A Few Things for Friday, May, 24th


Some observations based on: The Financialisation of Labour (via Jarche).

Definitely some nice bits from the article. My intuition tells me that our economy is stagnating because we are ready for a revolution in robotics, transportation, artificial intelligence, financial systems, education systems, and space exploration (i.e. travel to Mars). All of these things need to come about. We've grown comfortable with our industrial society and are trying to hard to hang on to it--along with its outmoded financial structures. The post-industrial world is here, in a world of complexity and creativity. I think education comes first, not just for kids, but a period of continuous education and adaptation for everyone. Time to start living in the future that is about us now.

There is this future-view that puts us in a context where robots make us useless in economic terms. But these views are bastardized versions of the future--applying it in terms of today's reality. When the day comes that artificial intelligence can mimic human adaptability and creativity, robots become consumers. Human creativity has a long future ahead of us in the illimitable human spirit. When we reach such a point the cosmos will be ours to explore.

Programming Observations: The Linked-List

Back here in reality, on Earth, in 2013, I am exploring such pedestrian pursuits as the Linked-List. The venerable, yet often criticized, programming data structure.

This gem came to me via hacker news:

"Why you should never, ever, EVER use linked-list in your code again."

A few comments at the end of the article provide some good arguments as to why this statement is false and the article is a bit misleading. In my opinion, the statement may hold for common uses of the stl list but in practice (in production), when a performant linked-list is necessary, there are ways around the problems the author describes.

I do have code and examples (in C) on how to build a linked-list that avoids fragmentation and takes into account locality of reference that some colleagues and I put together in 2005. When I have some time, I may work on sanitizing the code for public consumption, and writing blog post around it to describe the scenario where the linked-list is appropriate for such tasks. Namely, dequeues and circular buffers.

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