the whole world burns

Archive for October 2008

A zip file quine

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SPOILERS: the zip specification is crazy.



The world's first troll simulator: harass innocent forum-dwellers, become a l33t h4x0r, join the GNAA FBO... Not much of game, but if you've been around long enough to get the jokes then you can't go wrong.

David Foster Wallace - Kenyon College Commencement


If you're automatically sure that you know what reality is, and you are operating on your default setting, then you, like me, probably won't consider possibilities that aren't annoying and miserable. But if you really learn how to pay attention, then you will know there are other options. It will actually be within your power to experience a crowded, hot, slow, consumer-hell type situation as not only meaningful, but sacred, on fire with the same force that made the stars: love, fellowship, the mystical oneness of all things deep down.

Not that that mystical stuff is necessarily true. The only thing that's capital-T True is that you get to decide how you're gonna try to see it.

This, I submit, is the freedom of a real education, of learning how to be well-adjusted. You get to consciously decide what has meaning and what doesn't. You get to decide what to worship.

Nassim Nicholas Taleb - The Fourth Quadrant


On complexity, rare events and the systemic underestimation of risk.

Microsoft Log Parser 2.2


Fantastic utility for running SQL against log files (or directories of log files) in half a dozen formats.

Sha Na Na and the Invention of the Fifties

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Marcus was coming to the same conclusion: The idea of the Fifties that America still holds — the happy, "greasy" Fifties — was an "invented History." Up until 1969, quite an opposite cultural memory held sway. When Americans remembered "the Fifties," they thought of Joe McCarthy witch hunts, of an "age of anxiety," of the "shook-up generation" diving under their desks during A-Bomb drills, of the Man in the Gray Flannel Suit selling out and Holden Caulfield cracking up, or Allen Ginsberg '48 and Jack Kerouac '44 too "beat" to fight back.

Small things, links and miscellany, sparkling with light. Sam's tumblelog.