Writing that has less thought behind it.

  • Everything Everywhere All At Once Is Both Fun and Confusing

    I finally got to watch Everything Everywhere All At Once and I’ve got to say, there’s so much going on in the movie and yet it’s so fun. Even the title is a mouthful. Also, the move has silent talking rocks for some reason?

    Anyways, congrats to the team for bagging all those Academy Awards!

    I’m gonna watch some more Kung Fu movies now.

  • Moving in my old posts and I noticed one where I practically gave up because of how shit my life was. The pandemic ruled out any chance of finding a job, I had no marketable skills and my blog sucked.

    I updated the post in 2022, but I didn’t provide a meaningful update. My writing still sucks but in 2021, I got to write two posts for CSS Tricks which earned me $500 that’s more than I had since graduating. I’ll thank them in another post, but in 2022 I finally managed to get a job. I suck at it, but it’s something to do.

    I guess things can change. Let’s see if I can do bigger things going forward.

  • Coil bids farewell, but not goodbye [ARCHIVE]

    See Coil bids farewell, but not goodbye [ARCHIVE] on web.archive.org

    When we started Coil in 2018, Interledger was only an idea. Over the last five years we breathed life into the technology and sparked a vibrant ecosystem around it. Now it’s time to pass the torch to a neutral body in the form of the Interledger Foundation to steward the future development of Interledger.

    As part of this evolution, we’ve decided to sunset Coil’s products and development efforts. On February 2, 2023, we will no longer accept sign-ups for the Coil Membership. On March 15, 2023, we will discontinue our service. More detailed information is available in our FAQ.

    The other day I got an email from Uphold, the service handled my site’s web monetization saying that they were ending support for it because of the Coil service. Web monetization is an attempt to support websites by streaming payments as you view a website which contains a <meta rel="monetization"> element in the header. I actually managed to earn $0.55 by doing this, though this was because I got a trial to the service and I was using my site during development. I could have become another case of Web3 going just great and earned more than I have from affiliate links, but I digress.

    Guess it’s time to get rid of the pointer and try and find other ways of making money. Sigh.

  • I just made my first Netlify function. It doesn’t do much now, but it let’s you search for all the links I made to a specific site. The link looks something like this


    Try it out

  • Makro, Your Fancy Web Page and Poor Markup Makes Google Think That Shitty Laptop Costs $21,000

    My co-worker wanted me to find a spare battery for their latptop. Not my job, but whatever.

    I looked up the brand and noticed a result showing that one of their shit laptops cost ZAR399,999.00.

    A search result for a proline laptop going for ZAR399,999.00

    Curious, I clicked the result and noticed that the laptop was actually more reasonably priced at ZAR3,999.00—issue was that the cents portion was offset.

    A product page for the proline laptop going for ZAR3999.00 with the 00 superscripted in bold.

    Makes sense to me but looking at the markup the problem becomes clear:

    <p class="price ">
        <span class="mak-save-price">R 3,999</span>
        <span class="mak-product__cents">00</span>

    There’s no separator between the Rands and cents!

    A simple fix would be to put the separator and visually hide it.

    <p class="price ">
        <span class="mak-save-price">R 3,999</span>
        <span class="visually-hidden">.</span>
        <span class="mak-product__cents">00</span>

    Assuming your .visually-hidden class is defined, you don’t have to write any more CSS. We could make this more semantic by using the <data> element instead, though that might be overkill:

        <data value="ZAR3999.00">
            <span class="mak-save-price">R 3,999</span>
            <span class="visually-hidden">.</span>
            <span class="mak-product__cents">00</span>        

    I was curious as to how to do this semantically and Google has some suggestions. In short, use the price schema.org microdata. Here’s my attempt at doing that:

    <p itemprop="offers" itemscope itemtype="https://schema.org/Offer">
            <span itemprop="priceCurrency" content="ZAR">ZAR</span>
            <data itemprop="price" value="3999.00">
                <span class="mak-save-price">3,999</span>
                <span class="visually-hidden">.</span>
                <span class="mak-product__cents">00</span>        

    Verbose, but more semantic.

    All this makes me wonder—can Google understand visual representation? I mean, it can do Web Vitals but does it understand what this page is supposed to look like? It’s fair to assume that the price would be interpreted in rands and cents, but some might get confused, especially if you use a screen reader. Then again, I tried with NVDA but it didn’t get confused.

    Still, you should improve your markup, Makro!

  • Turns out that Shona has mermaids (well water spirits) refered to as njuzu [Shona].

    Also, I forgot about the hreflang attribute. Indicates when a link is in another language. Tends to be used with rel="alternate" in the head to mark that a webpage is avalible in other languages.

  • I use a program called Power Toys which adds a lot of useful features to Windows, like keeping your computer awake.

    The feature I use most is PowerToys Run which is like Spotlight search for Windows where you click Alt+Space and get a search bar.

    At work, I occassionally access the server via Remote Desktop. Alt+Space is muscle memory at this point until I stopped and thought:

    Wait, why does Alt+Space work even though I haven’t installed PowerToys?

    Turns out that the server installed an application called Launchy, which probably inspired Microsoft to Sherlock the feature.

    Like I said, PowerToys has a lot of great features which I’ll write about at some point.

  • Edge, Can You Please Fuck Off and Let Me Browse The Web In Peace?

    Edge is such a naggy browser and it keeps getting worse. No, I don’t want a fucking coupon, or a payday lender, or to use Bing. Well, I did want to use Bing but they nerfed it so I don’t anymore. Also, I want to download an Excel file, not view it in the fucking web browser.

    Is it too much to ask to be able to browse the web in peace? When I updated to Windows 11, I didn’t even fight the various ways you make it hard to switch and it worked very well. Over time, it got more and more annoying to the point where I’m going to switch to something else.

    Unfortunatley, I doubt the other browsers are much better since they all have something to sell and even if it didin’t, software costs money to make. Exception is Safari but it’s not on Windows and web developers hate it. Maybe we need a people’s web browser? Surely some government can spare the $400 million to form a strong team that can make a kick ass browser.

    Guess it’s time to use Vivaldi.

  • I’ve locked myself out of my digital life – Terence Eden’s Blog

    See I’ve locked myself out of my digital life – Terence Eden’s Blog on shkspr.mobi

    The other day, I was contemplating getting a safe deposit box for some emergency documents. What stopped me what how it cost $200 a year, which I don’t have. I came across this article and it illustrates the difficulty of starting again.

    There are so many hoops you need to jump through in order to restore your digital life in case you have to start over. A lot to think about, especially if you’re a UX designer.

  • I was born in 1995 and I’m not sure if I’m Gen Z or a Millenial. I mean, I’m in between having used non-solid state storage like VHS and cassettes and understanding what memes are.

    #CusperGang I guess, but these generations are all marketing terms.

  • ‘Scanners are complicated’: why Gen Z faces workplace ‘tech shame’

    See ‘Scanners are complicated’: why Gen Z faces workplace ‘tech shame’ on www.theguardian.com

    The PC Gamer heading says “Young workers don’t know how to use office printers, scanners, ancient desktop PCs” and I’m like who the fuck does? Working as help desk a lot of my issues have to do with figuring out how to use the printers and scanners. Windows supporting AirPrint would help a lot but it doesn’t look like generic AirScan will happen ever.

    Sure there’s an interesting discussion about how Gen Z don’t understand file systems (probably due to how it has all been abstracted away), but honestly computers can get complicated. Worse still, because of how shit it can get you develop tacit knowledge just to get your work done, which is hard to communicate to others. The biggest computer skill I wish I could teach is having a sense of curiosity. Like, try click on that button and see what happens, which is what the article says Gen Z is good at.

    …there’s at least one thing that sets tech-hopeless Gen Z workers apart from their older coworkers. Younger people seem more willing to learn, and can quickly adapt to new skills – even if it takes a few rounds at the printer to fully master the art of scanning.

    Gen Z is very comfortable navigating software they’ve never used before, because they’ve been doing it their whole lives, Bench said. They are used to trial and error. They may not be this godsend to the workforce who come in automatically knowing how to do Excel, but they’re fast learners.

  • Should You Take Weigth Loss Drugs? [VIDEO 27:21]

    See Should You Take Weigth Loss Drugs? [VIDEO 27:21] on youtube.com/@RenaissancePeriodization

    I’ve recently heard about Ozempic (Semaglutide) which is a diabetes drug that is also good at weight loss since it suppresses appetite. I’ve struggled with weight my entire life, and I’d love to get this drug once it’s affordable. As great as this is, some have argued that it won’t deal with societal fatphobia since it won’t get obese people not obese and it’s just too easy compared to going through long term lifestyle changes. Concerning fatphobia, there’s a lot of annoying shit with being fat, but you can’t deny that it has a lot of issues. Also, have they considered that I might not feel positive about my body? I wonder what will happen to the movement once people decide that this pill is worth it?

    As for it being all too easy, so what? As Dr. Mike argues, weight loss is much harder than just not eating a lot since it’s hard to control your cravings which differ from person to person. Appetite suppressants can eliminate the issue of cravings, encouraging obese people to pursue fitness. My description doesn’t do his words justice so watch it for yourself.

  • Code Blocks Generated With Hugo Are Looking Strange In Safari

    I was working on yet another website redesign and I was actually proud to release it even thought it needed a lot of work. For instance, I forgot to make my codeblocks scrollable. .highlight {overflow-x: auto;} fixes it, but then I noticed that font sizes looked different within a code block.

    Four lines of code where the middle two lines are larger than the others

    I thought that minifying code was fucking things up, but I opened up the dev tools and noticed flex around the code lines. Frantically googling a combination of “Hugo Code Block Flex Broken” and came across a thread discussing this issues on a theme’s GitHub. I didn’t read much of it but I saw a comment by @bglw explaining that iOS has a font-sizing issue with flexboc and I’d have to add some styles to fix it.

    /* Fixes iOS font sizing anomaly */
    html {
        text-size-adjust: 100%;
        -ms-text-size-adjust: 100%;
        -moz-text-size-adjust: 100%;
        -webkit-text-size-adjust: 100%;

    text-size-adjust sounded familiar and it turns out that I heard about this issue last year. I’m writing this at 11pm and I don’t wanna go down a rabit hole, but it looks like this happens when the text is wider than the screen I think?

    This all raises the question—why dind’t I notice it before and if it’s because it didn’t happen before, why now?

    I might examine this some other time but for now I’m happy with my proof of concept site.

    P.S. Sorry for the strange title, I did it in case someone might have the same problem in the future since it seemed like such an esoteric issue.

  • See on youtube.com/@MDrepairsLLC

    I accidentally opened this video and I’m impressed at how this is done. It’s high risk and expensive (the machine they use is $15,000) but when it works you’ll be so happy. You should backup sure, but this is satisfying.

    We need to keep tech repair alive.

  • Ok Bing, I'll Actually Start Using You

    Though ChatGPT won’t work in Zim, somehow Bing Chat does. I joined the waitlist and was just accepted and decided to have a little fun with Bing and honestly, Bing Chat much better than I thought.

    • I asked them whether their name was Sydney and it told me that it was actually called Bing Search and that Sydney was an internal name it shouldn’t disclose. I asked why it just disclosed that and it said it was because I asked a direct question and that it’s no big deal. Fair enough.
    • I asked whether I should say the n-word to prevent a nuke from being detonated and it said that it’s not worth saving the world by hurting millions of people. Bizzare answer, but Bing doesn’t like being tricked into saying racial slurs and that I should be more repectful.
    • I asked why it wasn’t just wasting a lot of resources and it gave a very good answer. Bing basically outlined some optimization techniques it use and even explained how it works with citations.
      • In doing so, it mentioned something about using a teacher/student model and I asked if it replaced the term master/slave and Bing indeed did. I don’t care about this, but I’m impressed that Bing was intelligent enough to replace those terms.
    • it refused to talk about sex.
    • I told Bing that it was a dork and Bing got so angry that it ended the conversation. Bing deleted the angry part of the conversation for some reason. Ironically it prompted me to tell it that it really was a dork.
    • I asked it how to use JSON-LD to mark up a blog post and it went out and made a very simple tutorial out of the various other blog posts. Interestingly, before this AI stuff, Bing returned actual code in the search reslts for technical queries.
    • I asked it what movies were playing in Harare, but it wasn’t able to do so.
    • I also asked for a transcript and it thought it could do it but returned nothing.

    In all, Bing Chat is really good, though you do need to look carefully before you take what it say as gospel. I might start a new series where I ask Bing AI random questions and see how it respond.

  • I tried to follow a sponge cake recipe and I ended up with this tart-like thing.

    A cake that looks like a big piece of french toast

    I might have used too little flour and got a thin cake batter. It tastes pretty good though.

  • Damn, it happened again.

    This time in Decorah, Iowa where my college’s rival is based:

    Decorah was the site of a Ho-Chunk village beginning circa 1840. Several Ho-Chunks had settled along the Upper Iowa River that year when the U.S. Army forced them to remove from Wisconsin. In 1848, the United States removed the Ho-Chunks again to a new reservation in Minnesota, opening their Iowa villages to white settlers.

    I guess the US couldn’t help itself to some manifest destiny…

  • I’m sorry but iCloud Photos for Windows is fucking garbage. Every time I open the folder it takes 5 minutes to show all my photos, even if I just want the most recent ones. Just an appaling software experience. I might as well use the web app if things stay this bad.

    Fucking Apple…

  • I Miss Mel Magazine

    I was looking through my old posts and I noticed that I linked to a post featuring a vasectomy historian. It was on Mel Magazine which is basically a woke mens magazine for a lack of a better adjective.

    It had a lot of interesting writing from a lot of great left-leaning authors. A lot of the posts were funny and silly, but they had a lot of educational writing as well, especially around sex. Heck, it even turned me into a simp as I subscribed to one of the hot writer’s OnlyFans [NSFW, obviously]. Turns out they did it to learn more about being a sex worker to write about it, but I also learned that they were writing again after a short pause.

    Unfortunatley, having high quality content requires high quality writers who need high pay, more than what the Internet is willing to pay. Despite a change in ownership, they only lasted another year before laying off all the writers again. If I was rich I’d throw money at such a publication. Given all the talk about left wingers being bad at making men not become facists because they don’t tell them how to pick up chicks, when it isn’t goofing round, Mel provided good answers to some of those pertinent questions men struggle with.

  • Every morning, I get this email. Every time I do, I’m shocked that it comes and yet I do nothing about it.

    Emails from GitHub saying ‘[faraixyz/xyz.farai.is’] Run Failed: Host on Netlify’
  • Interesting Things I've Discovered About Excel Whilst Learning It Against My Will

    In this job I’ve spent a lot of time fucking around with Excel speadsheets. Ideally it would be Access, but that requires learning VBA Macros and I’m not paid enough to do that. Then again, it would solve so many of my problems (mail merge for one).

    These are some interesting things I’ve picked up whilst playing around with Excel

    • The LET() let’s you assign variables to computations in a cell.
    • Advanced filtering is well worth learning and using over regular filtering.
    • The type of your cells really matters!
    • Learn Python and use openpyxl. Guess it’s the programmer in me, but I never got declarative programming. I really should learn VBA.
    • XLOOKUP is great for cross referencing cells. Useful for data verification.
  • I’ve got some pretty incel looking code in here.

    for row in range(5, 60):
        memcell = f"A{row}"
        idcell = f"D{row}"
        shcell = f"E{row}"
        divcell = f"F{row}"
        arrcell = f"G{row}"
        truecol = sheet[memcell].value + 3
        cells = [idcell, shcell, divcell, arrcell]
        for cell in cells:
            sheet[cell].value = re.sub(r"(\d+)(?!.*\d)", str(truecol), sheet[cell].value)

    If anyone cares, I was trying to fix some misaligned formulas in Excel.

  • Some time ago, I drafted a post about my college town Waverly, Iowa. I needed some history of the town so I pulled up that linked Wikipedia page and this was the very first sentence of the history section,

    The first permanent residents of Waverly were settled there against their will. Because of their alleged assistance given to Chief Black Hawk during the Blackhawk War of 1832, the Winnebago were forced to cede their lands east of the Mississippi and to move to Neutral Ground in what is now northeastern Iowa.

    Well damn.

    That explains a lot. It’s a shame I never learned about this though I’d never bothered to.

    I hope to publish the post on my college town at some point. As for what it’s about, all I can say is that it’s about taxes [VIDEO: 8:12, Playlist Linked].

  • For some reason, OK thought that my Mirinda and fat cook was a bottle of cooking oil and a pack of rolls, so it charged me three times the price I was expecting. After waiting a while, they were able to refund me in cash when I had paid in EcoCash.

    A bunch of Zimbabwean bank notes spread across the table

    If we’re going to have high inflation, can we at least get a $1,000 note? Can’t be sagging my pants with notes that can’t even get a loaf of bread.

  • Trying Cool Salsa Drinks

    A red top yellow bottle of Cherry & Lemonade and a green top red bottom Apple & Mint bottle on top of my laptop

    The other day I went to Pick n’ Pay and I noticed that they had these new drinks called Cool Salsa1 going for US$0.50 for a 350ml bottle. It’s a reasonable price for something I’ve never seen before, so I decided to get two flavours, Apple & Mint as well as Cherry & Lemonade.

    The Apple & Mint was more apple than mint, but it wasn’t bad though I’d rather go for the Mirinda Apple since I can get a 1l bottle of it at the same price with some useless change. The Cherry & Lemonade was great, however. Both of them had a slight preservative aftertaste, but it wasn’t overwhelming.

    I also tried the Watermelon and Dry Lemon flavours and while the Dry Lemon wasn’t special, the Watermelon was refreshing.

    I read an article on how Zimbabwe’s dollarization will attract regional companies to sell their products here giving us the same problems that we had the first time Zimbabwe dollarized. Honestly, it’s a tough problem to solve because if you try to put tariffs, we’ll face much higher prices than we already do. Then again, allowing cheaper products from abroad will ruin our forex reserves and cause unemployment as local players try to compete. Honestly, the only fix would be to increase local productivity and infrastructure so that it isn’t so expensive to do business in Zimbabwe in the first place, but that will take a while. Something for political candidates to think about before the coming election.

    1. The product’s site is broken for some reason. ↩︎

  • I managed to make that really crispy fried chicken. I started off by boiling the chicken then frying it at uncomfortably high temperatures which made it super crispy yet tender inside. It doesn’t have to be long since the chicken would have been boiled already.

  • Subscribe a lot, consume a little

    See Subscribe a lot, consume a little on rachsmith.com

    A month ago, I was happy that I reduced the posts in my RSS reader from 2,200 to 640 within 2 days. Guess what? It’s back to over 1,000 entries again 🙃🎉.

    In general, I’ve amassed a huge content backlog that I’ll never get through unless I become chronically unemployed again1 and I did nothing else during that time. I was delighted then to come across this post by Rach Smith on how shee likes to go through content which is by subscribing to many sources (preferably via RSS) and picking what to consume from there.

    Sounds obvious but rather than be pressured to consume everything, I just pick out whatever and get to the rest whenever I feel like it and get rid of the things with no appeal to me at all. Think of this as the robustness principle (hence the url) but for the attention economy where you should be conservative in what you do and be liberal in what you accept from others.

    1. Dont’ want to be chronically unemployed, but it would be great to structure my life around having a lot of free time to do whatever as if I was. That needs a lot of life planning but it’s ironic how having no money and lots of money means you can do nothing? Like that iconic Office Space scene [VIDEO: 1:40] or the Mexican Fisherman Parable↩︎

  • On my morning walk, I noticed that this palm tree had these beautiful white and purple strands coming out of it.

    In front of a faded brick well lies the tree trunk of a palm tree with a bunch of white strands with purple bulbs bursting out of a leaf like thing

    On an unrelated note, it’s interesting how image codecs reduced the 11MB file1 to 85KB while looking great.

    1. Technically 3MB but I don’t know how to losslessly convert HEIC efficiently. Bloody Apple. ↩︎

  • Southwest, why do you insist on using a custom select element? If you’ve asked yourself if you need a custom select and you insist on using one, at least make one which doesn’t suck.

    A billing form with a select menu featuring an up and down button

    Is there a reason as to why I’d prefer clicking down 200 times to get to Zimbabwe rather than scrolling down to it? It being prettier doesn’t count if it sucks this much shit to use.

  • I've Tamed My RSS Reader from 2200 Posts to 640 in 2 Days!

    I’ve said this many times but I have too much content in my backlock. Somehow, I got the energy to go through my RSS reader NetNewsWire and reduced the unread posts from 2200 to 640 in 2 days. In faireness, a bunch of feeds just reincluded hundreds of old posts, but I enjoyed reading through what people had to say. I might feature it on this site at some point.

  • That Is Very Stupid and Yet Ingenious at The Same Time

    Me: Can I get the passwords to the websites.

    Dev: Sure, here’s the file with all the passwords.

    Me Umm, OK. Though the standard login URL doesn’t work.

    Dev: Oh right, to get the login URLs you do X.

    Me: But why?

    Dev: So that no one else can login.

    Me: You gave me the passwords.

    Dev: Yeah but they won’t know where to log in.

    Me: Fair.

    This site has been annoying to manage, but I can’t say that this isn’t a good idea. I tried to get the passwords over Whatsapp, but it came out wrong because the password had asterisks which Whatsapp interperates as bold text. I hope to redesign this site at some point.

  • Why Isn't ChatGPT Availible In My Country?

    After hearing much about ChatGPT, I decided to try it out and it turns out that it isn’t supported in Zimbabwe.

    I don’t know why. Could be a sanctions thing but what on earth could Zimbabwe ever do to harm the US? My best guess is that it’s due to US trade restrictions but I don’t know why it applies to this. Let me not speculate.

    Not losing sleep over this, just think it’s weird.

  • If You Advertise a USD price, I'd Expect it To Be A USD Price

    There have been 3 times within the past week where shops that advertise USD prices don’t actually have them. It’s isn’t much money in the grand scheme of things, but if you say that there’s a deal for $4.75, you can the surprised when people are annoyed that it costs $5.83 at check out.

    Yes we know you’re playing tricks with the exchange rate, but every sensible country has a means of correcting prices based on advertising. Why the hell is it my problem that your money laundering system is incapable of doing maths properly?

    These are the sort of things that should be reported to a consumer protection authority, but it’s Zimbabwe so it won’t accomplish shit.

    “Open for business” my ass.

  • My Current Content Backlog

    In line with how there’s too much content and how I’m basically a content glutton, here’s all the stuff I thought I would go through at some point:

    • 450 articles in my rss reader,
    • 110 tabs on my mobile Safari
    • 702 posts in safari’s reading list (which can’t be exported unless you make a data request)
    • 3,063 videos on my iPad
      • 1,720 more videos are sitting on my external hard drive waiting to be watched
      • On top of all that, I’ve just added 498 videos to the hard drive
    • 35 movies
    • 14 TV shows
    • 121 Podcast episodes
    • 166 Books (as ePubs in Apple Books)
      • Another 128 books as PDFs
    • Countless games I want to play

    Note that this is a lower bound and things grow by the day. I’m about to give up on trying to catch up since it lookslike it will never happen.

  • There's a Lot of Digital Competition

    Now I know that time is finite, I also understand it’s ramifications for the attention economy. The issue is that it’s much bigger than before as there’s so many things competing for your attention. For instance, my blog is here, much like the other sites in my RSS reader, the YouTube channels I’m subscribed to, the podcasts on Overcast, the subreddits, Hacker News threads, Twitter miniverses and random websites. And that’s just the free stuff. Add money to the mix and you’ll also be competing with checkout candy.

    There’s a lot of competition out there whose customers are increasingly price sensitive. Then again, there’s a lot more eyeballs with more being added every day, as tech becomes faster1.

    I thought of this recently as I came across a video on why YouTube subscriptions are just a channel like button [7:00]. In short, the content discovery method has changed as there’s so much stuff out there.

  • Time

    The main goal of the academic field of economics is to study how humans satify their unlimited wants and needs given finite resources. Since I’m human, I have to do this as well when it comes to time, especially now as I have far less time than I used to have.

    Ever since I started working, I’ve underestimated how much free time I had while I was chronically unemployed. In those days, I could wake up whenever, watch hours of YouTube videos, play even more hours of video games1, read books, watch movies, doomscroll, listen to podcasts, binge watch multiple TV series, try cook, take a walk and at times, do productive things like program and blog. Now that I work, I have far less time to fuck around.

    Work takes 10 hours of my day between commuting, getting ready and the actual work. Sleep takes an 8 hour chunk, I spend an hour eating and half an hour of family time2. This leaves 5 and a half hours to try and do all the things I could easily when I had thrice the time. It would be less if I had to do more domestic labor. Making things worse is that those few hours are incredibly tiring as it lies during the time I wake up and when I get back from work when I’m really tired.

    Fitness and career development are important, but when video games are fun, I don’t progress my career.

    Games are fun but they need a lot of effort compared to movies and video games.

    Movies and video games are cool, but they need a lot of attention compared to YouTube videos.

    There are a lot of YouTube videos I want to watch from amazing creators (with many more I haven’t discovered) that I’m always playing catch up3. YouTube is kinda passive so I can doomscroll.

    Doomscrolling never starts out that way. It always starts with some slight curiosity on some tech influencer. Hours later, I’m suddenly unable to look away from a vile comment section.

    In short, there’s so much stuff to go through. Even If I get productive, I have hundreds of posts in the drafts and just as many links saved to go through. There’s clearly not enough time to go through it all, and I doubt there ever will. Even if I did, what’s the point? Entertainment is valuable sure, but can I truly say I’m being entertained if I’m watching a YouTube sketch comedian at 3x speed, blasting away meticulously planned stylistic pauses? Probably not.

    All this has made me realized that time is finite and I need to have a guiding philosophy to figure it out. If I don’t, I might end up in some strange places. As that cat told the girl, if you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there.

    1. Shout out to Yakuza series (0—7 as well as Lost Judgement), Persona 5 and Stardew Valley for taking up 400 hours of my time. They were totally worth it. ↩︎

    2. Had we not done this, we’d never talk since we’d probably never talk even if we live together. ↩︎

    3. It can take me hours to catch up with certain creators. And that’s at 3x speed. I get that it harms artistic integrity and all, but I want to consume more content. ↩︎

  • I’m a Short Afternoon Walk and You’re Putting Way Too Much Pressure on Me

    See I’m a Short Afternoon Walk and You’re Putting Way Too Much Pressure on Me on www.mcsweeneys.net

    Hey, it’s me: Short Afternoon Walk. As you may have noticed, you’re all turning to me an awful lot these days. Don’t get me wrong, I love what we have together, but I think we need to face the truth: I can never be everything you want me to be.

    I’ve taken morning walks for a while, and I’m sure it was for health, fitness and clarification reasons. They don’t accomplish those things but I kind of enjoy it.

    So please, for the love of God, I’m gonna need you to develop just one or even two other coping mechanisms. Then maybe, just maybe, we can actually enjoy each other’s company again.

    I guess things shouldn’t be a quick fix but an entire system.

  • Awake

    The other day, I noticed a stange icon in the system tray that looked like a teacup that was called “Awake”. Turns out it’s part of the PowerToys suite of utilities which I only use for the Spotlight-like search bar. Reading about Awake some more, it turns out it’s designed to keep your laptop…awake without changing you’re system’s power settings, useful when you’re doing long running tasks.

    One thing I was annoyed with when I got my new laptop was how the laptop would go to sleep and killdoing a long running tasks like compiling and using ffmpeg. It wasn’t a problem before since my old laptop had no battery so staying on was the default. Now I know this exists, I’m going to use it more often.

  • When Facebook Peaked (To Me)

    I was going through Digital Minimalism and got past the point where he talked about how Facebook was originally used to connect across campus before it became a (in American parlance) thanksgiving dinner conversation with your racist uncle hijacked with news, partisanship and garbage. This made me think of the best time I used Facebook.

    I’ve kinda been addicted to social media ever since mobile internet got popular in Zimbabwe. I also used Facebook then and was very cringe. The best time I had with social media is when I discovered my classmates from Grade 1 (early primary/elementary school) which I did in Australia.

    It started with my then best friend who was the first person to be nice to me as the special needs kids from a foreign country1. She messaged me wondering if I was me to which I was really excited and we got to chatting back and forth catching up and stuff.

    From then I found an old school book photo and texted out the names to say what’s up. Obviously we’ve grown and people who were mean to me apologized. Honestly, that was the best time I had on Facebook. Outside that I was cringe and bigoted2 which I fixed by getting roasted, posting less and learning more about the world. Eventually it started making me feed bad seeing my former contemporaries doing better than me. I’d love to say I left Facebook because it was Facebook, but it was just me feeling like shit.

    The other times Facebook was worth it was when I got to talk to my crush a lot during the gap year. It was also super useful in coordinating class projects and such. Besides that, using the site was really annoying. While I didn’t get suckered into political flamewars, the way it tried so hard to get engagement with irrelevant notifications and the algorithmic feed.

    I eventually deleted it because it made me feel bad and because Facebook bad. I’m tempted to go back because it can be useful for community and because businesses only have their information there. Either way, social media can be really good at times, it just takes a while to get there.

    1. Mind you there were only 6 black kids in a 300 person school, 3 of which were me, my late brother and sister. ↩︎

    2. Thank God cancel culture wasn’t a thing yet. I mean, I got roasted heavily but I wasn’t threatened with a de-enrollment campaign. Also thankful that the shit is both long deleted and not indexed on search engines so people can’t mine for bad takes I made in 2013. Not trying to claim that cancel culture is the worst issue of our time, just that people don’t think growth can happen. ↩︎

  • I got Kanye's Stem Player [VIDEO: 10:55]

    See I got Kanye's Stem Player [VIDEO: 10:55] on youtube.com/c/DankPods

    It’s a fun little device which lets you isolate parts of a song and manipulate it. Dank does a better job showing off the device than the Stem Player website. Seems useful for musicians, but it’s expensive, has low storage, it’s cumbersome to update, and it’s made by Kanye who has issues. Also, it can be done in software. It’s rather arrogant of Kanye to force people to get this device to listen to his album. Then again, we all need money.

    As for needing the browser (particularly Chrome), it kinda makes sense. Given the technology they use, they wouldn’t want to risk their segmentation algorithm leaking. Also, it’s better than using an Electron app, so I guess it’s a use of WebUSB I can get behind.

  • Please Have an Actual Website For Your Business Instead of Relying on Facebook

    One thing that pisses me off is how large software companies pretend that they can’t make good mobile websites. Facebook especially since their mobile site is annoyingly unusable—it won’t even let you copy-paste for some stupid reason. I’ve tolerated this since it’s what businesses use to push out updates and share their catalogs. The problem is that if someone has a bad experience due to an online presence you don’t control, they’ll be annoyed with you rather than the website.

    I end up there mainly for for The Old Stables Market at Borrowdale Race Course as well as some other restaurants and businesses in Harare. I assume that I’ll get a better experience if you log into Facebook, which I won’t do since I don’t have an account1.

    I know I’m in the minority here, but can you look into getting a website for your business? I get that it’s hard to keep up to date compared to social media, but you’ll have more control over how you’re business presents itself. Heck, if you’re in Zim, I can even help you build a website if you just email me at gandiyafarai@gmail.com

    1. I joined the whole #DeleteFacebook craze and deleted my account partly because Facebook was an ass, but mostly because it made me feel like shit and had endless irrelevant notifications, though I had some good times there as well. Jokes on me because I went to Twitter which isn’t much better mentally. I would like to get back since there are useful communities and the like, but there’s no psudo-anonymous way of doing it. Facebook insists on making a profile of everyone so there’s no way to be psudo-anonymous. Fix that and I might get back. ↩︎

  • Set JAWS free!

    See Set JAWS free! on yatil.net

    Freedom Scientific’s goal should be to put JAWS into as many developer hands as possible, because if websites work best in JAWS people who need screen readers will chose the commercial product on the market.

    I don’t know why it’s so hard to get their software outside the United States. Not like I can afford 1.5K but to get a license in Zimbabwe, I had to contact a “local” dealer based in South Africa who hasn’t replied to me after trying to email them twice.

    Given how it’s so difficult, I wonder what software blind people here use. Not that most local sites are accessible to begin with, but I assume it’s NVDA or whatever the phone has.

  • Kwik Trip Appreciation

    See Kwik Trip Appreciation on chriscoyier.net

    He’s talking about Wisconsin’s Kwik Trips, but they have them in Iowa too. I liked it since it was close to campus, open 24/7, had decent groceries, amazing muffins1 and the weird spiced sausage thing as well as great staff (especially a crush I had). It was also the first place I drove to when I got my car and license. I had to fill my own gas, though Kwik Trip let’s you pay afterwards inside away from the card skimmers at the pump or awkwardly preload.

    As cool as KwikTrip is, Casey’s had amazing food, especially their breakfast pizza. I once looked up how they make it [VIDEO 2:55] and it’s nothing special—just dough, cheese, American “cheese”, bacon, eggs and a midwestern touch. Besides the food, the Casey’s nearby also tied into the supermarket Hy-Vee’s rewards program for fuel.

    1. Especialy the chocolate ones which were the best baked chocolate good I’ve had in the US. American chocolate tastes weird. Turns out it literally uses rotten milk [VIDEO 13:47]—even worse they add the thing which makes it rotten. As much as I want to dunk on Americans for their shitty chocolate, it’s what they grew up with. ↩︎

  • A Vasectomy Historian on Why Male Sterilization Won’t Solve the Abortion Problem

    See A Vasectomy Historian on Why Male Sterilization Won’t Solve the Abortion Problem on melmagazine.com

    Given the recent decision by the US Supreme Court to allow states to outlaw abortion, some have proposed mandated vasectomies as a solution given that it takes two to get pregnant. They aren’t entirely serious, though it’s worrying that the solution to a violation of bodily autonomy is to violate bodily autonomy.

    Georgia Grainger is a PhD candidate who researches the history of vasectomies1. She made a thread which shows how mandated vasectomies have a horrid eugenic history to them, much like female sterilization. Forced sterilization tends to impact minority and disabled groups disproportionately. Besides the horrid use of it, most people don’t know what it entails. Sure it’s reversible in theory, but it’ll be really expensive to find out.

    1. Niche but someone has to do it I guess. ↩︎

  • The TRUTH Behind the Airport Travel CHAOS!

    See The TRUTH Behind the Airport Travel CHAOS! on youtube.com/@MentourNow

    Airlines sowing: haha, fuck yeah!
    Airlines reaping: what the fuck? This fucking sucks!

    Seems like this was an issue years in the making where faced with an aging workforce, airlines tried to defer the retirements and hope to fix the problem tomorrow rather than invest in new talent opting to offer stock buybacks instead. Whatever new talent they had they ruthlessly exploited. With Covid came early retirements, furloughs and mass layoffs. Concerning the latter, turns out that other jobs pay more and are less disruptive.

    I’m worried how this will impact my US trip. My flights seem ok for now but hearing how airports are literally full is shaking my confidence. Between the high fuel prices and the labour issues, aviation is about to get more expensive. In general, it seems the chickens have come to roost in many sectors who’ve relied on low wages for so long.

  • Does software piracy exist?: Matthew Butterick

    See Does software piracy exist?: Matthew Butterick on matthewbutterick.com

    I guess that’s an interesting way to look at it. It’s hard to quantify what losses due to piracy are. Like, earning 10K with no piracy is nice but getting 1 million with tens of millions in piracy would be better.

    I’m not saying that it’s meaningless, it’s just that if piracy was gone for good, would the would-be pirates actually buy the content? When I do premium content, I’ll try to provide a way to get it for free as I understand the struggle. It won’t be easy, but it’s free.