New blog post: computers & autonomy 

Sometimes FOSS programs require the patience of a 1,000 Zen masters...

@ocertat A great book! Coleman truly delves into the computer world!

Complexity in computing is a weapon wielded against users. We need to collectively recognize this.

After giving some long thought on the issue, I've decided that cryptocurrency is a nothing but a neoliberal technocapitalist scam. Another observer likened it to a "ponzi scheme" & I don't think they're far off. With Facebook's entry into the ring, I'm afraid that cryptocurrency will be weaponized against users too.

@rolledgoats So true!! Also, reading computing debates from the 1940s to the 70s has really brought home to me that we solved few issues, but rather carried on as if they didn't exist. And now they're biting us in the ass.

Finally read Alan Turing's 1950 essay "Computing Machinery & Intelligence." I'm fascinated by how he argues machines & humans are not as different as many would like to think. I'm also amazed that so many of the arguments he refutes still dominate our discourse around AI.

Until the blockchain concept loses its mangled complexity, I'm viewing as a weapon that organzations wield against users.

@cs Haha! Agreed. Awful is a vague evaluation anyway; it hides an unspoken set of aesthetic criteria...

@cs I enjoyed this piece, but, then again. my avatar is trout mask...

"the electronic industry has not solved a single problem, it has only created them, it has created the problem of using its products." --> Edsger W. Dijkstra, ACM Turning Prize lecture [1972]

"How do we convince people that in programming simplicity and clarity —in short: what mathematicians call 'elegance'— are not a dispensable luxury, but a crucial matter that decides between success and failure?" --> Edsger W. Dijkstra, EWD 648

I've been enjoying Edsger W. Dijkstra's surprisingly readable lecture notes on programming from the 60s & 70s. I enjoy this quote from 1972's "Humble Programmer" essay: "The competent programmer is fully aware of the strictly limited size of his own skull; therefore he approaches the programming task in full humility, and among other things he avoids clever tricks like the plague."

A zydeco cover of Brian Eno's "Baby's on Fire" shot in a video style recalling the early 80s? Yes, please:

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