A few go a long way

NOTE: Within this text, wherever gender is not key to the explanation, I am using the Rogers e/em construction of the Spivak Pronouns.

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Photo by Dmitry Vechorko on Unsplash

So I have been accidentally elected to the Nederland, Colorado Board of Trustees (BOT). As indicated clearly below, this little document does not represent the opinions of anyone but myself as a private citizen. However, as a member of the BOT, I am confronted at every meeting with Nederland citizens who have strong opinions. Some bring serious data and speak in full sentences offering persuasive arguments worthy of my serious review. Others spew irrelevant vitriol accusing me and my colleagues of slaughtering unicorns in the nearby alpine forest. …


Everybody loves Free Enterprise, right?

NOTE: Within this text, wherever gender is not key to the explanation, I am using the Rogers e/em construction of the Spivak Pronouns.

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Photo by Ella Arie on Unsplash

It is said that one reviewer commented to Pablo Picasso that Gertrude Stein looked nothing like his painting of Gertrude Stein to which Picasso responded, “She will.” I originally heard this story with the comparison reversed, believing that the comment was that the portrait looked nothing like Stein to which he responded, “It will.” The message from that latter version made more sense to me than the first one does now. …


That means no common problems

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Photo by Anna Samoylova on Unsplash

Why is Trump putting everything he has into bolstering his dedicated minions while spending little if any time trying to appeal to critical thinkers? He doesn’t have enough sycophants to win the election without cheating, but of course that’s nothing new to the Republican Organization. I suspect the Democratic Party’s attempt to conquer Trump with flatulent neoliberalism will likely fail. Nonetheless, one might still imagine that a good politician like Trump would be seeking to bring new voters into the Trump fold but that is clearly not the Republican plan.

Cheating? Removing voting machines? Intimidating voters? Sabotaging vote-by-mail? Gerrymandering Democratic districts into diminished isolated enclaves? …


Reflections on Ephemeralization

NOTE: Within this text, wherever gender is not key to the explanation, I am using the Rogers e/em construction of the Spivak Pronouns.

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Photo by elCarito on Unsplash

Growing up in the 1960s, I was taught to expect jet-packs and intelligent robots. I was taught that my food would be generated by a synthesizer and that television would be holographic. Alas, none of these predictions have come to fruition. …


You know the number draws you in

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Photo by Austris Augusts on Unsplash

How many times have you turned to an article in hopes of learning something really important by simply reading three aphorisms: four simple Python algorithms, ten habits of successful sociopaths, six preferences of functional idiots, seven sins of old vine zinfandels? You turned to this because you thought there might be a simple way to write an article that isn’t about a list. Alternatively, you turned to this because you just can’t resist a list. Admit it. You really did. Lists represent a promise that you can get something of real value from nothing more than bullet points.

I am in the middle of a year-long experiment with Medium. I’m posting stuff on Medium and seeing what happens. The Medium curators remain a cypher to me. Some of my worst tossed-off drivel gets curated while my best-researched most deeply philosophical gold is ignored. None of that matters because (with only one exception) more people read my uncurated items anyway. Meanwhile, my latest experiment relates to lists. How many views, how many reads? …


Piteous followers drive our future

NOTE: Within this text, wherever gender is not key to the explanation, I am using the Rogers e/em construction of the Spivak Pronouns.

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Photo by Edwin Andrade on Unsplash

QAnon figurehead Q has gained a sad following of people who have no option but a desperate hope of enlightenment. In a world without hope, people crave certainty. Those with no inner life (the majority of humanity I suspect) are eager to see some solid and certain truth. With no skill in the analysis of the complexities of the real world, these folk demand a clear, simple and unassailable definition of reality. They demand black or white. …


The Republicans Already Own It

NOTE: Within this text, wherever gender is not key to the explanation, I am using the Rogers e/em construction of the Spivak Pronouns.

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Photo by Jesse Collins on Unsplash

Let’s just get this out in the open right now. The Supreme Court of the United States is going to undo good laws, limit the choices of women and the underprivileged, and give unlimited power to all rich plaintiffs for the next thirty years and no president, Democrat, Republican or Green, can fix that.

There, doesn’t that feel better? You just need to take a moment and do the math. There are four young insane regressive justices on that court and Clarence Thomas will undoubtedly be replaced by another young moon bat before the end of Trump’s term. They will outvote the other four no matter which candidate becomes President. Four AOCs added to that court would have no effect on rulings for the next thirty years. So whether Joe Biden or Trump or Bernie Sanders, the next Supreme Court appointments will have no effect whatsoever on the upcoming disastrous judicial decisions. …


… And I Didn’t Even Know It

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Photo by rob walsh on Unsplash

In 1992, I was working for Martin Marietta. I was miserable, but I had been conditioned to believe that the problems I was having were tied to my own inadequacy. I was designing space electronics for a massive arms supplier. I had no college degree but I had a history. As a result, I had picked up this gig as an electronics engineer in aerospace. I was liberal but not yet progressive. I agreed with Bill Clinton. I believed that poor people were poor because they were lazy. …


Was Sun Microsystems the End of Software Engineering?

NOTE: Within this text, wherever gender is not key to the explanation, I am using the Rogers e/em construction of the Spivak Pronouns.

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Photo by ThisisEngineering RAEng on Unsplash

I am a coder. I provide instructions to machines so as to elicit behaviors amenable to the desires of my human supervisors. I have done this since 2007. At each company where I’ve worked, since then, there are managers and sales people who provide specific instructions. As coders, my associates and I write the software that provides the requested capability. …


Democrats, do as you are told!

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Photo by Mateus Campos Felipe on Unsplash

As a left-wing progressive, I believe that each human is important and that society should be organized in such a way as to promote the maximum level of individual freedom for the greatest number of people. In the progressive tradition, I interpret “freedom without options” to be “slavery” and therefore I utterly reject the libertarian fantasy that freedom means you are on your own and isolated with only the resources you received from your rich parents. For this reason, I favor the policies presented by Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.

About

Julian S. Taylor

Software engineer & author. Former Senior Staff Engineer w/ Sun Microsystems. Latest book: Famine in the Bullpen. See & hear at https://sockwood.com

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