Erstwhile Programmer

This is the story of how I occasionally realize I exist on the continuum of "programmers," rather than just being an eccentric sort of writer type. Contents Evidence download-mail ikiwiki-tasklist Common Lisp Weenie Conclusion Evidence download-mail I have this somewhat peculiar method of downloading email that I think works great. A few weeks ago, however, I was trying to compress things in "hot storage," and realized that I had a problem.…

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Ikiwiki Tasklist Update

I added a few lines to a script that I use to build my task list, and for the first time ever, I opened a file with code in it, added a feature, tested it, and it worked. Here's the code with enough context so it makes sense (explained later if you don't want to spend the time parsing it:) ARG=`echo "$@" | sed -r 's/\s*\-[c|p|s]\s*//g'` WIKI_DIR="`echo $ARG | cut -d " " -f 1`" if [ "`echo $ARG | cut -d " " -f 2 | grep -c /`" = 1 ]; then TODO_PAGE="`echo $ARG | cut -d " " -f 2`" elif [ "`echo $ARG | cut -d " " -f 2 | grep -c $EXT`" = 1 ]; then TODO_PAGE="$WIKI_DIR/`echo $ARG | cut -d " " -f 2`" else TODO_PAGE="$WIKI_DIR/`echo $ARG | cut -d " " -f 2`.…

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Representation and Race Futurism

I had an item on my list of blog posts to write for a couple of years to write something reflecting on "RaceFail," and finally a gave up, because I didn't want to write a book, I didn't know what to say, and I was more interested in the actual discourse itself than finding the "side of right," in a conversation that was both way too simple and way too complex all at once.…

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The Future of File Organization and Security

I was having a conversation with a (now former) coworker (a while ago) about the future of shared file systems, unstructured organization and management, and access control. What follows are a collection of notes and thoughts on the subject that have stuck with me. Let's start with some general assumptions, premises, ideas: File system hierarchies are dead or dying. To have a useful file system hierarchy the following qualities are essential:…

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Multi-Audience Documentation

I've written before about different types of documentation, and the different purposes and goals that each type services. Rather than rehash what documentation is, I'm interested in using this post to think about ways of managing and organizing the documentation process to produce better documentation more easily, with the end goal of being able to increase both maintainability and usability of documentation resources. Different groups of users--say: administrators, end-users, and developers--interact with technology in overlapping but distinct ways.…

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Knitting in Three Dimensions

It's relatively straight forward to think about knitting in terms of creating two dimensional shapes. Most of us start by knitting something "easy" [1] like a scarf. From there it's easy enough to teach knitters to create a never ending variety of polygons. This, however, misses what I think of as the really cool part of knitting. I think the way to understand how knitting works, to be able to knit things that more closely resemble what you want, and to have the most fun knitting is to always think about knitting as three dimensional.…

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Intellectual Audience

My friend Jo wrote a post a while ago that addressed the subject of building an audience for your scholarly work. You can read the post on her blog, here. One of the things that I think Jo is really great at is thinking practically about academic careers and trajectories in light of the current academic job market. While people working in traditional academic spaces and on a traditional academic course have a different set of challenges than folks like me, her points still resonate.…

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