faried nawaz |


@wasamasa they're out of control! i bought this yesterday.
bag of coffee beans from guatemala. taste described as: blueberry pancakes, dark chocolate, velvety body with a sweet finish.

@DavidB cunningham’s law?

unix was originally written in assembly. see

Thompson was faced with a hardware environment cramped and spartan even for the time: the DEC PDP-7 on which he started in 1968 was a machine with 8K 18-bit words of memory and no software useful to him. While wanting to use a higher-level language, he wrote the original Unix system in PDP-7 assembler. At the start, he did not even program on the PDP-7 itself, but instead used a set of macros for the GEMAP assembler on a GE-635 machine. A postprocessor generated a paper tape readable by the PDP-7.


By early 1973, the essentials of modern C were complete. The language and compiler were strong enough to permit us to rewrite the Unix kernel for the PDP-11 in C during the summer of that year. (Thompson had made a brief attempt to produce a system coded in an early version of C—before structures—in 1972, but gave up the effort.)

@DavidB yes, but that’s not the point. all other versions of dc do not display a prompt. dc predates the c language.

@DavidB no, it happens when you open a terminal window and type dc.

i typed dc on my mac (13.2.1, ventura) and it showed me a prompt: >>>

whose bright idea was it to give dc a prompt?! i have to run dc -P or set an env variable to get rid of it.

literally unusable!

Who in their right mind would go to Afghanistan today? It is hard to think of a country with a more negative reputation. For years, Afghanistan was one vast abattoir, jostling with Somalia and Syria for the title of Most Dangerous Nation on Earth. The State Department still advises U.S. citizens to avoid traveling to the country at all costs, due to “armed conflict, civil unrest, crime, terrorism, and kidnapping.” The name alone invites a string of unsettling associations—suicide bombings, backward customs, wretched poverty—that drive away anyone sensible. Afghans recognize and detest this reputation, but it is hard to escape. Even I, curious enough to make the journey there, spent a few anxious days before my trip researching the current market rates for foreign hostages.


The longer I stayed in Afghanistan, the more the contradiction between the Islamic Emirate’s otherworldly aspirations and the compromises demanded for stability and development became evident. The telos of the Taliban governance project remained indeterminate. Was their project a religiously-inspired developmentalist nationalism, conservative but conciliatory, a tempered “Taliban 2.0”? Or was it, as [Hibatullah] Akhundzada and the hardliners around him seemed to want, a vision of total purity, a complete rejection of Western influence—an outpost of medieval Islam, permanently segregated from the outside world?

For now, the emir’s vision is winning. But his program is hegemonic neither in Afghanistan, where even many Taliban supporters have criticized his most hardline edicts, nor within the Taliban itself. Most Taliban officials will do little to hide their unhappiness with Akhundzada’s policies on girls’ education.


Seeing these disagreements, many Afghans, prone to rumor in a country whose politics are often mysterious and conspiratorial, will speculate about a factional conflict within the upper ranks of the Emirate. There is talk of palace intrigue, coups, even a return to civil war. But the divide within the Taliban is unlikely to get so far. Outsiders have long predicted factional splits within the Taliban that have not come to pass. The Taliban has thrived precisely because of its culture of loyalty.


Apart from the widely-hated ISKP, the Taliban faces virtually no organized opposition. The entire elite of the Republic era has fled abroad. Unlike the 1990s, when the northeast was always controlled by the Northern Alliance led by Massoud and Dostum, the government has unchallenged control of the entire country. Nor does any foreign power have the desire to involve itself in Afghan politics after the American experience. Even Pakistan, which has long meddled in Afghan affairs, has sought to extricate itself. There is no force inside Afghanistan strong enough to displace it, and no force outside Afghanistan that cares enough to interfere. It is hard to imagine a more complete resolution to the struggle over Afghanistan’s future.

And yet I could not help but detect a surprising fragility to Taliban rule. The Taliban had intrigued me because they, alone among the regimes of the global periphery, seemed capable of articulating an alternative civilizational vision, one that was not merely an antithesis or restatement of Western modernity. I had come to Afghanistan because I wanted to see something truly different from the West. But even in the Islamic Emirate, I could sense a creeping Westernization.


The Taliban won the war; but in the long run, the social modernity they so bitterly resisted is on its way. Even as my Afghan friends professed their conservatism and religiosity, they were yet to get married or have children—at ages long past when their parents were doing so. The direction of things to come seemed obvious. For decades, the age of first marriage has been inching upward, particularly in the cities; since the late 1990s the fertility rate has fallen drastically. The literacy rate among young women, just 11 percent in 1979, had grown to 42 percent by 2021.

The more time I spent in Afghanistan, the more I doubted that the Taliban had an affirmative social vision to counteract this Westernization. The jagged conservatism of Akhundzada, spiritually situated in the Pashtun hinterlands of the twentieth century, was a purely negative answer. Beyond that, the Islamic Emirate seemed to offer nothing that could match Western culture for charisma. When they tried to emphasize normalcy and functionality, it was by showing that they, too, could meet Western norms.

The West Lives On in the Taliban’s Afghanistan

"Papers, Please" v1.4 is now up on Steam. A near-total rewrite that I expect to fix old problems and create new ones in equal measure.

@izaya how long have you had it? i set up 10 kW last year; late May was when i started feeding electricity to the grid. i think it'll take five more years to pay for itself.

@kensanata you probably want the parent commit, not that one.

@kensanata the lawyers were unhappy, so they removed the old entries from yow.lines. you can still find it in the emacs git repo. i’m not sure how to grab the raw file from here:

My coworker says that I
am addicted to the virus
and I am tempted
to respond by observing
that of the two of us
he is the one
who has contracted the virus
five times
so if anything
he is the addicted one
but I am too old
for such schoolyard retorts
so instead I say nothing.

I’m not seeking attention. I’m crowdsourcing my self-esteem.

– lordess.foudre

From a twenty-nine-dollar cup of coffee to competitions for roasting beans and tasting notes of flavor, specialty-coffee culture is attracting coffee lovers and hard-core connoisseurs.

A Damn Fine Cup of Coffee

In their proposal for the 1956 Dartmouth summer workshop, John McCarthy et al. summarized their plan for a “2 month, 10 man study of artificial intelligence”: “An attempt will be made to find how to make machines use language, form abstractions and concepts, solve kinds of problems now reserved for humans, and improve themselves.” While it turned out that the two months they had allocated wasn’t sufficient, in the seven decades since the workshop, enormous progress has been made on machine language processing, problem-solving, and learning. Much less progress has been seen on forming concepts and abstractions.

Consider, for example, the “simple” concept on top of. In its most concrete definition, an object or location being “on top of” another object or location refers to a spatial configuration (“the cat is on top of the TV”) but the concept can be abstracted in any number of ways: being on top of a social hierarchy, on top of one’s game, on top of the world (i.e., extremely happy), staying on top of one’s work, singing at the top of one’s voice, being born at the top of a decade, and so on.

Why the Abstraction and Reasoning Corpus is interesting and important for AI

My daughter chimes in from the back seat, “Brandon’s mom is very nice, Mom. She just wants to know what happened.”

In the rearview mirror, I study my daughter. When I first learned that I was having a daughter, everyone in the family was so disappointed. In China, a boy is always better, if you’re going to have one child. But me, I was secretly happy. A boy, at best, can adore his mother, but a girl can understand her. When the doctor told me it was a girl, I thought, Now I will be understood. That was my happiest moment. The idea of a daughter.

“Don’t talk to me about things you don’t understand,” I tell her now.

She blinks, doesn’t say anything. She makes herself very quiet, as she should, and gazes out the window. Good, I think. Don’t look at me.

As if by instinct, she looks up. Our eyes meet in the mirror. Then she looks away.

Peking Duck

@ch0ccyra1n you can move your “account” from one fediverse server to another, and leave an alias at the old server pointing to the new one. however, your “address” changes from @user@host1 to @user@host2. the way the AT protocol does it, your identity is not linked to the server’s name. docs:

@pragprog statistics

spring afternoon #nikonz50 #ttartisan35mmf095

flowers in a pot even more flowers cat tax