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July 15th, 2018

In Business

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Friends and enemies agree, Emily Weiss is a good storyteller

If you need to know how marketing works, consider these two essays, which are entirely opposite in how they talk about Emily Weiss, yet both agree she is able to tell a powerful story about her own experience with cosmetics.

This essay is a positive sounding puff piece:

Before Emily Weiss became the powerful business and marketing mogul we know today, she was a writer. She was a beauty columnist for Teen Vogue, actually. So yeah, she was a big deal ...

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July 15th, 2018

In Business

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Why not do a blog that is just cosmetics review?

Increasing specialization has been a theme of content sites on the Web, for much of the last 20 years. It’s interesting to realize that both readers and writers have an interest in cosmetics diaries. The comments on that post, by Sophie Kleeman, are interesting, and reviewing cosmetics is exactly how Emily Weiss launched her empire. I’d write something like “I’m surprised Jezebel doesn’t spin this off as its own blog” but Jezebel is now owned by Univision, which is run ...

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July 15th, 2018

In Technology

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Use Packer to build AMIs that use ZFS for the file system

This is a great article: Building ZFS Root Ubuntu AMIs with Packer. You can do the same thing with Docker but I would not want my software engineers taking on those devops tasks. Indeed, one reason I’m so hostile to Docker is because it disrupts the specialization of tasks that I want to see on my teams. I expect to work with great devops people, and I’ll leave devops decisions to them.

From the article:

For all applications of importance or ...

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July 15th, 2018

In Technology

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Things that allow you to recover from having a bad tech team

Over the years, I’ve come to realize that there are 2 failsafes that make it easier for an early stage technology startup to recover from making bad hires on the tech team.

1.) Hire a great project manager. A great project manager is able to get good work out of mediocre programmers. Also, great project managers have a good intuitive feel for how long tasks should take, so if some task misses its deadline, the project manager will know why. ...

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July 15th, 2018

In Philosophy

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Yeats updated for 2018

Yeats

The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity.

Source

July 14th, 2018

In Technology

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Elasticsearch Backup : Snapshot and Restore on AWS S3

Because Terraform will delete all of your databases when you rebuild your infrastructure, and that is a nasty shock. So you should manually back up ElasticSearch:

In Aws you have many options to allow [users|servers] access AWS resources. The idea we have is to setup a snapshot repository on Amazon Aws S3 and doing a restore from that specific location. In order to do that, the servers that have to access S3 must be authorised. Thankfully to Amazon we have many ...

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July 12th, 2018

In Technology

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Nasty moments in Open Source development

Two bad incidents, in PHP and Python.

Escalate? Oh how I wish I had someone to escalate to. Painful to read. Here is someone filing a bug report and attacking Ramus Lerdorf, the guy who created PHP.

[2010-01-08 21:51 UTC] endosquid at endosquid dot com This is going to cause us MONTHS or fixing code for no real benefit since this behavior change is arbitrary and seemingly, was made for no reason. We are all engineers and developershere, and ...

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July 11th, 2018

In Philosophy

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How to stop Brett Kavanaugh: threaten to expand the Supreme Court to 11 members

Brett Kavanaugh sounds like a really bad dude. If he made it onto the Supreme Court, he would take the USA in a terrible direction. How should the Democrats stop his nomination? Since they lack power right now, they need to make use of power they will have in the future. They need to credibly threaten to end the independence of the Supreme Court, the next time they hold the majority in Congress, and hold the Presidency.

This is known ...

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July 11th, 2018

In Philosophy

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You back up, you back up, you back up, eventually you’re against a wall

Those on the offense are complaining that the other side is trying to defend itself. This is like the abusive husband who hits his wife and then asks “Why’d you make me hit you? I can’t take any more of this!”

The one thing protesters and customers seemed to share was a fervent want to express their beliefs – as well as a frustration with the political moment that sparked the Red Hen incident in the first place.

“What happened ...

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July 10th, 2018

In Technology

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A meta technology hype roadmap

Very good:

Let me write a meta technology hype roadmap, so we can place these sorts of articles: * Old technology is deemed by people too troublesome or restrictive.

* They come up with a new technology that has great long-term disadvantages, but is either easy to get started with short-term, or plays to people’s ego about long-term prospects.

* Everyone adopts this new technology and raves about how great it is now that they have just adopted it.

* Some people warn that the ...

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July 6th, 2018

In Business

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Why do so many salespeople forget the names of their customers?

My friend Susan Wentworth, who lives in Madison, Wisconsin, sent me this in an email:

I do think entrepreneurs are a special kind of crazy for sure. I guess you need a little crazy to do something no one has suceeded at doing before. The risk of failure is so big, you’d have to be a little crazy.

I am often surprised at another aspect of entrepreneurs and also salespeople that I have have noticed a few times. They ...

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June 30th, 2018

In Philosophy

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Maybe there was no Neolithic Revolution? Maybe agriculture goes back 45,000 years?

Absolutely amazing if true:

It all started about 45,000 years ago. At that point, people began burning down vegetation to make room for plant resources and homes. Over millennia, the simple practice of burning back forest evolved. People mixed specialized soils for growing plants; they drained swamps for agriculture; they domesticated animals like chickens; and they farmed yam, taro, sweet potato, chili pepper, black pepper, mango, and bananas.

École française d’Extrême-Orient archaeologist Damian Evans, a co-author on the Nature paper, said that ...

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June 30th, 2018

In Philosophy

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Web trolls take over Ukip?

Given their intensity online, an interesting fact about right-wing web trolls is how little they have so far managed to do on their own. Without help from state actors such as Russia, it would seem they are incapable of getting anything done in the real world. If they are able to take over Ukip, that would be a first sign that they are able to accomplish something in the real world. So far, web trolls with hundreds of thousands of ...

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June 30th, 2018

In Philosophy

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These are the kinds of practical arrangements working women make the world over – the novelty here is that it is a prime minister who is making them

Imagine a world where it seems normal for a world leader to go on maternity leave:

She nearly doubled the Labour vote, wrangled herself into office with a complex multiparty coalition, and just passed a social democratic budget. Polls have held. The most recent gives her party and one coalition partner, the Greens, enough votes to govern between them. Her personal approval rating is a thumping 76%.

To understand why is to look beyond policy and into her representation of it. What ...

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June 30th, 2018

In Philosophy

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President Trump is very popular

In normal times, it is normal for a President to be popular when the economy is good. President Bush 2001-2009 was very popular while the economy was good. So was President Clinton and President Reagan. At the top of every business cycle, there will be a few years when the public is happy, and credit often goes to the President, even if the President did very little to create the current prosperity.

So if Trump was a normal President, it ...

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June 30th, 2018

In Philosophy

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The guns keep blazing

Heartbreaking stories of mass murder:

Yesterday, Jarrod Ramos allegedly murdered five journalists at the offices of the Capital Gazette in Maryland. Ramos had sent countless threats to the paper, after one journalist reported on his harassment of a former classmate. The woman went through what she called a “year-long nightmare” of intimidation and threats before Ramos was convicted of misdemeanour harassment. Ramos was apparently furious that the Capital Gazette wrote about him as if he’d done something wrong.

Of 95 mass shootings ...

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June 25th, 2018

In Philosophy

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How does the tyrant rule? In a word, badly.

Shakespeare’s view of tyrants. Interesting:

The tyrant’s triumph is based on lies and fraudulent promises braided around the violent elimination of rivals. The cunning strategy that brings him to the throne hardly constitutes a vision for the realm; nor has he assembled counselors who can help him formulate one. He can count—for the moment, at least—on the acquiescence of such suggestible officials as the London mayor and frightened clerks like the scribe. But the new ruler possesses neither administrative ability nor ...

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June 24th, 2018

In Philosophy

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The great mystery of bureaucracies

Interesting:

See, things have changed since I went to college in the ’80s. Everything has gotten much more intense. You have to do much more now to get into a top school like Yale or West Point, and you have to start a lot earlier. We didn’t begin thinking about college until we were juniors, and maybe we each did a couple of extracurriculars. But I know what it’s like for you guys now. It’s an endless series of hoops that ...

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June 23rd, 2018

In Philosophy

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My recipe for pasta with scallops and shrimp

I also posted this in my post about the dinner party last night, but I thought I would also make it a standalone post, in case anyone wants to ask specifically about this dish.

Some people asked me for the recipe for the pasta and seafood dish that I made. I post the recipe here:

For the dinner I made last night I used 2 pounds of scallops and 1 pound of shrimp.

In a frying pan, melt butter with some salt and ...

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June 23rd, 2018

In Philosophy

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Everyone was amazing and you’re awesome

A big thanks to all of the lovely and amazing people who came to my dinner party last night. Some people left early and some arrived late, but I think this photo captured most of us:

Some people asked me for the recipe for the pasta and seafood dish that I made. I post the recipe here:

For the dinner I made last night I used 2 pounds of scallops and 1 pound of shrimp.

In a frying pan, melt butter with ...

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June 21st, 2018

In Philosophy

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Everyone knew that slavery was evil

This is well said:

Whenever anyone mentions the historical atrocity of chattel slavery, white people will emerge from the dark crevices of humanity to gnaw away at the assertion like roaches on a discarded Cheeto. They will explain how most white people didn’t own slaves. They will offer a convoluted explanation about the Confederacy and Southern heritage. They will introduce the concept of “presentism”—the idea that we shouldn’t judge the actions of people in the past using modern-day standards—as if the ...

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June 20th, 2018

In Technology

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Mobile operators appear to have increasingly turned to new techniques for tracking users — HTTP header enrichment

Interesting:

Our analysis reveals a range of HTTP headers injected into mobile user traffic by 13% of the 299 mobile operators in our dataset (including both MNOs and MVNOs). We classify the headers in our dataset into three categories, based on their likely purpose:

• Privacy-compromising headers (5 operators): HTTP headers leaking sensitive information that can uniquely identify the device (IMEI), the subscriber (MSISDN or phone number), or the subscriber’s location.

• Tracking headers (6 operators): operator-generated UIDs (subscriber-unique identifiers) that enable user ...

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June 19th, 2018

In Business

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If a struggling company gets kicked off the Dow, then is the Dow meaningful?

General Electric is getting kicked off the Dow because of its financial struggles. But how meaningful is the Dow if it keeps getting rid of companies when they run into trouble. Some people point out that the Dow has mostly gone up over the last 120 years, and they see this as evidence of an expanding economy. But if they hide all the bad news, and only keep the good news, is the index really meaningful? If you only ...

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June 18th, 2018

In Philosophy

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We must sin if we wish to grow

Interesting:

Over the last couple of years, for reasons I’d rather not disclose, I have learnt a thing or two about how rehabs work. An alcoholic or an ice-user, for example, will be asked to examine what it was that first got her hooked. In my case it was Molly’s monologue, the music of it, but I’ve since realised that there was something else in that passage, implied in Molly’s words, that I found deeply attractive. And that was Joyce’s attitude ...

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June 16th, 2018

In Philosophy

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Wealthy and bitter about divorce?

This is sort of like the high-brow, well educated version of incel rants:

In virtually all states it is more profitable to have children with multiple partners than to have multiple children with the same co-parent. Residents of most states can enjoy a higher spending power by collecting child support after a one-night sexual encounter than by working at the median wage for a college graduate.

I have never met a woman who would prefer to raise children alone. Every woman ...

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June 16th, 2018

In Philosophy

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Changing one’s name after marriage

It’s the personal marriage stories that interest me. For instance, this:

I’m annoyed at how much of an Issue this is becoming for me. As a lady, I’m not sure whether to take my partner’s last name or not when we finally do the official knot-tying thing. Do I keep mine because I know I won’t have kids, and I kind of want to keep my dad’s last name alive as long as I am? Do I take his because Tradition ...

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June 14th, 2018

In Business

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Increasing work from 1650 to 1850

Interesting:

Back in March, I posted a summary of some research by Jane Humphries and Jacob Weisdorf on the onset of economic growth. Their paper documented annual labor contract terms in England over several centuries, and compared those to the typical day labor rates that have been used in economic history to study the onset of growth and the effects of the Industrial Revolution. The short version of that paper is that the annual labor contracts starting seeing sustained growth in ...

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June 14th, 2018

In Business

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Labor force participation remains at the same level as during the 1970s

Worrisome:

Source

June 13th, 2018

In Technology

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Deep Learning Needs Clojure – Carin Meier

Source

June 13th, 2018

In Technology

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Jenkins pipelines must be built so they can run across multiple executors, even if you only run Jenkins with one executor

A bit hidden, and important for anyone using Jenkins, This fact should be better known:

Serialization and the “node” Block Jenkins pipelines must be built so they can run across multiple executors, even if you only run Jenkins with one executor. This is done using the node block. With it, a job can be split into smaller pieces that can be scheduled to run on any executor on any agent in the cluster. Once a node block completes, Jenkins serializes the ...

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June 12th, 2018

In Philosophy

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How to Finally Beat Procrastination

This podcast was good

Procrastination. We’ve all done it and we tell ourselves we’ll never do it again. So we come up with an elaborate time management system to get us on track only to find ourselves continuing to put things off. While some procrastination can be mildly infuriating, chronic procrastination can be financially, professionally, and personally devastating — overdue bills result in calls from collection agencies, late reports result in getting fired, and undone chores turn your house into a ...

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June 11th, 2018

In Philosophy

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Now she misses the idiot from Texas

Source

June 10th, 2018

In Philosophy

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Caitlin Moran embarrasses her daughters

Funny:

“Why do you keep writing books with lots of sex in?” they ask me, as a new release pops up on the schedules. “Why do you keep writing books that start with a teenage girl masturbating, and then go on to describe having sex with a man whose penis is too big, and a subsequent urinary tract infection that feels like the battered genitals ‘are like a castle under siege – with panicking princesses with pointy hats getting jammed in ...

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June 3rd, 2018

In Philosophy

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The most successful entrepreneurs start in their 40s

Interesting:

`Among the 2.7 million founders in their dataset, the average age of a company’s founder at the time of founding was 41.9 years.

However, that analysis included all kinds of firms, from tech companies to nail salons to restaurants. The researchers were chiefly interested in high-growth new ventures—the kinds that can transform the economy—and understanding whether the Silicon Valley mythology was true. So they limited their dataset to include only technology companies, and further winnowed that down to the fastest-growing 0.1 ...

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June 3rd, 2018

In Philosophy

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Charles Johnson of Little Green Footballs changed his views

Interesting story. I recall Little Green Footballs as a blog of right-wing extremists, but apparently the owner of the site evolved. Conversion stories are so rare, I consider them automatically interesting:

JH: They’re not even controversial, Charles. Along the way, and correct me if I’m wrong because I was an outsider looking in, it seems the tipping point came in 2007 when you had this epic flame war with Pamela Geller, who remains one of the country’s biggest bigots to this ...

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June 3rd, 2018

In Philosophy

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Joy Reid and why we need multiple Web archives

Interesting:

Most of those dates are pretty early in web archiving times, when the Internet Archive was the only archive commonly available, and many (all?) of the mementos in other web archives were surely originally crawled by the Internet Archive, even if on a contract basis (e.g., for the Library of Congress). Nonetheless, with multiple copies geographically and administratively dispersed throughout the globe, an adversary would have had to hack multiple web archives and alter their contents (cf. lockss.org), ...

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June 3rd, 2018

In Philosophy

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Linkrot and Joy Reid

Linkrot has been a major part of the Joy Reid story, though not many people have commented on that aspect. Shelley Powers brings up this aspect of the story:

Weblogs were less like the Washington Post and more like Facebook or Twitter of the time: a stream of conciousness, separated into timestamped chunks. Every once in a while we’d carefully research and write longer pieces (still called “long reads”, even today), but for the most part, we tossed up whatever ...

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June 3rd, 2018

In Philosophy

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Burnout is universal but the right kind of sleep, food, and exercise can help

Depression can end your career, end your marriage, and end your life. But long before most people find themselves facing a serious depression, they typically pass through an earlier stage, more mild and more subtle. What if we could all catch ourselves at that earlier stage?

I’m talking about burnout. Perhaps we can think of it as the mildest form of depression, or a mid-point between true mental health and outright depression. How do we identify something so subtle? Specific ...

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June 2nd, 2018

In Philosophy

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More bad behavior in the gaming world

So sad that this continues to happen. Seriously, what is wrong with these guys? Why are they so negative? Do they realize that they have to option to demonstrate some leadership and raise everyone up to a positive place?

After Annemunition posted the video, one of the players who’d given her gallons of shit tried to apologize. In a sense. “I am extremely sorry for the way you feel, ” he wrote in a tweet from an account that’s since ...

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May 31st, 2018

In Philosophy

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Identity in the Alogos

Interesting:

If our particles have no identity, how can we?

If the elements are all identical with each other, then it seems like the only measurable identity you could attach to sets of elements is cardinality, right?

Reviving the a notion of “monad” from Leibniz from the 1600s, as a thought experiment:

Imagine beings that exist outside of time and space, in a space that is without dimension. These creatures initially lack cardinality or identity. They are “lazy” in the computing sense, they ...

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May 30th, 2018

In Technology

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SELinux provides tools to more finely control the activities allowed to users, processes, and daemons

Interesting:

SELinux provides tools to more finely control the activities allowed to users, processes, and daemons to limit the potential damage from vulnerabilities.

In the third and final part of our server security series, we will look at how we can enhance the security of Linux-based AWS EC2 instances with SELinux. We will learn how to set up SELinux on Amazon Linux, and we will walk through a simple example on Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL).

In Linux, we can easily control access ...

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May 28th, 2018

In Philosophy

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Shelley Powers comments regarding Joy Reid

Shelley Powers site has been online since 1996. As such, she knows a bit about having a voice that changes over the years. As such, she is very much worth reading, regarding the changing voice of Joy Reid:

I’ll have more to say in a later piece on what it means to be a writer putting yourself online, especially over the years. For now, I think that the Daily Beast has an accurate read on what’s happened.

I’ve had considerable pushback on ...

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May 28th, 2018

In Philosophy

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The importance of blogs

Since 2008, I’ve been sad about the death of the blogosphere, and the way things moved to Twitter and died there. Paul Krugman posts this reminder about the importance of blogs:

An aside: the way this discussion is taking place marks a kind of new frontier in the mechanics of scientific communication – and, I think, an unfortunate one. Once upon a time economic debate took place in the pages of refereed journals, but that stopped being true at least 30 ...

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May 28th, 2018

In Philosophy

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Does economics matter?

Interesting:

Rightist politics also become more comprehensible once we recognise that economics doesn’t matter. The strongest case for austerity and immigration controls is that these have nothing to do with economics. Like Brexit, they are instead attempts to assert that governments have control over social affairs. Their supporters just don’t care about their economic consequences because other things matter more: sovereignty and an assurance that the government is on top of things.

Brexiters talking about economics are like dogs walking on their ...

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May 27th, 2018

In Philosophy

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Leimgruber reviews my book

I like this review, posted to Amazon:

—————————

A well written, highly amusing, and cathartic read for anyone who has survived or is facing similar ridiculous/toxic workplace situations or relationships.

The author, Lawrence, brings you right into the trenches along with him as he slogs through challenge after challenge determined to do his best to prevent impending fiasco. Fortunately, its not his first rodeo, so he keeps a life-line on his sanity through the co-author, Natalie; and so the book is ...

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May 27th, 2018

In Philosophy

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The failure of the ÜberSeeles

Regarding the rise of current populist movements and their craving for charismatic leaders Übermensch is the wrong word for what we are seeing, because Übermensch is basically a secular term, and so it misses the primitive religious feelings and primal mysticism that animates current populist movements. ÜberSeele is a better term: over-soul, the soul beyond. It’s important to have a term with some mystical connotation.

I apologize that most of my examples come from the Western tradition. I’ve studied ...

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May 27th, 2018

In Business

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The long-term decline of real interest rates

According to this, the only real economic boom was the boom of the 1500s:

Source

May 17th, 2018

In Technology

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Markov Decision Process versus Reinforcement Learning

I’m still struggling to learn when to use the various different Machine Learning approaches:

To solve a problem like this, you can use MODEL-BASED approaches if you know how likely it is that the robot will move from one state to another (that is, the transition probabilities for each action) or MODEL-FREE approaches (you don’t know how likely it is that the robot will move from state to state, but you can figure out a reward structure).

Markov Decision Process (MDP) – ...

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May 17th, 2018

In Technology

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Sean Hull offers a great tutorial regarding Terraform and Amazon’s Elastic Container Service

This is very much worth reading if you are using or considering Terraform:

It takes a bit of getting used to, but This terraform how to, should get you moving. You need an EC2 host to run your containers on, you need a task that defines your container image & resources, and lastly a service which tells ECS which cluster to run on and registers with ALB if you have one.

If you don’t know, the ALB is the Application Load Balancer. ...

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May 17th, 2018

In Technology

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Impressive things about Terraform

I am impressed with the way that Terraform allows us to specify a setup of servers and load balancers and firewalls and whitelists and set it up, and use it for development, and then the day we decide to go public, we only have to run one command to re-create everything in production. That is a high level of automation.

Good people have insisted that this is only possible while using Docker containers, but I don’t see that at all. ...

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May 16th, 2018

In Technology

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mountebank is the first open source tool to provide cross-platform, multi-protocol test doubles over the wire

This is interesting. I mostly just use the “curl” command to test APIs over the Internet, but this could be useful when I need a lot of mock services:

mountebank employs a legion of imposters to act as on-demand test doubles. Your test communicates to mountebank over http using the api to set up stubs, record and replay proxies, and verify mock expectations. In the typical use case, each test will start an imposter during test setup and stop an imposter ...

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May 13th, 2018

In Technology

33 Comments

Docker is the dangerous gamble which we will regret

Summary: don’t use Docker, or any other container technology. Use Terraform and Packer instead. It’s one less level of virtualization, and therefore one less level of complexity.

There is perhaps one good argument for using Docker. It is hidden by the many bad arguments for using Docker. I’m going to try to explain why so much Docker rhetoric is stupid, and then look at what reason might be good.

Every time I criticize Docker I get angry responses. When I ...

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May 13th, 2018

In Technology

2 Comments

Docker protects a programming paradigm that we should get rid of

This comment from 2014 still seems relevant in 2018:

I can see the advantage for dev boxes where a developer might want to setup a load of containers on their machine to emulate a staging or production environment. But I don’t really understand why you’d want to base your entire production infrastructure on it.

The most upvoted response demonstrates a sad confusion:

It’s the UNIX philosophy applied to applications, everything must be as small as possible, do only one task and do it ...

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May 13th, 2018

In Technology

3 Comments

The Coral Reef Pattern of incremental improvement

The Acme Legal Firm needed a small office, and there was little available for rent in their city, so they decided they would build their own place. They hired a builder and asked her what they should do.

“Well, I think we should build this office with wood. I’m a big believer in wood. It is beautiful and fairly strong, and it is easy to hire workers who know how to work with wood. The failure modes of wood are ...

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May 12th, 2018

In Technology

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How much pain does it take before Kubernetes is not worth it?

Interesting:

For our particular project, I think we’re still getting started when you take into consideration the likely overall lifetime. Still, I suspect that moving an existing architecture wholesale to Kubernetes is a bad idea in general; if you’ve not grown up within its particular limitations, they will prove to be an endless annoyance4, even if there are a host of other tangible benefits over going solo. This may not be limited to Kubernetes, it may just be true for anything, ...

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May 12th, 2018

In Technology

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How to change complex network systems once you’ve made important decisions?

Interesting:

Lets use service discovery as an example. We’ve used service discovery along with health checks and self diagnostics to be able to do some fairly interesting things during outages and, more importantly, slowdowns. These are hard problems, and we’ve solved them rather crudely in places, but these solutions still give us a level of proven, necessary sophistication for system stability.

Unfortunately, our approach is slightly incompatible with Kubernetes’ centralized one. Usually, when this happens, your needs are just too sophisticated, ...

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May 12th, 2018

In Technology

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Why programmers are biased to the stuff they already know

Interesting:

In the real world, these biases are amplified because “things we build ourselves” is actually “things we already know”, and this includes “things we already learned”. I suspect that a significant source of programmers flooding into management is the decreasing wavelength of full scale re-education on how to accomplish the exact same thing slightly differently1 with diminshing returns on tangible benefits.

I’ve been “learining” Kubernetes for a significant migration we are attempting at $WORK. I’ve found it tough going. It’s a ...

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May 11th, 2018

In Technology

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Systems of process orchestration

I get that Linux Cgroups might be acceptable, in the sense that “perfect is the enemy of the good” and Cgroups are maybe good enough for now. I’d prefer it if the industry could rethink what a multi-user computer is, get rid of Unix, take the best ideas forward into a new system, and build something where something as clunky as Cgroups and Docker are not needed — it should be possible to have a “fat process” which does what ...

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May 11th, 2018

In Technology

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What are Linux cgroups

This is not the way I would have gone, but whatever. Here we are now:

cgroups (abbreviated from control groups) is a Linux kernel feature that limits, accounts for, and isolates the resource usage (CPU, memory, disk I/O, network, etc.) of a collection of processes.

Engineers at Google (primarily Paul Menage and Rohit Seth) started the work on this feature in 2006 under the name “process containers”.[1] In late 2007, the nomenclature changed to “control groups” to avoid confusion caused by multiple ...

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May 10th, 2018

In Philosophy

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After 1968 France and the USA went in different directions

I had no idea the history was so opposite:

In this new context, the salaries of executives and engineers rose structurally faster than the low and medium-range salaries in the 1950s-1960s and at first, nobody seemed to be worried. A minimum wage had been created in 1950, but it was almost never re-valued thereafter, with the result that there was a wide gap in comparison with the evolution of the average wage. Society had never been so patriarchal; in the 1980s, ...

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May 10th, 2018

In Business

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LinkedIn is so broken

One of many example’s of how broken LinkedIn is, I can not figure out who “walter” is, nor can I click on “walter” to go see that profile:

Source

May 10th, 2018

In Philosophy

No Comments

Dark Web Intellectuals

Interesting article:

The repeated outbreaks of fascination with the question of whether women and racial minorities are inherently unequal were not quite the product of the disinterested pursuit of the truth, Kitcher argued; otherwise, the same unpleasant questions would not keep appearing in radically different pseudoscientific forms. Instead, the recurrent interest stems from public and elite eagerness to believe that discrimination against women and minorities was justified.

This was reinforced by individual intellectual incentives to cultivate contrarianism for the sake of ...

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May 10th, 2018

In Philosophy

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Epigenetics was suggested decades before it was accepted

My friend Lark points me to this, and I am surprised to realize that the theory of epigenetics was around for a long time before it gained acceptance:

McClintock and the Theory of Epigenetics

Beyond her discovery of TEs and her revolutionary cytogenetic research techniques, Barbara McClintock was also the first scientist to correctly speculate on the basic concept of epigenetics-or heritable changes in gene expression that are not caused by changes to DNA sequences. Mainly, she recognized that genes can be ...

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May 8th, 2018

In Technology

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So many things can go wrong with Docker

Sean Hull always has interesting things to say, and so it is worth reading what tripped him up with a recent project where he had to Dockerize everything:

When a service is run, ECS wants to have *all* of the containers running together. Just like when you use docker-compose. If one container fails, ecs-agent may decide to kill the entire service, and restart. So you may see weird things happening in “docker logs” for one container, simply because another failed. What ...

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May 7th, 2018

In Technology

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Is there anyone who can keep up with everything AWS offers?

As I’ve suggested before, unless you a full time specialist tracking AWS, you won’t be able to keep track of all the services coming out of AWS. The one I just learned about is ALB:

Amazon Web Services (AWS) just announced a new Application Load Balancer (ALB) service.

I spent some time playing with the new service to understand what it offers and to see how it fits into our cloud architecture.

In summary, ALB is a massive improvement over ELB in almost ...

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May 1st, 2018

In Philosophy

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We all die

Interesting:

In Ehrenreich’s hands, wellness, for example, isn’t just a trend, but a reflection of the interplay of class, power, and health (a word, she argues, that’s meaning is too class-based to be useful to wellness gurus like Gwyneth Paltrow). Wellness, she suggests, eliminates the appearance of “conflict…endemic to the human world, with all its jagged inequalities,” emphasizing instead the harmonious individual—a body and mind in complete accord. But, to what end? “To feel good, of course, which is the same ...

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April 30th, 2018

In Business

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Absentee leadership is the most common form of bad leadership

Interesting:

Researchers have studied managerial derailment — or the dark side of leadership — for many years. The key derailment characteristics of bad managers are well documented and fall into three broad behavioral categories: (1) “moving away behaviors,” which create distance from others through hyper-emotionality, diminished communication, and skepticism that erodes trust; (2) “moving against behaviors,” which overpower and manipulate people while aggrandizing the self; and (3) “moving toward behaviors,” which include being ingratiating, overly conforming, and reluctant to take chances ...

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April 30th, 2018

In Philosophy

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Soliders who criticize children

This is a solider who fought in combat and who is extremely critical that children at a school failed to act the way he behaved on a battlefield. One can never underestimate the complete insanity of the gun debate in the USA. There should not be a need to say this, but a 14 year old in biology class should not be expected to behave the way a solider, after years of training, might behave.

Source

April 30th, 2018

In Business

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Age and entrepreneurship

Interesting:

The stereotypical startup founder is a 20- or 30-something man, probably white, probably wealthy. He wears a fleece vest, rides electric scooters, and drinks Blue Bottle coffee. You could be forgiven for mixing him up with a college frat guy.

So we’ve been told by movies like The Social Network and shows like HBO’s Silicon Valley, and accolades like the Thiel fellowship, which hands out $100,000 grants to people younger than 23. Previous academic research has put the mean startup founder ...

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April 30th, 2018

In Technology

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Confluence is very difficult to set up

I had endless errors with Confluence. Each time I started over, I set up a new EC2 instance. I eventually learned that it was possible to restart the setup process by deleting the file confluence.cfg.xml so I did this:

/etc/init.d/confluence stop

rm /var/atlassian/application-data/confluence/confluence.cfg.xml

/etc/init.d/confluence start

but now I’m trying to finish the setup, and all I get is a blank page:

Does anyone know how to fix this?

Source

April 29th, 2018

In Philosophy

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Aunt Coulter

I suspect this will last. It’s a phenomena that needed a name, and this is actually a good name. A hundred years from now, this might be the only thing that is remembered from this particular event.

Wolf continued: “I actually really like Sarah. I think she’s very resourceful. But she burns facts and then she uses that ash to create a perfect smokey eye. Like maybe she’s born with it, maybe it’s lies. It’s probably lies.”

Sanders looked stony faced ...

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April 26th, 2018

In Philosophy

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You’re so irrational

[[ My thanks to Natalie Sidner for editing this essay. All names in this essay have been changed. ]]

While it might be admirable to aspire to be as rational as possible, what I’ve noticed, over and over again, is that people overestimate how rational they are. Or they imagine themselves to be objective and unemotional, when in fact their behavior is driven by strong emotions. The accusation “You’re emotional, I’m objective” tends to be a manipulative power play. I ...

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April 23rd, 2018

In Philosophy

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Six out of 10 Republicans are now whites without a college degree

Interesting:

Despite Mr. Trump’s considerable flaws as a presidential candidate, he effectively diagnosed the reasons the Republican Party is widely disliked, even by its own voters. It has become the party of the white working class — six out of 10 Republicans are now whites without a college degree — but it has done next to nothing to address the terrible problems that disproportionately affect that class.

These afflictions include economic stagnation, the opioid epidemic, family dissolution, high rates of work force ...

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April 21st, 2018

In Philosophy

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My father did not die peacefully in his sleep

The Onion has a reputation for humor that cuts close to the bone, and this really hits me hard:

“‘Your Father Died Peacefully In His Sleep,’ Assures Hospice Nurse Who Spent Past 6 Months Watching Man Wither Away In Agony”

In an attempt to console the family of the deceased, Mountain View Hospice nurse Sam Bakshi—who watched his patient wither away for half a year in unrelenting torment—told relatives of the late Dennis Ridges on Tuesday that the man had died peacefully ...

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April 21st, 2018

In Philosophy

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Generous narcissism

Interesting:

In 2013, scholar Mehron Abdollmohammadi coined the phrase “generous narcissism” to describe a kind of self-expression they’d observed in online queer communities: “a generous practice of mutual and excessive attention that worries excess… a becoming-self, a care for the self that recognizes and celebrates the strength of the slippage between self, image, and other… fashioning, from the refuse of culture, tools with which to navigate the crippling distance between one’s sense of self and the vehicle of self, the body.”

I ...

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April 21st, 2018

In Philosophy

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The new revolution of gender

Unlike the so-called “sexual revolution” of the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, the change of the last 10 years has been dramatic but less talked about.

“I just have one thing to say about promise rings,” said Jordin Sparks, then a newly-minted American Idol winner, as she took the stage in 2008 to present at the MTV VMAs. She was gearing up a response to host Russell Brand, who earlier in the night had made a dig at the band the ...

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April 21st, 2018

In Philosophy

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Technology starts off promising freedom and later is used by dictators

Interesting:

In 1982, eleven clandestine Radio Solidarity radio stations were shut down across Poland. The scientists who cooperated in the balloon project were risking serious jail time in addition to the loss of their career and livelihood.

Their act of defiance didn’t bring down the state. It didn’t do much more than give hope and brighten the day of a few hundred people. But it went straight back to that first idealistic promise of radio: that there existed magic, invisible rays that ...

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April 21st, 2018

In Philosophy

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The reaction against Facebook

This seems about right:

I think a very inconvenient and ugly truth is slowly dawning on Facebook and society in general: connecting people at mass is bad. Facebook may go down in history as the next Big Tobacco or Big Fast Food that touted new innovation as a mass utopian relief, only to be later debunked as charlatan science Zuckerberg has always touted Facebook’s core mission as “connecting people throughout the world.” The mission is so fervent you get socially deranged executives ...

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April 21st, 2018

In Philosophy

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The endless lies of depression

There is always some lie at the heart of depression, some fiction. A large body of research suggests a link between creativity and depression. I think the link must be the ability to go over the same story a thousand times, and slowly refine it. I assume Bach did that with his cello suites, and Victor Hugo must have rehearsed Les Miserable a thousand times to get the structure of the narrative down. Over and over we go, repeating ...

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April 20th, 2018

In Philosophy

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The end of old-fashioned useful banking

Interesting:

Something has happened to big banks along the way, where they no longer actually provide banking services to their customers. When I walk into a Wells Fargo branch now and sit down with a “banker” to take care of my accounts, it consists of sitting next to them while they call 1-800-WELLSFARGO for me and talk to a call center. There simply is no service anymore. I walked into my local branch to open up an IRA last week before ...

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April 20th, 2018

In Philosophy

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The corruption of Italy

Interesting:

What began in Italy is now manifest in the US and beyond, public discourse degraded into a sick tabloid fantasy, of sex, corruption, violence and lies. What began with Berlusconi continues with Trump and Weinstein. All are men in positions of power and of a now all-too-familiar type, who view women as chattels to serve their sexual lust and to puff up their fragile egos, and who then, later, try to cover up their crimes with bribery, threats and intimidation. ...

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April 20th, 2018

In Philosophy

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She was everywhere, then she was nowhere

An interesting example of an artist whose star burned brightly for many years, then faded completely. I’ve never heard of her before this.

Walsh died of tuberculosis in October 1926 at the age of 31, leaving Boyle pregnant with his child, born in March 1927. Her husband, Richard, invited her and her daughter, Sharon, to return to live with him in Stoke-on-Trent, England, where he had found a job with the Michelin Tire Company. Out of options, Kay accepted. She ...

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April 18th, 2018

In Philosophy

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The epidemic of loneliness

Interesting:

Former Surgeon General Vivek Murthy summarized his experience as a doctor in an article in September in The Harvard Business Review: “During my years caring for patients, the most common pathology I saw was not heart disease or diabetes; it was loneliness.”

Patients came to see him partly because they were lonely, partly because loneliness made them sick. Weak social connections have health effects similar to smoking 15 cigarettes a day, and a greater negative effect than obesity, he said.

Over the ...

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April 16th, 2018

In Philosophy

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Poland was shockingly liberal during the 1400s

I feel like my teachers lied to me. The version of Western history that I was taught in school mostly focused on Spain and Portugal during the 1400s and 1500s, France and Germany in the 1700s and 1800s, Russia and Germany in the 1900s, and Britain during the whole era from the Dark Ages onwards. But I never learned anything about Poland, except for the weird fact that Copernicus showed up, out of nowhere, and suddenly invented modern science. Except ...

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April 15th, 2018

In Philosophy

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Japanese humor in advertisements

I have trouble imagining this working for an American audience. There is a level of cuteness and irony that is popular in some USA sub-cultures, but never seems mainstream enough to be addressed in an ad.

Source

April 12th, 2018

In Technology

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Excessive abstraction in PHP frameworks

I’m working with Laravel now, a PHP framework. I see this on StackOverflow:

With Laravel, everything is more complex than it needs to be. Yesterday I was dealing with the issue of logging and errors. How to get Laravel to output errors somewhere that I could see them? Well, that involves overriding some logging classes. The tone of the documentation is always “See, it’s very simple, and flexible, just override the default classes, inherit from the parent, override the method, choose ...

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April 10th, 2018

In Philosophy

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Our species evolved in Asia, not Africa

As soon as the Denisovan were discovered, it should have become necessary to update our ideas about where homo sapiens first arose. It’s simply too much of a coincidence. Neanderthals and Denisovans and Sapiens seem more similar to each other than to homo erectus, therefore they must have had a somewhat recent common ancestor, and if Neanderthal and Denisovans first evolved in Asia, that means Sapiens must have evolved there too. Roughly, the most likely theory at the moment is:

1.) ...

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April 9th, 2018

In Technology

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Do the staff at Jezebel manually manage the trolls in the comments?

Apparently so, this is interesting.

Someone named Jinni writes:

Our Muqaddimah of Code 45* is still banned, alas. A bright point in my own days feels notably dimmed. For those of you who didn’t read (or quite ‘get’) Code 45*; it was a hallucinatory tour into the subconscious of Donald Trump as evidenced by the odd and illogical punctuation of his disordered tweets. Code 45*, like a creative, and slightly mad psychotherapist, attempted to wrest vestiges of meaning from the morass of ...

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April 9th, 2018

In Philosophy

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The FBI raided the office of Trump’s lawyer

I’m not clear how they got around attorney-client privilege, but I assume the exception here was similar to the one used against lawyers who work for the Mafia: if you know you are protecting criminal behavior, then your privilege is revoked. Clearly, the FBI raid against Trump’s lawyer represents a huge escalation of the investigation against Trump.

Trump sounds just barely coherent in his response:

The president also complained about Session’s decision to recuse himself from the Russia investigation, a longtime sticking ...

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April 8th, 2018

In Philosophy

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Can there be a history of slaves?

In 1855 Jules Michelet claimed he had invented “Universal history,” a history that included everything, and Marx increasingly thought of history as involving more than just kings and battles, but true social and economic histories didn’t becomes widespread till the 1890s, and perhaps saw their best expression with Fernand Braudel, in the mid 20th century.

My point is, it is extraordinary that anyone in 1832 would raise the possibility of writing a history of slaves. This was really ahead of its ...

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April 8th, 2018

In Technology

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PHP code for Apple Push Notification Service

I just lost a week of my life trying to send a message from my server to the APNS servers. A previous team had given us some bad PHP code which I could not get working. I finally tore it out and replaced it with the example I found on StackOverflow:

/* We are using the sandbox version of the APNS for development. For production environments, ...
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April 8th, 2018

In Technology

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A pem tool to generate the pem file for Apple Push Notification Service

Having lost the last week of my life trying get a pem file that will let me talk to APNS, I will link to this, because it seems to be a solution for the future:

Automatically generate and renew your push notification profiles

Tired of manually creating and maintaining your push notification profiles for your iOS apps? Tired of generating a pem file for your server?

pem does all that for you, just by simply running pem.

Source

April 7th, 2018

In Philosophy

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Cuttlefish sex ratio

I wonder why some species have such lopsided ratios of male/female?

Male cuttlefish challenge one another for dominance and the best den during mating season. During this challenge, no direct contact is usually made. The animals will threaten each other until one of them backs down and swims away. Eventually, the larger male cuttlefish mate with the females by grabbing them with their tentacles, turning the female so that the two animals are face-to-face, then using a specialized tentacle to insert ...

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April 6th, 2018

In Technology

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Why don’t any articles about Apple Push Notifications agree about what commands to use?

Apparently there are a lot of ways to do this? I am suspicious, because I lost days trying to get this to work. This article says:

Now we need to encode these two files in Base64:

openssl base64 -in cert.pem -out cert.txt

openssl base64 -in key.pem -out key.txt

But this gist says:

Step 1: Create Certificate .pem from Certificate .p12

Command: openssl pkcs12 -clcerts -nokeys -out apns-dev-cert.pem -in apns-dev-cert.p12

Step 2: Create Key .pem from Key .p12

Command : openssl pkcs12 -nocerts -out apns-dev-key.pem -in apns-dev-key.p12

None ...

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April 6th, 2018

In Philosophy

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Fire gave rise to babies

Homo sapiens have an unusual reproductive system. Whereas apes rarely have more than 5 children, humans typically had 20 to 25 children. What lead to the huge increase in the number of children? One possibility is fire, which lead to cooked food. One can reason from the opposite of this paragraph:

This hypothesis stems from a few modern observations. When you eat cooked food, you have access to many more calories than if you eat the same food raw. There ...

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April 5th, 2018

In Technology

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Apple Push Notifications converting p12 to pem files

None of the commands listed on this page worked for me, and yet that is the topped ranked page in Google. What did work for me:

openssl pkcs12 -in apns_certificates.p12 -out apns_certificates.pem -nodes openssl pkcs12 -in apns_key.p12 -out apns_key.pem -nodes chmod 0400 apns_key.pem chmod 0400 apns_certificates.pem openssl s_client -connect gateway.sandbox.push.apple.com:2195 -cert apns_certificates.pem -key apns_key.pem cat apns_certificates.pem apns_key.pem > Peeroapp.pem Source

April 3rd, 2018

In Technology

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The difficulties of starting a career in tech

This is a good summary of some issues with starting a career in tech. This one jumps out at me, though I realize the issue of portfolios is controversial in some quarters.

More than a couple of times have I met developers looking for web development gigs without a proper portfolio to show off.

Having a portfolio helps to demonstrate what you are capable of doing.

You’ve probably been told that having a personal domain puts you a mile ahead in your ...

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March 31st, 2018

In Philosophy

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Science is dying and it drags down those who make their careers with it

Interesting:

Here is an explanation from 1994 by Dr. David Goodstein of Caltech, who testified to Congress on this back then, whose “The Big Crunch” essay concludes: https://www.its.caltech.edu/~dg/crunch_art.html “Let me finish by summarizing what I’ve been trying to tell you. We stand at an historic juncture in the history of science. The long era of exponential expansion ended decades ago, but we have not yet reconciled ourselves to that fact. The present social structure of science, by which I mean institutions, ...

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March 29th, 2018

In Business

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Teen Bo$$

It’s probably good that teens today are producing stuff for YouTube, rather than just passively consuming whatever is on television.

Interesting:

The magazine Teen Boss, styled as Teen Bo$$!, débuted in September of last year. It publishes quarterly, like an earnings report. The title is aimed at girls aged eight to fifteen, and it has a bright, pink-heavy, clamorously cheerful aesthetic to match. September cover lines included “how to make money online right now!” and “turn your piggy bank into ...

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March 27th, 2018

In Technology

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I just lost a week of my life dealing with one bug in a Cordova/Ionic mobile app

Over the last week I had two marathon days where I worked more than 12 hours, and I had 4 normal days where I worked 6 to 8 hours, and all of it was wasted on one bug.

I’ve a friend who wanted an app built that would work for both iOS and Android. He contracted with a team in India to build it. They used Cordova and Ionic.

When they were done with the project they sent it to ...

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March 27th, 2018

In Philosophy

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The Wing is a private club for women

Interesting:

If you live in New York City or Washington, D.C. and work in a certain kind of industry, there’s a good chance you’ve heard of The Wing. If you haven’t: Founded in 2016 as a private social club and co-working space for women, the company currently operates three locations, collects dues from more than 1,500 members (including Jezebel’s Editor-in-Chief Koa Beck), and attracts the sort of media coverage that most publicists can only dream about. All of this has drawn ...

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March 25th, 2018

In Technology

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Apple takes two weeks to update a forgotten password?

I am amazed by this. On Friday I tried to log into:

https://developer.apple.com

None of my regular passwords worked. Only later did I realize I’d probably set up a separate account for this, using some unusual password. Anyway, I figured this would not be a big deal. I clicked “I forgot password”. I put in my email and then my phone number.

Apple then sent a text message to my phone, with a code that I was to type into the website. ...

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March 22nd, 2018

In Technology

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Even a basic iOS app generates a huge number of errors in Xcode

I’ve decided I should learn how to build native iOS apps. So I am following a basic tutorial for Xcode and iOS.

As soon as I’ve created the project, I try to run it. It does compile and run, but the log is full of hundreds of errors. I’m putting a small sampling below.

Does Apple realize how confusing this is for someone who is just beginning?

I learned how to program back in 1999, writing PHP scripts. One great ...

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March 21st, 2018

In Philosophy

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Peer review is new

Interesting:

Of course the thing may exist before the word: but one thing I’ve found invariably in looking at these etymologies is words usually do not march straight out of the primordial ooze into widespread use for no reason at all, particularly words describing so specific and unpoetic as a practice like this. Usually there is some reason, some new thing in the world that requires a new term to distinguish it from what has come before.

So what new thing gave ...

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March 20th, 2018

In Business

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Rapid hiring for a tech team is a warning sign

Although rapid hiring suggests that something good is happening (money is coming in) when a tech team expands 100% in a year, it is likely that the short-term growth will undermine the long term growth. Every since Fredrick Brooks published “The Mythical Man Month” we’ve understood that rapid hiring in a tech team leads to very difficult communication issues.

And yet somehow, these problems are still normal in the game industry:

The culture of the company changed dramatically as a result. ...

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March 19th, 2018

In Technology

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CSS is terrible because it is global state

CSS is broken because the style sheets are global. Once upon a time, this didn’t seem terrible because it was thought that CSS would operate as CONSTANTS. But they are not constants. On any modern website or app, the styles are always changing. So the styles are really a global variable, and they have all the problems that 60 years of computer science has taught us to expect from global variables.

There are other problems with CSS. Perhaps the biggest ...

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March 19th, 2018

In Technology

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Online education in the 1960s

Interesting:

As Dear tells it, students were far more interested in using PLATO to chat with one another than to complete their lessons. They even created their own emoticons by taking advantage of a feature within PLATO’s operating system that allowed them to stack letters on top of each other instead of typing them side by side. Typing the word “WOBTAX” in a stack produced a smiley face.

“This was a great pastime of many undergraduates, many of whom would flunk out ...

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March 17th, 2018

In Philosophy

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The video: NYU Varick Street incubator

The events in my book “How To Destroy A Tech Startup In Three Easy Steps” happens at the NYU Varick Street startup incubator, in 2015.

Of the incubator where these events occur, my co-author, Natalie Sidner, produced a 4 minute for her family, back in June of 2015:

Source

March 16th, 2018

In Business

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Fail at everything and get promoted

Interesting:

The U.S. Trustee in the Toys R Us bankruptcy case has filed a strongly worded objection to the company’s plan to pay between $16 million and $32 million to its 17 most highly paid executives.

“It defies logic and wisdom,” the objection by Trustee Judy Robbins states, that Toys R Us is proposing “multi-million dollar bonuses for the senior leadership of a company that began the year with employee layoffs and concludes it in the midst of the holiday season in ...

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March 15th, 2018

In Philosophy

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Tribalism in USA politics

The right-wing has become a tribe. This has been true at least since Newt Gingrich won the congressional elections in 1994, but it has only recently become fashionable to say this out loud. And the New York Times is both unwilling and unable to represent that tribe on its opinion pages:

Here is the scary truth that NYT editors and readers alike resist: US politics today is not a contest of ideas or governing philosophies. We are witnessing a massive revanchist ...

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March 13th, 2018

In Business

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Thoughts about school

Interesting:

8. Psychology matters much, much more than people think, and varies wildly based on socioeconomic background. People that don’t know many people that are middle class literally don’t understand what’s possible, and are unable to take the corresponding risks as a result of that. 9. 99% of people, when left long blocks of time alone to work on something without anyone to be accountable to, will watch Netflix.

10. Nearly everyone recognizes that MOOCs are by and large a failure with ~2% ...

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March 13th, 2018

In Business

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Responsibility for diversity in tech?

Interesting:

Just as advancing the diversity conversation isn’t up to one company, it’s also not up to one person or group within a company to solve a diversity shortfall.

“Why do I—as the black woman—have to fix that?” Saint John said. “There’s 50 of you, there’s one of me. Ya’ll fix it… Everybody else needs to make the noise—I want white men to make the noise.”

With those 37 words, Bozoman clarified something that anyone working in an industry plagued by bias (read: ...

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March 11th, 2018

In Business

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NYU startup incubators: 3,200 jobs and $4 billion for New York

The book I wrote is about events which occurred at one of the NYU startup incubators.

I was interested by this article about the economic impact of these incubators:

“In the last year, the Future Labs and our companies reached significant milestones. We started with news of Uber acquiring Geometric Intelligence, and throughout the year, significant rounds of investment closed by current and graduate companies. In this single year, the Future Labs economic output totaled $1.2 billion,” said Steve Kuyan, NYU ...

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March 10th, 2018

In Technology

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The lack of volume in a high-dimensional cube

I wish this felt more intuitive to me:

This is a starting point for intuition:

To provide some intuition consider the situation in two dimensions, as shown in Figure 10. For a point on the circle to be close to the equator, its y-coordinate must be small.

So, this is sort of an expression of the Curse Of Dimensionality?

But perhaps the most amazing thing is that we can not figure out how many spheres might surround a central sphere, in such a ...

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March 9th, 2018

In Philosophy

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How long can two people share a life before they are dating?

An interesting glimpse of a sub-culture and a meme (a somewhat extreme take on the “useless lesbian” meme):

My wife and I literally would make out, sleep together, moved in together, adopted a dog together, go to family and work functions together, and built a life together for about three years before she proposed. Only to catch me by surprise, because I didn’t realize we were dating, thinking this was just normal friend stuff. She still likes to remind me that ...

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March 8th, 2018

In Technology

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In Apache you can setup a reverse proxy with either RewriteRule or ProxyPass

With Apache I have always done something like this:

ProxyPass / http://127.0.0.1:8080/ ProxyPassReverse / http://127.0.0.1:8080/

But I just saw this interesting bit on StackOverflow:

RewriteEngine On RewriteRule ^(/.*)$ http://app-server:8181/jellyfish$1 [P] ProxyPassReverse / http://app-server:8181/jellyfish/

Which does the same thing. The RewriteRule says “grab everything after the ...

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March 8th, 2018

In Business

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Very early digital development

I likely this because it is an example of how innovation sometimes comes from unlikely people. The wife, in particular, does not initially seem like the type to revolutionize part of the computer industry.

The story concept was certainly innovative, but it wasn’t the sort of innovation that would immediately appeal to a guy like Ken, with little interest in game design in the abstract. He was rather interested in products he could sell, operating intuitively by a rule he would ...

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March 5th, 2018

In Philosophy

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The quiet censorship of PR firms managing interviews

I would have found this very frustrating:

I started to ask about Mad Men’s discussion of the issue of harassment in the workplace, citing a Boston Globe piece from earlier this year titled, “Before #MeToo, there was Mad Men.” Before I could ask about whether it struck Hendricks that Joan’s final storyline was in many ways prescient in terms of how this conversation would come to play out just a few years later, the publicist interrupted:

“I’m so sorry, but we ...

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March 5th, 2018

In Business

2 Comments

Why do entrepreneurs engage in self-sabotage?

Just to get this out of the way, entrepreneurs engage in all of the self-destructive habits that non-entrepreneurs sometimes engage in: drug addiction, denial, blame shifting, perfectionism, depression, mania, laziness, etc. I’m not going to write about that, because all of that is too obvious, and great essays have already been written about those subjects. Instead I’m going to write about the self-destructive habits that are unique to entrepreneurs. There are 3 patterns that I have seen a lot ...

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March 3rd, 2018

In Philosophy

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Remembering where politics was in early 2018

I’ll write this down, just so I can remember it later. Below I post an example of incoherent writing. It is possible the person who wrote is struggling with some mental health issues. But those are interesting in themselves. I’ve read that before 1960, people suffering from schizophrenia, in the USA, mostly commonly said they were being persecuted by Satan, but during the 1960s and 1970s, they most commonly claimed they were being persecuted by the CIA. Even those with ...

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March 3rd, 2018

In Business

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Mistakes that lead to Brexit

Interesting:

1. Deindustrialisation The 1980s changed Britain, most of all above the line between the Wash and the Bristol Channel. Between 1979 and 1986, jobs in the manufacturing industry shrank from 7m to 5.1m. Of all the jobs lost, in services as well as manufacturing, 94% were to the north of that line. Deindustrialisation neither began nor ended in the Thatcher years, but it was under Thatcher’s premiership that shutting down factories, shipyards and mines began to seem like a perverse ...

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February 26th, 2018

In Philosophy

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Is there a new openness regarding the use of racist language?

It is worrisome to think that politicians now feel comfortable using racist language, in a way they have not felt comfortable these last 50 years. I recall when I was young people said “The older generation is racist but the younger generation will change things.” But nowadays, some of the leading racists are younger than I am. And the trend seems to be getting worse instead of better.

Here is a rather overt example from the heartland of the USA:

According to ...

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February 26th, 2018

In Philosophy

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What can people hope for from romance?

Interesting:

Could any single relationship not fall short of such expectations? Maybe these women were on to something — valuing their marriages for the things it could offer and outsourcing the rest, accepting the distance between the idealization and the actual thing, seeing marriage clearly for what it is and not what we’re all told and promised it will be.

My friend told me she felt this way of thinking was the only answer, and the way she’d come to reconcile her ...

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February 25th, 2018

In Philosophy

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If we give powerful people everything they want, maybe they will be nice to the rest of us?

At the end of the English revolutionary period, during the 1660s, a conservative reaction set in, and even some peasants were infected with the conservative spirit. Some wanted England to become a monarchy again, and they openly called for the return of the King. They had a saying: “All will be well when the King enjoys his own again.”

In the 1970s, conservatives began to promote “supply side economics” which is the modern, pseudo-scientific way of saying “All will be well ...

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February 22nd, 2018

In Philosophy

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The notion that posting a policeman at a school makes the school safe has been proven wrong

No one wants to die. The police don’t want to die. Faced with death, the police panic. Fantasy deludes some gun advocates, in particular, the fantasy that every cop will act like Bruce Willis did in the movie Die Hard. The notion that posting a policeman at a school makes the school safe has been proven wrong.

The police officer assigned to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School resigned Thursday, under investigation for failing to enter the building as a ...

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February 22nd, 2018

In Philosophy

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If favorable news coverage is bribery, what should we think of Fox News?

This is an interesting interpretation, but what does it mean if applied to Fox News?

Reality needs to be called what it is. Systematically skewing coverage and providing a false picture of reality to the public constitutes a financial benefit on a huge scale. When a senior politician gets a series of flattering articles from a publisher, it’s worth a lot more to the politician than a box of cigars or a suitcase of cash to finance primary election activists. When ...

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February 18th, 2018

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It is time for companies to close down their websites

On the Internet, the house always wins the bet, and by “house” I mean Google, Facebook, Amazon — the dozen top online tech companies. Everyone else is a sucker. (This is more true for consumer apps than business apps.)

I strongly agree with this:

Now, almost every website looks the same — and performs poorly. Offline, brands try to make their store experiences unique to differentiate themselves. Online, every website — from Gucci to the Gap — offers the same experience: a ...

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February 18th, 2018

In Philosophy

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The smart way for Russia to help Trump: manipulate votes to elect Democrats

(The following is about the USA, obviously)

I know of Democrats who are currently dreaming of winning a large majority in the House Of Representatives in the elections of 2018. Then they can proceed to launch impeachment proceedings against Trump.

There is an obvious way for Russia to help Trump, and that is to hack the election machines and so ensure that some Democrats win. Bonus points for candidates who were expected to lose — their wins will later seem ...

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February 18th, 2018

In Philosophy

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A quote about Nature that sounds smart but is wrong

This initially sounds smart:

“We like to romanticize the wild, raw, majestic beauty of nature. But when you take a closer look, nature is really just a giant fuckfest. That beautiful bird chirping? It’s a mating call. That pretty little bird is trying to get laid. And why does the peacock have such beautiful feathers? To attract females. Because he’s trying to get laid.

Animals in the wild spend their entire lives trying to stay alive, and to mate. That’s it. They ...

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February 16th, 2018

In Philosophy

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Alex Tabarrok hates children

The population of Bulgaria is in decline. Alex Taborrok raises the question of whether this should be a concern:

A correspondent wrote me asking what to do. I responded what’s the problem? Of course, there are plenty of things one could do to make Bulgaria a richer and better place to live, some of which Bulgaria has been doing and some of which they have not. The more fundamental question, however, is why the number of a particular type of ...

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February 16th, 2018

In Philosophy

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How to raise children the German way

Interesting:

Zaske argues that thanks in large part to the anti-authoritarian attitudes of the postwar generation (the so-called “68ers”), contemporary German parents give their children a great deal of freedom—to do dangerous stuff; to go places alone; to make their own mistakes, most of which involve nudity, fire, or both. This freedom makes those kids better, happier, and ultimately less prone to turn into miserable sociopaths. “The biggest lesson I learned in Germany,” she writes, “is that my children are not ...

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February 16th, 2018

In Philosophy

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Eroding political norms is a good thing if the old norms violated fundamental rights

Interesting:

The authors want to posit the 1850s as a moment that “undermined America’s democratic norms,” strongly suggesting that prior to the 1850s, there was a robust enjoyment of democratic norms in America. Most of us would argue that when one portion of the people enslaves another, denying them their humanity (and the vote), there’s no real democratic norm in play. (Not to mention that one-half of the population, white and black, didn’t have the suffrage at all.) And while it ...

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February 16th, 2018

In Business

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The very sad decline of Barnes and Noble

Interesting and sad:

So, if you were trying to solve the problem – if you were trying to revitalize this business – what would you do?

“Oh, I know! I would tighten my belt at the executive level, then I would double-down on what we can offer that Amazon can’t: enthusiastic staff that can find and upsell books to suit each customer, and the largest in-store selection possible so that everyone who comes in can walk away with what they want. If ...

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February 15th, 2018

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When companies make a fetish of being data driven they reward a passive aggressive style

This was initially inspired by an article posted to Hacker News, regarding Google’s mismanagement of its communication tools.

————————-

When I talk to the 20 tech people who I respect most, what I notice is that everyone respects Google less now than 5 years ago. Is it a successful branding strategy that generates so much dislike?

I’m especially curious because Google is famous for basing its decisions on “data”. I have no idea how things work in Google, but I can say ...

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February 15th, 2018

In Philosophy

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The paradox of freedom: Germans have more freedom driving because the government insists on more training

I was in Germany this summer. My friend and I went to visit her parents. Her parents wanted me to see a historic town nearby. We got in the car. The father drove down the road at 190 kilometers per hour. The other cars were also going fast.

I saw cars at an intersection make turns, in front of other cars, that I would never do in the USA, because I would never trust the other drivers to behave correctly. ...

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February 14th, 2018

In Philosophy

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France has no age-of-consent laws

Interesting:

France does not have a legal age under which a minor cannot agree to a sexual relationship – although the country’s top court has ruled that children aged five and under cannot consent. Lawyers for the suspect argued that the girl was consenting and aware of what she was doing, while lawyers for the girl have said she was simply too young and confused to resist.

…In a decision that shocked many, the prosecutor’s office in the town of Pontoise decided ...

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February 14th, 2018

In Business

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Why doesn’t President Trump push for a huge infrastructure bill?

If President Trump passes a huge infrastructure bill this year, it will go into effect in 2019, and have full effect in 2020, before the elections. Trump will be re-elected, and serve a full 8 years.

So why doesn’t Trump fight for this? Apparently he is only proposing $200 billion over several years, which is a joke. The USA is in urgent need of at least $2 trillion in repairs, and an infrastructure bill would be extremely popular with blue ...

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February 12th, 2018

In Technology

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Containers like Docker will not fix the sick politics of your company

Interesting:

Deciding what’s yours and what’s theirs is the basis of every sibling-rivalry détente. In Eric Brewer’s CAP theorem you can pick two of consistency, availability, and partition tolerance as long as one of them is partition tolerance, because, as distributed systems expert Caitie McCaffrey puts it, “physics and math.” In a distributed system that contains humans in multiple time zones, you’re inevitably going to have partitions, and waiting 10 hours for headquarters to wake up and make a decision is ...

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February 10th, 2018

In Philosophy

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Wasting 5 million dollars

While I’m in favor of a stronger safety net for the sick, if people are able-bodied, I think they should work. This sounds like a good reason to let copyright lapse when an author dies:

Mr. Clarke was a rascally nine-year-old when he inherited that jewel. Ever since, as “Goodnight Moon” has drifted toward the center of America’s collective consciousness, he has floated on the fringes of society. No steady job. No fixed place of abode. Dozens of arrests. Rarely has ...

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February 5th, 2018

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Neandertals made the first specialized bone tools in Europe

This is amazing. This tool, for burnishing leather, is still in use today. It is perhaps the only tool that the Neandertals invented and which we still use today. Neandertal culture lives.

However, we cannot eliminate the possibility that these tools instead indicate that modern humans entered Europe and started impacting Neandertal behavior earlier than we can currently demonstrate. Resolving this problem will require sites in central Europe with better bone preservation.

How widespread this new Neandertal behavior was is a ...

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February 3rd, 2018

In Philosophy

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Great creative partnerships are rare, and it is such a shock that people throw them away

Of the many tragic aspects of predators such as Weinstein, one is the waste of a great creative partnership. For now, this seems like a minor part of this story, a tiny thing compared to the actual violence and harm of these stories, and yet I wonder if, many decades from now, we might look back and wonder about what might have been, if the film industry had not been full of predators. What if these women had been in ...

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February 3rd, 2018

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Born free, but still needing to be freed by courts in 1655

Interesting story. Apparently slave children with white fathers were considered free in the 1600s. And then they changed the law in 1662 to make it far more oppressive.

Elizabeth’s father, Thomas Key, was charged with fathering Elizabeth, which he at first denied, and as result he was brought to court to be forced to support her and arrange for apprenticeships so that she could learn skills. That was the protocol at the time for anyone seeing to get a “bastard” ...

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February 3rd, 2018

In Technology

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When things go wrong on a software project

I like this:

Whenever things are not progressing as expected, it is a natural instinct to fall back to micromanagement, but it seldom truly cures the ill. It’s probable that your team disagrees with your vision or its feasibility – and that you’re either not listening to their feedback, or they don’t think you’d care. It’s good to assume that most of your employees are as smart or smarter than you; barking your orders at them more loudly or more frequently ...

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February 2nd, 2018

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Adam Smith summarized: everyone sucks

Interesting:

In their mad ambition, they try to rule the world (see Davos): “…the mean rapacity, the monopolizing spirit of merchants and manufacturers, who neither are, nor ought to be, the rulers of mankind” (Book 4, Ch. 3, p. 621). Short of the world they try to rule countries: companies of merchants (the British and the Dutch East India Companies) grew immensely rich by mismanaging and exploiting India and Indonesia: “The government of an exclusive company of merchants ...

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February 2nd, 2018

In Technology

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A very long debate about when to use a library and when to write your own code

The whole thing is interesting, but Jens Stimpfle’s comment comes close to representing my view:

“I see the value in learning by building yourself, but from a software engineering point of view, using a tried and tested framework is likely to give you higher quality product in less time.”

Well, the framework I was to use last (Qt) had bugs that simply can’t be fixed by users (memory leaks, double free leading to segfault when exiting after reloading QML engine) and immature ...

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February 1st, 2018

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Chatbots are dead?

Interesting:

But now we’re really changing things up, killing off what was once our sacred cow — a Digit experience built on messaging. We’ve redesigned our app with a graphical UI to make everything clearer and more intuitive. The old conversational UI is still there, in the background. But all the functions you want are now on tap, not commands to type. And we’re happy to admit openly what we’ve long considered quietly — chatbots aren’t the answer for keeping an ...

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February 1st, 2018

In Philosophy

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How to chase down a bug

This is a good story, and it communicates how insane things can get when one is chasing down a bug.

Having calculated the theoretical peak throughput, I decided there was no good reason this microprocessor shouldn’t be able to maintain a much higher level of throughput. Time to do some low-level packet analysis.

I set up Wireshark and started capturing packets. At first, everything seemed ok but looking at the timestamps showed clearly that the transmissions were very bursty. Sometimes there ...

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January 30th, 2018

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Group meetings waste time — my interview with Christian McCarrick

Christian McCarrick is CTO at Global Tel*Link and he has also created the SimpleLeadership podcast. SimpleLeadership is designed for both new and experienced software & technology managers who want to build high-performing teams, better motivate & mentor their employees, reduce attrition and advance their career. It is for people who want to go beyond just being a manager and become a true leader.

McCarrick interviewed me a week ago, and we spoke about the issues of productivity, and especially how group ...

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January 30th, 2018

In Business

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The formal versus informal question — how I answer email

Because I interact with people from many countries and cultures, I’ve adopted the rule that I tend to let them set the tone and style of our interactions. I try to minimize the number of cultural faux pas I commit (speaking of which, should I follow English or French rules of pluralization when I went to pluralize “faux pas”?) . Most of the time, I simply mimic the style they set.

So a few rules I follow:

If they address ...

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January 28th, 2018

In Philosophy

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Some women waited their whole lives for the Wonder Woman movie

Interesting:

I’m 6 years old, and I’m Luke Skywalker, blowing up the Death Star in his X-Wing and using the Force… until I go outside to play Star Wars with the neighborhood kids, and I’m told I can’t be Luke because I’m a girl. I have to be Leia instead. Nothing wrong with Leia, but she’s the girl. She’s my only option, otherwise, I’m not allowed to play.

I’m 7 years old, and I’m She-Ra, with a pegasus and sword and… and ...

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January 27th, 2018

In Business

2 Comments

Sarah Kessler attacks Steve Yegge over so-called privilege

Sarah Kessler has a post on QZ, the goal of which is left unspecified.

The title is “Writing 5,000 words about why you quit Google is the ultimate privilege”. I’m pretty sure the ultimate privilege is cheating your workers, sexually harassing 20 women, and then getting elected President Of The United States of America. There are other great privileges in this world, such as the ability to avoid paying taxes because you keep most of your assets in overseas ...

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January 26th, 2018

In Philosophy

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How software gets written

This is the history of almost every software project I can remember:

When I started preparing for teaching the chain rule in my class, I didn’t like the way the book did it. I felt like the proof was overly complicated and seemed to deliberately avoid an easier method. I couldn’t figure out why the author approached the proof the way he did. I started writing up different notes that I thought would be more clear. After a few hours ...

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January 25th, 2018

In Philosophy

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Am I completely insane?

I’ve reached a point in my life where I think only two possibilities can explain my relationship to the world:

1.) Over the last 25 years, I’ve gone completely insane.

2.) The world is insane, and over the last 25 years, I’ve become more aware of this.

I worry about the sheer number of things that seem painfully obvious to me, and yet which are met with widespread resistance from many groups, often the overwhelming majority of all people who care ...

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January 18th, 2018

In Technology

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The continued adaptation, modification and correction of errors in them, is essentially dependent on a certain kind of knowledge possessed by a group of programmers

Interesting:

The conclusion seems inescapable that with at least certain kinds of large programs, the continued adaptation, modification and correction of errors in them, is essentially dependent on a certain kind of knowledge possessed by a group of programmers who are closely and continuously connected with them.

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January 18th, 2018

In Business

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Who is responsible for increasing diversity in tech?

Interesting:

We reject the idea that it is the “responsibility” of marginalized people to stay in toxic tech culture despite abuse and discrimination, solely to improve the diversity of tech. Marginalized people have already had to overcompensate for systemic sexist, ableist, and racist biases in order to earn their roles in tech. We believe people with power and privilege are responsible for changing toxic tech culture to be more inclusive and fair to marginalized people. If you want more diversity in ...

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January 17th, 2018

In Technology

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Chris Zheng is angry at the Clojure community

This initially sounds like it is going to be interesting:

I say it with much admiration and respect to all the members of community. I’ve learnt so much from being in this microcosm of dynamism, ideas and learning over the past 8 years. Clojure has allowed me to get to know so many amazing people, to travel to a whole bunch of places and to do things that I had never thought possible.

Having said that, I’ve gone from a wide-eyed, ...

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January 17th, 2018

In Philosophy

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Sometimes The Onion is exactly correct, part XXXVII, Honey Boo Boo

When Jane Austen was 17 years old she visited some cousins, who had some old copies of the Spectator. Since she recognized the name, she started to read the famous magazine. She was horrified. The vulgar language, the sexual terms, the gross metaphors invoking shit and maggots and eating babies — everything disgusted her. She said that she could form no liking of an era that had tolerated such coarseness.

The Onion reminds us that we will surely someday have ...

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January 16th, 2018

In Philosophy

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The continuing power of tradition, as it effects gender

An interesting bit from Barbara Kingsolver (I am a fan of her novel The Poisonwood Bible):

Most progressives wouldn’t hesitate to attend a football game, or to praise the enlightened new pope – the one who says he’s sorry, but women still can’t lead his church, or control our reproduction. In heterosexual weddings, religious or secular, the patriarch routinely “gives” his daughter to the groom, after which she’s presented to the audience as “Mrs New Patriarch,” to joyous applause. We ...

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January 16th, 2018

In Technology

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What is up with Narrative.io?

When I go to the website of Narrative.io all I see is black. Is this because I have an ad blocker installed? If so, this is the most dramatic ad-block caused bug that I’ve seen. Something like 20% of everyone on the Web is now using ad-blocking. Narrative.io should keep that in mind when they design their site.

Source

January 9th, 2018

In Philosophy

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A child struck by a car

Very sad story:

I’d been praying that maybe it wasn’t as bad as it looked, that maybe he would be OK. I remember just leaning over and crying, and then trying very hard to get hold of myself.

The police agreed to let me wait in one of the neighbour’s houses. She was so kind. She had a daughter just a few years younger than me and I think she knew that her daughter could just as easily have been the perpetrator, ...

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January 8th, 2018

In Business

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Psychological benefits of worker democracy

This democratic experiment sounds good, but the lack of structure sounds bad. The lack of structure won’t scale to large enterprises, and I believe large enterprises will always be with us. I wonder if the same psychological benefits can be gained by allowing workers to elect their CEO at large firms? The firms would have to be highly structured hierarchies, but the workers could still be allowed to vote for the leadership. That must bring some change of attitude, yes? ...

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January 7th, 2018

In Philosophy

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Why do social media designers think we want to see posts out of chronological order?

Interesting:

Source

January 7th, 2018

In Philosophy

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The best argument for mandatory education

I had not thought about this carefully enough, but as soon as you stop requiring education, you weaken the rest of this chain reasoning. The question then is how to extend this reasoning to college.

Source

January 7th, 2018

In Philosophy

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The current changes to the Labour Party are likely to be long lasting

Interesting:

This is a transformation of Labour as dramatic as anything that happened under Tony Blair in the 1990s. Arguably, it is much more significant. During his time as leader, Mr Blair did not put in much organisational effort to ensure that his ideological shift was a permanent one. New Labourites just assumed – how wrong they turned out to be – that the hard left had lost the arguments so comprehensively that it could not revive. New Labour never attempted ...

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January 7th, 2018

In Philosophy

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A few random thoughts about how a country gets to a constitutional crisis

What is the difference between heart disease and a heart attack? One is a long-term condition whose risks can be managed with careful effort, the other is a short-term crisis that demands immediate attention. It is somewhat uncommon to have a heart attack, without first having heart disease. Likewise, what is the difference between a constitutional malaise and a constitutional crisis? Again, one is a long-term condition whose risks can be managed with careful effort, the other is a short-term ...

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January 6th, 2018

In Philosophy

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The influence of the MeToo movement

Interesting:

Yesterday, one of these men asked jinni if he could share her table. The other tables were taken, so she said ‘of course’. He tried to chat her up but she simply responded monosyllabically, and returned to her book. He stared at her openly for about twenty minutes. Finally, she decided to leave (mostly because he also had a hacking cough). When she put her book in her bag, he again tried to kick up conversation with her, this time ...

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January 6th, 2018

In Business

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Yegor Bugayenko: what motivates me as a programmer

Bugayenko has a very good list of things that motivate him. I find myself in agreement, with most of these things applying to me as well.

Here is two that I like very much:

Career path. I have no problem starting as a junior developer, but I have to know exactly what my future is and when it will happen. I want to become a CTO, no matter what. And it’s not about the title. It’s about the amount of technical ...

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January 6th, 2018

In Technology

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Yegor Bugayenko: 5 things to improve Java

Yegor Bugayenko offers suggestions for making Java better:

Global Variables. There are Singletons in Java, which, as we all know, are nothing but global variables. Wouldn’t it be great to enable global variables in Java and get rid of Singletons. PHP, JavaScript, Ruby and many other languages have them, why doesn’t Java?

Global Functions and Namespaces To group static methods together we create utility classes, where we have to define private constructors to prevent their instantiation. Also, we have to remember which ...

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January 5th, 2018

In Technology

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How should your company handle data safety and version control?

I’ve been writing software professionally since 1999. The first few years, I didn’t work at a company that used version control. Colin Steele mentioned Subversion to me in 2005. I used it till 2011. Since 2011, every company I’ve worked at has used Git.

From 2005 to 2011 we used Subversion to keep track of all projects. This was at both startups that I helped run, and also while doing most client work. During these years, I only had one ...

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January 5th, 2018

In Technology

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The problem with HTML

(originally from a longer essay)

Just to offer some perspective about where I’m coming from, I’ll start by saying that I think of these as tools that made it easy for beginners to be productive:

Hypercard

Visual Basic (obviously I mean the classic versions, before .NET. The stuff in the 1990s was genius)

Adobe Flash

Adobe Dreamweaver

(Of these links, I especially recommend the one about Hypercard.)

I spent 1995 learning HTML and putting together simple websites. I was thinking this is something I’d like to ...

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January 5th, 2018

In Business

4 Comments

Why are women being pushed away from the tech industry?

Back in the 1970s, when my mother was in graduate school, she studied computer programming so she could build simulations of the urban transportation issues that she was researching. Her computer science professor was a woman. At the time, that wasn’t especially surprising. If you’ve seen movies like Hidden Figures, you are probably aware that the computer industry was initially welcoming to women (at least, relative to other industries at that time).

Over the last 30 years, women have been ...

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January 4th, 2018

In Philosophy

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The importance of bridges

After so many years of crumbling infrastructure, I’d like to think the USA is finally going to invest in itself again. I’m encouraged to realize that something like this can be popular with the young crowd that hangs out on Tumblr.

Source

January 4th, 2018

In Philosophy

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Why is the USA press so relentless on the issue of Israel?

I pray for peace in the MidEast. I don’t think we can get there by arresting a bunch of 15 year old girls.

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January 3rd, 2018

In Philosophy

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God should have made girls lethal when he made monsters of men

Interesting:

“God should have made girls lethal/when he made monsters of men” reads a line by poet Elisabeth Hewer. The line has stuck with me since I stumbled upon it in another book, not just because it’s striking, but because I resent its truth. I’m bored with dissecting my own victimhood but I also feel choked by it, held in place by its reality.

…I’ve had many men (and it’s only been men) tell me that the Weinstein fallout is a watershed ...

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January 3rd, 2018

In Philosophy

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The total number of fatal knife stabbings in London in 2017 rises to 80

This is a large amount of knife murder:

The new year attacks – three on 31 December and a fourth on 1 January – pushed the total number of fatal stabbings in London in 2017 to 80. The incidents occurred within a 15-hour period at locations in north, east and south London.

The region of New York City is a good 50% more populous than London, and they had 286 murders last year, mostly from guns.

Source

January 3rd, 2018

In Philosophy

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Cosmetics as self care

This article raises the question of self-care and cosmetics:

n 1908 guards stormed into a cell in Milan, tearing away bed sheets, flipping over mattresses, and yanking off pillowcases for a piece of contraband that had left the warden mystified for the preceding couple of weeks. The prisoner stood to the side, patiently watching her cell get turned inside out, her cheeks painted in cheerful red circles like a ballerina.

They were after her blush like it was a brick of cocaine.

No ...

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January 2nd, 2018

In Philosophy

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A Tory has no friends, and brags about it

What a blind thing to do. Toby Young got married, and very few friends showed up for his stag party. He is a vile person with vile politics, so it makes sense that no one likes him. But he decided that most people aren’t loyal. And he wrote an article about it. You’d think he’d be embarrassed that so few people like him, but he apparently doesn’t realize how his readers are likely to see him.

It was on my ...

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January 2nd, 2018

In Philosophy

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The company’s male administrators deleted her most virulent speech from the first production

I have wondered about this. The speech, which calls out gender injustice, sounds like it was written in 2018. I can hardly imagine how it sounded in the year 1784.

When the play finally reached the Comédie-Française, the leading French theater found further problems with it. The ardently feminist character of Marceline (who was to become Marcellina in the opera) so disconcerted the company’s male administrators that they deleted her most virulent speech from the first production, declaring that no actress ...

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January 1st, 2018

In Philosophy

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What I admire about the Daily Mail

In terms of the content of the Daily Mail, I think this songs sums up the situation:

.

However, I admired the design of the site. They combine hard news with celebrity news in a clever way, but above all, the page is very long and packed with hundreds, perhaps thousands of stories. They make the assumption that their audience is actually interested in their content, and wants to see more. They don’t rely on Javascript-infinite-scroll, the design appears to be hard-coded ...

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January 1st, 2018

In Philosophy

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The case to end the British monarchy

From 2015:

Elizabethan will mean whatever you want: certainly vanishing empire and influence, her colonies and dependencies now no more than an archipelago of tax havens. She has reigned over nearly twice as many Conservative years as Labour. Whatever social progress that marks her era came mainly from those Labour punctuations – abolition of capital punishment, Race Relations Act, abortion and homosexual law reform, equal pay and sex discrimination acts, civil partnerships, minimum wage, Sure Start, devolution, human rights, nursery ...

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January 1st, 2018

In Philosophy

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A reminder of the horrible abuse that was allowed at Catholic schools

My grand-father was deeply Catholic and committed to the Church, so he demanded that my dad go to Catholic school. My dad hated the school. I once asked him why and he said the nuns were absolute sadists who looked for any excuse cane the students. That was in New York City in the late 1930s and early 1940s. My dad committed himself to science and I grew up in a secular household.

Things were even worse in Britain, where ...

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January 1st, 2018

In Business

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How you should talk about your team

This is the correct tone to take when talking about your team:

The team’s commitment to this was profound. Many individuals spent multiple weeks, multiple times, living in China working with our suppliers. They were creating precision parts and designing a manufacturing line that would assemble, test, and package Otto units at scale. After a long day at the office, a dozen or so people would get on a nightly call to support the team in Asia. They then worked to ...

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January 1st, 2018

In Philosophy

No Comments

Education teaches us to argue better

Interesting:

The same effect has also been captured in relation to the myth that the healthcare reform bill empowered government “death panels.” According to research by Dartmouth political scientist Brendan Nyhan, Republicans who thought they knew more about the Obama healthcare plan were “paradoxically more likely to endorse the misperception than those who did not.” Well-informed Democrats were the opposite—quite certain there were no “death panels” in the bill.

The Democrats also happened to be right, by the way.

The idealistic, liberal, ...

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January 1st, 2018

In Philosophy

No Comments

Why didn’t Hypatia have a husband?

Just thinking out loud here.

Let’s take a moment to explore the issue of why Hypatia did not have a husband.

Since she didn’t have a husband, is there a chance that she had girlfriend? I don’t mean to bulldoze the option that she was ace, but let’s consider the girlfriend angle for a minute. Maybe she ended up dating Asclepigenia? If she was in love with Asclepigenia, it would explain why she didn’t want to marry a man. ...

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December 31st, 2017

In Business

No Comments

Rules for company failure

Interesting:

29. An organization populated by a majority of incompetents has less than zero net-worth : it is able to destroy other adjacent organizations that are not similarly populated.

30. Incompetence is fiercely gregarious while knowledge is often fractious; the reason for this is that raw ideas transfer more easily through untrained minds than refined ideas transfer through trained minds. There’s a reason why large organisations focus so much on simple messages, pity that difficult problems often have simple solutions ...

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December 31st, 2017

In Business

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The New York University startup incubator at Varick Street is awesome

I’ve been the technical co-founder at three different startups and so I associate startups with long hours, grinding stress, and near total isolation from normal life. The loneliness of startup life is one of the things that contributes to their frequent downfall, since a common path to failure is simple burnout.

In 2015 I was at a startup that was in the New York University startup incubator at Varick Street, and it was fantastic. The room was full of brilliant ...

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December 31st, 2017

In Business

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How to kill the goose that lays the golden eggs

From Alan Kay:

Most of the funding of research efforts I’ve been involved in since ARPA-Parc have been with various profit making companies — Atari, Apple, Disney, HP, SAP, Infosys, etc. And there have been various kinds of compromises involved. And some good work on smaller scales did get done. Others of my colleagues in the diaspora that started in the early 80s wound up at Microsoft, DEC, IBM, Bell Labs, etc.

These same people with the same big ideas, talents, more ...

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December 31st, 2017

In Business

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How To Destroy A Tech Startup In Three Easy Steps (the intro)

This is the intro to my book:

Ninety percent of all new businesses die. Even when based on brilliant ideas, the hard work and creativity of the team often comes to naught. Why?

Emotions can hinder or uplift. We might hope that those in leadership positions possess strength and resilience, but vanity and fragile egos have sabotaged many of the businesses that I’ve worked with. Defeat is always a possibility, and not everyone finds healthy ways to deal with the stress.

Each person ...

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December 31st, 2017

In Philosophy

1 Comment

Richard Feynman believed in failing fast

Was just reading this:

Feynman concluded: “for my money Fermat’s theorem is true”. This is of course not very formal from a mathematical standpoint and is far from the real 110 pages long proof of FLT that took A.Wiles years to put together, notwithstanding it’s a really good example of Feynman’s scientific approach and genius. As Feynman used to say:

the main job of theoretical physics is to prove yourself wrong as soon as possible.

This is another way of stating the ...

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December 31st, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

Why be political?

Things have to be going really well in your life before you can think of political activity as a choice. If you are doing very well, you might like to believe that the current structure of the world is a natural one, and not amenable to political action. That is a self-gratifying belief. But unless you are lucky, you often have politics pushed upon you, often with very little choice on your part.

I like the way “Raquel” sums up ...

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December 30th, 2017

In Philosophy

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Are things getting worse for women?

Interesting article in the Guardian about Joan Wallach Scott.

Given the rise of Trump, and especially the rise of outfits such as Wikileaks, I’ve been rethinking a lot of what I thought I knew about the era since 1960.

Organizations such as Wikileaks uses the language of progressives (expose the facts, speak truth to power, attack the elites, shake up the government) while in fact working as a propaganda outfit for an authoritarian regime (Russia). Yet people are drawn to Wikileaks ...

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December 30th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

The rising divorce rate in rural areas

Interesting:

Source

December 28th, 2017

In Business

2 Comments

Discretion still matters — don’t ruin your career by sharing too much

I’ll share this story. The year was 2006, when I lived in Charlottesville, Virginia. We needed to hire a Flash programmer. I put out a notice, got some responses, and then did some interviews. I eventually found a woman, who I will call Lisa, who was a little less experienced than some of the other candidates, but she seemed highly motivated. She was in her early 20s and just barely out of college. Her ambition was to become a great ...

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December 28th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

The only appropriate death tax is 100%

(Posted in response to a conversation on Hacker News)

The only appropriate death tax is 100%. The goal is not to raise money for the government, the goal is to protect society from oligarchy. Most oligarchs come from wealthy families — that kind of vast wealth accumulates over the course of generations.

So as to allow minor things, such as a house, to pass from parents to children, a low level exemption is reasonable, so the tax does not touch the poor ...

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December 27th, 2017

In Philosophy

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Rick Webb: an apology for Utopian idealism regarding the Internet

Interesting:

Silicon Valley likes to think of itself as a bastion of rationality. But if you think about it, Silicon Valley, like virtually every other organization or entity, has a set of core beliefs at the bottom of its philosophical pyramid that are just that: core beliefs. They extend beyond rationality. “We hold these truths to be self-evident,” our declaration of independence begins. Every good philosophical treatise starts with these. Every debate starts with the polite agreement about defintions.

What if Silicon ...

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December 27th, 2017

In Philosophy

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Anna North: sexual harassment is not sex, it is abuse of power at work

Interesting:

Melissa Gira Grant puts it well at the New York Review of Books: “Sexual harassment is a form of discipline, and it has already led to so many women being cast out from their work and the attention that is rightfully theirs. When men use sex to push women into inferior, undervalued, and invisible roles, that isn’t sex; that’s punishment.”

It’s become common, as #MeToo matures, to ask what we should do about behaviors that fall short of violent sexual assault. ...

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December 27th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

The problem with dating apps

I’m currently writing a comedy about a guy who is launching a new dating app. To that end, I’m reading endless Tumblr. It’s comedy gold. I have to be careful not to slip into plagiarism.

Source

December 26th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

The Baby Boomers are uniquely awful

Back in 1996 I made this case on the maillist of Left Business Observer. I said that the Baby Boomers were uniquely awful and they’d been terrible to the country. Doug Henwood gave me a hard time about this. I thought about what he said and decided that generational conflict is never progressive — in every generation there is a working class that is struggling for its fair share, and there are marginalized people struggling for justice. So I’ve never ...

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December 26th, 2017

In Technology

No Comments

Jakub Holý on the awesome productivity of Clojurescript

I have found the REPL useful when working with Clojure. I plan to write about this soon. Jakub Holý has a great write-up regarding both Clojure and Clojurescript:

Aside – about us: Telia Norge is Norway’s second largest mobile operator. Our team has spent the past three years with Node.js, React, and (eventually) Redux creating a great webshop (for hardware and subscriptions) to replace an off-the-shelf one, with a great success. Now we set out to make also the lives ...

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December 26th, 2017

In Business

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Men have been leaving the labor force for 100 years, never got past agriculture

This chart shows that men have been leaving the economy for over 100 years. This suggests that the disappearance of agriculture is leaving some men out of the economy. We should consider the fact that some men were stupid but very strong, and therefore they used to be valuable. But most of the jobs that reward “stupid but strong” have disappeared. These men have been permanently left behind.

Source

December 26th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

Do men become warlike if they do not have women?

The Economist has an article with the title “The link between polygamy and war“:

Wherever it is widely practised, polygamy (specifically polygyny, the taking of multiple wives) destabilises society, largely because it is a form of inequality which creates an urgent distress in the hearts, and loins, of young men. If a rich man has a Lamborghini, that does not mean that a poor man has to walk, for the supply of cars is not fixed. By contrast, every time a ...

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December 25th, 2017

In Technology

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Jakub Holý: how to build a shopping cart

Interesting:

However there are other concerns than simplicity and time-to-production that we could have been taken into account, I believe. But I failed to communicate those in time. The current solution would have been perfect if the network transfer times were negligible and if the backend service was 100% reliable. None of that is true. Every call takes at least 300ms and the backend can be overloaded or (as yesterday) unavailable due to network issues. I there is a high ...

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December 25th, 2017

In Technology

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Jakub Holý: don’t add unnecessary checks to your code

This is a very good point:

Imagine you need to call .indexOf on product_code. You might be tempted to add

if (!_.isString(product_code)) return false;

Now you are safe and your code can’t fail. But when I read this code, I immediately think:

Oh, I believed product_code to be always a string but obviously it is not always the case. It must have happened in the past or the author wouldn’t have added this check. I wonder what are the possible non-string values. And what ...

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December 25th, 2017

In Business

No Comments

What is the P/E ratio of Bitcoin?

There is no P/E ratio for Bitcoin, because Bitcoin has no revenue. Bitcoin has no fundamental value. I’m a bit surprised that it caught on at all, since there is no foundation under its value. Buying Bitcoin is therefore the ultimate expression of the speculative spirit. Which apparently is bigger than I knew.

There are three main activities that contribute to the value of Bitcoin and other alt-coins:

1.) crime — this is certainly the bulk of all activity that happens ...

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December 25th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

This was the one and only time in the last 300 million years that the wood-rotting ability evolved

Interesting:

Here is the crux of our problem: lignin made the lycopod trees a little too successful. Because their leaves were lofted above many herbivores and their trunks were made inedible by lignin, lycopods were virtually impervious to harm. They grew and died in vast quantities, and their trunks piled up in swamps, eventually becoming submerged and locking huge quantities of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere for good in the form of coal. Without any decomposition to recycle this carbon, ...

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December 25th, 2017

In Business

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Don’t assume that your business idea will be easy

In my book “How To Destroy A Tech Startup In Three Easy Steps” one of my clients (I call him Milburn) had an idea, and they assumed it would be easy, so they left it to their assistant. Assuming a business idea will be easy often leads to disaster. I offer this bit of advice in the book, and I repeat it here:

If you really want to destroy your startup, you should assume that you know everything about the ...

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December 25th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

12 year old girl attempted murder, gets 25 year sentence

Keep in mind that the charge is attempted murder, not murder, and that the girl was 12 years old at the time. How do you end up with a 25 year sentence, given those facts? The majority of all murderers don’t get sentences that long (I’m using the word “murder” in the legal USA sense, so you should avoid thinking about first degree murder, which is rare.)

From the article:

If medical professionals and the jury have deemed Alyssa Weier not ...

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December 25th, 2017

In Business

4 Comments

Retail is suffering because the middle classes have lost $1,355 trillion in income since 1970

Nowadays, there are a lot of articles being written about the collapse of retail in the USA. Some people blame Amazon and online shopping, but that is only a trivial part of the problem.

$1,355,610,000,000 of consumer spending is missing from the demand side of USA spending, and that should be kept in mind whenever you read an article about retail going through hell. The big boom in retail in the mid-20th century was thanks a strong middle class. ...

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December 24th, 2017

In Business

16 Comments

One-on-one meetings are underrated, whereas group meetings waste time

I have had good results with a style of management where I mostly have one-on-one meetings. These meetings can be just 15 minutes, or maybe 30 if there is a serious issue that needs to be discussed. If I’m leading a small team (less than 20 people) I’ll have meetings with each person at least once a week, but with key players more often than that.

During a one-on-one meeting, I can ask tough questions, and the person I’m talking ...

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December 24th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

All our generation wants is a small apartment and a spouse that loves them back

The incredible thing is that this now seems so unlikely, so hard to achieve, so distant. We’ve come a long way from 1958 (the best year of the ratio of average wage to average rent).

Source

December 22nd, 2017

In Business

No Comments

Commercially viable daydreams versus distracting fantasy

When is the best age to become an entrepreneur and create a new company?

Experience often matters, though not always:

The collective summary of their learnings is: the average entrepreneur is 40 when they launch their startup. People over 55 are twice as likely as people under 35 to launch a high-growth startup. The average age of a successful startup with over $1 million in revenues was 39. Age was less of a driver to entrepreneurial success than previous startup and industry ...

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December 22nd, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

The casting couch in Hollywood, as depicted by Hollywood

Interesting:

Then I read the original reviews of the movie and began to doubt my understanding of what I’d seen. To critics at outlets such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, and the Christian Science Monitor, this was not a story of women subjected to predatory men. Many of the reviews don’t even mention the producer, focusing instead on the rivalry between Rogers and Hepburn, the remarkable dialogue, and the superiority to the play. When Menjou comes up, it ...

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December 22nd, 2017

In Business

No Comments

Buy this book for just $1,400 and the shipping is free for students!

I’m sure all poor starving students are grateful that their shipping is absolutely free on this $1,400 book.

I am not a poor starving student, so I’m going to spring for a new copy, cheap at just $36,535! I was worried a book like this would set me back $37,000, or something crazy like that.

Source

December 21st, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

People really love Tumblr

People worry about the death of Tumblr, and their worry arises from love. I would be very proud if I had created something like Tumblr (myself and my business partners spent 6 years trying). I feel real rage when I consider how incredibly incompetent the management at Yahoo has been. Yahoo buys startups, and then kills them. This has happened over and over again. No one can believe in the efficiency of our economic system, if they know the history ...

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December 21st, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

The surprising lack of anger regarding gender relations

I was too young to have any encounters with the feminist militancy of the 1970s. I caught the fading light from that scene in the late 1980s. I worked at Macks Apples and the apple pickers there had a long tradition of hiring one of their own to be the full time cook, because if we each tried to make our own meals, the kitchen would be destroyed in chaos. It was best if we all kicked in $25 a ...

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December 20th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

Children playing with Barbie

Interesting:

When my female friends recount playing with Barbie they also mention how much sex was in their play, which tends to get left out of the television commercials.

Source

December 18th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

How to sell Clojure

Apparently there is need for starter kits, and starter code. This gives me an idea for my next book.

Source

December 18th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

Caryn Vainio‏: my friend died, but I didn’t know, because algorithms

Interesting and sad:

For those of you who work in social media, I need to share the story of my friend who died, and I didn’t know because algorithms.

A friend I’ve known mostly online for 15+ years died this weekend. Our friendship started on an old gaming forum, but continued on Facebook.

He was part of a group of friends, and we’ve all stayed connected via Facebook. He didn’t post much, but he liked and commented a lot.

I met him once years ...

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December 18th, 2017

In Technology

No Comments

The penalty of saying something controversial on HackerNews

I made a comment on HackerNews and it was heavily downvoted. I made a good point about the limitations of Git, but people did not want to hear it. This raises an interesting issue about voting systems, in general, is there any way to find stuff that is true, reliably, when the voters might have incorrect beliefs? I think Slashdot went furthest, they took voting systems seriously, and they tried to weight the votes of those who were themselves upvoted. ...

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December 16th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

What makes the Sims franchise so go

So legit.

Source

December 16th, 2017

In Business

2 Comments

Business productivity has been undermined by the hubris and power-grabbing of elite computer programmers

For many years, I had a refrain which I gave as advice to each client I worked with: “Your software developers are expensive, so try to shift work away from them.” Ideally, software developers should only do work that relies on skills that no one else has. If a task can be done by a graphic designer, then it should be done by a graphic designer, because generally graphic designers are paid less than software developers (obviously not in all ...

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December 16th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

When a job interview goes bad

Sometimes I go to a job interview, and they are looking for specialists in some area of computer programming that I know nothing of. And then I end up sounding like Matthew Peterson.

Source

December 15th, 2017

In Business

No Comments

Globalization was oversold

Interesting:

Trump exploited understandable grievances among a large swath of American society, whose standard of living has stagnated for almost half a century. Defenders of globalization say that Trump has unfairly blamed globalization, when the real culprit is technology. Of course, Trump like so many demagogues prefers to blame others.

Though even without globalization, technological advances would have meant workers without a college education would be hard pressed, the reality is that globalization has played a central role: even without changes in ...

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December 13th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

White women voted for Roy Moore

Somewhat surprising?

The gender and race breakdown of Alabama’s senate election was reminiscent of last year’s presidential election, where black women overwhelmingly voted for Democrat candidate Hillary Clinton. The majority of non-college educated black women (95%) voted for Clinton, compared with 34% of white women. The numbers were just as stark among college educated women, with 91% of college educated black women voting for Clinton, compared with 51% of white women with college experience.

Source

December 12th, 2017

In Technology

No Comments

The Krubner Law Of Ugly Code

The Krubner Law Of Ugly Code states that any computer programming language that has a “return” keyword will tend to be ugly. “Tend” means the tendency is there, though of course, as I’m sure hundreds will rush to remind me, you can write beautiful code in any language.

Here is a simple example from a well-respected project. Here the return is used in a guard clause. This is good code, for the Java language, in that it puts the guard ...

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December 12th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

An invitation to play

(Tonight I’m dumping some of my notes, from my riffs.txt, onto my blog. Not sure why I kept these for years without publishing. I was probably waiting for a moment when I could write a longer essay about them.)

Why I hate books about Design Patterns

Imagine two girls, both nine years old, decide to play tea. They put on nice dresses and bonnets. The one goes over to the other’s house.

“Mrs. Worthington, it is so nice to see you,” says the ...

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December 12th, 2017

In Technology

No Comments

To what extent is “DLL Hell” a failure of interface contracts to work adequately in practice?

(Tonight I’m dumping some of my notes onto my blog. Not sure why I kept these for years without publishing. I was probably waiting for a moment when I could write a longer essay about them.)

http://www.artima.com/intv/interop.html

Bill Venners: To what extent is “DLL Hell” a failure of interface contracts to work adequately in practice? If everyone fully understands and adheres to the contract of the functions of a particular DLL, shouldn’t updating that DLL in theory not break any code?

Anders Hejlsberg: ...

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December 12th, 2017

In Technology

No Comments

Camille Fournier (Rent the Runway) – Consensus Systems for the Skeptical Architect

(Tonight I’m dumping some of my notes onto my blog. Not sure why I kept these for years without publishing. I was probably waiting for a moment when I could write a longer essay about them.)

ZooKeeper owns your availability. Worth watching. I thought it was amazing when she said that even 5 years ago, even at Google, most programmers were not thinking in terms of distributed computing. Instead, its been the boom in microservices that has driven the adoption of ...

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December 12th, 2017

In Technology

No Comments

Sam Newman’s book Building Microservices

I’m posting here some quotes I like from this book:

Time for a cautionary tale. Back in 2006, I was working on building a pricing system for a bank. We would look at market events, and work out which items in a portfolio needed to be repriced. Once we determined the list of things to work through, we put these all onto a message queue. We were making use of a grid to create a pool of pricing workers, allowing ...

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December 12th, 2017

In Business

No Comments

My idea for a startup that standardizes the import of data through ML and NLP scripts

Suppose I were to quiz you about this paragraph:

“In December 2012, MoonEx acquired one of the other Google Lunar X-Prize teams, Rocket City Space Pioneers, from Dynetics for an undisclosed sum. The new agreement makes Tim Pickens, the former lead of the RCSP team, the Chief Propulsion Engineer for MoonEx.”

Proper nouns which NLP can discover:

1.) MoonEx

2.) Google

3.) Rocket City Space Pioneers

4.) Dynetics

5.) Tim Pickens

6.) RCSP

7.) Chief Propulsion Engineer

Suppose I were to ...

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December 12th, 2017

In Technology

No Comments

Why I prefer dynamic-typing over static-typing: the speed of adapting to change

I am a fan of dynamic typing. So is corporate America. The widespread use of PHP, Ruby, Python and Javascript suggest that dynamic typing is useful. Static typing tends to be used in areas where legal regulations create needs that outweigh programmer productivity. If static typing lead to greater programmer productivity (via a reduction in bugs) then corporate America would only use statically-typed languages. But it doesn’t.

In How ignorant am I, and how do I formally specify that in ...

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December 11th, 2017

In Technology

No Comments

Watching the AI bots on a game fight each other is like testing a data analysis model

I was researching something else and I followed a link to the game Wesnoth. I downloaded it and spent some time testing it. The game is entirely built by volunteers. The game is slow and somewhat tedious, but they did a great job with the art and they did a great job enabling a variety of scenarios.

They claim they put some time into the AI engine that lets bots play a character. I was curious about that. I set ...

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December 11th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

How do you wake up in the morning when you’ve got a project running late?

Personally, if a project is running late, and I’m working till 4 AM, and waking up at 9 or 10, then I need coffee. Lots and lots of coffee.

Feel free to post your own story in the comments.

This is from How To Destroy A Tech Startup In Three Easy Steps:

Friday, October 9th, 2015

Because of the chronic sleep deprivation of the proceeding weeks, I developed this peculiar protocol to ensure that I actually woke up in the morning. Before ...

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December 11th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

Brad Delong: For some 400 years the Anglo-Saxon governance model offered liberty and prosperity, but no longer

Interesting:

For some 400 years, the Anglo-Saxon governance model – exemplified by the republican semi-principality of the Netherlands, the constitutional monarchy of the United Kingdom, and the constitutional republic of the United States of America – was widely regarded as having hit the sweet spot of liberty, security, and prosperity. The greater the divergence from that model, historical experience seemed to confirm, the higher the likelihood of repression, insecurity, and poverty. So countries were frequently and strongly advised to emulate those ...

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December 11th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

50 percent of women who experience harassment leave their jobs within two years of experiencing that harassment

Sad:

There is a study that was just done recently by a researcher who found that 50 percent of women who experience harassment leave their jobs within two years of experiencing that harassment. When the harassment is particularly grave, that’s 80 percent, and many of them leave their professions altogether.

We can’t imagine what the world would’ve looked like if this systemic behavior hadn’t been in place. We don’t have the buildings that were built by women or the food that was ...

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December 10th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

What readers should feel when they read fiction

As a summary of the feeling to aim for, this is worth remembering:

god my absolute favorite feeling is devouring a book, when you get so into the pages and the words that you have to stop your eyes from skipping lines and force yourself to read every word, when you’re so impatient for what happens next that you can’t sit still while reading, when you have to re read whole pages because you were too busy predicting and anticipating that ...

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December 8th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

Some photos of my trip to Lisbon

Below are the photos from my trip to Lisbon, Portugal, for the Web Summit, which ran from November 5th to the 9th.

( Also see my separate post about the Web Summit. )

With the street trolleys and the steep hills that go down to the water, it would be easy to confuse Lisbon with San Francisco. Both cities exist on a peninsula and have had famous earthquakes. Both cities officially have 500,000 people, and 3 million people in the surrounding area. ...

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December 8th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

Would there be an assumption of a global optimum if women had invented economics?

I had yet another long conversation with a female friend about life and its struggles. I’ve had ten thousand such conversations previously. We spoke about the difficulties of raising children (I don’t have children, but she does).

We spoke of the task of getting children to school. I recalled that when I was a child, as early as Kindergarten, I walked to school without parental supervision. My elementary school was a bit more than a kilometer away. It was considered ...

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December 8th, 2017

In Business

No Comments

Why is LinkedIn so broken that it can’t do normal error messages?

I am constantly astonished at how broken LinkedIn is. And here is today’s reminder:

Source

December 8th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

Some photos from the Web Summit

I went to the Web Summit, which started on Novebmer 5th, in Lisbon, Portugal.

( Also, see my post of photos of the city of Lisbon )

The Web Summit was very impressive for seeing what the next generation of startups will look like. I can’t think of another event, anywhere, that showcases so many early stage startups. I suppose if I got invited to Demo Day at Ycombinator than that would be better, but my invite got lost in the ...

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December 7th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

How do white blood macrophages eat? Does it affect their ability to protect us?

A few questions just occurred to me, which I will try to research some time soon:

When white blood cells (macrophages) are drifting around in our blood, how do they eat? It would seem they could eat whenever they want, since our blood is full of food. But are macrophages as effective while eating? Are we vulnerable when they eat? Fasting seems to improve health, so we should assume macrophages are less effective when we eat? And alcohol seems to ...

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December 7th, 2017

In Business

No Comments

Among farmers, the suicide rate continues to go up

I think of all the women I know for whom it was an urgent life goal to escape Eastern Europe and live a free life in New York. Part of what drove them was the desire to escape farm life. The stress and loneliness and poverty of farm life is a world-wide problem. It happens everywhere, and it is getting worse in the USA:

“Farming has always been a stressful occupation because many of the factors that affect agricultural production are ...

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December 7th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

Some surprising facts about the economic collapse in Oklahoma

Even with fracking, which should boost the economy, Oklahoma is in a very serious downward spiral:

A city overpass crumbles and swarms of earthquakes shake the region – the underground disposal of oil and gas industry wastes have caused the tremors. Wildfires burn out of control: cuts to state forestry services mean that out-of-state firefighting crews must be called in.

A paralyzed and mentally ill veteran is left on the floor of a county jail. Guards watch for days until the prisoner ...

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December 7th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

I was in Las Vegas and it was dead: some photos

[ In this post I make no distinction between Las Vegas and Henderson. ]

My uncle and cousins live in Las Vegas, so for the last few years I’ve gone there for Thanksgiving. My and my brother go there too. My uncle is generous and puts us up in a Marriot. Very nice.

The first time I went, in 2015, I was surprised at how dead much of the city was. I assumed it was still recovering from the crisis of ...

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December 6th, 2017

In Philosophy

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Police officer feels they are being accused of something when privilege is mentioned

It is curious that the police officer has such a strong reaction. I wonder what he felt was actually being said? I’ll say on a personal note that I’ve sometimes had these wild reactions, where people react as if I said something utterly different from what I said.

Police Captain Carri Weber, apparently as sick of his ramblings as any of us watching that video, interrupted to inform him that there is, in fact, a term for that: “White male ...

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December 3rd, 2017

In Philosophy

1 Comment

I know more than 12,000 people. So do you.

Human societies are at least 5 orders of magnitude larger than ape societies, but humans don’t have brains that are 5 orders of magnitude larger than ape brains, so humans must have some abilities that are not just the linear extension of abilities that apes have. And one of our abilities, that helps explain the difference between human societies and ape societies, is that humans can be aware of people who are not aware of them. I know who Angela ...

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December 3rd, 2017

In Philosophy

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We are suddenly told that Matt Lauers is an abusive psychopath

An interesting fact about this year is that a number of public figures behaved badly, and their bad behavior was well known, yet somehow any public recognition of their bad behavior was suppressed, for decades, until the very moment when their behavior was no longer suppressed, and then the details come out in an explosive manner. We’ve certainly seen that with Harvey Weinstein, who has now been accused of sexually inappropriate behavior by more than a hundred women. For many ...

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December 3rd, 2017

In Philosophy

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Trump eats bad food

For awhile, in 2016, I thought perhaps Trump was eating bad food to demonstrate how close he was to the working class. And if true, that was a brilliant tactic. But apparently these eating habits reflect his actual preferences? I wonder how this is possible? He came from a wealthy family and he was given an excellent education. It is normal, for all mammal species, for the young to start with untrained tastes and then specialize to the circumstances they ...

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December 3rd, 2017

In Philosophy

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Use viruses to treat bacterial infections

Interesting:

As phages are in a continuing red-queen evolutionary game (running as fast as you can to stay in one place) with evolving bacterial defenses and specific phages can be specific to sub-species of bacteria, there is no way of making money in this game if you have to prove “efficacy” to the FDA before you sell your specific phage for a specific sub-species of bacteria that are continually evolving.

To play this game, we will need an automated system to ...

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December 3rd, 2017

In Philosophy

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The decline of the birth rate

Lyman Stone says the birth rate is declining, and this is a bad thing. Stone doesn’t say why this is a bad thing, but a follow-up post is promised. There are comparisons to many other countries, many of which have a good standard of living (Sweden, Japan). It is tough to see what the problem is. In terms of economics or total population, every affluent country has the option to simply allow in more immigrants, which can fix most of ...

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December 2nd, 2017

In Philosophy

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The way the genders misunderstand one another

So funny!

Source

November 28th, 2017

In Business

No Comments

The many ways to undermine a previously healthy online community

Two examples.

Here is a mistake made on Tumblr that is undermining the income for artists:

please go to “General Settings” then to “Dashboard Preferences” and turn off “Best Stuff First”. This is killing artist exposure! Please, please, PLEASE, turn it off if you really do love the artists you follow! You’d be helping us so much!

Please reblog this so that more people may know!

Artists and writers are losing a lot of exposure over this new feature. Someone recently posted ...

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November 27th, 2017

In Philosophy

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The overlap of anti-intellectualism and anti-credentialism

During the eras when I was part of a business that was doing well, and I was the one doing the hiring, I tended to ignore people’s school accomplishments, and I insisted on looking at actual projects they had done. So in that sense, I’m anti-credentialist. But I’m unwilling to declare loyalty to that movement, for reasons I’ll explain.

By way of digression, I’ll admit that some credentialists also pretend to be anti-intellectual. I’ve noticed this especially in British politics ...

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November 25th, 2017

In Technology

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That’s supposed to be an umlaut in the title

This sounds like a very serious criticism of WordPress:

Yes, I know that’s supposed to be an umlaut in the title. I just can’t persuade WordPress to do it.

As far as I know, WordPress has handled UTF8 for a long time. Does anyone know what is going on?

Source

November 25th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

Why we argue

Interesting:

I could try to spin an ev-psych just-so story about tribal status, intellectual dominance hierarchies, ingroup-outgroup signaling, and whatnot, but I’m not an evolutionary psychologist, so I wouldn’t actually know what I was doing, and the details don’t matter anyway. What matters is that this urge seems to be hardware, and it probably has nothing to do with actual truth or your strategic concerns.

It seems to happen to everyone who has ideas. Social justice types get frustrated with people ...

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November 25th, 2017

In Technology

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VisualBasic could have saved Microsoft Excel

Companies are rebelling against Excel:

Finance chiefs say the ubiquitous spreadsheet software that revolutionized accounting in the 1980s hasn’t kept up with the demands of contemporary corporate finance units. Errors can bloom because data in Excel is separated from other systems and isn’t automatically updated.

Older versions of Excel don’t allow multiple users to work together in one document, hampering collaboration. There is also a limit to how much data can be pulled into a single document, which can slow down analysis.

“Excel ...

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November 19th, 2017

In Business

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The sad slow dying of IBM

IBM decided that Sam Ruby is expendable. One more nail in the coffin of a dying company. Yes, you can boost short-term profits by firing all of your best people, and yes, the uptick in profits allows a big bonus to go to the CEO, but this obviously will render IBM a corpse. If you push your best people away, what is left of the company? It’s tragic and the USA not only allows this kind of corporate sabotage, but ...

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November 18th, 2017

In Philosophy

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At what point do accusations of sexual harassment become a witch hunt?

Interesting:

“I love Louis C.K. and that was really, obviously just a fucking hard thing to see happen to somebody,” Burr said on his podcast earlier this week. “He was 100 percent wrong, he did own up to it. And I think he will definitely be back, I will say that.” Burr engaged in familiar rhetoric, a reference “witch hunts” and appealing to “due process.” “This kind of seems like it’s become…it doesn’t make a difference if it’s sexual misconduct, all ...

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November 16th, 2017

In Philosophy

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Arianna Huffington allowed sexism to thrive at HuffingtonPost

Interesting:

Huffington’s well-documented history of fostering a toxic work culture, and failing to address inappropriate behavior from a “brilliant jerk” in her own midst, calls into question the sincerity behind her pledge to help bring positive change to Uber’s culture. Most notably, her history with a former managing editor whose “transfer” to launch HuffPost India was later revealed to be result of an HR investigation into whether he had sexually harassed multiple young women in the New York office. Gizmodo recently ...

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November 15th, 2017

In Philosophy

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Has the Walking Dead always been a terrible show?

We’ve gotten used to the fact that the quality of shows is getting better. Budgets are going up. There is stuff like Mad Men and Black Sails and Girls and Veep. Big epic stuff. I vaguely had the idea that The Walking Dead was supposed to be in the same league as those other shows.

I’ve only seen 3 or 4 episodes of The Walking Dead, and that was years ago. I’m not especially into zombie movies, but some of ...

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November 13th, 2017

In Philosophy

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Can the German focus on human dignity reign in Facebook?

Interesting:

Unlike in the United States, freedom of speech is “not the most important civil right” in Germany, the digital-rights activist Markus Beckedahl told me. Article Five of the German constitution, which governs the right to freedom of expression, explicitly protects freedom of opinion, a narrower category than freedom of speech writ large. Instead, Article One of Germany’s postwar constitution instructs, “Human dignity shall be inviolable.” This notion “means you are not allowed to claim false things about me, because it ...

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November 13th, 2017

In Business

No Comments

Twentysomethings say “I hate networking”

A big issue, and the resistance to diversifying one’s social circle feeds into almost all of the other problems that the USA faces, including racism and the concentration of wealth. Maybe the problem is that when folks are in their 20s any mixed gender get together feels like a date?

When I encourage twentysomethings to ask their weak ties for favors or coffee dates, there is often a fair amount of resistance: “I hate networking” or “I want to get ...

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November 13th, 2017

In Philosophy

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Megan Fox’s ordeal in Hollywood

This is a good essay though it looks at the problem of sexism and Megan Fox in narrow American terms. What occurs to me is how unearned the USA dominance of international film is. Does America deserve to be the nation that can export it’s movies? Would the world be better off if other nations held more of the export market? I agree with the criticism in this essay, though they don’t challenge the dominance of English, which is my ...

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November 13th, 2017

In Philosophy

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Voltaire was the first in the West to see Buddha as a historic figure

Interesting:

Voltaire’s assent here to the theology of the crucifixion would seem at odds with his often rude remarks about Christianity. However, what is perhaps of greater interest is Voltaire’s prescience in his comments about the Buddha. It would not be until well into the nineteenth century that European scholars, all sons of the Enlightenment, sought to turn the founders of religions from gods into men, to separate their precepts from church doctrine. For Jesus and the Buddha, this transformation entailed ...

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November 13th, 2017

In Philosophy

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A young woman lies about her gender and age so she can write about sports

Sad for everyone she hurt (but I do get why a 13 year old was worried that they wouldn’t be taken seriously, and I’m sympathetic about the fact that being a teenager means being immature and doing things that you later regret):

Schultz’s fraud was as true to the catfish genre as can be. She told the people who discovered she was not who she said she was that she assumed the identity because she felt as if she couldn’t write ...

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November 13th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

Things that mean a lot to me but I will never mention

Every relationship has an unstated list:

Source

November 13th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

All governments are theocracies?

Charlie Stross writes:

Justice-as-religion implies a seat of absolute authority from which judgements may be passed—naively, a God (or goddess, or symbol) of justice. (In reality, it’s a shared human cognitive process: the natural non-human world has no justice mechanism. But human-centric processes are, well, human-centric.)

…Governments embody mechanisms for creating and enforcing laws. It follows that all governments are theocracies.

He seems to be confusing his metaphor for reality. After all, where something comes from is interesting, but doesn’t tell you where ...

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November 12th, 2017

In Philosophy

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If you’re going to have a life or a steady income, you know, you need to get out of here

Interesting:

Baxter, who once backed Obama, voted for Trump, the first time he had ever voted Republican. “I liked [Obama’s] message of hope, but he didn’t bring any jobs in … Trump said he was going to make America great. And I figured: ‘That’s what we need. We need somebody like that to change it.’”

Over at the century-old Coney Island Lunch, this once-bustling institution famous for its chilli dogs and sundowners is virtually empty. “A lot of people have left town,” ...

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November 9th, 2017

In Philosophy

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Manorialism gave us nuclear families and a push towards modern civic engagement

Interesting:

manorialism is important for at least two reasons — and probably many more that i haven’t thought about. firstly, the whole system was based on nuclear families. in the bipartite manor system, peasants or serfs or whomever (depending on time and place in western europe) lived on and managed their own farms (let out to them by the manor owner) and also worked on the manor or paid rent to the manor. extended families very much did not fit ...

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November 9th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

The real meaning of disrespectful jokes about one’s spouse

Interesting:

The problem is, it’s not a joke for everyone. It’s one of those insidious things that hits some people as “ha ha, yeah, I kid about him being a manchild, but really we talk stuff out,” and hits others as “so I see, husbands are supposed to be irresponsible and you’re supposed to berate them for it.” Even though Rowdy’s brother-in-law wasn’t really coercing his wife into a major responsibility she didn’t want, he was cheerfully playing ...

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November 4th, 2017

In Philosophy

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Writers who make money from misogyny

This is really gross:

Ames also had a column called “Whore-R stories,” in which he claims he slept with sex workers and wrote about his experiences, presented as non-fictional accounts. The column was sometimes accompanied by photos of the women, details about their bodies, their performances, and their personalities. (The column is a favorite among some Men’s Rights Activists). The paper also ran club reviews written by a fictional misogynistic character, Johnny Chen, that ranked clubs based on three criteria, including ...

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November 2nd, 2017

In Technology

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Denormalization to diverse apps is the correct path forward for media companies

I am very pleased to see that the New York Times now has this cutting edge architecture, which almost certainly the right way forward at this time:

The denormalized log and Kafka’s Streams API

The Monolog is great for consumers that want a normalized view of the data. For some consumers that is not the case. For instance, in order to index data in Elasticsearch you need a denormalized view of the data, since Elasticsearch does not support many-to-many relationships between ...

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October 31st, 2017

In Technology

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Matthew Vagnoni suggests the blockchain can resolve the issue of patient consent

Back in 2015, when I worked at Rollio, we hired Matthew Vagnoni for 2 weeks to come and teach us about Natural Language Processing. Vagnoni is a fantastic person to work with: he is a true expert in his field, yet he manifests very little ego about his extraordinary skill. He was friendly and calm and also authoritative, as he walked us through the various strategies we might take, when connecting to Salesforce, using NLP.

I only recently realized that ...

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October 31st, 2017

In Business

No Comments

Amazon versus Apple: the complicated politics of ebooks

Interesting:

The convoluted interface is due to a stand-off between Apple and Amazon. When Steve Jobs was still alive, the companies competed to control ebook pricing, which led to an antitrust lawsuit between Apple and the US. Though Apple lost, it now requires vendors to fork over a 30% cut of in-app purchases of digital products like books and music. But Amazon already has to split its ebook sales with authors and book publishers, and the cost appears prohibitive to ...

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October 31st, 2017

In Business

No Comments

Twitter struggles to find a consistent policy towards abusive posts

Interesting:

As recently as Sunday night, I was the target of an unsolicited nude. A man tweeted his exposed penis directly into my mentions.

When I attempted to report the tweet, I wasn’t allowed to. There is no selection for “This guy sent me his penis and I don’t want to see it.” Instead, Twitter suggested I block him to avoid seeing his offensive tweets in the future.

This is not helpful.

Over the weekend, Donald Trump ally and confidant Roger Stone completely ...

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October 31st, 2017

In Philosophy

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Kelly Faircloth on the importance of romance

If I was feeling cynical I might start this post with something like “Regarding fiction, women only read about silly things, such as romance and relationships, stuff that isn’t part of anyone’s real life, whereas men like to read about practical subjects, such as how to single-handedly disarm three Islamic terrorists while one is handcuffed and blindfolded, or how to ambush an alien of the Kree-na race of inter-dimensional beings, despite the fact that they can see the future and ...

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October 31st, 2017

In Philosophy

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Nicole Krauss on the struggle for authority for women

Interesting:

Born into a liberal family, in a relatively liberal country, and having received an excellent education, there was still never a time as a young woman that I wrote a page (let alone spilled out 500) without the understanding that it better scale some invisible mark, proving the worth and seriousness of the mind it came from, if it was ever going to deserve to be the work of an author, with the right to increase, originate, invent or ...

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October 31st, 2017

In Technology

No Comments

XLSX2CSV in Java or Clojure

This page does not seem to rank very high on Google, which makes it difficult to find a good example of how to use Java to convert an Excel file to CSV. Last year, when I worked on this, I recall it took me many days of searching before I found this example.

Also good:

http://svn.apache.org/repos/asf/poi/trunk/src/examples/src/org/apache/poi/ss/examples/ToCSV.java

Source

October 31st, 2017

In Philosophy

2 Comments

Friendly, intelligent flash cards?

I’m curious about Anki. I’m not sure why I’d ever need more than a small paper notebook, about the size of index cards? I suppose Anki is easier to carry, as it could live on my phone I guess? But writing things into the paper notebook helps me remember those things.

Source

October 31st, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

Adam Johnson doesn’t get statistics

Here is bizarre post by Adam Johnson in which he tries to prove that a fictional “Mary” is more likely to be a bank teller than a bank teller and a feminist. He’s trying to make a point about sets and subsets. If his intro consisted only of the first sentence I just wrote, he would be correct. But he destroys his own argument with this intro:

She is 31 years old, single, outspoken and very bright. She studied philosophy. As ...

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October 27th, 2017

In Technology

No Comments

A developer asks for help, then gets angry at those who help them

This is pretty wild. Some idiot named “Amo” asks why Supervisord is using 100% of the CPU. A fellow named Paul Calabro then gives what sounds like the correct answer. Instead of saying “Thank you” Amo then threatens to downvote Calabro. Either Amo is vicious or they completely misunderstood the answer. Either way, Amo is an idiot.

If I was Amo, I would delete the question, and thus make it private, because the whole thing is embarrassing. In case ...

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October 26th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

The fascist gays

Interesting:

In all that time, he says, he’s never seen so many LGBT people “so emphatically vocal” about their conservative pride as they are now. “Many more LGBT individuals that I know are comfortable shouting their political affiliation from the rooftops.” Angelo also states that “over the course of course of 2016 and 2017 there has been a noticeable swell in grassroots support for LCR, a spike in membership, and a spike in social media followers.”

Not all gay conservatives are coming ...

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October 25th, 2017

In Philosophy

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Fine tuning gradients and Random Forests

Interesting:

It is important that the weak learners have skill but remain weak.

There are a number of ways that the trees can be constrained.

A good general heuristic is that the more constrained tree creation is, the more trees you will need in the model, and the reverse, where less constrained individual trees, the fewer trees that will be required.

Below are some constraints that can be imposed on the construction of decision trees:

Number of trees, generally adding more trees to the ...

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October 25th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

The importance of text knowledge versus movie knowledge

I don’t think this is entirely correct, as it gives too much importance to book learning, but it is certainly an important thing to keep in mind:

At first, the Internet seemed to push against this trend. When it emerged towards the end of the 80s as a purely text-based medium, it was seen as a tool to pursue knowledge, not pleasure. Reason and thought were most valued in this garden—all derived from the project of Enlightenment. Universities around the ...

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October 25th, 2017

In Technology

4 Comments

Why would anyone choose Docker over fat binaries?

[ [ In this essay, I use the phrase "fat binary" to refer to a binary that has included all of its dependencies. I am not using it to refer to the whole 32 bit versus 64 bit transition. If I was only writing about the world of Java and the JVM, I would have used the word "uberjar" but I avoided that word because I also wanted to praise the Go language and its eco-system. ] ]

They are ...

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October 24th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

The Walking Dead only worked as a metaphor for the Great Recession

When science fiction becomes very popular, it is typically because it can be read as a metaphor for current events. The 1950s “Invasion Of The Body Snatchers” worked as a metaphor for Communism. The early 1970s Planet Of The Apes worked as a metaphor for how whites felt about race relations in the USA. In counter-point, Star Trek was an endless series of metaphors about the increasingly multicultural society that people found themselves living in.

The Walking Dead started in ...

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October 24th, 2017

In Technology

No Comments

You can set environment variables from the Supervisord config

I often tell clients to consolidate their config files, from all their various apps, inside of a folder inside of /etc (I assume Linux servers).

But an interesting alternative is to set the config in the Supervisord config, and thus consolidate all logging and config info in one place.

[program:django] environment = SITE=domain1, DJANGO_SETTINGS_MODULE=foo.settings.local, DB_USER=foo, DB_PASS=bar command = python manage.py command

One could simply have different entries for development, certain branches, ...

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October 24th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

The revival of dead fantasy subcultures

During the 1980s I played Dungeon and Dragons and also I read comic books. I was into the X-Men especially. Both of these subcultures were dying. Comic books died completely, as a business: both Marvel and DC declared bankruptcy. Comic books had once been a thriving business, but they died out. When I was a little kid, of say 9 years old, every 7-11 and convenience store had comic books. You could buy them everywhere. They were not exactly a ...

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October 24th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

Does Bernie Sanders hate women?

Strongly stated and no doubt strongly felt. This conflict, in the abstract, has not changed much during the last 100 years. Since the 1960s we’ve referred to this as a conflict between the New Left and Old Left. But the conflict goes back further. As far as I know, the first person to talk about this conflict was Max Eastman, back during the 1920s, when he was an editor at The New Masses. He pointed out that there was ...

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October 24th, 2017

In Technology

No Comments

Infinite scroll is a terrible idea 99% of the time

Pinterest introduced the modern infinite scroll, so women would keep scrolling their home page. For a while, Pinterest was the fastest growing large site in the world. Infinite scroll is useful if you’re simply encouraging people to browse over random items. It is a terrible design idea if you are trying to communicate information. As Edward Tufte says, long lists are fantastic if you are trying to communicate choices or many types of information.

So check out the Web ...

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October 23rd, 2017

In Business

No Comments

A tide of ideas had started a new cycle, flowing from academia to an industrial laboratory and back to academia

This particular virtuous cycle seems like something that the government should do more to encourage. Interesting:

The excitement of those days is captured in this quote from Douglas Comer: “Many universities contributed to UNIX. At the University of Toronto, the department acquired a 200-dot-per-inch printer/plotter and built software that used the printer to simulate a phototypesetter. At Yale University, students and computer scientists modified the UNIX shell. At Purdue University, the Electrical Engineering Department made major improvements in performance, ...

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October 23rd, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

We are all a bit slow to realize when we need therapy

Oddly written, but I think this is true for most of us:

That’s really weird to think about, and one of the major revelations I had with all this. It was that therapy can actually work. It sounds stupid to type it aloud right now — that’s kind of the reason I’m writing this whole damn article for you, because I’m absolutely not alone here — but I always thought therapy was for other people. Fuck, I told many, many ...

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October 23rd, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

Brain chemistry is craziness

Interesting:

But that’s me. Part of what I found interesting, at least now that I’m on the other side of things, is that brains are completely fucking bonkers. We know a few things, but basically everything is still hella confusing and depends a lot on your particular brain chemistry. For me, I was on the far end of melancholic depression, which means a lack of movement in mood: I was always feeling pretty down, always feeling like my feet were cement. ...

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October 23rd, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

Scathing review of the NYT review of romance

Interesting:

But then there’s the editorial content, written by Robert Gottlieb, former publisher at S&S and Knopf, and former editor of The New Yorker.

And honestly, it’s better for everyone if you don’t read that editorial content.

Take your glasses off, maybe. Let it be blurry, and look at the images and the names in bold.

There are so many things wrong with Mr. Gottlieb’s write up, I might run out of room on the whole entire internet accounting for them all. And if ...

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October 22nd, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

How to create a new drink

I love the way they just brainstormed and came up with something completely original. Interesting:

‘’What are we going to do about this bloody Irish brief?” I asked, testily, challenging my business partner Hugh to feel some pressure. I was annoyed by his ability to take things a great deal more calmly than I ever did. We’d only been in business together for a month and that alone, I thought, warranted a greater sense of urgency. We had families to support.

“What ...

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October 15th, 2017

In Technology

No Comments

The resulting passive-aggression kills productivity faster than any methodology or technology decision

These are the truest 6 paragraphs that I’ve ever read about software development ideologies:

Whether a methodology works or not depends on the criteria: team productivity, happiness, retention, conformity, predictability, accountability, communication, lines per day, man-months, code quality, artifacts produced, etc. Every methodology works if you measure the right thing. But in terms of the only measurement that really matters—satisfying requirements on time and within budget—I haven’t seen any methodology deliver consistent results.

In his 2003 thesis People and methodologies in ...

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October 15th, 2017

In Technology

No Comments

What are the benefits of the fictions that guide software development?

Very interesting and well written:

I’m not going to beat up on any of these paradigms, because what’s the point? If software methodologies didn’t exist we’d have to invent them, because how else would we work together effectively? You need these fictions in order to function at scale. It’s no coincidence that the Agile paradigm has such a quasi-religious hold over a workforce that is immensely fluid and mobile. (If you want to know what I really think about software ...

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October 15th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

Fictions regarding software development

Two good comments both true:

There is an insider story about how these methodologies comes about. So there are few groups of people whose sole job is to do consulting on failed/late/over budget projects. Mind you, they don’t write code but rather they observe how things are going and then prescribe process/management improvements (McKinsey style). Once in a while, these folks bump in to terrible projects and whatever they prescribed sometime works like a charm. In that case, they take that ...

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October 11th, 2017

In Technology

No Comments

NLP challenges: word ordering reverses meaning

Another good example:

When words are used in conjunction with each other, they express an idea that is bigger or more meaningful than each word in isolation. The two clauses I’m not happy I’m working and I’m happy I’m not working contain the sames words, in close proximity, but have quite different meanings.

Source

October 8th, 2017

In Philosophy

No Comments

Mitchell Sunderland has been fired from Vice

Apparently Mitchell Sunderland was feeding stories to far-right white supremacist sites such as Brietbart. Yet Sunderland was working at a progressive site. The revelation brought up the question of whether he was being honest in his main work. He does not seem to me very well suited to his main job at Vice.

Vice has cut ties with a senior writer from its feminist vertical Broadly after a BuzzFeed report revealed that the writer pitched story ideas to then-Breitbart writer ...

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From Andrew Reilly on Docker is the dangerous gamble which we will regret

"Nice article, thanks! I think that it's interesting to also look around at the problem from a greater dista..."

May 21, 2018 2:39 am

From xulin on Docker is the dangerous gamble which we will regret

"Elixir & Erlang..."

May 16, 2018 3:28 pm

From Steffen on Docker is the dangerous gamble which we will regret

"I'll never regret the use of docker cause I never used it (and never will). My advise is the the anti docker ..."

May 15, 2018 1:36 pm

From Clayton Gulick on Docker is the dangerous gamble which we will regret

"Great article. The current Docker craze, imho, is the same old problem where engineers get a hammer and every ..."

May 15, 2018 10:38 am

From lawrence on Docker is the dangerous gamble which we will regret

"Yawar, yes, I have looked at Elixir. And as I mentioned in the article: "They are now examining Go and E..."

May 15, 2018 10:32 am

From lawrence on Docker protects a programming paradigm that we should get rid of

"Agam Brahma, thank you. I have now fixed the typo...."

May 15, 2018 12:11 am

From Agam Brahma on Docker protects a programming paradigm that we should get rid of

"Great article, so true @ "unwillingness to confront the reality of the emerging solution". Minor typo: s/On..."