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Unix — originally UNICS: The UNIplexed Information Computing System — has turned out to be one of the most resilient and far-reaching systems ever designed. After many efforts to kill it off, it has survived, transformed, thrived, and has essentially won on all platforms. All of us Unix developers know Unix when we see it: Unix is a coherent set of ideas, an ethic, an architectural style, a way of solving problems, and an openness that permeates at least most decision making. What an instance of Unix is called doesn’t matter, other than indicating flavor and details. For trademark &…

Previously published in Industrial Automation:

Being able to program computers effectively, and understanding the computer science and industry details necessary to do this well, is an extremely valuable and important skill. But it is not a skill that comes easily to most people. In a similar way to the leaps in capability necessary for an advanced artist, lawyer, or doctor, engineers, and software engineers in particular, must transform their minds in ways that are difficult to describe. It is difficult to explain the need for this because it is usually difficult for a proficient practitioner to remember the transition…

The Preference, by some, for Monarchy vs. Representative Democracy, in a Representative Democracy.

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Photo by fran hogan on Unsplash

Thinking about the dynamic inside most companies: owners and managers tend to form a monarchy controlling workers while unions are a clear form of democracy, with elected leaders, voting, etc., that are balancing the power within that monarchy structure. While we have the impression that some unions have gone overboard at times, the vilification and tainting of the idea of unions in the US is mostly wrong and sad. Unions are a reification of democracy. They should be perfected, and deliberate alternatives should be engineered, not canceled.

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Legalizing “Manual Sex”

It occurs to me that there is no net legal justification for blocking manual sex work (hands only) or possibly-automated mechanical sex services (devices, things). Especially not enough to override the right to privacy, First amendment, pursuit of Life Liberty & Happiness, and other Constitutional and common law principles. The psychological and physiological benefits of human touch and sex are well known. …

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Summary: Most political disagreement is about misuse and misunderstanding about labels, deliberate or not. Many don’t qualify their terms or statements, leading to deep ambiguity. Socialism vs. democratic socialism (aka Human Investment Democracy (HID)) are good examples of this.

Incredibly, some folks think that socialism will work, especially millennials nowadays. It won’t. It never will. Same as communism. It goes against natural law and human nature. The general excuse that people make for the 100 million deaths attributable to socialism / communism is that “It wasn’t done right”. Well, it’s 0–40 so far, which is a pretty terrifyingly bad record…

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Summary: Human Investment Democracy (HID) aka Democratic Human Capitalism (DHC) is a new term that perhaps best describes both the balancing alternative to Capitalism and the heart of Democratic ideals. As defined below, it seems to effectively encompass the cumulative goals of many progressives, liberals, and the DNC. Conservatives, libertarians, and the GOP would benefit from contrasting their goals and decisions with the concepts and rationale here. [I strongly suggest reading the linked analysis pieces. They are cogent, instructive, and form the basis and impetus for this piece.]

Not basic income, basic investment.

Politics in Flux: Both the Democratic and…

“The best scientific opinion of the present time has a better chance of truth, or of approximate truth, than any differing hypothesis suggested by a layman. The case is analogous to that of firing at a target. If you are a bad shot you are not likely to hit the bull’s-eye, but you are nevertheless more likely to hit the bull’s-eye than to hit any other equal area. So the scientist’s hypothesis, though not likely to be quite right, is more likely to be right than any variant suggested by an unscientific person.”

“Perfect rationality consists not in believing what…

Paul Graham just authored two excellent articles, plus a simplified clarification, on the topics of the evolution of US and global markets toward refragmentation and the current realization that chronic poverty, even in the US, is associated with large income inequality. The historical analysis of cause and effect seems plausible, very informative, and matches my impressions of the corporate, industrial, farm, and technical worlds from just a little later starting point. …

There are two conversations to be had: gun control (fight it out if you must; tough to change the constitution) and mental health (in the larger sense, including religion and pseudo-religion, motivation, emotional maturity, etc.). Let’s talk more about the latter. Without mentally ill / deficient / misguided people, guns aren’t such a big problem.

Here’s the problem with only focusing on gun control: Not only is gun control, in the US, a lost cause (although it can be improved slightly), but it is about to become moot: We, everyone, will soon have many different types of powers available to…

Quarters needed for Apple to put Microsoft out of our misery?

How many more quarters like this last one would it take for Apple to comfortably buy Microsoft and end our misery? By our, I mean Microsoft customers and the technical industry as a whole. Not many it seems. I give it 4–6 to be comfortable. #AppleShouldBuyMicrosoft

Should it happen? I frequently cringe just seeing the headlines of Microsoft gaffes, which is mostly against my will these days. [1][2][3][4] I am sure Microsoft is staffed by great people, although often stifled I’ve heard and read. Besides long-standing corporate culture that…

Stephen D. Williams — Avatar XPRIZE team, Blue Scholar Foundation — College for everyone.

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