An Experiment In Scotch

I write to discover what I believe

Month: February 2010

Analyzing My Facebook Friends

Because I am weird (and because I only have 35 Facebook friends, making it possible to turn my weirdness into some data observations), I have spent the last 10 minutes analyzing how many friends my friends have. On average, they have 162.8857 friends (the person who is .8857th of a friend keeps showing up as a suggestion but I keep ignoring him, preferring whole friends to percentages). The standard deviation is 93.06284 which is remarkable (only in the sense that I am remarking on it) because even at only 35 friends, I am with 2 standard deviations of the mean.

My friend with the fewest friends is Jane at 50. The friend with the most is Madison with 409. Madison is almost 3 standard deviations above the mean of my friends which is probably completely meaningless. There seems to be some inverse correlation with number of friends and age though I have not run the numbers to tell you what the Pearson’s is.

In figuring out the numbers, I only ran into 4 friends with whom I had no friends in common (one old high school buddy, one CrossFit friend, one old AOL/chat/email buddy and one friend from our dog boarder) and in the remaining graph of friends, I only ran into a dead end three times (a dead end being defined as reaching a point where I could not find a friend’s friend numbers without having to return to my home page, once with my family, once with previous work related friends, and once with mutual friends of Kathryn’s. My friends seem to be tightly integrated through a handful of limbs on the tree.

What all this means is that I slept 12 hours last night, haven’t had a drink tonight and thus am not the slightest bit tired at 11 PM. I have finished the book that I said I would (Wisdom of Crowds, highly recommended but you can’t have my copy because I borrowed it from Matt F , another friend, also the friend who shares names with the largest number of my friends at 3), I have roasted and deboned a chicken, I have bought groceries, I have watched Bode Miller win Bronze in the downhill and so I am allowed to waste time on Facebook though I will have to admit, this is the most fun I’ve had on Facebook since starting here. See, I told you I was weird.

Learning MySql 45 Minutes at a Time

This and all future MySql posts are really for my own record keeping so that when dumb things happen that take me 45 minutes to fix, I have a record of them for future such incidents.

Today, for some reason, I couldn’t log in remotely to the MySql instance running on my Mac. This has been working just fine for the past month so needless to say, I had no idea what happened. As it turned out, the IP address of my Parallels instance had changed, rendering all the entries in my user table pointless. I had to update the user table with the new IP, restart the MySql instance and boom, up and running again.

Login from the terminal first:

mysql -u root -p

Then:

USE mysql;

select Host, User from user;

update user Set Host = 'NEW IP' where Host = 'OLD IP';

select Host, User from user;

For The Obsessive-Compulsive Amongst You

I hate it when the HTML in Visual Studio gets badly formatted. There have been nights when I have laid awake cursing badly formatted HTML in Visual Studio. But no more! There is hope for those of us whose OCD tendencies threaten to take over our brain and make do terrible things to less attentive people. Here’s how you can fix your badly formatted HTML in one step.

Go to Tools->Options->Text Editor->HTML->Miscellaneous and check the “Format HTML on paste” box. Close, copy and paste any offending HTML and what do you know, it’s correctly formatted.

Now I’m off to count the steps to the bathroom. Again.

Gun Porn

Something at least 2 of my 4 readers can agree on. This is one bad-ass looking gun.

Does Our Whininess Have No End?

Whole Foods is implementing a plan to give a bigger employee discount to employees that don’t smoke, have lower blood pressure and have a BMI under 30. Naturally, people are whining about discrimination. This includes one quote that I can’t possibly do justice to other than to reproduce it in full:

“Why are you rewarding people who are naturally thin? We believe it’s discrimination,” said Peggy Howell, a spokeswoman for the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance. “We are encouraging our membership and anyone else who agrees with us to shop elsewhere.”

Sigh. Look, Peggy Howell, I’ve got news for you. Most of your membership IS ALREADY shopping somewhere else like Taco Bell and Long John Silver’s. My tiny little brain can’t even comprehend the idea of a National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance.

This is a voluntary program to reward people for doing something valuable in the eyes of their employer. On top of that, it rewards people for doing what it takes to be healthier. It’s a fucking voluntary incentive program, no different than giving out bonuses to people who do more or better work. In the huge majority of instances, fat is a choice. Yes, some body types find it easier to not gain weight but contrary to Ms. Howell’s assertion, almost everyone is naturally thin. We eat too much and we exercise too little because we choose to.

I think it’s sad that it’s come to the point not only where being fat and out of shape is a badge of honor but where there is an association trying to spread the acceptance of it. This is not the same thing as civil rights or gay freedom or anything else out there. We are fat because we eat too much, exercise too little and live in a country where we have to do almost no physical labor at any time. Just today, I saw a commercial by a bariatric surgeon that told me if I was fat, I didn’t have a weight control problem, I had a medical condition called obesity. We are to the point where being overweight is a medical condition and not a choice. That’s unbelievable. Is weight loss hard? Only because our diet is so screwed up and our exercise output is so low. Get 30 minutes of exercise a day, eat nothing but meat, vegetables, nuts, seeds and fruit in 2000 calorie daily totals and you will lose weight in all most all cases. It just isn’t that hard from a physical standpoint. The rules are simple and easy to define. It’s the discipline to do so that goes so terribly wanting.

Whole Foods is trying to get their employees to be healthier. People who choose not to participate still get the same damn discount they have always gotten. This is an incentive program, plain and simple. Choose to do what it takes to be healthy and we’ll reward you. There’s nothing discriminatory about it. Bill Maher said it best: “Ask your doctor if getting off your ass is right for you.”

StackOverflow Podcast #81 Notes from the Underground

So I’ve been listening to several podcasts on my commute these days and one that I religiously listen to is StackOverflow’s. Unlike other excellent podcasts like Boagworld and Herding Code, StackOverflow’s regularly makes me yell at my radio. I think I listen to this podcast for the same reasons I used to hang out in the AOL Christian chatrooms way back when I found the internet, i.e. the need to feel superior. How I can feel superior to people who have a very successful business and reputation in the tech world when I have a blog that averages 3 visitors a day is probably a discussion best left to my psychiatrist.

That said, on this week’s podcast (which I haven’t listened to fully thus supremely qualifying me to talk about it on the internet), Jeff Atwood starts off the podcast trying to explain away his GitHub comments. His main argument seems to boil down to him being a more command-and-control project manager. However, not 15 minutes later in the podcast, he essentially scolds Joel for running his business with a brick wall around it and not being open to outside information. Hello Pot, I’m Kettle. Seriously, if you’re so freaked out by the fact that you stuck some code up on GitHub, essentially abandoned it and then came back to find out other people had cloned it, you shouldn’t be calling someone out in public about their desire to build brick walls around anything. Further making this worse, Joel runs his own damn business and should have every right to build a brick wall around it if he wants to. But expecting to have a command-and-control approach to an open source site hosted on GitHub whose tagline is “Social Coding” is so illogical it boggles the mind.

The real problem here is that Jeff just doesn’t understand GitHub and went ahead and negatively commented on it on a very public, very popular podcast. And now he’s trying to say that he didn’t mean to piss anyone off, all the time sounding horribly condescending when he complains about features of GitHub THAT ARE INTENTIONAL.

Sigh. I’m going to have to start listening to this podcast on Mondays. The reaction I find myself having is much more suited to that day than Friday.