Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Sen. Craig Ethics Investigation

So I open up USA Today over breakfast (it was free with the hotel room) to find that the GOP is calling for an ethics investigation into Sen. Craig's cruising-related-program-activities. The first thing that popped into my mind was something along the lines of "they want to investigate this?".

I mean, seriously, after all the GOP has been through recently the only thing they find serious enough to warrant an investigation is Sen. Craig's private behavior? There's been so much malfeasance on the part of Republicans that you need a scorecard to keep track of it all, but every time Democrats talk about investigations they're accused of playing politics. How then to explain their sudden eagerness to get to the bottom of things regarding Sen. Craig? Some possible explanations:

  • Distraction value: The whole Sen. Craig thing doesn't have a whole lot of substance; it doesn't matter all that much in the grand scheme of things whether he was cruising or not. It certainly doesn't impact the operation of the government in any but the most tenuous fashion. However, by raising a big stink Republicans can burnish their currently tarnished ethical credentials without actually doing anything substantive about the issue that might make them (or their friends/colleagues) uncomfortable.
  • Homophobia: Malfeasance is OK, but cruising for hot, sweaty, anonymous gay sex is beyond the pale. Its a matter of priorities and principles: graft, greed, and corruption is business as usual, but dare let a penis go someplace that God didn't intend and the entire Republic might crumble.

I feel that I'm on pretty safe ground here with the usual clichès: bark/bite, tempest/teapot, sound/fury/nothing signified.

Monday, August 27, 2007

An Observation On Net Neutrality

I was out on Los Angeles last Thursday and happened to tune in to KFPK during Beneath The Surface. They were talking about Net Neutrality with Sascha Meinrath, the founder of the Champagne-Urbana Wireless Network, and managing to totally make a hash of the discussion. That's when I realized that its pretty much impossible to talk about Net Neutrality with the lay public.

The problem is that the issue of Net Neutrality is inseparably bound up with the technical minutia of how traffic gets passed back and forth on modern networks. I presume that Mr. Meinrath, being the founder of a wireless network, has some familiarity with how they work, but during the on-air discussion he didn't even attempt to separate out the various threads. Rather, he approached Net Neutrality as a monolithic issue, completely ignoring some important technical distinctions.

The larger concept of Net Neutrality embraces (at least) three separate sub-issues:

  • Anti-competative practices
  • Quality of service guarantees
  • Censorship
During the discussion these were all sort of smeared together even though they should be treated differently. I think its pretty non-controversial to say that service providers shouldn't engage in certain kinds of anti-competitive practice, for example de-prioritizing traffic originating from/going to a competitor's network. I see no benefit accruing to consumers from such a practice; if we're going to regulate how ISPs do their thing then we should focus on that sort of behavior.

Then there's censorship, the notion that ISPs might block particular sites or the use of particular applications. I didn't listen long enough to know if Mr. Meinrath addressed this issue specifically, but I can guess that he's against it. First, I'll point out that censorship is different from anti-competitive practice, even though both concepts fall under the greater umbrella of Net Neutrality, so the subjects should be treated individually. More importantly, "censorship" as it applies to an IP network isn't the same thing as censorship of media like books or TV. If I as an ISP decide to block inbound SMTP traffic to residential address ranges am I engaging in censorship or am I taking a reasonable precaution to reduce the spam caused by open relays? Its also possible to argue that censorship is a value-added product; some customers might pay to have their ISP block all access to porn sites, for instance. I think that is, in many ways, equivalent to requesting that your cable provider disable adult channels. Blocking all porn is a much more difficult to do well, and ISPs might be tempted to block things without being asked (probably bad), but such arguments don't undermine the fundamental premise that ISP-based content filtering is a service that consumers should be allowed to purchase.

Lastly there's Quality-of-Service; Mr. Meinrath seemed to take great umbrage with the notion that businesses could/should pay to get better quality service. He claimed that QoS amounts to double-charging business for their bandwidth. From a technical standpoint this is a gross misstatement; Mr. Meinrath may have glossed over it for the sake of general discussion, but in doing so I believe that he misrepresented the issue. Bandwidth refers to the size of the pipe to a particular business, but just because you have a 100-Mbps connection doesn't mean you're always going to get 100-Mbps throughput since your traffic has to compete with everyone else who shares your routers and switches. Guaranteed delivery/bandwidth is a separate service above and beyond the standard package; you've got to set up QoS policies in your routers etc. etc. etc. So, from a technical standpoint, ISPs are justified in charging additional money for a value-added service.

But, of course, to understand the arguments I've made above you've got to understand concepts like "de-prioritized traffic" and "open relay" and "best effort delivery" vs. "guaranteed delivery" and all sort of other network esoterica. Which is where conversation with the lay public breaks down.

Just Sayin': Anarcho-Syndicalist Edition

One of the upsides of living in the greater Seattle area is that I now have access to such wonderful establishments as Left Bank Books. I had a chance to pop by there the other day and I gotta hand it to the workers, they've put together a pretty nice shop with a good selection. But, looking around at all of the Wobblie-ish books and posters and whatnot, I couldn't help but feel like I was swimming through a thick stew of irony.

In the least the very existence of the shop is fraught with contradictions. Many of the books were printed by large publishing houses, I paid with credit card, the store has a web site, etc. A shop, dedicated in many respects to the demolition of corporations and governments, conducts its business via the fruits of the same entities with which it seeks to do away.

It's good that there's people dedicated to fighting the man, but sometimes the man does good work. I find it unlikely that say... computers... could have been developed (much less popularized) without the intervention of largish corporations. Ditto the Intarwebs. The folks at the book store might benefit from meditating on that.


I just finished Against The Day and, frankly, I'm not sure what to make of it.

It's impossible to avoid comparing it to Gravity's Rainbow. Both works have a drifting, disjointed quality to them. They feel like Mr. Pynchon sewed them together from scraps and ideas he'd written down in notebooks over the course of his career.

At least this time I don't feel like the butt of an elaborate prank. Where I went to college we had this joke about two horses, the point of which was to draw the telling thereof out as long as possible, only to deliver a deliberately lame punchline. Finishing Gravity's Rainbow, finally finding out what was up with with the rocket and all that, I found it easy to imagine Mr. Pynchon sitting in a leather chair somewhere and quietly chuckling to himself. Dammit, you post-modern ass-clown, that's 800 pages of my life I want back.

Anyway, this time at least he's not guilty of that. There's an actual plot, though when you strip it down to its bear essentials its actually pretty banal. But then there's all this... random shit. There's just no other way to characterize some of the tangents in the book.

For instance, at one point in the book we find ourselves suddenly accompanying some artic explorers. In a sequence that's best described as "HP Lovecraft meets The Thing" these explorers dig up a nameless horror from under the ice and transport it to some large city (maybe New York?), at which point it escapes from the ship and causes a general holocaust. Then the story meanders on to some other locale, never to return to the horrible beastie and the ruined city. Allegory? Fever dream? Fucking-random-tangent-because-I'm-Thomas-Fucking-Pynchon? Only his editor knows for sure.

And then there's the whole "Iceland spar" theme. It's obviously of some importance; there's a bunch of references to both it and "double refraction" throughout about the first half of the book. Hell, double refraction was important enough to be incorporated into the cover art on the dust jacket. But at some point he just drops the subject.

So, as I said earlier, I'm not sure what to make of it. Is it profound and subtle and just went over my head? Maybe, but I think I'm the audience he's aiming at. I got all the rambling about vectors and the Riemann zeta function, though I don't think I'd know a quaternion if it came up and bit me in the ass. Although I suspect that there's at least one more layer that requires more literary detective work than I'm interest in putting in. Many of the characters, especially the bit players, have names which are obviously intended to be read at multiple levels.

At any rate it kept me occupied for longer than the average tome. It's probably worth a read, if for no other reason than to provide something to talk about at your cocktail party.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Questioning Automatic Citizenship in the United States

We should not separate a child and eir parents, but doesn't the anchor baby1 phenomenon call for a re-examination of how citizenship is granted? I recognize that the current scheme is mandated by the Constitution and is unlikely to change any time soon, so consider the following to be mostly a theoretical discussion.

On close examination it doesn't make much sense to grant automatic citizenship on the basis of where a person is born. A child born in El Paso automatically becomes a citizen, but a child born just across the border in Juarez doesn't. Assuming that US citizenship is a desirable thing, is the child in Juarez any less deserving of it? No; at the moment of birth there's nothing substantively different between the two. But only the child in El Paso gets citizenship. That, I think, highlights the fundamental irrationality of assigning citizenship based on country of birth: it reduces the concept of "citizen" to someone who has won a geographic lottery.

We obviously have, in our collective conscious, some sort of a standard for what makes a "good citizen". Witness the hoops that we make people jump through in order to become naturalized citizens. Why do we set the bar so high for people who were born outside of the country in comparison to those born inside? I imagine that there's an assumption that people born within the country will automatically grow up to be good citizens, but such an assumption is unwarranted.

As demonstrated by the opening paragraph above, the relative imbalance between requirements for natural and naturalized citizenship causes problems, though the imbalance itself can't be justified. This argues strongly in favor of rectifying the imbalance, either by making natural citizenship harder to obtain or making naturalized citizenship easier to obtain.

From a pragmatic standpoint making naturalized citizenship easier to obtain makes a lot of sense. If more people are legal then some of the problems associated with undocumented workers decrease: legal workers pay taxes into the system, feel free to participate in society, and are more difficult to exploit. On the other hand lowering the bar on citizenship does dilute the concept somewhat, though most people in the US being natural citizens its not apparent that it means much to begin with.

The other approach is to make it harder for people born in the US to get citizenship. Which raises the question of what do we do with people who are born here but who aren't citizens? Well, part of the solution is to decouple the right of residence from citizenship. We do this already for immigrants ("green card" and whatnot), so presumably there're no constitutional or human rights issues involved. But if you accept the premise that a sovereign nation has the right to control immigration then even right of residence shouldn't be automatic. We could solve the problem of anchor babies2 by predicating a child's right of residence on their parents'.

There's a lot to be said about this approach. I think that discussion of immigration policy in general could be improved if we decoupled right of residence from citizenship. Residency may, in the long run, lead to citizenship, but they are conceptually much different. One involves where you live, the other is something more nebulous along the lines of a compact of mutual co-operation/support with the rest society.

It's a complicated subject, and there's more I could say, but the hour is getting late and I have other things to be doing. The gist of things as I see them is that current policy makes citizenship distinctions the basis of geography, but such distinctions don't make sense when compared against the actual concept of citizenship.

1 Wikipedia calls this (probably correctly) a "pejorative term", but I'm unaware of any less offensive shorthand to describe the situation where a child has legal right of residence but eir parents do not.
2 I recognize that some people might disagree with the characterization of anchor babies as a "problem", but I think that such a characterization is justified. We don't want to separate families, but at the same time it doesn't make sense to allow the parents to stay in the US indefinitely because they bore a child here. If you accept that a country can legitimately control who resides within its borders then the appropriate response is to deport the entire family. This is prevented by the child's citizenship status, thus we have a problem engendered by a loophole in immigration and citizenship law.

Bases For Human Rights

Ed at Dispatches has some interesting commentary regarding the relative strengths of theistic and atheistic systems of human rights. Quoth Ed, quoting Tamanaha:

Taken on its own terms, it seems evident that, in the end, his religious believer is in the same position as a non-believer. Consider again the Nazi interlocutor. Perry's Christian will resist the Nazi by asserting that the Jew is equally one of God's children and possesses inherent human dignity. The Nazi can respond: "Your religion is a false religion. My religion, the true religion, disvalues Jews." Or the completely skeptical Nazi can say: "God is a fiction, so your religious beliefs are empty."

At this juncture, Perry's religious believer in human rights is indistinguishable from a non-religious person committed to human rights: both are confronted by someone who rejects entirely their particular (religious or non-religious) belief system. Perry admits this openly: the "religious position" "is vulnerable to disbelief by the Nazi....What position isn't?"

But if that's the case, then why do religious beliefs provide a superior foundation for human rights?

Exactly right. As I've always said, the argument from morality is not an argument for the existence of God, it's an argument for why God should exist; if he doesn't, then it leaves theists in exactly the same boat to which they assign atheists.

It appears to me that both Ed and Tamanaha are overlooking a substantive difference between the theist and the atheist: the theist can argue absolute truth whereas the atheist cannot.

I've written about this before, but it seems like an argument worth restating. The theist always has recourse to God; the theist's position is supportable within the theist's own belief system. But the atheist has no such fallback position; when pressed on the issue ey're forced to admit that they're just making shit up. Per Tamanaha we have our theist, our atheist, and our Nazi (sounds like the setup to a joke, doesn't it?); let's illustrate the difference by way of a hypothetical conversation:

T: All humans have dignity.
A: What he said.
N: Bullshit.

T: No, really, God says so.
A: Well, actually I say so, but it amounts to the same thing.
N: I don't believe in God, and why should I care what you say?

T: It doesn't matter whether you believe in God or not.
A: Ummm... good question.

Obviously I'm being a little tongue-in-cheek here, but that's the essence of the argument. Within the theist's belief system "God says so" is a sufficient justification in itself. But the atheist, by denying the existence of god(s) and/or the supernatural, implicitly acknowledges that norms are a human creation. What can the atheist say when the Nazi asks "Why are your norms superior to mine?"? The atheist's belief system provides em with no truth test, no way to judge whether one set of norms is superior to another. Ey can wave eir hands and say things like "minimizes human suffering", but the Nazi is perfectly justified in responding "so what?".

So the atheist and the theist are actually in different boats: the theist can unequivocally assert that eir position is correct, but the atheist cannot.

Why I'm Getting An MBA

I now find myself having to defend my decision to go to business schools to my peers in the IT trenches. There's been an awful lot of "why would you want to do that?" and "you want to go into management?" and such and the like. There seems to be a pretty strong bias against management; too much Dilbert perhaps?

Anyway, the next time someone raises an eyebrow about the whole MBA thing I'm going to describe to them what I've done over the past two days: absolutely nothing. I've been trying to install Backup Exec for a client and spent 6+ hours on the phone w/ Symantec tech support (which, by the way, sucks ass in comparison to Veritas' support), only to finally be told that the reason that nothing is working is that the underlying Windows install is broken in some undefined way and that I should re-install the OS.

That's why I'm getting an MBA, so I don't have to spend the rest of my life wrestling with frickin' computers. If I'm going to waste 2 days I want it to be my fault; I don't want to be held hostage by recalcitrant computers. Why the hell would anyone want to do that? And I've got a good IT job.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Cry Me A River

Digby sez:

We hear a lot about income inequality these days and if you're like me, you probably wonder, other than the fundamental unfairness of it all, why this matters. After all, life isn't fair, get back to work and stop lallygagging.

As it turns out it matters a great deal, and that sense of dissatisfaction and anxiety so many of us feel is a direct result of the conspicuous consumption of the fabulously wealthy overclass trickling down through society and making it necessary for people to constantly buy more, even as they are earning the same. According to Frank, it's not just keeping up with the Joneses or class envy or any of the other things that people usually attribute to those who live beyond their means. It's a natural, human response to the context in which they live. Frank makes a compelling case that measuring yourself against your neighbors, co-workers or whatever, isn't just a matter of "keeping score." It's the way we make sense of the world. And that measure is affected every day by what the super-rich are buying.

You know, the above does very little to improve my regard for the bulk of humanity. What the hell happened to free will? At a fundamental level it doesn't matter if the über-rich are buying $13,000 grills if you get all the functionality you need with a $250 model. Anything past that is reflexive thinking, allowing a hard-wired desire for status and dominance to overcome rational thought. Depressing though it is, I'm not surprised at the prevalence thereof.

But then you've got digby blaming people like Paris Hilton for the entire situation. Attributing peoples' unhappiness and self-destructive behavior to an external locus of control only make sense in a world where people aren't expected to rouse themselves from their stupor. Talk about the soft bigotry of low expectations. Paris Hilton and her ilk aren't the problem; the problem is that the masses aren't awake enough to realize that they can choose not to keep up with the Jones'.

This is one of the biggest problems I have with progressive discourse. There's an ambivalence about how we approach peoples' capacity for self-determination. Very often (probably too often, in my opinion) we treat people as though they have a diminished capacity for making good decisions. That's not necessarily a bad thing; it may very well be the case that such treatment is accurate and appropriate. But we are then reluctant to follow such treatment to its logical conclusion: if people are incapable of making good decisions for themselves then their ability to choose must be restricted. That may sound illiberal, but the alternative is to allow them to make bad decisions and then clean up the pieces afterwards. That just doesn't make any sense. Either we saddle people with the consequences of their own actions, or we act proactively to prevent bad consequences.

digby's complaints don't stand up to scrutiny. If people buy shit that they don't need and can't afford because they can't be expected to know any better then the blame lies, not with the rich, but with society as a whole for failing to protect these people from themselves. If, on the other hand, we believe that people have the ability to act in their own best interest then when they do something stupid we shouldn't hesitate to hold them to account for it.

Monday, August 13, 2007

About Those Projects I Mentioned...

Alrighty then, I'm ready to unveil those new projects I alluded to a couple of posts back. Here they are, in alphabetic order:

  • Analytic Martial Arts: Wherein I write about the martial arts from an empiric, comparative perspective.
  • Food Forms: A blog with my co-conspirator, L, about universal themes in food.
  • Wine With Glee: Also with L, a journal of our trials and travails in Washington Wine Country.
I s'pect these'll keep me out of trouble for awhile.

The Seattle Street of Dreams

This afternoon my wife gently coerced me into going to the 2007 Street of Dreams in Seattle. Ideally the Street of Dreams is a chance for home builders and designers to strut their stuff, do some good design, work with contemporary materials, etc. The wifey and I went out there with the hope that we'd get some ideas for our new digs in Tacoma.

This afternoon's experience was something of a disappointment; the houses on display were egregious exercises in conspicuous consumption... McMansions, really. Lots of marble, expensive leather furniture, humongous display kitchens which would be difficult to work in (who's bright idea was it to put the microwave below counter level?), etc. And not a whole lot of good design going on... I'm all for open floor plans, but without exception the houses had vast swaths of unused (and unusable) floor space. It was just one big box of room after another with lots of baroque trim.

But the worst part, IMHO, was the emphasis on "green building". All over the place the message was that home buyers could feel good about their purchase because of all the energy-efficient appliances and eco-friendly materials. God, where to start with that one? How about: why do you need 4700 ft.2 for 4 people? No, really. These houses were huge, and most of them had sizable grounds as well, but they had a master bedroom, a guest bedroom, and 2 kids bedrooms. 4 people, plus a couple of guests, tops.

You wanna be green? You wanna be sustainable? How about you start by living efficiently? For god's sake, the master baths in some of these houses was bigger than my living room. The walk-in closets felt like NYC boutiques. Not because they needed to be, but because they could. You want to save water, save electricity, save a tree or two? Make a sacrifice, try living in 3000 ft.2. I know it would be a hardship, but we've all got to take a hit for the team. You're perfectly welcome to live in your ginormous house, but don't claim you're being eco-friendly at the same time.

Almost as an aside to the whole experience we were able to get some good ideas about current design trends. Bamboo flooring is out, cork and hand-planed wood is in. Fireplaces are in, but there weren't any double-sided fireplaces to speak of, which I consider a shame. Instead most of the houses had these ghastly, faux-wood gas numbers. There were (sometimes multiple) wine refrigerators/cellars in each kitchen. And all of you who've been looking at the tranlucent glass tile for your bathroom, you're not as cool as you thought you were.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Grade Inflation or High Academic Standards?

I've been accepted to my MBA program of questionable worth, which means that all y'all will have the opportunity to hear me ruminate on the process of making the MBA sausage.

So, in the big envelope, along with my "congratulations, you're not a cabbage" letter, I received some basic student information. The interesting thing is that, right on page 1 of the information packet, they talk about their academic performance requirements. Not so odd, in an off itself, even if it is given more prominent placement that I would have expected. What's interesting is the numbers: a 2.7 (out of 4) for a course is a failing grade, while a 3.0 quarterly GPA gets you academic probation.

That all seems somewhat severe; where I went for college 3.0 was the average GPA upon graduation. So what to make of these unusual requirements? Two hypotheses:

  1. Classes are easy; if you're not getting a 3.0 you're obviously not paying attention.
  2. Classes are hard; the program expects mastery of the material.
I'm leaning towards the first interpretation at this point. If this were an issue of academic standards I don't think they'd set the bar so high; a 3.0, while not stellar, should still indicate basic competence. That they set their GMAT cutoff at 500 tells me that they're not expecting students to be Einsteins. Classes don't start for awhile yet, so y'all are going to have to wait breathlessly to find out what's going on.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Downtown Tacoma Parking

As a Tacoma resident for all of a week now, I feel fully qualified to throw in my $0.02 regarding parking in the downtown area. You see, there's all these shiny new condos and town houses up around Yakima Ave. and 25th (with more on the way) and downtown is just a little too far away to walk. Especially the going back part, after hours, uphill, drunk.

I'm all for the idea of streetcars. Maybe one that goes up 25th, across Yakima, and down 21st? Is that too much to ask? And maybe some moving sidewalks to get me to the station...

The "Absolute Consistency of Mathematical Principles"

(Via PZ) There's a lovely post over at Millard Fillmore's Bathtub about the curriculum at Castle Hills First Baptist School in San Antonio. I was particularly taken by the description of the calculus course:


Students will examine the nature of God as they progress in their understanding of mathematics. Students will understand the absolute consistency of mathematical principles and know that God was the inventor of that consistency. Mathematical study will result in a greater appreciation of God and His works in creation. The students will understand the basic ideas of both differential and integral calculus and its importance and historical applications. The students will recognize that God created our minds to be able to see that the universe can be calculated by mental methods.

Come now, anyone who is at all familiar with math knows that its a pretty edifice built upon a rotten, paradoxical core. An easy paradox from set theory is as follows: Does the set of all sets not containing themselves, contain itself? If it doesn't, it should, and if it does, it shouldn't. It's a variation on the liar paradox and demonstrates that set theory (more or less the foundation of everything else) explodes like a Pinto if you look at it too closely.

If God invented the consistency of mathematical principles then what does it say about God when those principles are shown to be inconsistent?

Distracting Discourse, Five Brothers Edition

You know, it really doesn't mean that much in the grand scheme of things whether or not Mitt Romney's sons enlist.

First off, they're all adults, so their enlistment (or lack thereof) is a result of their individual choices. Mr. Romney has no say in the matter, one way or the other, nor should he. That the brothers have chosen not to enlist says next to nothing about their father's character.

Secondly, how exactly is this sideshow relevant in judging Mitt's hypothetical performance as President? Maybe if his kids were in the military he'd exercise more restraint in using the military. Or maybe he'd end up exercising too much restraint. Or maybe it wouldn't effect his judgment at all, which is the result I'd personally hope for. But how that might play out is not something we can ever expect to know ahead of time, so its pretty much useless to dwell on it.

Why dwell on minutia? Why not save your breath and refocus the debate on something substantive, like Mitt's policy positions? Carping about his kids is a bloody waste of time.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Lowering The Bar On Miracles, One Coincidence At A Time

An example of why its Absolutely Incumbent on me to keep fighting the good fight in my own small way is the "news" story I saw on airport CNN yesterday about a solider who was "saved" by his Bible. Apparently the lucky chap was carrying his travel KJ in his pocket under his bullet-proof vest, stopping a bullet which would otherwise have done him some damage. The report came complete with testimonials about the miraculous nature of the event etc. etc. etc.

There's lots of bad reasoning here. (To be recited in your best "The Count" voice) Let's count the errors together: One... two... two errors, ha ha ha.

Error the first: any descriptions using the word "miracle" or "miraculous". Someone please explain to me what the miracle is here? It doesn't look like the FSM nudged the bullet out of the way with his Noodly Appendage or anything similar. In fact, it looks to me like the entire thing can be explained with reference to the laws of physics: bullet pierces vest, encounters the additional stopping power of a thick-ish stack of papers, comes to a halt. I bet you could model the interaction in 20 lines of poorly-written C code.

There's nothing remotely miraculous about a bullet being stopped by an additional layer of material. It's called "coincidence", even if the additional layer of material in question happens to have "Bible" stamped on the front in gold lettering. Which brings me to...

Error the second: Hello, selection bias much? No, really... how many times has a bullet been stopped by something other than a bullet-proof vest? Given the number of bullets that have been fired in Iraq in the past few years (roughly estimated at 1 kajillion by credible sources) I guarantee you that bullets have been stopped by all manner of improbably objects. I also guarantee you that, had it been stopped by the soldier's copy of "Atlas Shrugged", CNN wouldn't have been running the story.

Bad, bad, naughty CNN. Come on, some of you folk have college degrees, so you already know everything that I've said above. Which means that the only conclusion I can draw is that you're pandering. Shame, shame, shame... don't you realize that every time you run a story like this you actually make the country collectively dumber?

My Triumphant Return

Hello all, I'm back from tierra incognito. I've decided to keep up with this whole blogging thing on account of an strong desire to write about random shit that catches my attention. I'll probably be writing less here, though, because I'm going to be rolling out a couple of other projects shortly which will take up precious blogging hours. Details on those as events warrant.

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