Self Wright

Month: August 2019

On “old” songs

Obviously, my songs were new and my parents’ songs were old, but I found myself listening to some music today and suddenly realized all of it was around 25 years or more in the past, which is (just for perspective) older than some of the people on my team at work (!)

All of this is early-to-mid-nineties, and while I don’t want to go into the ”music was better in my time” mode, well …

Jeff Buckley – Hallelujah (Official Video)

Mad World – Gary Jules

The Verve – Bitter Sweet Symphony (Official Video)

Oasis – Wonderwall (Official Video)

Nirvana – The Man Who Sold The World (MTV Unplugged)

Guns N’ Roses – November Rain (Official Music Video)

Monthly Curations – July 2019

(yep, not a lot this month …)

The shrew-like networked GUI equipped microcomputers of Apple were released as products only two years after this central planning dinosaur was postulated. Eventually, decades later, someone built a mechanical golem made of microcomputers which achieves a lot of the goals of fifth generation computing, with independent GUI front ends. I’m sure the Japanese researchers of the time would have been shocked to know it came from ordinary commodity microcomputers running C and using sorts and hash tables rather than non-Von-Neumann Prolog supercomputers. That’s how most progress in engineering happens though: incrementally. Leave the moon shots to actual scientists (as opposed to “computer scientists”) who know what they’re talking about.

On Kafka, Confluent, and … Clojure

As I’m absorbing more of the general flavor of event-streaming and everything around it (… in the beginning was the log …), I keep gettin a bit of deja vu and realized that there’s an uncanny resemblance to something else, a different place I’ve encountered similar relationships between things in a different concrete form … in Clojure.

I feel Clojure keeps getting compared to other “languages for talking to machines”, and discussions tend to end up rehashing either the static-vs-dynamic-typing cliche, the lisp cliche(s), the scripting-Java cliche, and so on.

What is missed (I feel) is the symbolic nature of the language, which allows it to really represent concepts at an arbitrary level of abstraction … something that will be incomprehensible if all you ever compare it to is examples of computing factorials in other languages.

In particular, it is a sort of “language of the system”. The same patterns I see Apache Kafka getting involved in, for distributed data-processing systems, are the patterns I imagine with symbolic objects in Clojure code.

So instead of a log with brokers and producers and consumers and streams, I see … LazySeq, with transducers; instead of Schema Registry, spec … and so on.

This is not a fully-formed thought yet, but … dunno, I’m enjoying this parallel so far.

Monthly recap (July 2019)

Flowers that Tara picked, kept in a bowl

Major updates:
– Laguna Beach vacation
– Accepted an offer from Confluent, Joined on the 22nd!
– Surprise birthday party for me (again) by Shivi
– A friend’s mother passed away, attended the funeral

Minor updates:
Dolphin watching (no whales though)
– Watched 4th of July fireworks
• Women’s Soccer World Cup final (happened to be playing in our hotel room)
– Tara moved to the last preschool class
– Took a bunch of haikus I’d written earlier and put them into a book
– Has to deal with a tedious CP-2000 from IRS
– Added Caltrain to my commute (technically, my first public transportation commute in a decade!)
– One birthday party every weekend …

– Finished Seveneves by Neal Stephenson
– Watched Stranger Things season 3 on Netflix
– Watched the new Lion King with Tara
– Watched a musical Beat Bugs at the Palo Alto Children’s Theatre

Just finished importing two old Tumblr blogs (each from roughly 4-5 years ago), one under my name and one … not.

So there’s suddenly a lot more content at this blog, in 2014-2015 !

(of course, it lacks tagging etc, but, it exists … all part of my current plan to aggregate bits and pieces of my digital life into this WordPress blog …)

Interesting links: July 2019

thunderstorm, from space
Thunderstorm, seen from the Space Station

(a very short list, not a lot this month, I was too busy !)

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