A Choir of New Voices

Think of this for a moment: Everything you know–your science, your technology, your popular art and culture, and your politics–are the result of thousands of years of technological failure. That failure? The fact that only a few people could read and write and communicate. Books were expensive to produce and …

In Memorium: Douglas Noel Adams

As it’s the birthday of Douglas Adams, lots of folks are tweeting favorite parts of his writing to one another. I’ve been trying to tweet mine, but the thought is too big for 140 characters, so here’s the long(er) version: If I had to chose five books to read for …

Dealing In, Episode 11

Download Subscribe Welcome to the First of the Free Will/Next Ten Thousand Hours Feedback shows! This one is episode eleven of the Dealing In series of feedback shows, where I and several friends answer your emails and talk about whatever comes up. This time, I’m joined by Metamor City creator …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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

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, …