Advocate for the victim. You w…

Advocate for the victim. You will be hated by those who attempt to maintain order.

Why do Languages Die

Article: Why do Languages Die via Ian Bicking


Article: Over-parenting

Mike Mulligan and Marry Anne o…

Mike Mulligan and Marry Anne occupied the cellar in the new town hall of Popperville

Install distribute, pip, virtualenv without sudo

I’ve been thinking of writing this up for a while. Nick did it first. Yay!

Bootstrapping a Python Virtual Environment

You can’t keep secrets without telling lies

Via a comment on Daniel Ellsberg on the Limits of Knowledge. I’m fascinated with the concept of openness lately. What if we, as a community, society, nation, disposed of secrets in the interest of everyone being better informed and thus able to make better decisions?

This response to the question regarding top secret intelligence (paraphrased) “we (the taxed) pay for it, why can’t we know?” also gave me pause for reflection:

Some of the information comes from people who are secretly providing it, and who are the only people who could *possibly* provide it. If the information became widely known then they would be hurt by the people who they are betraying in favor of “our side”. It would be messed up to reveal the information and leave them to the wolves.This is actually a problem with “intelligence” in general — that you can’t even *act* on the source without potentially compromising them because that would be another way to reveal that you knew something that came from the source.

The practical upshot is omniscience with almost no ability to act, except in cases where the value of the action exceeds the total future value of the uncompromised source.

While interesting, I’m not sure I agree that it’s worth keeping secrets on behalf of the source. For one, I don’t believe our intelligence gatherers are anywhere near “omniscient”—that’s just hubris. And why should we seek to know that which is harmful to those who would divulge it? This strand of logic is grounded in deception. Would we not gain more by seeking to be less secretive, less fearful, more free?

Pub Rules

Pub Rules

The quest for security is a si…

The quest for security is a sign of enslavement to fear. – Lee Griffith

The Way We Teach Math, Sciences, and Languages Is Wrong

Excellent article via @ianbicking. Many of the comments are excellent as well. Unfortunately his neat anecdote about learning how easy it was to learn French with a new method was diminished by the fact that he had five years of previous schooling on the subject.