Archive for the '(0]\/[]o]_[73]25' Category

November 16, 2011

« L’informatizzazione dell’umanità non consiste nell’inserire la vita nella macchina, ma al contrario nel mettere la macchina al servizio della vita. »

« Spazi autonomi come quelli degli hacker assumono un ruolo educativo che sta progressivamente scomparendo nelle scuole e soprattutto nelle universita’. »

~ From a hacker mailing list

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April 15, 2011

At one point I had it [The art of Computer programming] as my monitor stand because it was one of the biggest set of books I had, and it was just the right height. That was nice because it was always there, and I guess then I was more prone to use it as a reference because it was just right in front of me.
~ Peter Norvig

You know, it’s not just what the program does—there’s a story. There’s a story about how the program is organized, there’s a story about the context in which the program is expected to operate.
~ Guy Steele

I think it’s not an accident that we often use the imagery of magic to describe programming. We speak of computing wizards and we think of things happening by magic or automagically. And I think that’s because being able to get a machine to do what you want is the closest thing we’ve got in technology to adolescent wish-fulfillment. And if you look at the fairy tales, people want to be able to just think in their minds what they want, wave their hands, and it happens. And of course the fairy tales are full of cautionary tales where you forgot to cover the edge case and then something bad happens.
~ Guy Steele

In the spectrum of implementers, I probably err on the side of just making things happen. A lot of that is because I get so much of a thrill bringing things to life that it doesn’t even matter if it’s wrong at first. The point is, that as soon as it comes to life it starts telling you what it is.
~ Dan Ingalls

You’ve got to have a logical mind. But I spent a lot of time in the country in Virginia while learning about computers. I always thought that if I wanted to start a computer company in the mountains of Virginia, I’d go find the mechanics. Except in certain fairly esoteric parts, the math isn’t near as important as logic and intuition.
~ Dan Ingalls

Welcome to the Internet

March 9, 2011

Welcome To The Internet
No one here likes you. We’re going to offend, insult, abuse, and belittle the living hell outof you. And when you rail against us with “FUCK YOU YOU GEEK WIMP SKATERGOTH LOSER PUNK FAG BITCH!1!!”, we smile to ourselves. We laugh at youbecause you don’t get it. Then we turn up the heat, hoping to draw moreentertainment from your irrational fuming. We will judge you, and we will find you unworthy. It is a trial by fire, and we won’t even think about turning down the flames until you finally understand. Some of you are smart enough to realize that, when you go online, it’s like entering a foreign country… and you know better than to ignorantly fuck with the locals. You take the time to listen and thinkbefore speaking. You learn, and by learning are gladly welcomed. For some of you, it takes a while, then one day it all dawns on you – you get it, and are welcomed into the fold. Some of you give up, and we breathe a sigh of relief – we didn’t wantyou here anyway. And some of you just never get it. The offensively clueless have a special place in our hearts – as objects of ridicule. We don’t like you, but we do love you. You will get mad. You will tell us to go to hell, and call us “nerds”and “geeks”. Don’t bother… we already know exactly what we are. And, much like the way hardcore rap has co-opted the word “nigger”, turning an insult around on itself to become a semiserious badge of honor, so have we done. “How dare you! I used to beat the crap out of punks like you in high school/college!” You may have owned the playing field because you were an athlete. You may have owned the student council because you were more popular. You may have owned the hallways and sidewalks because you were big and intimidating. Well, welcome to our world. Things like athleticism, popularity, and physical prowess mean nothing here. We place no value on them… or what car you drive, the size of your bank account, what you do for a living or where you went to school. Allow us to introduce you to the concept of a “meritocracy” – the closest thing to a form of self-government we have. In The United Meritocratic nation-states of the Internet, those who can do, rule. Those who wish to rule, learn. Everyone else watches from the stands. You may posses everything in the off-line world. We don’t care. You come to the Internet penniless, lacking the only thing of real value here: knowledge. “Who cares? The Internet isn’t real anyway!” This attitude is universally unacceptable. The Internet is real. Real people live behind those handles and screen names. Real machines allow it to exist. It’s real enough to change government policy, real enough to feed the world’s hungry, and even, for some of us, real enough to earn us a paycheck. Using your own definition, how “real” is your job? Your stock portfolio? Your political party? What is the meaning of “real”, anyway? Do I sound arrogant? Sure… to you. Because you probably don’t get it yet. If you insist on staying, then, at the very least, follow this advice:
1) No one, ESPECIALLY YOU, will make any law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
2) Use your brain before ever putting fingers to keys.
3) Do you want a picture of you getting anally raped by Bill Clinton while you’re performing oral sex on a cow saved to hundreds of thousands of people’s hard drives? No? Then don’t put your fucking picture on the Internet. We can, will, and probably already HAVE altered it in awfulways. Expect it to show up on an equally offensive website.
4) Realize that you are never, EVER going to get that, or any other, offensive web page taken down. Those of us who run those sites LIVE to piss off people like you. Those of us who don’t run those sites sometimes visit them just to read the hatemail from fools like you.
5) Oh, you say you’re going to a lawyer? Be prepared for us to giggle with girlish delight, and for your lawyer to laugh in your face after heexplains current copyright and parody law.
6) The Web is not the Internet. Stop referring to it that way.
7) We have already received the e-mail you are about to forward to us. Shut up.
8) Don’t reply to spam. You are not going to be “unsubscribed”.
9) Don’t ever use the term “cyberspace” (only William Gibson gets to say that, and even he hasn’t really used it for two or three books now). Likewise, you prove yourself a marketing-hype victim if you ever use theterm “surfing”.
10) With one or two notable exceptions, chat rooms will not get you laid.
11) It’s a hoax, not a virus warning.
12) The internet is made up of thousands of computers, all connected but owned by different people. Learn how to use *your* computer before attempting to connect it to someone else’s.
13) The first person who offers to help you is really just trying to fuck with you for entertainment. So is the second. And the third. And me.
14) Never insult someone who’s been active in any group longer than you have. You may as well paint a damn target on your back.
15) Never get comfortable and arrogant behind your supposed mask of anonymity. Don’t be surprised when your name, address, and home phone number get thrown back in your smug face. Hell, some of us will snail-mail you a printed satellite photograph of your house to drive the point home. Realize that you are powerless if this happens … it’s all public information, and information is our stock and trade.
16) No one thinks you are as cool as you think you are.
17) You aren’t going to win any argument that you start.
18) If you’re on AOL, don’t worry about anything I’ve said here. You’re already a fucking laughing stock, and there’s no hope for you.
19) If you can’t take a joke, immediately sell your computer to someone who can. RIGHT NOW.
Pissed off? It’s the TRUTH, not these words, that hurts your feelings. Don’t ever even pretend like I’ve gone & hurt them. We don’t like you. We don’t want you here. We never will. Save us all the trouble and go away.

~ A hacker

February 14, 2011

« Most of you are familiar with the virtues of a programmer. There are three, of course: laziness, impatience, and hubris. » ~ Larry Wall

« If debugging is the process of removing software bugs, then programming must be the process of putting them in. » ~  Edsger Dijkstra

February 14, 2011

« The rub for women in computer science is that the dominant computer science culture does not venerate balance or multiple interests. Instead, the singular and obsessive interest in computing that is common among men is assumed to be the road to success in computing. This model shapes the assumptions of who will succeed and who “belongs” in the discipline. » ~ “Unlocking the clubhouse: women in computing”, J. Margolis, A. Fisher.

January 21, 2011

We went to see the computer, I remember. Lots of serious-looking older men wearing white coats with pens stuck in their pockets wandering around, like, a church.

~ Joe Armstrong

Debugging

January 21, 2011

But this tickled all of the things that make a bug hard to find. First of all, it had to do with concurrency and it was utterly unreproducible,. Second of all, you had some core ssumption that turned out to be false. It’s the hallmark of the tyro that they say “Yeah, well, the language is broken” or “The system is broken”. But in this case, yes, the bedrock on which I was standing was, in fact, broken.

~ Joshua Block

January 21, 2011

I’ve got this need to program. I wake up in the morning with sentences of a literate program. Before breakfast — I’m sure poets must feel this — I have to go to the computer and write this paragraph and then I can eat and I’m happy. It’s a compulsion; that I have to admit.

There are mathematicians who never think about anything finite, and they hardly ever come down to countably infinite — they publish terrific papers just talking about kinds of infinity that are mind-boggling and they’re able to make snese out of it and that gives them satisfaction. And there are similar things like that in algorithms. But for me I’m turned on mmuch more by the ideas that I would be able to use in my machine.

~ Donald Knuth

January 21, 2011

I’ll rearrange code so that everything is declared and set up before it’s called. Some languages give you a lot of flexibility around that so you don’t have to. I don’t want that flexibility.
~ Douglas Crockford

When you are writing programs you need to be able to name your identifiers well. And your prose has to be good. I’d feel lost without a good dictionary.
~ Joshua Block

There’s some computer scientists that said “Oh, if you’re no good at English you’ll never be a very good programmer”.
~ Joe Armstrong

I like minimalistic code, very beautifully poised, structured code. If you start removing things, if you get to the point where if you were to remove more it would not work any more — at this point it is beautiful.
~ Joe Armstrong

What I try to work on is units that correspond to the way I have it in my head, rather than the way a logician might want it to be in some formal system. My programs are supposed to match my intuition more than somebody else’s rigid framework. […] To me the idea of the right kind of a program is something that matches the way I think as closely as possible rather than something that matches the machine as closely as possible. I have to find the way to do the conversion, but my source text tries to stay closer to my brain than to the machine.
~ Donald Knuth

January 21, 2011

The worst case, I could always just stop and work on fun things on my own. I don’t feel like I’m competing with anyone right now and I don’t really care if other people are better because I feel like there are tons of people who are better already. I figure we are always in the middle anyway, so I’m happy to stay in the middle.
~ Brad Fitzpatrick