Bulk and memory

I’m working a lot with huge datasets these days, and it’s becoming par for the course to end up with large files in various formats. I found myself showing up to work this morning to find a 13GB JSON file waiting for me to load it into ElasticSearch. The JSON file was an array containing some 550000 large objects. Unfortunately the file isn’t structured in such a way as to allow just throwing it at ElasticSearch’s bulk loader, so I need to parse it out and do stuff with the objects.

It's time to stop being hypocrites

In a wonderful show of support for the right to freedom of expression on Sunday, world leaders descended on Paris to participate to march in solidarity with the people of France. This event would have been even better if the leaders in question were not so selective in their support for freedom of expression. As Daniel Wickham pointed out in a long sequence of Tweets, many of those attending the march have in recent years overseen the imprisonment, torture or murder of journalists.

Learning to Live with Perpetual Information Warfare

Since the Snowden revelations started to inform the public about the ways in which western governments have been spying on everybody, a number of international diplomatic relations have soured, and many relationships between governments and their electorates have soured. The actions of the governments of these countries have rendered them entirely untrustworthy. Their only avenue to regaining trust is to dismantle military-surveillance artefacts that are not physical, cannot be visually accounted for, that exist in a post-scarcity economy, with no meaningful limit to how many surveillance systems can be in place and no way of counting them.

Where States Go To Die: Military Artifacts, International Espionage And The End Of Liberal Democracy

This was originally published at the Center for a Stateless Society on October 12th, 2013. It is a transcript of a talk I gave at the SHARE Boat Camp in Croatia in August 2013, on board the Galeb Military Artifacts All over the world, landscapes both urban and rural are littered with military artifacts from bygone times. These artifacts have completed their lifecycle as objects of power, force and control, and have either been repurposed or forgotten.

Passing Over Eisenhower

This was originally published at the Center for a Stateless Society on the 18th of July 2013 – it feels like years ago, so much has happened in the interim. A Portuguese translation is available. I decided to repost it now because it came to mind recently while doing a bit of a retrospective, and realized I hadn’t cross-posted it. The Internet industries of America may just have inadvertently had their hats handed to them by the military industrial complex.

Some thoughts on working with GnuPG

A lot of people have complained about OpenPGP for a number of valid cryptographical reasons1,2. It doesn’t change the fact that it is widely used, and wildly useful. It urgently needs to be replaced with something more sensible, but for now we’re stuck with it. In practice, this also means that we are stuck with GnuPG, the most common and by far the best implementation of OpenPGP. GnuPG is the one and only reference implementation of RFC 4880, and despite thousands of companies making use of OpenPGP in their infrastructre there is for all intents and purposes a solitary dude in Germany trying to keep it all together.

Gluggað í ríkisfjármálin

Ég asnaðist til að skoða ríkisfjármálin. Vitiði hvað kom í ljós? Ríkisstjórnin sem boðaði aðhald í ríkisfjármálum hefur eytt umtalsvert meira en vonda fjárglæfrastjórnin sem sat áður. Ríkisstjórnin sem boðaði lægri skatta hefur innheimt töluvert meira skattfé en vonda skattpíningarstjórnin sem sat áður. Athugið að þetta er þrátt fyrir að ríkisstjórnin hafi afþakkað milljarðatugi í auðlindagjald frá handhöfum einokunarréttar á fiski. Reyndar eru 25 milljarðar af tekjuaukningunni í formi sölu á hlutabréfum í eigu ríkisins.

Baul bullukollanna

Það er ekki algengt í íslenskri stjórnmálaumræðu að hlutir séu sagðir með skýrum og afgerandi hætti svo ekki verði um villst. Því verður að teljast óþolandi þegar fullorðið fólk leikur sér að því að snúa út úr, þegar það er gert. Vandinn er að erfitt er að sanna að menn eins og Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson og Björn Bjarnason séu að snúa út úr, en séu ekki bara svona heimskir. Ýmislegt styður hvora tilgátuna.

Crowdsourcing the Constitution - Lessons from Iceland

I was in Edinburgh some months ago visiting Bella Caledonia. I did this talk there, trying to give some history and background to the Icelandic constitutional process of 2010-2013, and putting it into a context of Scottish independence. {% youtube Gez7itWp7KI %} Suffice to say, I think Scotland should be independant. I say at least twice in this talk: EVERY reason that’s been given for people to vote “no” is invalid.

Maya og óttinn

Í gær dó Maya Angelou, 86 ára gömul. Hún var kona sem barðist alla ævi sinni gegn mismunun. Vegna ótta annarra á hinu óþekkta fæddist hún, sem blökkukona í suðurríkjum Bandaríkjanna, inn í samfélag þar sem sumir máttu en aðrir ekki. Þessi aðgreining, sem var til komin vegna mannvonsku og fáfræði, ýtti undir fátækt, sem svo leiddi af sér glæpi. Þegar hún var sjö ára gömul var henni nauðgað af kærasta móður sinnar.