Latest posts for tag life

«There's no telling how many guns we have in America—and when one gets used in a crime, no way for the cops to connect it to its owner. The only place the police can turn for help is a Kafkaesque agency in West Virginia, where, thanks to the gun lobby, computers are illegal and detective work is absurdly antiquated. On purpose. Thing is, the geniuses who work there are quietly inventing ways to do the impossible.»
«“Why don’t you report it?” It’s up there on every list I’ve seen of things you shouldn’t say to sexual assault survivors, yet I keep hearing it…»
Jacob Kaplan-Moss is known for his work on Django but, as he would describe in his keynote, many think he had more to do with its creation than he actually did. While his talk ranged quite a bit, the theme covered something that software development organizations—and open source projects—may be grappling with: a myth about developer performance and how it impacts the industry. It was a thought-provoking talk that was frequently punctuated by applause; these are the kinds of issues that the Python community tries to confront head on, so the talk was aimed well.
«This book is about helping us to focus on good people creating good things, to preserve that spirit of sharing, and to protect against those whose primary contribution is obstruction and disrespect»
Propaganda
«…an excellent survey article on modern propaganda techniques, how they work, and how we might defend ourselves against them. … As to defense: "Debunking doesn't work: provide an alternative narrative."»
«The Debunking Handbook, a guide to debunking misinformation, is now freely available to download. Although there is a great deal of psychological research on misinformation, there's no summary of the literature that offers practical guidelines on the most effective ways of reducing the influence of myths.»
Other categories
«The Vatican Climate Forest, to be located in the Bükk National Park, Hungary, was donated to the Vatican City by a carbon offsetting company. The forest is to be sized to offset the carbon emissions generated by the Vatican during 2007. The Vatican's acceptance of the offer, at a ceremony on July 5, 2007, was reported as being "purely symbolic", and a way to encourage Catholics to do more to safeguard the planet. No trees have been planted under the project and the carbon offsets have not materialised.»
«City governments are paying local businesses to open up their restrooms to the public. … The program, called Nette Toilette or Nice Toilet, is active in 210 cities and has been running since 2000. Cities pay from $34 to $112 per month to a business, and it puts a sticker in its window to tell people that they can come in and pee for free. … Bremen, a city with a population of over half a million people, reckons it saves $1 million per year by using the network, which costs it $168,000 per year. So successful is the scheme that it has given Bremen the best ratio of public toilets to citizens in Germany.»
«There's no telling how many guns we have in America—and when one gets used in a crime, no way for the cops to connect it to its owner. The only place the police can turn for help is a Kafkaesque agency in West Virginia, where, thanks to the gun lobby, computers are illegal and detective work is absurdly antiquated. On purpose. Thing is, the geniuses who work there are quietly inventing ways to do the impossible.»

«Bullshit is unavoidable whenever circumstances require someone to talk without knowing what he is talking about. Thus the production of bullshit is stimulated whenever a person’s obligations or opportunities to speak about some topic are more excessive than his knowledge of the facts that are relevant to that topic.

This discrepancy is common in public life, where people are frequently impelled— whether by their own propensities or by the demands of others—to speak extensively about matters of which they are to some degree ignorant.

Closely related instances arise from the widespread conviction that it is the responsibility of a citizen in a democracy to have opinions about everything, or at least everything that pertains to the conduct of his country’s affairs.

The lack of any significant connection between a person’s opinions and his apprehension of reality will be even more severe, needless to say, for someone who believes it his responsibility, as a conscientious moral agent, to evaluate events and conditions in all parts of the world.»

(From Harry G. Frankfurt's On Bullshit)

Opinion Sort

In a world where it is more important to have a quick opinion than a thorough understanding, I propose this novel sorting algoritihm.

def opinion_sort(list: List[Any], post: Callable[List]):
    """
    list: a list of elements to sort in place
    post: a callable that requires a sorted list as input and does
          proper error checking, as they should do
    """
    if list[0] > list[1]:
        swap(list[0], list[1])
    while True:
        try:
            # Assert opinion: "It is a sorted list!"
            post(list)
        except NotSortedException as e:
            # Someone disagrees, and they have a good point
            swap(list[e.unsorted_idx_1], list[e.unsorted_idx_2])
        else:
            break
    # The list is now sorted, and the callable has to agree

This algorithm is the most efficient sorting algorithm, because it can sort a list by only looking at the first two elements.