3616
Software disenchantment @ tonsky.me
You don’t have to be a genius to write fast programs. There’s no magic trick. The only thing required is not building on top of a huge pile of crap that modern toolchain is.
argument  prog 
1 hour ago
When the Facts Change, I Change My Mind. What Do You Do, Sir? – Quote Investigator
Dear Quote Investigator: John Maynard Keynes was an enormously influential economist, but some of his detractors complained that the opinions he expressed tended to change over the years. Once during a high-profile government hearing a critic accused him of being inconsistent, and Keynes reportedly answered with one of the following:

When events change, I change my mind. What do you do?

When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?

When my information changes, I alter my conclusions. What do you do, sir?

When someone persuades me that I am wrong, I change my mind. What do you do?

Because there are so many different versions of this rejoinder I was hoping you might determine if any of them is real. Is there any truth to this anecdote?

Quote Investigator: No direct evidence that Keynes made a comment of this type has been located by QI or other researchers. The earliest statement found by QI that fits this template was not spoken by Keynes but by another prominent individual in the same field, Paul Samuelson who was awarded the 1970 Nobel Prize in economics. He was well-known to students for creating a best-selling economics textbook.
history  reference  economics  sources 
2 hours ago
After Years of Abusive E-mails, the Creator of Linux Steps Aside | The New Yorker
Torvalds’s decision to step aside came after The New Yorker asked him a series of questions about his conduct for a story on complaints about his abusive behavior discouraging women from working as Linux-kernel programmers. In a response to The New Yorker, Torvalds said, “I am very proud of the Linux code that I invented and the impact it has had on the world. I am not, however, always proud of my inability to communicate well with others—this is a lifelong struggle for me. To anyone whose feelings I have hurt, I am deeply sorry.”
burn  culture  prog 
3 hours ago
Is More Medical Testing Better? - Practicing Medicine - The New Atlantis
We – both physicians and patients – usually think more treatment means better treatment. We often forget that every test and treatment can go wrong, produce side effects or lead to additional interventions that themselves can go wrong. We have learned this lesson with treatments like antibiotics for simple medical problems from sore throats to ear infections. Despite often repeating the mantra “First, do no harm,” doctors have difficulty with doing less – even nothing. We find it hard to refrain from trying another drug, blood test, imaging study or surgery.
medicine  methodology  argument  health 
3 hours ago
No Way Out But Through: Tales From the Tech Resistance - Webstock
Like children playing with a bulldozer, the giant American tech monopolies have amassed more power than they can safely handle. Galvanized by the disastrous election, tech workers across America have struggled to organize to meet a rising threat to freedoms we once took for granted, whose loss will have global consequences. A report from a year of hope, fear and failure in the U.S. tech industry.
maciej  politics  argument  video 
2 days ago
TGM: Európa-komplexus « Mérce
Az 1914 előtti kapitalizmus a személyi függőség társadalmát Észak-Amerikában és Nyugat-Európában fölszámolta, bár sok helyen (pl. a Habsburg-monarchiában) fönntartotta a régi hierarchiák külső héját (a régi Magyaroszágon az 1918/19-i forradalmakig mind a munkásosztály, mind a parasztság teljesen ki volt rekesztve a politikai részvételből), ezen kívül pedig a faji és nemi rangsort és a jogállamon kívüli, brutális gyarmati uralmat. Ez az a mixtúra, amelyhöz így vagy úgy visszakívánkoznak a konzervatívok, akik tudják, hogy – bár a liberalizmus a XVII. századból ered – a képviseleti kormányzat és a közvetett, ám formailag teljes politikai részvétel együttese (ezt nevezik nevetséges túlzással „liberális demokráciának”) csak az 1960-as évek (a gyarmatbirodalmaknak és Amerikában a faji elkülönítésnek, a feketék jogfosztottságának a megszűnése) után jött létre. Ezt szeretné visszacsinálni az alt-right vagy Európában az orbánizmus.
magyar  politics  argument 
2 days ago
A legjobb lisztek
A liszt legfontosabb jellemzője, hogy miféle gabonából készül, a gabonát milyen szemcseméretre őrlik, mennyi maghéjat (csírát) hagynak benne, mekkora a nedvesség- és fehérje(sikér)tartalma. A búza (és általában az összes gabona) minőségét leginkább a magban található keményítő és fehérje aránya adja. Ha a fehérje aránya magas, a szóban forgó búzát jó minőségűnek, azaz "acélosnak" tartjuk. A búza fehérjéi többnyire nem oldódnak vízben, ezért a keményítőből ki is moshatók. Az így nyert, vízben nem oldódó fehérjék összefoglaló neve a sikér. A sikér átlagosan 75 százalék gliadin és 25 százalék glutenin nevű fehérjéből áll. Magas gliadintartalom esetén a sikér "lágy", magas glutenintartalom esetén "kemény" lesz. A sikér ugyan nem oldódik vízben, ám a vizet mégis képes megkötni. Ez teszi a tésztát rugalmassá, nyújthatóvá, és a kelesztésnél, sütésnél keletkező gázok, vízgőz nyomásával szemben ellenállóvá. Emiatt egy liszt sütőipari minőségét leginkább éppen a sikér mennyisége és a gliadin/glutenin arány határozza meg.
magyar  cooking  reference  testing 
2 days ago
Mechanisms of scent-tracking in humans | Nature Neuroscience
Whether mammalian scent-tracking is aided by inter-nostril comparisons is unknown. We assessed this in humans and found that (i) humans can scent-track, (ii) they improve with practice, (iii) the human nostrils sample spatially distinct regions separated by ∼3.5 cm and, critically, (iv) scent-tracking is aided by inter-nostril comparisons. These findings reveal fundamental mechanisms of scent-tracking and suggest that the poor reputation of human olfaction may reflect, in part, behavioral demands rather than ultimate abilities.
esoteric  biology 
2 days ago
Today in something is wrong on the Internet | The Renaissance Mathematicus
When I was growing up one of the most widespread #histSTM myths, along with the claim that people in the Middle Ages believed the world was flat and Stone Age people lived in holes in the ground, was that Galileo Galilei invented the telescope. This myth actually has an interesting history that goes all the way back to the publication of the Sidereus Nuncius. Some of Galileo’s critics misinterpreting what he had written asserted that he was claiming to have invented the telescope, an assertion that Galileo strongly denied in a latter publication. Whatever, as I said when I was growing up it was common knowledge that Galileo had invented the telescope. During the 1960s and 1970s as history of science slowly crept out of its niche and became more public and more popular this myth was at some point put out of its misery and buried discretely, where, I thought, nobody would find it again. I was wrong.
history  science  astronomy  optics 
2 days ago
Bernanke, Geithner, and Paulson's Lessons of the Crash
After the French Revolution it was famously said that the surviving Bourbon aristocrats had “learned nothing and forgotten nothing.”  Judging by their recent op-ed piece in The New York Times, “What We Need to Fight the Next Financial Crisis,” the same could be said of Ben Bernanke, Tim Geithner, and Hank Paulson.

As treasury secretaries and chair of the Federal Reserve, these three were the most powerful regulators of the financial system during the disastrous crisis of a decade ago. Yet they devote only a few words to their own failures to predict or prevent the last crisis (“Although we and other regulators did not foresee the crisis…”) and the lessons that might hold for today. Just a brief paragraph is devoted to the state of post-crisis regulations. 
finance  argument  politics  history 
2 days ago
index - malefashionadvice
If you haven't checked out the "Getting Started" section in the sidebar, give that a read first. Think of the sidebar guides as the textbook for "MFA 101: Introduction to Dressing Well". The wiki, on the other hand, is a vast library of resources, ranging from broad guides to various styles, to in-depth reviews of a specific piece of clothing.

Here, you'll find a guide or discussion about practically anything you want to know about. If a topic you'd like to know more about isn't in here, be sure to use the search bar or feel free to start a new discussion thread!

If there's a topic that you're knowledgeable about, or if you think you can rewrite an older guide and make it better, by all means go ahead and do so! The wiki is being constantly updated. If you'd like to help contribute to the wiki and have a history of contributing to the subreddit, message the mods to apply to be an approved wiki contributor.
fashion  reference 
2 days ago
Credit Suisse Analyst Really Brought in Clients - Bloomberg
Imagine you are a 22-year-old hired at a big investment bank as a first-year analyst, straight out of college. You show up at the introductory training class, where the bank teaches new analysts how to do discounted cash flow analyses and format working-group lists. But you don’t come alone. For some reason Warren Buffett is with you. Just hanging out, going to your training classes. You are inseparable for the whole program. “Oh yeah, that’s my buddy Warren,” you tell your fellow analysts. “I just like talking about deals with my young friend,” he explains.

At the end of the program, there is a multiple-choice exam testing your knowledge of financial concepts. You do very poorly on the exam. Here is my question: Does the bank care? Are your bosses like “I am sorry but this person does not know much about finance or WGL formatting, which are the essential skills for any first-year analyst”? Or do they throw your exam in the garbage, invite you out to dinner, and suggest that you bring your friend Warren along to talk about a few deal ideas they have?

Decades of investment banks hiring top students from top universities, training them in financial modeling and working them all the time has created the misleading impression that the essential job of an investment banker is to be smart or hard-working or an expert in financial modeling. But the essential job of an investment banker—the thing she gets paid for—is to convince corporate executives to hire her investment bank to do deals. It is a sales job, a relationship job, a people job. Being smart and hard-working and an expert in financial modeling are tools that are often useful in achieving the main goal, and that are probably essential in sustaining the business in the long term. But if you can do the main thing, then you can skip a lot of the instrumental stuff.
finance  argument  reference  tips-and-tricks 
2 days ago
What Links Abraham Lincoln to Euclid’s Elements? | Math Teacher's Resource Blog
On February 27, 1860 Abraham Lincoln gave a speech at the Cooper Union Institute in New York City. The vast majority of the audience of approximately 1,300 were members of the Republican party. Lincoln, like many in the audience, was well aware that this speech was his one chance to show the party’s movers and shakers that the prairie lawyer from Illinois was cut from presidential timber. Lincoln’s physical appearance, poorly tailored suit, awkward gait, and frontier twang caused many in the audience to form the initial opinion that he would not be a suitable Republican candidate for President.
americana  books  math  sources  rhetoric  history 
6 days ago
Of, By, For: The New Politics of Money, Debt & Democracy - Kindle edition by Joe Costello, Nadia Conners, Jan Frel, Cara Brown. Politics & Social Sciences Kindle eBooks @ Amazon.com.
Of, By, For is a compilation of thoughts, analysis, and short essays on American politics. The underlying theme; American politics is both corrupt and dysfunctional. Its conclusion; American political economy must be democratically reformed, using both the knowledge we have from the past and imagination for the future.
americana  politics  essay  book 
6 days ago
Introduction to Parsers – Chet Corcos – Medium
Parsing is a surprisingly challenging problem. No wonder I often see simple parsing problems as interview questions. In my own projects, I’ve tortured myself trying to find robust and efficient ways to scrape data from websites. I couldn’t find much help online except for people saying that using regular expressions is a bad approach.
tutorial  parsing 
7 days ago
What is Systems Programming, Really? | Will Crichton
I have a gripe with the phrase "systems programming." To me, it always seemed to unnecessarily combine two ideas: low-level programming (dealing with implementation details of the machine) and systems design (creating and managing a complex set of interoperating components). Why is that the case? How long has this been true? And what could we gain from redefining the idea of systems?
architecture  rust  prog  argument 
7 days ago
The last polymath
Historian David Cahan copes confidently with these complexities in his monumental new biography. The result of almost three decades of scholarly work, Helmholtz is a comprehensive and timely account. In recent years, historians of science have published several studies devoted to isolated aspects of Helmholtz’s work — his contributions to neurophysiology and hydrodynamics, as well as his epistemology and aesthetics.

However, anyone interested in the complete picture was forced to go back more than 100 years, to a bulky biography by German mathematician Leo Königsberger. In no fewer than three volumes published in 1902–03, Königsberger, a friend of the Helmholtz family, depicted the German scholar as a lonesome genius whose scientific success was the result of unusual giftedness combined with extremely hard work.

Helmholtz is an impressive corrective to such partial or simplistic treatments. The book not only accounts for the German scholar’s voluminous publications (his Lectures on Theoretical Physics alone comprise six volumes, posthumously published between 1897 and 1907), but also encompasses an uncounted number of manuscripts and letters dispersed in archives all over the world. The result is as compelling as it is convincing.
books  review  science  people  methodology 
7 days ago
illumos Home - illumos - illumos wiki
This is the home of the illumos project, the fully open community fork of the OpenSolaris operating system.
esoteric  prog  dev 
8 days ago
joyent/triton: Joyent Triton DataCenter: a cloud management platform with first class support for containers.
Triton DataCenter (just "Triton" for short, formerly "SmartDataCenter" and "SDC") is an open-source cloud management platform that delivers next generation, container-based, service-oriented infrastructure across one or more data centers. With an emphasis on ease of installation and operation, Triton is proven at scale: Triton powers the Triton Cloud and private data centers (Triton Enterprise worldwide.

This repository provides documentation for the overall Triton project and pointers to the other repositories that make up a complete Triton deployment. See the repository list.

Report bugs and request features using GitHub Issues. For additional resources, you can visit the Joyent Developer Center.
data  devops  tooling 
8 days ago
Below All the Turtles » Fin
At the most basic level, the entire industry (like, I suspect, most others) plays to employees’ desire to keep their jobs.  Whether the existence of those jobs and the manner in which they are presently filled are in the best interests of the stockholders is irrelevant.  A very cozy industry has resulted.  Real change is slow, creative destruction slower still.  Artificial network effects arise, in which employers want people experienced with the currently perceived “winning” technology and job-seekers want to list the currently perceived “winning” technology among their experience.  Whether that technology is actually superior or even appropriate to the task at hand is at most an afterthought.  Vendors line up behind whatever technology or company the hype wheel of fortune has landed on that year.  Products are built with obvious and easily corrected shortcomings that exist to preserve “partnerships” with other vendors whose products exist solely to remedy them.  Backs are scratched all around.
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haaa, world class buuuurn
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"The net result of all this is that we have data centres occupying many hectares, filled with computers that are architecturally identical to a Packard Bell 486 desktop running MS-DOS long enough to boot a crippled and amateurish clone of Unix circa 1987, and an endless array of complex, kludged-up hardware and software components intended to hide all of that. I would ask for a show of hands from those who consider this progress, but too many are happily riding the gravy train this abomination enables."
business  career  technology  life  advice 
8 days ago
The Dictatorship of Data - MIT Technology Review
McNamara was a numbers guy. Appointed the U.S. secretary of defense when tensions in Vietnam rose in the early 1960s, he insisted on getting data on everything he could. Only by applying statistical rigor, he believed, could decision makers understand a complex situation and make the right choices. The world in his view was a mass of unruly information that—if delineated, denoted, demarcated, and quantified—could be tamed by human hand and fall under human will. McNamara sought Truth, and that Truth could be found in data. Among the numbers that came back to him was the “body count.”
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oh yeah, this is classic:
"McNamara rose swiftly up the ranks, trotting out a data point for every situation. Harried factory managers produced the figures he demanded—whether they were correct or not. When an edict came down that all inventory from one car model must be used before a new model could begin production, exasperated line managers simply dumped excess parts into a nearby river. The joke at the factory was that a fellow could walk on water—atop rusted pieces of 1950 and 1951 cars."
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big-data  data-analysis  stats  bias  history  methodology  argument 
8 days ago
Obama's Crackdown on Whistleblowers | The Nation
In the annals of national security, the Obama administration will long be remembered for its unprecedented crackdown on whistleblowers. Since 2009, it has employed the World War I–era Espionage Act a record six times to prosecute government officials suspected of leaking classified information. The latest example is John Kiriakou, a former CIA officer serving a thirty-month term in federal prison for publicly identifying an intelligence operative involved in torture. It’s a pattern: the whistleblowers are punished, sometimes severely, while the perpetrators of the crimes they expose remain free. 
americana  politics  diplomacy  espionage  hipocrisy  security 
8 days ago
What African Philosophy Can Teach You About the Good Life » IAI TV
Modern African philosophy continues to be animated by philosophy as a guide to the good life. In the mid-1970s, the Kenyan philosopher Odera Oruka undertook a ‘Sage Philosophy Project’ for which he interviewed sages – people designated as wise in various African communities – on metaphysics, epistemology, ethics and philosophy of religion. Oruka highlights strikingly critical, self-reflective practices of thought flourishing in societies often caricatured in the North Atlantic world as lacking abstract, second-order thinking.  

But in one of his interviews, for instance, Njeru wa Kanyenje, a sage from the Aembu community in central Kenya, pushed back against religious beliefs and ways of life: “I do not care much about God or religion. Right from the beginning, that is, when the muzungu [white people] first brought organized religion, I saw religion as a bluff. It is a white man’s witchcraft! But this witchcraft has today triumphed over the traditional African witchcraft. Today, I recognise its victory but not its truth. It is still a bluff. I do not pray to God nor do I consult witchdoctors. Both religion and witchcraft are bluffs. They have no truths in them. My great wish is that I should be spared the interference from religions and witchcrafts.”  
philosophy  history  africa  sources 
8 days ago
In surveillance valley | Eurozine
How much does our own hyperactivity online, in seeking pleasure, or in scrolling the timeline just one more time like a slot machine, mirror the imperatives and failures of total information awareness? There is a capacity to collect individual pathologies and idiosyncrasies, but it fails in its own terms, right?

If your premise is wrong, whatever information you feed is always going to be wrong. The promise of ‘more information equals better management’ or a better society is where this falls apart. A lot of these cybernetic models and computer systems that are supposed to give managers a better view of the world have blind spots, or are susceptible to being manipulated, while giving the people using them the sense that they are in total control.

This is what happened with Hillary Clinton. Her campaign had the best minds of data modelling and, up until the end, their numbers told them that everything would be great. They weren’t even interacting with the real world anymore, but with their model. It wasn’t the electorate but their own idea of how the electorate would behave. They were fundamentally wrong.
interview  technology  politics 
13 days ago
Nine days in North Korea - Honi Soit
On the 24th of July I arrived in Pyongyang in a travelling party with five others, including Dr Tim Anderson, lecturer in Political Economy at USyd. At the jet bridge we were greeted by Tammam Suleiman, who used to be the Syrian Ambassador to Australia, but who now serves as the Syrian Ambassador to DPR Korea.

What follows is not an academic account that takes into consideration every aspect of the country, but simply what I saw in a thousand words.
asia  sources  diplomacy  people  politics 
13 days ago
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