Kent Pitman

Kent Pitman
New England, USA
Philosopher, Technologist, Writer
I've been using the net in various roles—technical, social, and political—for the last 30 years. I'm disappointed that most forums don't pay for good writing and I'm ever in search of forums that do. (I've not seen any Tippem money, that's for sure.) And I worry some that our posting here for free could one day put paid writers in Closed Salon out of work. See my personal home page for more about me.


SEPTEMBER 1, 2014 5:53AM

Crayola Paradise Lost

We moved between cool cubes of crisp White after White, neatly aligned,
  topped by meticulous matrices of Indian Red,
    shielding us from the melting heat of suspended Lemon Yellow.

Fading memory conveniently omits the incessant Gray interlopers,

Read full post »
JULY 4, 2014 6:28PM

A Turn at the Darkness

Every poet has died.

I mourn that this night has come.
Yet, as I mourn, I see the morning light.
Poets die, but poetry lives.

Poetry is humanity’s plight.
It is the human fight,
 sacred duty and cherished right.
At times at risk of… Read full post »

JUNE 11, 2014 9:19AM

A Change of Climate

I sit on a wooden bench, held by wrought iron curves in a hallway of sandstones. An antique building, lovingly refurbished in layers of creeping modernity, the mortar that probably once held these stones long since bolstered, replaced, or just newly imitated by concrete. And yet in the old… Read full post »

FEBRUARY 24, 2014 8:58AM

Trickle-Down 2.0

Part 1 | Part 2

There are staggering differences in wealth in the US, not to mention the world. And yet we’re told not… Read full post »

FEBRUARY 23, 2014 10:36AM

An Embarrassment of Riches

Part 1 | Part 2

In January 2014, Oxfam International wrote a report that noted that “the bottom half of the world’s population owns less/… Read full post »

DECEMBER 6, 2013 11:09AM

Employers of Religion

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

People have freedom of religion guaranteed to them by the Constitution. Lately there has been controversy—for example, in/… Read full post »

DECEMBER 4, 2013 10:18PM

We The People (and Corporations)

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

Corporations are “legal people.” I explained yesterday why this made no sense. But it's our current jurisprudence, which is/… Read full post »

DECEMBER 2, 2013 5:50PM

Corporations Are Not People

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

[Liberty Bell]

Corporations are not people, my friends, no matter what Mitt Romney says.

Corporations are corporations. People… Read full post »

NOVEMBER 19, 2013 8:33AM

My Christian Sensibilities

As a kid, I went to church and Sunday school and even attended an Episcopal grade school for 3 years, which meant chapel 5 days a week in addition to normal Sunday school, so no shortage of religious guidance. We moved a lot, so I experienced quite a number… Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 27, 2013 12:20PM

Time for Climate Action

There's been a global consensus on climate change for quite some time, and it's not a pretty picture. The International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published its Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) on climate change in 2007. That report is now several years old, but another is notRead full post »

SEPTEMBER 23, 2013 10:23PM

The Offudio Project Concludes

The Beginning

In case you didn't read The Offudio Project Begins—or in case it was too long ago to remember—please allow me to briefly recap:

The Offudio Project was a plan to convert my home “office” into a “studio.” The term “offudio” was just a… Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 1, 2013 7:55PM

Criminal Use of Chemical Weapons

An NBC News poll says that “nearly 80 percent of Americans believe President Barack Obama should receive congressional approval before using force in Syria.” The same poll also concludes that “fifty percent of Americans believe the U.S. should not intervene.” And yet, as recen… Read full post »

AUGUST 11, 2013 6:14AM

The Overtime Loophole

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

President Obama has been talking up the idea of raising the… Read full post »

AUGUST 9, 2013 7:55AM

Lien Times for Startups

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

Author’s Note: It became clear after writing this article and seeing someRead full post »

AUGUST 5, 2013 7:42AM

Breaching the Social Contract

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

When discussing the really obscene amounts of money some rich folks have amassed in the world, the justification… Read full post »

JULY 14, 2013 8:46AM

Outrageous Verdict

The verdict is in. Trayvon Martin has been found guilty. Oops, no, that’s not right. George Zimmerman was found not guilty. [Picture of scales (of justice)] Yeah, that’s what I meant to say. Well, you can easily understand how I’d be confused. After all, this was really two trials for the price… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JULY 9, 2013 8:59AM

Politely Accepting Failure in Education

We give up on our students way too easily. We expect only a few to succeed wildly, most to bumble their way through with mediocre outcomes, and a fair number not to make it at all. We’ve allowed that to seem normal, but it seems to me… Read full post »

JANUARY 22, 2013 6:26AM

Restore the Talking Filibuster

There’s really no time to lose. This whole inauguration thing is a complete distraction.

To watch a lot of the news shows, you’d think it was time for touchy-feely reflection about all the lofty things we want to do in the next four years. In my opinion, that’s exactly wrong.… Read full post »

NOVEMBER 6, 2012 12:30PM

Challenging Assumptions about Voter ID

I voted today.

I declined to show my ID. To vote in NH, you don’t have to show ID, something my wife and I wanted to test. We found that they do let you, but they make you sign a scary affidavit which then goes into a folder the label… Read full post »

People are bad at discussing probabilities—and it could kill us all.

A weatherman may predict that there is an 80% probability of rain, but then when it doesn't rain we'll often say “he was wrong.” It's rare to hear anyone say “this must be the one in five cases where… Read full post »

OCTOBER 19, 2012 4:43PM

The Offudio Project Begins

I spend a lot of time working, and I like to be in pleasant surrounds when I do. The trouble is that while standard issue office furniture where I work is functional enough to use, it’s still more utilitarian than artsy.

Like most people, I’ll hang posters… Read full post »

OCTOBER 8, 2012 12:11AM

Flexible Support Options

Quite some years ago, I worked at a company that has long since vanished from the technology landscape. I loved working there, but it occasionally made strange marketing and internal administration decisions that drove me nuts. To cope, I often wrote parodies of the policies, mailings, and whatnot an… Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 1, 2012 2:09PM

Melissa Harris-Perry on Risk (UPDATED)

In a segment of the Melissa Harris-Perry show this morning on MSNBC, this interaction was notable and refreshing.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

The rich are always coming up with reasons to sound envious of the poor, as if the poor… Read full post »

AUGUST 16, 2012 12:59PM

Early Campaigns for Computer Freedom

Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility (CPSR) may or may not still exist. It’s been on its last legs as a formal organization, though some of us still converse over its mailing lists and it’s not clear to me in the slightest that if it disappears as a formal organization we shou… Read full post »

JULY 2, 2012 4:03AM

A Writing Exercise

I had the good fortune Saturday to attend a writing workshop that Cary Tennis hosts. It was a great pleasure to meet one of the faces from the Open Salon mothership, But it was also really quite interesting to see how the writing workshop worked and to interact with the… Read full post »