Writings and Musings
Welcome to my writings.
If you want the recent essays check out the sidebar on the left or, better,
Further Readings for a
curated list of essays.
Other essays are listed in chronological order and then by category. The main
essays are in larger letters and minor documents (such as messages posted on discussion
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Some of the recent entries are also listed on the sidebar. Secondary
items such as postings on other mailing lists are indented. Note that the year
shown is the year the essay was updated. An essay written in 1979 might be listed
under 2009 if it was updated recently.
Attempts at overthrowing the teaching of evolution gathering steam 08-Nov-2004
It's unfortunate that we teach evolution as if it were just another fact to memorize. Evolution is really just a property of complex systems. Complexity is really just an emergent property and an illusion. It's just that we don't see the inherent simplicity.
As long we treat biological evolution as apart from evolution in other systems we will find ourselves asking people to memorize it as an arbitrary "fact" rather than understand it in context.
The same processes apply marketplaces, social systems and the Internet.
If we don't understand how systems self-organize we'll seek refuge in authority rather than realize the benefits of opportunity.
The End of Tolerance? 04-Nov-2004
The US has been defined by its diversity. Tolerance has had a major economic benefit. Out government has had a role in protecting us from the tyranny of the majority.
Have we reached a time where one point of view has a decisive majority? Most worrisome is that this is not a benign majority but one that is threatened by others' ideas.
Can we afford to ignore Niemöller's warnings just because they came for the gays first?
Ambient Opportunity 29-Oct-2004
It's been a long time since I've posted so I'm trying to put a lot into this one essay. It's an overture for essays I'm planning to write and ties together a range of concepts related to the end-to-end argument and the importance of creating opportunity in marketplaces. Reinventing the Internet is just part of the larger story.
Project MAC: Man-Machine Symbiosis 30-Jun-2004
The 35th anniversary of Multics reminded me of the original goals of Project MAC -- understanding the relationships between man and machine. This vision is even more important today as we find ourselves awash in technology. We are bystanders when we should be participants.
More on Why the FCC should die 13-Jun-2004
More on how a marketplace that provides opportunity rather than narrow solutions allows demand to create supply. The FCC frustrates this virtuous cycle. This is a bit dense and I will be writing more about this in the future
Summary of a summary of my comments at David Isenberg's WTF workshop.
A Bluetooth Tragedy 06-Apr-2004
It should be simple to connect a navigation program to a wireless GPS. Unfortunately the GPS manufacturers have chosen to use Bluetooth thus making it difficult to do it except in the few scenarios that they thought of.
Regulate What 01-Mar-2004
VoIP bits transported over networks have no intrinsic meaning. To bill or tariff them would be an exercise in absurdity
It's About Connectivity Not The Internet! 23-Feb-2004
The press treats the Internet as a news niche that is both too broad and too narrow. The changes wrought by the Internet -- abundant connectivity -- are beyond news stories including high profile corporate mergers. The readers can't understand what is happening unless the reports can connect the stories. Conversely when reporters do write about the Internet they paint a confused picture by ignoring the crucial differences between the technical infrastructure and social policy
At The Edge 24-Jan-2004 (Updated: 29-Jan-2004
The artifact that's today's Internet is unimportant compared with the power of the end-to-end concept. The Internet is demonstration of our ability to wrest control and create value at the edges of an infrastructure