Links van 18 september 2015 tot 23 september 2015

U leidt een stad vol schorremorrie, Burgemeester | Jan Blommaert (en z’n gedachten)
De bewoners van Uw stad blijken in de wereld zoals U ze beleeft bovenal veroorzakers van overlast te zijn, potentiële misdadigers en ordeverstoorders, profiteurs, labbekakken, links uitschot en ranzige bakfiets-egoïsten “die ge vijf frank zou geven als ge ze ziet”. Volk dat zomaar (zomaar!!) door het rood licht loopt of fietst, dat automobilisten hindert in de uitoefening van hun vrijheid, en het efficiënte bestuur van Uw kleine Rome saboteert. U bestuurt een stad die, volgens Uw eigen beeld ervan, bevolkt wordt door schorremorrie dat zoniet goedschiks dan kwaadschiks – met para’s en oorlogswapens – moet leren zich te gedragen. Uw bevolking ziet U als een collectie zwakkelingen die dringend wat discipline moeten aanleren. Kogels van negen centimeter lang kunnen daarbij helpen. U lijkt de bevolking van de stad, waarvoor U een soort surrogaat-vader zou moeten zijn, eigenlijk te haten. Uw houding is die van Basil Fawlty die een hotelgast in zijn Fawlty Towers, die om zijn aandacht had gevraagd, toeschreeuwde: I’m trying to run a hotel here!!

The bitter rivalry behind the world’s smallest chess program
“You only have one life and so many minutes in your day—in your life—to accomplish things and to focus on things that matter,” Olivier Poudade says. His heavily accented voice comes crackling down the line from his cellphone, bounced and beamed from Savoie, in the French Alps, where he’s vacationing and visiting his mother. While overlooking the mountain ridges of the Tarentaise Valley, the 44-year-old Frenchman is talking about the things that matter in life, and how the time in which we have to do them is finite and always diminishing, ticking away whether or not we spend it wisely. With his time—he figures about 600 hours over three months—he wrote a computer game called BootChess. It’s a chess game crammed into an impossibly small 487 bytes of code; the Wikipedia page explaining the rules of chess, in contrast, runs 53,162 bytes, more than 109 times larger. When he released BootChess in January 2015, it broke a 32-year-old record for the smallest computer implementation of chess on any platform.

Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken” Is Our Most Misread Poem
Most readers consider “The Road Not Taken” to be a paean to triumphant self-assertion (“I took the one less traveled by”), but the literal meaning of the poem’s own lines seems completely at odds with this interpretation. The poem’s speaker tells us he “shall be telling,” at some point in the future, of how he took the road less traveled by, yet he has already admitted that the two paths “equally lay / In leaves” and “the passing there / Had worn them really about the same.” So the road he will later call less traveled is actually the road equally traveled. The two roads are interchangeable.

The sad state of web app deployment / fuzzy notepad
My experience is admittedly limited here, but as far as I can tell, installing a Rails app is impossible. It reads configuration from the source directory. It logs to the source directory. You have to manually precompile all the assets, which are of course also written to the source directory. Rails is one of the most popular web frameworks in the world, championed by developers everywhere. And you can’t actually install anything written with it. This is a joke, right?

An Odd Couple: Samuel Beckett & Buster Keaton | Moving Image Archive News
Some 50 years ago, the playwright and novelist Samuel Beckett and the silent-era film star Buster Keaton worked together on a singular creation of cinematic art.

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