Link blog: politics, brexit

Stumbling and Mumbling: The right’s triumph; the left’s complicity
“If I’d told you just four years ago that I was a Remainer, you wouldn’t have known what I was talking about. The fact that we now speak about little else reveals an under-appreciated fact about politics – that power consists not merely in getting your own way when conflict arises, but in shaping the agenda.

Back in 2015 less than 10% (pdf) of people thought relations with the EU were the important political issue – far fewer than cited the NHS, economy or crime. And yet a handful of cranks have succeeded in making Brexit (a word almost unheard in 2015) dominate politics to the exclusion of all else.”
(tags: politics brexit)

Link blog: epistemology, brexit, parliament, constitution

Quine’s Naturalism – 3:AM Magazine
“Sense data, Quine came to realize, are just as much theoretical posits as the electrons, bacteria, and chromosomes we supposedly construct from them. We do not see ‘patches of green, brown, and grey’ when we are walking through a forest; we see trees, logs, and squirrels. This is why it requires severe training to teach amateur painters to reproduce their everyday three-dimensional view of the world on a two-dimensional canvas.”
(tags: quine philosophy naturalism science epistemology)
Parliament is now at war with government – and it’s winning
“The content of Theresa May’s defeats over the last couple of days isn’t particularly meaningful, but the fact they happened at all suggests that parliament’s guerrilla war against the government has started. And it seems to be winning.”
(tags: constitution brexit politics parliament)

Link blog: C, punning, programming, casting

Type punning isn’t funny: Using pointers to recast in C is bad.
A common C programming technique (casting between pointers to structures) leads to problems when strict aliasing is turned on (as it is if you set -O2 -O3 in gcc).
(tags: C programming casting punning)
Type Punning, Strict Aliasing, and Optimization – Embedded in Academia
More on the type punning/aliasing business.
(tags: C punning aliasing programming)