In the comments to my last post advising people not to panic-buy guns because of COVID-19, I got a request from a regular wondering how to choose a first firearm wisely, and about safe storage practices. He said: “I’m thinking in the next year of getting a gun for home defense, and I’d like myself… Continue reading Choosing your weapons wisely
I’m a long-time advocate of more ordinary citizens getting themselves firearms and learning to use them safely and competently. But this is a public-service announcement: if you’re thinking of running out to buy a gun because of COVID-19, please don’t. There are disaster scenarios in which getting armed up in a hurry makes sense; the… Continue reading PSA: COVID-19 is a bad reason to get a firearm
I like code-validation tools, because I hate defects in my software and I know that there are lots of kinds of defects that are difficult for an unaided human brain to notice. On my projects, I throw every code validater I can find at my code. Standbys are cppcheck for C code, pylint for Python,… Continue reading shellcheck: boosting the signal
The historian Robert Conquest once wrote: “The behavior of any bureaucratic organization can best be understood by assuming that it is controlled by a secret cabal of its enemies.” Today I learned that the Open Source Initiative has reached that point of bureaucratization. I – OSI’s co-founder and its president for its first six years… Continue reading The right to be rude
On January 12th 2020, reposurgeon performed a successful conversion of its biggest repository ever – the entire history of the GNU Compiler Collection, 280K commits with a history stretching back through 1987. Not only were some parts CVS, the earliest portions predated CVS and had been stored in RCS. I waited this long to talk… Continue reading Reposurgeon defeats all monsters!
One of the loonier and more wonderful conspiracy theories floating around the Internet is it many of the world’s elite are shapeshifting lizardoid extraterrestrials. This explainer seems to sum it up pretty well. When I first encountered this idea I was gobsmacked. How could anyone actually believe such a thing? And yet, apparently, many people… Continue reading The reality of the lizard people
Yikes. Despite the withdrawal of the Indian paper arguing that the Wuhan virus showed signs of engineering, the hypothesis that that it’s an escaped bioweapon looks stronger than ever. Why do I say this? Because it looks like my previous inclination to believe the rough correctness of the official statistics – as conveyed by the… Continue reading Chinese bioweapon II: Electric Boogaloo
One of the eternal mysteries of software is why build engines suck so badly.
I know it sounds like tinfoil-hat territory, but there are now three pieces of evidence pointing at the conclusion that the Wuhan coronavirus is an accidentally released bioweapon. UPDATE: Just two. The paper giving evidence for engineering was retracted s a few days after I wrote this.
I’m utterly boggled. Yesterday, out of nowhere, I learned of a fundamental divide in how peoples’ mental lives work about which I had had no previous idea at all. From this: Today I Learned That Not Everyone Has An Internal Monologue And It Has Ruined My Day. My reaction to that title can be rendered… Continue reading Head-voice vs. quiet-mind
I recently took some criticism over the fact that reposurgeon has no documentation that is an easy introduction for beginners. After contemplating the undeniable truth of this criticism for a while, I realized that I might have something useful to say about the process and problems of documentation in general – something I didn’t already… Continue reading Missing documentation and the reproduction problem
Yes, it’s been a month since I posted here. To be more precise, 30 Days in the Hole – I’ve been heads-down on a project with a deadline which I just barely met. and then preoccupied with cleanup from that effort. The project was reposurgeon’s biggest conversion yet, the 280K-commit history of the Gnu Compiler… Continue reading 30 Days in the Hole
There’s a political trend I have been privately thinking of as “the Great Inversion”. It has been visible since about the end of World War II in the U.S., Great Britain, and much of Western Europe, gradually gaining steam and going into high gear in the late 1970s. The Great Inversion reached a kind of… Continue reading The Great Inversion
I think it’s useful to coin pithy terms for phenomena that all software engineers experience but don’t have a name to put to. Our term of the day is “finger trap”.
A few minutes ago I received a request by email from a conference organizer who wants me to speak at an event in a foreign country. Unfortunately, the particular country has become a place I won’t go. Having decided that I want my policy and my reasoning to be publicly known, I reproduce here the… Continue reading Some places I won’t go
Michael Bloomberg, the former Mayor of New York perhaps best known for taking fizzy drinks, and now a Democratic presidential aspirant, has just caused a bit of a kerfuffle by suggesting that minorities be disarmed to keep them alive. I think the real problem with Bloomberg’s remark is not that it reads as shockingly racist,… Continue reading Grasping Bloomberg’s nettle
Elon Musk’s new Starship is not the tall skinny pressurized-aluminum cylinder we’re used to thinking of a real rocket, but a fat cigar-shaped thing made of stainless steel, with tail fins. I just listened to an elaborate economic and engineering rationale for this. And I don’t believe a word of it. It had to be… Continue reading The dream is real
Beto O’Rourke is a pretty risible character even among the clown show that is the 2020 cycle’s Democratic candidate-aspirants. A faux-populist with a history of burglary and DUI, he married the heiress of a billionaire and money-bombed his way to a seat in the House of Representatives, only to fail when he ran for the… Continue reading Gratitude for Beto
I think this is my favorite Internet meme ever. Yeah, Hong Kong, we actually have a problem with Communist oppression here, too. Notably in our universities, but metastasizing through pop culture and social media censorship too. They haven’t totally captured the machinery of state yet, but they’re working on that Long March all too effectively.… Continue reading Be the America Hong Kong thinks you are
Officiant: “One comes before us today who wishes to become a Sworn Brother. Let him approach.” Officiant: “Are there two Brothers present who will affirm that the candidate is of sound mind and good character, being aware that the penalty for error in this judgment is expulsion and disgrace?” Upon hearing affirmations, the officiant continues:… Continue reading The Order of Defenders