Entries in category “Philosophy”

10 entries in this category. See also: Feed icon feed of entries in this category, list of all entry categories.

On degrees

Lately there’s been a recurring discussion on various social-media outlets about the relevance of academic degrees to a career in programming. Specifically: is a degree in computer science (or some other field perceived as related) a necessity for a career as a programmer? If not, is it still a good idea to have one?

I’ve jumped into a few such threads on Twitter, but I have complex thoughts on the topic, and 140-character or (now) 280-character chunks of commentary don’t really work for that. Luckily, I have a blog and it ...

Entry published January 8, 2018. Read full entry.

Things and stuff

I’ve been awfully busy lately, but also thinking about a lot of stuff. Since microblogging is no longer really a thing I have access to (Pownce, I miss you), that means doing periodic brain dumps, yay!

Conferences and costs

Over the past few months there’s been a pretty significant conversation starting about tech conferences and “paying” speakers (where “paying” typically means at least providing a free ticket to anyone giving a talk). Which is a topic full of complicated thoughts for me.

On the one hand, the obvious argument: there’s significant overlap ...

Entry published May 5, 2016. Read full entry.


We are a society of laws. At times those laws are good; at times they are bad. At all times, they are the laws and we are a society of laws.

The stewardship of the laws, and the judgment of which are good and which are bad, in the United States is entrusted by our Constitution to the Supreme Court. The tradition, in the English-speaking world, of making even the sovereign power of government subject and subservient to a framework of laws, dates back centuries. It was famously articulated in England ...

Entry published March 31, 2014. Read full entry.

Extended media thoughts

The first weekend of this month, for me, was spent in sunny Santa Clara, attending the 2013 Mozilla Summit. Overall, it was a great weekend, getting to reconnect with old friends, make some new ones and see and talk about a lot of cool technology and plans for the future of Mozilla. Like most people (or so I suspect), I’m not normally a huge fan of company get-togethers, but Mozilla is different from normal in a lot of important ways. The Summit wasn’t just a gathering of Mozilla employees, for ...

Entry published October 16, 2013. Read full entry.


The last couple weeks have been rough, on a personal level. Nothing I can’t get through with a little help (and thankfully, there is help), but nothing particularly fun to get through, either. I’ve spent a lot of time going over and thinking about some old issues. Part of that has involved digging up a bunch of things I wrote years ago; a minor crisis occurred this past weekend when I tried to power up an old laptop — its hard drive is the only place certain archived emails and ...

Entry published January 29, 2013. Read full entry.

Advertising and me

Recently I received an email from a company that’s in the online advertising business; they run a network that places targeted ads on a collection of sites, and wanted to know if I’d be interested in running them here. I just finished writing a reply and, since I’ve gotten a couple such offers in the recent past, I figured it’s probably time to make a public statement of my policy toward ads on sites that I personally manage. It’s very simple:

I don’t run ads, and don’t plan to.

I don’t personally ...

Entry published March 11, 2008. Read full entry.

The why and wherefore

So, let me straighten a few things out.

First off, this is my personal blog. What you see here is me speaking my own personal mind, and I neither represent nor want to represent anything larger: not Django, not Python web development, not my employer, not anything except me and whatever I feel like writing about. This is an important point to keep in mind, because I don’t have any claim to represent anything else:

Entry published December 31, 2007. Read full entry.

The future of web standards

The world of standards-based web design and development has been undergoing something of a shake-up these past few days; Andy Clarke’s CSS Unworking Group” seems to have opened the floodgates to expressions of dissatisfaction with the current method of progress (or lack thereof) in developing and standardizing new features for web developers and designers. Alex Russell’s “The W3C Cannot Save Us” and my friend and former colleague Jeff Croft’s “Do we need a return to the browser wars?” continue the theme, as does Stuart Langridge’s “Reigniting the browser ...

Entry published December 17, 2007. Read full entry.

Python framework design

Lately I’ve found myself being baited into the same old debate over and over and over again, and I’m getting tired of making the same arguments each time. Usually it begins with someone lamenting how Django is anti-community or too inflexible or generally suffering from a raging case of NIH. From there it progresses into people proclaiming how TurboGears or (more often) Pylons is objectively “better” because of how they’re designed, and how it would be nice for Django to follow their lead.

Before I go any further, I’d like you ...

Entry published February 19, 2007. Read full entry.

That’s not Popper!

In an entry posted the other day, Aaron Swartz expounded on a general observation that the “scientificness” (if I may coin a word) of a theory or discipline is roughly inversely proportional to the number of times the word “science” occurs in its name. Good examples include “creation science” and “Scientology”. This is certainly relevant material, and there are quite a few good, recent books on the subject (many of which, if you’re looking for an author to get into, have been written by Michael Shermer). But I couldn’t help ...

Entry published October 25, 2006. Read full entry.