Go: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Rust is climbing higher in the stack with great web frameworks and nice ORMs. It also gives you that warm feeling of "if it compiles, errors will come from the logic I wrote, not language quirks I forgot to pay attention to".
rust  plt  software-development  programming 
Exception Handling Considered Harmful
In order to write exception-safe code, at every significant line of code the programmer must take the possibility of an exception and rollback happening into account, to be sure the code cleans up properly and leaves things in a suitable, stable state if an exception occurs – that it doesn't leave a data structure half-modified, or a file or network connection open, for example. That is decidedly non-trivial. It takes a great deal of time and effort, it requires a very high degree of discipline to get right, and it is just far too easy to forget or overlook something – even experts frequently get it wrong.
software-development  product-types  plt  exceptions  programming 
My Approach to Getting Dramatically Better as a Programmer – malisper.me
All these lessons are obvious in retrospect. but I had no clue that any of these were issues until I recorded my screen and saw where I was actually spending time.

The steps I take for this exercise are:

Record myself writing some problem. This can either be a problem I worked on at work or a problem from a programming challenge website such as Leetcode.
Go through the recording at 10x speed and annotate what I was doing at each moment.
Total how much time I spent into high level categories. How much time did I spend debugging some bug? How much time did I spend building some feature
Look at the categories I spent the most time in. Then dig into what actually took up that time.
Come up with approaches that would have allowed me to save time. Often there are ways I could have structured my code up front that would have allowed me to write less code or find bugs earlier.
I highly recommend recording your screen. It’s one of the easiest ways to find small changes you can make to make yourself a lot more productive.
productivity  software-development  michael-malis 
6 days ago
Big companies v. startups
The compensation trade-off has changed a lot over time. When Paul Graham was writing in 2004, he used $80k/yr as a reasonable baseline for what “a good hacker” might make. Adjusting for inflation, that's about $100k/yr now. But the total comp for “a good hacker” is $250k+/yr, not even counting perks like free food and having really solid insurance. The trade-off has heavily tilted in favor of large companies.

The interesting work trade-off has also changed a lot over time, but the change has been… bimodal. The existence of AWS and Azure means that ideas that would have taken millions of dollars in servers and operational expertise can be done with almost no fixed cost and low marginal costs. The scope of things you can do at an early-stage startup that were previously the domain of well funded companies is large and still growing. But at the same time, if you look at the work Google and MS are publishing at top systems conferences, startups are farther from being able to reproduce the scale-dependent work than ever before (and a lot of the most interesting work doesn't get published). Depending on what sort of work you're interested in, things might look relatively better or relatively worse at big companies.
finance  career-advice  startups  dan-luu 
6 days ago
Response to “The Statement on Social Justice and the Gospel” The American Vision
On the flip side, we today believe and actively live out so much of the “radical” worldview for which the despised opponents of those orthodox men and women stood back then, but which was sneered at as Jacobinism, humanism, depravity, unorthodoxy, heresy, Communism, antichrist, and much more. Yet here we are: we are all abolitionists now. If that is Jacobinism, we are all French Revolutionaries. If race-mixing is Communism, as was openly and widely believed in the 50s and 60s, then we are all Communists now also.

If, however, we have seen past all that fearmongering and demagoguery, maybe we should back off a bit this time, too, and make an actual “closer examination.” Maybe we should mark that which is good and important—that which is social about biblical justice and biblical about social justice—and not throw the baby out with the baptismal water. Maybe we need a less ham-fisted, knee-jerk reaction and a more thoughtful one based on God’s law and its outworking of love in the church and society. Maybe, just maybe, the conservative, Bible-believing churches ought to try to lead a social movement on biblical principles, not let the liberals pick up where we fail again, and not circle the wagons again.
john-macarthur  doug-wilson  liberalism  social-justice  joel-mcdurmon  racism 
6 days ago
Zuckerberg’s Blindness and Ours —L.M. Sacasas
Reducing knowledge to know-how and doing away with thought leaves us trapped by an impulse to see the world merely as a field of problems to be solved by the application of the proper tool or technique, and this impulse is also compulsive because it cannot abide inaction. We can call this an ideology or we can simply call it a frame of mind, but either way it seems that this is closer to the truth about the mindset of Silicon Valley.

It is not a matter of stupidity or education, formally understood, or any kind of personal turpitude. Indeed, by most accounts, Zuckerberg is both earnest and, in his own way, thoughtful. Rather it is the case that one’s intelligence and one’s education, even if it were deeply humanistic, and one’s moral outlook, otherwise exemplary and decent, are framed by something more fundamental: a distinctive way of perceiving the world. This way of seeing the world, including the human being, as a field of problems to be solved by the application of tools and techniques, bends all of our faculties to its own ends. The solution is the truth, the solution is the good, the solution the beautiful. Nothing that is given is valued.

The trouble with this way of seeing the world is that it cannot quite imagine the possibility that some problems are not susceptible to merely technical solutions or, much less, that some problems are best abided. It is also plagued by hubris—often of the worst sort, the hubris of the powerful and well-intentioned—and, consequently, it is incapable of perceiving its own limits. As in the Greek tragedies, hubris generates blindness, a blindness born precisely out of one’s distinctive way of seeing. And that’s not the worst of it. That worst of it is that we are all, to some degree, now tempted and prone to see the world in just this way too.
knowledge  l-m-sacasas  hannah-arendt  mark-zuckerberg  social-media  facebook  technique  technology  wisdom 
8 days ago
Data on discrimination
Differential treatment of women and minorities isn't limited to hiring and blogging. I've lost track of the number of times a woman has offhandedly mentioned to me that some guy assumed she was a recruiter, a front-end dev, a wife, a girlfriend, or a UX consultant. It happens everywhere. At conferences. At parties full of devs. At work. Everywhere. Not only has that never happened to me, the opposite regularly happens to me -- if I'm hanging out with physics or math grad students, people assume I'm a fellow grad student.

When people bring up the market in discussions like these, they make it sound like it's a force of nature. It's not. It's just a word that describes the collective actions of people under some circumstances. Mary's situation didn't automatically get fixed because it's a free market. Mary's rejection by the recruiter got undone when I complained to my engineering director, who put me in touch with an HR director who patiently listened to the story and overturned the decision4. The market is just humans. It's humans all the way down.

We can fix this, if we stop assuming the market will fix it for us, and fix things ourselves.
software-development  racism  sexism  discrimination  computer-science  dan-luu 
12 days ago
Audience Overload
while it is impossible to fine-tune that audience in the same way we might work to fine-tune our information flows, we nonetheless can customize it a significant degree and, more importantly, we have some ideal image of that audience in our mind.

It is that image of the audience we desire, the audience we want to please, the audience from whom we seek a reaction to satisfy our emotional cravings—cravings already manipulated by the structure of the platforms that connect us with our audience—it is the image of that audience and the influence it exerts over us that has disordered our public discourse.
michael-sacasas  performativity  information-overload  l-m-sacasas  social-media 
14 days ago
The American Scholar: The Privilege Predicament
The absurdity inherent in all of this should not obscure the damage it has wrought: damage in sowing confusion even about the obvious—about the difference between what is important and less important, between doing what is injurious and being deficient in doing what is positively good, between sponsoring injustice and simply living more or less modestly in an imperfect world. To be unable to make these kinds of elementary distinctions is to be radically impaired, and there seems to me no question that the tendency to invoke privilege has exacerbated that impairment. There was, at the heart of the privilege turn, an aspiration to enlightenment. But the partisans committed to promoting the privilege critique are mainly interested in drawing hard lines separating the guilty from the saved, the serenely oblivious from the righteous, fiercely aggrieved, and censorious.
privilege  rhetoric  identity-politics  identity  modernity  robert-boyers 
5 weeks ago
Pure UI Control
…the idea we’re missing is an application’s control states. Previously we enumerated all of an interface’s display states as all the meaningfully different ways it should display. A control state is all the possible states of the interface that have different sets of allowed interactions. Sometimes the two layers of states align, as in a loading state that displays a spinner and ignores all user input. In other cases, an interface’s display state can remain the same even while it’s control state changes.
pure-ui  software-development  design  state  adam-solove  ui  control-flow 
7 weeks ago
Augmenting Agile with Formal Methods
I’m not suggesting formal methods replaces heavy refactoring, pairing, testing, etc, but that it augments it. Specifications give us a means of thinking quickly and deeply about complex systems and finding flaws in our designs. It helps us build higher-quality systems faster and cheaper. If that isn’t Agile I don’t know what is.
agile-software-development  tla+  testing  formal-methods  verification  software-development  hillel-wayne 
8 weeks ago
A Single Prioritized List (a Story) – Hacker Noon
By far the hardest part is the transparency. Perhaps in the past this was just “known” — the less important effort was called equally important, but it wasn’t, or the CEOs pet project was called “strategic” to get it rushed through. But it wasn’t explicit. For that, you need psychological safety and trust.

You are going to hit blockers, and you’ll have a choice…either hide them away, or not. Finally, people see through “fake” autonomy. They sense when the system is highly constrained. So if you want to get to the point where teams can really own their own value streams and be truly independent, you can put that out there as an aspirational goal and keep working towards it.

A single prioritized list of business outcomes/missions, and limit work in progress.
product-management  management  leadership  software-development  john-cutler 
8 weeks ago
Start With Naive Pragmatism
Most folks are more “here and now”, and that heuristic has worked decently well throughout history.
For systems thinkers this can be very challenging. We want to to address the root dynamic. We want something that will “stick” and will be self-sustaining. We may want to engage diverse perspectives to further explore the problem.
But you have to keep your eye on the prize.
Example… say I want to address the problem of unplanned work sapping throughput from my team. I can talk about it on a high level, or I can dig into the last 7 days and look at the specific issues that cropped up. Then I’ll explore the expected issues in the next week, and together with my team try to solve today’s problem (not the broader systems problem).

This isn’t to say that you should abandon lasting solutions. Don’t abandon your “start with the Why” instinct. Keep that, but narrow it down to “why right now”. Most people will respond to local experiments that work. They’ll be initially unreceptive to the bigger discussion — those are scary, and unpredictable, and vague. But with some momentum that can change.
product-management  john-cutler  management  software-development  leadership 
8 weeks ago
PMs: Share Outcomes With Your Team – Hacker Noon
Product managers tend to focus so myopically on what is “on deck” and in progress, that they fail to close the loop on prior work. The second something is shipped — with fanfair and some success theater — the focus shifts to the next thing.… Return to the same dashboards whenever possible to minimize ramp-up and repeat questions. Don’t be afraid to share qualitative data too — real customer/user stories can be incredibly impactful. Invite a customer if you can. Challenge yourself to really own presenting this stuff with confidence, and engaging the team. And finally, and perhaps most importantly, do not be afraid to share negative or disconfirming information…you’ll get far more respect that way vs. being a “know it all PM!”… No magic tool will replace this kind of open and reflective communication. How you spend your time as a team is a good reflection of what you care about.
product-management  engineering  john-cutler  software-development  management 
8 weeks ago
Ripple Effects, No, and Chips On Shoulders…
Backing up I’m hearing a couple things. I’m hearing that you should probably say No, but that saying No doesn’t feel like an option. You’ve dropped hints, and they aren’t biting. Leadership has some cause to ask questions, but they’re also somewhat complicit in the problem. You’re eager to please and don’t want to be pegged as obstructionist. It sounds like a wicked loop of sorts. Who will break the cycle? Someone should break the cycle, right? As long as this persists, things will just get worse and trust and confidence will degrade further.
john-cutler  software-development  culture  engineering 
8 weeks ago
Is Agile the Enemy (of Good Design)?
These two quotes sum up a *huge* amount of what's wrong with a lot of what passes for "Agile" and indeed for "startup culture":
The stuff you’re talking about rarely happens. It is all about “ship, ship, ship”. We don’t pivot. We don’t refine. The product owner just wants to mark it done in Jira. The MVPs are an excuse to get crappy stuff out the door. I guarantee that if I am methodical with my prototype testing, I can come up with something better because I will expose it to users. Not AS great as doing it the perfect Agile way, but better than nothing. I mean I struggle even to do usability testing. So you know…yes in theory all that is good, but it doesn’t happen.
The enemy of both actual agilistas and the UX/design community in 2018 is, as John points out, short-term, output-centric thinking driven by a focus on short-term financial results, and all the cultural ramifications of this mindset.
And this is some hot fire here:
So where does this leave us? Designers have a right to be concerned. At least with waterfall no one prematurely yells “ship it” in the middle of the project. Designers have time to work instead of trying to jump on and off the sprint conveyor belt. And because the “thing” is built in a big batch, they have time to tackle the design problem holistically right from the beginning. “Good” waterfall beats abused Agile any day.
john-cutler  agile  design  ux  startups  culture 
8 weeks ago
Behemoth, bully, thief: how the English language is taking over the planet | News | The Guardian
Current educational discourse is full of talk about the need to bolster children’s cognition. In the culture at large, experts have been trumpeting the cognitive benefits of everything from online brain games to magic mushrooms. Why not try Hopi instead? The point of this education wouldn’t necessarily be to acquire fluency in an extinct or smaller language – it would be to open a door.
linguistics  English  globalization  jacob-mikanowski 
8 weeks ago
The Ignoble Lie by Patrick J. Deneen | Articles | First Things
So long as liberalism was not fully itself—so long as liberalism was corrected and even governed by Christianity—a working social contract was possible. For Christianity, difference is ordered toward unity. For liberalism, unity is valued insofar as it promotes difference. The American experiment blended and confused these two understandings, but just enough to make it a going concern. The balance was always imperfect, leaving out too many, always ­unstably oscillating between quasi-theological evocation of unity and deracinated individualism. But it seemed viable for nearly 250 years. The recent steep decline of religious faith and Christian moral norms is regarded by many as marking the triumph of liberalism, and so, in a sense, it is. Today our unity is understood almost entirely in the light of our differences. We come together—to celebrate diversity. And today, the celebration of diversity ends up serving as a mask for power and inequality.
Christianity  America  unity  pluralism  patrick-deneen  divercity  Christendom  liberalism  post-liberalism 
9 weeks ago
The Barbell Method of Reading
Read the book. Read swiftly but don’t skip any parts unless they make you vomit or put you to sleep. Mark all the passages that stand out and contain useful, interesting or inspiring information.
Read the book a second time. But now you read the marked parts only. This time you make notes, connect them to past notes (Zettelkasten Method!) and think about what you’ve read. Make mindmaps, drawings, bullet points – everything that helps you to think more clearly.
barbell-method  note-taking  learning  zettelkasten  reading  memory 
10 weeks ago
The Other Whisper Network
I can see how the drama of this moment is enticing. It offers a grandeur, a sweeping purity to our possibly flawed and fumbling and ambivalent selves. It justifies all our failings and setbacks and mediocrities; it wasn’t us, it was men, or the patriarchy, holding us back, objectifying us. It is easier to think, for instance, that we were discriminated against than that our story wasn’t good enough or original enough to be published in The Paris Review, or even that it did not meet the editor’s highly idiosyncratic yet widely revered tastes. Or that a man said something awful and sexual to us while we were working on a television show, and we got depressed and could never again achieve what we might have. And yet do we really in our hearts believe that is the whole story? Is this a complete and satisfying explanation? There is, of course, sexism, which looms and shadows us in all kinds of complicated and unmappable ways, but is it the totalizing force, the central organizing narrative, of our lives? This is where the movement veers from important and exhilarating correction into implausibility and rationalization. (One of the deeply anonymous says, “This seems like such a boring way to look at your life.”)
feminism  katie-roiphe  sexuality  sexism  sexual-politics  #metoo 
11 weeks ago
the Aspen Tech Solutionism Festival —Snakes and Ladders “I have long loved the Atlantic and am proud of my association with it, but every time the Aspen Ideas Festival rolls around my inner Unabomber emerges and wants to burn the entire endeavor to th
And the flipside of Madrigal’s post:
Maybe Code for America is reconsidering some of its priorities but it’s still Code for America and its “solutions” inevitably involve deepening people’s dependence on Big Tech. (“We can give you a texting tool that allows you to text with people and it’s been shown to decrease the rates of failure to appear.”)
aspen-ideas-festival  politics  silicon-valley  google  alan-jacobs  technology 
june 2018
Civic Tech in a Time of Technopessimism
Her point was: It’s not the technology that’s significant—a texting tool is not a complex technical artifact—but the tool can change the way the system works.

Here in 2018, it’s possible that you’ve noticed that tech did not save government. But some parents who have been accused of crimes in Tulsa, Oklahoma are now spending the night at home with their kids instead of in jail. Or to take another major Code for America initiative, a bunch of California counties have now made it easier to apply for food stamps.

Neither of these efforts is likely to be hailed as “technology saving government,” but maybe those big abstractions were part of the problem.
criminal-justice  alexis-madrigal  government  ethics  code-for-america  recidivism  technology  silicon-valley  politics  probation  alexis-c-madrigal  localism 
june 2018
UTC is Enough for Everyone, Right?
Building a calendar sucks. Like there’s really cool shit you can do, since every calendar out there today is basically straight outta 2005, but at the end of the day you’re stuck dealing with all of the edge cases that all your dork friends have warned you about since the dawn of time. (Like literally, the dawn of time is a separate edge case you have to account for as well.) So there’s been a lot of heinous stuff we’ve had to work with.
This is a truly amazing compendium of weird time bugs.
time  zach-holman  iso8601  programming 
june 2018
The Great Theorem Prover Showdown —Hillel Wayne “Functional programming and immutability are hot right now. On one hand, this is pretty great as there’s lots of nice things about functional programming.”
Functional programming and immutability are hot right now. On one hand, this is pretty great as there’s lots of nice things about functional programming. On the other hand, people get a little overzealous and start claiming that imperative code is unnatural or that purity is always preferable to mutation.

I think that the appropriate paradigm is heavily dependent on context, but a lot of people speak in universals. I keep hearing that it’s easier to analyze pure functional code than mutable imperative code. But nobody gives rigorous arguments for this and nobody provides concrete examples. Nobody actually digs into why assignments and transitions are so much harder to reason about than pure functions and IO monads. We’re just supposed to accept it as an axiom.

I don’t like accepting things as axioms. If we make a claim, we better damn well put it to the test.
hillel-wayne  dafny  fp  type-theory  programming  haskell  idris  agda  ip  computer-science  fstar  theorem-proving 
june 2018
We Are What We Build, by Eric Meyer · The Manual
Kathy Sierra, who has been targeted for harassment more than once, relates in her book Badass that the horse trainer’s mantra is: “Make the right thing easy and the wrong thing difficult.”8 Now consider the converse: what is easy comes to be accepted as the right thing, and what is difficult comes to be regarded as the wrong thing. That’s why I say what we do now isn’t neutral. Everything we do, from what we share to how we interact with our networks to how those networks are structured, is influencing the near future of our societies. Not just the hyper-digital developed world’s societies, but all societies everywhere, because what happens online will shape what happens offline.
And speaking of concepts that may make no sense in a couple of decades, consider the idea that there’s a distinction between online and offline. We often try to demarcate them, talking about the virtual and real worlds as if the internet is a different planet that we sometimes visit and then return home. That’s never been true, but the mobile revolution has made the fiction obvious. The internet is no more a separate, “virtual” world than are books or songs. We talk to each other directly, and share ourselves, whatever the medium.
We wouldn’t say that by making a phone call we enter a different world; when we go online, we aren’t going away either. Wherever we go, we take ourselves with us, and seek to be heard.

All of this is right, but the first bit is more right.

That there is no true divider between our online and offline selves is not the same thing as there being no important differences between interacting digitally and acting in person – just as communicating only via letter is different in important ways from interacting in person, and indeed is also not neutral!
gamergate  eric-meyer  technology  ethics  norms  twitter  internet  social-media 
june 2018
The New Web Typography › Robin Rendle
I think we need to at least acknowledge that typography, reading and design in general is far more complicated than we’d like to admit. And where we stand on this spectrum is predominately what shapes those experiences more than anything else.

We have to acknowledge the subtlety of this continuum in our work, even if we prefer the comforts of one specific point.

And this:
The text above is predictable since it will be rendered in every browser. The font, however, is fragile in comparison. It’s a critical point of failure for typographers to grapple with, and ultimately we must accept that preparing our typographic interfaces with failure in mind is better than the alternative.
progressive-enhancement  robin-rendle  typography  design 
june 2018
The React is “just” JavaScript Myth - daverupert.com
jQuery was just JavaScript too (no VBScript whatsoever). I jest, but I think React and jQuery share a lot about what makes a successful project: an intuitive syntactic sugar API and a bubbling ecosystem of plugins and extensions that solve common developer problems. Other largely-adopted technologies like WordPress, Rails, heck even Linux, possess those same characteristics.
This is exactly right. React itself is “just JS” (though… so is every other framework?) but it’s the ecosystem that makes it viable and that’s a lot more than just your bog-standard vanilla JS.
jquery  react  dave-rupert  javascript 
june 2018
Reading Jonathan Edwards (Nathan Finn)
Most Colonial Puritans believed that God prepared the elect for regeneration through their participation in various means of grace such as public worship, prayer, and fasting. They believed that the normal course of one’s spiritual life was to be raised in a Christian family, participate in these means of grace, and at some point to come into awareness of their regeneration, which would result in “owning the covenant” (professing Christ publicly) for themselves. They also believed it was presumptuous to express assurance of one’s salvation. Edwards pushed back on this formula. Far more than his Puritan predecessors, he emphasized the experience of conversion, which was evidence of one’s regeneration and, consequently, one’s election. He thought it was normal to have a basic assurance of one’s salvation, even while admitting that God alone knows the heart of each individual. He was never a radical who believed that a conversion experience of some sort automatically meant someone was an authentic Christian, but he did believe that a lack of emphasis on personal conversion contributed to nominal faith. I believe his critically positive approach to conversion, which avoided both the “conversionism” of the radicals and “gradualism” of the preparationists, remains helpful. Conversionism too often leads to false professions, while gradualism too often leads to a sentimental or superficial identification with the faith.

This is interesting, and it's a place where I differ from Edwards and Finn (though I'd differ a bit with the Puritans as well). The emphasis on an experience of conversion seems to underplay how for many people the "preparation" approach does accurately reflect their own experience of the faith. Certainly it's a fair picture of mine! You can push back against the lack of assurance without pushing back on the rest—and you should, as the Reformers did: "Look to your baptism!"
nathan-finn  jonathan-edwards  conversion  puritans  regeneration 
may 2018
Lessons From Isaac Asimov's Multivac
Technology’s threat to democracy is not, at its root, that of poorly designed systems (though certainly design improvements can be made). The real threat is when technical progress is relied upon as a substitute for moral progress in cultivating the civic virtues, norms, and values that sustain functional democracies.
shannon-vallor  ethics  technology  google  democracy  politics  isaac-asimov 
may 2018
Team reviews – Marc Hedlund – Medium
Team reviews are quick and easy to do, and every time I’ve done one, the manager and I wind up talking about important topics, pushing ourselves to promote and reward people who deserve it, and taking action where needed. It also helps me know our whole team better, and get clear signals from managers that make interactions with each person more meaningful. I highly recommend the practice.
via:jeremywsherman  management  leadership 
may 2018
Love, Again
I spent my childhood and adolescence fixated on the kind of family I was certain was the only sort worth having: I wanted to be a husband and a father, one whose very identity was defined by permanent relationality. (You can’t stop being a father, and you shouldn’t, according to Jesus, stop being a husband once you’ve promised to be one.) Instead I’ve been given a different sort of family, one marked by promises of a sometimes-overlooked kind. When the married couple with whom I currently share a house and I sat down recently to be interviewed about our unusual living arrangement, we surprised even ourselves, I think, as we talked about how much the practice of godparenthood had reshaped our understanding of what family is. Before they had children of their own, my housemates, Aidan and Melanie, had become godparents to another couple’s son, with whom they had shared a home previously. They stood at the font as their friends’ baby was sprinkled with water and marked as Christ’s own forever, and they promised to help raise him in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. And soon thereafter, that baby’s parents would stand next to me at the font as Aidan and Melanie’s daughter was baptized, and we together—weaving an even thicker skein of commitment—made the same promises in relation to her. Biological and marital kinship, it turned out, had become the site around which a deeper, sacramental kinship would flourish, tying us all to one another not only by the well-known forms of conjugal and parental love but also by the sometimes less-celebrated form of voluntary devotion. We were, we felt, proving Jesus’s words true: “Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children.”
homosexuality  sexuality  celibacy  love  wesley-hill  hospitality  family 
may 2018
The Dead End of the Left? | Commonweal Magazine
Del Noce also reflected deeply on the political repercussions of the advent of such “post-Marxist bourgeois society.” He believed that, ironically, the enduring influence of Marxist ideas would leave the left ill-equipped to correct the excesses of capitalism. If values like justice and human dignity do not have an objective reality rooted in a metaphysical order knowable by reason, then social criticism becomes purely negative. It can unmask the hypocrisy and contradictions of ideals like religion, family, and country, but there is no conceptual ground for new ideals. Secondly, Del Noce thought that the left itself was doomed to become “bourgeoisified,” by losing its ties to the working classes and becoming focused on causes broadly linked with sexuality. By doing so it would end up embracing an essentially individualistic and secular idea of happiness, which French sociologist Jacques Ellul had called the bourgeois trait par excellence. Conversely, politics would no longer be the expression of a fabric of social life organized around families, churches, ethnic neighborhoods, trade unions, etc., because all of them were being undermined by the individualism of the new culture.
neoliberalism  Marxism  post-liberalism  politics  sexual-politics  socialism  identity-politics  carlo-lancellotti  roman-catholic  liberalism  Christianity 
may 2018
Entity-Component-System architecture for UI in Rust
The overuse of RefCell is a sign of unidiomatic Rust code. With the right architecture, it can be avoided entirely. The general techniques apply in many cases where there is dynamic interaction between multiple stateful components. These techniques are: use integers as references to nodes within a graph, split state into mutable and immutable parts when diving in, and explicitly export “continuation” state when too deeply borrowed, rather than transferring control flow directly.
ECS  raph-levien  gui  immediate-mode-gui  rust 
may 2018
Security Trade-Offs in the New EU Privacy Law
I can say without hesitation that an overwhelming percentage of that research has been possible thanks to data included in public WHOIS registration records.

Is the current WHOIS system outdated, antiquated and in need of an update? Perhaps. But scrapping the current system without establishing anything in between while laboring under the largely untested belief that in doing so we will achieve some kind of privacy utopia seems myopic.

If opponents of the current WHOIS system are being intellectually honest, they will make the following argument and stick to it: By restricting access to information currently available in the WHOIS system, whatever losses or negative consequences on security we may suffer as a result will be worth the cost in terms of added privacy. That’s an argument I can respect, if not agree with.
security  krebs  internet  secondary-effects  GDPR 
may 2018
Double Crux — A Strategy for Resolving Disagreement
Let's say you have a belief, which we can label A (for instance, "middle school students should wear uniforms"), and that you're in disagreement with someone who believes some form of ¬A. Double cruxing with that person means that you're both in search of a second statement B, with the following properties:

You and your partner both disagree about B as well (you think B, your partner thinks ¬B).
The belief B is crucial for your belief in A; it is one of the cruxes of the argument. If it turned out that B was not true, that would be sufficient to make you think A was false, too.
The belief ¬B is crucial for your partner's belief in ¬A, in a similar fashion.
reason  rationalism  duncan-sabien  thinking 
may 2018
Even Amid Scandal, Facebook Is Unstoppable —Alexis C. Madrigal | The Atlantic “When Mark Zuckerberg takes the stage on Tuesday at F8, Facebook’s big annual conference, I expect him to gesture briefly at the troubles of the last year and a half, and
Despite personal reservations about Facebook’s interwoven privacy, data, and advertising practices, the vast majority of people find that they can’t (and don’t want to) quit. Facebook has rewired people’s lives, routing them through its servers, and to disentangle would require major sacrifice. And even if one could get free of the service, the social pathways that existed before Facebook have shriveled up, like the towns along the roads that preceded the interstate highway system. Just look at how the very meaning of the telephone call has changed as we’ve expanded the number of ways we talk with each other. A method of communication that was universally seen as a great way of exchanging information has been transformed into a rarity reserved for close friends, special occasions, emergencies, and debt collectors.
alexis-madrigal  cambridge-analytica  facebook  alexis-c-madrigal  technology  culture 
may 2018
The Convivial Society, No. 4: Community
A couple really salient bits here. First, on technological visionaries (dare I say utopians) stretching back to the telegraph (at least):
It seems that none of these visionaries ever took into consideration the possibility that the moral frailties of human nature would only be amplified by their new technologies.

Second, on why that vision proved alluring:
The rise of communication technologies from the mid-19th century through today has roughly coincided with the dissolution and degradation of the traditional communities, broken and often cruel though they may have been, that provided individuals with a relatively integrated experience of place and self. In 1953, the sociologist Robert Nisbett could write of the "quest for community" as the "dominant social tendency of the twentieth century." Framing a new technology as a source of community, in other words, trades on an unfulfilled desire for community.

What strikes me as most interesting here is that Sacasas notes, even if only as an aside, one of the most important things that most critics of our current techno/cultural milieu seem entirely content to skip over: that the traditional communities *were* "broken and often cruel." One of the reasons that the social revolutions of the last 150 years have had such force is precisely this: that the traditional communities so casually valorized today may have helped people have "an integrated experience of place and self"—but that experience was, often as not, one of *abuse*.
technology  liberalism  community  modernity  l-m-sacasas  post-liberalism 
may 2018
‘The Connecting Is the Thinking’: Memory and Creativity | L.M. Sacasas
It seems to me that having first identified a computer’s storage capacity as “memory,” a metaphor dependent upon the human capacity we call “memory,” we have now come to reverse the direction of the metaphor by understanding human “memory” in light of a computer’s storage capacity. In other words we’ve reduced our understanding of memory to mere storage of information. And now we read all discussions of memory in light of this reductive understanding.
Given this reductive view of memory, it seems silly for Socrates (and by extension, Plato) to worry about the externalization of memory, whether it is stored inside or outside, what difference does it make as long as we can access it? And, in fact, access becomes the problem that attends all externalized memories from the book to the Internet. But what if memory is not mere storage? Few seem to extend their analysis to account for the metaphysical role memory of the world of forms played within Plato’s account of the human person and true knowledge. We may not take Plato’s metaphysics at face value, but we can’t really understand his concerns about memory without understanding their lager intellectual context.
poincare  memory  nick-carr  internet  l-m-sacasas  learning  google  the-shallows  thinking 
april 2018
Offloaded Memory and Its Discontents (or, Why Life Isn’t a Game of Jeopardy)
What assumptions are at play that make it immediately plausible for so many to believe that we can move from internalized memory to externalized memory without remainder? It would seem, at least, that the ground was prepared by an earlier reduction of knowledge to information or data. Only when we view knowledge as the mere aggregation of discreet bits of data, can we then believe that it makes little difference whether that data is stored in the mind or in a database.
the-shallows  thinking  internet  l-m-sacasas  google  learning  memory 
april 2018
Is Google Making Us Stupid?
Nick Carr’s original essay behind “The Shallows” and the piece that kicked off the public conversation about these things. Still required reading a decade later – and most of its lessons yet unheeded.
thinking  the-shallows  intelligence  memory  google  internet  nick-carr 
april 2018
Don’t Offload Your Memory Quite Yet: Cognitive Science, Memory, and Education | L.M. Sacasas
The problem is that we tend to conceive of thinking analogously to how we imagine a computer works and we abstract processes from data. We treat “critical thinking” as a process that can be taught independently of any specific data or information. On the contrary, according to Willingham, the findings of cognitive science suggest that “[c]ritical thinking processes are tied to background knowledge” and “we must ensure that students acquire background knowledge parallel with practicing critical thinking skills.”
thinking  memory  the-shallows  internet  l-m-sacasas 
april 2018
Artificial Intelligence — The Revolution Hasn’t Happened Yet
On the other hand, while the humanities and the sciences are essential as we go forward, we should also not pretend that we are talking about something other than an engineering effort of unprecedented scale and scope — society is aiming to build new kinds of artifacts. These artifacts should be built to work as claimed. We do not want to build systems that help us with medical treatments, transportation options and commercial opportunities to find out after the fact that these systems don’t really work — that they make errors that take their toll in terms of human lives and happiness. In this regard, as I have emphasized, there is an engineering discipline yet to emerge for the data-focused and learning-focused fields. As exciting as these latter fields appear to be, they cannot yet be viewed as constituting an engineering discipline.
Moreover, we should embrace the fact that what we are witnessing is the creation of a new branch of engineering. The term “engineering” is often 
invoked in a narrow sense — in academia and beyond — with overtones of cold, affectless machinery, and negative connotations of loss of control by humans. But an engineering discipline can be what we want it to be.
In the current era, we have a real opportunity to conceive of something historically new — a human-centric engineering discipline.

Entirely unconsidered here: whether creating this field is good—or whether treating it as *engineering* is good.
humanism  algorithmism  technology  humanities  ai  machine-learning  michael-i-jordan  engineering  ethics 
april 2018
"a revisionist blizzard of alternative theories"
A man caught up in the news must remain on the surface of the event; be is carried along in the current, and can at no time take a respite to judge and appreciate; he can never stop to reflect. There is never any awareness — of himself, of his condition, of his society — for the man who lives by current events. Such a man never stops to investigate any one point, any more than he will tie together a series of news events. We already have mentioned man's inability to consider several facts or events simultaneously and to make a synthesis of them in order to face or to oppose them. One thought drives away another; old facts are chased by new ones. Under these conditions there can be no thought. And, in fact, modern man does not think about current problems; he feels them. He reacts, but be does not understand them any more than he takes responsibility for them. He is even less capable of spotting any inconsistency between successive facts; man's capacity to forget is unlimited. This is one of the most important and useful points for the propagandist, who can always be sure that a particular propaganda theme, statement, or event will be forgotten within a few weeks.

—Jacques Ellul
politics  alan-jacobs  social-media  russia  technology  propaganda  jacques-ellul 
april 2018
propaganda and social media
I think what social media produce is emergent propaganda — propaganda that is not directed in any specific and conscious sense by anyone but rather emerges, arises, from vast masses of people who have been catechized within and by the same power-knowledge regime. Think also about the idea I got from an Adam Roberts novel: the hivemind singularity. Conscious, intentional propaganda is so twentieth century. The principalities and powers are far more sophisticated now.
jacques-ellul  social-media  propaganda  alan-jacobs  winning-slowly-season-6 
april 2018
"not to waver with the wavering hours"
The “wavering hours” waver because they’re charged with the nervous energy that comes from a too-busy life, a life of agitation and anxiety. As a youth Horace studied philosophy in Athens, and there he would have learned about the inestimable value of ataraxia — a peaceable and tranquil spirit. Because if you don’t have that, then you become a victim of your circumstances — and, especially in our time, a victim of propaganda.

Reading old books is a very valuable thing, because it takes you out of the maelstrom of “current events”; and it’s especially valuable to read old books like those by Horace because they will tell you quite directly how vital it is for you to learn this lesson.
silence  horace  culture  social-media  alan-jacobs  solitude 
april 2018
An oral history of Stargate SG-1: The show that surpassed its inspiration to spark an unforgettable franchise
I think it was really sort of a forerunner of what was and is no longer a sort of under-appreciated genre. There have been many fantastic shows in this genre that have grown up since Stargate and they're rich and different from each other and yet I think Stargate was part of that foundation that I thought was a bit underappreciated… I think it laid a foundation for what came after it.
science-fiction  Stargate  TV 
april 2018
Blockchain is not only crappy technology but a bad vision for the future
Blockchain systems do not magically make the data in them accurate or the people entering the data trustworthy, they merely enable you to audit whether it has been tampered with. A person who sprayed pesticides on a mango can still enter onto a blockchain system that the mangoes were organic. A corrupt government can create a blockchain system to count the votes and just allocate an extra million addresses to their cronies. An investment fund whose charter is written in software can still misallocate funds.
How then, is trust created?
In the case of buying an e-book, even if you’re buying it with a smart contract, instead of auditing the software you’ll rely on one of four things, each of them characteristics of the “old way”: either the author of the smart contract is someone you know of and trust, the seller of the e-book has a reputation to uphold, you or friends of yours have bought e-books from this seller in the past successfully, or you’re just willing to hope that this person will deal fairly. In each case, even if the transaction is effectuated via a smart contract, in practice you’re relying on trust of a counterparty or middleman, not your self-protective right to audit the software, each man an island unto himself. The contract still works, but the fact that the promise is written in auditable software rather than government-enforced English makes it less transparent, not more transparent.
winning-slowly-season-6  technology  kai-stinchcombe  futurism  economics  blockchain 
april 2018
The Frailest Thing | L.M. Sacasas | Technology, Culture, and Ethics
We can usefully frame the choice to delete Facebook or abstain from social media or any other act of tech refusal by (admittedly loose) analogy to the monastic life. It is not for everyone. The choice can be costly. It will require self-denial and discipline. Not everyone is in a position to make such a choice even if they desired it. And maybe, under present circumstances, it would not even be altogether desirable for most people to make that choice. But it is good for all of us that some people do make that choice.

In this way we can create a legitimate space for refusal, while acknowledging that such a choice is only one way of fighting the good fight.

Those who choose to walk away will, if nothing else, be a sign to us, they will embody an ideal that many may desire but few will be able to pursue. They will preserve an alternative way of being in the world with its attendant memories and practices. And by doing so they will play their part in working for the good of society.
l-m-sacasas  facebook  monasticism  ethics  technology  criticism 
april 2018
For Two Months, I Got My News From Print Newspapers. Here’s What I Learned. - The New York Times
There’s nothing wrong with getting lots of shades of opinion. And reading just the paper can be a lonely experience; there were many times I felt in the dark about what the online hordes thought about the news.… Still, the prominence of commentary over news online and on cable news feels backward, and dangerously so. It is exactly our fealty to the crowd — to what other people are saying about the news, rather than the news itself — that makes us susceptible to misinformation.… The built-in incentives on Twitter and Facebook reward speed over depth, hot takes over facts and seasoned propagandists over well-meaning analyzers of news.
newspapers  social-media  winning-slowly-season-6 
march 2018
I, for one.
…I think there’s something here that applies to AMP, and to initiatives like it. Heck, one could even argue the creation of AMP isn’t just Google’s failure, but our failure. More specifically, perhaps it’s pointing to a failure of governance of our little industry. Absent a shared, collective vision for what we want the web to be—and with decent regulatory mechanisms to defend that vision—it’s unsurprising that corporate actors would step into that vacuum, and address the issues they find. And once they do, the solutions they design will inevitably benefit themselves first—and then, after that, the rest of us. If at all.
internet  ethan-marcotte  amp  politics  openweb  google  ethics 
march 2018
Why Donald Trump Was the 'Perfect Candidate' for Facebook —Alexis C. Madrigal | The Atlantic “Here is the central tenet of Facebook’s business: If lots of people click on, comment on, or share an ad, Facebook charges that advertiser less money to re
The University of Virginia media-studies professor Siva Vaidhyanathan, who has a book coming out on Facebook in September—Antisocial Media: How Facebook Disconnects Us and Undermines Democracy—had a stark response, especially with the midterms six months away. “There is no reform. The problem with Facebook is Facebook,” he told me. “When you marry a friction-free social network of 2 billion people to a powerful, precise, cheap ad system that runs on user profiling you get this mess. And no one can switch it off. So we are screwed.”
winning-slowly-season-6  facebook  clinton  alexis-madrigal  trump  elections  advertising 
february 2018
On Unpublished Thoughts
I’ve coupled the act of creation and publishing so tightly, I’ve given up the instances of the former that don’t flow into the latter.

I don’t know what the answer to this problem is yet. Since I’ve realized that the reason Sparks’ turn of phrase has been nagging me, I’ve been more aware of my need to create just for its own sake. This may mean I get back into the habit of writing just for writing, or pick up my camera to shoot photographs of more than just old computers in my studio.

Whatever comes of this, you probably won’t be privy to its output. And — no offense — that’s the point.
writing  creativity  winning-slowly-season-6  internet  blogging  stephen-hackett 
february 2018
As we may think
It is associative indexing though, that is the essential feature of the memex, “the process of tying two items together is the important thing.” Bush describes a hypertext like mechanism at this point, but most interesting from my perspective is his emphasis on a trail as a fundamental unit — something we largely seem to have lost today.… Documents and links we have aplenty. But where are our trails?
winning-slowly-season-6  adrian-colyer 
february 2018
School Shooting Simulation Software (and the Problem with How People Define 'Ed-Tech')
If we recognize technology as practices, we can more readily see the connections to social relations, Franklin argued. We can then think about technology not just in terms of the introduction of a particular tool, but in terms of how technology might support or shift pre-existing values. Cultural values. Political values. Institutional values.
To claim that a school shooting simulation isn’t “ed-tech” is remarkably unhelpful. It serves to bolster the ideological claims that technology is always bound up in “progress.” And importantly, this refusal to include certain technologies in “ed-tech” circumscribes much of the analysis one might undertake about systems, structures, histories.

(She quotes, just before this, Ursula Franklin, who seems to be riffing on Ellul’s notion of _technique_. And rightly.)

This, from the conclusion, is also quite helpful:
What happens if we refuse to talk about these [metal detectors, school shooting simulators, etc.] as “ed-tech”, if we refuse to address the practices of surveillance and control as well as products of surveillance and control? If nothing else, this refusal stops us from having the necessary conversations about why some schools might get simulations that train teachers how to respond to a potential shooting, and some schools get metal detectors that interpolate all students as potential shooters.
education  technique  ursula-franklin  technology  audrey-watters 
february 2018
Your Body Does Not Want to Be an Interface - MIT Technology Review
The assumption driving these kinds of design speculations is that if you embed the interface–the control surface for a technology–into our own bodily envelope, that interface will “disappear”: the technology will cease to be a separate “thing” and simply become part of that envelope. The trouble is that unlike technology, your body isn’t something you “interface” with in the first place. You’re not a little homunculus “in” your body, “driving” it around, looking out Terminator-style “through” your eyes. Your body isn’t a tool for delivering your experience: it is your experience. Merging the body with a technological control surface doesn’t magically transform the act of manipulating that surface into bodily experience. I’m not a cyborg (yet) so I can’t be sure, but I suspect the effect is more the opposite: alienating you from the direct bodily experiences you already have by turning them into technological interfaces to be manipulated.
cybernetics  wearables  google-glass  john-pavlus 
february 2018
The Shallowness of Google Translate - The Atlantic
I’ve recently seen bar graphs made by technophiles that claim to represent the “quality” of translations done by humans and by computers, and these graphs depict the latest translation engines as being within striking distance of human-level translation. To me, however, such quantification of the unquantifiable reeks of pseudoscience, or, if you prefer, of nerds trying to mathematize things whose intangible, subtle, artistic nature eludes them. To my mind, Google Translate’s output today ranges all the way from excellent to grotesque, but I can’t quantify my feelings about it. Think of my first example involving “his” and “her” items. The idealess program got nearly all the words right, but despite that slight success, it totally missed the point. How, in such a case, should one “quantify” the quality of the job? The use of scientific-looking bar graphs to represent translation quality is simply an abuse of the external trappings of science.
translation  ai  algorithmism  technology  art 
february 2018
The metadata of experience, the experience of metadata
Metadata is a kind of agony.

Everything that happens to me is time-stamped. My life is a series of transactions recorded in official ledgers. I am a clerk. I am a bureaucrat. I’m always on the job.

I know all the details. I know what just happened, and I know what happens next. Only the present escapes me.
winning-slowly-season-6  nick-carr  satire  criticism  technology 
february 2018
PLATO and the History of Education Technology (That Wasn't)
The Friendly Orange Glow is a history of PLATO – one that has long deserved to be told and that Dear does with meticulous care and detail. (The book was some three decades in the making.) But it’s also a history of why, following Sputnik, the US government came to fund educational computing. Its also – in between the lines, if you will – a history of why the locus of computing and educational computing specifically shifted to places like MIT, Xerox PARC, Stanford. The answer is not “because the technology was better” – not entirely. The answer has to do in part with funding – what changed when these educational computing efforts were no longer backed by federal money and part of Cold War era research but by venture capital. (Spoiler alert: it changes the timeline. It changes the culture. It changes the mission. It changes the technology.) And the answer has everything to do with power and ideology – with dogma.
Bret Victor credits the message and content of his keynote to computer scientist Alan Kay, who once famously said that “the best way to predict the future is to build it.” (Kay, of course, appears several times in *The Friendly Orange Glow* because of his own contributions to computing, not to mention the competition between CERL and PARC where Kay worked and their very different visions of the future). But to be perfectly frank, the act of building alone is hardly sufficient. The best way to predict the future may instead be to be among those who *mythologize* what’s built, [who tell certain stories](http://hackeducation.com/2016/11/02/futures) , who craft and uphold the dogma about what is built and how it’s used.
history  mythology  education  technology 
february 2018
the invariant ed-tech sequence
The result: the app is forcibly implemented, but only partially, with the result that faculty are still unhappy with having to use the crappy app but have to use it *less*, which means that the task that was performed adequately with previous technologies/means is now performed less effectively and completely. Everyone loses except the people who made the sorry-ass app.
startups  education  technology  winning-slowly-season-6 
january 2018
Does Technology Evolve More Quickly Than Ethical and Legal Norms? —L.M. Sacasas “It is frequently observed that developments in technology run ahead of law and ethics, which never quite catch up.”
It may be better, then, to say that it is the scale of new technologies that transcends the institutions and communities which are the proper sites for ethical reflection about technology. The governing instinct is to scale up our institutions and communities to meet the challenge, but this inevitably involves a reliance on the same technologies that generate the problems. It never occurs to us that the answer may lie in a refusal to operate at a scale that is inhospitable to the human person.
l-m-sacasas  technology  ethics  winning-slowly  winning-slowly-season-6 
january 2018
Superfluous People, the Ideology of Silicon Valley, and The Origins of Totalitarianism —L.M. Sacasas “There’s a passage from Arendt’s The Origins of Totalitarianism that has been cited frequently in recent months, and with good reason.”
As for the outsourcing of our cognitive, emotional, and ethical labor and our obsessive self-tracking and self-monitoring, it amounts to being sealed in a tomb of our revealed preferences (to borrow Rob Horning’s memorable line). Once more, spontaneous desire, serendipity, much of what Arendt classified as natality, the capacity to make a beginning at the heart of our individuality—all of it is surrendered to the urge for an equilibrium of programmed predictability.
ethics  technology  l-m-sacasas 
january 2018
Living well in the technosocial world – a review of Shannon Vallor’s Technology and the Virtues
This book is certainly going on my reading list.
Were Technology and the Virtues nothing more than a short treatise on these twelve technomoral virtues, the book would still be immensely valuable, and well worth reading. Luckily there is much more to the book, and in the book’s final chapters Vallor applies these virtues to some of the emerging situations with which these virtues will need to reckon to demonstrate the utility of this framework.

Social media represents an important technosocial challenge, and one with which every social media user is at least vaguely familiar. That social media platforms can so often leave users angry, jealous, lonely, embittered, apathetic, or feeling “addicted” to the platforms demonstrate the need for technomoral virtues. Recognizing that “consumption itself is the most valued activity of citizens” (166), Vallor dares to ask what kinds of technologies could be developed and used if those doing the developing and the using practiced greater “technomoral” care, and possessed greater wisdom. Evidently “the new Eden of social media has yet to fulfill its promise” and “thus let us ask not what social media technologies are doing to us and our world, but what our technologies are doing with us, and what we ought to do with them” (181).
shannon-vallor  ethics  technology  winning-slowly-season-6 
january 2018
The Case Against Reading Everything · The Walrus
The real problem with telling young writers to fan out across genres and forms is that it doesn’t help them find a voice. If anything, it’s antivoice. Learning the craft of writing isn’t about hopping texts like hyperlinks. It’s about devotion and obsession. It’s about lingering too long in some beloved book’s language, about steeping yourself in someone else’s style until your consciousness changes colour. It’s Tolkien phases and Plath crushes. It’s going embarrassingly, unfashionably all in. (And, eventually, all out.)
Finally: justification for my way of reading. Or at least, my way of rereading Tolkien.
writing  reading 
january 2018
Library patterns: Multiple levels of abstraction - Tomas Petricek
I was recently watching Mark Seemann's course A Functional architecture with F#, which is a great material on designing functional applications. But I also realised that not much has been written on designing functional libraries. For some aspect, you can use functional patterns like monads (see Scott Wlaschin's presentation), but this only answers a part of the question - it tells you how to design individual types, but not an entire library.
programming  software-development  software-architecture 
january 2018
A Tribute to My Improbable Tea Party Friend – Mother Jones
Trump tested our bond. In September 2016, I posted on Facebook a Mother Jones story about an ad Democrats had made for Hillary Clinton that featured an interview with Alicia Machado, the former Miss Universe whom Trump had called “Miss Piggy.” Robin responded with outrage, in part because her comments in the video were in Spanish, and he suggested that the Miss Piggy remarks might have been made up. His defense of Trump’s behavior ticked me off, so I asked him if he’d want his daughter to work for Trump. He replied, “Yes, without a doubt. My wife too if she wanted.”
I was appalled. For a host of reasons, that episode might have ended our friendship. It was the sort of conversation that’s been happening all over the country, wrecking Thanksgiving dinners, cleaving friendships and marriages. Instead, I realized that I didn’t want to live in an echo chamber, and Robin was a good defense against that. Besides, I had long ago come to realize that despite my disagreements with him, he was a genuinely good man. So we kept talking.
friendship  politics 
december 2017
Fountainheads of Fusionism | Public Discourse
Communism is no longer such an existential threat as to make allies, however temporary, of libertarians and conservatives. After the fall of the Soviet Union, nothing else has arisen around which conservatives and libertarians might unite in opposition to. Terrorism has not done it; social democracy has not done it; authoritarian populism seems likely only to increase the chasms separating these camps.

So we are left with a question: was fusionism simply a contingently historical phenomenon unique to post-War circumstances in the US? On the contrary: I believe that fusionism is a phenomenon that illustrates a deeper and more fundamental connection between social conservatism and economic liberty. To better understand this connection, let us consider the relationship between Edmund Burke and Adam Smith.
fusionism  edmund-burke  john-locke  culture  conservatism  ethics  politics 
december 2017
Can Nations be "Christian"? An English Debate | Comment Magazine
Can Nations be "Christian"? An English Debate -- Is England a Christian nation? Was it ever one? Should it remain so? Plenty of influential Christian leaders in the UK seem to think so. Here's one pithy statement from a traditionalist Catholic.
culture  Christendom 
december 2017
Metaprogramming in ES6: Part 2 - Reflect
In my last post we had a look at Symbols, and how they add useful new metaprogramming features to JavaScript. This time, we’re (finally!) going to talk all about Reflect.
programming  javascript 
december 2017
The Age of Outrage | City Journal
Here is the fine-tuned liberal democracy hypothesis: as tribal primates, human beings are unsuited for life in large, diverse secular democracies, unless you get certain settings finely adjusted to make possible the development of stable political life.
education  ethics  culture  politics  jonathan-haidt 
december 2017
“Productivity” often looks like this: just a bit at a time, day after day; and doing a little even when you don’t r…
from twitter_favs
december 2017
this is one of those times where electronic communication comes in handy in place of a face-to-face in…
from twitter_favs
december 2017
Thanks for articulating this. It's been bothering me more and more of late as developers have gotten c…
from twitter_favs
december 2017
Will take at least some responsibility here. and I wrote the o…
from twitter_favs
december 2017
Agreed, it's a mistake and I think it's really a result of trying to add docs to the l…
from twitter_favs
december 2017
Chrome is Not the Standard · Chris Krycho
“The web is a shared platform. This is its unique benefit, and its unique cost.” — ,
from twitter_favs
december 2017
In particular, you can use Flow comment types anywhere – no build system needed. Helps significantly while…
from twitter_favs
december 2017
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