Category Archive: Technology

Aug 14 2013

They may have changed, but they’re still just numbers


I’m sure no one would be concerned by this at all: certain Xerox machines in certain scanning modes make a marvelously specific compression error. A number 6 might become an 8, or a 1 is turned into a 2. Photocopy a page with a column of numbers, and who knows what you might end up …

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Jul 31 2013

The Great Troll War of 2013

The internet is taking an interesting tack: there’s increasing concern about doing something about trolls. I think it’s a bit of backlash, because really, they’ve gone far, far overboard — the volume of raw hate and stupidity in some of the worst places on the net is appalling — and I also think internet culture …

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Jul 19 2013

Reddit kills free speech again

Reddit finally took action and shut down an incredibly racist forum. How racist? It was called “r/niggers”. As the offensive name implies, r/niggers was a place for users to bond over their disdain for black people. While Reddit itself boasts 69.9 million monthly users, r/niggers had only 6,000 members. On the other hand, on a …

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Jul 16 2013

What? Indulgences are still a thing?

Everytime I get a peek into the weird world of Catholicism, it gets stranger and stranger. I had heard before that the Vatican was still offering “indulgences”, token recognition of piety that give you time off in purgatory, but I had no idea that they were going to make it technology driven — a medieval …

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Apr 14 2013

A practical petition from Al Franken

The man is pushing for the right to unlock our mobile phones once their contract is up. I’m with Franken: WE WANT THE FREEDOM TO UNLOCK OUR MOBILE PHONES!.

Apr 09 2013

Here comes the transhumanist hate mail!

My talk at Skeptech is now available on youtube. I am not kind to Transhumanism.

Apr 07 2013

Good ideas and bad ideas

Hey, gang, sorry I’ve been neglecting the blog this weekend, but I’ve been off at Skeptech, and this has been a very busy conference…maybe a little too busy. The roster of talks and panels started at 9am, and Friday and Saturday they went on until 10pm, and it was maybe a little too densely packed …

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Mar 29 2013

Reddit: working hard to bury their reputation ever deeper in the slime


A new tasteless meme is spreading across Reddit: good girl college liberal. As usual, I think you can guess what makes someone a “good” girl: it’s the willingness to do anything the guy with a copy of photoshop wants her to do. And what makes her a “college liberal”? She’s topless. I’ve never known that …

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Mar 27 2013

Here I Stand; I Can Do No Other

I weigh in on Google Glass at KCET. The gist: Some of us come out to the desert to escape the┬áPanopticon┬áthat life in the city already is, increasingly. In Los Angeles, Google Glass might be just one more increment of invasion in a landscape already thoroughly colonized by surveillance cameras, red light cameras, random private …

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Mar 18 2013

Nightmare fuel

It’s morning here, so it’s probably safe to post this now. I read this article just before bed last night, and then I had a nightmare. I dreamt that I walked into my classroom, and 50 pairs of eyes all turned to me, and they were all wearing Google Glass, and there were all these …

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