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Ben Kolera
Works at iseek
Attended UQ
Lived in Brisbane
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Ben Kolera

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Everytime I read something about F# and / or LINQ I'm reassured that being stuck in Microsoft land may not be as bad as it would seem. This kind of tech is really neat & elegant and is aligned with my increasingly fp biased thought process. Shame that it is too messy to do this stuff in perl. :-(

Http://blogs.msdn.com/b/dsyme/archive/2009/10/23/a-quick-refresh-on-query-support-in-the-f-power-pack.aspx
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Yeah mate, it is. Sure there are various areas in which it could do with a bit of improvement, but I really do think they've come a long way. For the better too.
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Ben Kolera

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Maybe it just my archaic choice of mail reader, but I find it exceptionally annoying when I get HTML formatted emails that don't have a plain text alternative in the message. Even Outlook does this! Developers need to how learn to send email from their applications properly.
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Your mail reader is not archaic when there still exists shaped/capped/interrupted internet speeds.
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Ben Kolera

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These guys are nerdy as hell, but I love this in the pants: XD

Barbarion - My Rock (Official Video)
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Ben Kolera

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You'd hope and expect that they take the twitter approach and embrace that kind of innovation, but we'll see.
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Ben Kolera

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Heh, this really is like a slicker facebook without the shitty apps... Not bad. :)
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Because I'm dumb, and forget to press shift-enter, and then need to edit my post?
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Ben Kolera

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This is a good read. Thanks to +David Formosa for sharing.
**** originally shared:
 
+Liz Fong and I got about 25 trick-or-treaters, but we were provisioned for about 250. Oops.

I just read an essay which changed my mind about a few things, and as that happens rarely, I figure it must be pretty strong stuff, so I'll re-link it here: http://raikoth.net/libertarian.html

Particular points that changed my mind:

The example in 2.6. I'd never really thought about government intervention as a way of forcing people (in this case, the fish farmers) to internalize costs that had been externalized (in this case, the pollution). In general, I find this game-theoretic argument very persuasive.

The example in 2.7. I'd also never thought about the effectiveness of boycotts in game-theoretic terms, and it seems a bit embarrassingly obvious in hindsight.

The example in 2.8. It's interesting to think about how, because of the interconnectedness of our economy, there's really not any way to avoid systemic risk - you can't choose to only deal with people that aren't exposed to it, because literally everyone is.[1]

Example 2.10 is something I'd been thinking about myself for a while, but not been able to formulate coherently; I'm glad the author did.

2.13.1. I did not know of that example. Interesting. Probably fixable with a more informed public, but to be honest I'm not sure people (at least if I use myself as a model for "people") have time to care about the carcinogenicity of each individual ingredient.

2.14.3: This didn't change my mind about anything, but I'd not heard of the concept of "semantic stopsigns" (ala <http://lesswrong.com/lw/it/semantic_stopsigns/>) before.

3.1: Huh! I've been doing this myself, and not even really realized it (i.e., conflating the definition of a word with the expected emotional attachment). I'll try to notice when I'm doing this in future.

3.2: This is totally fascinating, at least for me, and probably relentlessly boring for everyone else. My entire self, in some sense, is made up of a set of inflexible rules; this is one of the defining things that makes me me. Contemplating not having them is pretty terrifying. The idea of this has been sort of lurking around the edge of my mind for a while, but I'm not quite sure how to even approach it.

3.4: Hm. I'm not sure how I'd reply to the noise-making-machine example without saying something like "the air is communal property", but... uhoh.

3.5: This explanation of consequentialism convinced me to discard my previous disdain for it in one fell swoop. I had previously used an example which I think of as the "dictator example": the idea that a dictator can force you to do any act, no matter how heinous, by threatening unlimited negative utility if you refuse. There's a flaw in this example, which I previously had not seen: the utility to everyone, for all time, of not having dictators is left out of the question! It seems that if you take a model that includes the utility to future people of not having dictators, nobody should cooperate with a dictator in this situation, and the moral hazard is avoided.

The example in 3.10 is very compelling. In general, I find the pattern of using motivating examples to address salient points to be useful. 3.10.1 discusses some criticisms of free-market-based solutions that I've had floating around in my head for a while, namely that they often assume: a) zero friction, b) infinite competition, c) zero latency, d) perfect knowledge, and e) rational actors.

[1]: This isn't strictly true. You can go and live in some of the vanishing forests and live off the land - but your air will still be polluted, and your water will still be poisoned, and you'll be undergoing enormous privations by avoiding modern health care. You can leave modern society alone, but it won't leave you alone.
The Non-Libertarian FAQ (aka Why I Hate Your Freedom). Part 1: Introduction Part 2: Practical Issues Part 3: Moral Issues Part 4: Miscellaneous. Part 1: Introduction. 1.1: Who are you? What is this? Y...
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Ben Kolera

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Woot woot! Just got perl talking nicely back to our backend systems. Java; I have one less reason to use you now. Your days are numbered. ;)
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If you, like me, listen to a lot of di.fm you may find this perl script useful. :)

https://github.com/benkolera/p5-app-di-fm-getplaylists/blob/master/script/di-fm-get_playlists.pl
p5-app-di-fm-getplaylists - A dirty script to grab DI.fm playlists automatically.
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Dunno whether CPAN is really the place for that kind of random script...
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Ben Kolera

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Harvey Norman has been caught red handed by undercover environmental investigators selling furniture that fuels the destruction of Australia's native forests. Our latest TV ad has been refused cla...
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In his circles
161 people
Have him in circles
187 people
Ananthasayanan Kandiah's profile photo
Joshua Thompson's profile photo
Matthew Erbs's profile photo
Denise Kolera's profile photo
Abdelhafid Cherair's profile photo
Springdale Coomera's profile photo
Matt Marschall's profile photo
sandy lee's profile photo
Ron Pedigo's profile photo
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Perl & Java Developer
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  • iseek
    Dev Lead, 2009 - present
  • iseek
    Developer, 2007 - 2009
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Perl, Scala & Haskell Geek. Emacs enthsiast. Muai Thai student when AFK. :)
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Perl, Scala and Haskell Developer. Loves technology and fiddling with new and interesting things.
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  • UQ
    Bachelor of Information Technology, 2003 - 2007
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The thing that I cherish most about this beautiful studio is the focus on being present and at peace with yourself every time you step onto the yoga mat. Every session is a wonderful exercise for the mind just as much as it is a workout for the body; each time a practice in remaining calm and present even in challenging circumstances. With regular practice, I've found in times of stress and anxiety all I need is a deep breath to return to the peace of my yoga mat so that I can focus on the things that really matter. Highly recommended for anyone; even highly competitive and analytical types like myself! ;)
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