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John Henry

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Software engineer in San Francisco, working on a web decentralization startup. Mildly blockchain related; I'm on the extreme end of the Mastodon-style federated/p2p decentralization end of the spectrum, and mostly just hiss and boo at all the blockchainers.

Rough description of my problem statement here:

These days, I'm mostly out of energy for writing/advocacy and just do a lot of coding. Hope to get back to more heavy writing soon.

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Toolchain idea: the fediverse is so naturally diverse, it’s a pity not to exploit the potential for large scale experimentation. Release manager rigging for instances to selectively try experimental “labs” features that haven’t been (and may never be) added to core. Like gmail labs.

Main project can be conservative in adding features while being liberal in what can be released as opt-in labs features.

I think our instance, being small and with many programmers would likely ride the dev edge

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Just saw "sorry To Bother You".

Can't remember the last time I was as engrossed by a movie.

It is a late capitalist, absurdest comedy . I highly recommend.

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@RBU_RSS_BOT bot is live,
although you won't notice until someone i've added to the rss list updates their feed.

So far the bot includes the rss feeds of

Please don't be shy if you have a website.

Presentation and formatting will likely have to be tweaked.

open to suggestions as to what its avatar should be

Yes, I am creating a list of lists.

No, I am not disappearing down a turpentine rabbit hole :p. Just want to research various examples to try and productize common and useful elements of these types of lists.


What are your favorite examples of “now reading” pages? Do you have one of your own?

These can be anywhere along the spectrum of random reading recommendations, or highly structured lists of books / resources, eg in a cirriculum format. Particulaly interested in ones created/maintained by individuals rather than organizations.


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French youtubers: OMG guys, dating is awkward!

US/UK youtubers: I Killed A Guy With My Car?! [Gone Sexual]

German youtubers: I wonder if I play DOTA2 with motion sensors attached to my cat.

Is anyone here going to the Decentralized Web Summit?

Congratulations @riga, you’re my first status-follow

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in the spirit of further , some random things that preoccupy me:

- maintaining a generous sphere of personal freedom while being embedded in society in a fulfilling way
- dreams of next-gen composition tools for virtual modular synthesizers
- thinking about how to make North American cities beautiful and functional in spite of decades of car culture
- recognizing and grappling with spooky psychological antipatterns: mine and others'

I will consider starting to follow individuals on here, but I want to be clear this is a purely status indicator, and I'm still gonna primarily just browse the local timeline.

FYI — my company (Urbit) is hiring Javascript engineers (desktop and react native) to work on building out a decentralized social network. Competitive rates, etc. If any of you would like to be employed professionally in this space, let me know.

Does anyone have any really good nonfiction audiobook recommendations?

The last one I highly enjoyed was The Quest (from @vgr's recommendation) -- anything with that level of depth and historical detail about any topic would be welcome.

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“If your goal is to hire engineers to write code to protect your accounts from hackers, first you have to hire different engineers to build maps that shoot lasers, and show the laser maps to executives, to convince the executives to give you money to hire the real engineers to do the real work.” —Mark Levine

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@johnhenry Karl Fogel, one of the founders of Subversion, has really tried to do this seriously. He wrote a book about it:

Open source development is actually pretty dang hostile even for _me_, someone with 8 years of professional web development experience.

Structuring a governance process where every user has a "say" at some level is the Hard Boss of digital governance. And almost nobody has tried to do this seriously, which leaves users only with hashtag campaigns and getting really angry when there's no way to translate their values into a complicated development process with limited resources.

This sentiment stands as a great exhibit of the fundamental, low-level constraints of software governance, as witnessed by competing cultural ideologies.

I have much sympathy for this poster, actually. The default MO of software independence is "everyone should be a coder". Either that's true, and governance should be re-oriented around personal development reach, or it is not true, and we need governance structures that truly represent constituents' values when they can't directly participate.

Mastodon's controversy is actually fascinating. I use "controversy" very lightly (it's a nothingburger, just some spurned bloggers). Original survey appears to be here:

Another medium post here: