Month: March 2017

Have you ever lied about your nationality while traveling abroad?

By: | Post date: March 15, 2017 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Countries, Personal

Nope. Australians enjoy a good reputation in the parts of the world I have been to (Europe, North America), and I have not been to the parts of the world where they might not (India, Papua New Guinea?). I have been to New Zealand, but any animus there is jocular and reciprocated. The Austria/Australia confusion […]

What are our intellectual debts to the Middle Ages?

By: | Post date: March 14, 2017 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Culture

A fair bit of philosophy and logic (and theology, which they were bound up with) was done in the West, and was built on subsequently. The De dicto and de re distinction is Thomas Aquinas’ handiwork, for example. European nationhood is mostly a Romantic era creation, but its raw materials came out of the Middle […]

What are the fundamental principles of the Go programming language?

By: | Post date: March 13, 2017 | Comments: 3 Comments
Posted in categories: Information Technology

The world has moved on since 1970 (C: Kernighan and Ritchie). But the world still needs a low level language. Pretty printing and statement termination are solved problems. The programmer does not need to be forced to deal with them. You can have a low level language and still have associative arrays, extensible arrays and […]

If you could have someone understand you by listening to a song, what would it be, and why?

By: | Post date: March 12, 2017 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Music, Personal

You know, the songs that are candidates for this question, I’ve already posted as my favourite songs. But with David Caune and Kat Rectenwald both asking me, sure, I’ll answer again: The regrets of my life, my falls from grace, my sadness at leaving things behind: Gustav Mahler: Der Tamboursg’sell O Galgen, du hohes Haus,Du […]

What are some cultural faux pas in Australia?

By: | Post date: March 11, 2017 | Comments: 1 Comment
Posted in categories: Australia

Originally Answered: What are some major social faux pas to avoid when visiting Australia? Sitting in the back seat of a cab. I occasionally see Indian cab drivers unaware of the unspoken egalitarian norm here, hurrying to clear their crap from the front seat. But by default, if you sit in the back seat of […]

Can you write a limerick about Quora?

By: | Post date: March 11, 2017 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Quora I’ve already written Nick Nicholas’ answer to How can one use the word “Quora” in a limerick? But how could I pass up an A2A from Vicky? I would have felt much jubilation,had Quora sent notificationthat Userlimericked mentioning me;but @-mentions… lack mitigation. So, there once was a young synaesthetewho gained fandom with Quora’s elite.She’s […]

What are the characteristics of idiomatic Go code?

By: | Post date: March 10, 2017 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Information Technology

Just to get the ball rolling: Short variable names Error checking routines (the !err testing gets prolix quickly) Never use a var when you can use a := defer is your friend Answered 2017-03-10 [Originally posted on]

What is your favourite fish dish?

By: | Post date: March 8, 2017 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Personal

I was a late convert to fish; it grossed me out until adulthood, and even now I’m on the picky side. But I do have a holy trinity of fish faves: Sashimi in general, and salmon sashimi in particular. Raw delicate flavour goodness. Canned tuna with chilli oil. Particularly, Sirena Tuna with Chilli in Oil. […]

Where does the difference in societal attitudes toward plastic surgery between Western and Asian cultures come from?

By: | Post date: March 5, 2017 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Culture

Clarissa, you have asked a bonafide sociologist and an anthropologist, and for some reason you’ve also asked me. Sven Williams and Heinrich Müller have both advanced convincing and complementary accounts. Clearly, there are many social factors playing a role here, and there is room for more than one explanation. The factors I’ll point to are […]

How old are you and to what age would you like to go back/forward?

By: | Post date: March 3, 2017 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Personal

I’m 45. I would not like to go forward. It’s already started being downhill physically, and I’m happy to take the leisurely route towards senectitude. Not back to 16. I wasn’t really socialised back then, even if I was at my most physically rigorous. Not back to 20. Still not properly socialised, and pretty adrift […]