Today, many programmers believe that this complexity is best managed by using only a small set of well-understood techniques in their programs. They have composed strict rules about the form programs should have, and the more zealous among them will denounce those who break these rules as bad programmers.
What hostility to the richness of programming! To try to reduce it to something straightforward and predictable, to place a taboo on all the weird and beautiful programs. The landscape of programming techniques is enormous, fascinating in its diversity, still largely unexplored. It is certainly littered with traps and snares, luring the inexperienced programmer into all kinds of horrible mistakes, but that only means you should proceed with caution, keep your wits about you. As you learn, there will always be new challenges, new territory to explore. The programmer who refuses to keep exploring will surely stagnate, forget his joy, lose the will to program (and become a manager).
“Recently I saw somebody asked a question in a forum, the question is “Which programming language should I learn first?”. Then someone answered this question. His answer:
To program in an expressive and powerful language: Python
To get a website up quickly: PHP
To mingle with programmers who call themselves “rockstars”: Ruby.
To really learn to program: C.
To achieve enlightenment: Scheme.
To feel depressed: SQL
To drop a chromosome: Microsoft Visual Basic
To get a guaranteed, mediocre, but well paying job writing financial applications in a cubicle under fluorescent lights: Java.
To do the same thing with certifications and letters after your name: C#
To achieve a magical sense of childlike wonder that you have a hard time differentiating from megalomania: Objective C
I could go on… but I’m not feeling hateful enough today.
I don’t know whether you agree with him or not. According to his logic, I can add one to this
To be a god which can do everything—Assembly
source: http://pixelstech.net/article/index.php?id=1335686357”—arums: Which programming language should I learn first? (via lifeandcode)
“But the entropy of digital has shifted the way we think about every tool and workflow methodology now. Accomplished artists move (by necessity) from dye transfer to inkjet prints. From big camera film to micro four thirds. Adobe upends the production universe by pricing “to own” software, resident on your machine, sky high while offering to rent it to you at a lower price, in the “cloud.” We’re moving from the 19th century concept that owning the tools of production is paramount to creating value and wealth. We’re moving from a craft mentality which demanded a long and detailed mastery of all areas of a discipline into a post-craft world where the latest apps and styles take cultural precedence over perfectionism. Witness “Instagram and be there!””—Everything has changed. Including the way we interface with our gear.
“For the presentations, the students had to organize their thoughts and put together a cohesive presentation and communicate what they’re trying to do,” Mara says. “I think that’s something that’s always lacking in design schools today.”—
“When asked why they went brown, companies are transparent: The color “symbolizes” eco-friendliness. Brown paper products have been shown to make people “feel like they were doing something good for the environment.” Consumers need “visual differentiation” to know which products are environmentally sound. It’s not even so important that a product be brown, just “that it’s not white.””—
“Similarly, One Kings Lane has a business model that involves swapping out inventory every day, and Optimizely’s A/B tool plays a big role in the on-the-fly improvement that happens within each of these “flash sales.” Why do people like the ottoman better if it appears to the left of the throw rug than if it appears to the right? There’s no time to ask the question, and no reason to answer it. After all, what does it matter if you can get the right result? Keep testing, keep reacting, and save your philosophizing for the off-hours. If you find that last implication to be somewhat troubling, you’re not alone. Even if we accept that testing is useful in learning how to run a business, it’s hard to take the next step and accept that we won’t learn how to run our businesses at all. Indeed, as A/B becomes more widespread, we might not even know what choices the tests are making: One of the burgeoning trends in A/B is to automate the whole process of adjudicating the test, so that the software, when it finds statistical significance, simply diverts all traffic to the better-performing option—no human oversight necessary.”—The A/B Test: Inside the Technology That’s Changing the Rules of Business | Epicenter | Wired.com
““When you show up and you’re not like that, it scares them,” I continued. “They don’t know what to do with you, because they have no idea what it’s like to think for themselves. So they try to make YOU feel like the loser, because there’s more of them doing what they’re doing than there are of you. In such a small group of small minds, the nail that sticks up gets hammered down. “To them, you are weird,” I said. “But weird is good. No, screw that — weird is great! Being weird to someone just proves that you are being you, which is the most important thing you can ever be. There’s nothing wrong with you. There’s something wrong with them. They can’t understand what it’s like to be themselves, much less what it’s like to be you.””—
All parts should go together without forcing. You must remember that the parts you are reassembling were disassembled by you. Therefore, if you can’t get them together again, there must be a reason. By all means, do not use a hammer.
-IBM maintenance manual (1925), qtd. in Fulton, The Ruby Way
“Calvin Lee is a graphic designer in Los Angeles with a Klout score of 74. He has received 63 Klout perks, scoring freebies like a Windows phone, an invitation to a VH1 awards show, and a promotional hoodie for the movie Contraband. To keep his score up, Lee tweets up to 45 times a day—an average of one every 32 minutes. “People like food porn,” he notes, “so I try to post a lot of pictures of things I eat.” Lee once took a vacation during which he had no access to the Internet. This made him uncomfortable. “I was worried that brands couldn’t get in touch with me. It’s easy for them to forget about you. And I knew my Klout score would go down if I stopped tweeting for too long.” When he was loaned an Audi A8 for a few days as a Klout perk, Lee knew exactly where he wanted to drive it. He road-tripped from LA up to San Francisco, eventually arriving at the Klout offices and shaking hands with Joe Fernandez. Naturally he tweeted and hashtagged the entire journey.”—What Your Klout Score Really Means | Epicenter | Wired.com
“For the first eight years of our marriage, [Michelle and I] were paying more in student loans than what we were paying for our mortgage. So we know what this is about.
And we were lucky to land good jobs with a steady income. But we only finished paying off our student loans—check this out, all right, I’m the President of the United States—we only finished paying off our student loans about eight years ago.”—
Maybe I’m late to the game here, but one of the things I always missed most when browsing the web in iOS was having no easy way to archive/share pages I didn’t want to forget. Turns out it is very possible to do that. Also to save as PDF, which I need rarely, but has been blatantly missing when I do.
“We might argue that this is the price of fame on Twitter – gather an audience and you’ll suddenly receive requests to share content with that audience. But it’s a mechanism that affects some Twitter users more than others – it’s harder on people using Twitter to converse than those using it to broadcast. And then there’s a question about “fame” – it’s pretty clear that Oprah is a public figure, who’s going to be asked to share attention. It’s less clear to me that Xeni is a public figure and that people can have the same expectation that they can lobby her for attention.”—…My heart’s in Accra » The tweetbomb and the ethics of attention
My wife suggested I check out the net culture and computer science classes here. Courses offered from Stanford, Princeton, UPenn, and University of Michigan.
I tried to take the natural language processing class they offered this semester. Turns out I didn’t really have the CS background to keep up with it, but the platform is great and teachers seemed very committed. No penalty for dropping out, either, which is either the greatest asset or greatest liability. Either way, you should definitely check it out.
“How do we view “Design for Learning”?
We want to help children develop real fluency in many important areas of learning, including thinking, math and science. Each of these subjects is outside “natural learning” (such as learning to walk and talk). Quite a bit of time and energy needs to be spent to gain an above threshold fluency. There are interesting similarities to art, music, and sports, each of which also requires quite a bit of time and energy to gain fluency. These arts could be termed “hard fun”. Mathematicians and scientists know they are doing art and hard fun as well. “Thinking” is a higher category than “just” math, science, and the arts. It represents a synthesis of intuitive and analytical approaches to understanding the world and dealing with it.”—Viewpoints Research Institute
“The question is whether a third drive, getting away, exists. This is not the same as being an exile or outcast. Those are circumstantial and contingent situations: self- or other-imposed punishments. I am also not talking about “running away from home” as a response to toxic communities or abusive families. That is merely a case of lower-level survival drives in Maslow’s pyramid over-riding higher-level social drives. The getting away drive is the drive to voluntarily leave a group because it is a natural thing to do. A drive that is powerful enough to permanently overpower getting ahead and getting along drives, resulting in a persistent state of solitary nomadism and transient sociability in the extreme case, like that of George Clooney in Up in the Air. In his case, it turns out to be empty bravado, a pretense covering up a yearning for home. But I believe real (and less angsty) versions exist.”—How Do You Run Away from Home?
“Hacking is a pattern of local, opportunistic manipulation of a non-disposable complex system that causes a lowering of its conceptual integrity, creates systemic debt and moves intelligence from systems into human brains.”—Hacking the Non-Disposable Planet
Openness is also complex because sometimes it's unclear what it means.
For Yochai Benkler, it means, as he put it, that "it's open for anyone to create and innovate and share, if they want to… Because property is one mechanism of coordination. But it's not the only one." And he sees freedom as deriving from the extent to which actors can shift from one set of networks, from one way of doing things, to another. I agree:we need an environment where different models openly compete; and where people can openly choose.
To take a very simple example:how do you ensure self-expression? For some, it means being able to communicate freely in a place with the minimum of rules and constraints. But those kinds of forums can have their disadvantages: spam, abuse, lack of focus.
And so others might feel they can communicate more freely in a forum that is targeted or moderated. And there are many different ways to do that.
True openness, true freedom comes from having the freedom to choose between those different ways.
“I’m on this earth to put up a feeble fight against the horrible tendency people have to think that there’s a formula. “If I do the following things, I’ll get elected president.” No you won’t. “If I do the following things, my work of art will be good.” Not necessarily. “If I follow this recipe, the dish will come out very delicious.” Maybe. Trust me, there is no formula for most things that are not math.”—Daniel Pinkwater on Pineapple Exam: ‘Nonsense on Top of Nonsense’ - Metropolis - WSJ
“The “New Aesthetic” has a perpetual-newness issue, a problem it inherits from its cranky Boomer uncle, “New Media.” Olia Lialina recently quipped that the New Aesthetic is New Media without the “Media.” This perceptive remark of hers cheers me up. It’s true, and it’s good news. Why? Because that emphasis on “media” made the “perpetual novelty” problem inevitable. The “newness” of New Media came when media art was dragged through the keyhole of analog to digital. Artists didn’t own, create, distribute or share those means of artistic production. New Media artists grabbed at high-tech objects and services never intended for artists. With every major upgrade, a new spin of the wheel of Sisyphus. Tech-art creatives remain the born slaves of Moore’s Law. The gizmos are still in rapid transition. But the gizmo-centric are less cruelly preoccupied with the learning curves. The emphasis is sliding from the power of the chipset to the power of interface design; from the chip-fab to the atelier. New Media art had a classic form: the culture-hack. You attacked some technical phenomenon too difficult to master fully, You found some way to turn it against its distant masters. You made it a culture-jam intervention. I’ve seen this transpire for a generation now. It’s not that I ever tire of take-it-to-the-Man cyberpunk nose-thumbing — heavens no. I would never allege that the worldview of Boomers is becoming sententious. However, I admire Marius for the fact that he eschews this approach, and builds code rather than appropriating and detourning it. Marius is into coding “generative art.” Generative art is particularly “eruptive,” in the New Aesthetic eruptive sense. It looks “eruptive” because, although it isn’t new, the world has never yet come to terms with art generated by algorithms. We lack a sensibility that is cozy and urbane about that. So we have pretend that it’s amazingly new, all the time.”—