More AWKwardness

For Emu86, we had documentation in two places: the source code, and a help file. We needed to get this DRY, and fast!

So, we needed a documentation extraction and web page generating system. First I added tags to the source code documentation, like this. See lines 23-36.

Then I wrote this program to pull out the tags and everything in between. A single line of code!

Then we read the "tagged-text-only" files and turn those into HTML with this program. The last two items could have been a single program, but why clutter up that elegant first program with HTML tagging specific to this project? The program to extract tagged text could be useful in many, many projects: Best to make it standalone, and combine it in a pipeline with other programs.

Finally, we use our existing include facility to pull the HTML descriptions of the instructions into our help file.

How "We" Gain from Free Trade

Don Boudreaux recently wrote, about our persistent trade deficits::

"And being a net recipient of capital is not only not necessarily a bad thing for Americans, but is likely a good thing."

What Don means is that for every 100 factory workers who lose their $50,000 / year jobs, one CEO will get a $10 million bonus: net gain!

And when was the last time stinkin’ factory workers funded an all-expenses-paid trip to a libertarian convention at a tropical resort?!

Warning of the dangers of K2

There are now ads up all around NYC proclaiming:

K2: 0% marijuana, 100% dangerous.

Certainly, the dangers of K2 should not be underestimated! See, for instance:

"K2 is known as the Savage Mountain due to the extreme difficulty of ascent. It has the second-highest fatality rate among the eight thousanders. With around 300 successful summits and 77 fatalities, about one person dies on the mountain for every four who summit."

That for sure counts as 100% dangerous! But was there really anyone out there who thought that it was made of marijuana?! Does that thing look like it is made of marijuana?

Moronic scammers

I received an email rom some Internet scammers today telling me, "You Apple account has been de-activated."

Of course, they wanted me to "login" to their fake Apple website to re-activate the account.

BUT... they sent the email telling me my Apple account has been de-activated...

To my Apple account!

Thank God so many of these fraudsters are so stupid, or even more people would be victimized by them.

Nature documentaries can't be trusted

I have been watching "India: natures wonderland."

In today's segment, some annoying mountain dude has been banging on about the Himalayas. Well, at least the mountain scenery has been pleasant.

But then he brought me to a halt: the Himalayas are growing, he noted. (True.) "It's only a few inches a year, but it has been going on for millions of years."

This made my inner engineer get out my calculator. How many is "a few"? Let's say three. And how many "millions of years"? He had mentioned that the Himalayas or 40 million years old a bit earlier… Let's say half that time, just to see where we get.

3 * 20,000,000 = 60,000,000 inches of growth

60,000,000 / 12 inches per foot = 5,000,000 feet of growth

So, the average mountain in the Himalayas is around 5 million feet tall. No wonder people need to carry oxygen when going up Everest!

Apparently the Himalayas are currently growing at a rate of 2 to 3 inches per year. But obviously, that rate hasn't been kept up for even 1 million years, let alone "millions."

Down with the (male) hornbills!

I was watching a show on Indian wildlife, and they went into a segment on the hornbill, which is a pretty trippy looking bird, as you can see above. Imagine my shock and horror when I learned that the female hornbill is sealed inside the nest to incubate and care for her chicks!*

What, the female isn't just as good as any male at going out to get food? She doesn't want opportunities out in the world, just like the male has? He's probably out becoming CEO of some big hornbill corporation, while she's stuck at home with a bunch of cawing brats. How dare they!

I'd say this species needs a good old American bombing campaign, starting today, until these lady hornbills are liberated from their prisons!

* Yes, I realize that she seals herself inside the nest. But certainly, that is just because she has adopted the patriarchical mindset of her oppressors.

Impeach Trump?

I'm all in favor: the charge is treason against the crown, and the result of the trial will be to place my rightful ruler, Elizabeth II, on the throne.

Not understanding the pigeonhole principle

The basketball announcer on CBS just said:

"Gonzaga had seven different players lead the team in scoring in different games this season. They went 28 games before the same person led them in scoring for a second time."

And the top post for the month is...

British analysis?

This is what you people have been waiting for me to write about... the limits of analytical philosophy?!

Well, let me get busy!

(At least this has beaten out Bob's dumbass post about inconvenience, which had been the top post for a decade. And it's not really Bob's post that is dumb, but the fact that it sat atop the most-viewed-post list for a decade.)

Ideologues like to help their opponents "become extinct"

Vladimir Lenin promised to purge "the Russian land of all kinds of harmful insects."

Ideologies survive by demonizing and de-humanizing their opponents: the world would be, should be paradise, and if it is not, then it must be the fault of monstrously evil people standing in the way of the ideologue's vision.

Here is a nice modern example, from just down the street:

This is from the window of a neighborhood real estate agent who is so insanely anti-Trump that he devotes 80% of his window space to denouncing Trump and 20% to selling real estate. The crowd of people the photo depicts don't look like a pleasant bunch, but it is clear from the context that they are supposed to represent typical Trump voters. This lovely humanitarian is anxiously awaiting the day when 40% of his fellow countrymen "become extinct," since they are, not people, but "trolls" and "afflictions."

Having turned his opponents into sub-humans, you can bet that this great progressive, were he given complete power, would happily hasten their extinction, just as his buddies in ideological demonization, like Stalin, Hitler, Mao, and Pol Pot, did when they were given the chance.

Ideology: The Great Enemy

I am far from alone in this analysis:

Macbeth’s self-justifications were feeble—and his conscience devoured him. Yes, even Iago was a little lamb, too. The imagination and the spiritual strength of Shakespeare’s villains stopped short at a dozen corpses.

Because they had no ideology.

Ideology—that is what gives villainy its long-sought justification and gives the villain the necessary steadfastness and determination…

Thanks to ideology, the twentieth century was fated to experience villainy on a scale calculated in the millions. -- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago
In ideologies there is not Jesus: in this tenderness, his love, his meekness. And ideologies are rigid, always... And when the Christian becomes a disciple of an ideology, he has lost the faith: he is no longer a disciple of Jesus, he is a disciple of this attitude of thought. -- Pope Francis

Well, glad that's settled!

I received an email today, inviting me to join a Blockchain meetup group, because:

"By properly leveraging blockchain technology we can solve the world's most pressing problems."

These clowns are like Charlie Brown, and the latest tech fad promising utopia is like Lucy with her football.