Wednesday, April 02, 2008
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
This blog is moving to wordpress
My blogspirit days are almost over. Thank Heavens.
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
It has now been about 48 hours since blogspirit stopped along comments that require user authentication through, and about six days since I last heard from customer support on any of my six outstanding tickets.
This is unacceptable.
I am currently in the process of migrating off of blogspirit. Blogspirit makes this as difficult as possible, but I believe I have managed to back up the current site, and I am currently writing the scripts that will be necessary to import all the posts, comments, and everything else from this site to a new home for tdaxp.com.
I ask for your patience in this transition.
Monday, February 25, 2008
Blogspirit's comment nightmare
It appears that many, if not all, comments that require verification (in general, long ones or those with links) are being silently held and/or deleted by blogspirit. Very disappointing, but typical of the user-hostile, unhelpful, and generally low-quality service I've experienced from Blogspirit over the years.
Sunday, February 24, 2008
For the Widows in Paradise, For the Fatherless in Ypsilanti
Saturday, February 23, 2008
Brendan of I Hate Linux, Lady of tdaxp, and I were eating at Pizza Ranch this evening, discussing the US military's shoot-down of the failing spy satellite. With respect to the armed services, we came up with a better method:
- Build a giant trebuchet. Giant. So large that low-altitude satellites will need to be diverted to avoid hitting it.
- Launch a large boulder from the trebuchet to the Sun. Not directly at the Sun, but close enough so that Star Trek IV-style "slingshot effect time travel method" occurs, sending the boulder back to when the satellite was launched.
- Because the trebuchet was built so carefully and aimed so precisely, the boulder hits the rocket that is carrying the satellite during take-off, destroying it on the launch pad.
- The engineers in the past, aware that such a direct hit by a boulder from the Sun could only occur because of a time travel into the past in order to prevent a mistake, realize that something is wrong with the satellite. They then rebuild it, but better, avoiding whatever went wrong, as well as eliminating the need for the trebuchet, and, more importantly, the need to waste all the fuel diverting the functioning satellite's out of the trebuchet's path.
The last point is important, because the trebuchet is a carbon offset, eliminating the need for environmentally-unfriendly rockets.
Friday, February 22, 2008
Open Thread XIII
All this talk of separatists movements, the generations of war, John Boyd, and William Lind, got you down -- or bored (!) ?
What would be more fun to chat about?
Thursday, February 21, 2008
The Serbian Attack on Our Embassy
So Serbs in Belgrade have set the American embassy on fire, on international television.
Useful for us, and for Europe. The only European country stupid enough to sign up as a Russian client since the end of the Cold War -- Yugoslavia/Serbia and Montenegro/Serbia -- is still paying for that action. Today, it harvests the breakdown of political stability that friendship with Moscow naturally entails.
I'm hoping that the serious candidates for President identity Russia as being unhelpful in this situation. I'm pretty confident that two of the three (McCain and Clinton) will do so. If Obama does so as well, I will be pleasantly surprised.
Punish Friends, Reward Enemies?
Rove, K. (2008). Obama's new vulnerability. The Wall Street Journal. February 21, 2008. Available online: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB120355939956381797.html?mod=opinion_main_commentaries.
Karl Rove's new article on Barack Obama is partisan (of course), but his best paragraph also outlines an attack that Hillary Clinton will use to try to save her campaign, as well:
Mr. McCain, too, raised questions about Mr. Obama's fitness to be commander in chief. Mr. McCain pointed to Mr. Obama's unnecessary sabre-rattling at an ally (Pakistan) while appeasing our adversaries (Iran and Syria). Mr. McCain also made it clear that reining in spending, which is a McCain strength and an Obama weakness, would be a key issue.
This is a serious concern. While John McCain and Hillary Clinton have done hard work, such as supporting the Orange Revolution in Eastern Europe even beyond legislation, Obama's adaption of leftist rhetoric would make foreign states happier being our enemies than our friends. This position is typical of the anti-American left, and if Barack Obama actually believes it (as opposed to pandering to the liberal/left flank of his party that gets him his caucus wins), it is very dangerous.
A best-case outcome for Obama is that he will get us involved in some wars in Africa, helping us build up our SysAdmin Industrial Complex and increasing Army-USMC expertise in counterinsurgency and shrinking the Gap.
In other words, Obama's substance has been so weak, support for him on international relations have to hope that his race trump his rhetoric -- that his ancestry trump his actions.
And that's too bad.
William Lind recently attacked the concept of fifth-generation warfare (the only well-accepted generation of modern warfare he did not first describe) as follows:
Between February 8 and February 14, four American schools suffered attacks by lone gunmen. The most recent, at Northern Illinois University on February 14, saw five killed (plus the gunman) and 16 wounded. Similar attacks have occurred elsewhere, including shopping malls.
Is this war? I don’t think so. Some proponents of “Fifth Generation war,” which they define as actions by “superempowered individuals,” may disagree. But these incidents lack an ingredient I think necessary to war’s definition, namely purpose. In Fourth Generation War, the purpose of warlike acts reaches beyond the state and politics, but actions, including massacres of civilians, are still purposeful. They serve an agenda that reaches beyond individual emotions, an agenda others can and do share and fight for. In contrast, the mental and emotional states that motivate lone gunmen are knowable to them alone.
The whole “Fifth Generation” thesis is faulty, in any case. However small the units that fight wars may become, down to the “superempowered individual,” that shrinkage alone is not enough to mark a new generation.
John Robb, Mark Safranski, and I have criticized Lind's article, noting his straw-man attack on 5GW theory.
Lind has earned sympathy from Shlok Vaidya, however, who has previously described 5GW as "an incoherent amalgam of a variety of perspectives." However, as Shlok's definition ("the emergent pattern formed by a distributed multitude of empowered individuals acting in concert by acting in their own self interest, without any collaboration") argues that 5GW is not competitive-cooperative, his concept of 5GW is not war at all.