Now

Article I can't stop thinking about:
As We May Think by Vannevar Bush

What I've been up to:

I have been programming a lot. My main areas of exploration have been meta programming (building programs within programs), natural language AI, and minimalist front end. I really enjoy the process of domain modeling and ontology, which constantly reminds me of Phil Karlton's joke: "There are only two hard things in computer science: cache invalidation and naming things."

Currently, code feels similar to writing prose for me, flow-wise. Except it is even more multidimensional, interactive, and pretty. Building things with code has been a wonderful creative outlet and I'm very grateful that I get to do so much of it. This quote from _why's Poignant Guide describes the sensation that writing code gives me right now:

Vitamin R. Goes straight to the head. Ruby will teach you to express your ideas through a computer. You will be writing stories for a machine.

Creative skills, people. Deduction. Reason. Nodding intelligently. The language will become a tool for you to better connect your mind to the world. I’ve noticed that many experienced users of Ruby seem to be clear thinkers and objective. (In contrast to: heavily biased and coarse.)

The JavaScript ecosystem continues to slowly grow on me, especially as I dig deeper into the nuances of declarative programming (telling the computer what to do instead of how). I think I'll always lean back-end developer. So I'm trying to run with that and explore server-side JS more without getting too hung up on React, Vue, Angular, etc. As I was learning Rails, I sort of avoided learning Node in depth, which I am now finding was a disservice to myself as a developer.

Derek Sivers' recent articles on Postgresql have inspired me to play around more in the psql console. Relational databases are endless fun and I have been enjoying deepening my understanding of them.

I have been learning some web3 technology, namely on the Solana blockchain. I still haven't fully wrapped my head around web3. So I am just trying to learn as much as possible from a variety of perspectives. The technical workings of DAOs (Decentralized Autonomous Organizations, i.e., internet communities with shared bank accounts) are particularly interesting to me. Smart contracts, collaborative work, and decentralized governance are fascinating. I've always cringed at how terrible our social institutions are at sharing knowledge, culture, wealth, and resources. I think DAOs hold a lot of promise for improving how we do things together.

One of my goals in 2022 has been to keep video meetings to an absolute minimum. Huge success so far. To replace Zoom without isolating myself, I have been using Tuple for pair programming and I really enjoy it. I learn so much faster and easier when I'm working on something hands-on in a 1:1 setting. Tuple's native OS tooling, high quality audio, and interactive screen sharing tools make remote collaboration so much better than mass-market video communication tools. If you are reading this and ever want to hack on something together, please email me.

The winter in Bellingham was dark but beautiful. I am looking forward to brighter weather and the sailing season. I have been cycling, walking, writing, and working. I am trying, unsuccessfully, to understand war.

I keep returning to this performance of Blood Brother by Leif Vollebekk and his band at KCRW (Santa Monica, CA):

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Updated: April 2, 2022