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Sitting in the field

Title: Sitting in the field
Creator: PascalsProxy


Dune

I read some of the Dune books back in high school. I enjoyed the setting of the world, the vast desert of Arrakis, the ruthless political scheming, the cool tech – but at the same time I really disliked the idea of genetic memory and all the plot devices that arise from it, and I felt that the use of gholas is a very cheap writing trick. I was still looking forward to the new Dune movie directed by Villeneuve, mostly because I was impressed by the trailer and also because I loved his Arrival.


Training for Denali

Of the Seven Summits, there are two I am (was) particularly concerned about. Puncak Jaya (the Carstensz Pyramid) because of how technical it’s said to be, got me to start bouldering and practice moving around on more “exciting” rocky terrain. The other is Denali.

Moving on snow in a rope team for crevasse safety isn’t the issue. Climbing up on steep slopes or along knife-edge ridges with fixed lines isn’t the issue. Those are skills that you can “just” learn and they become another useful wrench in your toolbox. Having the physical fitness to load carry up to the 14000 (feet) camp was what worried me.


What’s the deal with types?

I’ve never used Haskell. I won’t claim I’m good at Rust. I mostly work with Ruby and Clojure, both dynamic languages where you don’t really need to worry about types. But then of course that’s not true. Even if you put Rails’s magic aside, it’s way too easy to write code that accidentally works (in an absolutely unintended fashion).

low-angle photography gray building

What’s an ideal database?

I’ve been reading about and considering language design choices (for my new pet project), and one thing I really like (though I rarely actually use in action) is Clojure’s transducers. I couldn’t find it in the talk introducing them, but I vaguely recall someone vaguely recalling that Rich Hickey said Clojure’d have much less laziness if he’d found the idea of transducers sooner.

Then in a completely different thought process (maybe there could be transducers, process transformations for thought processes as well?) about databases. I was considering databases I used so far, things I tried to achieve with them, the difficulties and nice things.


Writing a lisp-ish compiler in Rust

It was a while back that I got a notice from Shibuya lisp that the 100th event is coming up. It’s a (Common) Lisp/Clojure meetup in Tokyo (though since covid, online). I don’t know if it’s a common thing among lispers, but everyone there seems to at least try writing their own lisp (and talk about it) somewhere down the path.

Before I wasn’t that interested. I could do most of what I wanted to do in Clojure without too much pain. Then I tried writing a (performant) wrapper around Netty and it got a bit more painful. Things like nth calls on function argument lists started showing up on my flame charts (testing with 100 million requests) and rough edges around interop cut my hands (hello proxy and abstract classes).


Beer bars to check out in Tokyo

Tokyo has a lot of places to grab a beer. Considering that even in medieval Europe even a bigger village would have its pub, it’s no surprise that the largest city in the world is in no short supply for establishments serving booze. If you ask for “a beer” in most of them however, you’re gonna get a draft Kirin, Asahi Super Dry or Premium Malt’s—mass-produced lager/pilsner suitable for chugging down by the pint, but won’t get you much excitement as a beer. Craft beer is alive and well in Japan, and if you know where to look, you can find real gems both domestic and global.

Now that the covid state of emergency is nearing its end, here are some places I visit to get hydrated. Or beer-drated? How does that work?


Arrival

I’ve rewatched the Arrival movie from 2016 a bunch of times, though most of the times skipping here and there, just “kinda” rewatching the parts that tickle my brain the right way, out of order as fitting to the movie.

I won’t pretend to understand the dilemma of the heroine or why her choice resulted in what it did. I haven’t been married or had a child, so the gravity of those just goes right above my head. I just assume “probably pretty bad.”


charts/stable and git references

Helm was meant to be the package manager for Kubernetes. One common problem for package managers is “how do I find my packages?” Many package systems opt for having a default central repository for stuff. Distros have their central repos for apt. Programming languages too: for Node it’s npm, for Ruby it’s RubyGems, for Java it’s Maven central, for Clojure it’s Clojars. Of course most if not all systems have a way to add other package repositories or at least some other means to pull in dependencies (referencing git commits for example).

For Helm the central repository of charts/stable used to be the obvious default. You can of course add other repositories too, but defaults are powerful and many people will just give up if something is not available in the default source. On the other hand, having everything in one place puts a huge burden on the maintainers of that one place, as was the case of charts/stable. So they deprecated it.


Up and out at 14 and above

Getting up to 14 camp on Denali was a tough climb, but we had two weather days to recover after the load carry, and I was eager to finally get moving again. When we finally got to camp, I was then glad it was over nonetheless, even if only for that day.