March 2012
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Anarchism in Iceland

Just read this interesting post[Polycentric Order: First Draft of Anarchic Iceland] about Icelandic history. Apparently, from 930 CE to 1096 CE, they had a tribal form of government with no really official rules. Just that the chieftans met for 2 weeks of each year to resolve disputes and re-establish boundaries. The rest of the people […]

Information Uncertainty Principle

Through Denning’s Presentation Great Principles of Computing I heard of this fascinating tale regarding Buridan’s ass.

It refers to a hypothetical situation wherein an ass is placed precisely midway between a stack of hay and a pail of water. Since the paradox assumes the ass will always go to whichever is closer, it will […]

Why Grading Sucks

It’s not just that the student provided solutions are unexpectedly “creative” and don’t fit the designed rubric. Nor that they make you wonder “Why am I even trying?”. Nor that they invoke thoughts such as “How did we ever make it as a species?” and “Dear God, I hope this kid never writes the code […]

Segregate Third-Party JS Libraries

Typically, web authors simply load whatever library they’d like to use with full trust. In JS, such loading amounts essentially to a #include. I’m flabbergasted that this practice remains normal. It could be paranoia, but even without invoking all the security concerns, I’d be reluctant to include other people’s code simply because of the potential […]

Editor Wars

Normally, I use vi for most of my editing work. But, I’ve been hearing much about emacs and its ability to do a better job at syntax highlighting, code completion, spell checking, even a writegood-mode for detecting passive voice. Emacs might be a pretty good editing OS, but it doesn’t come with an editing language. […]

Illegal Everything

John Stossel (I’m really starting to like this guy) recently did an episode titled “Illegal Everything” in which he make the following observations/arguments:

Legalizing drugs does not lead to more use, but does lead to less violence. (example: Portugal, as can be read about in Scientific American, and Wikipedia). Cops have raided food co-ops for […]

What you should know about type systems

I read today, a really good essay on type systems. It covers what they can be used for and the differences between dynamic and static systems (although the word ‘type’ is used in both, it doesn’t mean the same thing at all.)

Even though I have not used Haskell, ML, or any of the other […]