Robin Powell's Rants Page

Here I spew on about things that annoy me. For another set of excellent rants, look at Stuart's Rants. Note, by the way, that unless specified otherwise, all rants are kept at a low techincal level, even if it looks like they might be discussing techinical content.

A Note on Pronouns: I use the same neuter pronouns used by the documents of the Atlantis Project. To wit: form neuters by taking the appropriate plural and removing the 'th'. So, he/she/ey/they, him/her/em/them, and so on for eir and emself.

Arguments Against Ancestor Simulation Hypotheses
It took me a while to figure out why Nick Bostrom's paper "ARE YOU LIVING IN A COMPUTER SIMULATION?" bothered me. Here's the result of that thinking. Well, it's hard to call it "thinking", since these ideas presented themselves to me full-formed one morning about 10 seconds after I woke up from a deep sleep.
Form Versus Function
This rant stemmed out of a disussion on AmberMUSH (an online, text-based multiplayer game) in which I waxed overenthusiastic about how treating form as more important than content has caused many of the evils of modern civilization. Since it seemed to be getting too much for the people listening, and I was just getting started, I decided to write this rant.
God Wants Me To Be Happy...Not!
This is an anti-non-Universalist-Christian rant. If you are a non-Universalist Christian, you can probably expect to be offended.
Teenage Sexuality In My Life
This is actually more apologia then rant, because it was too depressing for me to get really angry. It's a copy of a post I made to a newsgroup I frequent where a more-or-less hypothetical discussion ensued on whether 14 year olds were capable of making the decision to be in sexual and romantic relationships, particularily older people (the example we were working with was 14 and 17). During the course of this discussion, a particular person refused to listen to what I was saying, which was simply that some 14 year olds must be able to make that sort of decision, because I was, and kept attempting to make the discussion about all 14 year olds. This was my longest contribution to that thread.
Diatribe On Programming Language Design Features

I'm trying to become a generalist in the study of programming language issues. As part of that, I thought it would make sense for me to write down my thoughts on the various design features that programming languages use, both for my own memory's sake and in the hopes that people would get upset enough when I say things they think are on crack that they'll explain their POV to me. :)

Waterloo Study

This was my response to a study about retention rates in Computer science at the University of Waterloo. And that's all I gotta say about that. Writing this was really, REALLY depressing.