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Advice from Ancient Egypt

2 min read

Advice from ancient Egypt:

1. Be merry all your life

2. Toil no more than is required

3. Nor cut short the time alloted to pleasure

4. Don't waste time on daily cares beyond providing for your household

5. When wealth comes, follow your heart. Wealth does no good if you're glum

6. Great is Law (Maat).

7. If you are a man of authority, be patient when listening to words of a petitioner. Do not dismiss him until he has completely unburdened himself of what he had planned to say.

8. Injustice exists in abundance, but evil can never succeed in the long run.

9. Do not gossip in your neighborhood, because people respect the silent

10. To listen is better than anything, from it is born perfect love

11. As for the ignorant man who doesn't listen, he accomplishes nothing. He equates knowledge with ignorance, useless with harmful. He does everything detestable, so people get angry with him each day.

12. A perfect word is hidden more deeply than precious stones. It is to be found near servants working at mill-stone.

13. Only speak when you have something worth saying.

14. Love your wife with passion

15. A woman with happy heart brings equilibrium

16. Those who continually lust after women, none of their plans ever succeed

17. Do not blame those who are childless, do not criticize them for not having any, do not boast about having them yourself

18. Do not repeat a slanderous rumor, do not listen to it

19. May your heart never be vain because of what you know. Take counsel from the ignorant as well as the wise

20. He who has a great heart has a gift from God. He who obeys his stomach obeys the enemy

22. Teach your disciple words of tradition. Act as a model for children, that they may find in you the understanding & justice of every heart, since man is not born wise

23. Punish with principle, teach meaningfully. Act of stopping evil leads to lasting establishment of virtue.

The Maxims of Ptahhotep, composed by the Vizier Ptahhotep during 24th century BCE (76th Century HE)


Knowledge is Power; share it with a friend!

1 min read

A recent post by Lost Art Press has a quote from the 1930s which talks about the power of knowledge sharing, and the quote which drew my eye was this:

But hoarded knowledge can never be as productive as knowledge which is shared. It is not the man who warns off enquirers with a mutter of “trade secrets” and a “please-keep-off-the-grass” expression who will keep abreast of the times, but the man who will readily exchange experiences, discuss, and, when need be, give guidance to others. (Lost Art Press).

This reminds me of the reason behind what I do with the Maker community; we learn by sharing. Whether it's Open Source software, or tutorials on the internet, or dreaded group-projects at school or work, collaboration is key.

Yes, there will be slackers; yes, there is a whiff of "perfect world" thought here, but... it is possible. So share some of your power with a friend, because Knowlege is Power!


Burn your Village to the Ground

1 min read


"and for all these reasons, I have decided to stop you.... and burn your village to the ground"


Medieval Reading List

1 min read

For my friends in the Medievalist forums, a list of 100 books about the diversity of the Middle Ages:

From the blurb:

The ideas we tend to have about the Middle Ages are mostly based on how the time period has been interpreted through fantasy fiction and games, and the romanticizing of the era by intellectuals, scholars, politicians, and artists in the nineteenth century.

These interpretations have given rise to a view of the Middle Ages as an entirely Christian society in western Europe, populated only by white people, and with few influences coming from outside.


This view is inaccurate.

Yes, the Middle Ages was a time period of repression, oppression, persecution, warfare, xenophobia, anti-Semitism, sexism, and misogyny. But so is our time period.

Therefore, it bears repeating that:The Middle Ages was an age of diversity.

Pan-religious, pan-ethnic, pan-global. Yes, Western Europe went provincial, puritanical, and dark. But there was plenty of the rest of the world to go around. I'm particularly fond of the descriptions of the European world by a travelling Islamic ambassador in #13; I'm interested to read #16; #23 is already on my reading list; I'm curious about #40 and #66.


I have a theory

2 min read

Bear me out... I think I've figured something out, and it had everything to do with license plates.

On the way back from lunch, I saw someone with one of my states "Patriot" vanity plates, and a bumper sticker supporting a Republican candidate.  And I mused to myself... why don't I ever see patriot plates with Bernie stickers?  And I struck on a dichotomy which I hadn't noticed before: your average 'patriot' supports the IDEA of America where your vocal leftish people the IDEAL of America.  

The right envisions Mayberry where the government is well meaning but buffoonish, and they go home at night.

The left envisions the government doing what the constitution says it ought and takes care of their neighbors.

The right wants an idyllic world, where we're the best and outsiders don't get it, but that's fine because we're the best.

The left wants the ideals which are enshrined in the constitution applied to everyone equally, and we are still the land of the immigrant and those yearning masses can be free.

And then I realised: I don't think that Mayberry ever had to worry about the Cold War going hot, despite being a show from the late fifties and early sixties.  You know, when the world was feeling exetensial dread at the possiblity of total annhiliation when Kruschev felt that Nixon was looking at him funny(or vice versa), and decided to end it all.  According to twenty minutes on Wikipedia (everyone's favourite reliable source of knowledge), there was only one episode which has anything to do with the Soviets, and they intentionally made the show feel like it was in the 30s (you know, when America First was last popular).

And because Mayberry didn't live in the existential-horror world of the 60s spy thriller, (Len Deighton, John le Carre, et al) where the reader knew that if the good guy screwed up, the world was really in peril from unknowable horrors.  They never had to worry about consequences: it was all a minor misunderstanding, or the baddies would get shipped out of town never to be heard from again.

Mayberry intentionally ignores the outside world, and that's what's wrong with the world today.

Or that's my thoughts.


The Revolution...

3 min read

The Revolution will not be a Shadowrun

You will not be able to stay at home, chummer
You will not be able to jack in, crash IC, and make cred
You will not be able to loose yourself in sims
or burn your brain on BTLs
Because the Revolution will not be a Shadowrun

The Revolution will not be a Shadowrun
The revolution will not be brought to you by Weapons World
with two full clips thrown in
The revolution will not star Holly Brighton
panzer-blastin' into Denver to challenge
Ghostwalker for the right to nuke Atzlan
tossing powerballs and lightning bolts into ravenous blood spirits
The Revolution will not be a Shadowrun

The Revolution will not be brought to you by Tir Tangire
starring Rinelle ke'Tesrae and Ehran the Scribe
nor Ryan "Drake" Mercury and Kid bloody Stealth
The Revolution will not give trolls smaller horns and
the Revolution will not make mil-spec gear easy to get
The Revolution will not be a Shadowrun

There will not be Matrix Overwatch when the corps collapse
as the SINless use their 'purchasing power'
to get their fix quicker
KSAF will not break the story 2.3 minutes later or report live from the scene
The Revolution will not be a Shadowrun

There will not be Trideo of Red Sams
gunning you down in the streets
There will not be trideo of Lone Star 
gunning you down in the streets
There will not be trideo of Big-D
liberating the SINners
There will not be stills or flatvid of
Dodger walking through the matrix with Megara on his arm
in matching ebon and silver icons that they have been saving
for just the proper occasion

NERPS, Better-Than-Life and Full-X sims
will no longer be so damnned relevant,
and no will care if Deus compiles the Network
because the world will be saying that the Night of Rage was kinder,
The Revolution will not be a Shadowrun

There will be no highlights on Shadowland, posted by
Captain Chaos, The Chromed Accountant, or Fastjack,
and no stills of Nadja Davidar giving a slot.
The theme song will not be popular in Club Penumbra,
no matter how jazzed the patrons are.
It won't be performed by a troll thrash band, or
heard at Dante's Inferno; it won't be cached at the Nexus.
The revolution will not be a Shadowrun

The revolution will not be right back after a 
message from Mitsuhama, the Universal Brotherhood, 
or anything corporate.  You won't have to worry
about devil rats in your bedroom, a Shedim on the street,
or a Bug in your toilet bowl
The Revolution will not go better with Rolling Rock
The Revolution will not save you from Gaia
The Revolution will put you in captain's chair mode.

The Revolution will not be a Shadowrun, will not be a Shadowrun
will not be a Shadowrun, will not be a Shadowrun.
The Revolution will be no chip-dream, chummer.
The Revolution will still be live.

This is an homage to both Gil Scott-Heron's The Revolution will not be Televised", and inspired by "The Revolution will not be an AOL Keyword". The content inside comes from Shadowrun, a cyberpunk-like game set in 2060, with elves, dwarves, trolls, magic and high-tech. Originally published 12 Jun 2004


Musings on an Electoral Hangover

1 min read

Lost another one. I forget I don't have versioning


We Want Your Soul

1 min read

Just been thinking about this a bit more in the past few days. Enjoy.


#thenew20: Preserve Hamilton

1 min read

Well, there's an interesting intersection of pop-culture, history, and numismatics.

The creator of the Broadway musical "Hamilton" (a hip-hop biographic of Alexander Hamilton; catchy!) has retweeted a petition about the plan to remove Hamilton from the ten, instead of getting rid of Jackson on the twenty.

As of this writing, it only has 800-odd signatures, and it needs ten thousand by the end of the month.  This is probably a bad season for this sort of campaign, but I'll do my part to spread the news.

Oh, and about that musical: The lyrics are pretty well analized over on Genius, and even annotated by the author, Lin-Manuel Mranda.  Check 'em out!


Have a Nice Day

1 min read

There's far too much hate going around the internet this week. 13 November will be for a while the source of a lot of angst, where in my household that's my annual celebration date.  Complaints about xenophobia, religious priviledge and the like are poisoning the debate, and the echo-chamber that is social media reinforces the lack of empathy and the rigidity of doctrinal purity that has sent political thought in this country back to the stone age... no that would be dismissive of the flexibility of stones.

So I think that everyone should take a load off, enjoy a favourite beverage, and have a nice day.


#thenew20: Drop Jackson, Keep Hamilton

2 min read

If you weren't already aware, there is a campaign for replacing Andrew Jackson on the United States twenty-dollar bill, and replacing him with a historically-significant woman.  The "Women on Twenties" campaign held a poll, and Harriet Tubman won out over Eleanor Roosevelt and Rosa Parks.  The campaign got significant traction and then the Treasury Secretary came out and decided to "spark debate" on the matter by suggesting that the ten-dollar bill get a woman.  He then doubled-down on the assertion that since the ten was already up for a redesign they could get the job done faster (released in 2020)... and then suggested that rather than completely remove historically-significant Hamilton (the nominal father of the Federal Reserve system, the Bank of the United States), that whichever woman they selected would share half the currency with Hamilton.

The campaigners were surprised to get only half of what they asked for, and that they had to share it.

But the worst part was that they had chosen Jackson for a reason:  He was a jerk of a president (especially to Native Americans) and was opposed to paper currency... so that he was featured on the second-most-famous and most widely-circulated bill is sort of an affront to his own legacy.  Many people have spoken out on this, most famously Ben Bernanke, former Chairman of the Federal Reserve.

For his historical significance as the first Secretary of the Treasury, and an advocate of a Bank of the United States, Keep Alexander Hamilton on the ten-dollar bill.  And for crying out loud, drop Jackson and put someone more deserving on the twenty.


(For Reference, this is the post I lamented about loosing earlier. I found it!)



1 min read

It's funny, the person in Mauritius who has my Gmail account associated with their facebook account is getting emails asking them if they know my friends in America. While it's possible, hopefully my friends who are getting asked if they know this person in Mauritius are blocking them as spam as well.



1 min read

A few people have recently asked me why I left facebook.  Mostly, it was because I was compulsively checking it for no real reason.  Yes, I miss out on the heartwarming stories that people post, and I miss out on hearing what my friends are doing in places far and near.  But I also miss out on tracking cookies, being an outlet for advertising, and siloing my data in Facebook's vaults.

Mostly, I've decided to implement the .  This is a set Principles which I think the web is missing out on.  Yes, social media has a method of getting into your life, and I'm trying to back out of that invasiveness.  So if I blog, I blog here first, then syndicate out to other aggregators later (if ever).  I may move from this solution to another one which better integrates my current silos (tumblr and twitter), or return to the days of my PHP coding life where I tried to write my own forums from scratch (probably not).

We'll see how this works out.