February Digest 2022

It’s been a good month if you don’t count the outbreak of war, continuing pandemic, threat of nuclear disaster or any of that stuff.


Some stuff from my microblog on the fediverse:

When Facebook threatened to leave Europe, there was a chorus of “Yes please” from all over the web, I was quoted to open a blog that Aral wrote on the reaction of the world to Facebook’s bluff.

I wrote a little history of my talking to people on the web, how it changed over the years. How Fedi and Facebook and PHPBB and Usenet feel.

A reaction to Canadian financial shock and awe as they call protestors “terrorists” and cease funds in their fundraising accounts, then freeze the bank accounts of donators.

We had a conversation about types of money as Bitcoin approaches half the age of the Euro.

When 1Password added a Crypto-wallet-passphrase function some people complained that they were so offended they would leave, I pointed out that the competitors allow you to store passwords to far right websites and log in to accounts to trade fossil fuels.

With war breaking out, Moxie pointed out that Telegram is not encrypted or secure and is run by a Russian company. His “Signal” is a more secure messaging app. But what to do if the internet gets cut off entirely? Briar is a messenger that works without internet messages are passed peer-to-peer through phones as people wonder the city.

I was gifted a little plastic saxophone for my birthday which I spent nearly an hour blowing into before I realized I should take the cap off. Why do they put holes in it like that. Confusing.

As Epic Games buys Bandcamp when the last company buys the second to last company and finally mega-corp own everything, will we have fully returned to feudalism? There’s a Co-Op worker-owned music system mentioned. Perhaps that will be better?


This month’s new cartoon is “war”, where the aliens discover a planet which could destroy itself with a nuclear winter because an old mad man would be sad if he died in a zone with slightly smaller administrative boundaries.


As usual, there’s a flat-screen version and a 3d Virtual Reality version.


Space Opera

If you imagine that “show me what you got” episode of Rick and Morty described by the narrator from Hitch Hikers Guide To The Galaxy then you pretty much have Space Opera By Catherynne M. Valente.

A rock and roll band from Earth have to compete in a song competition on a distant planet to prove Earthlings are sentient and therefore shouldn’t be destroyed. It was occasionally funny and sweet and nice to remember what it was like to read the Hitch Hiker’s Guide. But ultimately really derivative and not reaching the heights of the seminal things in it’s roots. Maybe read it if you liked Hitchhikers but if you haven’t read that, read that first.



“You” on Netflix is a show about a serial killer and romantic obsessive.

It feels a bit like Dexter did, which is good. But Dexter was about a good guy killing bad guys whereas “You” is about a bad guy stalking and killing women. It treats him somewhat sympathetically, like Dexter did. But there’s no way that he really deserves that in this show.

Second season’s female lead is much more powerful and his match in being evil. Would have preferred her to win that season really.


* 3 Blue 1 Brown on writing software to solve Wordle Everyone’s obsessed with posting weird coloured squares to show off their Wordle scores but I just thought for a few minutes about how I’d program a solver to avoid having to do it myself. Grant Sanderson spent even longer trying to find not just a good solution but also use it to make a video explaining some concepts in information theory, which was great.

* NYMag on Facebook’s decline It’s stock dropped nearly by half this month when their user-numbers topped and started going down. “it may get worse as the world realizes the social media companies are failing.”

* Financial Analysis Lyn Alden on the national debt Escaping structural debt such as the US (and other western countries) face may be impossible. Comes surprisingly close to talking about the fiscal multiplier and how good government investment can maybe help.

* Robin Hanson on his pet topic Forcasting Markets Perhaps if politics is terrible, we can set up markets to decide policy based on bets by experts?

* Thunderfoot looks at the molecular composition of the Covid spike We know exactly where each atom goes, and you can map it in software and view it in this video.

* The Common Sense Case For Pacifism With war breaking out, should we ever fight one? Perhaps not. “If a policeman fought crime the way that “civilized” armies wage war, we’d put him in jail.” – the cost of war is always very high. We should perhaps be as unwilling to fight in a war as to remove organs from one healthy person to help five sick ones.

* Peter Oborne on the racism of the reaction to the Ukraine war. Does anyone really think the reaction would be similar if Russia had invaded Northern Kazakhstan? Why is the reaction of Yemen and Palestine so different?

* Minute Earth has a video explaing why there’s so much myopia in kids these days. It’s not the screens, it’s the being indoors and not getting enough light.


That’s just the highlights this month, remember you can always see my full public bookmarks at my website and/or follow my link-bot on the fediverse or my RSS feed of interesting links


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