Welcome to the Club of Liars!


December 19th, 2008

Linus Torvalds, recently wrote about debugging hell in his private blog. What I read is a wonderful variation of Paul Watzlawick’s story of a man who is looking for his keys where the lantern shines instead of where he lost them:

Torvalds was desperately looking for the solution of a serious problem which seemed to occur only spontaneously and at a time where it could not be observed, analyzed or tracked. Later, a method was found which allowed to trigger the problem but it apparently had “nothing what-so-ever to do with the actual failure itself”. Eventually, colleagues found “the real clue” by looking at one incident where the problem did not occur.

A guide to understanding flow charts

December 17th, 2008
A flow chart guide to understanding flow charts

By xkcd.com; click image to get the picture.

What we want

December 16th, 2008

“If this is what you want”.

Want, wish, desire, need, necessity, to hope for, and long for, to envision and imagine, also habit, being used to, require, or lust, appetite, hunger, passion, zest, and — last but sure not least — love are all similar in some ways. One might say these notions are all the same as much as they are different — and differentiating.

And then, there is what we do, and there is what we talk (or write) about, which is just another act which we think of as being what we “want”.

This is (in short) what I wanted to say.


La peste de l’homme

December 10th, 2008

La peste de l’homme, c’est l’opinion de sçavoir. Voylà pourquoy l’ignorance nous est tant recommandée par nostre religion comme piece propre à la creance et à l’obeïssance.
— Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592) in Apologie de Raimond Sebond

Lying with numbers

November 24th, 2008

99% of all numbers provided to support an argument — be it in scientific or popular media — have no value whatsoever unless they come with proper mention of at least the confidence intervals, the size of the sample and its properties, or other means of making reliability comparable such as standard deviation.

[w] [w] [w]

There is no love

November 18th, 2008

R: I just wonder what the meaning of our union is, especially. If there is a love, and it is what we wish it were, is this love?
E: There is no love, but if there were, and it existed as we might wish it doesn’t, then I daresay we are.

— “Human apes” by Ontological Damnation

A soft cut

November 16th, 2008

For those who know what science means in its very original sense it is obvious that the exact sciences are at least the lesser of two evils. No one wants contused lacerations.

[E] [w] [X]


November 13th, 2008

every time i see the word “misled,” i read it to myself at first as miss-eld and wonder what that word means. and then i think, oh, that’s right. misled.

— Juliet Small Ernst, Touch Touch Publishing Blog, 2008-10-10