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Thursday, 23. November 12023
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Karabiner is life changing tool that lets you remap keys at a low level on macOS. (Via lobste.rs.)

I completely remapped my keyboard with it and every key on my keyboard is a custom modifier key that I can program to do what I want.

Relevant: Goku is a tool that lets you manage your Karabiner configuration with ease.

Source: imgs.xkcd.com

Email obfuscation: What still works in 2023?

Relevant: 22 years ago.

Pure Functional Programming in Excel.

Relevant: Spreadsheets and Small Software.

Wednesday, 22. November 12023
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The Red Programming Language.

Red is a next-gen programming language, strongly inspired by REBOL.

Monday, 20. November 12023
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On OpenAI : Let Them Fight.

The story Altman had been telling was too good, too compelling. He will be far less effective at telling that story now. People are going to ask tougher questions of him and his peers. They might even ask follow-ups to his glib replies. I could hardly imagine a better outcome.

Sunday, 19. November 12023
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I sometimes use the nonsensical word hullaballa for bogus input or output in testing, like username, passwords, log messages etc.

Watching The Doors movie from 1991 (oh, the agony – oh, the hairdo!) I saw there was a music magazine called Hullabaloo, later renamed to Circus.

It does not seem to be the first magazine with this name; there is an article from a 1931(!) issue of Time Magazine stating:

When the incredible magazine which is now Ballyhoo was in preparation. Publisher George T. Delacorte Jr. wondered what to call it. He and Editor Norman Hume Anthony favored Hullabaloo for a title but were afraid it might infringe on the rights of Cartoonist Peter Arno whose book of last year bore that name.

I have no memory where I (mis)took hullaballa from; according to Merriam-Webster hullabaloo is a loud, continued noise or mixture of noises –  synonymous to ballyhoo.

Saturday, 18. November 12023
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Notes to the talk rejected by RubyConf.

Language, perception, and empathy: Ukrainian's gaze.

(…) there is a repetitive story of how a struggle to state a few phrases of code clearer uncovers an architectural-layer problem, otherwise invisible through a massive of visibly clean code that follows the common style and gives descriptive names to everything and split into small methods yet loses “what was intended to say here” somewhere in the middle.
We mix our core beliefs and values, like “unprovoked aggression is bad” or “decoupling of concerns is good,” with the particular system of thinking which holds them currently, without noticing when it limits the ways we can look at the problem: “unprovoked aggression is bad, and there can’t be any serious war, it is just some dirty politics and news hype,” or “decoupling is good, and we should put every thing in either model, view, or controller.”

This stochastic Parrot has ceased to exist.

Oops! We Automated Bullshit.

AI systems like ChatGPT are trained with text from Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, and other huge archives of bullshit, alongside plenty of actual facts (including Wikipedia and text ripped off from professional writers). But there is no algorithm in ChatGPT to check which parts are true. The output is literally bullshit, exactly as defined by philosopher Harry Frankfurt, and as we would expect from Graeber’s study of bullshit jobs.

Relevant: Moral Codes – Designing alternatives to AI.

Lessons from METAFONT.

Metafont’s author, Donald Knuth, is primarily known for his multi-volume masterpiece, the Art of Computer Programming. All Knuth’s work on typesetting and font creation software is, on the face of it, nothing more than an effort to get his book printed to a reasonable standard.

Relevant: Nara – the typeface that never existed.

Like NPM for everything, but using Nix.

Devbox is a command-line tool that lets you easily create isolated shells for development.

You start by defining the list of packages required for your project, and Devbox creates an isolated, reproducible environment with those packages installed.

Update: This is game changer! devbox global add can install almost everything the platform-specific package manger is needed for – up to now. Even on macOS Brew or MacPorts become less important.