Apparently (according to accu.org/index.php/journals/25) Algol 68 allowed whitespace inside identifiers. I.e., "half pi" and "halfpi" are the same identifier.

I imagine this could make syntax errors a bit harder to understand, as the parsing might continue longer than you'd expect. Though I'm a little unclear how reserved words and capitalization works in the language.

But units! They hardly ever show up in early math. And they are awkward: more writing, more reading, very explicit, and not always key to the technique being learned. And yet...

What does (-1) × (-1) mean? That's a really hard question! Just as numbers, the answer is 1. But as an actual idea, whose presence exists in the world regardless of the notation we use, what does it mean? It means nothing without units.

-1 is extra weird in multiplication though. I think it often means "invert perspective".

There's other uses of negative numbers, though. Sometimes there are two equally reasonable directions, and a natural zero, and we just declare one to be positive and the other negative. Like, x is "inches to the right", and a negative number means "inches to the left". You could do all the equations with two variables instead of one, but it's more awkward than negative numbers.

Thinking more, I realize adding extended units to the numbers makes it all much clearer.

I was thinking about how to explain negative numbers to smallish children, and had a thought:

Maybe instead of treating the numbers as naturally a line, that goes below zero, it makes more sense to talk about them as two categories of numbers, that interact in certain ways. Negative numbers are holes waiting to be filled, and you can count the holds and do math on the holes, etc. And we use "-" to declare a number to be a hole.

Are their podcast apps that treat listening to a podcast in order, from the beginning, as a normal thing? In every app I've tried it's somewhere between impossible and obtuse/fragile.

Pocket Casts was ok at this, better than most, until their last update which just broke everything.

A little technical blog post on some debugging-related metaprogramming for Python that I liked, but couldn't justify working on more: ianbicking.org/blog/2018/11/vi (really I'm hoping someone does something with this idea)

It's one of those days when I wish there was a physical component to my work. Like... I don't feel like coding, maybe I can make progress on digging that hole? But no, that's not a thing...

Any recommendations on videoconference fidget hobbies? I have these meetings that I want to focus on, but I need something non-intrusive to keep my hands occupied. I guess I could use a spinner, but that seems boring...

I've become annoyed with the term "the other" but I'm trying to figure out why...

I think it's because it's used to make a point, but without actually making that point. Maybe this is the same as using an epithet... like if you call someone a Nazi in passing, you are making this big claim but doing so lightly.

Not quite right though, because The Other isn't just a claim about someone but about us all. And yet the deliberate naivety of the term places the speaker above it.

A video of Berlin in July 1945, weeks after the end of the war: youtu.be/R5i9k7s9X_A

It's very calm. It makes losing a war not seem so bad, so as long as the war is over.

We’re trapped in the political equivalent of a Shepard tone, aren’t we? youtu.be/5rzIiF7LpPU

An interesting comparison of Marx and Foucault: np.reddit.com/r/askphilosophy/

I can't say I've ever read Foucault, but when I hear descriptions of his approach I find myself enamored. Marx – like most other political ideologies – feels like a grand concept, where humans are slotted in later. Foucault seems more interested in how society is built out of humans.

in 1841 horace mann accurately predicted that reading turns kids goth "In regard to all the other sources of pleasure... the alphabetic column presents an utter blank. There stands in silence and death, the stiff, perpendicular row of characters, lank, stark, immovable, without form or comeliness, and, as to signification, wholly void. They are skeleton-shaped, bloodless, ghostly apparitions, and hence it is no wonder that the children look and feel so death-like, when compelled to face them."

I feeling this strong desire to go on a coding sebatical at work. To work on work, yes... but just take a break from normal work to work on code.

The more I think about it, the more appealing and ill-conceived it sounds. Would it devolve into fucking around? Would I over-focus on the things I could manage as an individual? Can I carve out some regular/required time to analyze whether I was fucking around?

You can see in the old Microsoft Network an alternate sense of what the network might be: codersnotes.com/notes/the-micr – sometimes it feels hard to imagine different information organization strategies than the web and hypertext.

In a vague way this reminds me of what I've heard about WeChat (though I have no experience). External developers provide WeChat an API (ala COM), not a concrete interface for users.

I misheard "it's easier to rewrite than refactor" as "it's easier to be right than refactor". My planning self likes the latter one more.

A question for anyone:

If you use an Electron app when the web app is basically equivalent (e.g., Slack, Spotify), what specifically motivates you to use the app?

When I've seen environmental impact summaries of different foods I always notice that chicken stands out as particularly efficient.

Elsewhere there's an effort to develop synthetic meat. One of the purported benefits is the hope it could have less of an environmental impact.

Chickens are so great because they've been bred like mini meat factories. Their bodies (like all bodies) are each a little metabolic supportive laboratory. Outside of brain removal (for ethical reasons?) can we do better?

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