The Intolerance Attractor

June 28, 2022

transphobia, intolerance

The more time we spend examining the psychology of intolerant Americans in modern times, the more I think a common profile emerges. Transphobes, homophobes, misogynists, racists, xenophobes, white supremacists, hyper-nationalists, Fascists…these are not wildly different people. Their personality profiles appear to cluster around some sort of über-trait attractor, and someone who is intolerant in one way is very likely to be intolerant in other ways as well.

Why are transphobes so transphobic?

As a straight, white, middle-aged, college-educated, settled-community, cisgender man, I know that I benefit from more than my fair share of privilege. So if I have found Pride Month somewhat stressful, I can only imagine how others must have felt. Pride Month just isn’t what it used to be. What […]

I can’t quite put my finger on it yet, but it has something to do with an underdeveloped sense of empathy, a longing for a stable social hierarchy, and an aversion to ambiguity.

As we study these psychological profiles, I hope we can begin to nail down what conditions form and feed these harmful traits, in the hopes of some day addressing them and allowing society to grow more tolerant.

Fun With Multigig Ethernet

June 11, 2022

I love the new batch of multigig Ethernet peripherals that allow you to run 2.5 Gbps and 5 Gbps over your existing Cat5e cabling.

Comcast’s modem supports 2.5 Gbps, and I can now tap into the full 1.4 Gbps download capacity over wired Ethernet.

But not all multigig Ethernet devices are created equal!


From my experiments, the best option for switches appears to be the 10/5/2.5 Gbps ones that give you 10 Gbps bandwidth between local devices, and 5 Gbps between switches over Cat5e. I’ve had a really good experience with the TRENDnet TEG-S750.

10G Switches – 5-Port 10G Switch | TRENDnet - TRENDnet TEG-S750

TRENDnet’s 5-Port 10G Switch, model TEG-S750, provides advanced high bandwidth performance, ease of use, and reliability. The TEG-S750 10G switch features five dedicated 10G ports f...

You can get 2.5 Gbps switches too, but they appear to have much lower internal bandwidth. Since you’re likely to encounter computers that support 10 Gbps in the future because it’s an established standard, it’s probably wiser to just go with 10 Gbps today.

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Nerd Cred Time

May 20, 2022

Nerd cred time! That one time in 1990 that I asked my friends at the Singapore Microcomputer Society for a recommendation letter.

Throughout the 80s, I was a very active member of the Singapore Apple Users Group (or AUG(S) as they liked to call themselves), which later became part of the SMS. I created a tiny CMS and published their newsletter articles on 3.5″ disks with a custom bootloader/reader that booted in under one second from powerup on an Apple ][—complete with keyboard navigation and paginator. I was pretty proud of that.

I acted as a co-sysop for the SMS BBS. I also ran my own BBS, which I wrote from scratch using Apple BASIC and ran on my Apple //e, which detected when you used ProTERM, and would offer you MouseText-based iconography and keyboard navigation.

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My latest project: Swift Playgrounds 4.1

May 17, 2022

I’m proud to tell you about the latest product I worked on: Swift Playgrounds 4.1, now with Mac Catalyst support! You can now work on the same project files on your iPad and Mac, and publish them as native apps on both platforms.

Specifically, my work was around implementing the Mac Catalyst preview pipeline, which involved a rather unique dance between UIKit, AppKit, Core Animation, and many low-level services to orchestrate a fully interactive app preview experience across multiple processes.

It was very hard work sometimes, but I’m proud of the result. I hope this update opens up new opportunities for developers new and experienced alike to experiment with Swift and SwiftUI on the Mac.

Swift Playgrounds - Apple Developer

Swift Playgrounds is a revolutionary app for iPad and Mac that helps you learn and explore coding in Swift, the same powerful language used to create world-class apps for the App Store.

Memento Mori: A million dead of COVID-19

May 6, 2022

We’ve reached a grim milestone: one million dead from COVID-19.

“The number — equivalent to the population of San Jose, California, the 10th largest city in the U.S. — was reached at stunning speed: 27 months after the country confirmed its first case of the virus.”

Imagine the population of San Jose one by one suffocating, then dropping dead, until no one is left, in a little more than two years. That’s what COVID-19 has done to this country. I think it would be appropriate to mark this ignominious milestone with a national day of remembrance; a memento mori, a grim reminder that this disease is not yet over, not by a long shot.

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