Permalink
May 23, 2007

Re this ABC News leak that the Administration has not yet denounced: As I was reading the original article yesterday, it immediately occurred to me to wonder if it was even true, or if the leak itself was most of the covert op. Given the paranoia exhibited by the leadership of Iran (the entire world is run by a small cabal of Zionists, etc.), it could be an effective strategy just to claim that we're going to begin large-scale covert ops, and see if they start eating themselves from the inside.

We might even help things along, by sending "secret communiques" out of the blue to people perfectly loyal to Iran, in a way that guarantees they will be caught. Who will believe them when they claim they are not working for the enemy?

This could act as a force multiplier on otherwise minimal true espionage. You need at least a few real espionage events to make this work; the ratio of true espionage to faked espionage you could get away with would be directly proportional to the paranoia level of the target.

Per my previous comments, Iran's culture produces nothing like a strong, cohesive society. There are better ways to take advantage of that then bombing, if you're clever.


Permalink
May 22, 2007

Suppose one day I walk up to you and offer you a single pill that would make it as if you were exercising perfectly every day, without the actual need for exercise. Sit on your butt and play video games all day or go outside and run a mile for the sheer joy of it, no difference; your body in both cases would respond as if you were exercising well. No ifs, ands, or buts, no tricks, no gotchas, except I will point out this isn't a "perfect health" pill; I'm not guaranteeing you won't get cancer or a bad cold or a pulled muscle if you exceed your limits, just guaranteeing that you will receive all the benefits of exercising, including toned muscles, strength, etc..

Would you take it?


[Cheap] Good Practice is Unusually Hard to Create
Permalink
May 21, 2007
Programming

The most common complaint about software is that it is "too buggy". The question is, "What does too buggy mean?" People making this complaint are often holding software to absurdly high standards, even when making comparisions to other engineering disciplines. In fact, bridges do fall down. Architects fail; often the designs can be seen to fail and corrected or maintained before catastrophic collapse, but it happens. Software is no more likely to be absolutely perfect than any other human endeavor.

Software is an engineering concern, and one of the things that means is that you can't have anything for free. If faced with the choice between a $100 piece of buggy or incomplete software, and a $50,000 piece of production-quality bullet-proof highly-tested quality software, it's unfair to complain that the $100 piece of software is buggy and incomplete.

Read the rest...



What Is Computer Science?
Permalink
May 20, 2007
Programming

Some guy took a crack at answering that question. Or more accurately, he claimed to take a crack at it; he never actually got around to answering it. It occurred to me the questioner does have a point, though.

What is computer science, anyhow?

Read the rest...


How to Solve the Problem of High Gas Prices
Permalink
May 20, 2007

Ban signs advertising gas prices visible from the roads.

Oh, it's not a total solution, but it would certainly turn the volume of kvetching down if people didn't see every twist and tumble of a commodity's price.


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