Quotulatiousness

October 1, 2017

When network security intersects teledildonics

Filed under: Technology — Tags: , , , , — Nicholas @ 05:00

At The Register, John Leyden warns anyone using an internet-of-things sex toy that their device can be easily detected and exploited by (I kid you not) “screwdrivers” (below the fold, just in case you’re extra-concerned for potentially NSFW content):

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Recap Of Our Trip To Italy and Slovenia I THE GREAT WAR

Filed under: Europe, History, Military — Tags: , , , , — Nicholas @ 04:00

The Great War
Published on 30 Sep 2017

Kobarid Museum: http://kobariski-muzej.si

Walk of Peace: http://www.potmiru.si/eng/

Lagazuoi: https://www.altabadia.org/en/summer-holidays/trekking-hiking/open-air-museum-lagazuoi-5-torri-1.html

Vittorio Veneto: http://www.museivittorioveneto.gov.it/en/museo_della_battaglia.html

La Baita: http://bit.ly/LaBaitaColDiLana

Indy and Flo make you jealous by telling you what you missed when we all went to Slovenia and Italy last week.

Deirdre McCloskey on the rise of economic liberty

Samizdata‘s Johnathan Pearce linked to this Deirdre McCloskey article I hadn’t seen yet:

Since the rise during the late 1800s of socialism, New Liberalism, and Progressivism it has been conventional to scorn economic liberty as vulgar and optional — something only fat cats care about. But the original liberalism during the 1700s of Voltaire, Adam Smith, Tom Paine, and Mary Wollstonecraft recommended an economic liberty for rich and poor understood as not messing with other peoples’ stuff.

Indeed, economic liberty is the liberty about which most ordinary people care.

Adam Smith spoke of “the liberal plan of [social] equality, [economic] liberty, and [legal] justice.” It was a good idea, new in 1776. And in the next two centuries, the liberal idea proved to be astonishingly productive of good and rich people, formerly desperate and poor. Let’s not lose it.

Well into the 1800s most thinking people, such as Henry David Thoreau, were economic liberals. Thoreau around 1840 invented procedures for his father’s little factory making pencils, which elevated Thoreau and Son for a decade or so to the leading maker of pencils in America. He was a businessman as much as an environmentalist and civil disobeyer. When imports of high-quality pencils finally overtook the head start, Thoreau and Son graciously gave way, turning instead to making graphite for the printing of engravings.

That’s the economic liberal deal. You get to offer in the first act a betterment to customers, but you don’t get to arrange for protection later from competitors. After making your bundle in the first act, you suffer from competition in the second. Too bad.

In On Liberty (1859) the economist and philosopher John Stuart Mill declared that “society admits no right, either legal or moral, in the disappointed competitors to immunity from this kind of suffering; and feels called on to interfere only when means of success have been employed which it is contrary to the general interest to permit — namely, fraud or treachery, and force.” No protectionism. No economic nationalism. The customers, prominent among them the poor, are enabled in the first through third acts to buy better and cheaper pencils.

[…]

Indeed, economic liberty is the liberty about which most ordinary people care. True, liberty of speech, the press, assembly, petitioning the government, and voting for a new government are in the long run essential protections for all liberty, including the economic right to buy and sell. But the lofty liberties are cherished mainly by an educated minority. Most people — in the long run foolishly, true — don’t give a fig about liberty of speech, so long as they can open a shop when they want and drive to a job paying decent wages. A majority of Turks voted in favour of the rapid slide of Turkey after 2013 into neo-fascism under Erdoğan. Mussolini and Hitler won elections and were popular, while vigorously abridging liberties. Even a few communist governments have been elected — witness Venezuela under Chavez.

The Grand Tour Cast on Amazon vs the BBC, cars, and being recognized in Syria

Filed under: Britain, Humour, Media, Technology — Tags: , , , — Nicholas @ 02:00

British GQ
Published on 19 Sep 2017

Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond discuss how they feel waking up as cultural icons, where they have (and haven’t) been spotted across the world and what to expect from The Grand Tour season 2. The Grand Tour are GQ’s TV Personalities of the year at the 2017 Men of the Year awards.

QotD: Maxims 51-60 of Maximally Effective Mercenaries

Filed under: Humour, Military, Quotations — Tags: , — Nicholas @ 01:00

51. Let them see you sharpen the sword before you fall on it.
52. The army you’ve got is never the army you want.
53. The intel you’ve got is never the intel you want.
54. It’s only too many troops if you can’t pay them.
55. It’s only too many weapons if they’re pointing in the wrong direction.
56. Infantry exists to paint targets for people with real guns.
57. Artillery exists to launch large chunks of budget at an enemy it cannot actually see.
58. The pen is mightiest when it writes orders for swords.
59. Two wrongs is probably not going to be enough.
60. Any weapon’s rate of fire is inversely proportional to the number of available targets.

“Link Weimar” (aka Howard Tayler), Seventy Maxims of Maximally Effective Mercenaries: 301st Anniversary Annotated Edition, 2017.

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