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Ideas I frequently invoke:

- Philip Guo on silent technical privilege

- Bryn Hammond on silenced history

- Duncan Watts on cumulative advantage, or, MusicLab, in the top ten scientific experiments ever

- AnimeFeminist for their critiques and season guides

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“Fischer Black thought that got the right price within a factor of two about 90 per cent of the time… I knew Fischer pretty well, and he didn’t throw numbers like those around lightly; he thought long and hard about them, even though they sound like the kind of rough figures other people would come up with quickly. We argued quite a bit about them, and I pushed for ‘within a factor of two about half the time’.” —Aaron Brown

*Financial Risk Management for Dummies* chapter 4 = 🔥

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“Taking less risk than is optimal is not safer; it just locks in a worse outcome. In competitive fields, doing less than the best often means failing completely. Taking more risk than is optimal also results in a worse outcome, and often leads to complete disaster.”
—Aaron Brown, “Red-Blooded Risk”

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Enormous Cantonese rap playlist 

Some folks were ~dismissive at my love of , because of course “all you need is Mandarin”, 🖕 but! Because of those haters I went to look, and the internet delivered!!!

Reddit users have compiled a magnificent playlist of Canto

with a ton of juicy tracks. Definitely stick around to female rappers GTB’s lit track.

Every day now feels like I’m at the HK bakery!

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I don't think about the byte order mark (BOM) very often (, but every time I do, I think of Park Bom from , that mega- idol group that fellow stans of a certain age will all remember.

Personal tech direction musing 

Still really having fun digging into with . Had an algorithmic spot of bother with Day 10

since I'm trash at depth-first searches, and went to look at the stats at

and indeed, day 10 has the fourth highest ratio of half-solutions to full-solutions: out of twenty-five days, it was the forth hardest—twice as "hard" as the previous "hardest" one (day 4, which was just tedious).

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(I see Taleb has written, "Respect the janitor more than the chairman and respect those who respect the janitor more than the chairman". Is he still a Trump apologist?)

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I came to a similar decision as this person:

by reading Nayar's *Employees First, Customers Second* in school, then noticing bosses & customers undermining my ability to execute their own projects. I began distrusting higher-ups & keep them on short leashes.

Meanwhile, I do everything I can to support and help my peers and juniors. They’re the ones I want to please and impress.

Also an aphorism?—"be warm to your juniors, cold to your superiors" (maybe that ass Taleb?)

Grouchy take 

Our collaboration tools before pandemic—whiteboard and crowding around a screen/projector connected to a laptop—were shitty too.

Our current collaboration tools are only slightly worse.

I’m still waiting for computing to revolutionize collaboration, for the paradigm shift to arrive.

What people were saying about YAML a decade+ ago (nerd 💩) 

Wow, this bit from 2009 on Stack Overflow did not pan out:

“in the long term, I think YAML will be a more robust and viable data serialization format [than JSON]”

I don’t mean to roast the person who made the wrong prediction, more like, wow I forgot for a bit we didn’t know that YAML was so gauche.

22 boosted

ancient astronauts in SF 

Here is the link for my Zoom presentation on 8 May "Ancient Astronauts Built the Science Fiction of Egypt" #sf #scienceFiction

Typing arrows on iPhone 

Don’t know how to make arrows in English keyboard on iOS but it’s easy with the Japanese QWERTY keyboard:

Z+hjkl creates ←↓↑→ etc.

In kana keyboard, you can flick-right on 1 to get →, and autocomplete offers you the other arrows, per the screenshot.

(My favorite iPhone typography trick is long-pressing 0 to get the degrees symbol so 15 °C is effortless to type 😁. But I use arrows more than degrees.)


Twelve years ago, someone asked "how to make format code when you save?"

200'000 people have visited the question.

Nothing good. (Macros and keyboard overrides aren't "good".)

First noble truth.


Remember how Gutenberg created hundreds of extra types to recreate all the little flourishes that monk-copied hand-written texts at the time had?

How it takes a (long) while before new tech starts solving *new* problems instead of just solving the same *old* problems?

This is the next evolution of books enabled by computing. Kindle—don't make me laugh 😭. Hypertext—mm, not bad 🤔. But using computing and spaced repetition to remember? 🤯


Youth With You 3 milk mess 

This tweet by the journalist made this story really human:

‘heard my flatmate, who has been milk-voting for her “pick” every day, screaming at midnight yesterday after govt suspended the idol contest. fans are wondering if all the milk they bought/drank will be for nothing’

Without this, the actual story would be clinically dry I think. Like a think tank white paper rather than Vice. Wonder why.

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Personal tech direction musing 

Began digging into .

JVM is a big gamble, instead of , or instead of doubling down on or tripling-down on .

Youth With You 3 milk mess 

Reading about the Chinese idol tryout shows where the public votes by buying diary products from a sponsoring firm and—

"She sends money to a fan group and receives photos of the QR codes on milk packaging, but she is not aware where exactly the milk goes."

These fan groups, like fansub groups, are so organized! The organizers probably wouldn't list them on resumes but they totally should—employers should jump at the chance of hiring them.

In my house of course we all love and . Wonder what it’d take to get him to do a .

Ohh snap it’s so new Mastodon emoji doesn’t render it properly! Unicode 13.1 released last year.

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Love it when typing in another language teaches me about emoji I didn’t know about. Typed モヤモヤ and autocomplete suggested 😶‍🌫️.

Talk on Chinese, Japanese, and Korean text processing 

I gave a talk at my team’s informal lunch and learn on CJK languages and text processing. You can read it in the blog format here:

(which is produced from the markdown with Pandoc. I used to render the markdown as slides so the photos and videos were big.)

Happy for feedback, corrections, comments, and questions from the community here.

When I worked at a security-conscious firm, they worried that Google or DuckDuckGo could figure out what we were building based on our searches.

Just realized tho that *anyone* who looks at my Stack Overflow voting history

has a pretty good idea what I'm working on too 😫.

But then I see, hooray!!!, votes are private! You can only see my comments, not my upvotes/downvotes.

Back to being super-secure.

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security and privacy friendly file transfer 

Dropbox and WeTransfer have so many third-party scripts and trackers these days (or annoying animations in the background!)

What is the security and privacy friendly way of transferring files to acquaintances (so people who don't want to have to do anything more than click a link and choose where to save it)?

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