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Chris Morrow

Chris Morrow's Public Library

  • There's a reason why "reduce, reuse, recycle" has recycle third

    All is not totally lost, though. Recycling metals, particularly aluminum (as it is very expensive in energy to process and purify from the raw material),[4] is not only viable and environmentally friendly, it is also highly profitable. Environmental friendliness and profitably often go hand-in-hand in this way, because if it is more efficient to recycle than to produce good from scratch, then money can be made from doing it.

  • Paper bags are far less reusable; you can test this by trying to tear a paper bag and then trying to tear a polyethylene bag (these things are practically indestructible). This has not stopped certain cities in Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties in California, from imposing a ban on plastic grocery bags given out by supermarkets in 2012. The only good point of replacing plastic with paper comes from a wildlife management point of view: marine animals, notably turtles, can get choked on those bags when they mistake them for jellyfishes and try to eat them. 

  • Incineration is one of the last resort steps for dealing with waste and certainly isn't the best option, however, it is much better than sending something to a landfill. Not only do you not need to take up as much space as land fill (which isn't that great anyway) but you can also get energy from it! However, the Sunday School of environmentalism would actively oppose all incineration based on the fact that it pollutes the atmosphere. This is undeniably true, but burning waste to power generators means that you're not burning oil or coal — you pollute the atmosphere just as much for roughly the same amount of energy. The added advantage is that incineration for power generation recovers some of the energy put into making products in the first place. Still, incineration isn't ideal, but it is higher up the hierarchy of waste management than sending waste to a landfill site. 


  • I was always under the impression that Very Serious People advocated policies that always involved some amount of pain or loss (usually for moral reasons — deserving pain or upholding some moral standard), but never to the VSPs themselves. It also seems to apply when the reason for the required pain changes, but the required pain stays the same.




    Iraq: Loss of life, necessary to protect freedom/keep America safe (VSP doesn’t fight)
     Austerity: Economic hardship, necessary because of previous excess (VSP doesn’t need welfare)

  • A semantic quibble, Henry: the fact that the wars in Iraq and Vietnam) were clusterfucks doesn’t prove that they weren’t necessary. Those wars were wrong not because they were failures — that’s the VSP position — but because they were crimes. Talleyrand and Kissinger to the contrary, crimes are worse than mistakes.
  • Even shorter: VSP are those people Paul Krugman disagrees with.

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  • There should be committees set up that are made up of experienced police officers


    You just can’t make this stuff up.


    Do you also believe that rape cases should only be investigated by men, and that libel cases should only be investigated by tabloid journalists?

  • Police work is a mixture of social work, therapist, and thug with a gun authorized by the community to impose order with the threat of violence (I mean that last part in the least offensive way possible). It’s a completely incongruent set of skills, and people are going to have trouble with it, and very few people are going to do all aspects well without a lot of training.


  • I am a creature of irony so it is hard for me to discuss the situation rationally. I would like to mock the neocons but what is the irony? Dog chases car. Dog catches car. What’s a dog to do? Bite it! So this is dog-bites-car. That’s just neocon nature.
  • And would a Republican president really bomb an Iran that was scrupulously honoring the terms of the John Kerry deal? What would we bomb? All the known Iran nuclear facilities will be crawling with U.N. inspectors.
  • The US could, of course, leverage the fact that all financial roads, paved in dollars, run through New York. But things would just look worse and worse for the US if it came to that. Suppose the US started to sanction, say, German banks, financing German companies conducting legal, above-board trade with a fully deal-compliant Iran. Germany would reasonably regard the US as having ‘gone rogue’ (even if they didn’t say so in so many words. Which they wouldn’t.) It’s not just that the optics of the situation would be bad, though they would be. Our allies and partners would, privately, downgrade the US’ world leader credit rating to near-junk.

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  • The Fascists might have hated modern architecture in theory but the buildings they produced had a sort of stripped down classical style that looked closer to modern architecture and art deco than anything else.


  • In de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America, Alexis contended:


    “I do not know if the people of the United States would vote for superior men if they ran for office, but there can be no doubt that such men do not run.”


    Perhaps many Americans have come to accept this proposition, settling on a candidate that is willing to make a farce of the whole institution.

  • Saying Bernie Sanders and Trump have the same views on immigration seems a little much. While both may be broadly anti-immigration, Bernie allows a path to citizenship for those already here when Trump would not. But, more importantly, their opinion of immigrants to this country are starkly different. Stated simply, there is a difference between concern for in-group welfare and demonization of an out-group.


  • Trump and Sanders do not share the same position on this issue, but they both share a conspiratorial view of why it is happening. I am inclined to side with Bernie’s conspiracy (that the business community wants mass migration for cheap labor) but having this simplistic view of things doesn’t warm me to Sanders.

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  • Ms. Tantaros can not honestly or even dishonestly believe this. Even if you assume that she is much further to the right than the average American woman because she works for Fox, a person who really believes the above would not even work for a reactionary news organization.


  • Fascism is about making people better than they are right now — and that means some people are just plain better than others. Easy to see the appeal (after all, who doesn’t want to improve themselves; who doesn’t want their children to be better and better-off than they are; who doesn’t want their nation to become better, richer, and more powerful) and also easy to see how quickly this could seduce even the most well-meaning of people into racism.

  • I *wish* those listed on the “left” were as left as the neo reactionary people thought they were. That’d be quite useful!


  • Not really. Marxists tend towards uselessness when it comes to fighting the Far Right because they really want to fight against what they see as their real enemies, liberals and social democrats, as social fascists.


  • In fact, the mystical elements of the Nazi movement were suppressed from time to time by the party itself. Some of that was political (an unwillingness to disturb conservative church-going members and authorities) and some of that was ideological.

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  • I've been using an object to implement a map that maintains insertion order. That breaks once I remove a value because the next insertion fills in the gap. :(

  • Case fall through is so widely  recognized as a defect that there's  even a special comment convention,  shown above, that tells lint "this is  really one of those 3% of cases where  fall through was desired."

  • For complex Javascript development, structuring your codebase it critical in my experience. Historically being a patching language, there is a great tendency that Javascript development ending up with massive script files.


  • What makes this more than a little interesting is that destination is not part of the returned object. In fact, you would be forgiven for thinking that it vanishes once the spaceship function returns. After all, it is local to the function so why should it still be available once the function returns? But it is! This is closure at work. JavaScript captures all the variables in the context of the returned object's two functions (just destination in this case) and makes them available even after they would otherwise have gone out of scope.


    It's important to realize that a separate copy of the destination variable is captured each time the closure takes place. That's why the first spaceship is still going to Mars even after the second one is set to go to Jupiter.

  • There are a lot of examples of pseudo-privacy in main-stream JavaScript libraries. Facebook Connect's JavaScript library has the same structure.


    The main reason developers go that route is for performance. Hiding things in closures can be slower and use more memory. Closure-hiding can also be less flexible, as true privacy can't be carried between files without some clever hacks. Closure-hiding is more conceptually pure, IMO, but when performance is a concern, using pseudo-privacy is the way to go.


    The other reason is that a lot of Google programmers have backgrounds in Python, where there are no private anythings and the underscore prefix is the accepted community standard.

  • I am really puzzled. Please do not think I am being rude etc …
     But I am simply wondering: Why are people reading this blog?
     Why am I reading a blog of an 18 year old “scripter” ?
     And on top of that, all is about one poorly made scripting language … Amazing.
  • @Dusan, I think you are right. I would never write a blog telling people how to do things at the age of 18. What do I know at that age? It’s symptomatic of the web in general, lots of young know-alls telling you how to do things.


    Having said that, I can find no technical fault with this article. It’s well-written and explains things with good examples.

  • Very creative, and this also highlights a topic that's not always mentioned: that closures can be used to keep private data private from outside code. In this case, the "adults" (any code outside the princess function) have no way to access the "unicorn" (data in the closure), even though it really does exist, and the little princess (function) has full access to it. So the lesson for the 6-year old is that a closure is like little "world" that you can go into from time-to-time, containing things that are not visible from "the outside". Well Done.  –   Nick Perkins  Sep 21 '11 at 14:02 
  • This is why I fear taking the trash out. I might get an undefined trash bag and then have some undefined behaviour. And if I'm's the end of the line...
  • Closures are hard to explain because they are used to make some behaviour work that everybody intuitively expects to work anyway.

  • If this weren't the case, you couldn't have any two files be dependent of each other. You'd have to put everything in the same file because otherwise the script execution order would be practically random.


  • function expressions and function statements are two different constructs which are handled in very different ways. Unfortunately the syntax is almost identical, so it's not just confusing to the programmer, even the parser has difficulty telling which you mean!


  • “We’re all immigrants”


    Norwood says it is insulting to hear this phrase in reference to Americans. “This is not true,” he says. “It denies the existence of the indigenous people of this country. My ancestors were here for thousands of years prior to the first Europeans.”

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