Let’s Stop Ascribing Meaning to Code Points - In Pursuit of Laziness
‘If you need to do a segmentation operation on a string, find out what exactly you’re looking for, and what concept maps closest to that. It’s rare that “code point” is the concept you’re looking for. In most cases, what you’re looking for instead is “grapheme cluster”.’
“She can use my cup” – George Lazenby
“Humanity will be relying for its survival on the most delicate thread by which global politics are suspended: the absence of war. We have a global order capable of producing this and Hillary is the person capable of pouring a great deal of innocent blood on the altar of its maintenance. Our existence on this planet is too tenuous, and the requirements for fixing climate change much too stringent to wait around for a global order that better pleases our sensibilities.”
When pull requests get tricky – Monica Dinculescu
“Alternatively, you can go the fancy route with

> git checkout -p master file_to_modify

This will look at the diff between master (which is in the future), and your working copy (we are in the past) and let you pick and choose individual hunks.”
2 days ago
Charlie Brooker gives update on 2016 Wipe in light of Donald Trump victory | The Independent
“‘There are no laughs in that. We’re still debating how we’re going to cover it.’”
21 days ago
inessential: How Not to Crash #9: Mindset
“I used to think that means I should write code that’s about 80% as clever as I am. Save a little bit for debugging.

But over the years I’ve come to think that I should write code that’s about 10% as clever as I am. And I’ve come to believe that true cleverness is in making code so clear and obvious that it looks like nothing at all.”
21 days ago
inessential: How Not to Crash #7: Dealing with Nothing
“But there’s another point, which is this: *whoever wrote the server side is your sworn enemy.* He or she hates you very, very much.

Now, in the case of Vesper, that was me. But I still have to code as if the server author has my personal and professional destruction as their sole motivation.”
21 days ago
inessential: How Not to Crash #5: Threading, part 2
“I don’t ever want to worry that the object that created the background task might go away, so I create background tasks only from objects that last the lifetime of the app.

You don’t want to get into the situation where an object that creates a background task goes away (or is torn-down partly or completely) before that task is finished and calls back. It’s a potentially complex subject, and I don’t even want to think about it. (I hate the weak-self dance, for starters.)

And that’s exactly the mindset you need when writing code that doesn’t crash: if something is complex, then it’s error-prone. Find a way to make it drop-dead simple.”
21 days ago
inessential: How Not to Crash #4: Threading
“When I get JSON from a server, I like to turn it into intermediate objects that later get merged into model objects. Reasons:

• I don’t want the model objects to know about JSON.
• I want to deal with NSNull values, date conversions, and all other transformations before any other object sees the data.”

“If, in the end, you still need to do some tricky things — like updating your model on a background queue — remember that the rest of your app is either running on the main thread or is little isolated things that you don’t need to think about while writing this tricky code. Then: be careful, and don’t be optimistic. (Optimists write crashes.)”
21 days ago
Cooperative principle – Wikipedia
“The cooperative principle can be divided into four maxims, called the Gricean Maxims, describing specific rational principles observed by people who obey the cooperative principle; these principles enable effective communication.[3] Grice proposed four conversational maxims that arise from the pragmatics of natural language.[3] Applying the Gricean Maxims is a way to explain the link between utterances and what is understood from them.”
21 days ago
Snap – Blog – BERG
“What I’ve previously suggested is that we need a kind of RSS for interactions… Conceptually, each ‘object’ that requires interaction is a feed entry. The actions are shown as an HTML form, and using the form sends data to the website which updates that object. The feed is then updated, changing the original entry to show the new object state. The original object state is no longer visible. This requires the newsreader to allow HTML forms and respond sensibly when feed entries change.”
21 days ago
Tale of Tales in 2016
“In 2017 we want to find the internet again. Reconnect with the old network. Try some web-surfing. Hand in hand with the resurgence of that technological dream par excellence: Virtual Reality. In 2017 we will explore Cyberspace once again. The immaterial world where maybe, in some distant ethereal sphere, we will find a Holy Lamb, surrounded by seven angels wondering whether they should sound their trumpets or just let the humans take care of their own Apocalypse.”
21 days ago
Havasu – Projects - BERG
“Once Havasu has two pieces of information, it can start make suggestions about a third, which the user may agree to.

“This is difficult to represent as a traditional flowchart, because this type of conversation isn’t linear: the same set of “knowledge” can be reached by a variety of routes. This table is an attempt at representing the conversation when Havasu knows two or three pieces of information.”
21 days ago
Superintelligence: The Idea That Eats Smart People
“> Coherent Extrapolated Volition (CEV) is our wish if we knew more, thought faster, were more the people we wished we were, had grown up farther together; where the extrapolation converges rather than diverges, where our wishes cohere rather than interfere; extrapolated as we wish that extrapolated, interpreted as we wish that interpreted.

“How's that for a design document? Now go write the code.”

“People who can reach preposterous conclusions from a long chain of abstract reasoning, and feel confident in their truth, are the wrong people to be running a culture.”
21 days ago
“What's your take on non-binary/agender gender identities?” – George Lazenby
“This distinction takes on a new urgency: Right now, in the shared cultural space that most of us call the world, good old postmodernity is pushing the continents of human possibility back together. This new pangea, as the continent of Serious Things collides with and overlaps the one named Diversion, explains why our Batmen must be laughably self-serious and our Presidents taken seriously in the very same moment we recognize them as their own perfect parody. This compression was never a decision. It was always and only easier and cheaper to compress the several planes of experience back into a single sheet. It’s what you might call the vigorous hybrid’s endgame: All news, all entertainment, all politics, all the cotton candy and all of the bullets will be indiscriminately fed into the press and a new, universal medium of human existence stamped from these.”
22 days ago
How to Internet
“In the midst of all this, I get really sad watching ‘how to use the internet’ videos, precisely because I can still feel the glimmers of my childhood excitement about seeing other parts of the world, talking to other people, and being surprised.”
22 days ago
Fix your Mac with one weird trick - Allen Pike
“Zapping the PRAM is number one on the list of desparate stuff to try on a misbehaving Mac that usually doesn’t fix the problem, outranking the trusty disk permissions repair and the perky newcomer, resetting the SMC. Zapping the PRAM is folk magic.”

“Update June 2015: The fix didn’t last - the dreaded wake from sleep issues recurred after a week or so.”
22 days ago
A Pond, Not a River - The Pickle Theory
‘When I referred to “mind like water”, I was pretty sure “water” was recruited to emphasize *flow*. It makes sense: an unobstructed mind flows powerfully, like a river. But apparently, the karate master that coined it saw a different image.’
22 days ago
Hard Work Into a Hole
“Our political ethics are magical. And so our understanding there is always a bit witchy, a bit broken as well. cf. Our relationship with the earth. cf. Our relationship with technology.”
25 days ago
Barbie typewriter – Crypto Museum
“The electronic typewriter was the successor to the earlier purely mechanical Barbie typewriter models. It is little known that all electronic variants have a hidden built-in cryptographic capability that allows secret writing.”
26 days ago
s3e35: Interesting Times – Dan Hon
“As an aside: the Harvard Kennedy School is putting together a case study on California’s Child Welfare Digital Service. As part of my interviews with them, they kept saying: hang on, this sounds too easy. If all you had to do to move from the monolithic waterfall model to the user-need focused iterative model was to point out the problems with the former, how come everyone else hasn’t done it? To which, I figured out in conversation - yes, part of this is to do with the fantastic political will to do things better and the recognition that the current way just isn’t working and isn’t delivering upon the social promise and compact of government. But, then I remembered another thing that I haven’t really talked about in public: my give-no-fucks candid review of the request for proposal indicted the entire structure of technology delivery in the State of California. A good way of putting it is this: the RFP that I reviewed was a genuine best-effort attempt by everyone involved *under the constraints they were in*. And ultimately, those constraints were imposed by state technology policy. My final set of recommendations addressed not necessarily the RFP but pointed out that the commissioning department - social services - actually had no power to substantively improve the outcome, even if they implemented all of my recommendations that they did have the power to implement. My final set of recommendations was, more or less, a revolution - not an evolution - of state technology policy. The thing is, I was pretty sure that I wouldn’t have a productive (ie: get anything done) conversation about the recommendations with the State’s CIO. So I didn’t. I had a conversation with his boss, instead. Again: no fucks to give. And his boss was someone that I did know was actively interested in finding a better way of delivering technology. In the end, after the decision was made to go ahead with the demonstrator project - the user-need-focused, iteratively delivered Child Welfare Digital Services - that State CIO ended up taking early retirement. California has a new State CIO now.”
26 days ago
some other apricot – A story that the Jews tell each other
“I keep thinking about him this week, that apocryphal man and how it is a story we make sure to keep telling each other: when there is water in front of you and enemies behind, you do not wait for your god, or a sign. You trust in something larger than yourself and open your mouth to sing about it. You put your feet on the ground and walk forward.”
26 days ago
I’m a Coastal Elite From the Midwest: The Real Bubble is Rural America
“I’m from the Midwest, and I love the Midwest, but it’s not representative of modern America. We cannot fetishize it as ‘real’ America. It’s part of America — a great, big, beautiful, messy republic — but just a part.”
26 days ago
The Incompatible Food Triad --- George W. Hart
“In January, 2010, I received this authoratative comment from [co-inventor of molecular gastronomy] Hervé This of the AgroParisTech. For more about him, see This's blog. I will present it here as perhaps my final word on the subject:”
26 days ago
Magic pipe - Wikipedia
“The pipe is known as magic because it bypasses the ship's oily water separator and goes right overboard. Therefore it can make untreated bilge water magically disappear.”
26 days ago
6, 88: Rooviande – Charlie Loyd
“The white people, generally, missed that huge parts of America were under agricultural management ranging from casual wildcrafting to intensive farming. They wrote these notes to each other about how oddly fertile and hospitable American land was, and how useful it would be once the local people were gone. It was as if to visit Berkshire and write home that it was full of naturally occurring dairies that would be very useful once all the damnable dairy farmers, milkmaids, and vets were killed. It was a massive failure of humanity, but also of basic observational skills.

“With the Bundys we have some people who are acting on an idea that’s usually left implied: that the American West was empty until we white people showed up a couple generations ago and made something out of it. In fact the American West was maintained for more than ten millennia by people working very hard.”
26 days ago
Dan McKinley :: Choose Boring Technology
“The problem with ‘best tool for the job’ thinking is that it takes a myopic view of the words ‘best’ and ‘job.’ Your job is keeping the company in business [a]nd the ‘best’ tool is the one that occupies the ‘least worst’ position for as many of your problems as possible.”
4 weeks ago
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