Link blog: programming, make, build, tools

fabricate – The better build tool. Finds dependencies automatically for any language. – Google Project Hosting
Make replacement in Python which finds file dependencies by using strace to work out which files the compiler reads.
(tags: python tools build make programming)
Falsehoods programmers believe about build systems
Things to bear in mind before starting on your quest to replace Make, especially if you’re writing your own replacement.
(tags: make build programming tools)
Redo implementation in Python
djb’s “redo” make-replacement done in Python.
(tags: make coding development programming redo djb python)
tup | Home
Another make replacement. This one looks quite neat.
(tags: tools build development tup programming make)
This Is What It Will Be Like If Scotland Votes For Independence
Yes, it’s Buzzfeed, but it’s quite funny.
(tags: funny parody news scotland indepedence)

Link blog: funny, psychology, consciousness, pop

Postcards From the Edge of Consciousness – Issue 16: Nothingness – Nautilus
“Sensory deprivation goes from CIA torture manuals to a yoga studio near you.” Via andrewduck.
(tags: psychology meditation floatation deprivation consciousness)
TAM2014 – Carol Tavris – Who’s Lying Who’s Self-Justifying – YouTube
“Social psychologist and author Carol Tavris on “Who’s Lying? Who’s Self-Justifying?: Origins of the He Said/She Said Gap in Sexual Communications”. Discusses sexual assault but is mainly about discussions of sexual assault and dissonance.
(tags: sex sexism psychology scepticism cognitive-bias evidence)
Russell91/pythonpy · GitHub
Clever idea: quick way of writing per line loops to process files in Python. Via HN.
(tags: python shell programming)
Barely Legal Pawn, feat. Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul and Julia Louis-Dreyfus – YouTube
Spot all the Breaking Bad references.
(tags: breaking-bad comedy funny emmy parody pawn)
Pop Sonnets
“Young Thomas is a longshoreman by trade” Pop song lyrics turned into Shakespearian sonnets. Via Mefi.
(tags: funny shakespeare sonnets pop music lyrics)

Link blog: funny, methods, introversion, python

A Guide to Python’s Magic Methods «
Handy guide to __init__, __cmp__ and suchlike.
(tags: python programming methods)
20 Amazing True Facts About Introverts and Extroverts | Coyote Crossing
Amazing! True! Facts! Via andrewducker.
(tags: extroversion funny introversion parody)

Link blog: horror, lovecraft, wiki, markdown

Why The Daily Mail is Evil (at The @PodDelusion’s 3rd birthday do) by Martin Robbins – YouTube
Yes, it’s doing the rounds, but it’s still good.
(tags: paper mail journalism daily-mail newspaper)
The SCP Foundation
Descriptions of strange and horrifying objects being held by a secret organisation. If you liked Stross’s Laundry stuff, you might like this. Time sink warning, there are lots of them. Looks like it’s a collaboration using a wiki.
(tags: lovecraft sci-fi wiki science-fiction horror)
Windows 95 Tips, Tricks, and Tweaks
Lovecraftian Windows 95 dialogs: “It’s never safe to turn off your computer.”
(tags: computers horror lovecraft win95 funny windows)
Is Irish Law to blame for the death of Savita?
“In December 2010, the Irish government was told by the European Court of Human Rights to deal with exactly this kind of situation, either by making legislative changes or by issuing clear guidelines which acted to remove any and all ambiguities surround the question of when doctors are required to carry out terminations in order to save women’s lives.

To date, it has done nothing, largely, it seems, because Ireland’s anti-abortion lobby, and the Roman Catholic Church (naturally) have spent the last two years or so trying to shout down any notion that an abortion may be necessary to save a woman’s life in any circumstances.

What this sad case proves, definitively, is that they are lying and the real tragedy here is not just that a woman has died because they were lying but that woman has had to die, unnecessarily and in excruciating pain, to prove them wrong.”
(tags: medicine religion catholicism ireland law abortion)
Pelican Development Blog
Pelican is a Python static blog generator which works with Markdown. Looks nice. There’s also, which is a service that’ll publish your blog if you stick it in your Dropbox. Will I finally leave LJ? Maybe…
(tags: markdown software blog python)

Link blog: daniel-kahneman, psychology, cognitive-bias, rationality

The Social Graph is Neither (Pinboard Blog)

The guy who single handedly runs Pinboard writing about Facebook and social stuff.
(tags: socialgraph social facebook graph pinboard relationships)

The Marvels And The Flaws Of Intuitive Thinking Edge Master Class 2011 | Conversation | Edge

The Edge also did a feature on Kahneman a while back. Here it is, with more examples of ways in which our thinking fails, but also things we can do which we’re finding difficult to program computers to do.
(tags: psychology intuition daniel-kahneman cognition cognitive-bias rationality)

Michael Lewis on the King of Human Error | Business | Vanity Fair

Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky did ground breaking work on cognitive biases: the ways in which human thinking systematically fails. Fascinating article. Via andrewducker.
(tags: psychology rationality bias cognition cognitive-bias daniel-kahneman amos-tversky)

Requests: HTTP for Humans — Requests 0.8.0 documentation

An HTTP library for Python that’s less awful than urllib2. Hopefully someone will add it to the standard library at some point. Via Leonard Richardson.
(tags: python http library requests programming)

Link blog: japan, christianity, earthquake, pakistan


OK, so remixing videos of Pentecostal services is like shooting fish in a barrel, but you've got to love the person who though of turning it into an 90s video game.
(tags: funny pentecostal video youtube charismatic christianity)

Blogging in App Engine

Still vaguely toying with ditching LJ, and this looked interesting.
(tags: appengine python blog bloggart)

William Hague accused of ‘anti-Christian’ foreign policy – Telegraph

"Cardinal Keith O’Brien accused the Foreign Secretary of doubling overseas aid to Pakistan to more than £445 million without demanding religious freedom for Christians and other religious minorities, such as Shia Muslims. " I think O'Brien has a point: nobody should be coerced into conversion, and it's clear that Christians need some protection from the Religion Of Peace.
(tags: religion politics aid pakistan islam christianity)

Stop Being Wrong: A Moral Imperative

C.S. Lewis wrote that "You would not call a man humane for ceasing to set mousetraps if he did so because he believed there were no mice in the house." Wrongbot points out that to behave ethically one must have correct beliefs as well as the right theory of normative ethics.
(tags: ethics philosophy rationality morality wrongbot)

Some Perspective On The Japan Earthquake: MicroISV on a Shoestring

"Japan is exceptionally well-prepared to deal with natural disasters", and apparently, the system worked.
(tags: japan earthquake engineering culture)

Fukushima is a triumph for nuke power: Build more reactors now! • The Register

"Japan's nuclear powerplants have performed magnificently in the face of a disaster hugely greater than they were designed to withstand, remaining entirely safe throughout and sustaining only minor damage. The unfolding Fukushima story has enormously strengthened the case for advanced nations – including Japan – to build more nuclear powerplants, in the knowledge that no imaginable disaster can result in serious problems."
(tags: science nuclear safety physics japan earthquake)

Link blog: funny, google, leicester, python

Proof of Batman’s existence

Fun with the Ontological Argument. The comments are good, too… Via andrewducker.
(tags: funny philosophy ontological anselm religion)

The curious case of the You’re Not Helping blog « The Buddha Is Not Serious

How not to do it: Atheist starts anonymous blog to tell some other outspoken atheists (PZ, Ophelia Benson, and so on) to cool it, or something. Eventually, someone notices that many commenters on the site are the same person. That person makes a flounce post about being "silenced" and makes their blog private. D'oh!
(tags: blogging drama atheism internet)

Leicester strikes a blow for secularism | Theo Hobson | Comment is free |

Theo Hobson on events in Leicester, where the new Lord Mayor has appointed a secular chaplain and removed prayers before monthly council meetings. Hobson notes that the C of E is, perhaps wisely, not making much of a fuss about this: "establishment at all levels is more or less indefensible; the more discussed it is, the more obvious this is. The church can only hope that interest dies down."
(tags: anglicanism religion leicester secularism)

2008 Google I/O Session Videos and Slides: Building Scalable Web Applications with Google App Engine

Writing a blog in Google App Engine: tempting…
(tags: google tutorial video appengine gae scalability python)

Link blog: probability, community, hardware, video

Visualizing Bayes’ theorem |

Join the Bayesian Conspiracy.
(tags: bayes statistics mathematics bayesian tutorial probability bayes-theorem)

YouTube – John Passmore on Hume: Section 1

A video discussing Hume's ideas on causality, the self and experience.
(tags: philosophy hume enlightenment empiricism video john-passmore david-hume)

python-on-a-chip – Project Hosting on Google Code

"This project's goals are to develop the PyMite virtual machine, device drivers, high-level libraries and other tools to run a significant subset of the Python language on microcontrollers without an OS." Nice.
(tags: python embedded programming hardware microcontrollers avr)

Attacked from Within

"This article attempts to fundamentally rethink what constitutes community and society on the web, and what possibilities exist for their maintenance and reconstruction in the face of scale and malicious users." I've mentioned this one before, but I've seen a couple of things about creating good comments recently, so I thought I'd wheel it out again. Warning: contains links to Encyclopedia Dramatica, which is very much not safe for work.
(tags: community identity social internet moderation reputation kuro5hin)

Link blog: christianity, andrew-wakefield, jesus, ehrman

GMC | Determinations

The General Medical Council ruling on Dr Andrew Wakefield, where you can read why he was actually struck off (via Ben Goldacre).
(tags: medicine mmr uk wakefield andrew-wakefield vaccine vaccination gmc)

Searching for Jesus in the Gospels : The New Yorker

Adam Gopnik writes about the historical Jesus and the Jesus of faith, bringing in people like Bart Ehrman and Philip Pullman. Interesting stuff.
(tags: religion christianity history jesus christ paul bart-ehrman ehrman adam-gopnik philip-pullman)

Failing The Insider Test: The Problem of Hell

One of the reasons I'm not a Christian any more is that I realised the God I was being asked to worship was evil. Jeffrey Amos explains what I mean with great clarity, and also addresses the "ah ha, but how do you know what's evil without God, eh?" argument.
(tags: hell god evil christianity religion morality)

The Swinger « Music Machinery

Turn anything into a jive (well, anything in 4/4 anyway): "The Swinger is a bit of python code that takes any song and makes it swing. It does this be taking each beat and time-stretching the first half of each beat while time-shrinking the second half. It has quite a magical effect."
(tags: music python audio programming software swing jive)

Department of dirty hacks: the link blog script

As promised, the link blog stuff is now working. It’s pulling links and descriptions from my Delicious bookmarks and posting them to LJ in batches of 10 or more, or when there’s stuff to be posted and nothing’s been posted for 4 days. Let me know if it becomes annoying.

Here comes the science

It turns out there’s a PHP script called Delicious Glue to do this, but that would involve using PHP, so no (gateway drug: next thing you know, you’ll be using Perl). It looks like that script also doesn’t cope with the brave new world of Unicode terribly well, doesn’t tag the LJ post using the tags from Delicious, and doesn’t support the elaborate posting scheme described in the previous paragraph. Also, it wasn’t invented here.

So I did it in Python. Mark Pilgrim’s excellent Universal Feed Parser module does much of the heavy lifting. Posting to LJ using XML RPC turns out to be surprisingly easy using the built-in xmlrpclib. Most of the faff comes in getting it to persist state between runs of the script, which I’m doing using pickle. Here’s the code: you’d need to be a programmer to adapt it for your own use, but if you are, it shouldn’t be hard. I’ll probably run it daily using cron.