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week notes

It got a wee bit cold here in Maine this weekend. It was thankfully uneventful for us. We hung around inside and watched it get real cold outside. Our home faired pretty well, too. Honestly pleasantly surprised about that!

We picked this weekend to go all in on potty training — pantsless days, treats, rousing bouts of encouragement sung, and a lot of spot cleaning. Fueled by hubris, I thought we had this potty training thing down pat. In reality, it was that our first go round with it was supremely uneventful. We will perceiver.

I’ve been thinking many thoughts about how to fix this website. While I love its design and general vibe, I know it’s not all that accessible, and has some usability issues (so many tags!?). I don’t have a real idea what to do, yet, but maybe take this as warning? Changes are afoot…albeit a pair of slow, uncertain feet. Things I hope to figure out include

I recently asked a question on fedi:

Once upon a time I was an art history person. I thought for a long while I was gonna be a professor of it or something adjacent to it.

There’s a certain sort of art history writing that spends a lot of time establishing an ontology around what’s beautiful, and what moves make something beautiful.

These days, a lot of the nonfiction I read is about programming or computer science. It’s not unusual for a programming book to talk about beauty in code, or data, but the rules” for what makes something beautiful seem a lot more ephemeral, but usually related to elegance.”

For the code inclined among ye, when do you see code as beautiful? Do you?

This had a number of really interesting responses that I’ve been noodling on. If I was so bold as to condense them down, I’d say a connecting line between all the responses is utility.” In hindsight this makes total and complete sense — code ought to work. When I asked the question, though, I was in a really aesthetic frame of mind, so, was sorta surprised with how focused folks were on the code actually functioning over some aesthetic quality of the rendering of the code itself.

…but this may also be sign that my code is mostly garbage?

In my mind, regardless of what or how it works, C is less beautiful” than a lisp. There is an aesthetic to lisps that I find beautiful.

One respondent said,

I find code beautiful when it has an internal grain, a style of its own, whatever that style may be.

That struck me. I’ve read about the idea of code having grain” before, and find that an interesting way to describe the tactile nature of programming systems when compared to one another…C to lisp, forth to pascal.

Since the new year I’ve finished a few books. I’m trying to read more fiction than nonfiction this year. I re-read The Hobbit with the family, and an unremarkable, but enjoyable book, the second in a series, Eyes of the Void, by Adrian Tchaikovsky. I liked the first in the series better than this second one, but it was fun, and I’ll most likely end up reading the third installment soon enough.

715 Creeks by Cristin Milioti is a song that has been in heavy rotation while I work lately. It is a cover from Bon Iver’s 22, A Million.