October 2021
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Tricks of the Trade

Today, Howard Rheingold was searching for examples of clear posts in which to use as examples of online communication. One of the respondents identified a really good series set of descriptions answering the question, What is it like to have an understanding of very advanced mathematics? (Interestingly Terry Tau is referenced quite often.)

That reminded […]

Public School, it is a Prison

How the Public Schools Keep Your Child a Prisoner of the State by Karen De Coster, has a few interesting links about how public schools act like prisons for both mind and body.

A really well researched article on equality via the school system: “Compulsory schooling not only fails to achieve its egalitarian goal, but […]

The Modern Library

I’d like to say some things about what I think a sacred, but overlooked, and dwindling institution can do to revitalize itself in the day of the information superhighway. First, let’s get something straight. People have had the opportunity to educate themselves, by visiting the local public lending library, for a long time (a generation […]

Homoiconic Dichotomy and Interactive Publications

Both Linguistics and Computer Science have some concern about the difference between form and meaning. This difference is usually introduced in a syntax vs semantics lecture. I would like to show that it actually occurs in a wide variety of circumstances.

Form Meaning Domain Syntax Semantics Linguistics (grammars), Computer Science (Parsing) Language Thought Cognitive Science, […]

The Future of Publishing should be Skribilo

Finally, I found something that looks like it could suitably replace LaTeX! It’s called Skribilo and features all of the goodness observed in a previous post about using a Lisp-like syntax instead of that crufty HTML/XML nonsense.

The Future of the Web should be Lisp

I was reading Steve Yegge’s drunken rant on The Emacs Problem. It wasn’t able to convince me that Lisp was a great language for text processing, but it did convince me that Lisp is a fantastic language for data interchange. Especially, if that data happens to have hierarchical structure. Say for example, something like HTML.


Intellectual Land Grab

The Libertarian think tank CATO recently published a small, trite piece that attempts to establish The Case against Literary (and Software) Patents. Being a Libertarian, I actually agree with the position; I just don’t think that this article fully explored the issue. Here, I seek to provide some links to more fundamental content.

It begins […]

Building Linguistic Structure

Yesterday, I had an interesting thought. My advisor once made the cultural observation that many people in Computer Science invent their own language and then immediately write a self-hosting compiler. I agree that a compiler is quite a feat of engineering and serves as a nice test case to demonstrate that the language you’ve invented […]

The Science of Religion

I recently watched this really nice video of a talk given by Andy Thomson at the American Atheists conference that briefly goes over some of the reasons Why We Belive in Gods.

If you don’t wish to watch the video, I’ve recorded the primary arguments below (or skip right to the last bullet for […]

The Misinformation of Crowds

I’ve seen much recently piggy-backing on the Wisdom of Crowds. Much of the Web 2.0 seems highly focused on exploiting this phenomenon:

Datamining the crowd: Yahoo and Google both have an Answers service that purports to harness the wisdom explicitly. Ranking results: Digg, Newsvine, Technorati all use forms of distributed social voting to determine quality. […]