David Talbot's false choice
My book club recently read David Talbot's Season of the Witch which is about the transformation of San Francisco in the 1970s, from the perspective of 2012. Overall, I enjoyed the book, but I couldn't help noting this passage:
The housing battles of the 1970s were the crucible for an entire generation of new activists in San Francisco. The city was a finite peninsula of competing dreams and ambitions. Was it to become a Manhattan of the West, whose office towers and high-rise apartment buildings over-shadowed everything else, or remain an affordable, human-scale city of light nestled into the hills and hollows?
In the end, San Francisco chose neither. Its "human-scale" masks a terrible auto dependency and inadequate public transportation system, while the failure to build up (even a little -- Paris very human-scale but over three times as dense) has turned the city into an unaffordable playground for the wealthy and young.
Lukasz Piwek has compiled some nice examples of how to build Tufte-esque data visualizations using R.
I believe that the single most important thing a team can do collectively to improve its throughput is to make code review a (or better yet, the) top priority for all team members. This is the most compelling and concise reason I could come up with, so I'll call it out as blatantly as I can:
Pending code reviews represent blocked threads of execution.
Glen Stanford, formerly engineer and engineering manager at Twitter, has a great writeup about conducting effective code reviews, for both submitters and reviewers.
The kind of person who owns a cargo bike
A while back, I tweeted about buying a cargo bike.
I like imaging buying a cargo bike, because it lets me see myself as a better person.— Luke Francl (@lof) August 3, 2014
I liked the idea of having a cargo bike because I wanted to be the kind of person who owned a cargo bike. As my friend Chris put it, "I'd carry everything on it. I'd never need to use the car. It'd be amazing."
But I wasn't really looking for one.
Not to say I hadn't looked. I was particularly enamored with the cycle truck style. If money were no option, the Ahearne Cycle Truck would be my choice — truly a thing of beauty.
So when a fully loaded Surly Big Dummy appeared on Craigslist with a reasonable price, I debated a while, and then jumped on it. It's not necessarily what I would buy if I was building one from scratch, but it really is well set up for the urban cyclist: locking wheels, fully set up Extracycle racks, and a massive U lock with attachment.
That is to say, I am now the kind of person who owns a cargo bike. From the first day, it's been a fun addition to my collection of bikes (I now have two in San Francisco and mumble mumble some in Minneapolis).
You can't want to go places quickly on the Big Dummy. You just pedal. Reaching maximum speed is like what I imagine driving a big rig truck is like. You have to shift up to your highest gear in stages, over a space of blocks. As the guy I bought it from put it, the bike is so long, you have to parallel park it. Getting up my hill with its 10% grade is hard, even unloaded, but the low gear is low enough to make it possible.
Cargo bikes are more common than they used to be, but even today, it is a sight worth remarking on. I've never gotten so many comments or seen so many smiles while riding a bike. For some reason, middle aged black guys seem to really enjoy it.
I joked that if I owned a cargo bike I'd bike to the farmer's market every weekend. And you know what? I have biked to the farmer's market a lot more since buying it. I'm not sure I've ever bought enough such that it would, strictly speaking, be impossible to haul back on my regular bike (using two paniers and a backback). But the cargo bike makes it a cinch, and since I have it, I use it.
After all, I'm the kind of person who owns a cargo bike.
Speaking at DevOpsDays Minneapolis
The conference is sold out, so no tickets are available, but if you're in attendance, stop by and say hi.
Of course, once the technologies of communication, transportation, and weaponry became cheaper and more democratized, it turned out the masses were surprisingly hostile to elite rule and weren't afraid to show it. So perhaps it's not so impossible to say after all. In fact, most humans throughout history probably haven't favored "meritocratic" rule, but mostly had no practical way to show it except in small, usually failed rebellions. The Industrial Revolution changed all that, and suddenly the toiling masses had the technology to make a decent showing against their overlords.
As a side note, for the cost of a permit to build a backyard cottage in Sonoma I paid cash for a property in an up-and-coming neighborhood in Cincinnati. As I’m fond of saying, “Ohio is the solution to California’s affordable housing crisis.” Yeah, I know… it snows there. But with the $500,000 you save on a house you can buy a second home in the Caribbean.
A girl, a boy, and their cat
Love Is by Korean artist Puuung is an adorable series of illustrations about a young couple and their cat. They live a fairly idyllic life in a Paris-esque city. Love is captures the small moments — having coffee on the balcony, going for a bike ride, watching a movie.
The artist says:
“Love” is something that everybody can relate to. And “Love” comes in ways that we can easily overlook in our daily lives. So, I try to find the meaning of love in our daily lives and make it into artworks.
I really enjoy the series. The only problem is that I'm jealous of their awesome apartment (the archicture of which Puuung has put a considerable amount of thought into — it's very consistent from illustration to illustration).
Eric Sink gives Rust a pretty positive review after implementing a project using it.
I am seriously impressed with Rust. Then again, I thought that Eric Bana's Hulk movie was pretty good, so you might want to just ignore everything I say.
In terms of maturity and ubiquity, C has no equal. Still, I believe Rust has the potential to become a compelling replacement for C in many situations.
I look forward to using Rust more.
Chris Stuckman enumerates six problems with action movies today.