[Note: posting will continue until the database thing is sorted out — I suppose I will lose all new posts or something horrible like that, but oh well.]
Over at dsquared there is a very humorous argument that is just the fodder I need to put my anti-war opinions on a sounder rhetorical footing. It is an analysis of the similarities between OCYWRSHSHIP and LLLLLICHY, where
OCYWRSHSHIP = OF COURSE YOU WOULD RATHER STILL HAVE SADDAM HUSSEIN IN POWER, and
LLLLLICHY = LALALALA I CANT HEAR YOU.
His basic argument is that pro-war “liberals” such as Hitchens use the
OCYWRSHSHIP to gain the moral high ground and stave off the debate, which if fought on the basis of their own professed ideologies, they would lose. This runs dangerously close to pointing at others and saying “well, you’re just afraid of losing the argument,” that doesn’t make the criticism of the rhetorical tactic invalid.
[I’ve been spending the last week trying to contextualize some work I’ve been doing so that we can publish it in a journal. Since I knew nothing about the field earlier, I figure writing it out in somewhat simpler terms would help clarify the big concepts for me. Read on at your peril.]
One of the biggest engineering challenges in computer networks for the future is increasing the total available bandwidth to be shared by users. Soon broadband-at-home will be severely limited by the fact that all of the users have to share some portion of cable, and not all of the data can go on that cable at the same time. Some future internet applications may require guaranteed data rates, which would be bad news at the current rate. Fiber optic cable can theoretetically support data rates up to hundreds of gigbits per second using wavelength-division multiplexing (WDM), a technology in which different wavelengths of light share the cable in a noninterfering way. In order to harness the speed of fiber optics, technologies are needed to provide optical routing for traffic control, because transforming the optical data to electronic data essentially slows it down to the data rate for electronic communications. Continue reading →