Quotable: Douglas Crockford
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Quotable: Douglas Crockford

On why you should never leave out the space between ”if” and the expression that follows in JavaScript: The Good Parts:

I placed a space between ”if” and ”(” so that the ”if” didn’t look like a function invocation.

I’m just quoting this because it’s one of those little things that drives me nuts when people are sloppy about it.

Quotable: Ta-Nehisi Coates
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Quotable: Ta-Nehisi Coates

Ta-Nahesi Coates on writing:

Writing is really hard work–mostly because thinking is really hard work. When you don’t want to do that work, but you want the meager payment it offers, the fleeting fame it brings, then you resort to thinking on the cheap. You go for shock. And you do it that way because you have nothing to offer except your rep as contrarian, and a provocateur. You do it because you are lazy.

Quotable: Claire McCaskill
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Quotable: Claire McCaskill

Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill on why she tweets:

Second, as his bar graph showed, I tweet an average of 4 to 5 times a day. This has become a welcome discipline for me in Washington. As I am walking to a hearing, or riding the tram over for a vote, I think of what I want to tell the folks at home about my work or life. This, I believe, is a fairly decent way to stay connected. After all, I’m in Washington to work for them and this process reminds me of it several times a day.

The anti-Twitter backlash is stupid, but at least it has given people who enjoy or find value in Twitter a good reason to write smart things about why it’s stupid.

Quotable: Alex Payne
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Quotable: Alex Payne

Alex Payne on online technical debate:

In practice, the conversations that are most widely heard in the tech community are full of inaccuracies, manufactured drama, ignorance, and unbridled opinion. In discussing these Internet-spanning debates with non-technical friends, comparisons to Hollywood tabloids come first to mind. It’s a time sink for an industry that should be a shining example of how to use the newest of media for constructive debate.

Tim Bray weighs in citing Sturgeon’s Law — 90% of everything is crap, which works both ways. Yeah, most everything is crap, but a bigger pie leads to more crap, but more non-crap too. A rising tide lifts all boats.

Quotable: Mohammad Sephery-Rad
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Quotable: Mohammad Sephery-Rad

Mohammad Sephery-Rad, minister of Iran’s High Informatics Council, on replacing Windows with Linux for reasons of security:

All the software in Iran is copied. There is no copyright law, so everybody uses Microsoft software freely but we cannot continue like this much longer.

Apparently Iran is also seeking admission to the WTO, which would require them to respect international copyright laws.

On addressing criticism
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On addressing criticism

I liked this from Glenn Greenwald:

Adversarial challenges to one’s statements are a vital check on errors and deceit. Clashes of ideas are an irreplaceable instrument for truth-finding. Shielding oneself from such challenges (or just ignoring them) is not only irresponsible and cowardly, but ensures that one can opine without accountability. That’s why bloggers who have an active, smart and critical comment section with which they interact have a major advantage over journalists who hide from critical scrutiny. In all of this, it’s reasonable to exercise some discretion — not all criticisms and/or critics merit attention — but those who avoid any real challenges to their statements (whether politicians, journalists, or pundits) ought to be stigmatized for doing so, and it ought to be viewed as a powerful indictment against their credibility (Ambinder’s post will prompt me to resume efforts to invite onto Salon Radio those who are criticized here and to make note of those who refuse).