Monday, December 30, 2019

Is high tech still pre-mythological?

I was struck by a paradox in an Esquire article about why les GAFA should be broken up : the argument and examples are compelling, but there’s no sense of who les GAFA are as characters, let alone as mythological archetypes.

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

2020s - Decade of Reliability?

In the PolicyTracker 2019 Christmas newsletter, Martin Sims argues that the consumer benefits of higher and higher broadband speeds become ever more marginal. The challenge for industry (especially 5G) is whether customers will pay extra for it. While I sympathize with the sentiment, this claim is not new; we hear it every time broadband speeds click up. Betting on “Consumers now have enough X” is a proven way to lose money... and yet.

Monday, December 23, 2019

Tech the Troublemaker

A colleague recently circulated a news story that police in Longmont, CO decided to keep radio traffic encrypted after the completion of a pilot program. Discussion ensued about the pros and cons of encrypting police channels, including First Amendment concerns. I decided to take a mythological tangent.

Sunday, December 22, 2019


I think of experiment as a reasoned procedure to learn something by trying out a series of variations. (Wikipedia notes the importance of "repeatable procedure and logical analysis," for example.) I enjoy baking beskuit (South African rusks; think Boere-biscotti) because it's an endless experiment: with every batch, I try something new.

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Fertilility myths in high tech

I was very taken by Derek Thompson's "Google X and the Science of Radical Creativity" in the November 2017 issue of The Atlantic. I was inspired to scan it for metaphors, which are documented in a doc shared here. I was especially struck by the prevalence of fertility metaphors; keywords include seeds, harvest, drought, fruit, reap, and gestation.