December 28th, 2007


Joke username metawanking on reddit.

There have been many amusing joke users on Reddit. I have enjoyed Captain Oblivious and Keanu Reeves particularly. However, consultant_barbie is now giving both of them a run for their money:

A fundamental rule of the internet: Trying stuff is cheaper than deciding whether to try it.
Refactoring is hard! Let's go shopping!

The Cult of Language Expertise
Type-safety is a fad. Let's go shopping!

Brian Kernighan's Beautiful Code?
Pointer arithmetic is hard. Let's go shopping!

HasFinder - It's Now Easier than ever to create complex, re-usable SQL queries
Queries are hard. Let's write a plugin!

Programming Beautiful Ruby on Rails Code Part 1
Ruby is pretty. Let's go shopping!

Pushing Haskell's type system to the limits: A reflective JSON serializer
Generics and serialization are hard. Let's go shopping for boilerplate!
  • Current Music

Disloyal Opposition on the death penalty.

For my part, I oppose the death penalty on both personal and pragmatic grounds.

It's not that I'm a pacifist; to the contrary, I believe very strongly in the right to bear arms and to use them in defense of life and property. But killing an assailant who poses an active threat to you, your friends and loved ones, or your home and valuables is a very different matter from hauling a prisoner in shackles from his jail cell, strapping him to a gurney and running high-voltage or poison into his body. It's clear to me that, as long as an attacker displays the intention and the capacity to do you harm, you have the right to use whatever force is necessary, including lethal force, in self-defense.

But force ceases to be necessary once that attacker has surrendered or been subdued. Of course you can shoot an intruder who breaks into your house in the middle of the night and brandishes a weapon at you. But how do you justify poisoning or electrocuting that same person once he's been disarmed and confined? I just don't see a moral justification for killing as a penalty for past acts.

It's unacceptable to imprison people for crimes they didn't actually commit, but if you do it accidentally, at least you can free them, cut them checks that feature lots of zeros and wish them the best in their new lives. How do you make amends to somebody who has been wrongly executed? Fresh flowers on the grave every week just won't do the job.

It's good to read some JD Tuccille again. I have sorely missed his wit and conscience since he left the Civil Liberties site.
  • Current Mood
    ornery & ill-tempered