What I'm reading 3/28-4/4

2016-04-04

The Origins of Pattern Theory the Future of the Theory, And The Generation of a Living World - Christopher Alexander

  1. "If life is to be created, these processes must change."
  2. "I don't really see discussion about What, collectively, are computer scientists supposed to be doing with all these programs."
  3. "So, I have no idea whether the search for something that helps human life is a formal part of what you are searching for. Or are you primarily searching for - what should I call it - good technical performance? This seems to me a very, very vital issue."
  4. "Have you done that in software pattern theory? Have you asked whether a particular system of patterns, taken as a system, will generate a coherent computer program?"
  5. "I began getting calls from computer people."
  6. "Architects themselves build a very, very small part of the world. Most of the physical world is built by just all kinds of people."

Three Generations of a Hackneyed Apologia for Censorship Are Enough - Ken White

  1. "If you have a pertinent case showing that particular speech falls outside the First Amendment, you don't have to rely on a 90-year-old rhetorical flourish to support your argument."
  2. "After Holmes' opinions in the Schenck trilogy, the law of the United States was this: you could be convicted and sentenced to prison under the Espionage Act if you criticized the war, or conscription, in a way that 'obstructed' conscription, which might mean as little as convincing people to write and march and petition against it. This is the context of the 'fire in a theater' quote that people so love to brandish to justify censorship."
  3. "Deference from the judiciary is a good thing when it comes to interference in general policy. It's a dangerous thing when it comes to interpretation of the state's power over the individual."

Those Entry-Level Startup Jobs? They're Now Mostly Dead Ends in the Boondocks - Lauren Smiley

  1. "Once they clamored into the lunchroom, they were handed packets hyping the low cost of living in Nashville."

Too much of a good thing - The Economist

  1. "If markets are truly competitive, why do so many companies now claim they can retain the cost synergies that big deals create, not pass them on to consumers? Why do investors believe them? Why have returns on capital risen almost everywhere?"
  2. "In a market the size of America's prices should be lower than in other industrialised economies. By and large, they are not."
  3. "Concentration is contagious."
  4. "Much of health-care purchasing in America is ultimately controlled by insurance firms. Four of the largest, Anthem, Cigna, Aetna and Humana, are planning to merge into two larger firms."
  5. "[DoJ and FTC]'s purpose is to police illegal conduct, not reimagine the world. They lack scope."

The Right to Privacy - Samuel D. Warren and Louis D. Brandeis

  1. "The intense intellectual and emotional life, and the heightening of sensations which came with the advance of civilization, made it clear to men that only a part of the pain, pleasure, and profit of life lay in physical things."
  2. "The common law secures to each individual the right of determining, ordinarily, to what extent his thoughts, sentiments, and emotions shall be communicated to others."
  3. "The principle which protects personal writings and all other personal productions, not against theft and physical appropriation, but against publication in any form, is in reality not the principle of private property, but that of an inviolate personality."
  4. "When personal gossip attains the dignity of print, and crowds the space available for matters of real interest to the community, what wonder that the ignorant and thoughtless mistake its relative importance."
  5. "Triviality destroys at once robustness of thought and delicacy of feeling. No enthusiasm can flourish, no generous impulse can survive under its blighting influence."

Reclaiming Design Patterns (20 Years Later) - Ted Neward

  1. "One guy with whom I taught at DevelopMentor called Design Patterns '23 ways to use a pointer'."
  2. "If suddenly we can start calling local variables a 'pattern', then the whole point of designing a higher-level toolbox of terms becomes lost."

On the Phenomenon of Bullshit Jobs - David Graeber

  1. "It's as if someone were out there making up pointless jobs just for the sake of keeping us all working. And here, precisely, lies the mystery. In capitalism, this is exactly what is not supposed to happen."
  2. "Hell is a collection of individuals who are spending the bulk of their time working on a task they don't like and are not especially good at."
  3. "Huge swathes of people, in Europe and North America in particular, spend their entire working lives performing tasks they secretly believe do not really need to be performed."
  4. "Over the course of the last century, the number of workers employed as domestic servants, in industry, and in the farm sector has collapsed dramatically. At the same time, 'professional, managerial, clerical, sales, and service workers' tripled, growing 'from one-quarter to three-quarters of total employment.'"

Mass surveillance silences minority opinions, according to study - Karen Turner

  1. "The majority of those primed with surveillance information were less likely to speak out about their more nonconformist ideas, including those assessed as less likely to self-censor based on their psychological profile."
  2. "[Elizabeth Stoycheff, lead researcher of the study and assistant professor at Wayne State University] said that participants who shared the 'nothing to hide' belief, those who tended to support mass surveillance as necessary for national security, were the most likely to silence their minority opinions."

Micropackages and Open Source Trust Scaling

  1. "Afterwards I end up with 165MB in node_modules."
  2. "Those dependencies can easily end up being high value targets because of how few people know about them. juliangruber's 'isarray' has 15 stars on github and only two people watch the repository. It's downloaded 18 million times a month."