Good enough is, by definition, good enough.

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

Photo by Daniel McCullough on Unsplash

In the middle of the Twentieth Century, innovative industries went to great lengths in order to retain their employees for the duration of their working life. Companies like IBM, Ford Motor Company, Honeywell and Lockheed saw employee retention as paramount to their success. In order to promote this goal, these companies offered amenities like health insurance and bonuses, of course, but, we know that they sought long-term employee retention because of another benefit: the now-extinct pension. …


Every physical system has a resonant frequency.

© 2021 Janette Keene Taylor

Spending some time in Bandon, Oregon, I find myself contemplating the nature of dynamic systems. I’m looking over the beautiful rocky coast and I watch in awe as the waves break against the wondrous jutting rock outcroppings of this rugged shore. Sitting quietly and counting the waves, I think about dynamic systems from the very tiny, such as the quartz movement of my watch, to the massive impenetrable glory of the ocean, a colossal system the frequency of which may be observed at its edge as waves.

Every object has a resonant frequency


Is metaphor fundamental to understanding?

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

Photo by Gaelle Marcel on Unsplash

Dick Marx and Ken Nordine collaborated to perform a composition called Faces in the Jazzamatazz (see full text below). It is a dynamic poem recited by Nordine over the musical stylings of Marx’ jazz combo. The metaphorical richness of the poem contributes to its effectiveness. Nordine’s powerful language dredges up our shared mutual experience in order to fully convey the internal state of each observer in a jazz club.

Many professional philosophers tell us that metaphor is…


Caricature sticks to the human mind.

public domain, Library of Congress

OK, you’re playing a two-person version of Pictionary with Tucker Carlson and you’re winning. He draws three semicircles, an elongated sideways “O” and a few dots. He refuses to draw further. He points, giggles and grimaces until it’s clear he’s drawn a frog disemboweling a cat with a whip. You draw a perfect human face and he guesses, “rapist?” “child molester?” “puppy killer?” — everything but “person” which is all you wanted. You soon discover that any guess you make, as long as it’s macabre and twisted, is correct; but, nothing normal is recognizable by Carlson. …


How does the manufactured environment select?

Photo by Misael Moreno on Unsplash

Darwin’s observations and assessment of the workings of Nature brought new clarity to a previously confused science of biology. His service to the field was of value because he not only recognized that there was a real mechanism driving the appearance of new species, but because he described it simply and clearly. …


Alexa delivers bread, circuses, delusion …

Photo by Erik Mclean on Unsplash

While we, in my family, go out of our way to avoid Amazon with some measure of success, many of our progressive friends effuse over the cool stuff they get through their Amazon Alexa. When we ask why they don’t go to a store and compare prices and select the best product, the response is understandable and practical: work takes sixty to eighty hours a week, the world has become unbelievably complex and there simply is no space in the day for doing what needs to be done.

This is entirely reasonable, but it obscures the fact that these in-home…


Let me help you parameterize your paradigm crisis!

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

So Medium recommended an article with a title I refuse to remember (Medium recommendations are a cypher to me). The gist of the article, though, was a theme that I’ve seen many times before. It is the threat that change is accelerating and as a result you, as a person, must keep up by continually improving yourself at an alarming rate. The author quoted Warren Buffett who apparently insisted that any successful person should “read 500 pages every day,” a discipline that only an oligarch with servants to perform all mundane activities could possibly undertake. …


In this world, you’re on your own.

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

Photo by Rob Schreckhise on Unsplash

Margaret Thatcher, Ronald Reagan, Rand Paul, Ted Cruz and many other modern public figures have sought to popularize the notion that society is not a community but instead a loose amalgam of individuals each seeking only their personal fulfillment. The claim is that societies are merely lone individuals who, if of high enough moral character, will claw, cry and litigate to wrest what they want from the enemy of the bold which is the community. Government is…


Slaves to Starlink submit joyously

Photo by Joshua Hoehne on Unsplash

StarLink is online and my neighbors way up here in the mountains of Colorado are screaming its praises. Will the service be impeccably reliable? Too soon to know. Our local Internet Service Providers (ISPs), though, are worried as citizen after citizen vows to scrap their small transceiver dishes and look skyward for theoretically totally reliable, slightly more expensive, Internet access.

Starlink satellites are small, disposable, fast-moving transceivers that will be adding even more space debris to an already crowded sky. I refer to them as “debris” not in an attempt to denigrate their function, but instead to note that a…


How is the QAnon sycophant drawn in? I know!

Photo by Steve Halama on unsplash

I was once an engineer. I still remember that time and my experience of solving difficult problems for various companies returns to my conscious attention whenever I hear a QAnon supporter explain the world. Peering out from each explanation is a satisfied certainty with which I am familiar. It rings back to my own excited confidence when presenting my engineering solution for peer review. There is a joy in understanding something. There is a joy in completing the world. …

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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