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{ Category Archives } reflection


Today’s detail was planeside honors. Seven young aviators in dress green uniforms drove in a minivan to the airport. There was laughter and talk inside the van, because nobody here is morbid. Upon arrival, we spent a few minutes coordinating with the funeral director, the police escort for the hearse, the traffic controller in charge [...]

Whence the fascination?

I’m really not sure why I’m so interested in Japan, or the Japanese language. It’s easy enough to find the point of entry of my interest; it was when I started to match sounds to subtitles in the anime I watched in college. However, that was little more than a passing fancy; it doesn’t explain [...]

a quick recap

In June 2003, I flew to South Dakota for field training: the AFROTC equivalent of boot camp. Three weeks later, having failed three PT tests, all due to pushups, I was ejected with prejudice. This led to my forcible disenrollment from ROTC, and the transmutation of what had been a nice scholarship into a loan. [...]

Hypothetical Question Time

Say that you are buddies with a top computer scientist. He has been working for DARPA on an AI project. He succeeds! True AI! Over the period of a few months of shakedown trials and training of the new AI, you befriend it. This time ends when your buddy announces to DARPA project success, so [...]

in which a random fact leads to a political realization

A doctor’s predictions about whether or not various victims of assassination could be saved with modern trauma medicine. Casualty rates in american wars. The importance of medicine in keeping people alive is hard to appreciate. It’s easy to say that the US life expectancy has more than doubled since the nation’s inception, but it becomes [...]


I get nervous whenever my ratio of success to effort gets too high. Flight: it’s not actually all that hard, or at least, I keep getting graded better than my peers at it. Principles of Aerodynamics was a downright trivial class. It didn’t even have any math! But over 16% of my classmates outright failed [...]

on the first day of actual flight you give your ip a nickel

This morning at 0455 I was on a bus to the flight line. After some briefings, at 0800 I sat down in a helicopter–the first time I’ve done so in my life. Less than half an hour later, I was flying it without assistance from the instructor. Actually, flying at cruise speed and altitude is [...]


Assume some way to effectively pause a human life. It doesn’t matter the means: cryogenics, temporal stasis fields, or anything else works so long as it is possible to essentially stop time for that individual indefinitely and start it again later. What is the difference between failure to revive and murder? [edit] Bonus points: is [...]


Every once in a while, I’m presented with a set of events which threaten my rejection of the supernatural. I know that this is to be be expected; there are six billion people on Earth, so 6000 people should experience one-in-a-million chances every time such dice are rolled. To be specific, let me speak of [...]

Future thoughts

I was out walking today (mainly to remind myself that the sun does exist, and that unlike a vampire, I will not wither and die from contact with its rays), and I saw a bunch of kids playing soccer in the field. This would not be particularly remarkable in and of itself, because winter here [...]