In democratic societies, there exists an urge to do something even when the goal is not precise, a sort of permanent fever that turns to innovations (which) are always costly.
Notes from the Golden Orange
Country music legend George Jones dies at 81
This picture was taken just after I said to Mark Twain, “The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter — it’s the difference between the lightning-bug and the lightning.”
And Twain said, “That’s a good one! I’ve got to write that down!”
Actually, the Twain statue is just inside the main entrance of Doe Library at UC Berkeley. I asked the nerdy-looking Asian girl at the front desk, “Who’s the guy on the bench?” She stared at me for a second. “Kidding,” I said.
“At first, I thought it was Albert Einstein,” she said, “so it doesn’t surprise me when people don’t know.”
From Salon, before the bombers were identified, captured and/or killed:
Shame on everyone who assumed that the bombers were Muslims from a foreign land! Wait — what? They were Muslims from a foreign land? OK, never mind.
Calling out “far-right extremists” for “demonizing bogeymen” is either hilariously ironic or depressingly symptomatic of American decline. Since Salon is not known for its satire, I have to go with the latter.
Silicon Valley Discriminates Against Women, Even If They’re Better — PBS NewsHour
An academic says that Silicon Valley is “not a meritocracy.”
He doesn’t offer any evidence to support that. He just looked around and noticed more men than women in the high-tech workforce.
The fact that there are more members of Group A doing X than there are members of Group B doing X is not evidence that members of Group B are being discriminated against in their efforts to do X.
In particular, he says that only 3 percent of tech firms in the Valley were founded by women, as though founding a tech firm is a fun thing that everyone should want to do.
Founding a startup is an ultra-high-risk activity that requires insane amounts of time and sacrifice. Do you want to have friends? A social life? Do you have a family? Do you want to have a family? Do you want to see them sometimes?
The fact that more men than women are founding startups is not evidence that women are being discriminated against. The simplest explanation is that women just don’t want to do it as much as men do.
These people who see right through you never quite do you justice, because they never give you credit for the effort you’re making to be better than you actually are, which is difficult and well meant and deserving of some little notice.
There’s an unwritten rule in the software business that any integration between two systems must be described as “seamless,” the result being that the word no longer has any meaning.
My favorite seamless integration storyline took place years ago when IBM had a joint marketing pact with Vignette, and offered “seamless integration” between the WebSphere application server and the Vignette content management system. In fact, the two systems weren’t integrated at all by any definition of the word “integrated” that I know about. We had to write our own interfaces to move data between them.
The funny thing is, that is seamless integration if you think about it, in that there’s no seam between two things that are not connected at all.
For example, my shirt neatly integrates sleeves, cuffs, pocket, collar . . . but not seamlessly. There are seams all over the place. Whereas the shirt is seamlessly integrated with my pants. I can stuff the shirt in there and if I don’t move around too vigorously, it will stay there and not come out.
What’s so bad about seams, anyway?
To be useful was the best thing the old men ever hoped for themselves, and to be aimless was their worst fear. — Marilynne Robinson, Gilead
I was checking out at Staples with my new purchase of a spiral notebook. The checker scanned the barcode and I started to swipe my credit card.
“Wait a minute,” she said. “Don’t swipe it yet.” Time passed.
“Okay, go ahead.”
After I swiped the card, she said, “Can you read me the four-digit security code on the front of the card.”
I read it to her. More time passed. “Can I see the card please?” she said.
“I thought this was supposed to be easy.”
“It is easy.”
Along with my Staples receipt, I was given a coupon for 40 percent off a different, more expensive brand of notebook. I had actually looked at the other brand of notebook when I was in the store, but didn’t think it was worth the extra cost. If I’d had the coupon at the time, I might have used it to buy the more expensive brand.
The coupon expires in three weeks. I’m not going to need another notebook in the next three weeks. What’s the use of giving me a coupon for a notebook when I just bought a notebook?
When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. — I Corinthians 13:11
Best-educated moms are also more likely to ‘opt out,’ research finds
Opt out of what?
It turns out “opt out” means opt out of the workforce. How is a mom staying home and raising her kids considered “opting out”?
The TPMS warning light on my car dashboard is lit up, which, according to the owner’s manual, indicates a malfunction in the Tire Pressure Monitoring System, a system designed to alert me, via a different warning light, when the tire pressure gets too low.
It’s a completely unnecessary system to begin with because I can monitor the tire pressure myself, as drivers have done since the invention of the automobile.
Let’s add a completely unnecessary new system so when it breaks, the owner will have to pay to fix it.
Can I just ignore the warning light? I don’t know. The worst-case scenario is that the TPMS not only breaks but creates a domino effect that knocks out a critical system that I actually need.
Toilers in software development can draw their own analogies . . .
Thus spoke The Programmer.
everything is permitted
absolute freedom of movement
that is, without leaving the cage
2+2 doesn’t make 4:
once it made 4 but
today nothing is known in this regard
Q: How do bananas get downstairs?
A: They slide down the bananaster.
Look at this — before Jackie Robinson, they didn’t let black guys play major league baseball!
Right . . . that was 70 years ago, in the 1940s. Let’s move on already.
You know what else they did in the 1940s? They rounded up Japanese Americans, just took them right out of their homes and their jobs, and stuck them into “relocation camps.”
When’s the last time you heard a Japanese person talk about relocation camps? They don’t talk about relocation camps because they’re too busy being engineers and doctors and businessmen and raising their families and sending their kids to top universities.
You can focus your mind on what other people did a long time ago or you can focus your mind on what you’re doing right now.
Let’s move on already.
Footnote: We’ve come full circle on blacks in baseball. The defending World Series champion San Francisco Giants don’t have a single black player on their current roster (although some of the Latin players are pretty dark). Black men can play baseball if they want to but they don’t want to.
Food trucks have always been the dining option of last resort — “roach coaches” we called them. Now food trucks are considered fashionable cuisine. People actually make an effort to find them and eat from them.
Whoever’s in charge of brand management for the food truck industry has got to be a genius.
My wife asks how my job is going . . .
“I’m hittin’ home runs like Willie Mays!” I reply. “You know Willie Mays?”
“I’m hittin’ home runs like Mark McGwire!”
“I know Jackie Robinson.”
“Jackie Robinson didn’t hit a lot of home runs.”