cool CS/code links/ top trends 2018

hi all. its the day before xmas and its all quiet thru the blog and my house where the family is travelling on vacation to south america. even with many page views even the trolls have been very quiet on this blog last few months. be careful what you wish for, you might get it. you know youre lonely when you kinda wish even the troll(s) might write something on your blog, just for evidence that it “makes some noise”. 😐 😥 😛

lately have been musing on the information age. its aptly named. we are drowning in information. but alas, its only very indirectly related to happiness… have some happiness in eg reading the latest fantastic books on stuff that have researched myself over the years. but the information age is also a deluge and theres millions of blogs in the world and its hard to carve out a niche. sometimes attention and even more valuable, engagement is “spread very thin” across cyberspace. or, into the “very long tail” inevitably also evoking “winners vs losers” or “winner take all” scenarios. oh well, when in doubt just keep writing come up with even more engaging content! … 😮 😳 o_O

have been blogging on misc topics less these days due to some of these factors, still collect great piles of links.

heres an example of a neat/ inspiring story just read of a blog that worked as far as audience engagement, the 64 yr old author travelled the US and got many friendly comments on her blog and even invitations, maybe making some friends. remarkable! lol so maybe should write a travel blog instead? sometimes its not easy being a geek… or a blogger, lol. (an oldtimer muppets ref! anyone recognize it?)

sometimes it seems like building up an engaged/ vocal audience in cyberspace aka “commentariat” is one of the hardest things to do… had no idea it would be like pushing boulders up a hill. ugh, argh.

anyway have a big backlog of links on the favorite topics of this blog and need to unload them at the end of the year, have a little extra time to blog, am going to try to crank a few out.

the big topic of “code” for this blog interpreted broadly is extremely lively as always, but a bit paradoxically my categorized link pile on the narrower subject is rather lean this year. all the action is in related areas such as AI, ML, robotics, and have massive piles of links on that.

it seems the world is speaking less of coding per se and all the big streaming news is in related, generally more applied areas.

trends this year: hacking competitions/ hackerthons/ hacker clubs were a big theme last few years, dont see a sign of them levelling off. [a1-5] the #metoo movement entered CS in some intersections.[a6]

diversity was a big theme: racial and gender, a lot getting triggered at Google, which had a bad year for lawsuits and headlines, but it seems like maybe finally thats trending downward.[a2] google made the news in a lot of other ways, the loss of the Oracle Java lawsuit was quite notable but havent seen much further news on that.[a4]

some leaders such as Jobs were seen to have “feet of clay” as the expression goes.[a3] others were real quality/ untainted heroes.

a theme this year was “ethics and/ or the darkside”.[a6] a lot of this has to do with the facebook/ zuckerberg congressional hearings earlier in the year setting a dark tone for the entire year. a few short years after the facebook IPO the bloom is off the rose and the honeymoon is over so to speak. for anybody who lived thru the dotcom age it wasnt too surprising. actually it was a familiar/ predictable story.

increasingly software engineering has to come to grips with the real hard problems of culture. technology has a kind of power, but it also has a kind of blind side to it. the really hard problems of the ages are timeless (eg those faced in journalism about “fake news” over the centuries!) and technology can shift the problem sometimes but other times its a pandoras box. have seen technology do incredible things but we live in the age of interesting times aka “be careful what you wish for you might get it”. zuckerberg liked to “move fast and break stuff” (actually honestly the ethos of most innovators/ entrepreneurs) but he never imagined the end result might be his own reputation. live and learn.

a. code6
a2. diversity
a3. leaders
a4. google
a5. neophyte/ learn
a6. ethics/ darkside


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