Simon Willison’s Weblog

Quotations in Mar

Filters: Type: quotation × Month: Mar ×


Slack’s not specifically a “work from home” tool; it’s more of a “create organizational agility” tool. But an all-at-once transition to remote work creates a lot of demand for organizational agility.

Stewart Butterfield # 26th March 2020, 12:21 pm

I called it normalization because then President Nixon was talking a lot about normalizing relations with China. I figured that if he could normalize relations, so could I.

Edgar F. Codd # 7th March 2020, 11:12 pm

For the Fairmont, the Tonga Room is an inherited embarrassment, as though it were a local lord whose ancestors captured a repellent goblin and chained him up in the cellar, but the goblin is inexplicably adored by the townsfolk and the children, who sneak the goblin food and treats, and cry when the goblin’s master moves to strike it.

In the Basement of the King # 28th March 2019, 9:11 pm

Don’t worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you’ll have to ram them down people’s throats.

Howard H. Aiken # 17th March 2019, 3:15 pm

Watching companies gradually realize “blockchain is just super expensive consensus and only makes sense for untrusted counterparties” is a wild, expensive trip

Kyle Kingsbury # 29th March 2018, 9:25 pm

Adhering to a plan Moon spelled out more than three decades ago in a series of sermons, members of his movement managed to integrate virtually every facet of the highly competitive seafood industry. The Moon followers’ seafood operation is driven by a commercial powerhouse, known as True World Group. It builds fleets of boats, runs dozens of distribution centers and, each day, supplies most of the nation’s estimated 9,000 sushi restaurants.

Sushi and Rev. Moon # 21st March 2018, 12:52 am

It seems as if you are never ‘hardcore’ enough for YouTube’s recommendation algorithm. It promotes, recommends and disseminates videos in a manner that appears to constantly up the stakes. Given its billion or so users, YouTube may be one of the most powerful radicalising instruments of the 21st century.

Zeynep Tufecki # 20th March 2018, 7:20 pm

Consider Bitcoin a grand middle finger. It’s a prank, almost a parody of the global financial system, that turned into a bubble. “You plutocrats of Davos may think you control the global money supply,” the pranksters seem to say. “But humans will make an economy out of anything. Even this!”

Paul Ford # 10th March 2018, 11:34 am

I’m still a novice to the healthcare space, but if I walked away with a single insight, it’s that the problems of the US healthcare system are very tractable. The high cost and mixed results are unique to our system. There are incumbents fighting fiercely to maintain the status quo, but no more so than in other industries that technology has overturned. The regulatory environment is complex, but again not uniquely so. There are industries where one has to dig to find the problems that technology is well suited to solve, but US healthcare, an industry that communicates via fax, is not one of them.

Kellan Elliott-McCrea # 10th March 2018, 1:11 am

Code is like a poem; it’s not just something we write to reach some practical result. Sometimes people that are far from the Redis philosophy suggest using other code written by other authors (frequently in other languages) in order to implement something Redis currently lacks. But to us this is like if Shakespeare decided to end Enrico IV using the Paradiso from the Divina Commedia. Is using any external code a bad idea? Not at all. Like in “One Thousand and One Nights” smaller self contained stories are embedded in a bigger story, we’ll be happy to use beautiful self contained libraries when needed. At the same time, when writing the Redis story we’re trying to write smaller stories that will fit in to other code.

The Redis Manifesto # 2nd March 2018, 7:11 pm

The key to using Wagtail effectively is to recognise that there are multiple roles involved in creating a website: the content author, site administrator, developer and designer. These may well be different people, but they don’t have to be—if you’re using Wagtail to build your personal blog, you’ll probably find yourself hopping between those different roles. Either way, it’s important to be aware of which of those hats you’re wearing at any moment, and to use the right tools for that job. A content author or site administrator will do the bulk of their work through the Wagtail admin interface; a developer or designer will spend most of their time writing Python, HTML or CSS code. This is a good thing: Wagtail isn’t designed to replace the job of programming. Maybe one day someone will come up with a drag-and-drop UI for building websites that’s as powerful as writing code, but Wagtail is not that tool, and does not try to be.

The Zen of Wagtail # 1st March 2018, 4:10 pm

Miss Wilson, when she was a resident superintendent in this Palace, had a cat that apparently caught up to 60 mice a night. The corpses were then swept up in the morning. Finally, does the noble Lord recognise the fire hazard that mice pose, because they eat through insulating cables? It would be a tragedy for this beautiful Palace to burn down for lack of a cat.

Baroness Finlay of Llandaff # 31st March 2010, 4:06 pm

We’ve got a rule of thumb inside Stamen that issue names must read like imperatives: “improve variable names”, “delete blah functionality”, “fix broken jimmy-jammers”, etc. Nothing focuses the mind of the reporter like being asked to specify what exactly they’d like to see done, and it’s much easier for a developer to scan a list with actual tasks right in the sentence construction.

Michal Migurski # 25th March 2010, 8:09 pm

The operations team is the one place with access to data and traffic that is “real-time enough” to detect business issues before they manifest in significant monetary loss. Traffic anomalies, chargeback rates, visitor retention… all these translate into money. This is what ops does; they make things work; they make the business work. And they spend a lot more time trending, investigating and analyzing than they do replacing hard drives and network cards.

Theo Schlossnagle # 24th March 2010, 12:43 am

Each speaker gets five minutes to explain their research, with a human metronome banging a waste bin with a big stick after every minute. After five minutes, an eight-year old girl (last night, actually two twins) walks across the stage and says “Please Stop, I’m Bored” and repeats it until the speaker does indeed stop.

Ian Mansfield # 19th March 2010, 11:07 am

If HTML is just another bytecode container and rendering runtime, we’ll have lost part of what made the web special, and I’m afraid HTML will lose to other formats by willingly giving up its differentiators and playing on their turf.

Alex Russell # 17th March 2010, 10:37 pm

We spent $860,000 rebuilding our intranet. The most popular page on the intranet is still the cafeteria menu.

Intranet Secrets # 17th March 2010, 10:02 am

I’m not worried about guys like us. There will always be machines for us (powerful, complex, etc.). Why? Because if for some magical reason there wasn’t all of a sudden, we’re the type that would just make one.

Jason L. Baptiste # 2nd March 2010, 9:36 am

Apparently [unladen-swallow] is already 30% faster than CPython, and this version is being used to run some of the Python code on YouTube.

Ted Leung # 30th March 2009, 10:10 am

We are facing an economic crisis that is within our capacity to solve, and an ecological crisis that we lack the political means to prevent. It’s only by failing at the former that we might have a chance at surviving the latter.

Maciej Cegłowski # 19th March 2009, 4:11 pm

It makes increasingly less sense even to talk about a publishing industry, because the core problem publishing solves—the incredible difficulty, complexity, and expense of making something available to the public—has stopped being a problem.

Clay Shirky # 15th March 2009, 5:09 am

I’m not bowled over much these days. But Guardian Open Platform is a chasmic leap into the future. It is a work of simplistic beauty that I’m sure will have a dramatic impact in the news market. The Guardian is already a market leader in the online space but Open Platform is revolutionary. It makes all of their major competitors look timid.

Tom Watson # 10th March 2009, 2:30 pm

[Drizzle] won’t be a get-out-of-jail-free card for very write-heavy applications but I bet it will do wonders for heavily replicated, heavily federated, read-heavy architectures (you know, normal stuff).

Richard Crowley # 8th March 2009, 6:05 pm

The Internet Archive should actively partner with bit.ly / tinyurl.com / icanhaz.com etc. and maintain a mirror database of their redirects

Me, on Twitter # 8th March 2009, 2:59 pm

Ian’s Acid 3, unlike its predecessors, is not about establishing a baseline of useful web capabilities. It’s quite explicitly about making browser developers jump—Ian specifically sought out tests that were broken in WebKit, Opera, and Gecko, perhaps out of a twisted attempt at fairness. But the Acid tests shouldn’t be fair to browsers, they should be fair to the web; they should be based on how good the web will be as a platform if all browsers conform, not about how far any given browser has to stretch to get there.

Mike Shaver # 27th March 2008, 1:35 pm

The Perl community has a long-standing love/hate-affair with making changes that impose “spooky action at a distance”. They call it “black magic” and it is generally considered it a last resort. Black Magic that makes GLOBAL changes to things like inheritance is often characterised as being “Octarine” (see disk world novels), because it tends to work ok when there’s only one person doing it, but start to mix a few together and KABOOM!

Adam Kennedy # 22nd March 2008, 12:28 am

Draconian failure on error is not the answer problems of Postel’s law. Draconian error handling creates an unstable equilibrium in Game Theory terms —it only lasts until one player breaks the rule. One non-Draconian XML5 implementation in key client product and the Draconian XML ranks would break. Well-specified error recovery is the right way to implement the liberal part of Postel’s law.

Henri Sivonen # 20th March 2008, 2:43 pm

For the record, my site is valid HTML 5, except the parts that aren’t. My therapist says I shouldn’t rely so much on external validation.

Mark Pilgrim # 10th March 2008, 2:01 pm

We’ve decided that IE8 will, by default, interpret web content in the most standards compliant way it can. This decision is a change from what we’ve posted previously.

IEBlog # 4th March 2008, 3 am

XSD is more flawed than most technologies that roam the earth. I was on the committee that created it, and that was back when I made my money explaining complicated technologies to people for money, and man, I could hear the cash registers ringing in my ears.

Don Box # 31st March 2007, 10:01 am