Computing, games, retro

Play-old-PC-games.com

Play-old-PC-games.com is an excellent website for getting old DOS and Windows games to work. The instructions are clearly written and easy to follow. You get lots of information on how to install patches, run the game in higher resolutions, and similar issues, with relevant links.

Science

Scientific Regress

On the problems with reproducibility in modern science.

Such regress has happened before: In the nineteenth century, the (correct) vitamin C deficiency theory of scurvy was replaced by the false belief that scurvy was caused by proximity to spoiled foods. Many ancient astronomers believed the heliocentric model of the solar system before it was supplanted by the geocentric theory of Ptolemy.

William A. Wilson @ First Things
Politics, Religion, SJW, Sociology

Bad religion

I find it useful to think of political ideologies as religions. Socially and psychologically, they fill much the same function. They have a set of basic theses you need to believe in; they provide a sense of understanding (genuine or false) of how the world works; they provide a moral framework; they provide something for people to gather around and feel like a community; they have mechanisms for preserving and propagating themselves, such as proselytising, or punishments for apostates.

SJW also works like a religion, but it’s a bad religion. It’s only good for making people feel unjustly treated, morally indignated, angry, and rally them for the ideological fight. It doesn’t provide any hope, redemption or release. People who believe in it only build up their anger and sense of indignation, and feel more and more bitter and hopeless.

There are religions with a God, but no Devil. SJW is a religion with a Devil, but no God.

Computing, Linux, system administration, Uncategorized

How to Install Java 8 on Debian GNU/Linux 9 (Stretch)

How to Install Java 8 on Debian GNU/Linux 9 (Stretch)

In this article, I will go through the process of installation of Java 8 on Debian 9 Stretch. Java comes in two flavors and we install both. OpenJDK is open source version that is compatible with most software.  And Oracle JavaSE is the proprietary version that should be used if your java application is incompatible with OpenJDK. […]

Economics, Law, Politics

Why Nations Fail

why_nations_fail_coverWhy Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty by Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson

I recently finished  Why Nations Fail, a very interesting look at the factors behind economic success or failure of nations. According to the author, the deciding factor is a country’s institutions, such as its legal system, system of government, and so on.

In short, institutions which are extractive (are designed to extract economic resources from the majority) lead to policies which maximise extraction, and hinder the majority to benefit economically, which lessens economic growth. These policies may include monopolies, slavery, nepotism, and so on.

On the other hand, institutions which are inclusive (let a majority take part in the economy and political decision-making), let the majority benefit economically, which leads to better economic growth overall.

The author supports his case with a large number of historical case studies, in particular, similar countries whose economies have diverged because of which political faction won and which social institutions they created.