it's robots all the way down

May 1, 2008
So, new solution for the new KHftCEA -- Twitter! While in theory Twitter is more this way of telling people who care where you are and what you're doing, it can also be a handy repository for the attention starved to post their bon mots, as Lore Sjoberg has done. (The goal is to avoid the scenario of this Penny Arcade -- and for me the world of ideas is so much more compelling than the world of mundane activities...)

So for now the KHftCEA will be twitter-based. (I shoved in KHftCEA thoughts from the past week in a big batch to see how it felt.) So now I can post little 140-character gems from the web or a cellphone! We'll see how it goes, how personal I'm willing to get in that kind of forum, and how it will support or interfere with how I post here.

Quote of the Moment
Si, abbiamo un anima. Ma e fatta di tanti piccoli robot.
Italian philosopher Giulio Giorello
"Yes, we have a soul. But it is made up of many small robots." -- A favorite of Daniel Dennett whose "Freedom Evolves" I'm reading now.

Birthday of the Moment
Happy Birthday BASIC! (Cool link from the slashdot comments: first BASIC manual. As the commentator pointed out, "their original 'hello world' program does linear algebra (page '9')")

<geek type="computer" mode="retro">BASIC wasn't a bad introduction. For people growing up in the 80s, though, it made us think line numbers were more important than they really are... full-screen editors made them obsolete, really, otherwise they're just a convenient way of entering and re-entering lines in a certain order. (See listings in magazines for Amgia's linenumberless BASIC was an eye-opener!) In retrospect, the lack of local variables was the real killer.

See Batari BASIC, the BASIC that compiles into stuff you can run on an Atari 2600, made me realize how close to ASM that stuff was! Even when he ditched line numbers, the fairly stackless BASIC is a lot closer to Assembler than "low" level languages such as C.</geek>

Milestone of the Moment
Wanna hear something crazy? It has been five years since peace broke out in Iraq! Half a decade of the "End of Major Combat" in Iraq.