Interesting links: September 2018

 

Ancient cities in northern Guatemala, discovered through jungle-penetrating LIDAR.

 

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New movie trailers!

Decided to relax a bit tonight and catch up on trailers of upcoming movies, here are the ones I’m excited about:

General interesting links: August 2018

 

Five hundred meters across, with four-and-a-half thousand active panels.

 

Last month’s bunch of interesting links:

General interesting links: July 2018

Last month’s bunch of random stuff:

Though Predatorenjoys a warm reception from science fiction and horror fans, many don’t give it due credit for its tact and intelligence. What begins as an action film slowly morphs into one of the most effective and unsettling horror movies ever made. Predator meticulously picks apart genre expectations, destroying the ’80s action hero archetype and creating a villain that to this day outshines the film’s leading man.

Some of the more pessimistic commentators at the time of the credit crunch, myself included, said that the aftermath of the crash would dominate our economic and political lives for at least ten years. What I wasn’t expecting – what I don’t think anyone was expecting – was that ten years would go by quite so fast. At the start of 2008, Gordon Brown was prime minister of the United Kingdom, George W. Bush was president of the United States, and only politics wonks had ever heard of the junior senator from Illinois; Nicolas Sarkozy was president of France, Hu Jintao was general secretary of the Chinese Communist Party, Ken Livingstone was mayor of London, MySpace was the biggest social network, and the central bank interest rate in the UK was 5.5 per cent.

General interesting links: June 2018

Last month’s bunch of random stuff:

  • Musical selection for the month #1: an old song with many versions: “The Windmills of Your Mind”
  • Picked up an interesting graphic novel, a fictionalized account of Lovelace and Babbage
  • A playlist of classic Sci Fi audiobooks.
  • Humorous blast from the past: apparently in 1999, Trump suggested a one-time tax on the 1%:

“No one has put forward a plan to make this country entirely debt free as we enter the next millenium,” Trump said in a written statement.

“The plan I am proposing today does not involve smoke and mirrors, phony numbers, financial gimmicks, or the usual economic chicanery you usually find in Disneyland-on-the-Potomac,” Trump said.

Trump would exempt the value of an individual’s principal home from the net worth total.

“By my calculations, 1 percent of Americans, who control 90 percent of the wealth in this country, would be affected by my plan,” Trump said.

“The other 99 percent of the people would get deep reductions in their federal income taxes,” he said.

A life spent buried in video games, scraping by on meagre pay from irregular work or dependent on others, might seem empty and sad. Whether it is emptier and sadder than one spent buried in finance, accumulating points during long hours at the office while neglecting other aspects of life, is a matter of perspective.

Programming/Math/Science roundup: June 2018

 

Taken by Lunar Orbiter 1, in Aug 1966. That’s 1966 !

 

Somehow, a lot of interesting stuff this month:

Anyway, I know what it is to look at functionality and duplicate it elsewhere.  It CAN be done.  I am not saying it can’t.  What I’m saying is that it has not been done, and it’s a crying shame.  Few people even know there ever WAS a lisp machine, and those who do are mostly not rich enough personally to invest the time to duplicate what was there. Many people spent a big chunk of their lives investing in this dream and it didn’t pan out quite as we wish.  Ok.  Sometimes other events win out–not always  even for the right reasons. Or at least for the reasons you wish.  But don’t add insult to injury to say that the losers in battles such as these had nothing to offer.

Common Lisp beat out Interlisp, and maybe for good reasons but it doesn’t mean Interlisp had nothing to offer–some very good ideas got lost in the shuffle and I don’t pretend that Common Lisp just obviously had a better way.  Java is going to beat out Smalltalk perhaps, but that doesn’t mean Java is better than Smalltalk.  We owe it to the losers in these little
skirmishes to make sure that, if nothing else, the good ideas are not lost along with the framework.  And we do not accomplish that by defining that there was nothing lost. That’s both callous to those who worked hard on these other things and short-sighted to the future, which might one
day care about the things that got lost.

General interesting links: May 2018

Last month’s bunch of random stuff:

 

The original “skywalkers” …

 

  • A look at how both Apple and Star wars have come to dominate our “tech aesthetic” in a very deep sense
  • Something about Nirvana (not the band)
  • Michael Polan (of Omnivore fame) talking about psychedelics (on NPR! this stuff is going mainstream again!)
  • File this under this month’s humor section: a 30-year old man had to be sued by his parents to get him to move out of their house
  • Ditto, but the darker variety: story of a man who remained functionally illiterate while being a high school teacher. Choice quote:

Why did I go into teaching? Looking back it was crazy that I would do that. But I’d been through high school and college without getting caught – so being a teacher seemed a good place to hide. Nobody suspects a teacher of not knowing how to read.

  • On the “Very Short Introduction …” series

(there isn’t a lot here this time, partly due to it just being a busy time, partly because I was in Australia for a good third of the month …)