The (extremely) loud minority – Andy Bell

We’ve wasted a decade listening to the loud minority. It’s why I stopped caring about web development. Maybe there really will be a sea change. If so, I’d like to come back.

Always remember that although a subset of the JavaScript community can be very loud, they represent a paltry portion of the web as a whole. This means that when they say something like “Best practices don’t actually work”—what they mean is “Best practices don’t actually work for a small subset of less than 5 percent of the web”

Andy Bell, The (extremely) loud minority

The iPad as a diversion

I’m tired of computers. I spent hours today rummaging around my notes and trying to figure out if I should write some new thing in Emacs or Obsidian or Tinderbox or what? It’s confusing and frustrating, and I need a break.

I’m typing this on my iPad Pro using the Magic Keyboard. I won’t lie, the iPad is too limiting for me under nearly all circumstances. But that’s exactly why I need it right now. I’ve gotta stop tweaking and start doing something instead. That something might just be watching Netflix, but at least that’s not going to make things worse.

But should I have written this post using iA Writer instead? ☺️

UPDATE (2 days later): I’d be better off selling the iPad(s). They’re not a diversion, they’re a distraction. Putting an iPad into rotation forces me to use software and workflows that work on mobile and that’s always a reduction in capabilities for me. I should consider the iPad solely for consumption.

Christina Crook: Scapegoats

We are too prone to make technological instruments the scapegoats for the sins of those who wield them

Christina Crook, “The Joy of Missing Out”

Edward Snowden on Web 1.0

Whatever Web 1.0 might’ve lacked in user-friendliness and design sensibility, it more than made up for by its fostering of experimentation and originality of expression, and by its emphasis on the creative primacy of the individual.

Edward Snowden, “Permanent Record”

What’s their business model? Huh!?

Do you know what I don’t need? I don’t need a feed full of people assuming they know the intentions of others all the time. If one more neckbeard says “…but Business Model!?” I’m going to crack.

There, now that that’s off my chest…

Continue reading…


I just learned about Neofetch:

Neofetch displays information about your operating system, software and hardware in an aesthetic and visually pleasing way.

Here’s my MacBook Pro…

Mere humans

AI continues to enthrall everyone. Here’s DHH on AI creativity vs humans:

Why shouldn’t the same be true of AI generated novels, plays, or movies? What realm of creative production does not benefit from the out-of-the-norm inferences that computers have already proven they can make within the bounds of chess and go to great effect? Is what we call human creativity all that different from a large language model anyway? A distillation of observations, inputs, mimetic tendencies, and a wetware random generator? 

DHH, More creative than mere humans

Fair questions. I just wish he wouldn’t keep calling us “mere humans”.

OpenAI Logo

I was playing with the amazing ChatGPT and it felt like something new. Using it felt like the first time I dragged to resize a filled shape in MacPaint on my Macintosh Plus.

I imagine that before too long, just like filled shapes in a drawing program, AI will become just another boring, everyday tool. But not today. Today, to this mere human, it’s magic.

Converting Markdown to Org-mode syntax in current buffer

There are some great tools for bringing web content into Markdown files, but few that offer the same utility for Org-mode (Orgdown) files.

For example, I use Markdownload extension all the time. It works great with nearly every site I use it on, but instead of Markdown, I’d prefer having Org syntax, so I’ve worked around it by creating a function ((I may have copied this idea from somewhere but I don’t have a reference. If it was you, I apologize for not giving credit. Send me a note! )) which converts the current region from Markdown to Org.

(defun jab/md-to-org-region (start end)
  "Convert region from markdown to org, replacing selection"
  (interactive "r")
  (shell-command-on-region start end "pandoc -f markdown -t org" t t))

I copy the Markdown from the Markdownload window, paste it into an Org buffer, and run the function. It’s not perfect, but until someone creates an “Orgdownload” extension, it’ll do. (Pretty please, will someone create an Orgdownload extension?)

My first real AI moment

I’m a latecomer to AI, but I just had my first real AI revelation moment while using OpenAI’s ChatGPT. I asked it an honest question that I had and got a complete, sensible, and correct answer. It’s like if Google had a brain, or if I asked an assistant to look something up for me and report back. Here’s part of the thread:

Me, chatting with a computer about Emacs

Can you imagine where this leads? I didn’t really get it, until having the above conversation. I’d love being in high school right now. It’s like being in that brief period where calculators were still rare, so having one was like cheating. AI feels like cheating, in a good way.

This feels like the first time I dragged and resized a filled shape in MacPaint on my Macintosh Plus. Or the first time I pinched-to-zoom on the original iPhone.