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Refreshing the Creativity Well

Vacations are wonderful times. It’s not just that I get to hang out with my wonderful friends and family. It’s not just that together, we head out and explore new and cool parts of cities and partake of fascinating events and activities. In addition to these, I get all the time in the world to [...]

Ground Zero Mosque

The fact that there even is a debate about this sickens me. It’s one thing to impose security theater on air travel, making it even more terrible with no real increase in safety. I can accept that; I am outvoted by the masses who do in fact prefer to trade in liberty for the perception [...]

What to do about the North

I’ve been reading books about North Korea since I got here to the South. I think that by this point I’ve got a fair sense of what the nation is, and what it might do. Given that, I think that the US, S. Korea, and as many of the UN as we can convince should [...]

Losing the War

I read about war. It’s always been an interest; now it also counts as professional development. I recommend Losing the War by Lee Sandlin to anyone who shares an interest in armed conflict. I disagree with one aspect of his work: he believes that Japan would have surrendered within weeks even without the use of [...]

new TSA madness

Most of what I have to say is simple repetition of others. Still, this much at least is original: while the new restrictions remain in effect, I will not fly commercial air in the US. I will not succumb to an atmosphere of paranoia in which I am required to keep my hands visible, my [...]

Soul of a New Machine

It’s about time for me to build a new computer. I last did so last time I wintered in Asia, and it’s been a few years since then. The rig that blew games out of the water back then only plays them hesitantly now. Luckily, constructing a new computer is a lot easier now than [...]

Airport Impressions

Civilian Commercial: Seoul Incheon: not actually very remarkable. It’s a big modern airport very much like many other big modern airports. It’s not ideally designed: it requires walking maybe 1500 meters from one end to the other, for military arrivals at least. Still, its linear design means it is at least simple. Also, free internet [...]

Secure Flight

My first contact with the program triggered all my phishing alerts: an unexpected email purporting to be from a trusted source asked for personal information. I’d have rejected it out of hand, but I do expect to fly as a passenger on commercial air soon and I’d rather not be turned back at the gate [...]

Liberty and Tyranny

I recently encountered an childhood friend. We started talking politics, and it turns out that our thoughts politically have developed in very different directions. In keeping with the grand tradition of proxy war, we each agreed to choose a book for the other to read and comment on. He told me to read Liberty and [...]

Summer Reading

I’m halfway through Anna Karenina now. Like most people who ever had a high school English course, I tend to be wary of big famous novels by big famous authors, but I’m actually finding it surprisingly accessible. It certainly helps that I’ve got a modern translation, but I suspect that even with an older one [...]