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I'm probably going to get downvoted a lot for this, but this is probably the exact feeling people on the other side get that causes them to go to Syria and take up arms and join isil.

Edit: To be 100% clear, I'm by no means sympathizing. Rather, I believe that understanding an adversary's motivations can help resolve a conflict.

How does that logic go? "I don't like tyranny so I'm going to join a group of murderers and rapists who are best known for their beheading videos".

I know nothing about the complex situation in Syria and Iraq but I always guessed that ISIL in Syria was more about Iraqi post-Sunni Awakening fallout after being locked out of governing by al-Maliki. Like if you look at a map of ISIL in Iraq you see the area they have is the area that was hostile to Iraqi Occupation in 2007 and the leader of ISIL is Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, an Iraqi who was an insurgent from Fallujah. They just took advantage of the problems in Syria and used that as a spring board into Iraq.

The reason the fight against ISIL is going so slow in Iraq is the same reason it was such a tough fight in 2007. They're fighting the Iraqis who live there, it's not a Syrian invasion force.

So why would someone from Damascus be joining ISIL over this problem?

>"I don't like tyranny so I'm going to join a group of murderers and rapists who are best known for their beheading videos".

Compared to those who are now known for bombing a hospital? You can easily paint any side as the total bad guy when you look at just how much abuse does happen. It doesn't much matter who is worst when everyone is so dirty that you can get enough dirt to validate any feelings one has.

For example, consider the problem with dancing boys in Afghanistan and how the Taliban fought against it while the US protected the practice. Defining the 'bad guy' becomes a bit more difficult, no?

Does ISIS have a lot of redeeming qualities that we're overlooking? If not, I'm not sure I can agree with the suggestion that its just a matter of framing whether ISIS is the villian or the United States. Say what you will about the U.S., but one would be hard pressed to say that it does no good around the world and only does things like bomb hospitals. But I'm not sure the same can be said of ISIS, unfortunately.

That said, I agree with omarish in this respect: my own feeling of helplessness upon reading this article is probably akin in some ways to the feeling that drives people to take up arms with ISIS in Syria and Iraq. The important distinction, though, is that the source of the outrage that drives ISIS fighters to act is precisely the opposite of what one ought to be outraged about. (Or, at any rate, pretty much the opposite of what actually outrages me.)

>Does ISIS have a lot of redeeming qualities

they do have. A lot. For Islamic true believers. The same way like Inquisition, with all the tortures and burning at stake, was for Christians. Blind devotion to religion may do that to you.

>that we're overlooking?

of course we don't see these redeeming qualities. Or more precisely - we do see these qualities, only we see them as condemning where is they see exactly the same qualities as redeeming.

> "For Islamic true believers"

I don't know any muslims personally, but I doubt that a majority of muslims, at least in the western world, believe ISIS has redeeming qualities. Is that true? Like what are those qualities that peaceful practitioners of Islam can redeem all those rapes and murders? Have you seen the Vice documentaries of kurdish fighting ISIS? ISIS are insane. They murder everyone. Even their own members: non-arabic speaking ISIS converts are used for suicide attacks. Tell me what redeems this behavior, wait I already know, nothing redeems this. Absolutely nothing in the mind of anyone who abhors violence and wishes for peace. You know, sane people.

Even other terrorists say ISIS goes to far. Hamas has spoken out against ISIS!

>Does ISIS have a lot of redeeming qualities that we're overlooking?

We likely won't know without talking to the people who make the choice to join them. For the Taliban case, I only learned of this recently because it was so largely ignored. In a few decades who knows what we may know about ISIS that we don't currently know.

What I do know is so often pictures have been painted as black and white which are in reality many shades of grade and that due to this I am hesitant to believe this case really in black and white.

"I know nothing about the complex situation in Syria"


Quick, edit out the preemptive complaint so you can see what people think about what you say instead of what they think about the whining.

Actually ISIL and a poster are on the same side - they are both fighting/want to fight Asad. At this time moderate opposition (if there was any) is gone and opponents of Asad are way worse than him.

Aptitude is very overrated. I think if you're curious enough to wonder if you're good enough / have natural "aptitude", you more than likely have enough "aptitude" to go with it and can pursue programming.

I think pg has a quote online somewhere to the weight of "if you're spending time thinking about whether you're smart enough, you're most likely smart enough."


The HR person might have changed jobs / companies. It sounds like this is more an internal screw-up on their part, and that they would be lucky to have you. Definitely email the head of HR. In the email, try and go with "really enjoyed interviewing, but why haven't I heard back, as it's been 4 weeks?" instead of an angry message. I doubt they turned you down; rather, they aren't very well coordinated.


Awesome work, يعطيك العافية!

Is there a link to the font on github?


Will put up the source code on Github very soon. I just need to organize everything a bit.


Beautiful! So much more readable than the other Arabic fonts I've seen in the past.

This is a little far fetched, but I think is a huge win for society. Better Arabic fonts = easier Arabic-only speakers to do work online = more opportunity for a huge portion of the world.


The Arabic type design community is already tiny, but there's a good number of really beautiful and well-designed Arabic fonts out there, and equally talented designers. My font here doesn't really even compare, it's an amateur's work.

Examples http://www.sakkal.com/type/index.html http://www.amirifont.org/ http://www.29letters.com/ https://www.typotheque.com/fonts/arabic And also check out the Arabic fonts published by Monotype


This is why I'm super bullish on The Information (https://www.theinformation.com).


IIRC Octopart was a part of one of the 2007 batches. Congrats on staying with it!

Relevant: http://www.paulgraham.com/die.html

> When we first met the founders of Octopart, they seemed very smart, but not a great bet to succeed, because they didn't seem especially committed. One of the two founders was still in grad school. It was the usual story: he'd drop out if it looked like the startup was taking off. Since then he has not only dropped out of grad school, but appeared full length in Newsweek with the word "Billionaire" printed across his chest. He just cannot fail now. Everyone he knows has seen that picture. Girls who dissed him in high school have seen it. His mom probably has it on the fridge. It would be unthinkably humiliating to fail now. At this point he is committed to fight to the death.

Edit: Funnily enough, one of the Octopart founders quit grad school on the first day HN existed. Time flies:



Following that archive.org link is really incredible. To be able to go back to the first day this site was launched and click around like I'm viewing today's site; just amazing.


From start to finish. Interesting to see the whole picture. They made it, too. :)


Mortgages get disproportionately low airtime in the startup world, which I've always thought was strange, especially considering how significant they are to the US (and global economy).

Check out LendingHome (http://lendinghome.com) if you're looking for an awesome company in SF that's doing some really cool work in the space.


The federal government dominates the mortgage market -- through direct insurance, guarantees, and purchases. It's tough to compete with them. The only comparable market I can think of is student loans where some companies have found a way to pick off the most credit worthy borrowers (e.g. SoFi). But in student loans the government does no underwriting and offers a uniform rate, some of which are quite high in the current interest rate environment. Whereas in mortgages the government underwrites and offers very low rates.

How exactly anyone expects to make money by lending out money for thirty years at 75 basis points above the risk free rate, with a zero premium call option, levered 4:1 or greater, and with low recovery percentages if the security needs to be seized is beyond me. That's even before getting into the high overhead to deal with servicing and regulatory compliance.


Not sure what you mean by "dominate", but there's $13 trillion in mortgage debt outstanding as of Q4 2014, $5T of that is held by federal agencies, and $4.5T is held by financial institutions [1]. So it's actually a much bigger business than you imagine.

> How exactly anyone expects to make money ... and with low recovery percentages if the security needs to be seized is beyond me

which is probably why you're not a mortgage banker :).

[1] http://www.federalreserve.gov/econresdata/releases/mortoutst...


>which is probably why you're not a mortgage banker :).

If you take a look at just how well mortgage bankers have done over the past 50 years, I'm not convinced they create any value over the course of a cycle for their employers. Indeed they seem especially prone to blowing up said employers every 15 years or so.

Picking up nickels in front of steam roller doesn't seem like a great business model to me. In fact, it looks like a pretty reliable indicator of a principal-agent problem.


I wonder if it would be legal/feasible to underwrite student loans based on major and GPA and how they correlate with loan risk rates.


Yeah, this is the first time I've seen anything about mortgages on HN. It's surprising considering the enormous amount of technical opportunity in the mortgage world right now.

At Blend (https://blendlabs.com/), we're working on a modern mortgage lending platform. For anyone who is interested in this, I'd love to chat!


Although they are significant, they are mind-numbingly boring. Compensation being remotely equal, would you rather work at a techy company like Tesla or Google... or the most boring part of the finance world.

It's like being the amtrack bathroom cleaner. Important, but shitty.


➜ ~ cat /usr/share/dict/words | grep "^porn"












> pornocracy

Is this what we will call it when the NSA starts blackmailing politicians with their internet histories?


It means rule of the whores and is a certain period in the catholic church.



> Saeculum obscurum (Latin: the Dark Age) is a name given to a period in the history of the Papacy during the first half of the 10th century, beginning with the installation of Pope Sergius III in 904 and lasting for sixty years until the death of Pope John XII in 964. During this period, the Popes were influenced strongly by a powerful and corrupt aristocratic family, the Theophylacti, and their relatives.


Why are you catting a single file into grep?


Muscle memory. I find myself doing this all the time too, it is just a universal way of filtering things down, so I don't worry about it too much. Like when using lsof, sure you can use filters via lsof itself, but sometimes you just use "lsof |grep" because it is easier than looking up the correct option. The performance to muscle memory tradeoff is worth it.


I think GP may be referring to the "unnecessary use of cat"


The correct way:

grep "^porn" /usr/share/dict/words


Nothing incorrect about using cat. It makes almost zero practical difference except saving a couple keystrokes. There are some scenarios where it actually matters, but this isn't one of them.


Link to source code: https://github.com/microsoft



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