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Best Entries
Every once in a while I'll have a series of posts which I think are very high quality and am really proud of. But then some time passes, and I write some more, and the good stuff eventually gets pushed off the main page to languish in the obscurity of the archives. Taking my cue from some other bloggers, I've decided to collect some of my better posts here on this page in the hopes that they'll get some more exposure.
  • Remix Culture and Soviet Montage Theory: A video mashup of The Beastie Boys' popular and amusing Sabotage video with scenes from Battlestar Galactica has been making...
  • Best Films of 2009: As of right now, I've seen 78 movies that were released in 2009. This is probably less than a lot...
  • Visual Literacy and Rembrandt's J'accuse: Perhaps the most fascinating film I saw at the 18½ Philadelphia Film Festival was Rembrandt's J'accuse. It's a documentary where...
  • Six Weeks of Halloween 2009: Week 1 - Universal Horror: It's that time of year again. Halloween is my favorite time of the year, and it provides a convenient excuse...
  • Noir Ends: In my first post on Noir, I kinda made light of the body count that our two heroes were racking...
  • Interrupts and Context Switching: To drastically simplify how computers work, you could say that computers do nothing more that shuffle bits (i.e. 1s and...
  • The Motion Control Sip Test: A few weeks ago, Microsoft and Sony unveiled rival motion control systems, presumably in response to Nintendo's dominant market position....
  • A Decade of Kaedrin: It's hard to believe, but it has been ten years since I started this website. The exact date is a...
  • Best Films of 2008: I saw somewhere on the order of 70 movies that were released in 2008. Most critics see more than that,...
  • 2008 Kaedrin Movie Awards: As of today, I've seen 62 movies that would be considered 2008 releases. This is on par with my 2007...
  • Anathem: I finished Neal Stephenson's latest novel, Anathem, a few weeks back. Overall, I enjoyed it heartily. I don't think it's...
  • Rewatching Movies: One of the cable channels was playing Ocean's Eleven all weekend, and that's one of those movies I always find...
  • Best Films of 2007: I saw somewhere on the order of 60 movies that were released in 2007. This is somewhat lower than most...
  • The Paradise of Choice?: A while ago, I wrote a post about the Paradox of Choice based on a talk by Barry Schwartz, the...
  • Manuals, or the lack thereof...: When I first started playing video games and using computer applications, I remember having to read the instruction manuals to...
  • Referential: A few weeks ago, I wrote about how context matters when consuming art. As sometimes happens when writing an entry,...
  • World Domination Via Dice: One of my favorite board games is Risk. I have lots of fond memories of getting annihilated by my family...
  • Intellectual Property, Copyright and DRM: An overview of the subject of Intellectual Property and Copyright, covering some general concepts and basic history as well as exploring DRM, the DMCA, and other related subjects.
  • Top 10 Box Office Performance: So after looking at a bunch of top 10 films of 2006 lists, and compiling my own, I began to...
  • Best Films of 2006: A short discussion on the nature of top 10 lists, followed by my top 10 movies of the year, honorable mentions, and lots more.
  • Aliens Board Game: A little while ago, I became reaquanted with a game that I used to play often - the Aliens board...
  • Animation Marathon: Grave of the Fireflies: Of the six films chosen for the Animation Marathon, Grave of the Fireflies was the only one that I hadn't...
  • Adventures in Linux, Paradox of Choice Edition: In which I expand, at length, on how the paradox of choice relates to Linux. Is it possible to create a Linux distro that is extremely easy to use while retaining the openness and freedom that makes it so wonderful? I don't know, but it would certainly be interesting.
  • The Paradox of Choice: At the UI11 Conference I attended last week, one of the keynote presentations was made by Barry Schwartz, author of...
  • Novelty: David Wong's article on the coming video game crash seems to have inspired Steven Den Beste, who agrees with Wong...
  • Pitfall II: Lost Caverns: Without a doubt, the greatest game ever made for the Atari 2600 was Pitfall II: Lost Caverns. A review and lots of screenshots of the game.
  • GalCiv II: Rise of the Kaedrinians!: Galactic Civilizations II game example: A blow by blow account of the rise of the Kaedrinians, including a planetary invasion.
  • Silent Hitchcock: A look at Hitchcock's silent film, The Lodger, including some general observations on silent films, lots of screenshots, sarcasm, and more...
  • Operation Solar Eagle: A discussion on Iraqi electricity problems and the potential for solar power to help out. Includes a brief analysis on electricity demand, installation costs, security challenges, other benefits, and why it could work in Iraq, if not in America.
  • The Pendulum Swings: I've often commented that human beings don't so much solve problems as they trade one set problems for another (in...
  • Magic Security: A brief analysis of a security measure recommended by the Ministry of Magic in the latest Harry Potter book.
  • Sharks, Deer, and Risk: Which animal poses the greater risk to the average person, a deer or a shark? Most people's instinctual response is the shark, but that's not correct. So why are most people wrong?
  • What is a Weblog, Part II: What is a weblog? How important are weblogs? And how trustworthy are weblogs? Ironically, while there is no definitive answer to what a weblog is, we do know that they are important, in part because they are not trustworthy...
  • What is a Weblog?: Discussion regarding what, exactly, a weblog is. Lists various definitions and issues pertaining to weblogs, including a discussion on weblogs as an internet genre.
  • Time Travel in Donnie Darko: A brief analysis of time travel used in the movie Donnie Darko.
  • The Stability of Three: In a recent Reason magazine interview, Neal Stephenson makes several interesting observations, including one about a triangular system consisting of libertarians, statists, and terrorists that could turn out to be quite stable...
  • Elections in Iraq: A roundup of commentary on the elections from all over the blogosphere
  • Stigmergic Notes: A post discussing some properties of stigmergic systems and how it relates to blogs.
  • An Epic in Parallel Form: A discussion on the value of reading more than one post at a particular blog, followed by a discussion on the collective value of the blogosphere as a series of self-organizing systems.
  • Polarized Debate: Debates tend to polarize into two extremes, which in some ways can give you a good overview of an issue, but also tends to be more divisive. Benjamin Franklin employed a softer approach, pursuing his agenda through Socratic questions and suggestions. Perhaps, in these divisive times, we could learn something from that.
  • Arranging Interests in Parallel: A brief discussion on quoting fiction to make a point, and arranging various interests in parallel, so as to more efficiently meet goals.
  • Open Source Security: A few weeks ago, I wrote about what the mainstream media could learn from Reflexive documentary filmmaking. Put simply, Reflexive...
  • Open Security and Full Disclosure: I recently made the case that we would be better served by a media which openly acknowledged their own biases and agenda. Does this lesson also applies to some forms of computer security? Open systems which publicly release information about vulnerabilities and other security details might not be as dangerous as they seem...
  • A Reflexive Media: This post attempts to apply the lessons of Reflexive documentary filmmaking to the current state of the mainstream media. In essense, by acknowledging their bias and agenda, Reflexive documentaries are more honest about their subjectivity. The blogosphere does so, but the media doesn't. I think it should, but if the recent CBS scandal is any indication, that won't be any time soon.
  • Benjamin Franklin: American, Blogger & LIAR!: I have ve been reading a biography of Benjamin Franklin, and several things have struck me about the way in which he conducted himself. I wonder how he would conduct himself in our current atmosphere. Would he be a blogger? Would he participate in politics?
  • A Village of Expectation: A brief discussion on how expectations influence our perception of film, and how M. Night Shyamalans The Village suffers from high expectations of a surprise ending.
  • With great freedom, comes great responsibility...: The Iraqi people are faced with a whole new set of problems that they have never had to deal with before, chief among them: Freedom. Includes brief digressions into Communist defectors, Saint Augustine, and of course, Spider-Man.
  • Kill Faster!: Ralph Peters has an interesting solution to the problem of media bias. Kill faster, so as to fight within the media cycle, before journalists sympathetic to terrorists and murderers can twist the facts and portray us as the villains.
  • Religion isn't as comforting as it seems: A common misconception about religion is that religion makes difficult questions easy to answer, or that religion provides more comfort than any other set of beliefs. A continuation of my discussion on Superstition and Security Beliefs...
  • Superstition: A post about recent experiences with superstition, and reasons why such beliefs manifest.
  • The Unglamorous March of Technology: The advance of technology is inherently unglamorous, but thanks to the joys of abstraction, we see the result as being glamorous.
  • Thinking about Security: A brief discussion of Bruce Schneier's thoughtful essay on how to think about security.
  • Inherently Funny Words, Humor, and Howard Stern: A discussion about inherently funny words, humor in general, and the recent controversy concerning the proposed fines against Howard Stern.
  • The Eisenhower Ten: During 1958 and 1959, President Eisenhower issued ten letters to mostly private citizens granting them unprecedented power in the event of a "national emergency" (i.e. nuclear war). Though controversial, the practive of having emergency administrators waiting in the wings appears to have continued throughout the Cold War and even to this day...
  • Welcome to the Hotel Baghdad: A new installment of the excellent "Baghdad Journal" series by artist Steve Mumford is up!
  • Deterministic Chaos and the Simulated Universe: Can you simulate a working universe inside a computer? A discussion of deterministic chaos.
  • Pynchon : Stephenson :: Apples : Oranges: A discussion of the similarities and differences between the works of authors Neal Stephenson and Thomas Pynchon.
  • To the Moon!: A discussion of Bush's new space proposal, the direction of manned spaceflight, and what is required to accomplish the goals laid out by the new program.
  • Each will have his personal Rocket: I finally finished my review of Thomas Pynchon's novel Gravity's Rainbow. Since I blogged about the novel often, I figured...
  • Ladies and gentlemen, we got him: Some thoughts on the capture of Saddam Hussein and a roundup of other reactions...
  • Is the Christmas Tree Christian?: The history of the Christmas tree is less Christian than pagan...
  • The Iraqi Art Scene: The sixth installment of Steve Mumford's excellent Baghdad Journal series focuses on the burgeoning Iraqi art scene.
  • Horror: Halloween has past* but since horror is one of my favorite genres, I figured I'd list out some good examples...
  • Hindsight isn't Necessarily 20/20: Hindsight isn't necessarily 20/20, but it always purports to be. Also, creeping determinism and the immaculate conception theory of U.S. foreign policy.
  • Style as Substance: Kill Bill: Volume 1 is one of those movies that I've been keeping track of for years. From the beginning,...
  • Pynchon's 1984: A discussion of Thomas Pynchon's forward in a new edition of George Orwell's classic dystopian novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four.
  • My God! It's full of stars!: An overview of the remarkable Galileo space probe and how the pyramids relate to the space program.
  • The King Lives!: A digression into the nature of cult films, as well as a look at an upcoming film that is destined for Cult Status: Bubba Ho-Tep, which combines Phantasm Director Don Coscarelli and Evil Dead actor Bruce Campbell...
  • Villainous Brits!: Why do Brits make such good villains? Because they're intelligent, honorable, and talented, features which make villains more effective.
  • Security & Technology: The other day, I was looking around for some new information on Quicksilver (Neal Stephenson's new novel, a follow up...
  • To hit or not to hit, that is the question: Gambling is a strange vice. Anyone with a brain in their head knows the games are rigged in the Casino's...
  • Chef Wars: Call Me Lenny by James Grimmelmann : Taco Bell is running a new ad called "Chef Wars" and it is...
  • The Fifty Nine Story Crisis: In 1978, William J. LeMessurier, one of the nation's leading structural engineers, received a phone call from an engineering student...
  • The Dune You'll Never See: Dune: The Movie You Will Never See by Alejandro Jodorowsky : The cult filmmaker's personal recollection of the failed production....
  • Hard Drinkin' Lincoln: I attended a lecture at Villanova University last night which was quite interesting. The speaker was Mike Reiss, one of...

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