peer-based system is that the removal of any given node or even a large set of nodes does not necessarily cripple the entire system. In the case of the Internet, for example, service providers can come and go without the network as a whole ever going offline. Compare this to a network like CompuServe or AOL which are run by a single company; were that company to go bankrupt, the network would disappear.

So decentralized systems are a cutting-edge new approach to organization, right? Actually, they are not new at all.

It is a common and deep-seated conception that centralized authority is the best and most prevalent system of organization. Indeed, even the word “organization” (as a noun) brings to mind corporations, governments, and the military - all of which are typically arranged in a hierarchy, with power flowing from top to bottom. At the top of this power pyramid you will find a single person: the CEO, President, Commander in Chief, or King. Unlike a decentralized system, taking out the top of the pyramid cripples or even destroys the entire organization.
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General 2005-04-10 06:43

Creating a home page or a blog can be a surprisingly challenging and introspective experience. Even for a person with a strong sense of identity, such as myself, the question of “Who am I, and how do I accurately yet succinctly describe the essence of my being to a hypothetical stranger?” can be a a difficult one.

It’s also a slightly narcissistic and self-indugent exercise. But as a guy who already has his own vanity domain and his own logo which has appeared on numerous flyers, it’s hardly a stretch.

If you don’t know me, or (perhaps especially) if you think you do, read my About page.

This weblog isn’t about me, though. I’m not the type to share details of my personal life with close friends, let alone post it on the internet. (This isn’t because I mind sharing, just that I figure no one cares. Sort of a golden rule thing: I really don’t care about the personal details of anyone else’s life, why should they care about mine?) You will not learn my current mood (except by implication) nor my current music (though this bit is easily gleaned from other sources).

Instead this space is an outlet for the musings, extrapolations, and other mental acrobatics that occupy quite a lot of my time. I am a collector of information (I like the term “maven”), a lover of logic, a thinker of thoughts, a pensive ponderer - and apparently, an avid alliterator. But I’m also aware of how people of my nature tend to ramble (or even pontificate) about subjects and various hair-splitting details long after they have lost the attention of their audience. So, a forum like this one is ideal, because you can stop reading (or just start skimming) when you get bored, without any fear of offending me. But I still get to say it all.