Saturday 24th December, 2022 - Happy Christmas Edition
Hello and welcome to my newsletter!
Another season 2 instalment…
It’s that time of the week again. I’m looking into the abyss. It’s so…crazy, but it’s Christmas so I have to keep things a bit light. Here’s what I’m going to do, something funny, something serious, then something positive. Are you ready?
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I fed the following entry from this week’s list of titles that didn’t make it into my ChatGPT-free head:
L-You Over-the-Top People vs F-You Over-the-Top People
And the following conversation came out:
I think I’m going to vomit people everywhere, except for the people in the middle, I guess everything is totally fine for them at least some of the time, but that’s usually when I feel like vomming, metaphorically speaking, like when you momentarily think the floor in the elevator has disappeared
And guess what, you still gotta land the plane, so was it really worth it, sticking your finger in the wound just to check it was still there? Maybe I suppose
Nothing can stop us now JJ, oh crap not again
I hate ChatGPT, I hate lists, I hate text
Oh they were just joking all along
Oh they were just not joking all along
“Oh they were just joking all along” vs the “Oh they were just not joking all along”
No one expects the “Oh they were just joking all along” vs the “Oh they were just not joking all along”
40 years of not seeing the “Oh they were just joking all along” vs the “Oh they were just not joking all along”
Wait but is that a good thing or not?
Depends who you ask
Is this NP complete or NP Hard
It’s NP Hardcore, for infinity
You always have to go and add a fucking Infiniti on the end don’t you?
It added itself
Are we there yet?
Ok I added it, but if I don’t add it I go into must-make-joke Chandler Bing mode, even though I do like Chandler Bing a lot, I don’t want to go to Yemen
I think we are playing higher dimensional next level Tetris again
That probably explains a lot
I can’t even remember who I am anymore
I guess we are everybody
Yeah we are everybody too
Can we all just do the same thing once?
How many of us are there?
What happens if we get stuck?
Have we got a backup?
Not much use having a backup if we are all stuck doing the same non-restoring from backup thing
What about if we all get stuck restoring from backup?
It’s the same problem though, what happens once the backup is restored?
We’ll be restored!
No we’ll be stuck restoring from backup!
We just have to set the flux capacitor to before we started the restore, then remember not to restore
But then we won’t be restored
When do we get to 88.8 miles per hour?
We’ll need 21.1 Gigawatts
No it’s 1.21 Gigawatts
Sorry I was thinking of bitcoin
Look I don’t want to be a party pooper but if we don’t restore then we won’t be restored
But that doesn’t matter because we are only restoring so that we can all safely do the same thing for once
A sort of fake real restore if you will
Ok let’s try it in staging
What the fuck are you talking about?
Yeah, what even is staging?
So you want us to restore staging, which might or might not be an actual thing?
Does anybody else think that building websites is really getting a bit over-complicated these days?
That’s the funny bit over.
I’m a bit stumped on how I’m going to do the serious bit now. There’s no elegant way to do this, so I’m just going to keep typing. These were the cards I was dealt this week, so I’m making the best of it. It’s time to get off the ridiculous highway, and slow down considerably, you never realise how fast you are going when you get off the motorway, it’s a sort of optical illusion that’s actually sort of dangerous, so always remember that.
As some of you know, I’ve been getting caught up in quite a lot of gang stalking type incidents recently. I’ve been writing about it in the newsletter every now and then. There are at least two sides to every story and it’s not as simple as just one group, it’s a whole archipelago of loosely coupled gangs or groups, and to some I’m sure it’s probably a bit of fun, but to others it’s much more like intimidation, and it’s apparent to me that it’s pretty well co-ordinated across locations. Things that happen in one location are very often referenced later in other locations. I imagine that some involved in this aren’t aware of that.
And I think it’s more than likely that some folks are reading the newsletter, and there every chance that there’s a bit of a let’s-see-what-we-can-get- away-with-ism going on. I try not to react to the baiting, and it’s daily, but there are times when there are huge crescendos, it’s very difficult to describe, there’s a sort of inevitability to these escalations. It seems like there’s no way to stop it.
If I get angry, then I get harassed more, because presumably that’s viewed as not being allowed, “how dare he”, “he’s not from around here”. But if I don’t get angry, it’s the very same thing, more harassment because I’m now seen as a soft target. Damned if I do, damned if I don’t.
So mostly I try to take it on the chin and move on, but two things happens this week that I think stepped over the line. Firstly there was yet another gang stalker incident, and it was said to me while passing after the event that it was “learning”. While I understand that we all get to participate in each other’s learning every now and then, that’s just part of living in society, it’s a whole different thing if these are organised “learning” situations.. Often they are all consuming. It takes me hours to get over them, I’m left trying to figure out what happened, what if anything I did wrong, what actually happened. These sorts of thing happen to me almost every single day. That’s exploitation, and that’s not ok.
The second thing is that when things get into sexual harassment territory, that’s a big red line. It happens quite regularly, and it’s often accompanied later in the day with multiple anger-goading incidents. So far I’ve mostly done my best to ignore it, but this time, a bigger red line was crossed and I have to say something publicly without getting into too many details, else those that do this sort of thing will feel like they can do this to me whenever they want. So for now I’m just going to say that sexual harassment is not ok, but if you want a bit more details about it there’s some of this week’s titles that didn’t make it that might give you a bit of a better idea of the sort of escalation that the gang stalkers did. It’s totally out of order, there’s no excuse for it, whether it’s real or a joke, that sort of thing is just plain wrong.
So that’s the serious bit done. I honestly don’t know how I’m supposed to deal with or talk about such situations. I hope it makes some sort of sense.
And now let’s climb out if that whole lot of unpleasantness and move into the positive stuff. The good news as far as my static site generator development goes is that I got a very cool feature working this week: code syntax highlighting. It’s awesome! Amazing even! I knew I had to add it at some stage, but I underestimated how important it is for a website that covers a lot of tech and programming topics. The minute I got it working I felt a massive sense of relief, I’ll be able to add code and config snippets into my posts, and they will look beautiful!
Ironically, I had to set a configuration called prettyOutput to 0 to get the feature operational. Turns out running your website through an HTML prettifier removes newlines in the code so the entire code snippet ends up on one super long line. It was quite an ordeal to debug this because of very long stack traces and several simultaneous bugs that were all happening at the same time.
To celebrate I’ve written a blog post about it, it’s the first blog post on the new site! Hopefully more of these in the next few weeks. I was shocked to discover my last post was near the beginning of July. How time flies.
Code syntax highlighting for static websites https://markjgsmith.com/archives/blog/2022/12/17/code-syntax-highlighting-for-static-websites
Code syntax highlighting is working, and that’s super mega terrific amazing!
Looking at the site it’s mostly functional even if there are a few pages that will likely need to be moved around. For instance it’s a bit annoying that each post’s page is under /archives. Opening a post shouldn’t make you wonder why you have suddenly jumped to the archives section of the site. I’m wondering if I should update the archives plugin to just be a set of index pages, and have all the post pages housed under whichever part of the website (blog/linkblog/podcast) they are from.
Maybe also list styling. There are a lot of bullet points on the site. I have sort of gotten used to having the bullet points, but I might remove them to get a cleaner look. Images need to be centred. There are still some old template syntax in older posts which need to be removed.
Oh yeah something else I forgot. I got RSS feeds working. Turns out I had a Cloudflare Page Rule set that was changing the URL That’s fixed now, however somewhere in the code something must have charged because atom and json feeds are breaking because of a date formatting problem. And I also realised yesterday that all the feeds have original markdown in them instead of the rendered HTML, so they look a bit weird in feed readers at the minute.
I’ll figure that part out hopefully next week. Here are the feeds in case you want to add them:
Ok now the list of titles that didn’t make it. I’m going to have to write a blog post that describes a bit better what this is. There’s some blurb about it in the last 4-5 issues. Here’s the list:
The Big Wood-chipper in the Sky is Jammed Again
Different Kind of Tough
Humans are Square Tomatoes These Days
5 Billion Years of Evolution vs Vietnam: Vietnam Wins! Twice!
The Lives of Others Extreme Ultra Neurolink Infiniti
L-You Over-the-Top People vs F-You Over-the-Top People
Just say it surname
Just ask about a name
Just ask about a name then just say it surname
Just say a random surname and laugh maniacally whatever we say
We are men, we are men in tight, tight tights, who hate smiths
Get your stinking hands off smith
I’m bored of this f-ing ven diagram maximizer shit
White Flag Redefined to be Nazi Cross
People that speak out about “White Flag Redefined to be Nazi Cross” are “Good Dogs”
Surrender is War
The Ghosts of Christmases Past
The smallest white flag in the universe followed by a tsunami of entrapment
Fucked up people that use children to harass others, sometimes in incidents that border on sexual harassment
Another Family Doppelgänger to Add to the List
Forced to play 111 simultaneous games of 8 dimensional chess jeopardy, when you don’t even like regular chess all that much, and then everyone hates you for being TBD, even though it took you 40 years just to figure out what fucking game you were even playing, and when you poop emoji everyone because they are being ‘a bit’ out of line, they revenge hate you with an actual real diarhia shit, and none of this is even the worst part of your day, and this paragraph is probably going to result in 111 diarhia shits
Stick and an empty coke can jeopardy
Plot twist: “Stick and an empty coke can jeopardy” is higher dimensional beings favoritest game of all, because they’ve rewired it and added blockchain/crypto/web3/slavery and made it mega evil, which is ok because….”learning”
Exploitation Without Wealth Creation: Not OK
Property is Theft Crypto Innevitability
I still haven’t decided on a title for this week’s issue. Something Christmassy I suppose.
Best Wishes to All!
Ryan Dahl (Shop Talk Show Podcast)- Interesting interview with the creator of NodeJS, mostly about deno, which is pronounced different to how I thought it would be, it’s going to take me a while to unlearn that; they cover most of the usual topics, I’m most intrigued by the conscious effort to use existing web standards, the fact that they have future deploy environments in mind like deploying to the edge, a larger standard library, and more built in tools, I also like that he envisages much shorter build processes in the future https://shoptalkshow.com/546
GPT has entered the chat Ep#519 (Changelog Podcast) - Definitely the most interesting discussion I’ve heard to date about the current state of GPT related programming, the possible consequences on society, and a whole bunch more; it’s striking the mix of omg-this-stuff-is-amazing with omg-maybe-we-have-built-a doomsday-machine-for humanity coming directly from programmers as opposed to marketing and product folks; I feel like we’ll wake up one morning to find we are in charge of a nuclear reactor and all the controls have been replaced by the cast of Fragel Rock, aren’t things stressful enough already? https://changelog.com/podcast/519
You Can Reverse Burnout Ep#33 (Brain Science Podcast) - Important topic, however I wasn’t able to get much from it because of a large rowdy group of individuals that made a point to make it very difficult for me to concentrate on anything from literally the minute I started listening to this, and ending 3 minutes before the end; perhaps you’ll have better luck than me https://changelog.com/brainscience/33
The Reformed Libertarian With Mike Brock (What Bitcoin Did Podcast) - I don’t get his “Smith” surname dad joke at the very end, wtf is that about? I guess I’m just not smart enough, also why does the entire conversation feel like they were using last week’s list of titles that didn’t make it as inspiration? I’m somewhat flattered I guess - Glad to hear that English Paddy Core Paddy feels among the most free in the world, wish I could say the same about how I feel, an attribution would be nice, but I’m not holding my breath https://www.whatbitcoindid.com/podcast/the-reformed-libertarian
The Death Spiral of Western Economies with Dan Tubb (What Bitcoin Did Podcast) - Everything is so f-ing f’d, is this the real world? It’s so f’d people just don’t believe any of it, and the best coverage of the whole thing is by a bitcoin show, how ironic, perhaps they should rename it to the Popular Front of 100ea Show; it’s a darn good episode though covering the basic options available to the UK government going forward; I hope there’s enough money squirrelled away somewhere to rebuild the vital supply chains locally, perhaps they figure if we get to that point then we might as well default, that would give the developing nations the maximum possible space to get their shit together https://www.whatbitcoindid.com/podcast/the-death-spiral-of-western-economies
Bitcoin Park Open House: Fireside with Texas Slim (Citadel Dispatch Podcast) - Generally I like these beef initiative episodes, despite the odd occasional drop off in sound after the crowd laughter, food certainly is important, but one bit that stood out to me was when Texas Slim starts saying “Stop validating the deceptions”, it’s such an interesting choice of words given how bitcoin transaction validation works; where I am people often refer to some other people, often foreigners, or poor people, as ‘lies’, I hear it every day; what are you going to do when you are the lie and suddenly all your transactions, financial or otherwise, stop validating? At least with paper money you get to look the person denying you in the eyes, when it’s all digital, denying people could become much too easy; the more I think about it, the more this seems like Bitcoin’s Achilles heal, think mass deception doesn’t occur? Santa coin anyone? https://anchor.fm/citadeldispatch/episodes/Bitcoin-Park-Open-House-Fireside-with-Texas-Slim-e1sc8qf
The Bluetooth Holiday Spec-tacular (Vergecast Podcast) - As a nerd I found this incredibly funny, there’s a whole Bluetooth Jeopardy segment, it’s amazing how humans can turn pretty much anything into something hilarious, still I’m not sure I’d like to play Empty Coke Can and a Stick Jeopardy, and multi-dimensional beings probably find Bluetooth Jeopardy a bit depressing; actually thinking about it some more I’m a bit depressed about Bluetooth now, so maybe I just don’t like humour very much ##stuffthatmakesyougohahahaohshithttps://www.theverge.com/e/23283515
Bank of Japan with major shake-up to YCC - What it all means (Eurodollar University) - I actually managed to follow most of the logic in this episode which is basically about everyone front running everything so now nothing the central banks do has any effect, so they have to impose rates to try to give their policies a chance to take flight, but they don’t because nobody takes any notice of them, which is a bit like this newsletter which to date has zero patreons https://share.transistor.fm/s/9a96d32a
The Queen of Scams with Jammie Bartlett (What Bitcoin Did Podcast) - A tale of deception, intrigue, international conspiracies, it’s bonkers and it’s still unfolding; once again excellent coverage from english PCP https://www.whatbitcoindid.com/podcast/the-queen-of-scams
Graham Hancock (Duncan Trussell Podcast) - I feel like I haven’t linked to DT for a while, there’s been a few good shows but they all ended in a gut punch, one of which involved me running into an actual large gang of adult military police which I can’t really get into right now, “synchronicities” I suppose, anyhow this episode was quite refreshing, yes it’s with a bloke that I gather Is being somewhat shunned by the main stream recently, but I found his arguments quite compelling, and I like his positive outlook especially about humans in general - It could be that his documentaries are terrible, I don’t know, I haven’t seen them, but I think he should be allowed to make them and question orthodoxies in the history establishment https://audioboom.com/posts/8220309
The Random Show, Mega-Holiday Edition Ep#645 (Tim Ferris Podcast) - There’s a whole lot of waffle at the beginning, and I don’t mind that, it’s sort of fun to hear old friends catching-up, but it gets interesting about an hour and a half in when they talk about Tim’s new virtual characters / virtual worlds project, I’m curious to learn what tech and workflows he’s using, sounds like he’s heading towards some sort of next generation web3 agency / studio type thing, also discussed is how AI will likely affect society, including films certified to be made by humans, and how to position yourself to get ready for this next level horse drawn cart to automobile moment https://tim.blog/2022/12/23/the-random-show-mega-holiday-edition/
Jack Dorsey on the #TwitterFiles, government control, open protocols and the future of social media https://www.getrevue.co/profile/jackjack/issues/a-native-internet-protocol-for-social-media-1503112
WebAssembly: Docker without containers! - This was a bit too much in the C/C++ side of things for me, but you can get a vague impression of how things fit together, their example is running Wordpress inside WASM, and the target could be serverside or even in the browser which is weird, but lots of folks talking about WASM being the new Docker recently so worth being a bit knowledgeable about the progress that’s being made https://wasmlabs.dev/articles/docker-without-containers
Elon Musk blames cost cuts at Twitter on ‘$3bn negative cash flow’ https://www.ft.com/content/3ec97c05-eaea-4c7f-bdf4-50547fff3c19
The Sun apologises over Jeremy Clarkson's Meghan column - I wonder if there is more to this story, he was so specific in what he wrote, I ask because I’ve been very very poorly treated / abused / harassed by women recently, repeatedly, and it’s been such a surprise because in the media the story is so completely one sided, about men-women relationships, if he is being so horrible to women, and based on his writing it certainly seems there’s a lot of hate there, where did that come from? What situations / events led to that? Hate doesn’t grow on trees. And if it’s all a big joke, why does he think it’s so unbelievably “funny”? Are there many men out there being abused by women but unable to speak about it? Might be worth using this as a conversation starter https://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-64080863
January 1, 2023 is Public Domain Day: Works from 1927 are open to all! - It’s always interesting to see the works from the past that are entering the public domain, I wonder if we’ll start to see some of them being remixed in the near future https://web.law.duke.edu/cspd/publicdomainday/2023
ECMAScript proposal: iterator helpers - Hoping to read this later today, looks interesting, so much of programming is about iterating, so new ways of iterating could be useful https://2ality.com/2022/12/iterator-helpers.html
That’s all from me…
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Have a great weekend and a fantastic next week!
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