Saturday 3rd September, 2022 - The Gorbachev Short
Hello and welcome to my newsletter!
Another season 2 instalment…
It’s a very podcast heavy issue this week. So many great audio creations. Lots of them are worth taking the time to listen to, we’re building the future, blogging and podcasting it as we do it. How cool is that?
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If you’ve been reading the past few issues then you’ll be aware that the waters have been quite rough for me recently. Lots of incidents of bullying, intimidation and gang stalking are happening to me where I am. I mostly take it on the chin, but occasionally things happen that I just have to mention.
I’m not particularly skweemish and I don’t get very embarrassed. I’m mostly ok with my body the way it is. I alluded to what’s happened in last week’s issue title. At the time I just felt I needed something prominent somewhere, that I could refer back to.
As odd as it seems, my come has turned darkish red. It’s sort of like one of those swirly ice creams. Regular come with dark red streaks mixed in. Seriously, it’s fucked up.
That’s not right. There is no situation where that is right. In all my years that’s never happened to my knowledge, and no one has ever said that that can happen. I’m in my mid-forties.
Then the next day Mikhail Gorbachev, communist ex-President of the USSR, a man with a large red splodge on his head, died. That’s a thing that really happened. What are the chances of those two things happening back to back? The probability has got to be unbelievably close to zero. And for it to happen when I am in a communist country. Seriously? These sorts of weird “synchronicities” happen to me all-the-time. Like every day. Though this one feels on a bigger scale.
I’ve had things put in my food before, so it could be that. I don’t have any pain or anything, I’m hoping it’s just dietary. I eat a very boring diet at the minute, mostly because of the past spiked food incidents. The only pain I have is from the mutilations on my leg that keep appearing. Update on that later.
Since then people around me everywhere have started wearing pink, literally everywhere, T-shirts, baseball hats, giant pink stickers put on the tables of places I go to, it’s like a pink tsunami. And there’s been A LOT of hate directed at me from women, this past week, it’s really very bizarre.
One thing is for sure: I’m not going to forget this in a hurry.
It’s all so odd, I can’t get The Big Short out of my head. What if it wasn’t just the money system that was entirely fraudulent? It could conceivably be a similar problem in any service based sector. There are scenarios where such things could happen in the very foundational entities we have grown up in. We would need to find a way to, no matter what, not all be divided.
Ok bizarre event description out of the way. I’m not going to be silently bullied about my body. I don’t plan on mentioning it again. I will of course mention it should it clear up, really fucking hope it does.
Powerful tools perfect storm
In the world of tech and web development I’m starting to see the intersection of several very powerful features technologies.
CSS organisation trifecta
Scope & nesting
Web assembly, edge compute, deno
Looking at how things developed in the devops world, with the Kubernetes layer being introduced, I’m wondering whether something similar might happen in web development. Where such a layer would appear and what form it would take is still not clear, but I get the sense that some form of layer is going to appear. Web assembly and edge compute are obvious possible avenues.
Generally the level of power that these tools bring to the table is astounding, especially considering how primitive web development was in comparison a mere 10 years ago. I also wonder how society will change when web developers have mastered these new tools and concepts. It is certain to have a big impact on how we view the world we live in.
Money systems are breaking
The strain on economies around the world is evident everywhere. The old money systems, are having a really difficult time absorbing the repercussions from the pandemic, coupled with geo-political problems between competing nations. We have these new money systems that could be better suited for activities in the modern world, but I think there’s a real danger of zero-sum thinking being applied across the board, even when it isn’t necessary. Early over-optimisation can be a major problem. It’s like tying yourself to the ground when you are trying to learn how to fly.
It worries me that it’s becoming too dangerous to be a leader. I see this everywhere, things are comparatively awesome compared to decades past, and we have some leaders that are incredible and engaging with the public as they go about their job. This is unheard of. Leaders have always been hidden behind large companies and shadowy organisations. And yet we are so quick to tear them down. Leaders are going to do the only sensible thing given the risk: make themselves untouchable. Which increases the wealth gap even more.
I keep hearing about circular economies, especially in Bitcoin circles. But what is a circular economy, and do we really want to make everything circular? As a programmer, the idea of circular systems being a good thing is quite foreign. There’s a class of bug called circular dependency bugs which are really difficult to find and debug.
I’m noticing in my life an increase in things that look and feel circular, and it’s not much fun. A Möbius strip is also circular, and is cool to look at as art, but in real life having the past flip over the future like that, could be very problematic.
I’d like to read more about why people are getting all circular in a hurry.
It’s been slow going this week, but I’ve made some progress, getting various blog, linkblog and archives plugins working. I was able to update the archives plugin so that it can work for any arbitrary blob of json / markdown+frontmatter data, not just blogs and linkblogs. It uses a GenericItem component that you can override with your own custom component. So for example the blog and linkblog plugins have their own custom component which they use to render the blog/linkblog but the archives plugin can also use the same custom component to render the archives. It’s pretty cool, though will take a bit more work to get the pieces to fit nicely together. Building server-side templates using components is great, though I am running into problems just because it’s a path that hasn’t been trodden before.
One such issue is that I’ve run into a bit of a design issue. I’ve got a situation where several important things are all changing at the same time, but the architecture isn’t yet handling this appropriately. It’s too darn difficult to conceptualise. A refactoring is going to be necessary, but with my limited resources and life situation, it’s going to be slow going to ensure I don’t break what’s already working. Sometimes you have to slow down in order to speed up.
Fantasy Podcast League
It seems to me based on voices that Alex Cranz from Vergecast, Liv Boeree from Lex Fridman interview, Angela Duckworth from No Stupid Questions, Jen Simmons CSS guru and singer Grimes might very well all be the same person.
It happened again (unfortunately) exactly as I predicted.
I was a few days away from being mutilation free on my legs
Then several new infections on my leg appeared, just outside the current bandage, which is currently most of my lower leg
Now a few days later the whole side of my leg has enflamed significantly
I kept my leg very clean all week, applying disinfectant around the bandage constantly
Right after the new infections took hold and bigger bandage applied, several drive-by / shop staff / security guard harassment incidents where they simply say “learn”
Gang stalking involving white westerner gang stalkers has significantly increased
Yesterday a guy literally walked up to me as I was dressing the new leg wounds who just started pointing, smiling and laughing. I told him it wasn’t funny. He just smiled and laughed even more.
That’s cruelty in my books.
David Nichtern Ep#524 (Duncan Trussell Podcast) - I like listening to the conversations Duncan has with David, more often than not they feel like a pleasant stroll on a Sunday afternoon, unhurried they observe and talk about various life stuffs, in this episode Duncan asks the IMO very important question, what one thing would you change about Budism if you could? His answer doesn’t sit right with me, if religion is unchangeable like air, then what chance do we have of making things better for people? Won’t it always get used to push people down instead of lifting them up? Imagine if we had stuck with command line interfaces instead of migrating to graphical UI systems, how can we be so sure that religions won’t need to change over the long term? Will it still take a lifetime of meditation to reach enlightenment in 5000 years time? Will enlightenment even still be relevant? Sounds like not only are these things not on their roadmap, they don’t even have a roadmap! Or perhaps it’s in a cabinet in a basement in alpha centuri? https://audioboom.com/posts/8146946
The Twitter Whistleblower and the REAL AI revolution - Twitter Space - (Techmeme Ride Home Podcast) - An interesting discussion about Twitter past, present and future, followed by an even more interesting discussion about the metaverse, AI and all the crazy mind bending stuff that’s on the horizon https://podcasts.google.com/feed/aHR0cHM6Ly9yc3MuYXJ0MTkuY29tL3RlY2htZW1lLXJpZGVob21l/episode/Z2lkOi8vYXJ0MTktZXBpc29kZS1sb2NhdG9yL1YwL0dqX2ZQQnc5YmdWNC1uTFVjYXpkLWlPTU5JLW5TQWxwYUd5R05UNjdPN0k?sa=X&ved=0CAUQkfYCahcKEwiAs7eb7Pf5AhUAAAAAHQAAAAAQAQ
Bringing the vibe (JS Party Podcast) - All about human skills, sounds a bit lame but the angles they take are actually kind of interesting, they make some good observations, even if they are at times optimism maximalists, which IMO is great in some weather systems, but not appropriate in all situations, we don’t all get to live on the beach in the sunshine, for many it rains cats, dogs, and devils; there are vim AND emacs users in the world, node AND elixir stacks etc; just because you’re a good optimism maximalist doesn’t mean there aren’t evil optimism maximalists out there; also some cool details about the future of deno and bun, and environmental impact https://changelog.com/jsparty/240
Bitcoin Review: A review of Popular Bitcoin Projects with NVK and Justin Moon (Citadel Dispatch Podcast) - This is becoming a must listen if you are a developer interested in the Bitcoin space, it’s very technical at times but there is so much information about how the tools actually work https://anchor.fm/citadeldispatch/episodes/Bitcoin-Review-E4-A-Review-of-Updates-to-Popular-Bitcoin-Projects-with-NVK-and-Justin-Moon-e1n3qfh
Is it OK to Hate Highbrow Culture? (No Stupid Questions Podcast) - I liked this, I’ve noticed my tastes for highbrowish culture have developed somewhat as I get older, but also in the other direction, some things that I would have previously brushed off as way too mainstream, I can see how well they are crafted https://podcasts.google.com/feed/aHR0cHM6Ly9mZWVkcy5zaW1wbGVjYXN0LmNvbS9kZmhfdmVyVg/episode/NTc0YWUyY2QtMzgwZC00NmM2LThmMmMtNGNkZTdjNzY4ZGUx?sa=X&ved=0CAYQkfYCahcKEwiAs7eb7Pf5AhUAAAAAHQAAAAAQCA
Bitcoin for Libertarian Socialists With Ben De Waal (What Bitcoin Did Podcast) - I’m not a massive politics person, it’s mostly in my peripheral vision, I find a lot of the descriptions of left / right /progressive / libertarian / labour / conservative /republican etc endlessly overlapping and confusing, and people spend most of their time talking cross purposes; in this episode there’s an enlightening discussion about a ven diagram that shows where a lot of these ideologies fall, Ben sounds a bit like Vitalik, the way he describes things is very similar https://www.whatbitcoindid.com/podcast/bitcoin-for-libertarian-socialists
The Debt Spiral Defined w/ James Lavish Ep#93 (Bitcoin Podcast) - This basically amounts to the US not being able to pay off it’s debts, but it’s worse than that, they can’t even pay off the interest, and they are having to take out more loans just to be in the situation they are in, it’s insane; listen to this to get a sense of the utter enormity of it all, or is it? https://podcasts.google.com/feed/aHR0cHM6Ly9yc3MuYXJ0MTkuY29tL3RoZS1pbnZlc3RvcnMtcG9kY2FzdA/episode/Z2lkOi8vYXJ0MTktZXBpc29kZS1sb2NhdG9yL1YwL2hvZ1p0VzIzZDdoN1QxZjlHYXQtTDRRMkNvdkJuQlBfWWF2TmlVczJVMU0?sa=X&ved=0CAYQkfYCahcKEwiAs7eb7Pf5AhUAAAAAHQAAAAAQHQ
Liv Boeree: Poker, Game Theory, AI, Simulation, Aliens and Existential Risk (Lex Fridman Podcast) - I really enjoyed this interview because of how different their styles are, Liv is all go-go-go and Lex is much more hey-chill-out-man, it causes a bit of tension initially, Liv is unleashing this continuous abstraction hurl, and flustered, Lex is finding it a bit difficult to get into the groove on anything, but as the interview progresses we learn more about Liv’s background, some of her recent experiences, and they eventually settle into a pattern where Liv engages the hyperdrive, they shoot off to some crazy far away star system, and Lex is like ok-lets-look-around-a-bit, and their approaches start to be complimentary and positive sum, it’s a great and fun discussion about some far out ideas https://lexfridman.com/liv-boeree
Twitter Shelved An Only Fans Clone (Ride Home Podcast) - Lot’s of interesting tech stuff, but I’m linking to this because of the bit about how soon, AI might enable us to talk to other species of animals, we are really going to have to get much better at talking about things if that actually does happen; and you thought the birds and the bees was difficult https://podcasts.google.com/feed/aHR0cHM6Ly9yc3MuYXJ0MTkuY29tL3RlY2htZW1lLXJpZGVob21l/episode/Z2lkOi8vYXJ0MTktZXBpc29kZS1sb2NhdG9yL1YwL2JBRjRwTURFR0tUeUJDcFhVcnY0Z2ZUcjZGQ3IzX0RBdnRnUml6NnVFS00?sa=X&ved=0CAUQkfYCahcKEwiAs7eb7Pf5AhUAAAAAHQAAAAAQKQ
Noam Chomsky: Putin, Ukraine, China and Nuclear War Ep#316 (Lex Fridman Podcast) - Noam has so much knowledge about the big tidal movements of geo-politics that have shaped the last 100 years, I found this interview a bit slow initially, but it goes on to covers some really important topics that put current events in the Ukraine into context https://lexfridman.com/noam-chomsky-2
How to Read Minds and Detect Deception (Art of Manliness Podcast) - I think there are some interesting things that psychology explores, but as soon as they start pigeon holing people into buckets, I start to find their hubris and self-righteousness overwhelming; it’s always based on concepts that are far from precise and agreed upon, things like ego and consciousness, look around a bit and you realise that a lot of what they try to impose on the world are very self serving, more often than not the personality characterisation compendiums they produce are really books used by bullies to push people down; yes life can get very very difficult at times, but concentrate on the basics: keep your body hydrated, fed, rested, maybe do a bit of meditation and exercise, over the long term you start to notice patterns in your behaviour, and in what is going on around you, keep calm as best you can, it’s a long and windy road https://the-art-of-manliness.simplecast.com/episodes/how-to-read-minds-and-detect-deception-j0c01QV_
There are a few but I don’t have time to put this together, so I’ll add them to next weeks issue
That’s all from me…
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Have a great weekend and a fantastic next week!
Thanks for reading Mark Smith’s Newsletter! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.