Decades ago (and I won't even say how many decades) I fancied myself to be a songwriter. I wrote a number of songs, most of which were bloody awful, but one or two of which I still like.Back then I did my best to record versions of the songs. This was in an era when… Continue reading Old wine new bottles
[This is an edited and redacted email rant that I sent to a friend back in April 2022, in response to Elon Musk getting involved with Twitter, and Musk's statements about content moderation. My friend is a lawyer, and not very familiar with Twitter, but he was interested and receptive to the idea that Musk… Continue reading Content moderation and Twitter
I used to blog occasionally, in bursts. One burst was around the turn of the century (1999-2000), and all those posts are lost to time. Then again around 2004, and again around 2013, and all those posts are below, for better or worse. I've just semi-retired (June 1 2022), and feel another burst coming on.… Continue reading Retirement reboot
I've been working in Silicon Valley since 2000, at first as an engineer and then as a .... well, that's what we're here to talk about. Over the last decade I've seen increasing use of the title "Scientist" for a certain kind of employee who works on large consumer Internet services (like Google, Facebook, Twitter,… Continue reading Silicon Valley and “Science”
An amusing sidelight of the Tour de France is the one coach who seems to spend the entire race in a car right next to his prize rider, with the window open, yelling this over and over again: “Venga venga venga!!! Venga venga venga venga!!!” I think it’s a coach of one of the Basque… Continue reading Venga venga venga!! (Management and the Tour de France) [repost from 2005]
[This post started its life as a comment on an answer to a question on Quora. Here's the original answer, but those of you who are not Quora users may have no joy. So here is some context: The original question: Why is it more difficult to memorize or sing a classical piece than a… Continue reading Privileging classical music
Who Needs Algebra? (NY Times, possibly behind paywall) I have a feeling of deja vu here, since 5 or 10 years I wrote a blog-response to an editorial by Roger Schank that called (roughly) for the elimination of certain math classes from high schools. Schank's argument was roughly the same as this one - you… Continue reading Who needs algebra? Mathematicians!
"[N]o religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States." - Article 6 of the U.S. Constitution. This constitutional restriction isn't about voting, of course - instead, it's about who is qualified for office in the first place. Presumably the framers realized that Baptists might… Continue reading Religious litmus tests
For some reason I went to this show with a dual consciousness: as long-time rabid fan, but also trying to channel the experience of a newbie. As I'll explain, the first consciousness enjoyed itself; the second, not so much. By rabid fan, I mean the usual embarrassing kind of thing - me, with most of… Continue reading Elvis Costello at the Warfield (4/15/12)
A stealth-mode startup should have a stealth-mode site, and we have one now for Jybe. Target audiences are 1) potential users and alpha-testers, 2) potential employees, and 3) potential funders (although we are not looking for outside funding quite yet). I love the logo and visual design from the guys at ZENxd.