Monthly ArchiveSeptember 2003

Words 28 Sep 2003 06:21 pm

Molly Ivins

Star Telegram | 09/25/2003 | No mystery here, folks by Molly Ivins is a pretty solid piece on how Bush is ruining our country.

I had read Molly Ivins a long time ago and remembered her being really funny while also good at pointing out the hypocrisy of politicians (on both sides). This article is not as funny as I remember, but the subject is hardly a laughing matter.

I am particularly interested in her comments that most on the left are wusses. This seems to be a fundamental problem with the advancement of causes on the left. The leadership in the right, or more so, the pundits in the media, on the right, seem to have no problem with promulgating nastiness. The American people don’t seem to be able to see through the nastiness or to do or request followup research to verify the claims made. If no one checks, then poeple can tell lies all they want. Reality and accountability go out the door.

It is good to see some journalists trying to track down the facts behind statements and bring the wrongs to light. That is what we need from journalism right now.
Hopefully, it will help motivate us to fix the problems in our country. Ivins has a good article about that too The U.S. Belongs to Us, Remember?

Words 20 Sep 2003 08:21 pm

Word Pirates

Word Pirates is a site started by San Jose Merc columnist
Dan Gillmor and blogger Dave Weinberger to take back the words that various groups have taken over and redefined.

What a great idea, a pissed off dictionary.

Words 15 Sep 2003 04:38 pm

Making History

From JavaNCSS – A Source Measurement Suite for Java comes the following gem of a quote regarding the Cyclomatic Complexity Number or McCabe metric for code complexity:

The first article about this trivial software metric is one of the most cited papers in computer science. Sometimes you just must be the first to point out some basic shit and you are history. It seems just like a wonder that nobody was able to package Lines of Code in a more scientific manner. Now it’s too late to label someone’s name on it :).

Words 09 Sep 2003 12:12 pm

Rhetoric – Litotes

Litotes is such a simple communication technique, but not unclever. I hardly ever use it or irony.

Software 09 Sep 2003 11:57 am


Joe Armstrong has a site on UBF as a “programmer-friendly” alternative to XML.

What interested me was not just that it is an independent format for communication, but it is written in Erlang, and there is a Java client also. Additionally, on the Clump mailing list, Andreas Fuchs posted a UBF (a) parser in Lisp that looks pretty nice.

[I should say something here about all the problems with XML]

Software 03 Sep 2003 01:53 am

Knuth Historical Lectures Online

SCPD – Donald E. Knuth‘s previous lectures are being archived online and made available free to the public. Cool! Also, you can sign up here to get notices about upcoming computer science lectures at Stanford open to the public.

I went to a symposium a couple of years ago that was really interesting even though it was standing room only.

Software 02 Sep 2003 05:40 pm

IBM History Visualization

history flow research at IBM is a really fascinating look at changes in documents.

They graph and model changes in wikis over time by various measures like author contribution, vandalism, and rate of change.

Very cool and mesmerizingly beautiful as well.