Wednesday, June 8, 2011

I'd love some kind of video mashup playing in the background when I have to write the boring kind of code.  I want high res video from cool scenes around the world -- like crashing waves, or underwater footage, or even webcam views of different locations.  I don't want people talking in the videos or even sound because I can't code and do talking at the same time.  Just something to make me feel more connected to the world.  Being in a text editor is a bland, isolating experience.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

I was incredulous at this This American Life episode about a drug court judge in Georgia and indignant enough  to send judge Amanda Williams and the court my thoughts on the matter.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

It's fraudulent for an author to write a book about how to be financially successful if a large portion of their net worth came from sales of the book.  Legal, yes, but wrong.

(Rich Dad, Poor Dad comes to mind -- and what a confused mess of lessons he tries to impart.  It struck me that he didn't really understand what he wanted to teach.)

Friday, March 18, 2011

Panic at the Disco was streaming their new album for free on facebook, the catch was that I had to click "Like" on their facebook page to listen to the whole thing.  I wouldn't click on it because I didn't know if the new album is good or not, so I left the page without listening to any more.  I don't think they understand how facebook really works:  If I say I like something, I'm putting my credibility on the line.   My friends trust that I won't sell out my opinion or sell their information for a reward/bribe from some company.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

This algorithm does an f'ing gorgeous job of calculating normal vectors.  Ignore the wacky URL.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Would a judge ever reduce a sentence if he thought there was a 97% chance a person was guilty and maybe 3% that he was innocent?  (Like for having mercy on this guy?)

Our justice system seems to be predicated on an all or nothing mentality, either 100% guilty with a penalty of 100%, or else innocent.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

I subscribed to this guy's high frequency trading programming blog, but I have only mild curiosity about how it works.  Imagine that you did succeed in writing software that could purchase a security 10 microseconds before another guy: the time spent writing software to shave off microseconds could have gone to creating something beautiful or useful or entertaining for people.  And if the purpose of trading securities is to allocate capital to companies that make stuff society wants, it's hard to argue that a company would be harmed by getting its money 10 microseconds later.

Monday, February 21, 2011

You have to willfully not follow the logic to disbelieve evolution.

Monday, February 14, 2011


The telephone poles in the sidewalks on my run to the park in Fountain Valley are placed closer to the road than the wall.  It makes me choose the side furthest from the road to avoid the narrow width of sidewalk next to the street and so takes away the chance of a stumble onto the road as a car comes by.  I want to believe that someone planned this out on purpose.

Monday, February 7, 2011

An interesting question for people who don't support universal health care is at what cost they would support it.  If it was $10 per American per year to get universal coverage for everyone, I hope you'd have near 100% support.  Of course it gets trickier to decide this as the sums get higher, but I get the sense there are some that see having to pay for others as a moral issue.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Beautiful quote

"At some point, self-confidence turns into a learning disorder."
--Lamentations on Chemistry

Monday, January 10, 2011

One reason Tron Legacy was not a good movie was because the world didn't have consistent rules. You couldn't tell what the limits of the characters were and so it felt like the characters could pull arbitrary super powers out of their asses when they needed to move the story along (e.g. the old guy suddenly causing a tornado at the end).

I always felt cheated at the end of DragonLance and Stephen King books for the same reason.