summing up 52

i am trying to build a jigsaw puzzle which has no lid and is missing half of the pieces. i am unable to show you what it will be, but i can show you some of the pieces and why they matter to me. if you are building a different puzzle, it is possible that these pieces won't mean much to you, maybe they won't fit or they won't fit yet. then again, these might just be the pieces you're looking for. this is summing up, please find previous editions here.

  • urls are already dead, urls are just as important to the web as phone numbers are to the worldwide telephone system. what they're trying to do is to relegate urls to the same level as protocols, phone numbers, and email addresses, which is encoded routing information that most people will rarely use in its raw form
  • designer duds: losing our seat at the table, design must deliver results. designers must also accept that if they don't, they're not actually designing well; in technology, at least, the subjective artistry of design is mirrored by the objective finality of use data. a "great" design which produces bad outcomes - low engagement, little utility, few downloads, indifference on the part of the target market - should be regarded as a failure
  • portrait of a n00b, perl, python and ruby fail to attract many java and c++ programmers because, well, they force you to get stuff done. it's not very easy to drag your heels and dicker with class modeling in dynamic languages, although i suppose some people still manage. and haskell, ocaml and their ilk are part of a 45-year-old static-typing movement within academia to try to force people to model everything. programmers hate that. these languages will never, ever enjoy any substantial commercial success, for the exact same reason the semantic web is a failure. you can't force people to provide metadata for everything they do. they'll hate you.
  • "a man who has the knowledge but lacks the power to express it clearly is no better off than if he never had any ideas at all", pericles' last speech
  • the street performer protocol and digital copyrights, an electronic-commerce mechanism to facilitate the private financing of public works. using this protocol, people would place donations in escrow, to be released to an author in the event that the promised work be put in the public domain. this protocol has the potential to fund alternative or "marginal" works
  • spurious correlations, insane things that correlate with each other

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