A License Plate Sent Me Down a Coffee-Flavored Rabbit Hole

September 18, 2022

A few days ago, I came across this license plate. I had no idea what it meant, so I took a snapshot and posted it to a license plate group. In that group, someone suggested that it meant “Cup of Joe”, as in coffee.

A car with the license plate CUPPEPE

But what does Pepe have to do with Joe? After a bit of reading, I discovered that Pepe is a nickname for Josep (José) in Spanish, and Josep is the Spanish version of Joseph, which in turn gives us Joe, the nickname for coffee.

Okay, but how is Pepe a nickname for Josep? Those names don’t sound anything alike! Turns out, in Catholic literature, the name of Saint Joseph, Mary’s husband, was customarily followed by the letters P.P., an abbreviation of the Latin pater putativus, i.e. the “putative father” of Jesus. If you read the letters P.P. out loud in Spanish, it sounds like “pe pe”, and that’s how Pepe became a nickname for Josep.

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The Three Programmers

August 6, 2022

Novice programmer: I’m sure this codebase was written by people who know more than me. Better involve the maintainers when I change things because I have a lot to learn.

Experienced programmer: I now understand this codebase and I make changes to it with confidence, because I know I won’t break anything.

Expert programmer: I’m sure this codebase was written by people who know more than me. Better involve the maintainers when I change things because I have a lot to learn.

Funding Secured

July 9, 2022


As Musk moves to abandon deal, Twitter faces ‘worst case scenario’

Analysts and employees warned Musk set the stage for a turbulent period, which could carry financial risks and leave workers more frustrated.

Any opinion piece on Elon’s now-botched attempt to buy Twitter needs to present the very plausible idea that Elon was never serious about buying Twitter in the first place, and that he just got bored of the deal; and that his complaints about bots are just an excuse for his petulance.

Remember when Elon tweeted about taking Tesla private (“funding secured”!), and it turned out to be just another spontaneous, narcissistic prank? Yeah, this is like that.

I’m no legal expert, but I think Elon is going to just end up paying the $1B breakup fee (0.5% of his wealth, so no big whoop) and just walk away, leaving a wake of chaos behind him for someone else to clean up.

I suspect he never had any interest in running Twitter. He just wanted to be the center of attention on the platform for a while, and flex the fact that he was so rich that he could—if he actually wanted to—control the medium.

Remember that the next time he threatens to buy yet another company on a whim.

Funding secured.

The Intolerance Attractor

June 28, 2022

transphobia, intolerance

The more time we spend examining the psychology of intolerant Americans in modern times, the more I think a common profile emerges. Transphobes, homophobes, misogynists, racists, xenophobes, white supremacists, hyper-nationalists, Fascists…these are not wildly different people. Their personality profiles appear to cluster around some sort of über-trait attractor, and someone who is intolerant in one way is very likely to be intolerant in other ways as well.

Why are transphobes so transphobic?

As a straight, white, middle-aged, college-educated, settled-community, cisgender man, I know that I benefit from more than my fair share of privilege. So if I have found Pride Month somewhat stressful, I can only imagine how others must have felt. Pride Month just isn’t what it used to be. What […]

I can’t quite put my finger on it yet, but it has something to do with an underdeveloped sense of empathy, a longing for a stable social hierarchy, and an aversion to ambiguity.

As we study these psychological profiles, I hope we can begin to nail down what conditions form and feed these harmful traits, in the hopes of some day addressing them and allowing society to grow more tolerant.

Fun With Multigig Ethernet

June 11, 2022

I love the new batch of multigig Ethernet peripherals that allow you to run 2.5 Gbps and 5 Gbps over your existing Cat5e cabling.

Comcast’s modem supports 2.5 Gbps, and I can now tap into the full 1.4 Gbps download capacity over wired Ethernet.

But not all multigig Ethernet devices are created equal!


From my experiments, the best option for switches appears to be the 10/5/2.5 Gbps ones that give you 10 Gbps bandwidth between local devices, and 5 Gbps between switches over Cat5e. I’ve had a really good experience with the TRENDnet TEG-S750.

10G Switches – 5-Port 10G Switch | TRENDnet - TRENDnet TEG-S750

TRENDnet’s 5-Port 10G Switch, model TEG-S750, provides advanced high bandwidth performance, ease of use, and reliability. The TEG-S750 10G switch features five dedicated 10G ports f...

You can get 2.5 Gbps switches too, but they appear to have much lower internal bandwidth. Since you’re likely to encounter computers that support 10 Gbps in the future because it’s an established standard, it’s probably wiser to just go with 10 Gbps today.

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