I must admit to ambivalence on the use of scripting languages. It somehow feels more comfortable to slip into C or C++ with their mature IDEs and close-to-the-machine power. However, I have long been enamored of how quickly I can create an application using a scripting language that provides useful high level objects — no need to allocate memory, write header files, or create a grafport, device context, gworld or whatever.
Barlow’s new blog is celebrated in song. In the gutter of his blog, in his “related stuff” playlist, you can hear Haley Suitt introducing this wonderful new addition to the blogosphere.
“John Perry Barlow is a retired Wyoming cattle rancher, a former lyricist for the Grateful Dead, and co-founder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation.” (this and more on his EFF home page)
I enjoyed listening to “Reimagining the Public Domain” from his “Appearances” playlist. He talks about ideas as a lifeform, the importance of language and metaphor, and his opposition to the use of the word “content.” Content requires a container. Thought has no container. Since I’ve personally been involved in the creation of various software containers, I’ve often felt uneasy with the prevailing terminology. Barlow describes the naming of content as “taking that which is immaterial, namely expression and thought, and turning it into a commercial product like a toaster.”
“Information and expression is a verb and not a noun.”
“The internet is not a medium it is an environment”
… the right to know is a corollary of freedom of speech …
“we need to preserve the right to be known, the ability of the idea to circulate.”
If you want to express yourself via MP3 in cyberspace, you can set up your own SoundBlox (free for non-commercial use).
“The language most bilingual people use to mentally solve math problems isn’t necessarily their native language or even the language that is most prevalent in their environment. Psychological research shows it’s the language in which they were first taught math” — Mental Math Dependant On Language, Researchers Find
This interesting article discusses implications for bilingual instruction. Its been a while since I spoke a foreign language. I don’t remember translating simple Math problems into English in my head, but maybe I did. Lately I’ve been playing a kids game that requires me to do a lot of addition and subtraction like 2400 + 2500 – 1450. Since my opponent (who has trouble with such large numbers) often dictates these math problems to me, I have become acutely aware of how I often translate into numeric digits arranged in collumns or scattered patterns in coming up with the answer. I’m not sure I do math in English at all, but rather in diagrams, pictures, digits and symbols.