Where your donations go (#1)

Because people do in fact drop money in my PayPal and Patreon accounts, I think a a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that I occasionally update everyone on where the money goes. First in an occasional series, Recently I’ve been buying Raspberry Pi GPS HATs (daughterboards with a GPS and real-time clock)… Continue reading Where your donations go (#1)

Who are the famous programmers?

Who are the programmers who are famous for doing programmer things? I’m wondering about this because my wife Cathy asked me a simple question last night, and I realized I didn’t have an answer to it. “Are you” she asked “the most famous programmer in the world?”

Namedropping “ESR”

For at least fifteen years my name and its tri-letterization has been something with which you could conjure up a lot of attention among hackers and other sorts of geek. This fact presented the more clueful of my personal friends with a delicate problem: under what circumstances would it be proper for them to invoke… Continue reading Namedropping “ESR”

Victory is sweet

Ever since the open-source rebranding in 1998, I’ve been telling people that “open source” should not be capitalized because it’s an engineering term of art, and that we would have achieved victory when the superiority of (uncapitalized) open source seeped into popular culture as a taken-for-granted background assumption. There’s a thriller writer named Brad Thor… Continue reading Victory is sweet

Why I don’t accept would-be disciples

Every few months I get a letter from a would-be hacker petitioning me to accept him (always a “him” so far) as my disciple. Happened again today; I think this time I’ll share part of the request, and my response, so I have it to point to next time this happens.

Charisma: a how-to

A couple of weeks ago a friend asked me how he could become more charismatic. Because the term “charismatic” has unhelpful religious connotations, let’s begin by being clear what he was actually asking. A person is “charismatic” when he or she has the ability to communicate a vision to others in a way that makes… Continue reading Charisma: a how-to

Refuting “The Mathematical Hacker”

Evan Miller’s essay The Mathematical Hacker is earnest, well-intentioned, and deeply wrong. Its errors begin with a serious misrepresentation of my views and my work, and fan out from there.

How not to engage me

Considering the extent to which I’m still a public figure, it is perhaps surprising how seldom I get email that deserves a thorough, up-one-side-and-down-the-other flaming. I got one today which I shall reproduce here as a perfect example of how not to engage me.

Ignoring the 5%

A thoughtful commenter objected in a procedural way to my open letter to Chris Dodd. He praised the letter and affirmed that I spoke for him in it, but said:

The importance of being “ESR” – a sidelight on the G+ nym wars

This is not actually going to be a post about the G+ nym wars. Rather, it’s about something curious that I discovered while thinking about them. I would like G+ to support persistent pseudonyms, so G+ users could say “+ESR” and have it point to my G+ profile. But here’s what’s interesting; I don’t actually… Continue reading The importance of being “ESR” – a sidelight on the G+ nym wars

Taxonomy of the haterboy

Human beings being what they are, famous people attract fans. Human beings being what they are, famous people also attract haters, the dark obverse of fans. If you are famous, normally your fans are going to be more visible to you than your haters because your fans will have more tendency to seek you out;… Continue reading Taxonomy of the haterboy

Double Vision

Yesterday I discovered that Donald Knuth at least occasionally reads my blog. I only half-jokingly reported a vague feeling that I ought to be falling to my knees and crying “I’m not worthy!” In response, a “v. m. smith” popped up in my comments to say this: Dude, you have written at least two books… Continue reading Double Vision