Daily log: August 31, 2019
Spent a while brainstorming things that are Out to Get Me:
They seek resources at your expense. Fees are hidden. Extra options are foisted upon you. Things are made intentionally worse, forcing you to pay to make it less worse. Least bad deals require careful search. Experiences are not as advertised. What you want is buried underneath stuff you don’t want. Everything is data to sell you something, rather than an opportunity to help you.
[...] When you listen to a political speech, you feel it. Dealing with your wireless or cable company, you feel it. At the car dealership, you feel it. When you deal with that one would-be friend, you feel it. Thinking back on that one ex, you feel it. It’s a trap.
As a side effect of the exercise I’ve realized that “thinking outside the box” and “being too lazy to figure out what exactly the author had in mind and going with the interpretation you like” are pretty similar from the outside. Not the point, though.
What is out to get me?
- Refactoring? Writing good documentation? Contributing to open-source?
- Hacker News, Reddit, Twitter. Rewatching Charlie Brooker clips over and over. Haskell-related chats.
- Listening to music and trying to find more good music.
- Projects like Codesearch that are nifty and nothing beyond that. Same for smaller libs like microlens – the time spent on them is absolutely not worth the result.
- Guitar. Learning recognizable parts of popular songs, but never something whole, and never something that would keep the listener curious from the first note to the last.
- Living with people: going to places together, watching TV shows together, etc.
All of that is “out to get me” in a pretty loose sense – takes potentially unbounded time, and only brings back proportional value (but not exponential).
Further reflection produced several random revelations (as well as an excuse for alliteration). First of all, the best way to avoid refactoring code is, obviously, not writing any code. Goal for the next half a year: identified. Next, I should give up on guitar until I find a guitar tutor. Finally, living with people seems very useful if I can run ideas by them, not very useful otherwise. Goal for the previous N years: de-identified.
Reviewed a Guide PR I was postponing for two days. The interesting part is that this PR replaced carefully constructed Postgres schemas with dumb “let’s just store everything as JSON” storage (with my blessing).
My reasoning was basically that storing nested documents in a relational database is tricky, plus it creates extra invariants that the database can not verify anyway. But my slightly deeper reasoning was “if I hate an idea, there’s probably something to it”. I will keep you updated.
Speaking of “if I hate an idea, there’s probably something to it”, I now have How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big and Atlas Shrugged in my reading pipeline.
The former is just conservative-ish enough to maybe be worthwhile. The second one is more interesting – it touches the dreaded “liberalism/individualism” square of the Tilted Political Compass, and by “touches” I mean “throws a 60-page monolog at you”. That’s a kinda long monolog. Monolong. Wish me luck.
I have three hypotheses: a) individualism is stupid, b) individualism somehow secretly leads to Faster Progress in Society even when it tells you that you should care about yourself and not about the society, and c) I don’t know what individualism is and I should just read the book. My bets are on (b), although (c) is a strong contender.
Finally, bought the Procreate drawing app for my sister and she has already spent three hours drawing. Worth it. Also, all other apps I’ve seen seem to be crappy, so – double worth it.
€11 feels expensive for an app because [stupid biases of some kind], so I justified it by resolving to earn the same amount by working a bit more. Admittedly, this particular case wasn’t well thought out because it clashed with “don’t work on a weekend”.
(The weekend won.)