Thursday, October 27, 2011

Classical Programmers are both Scientists and Artists



There is a difference between a senior level programmer that takes pride in his work and whoever the junior hack is that gets away with writing this kind of spaghetti code. Unfortunately the spaghetti coder continually gets away with it, probably getting recognition for “getting it done”, and the “bloat-ware” left in the wake gets ingrained in the systems—awaiting to be undone, reinterpreted, and corrected—taking 2-3x or more the time and the money. All the while the bloat code sits there running however well it runs most likely frustrating customers and anyone who looks at it in vain hopes of trouble-shooting or updating.


The first breed are classically trained and know how computers like to think. They relish slicing to the bone the most direct and most elegant route for bits to travel. They are artists and scientists.


The second breed are those that pass themselves as “programmers” and have learned to cut n’ paste, experiment, and piece code together till somehow it seems to work and they get their paycheck never looking back.


Much to the pride of this team, Ian Laird is one of the few masters from this first breed.


To me, he exemplifies the standard of this ideal for the whole industry.


(End of toast…. You may shed a tear, applaud and bring out the statuette.) J


Seriously though,



Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Gas them Protesters.... and Watch the Birds

Man... Twitter really is the new news media. And they're gassing the "Occupiers" in Oakland now. Nice. Let's see if FOX covers it tonight on the news.

And on the brighter side of life, nature is still rolling on. Here's photo I took of a Painted Bunting in my bird bath.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

accelerating returns of the accelerating returns

I’ve seen this video.. it is somewhat interesting and at least gets across the sense of what “exponential” actually feels like and mean….. this kind of thing and the fodder around it should be standard High School viewing if not 8th grade.


Which brings up the philosophical question of “what does an education really mean in this day of ‘Google-everything’ instant knowledge”?


I mean, what are we teaching kids in school knowledge wise that they aren’t capable of teaching themselves with a few clicks and searches. What actually IS knowledge in an environment like this? I mean with a smart-phone in my hands there isn’t anything it seems that is impressive when spoken at a party. How does this evolve? How does one find worth in knowledge when for a few pennies and the bandwidth anything is Insta-knowable (made the word up here)…. J


Or has all knowledge now just become the post-modern everything is equal and therefore of no value matter of opinion. Consider the Keynesian vs. Laffer (Curve) (or use Austrian Economics if you will) “knowledge” controversies debated at the highest academic ranks but watered down to snippets of clich├ęs between the left and right American politics each using the “knowledge” to make substantial policy decision affecting millions of people in very real ways. Where is the “knowledge?” Can I Google, “What economic theory comes closest to economic reality?” Where is the freaking science ???!!!???