My thoughts on a better gun control policy

My thoughts on a rational gun control policy, as a non-lawyer: I'm fine with semiautomatic weapons with replaceable magazines being made illegal for private ownership. They're fun; they're not actually useful except for specific purposes. This is probably the least important change I would make. Like, if you have a rifle, you'd have a fixed… Continue reading My thoughts on a better gun control policy

Test-driven development can be great.

Test-driven development is, loosely defined, a practice in which tests are written before anything else, without regard to correctness. For example, if I want to write a program to generate "Hello, world," I would write a test that validated that "Hello, world" was generated - before I had anything that might create the output. When my tests pass, I know I've "finished," because my tests define a specification. By having tests in place, though, not only do I have a record of the specification, but I also have a way that I can add to the specification in such a way that I know I'm not breaking code - I would simply add more tests that corresponded with the changing specification, and I will know if my changes break other code. Here's the thing: I wrote the Java implementation using test-driven development practices (TDD), and the automaton is kinda neat; TDD also provided me the opportunity to fix the names of structures (renaming `Dataset` to `Generation`, for example) because the tests made it obvious that the names were inaccurate. However, seeing the differences in the development process between my Python implementation and the Java implementation, I might look into TDD with Python anyway.

Essential Slick: a review

I read the HTML version, as I'm reading it on a Macbook, and HTML just seemed the most generic. I have tried Slick tutorials, for example, and the Hello, Slick example projects - only to have them fail out of the box or simply not working, with no clear explanations. I'm pleased to report that this has not been the case with Essential Slick - the code has worked very well, and been explained clearly. While in early access, there are a few minor problems - for example, in the book's source code they use durations early on without specifically including them or describing them.

Conversation is the roar of the tide, not a ping from a radar.

One of the things I've noticed from watching Facebook is that the nature of conversation is being fractured. Facebook, Twitter, and other such mediums encourage the use of soundbites, basically snappy and memorable phrases. Conversations become about headlines, rather than content or context. The thing is: that's not how we actually exist. Our conversations are… Continue reading Conversation is the roar of the tide, not a ping from a radar.

Legalized Discrimination in Indiana

Indiana's "religious freedom" bill is a good example of something that should never have had to happen. As I understand it - and I'm not a lawyer, nor do I live in Indiana any more, so I'm mostly seeing the aftermath of rage - it says that a business has the right to refuse to… Continue reading Legalized Discrimination in Indiana


I refuse to participate in the current flurry of condemnation against vaccination opponents. It's ugly, it's stupid, it's wrong - not because vaccination is a bad move, but because the condemnation itself is ugly, stupid, and wrong. Worse than being ugly, stupid, and wrong - it's not effective. It's cruel, in the end. If you're… Continue reading Vaccinations

Use of a/an with parentheticals?

This morning I was confronted with a grammar question for which I just don't know the answer. Consider the phrase "an essential truth;" now put "essential" in parentheses. Is the indefinite article supposed to be "an" or "a" in that phrase? I'm stumped; my advice was to remove the parentheses entirely, so the phrase remains… Continue reading Use of a/an with parentheticals?