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Brexit Thoughts

In 2014, Scotland held a referendum on whether to remain within the United Kingdom–the alternative was to become an independent state. It failed by almost an 11-point margin. But with Britain considering exiting the European Union, Scottish independence is a hot topic again. The UK leaving the European Union–neologistically termed “Brexit”–is a curious debacle. There are few advantages to doing so, and even though Prime Minister David Cameron is against a Brexit, his own party is split on the matter.

Thousands of Words

I don’t have much to say today. Instead, I will share some pictures I took, which communicate how I’m feeling better than anything else could at the moment. Hey, I’m on vacation, give me a break. These are all photos from around Loch Lomond, a national park in Scotland. It’s pretty.

Free Speech in the UK (and Europe)

I took a lot of pictures of cats today. There doesn’t seem much point in writing about that. Free speech is another matter! The “moral panic over moral panics” lives in the UK (and mainland Europe) just as well as it does in the United States, it seems. Here we have an article decrying UK universities and their student unions for stifling free speech and debate: Launched by online magazine [_spiked_](http://www.

Save the NHS?

I haven’t done anything particularly touristy yet, nor have I thought of anything else interesting I could post about. But that’s OK. Now’s a good time to talk about the marvel (and some would say, I suppose, disaster) of the UK welfare state: the National Health Service! Even as public healthcare systems go, the NHS is perhaps more socialized than most: the government directly employs doctors, for instance, and it is free at the point-of-use.

Scotland Week

Yup, I’m in Scotland. Doesn’t mean the blog isn’t happening, though. One change I made over the past week is to add a progress bar and reading time indicator for all posts. I’ve liked those ever since I saw them on other sites. So, now there’s one here. Enjoy it. Or don’t. I’m not the boss of you. I also put a better backup solution in place, by which I mean I put one in place at all.

Link Roundup: April 2, 2016

I’m on a plane right now! But that’s not gonna stop me from linking stuff. Tech * [Microsoft and Canonical partner to bring Ubuntu to Windows 10]( -- What a time to be alive. * [Here's where to download OpenToonz, Studio Ghibli's free animation software]( -- Time to make some animated movies, right? Politics * [Sorry Bernie bros, your candidate just doesn't have the foreign policy experience necessary to prop up a pro-Western dictatorship](http://www.

Friendship Dynamics

Something that I always find fascinating is the process of exploring the motivations, thoughts, and feelings of people in my life. I’m not interested in this for any nefarious purpose–I really just want to understand them better, so I can be a good friend, partner, or otherwise. But what’s the point of having friends, really? Different people no doubt create and maintain friendships for different reasons. The common factor is that our motives are always ultimately selfish.

Healthy Creativity

I am creative, though I am reluctant to call myself an artist. “Writer” might be OK but it seems pretentious to even use that. The point is, I’m going to talk about having a healthy creative life, as if I know something about it. In popular culture, artists–be they painters, sculptors, photographers, actors, musicians, writers, poets, you-name-it–are supposed to be tortured. They’re supposed to be dark, despairing, even suicidal. Nothing means anything except their work, and their work is a reflection of this nothingness.

Nobody Sets the Evil Bit

In case you didn’t know, many of the rules that built the Internet started as RFCs–requests for comments. These were online discussions in which proposals were made, discussed, and (sometimes) adopted as official rules. Each one has a number, and many Internet technologies you’ve heard about (or at least use every day) have their origins in one RFC or another. For example, the original email protocol was defined in RFC 196; the original hypertext transfer protocol (HTTP), which all websites use some version of, was first officialized with RFC 1945; and version of the Internet protocol (IPv4), which specifies a network addressing system that essentially every network-connected device uses, came out of RFC 791.

Money for Sex: A Double-Standard

I recently had a conversion with a friend about the idea of exchanging money for sex–what one would also describe as sex work, or prostitution (though the latter word is not at all preferred). The question became whether I, personally, would entertain the notion of being paid for sex. Well, why not? It’s something I enjoy anyway. It’s not something I would ever ask to paid for, and I don’t see why I would accept money from a friend or romantic partner, but I’m not totally against the idea.