When
· Naughties
· · 2003
· · · July
· · · · 31 (2 entries)

The 1975 Idea-Futures Market · There’s been much ado in re­cent days over DARPA’s no­tion of set­ting up a fu­tures mar­ket where peo­ple could spec­u­late on the like­li­hood of geopo­lit­i­cal events: ter­ror­is­m, re­bel­lion, death, and so on. The os­cil­lat­ing waves of opin­ion were kind of amus­ing: ini­tial puz­zle­men­t, fol­lowed by re­flex­ive hor­ror and de­nun­ci­a­tion, with re­cent­ly a few qui­et voic­es say­ing “Maybe this wasn’t such a bad idea.” This note is to point out that the idea goes back at least as far as John Brunner’s 1975 sci­fi nov­el Shock­wave Rider, which some of you might en­joy read­ing for its own sake ...
 
Perl Angst · Perl is such a great lan­guage, ex­cept for when it’s not. There’s this prob­lem, which is best il­lus­trat­ed by ex­am­ple: a col­league came in­to my of­fice with a testy ex­pres­sion and said “You wrote this; what the $#@!%! does it do?!?” I told him I’d get right back to him. [Up­date: I get spanked.] ...
 
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