The Royal We

Many languages — particularly those of the Pacific islands and Native Americans — make a morphological distinction in the first person plural: they have a form which is known as inclusive, that is, it includes both the speaker (and possibly the speaker’s concerns) and the listener; and an exclusive form, which only relates to the speaker and, necessarily, their concerns, but doesn’t include the listener. It occurs to me that, while morphologically unmarked in the verb conjugation, we make a similar distinction in English and use it in exactly the same way.

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In the Event of Thermonuclear War

Risk Assessment

Institutionalised education in the arts will finally be ousted as frivolity by a skirmish on such scale that the survivors will envy the dead. From the cold ashes of the ensuing nuclear winter, people will learn to create on their own volition, without the trappings of self-indulgence and pretence. Art for art’s sake while sipping on rare earth mineral tea is yesterday’s black. Systems that survived the electromagnetic saturation will succumb to ritual sacrifice — to heed warning unto others — as what is left of our species attempts to rekindle their humanity.

Status: Untested; Won’t fix

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Spagbol!

In an attempt to inject some much needed “renaissance” into my heavy-on-the-engineering blog, here is my take on Spaghetti Bolognese. A perennial favourite, which is ridiculously easy and cheap to make and — cue the nostalgia — the first meal my mum ever made my dad. (Aww!) My recipe combines those of my mum and dad, which I grew up on, with a touch of Mrs. Xoph’s influence as well as some magic from my chocolatier days.

(As for the pedants out there who are thinking, “The Italians don’t even know what Spaghetti Bolognese is!” I say this: In effetti, il sugo de carne dalla città di Bologna si chiama “ragù alla Bolognese” — o, semplicemente, “ragù” — che è noto bene. Però, gli italiani non lo servirebbero mai con spaghetti, perché sono troppo sottili: il sugo non si appiccica. Presumibilmente, quando la ricetta ha portato all’Inghilterra, lo spaghetto era solo disponibile. Allora, io uso le tagliatelle.)

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Breaking the ALGOL Curse

I have sipped from the Kool-Aid that is Haskell…and I like it! Perhaps it’s the mathematician in me — I’ve yet to write anything non-trivial, so the reality of software engineering in Haskell I might find quite different — but it just appeals to me. So much so that I’m investing a lot of my time in changing my thought patterns from the traditional Von Neumann paradigm to the pure functional. Given that I want to rekindle said inner-mathematician, I hope to kill two birds with one stone!

Anyway, let’s have some beginner’s level Haskell fun!

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Mandelbrot Query

Mandelbrot SetBesides being the “go to graphic” for illustrating psychoactive substance abuse, the Mandelbrot Set’s aesthetic has afforded it currency as the de facto mathematical fractal. Despite its complexity, it is surprisingly straightforward to compute and, in this post, we shall do some of the usual visualisations…with a twist!

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