January 2022

January was fun. I published a blog post about streaming versions of the Matrix, and it unexpectedly blew up. I got a ton of traffic from Google – I'm still not quite sure what people were searching for that brought them to my site. A Japanese website published a translation and called me a computer scientist. Delightful.

I also continued the Bradfield CSI. January covered computer networking, and it was, as Bradfield always is, excellent. I'm very eagerly looking forward to February's module: data structures for storage and retrieval.

Reading

The Lead Exposure Elimination Project published a review of their first year. Such incredible progress! I encourage you to donate.

China's Inclusive Authoritarianism was a super interesting article about the way China's authoritarian surveillance state actually makes it more democratically responsive to its citizens. I think it's bad to be an authoritarian surveillance state (hot take, I know), but it's plausible citizens could become attached because of the real utility they get from it. In the past year, I've become interested in understanding how systems that harm people still have appeal and utility. I've mostly focused on neoliberal capitalism from the 1970s until COVID, but this lens is fruitful when looking at present-day China too.

The Money Machine is a short anecdote about when the winning move is not to play.

Quit Your Job makes me want to quit my job. Not soon, but someday.

Watching

I did my annual get-HBO-for-a-month-and-then-cancel in mid-December, so I watched some HBO shows.

How To with John Wilson season 2 was more How To with John Wilson, so it was great. The episode about Bang Energy drink was the highlight of the season for me.

Succession was okay. Maybe just stick to season 1? After finishing season 3, I was hit with an inescapable feeling that I had wasted a lot of time. The New Yorker article about how weird actor Jeremy Strong is is a lot more compelling than the show itself.

Listening

Vegyn released Don't Follow Me Because I'm Lost Too!!, and I listened to it all the way through as soon as it came out. It made my day. Here's one of the many tracks I liked: