Here's a heretical thought to ponder: Is Laurie Anderson the Karen of boho artists?

I'm re-reading Gravity's Rainbow after forty years, and I'm trying to figure out if I was an idiot then or I'm an idiot now (no points for suggesting both).

A brief fun-time activity: find the perfectly spherical cow of uniform density in the sentence

"More circumstantial evidence that it's fine to hike and go to the beach, modulo some common sense."

It seems people are taking "the Constitution is bad" arguments to heart, and have decided to go back to the Articles of Confederation.

Growing up in the suburbs of a metropolitan Midwestern city, I was a child subjected to the hegemony of boneless, skinless animal flesh (Philpot 2007).

-- Mark D'Alessandro, Follow That Pig: Visually Charting Enhanced Learning in a Culinary School Butchery Class, Gastronomica, Fall, 2018.

Breaking the face-touching habit is annoying and discouraging, but then I remember it's also a justification for not flossing and I cheerfully jump back into the struggle.

Or we could argue a constant first derivative for the cost-benefit curve is jerry-rigged nonsense.

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Now that economists are arguing the cost-benefit curve has a constant first derivative, we have to move on to arguing the second derivative, e.g., it costs as much now to develop a self-stabilizing cup holder as it did then to develop antilock breaking.

Momma Mia! That's-a some writing, eh!

Still in her apron, and standing nearly motionless beneath the archway that separates dining room from kitchen, she opens her mouth. Her voice builds and expands, reverberating. "Ave Maria" washes over the room, wine glasses vibrating, the song a presence itself.

J.M. Hirsch, Naples is Known for Its Pizza. We Went for the Meatballs.
Milk Street, January-February 2020

Are you smart enough to be a webdev? Probably not:

Absolutely not if you didn't view the source.

An old adage tells us that a person with one watch always knows the time, but a person with two watches never knows the time. What the adage doesn't tell us is the second watch is called "philosophy."

On Wednesday night I heard a story about someone cracking an old passwd file from Bell Labs. All passwords cracked quickly except Kernighan's, which took three days. His password was a chess move.

On Friday morning I had my esprit de l'escalier: I would have guessed that was Thompson's password.

@MadestMadness I re-read the documentation and realized I'd forgotten that Emacs line wrapping is a disheartening combination of concepts, modes and config variables. Not even the simple, obvious, stupid thing to do (stick fill-paragraph in post-self-insert-hook) worked. Good luck on your journey.

Has anybody produced Dunning-Kruger curves for people who think they know what Dunning and Kruger did?

The lesson Andrew learned was

Do not trust documentation blindly; it could be wrong.

which is ok. Another, more important lesson to learn is

Program defensively, make sure every case is handled. (The Elements of Programming Style, Kernighan and Plauger, McGraw-Hill, 1978).

A third, more obscure lesson available for learning is

Sometimes talking to the duck isn't enough, and you should talk to something that will talk back.

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Andrew Tannenbaum, Lessons Learned from 30 Years of MINIX, Comm. ACM, March, 2016:

I mentioned [...] MINIX running on the simulator but not on the hardware to my student, [...] who said [...] the 8088 generated interrupt 15 when it got hot. [...] there was nothing in the 8088 documentation about that [...] I inserted code to catch interrupt 15. Within an hour I saw this message on the screen: "Hi. I am interrupt 15. [...]."

What lesson did Andrew learn? What lessons should he have learned?

Is the "dictatorship of the proletariat" an oxymoron?

Here's a thought: sentences like "Catalogs contain articles, so we introduce a class CITEM." should never appear in any formalization of anything. Avoid pointlessly multiplying concepts by using either "Catalogs contain items, so we introduce a class CITEM." or "Catalogs contain articles, so we introduce a class ARTICLE.". (Decoupling suggests the former, avoiding jargon suggests the latter.)

Mr. Perfect was the idol of our manager, Nelson, and he almost never came in without a shockingly gorgeous girl, rarely the same one twice. They would sit down at the bar, Mr. Perfect and the girl, and the predictable theatrics would start right up, so the moment he appeared I'd resign myself to a night of watching a wallet flirt with a price tag.

Deborah Eisenberg, Cross Off and Move On
Your Duck is My Duck

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Mastodon @ SDF

"I appreciate SDF but it's a general-purpose server and the name doesn't make it obvious that it's about art." - Eugen Rochko