Links #2

  • Speed matters: Why working quickly is more important than it seems — There are obvious reasons why speed matters, but there are also a bunch of less-obvious second-order consequences that take effect. Your speed impacts others around you, and how they interact with you, in lots of subtle ways. Speed is one of those things with compounding benefits! I tend to get methodical in my work, so this post felt like an important nudge towards speedier approaches.
  • Cheating Entropy with Native Web Technologies — A post from Jim Nielsen about how favoring native web technologies over 3rd-party tooling results in websites that are more likely to run without issues for years to come. I came to a lot of the same conclusions (see my recent talk: How to Build a Zero-maintenance Web Application), but his write-up was succinct and excellent. His is quickly becoming one of my favorite developer blogs.
  • Our World in Data - Energy — Lots of charts and exposition on the topic of energy progress over the last 60 years. The data surprised me in several cases. For example, even though the share of renewable energy sources has increased, the share of low-carbon energy production hasn’t. Why? Because nuclear energy production has been declining. In fact, I’d say my main takeaway from the report is that nuclear is a pretty amazing energy source. It’s carbon-free, pollutant free, safe (despite the negative public perception), inexpensive, and it has been successfully produced at scale. It’s also new enough that there are plenty of improvements still to be developed. It’s really a shame to see the usage in decline.
  • Technical Conversations —  A short post that offers a lovely perspective shift about what it means to be “technical.”
  • rrrrrr — A Web Page™ that I stumbled across, full of links to a bunch of surreal and disorienting cartoons, blurbs, and stories, presumably built by Don Hertzfeldt. It’s weird and it has this 1990’s internet vibe that you don’t see much of anymore (probably because the 90s were over 20 years ago!).
  • Do the Real Thing — A compelling argument that most of us waste our time on fake activity when we ought to be doing the real thing. Easier alternatives are tempting but doing the real thing is the best way to learn, to make progress, and to get results. It’s a valuable lesson that I want to hammer into my head, for fear of accidentally wasting half my life spinning my wheels.
  • Pascal’s Calculator — “After 50 prototypes, he presented the device to the public in 1645… Pascal built around twenty more machines during the next decade, many of which improved on his original design.” I feel like this isn’t the first time I discovered that a famous scientist had some fascinating lesser-known project.