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Fractals of Change



nothing great has ever been accomplished without irrational exuberance



Last Build Date: Mon, 24 Jul 2017 03:00:00 PDT

 



Even Hateful Speech is Free

Mon, 24 Jul 2017 03:00:00 PDT

The story below appeared on VTDigger: BURLINGTON — City officials say they discovered racist and anti-semitic graffiti, involving a swastika and epithet, in the bathroom at the Fletcher Free Library. The graffiti has since been painted over and library staff are working with the Burlington Police Department on the police investigation into the graffiti, according to a news release. “As...



Debating Net Neutrality Live

Wed, 19 Jul 2017 15:19:45 PDT

Tomorrow, July 20, at noon ET I'll be debating "Net Neutrality" on "Vermont Edition", a Vermont Public Radio Program. Bradley Holt, a developer advocate and senior software engineer with IBM Watson Data Platform, will be defending the 2014 regulations. I'll be explaining why I think they stifle innovation and protect the dominant Internet players like Google and Amazon who lobbied...



Drug-Addicted Babies

Wed, 19 Jul 2017 03:00:00 PDT

A Repugnant and Maybe Necessary Step “From 2003 to 2012, the last year for which statistics are available, the number of babies born dependent on drugs grew nearly fivefold in the United States. Opioids are the main culprit, and states like Kentucky are particularly hard-hit: 15 of every 1,000 infants here are born dependent on opioids.” – from an article...



“Net Neutrality” Protects New Monopolies from Old

Fri, 14 Jul 2017 03:00:00 PDT

Over the next decade which companies do you think will be better able to exercise monopoly power? Amazon AT&T Comcast Facebook Google Regional phone companies Verizon If you’d asked me this question in 2000, I would’ve picked AT&T, Comcast, Verizon, and regional phone companies. They are part of local duopolies for wired infrastructure. They had a comfortable relationship with the...



Freedom, Responsibility, and Preexisting Conditions

Tue, 11 Jul 2017 03:00:00 PDT

We want the freedom to decide whether or not to buy health insurance but we don’t want to take responsibility for the cost of healthcare when we get sick and don’t have insurance. Evidence: Americans hated the individual mandate in Obamacare enough to give Republicans control of Congress in 2010 and we are now insisting that Congress repeal the individual...



Alexa: The End of a Great Relationship

Fri, 07 Jul 2017 03:00:00 PDT

“Alexa, you’re disappointing me,” I said. “I’m not sure about that,” replied Alexa, my Amazon Echo. I once described the device gushingly as a “wonderful listener”. I had great plans to make her the hub of the DIY home security system I’m designing. She used to play whatever music I asked for. She answered questions pretty well. But the affair...



Freedom and Responsibility

Mon, 03 Jul 2017 03:00:00 PDT

Once the American Revolution was won, the colonies had the freedom they’d fought for. They also had the responsibility that came with freedom. When things went bad, there were no bossy Brits around to blame. And things did go bad. The Articles of Confederation adopted by the Continental Congress and eventual the colonies were inadequate during the war and a...



Planting Cut Flowers

Wed, 28 Jun 2017 03:00:00 PDT

My friend Nancy quoted me a bit of extreme wisdom: “Making policy without studying history is like planting cut flowers.” Bingo. Much of what passes for policy today is an attempt to get the bouquet and beauty of flowers without any messy work with seeds, roots, and dirt. Healthcare won’t improve with the top dressing of more and more government...



Arlo: DIY Home Security

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 03:00:00 PDT

We already have a traditional home security system; but I’m a nerd so can’t resist the new gadgets. The sandbox for my experiment is Mary’s currently unprotected vegetable garden. Despite a fence, it is subject to immediate attack by critters unknown whenever a leaf pokes above the dirt. Nothing can survive there except weeds (critters don’t eat weeds), grapes, and...



Teach a Person to Fish and…

Tue, 20 Jun 2017 03:00:00 PDT

We all know the Chinese proverb: “You give a poor man a fish and you feed him for a day. You teach him to fish and you give him an occupation that will feed him for a lifetime.” Elon Musk, founder of Tesla and SpaceX, thinks that robots will do all the fishing we need so we’ll have to provide...