quote of the day

“The dispirited scientists of the LHC have announced that this will create a 24-month delay while tiny bits of hamster are cleaned out of the tunnels and anti-hamster-materialization fields are installed in the collider.”
(Eliezer Yudkowsky, reporting live)

engaging abstract of the week

“In summary, a zombie outbreak is likely to lead to the collapse of civilisation, unless it is dealt with quickly. While aggressive quarantine may contain the epidemic, or a cure may lead to coexistence of humans and zombies, the most effective way to contain the rise of the undead is to hit hard and hit often. As seen in the movies, it is imperative that zombies are dealt with quickly, or else we are all in a great deal of trouble.”
(Munz, Hudea, Imad and Smith, Mathematical Modelling of a Zombie Infection, Infectious Disease Modelling Research Progress, chapter 4, pp 135-156, Nova Press 2009)

quote of the day

“But if we’ve learned anything from fantasy books, it is that any cabal of ancient wise men destroyed by their own hubris at the height of their glory must leave behind a single ridiculously powerful artifact, which in the right hands gains the power to dispel darkness and annihilate the forces of evil.”
(Yvain, introducing the concept of verifiability to this fallen, lesser age)

Dietzler’s Law

“…You can get 80% of what the customer wants in a remarkably short time. The next 10% of what they want is possible, but takes a lot of effort. The last 10% is flat out impossible because you can’t get “underneath” all the tooling and frameworks. And users want 100% of what they want…”
(Neal Ford, quoting Terry Dietzler)

rule of thumb of the week

“You know you have no social life when the only person you can tell your problems to is your sworn enemy.”
(Leigh Butler, on rereading The Fires of Heaven)


“1995 – Yukihiro “Mad Matz” Matsumoto creates Ruby to avert some vaguely unspecified apocalypse that will leave Australia a desert run by mohawked warriors and Tina Turner.”
(James Iry, at last telling the truth)

quotes of the day

“As in any crisis, I looked around for chocolate. But found tea instead. Which was almost as good. And my brain exploded. Which wasn’t so good.”
(NannyOgg contemplates attacking an L+1 group)

“It’s odd that people think of programming as precise and methodical. Computers are precise and methodical. Hacking is something you do with a gleeful laugh.”
(Paul Graham, on why hackers have a high ROI)

cult of the day

“There are three states of being. Not knowing, action and completion.”

second thought of the day

“The silence I’m talking about, the silence we as writers must have to be productive, is silence inside ourselves. That silence travels anywhere. We carry it with us as if it were a private retreat in the mountains nestled next to a crystalline, ice-cold lake, surrounded by forests and pervaded by peace. And this silence is hard to find and hard to hold. It is as elusive as a rainbow, as easily shattered as sugar glass, as rare as a white stag, as skittish as a wild colt. A single worry about an unpaid bill or an appointment with a dentist or a remembered argument can destroy this silence for an hour or a day, and no amount of gritting teeth and frowing at monitor with fingers poised on keyboard will lure it back.”
(Holly Lisle, on finding silence)

Coding is much the same, even when you wish very much that it weren’t.

thought of the day

“Readers swallow these inconsistencies because people are also adaptable, and if you’re already suspending your disbelief to allow magic, it’s not too hard to stretch it a little further and believe that an Empire could stand unchanged for five thousand years. But when you make a reader do that, you’re cheating them, and your story, out of a world of depth. This doesn’t mean you can’t have ancient Empires in your novel to great effect, it just means that you have to make them real, and you do that by letting people be people.”
(Rachel Aaron, on building worlds)