“Programming is not a craft” and other links…

Dan North: “So what does this have to do with software? Well it seems to me the most [successful] programmers I’ve encountered don’t craft software; they write software in order to move information around, in order to get something done. Information is the real deal—the software just defines the space that it moves around in. For those programmers, success is about getting information from point A where it’s currently languishing to point B where it’s going to actually be useful, as quickly and effectively as they can. Success in a UI is about rendering or capturing exactly the information that will be useful —no less and certainly no more—in a succinct, obvious way. The software is incidental, a detail, hidden away in the wings, and it is ultimately entirely disposable.”

“More on Microsoft ‘Jupiter’ and what it means for Windows 8”

Mary Jo Foley: “One of my contacts described Jupiter this way: ‘It has to do with XAML + Native Code on slate/iPad-like devices. I think this is Microsoft’s approach for putting Windows on the smaller device without the bloat.’”

“Navigate the Perilous World of Online Communities… With a Map?”

Terry Walsh: “Charting such perilous, changing seas requires constant vigilance, and as reported by TechCrunch, the XKCD cartographers have been busy updating their maps, releasing an all new view of the globe as it appears here in 2010. Dominated by the lands of Facebook, Twitter and yes, Farmville(!) the world is a very different place three years on, and is even more dangerous.”

“Introducing Moncai”

“Our plan is to release the service in stages, by first having a private beta, where we can control the initial load and work out the issues. From there, we will do a public beta, although this stage will not be very long. Our hope is to do the majority of the work during the private beta. Then, once the public beta is complete, we will release. We will be offering incentives during the beta periods by giving out credits to be applied to your accounts or by sending out swag, like stickers and t-shirts, based on the level feedback and involvement.”

“C++ Fake Interview”

Not Bjarne Stroustrup: “Well, one day, when I was sitting in my office, I thought of this little scheme, which would redress the balance a little. I thought ‘I wonder what would happen, if there were a language so complicated, so difficult to learn, that nobody would ever be able to swamp the market with programmers?’”

“Back to (Parallel) Basics: Don’t Block Your Threads, Make Async I/O Work For You”

Scott Hanselman via Chris Alcock: “I’m no expert in parallelism (I’ve read a great whitepaper…) but I asked Stephen Toub if this was the best and recommended way to solve this problem. Stephen responded from a plane using (his words) ‘email compiled and tested’ examples. With his permission, I’ve included a derivation of his response here in this blog post for my own, and possibly your, edification.”

“The rsync algorithm”

Andrew Tridgell and Paul Mackerras: “The algorithm identifies parts of the source file which are identical to some part of the destination file, and only sends those parts which cannot be matched in this way. Effectively, the algorithm computes a set of differences without having both files on the same machine. The algorithm works best when the files are similar, but will also function correctly and reasonably efficiently when the files are quite different.” Why doesn’t Microsoft implement this algorithm in Windows?

RestSharp

John Sheehan: “I was recently a guest on the Herding Code podcast to talk about RestSharp. The episode also covers my new job at Twilio, the .NET OSS landscape and me mentioning Bing two too many times. The episode was a lot of fun to record. Thanks to Jon Galloway, Kevin Dente, K. Scott Allen and Scott Koon for having me on!”

Wikipedia.org Moment: Paul Feyerabend

“Starting from the argument that a historical universal scientific method does not exist, Feyerabend argues that science does not deserve its privileged status in western society. Since scientific points of view do not arise from using a universal method which guarantees high quality conclusions, he thought that there is no justification for valuing scientific claims over claims by other ideologies like religions. Feyerabend also argued that scientific accomplishments such as the moon landings are no compelling reason to give science a special status. In his opinion, it is not fair to use scientific assumptions about which problems are worth solving in order to judge the merit of other ideologies. Additionally, success by scientists has traditionally involved non-scientific elements, such as inspiration from mythical or religious sources.”

Today’s Food: Freedom from Gluten will make the Girls Swoon


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I am 95% certain that the greatest contributor to my intense adolescent acne and radiant episodes of halitosis was my inability to digest gluten. It has taken me over two decades to achieve this level of certainty because of the trial-and-error situation surrounding my eating habits.

Have you ever had breath so bad that drinking a tall glass of Listerine has no effect? My breath kickin’ in full effect made my eldest son break out in tears back in the day. As an adolescent, my mother would often vigorously interrupt me while I was talking to her—at times several feet away—saying, “Bryan, your breath!” When I first appeared on Facebook, my ex-Facebook friend Bahni Turpin indignantly announced (on a thread watched by dozens of my Facebook friends) that the real reason why she refused to speak to me—about anything—was because of my intense breath experience.

Now let’s take a step back here and talk about digestive tract odor. For malodorous breath there are two levels of stench: (i) the odor that bothers others and not you, the generator of the odor and (ii) the odor so intense that is bothers you. Once I began to trial and error with gluten, I have not been bothered by my own breath. Yes, I can eat onions or something like that and get a bit edgy but there has been nothing like the shit from the days I was overwhelming Ms. Turpin with my brilliance. By the way, I was very much loved as a child so telling me that my breath stinks does not break my heart. Moreover, I thrill with the knowledge that the truth can cause you to be free—and my body has direct, adroit, stinky way of telling me that something is wrong. I respect my body for being so funky instead of suffering in silence only to surprise me with sudden death.

My journey in this human body has taught me a few very, very important things. Leading is the very strong message that there is no such thing as “normal food”—food is ethnocentric—and not knowing about where you come from can literally kill you. Here is my serious soul brother of DHERBS.COM in “Gluten-Intolerance: Celiac’s Disease”:

Looking back on this now, no wonder we (my family) were so constipated growing up. We had adhesion (glue) in our intestines. That’s why we ate so much but very seldom used the bathroom (defecating). It all makes sense when you become health conscious. Our dry and hardened stools were glued to the walls of our intestines. This was and is true for anybody who eats gravy in particular and the Standard American Diet in general. The Black folk’s version of SAD is called Soul Food. I’ll admit, the food may taste good, but it damn sure will get you in tune with your Soul quick, fast, and in a hurry. Soul food will take you out. It’s the worst dietary cuisine and form of cultural food in the United States, ranking slightly above the Mexican-American cultural diet cuisine.

In fact, soul food is a concocted ethnic cuisine. Its origins are rooted in American slavery. It behooves me how African Americans purport to be free today and actually think they are free today, but still, in their so-called freedom, eat like slaves or what their ancestors ate while enslaved. Why would so-called free people eat the diet of their oppressed and enslaved ancestors? Much less, why would they embrace and glorify such diet?

For me there have been two sources of mouth stench because of rot in the digestive tract: dairy foods and gluten matter. Here is a bit from Dr. Katz’s Bad Breath blog:

Another cause is gluten intolerance (also known as celiac disease), which can cause halitosis, white tongue (a coating of white on the tongue that will not go away), and mucus in the throat.

In “What is Gluten?,” The Wise Geek reminds us that, “Examples of grains that do not have gluten include wild rice, corn, buckwheat, millet, amaranth, quinoa, teff, oats, soybeans, and sunflower seeds.” According to a Yahoo! Answer, lentils are also gluten free.

Related Links

“The Myth of Black Hollywood” and other links…

Black Yoda: “It’s hard not to be struck by the irony after considering the subsequent career paths of some of the featured artists. Flavor Flav flatly rejects an offer to play a buffoon in this video. Well, we all saw how that turned out… A lot can change in 20 years. A lot should change in 20 years. The question we should ask ourselves is: Are things changing for the better?”

“Brutal Reprisals Against Peaceful GA Inmate Strikers Confirmed. Was One Victim Hidden For Weeks By Prison Authorities?”

Bruce A. Dixon: “It now appears that at least one inmate, Terrance Dean of Bibb County GA was brutally assaulted by staff at Macon State Prison on or about December 16 was so severely injured prison officials secretly evacuated him to a hospital in Atlanta without bothering to inform his family. It’s not known at this time which Department of Corrections officials authorized the secret evacuation, who decided not to notify Dean’s family of either his injuries or his whereabouts, or whether the prisoner was transported the roughly 130 miles to Atlanta via ground or air ambulance.”

“Race and Economic Mobility”

Ta-Nehisi Coates: “The reasons for widespread downward mobility are complicated, but here are a few possibilities: on the whole, African Americans have few assets and are more likely to be in substantial debt. Moreover, middle-class African Americans are more likely to work in lower-income jobs and careers—nursing, teaching, etc.—and less likely to live in areas with rising or high housing values.”

“Dirty Office Politics”

Jane McGrath: “People who get promoted are probably heavily involved in office politics. They often voice suggestions for improvements and make themselves known. Those who consider politics beneath them keep to themselves and appear unfriendly or unmotivated, even if they work hard. When budget cuts are necessary, these people might be the first heads on the chopping block.”

“Francis Ford Coppola: On Risk, Money, Craft & Collaboration”

Ariston Anderson: “We have to be very clever about those things. You have to remember that it’s only a few hundred years, if that much, that artists are working with money. Artists never got money. Artists had a patron, either the leader of the state or the duke of Weimar or somewhere, or the church, the pope. Or they had another job. I have another job. I make films. No one tells me what to do. But I make the money in the wine industry. You work another job and get up at five in the morning and write your script.”

“Doc explores the state of marriage–and its future” and other links…

Marsha Lederman: “Married for 26 years and the mother of two grown daughters, Ridout bristles at the notion she should be congratulated for accomplishing marital longevity.”

“A Tribe Called Quest Doc Director Michael Rapaport Talks About Q-Tip’s Beef w/ The Film”

Tambay: “Michael Rapaport speaking to MTV about his documentary titled Beats, Rhymes and Life, on legendary hip-hop group, A Tribe Called Quest, which is scheduled to premiere at Sundance 2011! Recall that soon after the trailer for the film surfaced, Q-tip took to Twitter, expressing his dissatisfaction with and disapproval of the documentary, saying that he wouldn’t support it, causing a bit of a public stir.”

“‘Cuddle Chemical’ Also Fuels Favoritism, Bigotry”

Dave Mosher: “In all of the experiments, men who snorted a dose of oxytocin showed stronger and more frequent favoritism towards their countrymen over rival groups. Men who whiffed a placebo still showed signs of favoritism, but less frequently and at weaker levels.”

“Sex, Pizza or Self-Esteem?”

Roni Caryn Rabin: “Recent books like The Narcissism Epidemic, by Jean M. Twenge and W. Keith Campbell, have described a trend toward increasing levels of self-esteem and narcissism in young people. The idea is not without controversy, as other psychologists have questioned whether young people today are any more self-absorbed than earlier generations. Some believe that the maturation process is simply more protracted, and the delays are misinterpreted as selfishness.”

“Why Washington Won’t Allow Democracy in Haiti” and other links…

Mark Weisbrot via Imani Perry: “People who do not understand U.S. foreign policy think that control over Haiti does not matter to Washington, because it is so poor and has no strategic minerals or resources. But that is not how Washington operates, as the Wikileaks cables repeatedly illustrate. For the State Department and its allies, it is all a ruthless chess game, and the pawns matter. Left governments will be removed or prevented from taking power where it is possible to do so; and the poorest countries – like Honduras last year – present the most opportune targets. A democratically elected government in Haiti, due to its history and the consciousness of the population, will inevitably be a left government – and one that will not line up with Washington’s foreign policy priorities for the region. Hence, democracy is not allowed.”

“Cuban medics in Haiti put the world to shame”

Nina Lakhani via Miguel de Icaza: “Observers of the Haiti earthquake could be forgiven for thinking international aid agencies were alone in tackling the devastation that killed 250,000 people and left nearly 1.5 million homeless. In fact, Cuban healthcare workers have been in Haiti since 1998, so when the earthquake struck the 350-strong team jumped into action. And amid the fanfare and publicity surrounding the arrival of help from the US and the UK, hundreds more Cuban doctors, nurses and therapists arrived with barely a mention.”

“The Next Katrina? California’s Looming Levee Catastrophe”

Jenara Nerenberg: “The levees were built mostly by the Chinese in the mid-1800s and haven’t been attended to as well as they should mainly due to rivaling, fractious groups spread throughout the state. The majority of organized groups see the danger–much like climate change–as imminent and real, but some are unconcerned and just want to leave the levees alone. With severe budget deficits like the state currently has, scaring up cash for long-term planning can be painful and difficult. (Getting an exact figure on current repair costs is tricky–one estimate puts the price tag at $750 million; another has it jacked up to $53 billion.)”

“Protests and Arrests Continue at the University of Puerto Rico”

Maegan La Mala: “Yesterday marked the second day of coordinated civil disobedience at the University of Puerto Rico in Rio Piedras as part of a strike that protests an $800 fee that some say is aimed at making the constitutional protected right to education in Puerto Rico a privilege.”