Looking at maps with attached corkboard, of course most of the maps are Mercator. Besides finding them aesthetically and geographically offensive, I'm realizing there's a lot of different projections, and I don't know their names.
There's the giant-fucking-Greenland maps, which are just bozo (i.e., showing Greenland larger than Africa). But there's lots of ones that squish Greenland a little, or a lot, while still being distinctly Mercatorish.
I'm looking up JS interview questions, and prototype inheritance comes up a lot.
Are there programming languages that really go long on introspection? Like, you can look at variables in a closure, or inspect calling frames, find references to a given object, etc.
Some of these are available in normal languages - I've done them all in Python for instance - but frowned upon. So I guess I'm wondering if there's languages where this isn't just possible, but idiomatic.
Reading a bit later, it did seem to depend on the keywords being distinct – either upper case (as in examples), or in implementations where everything was upper case (normal at the time) they'd do things like 'IF' or .IF to mark a keyword. Kind of ick.
Interestingly the spec used bold for keywords. Semantic bold. (That sounds like a good name for a font.)
Apparently (according to https://accu.org/index.php/journals/2586) 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.
A little technical blog post on some debugging-related metaprogramming for Python that I liked, but couldn't justify working on more: http://www.ianbicking.org/blog/2018/11/viewing-python-execution-source-code-rewriting.html (really I'm hoping someone does something with this idea)
I wrote a blog post with my thoughts on the Email Tabs Firefox experiment: http://www.ianbicking.org/blog/2018/11/thoughts-on-email-tabs.html
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: https://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? https://youtu.be/5rzIiF7LpPU
An interesting comparison of Marx and Foucault: https://np.reddit.com/r/askphilosophy/comments/9he46q/why_did_focault_think_that_marxism_was_bound_to/e6bdimy/
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."
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