Link blog: ferrets, barnsley, funny, yorkshire

The King of the Ferret Leggers | Outside Online
“One can only wonder what suffering might have been avoided if the Argentine junta had been informed that sportsmen in England put down their pants animals that are known only for their astonishingly powerful bites and their penchant for insinuating themselves into small dark holes. Perhaps the generals would have reconsidered their actions on the Falklands.”
(tags: ferrets barnsley yorkshire funny)

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)

Link blog: EU, free-speech, law, islam

EU Law Analysis: Freedom to insult? Balancing freedom of expression with religious tolerance in ECHR case law
“A recent judgment of the European Court of Human Rights has raised again the question of whether there should be limits on free speech when someone might be offended by it – in this case, concerning the Muslim faith. It’s a good opportunity to explain the context of the case and assess what – if any – limits should be acceptable on free speech in such cases.”
(tags: EU law free-speech islam)

Link blog: politics, doom, nazi, trump

These Are the Bad Times – Hmm Daily
“Our public conversation misses the fundamental point. The warnings and the rebuttals to the warnings have revolved around the drastic, epochal historical questions: Is this what it was like with the Nazis? Are we becoming the Third Reich? Is that where we’re headed?

What that line of debate overlooks is that going only halfway Nazi would be more than bad enough. Going a quarter of the way Nazi would be. “
(tags: politics trump nazi doom)