Thursday, December 25, 2003

Paul Graham

Quote: "Hacking and painting have a lot in common. In fact, of all the different types of people I've known, hackers and painters are among the most alike.

What hackers and painters have in common is that they're both makers. Along with composers, architects, and writers, what hackers and painters are trying to do is make good things. They're not doing research per se, though if in the course of trying to make good things they discover some new technique, so much the better...

...Great software ... requires a fanatical devotion to beauty. If you look inside good software, you find that parts no one is ever supposed to see are beautiful too. I'm not claiming I write great software, but I know that when it comes to code I behave in a way that would make me eligible for prescription drugs if I approached everyday life the same way. It drives me crazy to see code that's badly indented, or that uses ugly variable names."

Hackers and Painters.

Misunderstood Genius Dept., Part I: Tesla

Quote: "War clouds were again darkening Europe. On 11 July 1934 the headline on the front page of the New York Times read, TESLA, AT 78, BARES NEW 'DEATH BEAM.' ... The morning after the inventor's death, his nephew Sava Kosanovic´ hurried to his uncle's room at the Hotel New Yorker... By the time he arrived, Tesla's body had already been removed, and Kosanovic suspected that someone had already gone through his uncle's effects. Technical papers were missing as well as a black notebook..."

From PBS: Nikola Tesla: Master of Lightning.

Misunderstood Genius Dept., Part II: Galileo and the Inquisition

Quote: "Being one of the most renowned scientist of his time Galileo's opinions were scrutinized not only be his peers, but by also by Church officials and the public in general. This made Galileo the lightning-rod of many complaints against the Copernican doctrine (and also some against Galileo himself). He did not come out unscathed out of these encounters..."

Galileo and the Inquisition.

Return of the King

If Peter Jackson doesn't get a Best Picture Oscar for LOTR/ROTK, they might as well do away with the Academy, the red carpet, the statuettes, everything. Awesome in every conceivable measure. As an aside... funny column in the Toronto Star describing plot holes in LOTR.

Excerpt: "...Elrond is like the modern-day CEO who complains about the way the country is run, but won't run for office and do something about it. At Rivendell, the Ramada Inn of Middle-earth, he chooses to sit back and let the Fellowship do the dirty work. 'I'd love to help out and all, but hey, I got stuff going on,' he might as well be saying. 'I did let you guys use my house for your little meeting, you know, and came up with this whole Fellowship idea. But good luck saving the world.'...

LOTR plot holes

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