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Monthly Archives: March 2007

Making sense of “Social Capital”?


The rather twisted semantics of this CATO article remind me of Alice’s Humpty-Dumpty. “When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.” I have a lot of sympathy for CATO’s philosophical bent. Occasionally they jump track and […]

ACM is sooo twenty years ago …


From: To: Subject: An Invitation to Join ACM Dear Preston Lee Bannister, Thank you for registering with the ACM Digital Library, ACM’s vast collection of more than 40 publications and archives, representing over 1.4 million pages of text. Since that 1.4 million pages is in a ghetto, when searching I would end up […]

REST should not be “uniform”


There is one mistake I have seen repeated over and over (and over…) in applications that work across the network – from the 1980′s up through the present. The symptom is an application that works fine in testing, but performs very poorly when deployed. The cause is developers who fail to use the network efficiently. […]

Spinning a story


Another slightly dizzy story from CATO. Respecting Property Rights This dramatic photo appears on the front page of today’s New York Times. Chinese authorities are respecting the legal rights of a landowner who does not wish to sell her parcel. Maybe this incident will have a Sputnik-like effect on American policymakers: “Hey, the commies are […]

Sun is cool


Oh boy, has a lot ever changed since I wrote Sun was cool. In the time between, Sun has done some very cool stuff. Moving the Sparc family out of the hot-rod-single-CPU (i.e. PC) race into a high-net-throughput, power-efficient multi-core design is cool (no pun intended). Makes perfect sense. Far more daring than I then […]

Fuzzy worlds


This following is pure/idle/random speculation, and rather old from my personal point of view. Many years ago ran across the “grandfather paradox” in science fiction. The stories always seemed to revolve around an effectively immutable past. At the time, this struck me as wrong – given time-travel (a rather big given) the past cannot be […]

Clarifying HTML


HTML and the DOM as currently defined are quite a hash. Given the history of web browsers, this is understandable, if unfortunate. Browser makers are not the only culprits, as the W3C HTML standards are … a little funky. Sounds like the W3C HTML working group is opening up to more general participation. The charter […]



O’Reilly — In Memory of Frank Willison On The End of the World, and Yes, It’s Nigh “Partway through Elliotte Rusty Harold’s talk about namespaces, I realized where this relentless drive toward abstraction was taking us. Every new level of abstraction draws the computer-based world closer to the concepts we talk about in the real […]