ben vandgrift · on living the dream

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We have a policing problem in the United States.

Written from Charlotte, NC following the shooting of Keith Scott and the aftermath1

I don't know what happened. I know there are conflicting stories, and maybe a video that the police have but won't release because 'take our word for it', and that...

old leaf

i don't feel healthy anymore. not even in an obstinate, in-denial kind-of way. i'm out of shape, and live my life poorly. continuing in this direction will lead to diabetes and heart disease as sure as the sun sets in the west. should the girl and...

Ben-Proof Pasta

Or, How To Write About Technology

Take that title in whatever context you like.

Consider this an exercise in writing about a thing, especially a technology. An introduction, a pitch, a rationale, a presentation of the thing and how to use it, then...

A Clojure / Datomic Web App Tutorial: Part 1

Setup and Data API

Welcome! Let's assume the author is friendly and welcoming, encouraging you to move along and grow as a software developer and that we're here to help. None of that's true, but it seems like the kind of things that should go into...

Clojure: Getting Started

(Mac OS X and Windows)

Getting started with Clojure is mostly a matter of installing the tools you'll need. This quick guide covers Windows and Mac. We'll also try to provide some rationale for why things are the way they are we move along.

The Mac...

Redistricting / Gerrymandering 101

A Demonstration using Geometry

It may be hard for some to visualize how the choice of district can affect representation, so I built a clear demonstration using simple geometry.

From Glider To Gulf Stream

This is the supporting text for a talk I gave at BlendConf '13. Slides after the text. It continues to be a work in progress.

After an introduction and the required small talk, at the first sign of an awkward pause in the budding conversation, we...

A Field Guide To Clients (Part 1)

When you're part of a consultancy, your business revolves around your clients; your bread and butter depends on finding the right clients and helping them solve their problems. Turning that initial lead into a working relationship can be rewarding...


Spring approaches; the searing heat of summer being hinted at in even the morning rays. Stepping outside the door, I can feel myself thawing from the winter, the frost in my soul (if not the frost on my head) melting away with the lower snows of the...

Clojure: 'Hello World' from the Command Line

As it's commonly presented, Clojure isn't really intended to produce command-line applications. As a jvm language, Clojure is for Big Things, Big Ideas, Hard Problems.

Leiningen is the dominant build tool for Clojure, and it's not really close. These...

What Pronoun Are You Voting For?

When you visit the polls tomorrow, think about which pronoun you want to be voting for. Do you want to be voting for "we" or for "me"? Be honest about it, to yourself, and other people. If you can look in the mirror and say 'I am voting my self-interest...

Deploy Nanoc To Github:Pages

Right after moving this thing over, I wrote an article on how to do the same thing for any nanoc site.

You can check out the instructions or the repo.

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