embalmed ones

16 thoughts
last posted June 13, 2018, 9:32 a.m.
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Deciding which direction is "more convenient" for scrolling a stack printout may be one solution; keeping your stacks shallow enough that stack dumps don't scroll is another.

(unfortunately, these days the latter is a luxury)


Programming Language Theory papers, insofar as they tend to consist of a Grammar (to produce the terms), a Logic (to produce the typing), and some Rhetoric (to explain the previous two), are highly trivial (in the medieval sense of the trivium)


A stick-figure US politician in XKCD asks if he is standing behind a 'podium' or a 'lectern'. As I live in a country were 'faire podium' means to be one of the (as is traditional in western europe) top 3 in an athletic competition — recognized by standing in a stereotyped arrangement, with their feet on the podium — the answer is obvious.

  • the tradition is so strong that at higher levels, even wheelchair athletes have a podium; theirs are just equipped with more space and ramps
  • the invention and use of the teleprompter probably means that career politicians are unused to using a lectern to hold their notes for reading
  • or possibly, the winner-take-all nature of US elections means it is easy for politicians to confuse 'a competitor in an ongoing race, standing behind a lectern' with 'one of the top performers in a completed race, standing on a podium'.

Believers in Conway's Law would say that spending time at other groups' water coolers may not have tangible immediate payoff; but it may well enlarge the feasible design space.

On a somewhat related point:

Excerpts from How Not to Network a Nation: The Uneasy History of the Soviet Internet

Figure 1: The OGAS Project was developed by scientists in 1960s Kiev that also formed a group that pretended to be an independent country called “Cybertonia”: on the left of this passport is a map of its capital city, Cybergrad. On the right is their mascot and supreme leader: a saxophone-playing robot.

Chapter 5 chronicles the slow undoing of the OGAS between 1970 and 1989. Neither formally approved nor fully rejected, the OGAS Project found itself ... stalemated in a morass of bureaucratic barriers, mutinous ministries, and institutional infighting among a state that imagined itself as centralized but under civilian administration proved to be anything but. ... This chapter frames how hidden social networks unraveled computer networks.

(emphasis added)


while an expert, when conversing with another expert, may introduce a novel concept with a sentence such as:

a grue is like a pretty how town but its borogroves are mimsy instead of up so floating many bells down.

it will probably take many pages and much time to introduce the same concept to a beginner or intermediate.


I've often thought a classical remix (Händel? or at least romantic? where does Beethoven #3 fit? Chopin's Mazurkas? Wagner? Verdi?) ought to be easy to do, but have yet to run across any attempts that work for me.

Electro Blues goes nicely, I'm guessing because it starts from a form which, even at its most minimal, is all about the groove?

The russians are definitely fond of remixing old standards; I particularly liked one Anna Herman cover which managed to work both trad and club tropes into the tube.

Going the other way, I remember an otherwise forgettable movie which involved english country dancing to electronic music, and I understand techno-contra is A Thing now.

I used to play in a carnaval band; among other tunes, we played drum+brass rearrangements of the Royal Gigolo's cover of California Dreamin' and Gala's Freed from Desire. No worries about DRM when you're playing Analog Dance Music (probably more difficult to find in the non-francophone parts of the US, where partying on and being excellent to each another isn't traditional, but YT shows some signs of civilization in the IL area).


Although Great Power politics may be necessarily tragic, there are other strategies available.

For instance, I am privileged to be living in a state which hasn't had any great power ambitions for about half a millenium, and hence can play different cards.

Forgoing offensive military capability allows us to have shelters sufficient for the population. According to MAD, states which have declared nuclear first strike capability can't even attempt to protect a significant percentage of their populations without creating a very risky imbalance of power.

Also, a certain amount of our security was dependent upon not being the most powerful state in our neighborhood. This is less true today, but for many of these previous five centuries, all of our powerful neighbors were better off to have us independent than in the hands of their enemies.

Finally, the lack of offensive power, posture, and history makes it much easier to defuse, rather than aggravate, situations. We accidentally invaded a less powerful neighbor a few years ago, but instead of it becoming a problem, our foreign minister apologized, their foreign minister said "no worries, it's not like you came in with tanks, or for that matter, even loaded rifles", and everyone at the press conference had a glass of wine and hors d'oeuvres and maybe another glass or two...

States which have been known to invade other states often enjoy short term success (there are some notable exceptions who have managed to sustain expansion over centuries) but the historical long run teaches that, although it may seem difficult to ride a tiger, dismounting securely is even trickier.


The question of Communal Life Versus is whether there are any alternatives to the traditional church community.

I can answer in the affirmative, in that I live someplace (which I've also seen compared favorably with Richard Scarry's Busytown) where the churches are still ticking along, but most people prefer to spend their time in social and sports clubs (NB: not activities, but actual clubs) and among their extended family. Compared with my anglophone upbringing, I enjoy that it is common to know people through more than one connection, of which the minority tend to be economic.

Elsewhere online, I've referred to this (apparently Tocquevillian?) society of overlapping and interlinked circles as being a "felt"; like a fabric which is composed of threads which, despite retaining much more of their individual character and disposition than in a woven fabric, are nevertheless sufficiently intertwined that the whole has its own form and identity.


if speaking in terms of Principal Ideals is inconsistent, we could always press the cosmological background-cone into service.

Consider the interval between, eg cosmology, and any other concept: we can classify these intervals according to the following schema:

  • consequential: one background cone contains the other.

  • inconsequential: the background cones fail to intersect, or do so only partially.

  • tangential: one concept occurs on the boundary of the other's background cone.

I hope a trichotomous classification of intervals is consequential with regard to cosmology? :-)

Foogilly bargilly
Albert the physicist's
Mollusc of reference
Gives us our "space"
Laws of dynamics hold
Such a constraint then yields
Gravity's face.

The Single State Tree reminds me of a pattern from the days of punched cards; I don't have a better term for it, but Gray calls it "old master/new master".


Just ran across a Poincaré site containing both scans of his original papers (late XIX-early XX) and material using the language in which algebraic topology is currently (early XXI) taught.

(presumably the early and late formulations differ only by the boundary of a theory in a neighboring dimension?)


It's interesting to see the great variation in political campaign songs in different countries.

Consider "Make America Great Again"

compared to "Takogo Kak Putin"

True, back when the latter's Army Choir was Red, they also sounded like the former, but they upgraded their sound sometime between this century and last:

Also, if having a good beat and being able to dance to it would be too modern a concept for the former's voting base (or too much glitter would be too soulful for them?), I understand the latter may also have helpful advice concerning more classical productions.


Karl Friedrich Hieronymus, Baron von Münchhausen, invents bootstrapping in the XVIII


Something I miss from some mid-90's HTTP servers is autolink functionality: when selecting text as an anchor for a hyperlink, a query would be run on what would now be called a CMS, suggesting possible targets. Not only was this convenient for the author, but also for the reader, as it encouraged more informative anchor text than the frequent-at-the-time "this" or "here".

(yes, link rel= navigation was also automatically supported, as were Imagemaps.)