Technical Difficulties from on Top of the Mountain
2005-04-14
  Learning a bit of wisdom
So, on the way home tonight, as I went through the airport, they enformed me that a new rule had gone into effect, and that I could no longer bring cigurette lighters into the airport. This is just about as dumb as their rule last year that you couldn't bring fingernail clippers onto a plane. Like fingernail clippers were somehow dangerous.

I was so annoyed at this latest example of stupidity, that I wrote a scathing article all about common household items that you could easily bring through airport security, then combine to create chemicals far more dangerous than butane. (Those rocks are calcium carbide, if you want to get an idea of the kinds of things I was thinking.) I sort of knew while I was writing it though, that nothing good could come of it. The department of homeland security would still continue to put out idiotic rules that don't help airline safety at all, and I'd probably alienate some readers who thought I was passing secrets to the bad guys.

There's also the bigger picture. Right now I'm working for a company that provides training technology to various groups, including the military. While geeks like sharing ideas as widely as possible (even threats), the military doesn't like anybody giving any ideas out at all. And, they have no sense of humor about these things either. So you don't really want to piss these people off (as a friend of a friend in Iraq found out after getting on the wrong side of the base commander by posting an insulting rant about checkpoint security on his blog). So not only would my original posting have been irresponsible, but it also could have caused problems for the people I'm working for, and they're pretty nice guys.

While reacting, and posting my rant would have been satisfying in the short term; understanding that what I write effects others, and that we have to act like we are members of a civilization (at least some of the time), is a far better lesson for me to take away.

 
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Life in the middle of nowhere, remote programming to try and support it, startups, children, and some tinkering when I get a chance.

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Blogroll
Paul Graham's Essays
You may not want to write in Lisp, but his advise on software, life and business is always worth listening to.
How to save the world
Dave Pollard working on changing the world .. one partially baked idea at a time.
SnowDeal
Eric Snowdeal IV - born 15 weeks too soon, now living a normal baby life.
Land and Hold Short
The life of a pilot.

The best of?
Jan '04
The second best villain of all times.

Feb '04
Oops I dropped by satellite.
New Jets create excitement in the air.
The audience is not listening.

Mar '04
Neat chemicals you don't want to mess with.
The Lack of Practise Effect

Apr '04
Scramjets take to the air
Doing dangerous things in the fire.
The Real Way to get a job

May '04
Checking out cool tools (with the kids)
A master geek (Ink Tank flashback)
How to play with your kids

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