chaos is inherent in all compounded things. strive on with diligence.

“Chaos is inherent in all compounded things” is most likely a mistranslation of what Buddha said.

Buddha did say that “suffering (dukkha) is inherent in all compounded things.”

and

The Buddha encouraged us to strive with diligence because when we experience the truth of our lives – that everything is impermanent, lacks an essential nature, and is marked with dissatisfaction – then we gain the great freedom of enlightenment.

(source)

RoR vs Django – just one opinion but worth a read

“From reading up on both frameworks, there is a subtle, but noticeable, difference between their philosophies. Rails focuses on having the framework do stuff in the background for the developer, making it all seem simple and easy. The Django framework does just as much heavy lifting for you, but emphasizes on the fact that it is saving you from having to do these things yourself. These two ideas seem to be the same, but the Rails point of view has more of a “magic“ visage whereas Django has more of a convenience one. I personally prefer Django’s approach to this, but I’m sure there are plenty of people out there who would disagree.”

–  Huan Lai – CTC Labs

Regarding Django best practices, a truly elusive subject with much disagreement in the Django community (just my opinion), I found this suggestion of a more modular approach (delete settings.py! use a folder! specify environments!) compelling. The local_settings.py thing and gitignore bugs me. But I guess a lot of things bug me. Anyway, this one is also worth a read.

And I just learned from this post about Django Rosetta. Learning. Slowly. Uuuuuugh.

 

sometimes you learn more from the comments than the article

I was reading the article “Solving the Mystery of Black Holes” on CNN by Meg Urry. The subject is satellites and x-rays and black holes and stuff: Or as her subject paragraph states much better than I can:

Many years in the making, NuSTAR carries an important scientific instrument designed to look for energetic X-rays from cosmic sources like black holes and exploded stars.

Most of us know about X-rays used for diagnostic imaging of broken limbs or for security scans at the airport. They are a high-energy form of light, energetic enough to penetrate clothing or flesh.

I barely understand the concept of black holes and if they want to emit X-rays then, from what I have seen on Star Trek, they can pretty well do whatever they want because even Captain Kirk avoided them. So you gotta figure black holes are the bad-asses of terrestrial objects. (Or are they anti-objects? Makes my brain hurt.) Anyway, I get lost about half way through the article so I scan down.

At the bottom I scan the comments quickly and see the usual trolls who somehow mistook CNN for youTube. But then I read one of the best summaries of what the concept of “science” is about. That it is iterative. It isn’t absolute until proven and replicated. But that forming a model is a necessary part of the process. Here is a section of the comments from Glorifundel:

That is how science works, we take what we currently know and create models that describe that reality.  We then vigorously test those models, and adjust them to fit those reproducible results as needed.  We can then use those models to make new hypothesis about the world around us, and test those new scenarios to get an even more robust picture of our world.  The end goal being to know as much as we can about this place we all live in.

I’m not qualified to jump in on their debate about the mystery of black holes. But I recognize exactness of speech and Glorifundel nailed it. Observe, create a model, make a prediction, test it, adjust, repeat, learn.

Not that different from software development if you think about it. It sounds very agile to me.

boyhood fantasies (not) fulfilled

“This summer, at the age of 51″”not even old””I watched on a flatscreen as the last Space Shuttle lifted off the pad. I have followed the dwindling of the space program with sadness, even bitterness. Where’s my donut-shaped space station? Where’s my ticket to Mars? Until recently, though, I have kept my feelings to myself. Space exploration has always had its detractors. To complain about its demise is to expose oneself to attack from those who have no sympathy that an affluent, middle-aged white American has not lived to see his boyhood fantasies fulfilled.”

- Neal Stephenson on Innovation Starvation

I don’t think I am focusing where I need to focus

Focus is a problem of mine. Or rather controlling focus – when I am focused on a subject I am very very focused. This video on meditation has great content from what I heard. And I need to meditate to chill out. Alas, while watching I think my focus was on the wrong thing.

 

Is it just me?

Bridget Bate Tichenor

(link)

Bridget Bate Tichenor by Franceso Scavullo 1978

“….artefully guided Bridget with her art. He recommended she attend the Slade School in London, and visited her later at the Contembo Ranch in Mexico. Bate’s close friend, surrealist photographer Man Ray, photographed Bridget at different stages of her modeling career from Paris to New York.”

– wikipedia on bridget

ZDNet – “MS to advertisers: Drop dead” – a bit of an exaggeration but a point well made

OK, ZDNet’s contributor  uses a sensational headline to make his point with a back-handed compliment to Microsoft, but it is still a point worth making for the Advertising Industry. Namely that behavioral advertising faces a moment of truth; opt-in or opt-out.

And there is an irony in Microsoft being the good guy for once advocating for more privacy. One has to wonder if this would be the case if Google wasn’t handing them Bing’s head on a platter in search and advertising domination. And yet here we are with IE 10 locking things down by default for the humble user regarding tracking adverts.

I for one vote for opt-in. For example, in a discussion with a colleague earlier today, behavioral ads on FB are wrong (as in they deliver stupid ads) unless you tell it what you want. That should not be license to display dating-ads to users with profiles clearly marked “married” until we mark them “offensive” over and over and over. (For the record, that doesn’t work. You have to tell FB what you DO like to make offensive ads drop off.) I find this strategy akin to the gray-blocky-face on Flickr that is designed to get you to upload a real photo. It works, but it’s kinda annoying.

But back to the point. ZDNet’s post is sensationalizing a point that in my opinion is a good thing. Specifically that “the next version of (Microsoft’s) web browser, Internet Explorer 10, will ship with its “Do Not Track“ feature turned on by default.”

The Author goes on to say:

“In practice, all behavioral advertising has managed to do is annoy the hell out of me”¦on a personal level. It is a much deeper level of rejection than seeing a billboard I disagree with on the highway, because I know there’s an attempt being made that’s failing. But I don’t have the time or energy to swat all of these new digital mosquitos. As a gatekeeper to the web, Microsoft is taking a step to do that for me “” and all the average web-using people who have no idea what’s going on and couldn’t tell you the name of the current U.S. vice president, much less what a cookie is.”

The good news is that he concludes:

“…sometimes I just want an ice-cold can of Coca-Cola, and it has nothing to do with how old I am or where I live or who I work for. (But maybe, just maybe, how deathly hot outside it is right now.)

Good behavioral advertising can accomplish that. But too often, it hasn’t.”

Emphasis added by me.

To my friends in the advertising industry, an industry that is very close to my heart having been on the board of the local Houston Advertising Federation in the past, that it’s gonna be OK. We don’t have to be creepy to succeed. We just have to be creative. And yes, perhaps, fix our business models a bit to match the new nirvana.