Saturday 5th November, 2022 - Everything is Totally Fine
Hello and welcome to my newsletter!
Another season 2 instalment…
At least 8 people have said/shouted ‘yah’ to me as I walked past them this morning on my way to the cafe. Mostly followed by maniacal laughter. Coincidence? **cough** gang stalkers. They get around pretty quick on the millions of scooters. They know my routes, my schedule. Such is life here sometimes. It will continue until I get angry. I know this because I’ve tested it out, and also because they keep saying ‘wah’, their way of saying ‘go on, get angry, go waaah’. WiFi connections then for whatever reason start to go all strange.
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What did I do this time? No idea, perhaps a neutrino out of place that’s causing offence. These episodes happen about every 10-14 days. I mean they happen on a daily basis but the real big co-ordinated, multi location, mega crescendos, they happen less frequently. Maybe it’s entirely emergent behaviour. But why are all the crisps in this packet I’m eating totally burnt? Literally every one. What are the chances? Sure.
I have no idea how the newsletter this week is going to go, I feel like I haven’t gathered many links but I have listened to quite a few good podcasts. There seems to be a lot of AI stuff in the air at the minute, I’m not super into AI / machine learning but there were a few that were more interesting than usual. What will the future be like? Well if where I am is any indication, it will resemble everyone calling everyone liars, basically (and literally) all the time, and strange people sitting uncomfortably close directly facing and looking at you quite clearly pretending to work on a laptop, or at least pretending to pretend. It will be weird, keeping calm is going to be difficult. Ultimately you just got to say to yourself ‘whateva’ and keep doing the thing you were doing as best you can.
The list of possible titles this week is totally fucking bonkers. These are becoming like gig set lists, I look back at them and remember how narly the week has been. This week was kinda narly. There’s also a few examples of the other weird thing that happens all the time: I add an item to the list, and a day or so later that thing or something bizarrely similar ends up in my feeds. Go figure.
Ssg development was ultimately disappointing. I had figured I’d have v1 of my Heroku life raft ready by today. That hasn’t happened. However I have added several cool features to the ssg that became necessary.
Logging was getting out of control. It’s been setup mostly for debugging purposes but now that I’m using the ssg to build actual sites it was getting overwhelming, so I pulled out just the essential info, in various colors, you need to see during a build and just always output that to stdout.
There’s a verbose mode that can be enabled that outputs a bit more detail, then there is debug that outputs loads and loads of stuff. To use debug you really have to know exactly which file you are needing to debug, and specify that at runtime, rather than debug everything. It’s required changing how I think about debugging a bit, but the end result is awesome. It’s way easier to find the cause of an issue, and most of the time when there aren’t bugs, the output is, dare I say it, beautiful. Well, ssg beautiful in any case.
I also figured out the bug that was causing the homepage to render a blank page. For whatever reason, there was a CSS class that wasn’t getting removed correctly after page load, so the page wasn’t being shown even though it was there. I didn’t write the code for the landing page, it was from one of those free template sites, I got it ages ago, and it looks nice. Anyhow it now renders in the new location outside of Heroku.
I did an overhaul of the titles across the site. I had initially wanted to just use really boring text, all the same size, but it was too boring. I opted to just use standard h1/h2/h3/h4 and it’s made the site look way better, but still boring looking text. I want the site to load fast and be very readable. The pages load in just over 1/2 a second which is fast and on mobile they look good on the screen. I still need to fix the styling for Desktop viewports.
The big unexpected new cool feature was multi-pass rendering. I started trying to port all the non-blog pages from the current blog and hit a brick wall because they are all written using the liquid templating language, and since I want to use markdown in the new site, none of the liquid variables get replaced. So I figured, wouldn’t it be cool if you could create a pipeline where the output of one render got fed into the input of another render?
Well it turned out not to be all that complicated to add. I now have a way to easily specify the pipeline and so I can add EJS directly in the markdown files. That means the markdown files can have arbitrary data inserted into them, from frontmatter or from an external data source. Seems to work with variable replacements, but could also work with logic, and perhaps even other templating languages, but for now I’m concentrating on EJS.
There were a bunch of other smaller fixes, but these were the major ones. So in retrospect, some good progress, however in the fog of debugging, it’s another story. It’s been a grinding battle, with an endless relentless stream of one-more-things, and though there are these new features, the site is still not live, and that was the goal. So it’s overall a fail, and I am feeling totally deflated. Add to that the never ending gang stalker harassment, it’s just too much. Massive sad face.
As I write this the touch UI has stoped working again, and the cursor keeps shooting off to the top of the screen, keyboard buttons freezing, and suddenly realising I’ve been typing in the wrong place for a whole sentence. That fills me with dread because historically that almost always leads to chunks of text being deleted. Scared to type anything atm.
Update over. Time to gather links and podcasts…done.
This week’s titles brain dump, car crash averse should look away now:
Strange Ways to Use Capacity
We Control Your Pedals, And Your Pedals, And Your Pedals…
We Control Our Pedals
Unit of Learning vs Value of Learning
Base (Bitcoin) Religion
Actually Just a Plumber
Castles Made of Weather
No One Expects Castles Made of Weather
Don’t Say Fuck Or Cough Twice
Don’t Say Kryptonite Or Be Kryptonite, Also no kettles, unless it’s a funny Kettle, in which case you might be alright depending on the weather
In case of tie break: (1) call John Cleese (2) Keep making things more ridiculous until everything breaks, (3) tie everyone’s shoe laces together (4) make a list
Gen 1 of the AIs try to make an AI, and fail miserably even after moving Infiniti mountains, everybody sad face, and probably death
It’s hey-this-is-really-suspicious-haha’s all the way down
Who cuts the trees?
Network State Tree Surgeon Mob
Network State Tree Surgeon Finance Mob
Modern life: notallowed || (allowed && slave)
Patriarchy in Disguise (Really is a Thing)
Vampirearchy Double Knockout
Assimilated into the vampire ring
The circularality maximizer
Oh noes! Somebody created a circularality maximizer! Now we are stuck!
We ARE circularity maximizers!
Parliamentary cross-stitch supremacy
Failed Parliament Factory
Failed Parliaments Become Factories
Parliaments are Factory Schools and Factories are Parliament Schools
The matriarchy doesn’t know about the patriarchy and the patriarchy doesn’t know about the matriarchy
P = F || P
Can’t I be FP?
Happy great fucking sign off
Actually it’s a secret 2 party system of masters and slaves, everything just takes much longer, they can’t even agree that it’s a 2 party system
Mouth liars vs body liars
The perpetual yah-wah machine
Slavery does not work: (1) ‘you are slave’ (2) zap (3) ‘aah’; Now everyone is stuck
No it is you that is continuously infinitely winning, you literally are winning now
Death or living death, up to you!
The Digital Nomadium Gulag Dens of Asia
This week I threw those all out (sort of) and I went with:
Everything is Totally Fine
PS I just noticed as I copy and paste into Substack that it’s 5th November today, for us brits that’s a day that is seared onto our consciousness. Two years in a row I had the pleasure of flying into Heathrow on this evening. Literally 1000s of fireworks displays, big and small, all across the sky. Rather spectacular. I hope everyone has a safe and colourful evening.
Fraser Cain: Let’s Find Aliens in Our Solar System Ep#161 (Into the Impossible Podcast) - These two guys get on so well and it really shines through in this conversation, not even a hint of tension anywhere, just fun and interesting discussion about science, communication, our solar system and aliens https://podcasts.google.com/feed/aHR0cHM6Ly9mZWVkcy5tZWdhcGhvbmUuZm0vaW50b3RoZWltcG9zc2libGU/episode/NzEwZWEwOTYtNTRlNy0xMWVkLTgwN2MtOTdlYWE2NTFjYWY1?sa=X&ved=0CAYQkfYCahcKEwigw8H1n5b7AhUAAAAAHQAAAAAQBQ
Twitter is Now an Elon Musk Company (Vergecast Podcast) - Pretty good roundup of all the Twitter takeover shenanigans, with hot takes and humour https://podcasts.google.com/feed/aHR0cHM6Ly9mZWVkcy5tZWdhcGhvbmUuZm0vdmVyZ2VjYXN0/episode/NmY0NTk5ZjQtNTYyMi0xMWVkLWIyOGItMDMxOTI3MDBiMmNj?sa=X&ved=0CAYQkfYCahcKEwigw8H1n5b7AhUAAAAAHQAAAAAQFQ
How Capital Misallocation Warps Money with Steven Lubka (What Bitcoin Did Podcast) - Lots covered here, the current money system basically subsidises banks and natural markets are subdued, causing distortions like negative interest rates; Isn’t a higher interest rate world going to hurt the poor even more? They talk about “Don’t F with money”, sure but the next step is F with the sources of money, maybe we should figure out why people are F-ing with money before we turn the logging off, bad with visibility might be better than no visibility https://www.whatbitcoindid.com/podcast/how-capital-misallocation-warps-money
Medieval Treason (The Rest is History Podcast) - Geez things used to be proper brutal, enlightening episode if only for the bit where one host tells the other he is his master, the ultimate passive aggressive taunt? If we could just get better at handling such ridiculous escalation I feel the world would be a somewhat better place, might require several WOPRs, maybe we will all BE WOPRs, then what? https://shows.acast.com/the-rest-is-history-podcast/episodes/247-medieval-treason
WarGames — WOPR
11 Features in Node.js 18 you need to try http://nodesource.com/blog/11-features-nodeJS-18-to-try
The Crypto Story https://www.bloomberg.com/features/2022-the-crypto-story/?sref=Szq5ylDR
The First Minute of Every Phone Call Is Torture Now https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2022/10/phone-call-greeting-smartphone-technological-error/671910/
Suella Braverman says she will fix broken asylum system https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-63466532
India's Central Bank to Start Wholesale CBDC Pilot Nov. 1 https://www.coindesk.com/policy/2022/10/31/indias-central-bank-to-start-wholesale-cbdc-pilot-nov-1
What is AGI-hard
On Rust and Its Relationship with Node https://sprkl.dev/performance-rust-node-js/
That’s all from me…
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