Tuesday, July 16, 2024

6 Rules

1. Never use a metaphor, simile or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.

2. Never use a long word where a short one will do.

3. If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.

4. Never use the passive where you can use the active.

5. Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.

6. Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous.

-- George Orwell (1903 - 1950), pen name of British novelist, essayist, and journalist Eric Arthur Blair, 6 rules for writers, from his essay "Politics and the English Language" (1946)

Monday, July 15, 2024


Nothing in life is so exhilarating as to be shot at without result.

-- Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill (1874-1965), British politician and statesman, The Story of the Malakand Field Force: An Episode of Frontier War (1898), Chapter X

Friday, July 12, 2024

A Bridge

Look, I view myself as a bridge, not as anything else.  There's an entire generation of leaders you saw stand behind me.  They are the future of this country.

-- Presidential Candidate Joe Biden speaking to Democratic leaders in California, 9 March 2020

Thursday, July 11, 2024

A National Tragedy

Mr. Trump has shown a character unworthy of the responsibilities of the presidency.  He has demonstrated an utter lack of respect for the Constitution, the rule of law and the American people.  Instead of a cogent vision for the country’s future, Mr. Trump is animated by a thirst for political power: to use the levers of government to advance his interests, satisfy his impulses and exact retribution against those who he thinks have wronged him.

He is, quite simply, unfit to lead. ...

It is a national tragedy that the Republicans have failed to have a similar debate about the manifest moral and temperamental unfitness of their standard-bearer, instead setting aside their longstanding values, closing ranks and choosing to overlook what those who worked most closely with the former president have described as his systematic dishonesty, corruption, cruelty and incompetence. ...

When someone fails so many foundational tests, you don’t give him the most important job in the world.

-- The editorial board of the New York Times (11 July 2024)

Wednesday, July 10, 2024

A Curious Thing

The past is a curious thing.  It's with you all the time.  I suppose an hour never passes without your thinking of things that happened ten or twenty years ago, and yet most of the time it's got no reality, it's just a set of facts that you've learned, like a lot of stuff in a history book.  Then some chance sight or sound or smell, especially smell, sets you going, and the past doesn't merely come back to you, you're actually in the past.

-- George Orwell (1903 - 1950), pen name of British novelist, essayist, and journalist Eric Arthur Blair, Coming Up for Air, Part I, Ch. 4 (1939)

Tuesday, July 09, 2024


You cannot analyze data you don't collect.

-- Don Appleman, while working for NovaNET a few decades ago, and occasionally since, on the subject of how much data (usually on work done and throughput) should be collected by software

Monday, July 08, 2024