It's been 10 months since I last posted about Halt and Catch Fire and, well, here we are again.
Without getting too deep into things, a few thoughts that have come up in my recent watch:
* The search for self-acceptance by all the chars and how relational the show is resonates deeply for me.
* The thing I miss most about teaching is the community-building, interpersonal aspects of the work.
* Also, teaching allows me to center joy of exploration over features / traffic / growth.
Been rewatching Halt and Catch Fire with a friend and got into a conversation about why it holds
such sway over me.
There are many reasons but a crucial one is this:
It depicts a time in the history of computing where discoveries were still being made and development was "hacker focused" more than "entrepreneurship focused".
I find it borderline impossible to feel anything novel is being done in webdev these days. Also maybe text chat and basic pages are 95% of what I want from the web 🤷♂️
@vilmibm oh hello there! 👋
Thinking about the CS academia stuff, I realized that most interest/research is toward helping us build bigger systems by either improving:
I feel really weird because neither of those things interest me. Software is eating the world already anyway.
My concern: software is the fastest growing store of "how to" knowledge on earth and is mostly inaccessible, not only to the general population but programmers too. 🤔
It's been a little bit hard to figure out how to explain that my on-and-off hobby project for the last 6 years (with a 4 year break) has been a Nintendo emulator in Common Lisp.
I think that's because the emulator isn't the thing it's the thing that leads to the thing.
The real goal is being able to play a ROM and answer questions to help a constraint solver construct a _model_ of the control/data flow of the game. I don't know if this is possible. To quote Zero Cool, "Fucked if I care, man."
Hi, I'm Brit. 31, cis/het white male, born into more privilege than even that descriptor signifies.
I write code for money but miss teaching.
Too much is important to me and I still don't know how to best honor myself.
I delight in looking at trees, watching dogs run, reading Milosz and Neruda.
I can soak in headphones for hours seeking beautiful sounds.
I instinctively distrust many social structures but I love people madly.
I'm anxious about change and always changing. <3
What an amazing resource: https://teachtogether.tech/en/index.html
I love that I keep finding new things online
We are happy to announce the release of Goblins v0.8! https://spritelyproject.org/news/goblins-0.8.html
Now implementing handoffs in the CapTP network protocol, opt-in (but safe, non-interfering) per-actor coroutine support, integration with Racket's IO system, and more!
Pharo 9.0 is released, and there's a ton in this release: https://github.com/pharo-project/pharo-changelogs/blob/master/Pharo90ChangeLogs.md
The community is growing and the tooling is improving at a really impressive rate. Pharo is increasingly its own language too, the way Racket separated from Scheme.
Kill the 5-Day Workweek
Reducing hours without reducing pay would reignite an essential but long-forgotten moral project: making American life less about work https://www.theatlantic.com/family/archive/2021/06/four-day-workweek/619222
And that's okay. We don't need a permanent archive of everything. I like this instance, but if something happens to me -- honestly it's way down on the list of things that I need to care for. And it's just an instance. Hopefully everyone on here would find some new place and reconnect with their friends. Some people might never make that leap. Sometimes that's how communities lose people. That has to be okay, too.
fun fact: the reason your internal body temperature rises when you are infected is because viruses are using your body to mine for bitcoin
Institutional Memory and Reverse Smuggling
I worked for several decades at a large petrochemical company. In the early 1980s, we designed and built a plant that refines some hydrocarbon type stuff into other hydrocarbon type stuff. Over the next thirty years, institutional memory of this plant faded to a dim recollection. Oh, it still operates, and still makes money for the firm. Day to day maintenance is performed, and the skilled local crew is familiar with the controls, valves, safety systems, and other such.
But the company has forgotten how it really works. ...
Computing within Limits
It seems to me that we aren't hearing about the "Computing within Limits" discourse as much as we should. Even I wasn't aware of this until recently, even though much of their research strongly resonates with my own ideas about the ecology of computing ("permacomputing", "digital degrowth" etc). Sadly, many of their past papers barely scratch the surface of their respective topics. Nevertheless, I've been planning to participate in their next virtual workshop. https://computingwithinlimits.org/ #permacomputing #computingwithinlimits
*LIMITS 2021 -- Workshop on Computing within Limits*
You know how it's important to be a competent writer, but we collectively understand that having everyone be, like, Ursula K LeGuin or something is both impossible and probably actually not desirable?
Yeah, it's the same for code. If you're going to code, it's important to be competent. It's neither important nor desirable for everyone to be a Great Coder
But it seems like a lot of programming culture is "you are not Great, therefore you are terrible", which is just silly (and that's before we start with the fact that most people giving that sort of crtitism are also not Great, they just think they are)
i ran through the rust “getting started” page (https://www.rust-lang.org/learn/get-started). it's a hello-world project that has the rust crab mascot say hello, and consists of 10 lines of code actually written.
it results in pulling in 25 separate dependencies totalling up to 97 megabytes.
for reference the entire cowsay source is 168 lines/4 kilobytes of perl.
Managing side-effects on the Mu computer
https://archive.org/details/akkartik-mu-2021-05-31 (video; 2 minutes)
The Mu computer's prototyping environment uses _traces_ to explain and debug programs. But traces are expensive to compute and made the environment slow and laggy.
I fixed things by collecting only a shallow trace at first, and iteratively deepening on demand by rerunning programs. This only works because it's safe to rerun functions. There are no side-effects in Mu.
Main project page: https://github.com/akkartik/mu
Finally got around to writing down some audio programming tips for the musically inclined trying to learn, based on my own personal experiences and struggles learning how to do it myself: https://pbat.ch/wiki/audio_programming_recipe/
challenge the axioms of your computing
🤔 filesystem as Directed Graph instead of Tree. no root directory?
🤔 people sharing a single display. several pointers & keyboards with different authorship?
🤔 coalesce the memory heirarchy: no fread or fwrite, only mmap(). internet as numa cluster?
🤔 snapshots + rollback as a primitive operation, applied to running programs. power failure tolerance?
what else seems fundamental but is merely conventional?
> As it is now known, the freenode IRC network has been taken over by a narcissistic Trumpian wannabe korean royalty bitcoins millionaire. To make a long story short, the former freenode head of staff secretly "sold" the network to this person even if it was not hers to sell, and our lawyers have advised us that there is not much that we can do about it without some of us risking financial ruin. Fuck you Christel, lilo's life work did not deserve this.
Google wants to build a "useful" quantum computer by decade's end in order to solve things like world hunger and climate change and lmao fucking hell. We already know exactly how to solve both of those things but no countries with the resources to do either of those things want to actually do them.
Having a functioning quantum computer isn't going to do a fucking thing. fucking tech companies.
“There’s a kind of false dichotomy debate going on right now that biodiversity is at odds with food production, and what we see here is very clearly that it’s not,” said Armstrong. “Forest gardens are one of the examples of how you can get multiple species occupying multiple niche spaces—there are all sorts of ecological lessons there.”