"Fallout From the Fall of CAPTCHAs"
Jul 15, 2008

Slashdot has an unusually interesting discussion on the rise and fall of CAPTCHAs, which is why I give that link precedence over the original story.

I mention this because I keep waiting for someone to discuss the root problem, and it's so rarely done that I guess I'm just going to have to do it myself. The root problem of spam comes from the following simple tension:

  1. We want to be able to contact or be contacted by anybody.
  2. We don't want to be contacted by just anybody.

Without understanding this fundamental dynamic, the whole "spam" situation won't make any sense.

Read the rest...

Jerf to MSM: Links, Or It Didn't Happen!
May 27, 2008

I can prove the News Media, or the "MSM" if you like, is not about news. I really do mean "prove". It's quite simple.

Read the rest...

Mar 14, 2008
U.S. consumer prices were unexpectedly flat last month - Wall Street Journal

Is it just me, or is every bit of economic news lately being prefaced with "unexpectedly"?

Is it just me, or has prediction gotten noticeably harder in the last year or so? Maybe I'm just paying attention more, but you name the prediction from this time last year, from the state of Iraq, to the economy, to the domestic political situation, and not a one of them is even close.

Edit: By the way, I mean the "Is it just me?" as an honest question, not a rhetorical device. Are things really getting harder to predict, or am I finally internalizing something that has always been as true as it is today?

Mar 12, 2008

If this article really demonstrates anything, it's the need for an independent press.

If you're dependent on the entities you are reporting on to get your news about those entities, you not independent. Levels of independence vary along a continuum, but most organizations are deep in "dependent" territory.

Commercial journalism has made its peace with this, because they get eyeballs whether they spend the money to pound the pavement, or just re-run press releases and report on what everybody else reports on. I see no way to fix this.

Feb 07, 2008
Politics, Bloviation
Merit has nothing to do with America; it’s all about white male privilege. Do not be fooled by the rise of Hillary and Obama; put them together, and what do you have? White. Male. - Bleat

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