Posts in: lists

I consider myself to be a fairly proficient user of English as a second language, but there are some things I will never get right:

  • Using a “W” when a “V” would do (like in woodoo voodoo; and yes, just like Chekov).
  • Pronouncing “iron” correctly.
  • Understanding whether “substituting X for Y” means that you used to have “X” and now you have “Y” or vice versa.
  • Using em-dashes without—yes, without—any surrounding spaces.

The first two are entirely my fault, the third runs contrary to most other languages, but the last one is just dumb and that rule should be abolished.

My entries in the September 2023 Photoblogging Challenge

30 Spoiler alert.

A funny thing happened while I was reading Wanting, a book about mimetic desire: started the September 2023 Photoblogging Challenge and I had sudden urge to unlock that 30-day pin.

I went for tangential over literal interpretation of the prompts, and for (mostly) archival photos over daily snaps. While reviewing old photos I realized that, among the many things wrong with my late iPhone Xs Max before the digitizer died and I had to replace it, was the lens stabilizer: most of the photos shot while it was on its last legs are smeared. I was oddly at peace with that, my own photo quality standards having slipped considerably in the last decade as my spouse became the family’s photographer of record.

I also tried to add a link or two wherever possible, because if a piece of online text doesn’t link out to anything else then what’s the point? Seriously, X now allows verified users to post walls of text in a single post and still has no hyperlinks. The mind boggles why anyone would write anything there that’s more serious than their thoughts from the shitter. In that spirit, here are all the prompts, linking out to my entry for the day:

Solvitur ambulando is my new favorite Latin phrase, for now. (ᔥRobin Sloan)

A few personal blogs of note

For some reason, I have been stumbling upon more and more good personal blogs recently. The recent detwittefication Which is a term I just coined. Please feel free to suggest alternate spellings. of the Web may explain some of my new finds, but many started long before the several more recent exodi. Here are a few:

  1. from Rachel Kwon, who has the best first post I have seen in a while (about leaving surgical residency), thoughts on and digital gardens similar to mine, and identical thoughts on optimization. So yes, confirmation bias.
  2. Matthias Ott has good advice on blogging, great recommendations on what to watch, and I also get to learn some CSS.
  3. (The?) Longest Voyage, which, who doesn’t love a good travelogue of an American in Japan, who arrives to Tokyo in January 2020. Also, Corona virus. Crazy, right?
  4. The Scholar’s Stage by Tanner Greer is unlike the other three in that — the title kind of gives it away — the articles are more scholarly and there are few if any personal topics. And while I agree with some of the theses (or takes, as kids these days call them, and the day when graduate students will be instructed to submit their “takes” on a given topic is coming sooner than you think), others leave me cold, but I’d rather read a well-argumented article with which I disagree than an echo chamber listicle.
  5. In that vein, Tipsy Teetotaler and Why Evolution is True are once-a-day (for the most part) lists of interesting things from around the internet from an Orthodox Christian and an atheist respectively, and while I am far from agreeing with either on many, many things, I also find the thoughts they share valuable, and the websites they link to interesting and engaging. So there.

P.S. This will do well as an appendix to my blogroll, which you can also check out.

P.P.S. I intentionally omitted the many, many micro.blogs I have been following, about which more in some future post — there's a cliffhanger for you.

Apps and/or services I have tried and dropped so far this year:

The one that stuck:

Yet again, Microsoft is eating everyone’s lunch. Back to the 1990s it is.

Here is a list of appliance lifespans from our new home owner guide:

  • AC: 15 years
  • Dishwasher: 9
  • Dryer: 13
  • Heat pump: 16
  • Stove: 13
  • Refrigerator: 13
  • Water heater: 11

To me, born and raised in 20th century Serbia, these seem awfully short! Have things become unrepairable?

Science and medicine blogs on FeedLand

After a few months of intermittently kicking the tires on Dave Winer’s FeedLand, I’ve finally had the time to port over a few feeds from my preferred RSS reader. The wonderful thing about FeedLand is that you can easily follow my feed categories and read posts without having an account (which is fortunate, since new signups on Winer’s own server are on hold). The full list of feeds is here. There is even a feed of posts I liked! It’s feeds all the way down.

The Science category has your usual suspects but I had to dig deep for Medicine since many of the blogs I follow haven’t been updated in years and others have turned into HuffPost-level text mills. Fortunately, Substack enabled a resurgence of medical writing, with feeds enabled by default.

Did I mention NetNewsWire is a free, open source RSS reader available on MacOS and iOS, and can sync via iCloud? For the anti-Apple readers, Feedly is there, I guess?

…and the scary/great thing about middle age is that you forget that you have, in fact, made a blogroll not two years ago, listing amongst others the two blogs included in your lamentation about not having a blogroll.

In other news: the old blog is now transferred to micro.

Among the few Latin phrases I listed yesterday, I’ve somehow managed to miss my favorite: Ars longa, vita brevis.

Comes to mind each time I glance at my bookshelf.

Some phrases in Latin, from profound to trite

Serbian educational system in the 1990s and early 2000s did not get many things right, but the one thing it did was to introduce Latin in high school The gymnasium, to be more precise, or what is a lycée in France and I guess prep school in the US. And while I don’t think it has the same negative connotations in Serbia and France as it does in America — lycées and gymnasiums being as public as the other high schools — that may just be cluelessness on my part. and continue it in medical school. In retrospect not nearly enough, but what little of it we had seems to have stuck. I am therefore always surprised by my American colleagues not having a clue about what some or any of the bellow mean.

Some of these have been repeated so often that they are part of the popular culture. I would expect gamers and fans of sci-fi to be familiar with Deus ex machina, and connoisseurs of expensive watches should have heard about Festina lente. To be clear, I’ve maybe heard of… 30% of what’s on this Wikipedia list. Looking at it, American lawyers should know more Latin that the doctors, but is that actually the case?