Monday, November 28, 2005


I just read on Lambda the Ultimate that John Vlissides, co-author of the well-known Design Patterns book, just passed away. I talked to John a few times when I was at IBM, and ended up co-authoring a paper with him. I remember him giving me good advice on grad. school the first time I met him; he told me how he worked insanely hard (16 hours days) as a grad. student, and how (not unsurprisingly) it turned out to be a bad idea. He also gave me a free copy of Design Patterns, which I thought was really nice of him. Anyway, he was a really good writer and a very nice guy, and I was sad to see the news of his passing.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

"I'm da boss"

I just finished watching Raging Bull for the first time in a while; what an incredibly powerful film. The very last moments, where La Motta repeatedly mutters "I'm da boss" while shadowboxing, reminded me in some remote way of the ending of Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde. Both endings take a small piece of thematic material, emblematic of the work as a whole, and fade away while repeating it more times than one would expect. When the work finally does end, the audience is left with a sublime echo that resonates more deeply as one reflects on the work as a whole. Anyway, just a random connection that popped into my head.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Tuesday, November 01, 2005


I just saw this site Kiva, which looks really cool. It allows you to loan money to small businesses in the developing world, and get paid back if/when the business succeeds. It looks like all their businesses are funded now, but I put myself on the mailing list for when they find more.