The Spectre of Math

April 27, 2009

Stallman is nuts

Filed under: Hacking,Technology — jlebl @ 10:09 pm

Really he is. If I didn’t use someone else’s computer to do work, I would never get anything done on a computer.  I wonder what he thinks that the interview is served by a server which he has no access to, that is, he can’t go change the way the bits are spat out.  So does this mean RMS does not use the web?

I have to agree however, that without the web, I would probably be a lot more productive.  I would actually spend 100% of my time working, since I wouldn’t have anything else to do.  But I doubt that was his point.  I always thought him to be nuts, but it seems it may be getting worse.

April 20, 2009

git was written by randomly typing monkeys

Filed under: Hacking,Technology — jlebl @ 12:05 am

git is an exercise in overengineering a simple problem.  It uses strange terminology that makes no sense (yeah you add files you have only modofied).  What used to take one command, now takes 3 (committing doesn’t actually commit changes for example).  I suppose if you want to spend your time masturbating with a revision control system, git is good for you.  If you just want something to do revision control for you and you don’t want to worry about how it does it, then git feels like it was invented as a torture device.   I think it’s a good tool to prevent you from getting anything done.

April 17, 2009

notes essentially complete

Filed under: Mathematics,Teaching — jlebl @ 4:45 pm

Diffy Qs notes are now in draft state.  They are essentially complete.

April 15, 2009

Misinformation about socialism, communism, and teabagging

Filed under: Politics — jlebl @ 6:49 am

So it seems that some, especially on the right, are confused about what “socialism” and “communism” means.  Now, I understand this from some of the lunatics out there, but I know some people personally that think that Obama is a socialist.  If only that were true.  It seems that they are afraid we might end up like … gasp … Europe.  That would be terrible wouldn’t it?  Healthcare for everybody, generally a higher quality of living for most people, though some of the super rich would have to “rough” it a little.  Western Europe, some of which has higher per capita GDP and standard of living than the US, is hardly something to scare people with.  Come on, use something that is actually scary.  Tell people we’ll end up like Albania.  Because using Sweden as an example of how horrible socialism is isn’t going to fly (especially with anyone who’s actually been to Sweden).

Not to mention that there has been lots of socialist-like practices in the US for decades, such as progressive tax and social security.  The government essentially buying up banks (not by force!) that are about to collapse has nothing at all to do with socialism nor communism.  Why are people under the impression that the government is some amorphous being that is disjoint from the populace.  We are in a democracy, therefore “the government” is “all of us.”  It is essentially a very large corporation in which we are all shareholders.  This corporation decided to buy some banks.  Hence, we became owners of those banks.  Not “the government.”  The government is the term for the current set of people we elected to take care of this corporation.

Finally, anyone who thinks that “teabagging” has to do with not liking taxes has not been watching enough porn.  But if they don’t know what communism nor socialism is … one cannot expect them to know meanings of less common words.

Diffyqs notes almost finished

Filed under: Mathematics,Teaching — jlebl @ 6:24 am

http://www.math.uiuc.edu/~jlebl/diffyqs/: They’re at 236 pages and almost finished.  At least from a completeness point of view.  There is only one section missing and some of the sections are weak on exercises.  Last week I was thinking about using Laplace transform in my research and got sidetracked into writing a Laplace transform chapter for the notes :)  It is a little bit on the short side, but I think it suffices.  I don’t think I’ve ever written a latex file that took this long to compile.  At this point, I’d be happy to hear criticism on these, so …

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