I have Lobsters and Hacker News blocked on my devices because I’m way to prone to refreshing those constantly. I rely on my RSS feed that I’ve curated over the past few years which also includes some other curators like Simon Willison and John Gruber. I’m thinking about how I can still discover new authors without scrolling on autopilot, especially on Lobsters, where I find the submissions to be really high-quality.

Maybe these weekly links posts can be part of a prompt to an LLM that can trawl through all the submissions and help find a sample that I’ll be most interested in? Rather than filtering out any posts, it could just rank them from “most likely to be interesting” to least likely. I’m still trying to rely less on algorithms, but I’m curious how I could incorporate an algorithm that I control into my own curation.

Anyways, on to the links.

Tech, science, and society

  • The Open Source Sustainability Crisis (Chad Whitacre): The question of how we as a society can make sure we’re compensating folks that create value that’s distributed at no marginal cost on the Internet, whether they’re making software, music, or art, is that we could all spend some time thinking about.
  • The Most Dangerous Rock in the World (Welch Labs on Youtube): A look into the collaboration and competition across Europe throughout the early 20th century that ultimately led to the development of the atomic bomb. This was a great counterpoint to the singular focus on individual “great man” scientists prevalent in pop culture, showing how scientific breakthroughs are often the result of decades of incremental and collaborative work among the whole community.

Nix and code

  • How to Learn Nix, Part 48: Installing (single-user) Nix on macOS (Ian Henry): I find Ian’s written voice one of the most entertaining I’ve encountered in the indie tech blogosphere, and this post into a more bespoke Nix setup was interesting as I’ve gotten into Nix more recently.
  • Nix from the bottom up (Chris Warbo): I’ve been learning Nix more from the “top-down”, thinking about what configuration I’d like to centralize and figuring out how Nix can help me out. This article helped fill in some of my conceptual gaps in how Nix works under the hood.
  • Ruby (3.3) on Rails (1.0) (Vasily Ermolovich): Working on database systems, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about both backwards and forwards compatibility. This was a cool dive into digital archaeology that also shows how challenging cross-version compatibility can be.

From the archives

  • Inside New Query Engine of MongoDB (Nikita Lapkov): Nikita and I overlapped on the Query team at MongoDB, and this deep dive that he wrote after leaving was a great overview for anyone interested in high-performance interpreters, query engines, or programming language implementation in general.
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