iphone barcamp

May 19, 2008 at 10:07 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Seems that there is another iphone developer barcamp coming up. Any iphone hackers/programmers are encouraged to attend. Information here: http://www.iphonedevcamp.org/

I will be there.

Cognitive Dissonance

May 18, 2008 at 3:13 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Haven’t you ever noticed that most people argue political points irrationally?

There was a study done where psychologists asked a series of opinionated people (both pro and con) about a controversial subject with no black-and-white answer (I think it was capital punishment). The people were then asked to read two scholarly papers, one pro and one con about the issue. Now, if people processed this information completely rationally, they would at least realize that the issue is a bit more complex than they originally thought. And maybe the other side had valid points that they had not originally considered.

In fact this does not happen. . .

People actually distort the articles when they re-describe them. They would wave the confirming article in the air exclaiming how competent the writing is. And they would be supercritical of the disconfirming article, finding minor flaws and magnifying them to major reasons why the paper is wrong. Even though this behavior is most obvious with, say, anti-evolutionists, most “regular” people do this with run-of-the-mill political arguments as well.

Russian roulette

May 13, 2008 at 8:42 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Let’s say I were to give you a gun with 6 chambers. 5 chambers gives you, say, a million dollars and one chamber has a silver bullet. Now, no rational person would try to make money playing this game. The odds are that, eventually, you will get killed doing it. It’s stupid.

Now let’s say that same gun had 100 holsters with a similar proposition: chances are you’ll make a lot of money, but there’s a 1% chance that under the right conditions, you die. And let’s say instead of every minute, you do it every so often – over a course of years or even decades. Eventually, statistically, lightening will strike, a “perfect storm” will ensue, and they’ll lose their investment and go broke.

Banks do this, and this is what scares me now. . .

Simplicity

May 3, 2008 at 8:45 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The best ideas often come from thinking “outside the box”. But many people can’t seem to grasp obvious ideas, even if it’s right in front of them. Take recursion. Back in the days when I was programming basic, I never thought of recursion, so I didn’t miss it not being there. But once I learned C (and later lisp), I’m like “how did I ever get along without this?”. Recursion is a relatively simple and basic concept, but also very powerful. I’m sure there are many good things in life are left undiscovered, but we don’t do them because they look wrong.

Often I think that true genius lies in merely discovering the simplicity of the stuff that’s right in front of them.

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