With all the calls for "healing" and "bipartisanship", I've been thinking of the treaty negotiation scene in this season of Star Trek: Discovery. Admiral Vance would love to see a productive alliance between Starfleet and the Emerald Chain, but won't bend on Osyraa facing a fair trial and appropriate consequences for her crimes, because you just can't work with someone who's willing to see you dead if they don't get their way. Dr. Aurellio learns a few episodes later what happens if you're willing to work with a murderer - eventually, they either make you join in their murder, or they kill you.
Biden, Schumer, and Pelosi could learn some lessons. I think there's value in bipartisanship, compromise, and reaching across the aisle, but your interlocutors need to have some common values and a willingness to work within the system in good faith. Half the GOP House caucus and six Senators voted against the democratic will of the American people, many of them after inciting the mob that tried to overthrow that democracy by force. There need to be conditions on the open hand of bipartisanship, and a clear one is that Republicans need to make a clear stand against mob violence, and expel the seditionists like Trump, Cruz, and Hawley from their party, and in at least Trump's case, from his office as well.
I'm not optimistic, but I've read about the failure of Reconstruction after the Civil War, as well as the Beer Hall Putsch a decade before the Nazis took over Germany, and if the USA wants to still be a democracy in a decade's time, there needs to be a clear stand for democracy now.
Useful advice for anyone applying for grad school/PhD program (at least in CS): http://composition.al/blog/2020/11/25/how-not-to-email-prospective-grad-school-advisors/#fnref:1
And the coding question worth 20% of the midterm was ambiguously worded ... just a whiff all around.
This etymology of the word "ampersand" is delightful.
Neat essay examining the connection between empathy and self-determination through the lens of Blade Runner and Martha Wells' Murderbot series (which is charming and well worth reading) https://www.tor.com/2020/10/26/the-monstrous-machines-of-corporate-capitalism/
Because I figure I should have some non-trivial content, here's a link to a fascinating new parsing algorithm. The data structure is a DAG of automata, which is definitely twisting my brain in knots, but the claimed results are quite impressive: https://dl.acm.org/doi/abs/10.1145/3385412.3386032
PhD in Computer Science, Interested in parsing, (bicycle) pedals, and politics. 🍁 (he/him)
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