Unknown Environments

Here’s Knuth in an interview: As to your real question, the idea of immediate compilation and “unit tests” appeals to me only rarely, when I’m feeling my way in a totally unknown environment and need feedback about what works and what doesn’t… Hmm, people who are “feeling their way in a totally unknown environment”… Like […]

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The second-biggest Shia spiritual leader (who, perfectly enough, I’ve never heard of) was quoted on NPR today from something he said last Friday (2006-09-22) as saying that there is no “conflict of civilizations”, only a “conflict of ignorance”. Which is as near to correct as any statement yet on the current West vs. Mid-East “blow […]

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Hope and Fear

The other night I was thinking about fear (in case you’re wondering, I do that instead of sleeping). See, I have these Socratic debates in my head, wherein I determine which side of the debate sounds—on the whole—less mind-fuckingly insane to me, and then I refine it, and blend in the less crazy parts of […]

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Finding Spivak

I recently IM’d someone who sounded interesting on an unnamed quiz/dating site, and was pleasantly surprised to find someone who made me feel dumb. Not that feeling dumb is good, just that it’s easier to see the next plateau when there’s someone there waving at you. Unfortunately, reaching that plateau involves tracking down a particular […]

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