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{ Author Archives }

Détournement and Recuperation

Letterists International probably invented the ideas behind free software and creative commons. They created the idea of détournement, in which existing mainstream logos and slogans were subverted for anarchist, satirical and other radical political purposes, like the picture of the Queen defaced in the cover of the Sex Pistols single. The counterpart to détournement is […]

Today’s surprisingly short workflow-improving win

When I have a TODO comment (or a #error in code, which is how I frequently do TODOs), I switched to writing the commit message I want to be able to use when I’ve fixed the TODO. Then I write the thing that’s missing, kill the TODO and yank it into the commit command.

Tech’s Meritocracy Problem

Meritocracy is a myth. And our belief in it is holding back the tech industry from getting better. The intent to be meritocratic is not a myth, but we know what road is paved with good intentions. —from Tech’s Meritocracy Problem.

Why nerd culture must die

http://computinged.wordpress.com/2014/11/13/why-nerd-culture-must-die-not-everyone-can-teach-themselves/ Truth.

There’s No Such Thing as a General-purpose Processor

http://queue.acm.org/detail.cfm?id=2687011 There’s no such thing as a General-purpose processor, and belief in such a device is harmful.

Joe Armstrong thinks we don’t need modules in software. Instead, all functions should have unique names and be published in a global database.

http://shape-of-code.coding-guidelines.com/2014/11/06/cobol-2014-perhaps-the-definitive-final-version-of-the-language/ Cobol now has function pointers :O

Apple noticed there are programmers outside the valley If my summary sounds cynical, it’s because I’m cynical of the old Apple way where they only hired engineers who wanted to relocate within the shadow of (whatever the big thing in SV is: Stanford now, but probably HP when Apple was younger). I’m excited that they’ll […]

Up or to the right

Sometimes in describing a concept X in one domain, someone will ask “oh, is that like X’?” where X’ is the same concept or a very similar one, expressed in a different domain. The quick answer is “Yes”, but that permits a range of interpretations from “X and X’ are the same things in different […]

The next phase in technological convergence will be harder than the last, because it can’t be solved with technology. Last time the devices converged, some phone makers just needed to buy a photoelectric detector, a lens, and licenses for some MP3 patents. But how can the various tab-sized computers I carry – my bank cards, […]