A Better U.S. Constitution

Our Constitution is a pretty good one. It helped form the first (modern) free nation on earth and set an example for the rest of the world. It rewrote the book on government and put free men on the map. But, our Constitution could use an update. Why you say? It turns out that 200 years of this democratic republic has revealed a few flaws unforeseeable by our founding fathers. Many countries in Europe and Latin America have learned from our mistakes and have implemented changes in their own democracies.

The Ultimate Keyboard

Engadget reviewed perhaps the craziest keyboard ever created. A keyboard the likes of which have never been seen before. The keyboard of keyboards, the Optimus Maximus. Featured here as well, this bad boy features a built in display in every key, a couple USB ports, an SD card and a very clean look. The key displays are of course programmable and feature a frame rate of 10fps.

Game Theory and Why Nobody Does Their Job

I have a very specific problem at work: the power engineers refuse to assist me. Well I can't say refuse, more like "only help me begrudgingly and only if they absolutely have to and even then very little." Why? It's their task to work on the power circuits of my boards. And why not? The problems on my board are relatively small compared to other problems (e.g. bugs and such). Well, part of the problem is management, and the other part is time.

Theory of Speciation; History of Life

I read Gould's "Structure of Evolutionary Theory" and I was relieved to see that the there are others who are struck with the same problem with Darwin that I have. The thing that doesn't add up in "Origin of Species" is slow gradual evolution couldn't work during extinction events. More specifically, the period afterwards when the environment has radically changed and that all living things are somehow expected to slowly catch up. The life timescale is far shorter than the evolutionary timescale. If that were true, the species would become extinct.

Linux Community in Danger

On Mar 28, 2007 OSNews carried a story1 about the linux community and the impact of the formation2 of the Linux Foundation.3 As the article indicates, the Linux Foundation membership is comprised of commercial entities and no leading members of either the Linux community or the Open Source community. Many readers were alarmed (including myself) and this led to a very interesting discussion in the OSNews forum, but failed to come to any solid conclusion why this consortium was dangerous to the Linux community.

It really ties the movie together

Big Lebowski graph


Failure of Groups as Singular Objects

It is commonplace between scientists and lay people alike to treat a set of objects as a singular group. For example, if I buy a box of cheerios, I don't say I just purchased 2,000 cheerios. I say I bought a box of cheerios. Simple enough and justified. Similarly, when I refer to the inhabitants of say, India, we just call them Indians. Or a trunk, root system and leaves as a tree. Again, justified. It seems to be natural for humans to group things together and refer to them as one. However, this grouping soon breaks down when used beyond anything but a convenience device.

I Am In Awe Of The Structure And Form Of Life

I am constantly struck by the beauty of California. Up and down the highways the state has placed interesting and unusual flora. It is spring time now and everything has come alive, shooting leaves and branches and stems into the air. Here and there stretches of highway will explode with color as a particular plant blooms. I could count a hundred different plants to and from work... trees, flowers, bushes, shrubs, cactus, etc. Most of which are flowering or soon to. Once leafless and dull, trees have shot out little leaves. It is quite pleasing to see different plants for the first time.

Selection, Levels.

Anyone who has read Darwin knows that evolution can be broken down into 3 basic ideas: inheritence, selection, and change. What evolves, is the organism. But where, exactly, that evolution takes place has always been debated. For almost 200 years scientists have argued the where of inheritence. Today it is known that the primary item of inheritence is DNA. DNA is passed from parent to child, ad infinitum. Some (like Dawkins) take a hard line approach to this and exclude anything but DNA as the item of inheritance. But, there are other alternative theories.

Technology Unlocks Potential

I work on fast computers. Really fast computers. Not supercomputers, those weirdly configured boxes destined for niche applications like nuclear tests and protein folding, but enterprise computers. The ones that help run banks, governments, and corporations. But while working on the next generation platform, I kind of wonder what the point of it all is. We design the next 2, 5, or 10 times faster system, build it, rejoice, feel proud for having worked on such a technological work of art, then we start over again and throw the old computer in the dumpster. It is now garbage.


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