7 October 2015

Places I should be traveling to

NASA posted high resolution scans of all the Apollo photos, so obviously I had to browse through them. A few thoughts: When you see the Apollo Lunar Excursion Module at high resolution, or in real life, it looks really crap. It’s like something welded together out of dented leftover sheet metal and wrapped in aluminium foil. Obviously part of the design problem was making it as lightweight as possible, but it’s hard to believe that something so flimsy looking landed on the moon and took off again. ... Read more

6 October 2015

Man purses

I carry a bag with me when I go places. I usually have some sort of electronic device, a camera, maybe some sunglasses, other assorted junk — more than will fit in pockets. I used to use army surplus canvas shoulder bags, but the quality dropped so fast during the 90s that eventually they would only last a year or two before developing major holes. Eventually I gave in and bought a Timbuk2 custom messenger bag. ... Read more

6 October 2015

Naming and shaming

Josh Marshall, the editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo (TPM), has written an opinion piece rejecting calls to avoid giving publicity to school shooters. In doing so, I believe he has made two errors. The first error is to assume that refusing to publicize the killer’s name is a meaningless feel-good gesture. As the WSJ explains: Mass shooters aim to tell a story through their actions. They create a narrative about how the world has forced them to act, and then must persuade themselves to believe it. ... Read more

5 October 2015

Deontological ethics and the gun problem

First, some background on recent studies in social science: The study by Jared Piazza of the University of Pennsylvania and Paulo Sousa of Queen’s University Belfast, which included a total of 688 participants, found religious individuals and political conservatives consistently invoked deontological ethics. In other words, they judged the morality of actions based on a universal rule such as, “You should not kill.” Political liberals, on the other hand, consistently invoked consequentialist ethics, meaning they judged the morality of actions based on their positive or negative outcomes. ... Read more

4 October 2015


I use Evernote. Some business people think Evernote is in big trouble. They’re right about the reasons why: Several former employees believe a lack of focus hampered Evernote’s growth. Instead of focusing on its core note-taking product and on converting users to the paid service, Evernote spent more time releasing a bunch of new products and features that only helped it grab news headlines, they said. Evernote still has no Linux client. ... Read more

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