Monthly Archives: November 2011

On big networks

It’s not surprising that online security is a commonly misunderstood and confusing topic to most people. Our news media throws around big words like cyberbullying and cyberattack, so much so that laymen are discouraged from sorting through the madness themselves. But honestly, it may not be their fault. Computer security has only recently become relevant to the average person because so much of our lives have moved onto the Internet. Whether or not humans are prepared to handle the gradual eradication of human interaction is a different matter. As for now, I just want to explain the nature of security and its relation to what happened in 3rd period today. See, the Internet is inherently insecure. Each request you send goes through several computers, all of which can read or alter the data if it wants to. Originally, when networks were… more →

A Student Memorial

When we were passing around Ms. Crisci’s yearbook photo in ToK, I noticed it came from a website for her high school graduating class. Now that college applications are building up and the dreadful day we graduate is getting closer, one of these website things sounds really good right now. Apparently, their webmaster has my ip on a blacklist, so I had to look at it through a proxy. They’ve got yearbook photos, a blog, obituaries, a forum, photos, and some other stuff. Yearbook photos, I understand. But it looks like they inputted them one at a time into WordPress or something. They must have had a really small graduating class. I don’t suppose our class is close enough or small enough to do that, but we’re not so favorable to tedious work either. Blogs are usually great, except for… more →

On the existence of distasteful restaurants

Is it good? That’s a common question when picking a place to eat. It has become an idiom, almost. But the question is really moronic if you think about it. Why on earth would you ask if a restaurant is good? That’s like asking a student if he’s smart, or an employee if he’s competent. This sort of dogma is built into our language and culture, and it takes a clever mind to avoid them, which is why most of us don’t bother. But what if we did? Could we build a world where the ingenious reassessment of cultural idiosyncrasies would be an indicator of class, where the comments on my final grade calculator1 would be an unacceptable embarrassment to all society? You know, when I read about global consciousness and existentialism and models of utopia, they start building on… more →

The limits of mankind's knowledge

It concerns me how often that we are discussing in ToK when somebody precludes an argument with some nonsense conjecture that goes along the lines of nobody knows why we do those things, we just do them. It is especially convenient with topics like human behaviors and black holes and morality, because you can dismiss things that you don’t understand. But we can explain those things with science. See, there’s a difference between knowing how to calculate the Schwarzschild radius and being aware that somewhere in the past, physicists have formed a working theory for black holes. On the opposite side, some areas of science are not as developed as they seem to be. One of the goals of a scientific education is to enable you to see through the magic. I ask people about this often. How can we know… more →