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Saturday 21st January, 2023 - Browsers and Music and Vikings & War
Hello and welcome to my newsletter!
Another season 2 instalment…
So this week, it feels like the world got a bit ambitious, but when it came down to it was unable to deliver. I’ve been thinking about this for a few days now, I can see all the pieces and I can see the vague direction that was hoped for, but it’s just so unbelievably obvious that it’s going to be a total flop, and I already know that I won’t be able to weave it into anything brilliant and awesome.
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Here’s what I’m going to do. I’m just going to post the pieces, so you can see what I’m talking about, and that in itself will probably be the most interesting and honest thing. It’s probably going to suck s little, but there might be a few sparks that could lead to something later down the line.
If you are looking for stuff about browsers, check out the info graphic in the links, it’s very cool. Then there’s stuff about the music industry wars. And there’s also stuff about big huge Viking wars. That’s pretty much the only thing humans ever do. Everything is war, all the frigging time.
There was a load of sort of unpleasant gang stalking for me this week. I had a close encounter with a very moody David Lynch doppelgänger, and yesterday just as I was adding the ITI episode about SETI to the podcast list, a voice doppelgänger of Dr Brian Keating sat behind me. He didn’t look much like him, but then again the images he uses for his podcast art are all quite different. I just listened to the latest Decoder podcast episode about the music industry and Nilay and his guest, just sound a lot like the Brian Keating doppelgänger and the friend he was talking to. Just another day where everyone sounds like everyone again. That’s life sometimes.
As I write this I’m being “audio pestered” by the staff in this cafe. It feels that way in any case. I didn’t get much sleep last night so I kind of just can’t be bothered with any of this. Oh my days, the woman in this cafe sounds like the wicked witch of the west crossed with a demonic dolphin having a laughing fit.
I spent the past few days writing a nodejs prototype for a small project I’m exploring. I decided to try out using es6 module import/exports. At first it seemed kind of cool, but then it became clear that they’ve taken something that worked flawlessly every single time (require) and turned it into a 6 headed monster footgun, and you just end up having to trial and error brute force it every time, and then it suddenly stops working, and you have no idea why.
I feel like I’m having to present something at the science fair, but because my parents were arguing all night, the science thing I have to display is just a 1/2 broken cardboard papier-mâché monstrosity with sticky tape holding it together. And people are asking what it does, and I don’t really know, and people are just throwing their half eaten sandwiches at me now. I’ll literally have to shower later using a bottle of water next to a dog toilet with people walking past hurling abuse at me, and trying to take photos of me.
Whatever, it will all end up being my fault again as usual.
F all this shit, here’s the list of titles that didn’t make it. If you are wondering what that is, here’s a blog post about that:
The list of titles that didn't make it https://markjgsmith.com/blog/2023/01/07/the-list-of-titles-that-didnt-make-it
Here’s the list:
Best Agency Name of All Time: All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office (AARO)
Pretend the Pretend, Problem Solved
Able To Ignore His Spouse At a Real Advanced Level
Mindbogglingly Deep Wank Entrapment: At the Pangenerational Level
The 7 Deadly Wanks
How Strange That Of the 7 Deadly Wanks The Worst One is Literally the Thing That Keeps Our Species Alive
Surprise Surprise, Poison Pretending to be Help Now Blames You For Everything, And Says In Fact You Are the Poison, What Are the Chances?
The Downsides of Fighting Fire With Fire
Eventually the gap will be so big, the only way to handle it will be to fake it
All we-are-faking-it, all the time, for everyone; flip, flip flip
And Then One Day You Realise that All Women, Even the Nice Ones, In Their Heart of Hearts Secretly Want to Enslave You Like Jabba the Hut
Aren’t We Eventually Just Going to Have a Whole Planet Full of Universe Builders?
Universe Builder Planet in a Finite Universe
The first principles thinking problem
Start Building Anti-Vampire Tools or Join Vampire Cosplay Group?
Be a Pretend Vampire Building Anti-Vampire Tools
Be a Pretend X Building Anti- X Tools
All resources in the universe have unexpectedly been used up
Unfortunately Abolishing Slavery is Like Abolishing a Religion, or WWII
Separation of Code and Coding (if you are lucky)
Techniques for when you can’t separate code and coding
Techniques for handling situations where separation of code and coding isn’t even a thing (yet)
Have You Tried Not Being Blocked?
Unified Theory of Wrongism
Are You Miscellaneoused?
Do You Even Miscellaneous?
Never Leave Home Without Your Particle Accelerator
Particle Accelerator as a Service
Maximum Double WTF Recursion Loop
Browsers and Music and Vikings & War
I’m just going to choose the last one in the list, because I just want this shitty science fair to be over already.
F this stupid science project, burn it to the ground for all I care.
Have a nice week.
Premium PCB cheat sheets, a disappearing AWS dev, Hyperswitch, Servo is back at it, and Cloudflare Wilderbeast (Changelog Podcast) - Usual neat bundle of dev news, I quite liked the sound of Wilderbeast and yet another reminder that lots of folks seem to be trying out alternative social medias at the minute, especially Mastodon https://changelog.com/podcast/news-2023-01-16
Infinite Canvas, Luro+Figma and Scraping or Crawling (Shop Talk Show Podcast) - Chris describes a recent realisation about how some of these new AI models work, that was interesting, and I also liked the scraping vs crawling bit https://shoptalkshow.com/548/
Robert Waldinger (Duncan Trussell Podcast) - This episode had me at ‘forbidden clones’, the intro then goes into some sort of dark dungeons and dragons style thing where although I don’t speak dungeons and dragons, I’m pretty sure the story is 75% based on my current life situation just red shifted into a parallel abstraction stack, so even though I don’t really know what the fuck it was about, it made me both happy and sad in equal measures; I’m also partially convinced that this might be how we have to debug our web applications in the near future, and worryingly I think I’m only partially joking, but I can’t really tell anymore, which as everybody knows is one of the tricky parts of dungeons and dragons debugging; also a girl in a shop I was buying a bun in earlier said ‘okay war’ to me as I walked out, which is making a lot more less-sense now, I didn’t end up eating the bun just in case https://audioboom.com/posts/8229151
Why Is It So Hard To Resist Temptation? (No Stupid Questions Podcast) - All about temptations, broadly what categories exist, how they shape our character, and our societies https://freakonomics.com/nsq/
David Nichtern (Duncan Trussell Podcast) - Duncan wants to go sky diving strapped to a sea turtle, which is clearly very weird, but actually I liked this episode a lot, when I listen to these two, I find myself going from very practical ideas, which I really like because I see the value in, or can see an immediate parallel to actual real life, to way-out-there thoughts, often several layers removes from the real world, which I always feel intrigued by initially but then end up in abstraction oblivion (reminds me of OO programming), which I don’t like; I often find that Nichtern goes off into oblivion and eventually I’m like what-is-this-guy-even-going-on-about, then Duncan brings it back into a realm that makes much more sense to me; but then Nichtern will surprise me by something very practical and I realise that it’s Duncan that’s off in oblivion; considering how abstract a lot of these ideas are, it’s incredible to me how much I’m able to follow the train of thought, especially when compared to all the financial and monetary system content I’ve been consuming recently; anyway definitely a fun, humorous and mostly light hearted conversation, worth a listen https://audioboom.com/posts/8231722
Rick Rubin (Conversations With Tyler) - I’ve liked pretty much all the interviews I’ve listened to with Rick Rubin, for starters I like his voice but I especially like it’s unusual juxtaposition with his very thoughtfully but also somewhat delicate approach to channeling creativity; also because he’s worked with so many artists that I’ve listened to over the years, I find his stories become a bit like a Google search into my musical past, and entire long forgotten parts of my life are restored into my consciousness, it’s really a fun listen, but also he often talks about really interesting technical aspects of modern music recoding like allowing beauty to emerge from the noise, television channels dedicated to specific artists, live albums vs studio albums, and a whole lot more https://cowenconvos.libsyn.com/rick-rubin
SETI and Beyond: A Discussion with Brian Keating, Paul Davies, Jim Benford, and Matt Kaplan (Into the impossible Podcast) - Just so many interesting science and alien life stuff in this episode, including encoding messages in our DNA, the search for alien surveillance tech in our solar system, dangers of sending out signals into the universe, minimal exportable biosphere, the shadow biosphere, biochirality of amino acids and sugars, the Drake equation, the non life to life transition, and the possibility that life started more than once on earth https://podcasts.google.com/feed/aHR0cHM6Ly9mZWVkcy5tZWdhcGhvbmUuZm0vaW50b3RoZWltcG9zc2libGU/episode/ODU1N2M3MDQtOTNkZS0xMWVkLWE0NjUtM2I1NTY2MTQ1YjM2?sa=X&ved=0CAYQkfYCahcKEwjg6-y3ktb8AhUAAAAAHQAAAAAQBQ
Stephen Spielberg (Desert Island Disks Podcast) - Brought back lots of memories of Spielberg movies that I’ve watched over the years, fantastic music selection, I felt oddly emotional while listening, which surprised me a little, I haven’t heard many Spielberg interviews, so this was great https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m001g8m4
Taylor Swift and the Music Industry’s Next $20 (Decoder Podcast) - Nilay does a great investigation into the current state of the music industry, and things are pretty bleak to be honest, artists getting a raw deal pretty much everywhere, and tech companies making big money, it feels like the industry is going to implode while artists tour 24/7 just to make a few peanuts; I fear that not only is it going to get worse, but it’s going to get epically, unimaginably worse, if it isn’t already that way, artists signing deals with the devil just to have their entire life’s work listened to once, and forced to release under assumed names, having to pretend everything is great, when in fact it’s exploitation at a holocaust level and scale; and it won’t be just for artists either, with AI you’ll be able to create any narrative, artists will need to first be programmers, and programmers will first need to be artists, everything will be impossible, but at least we will have won against ourselves; I dunno, maybe just use RSS? https://www.theverge.com/e/23322720
Twilight of the Aesir (Hardcore History Podcast) - Long and very intense, about people wearing horn hats hitting each other, as they say in France, plus ça change…https://www.dancarlin.com/product/hardcore-history-69-twilight-of-the-aesir
The Big AI Discussion (Techmene Ride Home Experience) - Brian and Chris talk all things AI on their call-in style Twitter spaces show, lots of topics covered including conversational AI, AI assisted content creation, the coming onslaught to the human mind of nefarious AI tools, breaking out of the Google prison by re-imagining search, voice actors and how AI tools could affect the relationship with audiences https://podcasts.google.com/feed/aHR0cHM6Ly9yc3MuYXJ0MTkuY29tL3RlY2htZW1lLXJpZGVob21l/episode/Z2lkOi8vYXJ0MTktZXBpc29kZS1sb2NhdG9yL1YwL0JWbDBvUVVfYm5HT3JVWEtJeFhfcHNodEV3OTlDd2xtQVlmNnM0Y09SN28?sa=X&ved=0CAUQkfYCahcKEwio_dq-89f8AhUAAAAAHQAAAAAQBQ
UFO reports by US troops skyrocket to over 500 - It’s interesting that the US government is now being pro-active about releasing such information to try and make it less fantastical, sign of the times https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-64252340
History of Web Browser Engines from 1990 until today - Very excellent info graphic, I wouldn’t say it’s the most beautiful, but it’s got so much incredible information, if you spend 10 mins reading through it, you get a really good sense for all the various waves of development that have happened over the past 30 years; I got online in the early 90s so I recognise most, but not quite all the development clusters, though I had very little idea how the various projects influenced each other https://eylenburg.github.io/browser_engines.htm
NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test Is a Smashing Success https://eos.org/articles/nasas-double-asteroid-redirection-test-is-a-smashing-success
Internal Slack Messages at Twitter Show That Cutting Off Third-Party Clients Was 'Intentional' https://daringfireball.net/linked/2023/01/14/information-twitter-slack-confirmation
Blue Green Deployment for Node.js Without Kubernetes https://semaphoreci.com/blog/blue-green-deployment-nodejs
The gotcha of unhandled promise rejections https://jakearchibald.com/2023/unhandled-rejections
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.