2014-09-19

xah's rumination extempore: on bike sheding problem

xah's rumination extempore: on bike sheding problem

(xah's rumination extempore is when i type as fast as i can, you rip the incumbent fruit)

there's a problem called bike shed problem. that is, people tend to spend dispproportional time on trivial stuff.

the story is roughly this: nuclear power plant has lots decisions to make, but the problem most people spend time and argue about, is the design and size of the parking lot. Because it's a issue everyone can understand and have a opinion. (you can Wikipedia for detail)

this is quite interesting. worth a laugh. but it's also true. (is it scientifically true? as can this be verified or already confirmed in social science? i don't doubt it's true, but that's another topic)

so, it's quite a interesting issue. am thinking, how to classify, or address, this? like, first of all, is it a problem? if so, how can we solve it? has this problem plaque humanity throughout? like, you'd want overall view of the issue, exam its validy, degree of seriousness, its nature, and finally if there's a solution, if needed at all.

ok, but there's other similar things. Such as white female problem. I forgot what's the proper phrase, but basically, whenever some date rape or kidnap happens in USA, when it's a cute girl, the whole nation gets involved. While, much worse happens daily to black girls, or guys, everyday.

the bike shade also happens in programing. Mostly idiots argue about syntax. (i'll have to add a personal touch here: freshmen thinks syntax is most important, because that's what they see. After they graduate, they become sopho-morons, realizing that semantics is more important, because that's what computes. The ultimate sage will tell you, syntax is most important, because that's what language is. All the rest is side effect.)

ok, after thinking about these for about 20 min, i think i have a conclusion. The thing is that, human animals, and their thoughts and activities, are a process. For example, do you actually plan your life and try to optimize what you do according to a goal? WHAT is your goal? Strickly speaking, none of us had any goal, and there's no ultimate meaning of life. We live, and do things, as we go. We might have a goal today, short term or long term, such as get a degree, or open a business, or be better at something, etc, but it's not set in stone, changes, and different for everyone.

if, for example, for some reason all of us has a definite goal, of making the world a better place, as absolute, else we'll die within a year, then, bike sheding and lots other problems will be resolved, automatically. Unfortunately, no god's gonna effectively tell us that. So, even if we realize there's bike sheding problem, but so what? that's part of life. Gossipe, watch tv, go to bars, fool around, or whatever, have fun, they said. That's what we do.

so, in conclusion, the bike sheding problem isn't exactly a concrete problem. It is as problem like watching tv is a problem, or wasting time in general. It is simply a phenomenon of human behavior, human nature.

2014-09-18

Linus's new keyboard: CM Storm

so, Linus got a new keyboard, and it's Cooler Master Storm.

Cooler Master Storm QuickFire Rapid Keyboard SGK-4000-GKCL1-US
Cooler Master Storm QuickFire Rapid Keyboard

See https://plus.google.com/+XahLee/posts/Tted66P1qy2

what's the best coding style?

Emacs: Tabs, Space, Indentation Setup#comment-1595298993

any coding style guide or concern should be ban'd. The only valid coding style advice is when it makes a algorithmic difference. Anything else, is hacker idiocy (to the extreme), and language idiocy, and the downward spiral and dead habit.

like keyboard & keybinding, the best hope is waiting for death to take care of the problem. (as Steve Jobs and Douglas Crockford said.)

the only tool allowed for formatting related coding style, is one where you press a button and the entire file or directory is reformatted. (golang does it). Anything else, such as paredit, or most “lints”, is hacker idiocy.

the most idiotic programers, are the hacker types. The types that read hackernews, reddit, stackoverflow, (and graddaddy slashdot) etc everyday, and don't hesitate to tell you what you should do, about idioms & styles.

the worst language, is a language that has lots of tricks & idioms. Perl is the dad, but went out of juice. Now Python. Ruby is designed to be sans coding style, but idiots create a style guide nevertheless.

2014-09-15

programing pains and idiocy: trim whitespace

in emacs, there's a command that trim whitespace. But, wouldn't it be great if when a file is saved, the command auto runs? But then, when working in a team, if you do that, and commit, people will frown upon, as consequences of diff and log all become spurious. Thus, born is various whitespace clean packages, that trim only if the file before edit is whitespace clean, or trim only on the lines you edited.

it's, like, becoming, idioticer and idioticer.

there are several problems here. The core is the most idiotic concept, that code are based on lines of 70 chars or so, which originated from punch cards, and insisted by unix C idiots, and glorified by hacker idiots about style guides and style guide checkers banana.

spurious software complexity that spun out of nowhere. Like, these days, you spend most of the time on the side things of coding. Time to learn the tools, work around the tools, follow new rules due to tools.

Programing Language Syntax Soup