I heard from a recruiter today for a job “with 100 fortune of Canada”. Also no punctuation. And yes, I am a language snob. But if your job requires communication skills, why does this happen all the time?

English is my second language too so I feel entitled to complain about it. Words matter.

If it wasn’t already obvious, it is now painfully clear that the United States have lost the moral high ground when lecturing other countries about democracy.

I just finished re-reading Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption. I had forgotten how good the short story is, and how much of it was used almost verbatim in the movie. Such genius. 👌🏻

Everybody’s doing a conclusion to this year from hell so here’s mine. What happened in 2020? It’s like I didn’t do anything. Didn’t travel, didn’t have drinks with friends, didn’t go to any weddings, didn’t attend any memorable concert, didn’t see any great movie, didn’t go to the gym, didn’t go to any climate march, didn’t, didn’t, didn’t. I have no memories. 2020 is a memory hole. So there.

Maybe once it’s all over and the frustration has subsided, I can look back and actually remember the things I did do.

What a waste of focus and attention this Brexit saga has been. The time and mental energy people have had to put into this would have been much better used advancing climate and social issues. Seriously.

It came up a couple times recently that junior developers can do the easy stuff, “like the UI”. I’ve seen that happen often and I couldn’t disagree more.

UI is the integration of all sub-layers and it’s hard to do it well. It’s also the area that is the most nuanced and that most affects the users’ perception of your app.

Don’t put cheap money on your UI. Do it right.

When I was young, I used to wonder how factories could keep producing stuff day after day after day and no one seemed to be worried about it. The word “unsustainable” wasn’t in my vocabulary at the time. Now I keep thinking “anthropocene” and that our parent’s generation had no concept of human beings having the capacity to shape a planet.

Now human-made stuff outweighs the Earth’s biomass. Think about that.

Anybody remembers Quicksilver? qsapp.com! That used to be the first thing I would install on a new Mac. Anyway, I was subscribed to the RSS feed at blog.qsapp.com. But a couple weeks ago someone started posting photos there. This somehow points to Tumblr now, whereas qsapp.com is still the old app. What the wizardry?

So now we can buy Apple AirPods for the price we used to pay for an iPhone. I find comfort in knowing I’m not the target audience.

That $3500 CAD MacBook Pro though, before tax? I am the target audience. Geeze.

Mike Monteiro, in a greatly written piece about privilege and discomfort:

To grow up white and male, within a system that is designed specifically for you to succeed, and yet not succeed… Well, that’s embarrassing, and Trump was giving those white males an out.

So much insight in the whole thing. Highly recommended read.

Every time I click that “I never signed up for this mailing list” option when unsubscribing, I think the correct phrasing should be “Don’t be coy. You signed me up without asking, you fuckers.”

The two RSS reader apps I’ve been using forever have either lagged in updates (ReadKit) or gone subscription (Unread).

Being a developer, I certainly think there are cases where monthly payments make sense (and I pay for some things that way), but a “reader” app that shows content from other sources is not it.

As a replacement solution, last week I purchased Reeder for macOS and iOS. So far I’m very happy with the polish and delightful details. Very well done.

It’s interesting, not necessarily in a good way, that so many people are willing to call out Clump’s lies now that the wind is blowing the other way.

Most news organizations were “reporting” his lies without challenge or even identifying them as such. But now, Fox News? Republicans? Twitter and Facebook? Hello, where were you the last four years.

I know I’ve said it before but let me indulge. Kottke.org is the best blog on Earth and you’re missing out if you’re not following it. I’ve been reading it for about 20 years and am happily renewing my subscription. So many things I’ve come to be aware of in my life happened via Kottke. The Internet can seem like a lot of crap sometimes, but Jason consistently finds the gems that make it interesting, alive and personal.

About software development, a friend of mine used to say that after a while everything old is new again. We constantly invent new programming languages, frameworks and paradigms, but very little of it allows apps to do things that truly couldn’t be done before.

I’m comparing mobile apps I built 8 years ago with apps I built recently. Different languages, different tools, different APIs, but could the core of today’s apps be built with the tech from 8 years ago? Absolutely.

Software development tends to be regarded as an engineering practice. But something dear to me is that it’s also creative work. Writing words, creating entities, giving them behaviour and meaning, that is very much what an author does when writing fiction. It’s an art and a craft. That’s personally why I like doing it.

This engineering vs art duality is not recognized nearly enough. Computers talk in zeros and ones, but writing code is far from an exact science.

An awful advice I read recently for software developers was to write blog posts and articles, because it positions you as an authority. You write about it, you’re an authority on the matter. See how easy it is?

If you think you’re concerned about the products and devices that access and use your life’s data, you’re probably not concerned enough.

Damning words from Nemonte Nenquimo, Waorani leader in the Amazon:

[W]e have a word for you – the outsider, the stranger. In my language, WaoTededo, that word is “cowori”. And it doesn’t need to be a bad word. But you have made it so. For us, the word has come to mean (and in a terrible way, your society has come to represent): the white man that knows too little for the power that he wields, and the damage that he causes.

It’s sad how much of Stack Overflow is filled with people repeating already given answers. More and more I see the same response with minor variations. Not surprising though when you realize the system encourages people to use it as a tool to up their reputation.

It’s also sad how much of a focus there is on quick fixes, but not understanding. Too often I see advice that only works in a specific context and the poster is oblivious to that.

The true value of work has been on my mind lately. Is it worth doing as the primary activity of our lives? Work is not a cosmic good and it’s not a requirement for living. It pays the bills, supports my family, but beyond that what do I get out of it?

Most companies make it sound like the work is mission critical and has to be completed on schedule. But it’s a hamster wheel. What I was doing 20 years ago, I still did 10 years ago and I’m still doing it today. Has that work changed the world? Not really.

Maybe it’s time to realize we’re just feeding the machine. Capitalism and infinite growth are human constructs. As such, they can be reconsidered. Right on queue, The Guardian has an article on that.

Many people think using Google, Amazon, Facebook et al is the only way. But that’s not true and we have to be more vocal about doing it differently.

I don’t use Google or Chrome, I don’t shop at Amazon, I don’t ride with Uber, I’m not on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. And you know what, life is fine.

Always room for improvement, but this is what I do currently.

  • I follow news and people using Feedly, and I read it when I very well please.
  • I host my own email and my own microblog with WordPress.
  • I use non-algorithm alternatives like Mastodon and PixelFed.
  • I block ads and tracking with 1Blocker, Better Blocker and DuckDuckGo.
  • I prioritize buying local and I encourage a variety of vendors. Let bookstores sell books and grocery stores sell groceries!

I watched The Social Dilemma on Netflix last night. I highly recommend it to everyone, even if you think you know the deal. The social fabric is eroding while unregulated corporations watch and monetize everything you do. This isn’t science fiction, this is right now. It’s not inevitable. We all have to wake up and demand regulation.