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"We propose that you can measure how user-facing a program or language is by measuring how much of its time it spends or worries about doing IO. That is, after all, the medium through which anyone who is not a program’s author (of which there may be many) will interact with the program. The time spent doing IO can be on the command line, via a GUI, over a network, or wherever; but to be a serious contender for user-facing programs, a language has to make IO be easy."

I wrote a super non-timely blog post on political alignments: (link:… – somehow I feel bad writing about politics, but no current events are mentioned!

I've read a few hypothesis, but I still don't quite get what's happening with the dryness in the horn of Africa and Kenya. The band of green across Africa is so consistent, despite topographical barriers. (South Sudan is greener than I'd realized.)

Why are all woodworking shows about building stuff for your tools, and tools to help you build that specific stuff?

But then generally, it makes me wonder what the most meta tool is? That is, a tool whose sole purpose is to build another tool? (x however many levels)

I feel like little remote-controlled cars with cameras would really add to the model train experience... something to let you experience it at scale.

I guess the same is true for my own yard, though it's hard to navigate it like a mouse... the terrain is difficult. But maybe even a large vehicle is ok so long as the camera is front and low.

I am in an npm hell of create-react-app's making.

"Strategy Tax": – the product compromises you make, and limitations you must accept, to serve a larger strategy (typically a corporate strategy).

I'm intrigued by the moral implications of this geoengineering (aka ocean fertilization):

Of course many people effect the environment far more than this one experiment, but we ignore it morally. Like, it's okay to affect the world as long as you do it ignorantly and without any intention. Only when an individual expresses intentionality is it treated as a moral threat.

A Robert Moses of transit would be a godsend. And yet it seems quite impossible...

A Robert Moses of climate change action would be pretty kick-ass too. And yet...

But if we have defectors, then beautification through artifice becomes the baseline, and no one is allowed to be comfortable with themselves. We enter the self-loathing self-image that is so dominant in the female experience.

"Metrosexuals" are defectors. I honestly don't know how the wind blows, I'm not sure if this will really end up being a thing. I'm old enough that I'm past it, whatever happens. But I see this as a downside of liberalization, it allows defectors.

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In a conversation about Spanx, I realize that men don't participate in that kind of body-modifying artifice in part because we police each other: there's a stigma, held by men and applied to other men, against self-beautification, especially done artificially (including makeup).

There's a sort of prisoner's dilemma here: so long as heterosexual men maintain a unified front, we preserve expectations that men are unadorned, and that being comfortable in your body is preferable to artifice.

Reminds me of what I've read that having a voice in your head is often not a traumatic experience for people in some other cultures, because they don't think there's anything _wrong_ with having a voice in your head, and this gives it the room to be a companion instead is a demon.

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Interesting point in

The academic who is interviewed suggests that something like a mindfulness retreat may be a traumatic experience in a way Buddhist meditation is less likely to be, because there's a lore in Buddhism that this is a divine path laid down by a benevolent force. That very expectation helps fill what you make room for.

More specifically the kind of one-upmanship over acetics by attempting to be detached from detachment

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Is the Buddhist ambition of being unattached a sort of spiritual machismo?

I wrote another blog post, “Users want control” is a shoulder shrug – thinking about control vs value:

Someone on this video call has a really nice camera, like it looks like something out of a promotional video. It's weirdly distracting. It makes me wonder if a more lo-fi image feels more "present", because the image feels unprepared.

I wonder if social media has become a convenient Other. I'm listening to people talk about the younger generation, their own children, and pinning the changes on social media and not at all on themselves... that the generational change is just some weird accident, not the change deliberately created by the generation before (or at least reacting to the generation before).

I think the arguments of UBI as a job replacement tool is misguided at best. But as a way to replace a wide swath of anti-poverty measures it could be great. By being universal it provides value and consistency that can benefit everyone.

In this I suppose I align with the older Libertarian arguments for UBI, it's one of the smallest-government safety nets you can provide. Decreasing the size of government isn't a top priority for me (and I'm not a Libertarian), but it's still a nice feature.

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