• Enjoyed this write-up from Tom MacWright, if only because I spend a lot of my time writing Rails, still, even in 2020-1. It's nice to be reminded by somebody thoughtful, but coming from outside, that yes, there's still a lot to like in your part of the world, that it's not an ideological dead-end. And yes, that the _culture_ around the Ruby ecosystem really is, by and large, a good one. Sure, we don't have strong typing (well, we kinda do now), but we do have lots of great _practice_ around testing, and writing code in the first place. Not having IntelliSense™ is sometimes an advantage. Also, having wrapped a four-month Ruby contract recently, it's just such a nice language to write – and to *think* in.

    (I'm with Tom on the whiffiness of all versions of the asset pipeline / webpacker / whatever it is we're doing this week.)

  • "The LM13600 has designed by Bill Gross and myself in less than 5 minutes." Which is a humbling anecdote about a classic OTA amplifier. But, as the story goes on, it makes sense: it's just "two of something else" with a buffer, and the design brief was "make something somebody can learn to layout 16-pin DIP with". Didn't matter what the thing was, just needed to have 16 pins. And there you are.

Station Ident, January 2021

31 January 2021

Claire M Singer plays the Union Chapel organ.

  • "The most notable “discovery” in the dataset was that if you simply plotted the number of steps versus the BMI, you would see an image of a gorilla waving at you (Fig. 1b). While we teach our students the benefits of visualization, answering the specific hypothesis-driven questions did not require plotting the data. We found that very often, the students driven by specific hypotheses skipped this simple step towards a broader exploration of the data. In fact, overall, students without a specific hypothesis were almost five times more likely to discover the gorilla when analyzing this dataset (odds ratio = 4.8, P = 0.034, N = 33, Fisher’s exact test; Fig. 1c). At least in this setting, the hypothesis indeed turned out to be a significant liability."
  • "The truth is that if you say you want more children from deprived areas to be able to go to university, then don’t faff around with entry tariffs: invest in Sure Start centres, preschool groups, subsidised childcare and properly resourced primary schools. Make benefits genuinely accessible and life-supporting. Better still, stop whole sections of society being condemned to underpaid, vulnerable, soul-destroying labour while others cream off inordinate wealth from the profits of that labour." Stefan Collini talking a lot of sense about what universities are, and what the lurch towards consumerising them more than ever in the past ten years has led to. It is not pretty.