Asst. Prof., Vanderbilt CS

daniel [dot] moyer [at] vanderbilt [dot] edu

Wiki Articles

Bus Factor
Cargo Cult Programming
Yuri Kondratyuk
Platonism (Mathematics)
Stigler's Law of Eponymy
Chekhov's Gun
Nominative Determinism
Red Special
Evolved antenna

Other Links

Extra Fabulous Comics #200 (Team 1 vs Team 2)
Linds Redding: The Overnight Test (Blog Post, reproduced via The Wayback Machine)
Programming Sucks
The Untold Story of the Silk Road (Part 1) /(Part 2)
Lockhart's Lament [pdf]
Where Vim Came From
The Whistle-Blower Knows How to Write Posted without political comment.
Cormac Mcarthy's Tips on how to write a great science paper
The Bitter Lesson
xkcd: Machine Learning


I beseech thee in the bowels of Christ, think it possible that you might be mistaken.
Oliver Cromwell ("Cromwell's Law")

When a measure becomes a target, it ceases to be a good measure.
Charles Goodhart ("Goodhart's Law")

Tell 'em what you're gonna tell 'em.
Tell 'em.
Tell 'em what you told 'em.

I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.
Galileo Galilei

The purpose of computing is insight, not numbers.
Richard Hamming

The right to search for truth implies also a duty; one must not conceal any part of what one has recognized to be true.
Albert Einstein

There are more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are drempt of in your philosophy.

I don't think C gets enough credit. Sure, C doesn't love you. C isn't about love--C is about thrills. C hangs around in the bad part of town. C knows all the gang signs. C has a motorcycle, and wears the leathers everywhere, and never wears a helmet, because that would mess up C's punked-out hair. C likes to give cops the finger and grin and speed away. Mention that you'd like something, and C will pretend to ignore you; the next day, C will bring you one, no questions asked, and toss it to you with a you-know-you-want-me smirk that makes your heart race. Where did C get it? "It fell off a truck," C says, putting away the boltcutters. You start to feel like C doesn't know the meaning of "private" or "protected": what C wants, C takes. This excites you. C knows how to get you anything but safety. C will give you anything but commitment. In the end, you'll leave C, not because you want something better, but because you can't handle the intensity. C says "I'm gonna live fast, die young, and leave a good-looking corpse," but you know that C can never die, not so long as C is still the fastest thing on the road.
The C Paradox (by Anonymous, on 4chan 2011-08-06)

No code is faster than no code.

We shouldn't believe everything we think.
Bumper Sticker

The difference between reality and fiction is that fiction has to make sense.
Tom Clancy

When small men cast long shadows the sun is beginning to set.
Lin Yutang

Prejudice, a dirty word, and faith, a clean one, have something in common: they both begin where reason ends.
Uncle Jack (Go Set a Watchman)

Truth is sought for its own sake, and those who are engaged in a quest for its own sake are not interested in other things.
Ibn al-Haytham

He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how.

They say our language arbitrarily divides up things in reality. And they say this as if it were our fault.
Jean-Luc Godard

Of course it's happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it isn't real?
Prof. Albus Dumbledore

A CPU is a rock that we've tricked into thinking. Of course, it's not that simple, first you have to flatten the rock and put lightning inside it.
Twitter User @daisyowl (paraphrased)

A computer lets you make mistakes faster than any other invention, with the possible exception of handguns and tequila.
Mitch Ratcliffe

Gallery proofs for vol. 2 finally arrive, they look awful... (typographically). I decide I have to solve the problem myself.
Donald Knuth, 30 March 1977, before creating TeX.

Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in a while, or the light won't come in.
Isaac Asimov

We have to live today by what truth we can get today, and be ready tomorrow to call it a falsehood.
William James

We have no home in this world, I used to say, and then I'd walk back up the road to this old place and make myself a pot of coffee and a fried-egg sandwich.
Marilynne Robinson

I hear and I forget,
I see and I remember,
I do and I understand.

He who fights monsters should see to it that he himself does not become a monster. And if you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.

Among all features describing genius, the most important is inner professional honesty.

Jazz isn't dead, it just smells funny.
Frank Zappa

It is possible to commit no mistakes and still lose; that is not a weakness, that is life.
Capt. Jean-Luc Picard

The areal units (zonal objects) used in many geographical studies are arbitrary, modifiable, and subject to the whims and fancies of whomever is doing, or did, the aggregating.
Stan Openshaw

Once, long ago, I took a karate class. My karate instructor was very strict, but taught us well, and cared passionately for the martial arts. One day, I learned that he, a married older man, was having an affair. I was shocked and somewhat upset; how could this teacher who I respected so much do something which to me was so abhorant. But in that moment I remembered, I hadn't come to his classes to learn to be a good human, or to understand any moral truth. I had come to his class to learn karate. Being a good karate instructor does not make one morally upstanding, nor does it qualify one to speak about other things; similarly being a morally upstanding person does not qualify a person to teach karate. Nevertheless, I did not return to class.
Unnamed TA, UCLA, 2013

You don't get to be a professional as a one trick pony.
Shoto Aizawa (translated)

Mathematics is very much like poetry. What makes a good poem -- a great poem -- is that there is a large amount of thought expressed in very few words. In this sense \[e^{\pi i} + 1 = 0 ~~~\text{ or }~~~ \int_{-\infty}^{\infty} e^{-x^2}dx = \sqrt{\pi}\] are poems
Lipman Bers (Thanks to Kat Heal, this has been moved from the main page.)

Young man—
Young man—
Your arms are too short to box with God.
John Brown, as recorded by James Weldon Johnson

Your lungs is too small to hotbox with God.

Quoted Phrases

Let's meditate on this.
Neal Fultz, after discussing a difficult problem without resolution.

Builds Character.
Neal Fultz, after assigning a difficult/tedious task.

Trust No One.
Talia Nir (general life advice)

And definitely not yourself.
Mazdak Abulnaga, commentary on Talia Nir's life advice