2014, Here We Come

Rather than a retrospective on the past year, I thought I’d kick off the new year in its wee hours with a look forward at the wider world. In The Princess Bride, Fezzik the Giant says to Inigo: “I hope we win.” It’s my favorite line from that movie. A… Continue reading

The Next Ten Thousand Hours, Ep 01

This week on the podcast, we unveil The Next Ten Thousand Hours. Popular memetics would have you believe that it takes ten thousand hours to get really good at something–fortunately, there are all sorts of podcasts and video channels and books to help you through that difficult apprenticeship. But what… Continue reading

Seriously Important Things

In between working on the website and audio for the new SooperSekrit project today, I followed a link to an article that turned out to articulate one of the greatest (and most easily fixable) systemic problems that a lot of us face. If you are someone who was tracked as… Continue reading

Ethical Autodidacticism

Learning is a skill. It is, in my opninion, the single most important skill a person can acquire. Without it, one is forever constrained by one’s culture and peer group and the narratives that form around them. A person who has not learned to self-educate has little hope of adapting… Continue reading

Truth, Justice, Debate, and Democracy

I frequently preface and postscript posts where I talk about politics, ethics, religion, philosophy, or other touchy things with the categorical statement “I’m interested in the discussion/conversation. My opinion doesn’t matter.” The last couple weeks have reminded me of just how odd that sounds in our current cultural context, and… Continue reading

The NSA, Snowden, and Why It Matters

This is a very long post containing technical information about how data security works, and how it interacts with a social contract. To read the whole thing, click under the cut. This post has been edited to include an explaination of what metadata is Continue reading

Sufficiently Advanced? Thoughts on SETI

If you envision science-fictiony science projects as children that come in generations, then the generation that gave birth to SETI is a pretty impressive generation indeed. The minds behind it are contemporary with (and sometimes, identical to) the minds that came up with ways to find black holes, with nanotechnology,… Continue reading

On Equine Excrement

This post contains language you might not want your boss to read over your shoulder. It’s a comparative taxonomy of two subspecies of four-letter excrement. You have been warned. Continue reading

The Rules of Scotch

By popular request, here are the Rules of Scotch, as defined in Down From Ten. According to Carol in the book a good scotch: 1) Must be unpolluted (served neat–no water or ice) 2) It must be individualistic (single malt only–no blended scotch) 3) Must be bold (i.e. distinctive flavor… Continue reading

The Future Snuck In The Back Door

If you’re not the kind of obsessive geek I am, you might have missed that yesterday the first major accomplishment in de novo life extension through gene therapy got published. This project has been going on for a while, but up until yesterday, all therapies and attempted engineering have either… Continue reading