Personal pronouns: 同志 / 同志 / 同志的

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Cake day: Feb. 24, 2021

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So … instead of providing a link, you provide a meme that tells me to Google something.

Weirdly, I don’t find this to be a) helpful, b) compelling, or c) performed in good faith.

Please stop taking techniques from righttards. Come back when you’re willing to actually be useful.


Obama was a warmonger. Like every other president in US history, practically. (How many years total out of the USA’s history has it not been at war again? Six?)


WTF is this even supposed to mean? Is there a translation card for the non-Americans?



In which Business Genius™ Elon Musk Ox's brilliant Soopah Dupah Business Plan® is documented for future generations to marvel over.
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Any second language used only for programming purposes is going to be doomed from the outset anyway. I work in a Chinese engineering firm. They work with Chinese people (and me). They sell their products to Chinese firms. What possible incentive could they have to make all their engineers use a different language than Mandarin to communicate in? If they grow to the point that international markets are a concern, they’ll have to i18n their products anyway (because their customers won’t be speaking some conlang!) and given the costs of that, updating the design documents in another language is a minor cost.

Conlang IALs are a solution in search of a problem for an overwhelming number of professionals. They present a high-cost initial barrier of entry (the time it takes to learn the conlang to fluency) with a very low payout in the short- and medium-term for almost all involved people. And even if the engineers in question did learn the conlang do you genuinely believe they’ll use it when doing work among other speakers of their own language? Do you genuinely believe the conlang will be the primary communication tool?

Idealism is a good thing. A great thing. Provided that it is, in some fashion, compatible with reality. A conlang IAL for programming is not compatible with reality.


I have found myself thinking this more and more as well, with the rising number of projects which are being developed primarily by/for speakers of other languages, sometimes with terrible to non-existent english support.

I love how this is always framed: “…terrible to non-existent English support…”

There’s about 400 million native English speakers in the world. There’s about a billion native Mandarin speakers in the world. Why is it never framed “…terrible to non-existent Mandarin support…”? There’s about 475 million native Spanish speakers in the world. Why is it never framed “…terrible to non-existent Spanish support…”?

Even the way internationalists frame things is very telling.


I’m referring to 16 years of experience teaching language and seeing where the pain points were in acquiring English from Mandarin speakers. The irregularity of English grammar was never a particularly difficult point. The Chinese just sat and memorized, something they’re good at from just their own orthography, given that it’s almost, but not quite, entirely devoid of system.

What were pain points were conceptual pain points. Most people couldn’t grasp articles and when they should or should not be used. (Esperanto has an article whose use case is bizarre.) Most people had a hazy grasp on verb conjugation, freely using whichever conjugation first passed their lips without subject/verb agreement. Declining for number was a pain point. Even the mildest amount of gendered language caused problems (“he” and “she” tend to get used interchangeably and fluidly, often switching between them in the same sentence). Verb tenses. Verb aspects. Both of these caused tremendous difficulty.

And Esperanto has all of them and more.

Would Esperanto be easier than English to learn? Of course! It’s far more regular than English. But the point here is that while easier than English, it’s not much easier than English because as a language at a conceptual level it is not that different from English. And then on top of that the consonant clusters (thank you Polish!) would render it nigh-impossible to pronounce. We’re talking about people for whom the word “lonely” is a tongue-twister because of the switch between ‘l’ and ‘n’. For whom the “str” in “string” is a pain point. And I’ve spotted Esperanto words with five-consonant clusters, four of them hard.

There is not much difference in terms of difficulty between learning English for Mandarin speakers and learning Esperanto because the difficulties come from conceptual levels, not practical. There are alien ideas in Esperanto (shared with English), and that’s where the hard part comes. So the choice of a Chinese speaker is to learn Esperanto and get (generously) a million people (of eight billion) to speak with, or get (equally generously) 1.5 billion people (of, remember, eight billion) to speak with.

When that stark calculus is presented, the choice is clear: spend the little bit of extra work it takes to learn English and ignore Esperanto.

I’d be very interested in seeing your mentioned studies, incidentally. Specifically seeing who performed them (and what their methodology was). My guess is that they weren’t professional linguists, and nor were they particularly rigorous (using things like self-selected subjects, etc.).



It’s rather obvious you don’t see what I’m talking about. Even when you QUOTE IT.

English, to take a horrifically terrible language at random, is not much harder to learn for, say, a Chinese speaker

That is a sweeping generalization you made. How would Esperanto be harder for a Chinese person than English?

See that there, Sparky? That’s you claiming I said the precise opposite of what I said.

(Note, also, that I very clearly called English a “horrifically terrible language” yet the rest of your response to that was acting as if I said English were a good language. Another sign of not reading for comprehension, but rather reading to find some excuse to react even if you have to make up that excuse.)

So go back and re-read everything … EVERYTHING … I said for comprehension before you waste any more of my time. I’m tired of intellectually dishonest Esperantists.


I did. Why do you think I quoted your text?

You quoted text that said the exact opposite of what you then argued against. Read for comprehension this time.


Dude, I said English was harder. Seriously, try to keep up! I just said it’s not much harder and comes with the benefit of people actually speaking it so that learning it isn’t a waste of effort.

Further, Esperanto is ignored because it’s not much easier than natural languages to huge swathes of the world’s population, but at least has the benefit of being utterly useless to learn.

Learn a few languages from places that aren’t Indo-European ones. Learn how you can have grammars with little to no declension, for example: no verb tenses, aspects, voices, genders, cases … not even declining by count. Then consider:

  1. Esperanto has almost all of these alien-to-many concepts; and,
  2. While it is true that it is more regular in these than in natural Indo-European languages, the latter have the benefit of actually having speakers: the purpose of learning a foreign language is met: communication.

On top of this:

  1. Esperanto has a consonant-heavy phonetic inventory, making its pronunciation hard for a lot of speakers of other languages. (It is painfully obvious that Zamenhoff was Polish, let’s put it this way.) Too it is very bizarrely irregular (though it’s not so bizarre once you check out Zamenhoff’s native dialect and its consonantal inventory…). Lest you think this isn’t a problem, most native languages in the world rarely present more than “consonant+vowel” structures, so strings of consonants are absolutely horrendously difficult for them. (Even saying “string” is hard, and that’s mild compared to some of the atrocities of PolishEsperanto.
  2. Esperanto uses a system of affixes (pre- and suf-) to words to modify word forms and attach meanings. This is a difficult concept for speakers of languages like Mandarin, say, to comprehend (where word forms are notoriously vague and grammatical particles are used in place of affixes to accomplish many of the same things). Further, Esperanto assumes that a) word forms are universal, b) that the categories in those languages that have them are the same, and c) that even when the categories are the same individual words are categorized similarly across languages. Yet in English “angry” is an adjective. In other languages it is a verb. Fancy that!
  3. Esperanto has the single most useless feature of any language: gendered declensions. (And, naturally, just to add icing to this cake, the default is masculine.) Zamenhoff had the chance to remove the single most useless feature of a language from his grammar … and didn’t. Flipping FARSI managed to do this, a natural language in the Indo-European family, but a constructed language had to keep this vestigial nonsense?! Again, gendered grammar is not even slightly universal and makes the language difficult to learn for people coming from sane languages.
  4. Esperanto’s lexical inventory is gloriously East European for the most part, with random slathering of Romance-language vocabulary generously applied. So, you know, using as a basis words from a small geographical region instead of words from around the world. Where are the Chinese roots? The Arabic ones? The roots from various African languages? There aren’t any. Thus it is pretty much equally difficult for a Chinese(or Arabic(or, say, Swahili))-speaking student to learn the lexicon of an actual language spoken by actual people instead of a toy language spoken by basically nobody.
  5. What is a subjunctive? What is an infinitive? What is a participle? These are concepts that are very much Indo-European. Speakers of languages outside that family (which is checks notes most people) have no idea what one or more of these are. So that’s three alien grammatical concepts right off the top of my head in Esperanto’s grammar, and while sure it’s more regular (FSVO “regular”) than in natural languages, it’s the conceptual barrier that is hard to breach, not the rote memory work to learn them once you’ve grokked the idea. So again, slightly more difficult to learn a natural language, but even a natural language with as low a speaker count as Basque will give you about as many people to talk to as does Esperanto while the Big Name™ languages will give you multiple of orders of magnitude more. Each.
  6. Esperanto assumes that notions of “subject”, “object”, and “argument” are linguistic universals. They aren’t. This makes Esperanto’s twee case structure with its cute little suffixes actually fiendishly difficult to learn for speakers of languages that mix agents, experiencers, and patients in ways different from the Indo-European majority. (Don’t know what agents, experiencers, and patients are? Maybe you should crack open an inventory of linguistics before talking about how “easy” a language is to learn…)
  7. Why are there plurals in Esperanto? Why decline for number at all? Plenty of languages don’t and it works just fine. OK, so for whatever reason you think plurals are necessary: WHY THE HELL DOES ESPERANTO ALSO HAVE COUNT/VERB AGREEMENT!? That’s just bizarre even in many languages that have retained the unnecessary concept of a plural!
  8. Personal pronouns. Ugh. There’s first person singular and plural (but no way to distinguish between inclusive and exclusive in the latter case). There’s second person with no ability to distinguish singular and plural (because consistency is for whiners!). There’s gendered (🙄) singular third-person, but non-gendered (let’s be honest: default-masculine) third-person. And then there’s a weird one (oni) that means one. Or people. Because screw making sense! Why are there gendered pronouns at all!? They serve no useful purpose; many languages (including Farsi, the language of Iran(!)) eschew them completely, and others (e.g. Mandarin) only distinguish them in writing (and that itself is a very recent cultural import!).
  9. Articles. WHY IS THERE AN ARTICLE IN ESPERANTO!? And why only one!? You’ve eliminated all the other articles, take that final step dammit! Join the majority of world languages which don’t bother with these vestigial adverbs!

And I’m out of steam already. There are a whole lot of hidden linguistic assumptions in Esperanto that are alien to language speakers from outside of the Indo-European milieu, or difficult for such speakers to actually perform. To someone in steeped an Indo-European linguistic environment these are invisible. They’re “natural” or even “logical”. But they are absolute tongue-twisters and conceptual mountains for those coming from outside of those environs. And if you’re going to climb those conceptual mountains and twist your tongue in service of these phonetic horrors, where do you think it’s best to expend your efforts:

  1. On a fantasy football league language that has maybe a million speakers world-wide (and that’s being generous!); or,
  2. On a natural language that’s a little bit more difficult but gives you access to ~1 billion native speakers and ~200 million secondary speakers (Mandarin), ~475/75 million (Spanish), ~400 million/~1 billion (English), 350/250 million (Hindi), or even 50/26 million (Hausa)?

If you’re sane and value your time, you pick literally almost any natural language in the world for better return on investment, even though it may, in the case of some of those (coughIndo-Europeancough) languages, be a little bit more difficult than Esperanto. (Yes. A little bit.)


Sparky, here’s a tip: read what I actually wrote instead of whatever words were flowing through your brain from the voices. Then come back and actually address what I actually said. It’s amazing how much you wrote in response to material you understood so little of.


I don’t mind vocals in my focus music. As long as they’re not in a language I understand. I listen to a lot of Chinese opera currently, as well as assorted brands of international metal.


Esperanto is not a particularly easily learnable language to most of the world. It’s a very parochial language made by someone whose exposure to language was all European and very strongly focused on specifically East European languages both phonetically and grammatically. English, to take a horrifically terrible language at random, is not much harder to learn for, say, a Chinese speaker than Esperanto would be, but it would be a million times more useful given the rather pathetically small number of Esperanto speakers out there.

If you’re going to use a constructed IAL (as opposed to de facto lingua francas like have been historically the case), make one that isn’t filled with idiotic things like declension by case, by gender, by number, by tense, by … Or you’re going to have most people in the world ignoring it. Like you already have for Esperanto.


It’s also illegal to fire actual staffers in huge numbers that way. But the Musk Ox thinks he’s above petty things like “laws” and “decency” and “humanity” and “not sucking as a person”.


Well, I gave Quanta a go and upon following the user guide to just add a Mastodon account (mine) to follow, having it fail each and every time, I’ve decided that it’s simply not ready for actual users yet.

Problems I noted:

  1. My friends list (which should have been empty) was filled with garbage content from a bunch of places.
  2. My friends feed (which is different from the “Friends” list—information design is a vital skill programmers suck at!) which should also have been empty was filled with a bunch of crap from all over the Fediverse, about half of it being #MAGA-waving twits.
  3. My federated feed was also filled with a bunch of (half-#MAGA thug) content from all over the Fediverse, but at least it was a different bunch from my should-have-been-empty “Friends” feed.
  4. I was unable to follow anybody. I tested with my own Mastodon account a few times, and then random other people from the federated feed. The former went through all the motions of following right down to saying I was following … but then lost its mind when I actually went to check my friends list, insisting that I wasn’t friends. WIth the latter it was even worse: I kept getting bizarre error messages about this not being my instance.
  5. I was unable to block anybody, which is a problem considering the sheer quantity of #MAGA bullshit on the feeds. Again I got bizarre error messages about this not being my instance.

Quanta is an absolute mess right where it needs to be best of breed: the user experience. I’m sure there were solutions to all the problems I experienced, but I can’t be arsed to sit down and debug other people’s code when it’s so painfully obvious they didn’t debug their own. The developer of Quanta needs to gather a bunch of new users from different disciplines (ranging from technical users to non-technical users) and watch them thrash around with his software, taking notes so he understands what the pain points are and why Quanta, as is, will not take the world by storm. Nor even by zephyr.


Futhark is of interest as a future direction, chiefly as a supplementary language for sub-pieces of a larger, performance-intensive program. Note that its creators, however, explicitly state:

Futhark is not intended to replace existing general-purpose languages. The intended use case is that Futhark is only used for relatively small but compute-intensive parts of an application.

This is not a negative point, incidentally! I personally use a lot of languages in my work because I find it’s better to use a tool honed to near-perfection for a particular use case than it is to employ another tool that does something not quite the same with lower quality. I wish more programmers learned more tools so they stopped doing the programming equivalent of hammering nails with a large wrench.



OK, let’s take that weird one apart so I can show you the strategy for reasoning about it: Index'Pos(Index'Succ(Index'First));

First, Index'Pos is clearly separating two lexical items: Index and Pos. Where have we seen either of those before? Pos is only ever used on the right hand side of ', so that’s a clue that this is some kind of component of Index. Index is defined, however. Let’s take a look at that specification again.

generic
   type Element_Type is private;
   type Index is (<>);
   type Collection is array(Index) of Element_Type;
   with function "<=" (Left, Right : Element_Type) return Boolean is <>;
procedure Gnome_Sort(Item : in out Collection);

Index is a type. What type? (<>). That’s just gibberish if you only know Python and C, but we can still tease out some information.

First, Index has a name that means something. It’s, well, an index. And if we look at Collection right underneath it, it’s an index into an array. So Index is likely an integer.

So 'Pos is some kind of operation or member or something on the type of an integer. And it suggests that it means some kind of position. What could “position” mean to an integer?

The clue lies in how the function there gets used. I didn’t put it there (because I was already being long-winded) but here’s the example of using that:

with Gnome_Sort;
with Ada.Text_Io; use Ada.Text_Io;

procedure Gnome_Sort_Test is
   type Index is range 0..9;
   type Buf is array(Index) of Integer;
   procedure Sort is new Gnome_Sort(Integer, Index, Buf);
   A : Buf := (900, 700, 800, 600, 400, 500, 200, 100, 300, 0);
begin
   for I in A'range loop
      Put(Integer'Image(A(I)));
   end loop;
   New_Line;
   Sort(A);
   for I in A'range loop
      Put(Integer'Image(A(I)));
   end loop;
   New_Line;
end Gnome_Sort_Test;

And here the penny drops. The Gnome_Sort routine is generic (clue: generic in the specification). The index has to be defined for it. We do that with the three lines immediately after the procedure line in the use case. Index is an integer in the range of 0…9.

Because the Gnome_Sort procedure is generic, we make no assumptions about what the array ranges are: here it’s 0…9, but it could just as easily have been -1277516794231…125164987325159876. So these 'Pos, 'First, and 'Last and 'Val and such things are used to step through loops in a type-safe way that’s guaranteed to never step out of the array boundaries.

But it’s largely unimportant. These are Ada-isms focused on Ada’s obsession: correctness. That’s just line noise, really, for purposes of understanding the code. We can kind of intuit that I is starting from the successor ('Succ) of the first ('First) (a.k.a the second) element of the array and going through it until it reaches the end of it (<= Index'Last). This guess is further bolstered by the comparison of things indexed via I - 1 against I.

Decoding this is a dollop of familiarity with paradigms and coding approaches and decent contextual guessing. Is it better to just know the language? Yep. But even not knowing it you can tease out everything you need to work out how a gnome sort works. Part of the skill set in reading alien code is to learn how to relax and gloss over the bits that you don’t understand until you see the shape of the whole thing, after which, if you’re familiar with the paradigm, you can start making very good guesses as to what the unfamiliar bits actually mean. (Again, if you’re unfamiliar with the paradigm you’re … going to need to learn.)


This is so capitalism at all levels that it hurts to watch. - Corporation peddles snake oil that kills people. - Corporation doubles down on that snake oil at a time of a global pandemic when lives are doubly on the line. - A scientist speaking out against the technology with verified studies and measurements is sued by said corporation. - Said scientist has to beg for money to get even the smallest chance in court in the face of the corporate juggernaut. Ladies and gentlemen: I give you ***CAPITALISM!***
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This is a development and a half (if true).
Elon Musk's child wants a legal gender change for reasons of gender identity *and* because he's embarrassed by his father.
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Too good not to share! My two favourite scams: Elon Musk and Bitcoin, merged together into a joint scam!
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cross-posted from: https://lemmy.ml/post/221845 > This is arguably one of the most important archives of computer science and engineering information available. And 50 years of it is now free. Get out there and play while educating yourself on things you didn't know were ancient history!
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cross-posted from: https://lemmy.ml/post/221845 > This is arguably one of the most important archives of computer science and engineering information available. And 50 years of it is now free. Get out there and play while educating yourself on things you didn't know were ancient history!
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This is arguably one of the most important archives of computer science and engineering information available. And 50 years of it is now free. Get out there and play while educating yourself on things you didn't know were ancient history!
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cross-posted from: https://lemmy.ml/post/209328 > When last I wrote about COROS I explored the EVQ component of it with a focus on the API and some of its underlying construction. In this post I will expand on that underlying construction giving reasons for some of the design decisions, as well as providing some example use cases for this.
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When last I wrote about COROS I explored the EVQ component of it with a focus on the API and some of its underlying construction. In this post I will expand on that underlying construction giving reasons for some of the design decisions, as well as providing some example use cases for this.
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Protests are all well and good but they're not helping the Ukrainians on the ground. Governments aren't helping Ukrainians on the ground either. Maybe it's time to help them help themselves.
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Software has a problem. OK, it has many problems. I've already highlighted one of them. But this is another important one. The problem is that software—all software, with no exceptions—sucks. The reason for this is multifaceted and we could spend years and years arguing about who has the larger list of reasons, but in the end it boils down to the proverbial shoemaker's children: Our development tools are the worst of the worst in software.
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Well, it's come full circle.
You'll probably need your favourite translation engine of choice, but long story short, COVID-19 outbreak in Wuhan. Ten known cases with prospects for more. A lot of buildings have been locked down and the city is back on location tracking and mitigation measures. There's a decent chance I'm facing lockdown again for the first time since March 2020. Fuck.
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cross-posted from: https://lemmy.ml/post/176003 > With coroutines and their use cases at least reasonably well established, the event queue mechanism of COROS is introduced to tie them up into a convenient architecture.
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With coroutines and their use cases at least reasonably well established, the event queue mechanism of COROS is introduced to tie them up into a convenient architecture.
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cross-posted from: https://lemmy.ml/post/175976 > The first piece of COROS explored was the coroutine system, but coroutines are not a well-understood facility in programming circles for some reason. This article builds up some use cases for coroutines and their application in preparation for the next major component of COROS.
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The first piece of COROS explored was the coroutine system, but coroutines are not a well-understood facility in programming circles for some reason. This article builds up some use cases for coroutines and their application in preparation for the next major component of COROS.
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cross-posted from: https://lemmy.ml/post/171610 > The first in a series of articles that builds up a coroutine-based RTOS for use primarily in memory-constrained embedded systems. Future articles will expound on other pieces of the RTOS after which the full, production-ready source will be published under my usual choice of the WTFPL2 license.
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The first in a series of articles that builds up a coroutine-based RTOS for use primarily in memory-constrained embedded systems. Future articles will expound on other pieces of the RTOS after which the full, production-ready source will be published under my usual choice of the WTFPL2 license.
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cross-posted from: https://lemmy.ml/post/154552 > Dynamic SRAM allocation is the device-killer … > > … but it doesn't have to be.
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