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Why [Programming Language X] Is Unambiguously Better than [Programming Language Y]

Recently I have seen a lot of people wondering about the difference between [X] and [Y]. After all, they point out, both are [paradigm] languages that target [platform] and encourage the [style] style of programming while leaving you enough flexibility to [write shitty code].

Having written [simple program that's ...

2013-12-24 10:07 AM

Constructive Mathematics in F# (and Clojure)

(Tell me what a terrible person I am on Hacker News.)

For as long as I can remember^1^ I've dreamed of reimplementing the entirety of mathematics from scratch. And now that I've finished the "Wheel of Time" series I have a little bit of extra time on ...

2013-08-26 06:23 AM

Secrets of Fire Truck Society

Hi, I gave a talk at Ignite Strata on "Secrets of Fire Truck Society" and at the end I promised that for more information you could visit this blog. Unfortunately, I haven't had time to write a blog post. Here are some links to tide you over until I ...

2013-02-25 04:16 PM

On On Leaving Academia

Several people in my influencesphere have linked to this essay by a CS prof who's leaving academia to join Google in order to "make a positive difference in the world." I am, of course, wholly supportive of such a program, if not of his precise rationale, which is a ...

2012-07-24 08:51 PM

Hyphen Class Post-Mortem

Last fall I signed up for two of the hyphen classes: the Machine Learning ml-class (Ng) and the Artificial Intelligence ai-class (Thrun and Norvig). Both were presented by Stanford professors but one of the conditions of taking the courses was that whenever I discuss them I am required to present ...

2012-02-01 03:03 PM

Pets.com But With Guns And a No-Knock Warrant

The government has a CIO, it turns out, and when he's not hassling us to change our passwords again or to stop BitTorrenting on company time, he's got a plan to re-invent government itself:

On Tuesday, VanRoekel said that he wants to overhaul the federal bureaucracy to become ...

2011-10-27 09:54 PM

Machine Learning Beverage

Although my formal training is in subjects like math and economics and animal husbandry, most of the money-work I do is in subjects like data science and fareology and writing over-the-top religious polemics. This is one of the reasons why I'm so sour on the value of college, as ...

2011-09-29 09:40 PM

Google, Plus

If you have been living in a cave without Internet access, you might not be aware of Google Plus, which you might think of as Google's answer to Facebook (if Facebook were a question). After playing around with it a bit, it seems to have several advantages:

  • not operated ...
2011-07-11 07:38 AM

Will Someone Please Invent the Virtual Locker Room

Bill Gates, always a man with big ideas, suspects that the internet is going to shake up our educational system:

“Five years from now on the web for free you’ll be able to find the best lectures in the world,” Gates said at the Techonomy conference in Lake Tahoe ...

2010-08-09 09:02 AM

Why Software Testers Should Run for Congress

In my previous post "Why Software Developers Shouldn't Run for Congress" I poked fun at the idea, proposed by a pie-in-the-sky, government-would-work-well-if-only-it-were-run-by-my-kind-of-people type, that an influx of software developers would noticeably improve the quality of our laws.

During a subsequent Facebook discussion, I came up with an ...

2010-07-22 08:51 AM

Why Software Developers Shouldn't Run for Congress

Over on his blog, Clay Johnson gives five reasons why software developers ought to run for Congress:

1. They're underrepresented. (Similarly, so are people without college degrees, so perhaps they ought to run too.)

2. Congress could use their expertise. For example, think about the more-than-1000-page Stimulus Bill. Not ...

2010-07-19 11:33 AM

Smash the Synthesizers

There's a scourge stalking Broadway. It's called the "synthesizer," and it uses "technology" to generate sounds that heretofore could only be generated by human "musicians." And like other human-supplanting devices such as mechanized looms, grain threshers, and sex robots, the "synthesizer" must be stopped.

So warns violinist Paul ...

2010-07-11 03:07 PM

Cleaning Out Elena's Inbox

The Sunlight Foundation has set up Elena's Inbox, a site that makes it easy[er] to browse through the dump of Elena Kagan's Clinton-era emails.

However, it looks like they've certainly held something back. Can it really be that she sent no emails containing "lol" or "rofl ...

2010-06-23 09:10 AM

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