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The disease of our times is that we live on the surface. We’re like the Platte River, a mile wide and an inch deep.

Just still thinking about Anthony Hopkins in Westworld

A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.

Part of my fascination with social media over the years has been in how it gives a voice to anyone who wants or needs it. The problem is that while it extends great power to those who use it responsibly, it also extends great power to those who want to use it to harm others.

And Proust was right: we need a time machine, whether chemical or mechanical, to recapture that feeling again.

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Edgar Allan Poe was right: There’s nothing more beautiful than something we love that is forever gone.

I am blessed with a great circle — my family, many friends, great co-workers and great people. And the best part is that I don’t need a web service to keep track of this circle.

In general, a man should strive to live a life of frugality and simplicity — relative to his personal means.

Reminder that ad blockers don't just make the Web more pleasant, but they're necessary security software.

Use uBlock Origin: github.com/gorhill/uBlock/

Religions are places to stand and look and act, vantage points from which to view the world.

God is a dream, a hope, a woman, an ironist, a father, a city, a house of many rooms, a watchmaker who left his prize chronometer in the desert, someone who loves you—even, perhaps, against all evidence, a celestial being whose only interest is to make sure your football team, army, business, or marriage thrives, prospers, and triumphs over all opposition.

I don’t see any advantage to having a regulated web. I do see advantages to having regulated web companies.

The tech industry enjoys tearing down flawed institutions, but refuses to put work into mending them

Finally set up my Mastodon development environment on my Mac.

Since the setup on macOS differs a little from Linux, I wrote up the steps and submitted a pull request for the documentation. Until that’s merged, you can view it here:

github.com/aral/documentation/

mastodon.ar.al/media/mLroNlt4c mastodon.ar.al/media/X_U07cJj1

The more I played Dwarf Fortress, the more it occurred to me to just start digging under my basement, and never go outside again for fear of the consequent nausea and vomiting.

After I started shopping for pickaxes on Amazon, I realized I had a problem and since then I've been fortress-free for 6 months now.

When power leads men towards arrogance, poetry reminds him of his limitations.

When power narrows the areas of man’s concern, poetry reminds him of the richness and diversity of his existence.

When power corrupts, poetry cleanses.

For art establishes the basic human truth which must serve as the touchstone of our judgment.

With news of Unroll.me selling user inbox info to Uber, lots of people are repeating "if you're not paying for it, you're the product."

I've said before, and will continue to say, that that is the wrong formulation. Sometimes you pay for it and you're still the product – look at US ISPs. Sometimes you don't pay for it and you're not the product – free software.

The real question is whether a software or service empowers users, which can't be boiled down to whether you paid.

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Mastodon for Tech Folks

This Mastodon instance is for people interested in technology. Discussions aren't limited to technology, because tech folks shouldn't be limited to technology either!