Why is there peace?

Why is There Peace? — violence is declining, over history, at least in relative terms, though not, one suspects, absolute ones.

If Philosophers Were Programmers

If Philosophers Were Programmers [brunns].

Nice to see that Wittgenstein (or at least, one of the Wittgensteins) is also a Haskell man…

Strength in weakness: judo design

The bin purge continues: Strength in weakness: judo design. Alan’s a clever and interesting fellow.

Years ago I also read about a programme to strengthen bridges as lorries got heavier. The old arch bridges had an infill of loose rubble, so the engineers simply replaced this with concrete. In a short time the bridges began to fall down. When analysed more deeply the reason become clear. When an area of the loose infill looses strength, it gives a little, so the strain on it is relieved and the areas around take the strain instead. However, the concrete is unyielding and instead the weakest point takes more and more strain until eventually cracks form and the bridge collapses. Twisted ropes work on the same principle.

Here we stand, at the cusp

Fantastic Bruce Sterling: 2009 will be a year of panic, but the good news is the true 21st century begins here.

Beyond peace and quiet

Forget the houses. This is what it’s all about.

Shu Ha Ri

Shu Ha Ri. [here.reddit]

At the end of Shu, what she sees is nothing but the rules — everything looks like the rules. At the end of Ha, what she sees is nothing like the rules. At the end of Ri, she doesn’t see but work with her mind.

The creed

How to be.

(And if you haven’t read every single xkcd from start to finish, you really should. Gorgeous gorgeous romantic poetic and true.)