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Why a "not-a-blog"?

Originally posted: April 21st, 2008

In the extremely hypothetical case that somebody were to wonder why I go through "futile attempts at rationalizing my unreasonable reluctance to call my site a 'blog'", here’s why:

As far as I’m concerned, a "blog" is two things:

  1. A really stupid-sounding word.
  2. A site where some kid yammers on about such things as what they did that day, what mood they're in, and how it's unfair how Joey told Suzie that blah blah blah, all while deluding themselves that any of it is actually worthy of being posted.

Don't get me started on "Twitter" and "micro-blogging".

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Bicycles and Sidewalks

Originally posted: March 10th, 2008

Hearing mantras like "Share the road" or "Bicycles belong off of the sidewalks" makes me cringe.

Which is worse: a pedestrian getting hit by a bike or a bicyclist getting hit by a car? Let's think about it...

When a pedestrian gets hit by a bike: He gets scraped and bruised. When a bicyclist gets hit by a car: He gets dead. Which is worse: Bruised or dead?

"Oh, but wait! What if that pedestrian has a baby in a stroller?! What do you think happens to that baby?!"

What happens to that baby if it's sitting in a baby seat on a bike when that bike gets hit by a car?

"Silly idiot! There aren't any baby seats for bicycles!"

Sure there are. I used to ride in one when I was little. And yes, I had a helmet.

So bottom line: Don't be an idiot, bike on the sidewalk (At least when you're on a road where the city actually bothered to put a sidewalk in. And the sidewalk isn't hidden under a foot of snow. But that's a whole other rant.)

"Let me get this straight... You think bicycles should stay on sidewalks (when available) just because some bicyclists might have a baby with them?"

No, you idiot. As I've already told you, and you've already forgotten: bikes should stay on the sidewalk (when available) because a car is far more dangerous to a bicyclist than a bike is to a pedestrian. The baby seat stuff was a rebuttal to the baby stroller argument.

"Ha ha, you said 'rebuttal'."

Yes. Yes I did.

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Human Resources: The Expert Novices

Originally posted: March 10th, 2008

This pretty much encapsulates exactly what is wrong with the field of Human Resources:

"I don't know anything about programming, but I'm very good at identifying people who are good at it."

That is a real quote. I was actually told that by a recruiter I met with a few months ago. Needless to say, I never called them back.

The saying "It takes one to know one" isn't just a generic insult. It's the honest truth when it comes to identifying skill. HR people should just stick to payroll (Or then again, maybe leave that to the real accountants).

As long as I'm ranting about HR, here's a classic excerpt from "Joel on Software" that I couldn't have worded any better:

"The recruiters-who-use-grep, by the way, are ridiculed here, and for good reason. I have never met anyone who can do Scheme, Haskell, and C pointers who can't pick up Java in two days, and create better Java code than people with five years of experience in Java, but try explaining that to the average HR drone."

- The Perils of JavaSchools: Joel on Software: Joel Spolsky

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Type Systems and Indentations Are Weak

Originally posted: March 10th, 2008

I've complained about weak and dynamic typed languages before. But damnnit, I'm just so crotchety I'm gonna do it again:

Weak and dynamic typing are bad because type safety is good.

Weak and dynamic typing are bad because compile time errors are better than run time errors.

Obviously, weak typing and dynamic typing can be very useful in moderation. But like they say in booze commercials: only in moderation. Moderation, of course, means "Don't base the whole damn language on it".

I've also whined about semantically-meaningful indentation before. Guess what? I still feel crotchety. *Ahem*:

Semantically-Meaningful Indentation: It's bad. Don't do it. That means you, Python and SPIN.

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I Want My IArithmetic!

Originally posted: March 10th, 2008

Here's a new language rant for me: If the .NET Framework has had an IComparable interface since version 1.1, why in the world does it still not have an IArithmetic? Or even operator constraints. We're now on version 3.5, and there's still no sign of this stuff. What in the world are they waiting for? Implementing IArithmetic would take what, about one person a couple of hours?

If you don't know what I'm complaining about, try this: Add two objects of type 'T' in a C# generic function...without using some esoteric work-around. Go ahead, I dare you. One hell of an oversight, innit?

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