I've often expressed how deeply I am repulsed by the kind of people with a personal mission statement like the following:
“I want my idea to become a reality, change the world for the better, and get rich in the process”.
We all know them, and if you've attended startup events for the last couple of years, you'll have seen an ever increasing number of them storming around the room "networking" and gathering business cards, only to give you that magically exclusionary look of disgust when you make it clear that you do not use business cards because the world has moved on. But, for so long, I've been unable to pin point exactly what it is about these people, that I repulses me so much, beyond their mere attitude.
The aliased vigilante, Software Gunslinger has once and for all solved this in his provocatively titled blog post, "On the hypocritical nature of self-entitled entrepreneurship":
Then, lastly, you want to get rich in the process. The shorter the process, the better. Explain to me again how a new rich person is going to make the world a better place. No, seriously. Disparities in wealth distribution are one of the main reasons because the world is in such an horrendous state. Isn’t your argument self-negatingly hypocritical?
The bottom line is simple. This kind of people are trying to hide their goal — getting rich, preferably fast — behind what they think, people want to hear. The end result is an inevitable disparity in statements and opinions, and all of this stinks to high heaven of dishonesty. Hence the repulsion.
April 29, 2013 | Permalink →
Bryan Goldberg gives a pretty thought provoking perspective on the recent retroactive retraction of the tax deduction on sale of "Qualified Small Business" stock in California going all the way back to 2008 in his recent article on PandoDaily:
While the law stipulates that I must surrender this money, I refuse to acknowledge this as a tax at all. This is not a tax. This is an asset seizure plain and simple. The term “retroactive tax” is a despicable euphemism. It is no different than when Hugo Chavez used the benign-sounding “nationalize” to describe his seizure of private property in Venezuela.
March 26, 2013 | Permalink →
Icy, snow covered Stockholm in early spring is nothing short of breathtaking. I do not think I've ever seen so much style, beauty and elegance in one place. I'm sad to admit it, but Sweden has outdone us Danes with this one:
March 25, 2013 | Permalink →
With event based systems being all the rage at the moment, Rob von Behren, Jeremy Condit and Eric Brewer's 2003 paper "Why Events Are A Bad Idea (for high-concurrency servers)" offers an interesting perspective to the discussion of threaded versus evented systems by showing almost unbelievable results using a more light weight and optimized threading library:
Although event systems have been used to obtain good performance in high concurrency systems, we have shown that similar or even higher performance can be achieved with threads. Moreover, the simpler programming model and wealth of compiler analyses that threaded systems afford gives threads an important advantage over events when writing highly concurrent servers. In the future, we advocate tight integration between the compiler and the thread system, which will result in a programming model that offers a clean and simple interface to the programmer while achieving superior performance.
Personally, I often prefer a call/return execution pattern over a callback driven pattern, as it seems to fit a lot of common computing problems for which shoehorning a callback patterns adds unnecessary overhead and indirection — from a development perspective, if nothing else. Sadly, though, in the ten years since the paper was published, we don't seem to have gotten even a tiny bit closer to the recommendation made by von Behren and his team. In fact, Node.js, Go etc. seem to instead push even further in the direction of events — presumably because application level abstractions offering cheap wins are so much simpler that the added pain is far outweighed by the complexity of taking the approach presented in the paper. Maybe now is as good a time as any to start learning kernel programming.
March 20, 2013 | Permalink →
Simply brilliant piece by Marco Arment on the dangers of the proprietary monocultures as well as the root of said monocultures, sparked by the recent shut down of Google Reader and the walling of the API gardens of large services like Twitter, Netflix etc.:
If you try to play by the traditional rules and regulations, you run the risk of getting steamrolled by someone who’s perfectly willing to ignore them. Usually, that’s the biggest potential failure of the tech world’s crazy economy, which sucks for you but doesn’t matter much to everyone else. But sometimes, just like unregulated capitalism, it fails in ways that suck for everyone.
March 20, 2013 | Permalink →