Messy Technology

In Master Switch I got in my head the book’s central idea: that information technology goes through a certain Cycle. A refresher: Basically Wu observes that these information technologies (telephone, radio, TV, internet) go through cycles of “open” (personified by low barrier to entry, amateurs fooling around for little pay, and spotty service and quality of product— more of people pursuing “what could be”) and “closed” (large companies growing powerful, more money injected into an industry, a cleaning-up of standards, either by government regulations or large companies pushing out smaller competition) [Read More]

True (HEX) Colors in Vim with iTerm2 3.0.1

Last fall I was delighted to figure out how to get true HEX colors with Neovim and iTerm2. However I have recently learned that you can have these same colors available in regular old terminal Vim (aka command line Vim) and iTerm2. In April Vim merged patch 7.4.1799, which appears to simplify settings for using true colors in the terminal. After upgrading to this patch, users simply had to include set termguicolors in their vimrc to get true colors in the terminal– the one caveat being that it has to be a terminal like iTerm2 that also supports “true colors”. [Read More]

The Boy Who Could Change the World

I hadn’t heard of Aaron Swartz until his suicide in January of 2013. Soon after, I hungrily read the news and remembrances I could about the young man (enough so that I ended up writing a short note on those mourning him for The Daily Beast). At the time I thought (and still do, I suppose) that this New Yorker piece by Larissa MacFarquhar was the best. In general I was interested in Swartz’s beliefs and his work, both technical and political, but from MacFarquhar’s piece I particularly remember her focus on how Swartz, at least at times, felt like an imposition on his friends and the world at large: [Read More]

Website Scraped

Earlier this week Alex Balk, a co-founder of The Awl, tweeted: Of all the alt-texts that are about to disappear this may be my favorite: — Alex Balk (@AlexBalk) May 4, 2016 For those who don’t know, The Awl is “the last weblog” on the internet. It was started in 2009 by Balk and Choire Sicha. I started reading it in college– I remember specifically this review of the movie 2012, titled “Flicked Off: ‘2012’ is Awesome and Haters Can Suck It” gave me a refreshing example of how much fun you could have writing. [Read More]

More Bowie Books: Notes From the Left

Having read three more of David Bowie’s favorite books, I thought it’d be nice to write a little. The three books, the plots of which, unintentional on my part at least, had something to do with the far left, were The Leopard by Di Lampedusa, Darkness at Noon by Koestler, and The 42nd Parallel by dos Passos. I figured it’d be good to put some notes down while they’re fresh. [Read More]

vim-zipper: My First Vim Plugin

At work I was working with Highcharts, a JavaScript charting library. The specific file I was working in had a number of these charts defined in it, each of which had a good amount of settings and functions within them. As a result, in spite of other vim awesomeness, I found that I was having some trouble navigating around the long file. To give you a sense of what I was dealing with, here’s the JS for a demo from the Highcharts website: [Read More]

A Problem with Vim's gx Command, And One Solution

I’ve been playing around with Vim’s gx command, which in normal mode, when on a URL, opens that URL in your default browser (see :h gx). However today I ran into an interesting problem– if a URL has a ? in it gx thinks the URL ends at the ?. Note that I’m using OS X and Chrome is my default browser. I’m seeing this problem in both MacVim 7. [Read More]

Bowie Books

On January 11th, the day after David Bowie died, The New York Public Library’s blog posted a list of the musician’s 100 favorite books, based off of a Facebook post on his verified page from 2013. A friend sent me the NYPL link and I, delighted by the idea of a project, looked up each of them on Amazon. There are some interesting trends– as you’d expect there’s a few histories of music (which I’m currently uninterested in), but also a handful about Black history and Russian history. [Read More]

Best of My vimrc

I just realized that I’ve been using Vim for just about a year now (here’s one of my early posts on starting to make the switch), so I figured it’d be a good time to go over some of favorite parts of my vimrc. I’m certainly no Vim expert, but if nothing else than recording my “progress,” here’s a bit about how I use Vim at this point. I’ve already written about a Markdown hyperlink remap that still works really well and how I ditched NERDTree in favor of netrw. [Read More]

Software Updating As Ritual

A few weeks ago I read a blog post by Bryan Horstmann-Allen (h/t Paul Ford) about him getting frustrated with OS X. Here’s how he framed his issue: Around OS X 10.9, though, things started going wrong. 10.10 improved a few of these things, but overall it just kept degrading. It’s slower, there are a lot of really distracting “features” I can’t seem to actually reliably disable: It’s tied into my phone, and my wife’s phone, so when she adds events I get duplicate notifications (deliver once being a fallacy, I suppose), disrupting me from my work. [Read More]