The question things come down to for ambitious young people with few connections and fewer resources is “What’s the cheapest, fastest interesting thing I can do?”. It’s not how to make the most money, avenues for making lots of money aren’t available to those who don’t already have some. It’s not necessarily about the most important thing, the really long term important things in life probably haven’t even been figured out by a young person yet. Even if they have, it takes resources to get there that generally aren’t there for youth. It’s about the cheapest, most immediate concrete contribution that proves someone is capable of doing something.Read More..
“No theory, no ready-made system, no book that has ever been written will save the world. I cleave to no system. I am a true seeker.” - Mikhail BakuninRead More..
My second monitor has been broken since I installed it. It’s one of those nagging little issues you convince yourself doesn’t matter but significantly hobbles your productivity. I just fixed it after finally investing the time to figure it out. Any time I have an issue that takes research effort to fix with my system (rare these days, but it happens) I like to write down a tutorial for others.Read More..
After the massive push to brand heretical outlets ‘fake news’ following Donald Trump’s election, I figured it would be the latest left-wing witch hunt. Such a witch hunt would let us avoid confronting the serious questions about why Democrats lost this election season. I thought that this outlook was pessimistic but likely to be correct. However the wildfire takeoff of ‘fake’ and related terms like ‘debunk’ in the new zeitgeist humbled me. I clearly had not been nearly pessimistic enough. Black and white thinking obviously isn’t new, but it feels like it’s been massively accelerated since the start of 2017.Read More..
This is an essay I wrote for a college class. While I don’t usually post my college essays this particular one is an incarnation of a thing which I had been trying to write for a while.Read More..
The following is adapted from a post I made on an online forum in reply to someone using the phrase ‘virtue signaling’ in the painful way that has become common recently which strips it of meaning. I decided to delete that post on second thought since reading their words more closely the use was defensible and it’s not kind to call somebody out in public like that. However what I wrote is something I would like to be able to link people to in the future so I’m putting it here.Read More..
Right now I’m writing a post on the etymology of the word ‘hacker’, and it’s taking a lot longer than I’d like it to. I think this information is important enough that I don’t want to wait to have something polished to put all of it out there, so here are the highlights of that post so far along with a collection of interesting resources I’ve found on the subject.Read More..
As the bus pulled in, you wouldn't have even known there was a Trump rally. Cars on the main street of Everett were sparse enough for us to weave past and into town. There were no signs and no advertising for the event, all the work in that department had been done by the local news which announced Trump's arrival far in advance. Decorating the town to draw in a crowd would have been redundant. The first real world evidence of existence was when the bus driver kicked us all off early.Read More..
Unix v7, released for the PDP-11 line of minicomputers in 1979 is one of computings classics. Just a year before The C Programming Language had been released in its first edition by Bell Labs. In this release is the first appearance of pcc, the Portable C Compiler which began C's ascendancy as the de facto systems language in use today. This is the same year that Bill Joy stepped down as lead developer of vi. Many of the programs you use on a daily basis can trace their ancestry here.Read More..
The software versions we will be using for this tutorial are:
Steel Bank Common Lisp (SBCL) - 1.3.0
Quicklisp - "2015-01-28"
Hunchentoot - 1.2.34
caveman2 - 2.4.0Read More..
In 2014 I wrote a post about building a library from the pile of disorganized books at my high school. In it I went over how the books were indexed by setting up a ‘scanning’ station consisting of myself and a camera. I also discussed how the books were indexed by ISBN number using a 3rd party service, and how to check the validity of ISBN numbers entered by hand or a bar code scanner. I included scripts to do these things, but left out the critical portion of what to do with the data once you have it. This is a followup post to correct this omission and finish what I started.Read More..
I was introduced to Issac Asimov’s Foundation series in the summer between my Freshman and Sophomore years of High School. Certain books are so widely agreed to be excellent that you’ll have heard of them long before you read them, at least vaguely. Foundation was in this category for me, and what compelled me to read it over anything else I might have done at that time was it’s immediate availability in my local school library. However, it would be a misnomer to say I ‘checked out’ the book, as this library has no check out system, no tracking, and no index of what books are available.Read More..
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