In the pinewood [video]

I went for a walk in the local pinewood the other day. It’s one of my favorite places, especially the least frequented parts, where one can walk for hours (and risk getting lost) without meeting anyone. I cut it shorter this time as it started to drip rain, and I had nothing with me.

May 3, 2024

Quoting Ralph Waldo Emerson

I cannot remember the books I’ve read any more than the meals I have eaten; even so, they have made me. – Ralph Waldo Emerson (debated, see here)

April 29, 2024

Quoting Moxie Marlinspike

It’s very fast to build something that’s 90% of a solution. The problem is that the last 10% of building something is usually the hard part which really matters, and with a black box at the center of the product, it feels much more difficult to me to nail that remaining 10%. Closing that gap with gen AI feels much more fickle to me than a normal engineering problem. It could be that I’m unfamiliar with it, but I also wonder if some classes of generative AI based products are just doomed to mediocrity as a result....

April 27, 2024

Quoting Ken Thompson

The moral is obvious. You can’t trust code that you did not totally create yourself. No amount of source-level verification or scrutiny will protect you from using untrusted code. – Ken Thompson His 1984 Turing Award paper on supply chain security is only four pages long and is worth reading repeatedly.

April 26, 2024

Tor: from the Dark Web to the Future of Privacy

This one looks like a promising read: Tor, one of the most important and misunderstood technologies of the digital age, is best known as the infrastructure underpinning the so-called Dark Web. But the real “dark web,” when it comes to Tor, is the hidden history brought to light in this book: where this complex and contested infrastructure came from, why it exists, and how it connects with global power in intricate and intimate ways....

April 26, 2024

Spellbound Contemporary Ballet's The Art of Fugue

Yesterday, Serena and I went to see Spellbound Contemporary Ballet’s The Art of Fugue, a performance based on J.S. Bach’s unfinished work. I have been gifting Serena two subscriptions to our city’s theater’s dance season for some years. She loves dance, both classic and contemporary. I thought I did not. Usually, she goes with one of her best friends. I don’t remember ever going before, and yesterday, I only went because none of her friends were available....

April 22, 2024

Cowboy Bebop

I have been following Cowboy Bebop on Netflix (the anime, not the spinoff TV series). The opening is a visual and musical marvel; I’m enthralled by it. The show’s soundtrack is a unique blend of jazz (big band hard bop, mainly), blues, and a bit of rock, which I’ve never seen before in anime and probably in movies. Even episode titles pay tribute to jazz, blues and rock tracks. We have “Valtz for Venus,” “Sympathy for the Devil,” “My Funny Valentine,” and stuff like that....

April 19, 2024

Redis is forked

Vicki Boykis has a good piece on Redis’s recent vicissitudes. At the same time, she recaps where we stand and sings the praises of a project that many are fond of, and not just for its technical worth. I, like many developers who have worked on high-scale, low-latency web services over the last fifteen years, have an intimate relationship with Redis. At any new job, when you ask where the data is, and someone points you to a server address with port 6379, you know you will meet an good, reliable friend there....

April 19, 2024

AI isn't useless. But is it worth it?

Molly White’s experience with LLMs corresponds more or less with my own, but she is much better at recounting, critiquing, and drawing conclusions than I am. I find my feelings about AI are actually pretty similar to my feelings about blockchains: they do a poor job of much of what people try to do with them, they can’t do the things their creators claim they one day might, and many of the things they are well suited to do may not be altogether that beneficial....

April 18, 2024

I am speaking at ABP Dotnet Conf'24

I am thrilled to have the opportunity to present at an international conference once again. On May 9th, I will speak at the ABP Donet Conf'24. My session, titled C #12: What’s New and Interesting, is on a topic I’m passionate about. With the alignment of C# and Dotnet Core release cycles, the C# release cadence has increased (we’re on a yearly cycle now), while feature quantity has reduced for individual releases, which is good....

April 15, 2024