Programmers Thinking Out Loud [...]

Architects look at thousands of buildings during their training, and study critiques of those buildings written by masters. In contrast, most software developers only ever get to know a handful of large programs well—usually programs they wrote themselves—and never study the great programs of history. As a result, they repeat one another's mistakes rather than building on one another's successes.

Our goal is to change that. In these two books, the authors of four dozen open source applications explain how their software is structured, and why. What are each program's major components? How do they interact? And what did their builders learn during their development? In answering these questions, the contributors to these books provide unique insights into how they think. (Source)

Good programmers explain their code with comments, but these series of short essays go to a more conceptual level to share how programmers solve problems and come up with solutions, their ideas, inspirations.

See also Jon Udell's past writings on "narrating our work" (Link)

Annotation Activism [...]

Talking with educators in the last year about the importance of, and potential for, online annotation, I refer often to the work of the folks at When I get puzzled looks from teachers or the predictable, "so what?" from school leaders after I show someone how to mark an online text using, or how to see public annotations in the stream, I step back from the logistical demonstrations to describe an emerging example that there is a group of scientists who are concerned about the popular media's presentation of climate change and climate science. They have organized an online annotation effort to effectively fact check the media. In that way, I try to justify my interest and excitement about online annotation. Digital notes in online margins are not just a tool for bookworms, they are a tool for bookworm activists. (Source)

See how Climate Feedback (Link) is adding an annotation layer of peer review to news stories with Hypothesis (Link).

The question is, who is looking at and using this kind of peer review?

Science Poll Washing [...]

This widespread opposition was confirmed in April of this year by a scientific poll conducted by Coleman Dahm and Associates which found that 71.6% of Arizonans are against the proposed national monument. While some special-interest groups have commissioned push polls and manipulated job numbers in attempting to show support for this misguided proposal, Arizonans have made it clear that they oppose this land grab and that future management of this area should be driven by a collaborative process that includes local stakeholders. (Source)

US Congressman Paul Gosar (Link) has made a career of opposing the Obama adminsitration. Here, arguing against the establishment of the Grand Canyon Watershed National Monument, Gosar describes a poll as "scientific" implying it has weight.

The science of polling is even more suspect than ever; the science of this is the methodology of reporting margins of sampling error.

The poll result PDF indicates that Gosar claims a representative view of the state of Arizona from a recorded phone call sent to 499 people, in which they responded to a single question:

The federal, state and tribal governments in Arizona already own 81.8 percent of all Arizona land, leaving just 18.2 percent open to private owners. Do you support the special interests’ effort to lock up 1.7 million more acres in Northern Arizona by presidential executive order - which could kill jobs, harm tourism, agriculture and water rights, and prevent hunting and fishing?

The wording of this question "special interests' effort" "lock up" "kill jobs" reveals an obvious non-neutral bias.

The summary also includes Democrats in the statement that a "majority in the 4th Congressional District oppose the proposed land grab" (again, biases language) yet the results show that 50% of Democrats agreed with the question

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Help:: Getting Started / Day One [...]

Most people find that using Wikity to bookmark is a good place to start. The following video shows how you can bookmark with Wikity.

Note that in the video the bookmark says 'Bkmrk' but in recent versions says 'Wik-it'. The editor has also been upgraded

Settings:: Publishing [...]

These settings are used by Wikity to determine privacy (openness) and publishing schedule.

Please note that putting "Open" to "No" is an experimental feature, providing "good enough" privacy but not great privacy.


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Got Seven [...]

As young as I look, I am growing older faster than he. Seven to one is the ratio, they tend to say. Whatever the number, I will pass him one day and take the lead, the way I do on our walks in the woods, and if this ever manages to cross his mind, it would be the sweetest shadow I have ever cast on snow or grass. (Source)

Time distortion effect for dogs, seen the other way.

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Duck Math [...]

In 1959 Disney released a 30-minute educational featurette called "Donald in Mathmagic Land." Everything about it is superb - the design, the animation, the music, the narration, and the presentation of the material. I remember watching this in school and realizing how interesting math could be. (Source)

I remember the video or maybe the filmstrip where Donald taught geometry by playing pool which is part of this video.

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Silent Senator [...]

Known as the "Silent Senator", Hayden rarely spoke on the Senate floor. Instead his influence came from committee meetings and Senate cloakroom discussions where his comments were given a respect comparable to canon law.[4] A colleague said of him, "No man in Senate history has wielded more influence with less oratory,"[5] while the Los Angeles Times wrote that Hayden had "assisted so many projects for so many senators that when old Carl wants something for his beloved Arizona, his fellow senators fall all over themselves giving him a hand. They'd probably vote landlocked Arizona a navy if he asked for it."[6] (Source)

Almost a force of political nature, Hayden was the son of the original settlers of what is now known as Phoenix, Arizona. The ferry his father built across the Salt River near modern Tempe, became the focus point for development of the modern city.

His efforts in the Senate were critical in the development of water projects that shaped the southwest, including formation of the Salt River Project and ultimately the Central Arizona Project.

Where can we get Senators like this now?

Hayden kept a considerably lower national profile than conventional wisdom would suggest for someone who spent more than half a century in Washington, including 42 years in the Senate. This came in part due to advice he received from Maryland Congressman Fred Talbott soon after he arrived in Washington--"Son, there are two kinds of Congressmen—show horses and work horses. If you want to get your name in the papers, be a show horse. But if you want to gain the respect of your colleagues, don't do it. Be a work horse." Hayden quickly earned a reputation as a "service congressman" who faithfully responded to constituent mail, inserting vegetable or flower seed packets in his replies. Hayden believed that partisanship should end on election day, and his constituent service was performed in a nonpartisan manner.

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Reading Expands TV Mutes The Mind [...]

If I read I have the time to stop, pause and reflect on what I have been reading. I can go back and re-read as many times as I want a passage that it's not clear to me.

Reading with interest, helps my mind stay alert, active and to have the time to pose questions and analyze things instead of taking them for granted just because someone has said them.

Watching TV does the exact opposite. It mutes each and every to attempt to analyze, inquire, question. It is a stream that requires your undivided attention to follow the action, the news, the sport play. You are so immersed you have no more perspective.

You become a sponge that absorb someone else messages, agenda. (Source)

Robin Good shares tools but also reflections on the connected life from his rather remote island location on Terceira in the Azores.

This newsletter cites his "hack" for getting faster internet service by ordering an internet package with TV, but then disconnecting the TV from his router.

Garden and Stream url

On gardens, streams and Zettelkästen

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