Category Archives: History

From Dawn to Decadence

In Greek mythology, Cassandra was a prophetess with a particular curse. Her prophecies of tragedy are inerrant, but they are never believed. She is forever doomed to see each tragedy twice, knowing that without the curse, her prophecies could have … Continue reading

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The Psychology of Computer Programming: Silver Anniversary Edition

I’ve had a Kindle DX for about 3 or 4 years now. In fact I’ve had two, I broke the first one by dropping it from a bench top. And I’ve been very happy with it. But it’s funny that … Continue reading

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War and Peace and War

Grand theories of history never quite go out of fashion. The impossible complexity of human society so cheerfully refutes our understanding that we have to fall back on intuitive pattern-matching to make sense of it (after a while, this becomes … Continue reading

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If you rely on refereed material …

Then a lot of stuff that happened just 10-15 years ago didn’t happen at all. Some of my research is done “Just In Time”. I think of something I want to refer to, then I hit up IEEE Xplore and … Continue reading

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An interview with Watts Humphreys

Grady Booch spent 18 hours talking to Watts Humphreys about his life and life’s works. Definitely worth a read — set aside a few hours.

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On a Hero

As far back as Frederic Bastiat’s Ce qu’on voit et ce qu’on ne voit pas (That which is seen and that which is unseen), economists have been aware of the difficulty of getting people to look past the immediate and highly visible, through to widely distributed, hard to distinguish, long-term effects of decisions and policies.
This […] Continue reading

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Quiet milestone

Yesterday was the 20th anniversary of Australia being connected to the internet.
On the night of the 23rd June 1989 Robert Elz of the University of Melbourne and Torben Neilsen of the University of Hawaii completed the connection work that bought the Internet to Australia. It was a 56kbps satellite circuit, and the Australian end used […] Continue reading

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Any AFL heavies in the audience?

Brother John Pye was a well-known, widely respected Catholic missionary who died last week, aged 102.
Brother Pye spent 16 years on the Tiwi islands in the NT. He brought Catholicism to the islanders with what was perhaps modest success. The other religion he introduced — Australian rules football — was much, much more successful.
Ever since […] Continue reading

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