Knotty Geeks Episode 11 - Bad Coders At Work

Posted by: Jeremy Reimer on Sat Dec 11 11:03:15 2010.

In this episode, we get scared of the wind and venture inside Wick’s Cafe, only to find ourselves face to face with eating and drinking noises, light reggae, and... ourselves.

We talk a little bit about creating art in 2D and 3D, the current state of smartphones, and then get into the history and future of programming, a subject we know virtually nothing about.

Links from the show:

Jeremy’s new "Star Gamer" 2D comic, made on a Bamboo tablet:

http://jeremyreimer.com/monarch/comic?c=Star%20Gamer

Malcom Gladwell’s "10,000 hours to become an expert" book Outliers:

http://www.gladwell.com/outliers/index.html

Coders at Work - the most entertaining book about programming you’ll ever read:

http://www.codersatwork.com/

The Dunning-Kruger effect, where you are too incompetent to know you are incompetent (maybe that’s us?)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning-Kruger_effect








Views: 3222 

Knotty Geeks Episode 10 - The Fourth Way... is LISP!

Posted by: Jeremy Reimer on Sat Dec 11 10:58:52 2010.

We’re back! The weather has finally allowed us to venture outside to brave the scary world outside Wick’s Coffee. In this episode, we talk about the Gervais Principle, work/life balance, Timothy Ferris and the four-hour work week, Penny Arcade dissing the iPad, and somehow end up discussing... LISP? Is that the language with all the stupid parentheses?

Notes from the show:

Knotty geeks episode 10 notes

The Gervais Principle

http://www.ribbonfarm.com/2009/10/07/the-gervais-principle-or-the-office-according-to-the-office/

They actually produce, but are not compensated in proportion to the value they create (since their compensation is set by sociopaths operating under conditions of serious moral hazard). They mortgage their lives away, and hope to die before their money runs out. The good news is that losers have two ways out, which we’ll get to later: turning sociopath or turning into bare-minimum performers. The losers destined for cluelessness do not have a choice.

Timothy Ferris and the 4-hour work week

http://www.fourhourworkweek.com/

Life doesn’t have to be so damn hard. It really doesn’t. Most people, my past self included, have spent too much time convincing themselves that life has to be hard, a resignation to 9-to-5 drudgery in exchange for (sometimes) relaxing weekends and the occasional keep-it-short-or-get-fired vacation.

The truth, at least the truth I live and will share in this book, is quite different.

The Fourth Way

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fourth_Way

Gurdjieff taught people how to increase and focus their attention and energy in various ways, and to minimize daydreaming and absentmindedness.

Tycho destroys (and then buys) the iPad

http://www.penny-arcade.com/2010/1/29/

That iPad presentation had to be the worst thing I’ve even seen on on the Apple stage. There is a part where they - I am not making a joke - there is a part where they try to make creating spreadsheets seem awesome. Jilted may be the word. Of course, we’re at the second wave of commentary now, the reflexive defense phase, but I’ve seen this practiced arc too many times to feel its pull. Apple didn’t make a case for the device.

Paul Graham on LISP

http://www.paulgraham.com/avg.html

So if Lisp makes you a better programmer, like he says, why wouldn’t you want to use it? If a painter were offered a brush that would make him a better painter, it seems to me that he would want to use it in all his paintings, wouldn’t he? I’m not trying to make fun of Eric Raymond here. On the whole, his advice is good. What he says about Lisp is pretty much the conventional wisdom. But there is a contradiction in the conventional wisdom: Lisp will make you a better programmer, and yet you won’t use it.








Views: 3270 

Knotty Geeks Episode 09 - This One Time, In BarCamp...

Posted by: Jeremy Reimer on Sat Dec 11 10:53:34 2010.

We’re back from BarCamp 2009 and we’ve got a lot of stuff to talk about! We review the show and the presentations, then go on to talk about podcasting, acceleration, uneven distribution of the future, and the future of mass media!

Links from the show:

http://www.barcamp.org/BarCampVancouver2009
http://www.flickr.com/groups/barcampvancouver/
http://www.barcamp.org/BarCampVancouver2009Sponsors
http://bmannconsulting.com/
http://www.techvibes.com/blog/some-notes-on-barcamp-vancouver-2009-part-1
http://www.topdownview.com/2009/10/barcamp-vancouver-what-did-we-achieve/
http://www.strangelyentangled.com/2009/10/05/barcamp-vancouver-2009/
http://www.mainwriter.com/2009/10/04/barcamp-vancouver-2009-rocked/
http://ow.ly/tuKx
http://barcamp09comic.pbworks.com/ - A cool comic based on the show!








Views: 3530 

Knotty Geeks Episode 08 - Revenge of the Wind

Posted by: Jeremy Reimer on Fri Dec 10 16:16:58 2010.

In this episode, the wind picks up and crashes Audacity, but thanks to the Internet, no files are lost!

We talk about:

The Macintosh owners club
Twitter Analytics
Terry’s story and how insects are related to computing
Jeremy’s adventure into print-on-demand publishing
The problem with portable gaming
Enterprise applicatons: Microsoft versus EMC versus Google
Microsoft may be old-school, but is Google boring?
David Pogue on TWIT and conflict of interest: does it matter?
Health care in the future
Corporations as people?
Terraforming the Earth

Note: This episode runs a little long, but I felt it was worthwhile to keep most of it.

Links from the show:

http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2009/09/only-comic-can-inquire-into-such.html - Stephen Colbert and Jeffrey Toobin talk about the original ruling that made corporations "people" --

Quote:
Colbert explained that the 1886 case (Santa Clara v. Southern Pacific Railroad) that conferred 14th Amendment equal protection rights onto corporations wasn’t even in the original ruling. But when the Chief Justice made an off-hand comment that the Court wouldn’t hear an argument on whether the 14th Amendment applied to these corporations (saying, "We are all of the opinion that it does"), the court reporter wrote it into the ruling opinion, and the precedent has held ever since. And that reporter of the Supreme Court didn’t only have ties to the railroad barons, he used to run one.








Views: 3060 

Knotty Geeks Episode 07 - The Knotty Geeks Go Outside

Posted by: Jeremy Reimer on Fri Dec 10 14:27:59 2010.

We’re back! After a long absence, we’ve figured out what we were missing from our podcasts. Car noises--lots and lots of car noises.

In this first ever experimental Knotty Geeks episode, we tear off the Skype headsets and exit our homes, braving the fierce DayStar and horrific drivers to reach our destination--Wick’s Cafe, home of free WiFi and decent hot chocolate.

Listen if you dare as we talk about some science fiction stories we are working on, and interact with various strange people we found outside.

Links from the show:

http://darcvhal.com/demo/ Terry’s experimental graphic novel, GN001
http://web.archive.org/web/20051127010734/http://home.comcast.net/~kngjon/truename/truename.html True Names, a novel by Vernor Vinge








Views: 3152 

Knotty Geeks Episode 06 - I, for one, welcome our new Robot Overlords

Posted by: Jeremy Reimer on Fri Dec 10 14:04:39 2010.

After too long an absence, we’re back with a show covering one specific theme: Should expert systems and possibly artificial intelligences take over the big banking and other financial decisions, in order to prevent us flawed humans from having another economic meltdown?

I argue that they should, while Terry has a more nuanced view of the subject.

Links from the show:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economic_collapse#Indian_theory - P.R. Sarkar’s theory of economic collapse
http://www.amazon.com/Darwins-Radio-Greg-Bear/dp/0345435249 - Darwin’s Radio sci-fi novel
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disruptive_technology - Disruptive Technology
http://www.amazon.com/Innovators-Dilemma-Revolutionary-Business-Essentials/dp/0060521996 - The Innovator’s Dilemma
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Monday_(1987) - Black Monday 1987
http://www.amazon.com/Artificial-Life-Frontier-Computers-Biology/dp/0679743898 - Steven Levy’s Artifical Life








Views: 3202 

Knotty Geeks Episode 05 - Year In Review

Posted by: Jeremy Reimer on Fri Dec 10 13:37:07 2010.

We’re back! In this episode, we talk about where we’ve been, and look back at the past year. Our conclusion: Technology news sucks! WHAT?? A podcast about technology news saying that technology news sucks? It’s true.

We try and explain ourselves a little bit. It’s not the fault of the technology news reporters (at least, not really). It’s all because of the acceleration of technology itself. Listen to find out more!

Links to sites discussed in the podcast:

http://www.figureprints.com - Get your World of Warcraft 3D custom figures!

http://www.kurzweilai.net/articles/art0134.html?printable=1 - Explains acceleration quite starkly.

http://arstechnica.com/articles/culture/looking-back-looking-forwards.ars/2 - Ars Technica’s 2007 predictions.

Books:

http://www.amazon.com/Super-Crunchers-Thinking-Numbers-Smart/dp/0553805401 - SuperCrunchers

http://www.amazon.com/Innovators-Dilemma-Revolutionary-Business-Essentials/dp/0060521996 - The Innovator’s Dilemma








Views: 3025 

Knotty Geeks Episode 04 - Purple tomatoes

Posted by: Jeremy Reimer on Thu Dec 9 15:58:48 2010.

We’re back! In this episode, we discuss our trip to Sacramento for Amiwest 2008, my shiny new Macbook, and end up with genetically altered super-vegetables.

Links discussed on the show:

Amiwest show 2008

New macbooks:
http://arstechnica.com/reviews/hardware/2008-macbookpro-review.ars/1

Mac market share:
http://jeremyreimer.com/postman/node/58

Bluray on macs, and Psystar with bluray
http://arstechnica.com/journals/apple.ars/2008/10/28/psystar-introduces-blu-ray-bag-of-hurt-to-its-mac-clones

Video Games Live

Purple Tomatoes
http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20081101-science-week-in-review-purple-tomatoes-lots-of-placebos-and-visualizing-hate.html








Views: 2982 

Knotty Geeks Episode 03 - From China, through the cloud, and into space

Posted by: Jeremy Reimer on Thu Dec 9 14:20:08 2010.

In this episode, we take a trip from the Chinese government, through the promise and peril of cloud computing, and finally find liberation through YouTube and a trip into Earth orbit.

List of URLs referenced in this episode:

http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20081002-skype-security-flub-leads-to-discovery-of-chinese-monitoring.html - China monitoring Skype
http://www.antipope.org/charlie/blog-static/2008/09/avalanche.html - Author Charles Stross says it is getting harder to write near-future SF
http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20080930-why-stallman-is-wrong-when-he-calls-cloud-computing-stupid.html - Ars Technica dismisses Richard Stallman’s criticism of cloud computing
http://ca.youtube.com/watch?v=TPAO-lZ4_hU - An anthropologist reports on YouTube
http://ca.youtube.com/watch?v=_yxHKgQyGx0 - A brilliant mashup exploring copyright issues in a modern world








Views: 3128 

Cataclysm Eve

Posted by: Jeremy Reimer on Mon Dec 6 23:01:50 2010.



In a little over an hour, barring server connectivity issues, I’ll be adventuring through the new World of Warcraft expansion.

I’ve prepared for this as best I can, buying the digital download so that I can start playing at 12:01 am, the moment the servers go live. I’ve even booked a day off work -- my last vacation day of the year -- so that I can play for most of tomorrow.

I’m a nerd, I admit it. But I’m looking forward to this.

Views: 3485  Comments: 2






About me

I'm a writer and a web developer. You may have read my articles at Ars Technica, where I write about the Amiga computer, video games such Starcraft, and the history of personal computing.

I write science fiction novels and short stories. You can read more about them here.

I'm also the creator of the rapid application development framework newLISP on Rockets, which powers this blog and a number of other sites.

I do a podcast with my friend Terry Palfrey called Knotty Geeks, where we focus on the 'big picture' impact of technology on our lives, with the two core themes being acceleration and convergence.

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