Archive for the ‘address’ Category

Open source is not about social justice

In address on July 6, 2017 at 11:10

I just came across a blog post by Coraline Ada Ehmke on the potential drawbacks of seeking meritocracy in open source projects. Besides the main argument, a rhetorical question drew my attention:

why is it that we can proudly refuse to use software created by corporations whose often aggressive business policies we disagree with, but continue to adopt software written by sexists, racists, homophobes, transphobes? What makes these people immune?

There’s a quite erroneous assumption underlying this question. Open source is not about morality, nor social justice.

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Over continuïteit

In address, reflection on February 15, 2014 at 20:30

Beste E.,

ik liep langs de via Regina Margherita in Turijn op woensdag toen plotseling kwam een gedachte naar voren die ik onmiddellijk met jou wou delen.

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How can I learn how to make video games?

In address on February 11, 2013 at 12:00

Video games are awesome, but not enough people know how to make them.

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Status update

In address, reflection on February 4, 2013 at 12:00

Dear M.,

I hope this message finds you well. I am sorry I have not written for so long; sorry too we have not seen each other for nearly a year now. Yet I continue to think fondly of you, and the memory of our times together still warms up my heart on cold days. How do you feel about planning our next rendezvous soon? And meanwhile, what about catching up in writing? Read the rest of this entry »

On the Turing-Completeness of C

In address, lecture on November 18, 2012 at 12:00

On November 17th, 2012, a link to a Brainfuck interpreter written using the C preprocessor language was posted to Hacker News. In the necessary flurry of HN comments that followed, the question of CPP’s Turing Completeness came up, to be answered negatively: the proposed interpreter needs to be extended manually for each possible loop upper bound, which makes it barely equivalent to Hofstadter’s BlooP language from Gödel, Escher, Bach.

However a gem was hidden in the midst of these comments: is the C language Turing-Complete?

Despite the appearance of controversy, with some commenters leaning on the side of “yes” and some other on the side of “no,” there is only one correct answer from the perspective of the language specification. But it’s not intuitive.

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Proper analysis does not need Bayes

In address on November 10, 2012 at 12:00

A recent XKCD post makes fun of frequentist statisticians and hails Bayesian statisticians for their superior skill at predicting trivial outcomes. This comic makes it look like only Bayesian approaches are sane and reality-compatible when predicting outcomes. This annoys me. There is no need to invoke Bayes’ theorem and Bayesian statistics to evaluate a machine that predicts the sun exploding with a random bias.

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Q&A: caption for a special figure

In address, reflection on September 14, 2012 at 10:00

September 5th, that was last week. Photos and videos were made. But I was not really there.

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Gratitude and social expectations

In address on August 5, 2012 at 12:00

Recently I have published a book. This could not have happened without the help of a few special people, whom I thus profusely thank at the beginning. Yet this simple expression of gratitude has raised unexpected questions, some from people close by, that make me wonder what picture of me they have hanging in their mind.

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What if?

In address on July 31, 2012 at 12:00

It was an ideal moment.

We saw the bus leaving as we crossed the street. Twenty minutes to kill, at least ten with nobody around. Read the rest of this entry »

Beware of the anti-anti-intellectualist

In address, lecture on July 23, 2012 at 12:00

Larry Sanger, co-founder of Wikipedia, has recently argued his perceived increase of anti-intellectualism among geeks. By denouncing anti-intellectualism, he turns into an anti-anti-intellectualist. However I don’t like his picture of “intellectualism”, here’s why. Read the rest of this entry »