Book: Zero to One by Peter Thiel

Just finished it – thought provoking, but a strong dose of capitalism. For example, he feels monopolies are great – which is true, if you are the monopoly – but he also feels they are good for mankind, which is a bit tougher to handle. In line with that, businesses should avoid competition, which saps energy. The goal is to get a ’10X’ product or service that is so game-changing that it lets you start a monopoly, focusing all your … Continue reading

Ode To Booties: A Haiku For Winter

A Haiku in anticipation of Winter… Continue reading

What Programming Language Do YOU Drive?

Although I’ve already talked about how there are too many programming languages, I was pleased to see recently that I wasn’t the only one – here’s an interesting article on the ‘programming polyglot problem‘. One take on it is that sometimes all we need are simple programs, so a ‘simple’ interpreted language like Python is all you need. As someone who can remember programming in BASIC on a Commodore 64, I can attest that interpreted beats compiled hands down for … Continue reading

Are ‘Open Source’ Patents Needed?

It’s occurred to me in the past year as I work on my projects that patents are a necessary evil, even if the plan is to Open Source a project. This seems counterintuitive, so here’s an example to help make it clear: Imagine a world where the pencil doesn’t exist. There is just no convenient way to make marks on paper (sure we have the typewriter and the word processor – but bear with me, this is just a thought … Continue reading

Why Are Spam Emails So Bad – And Badly Written?

So I got an email from Microsof awhile back (or was it Mycrosoft?) and I wondered, like most of the non-spamming population, why don’t they put more effort into their emails? After all, only an idiot would not know the spelling of Microsoft, right? Exactly. Although some may feel that errors humanize the writer, so we don’t believe it’s a machine, or that these are actually clever psychological traps, the best answer I’ve seen is from Steven Levitt and Stephen … Continue reading