Every American should know basic math. Every American should understand the logical underpinnings to coding, the way conditional clauses work and the cyclical way in which systems are constructed. Americans should know that the way a website works isn't the way a video game works which isn't the way a bank's database works, but they don't need to learn to "code" all of those things. Just as every... American doesn't need to get certified as a mechanic, but should know how to change a tire, every American should know how computer systems work in the abstract but doesn't need to code.
At Foursquare, we have a simple, first-principles based method of resolving proposed venue attribute updates. We can gauge each Superuser’s voting accuracy based on their performance on honeypots (proposed updates with known answers which are deliberately inserted into the updates queue). Measuring performance and using these probabilities correctly is the key to how we assign points to a Superuser’s vote.
What I find subversive and right is to grow a bleeding vagina and be a woman, which is not to say “don't harass or assault or discriminate against me because I'm a woman,” but rather, “don't harass or assault or discriminate against me. Because I'm a woman. And I'll destroy you.”
I would like to put in a word for wonky sex writing, both as art and instruction. I don’t know about you but I rarely find passages of sexual description “redundant” in otherwise bloodless books. In fact, a surprising number of the modern novels in my possession happen to fall open at redundant passages of sexual description, almost as if those pages have been read and reread just to check how... perfunctory they are — especially the volumes I owned as a randy, bookish teenager. So, I’d like to thank all of those novelists and sleazy science-fiction writers who braved a turn in the critical stocks to share their visions with me and my fellow lonely nerds.
Now I read only when I have nothing better thing to do. I read in afternoons when the writing has been done and the errands have been run, and late in the evenings in half-hour increments stolen from the next day’s sleep. On occasion, I’ll glance at the quarter-read books on my nightstand and the 24%-read books on my Kindle and the unread books on my bookshelf and feel guilty about not reading enough.
My bot language of choice is Python, a medium as rich with text-manipulating possibility as it is forgiving of sloppy coding chops. There’s also help available: the TextBlob library, for example, can break down paragraphs into sentences and sentences into their component parts of speech—sparing me from having to diagram a sentence for the first time since high school. That part-of-speech data... allows me to create on-the-fly Mad Libs, garbling an original sentence by swapping in new nouns, adjectives, and coördinating conjunctions from TextBlob’s limitless supply. TextBlob leverages WordNet, a sprawling database of English word relationships that’s been in development since 1985 and was first funded by the U.S. Navy. We can only be grateful the Cold War ended before they could fully weaponize the synonym.
We’ve been recording knowledge in books for a long time. That means there’s not a lot that’s new, its just recycled old. Even Nassim Taleb, author of Antifragile, points out that several ancient philosophers grasped the concept of antifragiity. Odds are that no matter what you’re working on, someone somewhere, who is smarter than you, has probably thought about your problem and put it into a book.
Baseball, and other games of its kind, exhibit what I call ‘rule horizons,’ expanding layers of complexity that radiate from a central core ruleset. Crossing each horizon offers a new benchmark of excellence and mastery for those players (or spectators) who choose to pursue it. But crossing horizons is never a necessity for play.
The foreigner who acquires a fluent if comically filtered command of English through televisual osmosis is a mostly apocryphal case. It is not just for reasons of faddishness that TV as a language-acquisition tool has been superseded by newer technologies, like CD-ROMs and, lately, apps, which are more naturally interactive.
Americans might be forgiven for thinking the pace of change has slowed, in part because the United States government hasn’t been able to do heroic nonmilitary infrastructure for quite a while. Before and after World War II there was a huge amount of infrastructure building in the United States that gave us the spiritual shape of the American century. Rural electrification, the highway system, the... freeways of Los Angeles—those were some of the biggest things anybody had ever built in the world at the time, but the United States really has fallen far behind with that.
There is a marked habit of some on the right, particularly the most self-righteously reactionary or "traditionalist" factions of it, to exert enormous energy in telling the world what they hate and how much modernity they reject, often through appalling impoliteness, justified as anti-PC subversion. This, they imagine, is what true intellectual bravery looks like. The result is a conservative commentariat drained of the very restraint and dignity that a conservative disposition is supposed to entail.
For anti-porn feminists, the internet serves a sinister function. The same technologies that increased access to porn have also increased the pool of porn producers, and that, too, they say, must be stopped – never mind if these technologies also make it a bit easier for some women to call more of the shots. The same feminists who theorize that porn could never be feminist not only ignore those who have experience in the field; they also want to knock them out of it.
The trouble with Twitter isn’t that it’s full of inanity and self-promoting jerks. The trouble is that it’s a solution to a problem that shouldn’t be solved. Eighty percent of the battle of writing involves keeping yourself in that cave: waiting out the loneliness and opacity and emptiness and frustration and bad sentences and dead ends and despair until the damn thing resolves into words. That... kind of patience, a steady turning away from everything but the mind and the topic at hand, can only be accomplished by cultivating the habit of attention and a tolerance for solitude.
Much of the reporting on Halloween in North America was confined to the pranks and minor damage done on the evening along with many reports of the large number of firecrackers being let off. In the 1950s, the City of Vancouver and the surrounding municipalities began to hold Halloween parties where contests, dancing and games were followed by some fireworks. The idea seems to be about giving youth... something to do in an attempt to control the hooliganism that was a big problem in parts of the city. Interestingly, it seems that Dunbar, Point Grey and Kerrisdale youths were the worst offenders.
Twitter is a reminder that successful startups start with a crazy dream, a random doodle (or a drunken conversation in Twitter’s case) that is then followed by a series of coincidences. Twitter is a random series of events posing as a corporation.
A beard is a celebration of nature that brings appearance closer to that of untamed human animals—a Rousseau-esque gesture that was crucial to the age of Aquarius, a time when long-established norms of behavior collapsed and made public life a clearer expression of formerly unspeakable private desires. By contrast, the shaven and crew-cut athlete suggests a martial fury that is joyless—a grim,... self-denying efficiency that may work in war but is exactly the opposite of the essence of baseball, which, for all its competitive ardor, is playtime. (And the over-all increasing regimentation and militarization of modern life has no more powerful, intimate symbol than the fanatical prevalence of depilation.)
If you say you are sorry, you are not just conceding that you did something wrong. You are conceding the possibility of wrongness. You are accepting that you might be held to some standard not of your own choosing: not only ethical, but rhetorical, strategic, managerial, democratic, any of it. You are acknowledging that you need somebody else’s approval, beyond those you have carefully selected... and groomed to approve you. And so he will not do that. If you never act as if you expect to be held to any standard, he calculates, you won’t be. If you never act as if you’re guilty, you aren’t.
In 2011, Apple introduced a new feature in for Mac OS X Lion, called “natural” two-finger scrolling. Natural scrolling is similar to moving paper or scrolling on an iPhone or iPad’s touchscreen. Users can also select the scrolling method used by most versions of Windows and older versions of OS X, which imitates the scroll button or scroll bar on a traditional desktop. What’s strange is that if you have spent much time using either method, both scrolling conventions feel “natural.”
The waterfall development process derives from physical industries like construction and mechanical engineering, where a failure of design or implementation would either be extremely costly to fix, life-threatening, or both, resulting in a strong emphasis on detailed specifications at the start of any project. But underlying agile software development is the fact that building software is... fundamentally not like building skyscrapers. Software is imaginary—it is text—and agile development treats software more like a story being written by the developer and the client than like a mechanical engineering project.
when I asked that question – “I don’t understand mingling, can you explain it to me?” – to someone chosen at random, someone who turned out, by incredibly lucky happenstance, to be a kind-hearted writer with a deep awareness of the mechanics of mingling, her own struggles with it, and Olympic level social skills to boot, I got an answer. A helpful, thoughtful, practical answer. Or, really, set of... answers and techniques and tips. Like “when you’re in a room full of people you don’t know, smile; make eye contact with people; if they make eye contact with you and smile back, that’s a good cue to go and talk to them.”