State of the Onion, and screen savers

The State of the Onion #8: Larry Wall's "State of the Onion" speeches are always really entertaining: they're nominally about the current state of Perl, but really they're about all kinds of things. The latest one was mostly about his recent health problems, but also about community, cognition, and design. This time, instead of slides, he ran screen savers and related the behavior of each to what he was talking about.

This particular screensaver fools me more often than I care to admit. The problem is that the more computers you've used, the more different kinds of crashes you've seen. And mentally, you classify them all in the "Oh, shit!" category, which is a category the brain is very efficient at processing.

On the other hand, the part of your brain that says "Hey, that's the crash screen for a different operating system, dufus!" -- that part operates at a much slower pace. The brain is chock full of shortcuts, and orthogonality be screwed. Optimizers cheat, and sometimes they get caught cheating. With this screensaver, you can catch your own brain's optimizer cheating.

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dnalounge update

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