Semi-Random Musings

The whole blogging thing doesn’t really work for me; the majority of the time, anything I want to write about is either not substantial enough or—much more likely!—not thought-through enough to make the effort worthwhile. So I’m going to give this a try: posting stuff that’s (possibly) longer than a tweet but (probably) shorter than an essay.


Going through some of the “back catalogue” in my Apple Music library… this album reminds me of moving to New York; it was on heavy rotation for me around that time, especially Lanterns and Wild at Heart.

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I am a fan of both the em-dash (and the ellipsis!), but will admit to using the double-hyphen on occasion—but most software is pretty good at doing the ol’ switcheroo with that one, so it’s easier to get away with. Now that I know the Option + Shift + - shortcut though, I’m going to try and mend my evil ways.

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This is pretty cool: a web demo of Oskar Stålberg‘s Townscaper. I bought it for my Switch back in August—there’s no story or objective, you just assemble the blocks to build your little island town. Kind of relaxing, really.

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Whoa. You don’t need to watch this all the way through to get the gist of it, but if you have a few minutes to kill, it’s pretty fun.

(Via Laughing Squid)

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This is the best refutation of the (fallacious) “I have nothing to hide” argument about privacy I’ve read yet:

Don’t confuse privacy with secrecy. I know what you do in the bathroom, but you still close the door. That’s because you want privacy, not secrecy.

That’s definitely the highlight, but the whole piece is worth a read and should only take a few minutes of your time.

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Kottke posted about this yesterday, but Tuesday’s WITI covered a topic near to my heart: the murder mystery novel. You’ll see Agatha Christie pop up from time to time in my reading list; detective stories are high on my list of go-to vacation reads.

Of additional interest are Knox’s 10 Rules of Detective Fiction, especially at the moment as my wife and I are watching Only Murders in the Building—it adheres to a pretty classic murder story structure where you can definitely see some of these rules in action.

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I am starting this Thanksgiving with a bit of a post-Covid vaccine booster hangover, and even though I feel a little under the weather, I could not be more thankful.

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It occurred to me earlier that I’ve never really sat down and thought about why I spend time messing about with this site. So I did, and typed them up.

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Your work will be endless, but your time is finite. You cannot limit the work so you must limit your time. Hours are the only thing you can manage.” Kevin Kelly

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How all vacation house shower faucets work:

A diagram showing how narrow the window for a comfortable shower temperature is

(That’s “holiday house” and “shower taps” for those of you who speak the Queen’s English.)

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Filed under definitely-not-light-reading-but-sounds-fascinating: Algorithms to Live By by Brian Christian and Tom Griffiths. I started reading about sorting algorithms a while back, after seeing a visualization of how different types work (volume down on this one!), but quickly got out of my depth—hardcore computer science is not my strong suit. This looks like it might be an easier introduction to the broader subject.

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This is why your TV was so cheap.

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Ummm, yeah. A lot of good points made in this thread.

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I’ve had a long-running admiration of/obsession with Andy Matuschak’s working notes. This is partly based on the systems he uses (both the technical system he has built for himself and the note-taking methodology he uses), and partly because I think I’m generally impressed by people with deep expertise in a subject area—it doesn’t matter what; in Andy’s case, it happens to be the bases of knowledge work, but it could equally be someone who is a master woodworker, or a horologist, or a cobbler, or a PhD.

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Is it wrong for a 40-something year old to want a LEGO set for Christmas? Because I would totally ask Santa for this 6,785-piece LEGO AT-AT, except I know Santa, and she would look at me like I’m an idiot if I asked her to get me an $800 LEGO set. But a minifigure-scale model like this is the stuff my dreams were made of as a kid. And it looks so awesome (and so do the build photos in the review)!

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John Cleese knew what was what way back in 1976.

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Why is it so hard to find a (relatively) simple method to sync a directory on a Mac with a directory on a Linux server over ssh? There are a bunch of complicated ways to do it, but I really can’t be bothered messing about with them right now.

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I came across the IndieWeb community recently and have spent a bit of time poking around the site; I’m already on board with ideas like “own your data“, but they also outline a number of other concepts that I think I’d like to explore further and maybe incorporate here, like POSSE.

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