Journal

Nikola's thoughts and discoveries

Here we go, as unrewarding – and dangerous – it can be, I would like to look at 2021 ahead of us and make some decisions. Those I didn't make just now, it's been cooking in me for a while now, but making it this public, regardless of how many people will read it (probably more bots will, but that's something too), I am making a stand and also it will serve as fun reading in some 12 months after this.

What is it that I will invest my energy this year?

First of all a language. French language that is. I live in France and I want to perfect it, since I still largely use English due to work.

There's one more language I want to tackle: the #Go programming language. To perfect it too. I've been based in #PHP and #Python for too long, and my vast experience in 6510 assembler is not going to be useful a lot this year. I've been following people who started playing with it and they are already creating wonderful projects only few months down the learning road. I want to go on that road too.

The last point I will focus on is #blockchain. More specifically smart contracts most probably in #Ethereum virtual machine. It fascinates me for quite some time and, aside some baby steps, I haven't spent much time investigating and discovering that space.

So there it is, the whole plan. Sprinkle it with many smaller side-projects and I have 12 fun months ahead of me.

Here are more interesting things I have read in this edition of #SundayReading.

1. There's something called Second-system effect. I have lived it, and I never knew it was already known phenomenon.

The second-system effect (also known as second-system syndrome) is the tendency of small, elegant, and successful systems, to be succeeded by over-engineered, bloated systems, due to inflated expectations and overconfidence.

2. Mario Vargas Llosa won Nobel Prize in Literature way back in 2010. During one of Nobel laureate meetings he gave a speech titled Confessions of a Latin American Liberal. Powerful and always worth re-reading.

By agreeing to live with those who are different, human beings took the most extraordinary step on the road to civilization.

A view

3. The great disillusionist, reminds of Giacomo Leopardi, a famous Italian.

One can measure the extent of a society’s civilisation by the diversity of opinion it is willing to countenance.

4. Robert Anton Wilson is an author whose time is yet to come, I believe. Here's one of his interviews, and I'll select an answer to a question What are the fundamentalists afraid of? He said:

Themselves. What they’re afraid of is change. One etymology of “devil” traces it to “double.” It’s the shadow, the repressed part of the self. What they’re afraid of is what Freud called the unconscious: parts of their nervous system which they have blocked off from conscious perception. The only way they know how to handle it is the traditional human way of picking scapegoats and ritually driving them over a cliff. You can study how widespread this phenomena is by studying anthropological texts. The fact is we’re living at the time of the greatest acceleration of change in human history, and it’s not letting up: the acceleration itself is accelerating. The rate of change is getting faster all the time. So people with rigid mental sets, people whose nervous systems are heavily imprinted with a past reality, for them the world gets to seem stranger and stranger and therefore more and more sinister, more and more frightening. This is why the average liberal becomes a conservative within about 10 years. His nervous system isn’t changing any more but the world is. So the world begins to seem stranger and more frightening and he begins to see “those conservatives have got something there; there’s something sinister going on. We’ve got to slow down a little. Let’s not get too reckless.” And of course in 20 years he’s a reactionary.

Happy reading, until the next time.

Preface: I'll be gathering interesting things I've read previous week each Sunday and putting them here, with short commentary or a quote from text. Here's a tag you can subscribe to: #SundayReading.

1. Problems with paywalls.

Newspapers publish articles – factual and opinionated – intending them to enter the public square as a topic of discussion. But if the discussions in the public square have an entry fee, the public square becomes smaller and less diverse.

2. The Curse of Konzo, story about devastating disease behind a perplexing outbreak of paralysis in northern Mozambique. Hans Rosling was involved, too.

In short: only poor people suffer the curse of konzo.

3. Scary and very opinionated story how wars always come home. Reminded me about how my country of origin refused to deal with violent mass-murderers from war and let them roam the country.

The tools of empire don’t stay overseas, trained solely on those designated as the empire’s enemies; they find new targets, new uses, in the hands of people looking to grab the shreds of power left behind as the empire collapses in on itself.

Makarska, Croatia

4. How lockdown awakened my memories of Bosnia and the war. Author writes how the lockdown rehashed memories of injuries past that had never properly healed, and I feel the same focusing more on inside with this extra time.

I guess that, by now, it's tradition to restart my blog on various platforms. Here's what it took to run this one using writefreely. I work in company that runs apps, so I always experiment with other tools and this time I am running this blog on #Docker using Traefik to route the data around.

Read more...

Start of new blogging period, this time using writefreely. It's not easy to set it up, one of the future posts will be about how to do it.

In the meantime, please feel free to stick around if you are interested in technology and random thoughts of a guy that's running a lot of Internet infrastructure.