Articles on Technology

Read it on Kindle: see the collection, The Luddite's Guide to Technology

Ajax without JavaScript or Client-Side Scripting (short)

It's common knowledge among front-end web developers that Ajax is not necessarily "Asynchronous JavaScript and XML": XML can quite well be replaced by JSON. But JavaScript and client-side scripting languages aren't strictly necessary, and here is a proof of concept.
All I Really Needed to Learn About Programming, I Learned from Java (short)
As I look back on my programming experience, the most important things were not writing low-level serialization routines, or stunning optimizations that drew on deep theory. All I Really Needed to Learn About Programming, I Learned from Java.
The Blacksmith's Forge: An Extension of Euclidean Geometric Construction, as a Model of Computation
What is a computer? This looks at how high school Euclidean geometric construction may be seen as a model of computation, and then looks at an extension that opens the door to many more constructions that can give a powerful extension to Euclidean construction.

It allows quick construction for three problems classically considered to be insoluble.

Changes in Mac OS Over Time: The Good Parts
Mac OSX and now iOS have a reputation for pushing the envelope on user experience.

But at the same time, they've grown increasingly nasty to Unix aficionados.

Here's a suggestion about what is good in OSX.

The Case for Uncreative Web Design (medium)
Many people think good web design means making a design that's different from other websites. This article argues another perspective.

Game Review: Meatspace (medium)

It is, in a sense, a description of the ultimate game.
iPhones and spirituality (short)
Texting while driving is dangerous; we've learned that texting is a strong enough technological drug not to mix with driving. But there are other lessons in life besides "Hang up and drive!" This is especially true with the technological drug of the iPhone.
The Luddite's Guide to Technology (long)
The title "The Luddite's Guide to Technology" is quite deliberately ironic. The content, a work of Orthodox mystical theology, is not ironic, and is a discussion of spiritually disciplined use of today's technology. The discussion is meant to provide a roadmap and provoke reflection.
Macs are now Super.Computer.s running "IRIX," a Super.Computer. OS!
Once upon a time Apple worked hard to make overtures to the Unix community, and the NSString used in programming iOS has the initials of "NeXTSTEP" Unix that Steve Jobs worked on before returning to Apple as CEO.

Times have changed.

The modern baccaulaureate (short)
You've heard of Gilbert and Sullivan's "Modern Major-General"? Here's an update.
An Open Letter to Other Link Prospectors
I've received plenty of requests for people who want the precious gift of an unpaid one-way inbound link but write letters that telegraph, "I neither know nor care what your site is about." Among these are letters that claim to be tremendously impressed by my whole work but do not mention any particular detail of any particular work. (I do get the sporadic email from people who are genuinely very impressed, but they usually do not have the slightest difficulty pinpointing what, exactly, impressed them.)

This is an article about how to make link requests that won't make it to my spam folder... and, perhaps, how to avoid other website owners' spam folders as well.

An Open Letter to Spam Patrons (short)
Do you hate spam? Here's a letter you can send to business owners who don't understand why spamming is bad.

Passwords Maker (short)

It can be surprisingly difficult to make a password that is both strong and secure on the one hand, and not impossible to remember. Sure, if your password is "BQRaW3@8-i--d5bce" it is going to be a hard password for anyone malicious to guess, but that kind of password is hard to remember, and for that matter hard enough to type in!

Passwords Maker makes passwords that are hard to guess but easy to remember. Curious how that is possible? Take a look!

Religion within the Bounds of Amusement (short)

Inspired by a visit to a "seeker service." To those unacquainted with Christian lingo, this means a church service which tries to reach out to people seeking God—but "reach out to people seeking God" really means, "put on a circus."

So, you've hired a hacker (revised and expanded) (medium)

This is a revision of a classic guide for managers confused by hackers they've hired. Not the vandals who break into other people's computers—the other kind of hacker, the law-abiding kind. Haven't heard of them? Here's a chance to do just that.

"Social Antibodies" Needed: A Request of Orthodox Clergy (medium)

An article exploring the social issues surrounding technology and faith and inviting Orthodox clergy to provide pastoral guidance, in other words "social antibodies", for the internet, iPhones, and other features of the technological nexus that we are in.

Technonomicon: Technology, Nature, Ascesis (medium)

We are entranced by technology, and yearn for harmony with nature. But there is more to life than getting technology or taking walks in the woods.
Tinkering With Perl (long)
Something I wrote when my brothers were twelve to introduce them to programming. It tries to be very simple—just enough so kids can start tinkering.

Theory of Alien Minds: A UX Copernican Shift (medium)

A look at a 'theory of alien minds' that is relevant, and profoundly useful to, UX and especially usability.

Usability for Hackers: Developers, Anthropology, and Making Software More Usable (medium)

Programmers can easily enough make software with an interface that makes sense only to them. This is a discussion of personal attributes that many programmers can draw on to make software that is much more usable.
Usability, the soul of Python: an introduction to the Python programming language (medium)
An introduction to Python that looks at usability as one of the most fundamental aspects of the language.
Why Study Mathematics? (short)
Have you ever felt like mathematics was a secret game that everybody but you understood? Here's the secret.

Within the steel orb (medium)

Does Einstein's theory of relativity say anything that relativism does not? Or does relativism say anything that Einstein's theory of relativity does not?

Is there a difference that matters?

A sleek car under starlight, a different kind of information technology, a deep, blue-robed host, and the wisdom of a Socratic dialogue in a science fiction world.