Life updates as the weather starts feeling wintery
It has been quite a month. The USA had elections with results that still haven’t been accepted by some portion of the country despite the results being overwhelmingly one-sided with flimsy-at-best evidence of election oddities. COVID cases are also skyrocketing.
On a very personal note, my father suddenly passed away at the end of October when he had a heart attack while exercising. This has been a devastating shock to my family and our friends. He was a relaxed, loving, generous person, an amazing musician, and a meticulous engineer. Grief is weird and difficult and it has been a challenging few weeks.
Since the last update I’ve published two more articles.
Creating a custom Kindle dictionary guides you through making Kindle dictionaries. Have you ever been reading a book on a Kindle, tried to lookup a word, and have it fail because the word is unique to the book you are reading? I have and, back in 2013, got annoyed enough to figure out how to create Kindle dictionaries to fix that problem.
This happened while I was reading Dune and the result was the first Kindle fiction dictionary. My article has some more information about why I solved this problem and talks about what other books I’ve done this for. If you have a book that could use a custom Kindle dictionary, reach out and I can work with you to make one.
I also published a second article on speeding up Magit. If you use Emacs and Magit and have ever been frustrated at how slow magit-status is on large repos then this post is for you.
If you use Emacs and you don’t use Magit, I’d highly recommend you start using it. It is by far my favorite interface for git.
Diaspora and Piranesi were really good and I’ve kept thinking about them since finishing them.
Diaspora is a really interesting science fiction book that explores a universe where some humans have uploaded themselves into supercomputers. It gets a little bogged down with some of its explanations but explores some really interesting ideas.
Piranesi is pretty weird and I devoured it. It tells the story of a person living in a building with no end and full of statues. I really enjoyed this book.
Something Wicked This Way Comes was ok. Out of the three books, it is the one I’d recommend skipping.
Some Articles or Twitter things
Ranked Choice Voting is Arbitrarily Bad - I’m convinced that ranked choice voting is a useful voting mechanism and it was interesting to read this article showing a flaw in it.
Old clip from Jeopardy of a contest allowing a 3-way tie
Thread about the results of a study on treating depression with psilocybin. There is a lot of neat research that has been done in the last ~18ish years in this space.
I’ve recently started using a reMarkable 2 tablet. It is pretty great at being a paper replacement. I’m finding it pretty fun and am hopeful that it will become more useful over time, either as I find more ways of using it in my life or build some software to fill in some gaps. One of those gaps is easily getting articles from the Internet onto the device to read.
I hope you’ve found this update useful and hopefully come out of it with some new articles or books to read.