Tuesday, October 21, 2014

A Politician Who Isn't Bragging? Is That Even Allowed?

Via Charlie Pierce, I found the story of Seth Moulton, running for the Massachusetts 6th District seat in the US House of Representatives. Apparently, instead of exaggerating his record, he declined to mention his Bronze Star and other decorations. (Here's another story.)

Is that even allowed?

UPDATE: It does occur to me that the last major politician I know of who did this sort of thing was George McGovern, who flew 35 missions over Nazi-occupied Europe and won the Distinguished Flying Cross. Make of that what you will.

Friday, October 03, 2014

The Worst Muse

The Twitter feed of the Worst Muse.

UPDATE: if you liked that, you may also like Guy In Your MFA.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Peter Watts on the "Scorched Earth Society"

Via Boingboing, we have Peter Watts' talk to the Symposium of the International Association of Privacy Professionals: The Scorched Earth Society: A Suicide Bomber's Guide to Online Privacy (PDF). The title is deliberately over-the-top. It's a great essay, covering many topics, among them why "privacy" matters far less than "surveillance".

Saturday, July 05, 2014

Programming Sucks

I'm finally getting around to reading and closing out a bunch of browser tabs. This "Programming Sucks" essay is a couple of months old, but it sure is funny and accurate.

Most people don't even know what sysadmins do, but trust me, if they all took a lunch break at the same time they wouldn't make it to the deli before you ran out of bullets protecting your canned goods from roving bands of mutants.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Thought of the Day

If corporations are people, shouldn't the 13th Amendment bar buying and selling them?

Thursday, June 05, 2014

Charlie Stross Explains Why This is a Bad Idea

So apparently the US Secret Service wants software to detect sarcasm.

Charlie Stross explains why this is a Bad Idea. Highlights:

...then the Internet happened, and it just so happened to coincide with a flowering of highly politicized and canalized news media channels such that at any given time, whoever is POTUS, around 10% of the US population are convinced that they're a baby-eating lizard-alien in a fleshsuit who is plotting to bring about the downfall of civilization, rather than a middle-aged male politician in a business suit.


Indeed, a successful sarcasm detector implies not only an eerily functional human consciousness emulation and a metric fuckton of encoded knowledge about human cultural relationships, but the ability to engage in primate social interaction with sufficient agility to tell when a primate means something, and when a primate is signalling an implicit negation of meaning. Which in turn means the sarcasm detector requires a theory of mind. Hello, singularity! And while I'm at it, can I have a pony? And the moon on a stick, too. KTHX.