There is a capacity issue with the House of Representatives that results in terrible work-arounds where no one feels adequately supported by it. The writers of the Constitution understood this would happen and the House used to grow in size with the country’s population. Here is a short video explaining why we should resume that process:
NPR used Census Data to determine what the most common jobs were in each state, from 1978 to 2014. They’ve coupled it with a nifty animation, that highlights the retreat of farming, and the rise of truck driving, and software engineering.
I’m so happy to be a Big Brother in “Beyond School Walls”, a program of Big Brothers and Big Sisters that Comcast is a major part of.
The program is getting recognized for making a difference. I hope it expands with additional companies and schools taking part, and most of all, I hope I’ve had as positive an impact to my Little as much as he has had to me over these past 2 years.
If you have an interest, I urge you to look into becoming a Big Brother or Big Sister.
AxisPhilly: Isaiah Thompson: “How a few Philly high school students organized themselves into a few hundred in four days”:
It began, not surprisingly perhaps, with a modest online message.
About two weeks ago, school district officials had announced, once again, a serious hole in the District’s budget and had laid out, once again, severe cuts that would be implemented if a roughly $300 million hole wasn’t filled — this time invoking layoffs and cuts to programs, especially arts and extracurricular.
And as students pondered cuts to their favorite programs, the irony that last Friday would mark “Teacher Appreciation Day,” was not lost upon them.
Make sure to read Isaiah Thompson’s full story at AxisPhilly and get inspired, and maybe let the district and state know these ever increasing cuts are unacceptable.
For more on the impact of the cuts, read Rebecca Poyourow’s editorial at Philly.com.
Mike Ball, coworker and friend, wrote up a great summary of what he saw at NICAR 2013. It was great hearing his enthusiasm when he got back from what sounds like was a fantastic conference. Check out his post.
More on NICAR 2013:
Boing Boing posts a TEDx talk from Mitch Resnick, of the MIT Media Lab, and creator of Scratch, and a good discussion ensued: “Kids should learn programming as well as reading and writing”. Make sure to watch the talk as well: “Reading, Writing, and Programming: Mitch Resnick at TEDxBeaconStreet”
Python (Flask, Fabric, Jinja) and Amazon EC2. A nice walk through with code for contribution and reuse.
Following is a list of books, essays, and articles I read (or re-read) which feel worth sharing or re-sharing on on New Years Eve:
“Thinking in Systems: A Primer”, by Donella H. Meadows
“Release It!”, by Michael T. Nygard
“Language in Thought and Action”, by S.I. Hayakawa, Alan R. Hayakawa, and Robert MacNeil
“The Stars My Destination”, by Alfred Bester
“One, Two, Three: Absolutely Elementary Mathematics”, by David Berlinski
“Information Diet”, by Clay Johnson
“The Great Stagnation”, by Tyler Cowen
“One Way Forward: The Outsider’s Guide to Fixing the Republic”, by Lawrence Lessig
“The Waste Land”, by T.S. Eliot
“Race Against The Machine”, by Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee.
Software Engineering Related Essays, Posts and Papers
“Up and Down the Ladder of Abstraction”, by Bret Victor
“Analogy as the Core of Cognition”, by Douglas R. Hofstadter
“On Being a Senior Engineer”, by John Allspaw
“Quality With a Name”, by James Shore
“Out of the tar pit”, by Ben Moseley
“Paxos Made Moderately Complex”, by Robbert van Renesse
“The Future is Hypermedia APIs”, by Mike Taczak
“Ubiquitous Programming with Pen and Paper”, by Awelon Blue
“Leverage Points: : Places to Intervene in a System”, by Donella Meadows
“Unicorns and Strong Typing”, by Michael Bevilacqua-Linn
“Big Ball of Mud”, by Brian Foote and Joseph Yoder
“Intrinsic and Incidental Complexity”, by Noah Sussman
“Damn Cool Algorithms: Log structured storage”, by Nick Johnson
“The Humble Programmer”, by Edsger W. Dijkstra
“Simple Made Easy”, by Rich Hickey
“The Long Tail of Technical Debt”, by Michael Feathers
“The Carrying Cost of Code: Taking Lean Seriously”, by Michael Feathers
“No Silver Bullet”, by Fred Brooks
Making A Difference with Software Engineering
“Homegrown Computer Science for Middle Schoolers”, by Tess Rinearson
“Blue Collar Coder”, by Anil Dash
“Government As A Platform”, by Tim O’Reilly
“How Do Committees Invent?”, by Mel Conway
“Anyone can do it. Data journalism is the new punk”, by Simon Rogers, The Guardian
“I believe a computer program can stand in…”, by Lisa Williams
“How Team Obama’s tech efficiency left Romney IT in dust”, Sean Gallagher, Ars Technica
“How To Tell A Story With Code”, by Rob Spectre
“Urban Storytelling with Open Data”, by Mark Headd
“Making Philadelphia Better Together”, by Mark Headd, Programs & Technology, Office of the Managing Director, City of Philadelphia
Society, Governance, History, Health, Art and Music
“The Condition: Chronic Self-Disclosure”, by Bethlehem Shoals, The Awl
“The Web We Lost”, by Anil Dash
“A Self-Made Man Looks At How He Made It”, by John Scalzi
“Laws of Physics Can’t Trump the Bonds of Love”, by Tara Parker-Pope, NYTimes
“What I’ve Learned About Learning”, by Reginald Braithwaite
“The Builders Manifesto”, by Umair Haque
“How Will You Measure Your Life”, by Clayton M. Christensen
“When They’re Grown, the Real Pain Begins”, by Susan Engel, NYTimes
“Sincerity, Not Irony, Is Our Age’s Ethos”, by Jonathan D. Fitzgerald, The Atlantic
“Young Worf”, GregOttawa, Reddit
“Believe You Can Change”, by Aaron Swartz
“Going Numb In The Summer Of The Gun”, by Jen Doll, The Atlantic
“Horatio Alger, RIP”, by Jim Tankersley, National Journal
“The 10 Doctors”, by Rich Comics
“Looking back at Star Trek: The Next Generation on its 25th anniversary”, by Brian Phillips, Grantland
“Babies Are Born Scientists”, by NSF.gov
“America, The Fixable”, The Atlantic
“Welcome to Hell: Philadelphia Has a Serious Case of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder”, by Steve Volk, Philadelphia Magazine
“You Can Feel The Difference”, Nathaniel Popkin, Hidden City Philadelphia
“Poverty, College and A Dream Deferred”, by Chris Lehmann, Practical Theory
“Clinging to the Skin of this Tiny Little World (The TV Movie)”, by Philip Sandifer, TARDIS Eruditorum: A Psychochronography in Blue
Both of these are worth listening to or watching:
NPR.org hosted a Third-Party debate featuring Gary Johnson, of the Libertarian Party, and Jill Stein, of the Green Party. Link includes a transcript.
And Bill O’Reilly and Jon Stewart recently had a fun, and thought provoking debate in The Air-Conditioned Auditorium that is notable for the frankness of discussion and the fact that there was a real back-and-forth between them.