11 months Ago

Programming-language Features: How much is too much?

Published by marco on in Programming

The article Dark Path by Robert C. Martin was an interesting analysis of a recent “stricter” trend in programming languages, as evidenced by Swift and Kotlin. I think TypeScript is also taking some steps along this path, as well as Rust, which I have a read a lot about, but haven’t had much occasion to use.

Correct vs. Expressive

The point Martin makes is that all of these languages seem to be heedlessly improving correctness at the possible cost of expressiveness and maintainability. That is, as types are... [More]

Set up JetBrains DataGrip with local SQL Server Express

Published by marco on in Programming

The article Connecting DataGrip to MS SQL Server by Maksim Sobolevskiy on June 21, 2016 (JetBrains Blog) covers all of the points well, with screen shots but I just wanted to record my steps, collected into a tight list. Screenshots for most of these steps are available in the blog linked above.

If you don’t have a license for DataGrip, you can download a 30-day trial or you can download the JetBrains Rider EAP, which bundles it. Once Rider is released, you’ll have to have a license for it, but—for now—you can use it for free.

  • Open SQL Server... [More]

The Snobbery of the Liberal Elite

Published by marco on in Miscellaneous

It’s become clear that, instead of drawing any useful lessons from several recent defeats, the liberal elite is doubling down on its snobbery vis-à-vis the unwashed masses. Case in point: the unalloyed adoration of Meryl Streep’s single-handed, surgical strike against the greatest enemy that Western civilization has ever known.[1]

I, as usual, didn’t watch it, because I prefer to be persuaded by content rather than presentation. I read the transcript (New York Times), though. Meryl doesn’t take long to cozen to... [More]

CSPAN interview with Chris Hedges (2013)

Published by marco on in Public Policy & Politics

I’ve been watching a lot of Chris Hedges lately. Below is another video, this one from 2013, in which he discusses a wide range of topics from his essays, his many books as well as questions from callers.

Brace Yourself! The American Empire Is Over by Chris Hedges on October 2013 (YouTube)

“I share the right-wing’s critique of Obamacare. It’s a disastrous bill. It was written by corporate lobbyists. 2000 pages of it. It is essentially the equivalent of the bank-bailout bill for the pharmaceutical and insurance industries, $400 billion in subsidies. Meanwhile, the White House... [More]”

Set Up Spell-checking Languages in MacOS

Published by marco on in Tips & Tricks

For the impatient (tl;dr):

  1. Open System Preferences
  2. Select the Keyboard panel
  3. Activate the Text page
  4. Show the drop-down under Spelling:
  5. Select the last item in the list, named Set Up…
  6. Check/uncheck to select and drag & drop to sort your preferred languages

Details and Screenshots

I recently set up a new Mac to work on develop iOS apps at Encodo. I relatively quickly noticed that the machine was set up for British English (en-GB) rather than my customary US English (en-US). There aren’t... [More]

UI/UX Deliverables

Published by marco on in Design

Ideally, you’d have a VSG (Visual Style Guide) and an Interaction Design.

VSG

The VSG includes design details like colors, gradients, fonts and standard dimensions as well as details about components/controls, like for icons, properties like,

  • margins
  • padding
  • separation between label and image
  • alignment of image
  • variants (image to side, image on top)

or for similar... [More]

Mark Blyth on Global Trumpism

Published by marco on in Public Policy & Politics

In the article Discussion between Mark Blyth and Wendy Schiller on Nov. 9, 2016 I transcribed quite a bit of Mark Blyth’s discussion of Trump’s recent electoral victory. In the video linked below, Blyth holds forth on similar themes, but 1.5 months before the election. Again, I’ve transcribed what I consider to be very nicely phrased and salient points from the 1.5-hour video below.

Global Trumpism by Mark Blyth on September 29, 2016 (Watson Institute/YouTube)

When discussing how to reason about the world economy, he showed a slide that he’d cadged from an IBM for... [More]

Capsule Movie Reviews Vol.2017.1

Published by marco on in Books & Movies

These are my notes to remember what I watched and kinda what I thought about it. I’ve recently transferred my reviews to IMDb and made the list of almost 1200 ratings publicly available. I’ve included the individual ratings with my notes for each movie. These ratings are not absolutely comparable to each other—I rate the film on how well it suited me for the genre and my mood. YMMV. Also, I make no attempt to avoid spoilers.

Life is Hot in Cracktown (2009) — 6/10
This movie starts off... [More]

Capsule Movie Reviews Vol.2016.18

Published by marco on in Books & Movies

These are my notes to remember what I watched and kinda what I thought about it. I’ve recently transferred my reviews to IMDb and made the list of almost 1200 ratings publicly available. I’ve included the individual ratings with my notes for each movie. These ratings are not absolutely comparable to each other—I rate the film on how well it suited me for the genre and my mood. YMMV. Also, I make no attempt to avoid spoilers.

Crash (1996) — 7/10
David Cronenberg produced and directed this... [More]

Capsule Movie Reviews Vol.2016.17

Published by marco on in Books & Movies

These are my notes to remember what I watched and kinda what I thought about it. I’ve recently transferred my reviews to IMDb and made the list of almost 1200 ratings publicly available. I’ve included the individual ratings with my notes for each movie. These ratings are not absolutely comparable to each other—I rate the film on how well it suited me for the genre and my mood. YMMV. Also, I make no attempt to avoid spoilers.

True Romance (1993) — 9/10
Clarence Worley (Christian Slater)... [More]

Less well-known Adam Smith

Published by marco on in Quotes

“Civil government, so far as it is instituted for the security of property, is in reality instituted for the defense of the rich against the poor or of those who have some property against those who have none at all.”
Adam Smith
“No society can surely be flourishing and happy, of which the far greater part of the members are poor and miserable.”
Adam Smith

1 year Ago

Capsule Movie Reviews Vol.2016.16

Published by marco on in Books & Movies

These are my notes to remember what I watched and kinda what I thought about it. I’ve recently transferred my reviews to IMDb and made the list of over 900 ratings publicly available. I’ve included the individual ratings with my notes for each movie. These ratings are not absolutely comparable to each other—I rate the film on how well it suited me for the genre and my mood. YMMV.

Promised Land (2012) — 9/10
Matt Damon and Frances McDormand are fracking-company representatives, combing the... [More]

Comparies National Economies

Published by marco on in Finance & Economy

I just read/scanned through the article Living in Switzerland ruined me for America and its lousy work culture. The article is quite accurate and well-written in the material that it addresses. The reaction at Reddit was more uninformed than usual. My notes below.

  • Taxes: Federal and even cantonal (state) taxes are lower in Switzerland. As she mentioned, this is partially due to there being no “capital-gains loophole” (dividends are taxed at a high rate) but also because there are fewer... [More]

Rage Against the Machine

Published by marco on in Quotes

“There is a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart, that you can’t take part; you can’t even passively take part, and you’ve got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you’ve got to make it stop. And you’ve got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it, that unless you’re free, the machine will be prevented from working at all!”

Capsule Movie Reviews Vol.2016.15

Published by marco on in Books & Movies

These are my notes to remember what I watched and kinda what I thought about it. I’ve recently transferred my reviews to IMDb and made the list of over 900 ratings publicly available. I’ve included the individual ratings with my notes for each movie. These ratings are not absolutely comparable to each other—I rate the film on how well it suited me for the genre and my mood. YMMV.

The Hateful Eight (2015) — 8/10
Samuel L. Jackson and Kurt Russel are two bounty hunters who meet on a road in... [More]

Capsule Movie Reviews Vol.2016.14

Published by marco on in Books & Movies

These are my notes to remember what I watched and kinda what I thought about it. I’ve recently transferred my reviews to IMDb and made the list of almost 1200 ratings publicly available. I’ve included the individual ratings with my notes for each movie. These ratings are not absolutely comparable to each other—I rate the film on how well it suited me for the genre and my mood. YMMV. Also, I make no attempt to avoid spoilers.

Prizzi’s Honor (1985) — 6/10
Anjelica Huston, Jack Nicholson and... [More]

Capsule Movie Reviews Vol.2016.13

Published by marco on in Books & Movies

These are my notes to remember what I watched and kinda what I thought about it. I’ve recently transferred my reviews to IMDb and made the list of almost 1200 ratings publicly available. I’ve included the individual ratings with my notes for each movie. These ratings are not absolutely comparable to each other—I rate the film on how well it suited me for the genre and my mood. YMMV. Also, I make no attempt to avoid spoilers.

Dana Carvey: Straight White Male, 60 (2016) — 5/10
Carvey still... [More]

Oblivion: Stories by David Foster Wallace (2005) (read in 2016)

Published by marco on in Books & Movies

Disclaimer: these are notes I took while reading this book. They include citations I found interesting or enlightening or particularly well-written. In some cases, I’ve pointed out which of these applies to which citation; in others, I have not. Any benefit you gain from reading these notes is purely incidental to the purpose they serve of reminding me what I once read. Please see Wikipedia for a summary if I’ve failed to provide one sufficient for your purposes. If my notes serve to trigger an... [More]

The Psychopath Test by Jon Ronson (2011) (read in 2016)

Published by marco on in Books & Movies

Disclaimer: these are notes I took while reading this book. They include citations I found interesting or enlightening or particularly well-written. In some cases, I’ve pointed out which of these applies to which citation; in others, I have not. Any benefit you gain from reading these notes is purely incidental to the purpose they serve of reminding me what I once read. Please see Wikipedia for a summary if I’ve failed to provide one sufficient for your purposes. If my notes serve to trigger an... [More]

Books read in 2016

Published by marco on in Books & Movies

Seveneves (2015)

by Neal Stephenson

This is another epic work by Stephenson, spanning almost 900 pages and over 5000 years. He picks up some themes I’ve seen in other books while including a lot of his standard fascination for technological detail, weaponry in particular. This is the story of the eradication of life as we know it on the planet Earth. Something called The Agent enters the Moon from one side and exits from the other, shattering it into seven large pieces and innumerable smaller... [More]

Obey

Published by marco on in Philosophy

 Capitalism is the mechanism by which we attempt to regulate human interaction without ethics. We’ve discovered that, while many people will act ethically, there are those who do not. So we offer these monsters incentives. We try to build an economic system in which we harness their power for evil to our greater good.

But I think the leash is in the wrong hand. We’ve built a system that works fantastically for the small percentage of people who cannot be swayed by ethical arguments while at the... [More]

Something Happened by Joseph Heller (1974) (read in 2016)

Published by marco on in Books & Movies

Disclaimer: these are notes I took while reading this book. They include citations I found interesting or enlightening or particularly well-written. In some cases, I’ve pointed out which of these applies to which citation; in others, I have not. Any benefit you gain from reading these notes is purely incidental to the purpose they serve of reminding me what I once read. Please see Wikipedia for a summary if I’ve failed to provide one sufficient for your purposes. If my notes serve to trigger an... [More]

An Open Letter to Greg Proops

Published by marco on in Miscellaneous

Dear Greg:

I wasn’t going to do a tl;dr, but I thought of one. I offer it as a bone thrown by an incorrigibly garrulous writer to his reader.

Stop being Chris Matthews.

Perhaps that’s too short.

Let me try again.

If I wanted to be yelled at by MSNBC to believe stuff for which they feel no obligation to provide evidence (or provide the “national security” copout), then I could just watch that. I want your opinion, not Rachel Maddow’s[1] shallow press-release regurgitations.

The rest I will... [More]

Bill Burr on Pregnancy and Christmas Stockings

Published by marco on in Fun

Bill Burr does an extemporaneous podcast every Monday and Thursday. He is one of the English language’s best living comedians, with a tremendous feel for timing and a much cleverer take on things than he’ll admit (but that’s part of his schtick).

On a recent show, Monday Morning Podcast 22.12.2016, his wife Nia joined him. She is pregnant, several months along. Once you’ve heard the podcast, you’ll wonder at the amount of patience that she brings to the marriage, all the more when very... [More]

Discussion between Mark Blyth and Wendy Schiller on Nov. 9, 2016

Published by marco on in Public Policy & Politics

The following video is well worth investing 90 minutes.

Mark Blyth and Wendy Schiller – Election 2016: What Happened and Why? on November 9th, 2016 (YouTube)

Mark Blyth is absolutely brilliant. Here are some choice quotes that I manually transcribed.

“How is all of this going to play out? Where is it all connected? Well, here’s a simple way of thinking about it. From 1945 to 1975, we targeted a particular economic variable called “full employment”. And there’s a thing called the Lukas Critique, which basically says that if you keep targeting something, people will game it. And they did:... [More]”

A philosophical and political discussion with Cornel West and Chris Hedges

Published by marco on in Public Policy & Politics

The following video is well worth investing 90 minutes.

Chris Hedges and Cornel West in Conversation − Wages of Rebellion | The New School on October 14th, 2015 (YouTube)

I can’t even summarize this. Watch all of it. If you don’t understand it, be worried, then rectify the situation. Because they explain exactly what’s going on. With no deviation and no exaggeration. I was surprised to see how reasonable West has gotten. He was on the Obama bandwagon for a few years.

Here are some choice quotes that I manually transcribed.

“It’s not a radical movement’s job to seize power. Its job is to make power fear... [More]”
Chris Hedges

Why propaganda works

Published by marco on in Quotes

“The public have an insatiable curiosity to know everything. Except what is worth knowing. Journalism, conscious of this, and having tradesman-like habits, supplies their demands.[1]
Oscar Wilde


[1] @Nid: This is what I was much less eloquently saying on the phone yesterday.

Capitalism is the engine behind racism

Published by marco on in Quotes

“If a white man wants to lynch me, that’s his problem. If he’s got the power to lynch me, that’s my problem. Racism is not a question of attitude; it’s a question of power. Racism gets its power from capitalism. Thus, if you’re anti-racist, whether you know it or not, you must be anti-capitalist. The power for racism, the power for sexism, comes from capitalism, not an attitude.”
Stokely Carmichael

Propaganda about Obama’s love for Palestinians

Published by marco on in Public Policy & Politics

 I figure that’s a better title than “Obama administration takes a significant step toward ending the occupation”.

I heard from a few sources that the U.S. Congress finally voted against funding Israel. That is patently untrue. What actually sparked this rumor is that—for the first time ever—the U.S. allowed a vote in the U.N. Security Council to proceed against Israel. Congress had nothing to do with it. The budget for Israel stands. The U.S. didn’t even vote against Israel. Instead,... [More]

Energy-consumption by type in the U.S.

Published by marco on in Finance & Economy

This is a sobering graphic for those who’ve been swayed by the propaganda that America is “just around the corner” from a 100% alternative—non–fossil-fuel—economy.

 Energy consumption in the US (1776 – 2015) (EIA)

You can see that coal consumption is way down, but natural-gas consumption is way up. Home-grown natural-gas consumption is declining again (rapidly, despite more propaganda) but imports will likely continue. Along with natural gas, other renewables have also replaced some of the coal, but not nearly as much. Just as much as... [More]