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Fractals of Change

nothing great has ever been accomplished without irrational exuberance

Last Build Date: Tue, 13 Feb 2018 03:00:00 PST


A Surprising Letter from David Koch

Tue, 13 Feb 2018 03:00:00 PST

Recently we got a letter from David Koch. As you would guess, it is a request for support for Americans for Prosperity (AFP), which he co-founded. What I wouldn’t have guessed before reading is that there is nothing in the eight pages I disagree with and much which is compelling. Some of the letter could’ve come from the left as...

Software Nerd Goes Hard

Thu, 08 Feb 2018 03:00:00 PST

Result works but isn’t pretty Q: How many programmers does it take to change a lightbulb? A: Can’t be done. It’s a hardware problem. I’m a software guy (58 years of programming) but I had a hardware problem. Closed the screen of my almost new laptop on my portable mouse while getting up from my airline seat. The screen was...

Protecting Civil Liberties

Mon, 05 Feb 2018 03:00:00 PST

There is no way that the allegations in the Nunes memo, even if they are all true and there is no mitigating evidence which was withheld, exonerate the President from allegations that he or his campaign collaborated with Russians or that he attempted to obstruct justice. Conversely, what Trump did or didn’t do is not relevant to whether the Justice...

Vermont Trailers v. the Tanker from Siberia

Fri, 02 Feb 2018 03:00:00 PST

In the recent winter cold snap, the LNG tanker GASELYS hooked up in Everett near Boston to discharge what’s assumed to be Siberian natural gas into the dangerously depleted pipelines of southern New England. The arrival was well reported as was the irony of an almost energy-independent US being dependent on gas from sanctioned Russian producers. Much more quietly, trailers...

Microsoft Is Uploading Files from Your Computer

Thu, 25 Jan 2018 09:13:15 PST

You may be in breach of nondisclosure agreements. While setting up a new computer, I was horrified to see this default security setting: This says that documents you’re working on, spreadsheets, confidential presentations, personal pictures, clever algorithms, or anything else on your computer may be uploaded to Microsoft at any time without your knowledge. How does Microsoft decide what is...

The Wretched Refuse of Your Teeming Shore

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 03:46:46 PST

There are two major reasons why we accept immigrants. One is purely selfish: some immigrants have skills or money to bring which will make America better. These potential immigrants can presumably be identified. It shouldn’t matter where they’re from or what their race or religion is so long as they are bringing something of value. We have various programs like...

Marijuana and the Constitution

Thu, 11 Jan 2018 03:00:00 PST

It took the 19th amendment to the US Constitution to ban most manufacture, transport, and sale of alcoholic beverage in the United States. Why then was Congress able to ban marijuana and a host of other substances by simply passing a law? Good question and one worth addressing when this congressional prohibition is at odds with what most American apparently...

Marijuana and Congress

Fri, 12 Jan 2018 14:11:14 PST

The haze of bipartisan Congressional hypocrisy is thicker than the air in a marijuana bar. I’m for legalization; it’s time for Congress to stop blowing smoke and start legislating. The Controlled Substances Act (CSA), which classifies marijuana as a Schedule I drug like heroin and proclaims it more dangerous than fentanyl and oxytocin (Schedule II), was passed by Congress in...

AT&T-Run Network Announces “Ruthless Preemption”

Thu, 04 Jan 2018 07:12:22 PST

If you think this is some nightmare result of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voting to rescind the 2015 “Net Neutrality” regulations, think again. “Ruthless Preemption” is a feature of a so-far non-existent network called FirstNet for which the federal government has given AT&T a 25-year operating agreement, the exclusive right to sell FirstNet services to first responders, and lots...

The End of Net Neutrality Regulation COULD Mean the End of Last-Mile Oligopolies

Tue, 02 Jan 2018 03:00:00 PST

Landline networks like the old phone system and the new(er) cable systems do lend themselves to monopoly or at least duopoly outcomes. Building these networks is both very expensive and requires myriad government approvals. Once a system is in place, it is hard for anyone to raise the capital to duplicate it. Even a network of wireless towers is hard...