This Is A Very Wikipedia Sentence

Posted in Uncategorized on April 21, 2017 by mwchase

The film premiered on November 14, 1997, in New York City, and was released on November 21, 1997, in the United States, four days before Alien: Resurrection, another 20th Century Fox film also released in 1997, and despite the objections of some historians to its fantastical retelling of the life of the Grand Duchess, enjoyed a positive reception from many critics.

A Brief Conversation About A Movie Neither Of Us Has Seen

Posted in Uncategorized on April 12, 2017 by mwchase

You know what I wish I could stop thinking about?


I’m scared.


Those awful character designs from Food Fight.


I was right to be scared.

Just Hit A Weird Bug In The Slack App, Or Maybe Electron In General

Posted in Uncategorized on April 11, 2017 by mwchase

So, I got into work this morning, set up my laptop, and then, the power cut out.

Now, I’ve got an external monitor that I hook my laptop up to, and I put things I want to glance at up on it. Like the Slack app.

If I disconnect the monitor normally, it puts the windows back on my main screen. But when the power cut out, the external monitor went off… and near as I can tell, Slack stayed there. I tried to bring all windows to front, I tried quitting and restarting the app, and no matter what, the window was “in front enough”, yet perpetually out of reach.

Weird, right?

EDIT: Whoops, just replicated this with a non-Electron app. Must be a Mac bug, maybe something’s changed since Yosemite, which I haven’t had a compelling reason to upgrade this laptop beyond.

Has Anyone Else Tried Using Night Shift?

Posted in Uncategorized on April 8, 2017 by mwchase

I ran into an issue where it would log me out when it changed state, so I’m not using it now. I wondered if this was any kind of a known thing?

Posted in Uncategorized on April 7, 2017 by mwchase

Quick post. I’ve been using TiddlyWiki server and CloudStation together. I am not doing that any more. I wasn’t really sure where to ask about the issues I’m seeing, because I feel like both of them were doing something weird and wrong… Maybe I’ll set up a one-way sync sometime.

Anyway, what happened was probably CloudStation messing up, to start with. It has an inordinate love of conflict files, and will generate them when I am the only person interacting with my data. Sometimes this is annoying (it can trash Rust projects mightily), but in the context of TiddlyWiki server, it’s… confusing. It’s not enough for conflict files to simply exist. They must interact with the wiki software, acquire file extensions, save and re-save to generate a gravel-filled snowball of conflict.

Here is a real file name that actually came out of this process: $__StoryList.tid.tid_DiskStation_Feb-13-2104-2017_Conflict.tid.tid.tid.tid.tid.tid.tid_DiskStation_Mar-17-2119-2017_Conflict.tid_DiskStation_Mar-20-1056-2017_Conflict.tid.tid.tid.tid.tid

So, I had to get the files out of the CloudStation folder, obviously. That was necessary. But not sufficient. Drafts appeared out of nothing, vanished briefly when I tried to get rid of them, and then returned. I believe I got it to settle down by exporting the tiddlers, starting fresh, and importing.

I suppose that’s a happy ending to this, but mostly I’m just looking at the behavior I was observing and going WHAT THE FUCK.

EDIT: Hm. Still something kind of off, even without CloudStation interacting. I’ll keep myself posted.

Asking The Question: Is Our History Curricula Teaching?

Posted in Uncategorized on April 5, 2017 by mwchase

I tweeted a bunch last night, more than I mean to lately. Doing so shook some thoughts loose, and suddenly I’ve got some questions about how history is taught in K-12 US education. Others have expressed worries about mathematics education, probably more coherently than what I’m about to say.

One major criticism from A Mathematician’s Lament is that our so-called “mathematics” education doesn’t actually teach mathematical thought. A math class ends up being a set of drills in laboriously grinding out arbitrary expressions from arbitrary situations.

Now consider a “history” class. The historical record is divided into a set of “units”, presented independently, which makes a token effort to include one interesting fact per unit, and devotes the rest of the unit to dates, abstractions, and fairy tales.

Let’s look at Martin Luther King Jr. Common sense indicates that he was a human man who strove for political goals and social change. The elementary school curriculum presents him as a mythic hero who, through his martyr’s death, slew the dragon of racism, and then the curriculum resets back in time because there’s no way to actually relate the stated outcomes to the world around us.

Okay, that’s elementary school, lies to children, etc. But what actually got me thinking about this was my first history class in high school, specifically the units on Buddhism and Islam. Both of these units started off with the early life of the founder, complete with dates, segued quietly into their encounters with supernatural beings, and from there laid out the history of religious practice. These are all very different perspectives, and we were never asked to actually untangle them, to apply critical thought to the historical record or the textbook.

The thing that I remember most clearly is that it felt like none of these units were really motivated by anything. Why learn history? Well, I suppose, for insight into human nature and thought, to see the possible paths of the future from the paths of the past, to look at our own society and ask “Why is this aspect of society thus?” and to have the tools to answer it.

As mathematical beauty is impressed through rote memorization, so too is historical perspective communicated through more rote memorization (it’s kind of our thing, apparently) and poorly-told stories. Id est, shittily.

If anyone got through this short (but evidently too long for me to bother proofreading) rant, and has any thoughts, please let me know. I’m especially curious whether any actual historians have any opinion about my bald claims.

Original tweets:

From Now On, I Intend To Tweet In The Form Of Blog Posts

Posted in Uncategorized on April 4, 2017 by mwchase

Twitter’s latest UI changes have some components that are intended to, near as I can tell, optimize the “content” delivered to a user, tailored to their preferences, where “content” is defined in terms of tweets in isolation, and not the larger context. This leads to scenarios in which, for example, party A posts an opinion, party B disagrees, party C responds to party B, but only C’s response is visible from A’s tweet.

This is a mockery of communication, a howling maelstrom of confusion. No tweet can reliably expect to relate to any other tweet; all tweets must stand alone.

Therefore, the ideal way for me to use twitter is to use the crosspost feature from a blog, such as this one. Every tweet a single nugget of content, independent of any twitter-related context.

(I also intend to replace my timeline with reading a screen-scraped search of all of the accounts I follow, but that’s not externally visible.)