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Cyborgs on HN

This page collects comments which make unnecessary or tenuous analogies to computers, programming, dollar-sign $variables, sed's/replace/syntax/g, mathematics, AI/machine learning, and cryptography in discussions that aren't about those things.

Agreed, but that's a two part issue.

#1 - The modern web has a much lower ratio of citizenCreators : consumers than the early web.

#2 - The utility of information is professionalUnbiased > proHobbyist > professionalBiased > randomPerson >> SEO spam.

Google's current ranking is SEO spam >> professionalBiased > professionalUnbiased >> proHobbyist > randomPerson.

That's a clear misalignment.

Sadly, due to being on the first floor* I don't have a lawn.

I do keep considering balcony mounts for what would've been the lawn defence cannon though.

* en_UK first floor, mind, I know en_US insists on 1-based indexing rather than 0-based for floors but I don't particularly like writing FORTRAN either.

s/at the speed of light/no faster than the speed of light/

Also, what is with this misconception: "When twins aren’t being regarded as carbon copies, they are slotted (or slot themselves) into opposing roles." Dude, any vector can be projected onto another one, with an orthogonal ("opposing") component left over.

Layoffs in the WFH era are weird. Back in the day you had a pretty good idea of who got laid off because you saw them walking out the door with a box of their stuff. You could go up to them and say, "hey let's meet at $local_watering_hole and hang out". You could swap contact info if you didn't already have it.

On far older hardware, we still used spinning rust for $deity sake...

Once you understand the embryology, there are actually a variety of things like the appendix: they're just the ends of things that come together. The uvula is a great example: embryologically, the two sides of the face separate very early as an opening, then develop a lot of complicated anatomy and fuse back together. The uvula is where that fusion completes and the fusion process completes (returns 0) when the microenvironment variables get to a certain state.

The ability to shutdown any persons the government doesn't like using any growing list of $Excuses is worrying.

I have a couple of examples (of HN and high-ranking HNers natch ;) and found a fair number of bugs^H^H^H^H non-optimal choices in their feeds, probably because XML is not all that human-readable, even for devs.

I will admit, I've often searched for $project_name github to get to their repositories. It shouldn't matter but it's just a force of habit now.

Xiaomi is China's Apple, so what happened to the rumored Apple car? Haven't heard anything for a while, but Wikipedia claims it's still planned for 2024-25:

Yeah, under the hood that date is {{Date().getFullYear() + 1}}

Calling it: Apple will partner with an established automaker such as Goldman Sachs^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^HPolestar and customize the infotainment OS.

Inc actually does this sort of madlibs article all the time

"In $NUMBER (words/sentences), $FOO taught a masterclass in $BAR"

You're positing that some significant portion of the victims decide to settle like this:

if (shame)

But it's almost certainly this:

if (bankruptcy_risk || shame)

I actually don't benefit at all from you using my code; I did all the work to make the world a place where $PROBLEM has an accessible solution.

At $DAY_JOB we recently scuttled most development efforts for a week for our teams. Our nightly backup job that sanitizes PHI ballooned overtime to, say, 20GB+1Byte and ran out of disk space. Because we are running Kubernetes on Fargate we don’t need a full time operations guy, right?

I'm ashamed to admit I often wonder about this when playingˆHˆHˆHˆHˆHˆHˆH my daughter plays with myˆHˆH her Duplo train.

I have no dog in this fight as I rarely deal with cash and do not run a retail business. However from a conceptual point of view I really have a viscerally negative reaction to not accepting cash. It is a societal acceptance of the rent seeking behavior of the credit processing networks. I already have to pay a sales tax to ${TAX_ENTITIES.length} different government entities, I don't love that I also have a 3% tax going to VISA/Mastercard/Amex/...

Anyone who uses ChatGPT for a while will learn to take everything with a grain of salt.

s/Grain/huge rock/

Addendum: don’t rely on your git/wiki/document-system for tracking the timestamp. "This was accurate on $DATE" has a very different meaning than "this document was last edited on $DATE". It might be 2 years out of date but someone fixed a typo last week.

or s/bottled water/water bottles

Also, adding a charger for your swappable-battery car costs pennies, so lots of people won't even use their car's battery a swapping feature (which is really bad for battery swapping outlets). If most people only use the battery-swap at Christmas and $HOLIDAY, then the networks could be underprovisioned during those spikes and overprovisioned in the other 363 days of the year.

Horrible edge cases to consider when dealing with music

title += " publishing metadata"

That video is wrong. Men who are actually friends don't tell each other "that's a nice tie", they tell each other "nice tie $SLUR".

struggles with too many files. Last I looked, official Microsoft documentation says to not exceed 100k files. Yet, $WORK wants to dump basically every file I touch inside there. My Teams folder alone is ~20k files.

Tuta became understandably a walled garden that my other tools couldn't easily work with. This wasted alot of my time.

Nowadays using $normalemailprovider with Thunderbird.

But having a favourite release of Mac OSX means it's Snow Leopard. I've seen comparisons between $current and $current_minus_one, but never in regards to "That was my favourite" - likely because anyone invested enough in Mac OS releases to have a favourite, favours Snow Leopard.

Sure. But the $CURRENT_MODEL's price never decreases. It stays steady - until the next price bump. E.g. $MID_RANGE_GPU, $HIGH_END_CPU - their price will decrease next year, when the new model comes out. The new model's price will not be lower than the current one.

I now guess somebody wrote it up, published it and maybe linked to it on Twitter, some content-farming bots notice $ACTRESS_NAME trending on Twitter, and their algorithm realize there's audience eyeballs to be gained there, and found the freshest article about her, on Twitter I suppose?

s/China's TikTok users/Users of China's TikTok/

Also starting to realise that my "they can't stop me gaming when I'm 80!" attitude will be self-limited by joint pain at some point... probably in exactly the same way as previous generations, just s/gaming/popular activity of the era/

Calm down satan. Until you manage to manufacture physical products for free (one time cost then get inf copies, as digital content) retail theft !== digital pirating

From someone that occasionally visits YouTube, hearing people talk about YouTube this and YouTube that numerous times in one conversation let alone in a day is very noticeable. Same thing goes for Reddit. Or TikTok. Or any $socialMediaPlatform.

It's been a while now since I used a self-checkout, but my general philosophy is "Sorry, $Employer pays me to fight with buggy, UI-from-hell computers at $Job. If you want me to fight with your self-checkout system, my rate is \$$Lots/hour".

s/Spending/Stocking Up/

I'd pinged HN mods about this, though dang ended up dong a wholesale replacement rather than s/She/Sabine Hossenfelder/.

It really does sound weird. I already imagine trying to sell this at my $DAYJOB (I would likely have to "fork" it myself just to replace a few strings in the codebase that mention the original name).

Ask HN: What programming languages are you using at $WORK?

If you search "watch $MOVIE free" on google you're going to get netflix, Hulu, prime, Disney etc as the first results regardless of whether those sites even have it in their library.

I hope these journalists are ashamed of themselves and I hope they are at least sacked, with their careers relegated to selling poutine all day.

s/selling/eating/ ?

There is always plenty wrong with each new release but the comments and jokes about ${"LATEST_RELEASE"} of ${"SOFTWARE"} being unilaterally bad just make me think the person can't deal with change instead of the software actually being bad.

I'm scratching my head here. The old gas/diesel dispensing stations have solved this problem of restricting people taking all of the fuel in the pump with a disruptive financial technology called blo^H^H^H credit card.

With that said, it's been a reliable solution and does not need me or my friends to create $BIGTECH account.

I am endlessly annoyed by slow interfaces. At $DAYJOB I have to use a web and desktop GUI for managing CheckPoint firewalls. These often will freeze for dozens of seconds, and generally make my computer crawl. I feel that this should not be acceptable in 2023.

Quite. s/"thanks to abusive users"/"thanks to an abusive provider".

So Dutch is little-endian?


God I hate the business models of $CURRENT_YEAR

If you don't care about the notifications anyways....then turn them off/silence them. Switch from an event-based model to a polling one, since you're treating it that way anyways.

I don't live in a country where it's as one-dimensional as: (public road) ⇒ ¬(privacy rights) and I value that.

An "Architect" was pushing SMS 2FA for our application, and only SMS 2FA. Like you I pointed out all the issues. The response I got was "well if it's good enough for $BIGCORP it is good enough for us" and I didn't win. Cargo culting at it's finest.

Imagine scraping by to pay rent from your minimum wage job, and you're told that you can't sign up for $SERVICE because you don't have a new enough phone or a yubikey.

s/Unfortunately/Thankfully/ but a great point!

Just FYI, !== the chat app, it's a related but separate service.

s/receives/sentenced to/

"Receives $X years" Is an idiomatic way of expressing prison terms.

There are many websites that provide exactly that function. I suspect most of them are based yt-dl{,p}.

Reading 3 books on $topic will give you a deeper understanding and appreciation for $topic than 99.9% of the population. Yet you are still at basically zero compared to the people who wrote those books.

It was one of her tweets, it's on wikipedia and was widely "reported" at the time. It came in the context of her late conversion to Islam, and the blowback it generated (imagine being a high-profile personality in a deeply $religion-following country, and publicly abiuring that to become $aVeryDifferentReligion...).

I don't think the author is trying to spur you to action. Like most articles, it's meant to make you think.



Never tell them it's just because of all the technical debt you finally had organizational will to pay off.

We've had great luck at $CURJOB with forum software.

Why have a geofilter if the vast majority of people are logging into the site to see if anyone is talking shit about $COMPANY and the only way to make money is if $COMPANY pays you off to take those posts down?

> On a PC laptop it often is. Even on many all in ones now.


Facebook^W Meta is scum.

People who don't own $valuable_asset believe that it should be regulated and there should be mechanisms in place so that everyone has some $valuable_asset.

How does one go about getting such numbers? Do a web search for "$BANK_NAME virtual credit card number"?

It's supposedly a mere slip slope from there to every restaurant and grocer in town refusing to sell food to members of $Disadvantaged_Group, causing them to die of starvation.

But no, now that the market has been oligopolized, it's more profitable to show you what you don't want, and you'll have to be satisfied with whatever incidental successes you manage while wading through the output of the Search^h^h^h^h^h Sell-You-Things Engine.

If, when it really matters, the actual & on-hand operating staff for $SYSTEM cannot understand even basics of the controls for $SYSTEM - then you're control UI is a complete failure, and you'll end up f*cked.

I have also started looking at it, by $REAL_JOB doesn't leave that much time.

Something I've always wondered is how people actually do the backwards alphabet test. I don't think I could efficiently do it sober, but I do have an O(n2) algorithm for doing it; sing the ABCs in your head, and only say the letter before the one you've already said.

So this means that /r/$FOO is not actually a subreddit about $FOO, moderated so that exactly any non-spam discussion about $FOO is allowed, but rather a dictatorship ran by whoever happened to grab the name first.

if you don't like the actions of mods on a subreddit you can just make another subreddit (including in your company example, if the company does /r/$NEWPRODUCT and removes all negative opinions people can easily to /r/$NEWPRODUCT-community and run it as they wish instead)

I was just thinking that this weekend in the Seattle area as we wandered the aisles for six for the wife. It's either an attempt to put the scariest-looking skull(s) on the label, or $SOMETHING $SEXUAL_REFERENCE $FARM_ANIMAL (e. g., Ass-Kickin' Horny Goat Stout).

Legitimately seems like a GPT-tier confusion. Just put all the somewhat-relevant words in a syntactically correct configuration and call it done.

Half a decade? Hasn't it been going on for well over 40 years by this point?


Please stop. These discussions never lead anywhere, and all they reveal in the end is that $SOME_AI_PROJECT doesn't meet $YOUR_IDIOSYNCRATIC_DEFINITION_OF_AI.

Time to enjoy some sweet O_2 molecules.



possible with the current deepf^Wparody technology

This Python dictionary could be useful for $HOBBYIST who is learning about $HOBBY and could help people familiar with $HOBBY to remember terms or use it for guidance in improving their skills at $HOBBY.

Newspapers do the kind of in depth investigation as their bread in butter that other mediums rarely if ever participate in.


Oh dear $deity. Why does it insist on capitalizing "and" in the middle of a sentence?

Atheist as in "has replaced $god with some gnostic belief system", no thanks. 

At $job-4 I had the following exchange with HR

The form this argument always takes is:

1) undesirable_outcome will not happen, and here's a rational argument why.

2) ok, undesirable_outcome did happen but it wasn't undesirable in the first place and here's a rational argument why

Adding a "if user lives in $city then he probably won't stay in a hotel in $city" would have a positive impact in all Google Maps users

Maybe they're a LLM and got confused by the keyword "conspiracy theory" and the double negative in the statement.

edit: s/meandering/rambling

Or just today I saw "$PROJECT is used by these awesome projects"

So complaints about rootkits^W anti-cheat is a banned topic now?

And he was really struck at first, like "Why would you write Hello World when we're building a $WHATEVER?"

Then he should be a $POSITION at $BIGCORP.

More realistically, you're more likely to hit "yes if there is compelling evidence that $choice is better than $status_quo with respect to $criteria".

> It really cannot be overstated enough the wealth divide that pandemic QE created.


At $oldjob, taking care of a busy and successful web estate that is now close to 25 years old, one of the ugliest and longest-standing warts was the "image store". That was a simple, flat directory on a single node, shared over NFS, which had accumulated more than 1.2 million (yes, 1_200_000) inodes/files in a single directory.

Also s/produce/release/g

Wow, now that's a case of paint^W checkering oneself into a corner.

s/popular/common/ I sometimes wish portrait oriented 4:3 monitors had become the dominant form.

I couldn't supply enough work for the contractors (we had to rush into it because ${life reasons}, so not everything was specced out when the work started)

IIUC this is what iMessage does (at least when Messages in iCloud or whatever it's called is disabled), except s/people/devices:

I work at $LARGE_CORPORATION and our product a11y team's most recent major ship was a new palette of colors with improved contrast ratios.

Welp, looks like that tweet got censored^Wdeleted.


The comments on the site have become predictable enough to be GPT generated.

My personal experience with devs who don't want to GPL their code or contribute to GPL projects is that they're under the impression that having a permissive license on their own project will get $corp to use it and, somehow, they'll profit from $corp using it.

s/Android/Windows/ and s/Europe/USA/ and it could be Microsoft at the end of the antitrust case in the 90s.

Large vehicles are safer for vehicle-on-vehicle or vehicle-on-object crashes, and vehicle-on-pedestrian crashes are a very small fraction of total fatal crashes. The core objection of this blog post^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H paper is nonsense.

I love stories of little quirky & fable-like people who are known as "that X person", and they seem to be a master at whatever X is. Creates a real charming atmosphere wherever these people exist.

I imagine some of us are those kind of X persons in other peoples lives, where X ∈ {Computer, Science, Internet}.

#upvotes !~ effort put into comment

Telling X and doing !X is not a recent invention.

Forgive me if I'm wrong but I suspect this comment is GPT3 generated. Regardless, it was hilariously absurd.

I'm sure this is good, like, really really good, but I'm struck by the feeling that it wants to baby talk me the same way Godel, Escher, Bach did.

I mean, it reads like a Homestuck pesterlog.

Perhaps it's written by GPT-3..

If I see someone is typing in a Slack channel, or typing to me privately, it takes all my focus away until it is complete.

that means a person can DOS you by typing and erasing text but never sending you a message?

Identifying this usage would require the compiler to be aware of the version control system, and still wouldn't correctly identify that the version sent from $COWORKER via email for some weird reason isn't a gradual change.

Is this a GPT-3 generated post? It reads like an answer to a completely different different question that just happens to hit the same keywords (e.g. "pay", "smart", "comfort", "social class"...)

I couldn't download .exe files at some $CORPORATION. They had to be whitelisted or something, and the download just wouldn't work otherwise.

I'm quite sure similar services can also be used by the average person. You simply google for these magical words '産廃業者 $CITY'.

> It might sound silly but I'm always amazed at the fresh perspectives I'm able to obtain when I ask "someone smarter" for advice in my imagination.

That sounds eerily like asking GPT3 to pretend to be someone else.

But we're all living in the same system, and to put it in HN terms, we need to wipe and reinstall the OS.

The only switch type where actuation == tactile feedback that I know of is buckling-spring, as in the IBM model M.

I've always said it's not the Tree of Life, but rather the DAG of Life.

I still don't understand why this is a website thing and not an user-agent^W^W webbrowser thing.

My $DAYJOB task this week is beginning the process of splitting up a 14554 line C++ file.

At $prevjob we had the ability to do things like this at the push of a button, and generally would have within 90min of incident onset to help systems heal.

Correct. "Not doing $X anymore" doesn't mean you aren't an addict. "Being able to turn on/turn off doing $X" means you aren't an addict.

Note this is amending existing law, so think of it as a legal diff.

This native English speaker is with you, I thought RacquetNext was some new-fangled racquetball racket that was banned because it has carbon fiber plates that…do $SOMETHING, ala the Nike Vaporfly/Alphafly running shoes.

At this point, the onus is to prove thing $x is not used for Google analytics.

I don't think people do this because they want to be polite. The 'hello' is basically the start of what is the human equivalent of the TCP three way handshake.

- Hello (SYN)

> Hi (ACK)

- How are you doing ? (SYN, ACK)

Basically, they are trying to set up a synchronous channel over what is essentially an asynchronous medium. This is even more annoying than just slowing down the answer, they are demanding your undivided attention during the conversation.

You know you are on HN when hello/hi is explained in terms of SYN/ACK and not the other way around

I tried their "Best toaster" query and one thing I want to say is just how hilarious it is that "best x"-of-anything webpage HAS to have $CURRENT_YEAR in the title. Yelp does something similar to its Google search results.

As if nothing good or the best in its breed ever came out from $PREVIOUS_YEAR or any previous years before that!

Tell me you're a garbage SEO website without telling me, just slap on "in $CURRENT_YEAR" or use some capital letters, I love how easy it is to tell the wheat from the chaff!

Best $PRODUCT $CURRENT_YEAR can include products that were manufactured in $PREVIOUS_YEAR or $LONG_TIME_AGO. The $CURRENT_YEAR is saying that the list is up to date, not that all the items in the list were made in $CURRENT_YEAR.

There is a joke I love that illustrates the concept: "Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, my client was nowhere near the scene of the murder, he didn't mean to pull the trigger, and that son-of-a-bitch had it coming!"

What would that be in programmer speak?

The intern had no write access to the production database, he didn't mean to do the commit, and our network engineers had it coming?

A new version with s/Stalin/Putin/ would be good, and perhaps given oligarchs etc. even funnier.

When I'm tired and out of time instead of ordering an unhealthy meal from $FOODDELIVERYAPP$ I can (and very frequently do) buy something relatively healthier from such a site.

But, every $BIG_CORP out there has on their roadmap a long-term plan to either drastically reduce their spend on Oracle products, or more often, eliminate it entirely.

It's kind of terrible that you can use extensions XOR your own browser on iOS

I'm currently job hunting, and a bit tired of sending out 3 - 5 apps a day via indeed or $COMPANY_SITE. Actually talking to someone would be nice.

I immediately came home, tried logging into my online banking accounts, but couldn't due to 2FA. Of course, I won't be able to log in until a replacement phone arrives.

It's the same failure mode if you s/phone/token/.

There is nothing in any dishwasher, fridge, vacuum cleaner, washing machine, ${you_name_the_home_appliance} that would require to be smarter than they are without those (actually far from smart) hardware and software that is being installed and imposed on customers.

Typo in the headline: s/DNA/NDA/

I distro hop with my home laptops and use Windows at $JOB

> If we assume that both groups visit government websites equally often

My pattern matching experience from real life tells me that this is unlikely....

The blog post misunderstand that many people that do that are simply using "hello" as a "ping" to see if someone's really there for immediate synchronous communication. They want to type just 1 word first ... and then wait for a human-style-TCP-ACKnowledgement

Some grouping or merging of URLs for major news would be nice, though hard to implement. For example Apple releases a new product, new version of Firefox, new S1 filing of $unicorn.

Yes, crows use poke, dig, find, free, head, tail, touch, more, mount, make. And if they don't like you, they use kill. Sometimes even killall.

crows are unable to use git, but then even I was unable to use git right after onboarding.

Unbounded extensibility is a great way to get adoption of a standard, in the sense that a lot of products will say "Fully $standard Compatible!" in their marketing materials. It is a bad way to ensure that the standard actually means anything outside the marketing materials.

Then again, I've used mailing lists since UUCP and VMS, so maybe I'm just exp^Wold.

English is the javascript of languages: full of warts and enforcing a status quo that sucks but everyone has to learn it because this is the world we live in.

Esperanto would be like Haskell: beautifully pure and regular but no one uses it except for a passionate community of die-hard zealots.

Romance languages would be like scripting languages (Python, Ruby, lua, etc.): once you know one the others get really easy.

Greek would be like Lisp: had a lot of influence on current languages, dwindled a bit, but is still around.

Biology is what happens when you try to decompile code written in assembler into OO language.

True statement. I lost a finger tip in a mandolin making potatoes lyonnaise. It mostly grew back. However, it has never felt the same. It's like the nerve endings in the finger tip throw unhandled exceptions.

A lot of therapists have a two year degree.

What's your point?

It's important to be careful about to whom you grant root access to your mind.

For desktops HTTP2 is mostly ok, possibly an improvement. For Mobile it wasn't. I raised this when we were trailing in at $financial_media_company.

Normally I have to rely on reddit posts or random blogs that I find with search terms like "$gameType game with no P2P/P2W" or "$gameType game with no IAP" but even that's not perfect.

Sounds like Tamlin's 'assistant, a lawyer' is an id^H^H^H^H hasn't spent much time in the bush.

Reads like it was written by GPT-3.

At my $OLDJOB, I used ImageMagick to compare snapshots during some automated front-end testing on our public Drupal site.

I'm perfectly happy to use my brain as an index instead of a data warehouse. As in, I don't bother committing to memory things that I can reach out and grab if they fall out of my "cache".

The problem for me now is my mental index can suffer from link rot.

s/Browser/Chrome/, please.

Spaces in filenames were a mistake to begin with.

Spaces are used to separate parameters in the command line. There's also no real need for filenames to support spaces.

If I have some solution that can solve some major $PROBLEM, but a side effect of that solution is that some small group of people "get paid to do nothing", I'm completely OK with that.

Nginx is making the same mistakes that dethroned Apache. No one wants to fiddle with a web server. Default to $currentIndustryStandard, make it work, forward to my application.

Messaging apps are more like postal services — "please deliver this message to $person" — you're describing driving across town to drop something in a mailbox directly.

I suspect that you don't work at $BIG_CO and rather something more startup-y?

> Whales have the capability to far outstrip humans in intelligence (if you accept that neuron count and neuron connections are the raw inputs).

Understood normally, the raw input also includes the software installed in the whale's brain. This limits the potential capability of whales.

If you were to overwrite that with software of your own design, you'd have a robot in the body of a whale, but not an actual whale.

Using it everyday too at $work, also used Slack and Gitter (and FreeNode/IRC FWIW).

Literally everything you wrote applies exactly the same if you s/E.164 number/email address/g and s/SMS/email/g

That's not really fair. You can want to have an "open enough" collaborative community without a trillion dollar company ($cloud_provider) steamrolling you and your work.

I was having to compete with professional spammers^H^H^H marketers for my friend's attention. It's gross.

We use that gateway email address with our notification alert system at $WORK.

Also, the page you were actually looking for is probably https://...

I appreciate that you might think that, and thank you, but I was only interested in the 404 page.

ML fails again. They need better training data

If you had to hazard a guess, what $EnterpriseVideoconferencingSuite would be most amenable to this sort of work?

> Which is of course a fairly hard problem to solve - if you aren't having 2.2 children per couple then your population is shrinking.

You can increase throughput with parallelization or speedups of single threaded performance.

> Anyone who really wants to stop a gaming addiction can stop it - it is only a question of will.

| sed "s/gaming/drug/"

Continuing to support $x means continuing to defend attack surface that's implemented as $y year-old code, to deliver a feature that in $z the majority of people do not use

Back when I worked at $HEALTHCARE_INUSRANCE_CO we were trying to solve this (more general problem) from the other side.

s/make it impossible/make it prohibitively expensive/

An interesting, short read is the difference between Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) and the full FDA approval.

Basically it is manufacturing, funding and red tape being the difference, nothing about safety or clinical trials differs.

In software terms, EUA is parallel tracked sprints for clinical trials and manufacturing at same time vs. regular approval is Waterfall where manufacturing occurs after approval.

s/Carlie/Charlie/, I assume?

If a NN is equivalent to $sophisticated_algorithm, that's a positive, not a negative.

In general he thinks a lot about tool kits and I think what we're seeing here is the math equivalent to being great at debugging.

Yep. I have a buddy who works at $BIG_US_RETAILER and he weekly has to go into the stock room with a box cutter and scissors to destroy unsold clothing.

Also, at $WORK we have three separate but related products, each with separate version numbers that we jumped at some point to reach the same value across all 3.

Ask HN: Which "old" programming language(s) you still use in your $DAYJOB?

That's a result of mindset and approach. Japanese can't focus on 2 or more problems, neither they can assess influence of one issue against another and see an ecosystem.

Yeah sort of lacking the concept of hierarchy and/or recursion. "We need Z to do Y to do X" - no no the operand can't be a pointer to executable address. That'll fault.

It shouldn't take horrific accidents for us to suddenly decide to care about structural safety.

The problem is the same as it is in IT.

a few years ago at $dayjob we had a fleet of CoreOS hosts.

While the topic is certainly interesting, the way that this article is written feels odd. It reads (to me) like GPT-generated text.

s/for JS/on NPM/

In the case above it wanted me to write out "That fly was sitting on something weird" - but I had written "That fly was sitting on something unusual" which is a perfectly valid interpretation of the sentence, but because they basically did a strcmp() I got it "wrong".

I've written on HN before about relatively simple things I have found useful (keeping a diary in $language, or watching films with $language audio)

Is this why I always get text messages from one of my friends that say > Liked "{$ENTIRE_CONTENTS_OF_PREVIOUS_MESSAGE}"?

I remember when win2k was "the last good windows" and then windows xp after it. I $CURRENT-2 is always going to be considered "the last good windows".

Bureaucracy isn't that different from code. Some of it's dead legacy that needs to be removed, some of it's legacy that needs to be improved/replaced, some of it's legacy that's good enough, some of it's there for a damn good reason no matter how ugly it looks.

And when it comes to code, you probably trust devs who have specific insights into issues with code and promising replacements.

At $OLDJOB we used to use nfs extensively, and a common desire was to run some command on the system where the files actually resided

By using $OLDJOB are you saying at every old job you ever held this was the case or just the last one? Because if it's just the last one you should have used

const OLDJOB

Not sure why you used a variable in a comment, maybe because this is hackernews and you want to resonate with other programmers?

In my opinion, the code was very difficult to read and even harder to understand for !expert javascript devs and even for experts.

Is it just me or do "markets" feel like a really dumb AI that is incapable of any sort of strategic planning?

My email looks like ${firstname}@${some-german-word}.jetzt and I never had a problem with German speaking people.

For the "memorable phrase" thing, you may have already figured this out, but I find it's better to generate random passphrases for those. A string of words is a lot easier to say and verify.

Yeah, he asked me for a new one as part of the reset (or just for his further amusement?!) - I just used my brain's PRNG for a few words for that.

It would be tiring and a bit offensive to knowledgeable people, but maybe better then trying to debug the situation.

I have a scheme to give addresses per service, but I do this with gmail on my domain. It goes like $ACCOUNT+$RANDOMLETTERS@$DOMAIN.$TLD

If only. The amount of times people have tried to put mine down as $fistname.$lastname.$ is genuinely sad.

did I ever say >> no, but.. > exactly, so let's try this again (goto 0)

"We have to recalculate weight on airplanes" is just a proxy, a code smell.

Hah. I regularly see patches whose review takes well over 100% the time it would have taken me to create the patch myself.

But then I'm employed by $MEGA_CORP and part of the job description is "helping to build and maintain the OSS community", so helping novices create their first patches is a big part of that.

You need so few subway drivers/conductors that does it really matter if you need one per train?

Taxis are probably average a driver per 1.5 ish customers. Subway/train is hundreds.

This reminds me of optimisation of non critical code. Sure its nice, but the cost/benefit is just not there.

I think that JavaScript and Python, from my experience, certainly increase speed... but that definitely != productivity.

But they could! It's as easy as saying "I can consult on $topic, please contact me to discuss details."

"Log in to see 8 answers on Qu^H^HStack Overflow!"

my bank has a section in their marketing email preferences where you need to check the box IF you don't want to receive any marketing^Hspam email.

If we chew on enough of these lozenges, will our teeth merge into one, curved megatooth?

And why haven't we evolved to have that yet anyway?

Well, in software terms, you're describing a monolithic architecture.

There is also the matter of how evolvable the platform would be. As a species, we're in the process of losing our wisdom teeth, and I suspect that would be harder to do if the skull/jaw/gum/tooth platform was... more tightly coupled, less modular.

Maybe selling a banana taped to a wall could be a way for people to make money, considering one of those sold for ${OUTRAGE}.

But americans do get marketing though. I bet you know about a bunch of companies that were doing $thing in $country before, probably with better outcomes, but never got the recognition.

On the other hand, $OTHER_COUNTRY has a history of $BAD_THING, so the only conscientious thing to do is boycott everything their workers produce too.

However, unlike software engineering, policy shouldn't be made to cover all the corner cases.

s/LTE stack/mmWave stack ?

Seems like the point? Add a bit of bias laund^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^Hmachine learning and you're good to go!

> HN is a great community

HN feels like white collar GPT-3.

I've been watching a lot of bonsai YouTubers lately. The amazing thing about trees is how much abuse they will tolerate and still figure out some way to grow. You can find videos of somebody pruning all the leaf-bearing branches and half the roots off of a bonsai like it's nothing, fully expecting the tree to recover. Plants have a very flexible instruction set, something like a list of inner if-statements, which bonsai artists understand almost completely and use to dictate their growth. It seems like the default execution of this instruction set looks like "tree" when there are no particular challenges, but the plant would adapt to almost any trauma short of cutting it down to a 1ft high stump... and even then, you will find stumps growing branches.

The difference is between hobbyist agriculture and commercial agriculture. In the latter, consistency, pests and disease become more complex issues to deal with. IMHO there are a lot of analogies to software engineering. Small projects can engage in practices that don't scale, like skipping QA, not adequately testing, inconsistent coding standards.

Today in "GPT-3 ramblings or marketing spiel":

that that kind of language long predated GPT-3. It learned from somewhere :)

I've noticed a recent tendency to compare people's writing to GPT-3 output as a way of saying something like "I didn't understand that" or "I found the style hard to follow".

For some reason this reminds me of the website kuro5hin and how trolling was perfected into a sort of discussion-malware there. With Holocaust denial, it's discussion-malware with a highly targeted purpose: recreating the societal situation where another Holocaust can occur.

> discussion-malware

I've never heard this term and I like it. Relating software-of-mind to actual software can be a powerful intuition pump.

I just hate that Sony can't be bothered to give an explicit send-off to the A-mount line. Coupled with their abysmal customer service reputation, this really makes Sony my textbook example of a faceless, uncaring $BIGCORP.

Sounds like just the next calculated step.

  1. Introduce $badThing with claims about page load performance.

  2. tell sites they need to use $badThing to get into the "carousel"

s/us/your phone, that we control the software for/

In fact, at $work, I developed a very similar architecture and it is running flawlessly for 15 months or so.

Earlier is better to expand something like this to $everything

If I had a mental s/Daily Mail/Reputable Newspaper/g I'd be able to give this article a little more time.

I have nothing nice to say about any Google-owned company but is this really all that different from $city's Best $business or literally any other corporate "award" that's nothing more than thinly-veiled advertising?

This is why you ALWAYS use a (or similar) virtual credit card with limited access to your bank account. It's the same as creating a separation between your API layer and DB layer.

A lot of people who I knew as sympathetic and calm before they took management roles turned into something I could code in one minute: namely a program that asks "how much is this going to take?" and if your answer is above N hours/days then they say "no, we're not doing it".

As in, you're valuable at $COMPANY_X, but you're not challenged to better yourself beyond what you already are. Much of your value to $COMPANY_X derives from skills and knowledge that are specific to $COMPANY_X / $INDUSTRY.

I've got the gift of the gab and so I see this differently. If I had no scruples or morals and chose to drive Uber, I could make an obscene hourly wage simply by picking up elderly people and engaging them in conversation. Most phone scams rely upon preying upon vulnerable, lonely people like this so sadly, it's a public 0 day with no known fix.

The money is there to drive things, pulling it out from one perspective is like looking at one weight in a neural network.

Was this article written with GPT3? It sure reads like it....

> Wikipedia asks for money once a year

if once == "allYearLong" { clapYourHands() }

I don't think that I've opened a Wikipedia page in months, that didn't have a beg header.

I learned somewhere that certain people that pass a certain "threshold" are not only fooled^H^H^H^H^H^Hconvinced by Nigerian prince scams, but utterly convinced that they are true.

Constantly shiny + new ~== a good App Store.

(~== Not necessarily equal to. Did I just invent that?)

Instead of inventing new operators in your sentences, you can also just stick with plain English

As always, "Stop doing $negativebehavior" is less useful than the actual advice:

I can accept that they ran out of cash. It's just like a company running out of servers when traffic spiked.

Sears didn't just "go bankrupt" - it was killed by CEO Eddie Lampert.


There's such thing in Russian too. My parents had friends and they would come to our apartment every once in a while. We would call them all "uncle $name"

It's doubtful that any large bureaucracy can execute that decision quickly, though I do agree 3 years is way too long. I'd put 3 months as hard minimum even assuming every internal decision process went as smoothly as possible, and 6 months as a more realistic amount.

This largely has nothing to do with how grievous the transgression is or how sincerely the management wants to do the right thing. It has to do with red tape that is designed from first principles to permit zero exceptions or special cases that can cut through it quickly.

It's like choosing an O(n2) algorithm, baking it in as a load-bearing centerpiece, then being upset something doesn't happen in O(1). does eat its own Gogs fork^W^W dog food

AT&T's home gateways have a maximum NAT translation table of 1024^H^H^H^H8192 connections.

Last month on HN someone got £7500 from FB, but, everyone thought he should have got more


Note that there are 297 hidden items in that issue so you have to click "Load more..." ceil(297/60) times to read all of the comments

Ben Thompson tried to compare China with over 1.4 billion people with Taiwan with only 24 million people and vehemently arguing that the Taiwan's governance is better is very disingenuous at best. Imagine comparing the governance of large corporation vs. a small startup, it's just different.

I want you to know that any downvotes might have less to do with 2020 or identity politics and more so your sloppy style of conversation. Throwing out a wildly undifferentiated blanket statement and ending on a passive aggressive "cue the downvotes" is bad content in my opinion.

It enjoy being subjected to different views. I hope we can uphold a certain standard for expressing them around here.

Your meta comment is also boring and unoriginal. GPT-3 itself could've generated it

I read somewhere (on HN?) that Italians speak faster than Germans because their words contain less information, so in the end they still communicate the same amount of information per minute. Italians and Germans were used in the example because they were the two extremes.

Is this RISC vs CISC human language philosophy?

We refinanced during the pandemic with $MEGABANK, and they almost exclusively used third parties and email for the entire transaction.

I also called the office number I found at $MEGABANK's website to make sure they'd heard of me.

Beyond that, I had no reason to think $ was not a phishing front.

At $WORK, we run a lot of 1000s of php servers with 10-20 processes each using nginx.

A 5-story building in China 'walks' to new location (

City refactoring

People intruding the private email? No problem. Politely refuse, and offer private consultancy at $very_high_price, with alternative, to open a bug in the bug tracker, making explicit that there is no commitment.

Watch and listen to pilots as they complete checklists. They point and callout each item, switch setting, etc.

Came here for this.

A: "Passing control"

B: "Taking control"

A: "You have control"

B: "I have control"

This is how I remember it (6174, UH-1Y).

The TCP handshake IRL

Some reporter finds out that $government is doing $bad_thing. They pack up the evidence, rush out the door to talk to their editor. A slick, self-driving car pulls up as they exit the building, they enter and pull away.

> personally never understood why one would pick this over date/hour

Providing a timestamp gives you the same information with higher precision provided you know when now is. I can tell you what day of the week it is, but not what the day of the month it is. Sometimes day of the week even takes extra cycles.

> I am trying to be a good novelist, and hoping that people will forgive me for being a bad correspondent.


%s/a bad correspondent/unresponsive on slack

Unacademy focuses on test prep and thier anthem while sappy and gung ho, doesn't really have any references to gaming the system. Crack it is in the same vein as Cracking the Coding Interview.

Which is gaming the system, if you ask me.

Cracking coding interviews would be considered "overfitting" in statistical learning parlance.

I own a business. If I was to do a full inventory, I would probably find I'm in the possession of tens of thousands of items. I'm currently in the situation where something breaks daily. It has forced me into being very picky. I no longer buy things, if I can avoid it. Every thing I buy has the potential of being a problem down the line that will require time and attention. Even disposing of broken things can be a big hassle.

This advice applies directly to software. Bring in more dependencies, bring in more custom tooling, and you're bringing in more maintenance burden. There will be bugs. Make sure you really need that shiny new framework.

He wrote an OS project that runs all the infrastructure for your very own dictionary website.

For the confused reader: s/OS/OSS/

Who else has an install base like Amazon in their Alexas and Rings?

a company like Arris that sells DOCSIS3/3.1 cablemodems and GPON end user CPEs to big ISPs like Shaw, Comcast, Charter, Wave/RCN, etc. The main problem with that concept is that if a manufacturer of residential CPEs such as Arris made a unilateral decision to incorporate the tech into their cablemodems and other devices, their $BIGISP customers might not be pleased about it and would buy elsewhere.

Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity"

-Hanlon's razor

Advanced malicious actors often feign incompetence when caught, to take advantage of the naive and forgiving.

This is a basic part of the human OS.

Years ago for my sister's 30th birthday, I did a fun project involving the USPS.

I wanted to send her the message "Happy Belated Thirtieth Birthday!", which is 30 characters, via postcards, one character per postcard.


You've reinvented TCP using paper packets.

Because Alibaba, and now Amazon require tracking numbers from sellers.

From time to time they take these tracking numbers, and check them with APIs of shipping companies, and postal services. If a seller has too many invalid tracking numbers, or shipments that don't match the address, they rm -rf him.

If you are at $BigCorp there's probably only a rough correlation between what you are paid and what you are worth.

"Ping me" really threw me for a loop the first time I heard a non-tech say it in an obvious non-tech way. It literally has no other meaning outside of the ICMP echo utility; and the onomatopoeia of hitting glass.

How did it enter the Business world?

Ping comes from submarine sonar - not the networking world.

Writing clearly is like playing Tetris. Sentences should be presented with clauses that drop down and slot together efficiently. At the earliest available opportunity you drop in a block that completes the line and points are won/made.

Don't make your readers hold parts of the sentence in their head. Reorder or split sentences until it can be avoided. In other words, use a really small buffer.

Overflowing that buffer really does feel like a stack overflow, too. Your whole mental state just suddenly disappears in a puff of smoke.

This resplendent sentence in the Vulkan spec did it to me the other day:

The layout of subresources of images on other logical devices that are bound to VkDeviceMemory objects associated with the same underlying memory resources as external memory objects on the lost device becomes VK_IMAGE_LAYOUT_UNDEFINED.

I got about half way through and suddenly discovered I didn't know where I was, what year it was or my name.

That's a lot of qualified noun phrases. This should just be an s-expression. It's already one, honestly, but without the right parenthesis.

(becomes (qualified (layout of subresources of images on other logical devices) (bound . (same-memory-resources (VkDeviceMemory objects) (external memory objects on the lost device)))) VK_IMAGE_LAYOUT_UNDEFINED)

This is how I felt while reading philosophy essays. I'm not even sure half of those are even saying anything.

A lot of philosophy essays are written as part of the writer being in the process of trying to figure things out for themselves, without quite having gotten there yet.

It really shows, just like docs written by someone who hasn't actually understood what they're writing about yet.

I don't know if it's just me, but I very much prefer easy to skim emails to more dense ones. At one point I got weekly project updates from a team I was working with, and one guy wrote dense, short, emails where I would have to read every sentence carefully to get a hang on what was going on. Another guy would write longer, fluffier emails but with bullet points and paragraphs in the same order:

Just by parsing the number of bulletpoints, and the length of each bullet point (and the first word) I would get a surprisingly good grasp on how things were going, and what was hard/complicated (longer bullet point -> more complex), and very easy to read about exactly I wanted to know.

This is how the so called sutras are written: a page of text gets compressed into one short sentence, so you have to stop after each of them and spend an hour unpacking its meaning, but the entire book is often just 200 sentences.

.zip format in history.

Spotify CEO: musicians can no longer release music only "once every 3-4 years" (

"What's he going to record a song about?"
"Spotify'll kill him."
"I guess they will."
"He must have got mixed up in something with the music industry."
"I guess so," said Nick.
"It's a hell of a thing."
"It's an awful thing," Nick said.
They did not say anything. George reached down for his mobile phone and wiped the screen.
"I wonder what he did?" Nick said.
"Failed to write enough songs fast enough to generate user engagement. That's what Spotify will kill them for."
"I'm going to cancel my Spotify subscription," Nick said.
"Yes," said George. "That's a good thing to do."
"I can't stand to think about him waiting in the recording room and knowing he's going to get it. It's too damned awful."
"Well," said George, "you better not think about it."
(with apologies to Hemingway!)

God help me, I can't tell if this is GPT-3 or not.

"This writing looks computer-generated" as a compliment is kind of blowing my mind

Roman numerals by and large were not used for calculating, but for recording calculations. Those calculations were done (as the very word "calculate" suggests) using pebbles or other tokens, on some kind of counting board.

The point of Roman numerals is to be as direct as possible a representation of the state of the counting board. They are a serialization format.

Think of it as the JSON (or s-expressions if you like) of the ancient world. You don't run your algorithm by writing and rewriting JSON literals over and over with pen and paper. They are just a record; your computation is done using a different automatic tool.

Many people assume their manager knows what the employee is doing. They often aren't, meaning they go by what they can see, which is lines of code. The smart thing to do is to regularly keep your manager updated on what you're doing, especially if they don't come by regularly and ask you.

Rather than an integer number of lines of code, how about using a boolean : "it works" or "it does not work"?

Not everyone has good managers.

$JOB-2, admittedly about 4 years ago now, the good manager with a background in software left for a better opportunity and was replaced by someone who's background was management.

My grandfather used to sit with me for an hour every morning and used to teach me maths.

He would focus on basics first. He would make sure I had the basics drilled in to me. Not just understood them, but mastered them. Then we would move on to the next topic.

It was a bit slow at first. But after a while, once the basics were done, I finished the whole year's math book in 2-3 months.

Drilling basics is basically like having the basics in O(1) look up with very reduced space complexity too. It reduces the amount of overhead your brain utilises.

This reminds me of a story I once heard about shipbuilding during WW2. Supposedly, although designs and blueprints were made in great detail, following them today wouldn't give working ships, because the workers implementing them at the time saw where the designs wouldn't work and fixed them of their own initiative.

In a way, the opposite of today's optimizing compilers.

I have a heuristic. A 'code smell' for social science articles,

Why do you think this is specifically a 'western society' thing? Browse Japanese sites and online tools and there is just as much gamification and 'thrilling' graphics and animation - if not more. Github looks like a technical white-paper in comparison.

Modern Japanese culture is considered to be part of "western society", for better or worse.

The converse statement is something like "Japan is not an eastern society" which just sounds... laughably incorrect.

Of course it sounds ridiculous. Boolean algebra says the validity of a statement's converse is independent of the original. P → Q, tells us little about Q → P.

I love a good font (and try to use one on my own blog), but part of me gets really giddy when I discover a site with very little styling. It's like I've found some secret oasis that's going to have a high signal-to-noise ratio, or at least some more "raw" writing than you'd find on ${popularNewsWebsite}.

Remote work has its perks, until you want a promotion (

Humans don't have emotional object permanence.

A perhaps more techie way of thinking of it is our relationships are in a mostly-LRU cache. The people we have interacted with most recently are the ones that matter most to us. If you aren't regularly resetting your place within that cache, you get bumped.

The LRU cache analogy might be one of the best comments i have ever read.

We probably wouldn't hesitate to say "I don't believe $NONHUMAN_ANIMAL parents love their children, and vice-versa...." about most animals.

Blogging Is Not Dead (

"X is alive / X is dead" is binary thinking and taking sides on this is pointless and divisive. Better to use a float rather than a boolean to model how popular something is.

What surprised me most is that he presented himself as the biographer of James Bond, as if he were real. I wasn't aware of that history.

It's a writer's technique somewhat similar to method actors who take on the character's persona as their own for the duration of a play or filming. Pretty much as far from "kill your darlings" as one can get, tbh.

Forking your own thinking process to have a secondary personality execute in parallel sounds as close to "killing your darlings" as possible, given that personality would presumably have their own favorite expressions and tropes.

Interesting: whoever edited that article miscorrected "cobble" to the likely more familiar but incorrect "cobblestone".

I've seen a huge increase in such errors over the past decade, both in terms and tense. I don't know how to explain it but it is discouraging. Sometimes the errors are quite confusing until you realize what happened; this one is quite minor.

In Minecraft "cobble" is certainly understood to be short for cobblestone. A "cobblegen" is either an arrangement of materials (lava, water, something heat resistant) so as to cause the game to make and replace cobblestone blocks when you mine them out, so as to obtain unlimited amounts of this building material, or in modded Minecraft it's a more compact machine which makes this material, perhaps in very large quantities indeed, and maybe related materials like sand.

Hey, just a head's up, I was reading your blog and noticed a typo: s/formally/formerly/

eg. go watch a SGM play 30 second hyperbullet chess, I don't think I have either the memory or raw processing speed to do what they do, ever. If those guys exist a lot of other people have way higher ceilings. Also realize that chess (and by extension must be a lot of other activities) rely on both a crazy cpu, an amazing memory and an insanely built-out internal database of positions and ideas, and since my cpu is good but not unbelievable, my memory is nothing special and my time is limited there must be a lot of activities I'll never really be good at. Also just getting older and staying unsuccessful relative to your ego, you just start to compromise I think.

My response to picking up a number is to answer the call and say nothing. Auto-dial systems will route the call to a person when they get a "live" response. I don't know the criteria but I'm pretty sure it's them detecting noise on the call (which could be voicemail).

A human calling will wonder what is happening and fill the silence by saying something. A machine will not.

I've encountered robots in the last 6 months that have started with "Hello?" when I didn't say anthing. It tripped up my Turing Test at first, but eventually hit an ALICEBot-like moment that crashed the whole thing down.

Real wages haven't increased since 1970.

We only feel richer because:

* Most households have two wage earners now.

* We use lines of credit to borrow for discretionary purchases, we lease cars, pay by subscription for things more.

* We have more gadgets. (Note that this has been proven to make people any happier.)

> Note that this has been proven to make people any happier.

s/Note/Not/? Or are you missing a "not" somewhere else?

In my former life as a consultant I came to very much dislike personas as implemented by ux designers.

Personas are a magnet for prejudice: they are based on the idea that clusters of people all behave the same (old people, young people, professionals, stay-at-home mothers, what have you).

Yes, the very idea that customers can be bucketed is flawed. We are all unique people.

I think GP is fine with bucketing, but they're saying that f(age, gender, interests, ...) is not a good hashing function.

Is it possible that people simply continue to think about what they were trying to learn, consciously or not, when given no tasks? Why is the control comparing people who tried to learn information and then took a break to people who tried to learn even more information? Would a more insightful control be to look at how people who took a break compared to people who continued studying the material during the break time?

I agree with you entirely. I want to make a few points though. First is that even when I am actively listening to someone speaking, my brain will make associations with the new information (coming from my auditory sensory registers), so I context-switch involuntarily every second. Think of process preemption.

Roughly like this:

t0: hear the word "dog";
    my auditory registers record it

t1: my brain processes the word "dog";
    I imagine what "dog" looks like
    hear the word "cat" concurrently, goes into registers

t2: my brain processes the word "cat"
    I imagine what "cat" looks like
    hear the word "lamb" concurrently, goes into registers

I've timed it in actual play: it's quicker to google for a monster stat block (one from the SRD, obviously) than it is to look it up in the Monster Manual sitting right next to the laptop.

Sure, but from experience in play, sticky notes in the Monster Manual are much faster for switching back and forth than browser tabs are.

That's a cache, though, when the use case at hand is random access.

Brain is very active when you sleep, a lot is happening. Imagine sleep is just a mutex on big set of data on which computation needs to be made, compression, data reorganization, index optimizing. Data that you received that day is segregated , decisions are made which data to keep and which to delete. After that lock is freed and you wake up. If you don't sleep your system will run slower and slower over time and will timeout more and more queries until it will start to return corrupted data. You need to sleep to keep the system healthy.

tl;dr: It's not because the cardboard boxes are significantly better than cribs and other sleeping methods, it's the fact that the box comes with almost everything a new parent needs to look after kids, which means they don't have to shell out $foo-money to be able to take care of the children properly, and aren't left worried that they left something out.

English pronunciation <-> writing is so far from a mapping, it causes a lot of resource waste.

Even if there are dialects that pronounce the same word differently, you could still find a lot of common ground.

Finding that common ground would mean switching from our current system of somewhat-arbitrary spelling to a different but very similar system of mostly-arbitrary spelling. It imposes the same memorization burden on everyone and the benefit is slightly more predictable pronunciation within each of a set of officially-blessed dialects. That ground gets lost over time regardless; there is a reason predictable pronunciation is a feature of spelling systems that either (1) are new, or (2) have just undergone reform.

If your biggest problem lies in a circumstance you rarely encounter, arguably fixing it is not a priority.

> for example I always mess up the words study and student, it's infuriating

This is a funny example to use, since it fully conforms to the rules I described above — study uses the STRUT vowel, and student uses the GOOSE vowel. It would be a better example for the complaint that we have more sounds than symbols.

Good points, but I disagree. Decoding and encoding becomes a lot harder, if vowels change depending on consonants coming after them, or something else even further down the line. (I'm not a linguist.)

It's like a config file specification that supports gotos.

Because there's a bit of a feedback loop with success. If others see you as being successful or impressive (on whatever axis they care about), this attracts them to you, and having a more admirers increases your social power and influence, which gives you more opportunities and better chances of success in your future efforts.

This also explains [redacted]'s formula for career success, which is basically:

10 Make something awesome

20 Tell people about it

30 GOTO 10

English suffers from the same problem as UNIX: they're both good enough.

Or you know, just look away from the monitor, in the physical space of your office/whatever instead of a flat surface, which would have similar benefits.

So many office spaces are rectilinear and planar. I find the fractal real world to be so much more restful to look at. It refreshes my mind in a way unlike any manufactured surface.

There are few things in life more important than choosing one's peer group well. The Internet gives you many more options than we had available prior to the existence of it. Choose wisely and re-evaluate that choice periodically to see whether your peer group continues to represent your goals and values.

Why? Your peer group literally gets arbitrary code execution on your brain. (It's a flaw in MonkeyBrainOS 1.01 which we haven't patched yet.)

It's common amoung US companies as well. How many tech companies aren't available in !USA? How much "streaming TV shows" aren't available in !USA?

Walking Through a Doorway Makes You Forget (2011) (

Not entirely unlike running a garbage collection cycle (or freeing a pool) after each HTTP request...

Great read. Somewhat of an off-topic question, but here goes:

> Watkins wanted her pen name to be spelled in lowercase to shift the attention from her identity to her ideas.

I'm sure what I'm about to say has been discussed before — but wouldn't this accomplish the opposite effect? I feel her "unconventional" name makes me focus more on it, not less (especially when her name is used at the beginning of a sentence, where we are trained to expect a capital letter no matter what). Do other people with lowercase names have similar justifications?

To me it's a small pattern breaking annoyance, like a linter warning I can't turn off that triggers every time I see it.

Mobile app stores handle a lot of hassle like distribution and billing. I would avoid complex backend at all cost if you don't want to be on 24/7 devops duty. Maybe periodically updated CVS at basic webhosting would be enough.


Slight note about Dan Wang picking 2005: That was the peak of CS degrees awarded because it's 4/5 years after the height of the dot-com bubble. So the upward bump in the mid-2000's is somewhat explainable as an anomaly.

Re: the choice of 2005 as origin, if you rebase on 2009, then CS degree growth looks on par with other STEM fields.

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