Friday, August 28, 2009

A Work of Fiction

This is actually not one email - but a composite of several - so it's a bit like text-collage art :


Looping all...

This is not good. Lets be very careful while implementing any functionality, specially when it is a big change. We must follow the QC properly.

We have a critical issue in environment in order to fix this we need to make web deployments urgently. can you please help us on this.

It is going up & down...

Can you help immediately...

Please do the needful.

Also we need to discuss on the folowing points:

I am not sure which query of SoAndSo report are you expecting from me?

Is it meant for SomeOtherSoAndSo?


- SoAndSoWhoMustNotBeNamed

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


I have been told by someone that not only am I the only person that they know who has ever used the word "meme" but that I tend to use it in a sentence at least once a day.

Today I am going to run with that.

By way of definition I will call a meme a self-replicating unit of information stored in the brain.

Richard Dawkins put forth an idea that "Selfish Genes" use living bodies as vehicles and factories for self-replication.

If you want to be a goofy sci-fi nerd about it - think of it like the damned Midichlorians using us for raw material.

But if you want to look at it another way - you might say that it is more accurate to say that in fact we are far more condusive to be vehicles for memes. In fact, Dawkins put this idea forth himself since he is credited for coining the term.

There is an additional way to look at this however that he did not touch on. While you can apply the concept of selective pressure and evolution to ideas and meme also, there are things that memes are capable of that genes are not. Everyone knows that ideas spread from person to person. But there is another far more profound ability - Memes can jump species.

A person can watch animals hunt for food and can learn how to do the same thing. A chimp or a gorilla can be taught things like sign-language and the concept of zero. A dog can respond to voice commands. Wild dogs in Russia have learned to commute by train.

Memes also seem to have wars. It might be argued that all organized human warfare is in fact a product of memes. But what I mean by saying that memes have wars is that one can evolve that as a condition for it's existence is mutually exclusive of another. "Religious Wars" are a prime example of this type of memocide - where a set of ideas inherent in one set of individuals is forcibly purged by another set of individuals holding a different set of ideas.

How much more deeply are we enslaved by our own ideas than we are by our genetic makeup? The only real upside is that memes evolve several orders of magnitude faster than genes. You are 'free' to change your mind as you will. But will you? Can you? Do you ever go out of your way to 'change' your mind? Why are we all so inclined to "believe" rather than to "think"?

Is it because it is safer for us or for our memes?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Scala is pretty Groovy after all

It seems that Scala got a resounding review from the originator of Groovy, James Strachan.

I am a great fan of the concept of the Java Virtual Machine. I think that the ability to have multiple languages producing a common byte-code format produces some very powerful benefits. In essence you can have one project or multiple projects running in a common environment where code resources written in different languages can interact with each other and not be dependent on any one particular hardware infrastructure. In fact you could run your code on many different types of hardware and achieve clean interaction between them all.

That greatly simplifies the development process. Anything that makes complicated things simple without losing the power inherent in the complexity is OK in my book.

At the risk of ostracising myself on PerlMonks - I am of the opinion that perl 6 bet the farm on rolling their own virtual machine. While I know that historically speaking the JVM was not remotely open when the perl 6 effort began and what is more there was not much support for any language besides java on the JVM - but much has changed in the many years that perl 6 has languished in it's Duke-Nukem-Forever-style development cycle.

I would love to see someone implement perl on one of the open JVM platforms that exist in prove that it can be done and kept open. I would welcome it as a first step towards implementing it on the actual JVM - which is used in many many many production environments around the world.

I know that a large contingent of the perl community habitually throws stones at Java - but I belong to the subset of developers that are interested in perl and Java for the same reason - developing code with platform independence.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Shocking and Awful

There is quite a bit of noise about the release of the would-be summer blockbuster, G.I. Joe. But it's not the kind that we usually hear about. The story isn't about how good or bad the movie is. It isn't about the lines of people camping out to see it.

This story is about the marketing strategy of "thumbing your nose at sophisticates".

Apparently Paramount has spent $US150 Million advertising this movie to Middle America - completely bypassing "the coasts". Considering that the movie cost $US175 Million to make - that is a lot like doubling down when you're losing at the craps table.

One Manhattan-centric voice, i.e. New York Magazine summed it up in 15 words on their Approval Matrix: "Lovers of hilariously mean movie reviews mourn as G.I. Joe will not screen for critics"

Most telling is the way that Sienna Miller, a star of the movie itself, has made multiple damning comments and even an accusation about the making of this summer "tentpole".

If you are planning on attending the Kid Rock/Lynyrd Skynyrd tour - you will get your ample dosage of G.I. Joe, whether you like it or not.

This is target-marketing at it's ugliest. But if you love country music or NASCAR, odds are you have never read a movie review and hate all things sophisticated, and so if I trash you at the end of this blog entry - you'll never even notice. It's a bit like trashing the Amish on-line - how would they ever know? But then again no one whom is Amish ever threatened anyone that I know. "I'm gunna kick yer ass" however is like a cowboy mantra, isn't it?

Still, I would suggest that you spend that $12 on another batch of Skoal instead of this waste of celluloid. It will last longer and might contribute favorably to the natural selection that you don't believe in anyway.