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. …


The insurrectionists are not stupid. It’s worse than that.

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

public domain, Provided by DC Police Dept.

In her 2016 book, Strangers in Their Own Land, Arlie Russell Hochschild seeks to explain why people in the most environmentally damaged areas of Louisiana remain unwaiveringly loyal to the corporations destroying their land and all the vile promoters and propagandists who assure their constant suffering. The book is fascinating and the professor’s thoughts on the cause of the malady are well-reasoned and help us to better understand these victims of the regressive juggernaut. While the full…


Features, Quality or Schedule: pick one.

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 Free To Use Sounds on Unsplash

We all understand, from update after pitiful software update, that software projects tend to deliver really unimpressive things. Your computer operating system and your phone have been updated repeatedly and even your Gramma Klein is yelling, “All these updates and nothing gets better!” Gramma Klein has figured out something that all software developers already know: software provides little of value. One of the primary reasons for this is that the modern Agile development process, the only method…


We’ll clear the wreckage with this jeweler’s flat-head!

Photo by Everyday basics on Unsplash

“The Melania Canal” was not exactly a canal, in that it would not be lined with concrete, nor would it actually conduct water; but Pennsylvania Avenue had been sacrificed for the purpose. The Nation’s First Lady had made it clear that she would not be cooperative until a waterway was named after her, or at least that was what the President had strongly implied. The massive ditch, blasted out of that famous street, defined an impenetrable barrier in front of the White House. It had been started late: the new administration would have to finish it.

As a result President…


Nothing deceives like ideology.

Photo by Emmanuelm at en.wikipedia

God glories in suffering. As the end-of-year holidays approach, it may be wise to consider the “Reason for the Season” and the ways that that reason is subverted for the pleasures of the Ruling Class. A recent book explores the reasons why people are willing to dedicate a lifetime to being exploited and the reason is often the one we might expect because their suffering is ordained by a deity: a deity custom-designed by those who would exploit.

In his illuminating book Guns, Germs and Steel, Jared Diamond describes the progress of humanity as a series of mismatched conflicts wherein…

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

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store