Benjamin L. Russell


  • Benjamin L. Russell
    Back in my sophomore year at the "Zoo" computer lab (so-called because each terminal within was named after a different species of fauna) at Yale University when I was enrolled (between fall of 1989 to spring of 1994, including my LOA), there was one rather unusual member of "DSAC" (the Departmental Student Advisory Committee), Tony Lower (then a senior), who just happened to be a half-nerd, half-geek undergraduate.

    This somewhat strange fellow, unlike the other members of the committee, had a ...  more
  • Benjamin L. Russell
    Personally, I cannot understand why some users neglect to peruse terms of service when subscribing to any online service.

    Such terms of service often specify critical information that can affect the quality of the service.

    For example, the main reason that I initially hesitated in subscribing to MeWe was a clause in their terms of service that expressly prohibited "link bait." The problem is that the term "link bait" is ambiguous, and can essentially refer to anything that the writer wishes t...  more
  • Benjamin L. Russell
    While some may not realize this aspect, reading privacy policies can actually be useful.

    For example, just now, I opted-out of having my personal information sent to either Facebook or Google by reading a privacy policy for a certain application and sending a request to that effect to the e-mail address described in the policy.

    Generally speaking, perusing license agreements, terms of service, codes of conduct, privacy policies, and other similar agreements is usually sound policy. Failure to...  more
  • Benjamin L. Russell
    [This post is a share of a previous post, entitled "Denpa Kyōshi (Ultimate Otaku Teacher)" (see, on my Dreamwidth account.]

    _Denpa Kyōshi_ (_Denpa_ is Japanese slang for "crazy" or "insane" in the sense of "extremely unorthodox" or "similar to an _otaku_" ) (_Ultimate Otaku Teacher_ in English) is a 2011 Japanese _manga_ (later released as _anime_), by Takeshi Azuma, about a genius-_otaku_-turned-teacher, Junichiro Kagami, who is simultaneously...  more
  • Benjamin L. Russell
    Some users here do not seem to understand the degree to which certain nerds (introverts who primarily spend most of their time on a specific technical interest) view certain interests of geeks (introverts who are obsessed with a non-technical hobby) with a pejorative eye, and that therefore, nerds and geeks simply don't mix.

    For example, for some reason, some self-proclaiming "hackers" use the term "mindrot" to characterize certain online gaming titles in a pejorative manner, as in the followin...  more
  • Benjamin L. Russell
    Ironically, the only way that some people can enjoy programming is to program something that they can't enjoy.

    For example, Unity3D would allow me to program something that I can enjoy (a 60 FPS 3D networked RPG), but in something that I can't enjoy (C#).

    Conversely, Scheme, Ruby, and Haskell would allow me to enjoy programming, but only to program something that I can't enjoy (something that doesn't require sophisticated graphics libraries, runs slowly, or is designed to focus substantially o...  more
  • Benjamin L. Russell
    The alternative title mentioned in the comment is quite funny.

    The original title of the article read, "Why I Prefer Go Over Python or Java"; however, the comment, by Suren Enfiajyan, stated,

    "If there was no Go programming language the meaning of the title would be quite different."

    Generally speaking, I might have entitled the original article,

    "Why I Prefer to Go Over Not Just Python or Java, But Any Non-Functional Programming Language."
  • Benjamin L. Russell
    Apparently, my nemesis, Professor Drew V. McDermott of my alma mater, retired last year. According to his home page (see,

    "... I spend most of my time lately writing fiction, a whole new world."

    This means that he is essentially no longer a professor of computer science, but a fiction-writer. This should make it more difficult for him to look down upon poets similar to myself, who are also writers, albeit of a slightly different sort.

    According to the ...  more
  • Benjamin L. Russell
    Rebuilding a list of followers on a migrated social network service profile can be incredibly difficult because of a combination of factors, including a different community and different functionality.

    When Google+ was destroyed by Google, I had a total of 578 followers. Currently, discounting the administrators of this social network service, I have a total of 5 here. On PASHpost, I have another 3 followers, and on Dreamwidth, I have 1 follower.

    This adds up to a grand total of 9 followers,...  more
  • Benjamin L. Russell
    Although Oracle and Google are both evil corporations, in this particular case, Oracle's argument that it should continue to be allowed to the the _de facto_ gatekeeper of access to Java's API's renders Oracle the greater evil. If Oracle is allowed to have its way, no other corporation will be allowed to use Java's API's without Oracle's consent.

    Access to Java's API's without the need to ask for approval from Oracle each time is essential to interoperability, the cornerstone to software devel...  more
  • Benjamin L. Russell
    "Fluff" is a relative term.

    Some social network service users use this term to refer to whatever that they consider to be insubstantial; however, one user's fluff may be another user's substance.

    For example, Professor Sally Cockburn, who taught a mathematics course at my alma mater, once exclaimed in class, "Mathematicians don't care about the real world!"

    To this mathematician, the so-called "real world" counts as "fluff," whereas mathematics counts as "substance."

    Similarly, some geeks tr...  more
  • Benjamin L. Russell
    Incidentally, since there seems to be some disagreement regarding the distinction between a nerd and a geek, here is a link to the article on which my definition is based.

    According to the article,

    "There is a difference between geeks and nerds.

    "Nerds are smart, people who lack much of a social life. They often have very few friends. Nerds don't talk much, and don't expect others to talk much to them. They are usually nice people, but don't have the social skills to go out and meet new frie...  more