Monthly Archives: March 2013

Legal Self-Exemption Deconstructed

This evening, I was doing some research about a group call­ing itself “Freemen on the Land.” For those who haven’t heard of them, it’s a fringe move­ment that oper­ates on the erro­neous belief one can remove him­self from the rule, reach, and juris­dic­tion of his nation’s law.

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Infosec: When in Doubt, Leave it Out

Allow me to intro­duce one of my biggest peren­ni­al pet peeves: the act of shar­ing way too much infor­ma­tion.

Call it pro­fes­sion­al­ism, para­noia, or com­mon sense, when it comes to the abil­i­ty to share infor­ma­tion about each oth­er and our­selves online, the old adage applies: “With great pow­er comes great respon­si­bil­i­ty.”

At the low end of the spec­trum, giv­ing the world too much of your­self may be mild­ly enter­tain­ing (or in oth­er cas­es annoy­ing) to the oth­er users who stum­ble across your Face­book page and can sud­den­ly fig­ure out how many times in a day you go to the wash­room or re-blog embar­rass­ing pho­tos. On the oth­er side of things, if you’re not care­ful it’s fright­en­ing­ly easy to end up shar­ing infor­ma­tion that could cause direct and seri­ous harm to rep­u­ta­tion, finances, and fam­i­ly mem­bers. A com­mon phe­nom­e­non to all parts of this is the per­sis­tence of data, where hurt­ful com­ments and regret­table dis­clo­sures can come embar­rass­ing­ly home to roost at a much lat­er time, some­times years or decades down the road thanks to today’s per­fect storm of auto­mat­ed archiv­ing ser­vices and unpre­dictable human inter­faces.

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Opening Week at Beacon Hill Park

Now here’s some­thing to cel­e­brate … as of Fri­day, the pet­ting zoo opened its gates to the pub­lic for this sea­son. Yes­ter­day, I was in the area and so was able to catch the tail end of the day’s events (sans goats since as I was too busy explor­ing at the time to keep snap­ping pic­tures). Then, all of a sud­den, I found myself at the fringes of the lines for the goat stam­pede as clos­ing time hit. So while it was a bit of a short day, I had a great time out there and can’t wait to see more as the year goes on. The new baby goats should be out soon, too — as of yes­ter­day, they were still hud­dled in heaps under their heat lamps in the barn.

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Reflections on Finance and the Incentive to Budget, Part 1

Appar­ent­ly my excur­sion from the oth­er day left me laid up a while after­wards, so I’ve been using the time to rest, catch up on cur­rent events, and read up about one of my oth­er peren­ni­al loves: finance.

I can’t men­tion it enough: a great many peo­ple I’ve encoun­tered over the course of my life have great dif­fi­cul­ty doing some­thing as sim­ple as bal­anc­ing a cheque­book. They take on too many bad debts at unre­al­is­tic inter­est rates, they take on finan­cial instru­ments that built with only the short term in mind, they lose track of where the mon­ey goes each pay­day, or they neglect the pur­pose of cre­at­ing and pro­tect­ing a sav­ings. All of these are patho­log­i­cal and may not at first seem to have that much of an impact, but they cause seri­ous dam­age and a great deal of strife in the end.

Worse still are those who cre­ate an arti­fi­cial cri­sis: they cat­a­stro­phize the state of their being to exclude them­selves from scruti­ny, or choose to stay anchored to cir­cum­stances they could extract them­selves from — for exam­ple, mak­ing proac­tive ren­o­va­tions or repairs to a home that’s bleed­ing out mon­ey through exces­sive ener­gy bills each month, instead of putting up with the sta­tus quo.

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Geology Tour of lower Victoria and Sooke

For some years now, I’d been long­ing to go on a fresh adven­ture and take a geol­o­gy tour in an inter­est­ing place. Last week­end I was final­ly able to go, thanks to a friend who invit­ed me along on one of theirs. We end­ed up explor­ing a swath of land across the low­er Vic­to­ria region, which encom­pass­es an unusu­al vari­ety of meta­mor­phic rock that’s been through not one but three sep­a­rate sub­duc­tion cycles over the course of its life­time. Besides this we also looked at var­i­ous basaltic pil­low lavas and stra­ta along the coast­line, some con­glom­er­ates, and some bare­ly devel­oped sand­stones.

The views were stun­ning, and the mer­ci­less lash­ings of the wind and rain left us with an after­noon to remem­ber — I went home wet, as did quite a few of the oth­ers. Over­all, the day was a good expe­ri­ence, for despite the rain leav­ing us wet the wel­come enlight­en­ment by our sur­round­ings cre­at­ed its own kind of sub­tle joy with­in the psy­che.

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My kitteh says BLEEEEEEEH!

Clover sticking out her tongue

Clover stick­ing out her tongue

In oth­er words, it’s time to test out the CMS, get things going, and start get­ting some con­tent uploaded!

So it begins.