No Fluffy Words

I’m a big fan of writing well.  I read many books growing up (my mother was a librarian), and I took an Intermediate Composition course as an undergraduate engineering student. One of our textbooks was The Elements of Style, Third Edition, and the focus on concision by authors Strunk & White reinforced my experience writing “tight” code for computers. Over the…

The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves

On Amazon.com: The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves (2010) Author Matt Ridley provides a sweeping summary of human and technology evolution, going back roughly 200,000 years.  He asserts that the development of trade led to specialization which led to agriculture which led to cities.  I find this by far the most plausible theory, but it is at odds with the…

Rockets to Mars

After I read the Ashlee Vance book on Elon Musk in early 2015, I was convinced human beings were going to Mars in the next 5-10 years.  I kept meaning to write a blog post… A few days ago, this August 2015 post How (and Why) SpaceX Will Colonize Mars by Tim Urban (Wait But Why) appeared on my…

Thoughts from PMWC 2016

Originally posted on NEUPERT ON HEALTH:
I went to the Personalized Medicine World conference to learn more about how genomics (and other ‘omics) are advancing drug discovery, molecular diagnostics, current cancer treatment paradigms and creating new sectors like ‘scientific wellness.’   My general observations are: The scope and pace of advancement is accelerating:   it is no longer…

Web User Interface Design

My experience with human-computer interaction starts with my hand-held HP 25C in 1976, flows through my punched-card FORTRAN IV green-bar paper days, on to Unix and MS-DOS command lines, Macintosh and Windows GUIs, and more recently to web and mobile applications. The web as we know it burst forth in 1994, and most of our computer interactions today…

Your Online Self

It’s the 21st century, so of course you’re online. How to put your best foot forward? Some general philosophy: Use your name consistently online: I use “benslivka” wherever possible in site URLs: http://www.benslivka.com, http://www.linkedin.com/in/benslivka http://www.facebook.com/BenSlivka http://www.twitter.com/BenSlivka http://www.youtube.com/user/BenSlivka Be professional: If you don’t want a prospective employer to see it, don’t post it. Use proper English: http://www.amazon.com/The-Elements-Style-Third-Edition/dp/0205191584 is…

2015 blog in review

WordPress.com prepared a 2015 annual report for my blog. Here’s an excerpt: A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 4,300 times in 2015. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 4 trips to carry that many people. Click here to see the complete report.