location trophy
Bill Lovett

Words fail me.

From time to time I come across a profound statement online that deserves special recognition.

Excellent use of Unicode in response to whingeing about an iOS UI deficiency from a site that itself is whinge-worthy:

I’m a developer with an eye for design
Survey says: 🅇 🅇 🅇

From a discussion about a blog post that tries to connect the programming artistry with music-making artistry, biasing the latter:

What Alice is conveniently ignoring is that Bob could end up losing his job because he has to perform her solo cello composition after she gets bored with cello and decides to take up the maracas.

Or that Dana wants to get back to their family at the end of the workday instead of having to spend time retraining on a new notation for cello solos that uses colors instead of staves to denote key because it’s more elegant and efficient in paper space.

It was the right decision to put this under the heading Off Topic PostThought.

Learning JavaScript is when what Dostoevsky, Kierkegaard, Sartre and Camus were all trying to communicate really hit home for me. Meanwhile a recent foray into Rust is reminding me of the first time I read books like Tolstoy's Anna Karenina, Borge's Labyrinths and Steinbeck's East of Eden.

Reviews on Glassdoor sometimes reveal the worst about a company. Thank you anonymous sales intern for exposing this workplace horror.

The "chocolate milk" button on the coffee machine dispenses hot chocolate, which is identical to an already separate option. Beware…

Further evidence that when a sentence starts with I can't even fathom… the best is yet to come:

I can't even fathom a dystopic view at this point. All of my senses indicate that both the near and far term future are going to be amazing, and just get better all the time. I'm not a big fan of the current Javascript meta, but metas come and go. The current job market does depress me a bit, labor liquidity seems to be veering sharply downwards at the moment.

The only thing that worries me right now is World War 3. And losing the whales. That's really sad.

A discussion about the misery of finding a programming job yielded two standout comments.

The first is interesting for the floral dimension it adds to what would otherwise be a generic pat-yourself-on-the-back:

I am like the flower of lotus - waiting. When there is anything interesting I can jump ships using [my recruiter] network to help with the interview. After my first job, I never had the need to search personally.

The second adds conspiracy theory, which of course makes everything better:

That probably shows HR is just "working" and doing interviews. Not necessarily to hire anyone…they might just be gathering data. Maybe harvesting the people available on the market. Checking if you are up to doing homework and not getting paid. Checking what your salary is. Telling you make some ranking challenges. Building a profile about you.

Your profile might get a price-tag and shared on the HR black market. I suspect there are even black lists by segment shared on some HR black markets.

The package manager for JavaScript had a bug that caused filesystem permissions to change for the worse, and without just cause. Of all the responses, I think this one best captured the raw emotion of the situation:

it goin' down


get the files it goin' down

oh lawd have mercy

goddamn bootleg package managers shit

One person says:

ps -me || kill -me

(lol its been years is that a valid pipe)

Another responds:

ceci n'est pas une pipe valide

If you don't think that's hilarious I don't want to know you.

The fancy way of saying keyboard shortcuts are useful.

I type dip, and the paragraph is gone. d2ip would kill 2 paragraphs. This is almost instantaneous. I don't really type dip in sequence, though. It's not so deliberate. I kind of form my fingers in the right heights as they all fall simultaneously, striking in a kind of fraction-of-a-second arpeggio that sounds like a single key press. It's total muscle memory. It's just an action in my brain now that happens without thought. I also don't think so much in terms of discrete actions like dip anymore. I think in streams of small bursts of them. The muscle memory composes into new things. I know I want to move a block 2 down from where it is, but I don't start performing the actions of that. I do dap2}p, and it's done in about 0.5 seconds. I didn't think at all.

Strictly a recreative activity.

Mechanical machines are really satisfying, for their tactileness and simplicity. I have a typewriter, watching real impressions appear on real paper is way more fulfilling, and the organicness of the interaction is not even nearly matched in any computer program I used: you're always detached from the circuitry, where with mechanical devices you're a part of it. But the advantages of computerised production far outweigh those of mechanical devices, so I only type on my typewriter every once in a while as a recreative activity.

This appeared in a job ad, and takes the award for egregious use of shorthand in all the wrong places.

Must possess at least a master’s or its equiv. in CS, Eng. or rltd. fld., & least 3 yrs. of prior eng. & devl. exp. in bdg. enterprise apps. In the alt., a bachelor’s or its equiv. in CS, Eng. or a rltd. fld. & at least 5 yrs. of prior prog. eng. & devl. exp. in bdg. enterprise apps would be acceptable. Must possess at least 3 yrs. of work exp. w/: OO driven devl. & frameworks similar to Play &/or Spring; service oriented arch., OOP, TDD devl. methodology & commonly used design patterns; HTML5, AJAX, CSS & front-end technologies; & Git or similar source ctrl. Must also possess at least 6 mos. of work exp. w: API design, best practices, & user support; monitoring, scaling, caching, & testing; MySQL, MongoDb or similar ctrl.; SQL (Oracle or similar) & NOSQL Databases like MySQL, MongoDb or similar; & REST, JSON, XML.

Even office ecology has its limits.

Food is composted locally as part of Etsy’s plan to send almost no waste to landfills by 2020. Until recently, when the quantity became unmanageable, food scraps were packed onto a Dutch cargo bike, which an “office ecologist” would pedal several miles to a Brooklyn farm.

Direct answers are always appreciated.

One person says:

Who do I have to thank for not being allowed to add a comma after the last element of an array or object [in JavaScript]?

Another replies:


A reasonable request.

Sorry, I don't work in a job that has these - what the fuck are "daily standup," "sprints," and "user stories." I have a vague inkling about what those may be and I already hate them; elaborate so I can fully hate them?

This one is my all-time favorite.

One person says:

Sometimes, especially at this time of year, I wonder why the fuck I've been cursed with living in the cold dark depressing north of Scandinavia. What could possibly have made my ancestors think this was a good place to live…

Another replies:

Ireland is where its at, it's not a blizzard here, but we don't have any of those bullshit creatures, no snakes, no scorpions, no weird insects, no bears, no poisonous spiders or big ones…just grass and butterflies.

A third chimes in:

I mean y'all used to have a problem with snakes right? That is until St. Patrick drove 'em away.

The second answers:

Bears too he choked them all to death with a shoe lace wrapped around his hands, like a garrote. He killed all the spiders with the book of kells, and he drove the English out with a rake.

We have no problems now, so he is kinda retired, but every now and again you see him with a sweeping brush chasing seagulls away, but you can tell he lost his passion for it. What is a hero with out a villain, ya know.

The fancy way of saying turning it off and back on again didn't work.

My experience with FreeBSD is limited to a fugacious week with apparent quixotism and my noble Raspberry-Pi2, which ended inimically. All seemed rigorously dandy until presumably, Chuck Norris imposed thereafter some wicked temporal augmentation between all moments between any character typed or program otherwise compiled, offering only a typographic respite or scintillating scroll of never-ending techno-glossolalia in his wake whilst I sat there hour after hour (or character after character) awaiting something that made sense. Having no visible recourse, I capitulated and returned to Rasbpian.


There are great ideas and topics to be covered here for sure, but they're sprinkled on top of a giant cake made with 1-part self-loathing, 2-parts day-dreaming, and 1-part regular huff-and-puffing.

The bar has been set.

If we can't build space transit in 100 million years we're not much of a species.

Reliably excellent is the only way to live.

“Even on (rare) days when I wake up earlier than usual, I don't find myself getting tired enough to sleep earlier than usual. I just want to make the day last longer. And even if I am a bit tired, I've found my ability to find a second wind to be reliably excellent.”

Could be a fluke.

“[A] few years back my GP advised me to eat the odd piece of food that had been dropped on the floor, and to stop cleaning as much; the reason being that a blood test had revealed I was low in zinc. His reasoning was that since dust has reasonable quantities of zinc, I should be able to be adequately provided with it via my environment. Apparently his idea worked, because in the next test my zinc was over the ideal (This could be a fluke, of course).”

There's always time for interior monologue.

“This is an amazing story. Reminds me of my mother. I need to call her…”

Extreme rejection.

“I literally walked out of an interview at AirBnb in tears after the humiliation. I've been so traumatized after that I've stopped looking for jobs for over 3 years.”

This was the lead-in of a job ad for an iOS developer. The ad has since expired.

“This position is reserved for the top 1% of you out there that have the experience and attitude to murder everything in your path.”

In response to a blog post about programmers not being able to predict the future:

“I feel like I don’t have time to predict the future - too busy pushing things into production...”

In a subthread of a discussion not at all related to hunting:

“I’ve recently started hunting to get my meat, and I seem to be really sensitive to this kind of terminology lately.

In a discussion about controversial programming opinions, someone said:

goto is best in certain cases.”

Someone else replied:

“He asked for a controversial opinion, not Mein Kampf 2.”

This one about the Netflix platform is hilariously pompous.

“Considering it’s all built on well-known and tested (provided you follow the best practices) cloud services (AWS right?) I often wonder what they do all day. Netflix platform strikes me as something you invest heavily in at day 1 but then only need a boilerplate team of developers to keep it ticking over and responding to user feedback.

They love to bleat on about their Chaos Monkey this and Chaos Monkey that. But come on, they wrote a read-only cloud-hosted and distributed video streaming service that leans on standard cloud services and best practices for 90% of the hard parts. Chaos Monkey just smacks of writing an integration test for a third party component you don’t own.

Frankly I wouldn’t want a job at Netflix simply because the problem domain is not interesting enough…”

In response to a blog post about working remotely, a great truth was told.

“I refuse all calls and meetings. If someone doesn’t want to spend the time thinking about an idea and expressing it clearly in a written medium, I don’t really have the time for it. I’ve had Skype, Lync, GoTo Meeting, conference calls the lot thrown at me over the years and email is the only truly productive communication medium as it gives people time to think and structure their thoughts. We have done some magical shit via email.”