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Links for 2019-05-27

  • British Far Right Extremism Manipulating Ireland

    digging into the “Irexit” campaign and their extensive links to Nigel Farage and the British far right — 100% astroturf

    (tags: astroturf ireland irexit nigel-farage ukip brexit politics dirty-tricks)

  • Beating up on qsort

    an entertaining dive down a low-level performance-optimization rabbit hole, diving into radix sort on an array of integers in particular

    (tags: sorting sort performance optimization radix-sort qsort algorithms)

  • A Twitter thread about where P99s came from

    “If you’re wondering what “P-four-nines” means, it’s the latency at the 99.99th percentile, meaning only one in 10,000 requests has a worse latency. Why do we measure latency in percentiles? A thread about how how it came to be at Amazon…” This is a great thread from Andrew Certain, who managed the Performance Engineering team at Amazon in 2001. Percentiles, particularly for latency and performance measurement, were one of the big ideas which hit me like a ton of bricks when I joined Amazon, as they had been adopted whole-heartedly across the company by that stage.

    (tags: p99 percentiles quantiles history performance analysis measurement metrics amazon aws pmet)

  • The Fairy King’s advice on Trees. A poem from Early Ireland

    This medieval Irish poem about trees is taken from a text known as Aidedh Ferghusa meic Léide (the Death of Fergus). In the poem, Iubhdán, the king of the fairies, advises the ruler of Ulster, Fergus mac Léide, on the special qualities of trees and which ones can be burned in the household fire.

    (tags: fairies trees wood history fire poems poetry)

  • The Dark Forest Theory of the Internet

    The internet of today is a battleground. The idealism of the ’90s web is gone. The web 2.0 utopia?—?where we all lived in rounded filter bubbles of happiness?—?ended with the 2016 Presidential election when we learned that the tools we thought were only life-giving could be weaponized too. The public and semi-public spaces we created to develop our identities, cultivate communities, and gain knowledge were overtaken by forces using them to gain power of various kinds (market, political, social, and so on). […] The dark forests grow because they provide psychological and reputational cover. They allow us to be ourselves because we know who else is there. Compared to the free market communication style of the mass channels?—?with their high risks, high rewards, and limited moderation?—?dark forest spaces are more Scandinavian in their values and the social and emotional security they provide. They cap the downsides of looking bad and the upsides of our best jokes by virtue of a contained audience.

    (tags: culture internet dark-forests future web privacy abuse community)