LATEST ENTRIES

August 20th, 2019

A bisexual does not change sexuality when they go from a man to a woman, or vice versa

Interesting:

As news of the couple’s breakup churned through the news cycle, so did photos of Cyrus kissing another woman, Kaitlynn Carter. Straight people on social media were critical of their spending time together, saying that it seems wrong to go on a vacation and flaunt it in an ex’s face immediately after breaking up, and that Cyrus was being “slutty” and “inconsiderate.” On the other hand, queer women came out in droves to celebrate having Cyrus “back,” glad that she ...

August 20th, 2019

The goal of an oligarch is to rival the power of the state

I saw this on Tumblr:

May 29th, 2019

Is it bad to be a serial killer?

Remarkable how comfortable some people are referencing the love of Villanelle as an aspirational relationship goal, without regard to her profession.

Source

May 29th, 2019

Could client side Java make a comeback?

Interesting:

Gluon has always been very active in the Java Mobile Enterprise area. One of the big benefits of Java on the mobile and embedded client, is the fact that 12 million Java developers can use their skills to create mobile and embedded applications. In the past, the runtime for mobile platforms always lagged behind the runtime for desktop.

When we announced GluonVM, we said we would aim to bring Java on mobile at the same level as Java on desktop. We ...

May 29th, 2019

Why are video game companies so awful?

This would be a bizzare exception in most industries, but the video game industry seems rife with abuse. Very concerning:

Bundschu estimated he had three drinks, adding that he remembers everything that happened. (“I want to be clear—I remember this so clearly. I wasn’t so drunk that my memory is impaired or anything.”) Barrera moved to the end of the table, Bundschu says, and then asked who wanted to go to the dance floor. Bundschu volunteered, and then, he says, things ...

May 27th, 2019

Moby did not apologize

Moby wrote a book and said he dated Natalie Portman when she was 18 and he was 33. She then responded and said no way, he was just an older creepy dude and she was polite to him. Now he has “apologized” but he does not actually retract the claim that they dated:

Source

May 27th, 2019

1 Comment

The winners of globalization will now fight it out in the political sphere

Interesting:

First it was the left, now it’s the turn of the right to fade from the French political landscape. We have a new faultline: one that separates “progressives” from “populists”. This realignment is no accident, but the result of the political world catching up with real changes in society. The traditional left-right divide is giving way to one that reflects a fundamental class conflict that will define the west in the 21st century: the working classes whose livelihoods have been ...

May 27th, 2019

Computer says automobile is stolen, innocent people arrested

We continue to pay a high price for our increased reliance on broken software:

In 2017, Magalie Sterlin also rented a car from Hertz and found guns drawn on her at a checkpoint. The cops told her that the car she was driving had been reported stolen, which was news to Sterlin because she had rented it. She got arrested and was held for half a day. In her police report Sterlin told officers “she did not return the vehicle despite the ...

May 25th, 2019

Single women are happier

It takes a lot of religion to keep people from seeing this:

We may have suspected it already, but now the science backs it up: unmarried and childless women are the happiest subgroup in the population. And they are more likely to live longer than their married and child-rearing peers, according to a leading expert in happiness.

Speaking at the Hay festival on Saturday, Paul Dolan, a professor of behavioural science at the London School of Economics, said the latest evidence showed ...

May 24th, 2019

Anna Barnev, examples for the book cover, design by Leah McCloskey

My new book is out! Check out “How The Young Anna Barnev Established Her Career As A Graphic Designer“.

In chronological order, starting in January of 2019, these were the designs that Leah McCloskey came up, to try to capture the spirit of the Anna Barnev story.

Here was the first batch, which she sent to me on January 14th, 2019:

Of these, I liked the hand drawn version of Anna, because she looks confident, and I thought it was important to have ...

May 23rd, 2019

If a company is serious about security, then who in the company is serious about security?

[Originally from a longer essay]

Let’s talk about EquiFax. They were hacked and data regarding 145 million people was leaked. When the CEO was hauled before Congress to explain himself, he emanated a nonchalance that offended people. John Oliver had a nice take down:

After this disaster was well known to the public, EquiFax hired ReliaQuest to manage their server security. I have friends who work at ReliaQuest, and I know it is a great company full of great people. If ...

May 19th, 2019

Whatever happened to This Chick Digs Chicks?

I previously linked to a blog on Tumblr called this-chick-digs-chicks. The woman behind that blog wrote a lot on the subject of an appropriate relationship between transexuals and lesbians. Others called her a terf, but she made good points about the need to have a movement of those whose lifetime experience was that of being a woman. Almost everything I’ve read on the subject I learned either from her or from the stuff she linked to.

But now it looks ...

May 16th, 2019

YouTube is the ultimate reality TV

Somehow modern reality TV reminds me a bit of the explosion fake religious leaders that happened during the English Civil War. In 1649 the English people were acting without precedent — there had never been a political revolution in which peasants rose up and executed a king. The public could only understand it in religious terms, surely this cataclysm must mean that the Second Coming was near? And then more and more people began coming forward who claimed to be ...

May 15th, 2019

Nicholas Sparks helps oversee a homophobic school

Given the kind of emotionally manipulative and retrograde fiction that he writes, this isn’t a huge surprise:

And now for a bit of news as predictable as his novels: Per an extensive report from The Daily Beast, prolific heteronormative romance bro Nicholas Sparks- who also co-founded and runs the Epiphany School of Global Studies in North Carolina – is currently embroiled in a legal battle for an alleged pattern of discriminatory behavior that took place in his school. If you feel ...

May 14th, 2019

No longer the best and the brightest

It’s often said that Gordon Liddy was a symptom. He was not the illness himself. He was a minor character. But the fact that he was tolerated at all teaches us something about the kinds of people who were attracted to President Nixon.

Likewise:

Louise Linton, Baroness of the United States Treasury and Hermés scarf owner, was recently profiled by Los Angeles Magazine. You might ask: Why is the Treasury secretary’s wife being profiled by a magazine for retired sit-com stars? ...

May 14th, 2019

Jeff Franklin accussed of misogyny and creating a toxic work environment

Interesting:

THR obtained a copy of the sworn declaration, intended to support Behar’s attempt to have Franklin’s lawsuit thrown out. It reveals that Warner Bros. first received a complaint about the Full House creator back in 2016, well before the allegations against Weinstein were made public. The studio launched an investigation into “Franklin’s handling of pregnancy-related requests for time off for doctor appointments as well as concerns about equal treatment for male and female writers for the show.” Though Franklin received ...

May 14th, 2019

Interesting:

Source

May 13th, 2019

What does it mean for a young person to become an adult in 2019?

There is truth here:

Source

May 13th, 2019

Why doesn’t lasciviousness hurt Trump?

For any other President, this photo would have ended their Presidency:

It is gross to see a married man flirting with a younger woman so openly. But this photo did not hurt Trump, and likewise, when he was caught on tape bragging about assaulting women, it did not hurt him. I am curious why he is so utterly insulated. There is roughly 40% of the country that is willing to follow him no matter what. There is absolutely nothing he can ...

May 13th, 2019

The lust to blame on Tumblr

A lot of modern politics is being shaped by little moments such as this:

“oh man, remember how john green has a This Machine Kills Fascists sticker on his laptop despite never in his life even thinking about doing anything subversive ”

I’m so over the dumb shit with this cursed dead-end site. He and his brother provide free educational videos contradicting white-washed/cis male-washed history and science. He has always listened to reasonable critique on his work and apologized for anything he ...

May 12th, 2019

Well said:

Source

May 12th, 2019

Why is Meghan McCain famous?

Meghan McCain is the daughter of John McCain, the great war hero. One thing that bothers me, intensely, is when someone tries to claim someone else’s greatness as their own. I’m curious what has Meghan McCain done that justifies her national reputation? Being the daughter of John McCain is not, itself, a qualification.

This is interesting:

McCain’s response to this polite, reasonable, question was to go on an outraged and borderline incomprehensible tirade in which, in between splutters, she continued ...

May 11th, 2019

Trump is bad at golf

Amazing that this is so important, and yet it is:

Well, this story isn’t in the book but it’s wild. While Trump was meeting with Kim Jong Un in Singapore, a club championship was held at Trump International, the course Trump built near Mar-a-Lago in Florida. So later on, Trump’s back on the course there with the Secret Service and the SWAT team guys and all that stuff. And he sees Ted Virtue, who was involved in the financing of the ...

May 1st, 2019

Battle Of Winterfell

I just watched this while falling asleep last night. While I agree that the battle could have been shorter, I also feel that every single episode of Game Of Thrones could be shorter. I’m constantly stunned about the amount of extra footage that any competent film editor would normally remove, but which somehow makes it into this show. Is this done to pad the time? Is the goal to stretch the show out as long as possible, because it is ...

April 29th, 2019

High heels

Interesting:

Brennan circles around the shoes from all angles, and her brief chapters add up to a kaleidoscopic view of feminine public existence, both wide-ranging and thoughtful. She describes the high heel shoes she wore for her own job at the United Nations, and she describes falling down stairs in the course of doing her job while wearing them. There’s another short chapter about the tall tale that expensive high heels don’t hurt, only cheap ones do, so if you’re in ...

April 19th, 2019

She has some lovers along the way

A comment from a friend regarding some fiction I wrote. This is the nicest thing that anyone has ever said about my writing. I can’t even imagine a comment that would make me happier than this one:

That’s about it. Really, Lawrence, I think it is very strong. There is a lot of humor and a lot of great discussion about art and the building of a career outside the “mainstream” process. I love how her various lovers ...

April 19th, 2019

Why explain dialogue?

From my friend Kat:

First, just an overall note about what irritates me in terms of some writers’ dialogue – it bothers me when writers write a scene with a certain tone and then also explain that tone through exposition. So, for example a character says something sarcastically and then the author explains that they said it sarcastically

I feel exactly the same way. Every one else who reads my novels gives me the opposite advice, and I thought perhaps I was ...

April 18th, 2019

Men gawking at the gym

This is from the year 2005:

At first, I couldn’t figure out why there were so many old geezers on the Stairmasters, or why everyone else in the gym was clustered down at the other end. About a minute into my workout, it became obvious. The fitness center is directly opposite the swimming pool, separated by a pane of glass. Olympic synchronized swimmers on one side, old geezers on the other.

As far as they were concerned, it was like being at ...

April 18th, 2019

The rise of sincerity as a progressive answer to the alt-right

Interesting:

Wholesome circa 1998 was the ’50s. Wholesome was father knows best. Wholesome was a mother vacuuming in pearls and high heels.

And for most of the ’90s and the ’00s, “wholesome” and “pure” were nearly synonymous with sexual chastity, with wholesome family values and evangelical Christian purity. Girls would put on purity rings at purity balls, which were a “wholesome event” for fathers “bringing up daughters to live in purity and in truth.” Daughters would pledge to remain virgins until marriage, ...

April 18th, 2019

When you accidentally put your database on a public subnet in AWS

This feels like a very easy mistake to make:

Here’s an example where you can get into trouble. Digging through some infra code, reviewing with a new devops hire, we were going through everything with a fine toothed comb. We found that the RDS instance was being deployed in PUBLIC subnet, instead of private.

Alerted to the problem, we first checked to see whether it was accessible from the internet at large. It wasn’t, because we had not exposed a public facing ...

April 16th, 2019

Anna Kucirkova: the history of computer programming languages

This article misses all of the Lisps, and focuses mostly on Algol languages, but it does a nice overview of that branch of computer history, and how that branch gave us the syntax of modern popular languages like Javascript.

1883: That’s right, the first programming language was born in 1883. The algorithm for the Analytical Engine was created by Ada Lovelace for Charles Babbage’s Analytical Engine to compute Bernoulli numbers. This is widely considered to be the first computer programming ...

April 16th, 2019

The cult of complexity

Interesting:

Writing the same dull CRUD application over and over is boring. But what if you could figure out a way to get all the simple CRUD applications to talk to one another? That’s a nice and juicy puzzle. This perhaps explains the complexity fetish I see in so many “Enterprise” architectures and applications. Some of it is accidental complexity, accrued from years of piecing together parts that were never meant to work with one another. But I don’t think accidental ...

April 16th, 2019

Serverless architecture uses servers, requires work, and is a stupid name

For all of you who continue to close your eyes and refuse to look at reality, here is another post pointing out the work involved with “simple” setups:

Also:

A task definition defines the actual container you want to run. The problem I ran into immediately here is that this thing is insanely complicated. Lots of the options here are very straightforward, like specifying the docker image and memory limits, but I also had to define a networking model and a variety ...

April 16th, 2019

The rising importance of fanfiction

Interesting:

The Archive of Our Own has had a fundamental role in altering the way we think about fanfiction

That empowered attitude arising among fans who built and used AO3 would coincide with a sea change in the way we think about fanfiction.

The creation of the AO3 in 2009 happened parallel to the rise of social media. This was a highly significant coincidence for fandom. AO3 was formed as an independent, fully non-corporatized community just when the internet was dividing into venture ...

April 16th, 2019

The irony of Tumblr banning porn

The first startup that I founded ran from 2002 to 2008 and it was focused on weblog software. I spent that time writing code and adding features because I thought we would win by adding features. Towards the end of my time at that startup, in 2007 and 2008, Tumblr emerged. Tumblr boasted a lack of features, which is to say, they were proud of their simplicity. I was irritated to realize that this could be a winning move.

Over ...

April 16th, 2019

Another fanfic doing well

Almost any story about fanfiction doing well makes me happy. Although, I wonder why the stories tend to lead to bland movies? Is that because of the young demographic?

In 2013, a 25-year-old named Anna Todd self-published her work of serialized fan fiction on Wattpad. It blew up almost instantaneously and reached over one billion reads. After became a success largely for its steamy scenes, which drew comparisons to Fifty Shades of Grey—and because its male lead, Hardin Scott, was stylized ...

April 15th, 2019

Women are tough

Here is an odd article from the Russian press. It seems to be saying that Western feminism is wrong because women are actually very tough:

There’s a railroad in Siberia that my grandmother and other Soviet women built. Married twice and twice divorced, she was always so busy at work that she didn’t have time for her own children. At the age of 17, her daughter, my mother, moved from a small city in the north and went to Russia’s ...

April 14th, 2019

There was this logo on a red bus, saying our money should remain in the UK — that’s why I voted for Remain

This is a priceless story:

The day after the Brexit referendum in 2016, I went to Romford. I was keen to talk to people in one of the highest Leave-voting constituencies.

In a pub on South Street, I chatted to an elderly lady who was sitting at a table next to her two sons. Both had voted for Leave. She had voted Remain. Why? I asked her.

“There was this logo on a red bus, saying our money should remain in the UK. ...

April 14th, 2019

The recurring cycle of online communities now catches up to Facebook

All online communities die, but Facebook’s slow obsolescence seems entirely self-inflicted. They could go back to have a simple Wall, which is all that people actually want. But that would mean accepting less money for advertisements. Apparently that is not an option? Remarkable that they will chase the money straight up to the moment they are doomed.

Interesting:

Instagram is designed to be used as it is actually used: as a posturing tool.

On Facebook you could share a moment with friends. ...

April 14th, 2019

I love this:

Source

April 14th, 2019

The difference between conspiracy theories and conspiracism is the first tries to explain an event, whereas the second simply invents events

Suppose you believe in an evil force, such as Satan or Communism of aliens from another planet. You believe this evil force wants to take over the planet and destroy the entire human race. And you believe that I am loyal to this evil force. Is there any reason why you should then respect my right to vote? If my side wins the election, is there any reason you should feel the election was valid?

Promoting conspiracies about the rising ...

April 14th, 2019

What if we kiss in your Paris apartment after I stab you in the stomach?

I admit, I really like this show. I don’t allow myself much time to watch television shows, but I will make time to watch this one.

Source

April 14th, 2019

The cat named Brexit

Very good:

Some have responded with humour. Nathalie Loiseau, France’s Europe minister, said recently that if she had one, she would call her cat Brexit: “It wakes me up miaowing because it wants to go out. When I open the door, its sits there, undecided. Then it looks daggers at me when I put it out.”

Source

April 14th, 2019

Why can’t all books be like this, I started thinking midway through, just 280 pages of pure human relationship?

Interesting:

Even if we can’t picture them, the characters are wildly, freakishly attuned to every sensation they experience, surveilling their emotional and physical reactions and analyzing the gestures and comments of everyone they encounter.

In fact, there is so little external physical description that when it comes along it functions as a mental speed bump, drawing attention to the artifice. The spell of the book is broken, temporarily, as if Rooney has remembered to insert some description of rain “silver as loose ...

April 14th, 2019

Bad writing in Game of Thrones

Funny and true:

There are sentences we hear in our lives that stick with us and grow deep, strong roots in our souls. We remember these idioms because they are poetic and resonant, disturbing and brilliant. They become mantras, guiding lights. We seek these phrases in times of joy or need. I myself hold onto one of these sentences: a beautiful sequence of words that has rattled around my brain since 2015 when “Mother’s Mercy,” the season five finale of Game ...

April 14th, 2019

Curse words in Scientific American?

The world is getting more and more informal, but I’m still surprised that Scientific American allowed this use of “fucked”:

Beyond that, the historiography of science in the 60s and 70s centered on distinctions between the “internal” history of science, or the internal logic of scientific ideas and their disembodied development over time, and the “external” history of science, or the grubby social and institutional contexts in which serene natural philosophers built on the work of their predecessors. What fucked Kuhn ...

April 11th, 2019

Abuse on Wikipedia

Interesting:

In countries where it is more dangerous for L.G.B.T. individuals to be open about their identities, harassment on Wikipedia can be particularly virulent. Once, an administrator on a Wikipedia page blocked an editor simply because that person’s username suggested that the editor could be gay, said Rachel Wexelbaum, a Wikipedian who works to improve L.G.B.T. content on the website. Eventually, she said, Wikimedia’s Trust and Safety Team got involved, and the administrator was blocked for those actions.

In some spaces, the ...

April 6th, 2019

Abusive people know they are abusive

Back in 2001 I had a friend who needed to hear this, and I told her, many times, but she did not listen to me. She kept writing long letters to the guy who abused her, hoping he would understand what he had done. My feeling is he always understood, he did not need anything explained.

Source

April 5th, 2019

Can anarchism be commodified?

As the big tech firms increasingly consolidate their hold on the Web, they are increasingly trying to clean it up and make it look presentable. For instance, many of my favorite LGBQ writers on Tumblr have recently been banned, presumably because they occasionally post photos of a sexual nature.

Google is having a problem with YouTube. Too many of their content creators are creating stuff that advertisers don’t like. So Google is now promoting conventional work from television. And the ...

April 4th, 2019

The sexualization of Brexit

Apparently this is a real quote? If so, I’m horrified.

As far back as last year, Boris Johnson was casting himself as the man “to put some lead in the collective pencil”.

Whatever happened to Britain? For centuries it was regarded as one of the sanest places on Earth. It will be a long time before anyone regards it that way again.

All of this makes me sick:

Happily, not one of them feels miscast in this hypersexualised action hero role. “How ...

April 3rd, 2019

Stream remote file via Aleph to AWS S3?

Interesting:

What I’ve got to do is to get a file stream from a remote HTTP server and then upload that stream into AWS S3.

I query a URL with http/get, parse Content-Length header to know the file size and pass that into AWS PutObjectRequest as follows:

(aws/put-object aws {:bucket-name bucket :key key ...

April 1st, 2019

The big shift in USA politics

I’m glad this is happening, but I wonder why this is happening now? My parents were heartbroken when the nation began to shift to the right after 1968, and I’ve been waiting my whole life to see something like this:

Source

March 30th, 2019

For the generation born in the 1960s, the American dream has undeniably vanished

Interesting:

The declining prospects of America’s working class are widely discussed and hotly debated these days, from the anthems of Bruce Springsteen to the “deaths of despair” research of Princeton economists Anne Case and Angus Deaton.

A recent paper from the Opportunity & Inclusive Growth Institute explores this downhill trend for less-educated men and women by comparing life outcomes of two cohorts born 20 years apart. It shows that for the more recent generation, the American dream has undeniably vanished.

“The Lost Ones: ...

March 29th, 2019

It’s astonishing that a Democratic backbencher could get this much attention and get so famous at the beginning of her first term

So true:

The Washington Post’s Phillip Bump analyzed Fox News segments between January 1 and February 15 of this year, comparing the number of segments mentioning AOC to those focusing on at least one of the Democratic 2020 presidential candidates. It turns out she got more coverage on Fox than any candidate save one, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who is also a right-wing boogeyman. Ocasio-Cortez got significantly more Fox News coverage than fellow democratic socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders.

It’s astonishing that a Democratic ...

March 28th, 2019

Groups is the thing that all social networks need

If there is anything that would cause danah boyd to “Just say no” it is probably collapsing contexts. And that is something that Google+ got right:

… so unlike with twitter I didn’t have to spam everyone to reach those two followers who’d actually care about that topic.

Example: I could add Norwegians I knew to my “Norwegians” circle so I could share links to Norwegian pages only to people I knew could read Norwegian.

Facebook has this as groups, ...

March 27th, 2019

No p-value can reveal the plausibility, presence, truth, or importance of an association or effect

I don’t understand why this started, 100 years ago, why it lasted as long as it did, or why right now it is coming to an end. I’m pleased to see this nonsense end, but I’m very curious why it happened at all. I suppose this was an expression of some aspect of the class war during the 20th Century, the rising importance of a certain group of professionals?

Scientists should stop using the term ‘statistically significant’ in their research, ...

March 24th, 2019

A new “fandom is broken” article and the ensuing avalanche of responses is only the latest iteration of a familiar cycle

Two comparisons occur to me:

1.) to the extent that fanfic suggests the amateurs who can undermine the power of the professionals, there is an echo here for the criticisms that journalists made, over and over again, when the blogosphere existed, during the period from 1999 to 2008. That conversation when the blogosphere was destroyed by Facebook and Twitter.

2.) to the extent that gender is a factor in the hysteria of the reaction against fanfic, there is some overlap between ...

March 24th, 2019

South Korea has gone crazy because 552 refugees

So very disappointing:

It is easy to be disappointed at this response coming from a liberal administration, one that was born out of the heroic monthslong protests that resulted in the impeachment and removal of the deeply corrupt and authoritarian President Park Geun-hye. Yet polling reveals the dispiriting reason why the Moon administration is at least partially pandering to anti-refugee sentiments: The issue potentially poses the greatest threat to the administration’s stability yet, as it strikes at the foundation of its ...

March 24th, 2019

Does reality exist?

The problem in this paragraph is the use of “we”:

Morris, who calls his philosophy “investigative realism,” writes, “I feel very strongly that, even though the world is unutterably insane, there is this idea—perhaps a hope—that we can reach outside of the insanity and find truth, find the world, find ourselves.” Kuhn, for all his faults, goaded Morris into writing a brilliant work of investigative realism. For that, if for nothing else, he, and we, should thank Kuhn.

If we replace ...

March 23rd, 2019

The ongoing Young Adult wars are about power—about who has traditionally wielded power in publishing, and how that balance is shifting

The subject that is very much at the forefront of my mind nowadays:

The YA book world has gone through a few high-profile controversies in the past few months involving authors who pulled their books shortly before publication after a group of angry bloggers accused them of racism. Each cancellation sparked a slew of hot takes, but this New Yorker piece from Katy Waldman is by far the most nuanced and careful one I’ve seen:

The ongoing Y.A. wars are about power—about ...

March 23rd, 2019

Creating Personas for User Experience Research — these need to be very specific

I really like this video (created by friends of mine). It makes clear that you have to be very detailed when you talk about a persona that you want to design a product for. The goal is to create empathy, within your company, for this persona.

Source

March 23rd, 2019

These people are bent out of shape by their hidden selves

I’ll have to track down whatever her best book was and read it:

These people are bent out of shape by their hidden selves. There is something of another contemporary, Henry Green, in Johnson’s invigorating harshness. As Elsie passes on her way to school, Parsons ‘gave her a sidelong glance, sniffing up the hairs in his nose. Sidey little runt, he thought.’ Elsie, abruptly adolescent, is in love with her art teacher, Miss Chavasse, who is having complicated thoughts about her ...

March 20th, 2019

Parents unthinking use of social media

Parents who embarrass their kids is a phenomena as old as time, but doing so on social media means a larger audience, and the possibility the incidents will remain public forever. Parents should really think twice about this.

There, for anyone to see on her public Facebook account, were all of the embarrassing moments from my childhood: The letter I wrote to the tooth fairy when I was five years old, pictures of me crying when I was a toddler, and ...

March 20th, 2019

As sometimes with the Russian alphabet (and for similar reasons) I can sometimes almost read a Greek word, and it always surprises me. Here is an alphabet that is clearly different from Latin, yet so tantalizingly close to Latin that I can almost read it.

Source

March 20th, 2019

When will Apple get its act together regarding iPhone development?

Anyone who has developed for both Apple and Android is aware that the process tends to be easier on Android. But why is this? Apple has a vast pool of money, so they could invest some of it to make iPhone/iPad development easier. And this is a well known path for achieving software dominance. One of the things that allowed Microsoft to win, back in the 1990s, was their focus on building tools that made it easy for developers to ...

March 15th, 2019

Misogynist morons misogynize Captain Marvel

Interesting:

In February, as Captain Marvel’s first pre-release screenings were held for press, the movie became the subject of several negative user reviews posted to the review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes by people who hadn’t even seen it, blasting Larson’s performance and trashing the movie itself. Although, to call their assessments “reviews” is generous, as they primarily complained about Larson for being sexist against men, expressing anger that seemed to stem from Larson being vocal about the lack of diversity in ...

March 15th, 2019

What is the biggest open problem in NLP?

Interesting:

Natural language understanding

I think the biggest open problems are all related to natural language understanding. [...] we should develop systems that read and understand text the way a person does, by forming a representation of the world of the text, with the agents, objects, settings, and the relationships, goals, desires, and beliefs of the agents, and everything else that humans create to understand a piece of text. Until we can do that, all of our progress is in improving ...

March 15th, 2019

biLSTMs will solve all of your NLP problems

Interesting:

Using pre-trained models

We have several different English language pre-trained biLMs available for use. Each model is specified with two separate files, a JSON formatted “options” file with hyperparameters and a hdf5 formatted file with the model weights. Links to the pre-trained models are available here.

There are three ways to integrate ELMo representations into a downstream task, depending on your use case.

Compute representations on the fly from raw text using character input. This is the most general method and will handle ...

March 15th, 2019

ELMO representations are deep, contextual and character based NLP

Interesting:

ELMo is a deep contextualized word representation that models both (1) complex characteristics of word use (e.g., syntax and semantics), and (2) how these uses vary across linguistic contexts (i.e., to model polysemy). These word vectors are learned functions of the internal states of a deep bidirectional language model (biLM), which is pre-trained on a large text corpus. They can be easily added to existing models and significantly improve the state of the art across a broad range of challenging ...

March 15th, 2019

Senator Martha McSally talks about her sexual assault in the military

Interesting:

Sen. Martha McSally, the first female Air Force fighter pilot to fly in combat, said Wednesday that she was sexually assaulted by a superior officer, and later, when she tried to talk about it to military officials, she “felt like the system was raping me all over again.”

The Arizona Republican, a 26-year military veteran, made the disclosure at a Senate hearing on the military’s efforts to prevent sexual assaults and improve the response when they occur. Lawmakers also heard from ...

March 15th, 2019

While describing their “unruly” intellectual style, Israeli scientists often employed an emotional “language of fire” in contrast with German cold cognition

Interesting:

Cultural misunderstandings like this are growing as campuses internationalize. In recent interviews with scientists at Harvard, M.I.T., Boston University and other institutions, I found that respondents embrace diversity in their workplaces but also raise concerns about puzzling behaviors of their international students. They say that cultural diversity in research settings is crucial but point out that some international students are “too obedient” or “hard working yet lacking in originality.” Without training in cultural sensitivity, they are often surprised and occasionally ...

March 15th, 2019

The most incomprehensible thing about the universe is that it is comprehensible

Interesting:

“The most incomprehensible thing about the universe is that it is comprehensible, ”Albert Einstein famously once said. These days, however, it is far from being a matter of consensus that the universe is comprehensible, or even that it is unique. Fundamental physics is facing a crisis, related to two popular concepts that are frequently invoked, summarized tellingly by the buzzwords “multiverse” and “uglyverse.”

…With the advent of the multiverse, this has changed: As unlikely as a coincidence may appear, in the ...

March 15th, 2019

What makes for a heartthrob?

Interesting:

When Beverly Hills 90210 first aired in 1990, producers miscalculated. They thought Brandon Walsh was going to be our heartthrob. It was an easy mistake to make: Jason Priestley had eyes like the sea, capped with a gossamer mane you just wanted to reach up and push back. The problem wasn’t Priestley. It was Brandon.

Brandon Walsh plays basketball and might have to be home early to study for his trig final. He had a paper route back in Minnesota, where ...

March 15th, 2019

Strict churches are strong?

Interesting:

Jennifer, a young mother and member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in northern Virginia, is honest about the challenges of being Mormon in America today. “It’s not an easy gig,” she says. It’s not just the expectation that you will adhere to strict religious standards when it comes to dating and sex. Or the 10 percent tithing requirement. The prohibition on caffeine or alcohol. It’s the time, she says. “My husband and I teach Sunday school ...

March 12th, 2019

Why are large companies so difficult to rescue (regarding bad internal technology)

I worry there is a lot of glib, superficial rhetoric coming out of Silicon Valley about the importance of being agile in one’s development processes. There are too many assumptions being made about the ease of introducing agile techniques, and which problems are solved by agile techniques. This essay is my attempt to offer a corrective.

Over the last 20 years I was the technical co-founder at three startups, two of which grew to modest size and then were sold ...

March 5th, 2019

An overview of different approaches to NLP word embeddings

It’s interesting that the simple approaches do fairly well:

Smooth Inverse Frequency

Taking the average of the word embeddings in a sentence tends to give too much weight to words that are quite irrelevant, semantically speaking. Smooth Inverse Frequency tries to solve this problem in two ways:

Weighting: like our tf-idf baseline above, SIF takes the weighted average of the word embeddings in the sentence. Every word embedding is weighted by a/(a + p(w)), where a is a parameter that is typically set ...

March 3rd, 2019

Matrix math in Clojure

This is a really great series of articles:

Source

March 3rd, 2019

Interesting:

Source

March 3rd, 2019

A safe space is exclusive

Interesting:

unpopular opinion: safe spaces have to exclude some people to be safe spaces because otherwise those the people in that space need to hide from can literally just enter at any time. An all inclusive liberal “safe space” isn’t safe at all

Source

March 3rd, 2019

Interesting:

Source

March 3rd, 2019

Do MBAs help business?

Interesting:

We found no statistically significant alphas — despite testing every possible school with a reasonable sample size. MBA programs simply do not produce CEOs who are better at running companies, if performance is measured by stock price return.

We ran similar regressions controlling for industry and found that — even after controlling for industry — elite MBAs did not produce positive statistically significant alpha. Elite MBAs did perform relatively well as CEOs in healthcare and consumer staples, but relatively poorly in ...

February 28th, 2019

Gendered on-ramps are important to get women into software development

A year ago I wrote “Why are women being pushed away from the tech industry?” Women made up 35% of all software developers in 1990, but are only 26% of all software developers now. Women are getting pushed out of the tech industry. There are lots of articles explaining why, and I link to some of them in that earlier essay.

But why did women’s participation in software development peak at the end of the 1980s? I know at least ...

February 26th, 2019

What is the difference between talent and cultural similarity, especially in human relationship jobs?

Interesting:

Pinsker: And once people get these sorts of jobs, you write about the importance of “sponsorship”—basically, when some senior employee informally takes someone younger under their wing and helps them advance through the company. What did you notice about how those systems of sponsorship worked?

Laurison: I think that a lot of people, on some level what they think they’re doing when they sponsor young co-workers is spotting talent—they called it “talent-mapping” in the accounting firm we studied. But a lot ...

February 25th, 2019

In Clojure, it is easy to extend the Function protocol

I guess I’ve known this for years, but this is a wonderfully clear article:

(defprotocol IFn "Protocol for adding the ability to invoke an object as a function. For example, a vector can also be used to look up a value: ([1 2 3 4] 1) => 2" (-invoke [this] [this a] [this a b] [this a b c] [this a ...

February 23rd, 2019

She says, nobody had to teach me how to be kind

Interesting:

“Women, teach your sons to be better!” but why? but why? nobody had to teach me how to be kind, i learned it naturally, i learned it easily. i watched and listened and took turns and sat pretty. i don’t understand. what could i teach them better than they could learn just from breathing? why is it my job to curb my brother’s anger when i’ve got my own well stewing and bubbling? why do i have to reign in ...

February 23rd, 2019

Are you near New York City?

If you live near New York City, then I would like to get to know you better. Once a month I host a gathering. This used to be exclusively a tech event, but lately I have opened it up to the artists that I know. This is very informal. You might have seen my earlier post about one of the dinner parties I threw last summer?

Contact me if you are interested.

Source

February 22nd, 2019

Online conversations are undermined by anonymous communication

A long sad goodbye to one thread on Reddit:

But instead it was always that the the thread was “dominated by” or “only had” or “was an echo chamber for” homophobic transphobic alt-right neo-Nazis, which always grew into the claim that the subreddit was dominated by homophobic etc neo-Nazis, which always grew into the claim that the SSC community was dominated by homophobic etc neo-Nazis, which always grew into the claim that I personally was a homophobic etc neo-Nazi of them ...

February 22nd, 2019

The new Conservatism includes tax subsidies for big corporations

When I was younger the Conservatives in the USA had a rhetoric of “small government” and they were nominally anti-subsidy. In reality, the government grew under Republican governments, and no government questioned the many billions of subsidies given to the farm sector. Still, there was a rhetoric that suggested subsides are bad. I don’t see any trace of that rhetoric anymore. It is worth noting how much it has vanished, given that it was important to Republicans for several decades. ...

February 21st, 2019

When to use Tumblr instead of Twitter?

First of all, it looks like Tumblr creates a copy of a post when a blogger decides to reblog it, but how can this be allowed under the GDPR? Here is a case where it looks like the original blogger deleted a post, but the post still exists where it was reblogged. Does anyone know the legal implications? How does the original blogger say “I want all of my material erased from this website.”?

The original post was reblogged here, ...

February 21st, 2019

Any comparison of a standard of living over time is blurry

I wrote this as a comment on Hacker News.

It’s also worth examining if our typical ways of measuring inflation (in the USA, the Consumer Price Index, or CPI) is an accurate guide to the real costs of raising children. The CPI currently takes into account a very diverse range of goods, including canoes and guns and lamps and kitchen wares and music and coffee grinders. The CPI tries to avoid the assumption that some purchases are more important than ...

February 20th, 2019

Women as the original software developers

Interesting:

Often enough, Wilkes’s code didn’t produce the result she wanted. So she had to pore over her lines of code, trying to deduce her mistake, stepping through each line in her head and envisioning how the machine would execute it — turning her mind, as it were, into the computer. Then she would rewrite the program. The capacity of most computers at the time was quite limited; the IBM 704 could handle only about 4,000 “words” of code in its ...

February 20th, 2019

Ego driven software development is not good software development

This is the kind of emotional impulse that for thousands of years would cause men to challenge one another to a duel:

And finally, I became the exact thing I hated: a toxic asshat throwing his skills around like fists. I don’t do code review for the business, I just like showing the rookies their place. My skills have finally started to pay off.

If a guy brings me his code, and it has mistakes, it brings insane pleasure from how smart ...

February 19th, 2019

The energy that goes into writing tweets is also energy that could instead go into works of lasting value. I’ve noticed that with all of my favorite writers, the moment when they turn to Twitter seems to be a moment when their production of high quality books/essays seems to go into decline. One of my favorite economists had a 10 year streak when he was absolutely on fire, then he started tweeting on Twitter, and his production of books and ...

February 16th, 2019

Seeing Romeo and Juliet for the very first time

Interesting:

oh! I have to tell you guys a great story one of my professors told me. So he has a friend who is involved in these Shakespeare outreach programs where they try to bring Shakespeare and live theatre to poor and underprivileged groups and teach them about English literature and performing arts and such. On one of their tours they stopped at a young offenders institute for women and they put on a performance of Romeo and Juliet for a ...

February 10th, 2019

Always invest in real estate

My great-grandmother Nanny came over from Europe and invested in real estate. She taught my grandparents, and my father, to invest in real estate. Avoid the stock market. Apparently economists now have evidence that this is a very good idea:

In general, economists would expect that assets with more risk–that is, more likely to rise or fall over time–will tend to have higher returns on average. From the standpoint of investors, the higher returns are needed to make up for the ...

February 6th, 2019

USA schools are child jails

Interesting:

I have a saying when my peers compare themselves to the Zuckerbergs and Gates and Musks of the world: How many hundreds of thousands of dollars did your parents spend on your education? Because you have to realize that is who you are competing with. I went to a VERY RURAL high school. We had 3 math classes that everyone went through… none of them college level. My math class decided it was funny to rip up the floor tiles and ...

February 2nd, 2019

What should you do when your machine learning algorithm is broken?

I’ve made every mistake that they mention in this lecture. Most of the lecture is devoted to diagnostics for ML, how you should act when your ML is not performing the way you expected:

Source

January 24th, 2019

Why are young people interested in computer science?

The New York Times shows this graph, which shows a dramatic decline in the number of students interested in computer science, followed by a dramatic uptick. I find it frustrating that the article focuses on the uptick, without making any comment on the decline. The article says that enrollment in CS majors has doubled since 2013, but it doesn’t mention that it was only in 2014 that enrollment got back to the level of 2002. That’s a 12 year lull, ...

January 20th, 2019

Actor autonomy when disagreeing with showrunner

It’s an interesting idea, how much autonomy the actor should have, in relation to the showrunner:

it makes me think back to bering and wells. the femslash ship that was captained by the two actresses themselves. and how the showrunner dug his heels in, not wanting them to be in a relationship, but the actresses played all their scenes romantically despite it. and to this day it holds semi-canon ship status. because the actors made sure to show (and say ...

January 19th, 2019

Why Tumblr survives

This is actually an important post, with a message that the rest of the tech community would be wise to listen to:

What the experiment demonstrates is that I will put up with all of that just to use a site that shows me posts that I asked for in chronological order.

and this:

the key function of this site is not asking me for my real name/phone number and not using my contact list/other apps to find people/let people find me.

Source

January 18th, 2019

Should children ever be considered transexual?

Interesting:

In response:

This young man is in the SAME situation as Jazz Jennings. No puberty = no sexual maturation. No sexual maturation = no genital development and libido.

PLUS hormones and puberty blockers that cause genital atrophy, libido loss, urination problems etc.

But HOW FUCKING STUPID are parents like this?? The goal was stopping puberty from ever happening and now they act surprised that their son is basically dead down there. Fucking idiots.

And also:

This is what I meant when I said trans ...

January 18th, 2019

Peter-Paul Koch asked for a moratorium on new Web features in 2015

I missed this at the time. Interesting:

The main counterargument is that the moratorium would stifle web innovation. Since web innovation is currently defined as “emulating native even more,” I think a bit of stifling would actually be a good idea. Once web innovation is redefined as something that’s actually about the web we can proceed as usual.

Another counterargument is “But we need feature X!” Everybody will have a favourite upcoming feature that would be hit by the moratorium — mine ...

January 18th, 2019

Hopepunk is Camus

Alexandra Rowland has more to say about her word “hopepunk”. This definition is nearly identical to Camus’s “Myth Of Sisyphus”:

The work is never finished. The work will never be finished. There will never be a nice, comfortable utopia where we can rest on our laurels and sip strawberry daiquiris by the pool and trust that now things are Fine and we can all relax. Utopia is not a stable system. It doesn’t last. The best we can hope for is ...

January 17th, 2019

1 Comment

When will the era of CyberPunk end?

People complaining about is the first sign of something ending.

Interesting:

This was science fiction perfectly tuned for the Reagan-Thatcher era. Its connection with punk music and subcultures is, of course, contingent. (Who knows what might have happened if Bethke decided to call his story Techno-Hipster.) Yet the clichéd punk imperative to “Do It Yourself” is in fact perfect for a kind of fiction whose ethos is that you have to survive in a world where unstoppable megacorporations control every aspect ...

January 13th, 2019

To protect children, don’t send report cards home on a Friday

Apparently child abuse spikes when report cards are sent home, but the effect is especially strong if the report cards go home on Friday:

While talking to a pediatrician and fellow early-childhood researcher, Dr. Melissa Bright heard something that stopped her in her tracks: Child abuse spikes after report cards come out.

Bright, a research scientist in the University of Florida’s Anita Zucker Center for Excellence in Early Childhood Studies, couldn’t find any studies to back up what doctors have long observed. ...

January 11th, 2019

It will consume it

English is a flexible language. Perhaps it is too flexible?

Carlson is hardly the first right-leaning figure to make a pitch for populism, even tangentially, in the third year of Donald Trump, whose populist-lite presidential candidacy and presidency Carlson told me he views as “the smoke alarm … telling you the building is on fire, and unless you figure out how to put the flames out, it will consume it.”

Source

January 8th, 2019

Are hospitals allowed to sell my phone number to advertisers?

My mom was recently in the hospital. I gave the hospital my cell phone number, as the official point of contact between the hospital and the family. Suddenly I’m getting spam robots calling my cell phone, with messages about how I can get low cost health insurance. Someone sold my number. Maybe it was the hospital or maybe it was a related 3rd party, but someone sold my number. I am very irritated about this.

Source

January 4th, 2019

Nassim Nicholas Taleb accidentally argues against 4 year school degrees

Nassim Nicholas Taleb has an excellent essay about why science works to advance the human race, and how to structure a research program for maximum benefit. However, it is also the strongest argument I’ve ever seen for ending 4 year school degrees. Consider this bit:

1) Convexity is easier to attain than knowledge (in the technical jargon, the “long-gamma” property): As we saw in Figure 2, under some level of uncertainty, we benefit more from improving the payoff function than from ...

January 3rd, 2019

What queers these heteros be

I’ve been watching the HBO production of My Brilliant Friend. I love it. I think the acting is great, the direction is great, the recreation of the past is great, the tension is constant. Everything about this is great. But I saw this Lesbian review on Jezebel, and I laughed because it seems so true. The two women are often in these situations, staring at one another, close together, bonded by some deed or secret, and its possible to imagine ...

January 3rd, 2019

1 Comment

Argument about attraction and sexuality and trans

Interesting:

Source

January 2nd, 2019

The opposite of grimdark is hopepunk

A good article at Vox, of obvious interest to me:

“The opposite of grimdark is hopepunk,” declared Alexandra Rowland, a Massachusetts writer, in a two-sentence Tumblr post in July 2017. “Pass it on.”

…When pressed by other Tumblr users to expand on her two-sentence Tumblr post that coined the term, Rowland elaborated on what she meant by “hopepunk,” touching on themes present in both her own psyche and in the spirit of resistance and political agitation all around her:

Hopepunk says that genuinely ...

December 29th, 2018

Everyone has a gender identity now

Interesting:

One of my butch friends is a “They” now. A couple years ago we went to pride and I remember her specifically saying she’s happy to be a butch woman and she likes her breasts. I don’t know what has changed since then but I think the queer stuff has gotten really outrageous. She used to be a happy butch and now she doesn’t feel comfortable calling herself a woman. It seems crazy that women over 30 years old will ...

December 28th, 2018

The rom-coms lie

An interesting comment over at Jezebel:

When I was single, I remember talking politics with some guy I’d met at a party. He tried to call me out for something, and I sternly nailed him back with facts and data. I sincerely thought he was a jerk because of the way he smugly raised his objections to my argument and rolled his eyes. I walked away.

For the remainder of the night, this guy would not leave me alone. He had to ...

December 28th, 2018

Motivations of Trump

I’m not sure this is correctly stated, but it is interesting:

Some of this may reflect personal values: Putin, bin Salman and other strongmen are just Trump’s kind of people. But it’s hard to escape the suspicion that Moola — financial payoffs to Trump personally via the Trump Organization — plays an important role. After all, unlike leaders of democracies, dictators and absolute monarchs can direct lots of cash to Trump properties and offer the Trump family investment opportunities without having ...

December 28th, 2018

Please do not simplify this code

Interesting:

// ================================================================== // PLEASE DO NOT ATTEMPT TO SIMPLIFY THIS CODE. // KEEP THE SPACE SHUTTLE FLYING. // ================================================================== // // This controller is intentionally written in a very verbose style. You will // notice: // // 1. Every 'if' statement has a matching 'else' (exception: simple error // checks for a client API call) // 2. Things that may seem obvious are commented explicitly // // We call this style 'space shuttle style'. Space shuttle style is meant to // ensure that every branch ...

December 27th, 2018

The Democrats should offer Trump a full pardon

Two points which I think are obvious:

1.) The USA should have never gotten into the ridiculous situation where its President is being blackmailed by a foreign power.

2.) However, once we ended up in this sad scenario, it seems to me important that the political system offer the President a full pardon, both so the blackmailers lose their power, and also the President can safely resign.

Source

December 24th, 2018

Text don’t tweet

Web 2.0 lasted from 2002 to 2008 and it will be remembered as the peak of the fun times on the Web. It was killed when Twitter and Facebook became popular in 2008. But it wasn’t till 2016 that we began to see how awful things could get. This is part of our learning process:

And maybe the things you don’t even need to whisper should be whispered. I’ve been slowly trying, as much as one can who works on ...

December 22nd, 2018

The first task of the writer is to establish trust

Interesting:

The difference between a book that grabs you from the beginning vs. one that you’re on the fence about tossing out the window is winning your trust. It’s why it’s “easier” to read books by authors you already know, or fanfic where you’re familiar with the characters. Winning the reader’s trust as quickly as possible should be your first goal as a writer when you’re going back and editing your first draft. This can be accomplished by things like: speaking ...

December 22nd, 2018

She or they?

Interesting:

at work today i was training with my coworker and our supervisor had a pic of her and her gf on her desk–coworker asked who “he” was, honest mistake as gf is butch. supervisor laughed it off and said it was a pic of her and her girlfriend, and very explicitly used “she” to refer to gf. and then my coworker, who is Queer, kept asking questions about the supervisor’s gf but using “they” like “what do they do” and ...

December 21st, 2018

The end of the celebrity app?

Interesting:

The same three years were a wild time in the App Store. Just about every celebrity you could think of (Reba McEntire!) had an app of some kind; many were ill-advised ones that fell into two categories: 1) subscription-based blog-style apps that would provide more insight into the life of the celebrity at their core; 2) free social platforms specifically for fans, which involved collecting some kind of fake currency that could be most easily accrued by spending real currency, ...

December 20th, 2018

If you’re not the customer, then you are the product

Interesting:

Profiles for Sale

In May 2017 artist Joana Moll and Tactical Tech purchased 1 million online dating profiles for 136€ from USDate, a US-based company that trades in dating profiles from all over the globe. The batch of dating profiles we purchased included pictures (almost 5 million of them), usernames, e-mail addresses, nationality, gender, age and detailed personal information about all of the people who had created the profiles, such as their sexual orientation, interests, profession, thorough physical characteristics and personality ...

December 18th, 2018

A planet/exo-planet was discovered that is almost 5% of the way to Alpha Centauri

Interesting story.

So this object is a bit more than 11 billion miles from the sun?

And Alpha Centauri is 4.2 light years away, which is 24,635,923,200,000 miles?

So this object is roughly 0.046% of the way to the next star?

Assuming that the Alpha Centauri system reaches out to us as much as our system reaches out to Alpha Centauri, I am surprised that the two systems reach out to each other as much as they do.

Almost 10% of the distance between the ...

December 17th, 2018

The original Macintosh manual only had photos of white males

This says a lot about the ways the culture has changed. Apparently, the original Macintosh manual of 1984 only had photos of white males. These are some of the photos:

Source

December 16th, 2018

But we’ve long since reached the point where coordinating our design vision by osmosis is not working well

The community around the Rust language is increasingly in conflict with itself. Why allow a team to grow out of control like this?

That’s a total of 770 comments on the design of the API for the Pin type, which has not yet been stabilized; I expect it will pass 800 comments before this is done. This is just one significant but ultimately fairly small std API addition, and it doesn’t isn’t including the discussion that’s gone on around the ...

December 13th, 2018

Yair Lapid: What does it say about us that Israel has become the only democracy in the world in which Jews don’t have freedom of religion?

I don’t follow politics in Israel, but my mom does. I did not realize how bad things had gotten, till she pointed me to this article, about the arrest of a rabbi who committed the crime of marrying a couple in a Conservative way, rather than in an Orthodox way.

Haiyun said he was shocked by his detention and said Israel was becoming an Orthodox theocracy.

“Iran is here already. I am not an offender, not a murderer, not a criminal,” ...

December 13th, 2018

Cryptocurrencies are not money

It’s been sad to watch the rise (and partial fall) of cryptocurrency mania on Hacker News. Even now, I’m still seeing stuff like this:

“Beanie Babies are collectibles, cryptocurrencies are money.”

It’s been established over and over again that cryptocurrencies are not money. They are a collectible like Beanie Babies. Cryptocurrencies vary too much in value to be used as money. Would you go into a Starbucks and spend $4 USD dollars to buy a coffee, if there was a chance ... Read More Source December 12th, 2018 In Business No Comments Why are there less and less articles about technology on Hacker News? Someone on Hacker News asked why there were less and less articles about technology. There are 2 obvious answers: In the first place, as Ycombinator became famous, more and more entrepreneurs began to hang out at Hacker News. The percentage of non-technical people reading the site is probably a lot higher now than in the past. Also, there is the changing technology. Once upon a time there were huge differences in major web frameworks. Compare Zope 2.0 to Ruby On ... Read More Source December 10th, 2018 No Comments Why are beds so poorly designed for sex? People do a lot of important things in beds, but one of the most important is have sex. (Please note, nothing I say in this essay is meant to be a criticism of other locations for sex. If you’re into forest groves, mountain tops, office desks, bar bathrooms, or the kitchen floor, please know that you are valid and I support you.) First of all, beds are too small for sex, even if you limit yourself to just two people. These ... Read More Source December 3rd, 2018 No Comments Will the tech industry ever have AI that can recognize porn? Tumblr has decided to delete all porn. They are going after images that are clearly not porn: I’m curious if Tumblr is using AI, or if they are using humans to delete these images? If AI, why is the AI always so terrible? Why does the tech industry talk about breakthroughs in AI, yet actual use of AI tends to be absurd? This story would be a bit more familiar if the deleting is being done by humans, especially if the ... Read More Source December 3rd, 2018 No Comments Why does Clojure continue to draw so much creativity? Clojure continues to innovate. Navigation is generic and extensible As explained before, the core of Specter is the defnav operator upon which Specter’s entire collection of navigators is built. Specter’s extensibility is one of its most important features, as you may use data structures other than the ones Clojure provides. As I mentioned, I do a lot of work with graphs, and I just wouldn’t be able to work with them in any reasonable way without my internal collection of graph navigators ... Read More Source December 1st, 2018 In Business No Comments Netflix is difficult to reach For a few years, Netflix has been showing me this message, which says they can not reach my email: I don’t know why they show me this message. They have a valid email. I receive their email. It’s an alias but it works. I can’t imagine what problem they are having. I wish I could talk to Netflix about this. But Netflix has no place I can send an email. In theory they offer live chat, but for the last two ... Read More Source November 30th, 2018 No Comments The people for Brexit are children who failed to grow up Interesting: That’s what a seven-decade period of general peace and collective prosperity does for you. It makes you think it’s normal, rather than a hard-won, fragile rarity in history. It makes most people complacent, and turns a small but unfortunately influential number into the kind of adolescent romantics who think you can smash up everything in the house and stick two fingers up to Mummy and Daddy because, no matter what you do, they will always be there to make it ... Read More Source November 29th, 2018 No Comments Shame is the opposite of art A woman writes to an advice columnist. The woman says she has wasted her life. The response is very good: Shame is the opposite of art. When you live inside of your shame, everything you see is inadequate and embarrassing. A lifetime of traveling and having adventures and not being tethered to long-term commitments looks empty and pathetic and foolish, through the lens of shame. You haven’t found a partner. Your face is aging. Your body will only grow weaker. ... Read More Source November 29th, 2018 In Business No Comments John Kenneth Galbraith set the tone for the next 60 years I actually read this book, back in the 1990s. It was published in 1958. Reading about it again I’m reminded that it really set the tone for the modern era. These last 60 years of Democrat politics have largely followed the agenda he set, at least on economic matters. Whether the problem be that of a burgeoning population and of space in which to live with peace and grace, or whether it be the depletion of the materials which nature ... Read More Source November 28th, 2018 In Business No Comments Hero stories about entrepreneurs are never true To my mind, the problem with the article is the nostalgia, and the desire to turn ordinary business people into community heroes. If you engage in this particular vice, you should expect to be disappointed. The criticism of the article is worth reading: But Alexander does not talk to Stanich’s wife, who—as the Willamette Week reported on Wednesday—had managed the restaurant for 19 years before being diagnosed with stage four breast cancer. He does not mention that she and Stanich divorced ... Read More Source November 25th, 2018 No Comments Jenna Marbles follows after a Bob Ross painting tutorial Funny! Source November 25th, 2018 In Business No Comments What would it look like if the economy was running hot? President Trump has argued that the economy is doing well under his leadership. And Brad Delong, who has positioned himself as a mildly left-of-center economist, seems willing to agree: Nick Bunker has a very nice piece from late last month on wage growth and employment, as it bears on the question of whether the United States is at “full employment.” My take is that the U.S. economy probably is because at current unemployment and employment rates, if no additional shocks were ... Read More Source November 22nd, 2018 No Comments LGBQ loneliness Specifically “L”, though I suspect every category of LGBQ suffers its own special kind of isolation. Interesting: I hate how the queerio community acts like being a lesbian means “UwU I love girls and every gorl is soft n precious and we wear matching flannels and both SLAY together!!! Wow being a lesbian is so cute and fun OwO.” When in reality, being an actual lesbian means growing up hating a part of yourself you cannot change, worrying that you come ... Read More Source November 22nd, 2018 1 Comment Hillary Clinton keeps making the same mistakes This woman is a mess. For 30 years she’s been pushing the idea that we should accept what the right-wing says, at face value, and try to give into their demands, in the hopes that if we give the right-wing what they want, then they won’t be so angry anymore. It’s difficult to understand how she can continue to make the same mistake, over and over and over again. Except immigration is not stirring up right-wing populist fury, rather, right-wing populist ... Read More Source November 21st, 2018 No Comments Social media fights of the 1600s I recently read “The World Turned Upside Down” and I was surprised by the parallels: https://www.amazon.com/World-Turned-Upside-Down-Revolution/dp/0140137327/ During the English revolt, the censorship of the press was suspended, and people could publish anything. And they did. And the number of inaccuracies spread rapidly. It became common to argue that England had once enjoyed a rough democracy during the Anglo Saxon days, even though there is no evidence of that. It became common to argue that studying the Bible was unimportant, compared to the importance of ... Read More Source November 21st, 2018 No Comments It’s crazy how far people will go to protect the status quo I see a comment on this page that starts with “It’s crazy how far people will go to protect the status quo.” I agree with the sentiment. It is true when we talk about personal relationships, or personal friends, or defending professional colleagues. It’s also true in politics. And sometimes those overlap: As has been widely reported this week, Marcia Fudge, currently the Democratic representative of Ohio’s 11th district, was one of the letter writers. “Lance Mason is a good man ... Read More Source November 19th, 2018 1 Comment To start with, tran­sient query surges are no longer a prob­lem? Tim Bray has an interesting article about the future of REST. However, I fail to understand this sentence: “To start with, tran­sient query surges are no longer a prob­lem” Why? The external world can still send unexpected surges of traffic, yes? Anyway, this is worth reading: Post-REST: Mes­sag­ing and Event­ing · This ap­proach is all over, and I mean all over, the cloud in­fras­truc­ture that I work on. The idea is you get a re­quest, you val­i­date it, maybe you do some com­pu­ta­tion on ... Read More Source November 19th, 2018 No Comments Tim Bray, now at Amazon, is working on a universal language of software states Interesting. I’ll look at this later. I wonder if this will become important, or if it will go the way of RSS/Atom, something with huge potential, that somehow never clicks? Source November 19th, 2018 No Comments Girls mature faster? Interesting: Source November 19th, 2018 No Comments Circumventing the issue of mixing Futures and Actors required extra head scratching time I’ve already linked to this article, where Movio talked about moving away from Scala and towards Go. But I just re-read and had more to say about this: First, we made the mistake of making the persist function synchronized. This guaranteed that buffer-full-based invocations would not run concurrently with timeout-based invocations. However, because the stream digest and the persist functions did run concurrently and manipulated the buffer, we had to further synchronize those functions to each other! In the end, we ... Read More Source November 19th, 2018 No Comments Is Scala necessary? There is a part of me that wonders if Scala will last. For awhile it was seen as Java 2.0. It generated some good ideas. People were excited about it for awhile. But it suffered its own chaos. It was too experimental to become the new standard Enterprise language. If it fails, I wonder what will take its place? First, we made the mistake of making the persist function synchronized. This guaranteed that buffer-full-based invocations would not run concurrently with ... Read More Source November 17th, 2018 In Business No Comments The USA is falling behind other Western nations when it comes to women working Back in the 1930s and 1940s the USA lead the way regarding women working. Although absolute numbers peaked in the 1980s, at the second derivative (the rate of the rate of the change) the biggest uptick were the years 1933 to 1944. But since the end of the 1980s there has been nothing but decline in the USA. To get some sense of the changing tone with which the USA talks about this, it is worth comparing some comedies from ... Read More Source November 16th, 2018 No Comments Fast story telling: non-boring or plothole? I have a rule that when I write books the books should be 60,000 words or less, because I want people to be able to read my books in a single day. Because of this, I sometimes move fast and skip over things. I rely on the intelligence of my reader to guess at the gaps. I suppose some people hate this? I’m intrigued by the preferences suggested here: Source November 16th, 2018 No Comments What can we expect from Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez? I donated$400 to the campaign of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. That is the most that I have ever donated to any political campaign. What can we expect from her, while she is in Congress? During the next 2 years, I suspect the answer is “nothing.” The Democrats don’t have much power. And she faces at least two great difficulties:

1.) governing is a complex skill which takes 10 years to learn and she is a complete novice

2.) soon she will have to ...

November 14th, 2018

Why did Basecamp crash?

Is this the best way to store events? In a relational database? Wouldn’t a log be better for this kind of data? Are the events actually relational? When not switch to a historic paradigm? Clearly, the Ruby On Rails model can be made to do almost anything, but is it ideal?

The root cause was that our database hit the ceiling of 2,147,483,647 on our very busy events table. Almost every single activity in Basecamp is tracked in this table. ...

November 14th, 2018

Sometimes I want information, not sexy photos

I’d like some actual information about Volvo fleet sales, and how the process works. Leaving the marketing team in charge of the website means that I mostly get pages full of sexy photos, with only a few dozen words of actual information.

Source

November 14th, 2018

Fired Up, the movie

I just saw Fired Up! the movie. Some of the dialogue is very much an inspiration for the kind of comedy writing I want to do. In particular, repeating this 3 times:

Angela: What?

Nick: What?

3 times? That seems excessive, but it works in the movie.

Shawn: What to the panthers have that you don’t have?

Sylvia: Skills.

Bianca: Athletics-isms?

Caryl: Kick-ass cheers.

Sylvia: Laser hair removals?

Angela: Big ass titties!

Bianca: Hm?

Sylvia: What?

Angela: Well, I’m just sayin’.

Shawn: CONFIDENCE! They’re cocky-ass holes! Like Nick, he’s the cockiest ass ...

November 12th, 2018

Another look at Lost In Translation

I liked this movie and I liked this review:

Returning to the movie, I feared that this relationship, too, might be diminished by time: both the length of time that has passed since the movie’s release and the moment of time in which I watch, weighted with a hyper-vigilant attention to all that can go wrong between older, more powerful men and younger, less powerful women. But Bob’s interest in a woman 20 years his junior strikes me as even ...

November 12th, 2018

Simon Wren Lewis: I began writing my blog mainlymacro because of my anger at austerity

Interesting:

I began writing my blog mainlymacro because of my anger at austerity, and the fact that the view of the majority of macroeconomists that it was a bad idea was largely ignored by the media. When the media did talk to economists, they tended to be from the financial sector. Financial sector economists are biased in two directions: they tend to be right wing and they tend to talk up the importance of a capricious financial market and their own ...

November 10th, 2018

He also criticizes the use of execution to punish theft, saying thieves might as well murder whom they rob, to remove witnesses, if the punishment is going to be the same

It is interesting, if a bit sad, to realize how common it is for some intellectuals to speak out against the injustices of the age, while having no power to stop those injustices. The injustices continue for another several centuries. This was written in 1516:

The first discussions with Raphael allow him to discuss some of the modern ills affecting Europe such as the tendency of kings to start wars and the subsequent loss of money on fruitless endeavours. He also ...

November 10th, 2018

Sylvia Plath’s tragedy

Interesting:

“Being born a woman is an awful tragedy. Yes, my consuming desire to mingle with road crews, sailors and soldiers, bar room regulars—to be a part of a scene, anonymous, listening, recording —all is spoiled by the fact that I am a girl, a female always in danger of assault and battery. My consuming interest in men and their lives is often misconstrued as a desire to seduce them, or as an invitation to intimacy. Yet, God, I want to ...

November 6th, 2018

Computers continue to degrade productivity instead of improving productivity

As an aside, the German courts seem to produce less false imprisonment than Anglo-Saxon courts, in part thanks to the Schöffen, the lay jurists. I suspect that the medical profession would be greatly improved by a combination of Schöffen and doulas, who could work out a great many patient issues without needing to escalate issues to the attention of a doctor.

Interesting and a sad commentary of the failure of both the tech world and corporate management:

Burnout seemed to vary ...

November 6th, 2018

Who paid for the Glorious Revolution?

Interesting:

“People who used the epithet revealed how narrow and myopic was their perspective, for obviously ‘Glorious Revolution’ could apply only to England, not to Scotland or Ireland” 2. But is this entirely true? As noted above, the English Parliament took pains to portray the bloodless coup in England as passing on the crown post abdication. But this argument could not be used in Ireland. The war that raged from 1689 to 1690 was called in the Irish language Cogadh an ...

November 5th, 2018

Jakub Holý: what I learned when I was fired

An interesting story from Jakub Holý about the day he was fired:

When I came to the office one late autumn morning in 2005, I have been shocked to find out that – without any warning signs whatsoever – I hd been fired. That day I have learned the importance of communication. Their criticism was justified but the thing is, nobody bothered to tell me anything during my 11 months in the company. I received exactly 0 feedback about my ...

November 5th, 2018

danah boyd comments on the methods of modern media manipulators

danah boyd is always good and this is one of her best:

Accusations of anti-conservative bias are not evaluated through evidence because reality doesn’t matter to them. This is what makes this stunt so effective. News organizations and tech companies have no way to “prove” their innocence. What makes conspiratorial messages work is how they pervert evidence. The simplest technique is to conflate correlation and causation. Conspiracy makers point to the data that suggests that both journalists and Silicon Valley engineers ...

November 4th, 2018

Even when Larry Summers claims to have an epiphany, he’s just reconfirming what he already believed

This starts out well, and then goes down hill. Larry Summers and his wife did a drive across rural America, and Larry Summers feels he learned something important by visiting these rural backwaters. Likewise, when I was younger I spent 2 years of my life hitchhiking all over the USA, so visiting these rural backwaters was a formative experience for me.

Larry Summers starts out sounding like he learned something new, but in the end he concludes that the Democrats ...

November 4th, 2018

SmugMug understands why Flickr is important

I’m torn between thinking Yahoo is just fundamentally stupid, and Marissa Mayer especially, and thinking that Flickr, at its best, is simply a small business that can not support the kind of giant returns that venture capital, and then later public investors wanted. So perhaps Yahoo could only destroy Flickr, by demanding it support more than it could. But that simply goes back to Yahoo being stupid.

SmugMug is a successful mostly family owned business, looking for normal business returns, ...

November 4th, 2018

The contradictions between wellness and corporate profits

Interesting:

But here’s the truly wonderful thing about neoliberalism—as it turns us all into paranoid, jealous schemers, it offers to sell us bromides to ameliorate the very bad feelings of self-doubt and alienation it conjures in our dark nights of the soul. Neoliberalism has not only given us crippling anxiety, but also its apparent remedy. It is no coincidence that as we become more nervous, “wellness” and “self-care” have become mainstream industries. Over the last few decades, workplaces have become ever ...

November 4th, 2018

CIA hacked because too many people were using an informal channel

The real question is, why was it easier to use the informal channel? What about the formal methods of communication were difficult?

The CIA does appear to have lucked out when it comes to Russia. The Intelligence Agency ring fences its Russian activities and the report states that intel chiefs were quick to harden up its Russian communications channel at the first sign of trouble.

But the rest of the agency had become too reliant on the system, which was originally ...

November 3rd, 2018

A story about forced marriage, of young women who grew up in the USA

Parts of this are outright illegal, and then other parts should be illegal but are frustratingly legal. Sad to think about these sisters (off-topic, but on the same theme, check out the Turkish film Mustang):

In 8th grade, our class took a field trip to tour the high school. No one wore uniforms, like we did in middle school! I could even wear my skinny jeans there. Yep, as strict as my mom was, she did buy me skinny jeans that ...

November 3rd, 2018

Guy rejected by girl, acts pathetic

This guy is pathetic:

Source

November 3rd, 2018

Don’t say sorry

Posting some Tumblr links so I can remember where I saw this stuff:

Source

November 3rd, 2018

Queer is the new gay

LGBTQ language has been changing, in interesting ways. Much of the debate, and the problems arising, come from the difficulties of including transexuals into conversations about gay and lesbian issues. Especially problematic are when people born as men declare themselves to be women and want to have sex with women, declaring themselves to be male lesbians — this seems to raise a serious challenge to LGBQT alliances. The issues seem to get the most discussion on Tumblr.

So for instance:

I ...

November 3rd, 2018

When your little brother is alt-right

A sad/funny story about dealing with a brother who is alt-right, written by a sister who is not alt-right:

the cool thing about having an idiot alt right supporting brother is when he gets mad over dumb shit my sister and i go “It’s concerning how such a small thing triggers such a strong reaction from you.” in the family groupchat and he’ll see the word “trigger” in relation to him and go fucking nuclear

the downside about having such a dipshit ...

November 3rd, 2018

Changing norms in USA political debates

Interesting:

Meanwhile, his supporters say they believe his line that he’s not responsible for extreme rhetoric in politics or a sense of division in American life. A new Morning Consult/Politico poll found that 80 percent of Republicans agree with Trump’s recent claim that the national media has done more to divide than unite the country since Trump took office.

Trump himself has refused to take any responsibility for his language, particularly at rallies where crowds jeer immigrants, Democrats, and other Trump dissenters. ...

November 1st, 2018

Zed Shaw is angry (abstraction and indirection)

In the tech world, a headline such as “Zed Shaw is angry” is the ultimate evergreen headline, since he is always angry, and it is easy to get tired of his ranting. But I think he has a good point here:

I hate using badly designed APIs. I hate it even more when someone beats me over the head with words they were handed in some rhetoric class masquerading as a computer science course. Words like “abstract”, “pattern”, and “object ...

November 1st, 2018

Unicode Egyptian Hieroglyphs are sometimes censored?

Interesting to me because I’ve been writing fiction about Unicode:

Source

October 27th, 2018

Cognitive decline in ones 20s from the stress of running a startup?

Interesting if true:

I experienced severe cognitive decline in my 20s from the stress of running a startup.

The most alarming part was the loss of vocabulary. I was an avid reader and couldn’t call to mind fairly simple multi-syllablic words.

It took 5 years of bumming around in the mountains to heal the damage.

Source

October 27th, 2018

Depression can strike anyone, even the strong, even the healthy, even the young

After my dad died, in 2007, I was a zombie for a year. Taking Paxil helped. I identify with stories such as this. A beautiful story that everyone should read:

I lost my grandaddy to throat cancer. Lost my grandma to heart disease. Lost my best friend Geracy to the streets. He got stabbed to death in 2004, when we came back home for the summer.

I’m not saying that for sympathy. Everybody goes through darkness. I’m just saying that I kept ...

October 19th, 2018

Trump praises a politician who beat up a journalist

Worrisome and alarming. Under this President social norms that help with the functioning of a healthy society are being violated on a constant basis:

Trump’s comments “mark the first time the president has openly and directly praised a violent act against a journalist on American soil,” added the New York Times reporter Sheryl Gay Stolberg.

Trump fondly reminisced about the physical assault that occurred on 24 May last year when Jacobs, the Guardian’s political correspondent, asked Gianforte a question about healthcare policy ...

October 19th, 2018

I really liked Elizabeth Warren until she proved she is a complete idiot

Imagine an 8 year old comes home from school crying and says “Mom, there is a bully at school, he called me fat!”

What happens next? Does the mom then say “No, honey, you are within statistically normal ranges. We can print out some charts from the World Healthy Organization. You know what you should do to get back at that bully? Next time he teases you, take your charts and attempt to demonstrate that your body weight is ...

October 13th, 2018

The beautiful work you will never see because it won’t ever exist

Hazel Cills, making a point I’ve thought about often, the work that does not exist because of the oppression of women:

For every woman who comes forward, I imagine a second version of her, one who could freely pursue the art she wanted, claim the space she desired, without worrying that a man would come along and render her disposable. I’d much rather read stories on these women, who made news for the lives they lived than the ways in which ...

October 13th, 2018

An authoritarian party that is waiting to take power

From Paul Krugman, very interesting:

About that conspiracy theorizing: It began in the first moments of Kavanaugh’s testimony, when he attributed his problems to “a calculated and orchestrated political hit” motivated by people seeking “revenge on behalf of the Clintons.” This was a completely false, hysterical accusation, and making it should in itself have disqualified Kavanaugh for the court.

But Donald Trump quickly made it much worse, attributing protests against Kavanaugh to George Soros and declaring, falsely (and with no evidence), ...

October 7th, 2018

1 Comment

Susan Kare invented the modern world

Some inspiration for a story I’m writing:

Source

October 4th, 2018

Trevor Noah does not know how to handle Anna Kendrick being on someone’s list

Some girls says her boyfriend wants to sleep with Anna Kendrick. I think I’m a bit surprised that Trevor Noah doesn’t know how to handle this moment. I’m also impressed with Anna Kendrick for being so ready to roll with it. I think I assumed that a professional comedian like Trevor Noah would handle awkward moments like this at least as well as Anna Kendrick.

Source

October 4th, 2018

Account suspended without any cause given?

Tumblr or Blogger are fine if you are 19 and posting cat pictures. But if you are building a professional audience? A reminder that it can be terrible to rely on a free blogging service for professional use:

But earlier this month, when I published a new article, Blogger prompted me to post it on Google+, and I did. A few hours later I discovered that my Google+ account had been suspended for violating terms of service, but I got ...

October 4th, 2018

Sustainable large debts in Japan

The math here is a bit tricky:

Moreover, the Bank of Japan owns government bonds worth 90% of GDP, and ultimately returns to the government as dividends all the money it receives from the government as interest on the bonds it holds. Deducting both public financial assets and all the debts the Japanese government and people effectively owe to themselves, the debt level is only about 60% percent of GDP and not rising. This level of debt could be sustainable even ...

October 3rd, 2018

Lock her up?

Worrisome:

Source

October 3rd, 2018

The old German middle class feels itself losing out to the hipsters

It is worrisome, that globalization has produced so much anger. Clearly, one can not build a global ecconomy, without first building global institutions.

A very good article on right-wing rage in Germany:

The success of the right-wing populists has a lot to do with changes that have occurred in Western societies, where a new class of disadvantaged has developed out of the erstwhile economic and political center – a new class which unabashedly took to the streets next to neo-Nazis in ...

October 3rd, 2018

The police in East Germany still don’t know what their job is in a liberal state

It’s a bit depressing to see Germany struggling with a neo-fascist movement, and the police unclear about what their role is:

Let’s first look at the police, who, just as they did in Lichtenhagen in 1992, stood by helplessly – and hopefully not in quiet acceptance – unable to prevent the worst excesses. Twice in just a few days, the Saxony police showed that they have no clear idea as to what, exactly, their job entails in a democracy. The first ...

October 3rd, 2018

Teaching immigrants about sex in Germany

One of the many difficult issues that immigrants face in Germany, is that native Germans grow up with excellent sex education, whereas the immigrants often come from countries where there is no sex education:

My experience thus far shows that the sooner young men attend a sex education course, the better are the chances to prevent the kind of group dynamic where sexual posturing combined with alcohol results in sexual assault. Sitting on colorful chairs ...

October 3rd, 2018

Consider a birdcage

An interesting metaphor for the limits that women face:

Consider a birdcage. If you look very closely at just one wire in the cage, you cannot see the other wires. If your conception of what is before you is determined by this myopic focus, you could look at that one wire, up and down the length of it, and be unable to see why a bird would not just fly around the wire any time it wanted to go somewhere. Furthermore, ...

September 30th, 2018

Incel is a sickness like anorexia and bulima, you can not cure it by feeding it

A woman doesn’t cure anorexia by losing weight, and an incel does not cure being an incel by having sex. Both are a kind of mental illness. With anorexia, the rage is directed inward, and among the incel, the rage is directed outward, as this disgusting story make clear:

Source

September 27th, 2018

The role of elite schools in maintaining elite power from one generation to the next

Interesting article:

Elite schools spend a considerable amount of time and resources projecting a positive public image. Their image is necessary for legitimizing the elite status that they enjoy and all the advantages that come along with that status. Silence is necessary to maintain this image. All the not-so-good parts must remain hidden to continue being viewed as the best of the best.

This positive image obfuscates the real purpose of elite schools: From their inception, the core function of elite schools ...

September 19th, 2018

The difference between women’s tennis and men’s tennis, and how it effects Serena Williams

My friend Kathryn sent me this in an email, and I thought it made a good point, so with her permission I post it here:

I watched the Women’s final on TV and have been reading and listening to the commentaries. I feel a little of both sides on this – I think Serena behaved badly and ultimately she needed to keep her cool and she didn’t. I also think the official overused his power unnecessarily and inserted himself ...

September 6th, 2018

The stupidity of German policy toward Greece

Interesting:

The result was a slump which crippled the economy in a way that has few parallels in history. Most economists understand that in situations like this it is ridiculous to insist that the debtor pays all the money back. For basic Keynesian reasons this insistence just destroys the ability of the debtor to pay: it is not a zero sum game between creditor and debtor. This is why so much of German debt was written off after WWII, as we ...

September 5th, 2018

The distracting temptations of beautiful strongly-typed languages

Interesting:

‘There’s something very seductive about languages like Rust or Scala or Haskell or even C++. These languages whisper in our ears “you are brilliant and here’s a blank canvas where you can design the most perfect abstraction the world has ever seen.’

Source

August 28th, 2018

Debugging a problem with an app running under Supervisord

I’ve run into this before, an app seems to work but if I run it under Supervisord it doesn’t work, so does that mean there is a problem with Supervisord or with the app itself? This is a useful bit of debugging advice:

Does the command supervisorctl status work when the process is in this state? If that hangs or doesn’t connect, it might indicate a problem in supervisord. If supervisorctl commands work normally, that almost always indicates something is ...

August 26th, 2018

What’s wrong with Hacker News

I often post comments on Hacker News. Over the years I’ve become increasingly frustrated with how the community works. I’ve been thinking about why, and I think it comes down to this:

1.) I want to read the comments by highly experienced people, reflecting the wisdom gained over the years. I’ve been doing tech work for 20 years now, and I’m especially interested in comments from peers.

2.) the audience at Hacker News skews young, and the comments are given prominence ...

August 25th, 2018

How fasting helps the immune system

Interesting:

Some of the most promising recent science has come out of the Longevity Institute at the University of Southern California Leonard Davis School of Gerontology. In 2014, researchers there found that a three-day fast involving less than 200 calories per day could help revitalize the immune system on a cellular level.

Reporting their findings in the journal Cell Stem Cell, the study authors observed that when cells went without standard fuel from regular meals, the body switched to survival mode and ...

August 25th, 2018

Can a YouTube influencer keep their income if they apologize very well?

This bit of melodrama reveals a lot about how to keep an online audience even after one is caught up in a scandal, as well as how to do this badly. The discussion in the comments is also interesting, regarding other people affected by the scandal, and how quickly they were able to regain their audience.

Still, the consequences hit hard and fast. Zamora and Dragun have bled subscribers since the incident; Dragun, alone, has lost at least 1,500, SocialBlade ...

August 23rd, 2018

If you think the economy is normal…

Anyone who thinks the USA economy has fully recovered from the Great Recession should keep this in mind:

CR Note: Currently the target range for the federal funds rate is 1.75% to 2%. With inflation running close to 2% by most measures, the real Fed Funds rate is still negative.

Source

August 21st, 2018

Has the Internet destroyed our ability to read?

I first read Hadrian’s Memoirs when I was 14 and I loved it. I was a serious intellectual back then. I re-read it in my 20s and I still loved it. But I recently re-read and I was disappointed at how slow it is.

I don’t blame the Internet, I just think I’m older and I tend to skim more often than before.

So this is an interesting alternative view

Wolf resolved to allot a set period every day to reread ...

August 21st, 2018

LiveJournal and SomethingAwful helped shape the toxic culture of today’s Internet

Interesting:

As a teenager in the early 2000s, I was a member of a large, passionate, and loosely affiliated community of Harry Potter lovers (known, like other, similar communities, as a fandom), mostly gathered on LiveJournal. We discussed the books and characters; we wrote fanfiction and long diatribes about the movie adaptations; and we formed friendships and relationships with one another from behind our keyboards.

One particularly memorable community member was a poster named MsScribe. MsScribe was, like most of us, just ...

August 19th, 2018

Experienced technical leaders greatly reduce the risk your project otherwise faces

Interesting:

In reality, there’s a balance between moving fast and and moving slow. It’s difficult to communicate that balance because every type of product demands a different balance. I suppose that intuition comes from experience, which is a terrible answer for someone trying to learn.

What’s a new developer to do?

The natural tendency seems to be asking the internet. It turns out that this is incredibly effective.

It’s also incredibly dangerous. Before I go any further, I’ll continue my story.

This company continued to ...

Check out my book:

August 20, 2019 2:29 pm

"Which is fine. Like I said, there are dance scenes that have strict “no alcohol” rules. That might appeal to y..."

August 20, 2019 1:35 pm

""Promise of an early bed" - the whiff of danger keeps me away from many venues like the one you describe...."

August 20, 2019 12:22 am

"I think any time you go to any club there is the possibility of running into an angry person, maybe a person w..."

August 19, 2019 7:56 pm

"I'm confused. You and your friends went out, had a fight, and it's still a great place to go to? Maybe..."

August 18, 2019 8:57 pm

"You seem to have little patience for people who choose different tech paths than you. Although it looks like o..."

August 18, 2019 8:53 pm

"You don't suffer slights well, do you? Others who choose to waste time with dumb tech, do they keep you up at ..."

August 18, 2019 8:34 pm

"Me again. I've worked for a company that focuses on containerized applications for some time now. There is abs..."

August 18, 2019 8:00 pm

"To build on my last statement, I'm not trying to show that I'm "smarter." I'm probably not, or if I am, who gi..."

August 18, 2019 7:48 pm

"You think that containerization is going anywhere? I agree that it isn't strictly necessary, but you mistake y..."

August 18, 2019 7:40 pm

"If you weren't criticizing Docker, why did your frame the article as anti the Docker/Kubernetes/Python troika?..."

August 13, 2019 1:34 pm

"No tool is every perfect, and you're certainly free to use whatever you want. But, I doubt very much the huge ..."

August 5, 2019 5:23 pm

"DangerNorm, as to your last point, I was recently consulting with a startup that focused on the privacy of med..."

August 5, 2019 3:55 pm

"This is tangential to the above point, but on the subject of mental health, I'll also take this chance to say ..."

August 5, 2019 3:51 pm

"Your description of most people's response is correct, but I consider it to be a problem, rather than the corr..."

August 5, 2019 3:28 pm

"DangerNorm, thank you for writing. I think you are missing the moral element here. You should understand the d..."