How is the QAnon sycophant drawn in? I know!

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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…


The dilemma of wisdom in a neoliberal world

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

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Photo by Leon Seibert on Unsplash

Let us consider our fate. We are born, we age, we die. During that process, we crave some sort of purpose. That purpose may be entirely personal: to build the most complicated model railway or to be the most raucous Cardinals fan. Your parents may be proud of you for that; but in all likelihood, you were taught that you should better yourself and contribute to improving the world. You should develop a valuable skill and practice…


Is the mind a closed system?

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Photo by Ramy Kabalan on Unsplash

The human mind is a strange thing. It is not only capable of thinking, it is capable of thinking about itself thinking. In order to understand ourselves we must become an observer of ourselves; and all of us do this every day. The full range of this self-aware behavior seems to be possible only in humans. To a much lesser degree chimpanzees and orangutans also seem to experience a certain level of self-awareness, but the human is unique. The human will not only self-observe but also innovate based upon research, modify habitual behavior based upon experience, write and speak in…


A few go a long way

NOTE: Within this text, wherever gender is not key to the explanation, I am using the Elverson ey/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…


Everybody loves Free Enterprise, right?

NOTE: Within this text, wherever gender is not key to the explanation, I am using the Elverson ey/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…

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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