Four short links: 27 December 2016

Marshall McLuhan, Video Falsehoods, Load Balancing, and Programming as Shrinking Problems

By Nat Torkington
December 27, 2016
Four short links
  1. How to Become a Famous Media Scholar — the story of Marshall McLuhan’s deliberate and orchestrated rise to fame and the corresponding shift in the stories that he told, makes for a fascinating read. In short: he stayed religious but retuned his message from a Chestertonian “boo modernity” to “rah technology and advertising!”, and deliberately sought celebrity. Wired’s canonizing of him seems prescient for what the web would become: a quagmire of self-made celebrities and clickbait ad millionaires.
  2. Falsehoods Programmers Believe About Video Stuff – I think this set waiting until the next vsync is easy in OpenGL; OpenGL is well-supported on all operating systems; OpenGL is well-supported on any operating system. just beats this set: the display’s refresh rate will be an integer multiple of the video file’s frame rate; the display’s clock will be in sync with the audio clock; I can accurately measure the display’s clock; I can accurately measure the audio clock; I can exclusively use the audio clock for timing; I can exclusively use the video clock for timing. So much painful learning encoded in so few words.
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  4. Are You Load Balancing Wrong? (Tom Limoncelli) — the answer is probably “yes,” but don’t worry, as Tom’s here to sort you out. Three Ways To Do It Wrong is my favourite H3 so far today.
  5. Programming as Semantic CompressionI look at programming as having essentially two parts: figuring out what the processor actually needs to do to get something done, and then figuring out the most efficient way to express that in the language I’m using. Increasingly, it is the latter that accounts for what programmers actually spend their time on: wrangling all those algorithms and all that math into a coherent whole that doesn’t collapse under its own weight. (via Michael Nielsen)
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