A Digital Reboot

It’s with mixed emotions that I retire my home on the web for the last decade. When I purchased radicalwacko.com back in 2001, I was a young, aggressive Libertarian, who thought that he could and should change the world. In other words, I was an insufferable, young, recent college graduate that you wanted to avoid making eye contact with and save yourself from the pedantic lecture that would inevitably ensue.

Now as an older, crankier libertarian – who increasingly doesn’t give a damn – it starts to be embarrassing to give out a domain like radicalwacko.com. If you are over the age of 35 and still think of yourself as a radical or a wacko, you are either deluding yourself or you really probably should be on a watch list. I actually blush every time the Best Buy clerk asks me for my email address. At a certain point, you have to ask yourself why keep a domain name that you refuse to acknowledge.

With that in mind, I decided I needed a new online persona. I’m still enough of a web geek/creative that I didn’t want to use my own name but I needed a less combative domain name. I purchased lostinok.com a few years ago with no real plans for it, but I just liked the name. More and more, it fits my more questioning mood and attitude.

So while I hate to admit that I don’t like everything about my 21-year-old self, at least I can like the fact that I am able to move on from some of the more distasteful remnants of that passionate, yet annoying fellow.

Of course, it turns out that attempting to change your online persona is actually a pretty daunting task once you get started, especially if you’ve had the same one for a decade or so. Dozens of websites are linked to this persona and hunting them all down is going to take some time.

However, I’m starting the big ones. So going forward, besides finding me here at lostinok.com, you can find me on Twitter @lostinokay (unfortunately, I was too late to get lostinok). At Facebook, you can find me at https://www.facebook.com/lostinok On Instagram, I am @lostinok. You can also reach me via email at nathan [at] lostinok[dotcom]. The rest of them will have to come gradually.

As to the website design, I think I have pushed my desire for retro minimalism as far as it can go. I welcome feedback since this is the first design I have mostly done myself in quite some time, though some credit is due to the Toolbox theme from Automatic.

In any case, I’m hoping that this new start is finally the impetus I needed to be a little more active in my writing and photography. However, if nothing else, it will be nice being able to make eye contact with that Best Buy clerk after all these years.


Internet Blackout Day

Generally, I avoid joining protests, but occasionally there are ideas so bad that I can’t stay away.  Such is the case with the Protect IP Act (PIPA) which is coming up before the Senate next week.  The goal of protecting intellectual property is certainly a laudable one, but the means to achieve that goal must not come at the expense of the 1st amendment, nor should it fundamentally weaken the technological structure of the Internet.  The Protect-IP bill does all of this with a vague and poorly thought-out bill.

So tomorrow, January 18th, this site will join larger organizations such as Mozilla, WordPress and Wikipedia in a general internet blackout.  I strongly suggest that you contact your Senator and express displeasure at this heavy-handed approach to IP protections.  For some general background on the bill, please check out the video below:


Random Thoughts: Internet Arguments

So, I’ve been reading the comments sections of posts while doing research for OKCBicyclist.com.  Some of them, like the comments in this article, just make my blood boil to the point where I sometimes feel the overwhelming urge to reply.  In times like that, I should remember the following quote from Neil Stephenson:

Arguing with anonymous strangers on the Internet is a sucker’s game because they almost always turn out to be—or to be indistinguishable from—self-righteous sixteen-year-olds possessing infinite amounts of free time.”

— Neal Stephenson (Cryptonomicon)

via Goodreads | Quote by Neal Stephenson: “Arguing with anonymous strangers on the Internet i…”.

The smart move is not to read them at all.


Rights or Privledges

I’m glad to see that the Courts have decided that the 4th Amendment is a geographic privilege and not an actual right.

A federal appeals court in Manhattan upheld the convictions on Monday of three Al Qaeda operatives in a ruling that bolsters the government’s power to investigate terrorism by holding that a key Constitutional protection afforded to Americans does not apply overseas.

The unanimous decision by a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit holds for the first time that government agents may obtain admissible evidence against United States citizens through warrantless searches abroad.

Via: Appeals Court Backs Warrantless Searches Abroad – NYTimes.com

I just find it amazing that this can be claimed from a text that reads so simply:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

It seems the constitution has become virtually meaningless in the face of the law-and-order mentality at this time.


Bob Barr Joins the Debates, Sort Of . . .

I’m not a big fan of the inclusion of Bob Barr into the ranks of Libertarians, but it will be refreshing to see some limited government responses to the upcoming debate questions.

As usual, the two major political parties are shutting out all third-party candidates from this season’s presidential debates, while trying to out-compete one another for how many government goodies they can promise to voters. Only this time, we have the technology to do something about it.

Via: Hit & Run > Watch Bob Barr Debate the Presidential Candidates, Live! – Reason Magazine