List of texts / podcast that caught my attention this year (2022).

JAN 2022

Ernst Jünger: our prophet of anarchy

  • Ernst Jünger: our prophet of anarchy - UnHerd
  • Jünger despised Celine because of the lack of the skin in the game

    A fêted intellectual, and a lifelong francophile, he befriended the city’s cultural elite, socialising with Cocteau and Picasso as well as the collaborationist French leadership and literary figures such as the anti-semitic novelist Céline, a monster who “spoke of his consternation, his astonishment, at the fact that we soldiers were not shooting, hanging, and exterminating the Jews — astonishment that anyone who had a bayonet was not making unrestrained use of it”. For Jünger, Céline represented the very worst type of radical intellectual: “People with such natures could be recognised earlier, in eras when faith could still be tested. Nowadays they hide under the cloak of ideas.

Steve Yegge, practicing programming

  • steve yegge - practicing-programming
  • an interesting comparison from brought from the (classical) music, but also reminiscent of the importance of code katas but also of the (absence of) historical consciousness. Imagine a crazy old excentric engineer doing something along the lines of Riccardo Muti (he is referring to events > half a century ago and considers them essential)

Riccardo Muti initially insulted and shouted at his successor Riccardo Chailly, who had given up his own private room to the distinguished guest. After the concert, he called for a microphone to address the audience and was ignored by stage staff. He proceeded to shout half-comprehensible and generally irrelevant comments about Toscanini’s return to La Scala in 1946.

Ben Thomson, The Relentless Jeff Bezos

Bill Gates Gets the Internet

On the value of in-house expertise

  • Luu, Dan. The value of in-house expertise
  • An argument for build in the build VS buy debate, claiming that in large-scale orgs there are highly specialized teams that are not directly related to a “core business”, that actually function as profit centers (Twitter’s kernel team). Always fun when Dan brings interdisciplinary examples, making his footnotes worth to pay attention to.

What America’s largest technology firms are investing in

  • What America’s largest technology firms are investing in - The Economist

    When the twin foundations of the computer age, the transistor and Claude Shannon’s theory of information, came out of Bell Labs in the mid-20th century, it was not because the labs’ owner, at&t, was facing lots of scrappy competitors. It was because it wanted to make and own the future. Rob Atkinson, head of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, a think-tank, argues something similar is true today: the Big Five are “oligopolists which use their market power to win the next big thing.”

  • Combine with the foundational The End of the Beginning – Stratechery by Ben Thompson

Get ahead by not shooting yourself in the foot

The Biggest Mistake I See Engineers Make

I will continuously ensure that others can cover for me and that I can cover for them.

FEB 2022

Extreme Programming 20 years later by Kent Beck

Digital Advertising in 2022

  • Digital Advertising in 2022
  • In a dialectical conversation with past self from 6 years ago. Adding Amazon to Google and Facebook masters of digital advertising, making it a triumvirate. Witnessing this conversation from one own’s thinking of the past is another reason why longevity matters so much and as Malcolm Gladwell puts is

longevity, I have come to believe, is the most important and most often underestimated indicator of genius

Why Paul Simon? - Meta Bulletin

Cocktail party ideas

  • Cocktail party ideas - Dan Luu
  • Another contrarian piece. Dan seems to understand the old marketing adage that saying something like if you want an audience start a fight:

    To validate someone’s great idea see if they understand what subproblems need solution for the problem.

Stewart Brand on Starting Things and Staying Curious

I don’t think people know the extent to which the mob took over (Bay Area in the 1960s). At first pornography — there was some really, really creative pornography coming out of basically hippie artists having a good time and turning the camera on. Then the whole dope culture. “No hope without dope.” Everybody was selling or buying marijuana and these other drugs from each other. Then one of the guys, named Super Spade — his arms and legs cut off, and his torso was hung out by Ocean Beach from a tree. And this knowledge of, well, those amateur days of drug sales are gone now, and the big-time players are here in town, and “Do not f — with us.” That was the end of that. Everybody who had been selling dope and learned a little bit of business from doing it, then went into business — legitimate business — and they were good at it. Hippies became, basically, very good commercial startup folks, partly because of that sequence of experiences.

Nobody Cared About My Spreadsheets

  • Excel has been my passion and obsession and I consider the Excel bashing to be uninformed / opportunistic
  • …but always a great food for thought, here is a recent thread with Bryan Caplan’s compaining that nobody looked into his spreadsheets that served as an evidence for his Case against Education
  • No one cared about Bryan’s spreadsheets - Marginal REVOLUTION
  • No One Cared About My Spreadsheets - Econlib
  • On Bryan Caplan’s spreadsheets
  • I consider to be the final verdict this

    If the initial data set is small, and you don’t know that much about what kind of data you’re storing, use a highly flexible, easy-to-modify format to store it (Excel). When the data set gets bigger and/or your knowledge about the data starts to crystalize, then migrate it (Database).

Sebastian Mallaby on Venture Capital

The first example of this is Yahoo, where Jerry Yang and David Filo were in their port-a-cabin on the Stanford campus. They thought they were building a hobby-type thing, and they were proud of Yahoo as a directory of the emerging internet. But Moritz showed up, listened, understood, and said, “This is the new Apple. You are going to make something with a quirky name. Apple was quirky, Yahoo is quirky. You’re going to have a brand, and you’re going to be the face of a new phase in tech history.” He enlarged their sense of themselves.

  • On Yahoo and early search engines, see the Chapter 4 of Internet History Podcast; also noting their rootedness in academia (internet before browsers was largely academic/unix-based and search algorithm is a major academic research problem in computer science)
  • Apart from interesting info about VC I fount it interesting how he plans his career in 5-year stints (5-year research dives into a topic followed by a book on the subject)

MAR 2022

What is the difference between str and repr? in Python

Let me come right out and say it — I do not believe in debuggers. I don’t really know how to use any debugger, and have never used one seriously. Furthermore, I believe that the big fault in debuggers is their basic nature — most failures I debug happened a long long time ago, in a galaxy far far away. This means that I do believe, with religious fervor, in logging. Logging is the lifeblood of any decent fire-and-forget server system.

Platformers About Page

Although I’ve always tried to keep up with the latest in technology, I am a firm believer that the most important trait for success in the tech industry is the same as any other endeavor: recognizing and affirming the dignity of every human person I interact with.

Choose Joy even in the Dark Ages

Choose joy. Choose it like a child chooses the shoe to put on the right foot, the crayon to paint a sky. Choose it at first consciously, effortfully, pressing against the weight of a world heavy with reasons for sorrow, restless with need for action. Feel the sorrow, take the action, but keep pressing the weight of joy against it all, until it becomes mindless, automated, like gravity pulling the stream down its course; until it becomes an inner law of nature.

One Way Smart Developers Make Bad Strategic Decisions

Cormac McCarthy Non-Fiction Writing Tips

Decide on your paper’s theme and two or three points you want every reader to remember. This theme and these points form the single thread that runs through your piece. The words, sentences, paragraphs and sections are the needlework that holds it together. If something isn’t needed to help the reader to understand the main theme, omit it

They Predicted the Ukraine War. But Did They Still Get It Wrong?

Historian Stephen Kotkin On Invasion

  • [A Scholar of Stalin Discusses Putin, Russia, Ukraine, and the West The New Yorker](
  • Not only, but importantly on hubris within the Russian culture

Russia is a remarkable civilization: in the arts, music, literature, dance, film. In every sphere, it’s a profound, remarkable place—a whole civilization, more than just a country. At the same time, Russia feels that it has a “special place” in the world, a special mission. It’s Eastern Orthodox, not Western. And it wants to stand out as a great power. Its problem has always been not this sense of self or identity but the fact that its capabilities have never matched its aspirations. It’s always in a struggle to live up to these aspirations, but it can’t, because the West has always been more powerful.

Historian Timothy Snyder on Ukraine

Ancient Greece got grain from Ukraine. In the 16th century, Poland effectively colonized Ukraine during the Age of Discovery and sold grain from Ukraine around the world for gold and silver that came from Latin America. In the 20th century, Stalin also colonized Ukraine. And he actually used that language…Hitler is looking at Ukraine as a breadbasket. Hitler is looking at Ukraine as the last best opportunity for the Germans to create a colonial system, which he sees as like that of other countries, but coming in later, coming in harder and allowing Germany to catch up and become a superpower, like the British are, like the Americans are from his point of view…So it’s all about Ukraine. The Second World War, in Europe at least, is all about Ukraine. If not for Ukraine, if not for that vision, which we under the heading of “Lebensraum,” there wouldn’t have been a war.

  • A project of a 13-year old boy assisted by his developer dad, listing 300 books listed per-category. I am on the opposite side of the world and needed this, too for my kids.

The modern data stack in 2021

  • The modern data stack in 2021
  • My colleague Archit summarized 3 major technological breakthroughts of the early 21st century which enabled the universal use of business inteligence methodologies freed from the older constraints (large investment and huge compute demands)
    • 2006 Apache Hadoop (distrubuted big data framework enabling horizontal scaling)
    • 2006 AWS (cloud, no comment)
    • 2012 Redshift (data warehouse in-the-cloud)
  • Can be combined with Storm in the stratosphere: how the cloud will be reshuffled · Erik Bernhardsson which claims memorably

Redshift is a data warehouse (aka OLAP database) offered by AWS. Before Redshift, it was the dark ages. The main player was Teradata, which had an on-prem offering. Startups said no to SQL and used Hadoop—SQL was kind of lame back then, for reasons that in hindsight appear absurd. I’m very happy we’re out of this era. Anyway, one vendor was a company called ParAccel. AWS licensed their technology, rebranded it Redshift, and launched in 2012. Redshift at the time was the first data warehouse running in the cloud. It was a brilliant move by AWS, because it immediately lowered the bar for a small company to start doing analytics. You didn’t have to set up any infrastructure yourself, or write custom mapreduce and reload the jobtracker all day. You could spin up a Redshift cluster in AWS, feed it humongous amounts of data, and it would … sort of just work.

APR 2022

How Microsoft hired Jim Allchin and destroyed Banyan VINES and created LAN for Enterprise

Yet, with incumbents like Banyan VINES and Novel Netware, this is another one of those times when Microsoft saw an opening for something better and just willed it into existence. And the story is similar to that of dozens of other companies including Novell, Lotus, VisiCalc, Netscape, Digital Research, and the list goes on and on and on. This kept happening because of a number of reasons. The field of computing had been comprised of former academics, many of whom weren’t aggressive in business. Microsoft ended up owning the operating system and so had selling power when it came to cornering adjacent markets because they could provide the cleanest possible user experience. People seemed to underestimate Microsoft until it was too late. Inertia. Oh, and Microsoft could outspend on top talent and offer them the biggest impact for their work. Whatever the motivators, Microsoft won in nearly every nook and cranny in the IT field that they pursued for decades. The damaging part for Banyan was when they teamed up with IBM to ship LAN Manager, which ultimately shipped under the name of each company. Microsoft ended up recruiting Jim Allchin away and with network interface cards falling below $1,000 it became clear that the local area network was really just in its infancy. He inherited LAN Manager and then NT from Dave Cutler and the next thing we knew, Windows NT Server was born, complete with file services, print services, and a domain, which wasn’t a fully qualified domain name until the release of Active Directory. Microsoft added Windsock in 1993 and released their own protocols. They supported protocols like IPX/SPX and DECnet but slowly moved customers to their own protocols.

The Current Thing

sure, the Internet makes possible a wide range of viewpoints — you can absolutely find critics of Black Lives Matter, COVID policies, or pro-Ukraine policies — but the Internet, thanks to its lack of friction and instant feedback loops, also makes nearly every position but the dominant one untenable. If everyone believes one thing, the costs of believing something else increase dramatically, making the consensus opinion the only viable option; this is the same dynamic in which publishers become dependent on Google or Facebook, or retailers on Amazon, just because that is where money can be made.

What hacking AOL taught a generation of programmers

Demographers use it to begin a conversation about the changes around us. While a birth range doesn’t guarantee an outlook, the demographics and cultural shifts that a group shares tell us a lot about how they might see the world.

— from Generation C - Seth’s Blog

  • This essay is about a formative coming-of-age experience of US-based software engineers experiencing IRC/AOL-hacking/empowering prog-culture as an imprinting one

Inside the Longest Atlassian Outage of All Time

We are in the middle of the longest outage Atlassian has ever had. Close to 400 companies and anywhere from 50,000 to 400,000 users had no access to JIRA, Confluence, OpsGenie, JIRA Status page, and other Atlassian Cloud services….having started on Monday, 4th of April 2022… A script was supposed to delete all customer data from a plugin but accidentally deleted all customer data for anyone using this plugin.

Coiling Ropes

Professionals put things away slowly so that they’ll be ready quickly when needed Investing time now for time later.


1x Programming

Your team isn’t going to have fewer priorities next week or next month. There will not be an opportunity to do the wholesale rewrite that the code base deserves. The only way to improve a code base is incrementally.

How I Got a Computer Science Degree in 3 Months for Less Than $5000

MAY 2022

Half Baked

SRE Series

On repl-driven programming

I spent 2 years launching tiny projects

JUNE 2022

Paul Graham: Beyond Smart

  • Similar to Stratechery, it is inspiring to see how thinkers build on previous work and how internet allows linking to previous essays of the same author
  • Beyond Smart

There are general techniques for having new ideas — for example, for working on your own projects and for overcoming the obstacles you face with early work — and these can all be learned. Some of them can be learned by societies. And there are also collections of techniques for generating specific types of new ideas, like startup ideas and essay topics.

The Grug Brained Developer

How To Remember Anything Forever-ish

JULY 2022

Bjarne Stroustrup on Lex Fridman Podcast

  • Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way, is perhaps the famous first sentence of any novel
  • It reminded me of Bjarne’s contracting observation which could be paraphrased as

    Messy code is all alike, every beautiful peace of code is beautiful in its own way.

  • In his own words

    It’s easier to recognize ugly than to recognize beauty in code and for the reason is that sometimes beauty comes from something that’s innovative and unusual and you have to sometimes think reasonably hard to appreciate that. On the other hand, the messes have things in common and you can have static checkers, dynamic checkers that find large number of the most common mistakes and you can catch a lot of sloppiness mechanically.

Working in the software industry, circa 1989

projects always turned into awful death marches with lots of late nights and weekends in the weeks leading up to the release date. Burnout was high. But few people quit over it because we thought it was just how it had to be

  • so true, so applicable, and so important to have historical consciousness and being able to appreciate the solutions to problems the pain of which is no longer felt

Scratch is a big deal

How to Read Fast

Nat Friedman’s Beliefs

  • Enjoyed the non-apologetic intro

    As human beings it is our right (maybe our moral duty) to reshape the universe to our preferences

  • Disliked the stress on speed, understand the urgency, but there is no delicacy in speed
  • Small teams mantra is also symphatetics

Applying cardiac alarm management techniques to your on-call

On proving yourself

The New Geopolitics by Bruno Maçães - Project Syndicate

How I regained concentration and focus – INNOQ

How long will this take? Seth’s Blog

History and effective use of Vim

What Is Reverse DNS and How Does It Work? {How to Do a rDNS Lookup}


How To Check If A String Contains A Substring In SQL Server

How I Used DALL·E 2 to Generate The Logo for OctoSQL

What’s actually going on with Google and Facebook hiring freezes? We surveyed 1000 engineers to find out. - blog

What’s actually going on with Google and Facebook hiring freezes? We surveyed 1000 engineers to find out. - blog

The unconventional guide to AWS EC2 instance types. · Archer Imagine


Manage file permissions on Unix-like systems

Advanced Bash-Scripting Guide

Good conversations have lots of doorknobs

Colleen Hoover books: The author’s success is due to much more than BookTok.

The DevOps Handbook – The Technical Practices of Feedback

Against essential and accidental complexity

Don’t call it a comeback: Why Java is still champ

Redis Explained


    The most accurate description of Redis is that it’s a data structure server. This specific nature of Redis has led to much of its popularity and adoption amongst developers.Rather than iterating over, sorting, and ordering rows, what if the data was in data structures you wanted from the ground up? Early on, it was used much like Memcached, but as Redis improved, it became viable for many other use cases, including publish-subscribe mechanisms, streaming, and queues.

Scraping web pages from the command line with shot-scraper

The AI Art Apocalypse – Alexander Wales

The DevOps Handbook – The Technical Practices of Flow

The History of Computing: The IBM System/360 Mainframe

  • This is why the famous IMB AI is called Watson

    Thomas Watson Jr, son of the great IBM business executive Thomas Watson Sr, bet the proverbial farm on IBM S360. And won that bet. In all, IBM spent 5 billion dollars in mid-1960s money, which would be $41B today with a cumulative 726.3% rate of inflation. To put things in context around the impact of the mainframe business, IBM revenues were at $3.23 B in 1964 and more than doubled to $7.19 B by 1970 when the next edition, the 370, was released. To further that context, the Manhattan Project, which resulted in the first atomic bomb, cost $2 B. IBM did not have a project this large before the introduction of the S360 and has not had one in the more than 50 years since then. bookmark -url $url -title $title

The next generation of Data Platforms is the Data Mesh

Of Boys and Men - Marginal REVOLUTION

Turing’s Cathedral

  • Necessity is also the mother of computing

    In particular I was struck by how closely entwined the history of the computer was with the building of the atomic and hydrogen bombs. I had always had a sort of general feeling about the correlation of the invention of the computer and war, but it was always on the level of “Oh, Turing used it to crack codes!”. There wasn’t that explicit direct link between the computer and atomic fire. The book describes how all of the early computers in the US were explicitly military and primarily used for bomb calculations - from ENIAC on to the IAS machine, and then the commercial IBM machines that came after that. In particular I was struck by how closely entwined the history of the computer was with the building of the atomic and hydrogen bombs. I had always had a sort of general feeling about the correlation of the invention of the computer and war, but it was always on the level of “Oh, Turing used it to crack codes!”. There wasn’t that explicit direct link between the computer and atomic fire. The book describes how all of the early computers in the US were explicitly military and primarily used for bomb calculations - from ENIAC on to the IAS machine, and then the commercial IBM machines that came after that.

The Most Important Piece of Career Advice You Probably Never Heard - Study Hacks - Cal Newport

The Perils of Audience Capture - by Gurwinder - The Prism

The E.U. Is Finally Becoming a Real Union — Time

The Perils of Audience Capture - by Gurwinder - The Prism

  • Interesting for those wanting to know how is it possible to track behaviour accross domains. There has to be a handshake. It happens in a query string (last part of the URL).

    Due to web browsers’ same-origin policy, a browser cookie is only available to the domain it is written on and all its subdomains (by default).

breck7/pldb: The Programming Language Database

breck7/pldb: The Programming Language Database

  • An attempt to bring the crisis of facts to the center of the political

    The main binary in political virtualism is not between left and right but between fiction and reality

Devops: An Idea so Good, No One Admits They Don’t Do It

  • A cool, even if a bit click-baity, argument against untouchability of popular concepts such as devops and agile. Watch Kent Back talking about the need for an authentic process in

    To me, the most egregious example of this is when a company simply changes the job titles of all its ops people. John use to be an “IT Operations” guy, but now he’s a “DevOps Engineer”.

Ptpython: A Better Python REPL

Bell Labs Org Chart

  • Part of my little project to understand Unix via

    I was curious – how does Big Tech research compare to Bell Labs? I can’t name a single thing from Google X or Amazon 126, Apple or Microsoft Research departments. Perhaps a faint idea of drones deliveries, balloon weather projects, AR/VR tech, failed chat apps, quantum something, and a lot of PR. Listing Bell Labs’ major inventions really put things into perspective: Laser, Solar-cells, Communications Satellites, Touch-tone telephones, Transistor, UNIX, C language, Digital Signal Processing (DSP), Cellular Telephones, Data Networking, Charge-coupled device (CCD), Information Theory, Television, Sound motion pictures, and a total of 8 Nobel Prizes in Physics.

System Design — Choosing Between AWS Kinesis and AWS SQS

python - It is more efficient to use if-return-return or if-else-return? - Stack Overflow

Visual Studio Code is designed to fracture

  • Stratechery-like insights into what Microsoft has been up to in the last 10 years, i.e. transitioning itself into a ‘service company’

    Circa 9 years ago Microsoft started an internal transformation in the way they delivered software to customers. Instead of directly (ie. in-house) employing quality assurance teams who were dedicated to testing software builds Microsoft’s switched to a model based on sprint-based development work and rolling releases with feedback from telemetry data that is gathered from Insider Builds of Microsoft’s software. At the same time, wider organisational changes took place in the form of functional restructures, which transitioned Microsoft into becoming a services company. Their Azure cloud-computing offering during this period has grown into a legitimate challenger to Amazon’s cloud-computing offering called AWS. The biggest side effect of this change for consumers was that instead of delivering installable products that could be run on-premises Microsoft in true Microsoft form of moving ever so slowly and doing it over a generation of people as not to spook them.

Be good-argument-driven, not data-driven - Richard Marmorstein

  • A great call to ‘think’, to use dialectics, contemplation, poetics, intuition and other underpinnings next to facts that may drive great ideas and arguments.

    There’s nothing wrong with a fondness for data. The trouble begins when you begin to favor bad arguments that involve data over good arguments that don’t, or insist that metrics be introduced in realms where data can’t realistically be the foundation of a good argument.

SEPT 2022

Setting the tab size in nano

The History of Computing: The Evolution Of Unix, Mac, and Chrome OS Shells

  • Learnt that the variety of shells is possible due to the fact that it is decoupled from the OS

    Brian Fox then added on to the Bourne shell with bash. He was working with the Free Software Foundation with Richard Stallman, and they wanted a shell that could do more advanced scripting but whose source code was open source. They started the project in 1988 and shipped bash in 1989. Bash then went on to become the most widely used and distributed shell in the arsenal of the Unix programmer. Bash stands for Bourne Again Shell and so was backwards compatible with bourne shell but also added features from tcsh, korn, and C shell, staying mostly backwards compatible with other shells. Due to the licensing, bash became the de facto standard (and often default shell) for GNU/Linux distributions and serves as the standard interactive shell for users, located at /bin/bash location. Now we had command history, tabbed auto-completion, command-line editing, multiple paths, multiple options for interpreters, a directory stack, full environment variables, and the modern command line environment.

How to discover Indian classical music - Marginal REVOLUTION

  • Bildungsroman-redux. Infatuation with Indian Classical music is a really weird hobby. Aesthetic mind sharpener of a lover of Indian culture. The thesis that orchestral music can only be fully experiences with live performance is repeatedly stressed and, who knows, maybe even Metaverse will not change this one.

    you are looking to hear world class performers in live concert, there is no substitute for that, most of all for the percussion, but also for the overall sense of energy

How to create sudo user on Ubuntu 18.04 Bionic Beaver Linux - Linux Tutorials - Learn Linux Configuration

Difference between Single Responsibility Principle and Separation of Concerns - Stack Overflow

So You Want to be a Writer… - Hugh Howey

  • The Decalogue for Aspiring Professionals

    Look around. What are other aspiring writers doing? That’s your ground floor. Your minimum. That’s where you begin. Double that. I promise you, this is the easiest path to success. What follows is specifics.

Too Many Parameters

Constraints are a gift

python - Call Hierarchy in Visual Studio Code - Stack Overflow

How to Use Colorama in Python

  • Improving The UI/UX with CLI scripts bit by bit.

    Many built-in modules and libraries exist in Python to print the colored text in the terminal. The Colorama is one of the built-in Python modules to display the text in different colors. It is used to make the code more readable. Three formatting options are available in this module for coloring text.

The Services iPhone – Stratechery by Ben Thompson

  • Apple treats itself like a fancy club with quite high entry and quite high margins on services that it provides. Since it all works out of the box, my impression is that it makes mostly kids uninterested at ways how computers actually functions. Something I was stuck with when the first 386DX/40 arrived and someone showed me how to start Goblins from command line or even installed Norton Commander.

    The most surprising announcement of all, though, were the prices. Everything stayed the same! This was not what I, or close followers of Apple like John Gruber, expected at all. After all, Apple’s strategy the past several years seemed to be focused on wringing more revenue out of existing customers. More importantly, the last year has seen a big increase in inflation - What this means is that in real terms Apple’s products actually got cheaper.

But first, we need to talk about it

  • Stressing the fact that with none of the tools will help - if you keep avoiding to confront the problem. As John Bradshaw said in Homecoming, life can be framed as a series of confrontations with problems.

    People don’t talk about end-of-life suffering or the cost of healthcare in the last year of life, so it never gets better. Instead, we pretend it isn’t an issue and the problem persists.

Checking if a Cell Contains a Substring in Excel or Google Docs

Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment, September 8

  • The notion of “information space control” and the “establishment of desired narrative” keeps popping up in ISW daily updates on the situation in Ukraine. There must be an initiative purpose and truthfulness of the narratives permeating the confrontations of problems in general.

    The Russian MoD repeated its Bilohorivka information mistake by failing to acknowledge the situation around Kharkiv Oblast and establish a desired narrative, leaving milbloggers to fill this gap with criticism of Russian forces. The Russian MoD only claimed to have destroyed a Ukrainian ammunition depot in Balakliya.[7] Some milbloggers complained that the Russian MoD did not seize the information space in a timely manner to prevent the spread of Ukrainian social media on Russian Telegram channels, leading to distrust among Russian audiences.[8] Milbloggers largely supported the Russian MoD’s narratives that the Ukrainian counteroffensive in Kherson Oblast had completely failed just days prior to Ukrainian breakthroughs in Kharkiv Oblast.[9] Such a shift in milblogger perceptions of Russian progress in Ukraine can be partially attributed to the flaws in the Russian war-time information strategy…

Organizations need to deliberately create data

  • In 2017, Economist published The world’s most valuable resource is no longer oil, but data | The Economist. Yali (my boss/co-founder) takes an issue of the core metaphor driving not only the value of Big Data, but also the names of the tools (data pipelines, mining, extraction, exhaust). In my reading, he is saying “Data is Software, too”, in other words, he repeats the old functional programming insight that the difference between code and data is more complicated than meets the eye (that code == data and data == code?)

    These assumptions are fundamentally wrong. Organizations can deliberately create the data that data scientists and other data consumers need, data that today those organizations simply do not have. More than that, organizations should deliberately create the data that they need: as Peter Norvig observed many years ago - “more data beats clever algorithms, and better data beats more data”: so it makes sense to spend at least as much time creating better data as developing better algorithms.

Artificial Intelligence Will Be a Great Equalizer - Bloomberg

  • 2022 is the year of AI and mainly via progress in image generation - a few places offer this much excitement for me.

    The people who least need AI are the super-rich. They already can hire armies of servants to manage their obligations, schedules, and so on. They do not need to economize on the use of human labor. The rest of us do, whether directly or indirectly through the businesses we patronize…On average, better educated individuals are more skilled at retraining. So increasing the importance of retraining will have some significant inegalitarian effects, namely that the lesser educated may fall behind or be re-employed at lower wages. This is the real worry about AI, which is not the same as “the robots taking all our jobs.”

The Birth of UNIX With Brian Kernighan - CoRecursive Podcast

Clean Code: Error Handling. Next chapter in the series is Error…

  • Watch out for making error handling the first impression that the code gives

    Many code bases are completely dominated by error handling…I don’t mean that error handling is all that they do. I mean that it is nearly impossible to see what the code does because of all the scattered error handling. Error handling is important, but if it obscures logic, it’s wrong.

The History of Computing: The History Of Android

  • On the beginnings of Android and the smartphone revolution kicked off in 2007/8 with the release of the first iPhone.

    The first iPhone was released in 2007. I think we sometimes think that along came the iPhone and Blackberries started to disappear. It took years. But the fall was fast. While the iPhone was also impactful, the Android-based devices were probably more-so. That release of the iPhone kicked Andy Rubin in the keister and he pivoted over from the Blackberry-styled keyboard to a touch screen, which changed… everything. Suddenly this weird innovation wasn’t yet another frivolous expensive Apple extravagance. The logo helped grow the popularity as well, I think. Internally at Google Dan Morrill started creating what were known as Dandroids. But the bugdroid as it’s known was designed by Irina Blok on the Android launch team. It was eventually licensed under Creative Commons, which resulted in lots of different variations of the logo; a sharp contrast to the control Apple puts around the usage of their own logo. The first version of the shipping Android code came along in 2008.

What Makes a Senior Engineer? Writing Software vs Building Systems -

  • Seniority means business (professionality). It should not mean less coding, though.

    Junior Engineers care about writing Software. They value code quality, employ best practices, try to adopt cutting-edge technologies. They invest a lot of time into learning new technologies. To them, the ultimate goal is to create elegant, performant, maintainable software.

Open Source is Broken - Xe

Clean Code – How to Write Amazing Functions

  • I keep revisiting this chapter and this episode over and over. Also the little “cock fight” between the two host about the virtues of a correction that one has done to another is hilarious. And Alan says that his functions just follow this chapter e2e and he’s really happy about that. Highly recommended.

    1st rule – Functions should be small; 2nd rule – Functions should be smaller than that!

ls -la /.dockerenv

Launch HN: (YC W22) – Better daily standups

  • I like this because it smoothens context switches. In my experience the context switching has cognitive costs mainly when the switch is done by the mind - not because mind is switched in itself. When the music stops automatically or the movie ends automatically that is drastically different then when I have to stop it in the middle. Similar for rotating who is speaking when and when and how to prep for the meeting.


Count – Make decisions with data, together

  • A BI tool competitive to Redash I’ve been using, recommended by a colleague.


How to Delete Lines in Vim / Vi

An Introduction to Base64 Encoding

  • Really useful intro to the daily bread of base64 encoding

    Base64 is a frequently used and reliable method of representing arbitrary binary data as text. The name comes from the fact that Base64 uses 64 possible values for representing binary data. This means there are six bits for representing a single Base64 character (2⁶ = 64). The values are made up of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers 0 through 9, as well as the “+” and “/” signs.

so you want to be a writer? by Charles Bukowski - Poems

OCT 2022

Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment, October 2

  • One of Kevin Kelly’s recommendations is “Underpromise, Overdeliver” - what is painstakingly clear from these brilliant analysis is how exactly that is the problem of Russian narrative-shaping.

    The Russian MoD has consistently focused on exaggerating Russian success in Ukraine with vague optimistic statements while omitting presentations of specific details of the military campaign. The daily Russian MoD briefing has claimed to capture the same villages more than once as ISW and independent investigators have observed, and the Russian MoD rarely releases photographic evidence confirming claims of Russian advances

What is a good way to order methods in a Python class? - Stack Overflow

Explanatory variables - Method Call

The Absolute Minimum Every Software Developer Absolutely, Positively Must Know About Unicode and Character Sets (No Excuses!) – Joel on Software

CS631 – Advanced Programming in the Unix Environment

  • History of Unix in the First Lecture is great.
  • Notes on Editors are great. Not understing much of the meat, but definitelly worth a worthy bookmark.

    For coding in your normal day to day? Sure use intellij. For trying to debug some deep level production only issue where every second of downtime means big money lost? You’ll want to know vim/emacs..

Trey Howard, arguing nuclear risk is low - Marginal REVOLUTION

Ask HN: In what ways is programming more difficult today than it was years ago?

  • Complexity, complexity, complexity. Back to SICP.

    Nowadays you spend most of your time figuring out all the tools and dependencies and configurations and systems and how to glue them all together and get them actually working together properly. There’s relatively little time left for the actual problem you’re trying to solve and the actual code that you’re writing. Actually doing the thing that achieves the objective is kind of just an afterthought done in your spare time when you’re not busy babysitting the ecosystem.

Copy If You Can: Improving Your UI Design Skills With Copywork — Smashing Magazine

  • J.S.Bach was learning by transcribing. I believe the best way to read/learn code is to transcribe, too. Erik Kennedy has the same idea about learning UI/UX. Read, read, read ? A.k.a. Steal / Copy like an Artist.

    Copywork is a technique that writers and painters have been using for centuries. It is the process of recreating an existing work as closely as possible in order to improve one’s skill. In our case, this means recreating a user interface (UI) design pixel for pixel.

Mike Acton’s Expectations of Professional Software Engineers - Adam Johnson

chardet/chardet: Python character encoding detector

  • If you need to find an encoding of bytes object in Python

    This is a continuation of Mark Pilgrim’s excellent original chardet port from C, and Ian Cordasco’s charade Python 3-compatible for

Junior to Senior: Career Advice for the Ambitious Programmer — Holloway

  • Adding to the readlist for the future times

    But writing code is only part of our job as software developers. It’s equally essential for developers to cultivate the soft skills critical for adding value for their team, their company, their customers, and their career—and it’s often neglected.

The Paris Review - What Writers and Editors Do - The Paris Review

  • Another Classic I am returning to Regularly

    writing is about getting to the core, something that can be done only once, in that one way, which can never be repeated, because if you repeat it then you are no longer at the core but at something false that merely resembles. So what writing is about, more than anything else, is not practicing, but failing. Failing, not succeeding, not being able to make it work, failing, failing, failing—but not in order to get to the core at some future time, that would be half-hearted, and the half-hearted is the antithesis of writing, no, failing must come from risking everything, in all earnestness, with the utmost of effort. Failing to get the ball properly under control on the football pitch can be annoying, but it doesn’t hurt. Failing in literature hurts, if it doesn’t then it’s an exercise and can lead nowhere. In other words, in order to write you must trick yourself, you must believe that this time I’m onto something, no matter how worthless it might turn out to be.

Python Sorted Containers — Sorted Containers 2.4.0 documentation

Total Recall

  • On Knausgaard’s first volume of My Struggle

    A fair amount of contemporary prose seems to have been written by people who, like Tolstoy’s Ivan Ilyich, refuse to accept that they will die; there is a puerile or evasive quality in many new novels (not to mention movies), especially in America, where infinite information promises to outlive us, and dazzle down the terminality of existence. Are there serious contemporary writers who remind us of our mortality?

dynamic typing - Can an interpreted statically typed language be considered type safe? - Software Engineering Stack Exchange

  • Some answers are worth of a bookmark and being re-read as a stand-alone blog posts

    There is no such thing as an interpreted statically typed language, simply because there is no such thing as an interpreted language, period. Interpretation and compilation are traits of the, well, interpreter or compiler (duh!), i.e. the implementation, not the language. Every language can be implemented with an interpreter and every language can be implemented with a compiler. In fact, many languages have both interpreted and compiled implementations. For example, Haskell has several compiled implementations (Ghc, Jhc, Yhc, Lhv) and an interpreted implementation (Hugs). ECMAScript has pure compiled implementations (V8), and hybrid mixed-mode implementations (e.g. SpiderMonkey AOT-compiles ECMAScript to SpiderMonkey bytecode, then both compiles and interprets this bytecode)

How does the Russo-Ukrainian War end? - by Timothy Snyder

Meta Meets Microsoft – Stratechery by Ben Thompson

  • A continuation of the argument that VR is coming through enterprise. Same as PC did (through Excel and ERPs), by the way.

    What is clear is that Zuckerberg in particular seems more committed to VR than ever. It may be the case that he is seen as the founding father of the Metaverse, even as Meta is a potential casualty.

Plod has a bunch of questions - Marginal REVOLUTION

  • On The Decrease of Male Ambition

    I would blame (in no particular order): deindustrialization, women who don’t need male financial support anymore, marijuana, on-line pornography, improved measurement of worker quality, the ongoing rise of the service sector, too much homework in schools, better entertainment options, and the general increasing competitiveness of the world, causing many to retreat in pre-emptive defeat

Low Earth Orbit Visualization

Learn enough C to survive - by The Jesus - Code of Honor

  • On C as being the classics language of Computer Science today

    Heck, in 1900, Latin and Greek were required subjects in college, not because they served any purpose, but because they were sort of considered an obvious requirement for educated people. […] Are pointers and recursion the Latin and Greek of Computer Science?

Trying new programming languages helped me grow as a software engineer

  • A great debate on the virtues of polyglotic efforts

    Learning different programming languages definitely helped expose me to new ideas, but I think it’s a relatively shallow way to grow

linux - documenting shell scripts’ parameters - Stack Overflow

Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment, October 16

typeset -p

E.W. Dijkstra Archive: On the role of scientific thought (EWD447)

  • In another mood we may ask ourselves whether, and if so: why, the program is desirable. But nothing is gained —on the contrary!— by tackling these various aspects simultaneously. It is what I sometimes have called “the separation of concerns”, which, even if not perfectly possible, is yet the only available technique for effective ordering of one’s thoughts, that I know of. This is what I mean by “focussing one’s attention upon some aspect”: it does not mean ignoring the other aspects, it is just doing justice to the fact that from this aspect’s point of view, the other is irrelevant. It is being one- and multiple-track minded simultaneously.


Walter Russell Mead on the Past and Future of American Foreign Policy (full)

  • Wonderful illustration of the virtues of pragmatic thinking (hello Pragmatic Programmer)

    I think that some of the problem, though, is not so much in the intellectual weaknesses of a lot of conventional postgrad education, but simply almost the crime against humanity of having whole generations of smart people spend the first 30, 35 years of their lives in a total bubble, where they’re in this academic setting, and the rule . . . They become socialized into the academy, just as much as prisoners get socialized into the routines of a prison.

Professio sano in vitam sanam (on balancing work and life) - Study Hacks - Cal Newport

  • Yes another argument on less is more in a long term when it comes to productivity and another rebuttal of ‘loving 80 hour work weeks’ as popularized by young Steve Jobs in Apple.

    (The same says Mark Andreesen on his partner Horowitz in Tyler Cowen’s podcast) “When I was at work, I worked. And when I was with my family, I concentrated on them. The change in focus cleared and refreshed my mind so that when I went to work, I was efficient…Five to eight hours per day of clear thinking and concentrated work five days per week produces more impressive results than the coffee, chit-chat, and various displacement activities that often fill the time of many of those who think they are working seventy or eighty hours a week.”

APT (software) - Wikipedia

  • One of the Best features of Debian Linux Distro is its package manager called apt (old name deity was abandoned for PC reasons)

    APT simplifies the process of managing software on Unix-like computer systems by automating the retrieval, configuration and installation of software packages, either from precompiled files or by compiling source code.

Teach Yourself Programming in Ten Years

  • Read with Cal Newport’s notes on Slow Productivity and with Hugh Howey’s ‘So You Want to be a Writer’

    As Prof. K. Anders Ericsson puts it, “In most domains it’s remarkable how much time even the most talented individuals need in order to reach the highest levels of performance. The 10,000 hour number just gives you a sense that we’re talking years of 10 to 20 hours a week which those who some people would argue are the most innately talented individuals still need to get to the highest level.”

Dremel: Interactive Analysis of Web-Scale Datasets – Google Research

  • I have read only abstract as I need to situate the use of Apache Parquet file format in my work to something external and rooted in historical context.

    Proc. of the 36th Int’l Conf on Very Large Data Bases (2010), pp. 330-339, The system scales to thousands of CPUs and petabytes of data, and has thousands of users at Google. In this paper, we describe the architecture and implementation of Dremel, and explain how it complements MapReduce-based computing.

How SRE Relates to DevOps

  • Reading through Google’s Great Book as a helper to a conversation I had with someone doing devops and my environment embracing the SRE role. Some nuances and the SRE stress on “the weeds” are really interesting

    A note on “the wisdom of production”: by this phrase, we mean the wisdom you get from something running in production—the messy details of how it actually behaves, and how software should actually be designed, rather than a whiteboarded view of a service isolated from the facts on the ground. All of the pages you get, the tickets the team gets, and so on, are a direct connection with reality that should inform better system design and behavior.

ngrok - Online in One Line

  • Essential networking edge computing reverse proxy for globally distributed services

    ngrok is a globally distributed reverse proxy fronting your web services

ngrok - Online in One Line

  • Essential networking edge computing reverse proxy for globally distributed services

    ngrok is a globally distributed reverse proxy fronting your web services running in any cloud or private network, or your machine.

New Feature: Objects have changed outside of Terraform – HashiCorp Help Center

Variability, not repetition, is the key to mastery

  • You need different angle of the same thing. Repetition AND variability. Both matter. Comparative perspective. Drill. Yin and Yang relationship there?

    A common tactic in practicing music is to play a passage slowed down, sped up, with varying rhythms, up/down an octave, etc, with the idea that if you have complete mastery you can also play it the way it’s written.

My Top 10 Tips for Doing Time In ‘the Hole’

  • This has an impression of being important for wellbeing of everyone (if you agree that life - by definition - is hard)

    Always practice your faith. Day in and day out, I prayed, meditated and took Bible-related correspondence courses. I also practiced martial arts and breathing techniques, and I worked on improving my foresight. For me, faith is the most important survival tool. Faith is what got me through my worst-of-the-worst times in the hole.

Slow prompt command (oh-my-zsh) · Issue #1 · hsab/WSL-config

This war is forever–you hear, Sofi? — APOFENIE

  • Even if Bruno Macaes suggests that Ukraine is new Syria and this heartbreaking essay even finds solitude with the reconciliation of no end in sight, there is still wisdom of Timothy Snyder that war begins as unimaginable and their end is unimaginable as well. This is politics and nature of politics too.

helix-editor/helix: A post-modern modal text editor.

How to Sum Filtered Rows in Google Sheets (With Examples) - Statology

Product Documentation vs. Knowledge Base - DZone Agile

Strings and Templates - Configuration Language

How T.S. Eliot’s Therapeutic Practice Produced The Waste Land ‹ Literary Hub

  • Rhythm, imagination, attention to detail and poetics, 4 ingredients of the therapeutic practice one can take as inspiring.

    Eliot is using the poem as a kind of therapy, a way of relieving the anxieties that dogged him so severely. Readers have struggled to interpret the layers of allusion in the poem. Yet if you take its content, as Matthew K. Gold and Amanda Harris have done, as echoing the therapeutic process he was engaged in with Vittoz, then these echoes and visions are there also to anchor the wandering mind.

Best free Linux Router and firewall software 2020 (4 recommendations)

Getting curl to output HTTP status code? - Super User

On what terms could the war in Ukraine stop?

The Anti-Promethean Backlash - by Brink Lindsey

  • Even though I am tempted to agree with The Great Stagnation critics, this kind of modernism feels particularly American. Writing from Central Europe, my historical consciousness is dominated by a human meat grinder from both Nazi/Stalinist projects, which were at their core modernist, too.

    No, the revolution I’m talking about can be described as the anti-Promethean backlash — the broad-based cultural turn away from those forms of technological progress that extend and amplify human mastery over the physical world. The quest to build bigger, go farther and faster and higher, and harness ever greater sources of power was, if not abandoned, then greatly deprioritized in the United States and other rich democracies starting in the 1960s and 70s. We made it to the moon, and then stopped going. We pioneered commercial supersonic air travel, and then discontinued it. We developed nuclear power, and then stopped building new plants. There is really no precedent for this kind of abdication of powers in Western modernity; one historical parallel that comes to mind is the Ming dynasty’s abandonment of its expeditionary treasure fleet after the voyages of Zheng He.

Home - Apple Rankings by The Appleist Brian Frange - Comedian Brian Frange

It’s Costing Peanuts for the US to Defeat Russia - CEPA

Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment, November 20

  • ISW provides food for sociological thought with its analysis of Russia in 2022. On one hand, the classical Weberian definition of modern state (monopoly on violence) seems not to hold (due to autonomy of warlords on the ground). On the other hand (this report), the intellectual class (milbloggers) is extremelly powerful, and, surprisingly, not supressed by the state. Tynothy Snyder has argued that this is a recipe for the fall, as was already seen with Glasnost in the late 1980s. Also, this is really not a totalitarian Stalinist way of going about the political. It is almost as if Kremlin had a religious certainty that the powerblocks it keeps operating on its own will not turn against it.

    is report discusses the rising influence of the milblogger (military correspondent or voenkor) community in Russia despite its increasingly critical commentary on the conduct of the war. The milblogger community reportedly consists of over 500 independent authors and has emerged as an authoritative voice on the Russian war.[1] The community maintains a heavily pro-war and Russian nationalist outlook and is intertwined with prominent Russian nationalist ideologists…Russian President Vladimir Putin has defended the milbloggers from MoD attacks and protected their independence even as he increases oppression and censorship throughout Russia.

The Case Against Negotiations with Russia

The Case Against Negotiations with Russia

  • More intruiging than Economist overview of possibilities of peace that offered Israel analogy, but not the case. This case is for not giving up at this point. It is easy to assert from the Americal soil, but it also makes a lots of sense presented in this fashion.

    Negotiations cannot end the Russian war against Ukraine; they can only pause it. The renewed Russian invasion in February 2022 after eight years of deadly “ceasefire” following the first Russian invasions of 2014 demonstrates that Russian President Vladimir Putin will not rest until he has conquered Kyiv. Ukraine’s resistance to the invasion this year shows that Ukrainians will not easily surrender. The conflict is unresolvable as long as Putinism rules the Kremlin. Negotiations won’t change that reality. They can only create the conditions from which Putin or a Putinist successor will contemplate renewing the attack on Ukraine’s independence. Before pressing Ukraine to ask Russia for talks we must examine the terms Ukraine might offer Russia, the dangers of offering those terms, and, more importantly, the likelihood that Putin would accept them.

Demystifying the Parquet File Format

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance - Wikipedia

  • Perhaps a next book on the bookshelf

    Many of these discussions are tied together by the story of the narrator’s own past self, who is referred to in the third person as Phaedrus (after Plato’s dialogue). Phaedrus, a teacher of creative and technical writing at Montana State College, became engrossed in the question of what defines good writing, and what in general defines good, or “Quality”, which he understands similar to Tao. Phaedrus’s philosophical investigations eventually drove him insane, and he was subjected to electroconvulsive therapy, which permanently changed his personality.

What Happened When Zapier Cancelled Meetings for a Week? (Hint: Not Much) - Study Hacks - Cal Newport