matthew's blog

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Unconditional Love

The "feeling" of love is largely out of your control; you can no more choose to feel love for someone without an action than you can choose to feel pain, hunger, or misery. The only love over which you have any control is love as an action: choosing to include someone in your life.

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Management Confusion

The automated system was malfunctioning. Despite cutting-edge technological mechanisms for passive detection of and active response to frequently-changing usage patterns, it simply had not been able to cope with ongoing changes. Debates raged on email threads as to how to respond. Some proposed simplifying the system; they were derided for the quantity of user input required and the probability of escalating cost when users failed to take appropriate steps. Others proposed increasing the number of monitors in use to allow for potential uses that had not been considered when the system was designed, and were in turn derided for the additional complexity and cost to institute such a system.

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Armed Citizens Don't Count

Recently, Mother Jones published a widely-circulated study suggesting that armed citizens have never stopped any mass shootings in the USA. It's important to know how these things are counted, though. If the shooting doesn't boast a sufficient number of deaths -- at least four dead -- then it just doesn't count. That's a lot of mass shootings that just don't count as such.

Let's take a look at what else doesn't count.

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Sometimes People Miss The Point

Support: "Why didn't you escalate this issue earlier?"

Me: "I don't actually care if it's fixed. The two points of my ticket submitted over three months ago were:
"One: To demonstrate the workaround I'm using, and

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Support Good Government


Several bills assaulting your right to keep and bear arms were introduced to Congress on Monday, January 7, 2013. Among other things, these bills seek to register semi-automatic firearms. Noncompliance will be met with police raids of your home, seizure and destruction of your property, fines, and imprisonment.

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How to recognize a conspiracy theory

In this age when conspiracy theories abound and you can find entire communities devoted to group-think, finding dragons in the clouds and believing them to be real, I think it's a great idea to revisit Michael Shermer's Conspiracy Theory Detector. Summary below the break.

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Colloquialisms: Canary in a Coal Mine

Conversation with my staff over the phone in India today. I love colloquialisms.

Me: "In this case, our application is just the canary in the coal mine. "
Them: "A what?"
Me: "A canary in a coal mine. If it is dead, it's not because it had a pre-existing health condition."
Them: "What health condition did it have?"
Me: "... Uh. It was poisoned. By being in a coal mine."

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Who are the Secessionists?

Comment thread:

This morning, I decided to sit down and analyze some statistics, and from them I arrived at a hypothesis that I still need to validate. What do you think?

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George Washington on Political Parties

For those who missed it, here was George Washington's 1796 farewell address to the nation, touching on political parties:

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US Congress Partisan & Ideological Makeup

If you have a few minutes and are interested in an unbiased graphic of political trends in the House and Senate, check this out. It shows the shifts in power based exclusively on economic voting bloc patterns of the House and Senate over time. There are some fascinating patterns here, especially if you click the "large" graphic and pan around...

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