Archive for July, 2015

“If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” – Albert Einstein This quote annoys me. I’ve spent the last year trying to understand functional programming and this deep, mathematical concept called the monad. It turns out that monads are simple to explain: if you’re mathematically inclined and know your category theory, […]

23Jul

The Metadata Problem in Primitive Lisp

Posted by Elf Sternberg as Lisp

Yep, I’ve definitely gone down the wrong path with my current research project, which means I’ve probably wasted at least a day or two on it, which I find deeply frustrating. As I’ve been working my way through Lisp In Small Pieces, I’ve been trying to push the boundaries of what the interpreter does in […]

15Jul

The Key To Coding is Re-Coding

Posted by Elf Sternberg as chat, programming

In a recent, great article in the New York Review of Books, “The Key to Rereading,” Tim Parks takes the usual metaphor of reading as “the mind is a key unlocking the meaning of the text” and turns it around: The mind is not devising a key to decipher the text, it is disposing itself […]

The other day, Jim Bird wrote a pretty good article on why there’s so much bad software out that, and the article laid the blame on bad managers. While I think Bird’s approach is correct, he’s actually missing one critical detail. It’s not always that managers are “bad.” Bird’s list of badness include poor planning, […]

I’ve been working my way through a Lisp textbook, Lisp In Small Pieces, by Christian Quinnec. It was originally written in French and is not that well known among English-speaking Lisperati, not in comparison to the Wizard book or Paul Graham’s On Lisp, but what caught my attention was how it really was in small […]

I don’t have much experience with Windows, but I have to work in it for ${EMPLOYER} now and then.  I had this weird problem today where the output of a PowerShell script was pre-formatted, but the consumer of that output (namely, a Splunk server) wanted raw numbers.  To force raw numbers on output, PowerShell provides […]


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