Saturday 7th January, 2023 - Locked Out Again
Hello and welcome to my newsletter!
Another season 2 instalment…
If you have been reading for a while, you’ll know that I’ve been working through a lot of difficulties migrating my website from Heroku. I finally got everything migrated, running at another hosting provider, all being rendered by a static site generator that I wrote myself. I had pretty much everything working midway through the week. The last thing was to update the RSS feed in the Apple podcast directory. So I tried to login to Apple Podcast Connect, the response:
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Welcome to 2023, you are now locked out of your podcast account!
That wasn’t the exact response but it might as well be. When I log in, I get presented with the new account setup flow. There’s no way to exit out of it. They are forcing me to start from the very beginning. It was originally quite an ordeal to get the feed to validate, but it validated, I got a confirmation email, and the podcast has been in the iTunes podcast directory for about 2 years. I’ve mostly been posting short audio clips, what people call “field recordings”. It harks back to the very early days of podcasting when people would just share some bit of the ambience they were in. It’s also the only thing I can really do at the minute.
Another lock out to add to the never ending list of lock outs.
It might not be much and maybe I don’t have many subscribers and it’s just me posting poor quality audio clips, but it means a lot to me! I fought a lot of battles to get that green autogenerated template logo displaying in iTunes.
I’ve emailed the support team, so hopefully I’ll get it worked out.
In probably unrelated oddity news, I’ve noticed that in the past 2 weeks, many likely western women, have started wearing dresses that all have a similar hand made, frumpy style. Like they just walked out of 1940s america. It’s a bit strange.
Two very striking doppelgänger’s this week. The first was a bloke that was incredibly like Matt Mulenweg of Wordpress fame. And yesterday I saw a very tanned, but somewhat fuller faced, Richard E. Grant, he’s the actor that played Withnail in classic Withnail and I. The afternoon was spent listening to someone continuously loudly hammering something in a cafe. Go figure. What are the chances?
Something else I’ve noticed this week. Lots of complaining today for some reason, anyway, I’ve been listening to financial analysts recently, much more than usual, and the overwhelming pattern that emerges with virtually all of them is that they almost always skip vital steps in their reasoning. A leads to G, because C leads to… F which leads to G. It’s obvious, you dummy. So you are left continuously pausing shows trying to figure out what “obvious” steps they have neglected to mention. If you aren’t really trying hard to comprehend the logic, you could very easily miss this.
How folks learning things are expected to figure anything out is beyond me. But it kinda makes sense that we are in such a total f-ing big mess, where nobody understands anything. It reminds me of the early years of learning Perl. Most examples were full of errors, purposely written to obfuscate things. I think some folks thought that it was ‘good for learners’. What a total load of garbage that was. It was ego centric sysadmins that wanted to keep control of things at the expense of everybody else. I make the parallel because I think it’s important to notice. But also you do sort of have to listen to the sysadmins because they do have important information about how things work, but things can be a lot better. They were doing the best they could for what they were doing at the time they were learning.
Interesting and somewhat frustrating continuation of my endeavour to get plugins of my static site generator to handle individual post generation. I got it 95% working and realised that I would lose a critical feature, the main reason I had in fact decided to extract the functionality from the plugins in the first place. Having this functionality outside the plugins ensures it’s really easy to start up a new plugin that acts on data that has an arbitrary shape.
I’ve currently got blog, linkblog and podcast plugins. These all use the archives plugin to create individual pages from the data, they just specify a custom component and it all magically works. Without specifying a custom component, it still works, but it just uses a generic component that basically just displays all the data. I didn’t want to loose this feature so I modified the archives plugin so it’s possible to specify the output location of the item pages. You can see an example of how it works on the website.
I feel like I’m not describing this very well. Anyway, that’s how it goes in software development sometimes. You’ve got to know when to bail, walk it back to your previous known good state, and incorporate what you learnt back into your project. The world has a tendency to push you down dead end roads. This happens again and again.
It’s unavoidable for features that are bigger than what you can realistically hold in your head at any one time. For bigger features, make sure you have a plan, and be aware that your new feature could break existing code. Don’t head down unknown paths unless you feel ready, until you feel confident you can at least get to a place where you can decide if it’s a good path or not, and be ready to bail.
There are occasionally situations that crop up where it can only be all or nothing. That’s a tough place to be. But it happens.
There’s a strange person that has just sat in a very unnatural position staring directly at me where I am, so I’m going to wrap this issue up. Time to bail.
This week’s titles that didn’t make it list. Still no blog post about the list yet. It’s sort of self explanatory. Once again, kind of dark this week:
Avoiding Traps All The Way Down
Life is Avoiding Traps
Are We There Yet?
The Avoiding Traps Trap
I Hate Lists Again
Everything is Misc
Logic Free Programming
Parent or Puppeteer?
This is Creosoteland, with Arseholes
(51 of 49) < 51
The repeating “Now he’s horrible, now you’re my friend” thing
Unfortunately it’s none shall pass infiniti - 1 (for everything) ~ a.k.a slavery
The hole opens up specially for you and closes again as soon as you pass through
Chess Without Turns, the Only Rule is Consensus Reality
No one expects the Awschwaps
The People Building Industrial Complex
HCMC People Building Yard
Writing New and Innovative Software is Going to be Squeezed Out
Gulag Driven Software Development
The One Who Discovered the Audience
Actual Human Mock Via Nosejob
Slavery or deformed body, it’s your choice
All tic tac toe permutations have been solved, why are you still playing tic tac toe?
You must now learn everything in order to do anything
Programming Ultra: Writing Code From Within the Inception Fractal
Rules of Fractal Club:
Use functions even if you have to make them return total gibberish
There is no fractal, unless of course there is, in which case, don’t panic, it’s probably artificial, maybe someone is pranking you, maybe it’s aliens, whatever, read the dam rules again, and get a happy path written, even if it’s total gibberish underneath, go back and ungiberify it later
It’s definitely aliens, but don’t panic
Some people’s favourite game: find another stick (though they might not know that’s what they are doing)
He broke our stick again!
How To Avoid Taking Something Natural That’s Entirely Automatic And Turning it Into A Epic Never Ending Infiniti Godzilla Monstrocity - Not Very Obvious To Some
The Middle of the Middle of the Middle of God (Other Middles Might Have Been Omitted For Brevity)
It’s Not What You Do, It’s How You Get to the Bottom of the Infinite Cellular Automata Fractal
Can We All Just Get Him To Do What We Want For Once? (Even though that’s all you do)
Ridiculous Thinks You Are Ridiculous, Ridiculous
Ok 2024, Let’s Do This!
2023 is Dead, Long Live 2024!
Locked Out Again
That’s all this week…
Brother Ali (Duncan Trussell Podcast) - A look into Islam, sounds a bit dry, but actually this was very enlightening, Ali has a very nice way of looking at things and is able very effectively to communicate some of the main tenants of the general ways of thought and values; it’s a sort of framework through which you can view the world in a hopefully more balanced way; I have always been fascinated by the calligraphy and exotic sounds that find their way into some of the music I listen to, it’s a very beautiful and ancient religion, and it’s great to momentarily see through that lense in a way that I could connect with https://audioboom.com/posts/8223078
Our Predictions For 2023: After Hours (The TED Interview Podcast) - I really like this episode, they cover a load of interesting topic areas, some in tech, some in more general culture; as they finished with some show reviews, I was left with the thought, and perhaps this is because of all the unrelenting turmoil we’ve all been experiencing the past few years, but I was left with the thought of how unimaginably mind bogglingly opulent these shows are, because seen through the lens of our species as a collective, as a giant super brain, the amount of turmoil that had to be gone through by real people in order to create these perfect pellet sized media stories, that are popped like aspirin, there’s something quite grotesque to it; but I like these types of shows too, though like many in the world I haven’t been able to watch any of them for a long time now, even though I’m living the pain they portray every single day; as I finished writing this paragraph, which I’m writing in this case, right after listening to the podcast, the person on the table next to me somewhat randomly said ‘your a good liar’ quite loudly, these kind of contradictions / complete reality inversions happen to me at an almost hourly frequency at the minute https://podcasts.google.com/feed/aHR0cHM6Ly9mZWVkcy5mZWVkYnVybmVyLmNvbS9UZWRJbnRlcnZpZXc/episode/cHJ4XzE3OV84YzVmZmVmNS03OGM4LTQyNmEtYWIxNS0yYzQ1ZTEyMWE2MTk?sa=X&ved=0CAYQkfYCahcKEwjgyJq64bT8AhUAAAAAHQAAAAAQCw
The Man Who Escaped Auswitz (The Rest is History Podcast) - Phenomenal story covered expertly by Tom and Dominic along with their guest Jonathan Freedland; it’s such a harrowing subject, they paint a very vivid picture, especially around what cultural environment would give rise to such atrocities, which until then had never been imagined by anyone, the disbelief at learning about what was going on, and the complicated and often muddled reaction which came towards the end of the war; I really got a sense for how it was / would be possible to architect and engineer such a system, where many of those involved were unaware of what was happening, where deception was practiced on an industrial scale, resulting in 10s of thousands of Jews being killed every single day; how on earth do we make sure this can never happen again? It’s such a difficult question to answer, I fear that by trying too much we might cause the very thing we are trying so hard to avoid, especially with AI tech, perhaps the most important thing is to just have the information out there, and treat it with respect and remember the lives that were lost, it could happen in any culture, in any place in the world; and if we manage to stop it happening to persecuted groups, how do we also ensure it doesn’t happen to persecuted individuals? https://shows.acast.com/the-rest-is-history-podcast/episodes/291-auschwitz-the-man-who-escaped-auschwitz
The Shadow of the Holocaust (The Rest is History Podcast) - Followup episode to the Auswitz episode) https://shows.acast.com/the-rest-is-history-podcast/episodes/292-the-shadow-of-the-holocaust
The Unfulfilled Engineer (Corecursive Podcast) - This bloke sounds like a nerdy programmer version of Nilay Patel from Vergecast, he had a terrible boss called Mark who acted via someone called Hugo, also the name of a popular static site generator; I hate Mark, what an unfriendly a-hole, geez, it’s a pretty good story, and the moral that you are worth more than you think is a good message, and that sometimes stories seem to write themselves and everyone sounds like somebody else, and that maybe everyone is caught between a rock and a hard place, and that’s just how it is sometimes, even for that a-hole Mark, and anyway the real enemy isn’t people it’s being unfulfilled - I recommend starting a newsletter, you’ll still be unfulfilled but at least you’ll have the newsletter, fuck Mark, but also fuck static site generators, though not necessarily at the same time, oh and remember to wash your hands and the entire universe is actually shaped like the letters E & W, and nothing really matters anyway, even nothing, but whateva you be you, break; [swim to surface and get some oxygen] https://corecursive.com/initech-with-don-mckay
Nostr - Decentralized Social Media & Bitcoin w/ William Casarin Ep#111 (We Study Billionaires - Bitcoin Podcast) - Seems pretty cool, reminds me of times gone by, maybe there will be a resurgence of decentralised networks, that might be cool, the protocol looks relatively straight forward to implement, there are some node libraries already available https://podcasts.google.com/feed/aHR0cHM6Ly9yc3MuYXJ0MTkuY29tL3RoZS1pbnZlc3RvcnMtcG9kY2FzdA/episode/Z2lkOi8vYXJ0MTktZXBpc29kZS1sb2NhdG9yL1YwL0l0TGRVN2ZxQXBMRWFRaWU2MzdYSEU5SzJCS2xQS3YzUGJVTEJ3YmxqZzQ?sa=X&ved=0CAYQkfYCahcKEwjgyJq64bT8AhUAAAAAHQAAAAAQAQ
The South Africanisation of Everything (The Flying Frisby Podcast) - Pretty good discussion, I’m mildly fascinated by Dominic’s accent and way of speaking with such clarity, sounds like he’s been on the radio; I’ve also been to Jo-burg, lots of security guards everywhere, which I think is a more physically taxing job than people realise, it’s actually quite difficult to sit or stand in the same place for long periods of time, it’s striking how much of the UK is now under constant CCTV everywhere, there was none of that when I was young, and I think it’s had a big effect on the general mood, not so many security guards though, only for late bars and night clubs, where I am in Vietnam nearly every single business has security guards
Gripes with RSS after one week - I love RSS, when I first got online RSS was where it was at, today people are ‘orange pilled’ into Bitcoin, back then you got orange pilled into RSS, there was even a little orange xml icon that everyone displayed on their websites; these days I still use RSS but my feed reader is a mess, I’ve added some very high frequency but not so high quality feeds and the signal to noise has gotten really bad, it doesn’t feel like the cool distributed neighbourhood it once felt like, so it’s nice to see the experience through the eyes of someone that’s newer to it, maybe I’ll find the time to do an RSS reader spring clean; I wish there were tools to help with this, I’d love to automatically subscribe to all authors that I feature in the newsletter, or add to my linkblog for example, and be reminded of feeds that I don’t read much anymore for example https://blog.jez.io/rss-after-one-week
Flying away from AWS - I keep hearing about fly.io so it’s interesting to read a detailed implementation howto https://terrateam.io/blog/flying-away-from-aws
South Korea’s online security dead end - It’s sort of comical how bad the situation is, though I can imagine it’s not at all very comical for those that are experiencing it; the description reminds me a bit how the internet used to be back in the early1990s, but I thought they were super modern in South Korea, they have ridiculous fast internet speeds, are they secretly all on the next level metaverse pretending to be back in the 90s? https://palant.info/2023/01/02/south-koreas-online-security-dead-end
DoneDeal0/superdiff - Compares two arrays or objects and return a complete diff of their differences in a readable format, I can see this could be very useful in some situations, like perhaps synchronising data behind fancy web applications https://github.com/DoneDeal0/superdiff
Cypress V12 Is A Big Deal - Still hoping to get to use this library in some of my future projects, it really looks pretty darn good for frontend testing and debugging https://glebbahmutov.com/blog/cypress-v12
I Migrated from a Postgres Cluster to Distributed SQLite with LiteFS - Distributed SQLite! Oh my days! https://kentcdodds.com/blog/i-migrated-from-a-postgres-cluster-to-distributed-sqlite-with-litefs
That’s all from me…
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