Author Archives: acorwin

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.

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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

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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

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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

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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 sociology, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Rap Quines

A Quine is a form of poetry in which a poem, through formalism or sometimes more literally, states that it is going to state part of itself, and then does so. This is related to the modern programming art form … Continue reading

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On Trolley Problems

If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice There’s a philosophical question that people seem to struggle with, commonly called the trolley problem, that I never really got the difficulty of until fairly recently. The original … Continue reading

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ORMs model databases, databases don’t model objects

I was discussing the merits of a couple different ways to abstract some data common to multiple models at work, and my coworkers asked some questions that forced me to articulate exactly why I have such strong opposition to things … Continue reading

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How To DDoS Your Own Website With Python

Have you ever thought, “huh, I wonder how easily I could DDoS myself despite all the hard work of library and framework authors?” In that case, have I got news for you! In the vein of Uses and Abuses Of … Continue reading

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Common Data Structures You Already Secretly Understand

Let’s talk about data structures that have close analogies to things you already do or know! This post will not be educational or entertaining, I promise. Enjoy! Linked Lists What is it? A linked list is a way of storing … Continue reading

Posted in computer science, pedantry | 1 Comment