Weeknotes #186

in weeknotes

  • I had surgery on Tuesday. I’m still in the hospital as I write this a week later. I don’t have pain really when I’m standing or lying down but moving much still hurts. Sunday night was the first night where I didn’t need an extra dose of the painkiller medication they’re giving me so hopefully that counts as progress. Not totally sure how long I’ll be in but it doesn’t seem outside the question that it might be until the coming weekend.

  • I’ve mostly spent the time watching movies I’ve been meaning to watch forever. I’m sad to say, most of them haven’t been very good. Uncut Gems (Letterboxd) and John Wick (Letterboxd) were absolutely terrible movies in my opinion and I’m still stunned by the positive critical reception these films have received. Maybe this is merely a step on my journey to eventually becoming an old man but I had real trouble making my way through the relentless violence in both. I should watch Reservoir Dogs or Pulp Fiction to see if I can’t stand those movies any more either.

  • One thing I’ve been watching that has been a very pleasant surprise is Star Trek: Strange New Worlds. I was very worried after the season opener that the writers were going to fall prey this season to the siren song of the ‘megamovie’. I’m greatly relieved to report that this fear has not come to pass and that the show has remained happy to be an old-fashioned episodic TV show (while very gradually moving the characters and story forward).

  • I think I’ve become a tmux person. I resisted for years and not with any especially good reason. Basically, I thought ‘tmux’ was a grossly inferior name in comparison to ‘screen’ (the main alternative). This is extremely technical I’m sick of not having 24-bit colour support and while GNU Screen will have it in version 5, version 5 has been on the way for… I don’t know. A decade at this point? Of course, now that I’ve switched, GNU Screen version 5 will be released very soon so you’re welcome.

  • I did make a bit of progress on my argument parsing library for the Janet programming language, Argy-Bargy. I’m especially grateful to my pseudonymous friend sogaiu for putting in a ton of work to improve various bits here and there (especially testing). He’s also been helping me with Jeep which, depending on how much time I want to put in to Janet programming during this stay, might also get some more updates this coming week.

  • You may have read this already but Tim Lee and Sean Trott have a tremendous explainer about how large language models work. This is easily the best article I’ve read on the topic.

  • One of the big things I believe is that taxes are good actually. I despair at the successful job that conservatives have done in demonising taxes. Of course nobody likes ‘losing’ money they feel is theirs, but if you want to live in an egalitarian society (which I think most people do), I’m not aware of any other better alternative. Friend to normcore progressives like myself, Matt Yglesias, has a longish essay arguing the case more fulsomely. I suppose this probably is a case of preaching to the choir but if you do think of yourself as persuadable on this point, I’d encourage you to read it.

  • I worry sometimes too many of these musical suggestions are from the same time frame and that I should be trying to publicly expand my horizons. Then a playlist includes Macy Gray’s ‘I’ve Committed Murder’ (Apple Music) and I just want to share that with everybody instead.

Michael Camilleri inqk.net