Robot Apocalypse Watch, Addendum 2

The headline reads as follows:

Monkeys control robots with their minds

Fortunately, there’s no artificial intelligence here to worry about offending — most of the Apocalypse Watch has dealt with autonomous entities on the rise — but still: do we want to go down this road, empowering MONKEYS with mind-controlled MACHINES?

….heh. Kinda. I mean, if they do destroy us all, it would still be HILARIOUS to watch. Oh, man, those crazy monkeys.

If you have to choose your apocalypse, I’d take monkeys over robots or zombies almost any day.

…ooh… Zombie robot monkeys! What a movie! “We thought we had killed the robot monkeys. We were wrong.

Irony, Thy Name Is Approximately Irony.

Read this at (sorry — the news is almost 8 months old):

The demand for computer programmers has never been greater, yet there has been a 50-percent drop in the number of computer science majors over the past seven years — especially among women.

How can a 50-percent drop be “especially” anything? Let me re-order this sentence, so the grammar problem is more offensive: “Among women, there was an especially 50-percent drop.”

You can’t… you can’t use an adverb there, people.

Is it because a computer scientist wrote this article? Like, maybe it’s a press release, so some programmer was tasked with cranking the story out, rather than a real journalist? But then, why would a math-and-language-minded person have such a blind spot to grammar? Maybe they’re too dependent on debuggers for correcting their linguistic errors?

Whatever the case may be, I find it ironic that the error is in an article about simplifying programming languages.

Now it has me thinking about a programming language construct for “approximately”. How would a language interpret

x ~= 50

Maybe the tilde says “within 1% of the last significant digit,” so that if you want 49-51%, you say ~50, but if you want 49.9-50.1%, you say ~50.0. 

I don’t know where it would be useful, except as a shorthand method of saying 49 <= x <= 51. And with the latter you can specify your own approximation.

Or maybe the tilde says “within the first standard deviation”, and if you want “within X standard deviations”, you just use more tildes, like

 x~~~= 50

Whatever. “Especially 50-percent.” Sheesh.


I broke down on the first law of haggling, and gave a price to a guy who is very interested in buying Singlesaints.

I told him I wanted 5 figures, and he didn’t shy away; my reserve price for the auction was $10k, but it only made got bid up to $4150.

I thought about telling him I wanted $10k, but realized that would definitely be low-balling myself. He’s ready to pay that, so I would be a fool to not ask for more.

So then I thought about daring to ask $18k. But then I thought — why 18? Why not 25? Why not 45? WHY NOTokaynowIjustfeelsilly.

In the end I asked for 42k. That would cover the cash I sank into it, and pay me a couple thousand for each year I had it. And now that I SAY that, it seems to me that that is what it really is WORTH.

Gotta get that number out of my head if I want to be happy, though — I’m not getting that amount. I should consider anything higher than $10k a bonus. $10k would be GREAT. $10k would be SPECTACULAR.

Hmm. It’s so small compared to $42k.

But $10k will finish our downstairs bathroom quite nicely.

Plus, I don’t have to pay tithing on it, because it’s money from priestcraft!

[UPDATE] He came back with a counter-offer of $6k.  *cough*

The Law of Diminishing Marginal Returns as Applied to Hard Work

You ever work on something so hard and for so long that even when it’s finally done you derive no satisfaction from it?

I think it’s like a bell curve. If something is fantastically easy, your sense of accomplishment is nil. The more time and effort, the more satisfaction you get when it’s done.

To a point. THEN things start to drop off. Eventually finishing the project at all yields no joy, and then why bother finishing?

(For the associated paycheck, obviously. But still, there ain’t much joy in that.)

The problem with coding from the gut…

Sometimes my brain gets tired of verifying that every line is correct, and I find myself jumping from function declaration to function declaration before they’re complete, relying on PHP to tell me if I miss something once I run the whole schamoli.

That’s when you get something like this:

Parse error: syntax error, unexpected ‘;’, expecting T_FUNCTION in C:\Users\Randy\Documents\CED\ycake\app\controllers\admin_controller.php on line 856

Line 856 is where I close my class file up; somewhere along the way I’ve neglected to close a bracket or forgot a semicolon, and things ain’t gonna work ’til I find it.

Somewhere in 856 lines of code.

Oops! Time to power up the brain, I guess. He probably should’ve been involved from the start.

A Mole!

My coworker isn’t asking how I’m doing because he wants to see how I’m doing; he’s asking so he can report back to management. He’s deathly loyal to them, and I need to start feeding him the information I want them to have.

I’m serious.

It’s gone beyond office politics to office espionage. Or perhaps office warfare.