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Yusuf Motara
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Yusuf Motara

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This is a truly excellent learning experience. I highly recommend that you click on the link and play around for a bit!
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This.
 
Strachey introduced ad-hoc vs parametric polymorphism in 1967 ( http://www.itu.dk/courses/BPRD/E2009/fundamental-1967.pdf ).
Every day at work I see code unnecessarily broken because the programmer didn't know about this, or the importance of it.
I went to university, yet I only learned about it much later through Haskell, just a couple of years ago.
Information is so easy to access today, but we still need education to make sense of it, and education is failing hard to curate and explain it.
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Saw this on the wall of a middle-class school nearby. Graffiti with class.
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It might well be. Took it months ago, all I can remember is being near VG.
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Yonatan Zunger originally shared:
 
Via +Joseph Smarr, a new op-ed by +Larry Smarr which I find very interesting for two reasons. First, it deals with what I refer to as "passive sensing" – detecting events by examining subtle patterns in the large datasets created by the ordinary side emissions of daily life. This is one of the subjects I've always been most passionate about; done wisely* it can lead to tremendous and non-obvious insights. Smarr talks about some of the most straightforward applications, e.g. analyzing electrical grid usage to dynamically plan for capacity, or ultimately using pervasive biomonitors to detect nascent epidemics in realtime. My own favorites include more data-heavy signals (perhaps tying in to my obsession with geopolitics) – detecting trends, fads, civil unrest, economic instability, and war before they happen. I think that some of the most important future technologies of our civilization may come out of this approach, and they could fundamentally alter the way we perceive the world.

The other thing l liked about this was something subtle which he called out: there are three interesting speeds at which to simulate a physical system. Slower than realtime can be used for bulk analysis and doing "pure science." Once you're fast enough to be realtime, you can do actual simulations (think games and the like), and detect anomalies as they happen. But once you can simulate faster-than-realtime, it's possible to predict and control a system: to simulate how it would respond to various stimuli, and then pick the ones with the desired results. That's a useful trichotomy to keep in mind.

* And with a foundation of respect for privacy, an issue which has to be at the beginning of any discussion of such data analysis.
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Yusuf Motara

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What's good for the goose...?
People profess affection for cartoons that offend a religion — until the targeted religion changes.
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Sitting behind a guy. He's both fashionable and ripped.
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A good approach.
'Most time management advice rests on the unspoken assumption that it's possible to win the game: to find a slot for everything that matters. But if the game's designed to be unwinnable,' Oliver Burkeman says, 'you can permit yourself to stop trying'
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On September 11th, protesters marched in the streets of Egypt, demanding that the makers of a YouTube video insulting Islam be put to death. These protests have since spread across the Middle East and even as far as Australia, and in many places turned bloody, leaving dozens dead and hundreds wounded. The people of the Arab world have been quick to condemn the violence; but even as they did so, they quite matter-of-factly repeated the calls for the authors of the film to be brought to swift justice and death, much as Americans would call for a killer’s conviction abroad. And these demands didn’t just come from the man in the street; they came from intelligent, educated people, even heads of state. 

To Western ears, such a statement seems unfathomable. And to understand where it comes from, we have to understand the two basic cultural values which are at play: respect for religion, and freedom of expression. (And also to understand that these sentiments are by no means universal in the Islamic world; these riots were tied to a whole host of political and economic issues. But I want to talk about where these sentiments come from where they do exist.)

Respect for religion – for Islam in particular, but for religious beliefs in general – is one of the most important cultural values in Islamic society, and especially in the Arab world. This norm is so deeply rooted that even during wars, armies take great pains to avoid firing on houses of worship; terrorists can hide from governments by taking sanctuary in churches; and groups who violate this rule, as al-Qaeda in Iraq did when it started bombing Shi’ite mosques, quickly find themselves without any friends. (Al-Qaeda found itself having to recruit abroad; Iraqis stopped joining) To involve a house of worship in a battle is an escalation in the same way that blowing up a school would be in the West.

Historically, a major reason that Islamic governments have taken such a hard line against insults to religion is because of the difficulties in getting tribes to stop killing each other. In fractured and militant societies like the ones where Islam was first a religion and government – think of the Middle East, think of present-day Afghanistan – honor is tremendously important, because if people know the consequences for trampling on your honor, they won’t dream of going further and actually trying to (say) murder and pillage your town. Honor was, and still is, often enforced with blood feuds which could last decades. For a government to convince tribes to lay down their arms and resolve disputes through laws instead of bloodshed, it has to convince them that if they do that, their honor will still be protected. By clearly and forcefully punishing “general insults,” things which impugn a lot of people’s honor, the government can signal that it takes protecting individual groups’ honor seriously. That, in turn, lets people have faith that neither they nor their neighbors need to stockpile arms and form militias, and so it’s become a basic civic duty of the government, like prosecuting murders.

Meanwhile, the notion of freedom of expression, especially around religious matters, is a very powerful European one. The religious wars of the 16th through 18th centuries ravaged the continent. The decision to let everyone hate everyone else’s religion, and simply not make a big deal out of it, was a response to a pressing need to end centuries of sectarian conflict. This became especially significant in the US, of course, since a lot of its first immigrants came specifically to escape this bloodshed. From there, freedom of expression took on great political and cultural significance, and today is one of our most sacred communal values.

Nothing like this happened in the Islamic world; sectarian violence never reached the scales it did in post-Reformation Europe. As a result, “freedom of expression” isn’t part of the cultural lexicon in the same way that it is in the West. That’s not to say that the idea doesn’t have resonance there – in fact, I believe that the more people are exposed to it, the more they are likely to want it for themselves. But for now, to the majority of the populations in the places where these riots have taken place it’s a largely foreign value, something with little influence over their lives.

Neither of these ideas is usually discussed so historically – Muslims don’t talk about how respect for religion ended tribal conflict any more often than Americans talk about the influence of the Thirty Years’ War on the First Amendment. Instead, both cultural values are deeply rooted within the cultures’ respective identities, basic things that you do in order to be a decent human being. So when these protests seem incomprehensible and barbaric, what’s really going on is two very different sets of values talking past one another. Westerners are confused as to why people in the Islamic world are upset at all, and shocked at the suggestion that the film authors should be put to death, while in the Islamic world, people are equally shocked at the suggestion that the authors get away with a major crime against the commonweal, and are confused as to why Western governments are refusing to perform this basic function. It is, quite simply, as bizarre to these eyes as it would be to Americans if a foreign government were to refuse to prosecute terrorists. 

So when you see these protests go by, or whatever similar protests happen in the future, the thing to help you understand what’s happening is that, to these protesters, someone just committed a serious and shocking crime; they’re calling on the government for justice in the same way that they would over a murder. The great clash of norms here is that what one side sees – for very solid historical reasons – as a vicious crime is the same thing that the other side sees – for very solid historical reasons – as a core civil right.
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Yonatan Zunger originally shared:
 
An interesting blog post spotted by +Amy Sundberg. It's a writer discussing how she increased her daily work output dramatically -- but the ideas don't seem specific to writing. Really, these ideas seem like they could be useful for any sort of work where you have to sit down on your ass and produce stuff out of your head until enough stuff has been produced, be it writing, design, research or engineering.
How I Went From Writing 2000 Words a Day to 10000 Words a Day. When I started writing The Spirit War (Eli novel #4), I had a bit of a problem. I had a brand new baby and my life (like every new mother...
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That good night, from the perspective of people who have seen plenty of raging against the dying of the light.
Amy Sundberg originally shared:
 
This is an informative, if rather grim, article by a doctor on the difference between how many doctors choose to die compared to non-medical professionals. The author says that most doctors choose to focus on the quality of their life rather than the quantity, something they perhaps become more in tune with from being exposed to so many horrific incidents of "futile care" that increase suffering.

I think it's hard for those of us not educated in medicine to know that we are making the right decisions for either our own care or our loved ones' care. And I think there is an important distinction between doing everything that is reasonable vs. doing everything that can be done. Unfortunately, for those of us without the knowledge and experience, it can be hard to tell the difference.
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