Profile picture, Ars Technica founder. Writer. Coder. Doomer. Generalist. Tech, guns, politics, gear.
Hecate's Crossroad #QVArmy Profile picture CEDR Digital Corps Profile picture Potato of Reason Profile picture 3 added to My Authors
14 Feb
I talked some smack about @CadeMetz earlier on CH, so I'll go ahead & summarize that publicly because I am not a baby & we ain't playing bean-bag, here. I probably should've left it alone, but I don't want ppl thinking I'll say stuff in a closed CH that I won't say in public.
So, Metz came to WIRED while I was there running this blog called Cloudline, which was about cloud computing. It was nerdy, & not very popular. I was trying to do an Ars-style deep dive thing, but with "cloud", & kinda flailing but also it just wasn't catching on.
I had left Ars after our sale for various reasons, was burnt out on media but afraid to try anything else. So I jumped to WIRED for a bit, but I was struggling. Running around Sand Hill Road, trying to get ppl to talk to me about the nerdy guts of cloud stuff. Results were meh.
Read 17 tweets
13 Feb
I was thinking of a good way to make this same point, following on this earlier tweet of mine:

I think that fussing over why the NYT has done this, & how we can fix it, etc. is pointless, now. Don't mend it; work to end it.
This is where I'm essentially on the same page as @balajis, who was quoted (out of context) in the hit piece. The game has changed. We're in a cultural knife fight in a phone booth. Reduce your attack surface, & go on the offense when you can. Don't let them play by special rules
There are some folks at the NYT I really like, but as an institution, those of us who don't sing from the Brooklyn Hymnal have to recognize that we have an enemy in the institution itself -- regardless of what we think of certain writers. And we have to treat it as a threat.
Read 11 tweets
13 Feb
Per his suggestion, I looked it up in urban dictionary. It appears he has paid me a compliment! Either that or it's something about anime.
Ah, I finally figured it out! The answer is in a book on Pentecostalism written by my old grad school advisor, the late Harvey Cox. I KNEW I remembered this word from somewhere. This man is calling me an angry, vengeful spirit form Korea!
Read 7 tweets
13 Feb
Played a 5 player game of Nemesis with my three kids and a friend, and it was the most fun I’ve had gaming since high school D&D. Incredible game, and the kids loved it, too. “It’s like being in a movie” said the 9yo.
There are a lot of rules, so I basically ran the game as a kind of DM. But the kids grasped the mechanics really well. The only rough spot was at the end, when the 9yo & I thought we’d competed out objectives & were safely in hybersleep for the jump to warp...
Only to find that the 13yo had sabotaged
an engine early on in the game, causing the ship to explode & kill us at the end. It was ice cold, man. She and the 7yo got away safely in an escape pod.
Read 10 tweets
13 Feb
This article is really interesting, not for what's in it but for what isn't. Specifically, the author doesn't elaborate on what would happen if the other party consented to the cannibalism. The characterization of cannibalism as "illegal" (vs. immoral) is a tell.
There is no language of morality in the piece that isn't rooted in consent. No notion that what a pair of consenting adults do can be objectively wrong by some standard other than consent. But surely cannibalism is such an objective wrong? The piece won't touch it, tho.
The clear thrust of this piece is that the problem with a cannibalism fetish is "consent" and not the cannibalism itself. But again, what about someone consenting to being eaten? The author, deliberately I think, leaves no ground for drawing that line. It's weird and bad.
Read 4 tweets
11 Feb
This humane, appropriate response from hilzoy is the entrance to a little rabbit hole of hate and sociopathy. We're headed no place good, I think.
Soldiers from every era who kill enemies who would've killed them given the chance, can nonetheless recognize the loss & feel something about it. What you're seeing in the feed of that person she's quoting is either legit antisocial or antisocial cosplay. Either way, it's dark.
I have seen this internet armchair commando behavior on the right for years. It is a shame to see the left adopting their own version of it. This lefty manifestation is even weirdly jingoistic in affect, just like its righty counterpart, which surprises me a bit.
Read 5 tweets
18 Jan
Oh god yes bring it. Your terror at people having conversations you can't control gives me life.…
I plan to cover this "rapid flow of brains, resources, and attention" to all things encrypted and decentralized, and watch the would-be censors get rekt.
Can you imagine trying to introduce the original telephone system in 2021?

"My god, people will TALK to one another & we cannot control it. There are even these 'party lines' you can dial into & talk to strangers. Dangerous ideas will spread like wildfire! We must stop it."
Read 4 tweets
18 Jan
This is something I've been expecting for a really long time. I keep telling friends: you'd better figure out which prison gang will have you, & start trying to eat chow with them & get used to the idea of having new tats. Know that you'll have big problems w/ all the options.
This @bariweiss essay where she had dinner & found common ground with a leading opponent of gay marriage? That's what this looks like. It's about time to join or die.
What's shaping up was never going to be another "North vs. South" civil war type thing. It was always gonna be a prison riot, where all the different groups that have been beefing turn on the guards & on each other.
Read 6 tweets
18 Jan
Personal news: Friday was my last day as a full-timer at It's a great (& shockingly well-timed) project that I was proud to work on for the past 2 years. I'll stay attached to the site as a Contributing Editor, as I move on to work on my next thing.
What's my next thing? Glad you asked! I'm not yet sure where the whole thing is headed, but my plan is to start as a one-man shop via a Substack at, with a launch focus on AI/ML, & the emerging ecosystem of censorship resistant comms, money, & media.
There are second & third steps planned after that, which are already in the works to some degree, but my (currently soft-launched) Substack is where I'll start. So hit that up to enter your email and keep abreast of when it formally launches.
Read 6 tweets
17 Jan
All of these capitol protests are coming from the Boogaloo Bois, meanwhile Oath Keepers & gun rights orgs have warned their people to stay away. So for the millionth time, if you thought the Bois == 2A supporters or right-wingers, you thought wrong.
The Boogaloo Bois, to the extent that they're a real thing outside of forums where guys trade memes, are just anti-government. They don't care if you're right or left, they'll march w/ you if you're trying to burn it down. They're where the two ends of the horseshoe meet.
The Boogaloo Bois seem to be much more of a force in the minds of the media than in actual American politics on any side. Their presence this weekend at the capitols has been pretty pitiful. Again, tho, the group's center of gravity is memes & lulz, so it's to be expected.
Read 7 tweets
17 Jan
Good rant on problems with "journalists" & activists now rushing to help law enforcement dox the capitol hill insurrectionists. A lot of "back the blue" energy from a crowd that had nothing good to say re: cops summer…
These doxxers are also using face recognition to find insurrectionists online. There are a lot of problems & concerns re: this tech when deployed by law enforcement, but all that goes out the window when the cause is just, I suppose.
One of the contrasts that's worth thinking about is how disciplined the BLM marchers were about keeping their faces off-camera, to the point of assaulting the press & sending flyers warning of doxing.

Contrast the capitol insurrection, where they mostly took no care for OPSEC.
Read 4 tweets
16 Jan
I really strongly disagree. The reason is discovery, or rather the complete lack thereof. The "hallway" algo in CH is a catastrophe. It seems to key off of the first few rooms you went into early on the platform, so it only shows you that kind of room & you're stuck.
For instance, in one of my first CH sessions soon after login, I clicked on a room about "Yoruba Demons" thinking I was about to learn something interesting about African religion. Sadly, no. 🤦‍♂️ To this day, the algo thinks I'm keenly interested in all things related to this. Image
I basically don't go on anymore, because all I see are LA-centric rooms about spirituality & the music industry, African dating rooms, & adjacent stuff. Apparently I really messed up bad in those first few clicks. It is so, so busted.
Read 6 tweets
16 Jan
A short thread about "crazy":

On the block where I lived in Louisiana, there was an hunchbacked old lady w/ a yard full of random junk that included a 50's-looking rocket shell. There was a guy who had his license revoked for being nuts, so he drove a lawnmower around the 'hood.
The lawnmower had a basket on the front where he'd put his Pomeranian. There was a creepy tall guy who just walked around all day & smoked. One day on the way home from school me & my friend saw him kneeling in his yard w/ his eyes closed. We ran. There was homeless guy...
...under the crosswalk who people hired for odd jobs. There was a Masonic temple, & next door this one lady had really loud peacocks. This was all in 1 block. When I went to grad school in the Northeast, ppl thought I was lying about this stuff & doing a "colorful southerner" bit
Read 5 tweets
12 Jan
IMO if you're offering a theory about the summer protests and/or events of 1/6 that does not have a prominent role for a global pandemic & knock-on effects (economic damage, food insecurity, corpses), then you're either unserious or an opportunist & should be ignored.
It's not just that so many of the theories being floated are monocausal -- that's bad enough in & of itself. Even more telling is that there's really no space in them for the pandemic, even if it's just as an accelerant for the one core factor you've blamed for this or that.
I personally find it shocking the degree to which the pandemic -- a global freaking pandemic! -- is being treated as part of the background now, & not worth even gesturing gesturing to in explanations of whatever alarming events.
Read 12 tweets
9 Jan
Meant to say this yesterday, but these sudden, coordinated (IMO now) moves from the platforms are about 2 things: 1. There’s another wave of unrest brewing & 2. New power in DC will blame them for it.…
January 20 will get nuts and the platforms know it, as does the security apparatus. These bans are CYA for whatever unfolds & whatever kinds of scrutiny they’ll get afterwards from the Dem congress and executive.
I find the resistance to the idea that this was coordinated pretty odd. A few reasons. 1st, when I suggest that there are only in the low single-digits # of ppl who'd need to be in the loop on such a de-platforming at any large platform, I am not entirely speculating.
Read 8 tweets
9 Jan
Ok yes, point taken about how dude's Gucci gear gave him away. HOWEVER... Serpa?! Are you kidding me? That is the most busted, mall ninja holster on the market. Who spends on Crye Precision & Kryptek & then runs a Serpa? Does he not know how to Google?
I'm also cracking up at how the pants "scream real-world experience and tactical training," or the Serpa (*snicker*) suggests "real CQB training." No guys it just means he hangs out on forums & knows the cool guy brands.

Source: me, currently writing a guide on prepper clothing.
That infographic is embarrassing and whoever wrote the text should be embarrassed. It's textbook threat inflation to make your work look super important & vital to democracy or whatever.

Not to downplay what happened, but hyping this guy as an operator is silliness.
Read 4 tweets
9 Jan
My working hypothesis, since the evening of the 6th, is that they're isolating him, somehow. This weird Pelosi tweet about "steps" to prevent him from launching nukes seems another possible tell. I think they're afraid he'll invoke the Insurrection Act.
I'm spitballing, but I think Pence's gamble is he can avoid having to invoke 25A if he can keep Trump on ice until either inauguration day or an impeachment.
The big departure of cabinet secretaries the other day seemed an indicator that 25A was being seriously pushed, and they wanted to jump before having to vote on that. And it's clear from reporting Pence doesn't want to initiate. So what to do? Lock down his comms.
Read 9 tweets
9 Jan
Oh wow, if they do this (and they might) that will cross a major line. We already saw AWS do this with legal files for 3D printed guns, so yeah I think they might go there.
The thing about what's happening right now is that all the relevant lines were already crossed a few years back w/ 3D printed gun files. The platforms not only took down links to websites hosting the files legally & not under DOJ injunction, but they took down news links on it.
During that whole incident, I was freaking out on here (I'll have to dig it up from my TL) about how you don't know how serious it is until u try to tweet/post to reddit/FB share a link TO A NEWS ARTICLE at a mainstream outlet & the platform nopes you.
Read 6 tweets
9 Jan
I guess while people are bailing on here left and right, I will go ahead and announce that I'm going to be starting a Substack on tech, w/ a launch focus on AI/ML.

There's nothing here yet & won't be for a few weeks, but in case you're interested:
I mean, this is how little I have done with this effort so far (which will be serious!): that "Machine learning is a printing press for the mind" thing is a string of stub text atop a stub post, & I'm not sure how to change it lol.
But at some point in late January or early February this will start up as a serious effort, so if you're interested go sign up and I'll have something for you, soon.
Read 5 tweets
7 Jan
I've spent years in the pro-2A scene, where NRA leadership was widely known to be as corrupt & self-dealing as the public now sees it is. So why the universal support from gun owners?

LaPierre's pitch was, "Yeah I'm a monster, but I'm a monster who protects you from /them/."
This dynamic is behind the push to contrast 1/6 with the summer's riots. "Your city on fire, your neighborhood under siege -- that's what They want for you. Who do you trust to defend you against the crowd that burned cities & spun it as 'mostly peaceful'?"
In a moment like the this, after a summer of rioting & looting, with morgues overflowing & bodies stacking in refrigerator trucks, many will take "strong & wrong" over "weak & right."

Yesterday was a show of strength from the insurgents & of weakness from the establishment.
Read 6 tweets
7 Jan
For some reason, I'm really disliking "is this a coup or not?" twitter -- either side of it. It feels like everyone is rushing into this debate to justify their posting history or whatever. Enough, guys. Whatever this was, it is still not over. We ain't yet done.
I feel like I'm trying to watch a movie and understand what's going on, and people are talking about the last scene and it's annoying because the current scene is also important and none of us know yet what the plot is.
I am just a dude on the internet, but to be honest I'm not convinced Trump is still really president. Is he? Pence sure did a lot of ordering of the NG & such, & there are weird comms from SecDef. Maybe Pence is de facto POTUS, or even de jure. I dunno! Fog of war.
Read 7 tweets