GSB Emails Volume 0003

June 8, 2017

My sister told my mom about these emails and she wants to read them now so I’m posting the emails from the end of April through May. Check out volume 0001 and volume 0002 for more.

Use of GSB logo / name while marching?

It appears that the csail-related gods have blessed us with another drama filled email thread! Whether or not this thread will grow to 50+ messages is yet to be seen but we at GSB would like to offer our input:

Not only are you free to make a fool of yourself, but you may attempt to make or imply that the rest of us at GSB are fools by identifying yourself with the organization.

That is, you may feel free to use the GSB logo [1] or name at tomorrow’s march [2].

  1. I think there’s an old logo floating around somewhere.
  2. Though I’m not sure it’ll add any weight to your statements

How to Program Like Brett

This week I found a great video series by the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) describing (among other things) how to paint in the style of various abstract expressionists. Although I don’t paint, I began wondering what an episode would look like for me. Specifically, if there were a Museum of Modern Programs, what would they say about programming like me? Here are some probable excerpts from my future episode:

  1. Brett allocated large swaths of memory haphazardly and almost never freed them. He justified this by saying, “no one will ever run this but me and I haven’t run out of memory yet, so why bother?”

  2. Infrared analysis shows that Brett almost never planned his implementations ahead of time and definitely never wrote any sort of specification. This often led to large, unmaintainable blobs of code that he ultimately abandoned due to the significant challenge in implementing new features.

  3. Brett often began his programs by using smart pointers but always switched to using raw pointers after getting tired of writing std::unique_ptr<T> everywhere. Similarly, Brett often found himself removing const across his entire code-base.

  4. Brett never fully leveraged move semantics, often returning pointers to objects unnecessarily. It’s unclear whether he did this out of disagreement with the confusing semantics around when things are copied versus moved, or if he simply didn’t understand it himself.


Friendos [1],

It is with a heavy heart that I announce that our good friend and GSB regular Envelopy the envelope has passed away. He died doing what he loved most, spilling his contents all over the floor and generally being frustrating. Unlike his previous spills, he couldn’t be stuffed again as he was no longer in one piece.

???? - 2017

I have replaced Envelopy with a new envelope that I like to call Envelopero. Envelopero has some incredible features that I think you’ll learn to love:

  1. Security lines so you can’t see through him
  2. No-lick strip
  3. Generally intact

I know this is a big change that will take some getting used to, but we’ll get over it together.

  1. I need a gender-neutral version of “guys” that doesn’t sound too formal (everyone/everybody/friends) or southern (yall). Until someone has a better suggestion I’m going with friendos.

Boosting Toots

As some of you may have seen, MIT now has a Mastodon instance. What is Mastodon? It’s basically just Twitter with the following changes:

  1. Tweeting is called “tooting.” Is this a fart joke? Perhaps it’s a comment on the quality of most tweets? I’m still not sure, but I’m just going to assume the creators aren’t familiar with the American English definition of the word “toot.”

  2. It’s federated, which is fancy computer science speak for “it doesn’t always work.”

  3. It’s free software, which means that someone will respond to this email telling me that I should fix problem two myself instead of just complaining about it.

  4. Retweeting is called boosting, probably because retooting sounds really strange.

Right now our local mastodon time line is full of undergrads complaining, but grad students love complaining too so what are you waiting for!

De-stress Test

Congratulations to all the students who finished courses this week! As you take a breath and relax, think about your computer who worked so hard along side you. Here are some tips to help you de-stress your computer and best friend:

  1. Underclock the CPU. Give your computer a break by making it do a few billion fewer cycles per second.

  2. Mineral oil bath. Apparently it’s safe to submerge computers in mineral oil. I imagine it’s pretty gross to use your laptop afterward though.

  3. Staycation. You don’t have time to take your computer on a vacation, so give it a staycation by setting your wallpaper to something relaxing. Keep in mind that images that are relaxing to a human aren’t necessarily relaxing to a computer. A simple, repeating pattern will do!

Make Our Planet Uninhabitable Again!!!!

As the president has affirmed his commitment to destroying our planet, we here at GSB will be enacting new policies to help America keep its place among the top CO2 emitters per capita:

  1. Since the Stata Center air conditioning is so intense, we will begin burning coal at GSB for warmth.

  2. Carbon sinks are banned. Don’t even think about bringing a plant to GSB. The federal government is firm in its beliefs that carbon needs to be liberated from its earthly prison. Carbon should be free to roam our atmosphere and warm the planet and stuff.

  3. Join us on our annual trip to the arctic where we will be melting as much ice as we can with butane torches.

  4. We encourage as much mindless consumption as possible. Never think about the consequences of your purchases. If you ever start wondering why all that plastic junk you buy is so cheap, try not to think about the externalities that weren’t factored into the price, of which pollution is a major component. Just buy more fidget spinners and consume beyond your means like a good American.

Help us accelerate the end of the human experiment at this week’s GSB!