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Friday December 31, 2021 — Taipei, Taiwan

December has felt like it’s flown by, but looking back, a lot more happened than I thought. The biggest change is that I’m out of quarantine now, and very happy to be back in Taiwan. I released deeplinks, wrote a few blog posts, read a little bit, and went clubbing a lot.

A pot of tea on a table in an outdoor patio with some plants.The patio of a gallery/cafe I’ve been working out of sometimes recently.

I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting this month on interactions between gender and romance — the book club I’m running is reading Turn This World Inside Out, which has been extremely good so far, and I’ve been reading What Love Is: And What It Could Be as well, which is probably the best philosophy-of-love book I’ve read so far.

The main realization that I’ve come to is that the social force of men being afraid of men is probably significantly under-discussed — it has huge ramifications for all sorts of social and societal interactions, but people don’t seem to talk about it much, I think since it’s not masculine to admit to fear, so men don’t talk about this social dynamic, and as a result, a lot of people don’t realize that it’s happening. (A bit more about this on my alt twitter).

I’ve also been thinking a lot about how to express care — that’s something that I’d like to get better at, and I’ve been working on finding opportunities in my life to practice that. Still very much a work in progress, though.

One of the people in my reading group recommended the podcast “no” from The Heart, which has been another good angle to think about some of these things from.

A street, with a mural, some power lines, some plants, and a person on a scooter driving down the road.A street in New Taipei that I particularly liked the look of.

In terms of “work” sorts of things, I got some stuff done this month. I released deeplinks, which got a few hundred stars on GitHub, but didn’t get any actual users AFAICT, which makes me feel a bit silly for polishing it as much as I did.

I also wrote a couple blog posts about some tech opinions I have: Reasons to avoid Javascript CDNs, which didn’t make a big splash but still seems useful to have published, and Consider SQLite, which I put more effort into, and correspondingly ended up a bit more successful — #1 on HN for a bit, a handful of favs/RTs on Twitter, and plenty of people making comments that made it clear that they didn’t read the article, as is tradition. I have a few more posts in the pipeline as well, which feels nice.

In general, I’m wary of attracting an audience of tech people, since they tend to be way more boring and annoying than average, but I have been enjoying thinking about some tech things recently, so I might as well write them down — I think as long as I’m being careful to pay attention to the feedback loops, I should end up alright.

I’ve also been quietly hacking on a couple projects, which I hope to release eventually. You’ll see ’em when they’re ready :)

A person taking a photo of a cat.The same cat, with a whole crowd of people around it.
A street cat in Shida market with many admirers.

A very small and ratty looking cat standing on a car and looking wary, with some red lanterns strung up above it.A very wary street cat in Wanhua market, which ran off shortly after I took this picture.

I’ve been watching more movies than I usually do — a habit which I’d like to try to keep up. I’m trying to do a combination of movies that I expect I’ll enjoy and want to see, and movies that I feel like I “should” have seen, but haven’t, due to some combination of being way younger than most people I hang out with and not really having watched many movies/TV growing up. This month, I saw:

I made a Letterboxd account, which I haven’t been using much, but might in the future.

Around nine houseplants sitting on a table.Possibly too many plants, from the flower market by Da’an park.

This was another slow month for books — other than the two mentioned above (which I recommend), I finished up Polysecure and my re-read of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.

Polysecure was quite good, and as I mentioned before, I’d recommend it to anyone who’s interested in learning about attachment theory, regardless of whether they’re interested in polyamory or not.

Re-reading Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance has been really interesting — it was probably more influential on my when I was young(er) than I realized, and I still think it’s a useful and important book. It’s written in a rhetorical style that makes me find it extremely hard to trust these days, but despite that, I still think it gets a lot of fundamental truths correct.

A dog standing at the feet of someone riding a scooter.A doggo about to go on a very exciting scooter ride — also Wanhua market.

A handful of other things I’ve been reflecting on/doing/thinking about:

A cute papercraft fox, sitting on a shelf next to a plant and a bike helmet.A fox fren that I finally got around to finishing up.

As usual, here’s a incomplete list of some of the things that I read or re-read on the internet this month. I’ve put a “★” icon next to ones that I particularly recommend. Compiling this is the part of this reflection that takes the longest and is the least… reflective, so if you enjoy the links, please let me know :)

Public Health and Medicine

Writing

Politics

Marriage and Divorce

Queer

Tech

Cryptoscamming

Misc

“Cancel Culture” / Internet Mobs / etc

changelog
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