capability and reliability

There is no question that the Macintosh is a far more capable device than the iPad or iPhone. BBEdit has a far wider range of capabilities than any iOS text editor; the Mac version of OmniGraffle is much more powerful than its iOS counterpart (this is true of almost every app that is available both on MacOS and iOS); on the Mac I can...

back to the blog with MarsEdit

As I’ve noted several times over the years, I do almost all my writing in a text editor, BBEdit. But when I write a blog post in BBEdit, the process of getting it onto the blog is not as straightforward as it might be. I write a post in Markdown, convert it to HTML, and copy it to my clipboard. Then I open a browser tab for the...

back to the iPhone

A few years ago I set aside my iPhone and returned to a dumbphone. I liked it. The Punkt is well made and has an elegant design, and I might — might, I say — have switched to it permanently except for one thing: it’s a 2G phone and my carrier, AT&T, dropped support for its 2G network. So the phone was bricked. I thought about...

no, go ahead and quit Facebook

If I had known how much moral capital I’d be able to accrue by deleting my Facebook account in 2018, I wouldn’t have deleted my Facebook account in 2007. — Alan Jacobs (@ayjay) March 28, 2018 Siva Vaidhyanathan contends that people currently on Facebook should not delete their accounts but rather stay and try to change it: So go...

contexts, conditions, and intersecting monologues

If there is a line that I’ve quoted more than any other over the years, it is this one from Rebecca West: “There is no such thing as conversation. It is an illusion. There are intersecting monologues, that is all.” (It took me a long time to track down that original statement — before I did I inadvertently paraphrased it.) For as...

Facebook, again

I know many people who spend considerable time on Facebook, and as far as I can tell, very few of them know about the current scandal and among the handful who know, very very few care. I think almost everyone likely to be seriously troubled by Facebook’s behavior has already ditched the service. Given Mark Zuckerberg’s silence on...

one more plea for RSS

As I’ve said many times over the years, I’m a big fan of RSS as a way of reading the internet, though I have had little success convincing others that it’s the way to go — that’s why I’m back on Twitter. Most of us who praise, and for that matter just use, RSS have become rather self-conscious about our attachement to the...

The Tyranny of Metrics

One of the great themes of Aristotle’s work on ethics and politics is the need for human judgment. In the Politics, when he describes the virtues that the “master craftsman” (architekton) of the state must have, chief among them is practical wisdom (phronesis). In the Ethics he points out that no matter how carefully laws are...

Mr Norrell and the Modern Moral Order

(Some reflections arising from a class I’m teaching.)  In A Secular Age, Charles Taylor describes the emergence of what he calls the Modern Moral Order, which is (very generally speaking) comprised of the beliefs that (a) God exists but is not active in the world, (b) God wants us to obey his laws/rules/norms in order to maximize our...

Cory Doctorow feels pretty good about the future

In this odd little story by Cory Doctorow global warming has dramatically increased temperatures, but it’s not such a big deal. In Burbank, California, in the not-too-distant future, “It was only March, but Burbank was baking: Three days in a row it had hit 120 degrees by noon”; and “the year before, on April 18, a Thursday after...

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