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Journal: Rant: Untrusted Data from the Source

Journal by Chacham

While trying to load test data, we found duplicates (based on the unique key) in the provided file. So, the BA (English is not her first language) asked them:

Does the test file present valid business scenarios?

The response

Test data is never as constrained as production data - we have a lot of [...] users setting up test data every day for a lot of different reasons plus there will be historic test data that has been abandoned after either successful or failed tests - it can never be said that test data is as clean as production data ... but I would expect that comment to apply to most if not all applications

Really?? Test data is not constrained? I understand that test data can be bogus, but unconstrained?? What exactly is the purpose of this test data then? I can supply Lorem Ipsum myself.

Another question:

If combination of [two columns] doesn't provide [main id] uniqueness as it was discussed and stated in use case, what would be additional attribute(s) defining [main id] uniqueness?

A simple question asking how to resolve duplicates when we were not expecting any.

The repsonse:

[The two columns] code combination is unique from a Business perspective - do not re-design your [application] tables
I would however expect you to have exception processing in your load job (as [their application] does for all its inbound feeds) e.g. if you try to load something to a table and it can't load for whatever reason (a duplicate or whatever) you would write it to an exception report

Really?? We need an exception report? If they are the trusted source they are supposed to be, any error in the file should completely reject the file as bad, not just individual records, because any bad data means the entire file is suspect.

In general, i am against writing exception code in the database. (See Tom Kyte's posts on the topic for related concerns.) Exceptions, by definition, are unexpected. Handling an exception means they are expected. Only the calling system should handle unexpected errors, the reason being, as it is unexpected we do not know what to do. It's then up to the calling system to decide what its output will be.

To be fair, they do not expect duplicates, and it might just be an issue with the test data. But the whole attitude of "exception reports" is absurd. In short, the source system's team doesn't care about their own data.

This happened to me before on a different team when were to receive data from another team. I noted the absurdity of some of the dates (worst offender was a business that started ~400 CE) . When i notified their BA, he asked me to fill out a request to have it fixed. IOW, they wanted our team to pay to fix their bad data. That case is embarrassing for me as i lost my cool with their BA. When he asked me what we wanted in our feed, i told him to give whatever he wanted as we would not trust his information (more than we had to).

Crime

Journal: What they want you to think 6

Journal by squiggleslash

So... Brown was going to college in a few days, but he decided to rob a store beforehand because that's what undergrads do or something. But they found dope in his system, which also proves that in addition to being a violent "thug" (though not one armed with the prerequesite cola and skittles) he was also a drugged out maniac. And the store refused to call 911 because, uh, not sure, but there's probably a bad reason for it. So later when a cop happened to find him jaywalking it was probably OK to ki... no, that's too strong a word, put him to sleep, because thug.

So here's white currently suburban (and British urban anyway, so that doesn't count) me thinking none of this makes sense even if you're trying to tug at any prejudices of mine.

One problem is that Brown being on dope explains the robbery and why the store didn't feel any strong inclination to call 911. Kinda. Well, based on an experience of mine anyway. Thing is, about 25 years ago I'm buying a cheese and onion sandwich from a newsagent in Oxford. In walks a (white, FWIW) man who is obviously stoned. Student probably. Tries to find something to eat, and then has an argument with the store owner who (1) wants him to wait until he's finished serving me and (2) wants him to pay. "Dope fiend" (heh) then loses his temper, swears, makes a lot of comments that sound like a Slashdotter moaning about having to buy music (except about groceries not music), upends a small rack of merchandise near the door, and leaves the store.

Store owner is pissed, but sees no need to call 999. This guy isn't a real threat to anyone. The damage is slight. The situation may resolve itself once the would-be customer sobers up anyway.

Of course, follow this line of reasoning and Brown isn't a thug (I keep emphasizing that word, you know why...) but someone with temporarily poor judgement who was, by default, in a more mellow frame of mind despite appearances at the store.

Which, while I wasn't there, is certainly consistent not with Brown somehow being threatening to the officer that killed him, but initially (while there was no threat) likely to mouth of, and then when the situation turned threatening, more than a little paranoid and likely compliant with the (justifiably, as it turned out) scary cop: that is to say, I think despite the Ferguson police trying to smear Brown as a doped up thug, everything is consistent with the eyewitness accounts that say otherwise.

A few days before going to college Brown, apparently, smoked dope, leading to a series of events where a cop thought he could get away with executing him. Even replacing the more mellow attitude of British police with their authoritarian and mildly corrupt American counterparts, I don't think my white fellow shopper 20 years ago would ever have been shot if caught jaywalking afterwards. Given not merely the attempt to smear Brown, but the type of smear used, which seems to be used all too often, I think he was shot because certain elements in the US, and apparently many are in law enforcement, believe blacks belong to a less human class than the rest of us.

User Journal

Journal: Verbiage: New Scrabble dictionary and related musings

Journal by Chacham

Merriam-Webster has released the The Official SCRABBLE® Players Dictionary, Fifth Edition. Although they list it for $25.95, Amazon currently has it at $6.83. I plan to purchase one soon.

NASPA, the North American SCRABBLE Players Association, has the The Official Tournament and Club Word List, 2014 Edition for $22 until Aug 13, then it goes up to $24.95. However, you have to be a member to purchase it, meaning it costs $30 more. Though, a trial membership should be good enough, which is a cheaper $15.

The difference between the two is twofold. One, the dictionary has been purged of offensive words whereas the full list has all words. Two, the dictionary includes definitions and other forms, whereas the list does not.

Getting the dictionary and printing up the delta might be the best option to all the word on the cheap, nice as an "official" version may be.

Speaking of lists, there are many. I have two and three letter word lists printed up, besides the 70% vowel list and a few bingo lists based on RETINA and the like. They are all grossly out of date, so i'll probably print up new ones when i'm sure they are using the new words. Last time i printed up two copies of everything except the longer three word list. My brother and i play with the lists and the dictionary available. It's just so much more fun that way.

NASPA has the long list, words of ten to fifteen letters, available. I'd like to print that up too, though i'd like to find an easy way to wrap it for more efficient use of the paper.

First Person Shooters (Games)

Journal: Videogames and sexism 2

Journal by squiggleslash

Read this: Guardian: From Lara Croft to Bayonetta: what is a 'strong female character'?

I'm kinda baffled by it to be honest. Leaving aside it deals with three female characters, the character it lauds is a poor example of anything, and the character it kinda sweeps under the rug has hidden virtues the author is too shortsighted to notice.

Lara Croft (original)

Lara Croft is perhaps the most famous woman in gaming. Since the original Tomb Raider arrived in 1996, the character has attracted criticism for her physical appearance â" so when the most recent release in the series gave her a realistically proportioned body, the new Lara was praised as a more relatable hero. Removing the over-sized breasts and teeny, tiny waist is apparently all that was needed for the character to evolve from sex object to admirable âoesurvivorâ.

I played a few original TR games, and quite honestly, "physical appearance" is the only aspect of Croft that's dubious. The character is independent, physically strong, smart, quick, and so on. It could be argued that she has "princess" style origins, being born into wealth/power, but she's not a princess in any other sense. She uses the resource at her disposal to her advantage, but she's working hard to get something better. If stereotypical teenage males are drawn into the games by seeing a hottie with large whatevers, said male then experiences a character who makes for quite a good role model. He won't be left with a "Women are toys to be objectified" view.

The counter to that, I guess, is that appearances might put off gamers not attracted to HwLWs, which is a perfectly reasonable complaint, but peripheral to the story the writer writes. The writer is trying to find examples of "strong women" in video games, and pretty much ignores this example, because she's top heavy.

Lara Croft (rebooted)

While Bayonetta fully embraces her sexuality, in the Tomb Raider reboot, Lara fades into her grueling, grey surroundings (...) Lara Croft has had to change to fit into the âoestrong female characterâ role, whereas Bayonetta whips it into submission and makes no apology for her love of lipstick, high heels or, indeed, herself.(...) For all the praise of Laraâ(TM)s growth throughout Tomb Raider, that maturation process is arguably nothing more than a jarring graduation from doubting, guilt-ridden girlhood into lean, mean, psychopathy. Her first kill is supposed to devastate us as it apparently devastates Lara but, almost immediately, weâ(TM)re thrust back into a game which rewards us for killing. Lara is a character who is even uncomfortable in her own story. (...) But within games and wider media, the âoesurvivorâ is a tired trope, women are survivors where men are heroes; they overcome rather than succeed.

I can kind of agree with all of this, survivor is a tired trope and one I've parodied in the past multiple times between pretty much every TV show since the original TV version of Nikita has insisted on portraying heroines-who-sometimes-have-to-use-violence in that way. I'm not sure whether the worst was the 2000s version of Bionic Woman, where the heroine felt obliged to be upset and complain constantly about the fact she'd been the successful recipient of experimental life-saving completely-positive-in-every-way prosthetics, or T:SCC which is just went on for ages with "Miserable Sarah".

But at the same time, what does that have to do with anything? If a male were in the same boat (figuratively), would they act significantly differently? We get miserable if we manage to claw ourselves out of a disaster but are still in danger too, I suspect at any rate.

Bayonetta

Despite appearances, Bayonetta rarely panders to the imagined male audience. Yes, sheâ(TM)s ridiculously proportioned and scantily clad for most of the game, but far from being an object, she is portrayed as having complete autonomy and control over her body and femininity. (...) Bayonetta (...) makes no apology for her love of lipstick, high heels or, indeed, herself. Everything about Bayonetta is determined by her womanhood and femininity, yet she remains dominant throughout: during the course of the game she spanks angels, submits them to humiliating torture attacks and transforms into a panther, clad with painted red claws and gold jewellery. Bayonetta is a powerful woman, she is not powerful in spite of being a woman (...) a truly empowering woman whoâ(TM)s unapologetically feminine, sexual and confident. Dismissed by many as an objectified fantasy, she is a woman without compromise who refuses to be ashamed of her body, who in one sequence giggles seductively as she grasps the pulsating heart of a heaven-sent deity and asks: âoeDo you want to touch me?â

I'm a little puzzled as to how this character is in any way a positive example of a "strong woman" archetype if, as the author breathlessly appears to claim, her greatest strengths are largely limited to some kind of violent version of being flirty and manipulative.

Moreover, if her powers revolve around her sexual effects on the compatible gender, does this not presume that that compatible gender is, in fact, the common controller of power and her oppressor? And does it suggest that the right approach to becoming strong is regularly flashing your boobs to distract someone who isn't doing what you want them to do?

I'm struggling with this one to be honest. If this view of the world is right, then prostitution is a liberating profession, and having skills suited to leadership roles the world needs are nothing compared to the ability to have a boss who's easily caught off guard because he's physically attracted to you.

Unmentioned

Despite the title, the article mentions three characters, quickly dispatches with the only one of any worth, and then avoids bringing up any more. The thesis seems to be survivor bad (well, OK, I guess), looks are important, and strong women are best when they're distracting men by being all sexy and stuff.

I think that's an awful, awful, idea. I don't think my daughter is going to become President, the first person on Mars, or the leader of the largest gang in South Florida controlling 74% of the American cocaine trade, with that attitude.

User Journal

Journal: Mini Rant/Silliness: News sites formatted for handhelds

Journal by Chacham

Just check a news site or two. They all seem formatted for handheld devices.

So, first we had pages with no formatting, which was ok, kind of. Except for the large moving images.
It got ugly. So they discovered TABLE. which formatted thing pretty well.
Then came different browsers and super complex code. So, they invented CSS.
CSS suffered the same fate, so they enhanced it and added stuff to HTML5.
Which means, now we have pretty advanced formatting, daunting to the beginner.
So, we must have beautiful pages, right?
Actually, we have pages designed for handhelds, and large moving images.

Something is definitely wrong here. I move for HTML1, Generation 2. We can get some Hollywood director to lead the remake.

--
How shall i spell "Mini Rant"? Shamefully, i have been inconsistent!

  1. Mini Rant:1 2
  2. Mini rant: 1 2 3
  3. Mini-Rant: 1

I like the first and want to edit all the others accordingly. :)

User Journal

Journal: Chronicle: Apartment: Carpet complaints 1

Journal by Chacham

My apartment has carpet save the kitchen that has tile. When i moved in, i was given a checklist to note what was not perfect. Figuring that's what they would fix, i verbally mentioned the cracks in the kitchen floor and perhaps something else, and moved on. I really had no idea what the checklist was for. Besides, it looked daunting.

A friend mentioned that carpet was not right, but i didn't care until summer when i realized how bad it was. Over the weekends i would lay on the floor to play games with friends and the like, and it felt grimy. That friend reminded me of what he originally noticed.

I spoke to the apartment manager about it, but he replied that the carpet was new. He bade me feel the carpet in the office, but in the end, i asked him to come by to humor me and that then he could call me an idiot. He told me he didn't need to go to the apartment to do that...:). But, come by he did and was surprised.

The apartment clearly had old carpet, which he admitted was grimy, and my friend who was by, showed him holes in the carpet too. He said he would look into it. I told him, i wouldn't mind if he waited until the yearly renewal (which has more likely a chance to get things done with the carpet.) That was a couple months away or so.

This past week, about a month later, i bugged him again. He told me that he misunderstood the note that the apartment has new carpet, which meant that one room's carpet was replaced. So, on lease renewal i would get a new carpet. As to the kitchen floor which has cracks and scuff marks, that would be too much at once, and he didn't want to push the central office. He then explained to me the issue with not having filled out the form when i moved it and thus how "Central" would see it.

Well, i mentioned how bad the kitchen floor is again, but told him i didn't want to cause problems. Nonetheless, i would like him to ask, but not to "push". He then said he would take it up with his supervisor, who was just a few feet away from us talking to his (the person i was talking to) secretary on a walk they would soon take. After that, i left, and i hope to pick it up again when i get the renewal notice.

User Journal

Journal: Rant: Mod point silliness. 2

Journal by Chacham

Mod points again, which i prefer to spend in JEs. Last time i had points, i could not find the moderate button. Now i see that of you have javascript turned on it is automatic.

  • Automatic mod point application is amazingly stupid.
  • What if i make a mistake?
  • What if i see a post later that was unfairly modded down but now i have no points left?
  • The FAQ says, "Do you still have any moderator points left? You only got 5..." I got 15.
  • Why doesn't it mention the auto update somewhere?
  • After moderating it reports how many points you have left. Messages end up conflicting.

Overall, the heralded new age of Slashdot is being designed by morons.

User Journal

Journal: Chronicle Sample Merchandice Sale

Journal by Chacham

So, there was a JDRF sale at the company. Or rather, the sale benefited the JDRF. With company themed items, i was interested, for whatever reason.

The sale was Thursday, the email Wednesday (well, after 5 on Tueday), declaring a company "sample merchandise sale". "Pre-Sale 8:00 am - 9:00 am ($10 donation to get in) Sale 9:10 am - 3:00 pm (No charge to get in)".

I sent an email to the sender:

Please excuse my ignorance.

What is a presale?

Which got her response

Pretty much gets you in before the big rush and you have a better chance getting something you really want. Kind of like getting to meet a movie star and get an autograph before having to stand in line and not getting it.

I sent a thank you, and a little later:

I'm sorry to bother you again. I spoke to a couple people and realized I didn't understand two things.

1) Are things able to be purchased during the pre-sale?
2) What is a Sample Merchandise Sale? Specifically, what is meant by "sample"?

to which i received no response. Oh well.

A friend encouraged me to go and to just spend the $10, so i did. I found out a few things:

  • Samples are samples of branded items from other companies. That is, the other companies want to sell stuff with this company's logo.
  • Almost everything is sold within 2-3 hours.
  • You can purchase items during the pre-sale.
  • Very few people show up to the presale.
  • They have the sale once a year.

The prices were on the board, i wasn't sure what was what. There were a number of tables, a few people, and stuff lying here and there. Model cars of all sorts, Playstation games, shirts, caps, pants, wallets, and more. I found some police trucks on the "dollar table" and grabbed all eight. At first i hesitated from taking them all, but they encouraged me to do so and brought me a box to hold them. I also got a Captain America snap together model truck (Round2 AMT AMT857) and a cap and shirt. I went to pay and they had forgotten to charge me the extra $10, but after i reminded them, my price was $33.

The truck is fun. It's a KiNSMART KT5365, though it is a police truck. The doors open and the spring loaded action lets me pull it back and it rolls forward. It's not a small car, but is about the size of my hand ("Scale 1/46"). It happens to be a F-150, prompting me to ask, "Have you played with a Ford, lately?"

Back to the office, the lady who sits next to me showed no special interest in the truck. That is, until she saw the doors opened and the spring loaded action. All of a sudden she wanted one for her son. Her son is in his twenties and lives out of state. But who's counting? Two other people wanted it for their children. Heh. I find the whole thing amusing.

When my erstwhile boss asked me to meet him downstairs around lunchtime, i came down with the truck to show it to him. It was he that encouraged me to go in the first place and i thought he might want one. No interest. On my way back up, i was toying with it in the elevator. Two people were there of which the woman was eying me strangely. So, i asked with feigned surprise, "What?! You didn't go to the sale this morning?" There might have been a smile or a "what sale?", but it was all over soon. That is kind of out of character for me, but it sure felt good. :) For now at least, one of the trucks is being left at my desk.

At the register, i was asked if an emailed recipt was ok. Sure it was. My email address? I used a plus sign to help identify it. The program wouldn't take it. I hate stupid programmers.

I replied to the email with a thank you and then:

Hope i'm not spamming you. I just have to let it out.

I _really_ should have bought more models.

There aren't any left, are there?

A few minutes later she responded

Not spamming at all. Unfortunately, there aren't. I can follow up and see if any come up in the future though. What kinds are you interested in?

Really? There's a chance? I sent a response starting with:

Thanx for replying. I know i am hoping against hope. :) But it doesn't hurt to ask.

Who knows where that will go?

The Captain America truck is being sold on ebay for around $20. $5 was a pretty deal.

User Journal

Journal: Chronicle: Bought a rice cooker

Journal by Chacham

I bought an Oster steamer some time ago (looks like this one with the lcd from this one) to steam corn. Eventually, i used it to make rice, after figuring out that the tray holding the rice needs water too; the steam isn't enough. Silly me.

Although i still love the look of the corn, i no longer eat it as often, now that i have satisfied my craving for folate with a supplement. This supplement is not the usual folic acid. That does not seem to do the trick for me. It is Metafolin which "is the pure stable crystalline form of the naturally-occurring predominant form of folate." Whatever it is, it does the trick for me.

But, i still make corn and offer it to others and sometimes eat a bit myself. Regardless, i use it for rice and brown rice, which is probably my favorite food(s). Other than parboiled rice, i find steaming superior to cooking, whether due to the amount of water or agitation hurting the kernels.

Now, years later, the steamer is showing some age. The plastic lid is chipped, the drip tray doesn't get all the drips, and the coating over the heating element is cracking off. Mind you, it still works well. Though, i feel it might hit its end of life some time (not necessarily too) soon.

Concurrent with my steamer observations, i have been hearing about the rice cooker. These have been around for a while but have gained popularity in recent years. The word rice alone was enough to catch my interest. But then i would wonder why i needed a specialized steamer. Well, between wanting rice, gadgets, and having tasted rice from other people (which may have been higher quality rice), i began to covet a rice cooker to call my own.

Of late that got stronger, aided by my ailing steamer, so i searched for (something like) rice steamer reviews. I must have read a few articles but was most impressed by this one, which recomended a cheaper Hamilton Beach model and also a more expensive Zojirushi model, depending on intended use.

After going going back and forth, reading the reviews, and really asking myself what size i needed, i ended up purchasing a Zojirushi NS-LAC05XA on Amazon. I went with the Zojirushi because i want it for brown rice, and have been happy when buying more expensive appliances from companies with known for quality which end up working well and that for a while. You really do get what you pay for.

I taste tested some Della white basmati i purchased at a local Kroger, making a cup in the steamer and another cup in the rice cooker. I had made it in the rice cooker a few times already.

I filled two bowls, some on this side and some on that side, i knew which was which and my friend did not. He chose the steamed rice calling it sweeter and therefore determining it was from the cooker. I also chose the steamed because it was more watery which was better than the drier stuff from the cooker. Well, not dry, but it looks like a little more water might have helped. Though, i went back and forth on whether the steamed rice tasted watery and if i truly liked it or not. In any case, the rice cooker is much easier to clean and dry off.

More tasting with other brands and varieties may follow.

User Journal

Journal: Chronicle: New girl on the block oddity. 13

Journal by Chacham

My apartment's building is one of many around a circle. That is, the circle is surrounded by a square of lots, with apartment buildings on all four sides. As it so happens, i am now in my third apartment there, and on a third side.

Well before my arrival on the scene, the center of the circle was a pool and pool house, The pool has since been filled in and is mostly grass now. The pool house was at first the apartment office, which has moved to one of the apartments, and now is used for storage and also for housing the washing machine and dryer electric card machine refiller. It's a nice area and a few kids play there. The same kids usually, the ones that live in the circle.

Aside from the toddlers, most of the kids are black girls. I don't know if this is due to the population or just those are the ones more likely to play there, but that is irrelevant. It just makes others stand out. Until recently, there were three white girls playing outside, of which i know the two Jewish ones who are, iirc, 9 and 10 years old. I know them mostly because they play with my upstairs neighbor's kids when they (the upstairs kids) come on the weekends. The other girl has said hello to me once or twice in passing, but her family left to some other state. As it so happens, her father is black and her mother, white.

On Thursday i saw a new girl across the circle riding a bike. I thought her new because she was white, making it remarkable even at a distance. By her dress i could tell she was not Jewish (at least not Orthodox) and wondered if someone else had moved into the complex. The fact that it wasn't the beginning of the month didn't seem to bother me. Late afternoon on Friday, as i was going to a program, this girl saw me, and, looking scared, ran in between two parked cars so i could not see her. That was odd. A moment later, the black girl she had been playing with turned to me and said hello, which got my shy response. Since she was around at least one of the Jewish girls (who seem to be popular amongst the circle's kids), i asked them the following day what had happened.

Samantha has a white father and black mother. Her mother's sister lives in the circle and she visits her cousin (the girl that said hello to me on Friday) once in a while. She is Indian (this part makes no sense to me), flatulates when she gets nervous (these were not her exact words), and Xian. I am amazed at a girl's ability to learn so much in such a short time.

When Samantha saw me, she noted i was Jewish and thought i was going to curse her. (Really?!) She also doesn't like me because i don't accept her god. I asked the two girls if she played with them. Apparently, Samantha stipulated that they would have to accept her god, at least for the day, in order for her to play with them. IIUC, the older girl did not play with her, the younger one kind of ignored the topic and played with her. I did not get that last part so clearly. Though, their parents seemed to weigh in on the matter at some point.

And here i thought fundamentalist Xians tended to dress more conservatively. This girl had short shorts and a loose top. That's just plain odd. On a related note, i used to think that couples where one was black and the other white were rare, and ones where the woman was black rarer still. Yet, i see more often now.

User Journal

Journal: Looking for Galen's De Temperamentis in English (4) 2

Journal by Chacham

Continuing the search for Galen's De Temperamentis in English, i saw that Cambridge University Press published the first book in the Cambridge Galen Translations series, Volume 1, in April, 2014. Indeed, Amazon has it listed as being published on April 7, 2014.

Amazon has it at $134 and free shipping. Cambridge Press has the list price is $140 and $6.50 shipping, but their Academic Alerts offers 20% off the first online purchase. 140 * .8 = 112, which is also the price of the eBook. Add shipping, 112 + 6.5 = 118.5, and it comes in less than Amazon's price. Good thing i checked.

The question is, does this include De Temperamentis? Whereas the listing includes the Table of Contents, De Temperamentis is the Latin title, not the Greek one. So, i emailed the press [Note: only excerpts of the actual email are quotes here.]:

ISBN: 9780521765176
Galen: Psychological Writings

Does this book contain a translation of De Temperamentis?

The reply cam pretty quickly:

Thank you for your enquiry. Unfortunately ISBN: 9780521765176 Galen: Psychological Writings does not include a translation of De Temperamentis (the table of contents is below). I have checked our catalogue and none of our other Galen books include a translation of De Temperamentis so I'm afraid you will need to look elsewhere.

Luckily, i responded (and somehow refrained from referring to the original Klingon):

It seem that "Galen: Psychological Writings" is part of the "Cambridge Galen Translations" series, of which it currently is the only book. Is De Temperamentis (or its source in Greek) scheduled to be translated as part of this series?

To which her reply was the disappointing:

We have another book due to be published in this series but it doesn't contain De Temperamentis either. I'm not aware that De Temperamentis is due to be translated as part of the series.

I thought my search was over, but, in the background, someone else asked a couple others, including Professor Philip van der Eijk

Is this work represented by the Mixtures work included in Vol. 1? If not, is it due to be included in a later volume?

To which the professor responded:

Mixtures will be included in volume 2, "Works on Human Nature", which we hope to finalise for publication this autumn.

It is quite exciting that he responded (though he never responded to my email on Sept 9, 2013) I was sent the message along with the following:

Apologies; it appears that this text will be available in "Works on Human Nature" (as explained below). Please note that when Dr van der Eijk says that they are "due to finalise for publication" the volume this autumn, he means that it will be submitted to the Press this autumn. Actual publication will only take place around 9 months after submission.

So, it looks like it will be done, but i'll have to wait about another year for it.

User Journal

Journal: Life is too short to engage with arrogant assholes

Journal by Fjandr

The Internet is full of assholes. Pretty much anyone who has used it for more than a day is aware of this.

Message boards, forums, and pretty much any method of interaction online brings out the inner asshole in so many people. I decided to post this so that such people on Slashdot can be aware of why I frequently do not respond to comments posted in response to my comments: life is too short to engage with arrogant assholes. Yes, sometimes I do engage, but frequently the tone of a reply to one of my comments instantly tells me that the poster is brimming to the top with confidence in their own superiority. Why should they stoop so low as to actually be polite? So much easier to just be an abrasive douchebag.

Often this sort of behavior is accompanied by a taunt that I won't reply because I'm wrong in, well, whatever it was I said in a given post. Standard Internet Tough Guy line, and one that is unfortunately just encouraged by a response (and is a means to stroke their ego even more if there is no reply). So, this is my general note to anyone who wanders through here. If I don't respond, it's either because I'm not paying attention to Slashdot, or your post clearly indicates you're a self-involved asshole and a reply is a waste of time. You can probably figure out which it is on your own.

User Journal

Journal: Phrase: It is interesting to note 4

Journal by Chacham

I love checking google for definitions, word comparisons, and phraseology. Just now, i was reviewing my own unfinished essay when i came up to the term "It is interesting to note". So, i searched google for the phrase and sure enough, the firs link was "It is interesting to note that ..." there is a bee in the editorial bonnet. It is a short and perhaps amusing read.

One paragraph says it best, and reminds me of Strunk and White's Elements of Style (PDF):

The words "It is interesting to note that" are to all intents and purposes banned from JIPLP since they generally add nothing but length. If the text which follows those words is interesting, they are redundant; if it is not interesting, it shouldn't be there in the first place. And if your reader is reading what you've written, he's going to note it whether you tell him that it is interesting to do so or not.

Wow! (Also, note he used if and a comma without then .)

But, i'm still wondering if i should keep the phrase.

The essay analyses a work in an attempt to show that it is talking about an idea later stated as a theory. This includes many quotes shown to be akin to this point or that. By one particular point there is clearly no proof, but it works really well. So, after explaining how it obviously is not a proof, "nonetheless, it is interesting to note that he." The phrase is meant to concede that there is no proof, per se, but that it is still notable, and therefore the rest of the paragraph will continue along the theory. I think the phrase should stay, though perhaps changed to "Nonetheless, it is noteworthy", much like the author in the blog offered to change his submission, also for a reason.

I'm too close to my own material to decide, so it's in for now. But, i feel i ought to garner opinions from others.

--

Is an unproven statement said to be in a state of nonproofiness?

User Journal

Journal: Chronicle/Verbiage: Firefox 3

Journal by Chacham

I installed Firefox some time ago, before i fully appreciated it. Eventually, i realized what it and the addons were, and started having a wonderful experience. I can hardly imagine browsing without NoScript, Cookie Monster, or AddBlock (Edge). Not to mention Lazarus (?), Mouseless Browsing, and a bunch of other useful tools.

When FF3 came out, it was okay, except that ridiculous Awesome Bar which was remedied with Old Location Bar. FF4, removed the status bar, remedied by Status-4-Evar. FF5 or 6, was just too much for me. They didn't fix their changes, they added auto updates (which could not be turned off), removed the menubar (in some version), and started spamming versions for no good reason. Major-number.Minor-Number.Revision no longer meant anything, but Chrome had to be copied. So, i reverted to FF3 and was back to my erstwhile bliss.

Eventually, HTML5 became a problem for me. FF3 did not support it. As more sites used it, functionality was diminished. But, FF decided to allow us to turn off auto-updates, and i upgraded. Issues with the url bar and tabs moving to copy Chrome were fixed with about:mozilla options or by rearranging the bars, and i even upgraded now and then. For the menubar, i had switched to the Mac which forces applications to have a normal menubar. At some point i realized that the menu bar can be shown, so i use it on Windows as well. I am not sure if that option was always there or if it was added at a later date.

FF29 brought the epithet ChromeFox to the fore, as the UI copies Chrome. To assuage users that preferred the old UI, they recommended an addon. I am suspicious, though. If it really was (and is intended to be) optional, why not make the new UI an addon? OK, they want it to be the default. So leave both in the browser. I wonder if the design group uses Chrome as their main browser.

Today, i wondered again why escape doesn't stop anything until i found out they removed that functionality in FF20. Until now i just expect FF not to work as intended, and search for fixes when things bother me enough. Well, today i found SuperStop which implements the classic stop functionality under [shift]-[esc].

I ask myself why i stay with FF at all. The answer is the plugins. NewsFox is my favorite RSS reader, looking similar to Agent which was my newsreader of choice back when i actually followed some. I eventually got used to ForecastFox Weather (hesitating because it reminded me of some other spammy program), and like nifty little thigns like Show Anchors 2 which helps when pasting a URL somewhere. There are others, and then there's Greasemonkey which itself includes others. Addons are what make FireFox good.

I must give Mozilla a pat on the back. Besides saving passwords from early on, which ranks high in awesomeness, FireFox Sync is a close second. I now use FF at different locations and don't have to reinstall plugins or passwords again. Kudos to them for a job well done.

Regardless, i often feel that i have had it with Firefox and wish there was a fork maintained by different people. That is, people who focus on backward compatibility, standard version numbers, and want FF to be FF, not just whatever happens to be popular right now.

User Journal

Journal: And now for something completely different 3

Journal by Marxist Hacker 42

The Catholic Church considers the Copenhagen Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics to fit with our theology. But it also occurs to me that it fits with the problems I've run into converting analog to digital measurement. And THAT points to the theological idea that many people worship not the Creator of the Universe, but an image of God that is a model of the actual God.

Another megabytes the dust.

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