Using "#ifdef" for toggles is really bad. I've always known that, but I keep doing it. The big problem with it is if you put in the wrong name to check for ifdef, it just returns false with no error. That hits you in two ways, one is just if you put in a typo in your ifdef it will never be true. Perhaps worse is when you change the name of the thing that you are toggling, all the old checks just fail. Of course what you should do is just "#if " for the toggle.
Musicians cover the wrong thing. Listen up musicians, let me straighten you out. They tend to do covers of songs that are good songs to begin with, or that are popular. This is the wrong criterion; you should cover songs that you can make *better*. In particular, songs where doing a different version would show the original song in amusing new light (the semi-comedy cover is okay, like Macha's "Believe" or Luna's "Sweet Child of Mine") , but mainly songs where the original execution was flawed and the true beauty of the song was not expressed through the first performance. Some good examples would be pretty much any Bob Dylan song or any Steve Merritt song because god those guys are awful singers, but they write great songs, so there's a lot of potential for covers. In any case, the new MGMT covers album is the epitome of what not to do. The original versions of the MGMT songs are the perfect expression of those songs. The best a cover can do is come close to the original, but mainly they just leave you unsatisfied and frustrated that you're not just listening to the better original version. (yes, I know that this is mainly due to stupid record companies; the cover albums are just created because the original sold well and the producer is trying to make some money off that)
I can easily be guilted or pressured into doing things. Not because I actually feel guilty or want to please the person (in fact, quite the opposite, when somebody tries to make me feel like I "should" so something it makes me want to *displease* them or just ignore them). Rather it's because I just find it so unpleasant I want them to stop and go away, and usually the easiest way is just to give them what they want.
I don't believe that people who claim to like super-snobby things actually like them. Examples - noise techno like DJ Spooky or Matmos. In movies, for example Igmar Bergman or Akira Kurosawa. With all of those I can recognize the high level of execution of what they're doing, but it's just so unpleasant, I can't imagine actually enjoying it. Anyway, I just assume that when someone says something like "oh, I adore Kurosawa" they're just lying to try to seem cultured.
I just came up with the perfect analogy for Popcap games today. They're like Television. Mildly amusing, somewhat engaging, not at all challenging or surprising, cute with lots of stimulus, but they let you turn off your brain and zone out. Most people love television. Most people love Popcap games.
One of the big problems with the Netflix ratings in practice is still selection bias. For example, the more obscure a movie is, the higher it gets rated, because the only people who rent it are people who probably know it or love it. Really old movies pretty much all have 4-5 star ratings, but that's only because the people who wouldn't like them don't rent them! In fact this isn't exactly a flaw in the ratings, because the ratings do not actually predict what you would think if you saw a movie - they predict how you would rate a movie *if you rented it*. It's a Bayesian kind of problem - their prediction is for the rating that you would make, given that you chose to rent it and rate it.