Category Archives: commentary

Divide by Zero! and Other Propaganda

I’ve been trying to wrap my head around this incredible moment in history. In trying to wrap my head around it, I’m turning to what I know best: programs, programming, and software-intensive systems. And their flaws. This is a mini-essay … Continue reading

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Automation

As a computer scientist specializing in programming, the social consequences of software-for-business-efficiency are worrying me more and more. Here at home, we’ve been having a conversation about what post-capitalism would look like in the face of quasi-universal automation, in the best … Continue reading

Posted in commentary, fiction, life, social software systems | 3 Comments

House of C(ards)

How many more security flaws do we need to go through before people accept the fact that almost all of them have a single root cause: the use of C?

Posted in commentary, social software systems | 1 Comment

Open Access = Authors Pay

The market of scientific publications is such an organic mess, there’s no end to topics that can be beaten over their heads. This post is about “open access” publications. Lately there has been a push back against publishers that keep … Continue reading

Posted in academia, commentary | 6 Comments

Conferences vs. Journals: The Hidden Assumptions

Some conversations I’ve been having over the past year led me to a deeper exploration of the issue of conferences vs. journals in Computer Science. The debate, so far, seems to be missing a few critical observations regarding scientific journals … Continue reading

Posted in academia, commentary | 9 Comments

When History is rewritten and replaced with a Good Story

I recently watched a TED talk with a fun topic: why is ‘x’ used as the unknown variable in Algebra and beyond? If you haven’t seen it, this 4-min talk is above. The thesis is this: x is used, because … Continue reading

Posted in academia, commentary, conferences | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

The Single Most Important Thing

What is the single most important feature of a programming system without which you can’t write programs effectively?

Posted in commentary, social software systems | 1 Comment

Ethics in Economics

Imagine this. You have a brilliant idea for how to reverse the effects of aging in female infertility, a wonderful combination of drugs that you have been developing in your lab with your graduate students, and that will open the … Continue reading

Posted in academia, commentary, ethics | 2 Comments

Of names, pseudonyms and personas

A lot has been written about Facebook’s and Google’s requirements for people to sign up with real world names. That requirement seems pretty silly to me, as the concepts of identity and personas seem to have a cognitive dimension that … Continue reading

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Bad Reviews — Part II

Yesterday I posted part I of my bad conference review war stories. Today, I’m posting part II — and, hopefully, last! This was the first incident I experienced with bad reviews, and it illustrates the phenomenon much better. This incident … Continue reading

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