Philosophy is Bullshit

CowshitI guess I should explain that.

I don’t really mean philosophy itself is bullshit: I mean philosophers, most of them, are full of shit. I mean that philosophy as it’s practiced today, by professional philosophers, is utter cow shit.

Case in point: philosophers have been arguing for millennia over what knowledge is. They don’t agree but most will loudly profess that knowledge is a subset of belief.

Let me reiterate that: philosophers admit they don’t know what knowledge is, some even saying knowledge is a useless concept, but they know it’s a subset of belief.

Ask any database admin what knowledge is and they’ll tell you in two seconds flat: knowledge is information.

Can a policeman have the results of a true and accurate DNA test from a lab they trust but not believe it? Yes. Can they know the suspect is innocent but not believe it? Yes.

So you can know something without believing it. Knowledge case solved. Within seconds of thinking about it. Using philosophy.

Every single philosopher will argue you can’t disprove philosophy without using philosophy but that misses the point entirely. It’s like saying you can’t disprove a screw without using a screwdriver. They can’t disassociate the tool from the machine because they only have the tool and can’t even agree the machine exists.

Philosophy isn’t a method for discovering truth, it’s a framework for arguments. That framework is useful for ascertaining truth when coupled with evidence but by itself it’s useless. The history of philosophy proves it’s not even close to reliable on it’s own. No more than throwing a screwdriver into the wind will make you fly but using one on a loose screw on a tested airframe might just save your life.

I’m not trying to prove philosophy isn’t true, that’s a nonsensical statement, I’m saying philosophy isn’t a truth claim but instead is a tool for finding truth and without applying that tool to something you miss the point. Without evidence you’re a mechanic with a great screwdriver but no airplane.

Funny how philosophers don’t seem to get that simple concept.

Twacker: The Ultimate Twitch Bot

TwackerI started this as a simple text-to-speech chat reader but kept wanting more features. Now I’m turning it into a more full featured application that will be easy to add more features to using a plugin system.

It’s mostly a chat-bot but will also have features like being able to output files for use in apps like OBS or XSplit.

Think of this as an all in one application that does everything all the other bots do but does it better and doesn’t require you to use anyone else’s website (that constantly goes down).

Windows App: https://github.com/mikbe/twacker_client_winform/releases

Source code: https://github.com/mikbe/twacker_client_winform

TurboLinks Hates Your Freedom

If you’re a Ruby on Rails developer you’ve no doubt run into issues with Javascript events not firing the second time you load a page. You may also know that this is because TurboLinks causes a Window, or Document, “page:load” event instead of a “ready” event.

The simple solution to fix your own code is to add the “page:load” event to your coffeescripts like so:

That’s great for your own scripts but invariably you’ll need to use someone else’s javascript and they didn’t use this as their trigger. Again the solution is simple, you just need to fire the event yourself at the end of your page after like so:

Completely Delete Your Hibernate File

Solid State Drives (SSDs) are expensive so when my tiny 240GB SSD started reaching maximum I went looking for where all that space had gone.

OK, sure, having 30 or 40 games on a drive can eat up a lot of space but I’d moved those off to a secondary hybrid drive.  So where was all my space going? Turns out Windows was using over 50GB for its hibernate file! I don’t even use hibernate because, with an SSD, my computer boots in five seconds.

It seemed an easy fix to simply turn off hibernate in the power settings to remove the massive Hiberfil.sys file devouring my drive. Reboot, instant space. Except I still didn’t have any space left on my drive. FTW?

Turns out Microsoft thinks I didn’t really want to get rid of that ginourmous file so it left it there. And on Windows 7 you can’t manually delete it either. Boo Microsoft, boo.

There is an easy fix though. After you’ve turned off hibernate in power settings you need to run some command line foo:

c:\> powercfg.exe -h off

Checkout the full instructions on Tech Republic:

http://jum.pe/ekch3

How to Answer a Question on the Internet

Almost every day someone teaches me something new and hopefully I can help others by sharing that knowledge. This is really rewarding but I have noticed some pitfalls I and others have made in this process so thought I’d try to write down some dos and don’ts.

Whether you’re a cubical monkey, a construction worker, a forum moderator, or just someone that likes helping people I think these guidelines can be helpful in keeping you helpful when being helpful.

Don’t tell the person to use search

Not only did they probably already use search and just didn’t know what to search for but every person that searches and finds this response will think you quite silly for not understanding how searches actually work. You are basically telling the world that you have never heard of Google.

Don’t insult the questioner and don’t assume they are stupid

As satisfying to you as it may be to insult the new guy for not knowing something you once didn’t know this isn’t very helpful and shows you in a bad light.

Don’t second guess their question without first answering it

While it’s helpful to pop the “why” stack to get to the root of an issue don’t assume the person hasn’t already done this.

Going back to the search issue, even if the person asking the question could be better served by approaching the problem differently this question will be found by people in the future that really do need to do the thing you are avoiding answering.

Most importantly if you don’t answer them they will probably just ignore you since they will view you as unhelpful; but if you answer the question and then try to see if they could be better served with a different solution you’ve not only helped that person but the multitude of people that will come across the question and your helpful answer.

Don’t answer a question you don’t know the answer to

You might think this doesn’t need to be said but you need only look at all the Yahoo “Answers” that begin with, “I don’t know the answer but…” If your “answer” starts with you saying you don’t know the answer then cut down on the noise and don’t reply. Which brings up the next point…

Don’t answer if you’re not going to answer

If you’re not going to provide an answer help cut down on the noise and keep your comments to yourself. Unless your reply directly addresses the issue and helps move along the discussion to finding an answer it’s best to not add to the noise.

Don’t assume someone is a “newb” just because they are new to your neck of the woods

The “new” person that just joined your board may be new to you but they might also have a PhD in computer science and you just might be able to learn a thing or two from them. If you treat everyone you meet with respect you can only benefit.

Don’t say, “I’ve said it a million times”

The person asking the question doesn’t know you so how could they possibly know what you’ve said a million times? Since they probably already used search and didn’t find your million answers it’s probably how you’re answering the question that’s to blame.

Also this might be a sign you’re getting frustrated and need to take a break…

Do take a break from answering questions if you’re getting frustrated or grumpy

If you find yourself getting frustrated when helping others it’s time to take a break. There’s no point in getting upset. Helping others is a positive thing but we all feel grumpy sometimes so if you find yourself being short with others take a break.

Do make sure you’ve fully read and understood the question

Embarrassingly I can’t tell you how many times in the past I’ve started typing a reply only to reread the question and realize my “answer” had nothing to do with the question. I still have to be diligent to avoid this mistake so I read the question, then re-read it, and then read it again.

Do fully quote the answer and give a link

Even if the answer is found on the same site you should always fully quote it and then give a link. I can not tell you how many times I’ve found “answers” that were just dead links.

Do use full, working examples

There’s nothing more frustrating than finding an “answer” that is incomplete or doesn’t work in isolation. If your answer involves a complicated system that requires a lot of dependencies make sure that those dependencies are understood but try to isolate the answer to as fine a grain as possible. Do not assume the person knows something you did not state in your example, they probably don’t.

Do remember the person asking the question is a human being with feelings

I like to think of the person I’m helping as my grandmother and I treat them with the same respect I would afford her. I would never snap at my grandmother nor would I insult her.

Do understand that sometimes you will be wrong

As diligent as you are sometimes you will be wrong. Which is actually pretty cool because when you find out you’re wrong you just learned something new; make sure you’re open to that lesson.

Do know when to cut your losses

Some people just can’t be helped but more often they can’t be helped by you. That’s OK. For whatever reason if you find you are not effectively communicating with someone and you’re at the end of your rope it’s OK to just politely say you don’t think you can help them anymore and move on.

Do be happy that you helped someone

Helping someone is a gift you received and are able to share without losing. How awesome is that?

Please feel free to make any suggestions you have in the comments below and I’ll add them to the list.