Substack

(or, “Dispatches from ebbs and flows in a mind-web”)

I’ve been toying with the idea of an email subscription option, with no success:

  • I considered TinyLetter earlier on but never got round to setting it up.
  • I considered Medium once, but the aesthetic constraints never appealed to me.
  • WordPress has subscriptions too, but I do NOT want every single post to be an email update, I “mix in” a microblog within my blog, and don’t want to have the overhead of keeping that separate.

But it does make sense to have my monthly curations (the programming-specific one and the general one) be email-subscription-friendly …

… and then I discovered Substack, which seems to be a soft spot here — easy to use, easy to set up, hopefully not a hassle for you to consume from either — which inspired me to start a pilot project of sorts to use Substack to optionally serve these out.

For now, then, these posts will be duplicated there, available both on WordPress and as emails from Substack, so … pick whatever works. I myself have found it easier to subscribe to a small list of people that way, and once I saw folks like Matt Taibbi using it, it seemed “a credible enough platform” to use.

So, if you want to receive just the curation posts, by email, [Here’s the link] to sign up for updates on Substack.

(and here’s the link to (what will be) my Substack Archive)

Interesting links: October 2019

"Copernicus", by Stanislaw Szukalski
“Copernicus”, by Stanislaw Szukalski

(I feel I’m making up for the lack of links for the last three months …)

Books give-away, featuring Airtable

Roughly every three years, I find I’ve amassed too many books, and have to give some (around 50-75) away.

There was a great “used books store” in downtown Mountain View, which (tragically1) had to close up shop and move away, and the time after that, I went to the local Goodwill, and this time I’m thinking of donating what I can to the local library, we’ll see.

It’s somewhat disappointing that there isn’t any record of the hundreds of books I’ve given away over the last decade and change … so this time I thought I’d make a list.

Now the idea of making a list of the books I have, has come up in the past, but it has either

  • been on paper
  • or otherwise not accessible any more
  • or not re-attempted because there’s just no easy way to do it.

Until now.

I have this love-hate relationship with Airtable, it seems — I’ve written before about how their pricing is geared towards enterprises and lacking a good “personal use plan”, but … the fact is, for something like this, it’s dead simple to use.

What I recorded here is the name of each book, an image of the cover, and whether it’s hardcover/softcover2, and … I was going through them at the rate of about fifteen seconds per book.

Here3 is the result: an accessible list of everything I’m about to give away this time.

P.S. I realized something else: in case you live nearby and want to pick up anything on this list, leave a note on the list (it’s read-only, but comment-able), and I’ll figure out a way to hand them over.

  1. https://www.sfgate.com/books/article/BookBuyers-closes-its-doors-in-Mountain-View-7288142.php
  2. Not sure why I did this, it’s something I thought would matter …
  3. https://airtable.com/invite/l?inviteId=invfJzu4jolUgZd7t&inviteToken=ffd7628ff3a544f4f40ecd56c4406bdefbf232cfca5b0a274b3a62890945e512

Interesting links: September 2019

Panoramic view from the Venera 13 lander, from Venus, in 1982
Panoramic view from the Venera 13 lander, from Venus, in 1982

Interesting links: August 2019

Rubaiyyat illustration by Elihu Vedder (verses 37-39)
Rubaiyyat illustration by Elihu Vedder (verses 37-39)

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 !)

Interesting links: June 2019

Tracing eye-movements across a painting
Tracing eye-movements across a painting