My Faults My Own

…beleaguered by the same

negation and despair,

show an affirming flame.

IN WHICH Ross Rheingans-Yoo, a sometimes-poet and erstwhile student of Computer Science and Math, oc­cas­ion­al­ly writes on things of int­erest.

Reading Feed (last update: March 2)

A collection of things that I was happy I read. Views expressed by linked authors are chosen because I think they're interesting, not because I think they're correct, unless indicated otherwise.


Blog: Jeffrey.Zeldman | We need design that is faster and design that is slower. — "Our whole industry, as I’ve just defined it, needs design that is faster for people who are trying to get things done, for they are our customers and should not be burdened by our institutional surrenders. We need design that is slower for people who are trying to comprehend, for they are our only chance of saving the world."


Blog: Valentine Smith @ LessWrong | Mythic Mode


Blog: MIT Admissions | Policies, Principles, and Protests — "[S]ome students who have been admitted to MIT’s Class of 2022 have asked us if


Not Quite a Dissent: On Solidarity [Guest Post, Response]

A friend and classmate offers the following anonymous guest post in response to yesterday's post on (empty) declarations of solidarity. Their post follows with no edits by me.

The internet is a great and terrible thing. I say this often. We are inundated with a dramatically larger \(N\) of events to process and, thanks to social media, a larger audience to say it to.

I don't claim that the UC does a good thing by spouting largely empty declarations of support. I agree that it's trivializing, condescending, and mostly devoid of meaning, particularly when we seem to stand in solidarity with every cause that comes our way to demonstrate that we are caring, compassionate, and informed citizens of this world. I remember back in April when the #bringbackourgirls hashtag in support of the kidnapped Nigerian schoolgirls exploded on Twitter--for two days. We offer our solidarity when it is easy, convenient,


On Comets and Commentators [Guest Post, Dissent]

Our second guest author (writing anonymously) is an undergraduate studying physics at Harvard, and I'm happy to count her as a friend. She's offered the following response to my original post about the Philae landing / Dr. Taylor's tacky shirt affair and Dr. Christine Piatko's response. The full index is here.

Her post follows, with minor edits proposed by me and okayed by her. The opinions presented are -- I hope, obviously -- not necessarily mine, but I do believe the proliferation of viewpoints to be useful.

With this, I'm going to close the call for dissents. It's been fun, though, and I'm excited to do it again. Stay tuned!

I work very hard to define myself as a physicist first and a woman second. Maybe this already speaks to a stereotype that I have internalized, since it should ideally be the case that "physicist" is a gender-neutral term instead of


A Shirt, Counterpoint [Guest Post, Dissent]

Dr. Christine Piatko is a Research Professor of Computer Science at Johns Hopkins University. After we had a lively discussion on Facebook about my post last Saturday on the shirt Dr. Matt Taylor wore for the Philae landing, she offered the following dissenting opinion in response to my call for guest-post responses. The full index is here.

Her post follows, with minor edits proposed by me and okayed by her. The opinions presented are not necessarily mine, but I do believe the discussion to be useful.

I have since closed the call for additional responses, but see the second response on this topic, submitted by an anonymous reader, for a third opinion.

I admit this is feeling a bit meta -- offering a counteropinion adding to the firestorm over a blogpost about a firestorm... about a shirt?

But thanks for the opportunity, so I wanted to chime in and say

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