Discover more from Mark Smith’s Newsletter
Saturday 31st December, 2022 - Happy New Year Edition
Hello and welcome to my newsletter!
Another season 2 instalment…
This end of year edition is a bit lighter than the past several weeks. It’s still got quite a lot of good stuff though, perhaps a nice balance especially after all the heavy Christmas festivities.
Thanks for reading Mark Smith’s Newsletter! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.
Two leaps forward in my static site generator / website development.
First of all I managed to fix the RSS issues. In the end I decided to not include the entire text in the posts. Sometimes the best and easiest solution is to just not do something. I might revisit this at a later stage, but at least the items in the feed don’t look unrendered, you’ll have to click through to read the actual articles or links. I also found a bug that was incorrectly setting the lastBuildDate values in the feeds, which was causing them to display strangely, and there were a bunch of broken links to posts. I think that’s fixed now.
The other thing I got working was changing where individual post items get stored. I mentioned last week that it was a bit jarring having them in a separate archives section. I was able to update the archives plugin to have them render directly to their respective location on the site rather than have a distinct archives section. For example, blog items live under /blog now. The old archives pages will just become another way to browse the posts. You can browse by date, and you can browse by tag. This feels better to me.
This first implementation, though it works, is quite clunky. The archives plugin really shouldn’t be rendering the individual posts. They should be rendered by their respective plugins. Seems obvious now, but for whatever reason when I initially build everything it felt more natural to have individual items in an archives section. That ended up feeling a bit weird. If I write a post today, it’s odd that it would live in an archives section, because it implies that it has been “archived”, which it hasn’t because I’ve only just written it. It makes no sense for it to be “archived”. So I’m going to just get rid of the whole idea of archives. It’s browse now, will hopefully make more sense by next week.
Anyway I’ve mostly finished rewriting the blog/linkblog/podcast plugins so they handle individual post creation. I still have to remove that functionality from the archives plugin, and then get them all working side by side on the website along with breadcrumbs, the various includes and layouts the site uses etc. At this point it feels very doable but I’ve been burned before by being too optimistic. There might very well be something that I’ve overlooked.
This is probably making for rather dull reading. I’m starting to sound like I’m in a standup or something.
So let’s take a look at the titles that didn’t make it list. Still have to write a blog post that describes what that is. Take a look at the past few issues where I’ve mentioned it a bunch. The list is shorter this week, which is good I suppose, though the week hasn’t been without it’s difficulties, for example someone threatened to stab me with a screw driver last weekend. That tends to weigh on one’s mind. There’s also an ‘up’ trend going around, literally everyone is saying/shouting ‘up’ at each other. Often as they drive by on motorbikes. This happens every now and then. It’s very weird.
Ok here’s the list, some of it is kind of dark, it’s like a small bonfire with a couple of fireworks, one of which went off to the left and into a tree, but the sparklers are sort of fun:
Recharge Difficulty Neutrality
They Aren’t Liars, You Are Just Being Stupid
In Stupid Land Everyone is a Liar
In Liarland Everyone is Stupid
We eat “life is the-most-horrible-thing-you-can-imagine” for breakfast, twice
Duet - I got the west cost bumping me hard, I got marksmith bumping me hard; I got the east coast bumping me hard, I got marksmith bumping me hard….[record scratch sound]…hold on a second, so not only is marksmith, one single person, the entire of the west coast, which would be really quite difficult, but he’s also simultaneously the entire of the west coast??!!….errrr yes….and you are absolutely sure you haven’t “confused” yourselves with marksmith yet again? ….errrr yes….and just out of interest have you considered the consequences of such a magnitude of error in your front running activities?….yes, we don’t care….but we actually do also so it’s okay…what does marksmith think about it?….he doesn’t talk to us much anymore
(Fast internet + mind control + deformed body) || (Really slow internet + minimal mind control + minimal deformed body)
(Freedom or crucifixion) baited and switched with (slavery+food or freedom+death)
Peace Against the Machine
When the mind control starts, surprise surprise, the internet gets fast again
Vietnam is a nearly anagram of Vatican
Number of Pancake Flips Per Milisecond
Clearly none of those are going to be even remotely close to a good issue title so I’m just going to do the same as last week, and call this week’s issue:
Happy New Year Edition
Best wishes and peace to all wherever you are for 2023.
State of the “log” 2022 (Changelog Podcast) - Really enjoyed this episode, looking back at some of the year’s episodes and tech themes; as I write this I realise I’ve only listened to about 2/3 of the episode, so perhaps they said something that irked me, or maybe I just got distracted, I actually can’t remember, I do remember there’s an amusing bit about a british caller being called a wanker somewhere in Germany as he was phoning in his audio comment; I think my fav episode of the year was the one about id3 tag esoterica, if your gonna be nerdy, might as well be id3 tag nerdy, still a bit surprised by how much I enjoyed that one https://changelog.com/podcast/520
Debt, Deficit, Spending & Tax with Dominic Frisby (What Bitcoin Did Podcast) - I’ve enjoyed the last few episodes interviewing brits, one thing that stood out to me, which I think is a bit subtle and might not be totally obvious unless you have listened to lots of episodes is how Peter is somehow different when he’s interviewing brits, I don’t know how to describe it, he sounds a little bit intimidated or something, it’s like he is more at ease interviewing americans; anyhow Dominic might be the most confident person I have ever heard on audio, it’s like listening to a huge mighty ship elegantly carving through rough seas with a brass band playing in the background, unstoppable, unshakable, there’s something so very english about him, someone that’s worked in british television, those folks somehow turn out different, like they are always wearing an invisible admiral suit; I kid a bit of course, I very much enjoyed the episode, he’s well researched and knowledgeable on all things monetary, worth a listen https://www.whatbitcoindid.com/podcast/debt-deficit-spending-tax
Japanese Credit Markets, Bitcoin, & Nostr w/ James Lavish Ep#110 (We Study Billionaires - Bitcoin Podcast) - Really interesting episode, clear descriptions of the bonkers international money markets at a macro level, focusing on the Bank of Japan, which currently holds 50% of it’s own debt; the dynamics are so ridiculous that the host and his guest find it difficult to hold it together, breaking out into LOLs several times due to the magnitude of the lunacy that they are analysing; and just when you think it’s all over it ends with possibly the most hypocritical announcement of all time, that they will be helping distressed bitcoin companies, buying their assets at “pennies on the dollar”, “great return on investment”; where were they when their investment was needed before the companies were distressed? That isn’t clear, perhaps they were out having lunch with the banks that refuse to lend out all the QE money they have been receiving; is this for real? The hypocrisy is mind boggling to the power of mind boggling - Having said that I’m not an expert in any of this, and I might have it wrong, I’m happy that they are speaking about it publicly so we can all learn, the financial system is so complex and the dynamics are reaching such epic distortions that we all have blind spots; I keep wondering how much responsibility do people have that fully understand the dynamics, if they only do it to wait around till the people below them are on their knees, it’s not a very well running system is it? What happens when those above them do the same to them? When it’s “pennies on the dollar” we have all already lost, what happens when they become reliant on pennies-on-the-dollar situations? How do we all get out of this mess? Like they say during the show, behind these numbers and charts are real people and real lives - How is it that collectively we keep insisting on walking off of cliffs? Some days I wonder if we aren’t the stupidest animals on the planet https://podcasts.google.com/feed/aHR0cHM6Ly9yc3MuYXJ0MTkuY29tL3RoZS1pbnZlc3RvcnMtcG9kY2FzdA/episode/Z2lkOi8vYXJ0MTktZXBpc29kZS1sb2NhdG9yL1YwL29PS3F3YkpUTnJOX0xPNzh5LTBSQU5RUjVHdXlIMno1NkN3VXBVVkNJeUk?sa=X&ved=0CAYQkfYCahcKEwjg4uab5aL8AhUAAAAAHQAAAAAQBQ
Style Queries are Mind Boggling https://www.robinrendle.com/notes/style-queries-are-mind-boggling
Mozilla to explore healthy social media alternative - They will start by hosting a Mozilla Mastodon instance, then they plan to explore other social media networks https://blog.mozilla.org/en/mozilla/mozilla-launch-fediverse-instance-social-media-alternative
The Overlords Finally Showed Up https://danielbmarkham.com/the-overlords-finally-showed-up/
MIT’s faculty votes to adopt the “MIT Statement on Freedom of Expression and Academic Freedom”
Interop 2022: end of year update - A look at the major Interop advances made by browsers this past year https://web.dev/interop-2022-wrapup
Organizing the Eleventy config file https://www.lenesaile.com/en/blog/organizing-the-eleventy-config-file
Adding heading anchor links to an Eleventy site https://rhianvanesch.com/posts/2021/02/09/adding-heading-anchor-links-to-an-eleventy-site
Making the GOV.UK Frontend typography scale more accessible https://designnotes.blog.gov.uk/2022/12/12/making-the-gov-uk-frontend-typography-scale-more-accessible
Challenging algorithms and data structures every programmer should try https://austinhenley.com/blog/challengingalgorithms.html
Apple Considering Dropping Requirement for iPhone Web Browsers to Use WebKit https://www.macrumors.com/2022/12/14/apple-considering-non-webkit-iphone-browsers
ABBA’s successful avatar show offers glimpse at a daring new direction for live music https://www.cnbc.com/2022/12/29/abba-voyage-avatar-show-in-london-offers-glimpse-of-future-for-live-music.html
Last minute addition: North Korea ends year with ballistic missiles launch - Found this right after scheduling today’s newsletter, about 30 mins after writing it…what are the chances?! https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-64131716
That’s all from me…
Consider becoming a patreon, any support would be very much appreciated
Thanks for reading!
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.