No Time No Friends

Alan Kay's Book List

Allan Kay, the father of the desktop, computer “windows”, object orientation etc.

Alan Kay’s Reading List

Image Sources

I sometimes download images from the web and I like to keep track of where I found them and the source information.

Sometimes the creators or distributors tag images, often not. At any rate I looked at the various XMP tags out there XMP Tags and found xmp:BaseUrl.

Using exiftool:

exiftool -BaseUrl="..." file

Adding the source URL to an image’s meta data

The Feed Again

Regarding reading of novels. Attention is required.

If you read a novel in more than two weeks you don’t read the novel really.

from Stab a Book, the Book Won’t Die — by Craig Mod also mentioned in The Feed

Software Conversation

On software always being built on something else, that it is always dependent on the rest of the world and others; it does not happen in isolation.

Somewhat opposed to the perspectives in Dependency Security

Where Did Software Go Wrong? | Jesse Li

Mind Protocol

AI Mouse

Today I discovered a new directory in my home folder on my mac ai_overlay_tmp. Of course it got me wondering.

A quick search revealed that it is some Logitech AI prompt stuff that they have sneaked into the software. Auto update got it onty my system.

No further comment. Complete 🤦

Modern Barbarian

A modern barbarian, a somebody “living in the hills” but among everybody else…

  1. Keep your identity small
  2. Build skills and maintain good friends
  3. Deploy tactical xenophobia

REVIEW: The Art of Not Being Governed, by James C. Scott

Lessons in Ruling an Empire

Less Hanging Out

Essay on why people are less social nowadays: less time spent with others, less socially competent, less social platforms out there.

Why Americans Suddenly Stopped Hanging Out - The Atlantic

Raising Kids in AI Future

How do you raise kids not knowing what to raise them for?

Meta skills? General cognitive and analytical abilities?

Raising children on the eve of AI • Otherwise

Wedding Costs

Kids and Sugar

XZ - OpenSSH

Not very long ago a massive and quite convoluted backdoor was discovered in OpenSSH through the xzdependency.

Yet another entry in the OSS community - maintenance debate.

Techies vs spies: the xz backdoor debate - lcamtuf’s thing


When finished objects become commodities and break, they are easily replaced. When you break a chair, you buy another chair. We know well how to make one thousand chairs. But when a unique object breaks, we might mend. To learn the skill of mending is to also gain the skill of building, to understand the very urge to build. If we never mend, we not only risk building less but building in perverse ways.

To mend is to comprehend a human scale problem, and without this understanding our creations become strange creatures. The more finished goods become commodities, the fewer opportunities an individual has to generate new creation. The ability to mass-produce removes the opportunity for the great many to learn to produce at all.

from XXIIVV — commodity


Bartosz Ciechanowski

Incredible presentations and visualisations: Bartosz Ciechanowski

Code and Art

Is code art?

Is it close to art?

This is naturally determined by the age old question of what art is?

I guess in that sense, coding can be art, but it needn’t be.

Code is not literature
An essay or why code is not literature; a work of the art of language and prose but rather a foreign domain of organisms that we study.

But then it hit me. Code is not literature and we are not readers. Rather, interesting pieces of code are specimens and we are naturalists. So instead of trying to pick out a piece of code and reading it and then discussing it like a bunch of Comp Lit. grad students, I think a better model is for one of us to play the role of a 19th century naturalist returning from a trip to some exotic island to present to the local scientific society a discussion of the crazy beetles they found: “Look at the antenna on this monster! They look incredibly ungainly but the male of the species can use these to kill small frogs in whose carcass the females lay their eggs.”

Dabblers And Blowhards (Idle Words)
An essay on an essay by Pau Graham about what coders and painters have in common, this argues it is very litte, Graham thinks it’s a lot.

Shadows in Art

A brilliant and detailed essay on how artists have been getting shadows wrong time and time again.

The likes of Rembrandt is featured…

More detailed proof of how and why painting, drawing and similar arts are so damn hard.

Attention to Detail

Wouter Groeneveld describes the act of “seeing behind the act”. Perceiving and thinking about the details behind a peice of work. He draws on the movie Walter Mitty and talks about the “secret lives” of people, the battles, struggles and small things that happen in each and every one of us during our days and lives.

Youtube Downloader

Taking inspiration from Mario Villalobos Creating My Own MTV Music Channel I implemented a quick YouTube downloader script on my Raspberry pi at home. Brilliant!

yt-dlp -o '/media/varmedal/media/videos/%(uploader)s-%(upload_date)s-%(title)s.%(ext)s' \
	  --download-archive '/home/pi/yt_archive.txt' \
       -f 'bestvideo+bestaudio/best' \
	  --sub-langs all,-live_chat \
	  --embed-subs \
	  --yes-playlist \
	  --add-metadata \
	  --write-thumbnail \
	  --batch-file '/home/pi/yt_download.txt'


My reading queue is way to long and I have reads tucked away everywhere: Instapaper, Things 3, a reading.txt file.

Cleaning this up giving the number of pieces is going to be a complete mess.

But the only alternative is to nuke the collection, and then, probably, start anew…

The only long term solution is to change the way I do things and make new rules for the amassment of articles and content online. In this regard I have thought about starting to print the best pieces and articles. I bought a printer and intend to use it to this end.

I also found this article on printing a book with articles: Instapaper (analogue edition)

Kinfolk and Identity

Doing some reading on the remaining in-print magazines of our day and age: notably Kinfolk and Monocle, I came over an interview with Kinfolk’s editor with some notable sentences and insights.

On the origin of our Selves and our desires:

As I wandered across Copenhagen from artisanal coffee shop to curated bookstore, I thought about why I want the things I want: an industrial loft apartment, a precisely poured cortado, intimate dinner parties — all things that show up in Kinfolk.

I learned these aspirations through magazines, novels, television shows, and the tastes of my friends. Lined up, they seem like the punchline of a joke at my own expense, the reduction of an identity to a few arbitrary objects, and yet I feel an unjustifiable loyalty to them as mine.

On lifestyle being a shared method of communicating belonging:

A lifestyle is made up of a shared vernacular. My Instagram was so popular because my friends recognized a quiet coffee in a foreign city as a badge of the lifestyle that we aspire to.

The Last Lifestyle Magazine - Racked

The Feed I

On social-media, the algorithmic feed, attention, focus and whether I should do an escape.

Some of the reading that inspired this can be found here

My situation, 29/11/2021

I have a reasonable relationship with social media I believe.


I like Twitter but deleted it some years ago. I have wanted to make a new one since it seems such an energetic place for the communities I enjoy content from: techosphere, slatestarcodexy-things (Rationalist, Altruist) and science.

I don’t though since I already have plenty of content, books, thoughts and ingo to get through. Throwing even more on this ever growing pile is not worth it. Maybe for the soscial interaction, but I don’t think it would benefit me enough.


I keep Facebook around for “legacy reasons” - family and events. I want to back it up, off it and just keep Messenger around.

I don’t have Snapchat, TikTok or anything similar. The only one that is bothering me these days is Instagram.


Beeminder is a webservice that allows you to set up, track and execute your goals. It does this through charging you money if you fail to follow up. It’s a brilliant service made by and for nerds.

Before starting: I’ve recently researched quite a bit around using it for various things as I need to double down on reading, studying and such before the pandemic is over; I have a stack of unread books that have to be read by the time I go travelling again.

After using for a while: I like the concept but it seems it is to rigid for my life. It seems I don’t have good enough of a routine and stability to keep up with the exact demands of Beeminder. In a sense that only means that I have created the wrong goals/measured the wrong things, which might offer a possible solution as well.

  • Ten Months of Programming
    A guy who temporarily used Beeminder to really go through a transformative learning experience for 10 months.
    This he does by aiming to complete a set of goals he set for himself, some I found interesting were:
    • Spend 500 Hours Programming
    • Write Technical Blog Posts
    • Schedule Review and Assimilation
  • Beeminder
    Talking about his experiences using Beeminder in many ways in his life.
  • Beeminding for fun and profit
    A guy who uses Beeminder for everything.
  • How I Use Beeminder
    General talk and a list of goal categories.
  • Eight years of Beeminder - This guy has used Beeminder for eight (eight!) years.