Author Archives: acorwin

Slouching Towards Bethlehem: Thoughts and Quotes

  Slouching Towards Bethlehem is a collection of essays by Joan Didion. They are split up into three parts; essays about California, memoir-ish personal essays, and essays about other places. The Californian section has both the best essays (the title … Continue reading

Posted in books | Leave a comment

Middlemarch: Thoughts and Quotes

Middlemarch, by George Eliot, is a sprawling portrait of a number of persons of varying degrees of wealthiness, set in a fictional 1830s British town not very far outside of London. It’s a wonderful book of rich characters, broadly concerned … Continue reading

Posted in books | Leave a comment

Flash Fiction Responses To A Quiz On A Book I Haven’t Read

1. How do Bill and Josella meet for the first time? “Ah shit,” Bill said to himself. This wasn’t the first time, he should know better by now. Engine oil gets everything all messy, and he shouldn’t have thought he … Continue reading

Posted in fanfic, jokes | Leave a comment

Negotiation

“Even here in the north, the Children of Yisrael pass tales from mouth to ear. Pilgrims come bearing them. Some years ago, one came to my ears. I have heard the tale of how the angel known as Pride was … Continue reading

Posted in books | Leave a comment

Sexism Against Men And Other Word Overloading

There’s a great tumblr post that does the rounds occasionally. It’s a powerful and pithy explanation of how authority figures exploit words with multiple but related meanings to sound reasonable while saying unreasonable things. Sometimes people use “respect” to mean … Continue reading

Posted in language, pedantry, politics, social justice, things i will regret | 2 Comments

Corwin’s Tenth Law

Any sufficiently complicated distributed system program contains an ad-hoc, informally-specified, bug-ridden, slow implementation of half of Raft. With apologies to Philip Greenspun.

Posted in computer science, jokes, software | Leave a comment

Against Flowers

One of my deepest, oldest, most cherished and firmly-held feminist beliefs is that flowers are fucking bullshit. Flowers are a tool of the patriarchy, to render men bumbling, useless fools and women placid receivers of meaningless tokens. Consider the transaction … Continue reading

Posted in dating | Leave a comment

You Are Extremely Bad At Thinking About Tragedy

Today, some asshole killed a shitton of people in Las Vegas. Fifty eight deaths, at time of writing. This sucks. Like, 58 deaths is a lot, and this is a horrifying tragedy worthy of news coverage. Let’s talk about some … Continue reading

Posted in morality, politics, things i will regret | Leave a comment

Creating a Sentient Mind Can’t Be That Hard

It just can’t. A conscious mind might be harder, but sentience is just a very low bar. It seems to me that there has to be some insight we’re missing, because, empirically, the problem cannot be particularly hard. What’s the … Continue reading

Posted in computer science | 1 Comment

Why The Forum Was Better In The Old Days

You may have noticed, if you’ve participated in online communities or forums*, that the old guard always thinks the forum used to be better, and simultaneously the newer members often think that it’s pretty great as it is now. I … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment