Fanax: the Mycenaean term for "king"; pronounced "wanax". The funny initial letter, "F", is called digamma and shows up in Archaic Greek epigraphy (papyrus and tablet writings). The sound, if not the letter form, and its linguistic equivalent initially show up in the heiroglyphic writings (Linear B) of Bronze Age Greece both at Pylos, in the far west of Greece (Peloponnese), and at Knossos in north central Crete, the funny "F". Specifically, digamma shows up in the Greek of Homer's Iliad with the word "F"anax, but there it's a "rough breathing" in the form "(h)anax", where the term is linked to an important individual at Pylos. In Classical and Hellenistic Greek, the F continues in this aspirant, or "h" sound, form at the beginning of many Greek words.

Burke and modern politics

March 30, 2012 ·

I’m not much familiar with Burke, but this is a though-provoking look at Burke in light of current political discourse.  Some really good stuff in here.

“What they should be doing instead is the hard intellectual and spiritual work of reflection, raising their minds above the sordid state of affairs surrounding us and searching for a timeless understanding of our essential natures which will serve us in the work of social renewal.”

Tags: politics

Make it Easier

March 02, 2012 ·

What I always think, but never thought to put into writing.  A brilliant analysis of what's wrong in the world of online software sales, particularly in the corporate space.

Tags: software development

thoughts on programming ... and life

February 27, 2012 ·

Zen and the art of programming is certainly not a new concept, but the stuff in this post really is quite solid.  #s 4 and 5 probably inform the other 8 points he makes, in my opinion.

Tags: miscellany · software development

Web Dev Explained

February 18, 2012 ·

As the author admits, it's rather labored, but it's still a brilliant romp through the land of Web Design & Development through the lens of early AD&D.  Outstanding.

Tags: software development

on war prayers

January 21, 2012 ·

A lift from Norman Horn this morning:

"Almighty king of Sabaoth, that is, of armies, you determine both war and peace for the regions of the earth by means of your angels appointed for the task. You gave new heart and strength to the boy David, so that although he was small, without weapons, and unskilled in war he attacked and overthrew the giant Goliath with a sling. If we are fighting for a just cause, if we are forced to fight, I pray you, first, to turn the hearts of our enemies to the desire for peace, so that no Christian blood may be spilt upon the earth; or to spread the fear that men call panic; or to let victory be gained with the least shedding of blood and the smallest loss by those whose cause is more pleasing to you, so that the war may be quickly concluded and we may sing songs of triumph with one accord to you, who reign in all and above all. Amen."
-- Erasmus, "Some New Prayers" (CWE, 69:137)

Tags: Chrisitanity · politics

on Public Education

January 13, 2012 ·

What a condemnation.

“I feel ashamed that so many of us cannot imagine a better way to do things than locking children up all day in cells instead of letting them grow up knowing their families, mingling with the world, assuming real obligations, striving to be independent and self-reliant and free...I don’t mean to be inflammatory, but it’s as if government schooling made people dumber, not brighter; made families weaker, not stronger...the training field for these grotesque human qualities is the classroom. Schools train individuals to respond as a mass. Boys and girls are drilled in being bored, frightened, envious, emotionally needy, and generally incomplete. A successful mass production economy requires such a clientele. A small business, small farm economy like that of the Amish requires individual competence, thoughtfulness, compassion, and universal participation; our own requires a managed mass of leveled, spiritless, anxious, family-less, friendless, godless, and obedient people who believe the difference between Cheers and Seinfeld is a subject worth arguing about. An executive director of the National Education Association announced that his organization expected ‘to accomplish by education what dictators in Europe are seeking to do by compulsion and force.’ You can’t get much clearer than that. WWII drove the project underground, but hardly retarded its momentum. Following cessation of global hostilities, school became a major domestic battleground for the scientific rationalization of social affairs through compulsory indoctrination.”

-- John Taylor Gatto

Tags: politics

Developer Value

December 08, 2011 ·

This is a fascinating look at the value of good developers.  Not only interesting insights into developers and their role in the economy, but also some great insights into company structures which may have impact on every type of company in the economy over the next few years.

"As every company starts to re-organize around a recognition of the criticality of software to its business model, cataclysimic changes will ripple through the economy. To the extent that the growth of the base of software talent cannot keep up with demand, companies and entire industry sectors will start to collapse as they fail to adequately fuel their need for software talent."

Tags: miscellany · software development

What does it all mean?

October 28, 2011 ·

Number 9, in particular, is most excellent, although the whole thing is good.

"[The typical 25-year-old] should also be aware that when it comes to matters of money and economics, most of the ostensibly-learned discussants are sadly espousing ideas no more advanced or well-founded than were those of sixteenth century alchemists and leeches in the science of metallurgy or medicine."

Tags: politics

there it is

October 23, 2011 ·

Two simple truths that matter to all of us.

"We can accept these facts or we can continue to play political games and our economy and political system will collapse.  This is not conjecture, it is a mathematical certainty."

Tags: politics

Great thoughts on programming

October 19, 2011 ·

Getting stuck ... more accurately:  not getting stuck.  Really solid stuff.

Tags: software development

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