Author Archives: acorwin

Flash Fiction Responses To A Quiz On A Book I Haven’t Read

1. How do Bill and Josella meet for the first time? “Ah shit,” Bill said to himself. This wasn’t the first time, he should know better by now. Engine oil gets everything all messy, and he shouldn’t have thought he … Continue reading

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Negotiation

“Even here in the north, the Children of Yisrael pass tales from mouth to ear. Pilgrims come bearing them. Some years ago, one came to my ears. I have heard the tale of how the angel known as Pride was … Continue reading

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Sexism Against Men And Other Word Overloading

There’s a great tumblr post that does the rounds occasionally. It’s a powerful and pithy explanation of how authority figures exploit words with multiple but related meanings to sound reasonable while saying unreasonable things. Sometimes people use “respect” to mean … Continue reading

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Corwin’s Tenth Law

Any sufficiently complicated distributed system program contains an ad-hoc, informally-specified, bug-ridden, slow implementation of half of Raft. With apologies to Philip Greenspun.

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Against Flowers

One of my deepest, oldest, most cherished and firmly-held feminist beliefs is that flowers are fucking bullshit. Flowers are a tool of the patriarchy, to render men bumbling, useless fools and women placid receivers of meaningless tokens. Consider the transaction … Continue reading

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You Are Extremely Bad At Thinking About Tragedy

Today, some asshole killed a shitton of people in Las Vegas. Fifty eight deaths, at time of writing. This sucks. Like, 58 deaths is a lot, and this is a horrifying tragedy worthy of news coverage. Let’s talk about some … Continue reading

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Creating a Sentient Mind Can’t Be That Hard

It just can’t. A conscious mind might be harder, but sentience is just a very low bar. It seems to me that there has to be some insight we’re missing, because, empirically, the problem cannot be particularly hard. What’s the … Continue reading

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Why The Forum Was Better In The Old Days

You may have noticed, if you’ve participated in online communities or forums*, that the old guard always thinks the forum used to be better, and simultaneously the newer members often think that it’s pretty great as it is now. I … Continue reading

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Rap Quines

A Quine is a form of poetry in which a poem, through formalism or sometimes more literally, states that it is going to state part of itself, and then does so. This is related to the modern programming art form … Continue reading

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On Trolley Problems

If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice There’s a philosophical question that people seem to struggle with, commonly called the trolley problem, that I never really got the difficulty of until fairly recently. The original … Continue reading

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