Weekend Reading — Running the Tangents


Vinay Patel "GDPR is my therapist"

Design Objective

Why EU Regions are Redrawing Their Borders Good lesson in politics, though I'm mesmerized by the visualization. It hijacks browser scrolling, but at least puts it to good use.


58 bytes of css to look great nearly everywhere I love the simplicity of this.

main {
  max-width: 70ch;
  padding: 2ch;
  margin: auto;

Doug Collins 😂

Users don't usually read directions. They are a last resort. When they do, they need them to be short, easily readable, and, most importantly, accurate.

2/3 will not do the trick.


Tools of the Trade

Sortraits Visual portraits of sorting algorithms.


Assistant Developer I think not enough people consider that often new tech/tool just moves problems around:

A reasonable (according to me anyway) shorthand for evaluating a new tech/tool:

  1. What problems does it solve?
  2. What new problems does it create?
  3. What problems does it just move around.


Nikita "I’m a programmer, I build an adapter when I need one"



Pyodide: Bringing the scientific Python stack to the browser CPython compiled to WASM and running in the browser.

jake albaugh "when your friend throws you a dumb idea like a URL-based graphic eq, don't think twice, just do it."

Line of Code

Luke Zoltan Kelley "I'm never getting those 20 minutes back"


Christina Zhu Exactly! (h/t Damien Joyce)

software engineering be like

zz z z
  ̄ ̄ ̄ ̄ ̄ ̄ ̄

    ∧_∧     I FIGURED OUT
  ( ・ω・)     HOW TO FIX THAT BUG
 _| ⊃/(___  
/ └-(____/


Giles Colborne 👇 Slow down to go fast:

Most organisations I speak to say: we can’t deliver stuff fast enough.

But when we work with their teams we cut delivery time (drastically), even though we spend more time on some activities.

What’s going on? (thread)

Rahul Goma Phulore 🤷‍♀️

"What the heck is this? You said during the interviews that you had a Kafka-based architecture?!"

"No, mate. You heard it wrong. We said we have Kafkaesque architecture."

Tom Gauld "Surprising performance outcomes"



Hillel 👇 TL;DR We have ample evidence that sleep and stress affect our productivity. Also, we know code reviews are very effective. The rest is opinion.

One of my most controversial software opinions is that your sleep quality and stress level matter far, far more than the languages you use or the practices you follow. Nothing else comes close: not type systems, not TDD, not formal methods, not ANYTHING.

Allow me to explain why.

Second-Order Thinking: What Smart People Use to Outperform 💡 Always ask yourself “and then what?”

Second order thinkers ask themselves the question “And then what?” This means thinking about the consequences of repeatedly eating a chocolate bar when you are hungry and using that to inform your decision. If you do this you’re more likely to eat something healthy.



John Cutler 👇 Sprints are about incremental delivery, iterative development, and rapid learning. Not more frequent deadlines. Thread:

The value of “sprints” is largely misunderstood / glossed over.

Sprints are meant to be a healthy (and effective) forcing function / enabling constraint ... not a way to drive teams/individuals...not a hamster wheel ... not “breaking up a project” (1/n)

Representation Matters

Female representation matters. Colorado’s legislature proves that. 12 weeks of paid family leave, fully funded kindergarten, and an aggressive climate change bill.

TSA Agents Say They’re Not Discriminating Against Black Women, But Their Body Scanners Might Be I bet they could have designed a better algorithm with fewer false positives:

“It doesn’t feel random when it happens three times in a row. It doesn’t feel random when you see that all the people around you, who don’t look like you, aren’t asked to step aside,” Knoderer said. “I don’t want to change the way my hair grows out of my head.”

Dominique Apollon Representation matters:

It's taken me 45 trips around the sun, but for the first time in my life I know what it feels like to have a "band-aid" in my own skin tone. You can barely even spot it in the first image. For real I'm holding back tears.



Facebook says it 'unintentionally uploaded' 1.5 million people's email contacts without their consent I'm curious, how do you "unintentionally" write code that reads data from one system, and then convert and upload it to your servers? How do you "unintentionally" deploy that to production? How do you "unintentionally" monitor that it works correctly for 1.5 million people, and "unintentionally" fix the inevitable bugs that pop up?

"… When we looked into the steps people were going through to verify their accounts we found that in some cases people's email contacts were also unintentionally uploaded to Facebook when they created their account," the spokesperson said in a statement.

The Most Measured Person in Tech Is Running the Most Chaotic Place on the Internet It turns out that solving online harassment, misinformation, and radicalization isn't all that difficult. As long as CEOs have the incentive to act.

Within a few hours, the worst Tide Pod videos were scrubbed from YouTube, and the platform changed its algorithm so anyone searching for them would be shown a safety video.

“No debate, just action,” said Mr. Pritchard. A few months later, P.&G. announced that it would resume advertising on YouTube.

Sam This is creepy! But also, what other words can I yell into my phone and have free stuff delivered to my house?

I yelled into my phone “I’m pregnant” for 5 minutes on Sunday to see which apps would start advertising baby things. Definitely NOT pregnant. Zero babies in my sphere. Didn’t get any ads, but just received these free formula samples in the mail, which is creepier.


None of the Above

Modacity This is how all cities should be designed:

You‘ll barely notice it, but this cycle track is actually crossed by two residential side streets.

Rather than treating bikes and humans as guests in the cars’ space, the opposite occurs, and the cycle and foot paths are continuous by design.

This should be standard everywhere.

Geraldine The entire thread is this funny. 😭

Humanity: WHOA. So we just put dirty dishes in and it cleans them?
IoDW: Um, no. You need to wash them first.
H: Uh...
IoDW: Not thoroughly. Just, like, what you'd do if you were drunk.

Megan Stalter "If she wanna eat a burger at 16 am let her wtf"


Status as a Service (StaaS) I like the analogy of social networks as ICOs:

  1. Each new social network issues a new form of social capital, a token.
  2. You must show proof of work to earn the token.
  3. Over time it becomes harder and harder to mine new tokens on each social network, creating built-in scarcity.
  4. Many people, especially older folks, scoff at both social networks and cryptocurrencies.

Sam "This took me way too long to see it, nature knows how to do camouflage"


Megan Carpentier 😱

I actually asked the doctor this week if I needed a measles booster and he replied by rote “only if you’re traveling places with outbreaks and low vaccinations rates” and then he stopped and we looked at one another awkwardly.

Klara Sjöberg "What happens with you divide by zero on a mechanical calculator."

How the Boston Marathon Messes With Runners to Slow Them Down Heat, hills, wind, and running the tangents.


Maker Faire "We're willing to bet that Takashi Kaburagi has the coolest Rubik's Cube on the block. Scramble it, set it down on the table, and stand back in awe as it solves itself!"

Paul R "Fun fact: You can make any Wikipedia article dystopian by changing it to the past tense."


Ocean diversity "Seal accidentally scares baby polar bear 🐳"

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