31 OCT 2018 by ideonexus

 Bumper Sticker Computer Science

A few of my favorites, not found in the linked article: "There are two ways of constructing software. One way is to make it so simple that there are obviously no deficiencies. The other is to make it so complex that there are no obvious deficiencies." C.A.R. Hoare "The purpose of software engineering is to control complexity, not to create it." Dr. Pamela Zave "The most important single aspect of software development is to be clear about what you are trying to build." Bjarne Stroustrup "T...
  1  notes
22 JUL 2014 by ideonexus

 The Myth of the Lone Genius

Today, the Romantic genius can be seen everywhere. Consider some typical dorm room posters — Freud with his cigar, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at the pulpit, Picasso looking wide-eyed at the camera, Einstein sticking out his tongue. These posters often carry a poignant epigraph — “Imagination is more important than knowledge” — but the real message lies in the solitary pose. In fact, none of these men were alone in the garrets of their minds. Freud developed psychoanalysis ...
Folksonomies: genius collaboration
Folksonomies: genius collaboration
  1  notes
26 FEB 2014 by ideonexus

 A Small Contribution to a Large Project

That evening, at a café near the work site, I had a drink with an iter physicist, who was despondent, fearing that the machine would never work. Why he was staying with the project he couldn’t say. But a few weeks later, after thinking about it, he told me that his mood had lifted. He had come to see his role in both small and sublime terms—akin to a stonemason toiling for years on the York Minster cathedral (begun 1220, finished 1472) without witnessing the work being completed. “I no...
  1  notes

What's it like to be a single individual working on a project that takes many lifetimes? Perspective.

14 OCT 2013 by ideonexus

 Rosa Parks the Quiet Hero

For years before the day in December 1955 when Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a Montgomery bus, she worked behind the scenes for the NAACP, even receiving training in nonviolent resistance. Many things had inspired her political commitment. The time the Ku Klux Klan marched in front of her childhood house. The time her brother, a private in the U.S. Army who’d saved the lives of white soldiers, came home from World War II only to be spat upon. The time a black eighteen-year-old d...
  1  notes

She was an introvert, but also one highly-trained in the art of passive resistance.

10 OCT 2013 by ideonexus

 Using an Access Database for Research

A few years back, I watched a CSPAN2 interview that changed the way I write major papers. The program was Booknotes, and the guest was Pulitzer Prize winner, Taylor Branch. What I like about Booknotes is that they sometimes venture into the author’s office to get a feel for how he or she actually tackles the grimy business of research. Branch did not disappoint. To research his three-volume biography of Martin Luther King Jr., he made use of a massive Microsoft Accessdatabase. In one ta...
  1  notes

Captured because it sounds much like what I use mxplx for in my research.

28 MAR 2012 by ideonexus

 The Virtue of Courage

Kids need to know that nonconformity requires courage. There are plenty of nonconformists to draw upon as examples, secular and religious people alike, from Socrates to Martin Luther King to Michael Newdow—people whose strength of conviction led them to face with dignity and courage the consequences of stepping outside of the norm in the name of heartfelt principles. It isn’t easy, but doing what’s right can be well worth it. The second reason is even more daunting. As noted above, rel...
Folksonomies: virtue humanism
Folksonomies: virtue humanism
  1  notes

Nonconformity requires courage. So does accepting non-existence after death.

08 MAY 2011 by ideonexus

 Science is a Profound Source of Spirituality

In its encounter with Nature, science invariably elicits a sense of reverence and awe. The very act of understanding is a celebration of joining, merging, even if on a very modest scale, with the magnificence of the Cosmos. And the cumulative worldwide build-up of knowledge over time converts science into something only a littles short of a trans-national, trans-generational meta-mind. [...] Science is not only compatible with spirituality; it is a profound source of spirituality. When we r...
  1  notes

Science instills a sense of awe and reverence, much like religion instills in its followers.