Ryan McCarl

Reading, writing, learning, languages, law, politics, etc.

Condensed Ninth Circuit opinion upholding injunction on Trump’s immigration ban

Here is a slimmed-down version of today’s excellent opinion from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals refusing to remove the nationwide injunction temporarily stopping Trump’s Executive Order on immigration. That order bars people from seven predominately Muslim countries on the basis of their nationality and religion. I explained in an op-ed yesterday why I think the order is unconstitutional. You can read the full Ninth Circuit opinion here; the version below includes most of the opinion but strips out most of the procedural discussions, including the discussions of whether the States of Washington and Minnesota had standing to sue. Read more →

Developing a language-learning program (high-frequency sentence identifier)

UPDATE: I devoted most of my nights and weekends this year to building the program described below with the help of Kostyantyn Grinchenko, an excellent Ukrainian freelance developer. Then, after realizing that we had stumbled upon a breakthrough idea that could revolutionize language learning and help many people become fluent readers of their target language, I assembled a remote team of freelance and volunteer developers, designers, native-speaker audio recorders, and translators to help me develop it into a webapp (and future mobile app): WordBrewery. Read more →

Learning blackjack, part 2: strategy

I wrote a complete version of this post a couple of days ago on a plane, but somehow lost the file. But then, I am writing this in part to fix it in my memory and build my understanding, so there’s no harm in writing it again. Below is what I have gleaned about basic blackjack strategy, primarily from two sources: the iPhone app Blackjack 101 Free and the book The Most Powerful Blackjack Manual by Jay Moore. Read more →

Learning blackjack

In two weeks, I am going to Las Vegas for my brother’s bachelor party. It is inevitable that I will gamble a bit and lose that money which I gamble; I consider this an entertainment expense, not an opportunity to make money. Nevertheless, it seems wise to attempt to limit the damage—or at least acquire some knowledge as a consolation prize—by becoming well-informed about precisely how the casino will be taking my money. Read more →