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.