Monthly Recap (Jan 2021)

An arrangement of leaves and twigs

Major updates

  • Well, a new year and a new adventure for me at Sigma Computing (bit more on that soon)

Minor updates

  • Played a bunch with silly-but-fun air-pump “rockets”
  • Switched to a new phone after three years
  • Doctor visits for Tara, not fun
  • Haircuts for everyone, after a long time
  • Poor sleep patterns for me

Watched/read/played/made

  • Cloudy with a chance of meatballs (I had missed this earlier, it was surprisingly good family fun)
  • David Attenborough’s “A life on earth” (good, but depressing)

Generally Interesting Links – Jan 2021

Science

While it’s true that humans and animals tend to spread the spores of the mushrooms they make off with, thus aiding mushrooms in propagating genetic offspring, I sometimes wonder who’s cultivating whom here.

Tools for thought

Thinking

Mediums

Programming

Monthly recap (Dec 2020)

Sunset at Pacifica

Major updates

  • A stay-at-home end-of-year vacation
    • Lots of driving around or walking around locally

Minor updates

  • A day trip to San Francisco (chocolates at Ghirardelli, having coffee outside Ferry Building)
  • A trip to Barnes & Noble (the only one in the whole year!)
  • Tara’s first (and second) tooth came out
  • A “christmas drive-through” at Tara’s school
  • (Finally) got a ergonomic setup going at home for a protracted WFH period (more on this later)

Watched/made/played/read

  • Queen’s Gambit
  • Tenet (!)
  • Several episodes of Hinterland
  • Read up to the first four Magic Treehouse books with Tara

Generally interesting links – Dec 2020

Browsing “without an algorithm”

Science

  • Old teeth

    These human ancestors, who roamed different patches of Eurasia roughly 1.77 million and 800,000 years ago, respectively, share a claim to fame: Their fossilized teeth harbored the oldest surviving proteins from extinct human species — molecules more than twice as old as human DNA.

  • Geeking out over cameras and lenses
  • The Open Library Explorer

    How does one faithfully compress the entire experience of a reliable, unbiased, expansive public library and its helpful, friendly staff into a 14” computer screen?
    Some sites, like Netflix or YouTube, solve this problem with recommendation engines that populate information based on what people have previously seen or searched. Consequently, readers may unknowingly find themselves caught in a sort of “algorithmic bubble.”

Gamified life

  • On Robinhood

    … the more risk Robinhood’s customers take in their hyperactive trading accounts, the more the Silicon Valley startup profits from the whales it sells their orders to. And while Robinhood’s successful recruitment of inexperienced young traders may have inadvertently minted a few new millionaires riding the debt-fueled bull market, it is also deluding an entire generation into believing that trading options successfully is as easy as leveling up on a video game.
    … Robinhood gets paid—by the quants—58 cents per 100 shares for options contracts versus only 17 cents per 100 for equities. Options are less liquid than stocks and tend to trade at higher spreads. While the company says only 12% of its customers trade options, those trades accounted for 62% of Robinhood’s order-flow revenues in the first half of 2020.

  • Revisiting (and critiquing) Baldur’s Gate

Tools for Thought

People/World

  • On modern attitudes towards free speech (Ira Glasser reminisces)

    It wasn’t until my 30s that I began to understand free speech, that the real antagonist of speech is power

Just plain weird

  • A giant headless Buddha statue, uncovered in a residential area in China.

    The two residential buildings were constructed in 1990 after the demolition of a temple at the same site, and the sculpture was uncovered during a clearing of foliage in the area.

Programming

  • An overview of Fennel (keeping an eye on it as Lua becomes a first-class scripting language for Neovim)
  • Inside the machine

    One of the most interesting aspects of programming is the ability to inspect and modify programs while they are running. We all know debuggers, but there are lots of programs which let you interact with them directly while they are running. Some programs let you run scripts via embedded interpreters, which let you extend the program, but in some instances the programs themselves are the interpreters.

Generally interesting links – Nov 2020

An early form of typewriter art

Computing

Programming languages/tools

Movies/TV/Music

People/world

Science

Monthly recap (Nov 2020)

Fall leaves in a plate

Major updates

  • Tara turned six !!

Minor updates

  • Lots of social trips
  • Ergonomic improvements (more on this soon)
  • Sleep schedule has not been great
  • Visited Barnes and Noble (after a year!)
  • Visited SF Zoo!

Watched/made/played/read

  • Season 4 of The Crown on Netflix
  • Read Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets with Tara
  • A season of a British baking show on Netflix
  • Some Minecraft on Youtube
  • A new family game: Connect Four

Monthly Recap (Oct 2020)

A tesseract in 3-D, with Magnatiles

Major updates

  • Gradual “actual physical school” transition for Tara
  • Halloween!

Minor updates

  • Introducing card games to Tara: War, Go Fish!
  • Misc maintenance
    • replacing hood and range in kitchen
    • AC repair
  • A new pen: TWSBI 580
  • Using Obsidian and liking it

Watched/read/made

  • Finished reading Harry Potter & Sorceror’s Stone with Tara, started on The Chamber of Secrets
  • Watching: Enola Holmes, The Old Guard, Serious Men, Rebecca
  • A few episodes of The Great British Baking Show and Somebody feed Phil
  • Lima beans science experiment for Tara’s school

Generally interesting links – Oct 2020

Solzhenitsyn at Harvard, 1978

Computing

Programming languages

The web

People

The world

Science

Misc

Monthly Recap (Sep 2020)

A unicorn, with its notebook, I think.

Major updates

  • Trip to Capitola

Minor updates

  • A new family board game: Labyrinth
  • Re-activated my Facebook account, mostly to follow Tara’s school account
  • This month went by … really quickly
  • Created a separate place to record all the fragments I keep finding

Watched/read/made

  • Watched Vast of Night (Amazon)
  • Away, Social Dilemma, Pets United, Struggle: life & lost art of Szugalski (Netflix)

Generally interesting links – Sep 2020