Saturday 23rd July, 2020 - Stop bullying me peoples of Vietnam and the Network States
Hello and welcome to my newsletter!
Another season 2 instalment…
I’m being bullied by the people of Vietnam. It happens literally everyday, everywhere I go here. It’s organised and co-ordinated. Sometimes it happens hundreds of times per day. It’s been happening for several years. Sometimes it’s by police, sometimes security guards, shop staff, even just regular people in the streets. These people are of all ages and both male and female. At times it involves foreign nationals, I have no idea what’s going on with that. It’s rarely physical, nearly always verbal, psychological, though it often involves what is accurately described as improv / staged incidents. I don’t know what to do anymore. It’s horrible.
Thanks for reading Mark Smith’s Newsletter! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.
It wasn’t always like this for me. It happened gradually, a slow relentless insidious encroachment, with seemingly programmatic accuracy. Each step down the ladder, perfectly calculated, tested and deployed, so to speak, in plain sight. Though it’s more of a controlled demolition than climbing down a ladder. It’s certainly not my choice. It’s mind boggling how different people can experience essentially two different universes while living in the same place. YMMV. There’s no way to really talk about it without starting to get into religious language.
This newsletter is my only way to fight back as it were. It’s escalated quite a bit more than usual in recent weeks. No doubt it will probably get even worse once I send this out, but at least some people will know. It’s not a very nice place. Unfortunately I’m stuck here because of Covid. There isn’t much I can do, but I’m starting by writing this short protest intro.
Please people of Vietnam, stop bullying me.
I had a load of interesting stuff I wanted to write about, but I’m not really feeling like getting into that right now. I wrote some comments in with the links when I put them together yesterday, so there’s that.
One of the themes this week has been the Network State. At times it really feels like some version of that is already in place here. The network state just looks like finer grained control over the population. Regardless I don’t see how network states would make my situation any better and I see a lot of ways they could make my situation worse. How would network states handle bullying, victimisation and oppression? If this place is anything to go by, then it’s more of the above. And guess what, more of the above results in yet more of the above, and on and on, there’s literally no end to it.
This morning for example, I’ve experienced at least 20-30 walk-by / drive-by harassment incidents, and it’s only 5:45am. Many of which were accompanied with genuine glee.
Enough said, for now, moving on…
The ssg development this week went pretty well all things considered. I reached a dead end with last week’s direction, but I was able to do quite a major refactor to make sure that I was using public and private class properties properly, only sharing data externally to classes when absolutely necessary. The code looks a lot better for it.
I’m now re-working the archives plugin that I was writing and I think I’ve got an architecture that is reasonably elegant and will hopefully work for most static sites generated from markdown and/or json.
Peace to all.
Addendum: I’ve just been listening to two podcasts, thought I’d scheduled the newsletter but it didn’t get sent for sone reason. Here are the notes I took. They are weirdly high level
Trussell vs Montgomery - impressively non-confrontational despite the very winding roads they covered; accepting, intent though a bit murky and dark initially, becomes mostly obvious, helpful ending on common ground enables comparison, tastes like it might be a 5 min codepen, but might be in the style of a Salvatore Dali squiggle
TRIH - London Moments - the egg shells they were tip toeing around are still popping out of my headphones; practically everything is a merge conflict, intent very ambiguous in places, tastes like a 5 year feature branch - interestingly in the second half, which I listened to last, after switching back and forth a bit to write these thoughts, they both settle into a very comfortable wander, ends a bit unexpectedly
Probably won’t mean anything to anyone, but I just wanted to get everything into this issue so I can start a fresh week.
Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar (Duncan Trussell Podcast) - Really enjoyed this, lots of calming insightful discussions from Gurudev, though in places somewhat frustratingly good at talking around difficult questions, Trussell is very good at interviewing people with different world views https://audioboom.com/posts/8120431
Deno’s fresh new web framework - The more I learn about deno, the more I want to try building something with it https://changelog.com/jsparty/234
MacBook Air M2 Review, Twitter tries to trap Elon Musk, Apple beta software review - Some great analysis of particularly convoluted and contradictory source material, i.e. the actual definitely real news; also why do Nilay and David sometimes really remind me of Dan and Ian from the TMBA Podcast? https://www.theverge.com/23220001/macbook-air-m2-review-elon-twitter-apple-beta-ios-16-vergecast
Build tiny multi-platform apps with Tauri and web tech (Changelog Podcast) - Really impressive bundle sizes compared to for example Electron, also an interesting discussion around the difficult balancing necessary to run a successful open source project https://changelog.com/podcast/497
Everything you know about the economy is wrong with Jeff Snider (What Bitcoin Did Podcast) - I was struck by the clarity and effectiveness of his mental models for talking and thinking about the macro side of money systems, felt like I was watching an expert programmer reading through code that he knows like the back of his hand, effortlessly zipping around with Vim; quite difficult to follow if you aren’t very familiar with finance lingo and concepts, I found taking lots of notes, and generous use of pause/rewind/play very helpful https://www.whatbitcoindid.com/podcast/everything-you-know-about-the-economy-is-wrong
Bitcoin Fedimint - Decentralised Custody Protocol w/ Obi Nwosu (Bitcoin Podcast) - Solves many of the privacy issues affecting Bitcoin, as well as the problem of how to store your private keys, and I can see it could be very useful in many communities, not sure how useful it would be for smaller groups or someone operating independently; it’s sort of like a LAN for crypto transactions, combined with a way to store your keys securely across many endpoints https://podcasts.google.com/feed/aHR0cHM6Ly9yc3MuYXJ0MTkuY29tL3RoZS1pbnZlc3RvcnMtcG9kY2FzdA/episode/Z2lkOi8vYXJ0MTktZXBpc29kZS1sb2NhdG9yL1YwL1Flc01adl95cTB2TDJtal82VFUxNXQ1MjM4OVBqdnllR0xpY2pwanFscUU?sa=X&ved=0CAYQkfYCahcKEwio1-LqgYz5AhUAAAAAHQAAAAAQHQ
Londonium, a short series about the often colourful, seldom boring history of good old London Town (The Rest is History Podcast) https://shows.acast.com/the-rest-is-history-podcast/episodes/210-london-places
What do I think about network states? (Vitalik Buterin) - Really great review piece of Balaji’s new book, I haven’t had time to fully read the book yet, so this piece was really interesting, and high quality; I have broadly similar views to Vitalik on this topic, but additionally I feel like though the whole Network State idea is intellectually interesting, who the fuck has time for all this shit, I just want to build some websites, I don’t want to create a sodding country just to hello world a business and have a family, there’s always one more thing, what’s next? Better start planing the restaurant at the end of the universe https://vitalik.ca/general/2022/07/13/networkstates.html?utm_source=substack&utm_medium=email
Most DAOs are not actually very decentralised - Based on the stats, DOAs currently looks very very lopsided https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1548032254844100614.html
Back from the Future: Global Tables In CockroachDB - Could be very cool if you make use of edge computing, but I’m guessing that it adds quite a lot of complexity https://www.cockroachlabs.com/blog/global-tables-in-cockroachdb/
Framework Laptop (2022) Review: Promises Kept - Excellent review covering many important aspects, usually ignored, of a very interesting direction for laptop design; Tldr; Repairability++ or just have 2 laptops? https://www.theverge.com/23270191/framework-laptop-12th-gen-2022-review
5t3ph/css-browser-support - Query caniuse and MDN for browser feature support info, feels like this could be a very powerful tool in the right environment https://github.com/5t3ph/css-browser-support
Working with file system paths on Node.js - Given my efforts to write an ssg, this is very interesting, so far I’ve mostly concentrated on unixy file systems, because that’s what I’m familiar with, but at some stage I’d definitely want it to be able to execute cross platform https://2ality.com/2022/07/nodejs-path.html
MINECRAFT AND NFTS - They are taking a hard line against NFTs because they feel the artificial scarcity feature that NFTs provide conflicts with a core value of their metaversey platform: inclusiveness - This could turn into an Interesting debate because NFTs might also provide another feature, that they don’t mention: portability https://www.minecraft.net/en-us/article/minecraft-and-nfts
An Introduction to Multithreading in Node.js https://blog.appsignal.com/2022/07/20/an-introduction-to-multithreading-in-nodejs.html
Neutron stars: New telescope detects dead suns colliding - This makes me instinctively shudder a bit, what do you mean stars collide, that’s just something that happens sometimes? OMG [looks up at the sky] https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-61911047
Right to Repair Enterprise Software - It hadn’t occurred to me that right-to-repair could be used in enterprise software, I thought it was just heavy machinery and electronics, however there was a recent case heard in Brussels where a piece of enterprise software was allowed to be completely reproduced in order to fix a bug; the entire repair market is worth $175 billion, and the way it’s organised at the moment often forces customers into upgrades and relies on lock-in which makes it hard to leave and migrate to other products - lots of room for ethical improvements in this area of tech, hopefully this is s big step in the direction of that change, which will eventually have big positive effects throughout our societies as lock-in stops being the norm https://www.protocol.com/policy/repair-right-enterprise-software
That’s all from me…
Consider becoming a patreon, any support would be very much appreciated
Thanks for reading!
If you liked this newsletter you might like my blog, daily linkblog or experimental podcast :)
I’m a freelance web developer, consultant and automation engineer, consider hiring me!
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.