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


A Verse for the Memorial

These kids have learned some history  
   and they know what warfare used to be:
tanks and guns and soldiers  
   that moved across the land—
with strategies and battlelines  
   converging at a place in time;
and lives were lost for reasons  
   that the world could understand

On the History Channel, war  
   can look exactly like before,
when you were certain it was over  
   by the ticker tape parade.
They could come back home to safety;  
   they could celebrate the victory;
and the landmines were all buried  
   ’cross the ocean far away.

But a different kind of war  
   has reached our shore,
and you never see it coming anymore.

12/25/14 #1: A Highly Improbable Peace

Today is the hundredth anniversary of the World War I Christmas Truce, where a hundred thousand German and Allied soldiers left trenches, ventured into no-man's-land, played football, and sang carols.

Illustration from the 1915 London News: Allied and German soldiers fraternizing in no-man's-land.

This year, one of the speakers at the university Carols Services mentioned this fact, and attendees were provided with both English and German lyrics, to sing their choice. The resulting mess didn't have much in the way of distinct words, but the tune was unmistakeable and powerful, and there was something profoundly humbling about singing it in the Memorial Church, erected in honor of the men who gave their lives in that war and the next.

(Crimson photo gallery of the service -- you can spot the back of my head in the first photo if you look hard.)

There's something otherworldly about the idea, isn't there? -- that there was a day of the year where (literally) mortal enemies

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