Archive for May, 2020

Forcing Funny

Saturday, May 30th, 2020

A small bit in Robert Heaton’s A blogging style guide, vol 2:

Not every subject needs levity, and some subjects are incapable of supporting it. I used to be too determined to will whimsy where whimsy wasn’t welcome.

I generally like reading other people’s blogging advice. I chose this one bit from that post to quote as the self-awareness stuck out to me. Much of my earliest blogging had this problem. I thought I was funny, but I really wasn’t. I can cringe now, but the trouble is that people were cringing then.

Encouraging a Culture of Written Communication

Saturday, May 30th, 2020

Maarten Claes:

As much as possible, encourage people to post anything of interest to the public channels. Notice that I’m saying public channels, and not private messages, because we don’t ping anyone unless it’s necessary. We just want to make the information available.

If you are changing a configuration option on production, considering to do a database migration, or just noticed something interesting in the performance graphs… post it to the chat. When you are making critical changes, this has the benefit of making the action deliberate. Just like the Japanese train conductors who deliberately point at whatever they are checking, you’re much less likely to make mistake that way.

If you’re uncertain about something, or investigated something of interest, but didn’t quite get to the bottom of it… share it in the chat. It gives others a chance to chime in and it builds trust. 

In C / Bb

Tuesday, May 12th, 2020

Darren Solomon released a neat project: In Bb 2.0. The “more info…” section doesn’t explicitly say this (so maybe it’s just obvious?) but it seems like a clear nod to Terry Riley’s In C.

In C consists of 53 short, numbered musical phrases, lasting from half a beat to 32 beats; each phrase may be repeated an arbitrary number of times. Each musician has control over which phrase they play: players are encouraged to play the phrases starting at different times, even if they are playing the same phrase.

The only reason I know about In C is that back in 2016 I went to a CodePen Meetup where a fella named Bryant Smith did a live music demo of him performing the piece all by himself on a trombone. No joke! Fortunately, Matt Soria has it blogged and there was a video captured of it.

It was really a stunning thing to see.

Darren’s thing is kinda like that only you start and stop YouTube videos.

Bryant’s technology approach was a bit fancier with the Web Audio API recording snippets and randomzing playback:

See the Pen Repeater Orchestra (1.0) by Bryant Smith (@barefootfunk) on CodePen.

Jake also replicated the In C experience entirely virtually:

See the Pen “In C” by Terry Riley by Jake Albaugh (@jakealbaugh) on CodePen.

To make something good…

Monday, May 4th, 2020

Kevin Kelly:

To make something good, just do it. To make something great, just re-do it, re-do it, re-do it. The secret to making fine things is in remaking them.

I love these birthday-lists of acquired wisdom. I feel like Noah Stokes used to do these too but I can’t seem to find one right now.

The light switch in my office is motion-sensitive, so FINE I’ll use a perpetual motion drinking bird.

Monday, May 4th, 2020

I turn on the lights. I enjoy having light. Then about 20 minutes later, the lights turn off.

The stupid light switch in my office is motion-sensitive, and where I have my desk set up, the monitor blocks the light switches “vision”.

So I bought one of those perpetual moition sippy birds to provide the motion behind my monitor.

It goes for days, so far so good.

If this ends up not working maybe I’ll get a hamster or goldfish or something to put back there.