The third wave of IT engineering

Just as human society still envelops everything from pre-agricultural tribes, farming communities, and factory sweat-shops to information-based commerce, in different parts of the globe, so IT today straddles all three `waves’ of development from manual chaos to goal-oriented self-repair in different organizations.

~ Mark Burgess, from CFEngine, SysAdmin 3.0 and the Third Wave of IT Engineering

Restoring the Constitution Is Now a Liberal Issue

Other than photo ID, these are all things the Founders could have written into the Constitution, but they didn’t. And that should tell you something: Levin’s book isn’t about restoring anybody’s “original vision”; it’s about radically reshaping the American government into something it never was and was never intended to be.

Contrast this with the proposals in retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens’ new book Six Amendments. Only one of Stevens’ amendments — adding a phrase to the Eighth Amendment to define the death penalty as cruel and unusual punishment — would change what Stevens’ argues was the Founders’ original intent. (Hanging and the firing squad were common in the founding era.) He composed the other five to reverse the drift of wrong-headed judicial interpretation.

~ Doug Muder, from Restoring the Constitution Is Now a Liberal Issue

Stevens’ Six Amendments is available from Barnes & Noble.

Programming sucks

Every friend I have with a job that involves picking up something heavier than a laptop more than twice a week eventually finds a way to slip something like this into conversation: “Bro,1 you don’t work hard. I just worked a 4700-hour week digging a tunnel under Mordor with a screwdriver.”

System administration sucks too:

… And if these people stop, the world burns. Most people don’t even know what sysadmins do, but trust me, if they all took a lunch break at the same time they wouldn’t make it to the deli before you ran out of bullets protecting your canned goods from roving bands of mutants.

~ Peter Welch, from Programming Sucks

 

The continuum of aggression

Men look at Elliot Rodger and say, “I would never do something like that.” Women look at his victims and say, “That could totally happen to me.”

~ Doug Muder, from #YesAllWomen and the Continuum of Aggression

The realization that men and women fundamentally think about, and understand, aggression differently, is probably the single most “wait wat?” moment that I had in 2014.

Seriously.

My brain — and that of every guy I’ve asked — has different categories of violence; Murder is a “no way, no how, would I murder a woman” category. But every woman I’ve asked has “aggression” organized into one big continuum. Rhetorical: Does that strike you as a huge difference in the way men and women view the world? Does is perhaps suggest something about how the male half of the species treats the female half?

Confirmation bias

If you are thinking about buying a new car, you suddenly see people driving them all over the roads. If you just ended a long-time relationship, every song you hear seems to be written about love. If you are having a baby, you start to see them everywhere.

Confirmation bias is seeing the world through a filter, thinking selectively.

The examples above are a sort of passive version of the phenomenon. The real trouble begins when confirmation bias distorts your active pursuit of facts.

~ David McRaney, from Confirmation Bias

Do you want to be someone or do something?

There comes a point in every man’s life where he must decide if he will strive to be somebody important, or if he will work to do something important. Sometimes these pursuits go hand-in-hand; often they do not.

Research has shown time and time again that kids of our modern age aspire for what’s perceived as a more glamorous life than one of service and lasting legacy. In fact, the top three career aspirations of today’s 5- to 11-year-olds are sports star, music star, and actor. Just 25 years ago, that same survey turned up teacher, doctor, and banker.

~ Brett McKay, from John Boyd’s Roll Call: Do You Want to Be Someone or Do Something?

Not a Tea Party, a Confederate Party

If the Napoleonic Wars were your model, then it was obvious that the Confederacy lost in 1865: Its capital fell, its commander surrendered, its president was jailed, and its territories were occupied by the opposing army. If that’s not defeat, what is?

But now we have a better model than Napoleon: Iraq.

After the U.S. forces won on the battlefield in 1865 and shattered the organized Confederate military, the veterans of that shattered army formed a terrorist insurgency that carried on a campaign of fire and assassination throughout the South until President Hayes agreed to withdraw the occupying U. S. troops in 1877. Before and after 1877, the insurgents used lynchings and occasional pitched battles to terrorize those portions of the electorate still loyal to the United States. In this way they took charge of the machinery of state government, and then rewrote the state constitutions to reverse the postwar changes and restore the supremacy of the class that led the Confederate states into war in the first place.

~ Doug Muder, from Not a Tea Party, a Confederate Party

Preemptive: About the movie Tracers

Preemptive: To all my friends. Yes, I know about the movie “Tracers”. No, I have nothing nice to say about it. Imagine Hollywood used a generic formula to paste your favorite thing onto the big screen; Do you think you would enjoy it? Right. It pretty much highlights all the negative aspects of Parkour, and casts Parkour in a bad light. (That’s just my opinion of course.)