Dan Ott holding a bottle of hot sauce.
Dan Ott's Website

Learning Log’ish, Jan—Feb 2021

Consuming personal websites via RSS has picked up steam in my reading habits. A trend I’ve enjoyed in this consumption is “learning logs” and “week notes”. Here are a few great ones:

I’ve been collecting links in my “Learning Roundup” project since December. Always with the intention of writing them up. But never writing them up.

I’m now under a crushing mountain of retention debt. I saved the links, with intention to write up what’s interesting about them, but have no forgotten the nuance of what was interesting about them. Instead of throwing things out completely, I’m doing the best I can with the memory I’ve got. So here’s a few of the things I stashed away to write about, with some minimal commentary.

History of 2000-2020
Heather Cox Richardson’s Substack is good subscribe. This was my introduction to her daily writing on history as it happens. As someone who was not raised on politics, and completely tuned out to the cultural trends of the early 2000s, it’s fascinating to consume her framing.
Lies My Law School Told Me
Even the lawyer’s have to question their institutional biases.
Map, Compass, Guide
This metaphor for selling services or volunteering to help was a major mind shift for me. I tend to view myself as the guide. If I’m signing onto your project, paid or otherwise, I want to go the whole 90 yards. Realizing there are options to serve as a map or a compass is freeing. It works to dismantle “all or nothing” thinking.
No War on Coronavirus
The language of militarism permeates American culture. But somehow, this novel Coronavirus has dodged being the scapegoat of such a war.
Tips For Working With Legacy Code, Courtesy Of My New Kitchen Faucet
As a past, present, and future homeowner, I’m leaning hard into this metaphor.
When costs are nonlinear, keep it small
This shares the metaphor of the previous article, with a focus on prioritizing work based on the cost of future maintenance.
No Meetings, No Deadlines, No Full-Time Employees
Sahil Lavingia details the inner workings of Gumroad. A different way to build a company, if you can find the people with aligned expectations and goals.
Advanced Promise Patterns: Promise Memoization
A strait forward tutorial on how to memoize Promises in JavaScript.
Hush
A Safari extension for macOS and iOS that quiets all the asinine cookie notices.
On the Phenomenon of Bullshit Jobs
This rings true. A lot of what constitutes as work is completely unnecessary, and makes people miserable. Instead of turning our societal gains into the aspirations of leisure, we create more ways to stay busy, in the worst sense of the word.
So You Want to Store a File…
Everything looks easy when it’s somebody else’s job. This is a great exploration of the potential nuance involved in something as day-to-day and on the surface strait-forward as “storing a file”.
CSS Diner
The most compelling way to learn CSS selectors that I’ve seen to date. Educational, challenging, and fun.
Introduction to Conditional HTTP Caching with Rails
I’m building a RSS reader with Rails. It talks a lot of HTTP to download feeds. Now it talks HTTP even better by employing the strategies outlined in this article.
How to download image files in Ruby
My RSS reader also downloads images. This was a helpful reminder of the security implications of downloading remote images, and how to mitigate the risk.
I was trying to end my life
I never caught this little gem of Avdi’s when it was originally written. Framing stasis as anything but a net win was a compelling thought for me, and I’m continuing to pull on the thread.
The right way to turn off your old APIs
Practical advice for deprecating an API. Right or wrong, at least it’s a plan!
IKEA, JavaScript, and Assembling Things Yourself
A playful metaphor in which server rendered HTML is the purveyor of artisinal, already assembled, white glove service delivered to your door, quality furniture, and client-heavy JavaScript rendered single page apps are Ikea, pushing all their costs onto your free labor.
Discoverying Gemini
I had never heard of Gopher, but learning about both it and Gemini is compelling. As someone who leans into the resistance of procrastination by getting sucked into the semantics of HTML markup, the constraints might be freeing!