Links November 2021

The Guardian has an amusing article by Sophie Elmhirst about Libertarians buying a cruise ship to make a “seasteading” project off the coast of Panama [1]. It turns out that you need permits etc to do this and maintaining a ship is expensive. Also you wouldn’t want to mine cryptocurrency in a ship cabin as most cabins are small and don’t have enough airconditioning to remain pleasant if you dump 1kW or more into the air.

NPR has an interesting article about the reaction of the NRA to the Columbine shootings [2]. Seems that some NRA person isn’t a total asshole and is sharing their private information, maybe they are dying and are worried about going to hell.

David Brin wrote an insightful blog post about the singleton hypothesis where he covers some of the evidence of autocratic societies failing [3]. I think he makes a convincing point about a single centralised government for human society not being viable. But something like the EU on a world wide scale could work well.

Ken Shirriff wrote an interesting blog post about reverse engineering the Yamaha DX7 synthesiser [4].

The New York Times has an interesting article about a Baboon troop that became less aggressive after the alpha males all died at once from tuberculosis [5]. They established a new more peaceful culture that has outlived the beta males who avoided tuberculosis.

The Guardian has an interesting article about how sequencing the genomes of the entire population can save healthcare costs while improving the health of the population [6]. This is somthing wealthy countries should offer for free to the world population. At a bit under $1000 per test that’s only about $7 trillion to test everyone, and of course the price should drop significantly if there were billions of tests being done.

The Strategy Bridge has an interesting article about SciFi books that have useful portrayals of military strategy [7]. The co-author is Major General Mick Ryan of the Australian Army which is noteworthy as Major General is the second highest rank in use by the Australian Army at this time.

Vice has an interesting article about the co-evolution of penises and vaginas and how a lot of that evolution is based on avoiding impregnation from rape [8].

Cory Doctorow wrote an insightful Medium article about the way that governments could force interoperability through purchasing power [9].

Cory Doctorow wrote an insightful article for Locus Magazine about imagining life after capitalism and how capitalism might be replaced [10]. We need a Star Trek future!

Arstechnica has an informative article about new developmenet in the rowhammer category of security attacks on DRAM [11]. It seems that DDR4 with ECC is the best current mitigation technique and that DDR3 with ECC is harder to attack than non-ECC RAM. So the thing to do is use ECC on all workstations and avoid doing security critical things on laptops because they can’t juse ECC RAM.

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