“All to say: scientists create dangerous synthetic viruses to achieve “high-impact” scientific output. I’m not saying this is the only reason, but it is a significant reason. In my mind, likely the main reason. Ethical and technical arguments are the ego of science, but the id is always funding and prestige.”




Vim articles often fall into two traps: too beginner-focused (not a bad thing, but makes them less useful for a regular user), or too focused obscure, niche features with limited usefulness. This one avoids both of those IMHO. Pragmatic tips from an experienced VIm user.



Use getAwesomeness() to retrieve all amazing awesomeness from Github

Helpful “best of” links about programming languages, developer tools, and more. Nicely organized, well curated.

Spent hours last night trying to get Nextcloud on Android do automatic syncing. Nope, only manual sync works, and in general the github issue conversations have left me with a bad impression of the Nextcloud Android app. I want to move away from Dropbox, but looks like it has to be to another proprietary service if I want reliabiliity. 🙁

குவாண்டம் உலகத்தில் ரகசியங்களைப் பாதுகாப்பது எப்படி? on Hindu Tamil.

A nice little article from public key cryptography to post-quantum cryptography. There are rough edges (from the space constraints of a newspaper and probably from translation inaccuracies too), but I’m glad to see a major paper publishing something like this with all its complexity and detail. Kudos to சுபஸ்ரீ தேசிகன் (thehindu.com/profile/author/Sh).

If I added a testimonial section to joinmastodon.org, what would you say? Please only reply if you're OK with me using your response with your username and avatar on joinmastodon.org*

* Not guaranteed I'll use every response

I was looking through the code repository for a Hacker News discussion, and it was a weird feeling.

In the Files, early on, Harry Dresden talks about how he’d always been taught that Magic comes from life, from the heart, and is a force for good - and how incongruous it was to see that magic being twisted for horrible goals, by the bad guys. That’s what this felt like, to see the familiar open source tooling and conventions that I see every day, being used for twisted hateful purposes there.

Somewhere out there, someone writing an oppressive mass surveillance tool is running git amend since they oopsied their last commit. Someone running a malware website is adjusting their CSS values. Someone profiting off child abuse is reading syntax discussions on StackOverflow. It’s a weird, icky feeling, to see these worlds collide.

Several participants in Covaxin trials in Bhopal complained they were not informed that they were participating in COVID-19 vaccine trials.

Those who fell ill after being administered the vaccine were told to pay for treatment!


FOSS meta 

I'm getting kinda sick of the narrative that FOSS is written exclusively by rich white men, for themselves and each other. And that FOSS is therefore inherently bad.

I mean, I understand that we're all tired of Hans from Stuttgart, but this narrative just erases so many fucking people. People who are neither, or none of these things.
Maybe stop shitting on their/our efforts trying to make something better than the abusive piles of shit companies churn out these days?

One thing that strikes me after following @metanumbers is how many large numbers have just two factors. I had this intuition that most large numbers have several factors, but that seems generally not true.

I just completed Day 12 of in .

Hard day with little time for AoC, but I managed to squeeze it in - and the problem was interesting enough to be rewarding, to make it feel worth it. Got to explore Julia’s typing and multiple dispatch a little bit along the way.

Commit to posting mostly or only positive things on your favored social media site for a while.

I just completed “Adapter Array” - Day 10 - Advent of Code 2020 adventofcode.com/2020/day/10 in .

  • I was surprised to learn there’s no “count unique values” function in base Julia (equivalent to uniq -c in shell). The StatsBase downloadable package is needed for that.
  • How have I never used sort in Vim before?! I always thought I’d need to use the shell’s sort command since that’s the Unix-y way, but :sort n works like a charm.
  • One thing Advent of Code does better than other coding challenges is state the problem very clearly. Good examples, clear question text, and every assumption made explicit.

Common phrases in Non-fiction writing, translated:

“in part because of”:
This may not be the major reason or even a significant reason, but this is the one I’m gonna focus on because it helps my narrative look more convincing.

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Common phrases in Non-fiction writing, translated:

“commentators have argued that”:
Here comes my opinion, but to give this a sheen of objectivity I found a few other people who agree with me.

My co-worker Peter sent me an article on privacy in ML ages ago, but I’m only now getting around to it. Or, in other words:

Peter picked a privacy paper, but Paul procrastinated, putting it in the pile of papers to peruse.

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