Howard Fishman just came out with a long-awaited biography of my aunt Connie Converse - a bedroom-demo singer-songwriter of the 1950's, who worked in obscurity, disappeared without a trace in 1974, and then developed a cult following decades later. Here's my review of book (also posted on Amazon):=== I am one of Connie Converse's nephews,… Continue reading Review of the Connie Converse biography
Content moderation and Twitter
[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
Silicon Valley and “Science”
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”
Venga venga venga!! (Management and the Tour de France) [repost from 2005]
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]
Privileging classical music
[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? Mathematicians!
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!
Religious litmus tests
"[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
Elvis Costello at the Warfield (4/15/12)
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)
Stealth site for Jybe
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.