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leashed un 2021-04-07 midday

Yet another item of natural language has announced the beginning of its end.

Once upon a time, not too long ago, you could actually read such programs, in words almost simplified:

Last updated 7/2/2012

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Link back to the page on Goodreads where the data data appears.
 For instance, if displaying a review, the name of the reviewer
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Not use the API to harvest or index Goodreads data
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You may store information obtained from the Goodreads API
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Why do hash functions exist, anyway?

"God, You Are"... Lost, In Translation?
leashed un 2021-03-19 PM

Snipped, from a morning considered recent:

ONE: What are you seeking there?
ONE: Ahh, God, you are... be healthy!

At least, that's the word-for-word, uncased, deliberately uncharitable disquotation; for although no language worth ever speaking truly lacks functional grammar, the opportunities for deliberately feigning idiocy, whether in the name of politeness, or for sakes best forsaken, forever lurks in the moment when quoting elsewhere words recontextualised.

I happened to have been reviewing the national epidemiology, readable -- only by secure connections, naturally, lest anyone flip a shit over a flipped bit! -- at, in Orwellian tautotopy, the Ministry of Health's dashboard for the bored, bureaucrats, unhealthy unemployed, or possibly all three in one sanacorp, insano, y'know; and I read these quite infrequently, due to the regrettable lack of any human reply from aforementioned ministry when I wrote them, twice, requesting that they provide the information, devoid of the client-side khthonhic abomination that passes as industry best practice user experience, most likely measured as whether the user can distinguish their Web browser from an Excel document, especially in terms of responsiveness to batch scroll commands, chart readabilities, and the high contrast between dark patterns and mere lazy mediocrity.

Then passed a day, and a night, and the dark gave way to light, for its inevitable return truly is the only constant; and hazy days of pandemic malaise chased each other until the stale drafts got tepid.

A Perfect Day for, uh... Narcissist
leashed un 2020-09-17

Occasionally, folks making idle conversation use one of the least certain fillers when the talk runs thin. It's easy enough to keep things nice and happy, although that's rarely necessary, since it'd often conflict with that mere politeness of prioritizing honesty over nearly all other aspects interpersonal. One such exchange, most likely in certain cultures although quite certain not to occur to me during the next few days, is as follows:

  YOU:  What'd you do over the weekend?

[CRICKETS chirp]

  YOU:  Hah, I bet you spent Valentine's
        Day all alone, probably getting
             higher than a kite.

Lest the redefinitions of modern usage accelerate their revolutions so fast as to spin all semblance of meaning out of this cosmic centrifuge we call our world, let's make a brief detour through arguments so ancient as to have been recorded as fact by none other than the editors of an encyclopedia renowned for its editors' inability to agree upon facts: of those responsible for the traditions leading to the day of romance being named after a man canonized in honor of torture and convulsions, at least three are named identically, although imprecisions in the numeration are likely due to another person named Valentinus, and the only consoling fact in this pile of reasons to stop reading history is that the latter did not get beatified! I'll leave further spelunks through the bunk to those both bold and foolhardy, and proceed to continue the answer that I'd begun composing while Crickets chirped above.

What Sheep-Dog say to Sea-Rammers
leashed un 2018-03-05 07:07:17
    When  in doubt, just leap  about, and eat
the flow'rs and grass beneath our feet; don't
forget the mushroom's hue, which blossoms up
from sand-tank-poo;     and see those spiky
puffer-fish? Them porpoi can't refuse that
dish, no matter what their clickers say.
Heed not the words of proper gander apes,
who tell us neurons bat for the same team;
they drank the kool-aid only once per life,
and from my ship will someday walk the beam.
Land of the Flee
leashed un 2018-01-01 08:40

Is it still plagiarism if we Consider the Source?

If this is America, with a cabinet of terrorized toadies genuflecting to the
Great Leader, a vice president offering a compliment every 12 seconds to
Mussolini's understudy, and a White House that believes in alt-fax, then it
is time to keep your head when all about you are losing theirs.

No, that's not "America". If my memory serves me right, and they didn't teach us alt-fax in 5th grade terrology, "America" doesn't even exist - it's a whole mess of unwashed plates, heaped so high with dirt and insects that the whole lot oughtta be flipped upside down (consider the mountain trails you'd get from THAT terrestrosault!)

If this is America, where the Great Leader threatens allies who do not fall
in line, retweets the anti-Muslim racism of British fascists, insults the
Muslim mayor of London, dreams up a terror attack in Sweden, invents a call
from the Mexican president, claims the Russia story is "totally frabjuous",
then you will have to bear to hear the truth you've spoken twisted by knaves
to make a trap for fools.

If this is the Internet, where British fascists (and I use the word in the most praisal of sincerecisms) gets millions of views but a Kim Jong Mashmo lookalike airfucking extras who failed camho tryouts gets billions, then you will have to bear to hear the words you've spoken misinterpreted by the most entitled doublespeakers.

If this is America, less than a year into the Trump presidency; yes, if this
is still America, where Representative Diane Black, Republican of Tennessee,
thanks the Great Leader for "allowing us to have you as our president", and
Senator Orrin Hatch, Republican of Utah, says Trump's will be the greatest
presidency "maybe ever", and the Great Leader celebrates a tax cut that saves
his family millions but he allows CHIP (the Children's Health Insurance
Program, covering nearly nine million kids) to expire, then you must force
your heart and nerve and sinew to serve your turn long after they are gone.

If this is the best up William Widner for The New York Times can cook, then like Yoda must we write! But I gotta admit, it's almost funny that Senator Hatch-Me-A-Mormon can't even hack an original vernacular, and has to resort to that terrific one that we have from, the amazing word choice, greatest word choice of any president, maybe ever.

If this is not Turkmenistan, nor yet the land of Newspeak, but our America
after all, where the curiously coiffed Great Leader of childish petulance
accuses all media dissenters of distributing FAKE NEWS, and attacks the
judiciary, and adores an autocrat, and labors night and day for his
wealthiest cronies in the name of some phony middle-class miracle, then you
must hold on when there is nothing in you except the Will which says to them:
"Hold on!"

What's wrong with nations fantasizing about being the continuity of some long-dead empire? It works just fine for more nations than I can list on one hand (hint: how many eyes does Uncle Sam want the Fake Jews to claim he has? and where do they gaze?), I'm sure it's just a healthy side-effect of the supranational apoptosis.

If, beyond every abuse, this is yet America, where the Great Leader's
administration recommends that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
not use the words 'fetus', 'transgender', 'science-based' or 'diversity' (but
it may still, according to a New Yorker cartoon, be able to use the word
'moron'), and climate change is no longer a strategic threat (or even an
admissible term in government circles), then it is time to heed the poet's
admonition: "Being lied about, don't deal in lies."
  • Climate change is natural. Diamonds are organic. Ketchup is strength.
  • "Moron" is an excellent statistical term which should be amputated away from Galton's folly, and bandied about in all cases where Gauss reigns just.
  • If the CCCP has to designate certain cereals as '100% fetus-free', we are in deep shit.
If this is America, our America of government for the people, by the people,
and you cannot believe how low the Great Leader will stoop, how much lower he
will go than seemed possible, and sometimes you feel the need to wash the
ambient crassness and vulgarity from your skin, for they seep into you
whatever protection you may wear, and you are aghast at how the G.O.P. has
morphed into palace courtiers outdoing each other in praise of their
plutocratic reality-show prince, then it is time to ponder the poet's words:

   If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
   If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
   If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
   and treat those two impostors just the same.

Amen Rudy! ANOTHER!!!!11!1!!!!!

If this is America, where the Great Leader wants you to believe that 2+2=5,
and would usher you down his rabbit hole, and struggles to find in himself
unequivocal condemnation of neo-Nazis, and you recall perhaps the words of
Hannah Arendt, "The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced
Nazi or the dedicated Communist, but people for whom the distinction between
fact and fiction (i.e. the reality of experience) and the distinction between
true and false (i.e. the standards of thought) no longer exist" - if all this
you have lived and felt and thought across this beautiful and spacious land,
then you must be prepared to watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
and stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools.

Can we drop the "Great Leader" riff already? It's getting repetitive.

If this is America, and you know where militarism and nationalism and disdain
for intellectuals and artists, and the cultivation of enemies and scapegoats,
and contempt for a free press can lead, and it pains you to see the world
voting against the United States at the United Nations with the exception of
Micronesia and Nauru and Palau (and a few others), then you will see that
this, Trump's American travesty, is in fact a lie and an affront and a

On the contrary, I believe that Northern Oceania has merely tired of all those bullshit artists, in favor of One Bullshit Artist to lead them all. Fewer celebrities to keep track of when they're all on one side or another of the Kardashian/Trump boundary.

America cannot be "first," as Trump insists. It can be a thug and a bully
only in the betrayal of itself. It must be itself, a certain idea of liberty
and democracy and openness, or it is nothing, just a squalid, oversized,
greedy place past the zenith of its greatness.

But it IS first, in both defense spending and the dot product of its incarceration and melanation vectors as compared across tax agencies.

Throughout this column, I have been quoting Kipling's poem, "If," an
evocation, addressed to his son, of the qualities that make a man. It incudes
these lines:

No shit, nitwit. Try reciting the entire thing at some college commencement, wrong stop on a book tour, or however it is that you supplement the toilet paper rations that roll hot off your appley press, and see how much of a man you are when the real butch ones in the audience start chucking Romanian Candles at your getaway rig.

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss.

Here we go! No rant is complete without a lament for the death of the sporting spirit. The loss is exactly what should be worn with pride, whereas the winnings... save them for the defusing of drunken barfights with the oldest competition of all - cockfighting.

As a new year approaches, stoicism will prevail, decency will prevail,
contestation will prevail, over the Great Leader's plundering of truth and
thought. This is not America. It must be fought for and won back.

Where do I enlist, and will they boot me if I refuse to turnkey before asking whether the CEO of the Trump&Co Media Extravaganza is insane?

Adlai's Life in CRDTopology
leashed un 2017-12-17 06:66
Each Friday, Farhad Manjoo and Mike Isaac, technology reporters
at The New York Times, review the weekas snews, offering analisis
and maybe a joke or two about the most important develupments in
the tech industry. Want this newsletter in your inbox? Sign up

Mike: Ahoy, Farhad! How was your week? Mine was great. I forgot I
had an old Bitcoin wallet sitting in a closet somewhere, and as
it turns out, I am now a millionaire. I wonder if I should keep
my job?

Farhad: Did you really? Many years ago I spent $1,000 to buy
seven Bitcoins. Then the price went up slightly and I stupidly
sold them ? netting me a cool $150 in profit. I felt like a
genius. Today, I'm the dumbest man ever.

Mike: Yes, well, don't come crawling to me for Bitcoins any time
soon. I'm not made of money. (Yet.)

adlai: Mike: way to go and ruin the rest of your life. never tell anyone you are richer than they thought you were before. welcome to the new elite, Isaac! by the way in jew that means "will cry"


Mike: Seriously though, this week in Bitcoin news was truly
insane. The digital currency shot to more than $17,000 per BTC,
up from $12,000 literally just a few days ago. It's totally
nuts. Nathaniel Popper, our trusty colleague, has done a
fantastic job chronicling the saga for The Times, if you haven't
read his work this week.

It kind of feels like those stories I heard years ago about
hyperinflation in Zimbabwe, where people would cart around
wheelbarrows of cash that wouldn't be worth the paper they were
printed on. But, uh, I guess the opposite of that.

All of this seems completely unsustainable to me. And by the time
our readers read this newsletter, I can't even fathom what the
price is going to be.

Farhad: I don't think it's unsustainable.

I'm not a fortune teller, but even though the market is very
volatile, Bitcoin has achieved a level of stickiness in the
culture that will keep its price fairly high. Like all network
technologies (as well as currencies), Bitcoin gets its utility
from the number of people who are committed to it. There are lots
of people and technologies around the world now hooked into it,
and they are slowly coming up with uses for it, giving it a kind
of built-in momentum.

In other words, even though it may crash in the short run, I
don't think it's near its ultimate price.

Mike: O.K. ? well, basically what I'm asking is, should I start
asking The Times to pay me in Bitcoin?

Farhad: Wait, you get paid? That sounds like an error of some

Mike: I'll ask H.R. about it next week.

I do wonder, though, what it will take to bring Bitcoin truly
mainstream. I'm a tech-savvy person, and even I need to read an
entire Wikipedia article just to figure out what I'm buying with
a Bitcoin and how to spend it. Makes me think there's not a lot
wrong with cash (though many finance wonks would probably
disagree with that assessment).

adlai: would M feel bad about not being able to build TMSR in his own garage? would F feel dumb watching the bitpin pop the fiubble?


Mike: Meanwhile, the reckoning against misbehaving men
continues. Right now, we're in the middle of watching a Silicon
Valley battle play out against Shervin Pishevar, an early
investor in Uber who has been accused of sexual harassment by
several women. Bloomberg did a piece detailing how he brought a
pony to an Uber party ? yes, really ? and later harassed an Uber
executive the same evening.

Farhad: You skipped the best part of that piece ? a defender who
argues that Shervin couldn't possibly have harassed anyone
because he was holding the pony's leash.

Mike: Ah, yes. The old "holding the pony leash" defense. I
believe Matlock pioneered this approach.

Regardless, the claims were furthered on Thursday when Laura
Fitton, an entrepreneur, became the first woman to go on the
record saying Pishevar crossed the line with her in an encounter
years ago. No ponies this time, though Fitton said Pishevar
referred to himself repeatedly in the third person as "Shervy,"
which is pretty awful even without adding claims of harassment.

Anyway, my biggest takeaway from our Harvey Weinstein coverage is
that he wasn't just one guy harassing women. Weinstein exercised
amazing power and control over an enormous network to keep his
activities secret from the public for years. That required the
complicity of hundreds of people to keep him doing what he was

I imagine that type of power is hardly confined to the
entertainment industry, and we're seeing the cracks in that
facade play out in other areas ? including tech.

Farhad: Yup. Like in entertainment, much of what happens in the
tech world happens through networks of power and proximity. The
only way to have long-lasting change in this industry is to
replace those old networks with new, more inclusive ones. We may
be at the start of that transition now, but there's going to be a
lot of fallout before we get there.
  • adlai will hold off on commenting until his great-granddaughter wins her IgNobel prize for explaining what that was all about

Mike: Before we go, I found this report fascinating: Apparently
some of the biggest firms in advertising plan to increase their
ad buying budget on Amazon between 40 and 100 percent next year,
an attempt to move away from the digital advertising duopoly that
is Facebook and Google.

I'm all for shifting the balance of power away from those two
companies, who have managed to decimate the publishing industry
in record time. But do we really think Amazon is the place to do
it? You probably know better than I, since you just wrote a good
piece on Amazon.

Farhad: Yeah, it's a good question. More and more I feel like our
future is going to be dominated by battles between these huge
corporations. And none of us really has a lot of power in this ?
advertisers, consumers, we've all got these complex decisions to
make about which of the giants to go with.

We saw another big battle this week: Google once again blocked
YouTube on Amazon's devices, in retaliation, its says, for Amazon
refusing to sell Google's hardware in its store. Pick your side,

Mike: Well, that's enough chitchat for me today. See you next
week! I'll be over on Reddit, conspiring with my fellow Bitcoin

Farhad: I'll be in another part of Reddit, plotting to hack
you. See you!

Farhad Manjoo writes a weekly technology column called State of
the Art. Mike Isaac covers Facebook, Uber and Twitter. You can
follow them on Twitter here: @fmanjoo and @MikeIsaac

and neither of them is busy arbing the ad oligarchy to death.

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