Would we still be the same country without our gun nuts?

Philip Greenspun’s Weblog » Would we still be the same country without our gun nuts?:

It is tempting to think that we could pick the best laws from various countries around the world and come up with some sort of optimized society, but perhaps it simply isn’t practical. The Japanese have a national character of craftsmanship. The French have a national character of enjoying rich food and wine. Maybe one aspect of our national character is that a lot of us need to be gun nuts.

[If nothing else our society has managed to label owners of guns very well. Everyone has an “arsenal” of weapons. Is a “gun nut”. Seems to be part of the problem.

Clearly there are no obvious answers to the questions surrounding the most recent shooting. But it far too simplistic to assume that there is anything but appeasement in the suggestions I’ve heard.

One bit of legislation that I have not heard discussed much if at all is something that would even out the ownership/carry laws across the states. For example, I do not need a driver’s license if I want to drive in NJ though I have a license from NY. The same is not true for pistol permits. I see nothing wrong in closing the current permit loopholes, and evening out the burden in return for reciprocity. It would toughen many states laws and give the gun owners who enjoy competing, or who own homes in more than one state a far less complicated system. It will improve compliance, and increase oversight at the same time.]

It’s just like song writing: Jerry Seinfeld Intends to Die Standing Up

Great article in the Times Magazine last week. Here’s some video from “Jerry Seinfeld Intends to Die Standing Up“. As far as I’m concerned it a familiar theme. While creativity can flow regardless, the pro learns to work the craft. To get repeatable, high level results. Anyone can make a shot from mid court. It doesn’t make you Michael Jordan. You’re still a chimp in the dirt playing with sticks.

Show Us Your Production Code

Show Us Your Production Code — Alexander Zaytsev:

So, I hereby challenge the Ruby community: the next time you want to tell the world about the right way of doing things, start with showing your production code.
That’s right, the dreaded ‘production code’.
Don’t make up examples. Show us what you actually do.
For example, instead of using the notorious ‘create a record and send an email’ example, David could show a similar but more complex controller from Basecamp. A piece of code that actually made the team argue about the right way.

[A good thought. I hope I have the courage to do so next time.]

Larkfarm: Random Bits: Twitterless and Happy

Larkfarm: Random Bits:

Rather, it’s a simple reflection of one fact of life: the payoff from Twitter does not, for me, justify the time investment.

I’m coming up on 52 years old in less than two months. I’m acutely aware, in a fashion that was not true in my twenties, that everything I choose to do uses up some of my dwindling supply of hours on this earth. As life goes on, I find that this makes me ever pickier about what I’m willing to spend time on. Some things – like earning a living and supporting my kids – are simply not optional. But for many others, the question is simple: is this the most enjoyable and fulfilling thing that I could be doing with these hours?

[I hear that. Been in the back of my mind as far back as I can remember.]

Scripting News: Heat-seeking missiles.

Scripting News: Heat-seeking missiles.:

This stretch of beach was about 10 miles long, and except for a town in the middle of it, mostly empty. One morning I decided to take my swim via car. I drive a couple of miles south, on a stretch of beach that was totally empty. I laid out the towel, read for a while, then went for my swim. When I came back, there was another car parked right next to mine. The people were gone, so I couldn’t ask them why they chose that spot, when there were so many other places to stop that were totally secluded.

[Dave’s example is more extreme, but I find the same thing is true at the mall. I park far away from everyone. I’m rarely at a mall during its peak hours. I love walking. Yes, almost invariably when I return from my errand there’s rows of empty spaces, but someone parked right next to me. And sometimes so closely that I can’t get back in my car without climbing in on the passenger side. That’s crazy. I’ve considered printing up cards for the occasion so I can leave one on their windshield.]

Source: Scripting News

Page Weight Matters | Chris Zacharias

Page Weight Matters | Chris Zacharias:

When we plotted the data geographically and compared it to our total numbers broken out by region, there was a disproportionate increase in traffic from places like Southeast Asia, South America, Africa, and even remote regions of Siberia. Further investigation revealed that, in these places, the average page load time under Feather was over TWO MINUTES! This meant that a regular video page, at over a megabyte, was taking more than TWENTY MINUTES to load! This was the penalty incurred before the video stream even had a chance to show the first frame. Correspondingly, entire populations of people simply could not use YouTube because it took too long to see anything. Under Feather, despite it taking over two minutes to get to the first frame of video, watching a video actually became a real possibility. Over the week, word of Feather had spread in these areas and our numbers were completely skewed as a result. Large numbers of people who were previously unable to use YouTube before were suddenly able to.

Through Feather, I learned a valuable lesson about the state of the Internet throughout the rest of the world. Many of us are fortunate to live in high bandwidth regions, but there are still large portions of the world that do not. By keeping your client side code small and lightweight, you can literally open your product up to new markets.

[It’s easy to forget. Great story.]

Source: Luke Melia

The Best Gifts Are Not Things You Ask For

The Best Gifts Are Not Things You Ask For:

In 2004, I was perfectly happy not being a climber. I worked at the REI store in Phoenix and deflected all invitations to join my co-workers at the climbing gym. Then my brother piled a climbing rope he’d bought but never used into a box and put it under the Christmas tree at my parents’ house back in Iowa. When I opened it, I was nonplussed at best, and probably told him Thank You in the same tone I would have if he’d just gifted me an old toaster. I took the rope back to Phoenix and eventually went out climbing with some guys from work. I sucked. I was scared, had bad footwork, and was a bad listener.

But something was there. I had been treading water in life for a couple years, really without an identity. I stuck with climbing. Six years later, I got my first article published in Climbing magazine. A couple years after that, I stood on top of the Grand Teton with my buddy Chris, coiling another rope over my shoulders, my brother’s Christmas gift long retired. I don’t think either of us saw that one coming when I opened that box in 2004.

[On point. Ya never know what things will have the greatest effects. Be open minded. Give things a chance.]

On Human Technology

On Human Technology:

Brian David Johnson: Being More Human:

But as we near 2020, something different will happen. When computational power approaches zero, we will be able to turn anything into a computer. We can put computer intelligence into a water glass or your shirt or even your body. We no longer will ask ourselves: Can we do it? We will ask ourselves: What do we want to do?

I’m trying not to imagine a teaspoon of miniscule computer chips dissolved in my coffee.

[Is that what those little black things are? No wonder…]

Source: inessential.com