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Paul Bernal's Blog

A story about Facebook went around twitter last night that provoked quite a reaction in privacy advocates like me: Facebook, it seems, is experimenting with getting people to ‘snitch’ on any of their friends who don’t use their real names. Take a look at this:

Facebook has had a ‘real names’ policy for a while: this is what their ‘Help Center’ says on the subject:

People in my field have known about this for a long time – it’s been the cause of a few ‘high profile’ events such as when Salman Rushdie had his account suspended because they didn’t believe that he was who he said he was – but few people had taken it very seriously for anyone other than the famous. Everyone knows ‘fake’ names and ‘fake’ accounts – my sister’s dog has a Facebook account – so few believed that Facebook was going to bother enforcing…

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What the Hell am I Doing?

Far over the Misty Mountains cold,
To dungeons deep and caverns old,
The pines were roaring on the heights,
The winds were moaning in the night.
The fire was red, it flaming spread,
The trees like torches blazed with light.

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Decline of Killer App #3

If you look at the success of Western society the past two centuries, over most of the rest of the world, one of the key components, the building blocks of that success, is property rights of the individual protected by law. I believe the phrase in Americanish goes something like, “possession is 9/10ths of the law.” You have an entire Amendment in the US Constitution almost entirely dedicated to the subject, so on and so forth. You can see the importance of those rights in a recent TED Talk given by historian, Niall Ferguson (see embedded video), as he candidly discusses the decline of Western civilization and the ending of the Great Divergence.

Lesson Learned

NathanYou know I have learned something crucial over the past five or six days. At my age, you cannot remotely think about extra shit like blogging when you are not taking care of yourself. Stuff like eating right, getting even a middling level of exercise in, proper sleep, weekly sexing, and plenty of water (not liquids, WATER dummy). Go even a day or two without any of that stuff, and you can just hang it up.

I’ve been doing the exact opposite of all the above for the past few days: lots of sugar, junk food, and pasties, no working out, two hours of sleep per day, a completely loveless week, drinking anything but water. And I feel like hammered shit right about now, and hurt in places I forgotten I had. And as you can see, the quantity and quality of what actually makes it into my blog has been impacted inversely as a result. Just getting up and doing the essentials of daily life, really takes it out of you when you are not taking care of yourself. So many ideas to blog about, and absolutely no energy or drive to get it done – not a good thing.

So take care of yourselves, kiddies. If you are young, get in the habit of doing it now (not tomorrow, today), and don’t break your regimen – ever. You will thank yourself for it, when you are my age. And if you are . . . my age, like saving for retirement, or getting your prostate checked, you should have already started long ago. Better now than never. That said, I’m out until I can at least get to the bottom of this IV of electrolytes . . . and a nap . . . and maybe something else . . .


Procrastinate CatAch du liebe! I actually have a growing backlog of over half a dozen posts, in varying degrees of completion. It’s weird. I’ll find this really interesting something to comment about, I’ll actually start the initial write up, only to realize(?) that it is not worth the effort writing about . . . or that in order to make a decent post about, I’ll have to create too much filler, or something like that.

I think my problem is, I have some really big subjects that I want to cover am covering actually; stuff that requires a bit lot more research than your average post, and when I start working on the lesser posts, well, they just seem so inadequate next to the larger material. Does that make any sense?

Maybe it’s a risk/reward sort of thing – well not really risk, but . . . Each posts requires a certain level of work to go into each. Perhaps I’m just not, or maybe I’m too lazy to invest in the smaller posts. Which is kind of odd, as the larger ones require so much more work to accomplish. But maybe it’s because when those are finished, they do feel like an accomplishment worth having stuck it out for, having put the extra effort into them.

I don’t know, maybe I’ll just stop being lazy and crush those smaller posts out there anyway.

*SIGH* I could really use a bottle of red right now . . . and a back rub . . .

Left Turn

Change is the Essence of Life.  Be Willing to Surrender What You Are, for What You Could Become.You know how you can be looking right at something, and not realize exactly what it is you are observing, until someone else with fresh eyes comes along, and pretty much spells it out for you? Well, that is kinda where my life has been for some time now. And last night, someone came along who could finally tell me exactly at what I had been looking at all this time.

“Look, dude. Things around here have changed. Sometimes, the only way to keep going is to make a left turn,” advises Kyle Broflovski to his friend, Stan Marsh, in Wednesday night’s mid-season opener to Cartoon Network’s long running animated series, South Park. Little did I realize last spring when the first part of this two episode story arc aired, or even last night, as I sat enjoying the second part to the story, that South Park‘s creators had written an adventure so amazingly close in theme to what was going on in my life. It would not be until a few moments later in the episode that it would all make sense to me. (more…)


Steve Jobs Steve jobs died today. He was only 56. I have no love loss for Mr. Jobs. Matter of fact, I have been very critical of him over the past decade – even considering him a rival of sorts. Yet simultaneously, Steve Jobs has always been an inspiration, and a mentor; someone to remind us all, to see the world for not what it is, but what it could be. Steve Jobs is someone I always respected, even though I have disagreed with on many occasions. There are tons of things I think he could should have gotten better, and other things I know for a matter of fact were the ideas of others, that pop culture has attributed to Steve, and Steve does nothing to correct them. I am a big proponent of giving everyone their due, however, I could see where I may feel differently about that when billions of dollars are at stake. I’d like to think that I could stand on my convictions enough, that money no matter how much, would not change my actions – I guess when the money starts rolling in from my own ventures, we will see how well I stick to my own beliefs. (more…)

The Mermaid, and the Whale

Tara LynnThe following appeared on my Facebook wall today, thanks to a share a young model I subscribe to, named Mei-Ling Lam. The original post was made by Delphine Fieberg, and the story she told struck a chord with me, so I thought I would share: (more…)

This Is Not Winning

Alrighty then. Started this blog, made a few posts, made a commitment to actually blog on it . . . and then promptly abandoned it for almost ten months. I don’t know whether that is a statement about me, or about commitment, or about how my life is completely derailed currently, or even about my feelings about blogging in general (my feelings about blogging is generally not favorable), but I am sure there is something to be gleaned from my actions.

What the fuck am I doing?