"The Advantages of a Dragon."

Lately, I found myself unable to resist the temptation to translate this very pertinent classic of science fiction to English. If you, reader, know of a better translation, do not hesitate to write in. Meanwhile, here goes: “The Star Diaries of Ijon Tichy: The Advantages of a Dragon.” Stanislaw Lem (1921-2006). Until now, I’ve said […]

"Sometimes, at night, I dream about the boat."

Below is an entirely unofficial translation of “Иногда ночью мне снится лодка”, by Alexander Pokrovskiy — an old sailor-turned-memoirist, AFAIK entirely unknown in the English reich. On some nights, I dream about the boat. It is underway, beneath the water. I dream about it after I’ve had a very tiring day. The dream is always […]

Posted in: Books, Distractions, NonLoper, Philology by Stanislav No Comments

Roman Lisp

You’ve met the Steam Lisp.  Now meet vitrium flexile, the Roman Lisp: “… there was an artificer once who made a glass goblet that would not break. So he was admitted to Caesar’s presence to offer him his invention; then, on receiving the cup back from Caesar’s hands, he dashed it down on the floor. […]

Buy Rotting Bits, Or Else: The War on Libraries.

In the past, I predicted that publishers will inevitably declare war on book-lending: “Let’s pretend that a Nook book (or any similar DRM’d ebook) could be lent in exactly the same manner as a physical book: to whomever you like, whenever you like, for as long as you like – with the added benefit of […]

The Nook, the Cranny, and the Lend Me Not.

The Nook, Barnes & Noble’s answer to Amazon’s Kindle, was greeted with fanfare for including a feature which allows users to “lend” a purchased book to anyone, with a guarantee of recovering it later. The first announcement I came across mentioned no other rules governing the lending process. My first thought was that such an […]

Posted in: Books, Distractions, Hardware, NonLoper by Stanislav No Comments


This is a repost of my  YC news comment on the subject.  Lame reposting is not a capital offense (yet…) My first encyclopedia when I was young was a CD-ROM edition of Britannica. It had a superficially deep article on almost everything, and made for endless hours of joyful exploration. Then one day I found […]

Posted in: Books, NonLoper, Progress by Stanislav 5 Comments

On Mistrusting “The Right People (TM).”

“Throughout my life I have known people who were born with silver spoons in their mouths. You know the ones: grew up in a strong community, went to good public or private schools, were able to attend a top undergraduate school like Harvard or Caltech, and then were admitted to the best graduate schools. Their […]

The Book

The Architecture of Symbolic Computers (Peter M. Kogge) is quite possibly the most useful resource I have come across in my quest thus far. If you are interested in Lisp Machine revival, non-von Neumann computation, or the dark arts of the low-level implementation of functional programming systems, you will not be disappointed. More generally, I […]

Posted in: Books, LoperOS, SoftwareArchaeology by Stanislav 7 Comments