Property removals in TypeScript

A quick note about how to easily go from a broader type to a narrower one in TypeScript.

Suppose you have the following two interfaces:

interface ABC {
  a: number;
  b: string;
  c: boolean;

interface AB {
  a: number;
  b: string;

We want to convert a var from ABC to AB. Although ABC meets all the constraints of AB, the additional excess properties sometimes break things and TypeScript will, sometimes, complain about them.

So we could just do this:

declare var myVar: ABC;
delete myVar.c;

But that’s not really desirable because, assuming TypeScript even lets you do that, you’re mutating an existing typed object. myVar is still typed as ABC, even though it no longer has a c property.

I used to frequently write code that cloned myVar, deleted the extra property, and then typecast the clone to a new interface. But with the introduction of destructuring and spread operator support in TypeScript 2.1, it’s actually quite simple now:

let { c, ...newVar } = myVar

Tada! newVar is created without the c property, and TypeScript recognizes it.

Free College, Academic Freedom, and Choice

Free college is apparently all the rage on the left these days. For the purposes of discussion, let’s assume we find a way to actually fund free tuition, materials, and room and board at all public colleges in America. But even if that’s the case, free college isn’t something that liberals should be quick to embrace.

For starters, what would free college do to academic freedom? If higher education is a public good, it follows that the content of higher education is a question for the democratic process. But academic freedom is about the freedom to teach and learn about topics that may not be popular. We already see skirmishes over, for instance, whether the government should fund political science or climate change research. If college was 100% publicly funded, we’d probably get more of that, similar to how state legislatures routinely try to change the content of history books and teach creationism in public schools.

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LGBT Wedding Cakes

This makes me uncomfortable. As much as I would prefer that bakeries not discriminate, I don’t like using the law to compel them to, both from a political perspective and from a legal one.

Politically, I think it’s a mistake. The argment for allowing gay marriage has long been that gay marriage has almost zero impact on straight persons. If you don’t support gay marriage, then don’t marry someone of the same sex. And many, if not all, conservatives understand that — especially in more libertarian areas. Gay marriage doesn’t change the rules for straight marriage. It doesn’t compel the clergy to officiate at gay weddings or live with a gay roommate or even be polite to gay people. But … now you can be compelled to bake a gay wedding cake. And that complicates the libertarian case for LGBT rights.

It also comes across as spiteful. Unless you think unhappy bakery owners make your wedding cake more delicious. Salty tears and such.

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Life Choices

Sharks in suits
“So if this law thing doesn’t work out, I might give professional dancing a shot.”