Table of Contents
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Articles / Essays
- “On Thud and Blunder”: Poul Anderson, a major name in early fantasy fiction, complains at length about the many inaccuracies in genre fiction. Some of his historical assertions are outdated, but the general point that many fantasy novelists don’t even seem to bother with common sense still holds up. This pairs nicely with the historical-critical essays on *A Collection of Unmitigated Pedantry.
- “The MIT License, Line by Line”: A lawyer-cum-software engineer explains the iconic MIT License line-by-line in a legal sense.
Talks / Presentations / Classes
- “What We Can Learn From Software History”: Hillel Wayne explores the historical method by trying to answer a seemingly-simple question: why do so many software engineering interviews ask “reverse a linked list”?
- “Coordination Headwind: How Organizations Are Like Slime Molds”: This simplified model of how organizations fail to meet their goals introduces the concept of “coordination headwinds” and explores how organizations can avoid them. See also Venkatesh Rao’s commentary.
- “The Thing Chinese Dramas Can’t Get Right - Qin 古琴 V2.0”: A Chinese drama fan - who happens to be a trained guqin player - explains how guqin really works and what Chinese dramas keep getting wrong about it.
- “have you seen my laptop?”: This may not be the funniest comedy sketch I’ve ever seen, but it’s certainly my favorite.
- “Microservices”: Okay, this might actually be my favorite comedy sketch, though its perfect encapsulation of software engineering in the early 2020s does perhaps require the viewer to be a professional software engineer for full force.
- “Take Me Home, Country Roads” in Minor Key: Transposing John Denver’s “Take Me Home, Country Roads” to a minor key changes it from a meme song to a nostalgic lament for a home you can’t go back to. This autotuned version isn’t perfect but works well enough.
- “Pyramid Song” 800% Slower: “Pyramid Song” isn’t my favorite Radiohead song, but slowing it down 800% turns it into one of my favorite ambient songs.
- “Paranoid Android (Super Mario 64 Remix)”: Applying Nintendo 64 sound fonts to Radiohead’s “Paranoid Android” only makes it spookier.
- “Get Ready for the Grave” Mashup: A mashup of The Temptations’ “Get Ready” and Black Sabbath’s “Children of the Grave” shouldn’t work as well as this does.
- “If I Can Dream” from Elvis’ ‘68 Comeback Special: I never thought too highly of Elvis growing up, and though I still think he has a complicated legacy, this recording from a late-career performance convinced me there was something to his reputation.