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
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
- 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
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. :)
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,