What I'm reading 5/9-5/16

2016-05-16

Douglas Adams' speech at Digital Biota 2 Cambridge U.K., September 1998

  1. "The fact that we live at the bottom of a deep gravity well, on the surface of a gas covered planet going around a nuclear fireball 90 million miles away and think this to be normal is obviously some indication of how skewed our perspective tends to be, but we have done various things over intellectual history to slowly correct some of our misapprehensions."
  2. "Tools have enabled us to think intentionally, to make things and to do things to create a world that fits us better."
  3. "If you're doing handwriting recognition, what you are trying to do is not to assess the relative degrees of A-ness or B-ness of the letter, but trying to define the intention of the person who wrote it."
  4. "The other thing that comes out of that vision of the Universe is that it turns out to be composed almost entirely and rather worryingly, of nothing."

Algorithmic Compositions - isis agora lovecruft

  1. "[Twitter] seems convenient for posting links to the physics and cryptography whitepapers I read, and then receiving the internet standard — inane feedback from people I've never even heard of."

Updating a classic - Charlie Stross

  1. "It's often hard to know where incompetence ends and malice begins: the beauty of organizations is that most of them have no effective immune systems against such deliberate excesses of incompetence."
  2. "To ensure that everybody has their say everybody will be allocated exactly the same amount of time to speak. If they don't have anything to fill the silence with, we will wait it out, to encourage slow thinkers to keep up."

Oil at $45 a Barrel Proving No Savior as Bankruptcies Pile Up - Asjylyn Loder and Erik Schatzker

  1. "Since the start of 2015, 130 North American oil and gas producers and service companies have filed for bankruptcy owing almost $44 billion, according to law firm Haynes & Boone."
  2. "While some of the best operators in the most prolific acreage may boast well break-evens of $35 a barrel, that only includes the cost of drilling, said Spencer Cutter, a credit analyst with Bloomberg Intelligence."

Multiversal Equality for Scala - Martin Odersky

  1. "Comparisons with = and ! are universal. They compare any two values, no matter what their types are. This causes real problems for writing code and more problems for refactoring it."
  2. "The best known way to characterize such relationships is with type classes. Implicit values of a trait ‘Eq[T, U]‘ can capture the property that values of type ‘T‘ can be compared to values of type ‘U‘."

Everything Is Selling - Alex Balk

  1. "We've all gotten so used to the simultaneous tweets from the happy campers at this company or that who are part of a coordinated effort to sell you on a particular story that we no longer even distinguish between an attempt to push content and an attempt to push product."
  2. "We're so far along in our acceptance of this idea that acting as if there is something off-putting or untoward about it marks you out as naive or deluded."
  3. "Anyway, this post was brought to you by whatever product pops up adjacent to it, so I hope you have an improved association with it by virtue of my candor."

Why OpenBSD Is Important To Me - Scott Bonds

  1. "The freedom to speak in private is essential to democracy."
  2. "Instead of respecting our wishes, or reopening the debate to see if we would change our minds in light of 9/11 or other physical attacks, the US govenment chose to spy on us in secret and then lie about it."
  3. "Thought and private speech are the breeding ground for new, sometimes controversial ideas. They are how we prototype, think new ideas through, refine them, and get them ready for wider distribution and discussion."
  4. "Our freedom requires fighting, struggling, working. OpenBSD is on our side, and its volunteers are fighting for us."

Erlang/OTP 19.0.rc1 - Kenneth Lundin

  1. "gen_statem a new state machine behavior"
  2. "dialyzer: the support for maps is very much extended both the type specification syntax and the type analysis."
  3. "erts: erlang:open_port(spawn, ...) 3-5 times faster"