Posts

I ain’t no half-educated pedant!

The half-educated love to show off the half they got.

For instance, in Blue Bloods, Erin Reagan periodically mocks her working-class detective, Anthony Abetemarco's use of "double negatives." When he says, "I ain't got no problem with that," she tells him, "Oh, you mean you do have a problem with that?"

This is utter silliness: sure, in mathematics or formal logic, something like − − 2 is equal to +2, but so what? Why should formal systems, especially since they are parasitic on natural language, get to dictate to natural language how it should be spoken?

Reagan obviously knew exactly what Anthony meant. That she would insist he meant the opposite is simply a way of asserting that her social is higher than his.

Is the word "method" even allowed anymore?

I think people will start calling it "the m-word" soon. For instance, in this post, the author writes:

"Beyond that, the authorities have changed the calculation methodology."

If there is a more clear-cut case than this for the use of the simple word "method," I don't know what it would be. Nonetheless, the author adds three (here) meaningless syllables on because... well, because everyone else does!

Sure, smart phones aren't different than newspapers: keep telling yourself that

Today, I saw an ad from Braun showing how their electric razors are so easy to use that... you don't need to stop staring into your smart phone to shave!

I don't think there was ever an ad showing how you could shave while reading the newspaper.

We are witnessing what is far and away the most rapid change in human behavior that has taken place in our 300,000 years of existence... and no one has any idea where it is taking us.

Is it possible to use your calling software to... make a call?

Image
I just got sent someone's Skype address, and I would just like to... you know, call them. Now, the number one thing people do with Skype is call other people. So the whole user interface should be focused on making it easy to call people. But instead we get:


"Call" is grayed out, and there is no indication whatsoever of what one needs to do to ungray it. Yes, I know there is some way to do so, but this is about as bad as user-interface design can be.

The Origins and Spread of Anooranosism

There once were a people, the Carinaem, who found the sky and the objects they saw in it so beautiful that they worshipped it, and wove that worship throughout their culture, including their political life. In fact, for them, what we would call "religion" and what we would call "politics (as well as what we would call "culture") were not really separate things at all: they were just the people's social life, which was a whole.

But gradually, a class of people, who called themselves the Narcien, raised themselves far above the common person of Carinae, instituting autocratic political rule as well as commandeering much of the wealth of the land. And naturally they used this worship of the sky to justify their position.

So when a segment of the population finally became so fed up that they decided to overthrow the Narcien, they rejected everything associated with them, including the sky worship. They believed that all aspects of the society that had been ru…

The strange nature of computer science education

The vast majority of students who go through computer science programs are training to be engineers, not academic researchers. And yet…

I just had a masters student say how impressed he was that I was having my OOP students do C++ projects that stretch across more than one file. He said that in his entire undergraduate education, he had never compiled a program that used more than a single file.
It is as though we were training civil engineers to build bridges, but only bridges that stretch across one-foot-wide ditches.