February 2024 Bakery

You can think of this as a series of micro-blog posts, but without any enforced character limits. These are links and ideas that I would share if I was using using Twitter or the like.

February 2024 Bakery

Half baked

Some written thoughts, but not enough for their own post

I've been thinking about expertise. Some people obviously have more of it than others. I am interested in how certain levels of expertise play out in different domains.

Let's suppose that there is a universal unit of expertise, a UUE. Having one UUE in a given domain makes you 100 times less of an expert in that field than a person with one hundred UUE's in that same domain.

Let's imagine a few people each with 100 UUE in their particular field:

  • Ada has 100 UUE in Software Development
  • Maria has 100 UUE in Literacy Instruction
  • Dale has 100 UUE in Basketball

It could be that only the top 30% of a given field actually have 100 UUE in that field. In this case, Ada would likely have a number of well-paid career opportunities available to her. Maria would likely have a number of students who remember her for their entire lives, but less remunerative career than Ada. Dale actually does not have enough UUE in his field to make any money at it. To play professional basketball you likely have to be in the top .00173% all players (Wikipedia says there are 26 million basketball players, which is a reasonable number for this conversation. There are 450 players in the NBA any given season).

I feel like I run into people with high UUE in all sorts of interesting, usually non-remunerative domains either because the UUE they have is insufficient (Dale) or because the UUE is not easily monetizable.

We develop UUE through study and practice. We tend to study and practice things that appeal to us. All other things being equal, the person who enjoys the domain more than everyone else will have the highest UUE. It's a matter of luck whether or not the areas you build UUE in are remunerative or not.

There are three perfectly reasonable hyperlinking solutions in existence today. In order of my preference they are as follows:

  1. Highlight the text you wish to use for your hyperlink. Hit cmd+v to paste the link you have in your clipboard. The software automatically understands your intention and converts the text into a hyperlink. Example implementations can be found in Slack, Notion and many others.
  2. Highlight the text you wish to use for your hyperlink. Click an obvious 🔗 icon somewhere sensible in the user interface. Hit cmd+v with the link you already have in your clipboard. A hyperlink appears in place of the highlighted text. Example implementations can be found in Google Docs.
  3. Create a hyperlink using markdown syntax which involves placing the text for the link within matching brackets [] and then the url for the link within matching parentheses (). For example, [very normal info](https://verynormal.info) Github and everywhere else markdown is supported.

Jira's anti solution is to include an obvious 🔗 icon to make you think that you are well within the reasonable boundaries of option 2.

Upon clicking this link you get a drop down menu with three options:

  1. External link
  2. Mail link
  3. Anchor link

This is your first clue that you have just stepped into a kafkaesque dystopia.

Only one of these options makes any sense. However, upon clicking the only sensible option (1, if you wanted to test yourself), you get teleported into the realm of option 3, the markdown solution above.

Except you aren't in a place where people care about the rules at all. Instead the version of markdown implemented in Jira uses a unique syntax for linking not used anywhere else. It involves an open bracket [ followed by the text of your link, followed by | followed by the url of the link and then ended with a closed bracket ].

If you find this bizarro markdown syntax confusing, you pass the "I'm a human" test. But to make matters worse, our friends at Atlassian also provide a set of buttons labeled "Visual" and "Text". A mirage.

A reasonable person would believe that clicking "Visual" might get you out of having to recall Atlassian bizarro markdown syntax. And yet I can't even explain to you what these buttons do beyond "Not what you ever think or want them to do."

This is a truly criminal implementation of the hyperlink.

Quarter baked

A sentence or two and a piece of content.

I like Lanier's 3 step to explain LLMs that he uses here. 1. Get a program to tell the difference between a cat and a dog. 2. Get a program to tell the difference between everything on the internet. 3. Run it in reverse.

Donald Trump's halfwit foot soldiers are waging a high-pitched culture war centered around the romance between the Kansas City Chiefs tight end and superstar musician, putting Republicans in the curious rhetorical position of having to hate football and extremely popular white people.
Republicans Struggle To Comprehend Nation’s Interest In NFL All-Pro And Taylor Swift | Defector
If you’re excited about the upcoming Super Bowl and are curious to see how CBS will cover Travis Kelce and his relationship with Taylor Swift, the most famous woman on the planet, congratulations, you fool: You have fallen into the deep state’s trap.

Searls discusses the perils of releasing open source software.

Searls of Wisdom for January 2024
Greetings from me and my Persona(BETA). In case you haven’t met him, here’s what he looks like: If you’ll allow January to leak into the first week of February (as I have), what a start to the year this month has been! I kicked off a brand new podcast and cut 4 episodes for a grand total of over 8 hours of explicit-rated, Searls-flavored content. Less importantly and after 7 years spent cooking in the R&D oven, Apple Vision Pro finally released, ushering in a mostly certain future amid a wildly uncertain present. And the world is finally fixated on a problem relevant to my life: how much of a time-consuming pain in the ass it is to fly between Japan and the US. But today, we’re not going to talk about any of that. We’re going to talk about the nature of software and what it means to truly own an app.

They are shooting freaking lasers into the Earth.

The Power of the Earth
On the future of geothermal energy

I am becoming a fan of Patrick McKenzie. In this month's newsletter he does a deep dive into the check cashing business, poverty, and the role of class in the American financial system.

The business of check cashing
Check cashing, as a business, is a poorly understood “alternative” financial service.


Naked links.

Angry Miao HATSU Wireless Split Ergonomic Keyboard | Mechanical Keyboards | Full Size Mechanical Keyboards | Drop
Drop exclusive price and reviews: Angry Miao HATSU Wireless Split Ergonomic Keyboard | Ends 3/12/2024 | A split, ergonomic keyboard layout is celebrated for…