Submitted by Bill St. Clair on Sat, 15 Nov 2003 13:00:00 GMT
From muth:
"Also, some folks suggest that it's better if we DON'T break the Democrat filibusters, so that WE can use the filibuster against liberal nominees if, God forbid, she-who-shall-not-be-named gets elected and Republicans lose the majority in the Senate." -- Chuck Muth

Mrs. du Toit - Children and Behavior - a lesson about dealing with the government schools. [kimdutoit]

GeekWithA.45 - FBI Report - only 56 LEOs were slain by criminals, nationwide, in all off 2002. This is a mighty good argument for being armed, always and everywhere. [geekwitha.45]

LEO's, who's duty calls for them to chase down and duke it out with the scum of the earth, and thus find themselves pretty consistently in proximity [to] danger, are slain by criminals at a rate of 60 or so a year.

Law enforcement officers are armed, and armored.

Civilians, who generally go about their business in "safe" places like banks, grocery stores, schools, public parks, and their own homes, are slain by criminals at a rate of (what's the accepted figure again?) 28,000 a year.

Civilians are on the whole NOT armed*, and rarely armored.

And yet, (again, with no disrespect to the folks in blue) it is "Officer Safety" that is appealed to for every single bleeping bit of gun bigotry legislation on the books.

It's pretty clear to me from these numbers that the officers are plenty safe, and that disarming honest folks for their sake results in a monstrous pile of dead honest folks.

Garry Reed, The Loose Cannon Libertarian - Insider Traitors - Mr. Reed counts the ways in which we all engage in insider trading every day, and makes it crystal clear that none of us are criminals.

I still haven't figured out what poor Martha Stewart did wrong. I know what she may have done illegally. She upchucked her ImClone stock a day before it flushed down her tastefully appointed commode. Based on insider info. Particulars the public wasn't privy to. But what did she do wrong? She didn't shoot anyone. Rob anyone. Defraud anyone. Those would be crimes to a libertarian. Insider trading is not.

That's because we're all insider traders. We're all guilty of doing what the Design Diva did. Over and over and over. Do you have a plumber in your family? An auto mechanic? A lawyer? (You don't have to admit that one.) A hairdresser? How many times have you swapped favors not available to the general public? How many times has a teenage babysitter been cheated out of work when you asked grandma to watch the kids? How many times have you found a bargain at a garage sale and sold it on eBay for triple what you paid?

Eric Raymond - The Art of Unix Programming is the reason Mr. Raymond's blog was inactive for quite a while. Available in HTML or dead trees. Mr. Raymond is pushing Unix as good design. The Lisp community considers it good enough design, or maybe not. See Richard Gabriel's Worse Is Better. Of course, most of us who don't work for NASA don't have time to do really good design. We have to settle for good enough. "Let them report it as a bug." So Unix is good practical training. And it beats Windoze hands down, IMHO (he said, typing on a Dell notebook running Windoze 2000). [eric]

The Art of Unix Programming attempts to capture the engineering wisdom and philosophy of the Unix community as it's applied today -- not merely as it has been written down in the past, but as a living "special transmission, outside the scriptures" passed from guru to guru. Accordingly, the book doesn't focus so much on "what" as on "why", showing the connection between Unix philosophy and practice through case studies in widely available open-source software.
from the preface:
There is a vast difference between knowledge and expertise. Knowledge lets you deduce the right thing to do; expertise makes the right thing a reflex, hardly requiring conscious thought at all.

This book has a lot of knowledge in it, but it is mainly about expertise. It is going to try to teach you the things about Unix development that Unix experts know, but aren't aware that they know. It is therefore less about technicalia and more about shared culture than most Unix books -- both explicit and implicit culture, both conscious and unconscious traditions. It is not a 'how-to' book, it is a 'why-to' book.

The why-to has great practical importance, because far too much software is poorly designed. Much of it suffers from bloat, is exceedingly hard to maintain, and is too difficult to port to new platforms or extend in ways the original programmers didn't anticipate. These problems are symptoms of bad design. We hope that readers of this book will learn something of what Unix has to teach about good design.


Other things this book is not is neither a C tutorial, nor a guide to the Unix commands and API. It is not a reference for sed or yacc or Perl or Python. It's not a network programming primer, nor an exhaustive guide to the mysteries of X. It's not a tour of Unix's internals and architecture, either. Other books cover these specifics better, and this book points you at them as appropriate.

Beyond all these technical specifics, the Unix culture has an unwritten engineering tradition that has developed over literally millions of man-years[1] of skilled effort. This book is written in the belief that understanding that tradition, and adding its design patterns to your toolkit, will help you become a better programmer and designer.

Cultures consist of people, and the traditional way to learn Unix culture is from other people and through the folklore, by osmosis. This book is not a substitute for person-to-person acculturation, but it can help accelerate the process by allowing you to tap the experience of others.

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