Month of May, 2008

Same-sex marriage and sex discrimination / 2008-05-25

I find this argument pretty interesting. I'm ashamed to admit that I never thought about this before:

I don’t understand the resistance to the idea that the homosexuality taboo is about sexism. Homosexuality and deviation from gender norms (which, of course, are relentlessly hierarchical) are so tightly connected with each other in popular culture that each is normally and easily taken as a marker for the other. A "faggot" or a "dyke" is a person who fails to conform to normal gender norms; the term is routinely applied to people without regard to their sexual behavior.

I don't find the argument completely convincing (and I don't find the hypothetical about "miscegenosexual couples" as preposterous as I'm apparently meant to), but it's clearly an important aspect of this form of discrimination that deserves to be more widely recognized and addressed.

Against torture / 2008-05-23

If you're a US resident, join up (more here). In case you aren't yet thoroughly enraged and disgusted, see here and then join up. What we really ought to demand is an accounting, but at a minimum we should have a commitment. SON OF A BITCH MUST PAY.

Functional programming to the rescue / 2008-05-09

Three days of JavaOne was enough to completely sour me on the entire idea of programming. I'm not really sure what did it. But then I made the right decision and went to the BayFP meeting. I left feeling quite rejuvenated, my faith in humanity and love of programming fully restored.

Obligatory JavaOne post / 2008-05-07

The first two days of JavaOne have been precisely as expected. Big, silly, lots of hype. But there's been some good stuff as well. The big hype efforts this year seem to be around JavaFX and Glassfish. I don't care about JavaFX at all, and as far as I can tell, nobody really does. But my sample is surely biased. Glassfish looks like a good direction, but we've all seen Spring and OSGI, so I think it's a fairly obvious direction at this point. There's also lots of hype about the JVM running on all kinds of devices, but so what?

Literate programming / 2008-05-01


Donald Knuth:

If people do discover nice ways to use the newfangled multithreaded machines, I would expect the discovery to come from people who routinely use literate programming. Literate programming is what you need to rise above the ordinary level of achievement. But I don’t believe in forcing ideas on anybody. If literate programming isn’t your style, please forget it and do what you like. If nobody likes it but me, let it die.

I guess that means Haskell programmers... Sounds about right to me!

(For the record, I know he intends something considerably more sophisticated than lhs, but anyway it's closer than almost everything else. In any case, it's a nice interview. What a guy...)