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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 🤷‍♂️

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So much more interested in thinking about software in general, abstractions, and teaching than shipping features. How am I an engineer lol?

One day I will figure out a career which is approximately "Think real hard about how computers work, what is good and bad about it, and how to empower individual users to make their computers work how they see fit."

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techwork griping 

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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."

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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

Brit boosted

just put the final launch touches on See Fennel, a live compiler demo page that shows you side-by-side how #fennel code translates into equivalent Lua and vice versa. give it a try and see for yourself what it's all about:

fennel-lang.org/see

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Brit boosted

@neauoire microui looks super nice. to clarify, pugl does not use SDL. we've been looking at options for using the norns stack on "normal" computers--- right now the code writes directly to the framebuffer via cairo. in fact, you might enjoy this stuff next time you want to dig into low-level: raspberrycompote.blogspot.com/

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Brit boosted

It's worth remembering that users don't care what version of Webpack or Rollup you're using. They just care if the app works and it's fast. Devs love to sprint to embrace some new tool that's supposedly going to make their own life easier (TypeScript, hot reloading, linters, faster build times, whatever). This kind of stuff has approximately zero impact on the user experience, though. And arguments that dev experience trickles down to user experience are largely wrong. infrequently.org/2018/09/the-d

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Brit boosted

me: i would like to buy one general-purpose computer please

apple: no

microsoft: maybe

dell: if you're a developer, ok for now

weird small linux manufacturers: duuuuuude try a drag of this one, maaaaaaaan, it'll make you see the bits in your miiiiiiiiiind

Neat documentary about early history of computing at Bell Labs and Xerox PARC seems particularly relevant to many of us here:
kickstarter.com/projects/messa

I find it extremely hard to work at a tech company where there's lots of triumphalism about how great our product or modern software and web applications are. I hope more dissenting voices that offer a different vision of computing can be widely heard.

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Brit boosted

So I have an announcement. I sent an email to my work saying that I wanted to be able to focus on my work on taking advancing the federated social web to the next level. Read: better security / abuse resistance, richer interactions, virtual worlds.

How will I be funded to do this? I don't know. I do know that the state of the political world scares me enough that I feel I have to do this. If you want to support me: patreon.com/cwebber

Wish me luck. More updates soon.

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if normal blogging is writing a blog post every day, then microblogging is writing a blog post every 2700 years

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Brit boosted

"All the beings of the world are connected within and among themselves by the vibrations of harmonic sympathy. Our place among them is not one of dominion, but of interconnection." - Henry Corbin, quoted in his biographer Thomas Cheetham, reviewed by M. Ali Lakhani.

Corbin (a scholar of medieval Persian metaphysics) comes closest to expressing my own cosmology, which directly informs my desire for decentralised information technology.

"Harmonic sympathy" is why we need *personal* computers.

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Huh, this month has been incredibly busy, so many talks I missed!

A positive side effect of straining my back is that now I am forced to take a break, lie down, and watch all these talks: 😁​

---------------------------

Past 3 online lisp meets, organised by @phoe :

- Hayley Patton's "Techniques and Utilities for Farming Objects On The Net" youtube.com/watch?v=iXov5ukVVW

- Andrew Sengul's "April, an APL compiler for Common Lisp" youtube.com/watch?v=AUEIgfj9ko [I love APL!!]

- Robert Strandh's "Creating a Common Lisp implementation (Part 3)" youtube.com/watch?v=kMivYV0pEM

---------------------------

Yulia Startsev's "Compiler compiler" talk series, walkthroughs on fixing SpiderMonkey bugs

- Part 8, CacheIR, Ion and Warp twitch.tv/videos/744709650

- Part 7 video not yet online :(

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jwz.org/blog/2020/09/this-is-a

"...in my humble but correct opinion, Mozilla should be doing two things and two things only:

* Building THE reference implementation web browser, and
* Being a jugular-snapping attack dog on standards committees.
* There is no 3.

"... At this point, I assume Mozilla's voice on the standards committees has all the world-trembling gravitas of "EFF writes amicus brief.""

#mozilla

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"I realized that the inherent bitterness and negativity of programming arguments and technical defensiveness on the web were making me bitter and negative. I've consciously tried to rewind, to go back to when programming was a tool for implementing my visions, not its own end"
prog21.dadgum.com/56.html

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Holy moly, it looks like it's going to be possible to get the gradual contract boundary checks down from 73.6x overhead in the worst case to 1.6x?? arxiv.org/abs/2007.12630

That could make Typed Racket, and other gradually typed systems like it, actually extremely usable. I wonder if that means that the performance gains from the static types could finally outweigh the contract costs in some cases.

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It's kind of funny in retrospect that the programming language whose mantra was "There Should Be Only One Way To Do It" featured two separately maintained, incompatible, versions of itself for 11 years.

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«We cannot have a society in which, if two people wish to communicate, the only way that can happen is if it's financed by a third person who wishes to manipulate them.»

— Jaron Lanier

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"Ah, er, yes.” Martín is trying to break some unfortunate news as gently as possible. “The point of these questions is… for you to write the program yourself, rather than using someone else’s code.”

You shift, surprised. “People haven’t seemed to like that so far.”

aphyr.com/posts/353-rewriting-

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headcanon Joey's mom is really an old school hacker back from Bell Labs, that's why Joey is trying so hard is to live up to her reputation and she's upset with him not because he broke the law but because he made mistakes that got him caught

this theory brought to you from just really liking Joey's mom's style

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