Brutalist architecture has often been more about the aesthetics of simplicity and functionality rather than simplicity and functionality themselves. Still, it has always held the promise of designs which are the result of dedicated focus on that functionality, and I've spent much time speculating about how many things—cars, computers …
read moreSubcommit Git
Git is my goto version control system, but I first learned source control on SourceGear Vault. While I've appreciated getting comfortable with git and would not go back, there are some features of Vault that I miss. In particular, Vault is a monorepo, and so each project is simply a …
read moreOrderofMagnitude Local Knowledge
How well do you know the place you live? Try to find the answers to these questions for yourself and learn them to the nearest orderofmagnitude.
 For your town / city:
 How many people live there?
 What is its area?
 How much electricity does it use?
 What is the area's GDP …
NibblePrecision Floating Point
Why would you need values larger than 3? Just use ∞.
read moreDatatypeGeneric Programming in Lean4
A while back I ran across the paper DatatypeGeneric Programming by Jeremy Gibbons and wanted to implement it. Lean4 is a language meant primarily for formalizing mathematics, but also is geared towards more conventional functional programming and so would be a good fit for this.
The goal here is just …
read moreThe Space of Triangles
Plus: How do you generate a random sample of triangles? and: How can you measure the distance between two triangles
Whenever you want to model something, say a physical system like the tumbler and pins in a door lock or a robotic arm, it's helpful to think of each possible …
read morePractical OneTime Pad
Onetime pads are well known for their ability to provide unbreakable encryption, but they do not see very widespread use. This is understandable: they are limited in the amount of information they can practically convey, and generating them properly is tedius and slow^{1}. And while there are some guides …
read moreGetting a Broad View of History
For a long time I've felt that my grasp of history was very weak. My understanding of when significant chunks of history (even as big as the Roman empire) occurred relative to others has been murky at best. I think this has really stunted parts of my education because I …
read moreOrderofMagnitude Probabilities
Representing Probabilities
OrderofMagnitude values are excellent for representing both low probabilities and high probabilities, and make several common types of calculations easily workable in the head alone.
For representing low probabilities, we can just directly use the value. For a oneinamillion chance, that probability is just \(E^6\). Using this …
read moreOrderOfMagnitude Mental Arithmetic: Basics
In "OrderofMagnitude Mental Arithmetic: Motivation", I talked about how working with orderofmagnitude values might help with internalizing a rough sort of the numerical mental models that experts develop over the course of extensive experience. The mechanics of this are simple, but are worth going over deliberately.
The first thing we …
read moreSredni Vashtar
Sredni Vashtar (1981)
read moreOOM Summation
How do you sum a set of orderofmagnitude values? For example, if my personal library contains E0 dieting books, E0 classical literature volumes, E1 textbooks, and E2 fantasy books, then how many books do I have total? Clearly the fantasy books dominate and I have E2 total books. So to …
read moreConceptual Maps For Clearer Writing
Steven Pinker gave an interesting talk on effective writing which focused on the 'classical' style. The talk is worth watching, but there is one particular component of it I would like to look at.
In one section of the talk, he describes writing as essentially taking a nonlinear mental map …
read moreWhy PowerShell? Responses
Scoop is a package manager for windows that is written in PowerShell. In their documentation they list some wellthoughtthrough reservations for using PowerShell and their reasons for using it anyway. These are my responses to their reservations.

The
VerbNoun
verbosity, commands that were seemingly not designed to be typed I …
Notes on HighAltitude EMP Impact Report
It is also not known how American society in general would react if massive infrastructure failures occur over a large region and for a long time.
Sections of interest:
read more