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I'm learning for work so I rewrote my little robot that adds speech to all my flaschards! It's so much better and faster than the previous Selenium version.

I think it's almost user-friendly—you will need to do is create an IAM account for AWS (since it uses ), which is hard.

We have ~3'200 flashcards in Memrise that have each have two AWS Polly voices (masc and femme). It's a system that, surprisingly, works really well for us.

Child: “dwarves would have a hard time during covid wearing masks—beard.” 🧔

I miss . What he’d have made of pandemic. Littlebottom would scold Angua for not wearing the wolf mask she designed.

N95 mask availability complaint 

I also will try out EnvoMask (which I learned about from which, internet being what it is, seems suspicious but it's author co-authored a piece with well-respected physicians:

Airline employees following their mystic corporate commandments likely won't allow half-respirators (much safer than a surgical or a cloth mask); they might still object to an EnvoMask depending on how zealous their faith is—hence N95 backup.

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N95 mask availability complaint 

🤯 that a year into the pandemic, N95 masks are still so hard to find in USA.

Grainger (well-known parts supplier) has Moldex N95s in stock, in medium/large size, which I obtained and am happy with, but it’s proven impossible to find small or extra-small N95 masks.

I invariably wear a half-respirator with N95-grade cartridges when going indoors (take-out, <5 mins at a time; grocery stores, <30 min)—highly effective—but will need “normal” masks for flying soon.

and are very interesting and all, but I wonder how to properly measure prediction of events like global pandemic, asteroid collision, earthquake-induced human casualties, etc.

These events have non-negligible probabilities year after year. Are they just less interesting than the normal “is event E going to happen before date D?” questions that Good Judgement Project asks—which seem interesting only until one of those chronic low-probability-high-impact black swans.

Just to affirm something crucial: neither money nor time nor being able-bodied are necessary for life improvement, and the above are offered for those that might have these requirements in sufficient supply to try these proposed life quality upgrades.

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I hesitated tooting this for a while because it seemed close to advertising, and also my discomfort with promoting improvements to life quality via spending…

So to balance, here's another life quality improvement that only costs time.

+YouTube. My family introduced me to 30 Days of Yoga with Adrienne. She deserves all the fame she has, and every day I don't do a lesson, I can feel it.

I tried her "Home" series and missed the physicality of "30 Days" so went back to that. You'll love it.

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It's been about a year since I bought an air quality sensor, prompted by Ruby on Rails inventor DHH's tweet:

The main concern there, CO2→headache and cognitive impairment, is definitely something I've experienced—the sensor helps me know when to open a window, even in winter.

But something else I've come to appreciate this winter: a lot of my headache and sinus pain is also caused by low humidity—humidifiers help a lot with this.

A nice life quality improvement.

(About rich people) 

Spare a thought for someone I know who in 2019–2020 bought $40'000 of crypto that's now worth $350'000, and their daily torture of deciding whether to hold or sell.

(Describing this situation to a primary schooler who said, "I would sell right now", to which I replied, "Ah, but with that attitude you'd have sold at $60'000 or $80'000 right, you'd never have gotten to $200'000 or $300'000 let alone $350'000" and primary schooler realizing risk management is hard.)

“During periods of investor euphoria, value investing will appear stingy and pessimistic in its estimates of intrinsic value. Its requirements that value be found in assets and earnings power will seem antediluvian when radically new technologies or other innovations are promising a boundless future for cutting-edge companies” —Greenwald et al., “Value Investing: From Graham to Buffett and Beyond” (first edition)

A coworker was telling the story of a former employer who expanded their business too fast by taking too many loans that became hard to properly manage, and I began thinking that the situation reminded me of technical debt, till I remembered that technical debt is just a metaphor for real debt.

My bros telling me about big payoffs from GameStonks and Bitcoin, and I’m remembering this tidbit from my fave :

‘what we often want is not so much to experience the “best” of everything as it is to experience the same things as other people and thereby also experience the benefits of sharing.’

People are uncritically repeating studies showing you can’t beat the market. If your conclusion from that is as an individual to buy-and-hold a low-cost S&P500 ETF, that’s fine. But asset managers and their clients aren’t throwing money away—you can beat the market. Norway’s oil trust is the single largest owner of stocks in the world and has “a clear ambition to outperform the equity market” (p 7, They buy the world but omit bad companies found via forensic accounting.

TFW it’s easier to find washi tape in someone’s house than scotch tape.

I feel like the ultra-nerd: Karnaugh maps! 

Oh I'm so silly, I missed:


and CASE

which are of course much better at transmitting intent than either of these boolean expressions.

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I feel like the ultra-nerd: Karnaugh maps! 

I haven't used Karnaugh maps since I was struggling thru first-year digital circuits course but today I used them: SQL CHECKs are booleans and SQLite doesn't seem to have ternary syntax so, to encode

a ? b : true

I wrote out the truth table, popped it into and got:

b || !a


Now I look at it tho… a bit hard to read right? Maybe I should use

a && b || !a

and continue saying I've never used K-maps in real life 😂

I liked all the songs the guest picked for this 2020 episode of podcast: plus your usual podcast apps

(No tankie cringe here, they talk frankly about the insanity in Xinjiang when discussing rappers Athree.)

Reading 's blockbuster on system design and innovator's dilemma:

while simultaneously revisiting 's earth-shattering lecture on grain domestication and early states:

and realizing—sedentary agricultural states were the ARM to barbarians' Intel—initially shitty but developed the breakthroughs (like tanks, etc.) needed to out-barbarian the barbarians.


(Yes, he uses "barbarian" tongue in cheek, 'for your amusement'.)

Horrifying bug TypeScript didn't save me from 

I was using a variable, `name`, without defining it but didn't warn me???

No, I did not mean 😩 which is an ambient declaration TypeScript just knows about when targeting the DOM 😭. Feels like a betrayal.

jq json nerd stuff nobody cares about 

Working thru and wishing existed 20 years ago so young me could have learned it when they had lots of time instead of now when I'm old and lazy.

I'm not yet sure command-line JSON-poking beats the graphical view+search in browsers' dev consoles, but it's ridiculous to paste 20mb JSON into Firefox…

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