Monthly Curations — September 2022

Facility map in the elevator of a “luxury” doomsday bunker

The longer I am a software engineer the longer I begin to understand that the soft skills are much more important than all the technical skills. For me software engineering is much about dealing with my insecurities and coming to term with my weaknesses. I also feel that it is a lot about dealing with your ego and a lot with cooperating with colleagues and bosses. The longer I am a software engineer, the more I understand that developing software is not about writing code but communicating with people.

The second Elizabeth was born on April 21, 1926, and has reigned over Britain since 1952. She was six weeks older than Marilyn Monroe, three years older than Anne Frank, nine years older than Elvis Presley—all figures of the unreachable past. She was older than nylon, Scotch tape, and The Hobbit. She was old enough to have trained as an army driver and mechanic in the last months of the Second World War.

“The conception of monarchy as a way of life is not easy to explain to those who are unaccustomed to it,” Morrah wrote in 1958, just six years into Elizabeth II’s reign. “To peoples whose social system and patriotic tradition are founded upon revolt against a distant or authoritarian king—to the Americans and the French, for example—it is apt to seem a paradox. Such as these are inclined to suppose that the British people only continue to tolerate their ancient monarchy because its real content has been emptied out of it by political progress.” But this was not true, Morrah argued. The British monarchy is one of the few institutions in history to have voluntarily ceded power, whether it be Charles II accepting the existence of Parliament or Elizabeth II paying income tax.

The Queen is dead; long live the King. The world must now discover, after a reign that lasted seven decades, what England, and Britain, is without her.

  • Something I learned: hyper-legible fonts (I never thought about how “blurry letters” would be so hard to distinguish!)
  • Interesting new browser, “Arc
  • Great overview of different financial eras with “computer analogies”
  • An interesting anecdote about the development of the Soyuz transport vehicle
  • A weirdly wonderful take on Terry Davis

Modernity has a strong apocalyptic feeling to it, in the biblical meaning of the word, which means “the unveiling”, the event when we see and know reality in all of its forms as it truly is. If we are in a stagnant period of history in which we are not having real technological progress but rather we just optimize screens to get people addicted to click ads, maybe the way out of this mess and to get actual innovation is to get on your knees and pray that God will illuminate you on how to build a warp drive.

  • On luxury doomsday bunkers (Manages to be ridiculous and frightening at the same time!)
  • An instrument the size of an house: a giant pipe organ
  • Closer to deciphering the Indus Valley Civilization script (perhaps?)
  • I hope to be this active in my 60s (!)
  • Software to be thankful for” (I would add a bunch of macOS desktop software to this, but otherwise a good list)
  • Attempting to predict the future of computing

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