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If you could make an open Facebook without using carbon-spewing blockchain tech why would you burn all that carbon? Do you care about the survival of our species?

New Drummer verb that generates Markdown from an outline or part of an outline.

BingeWorthy day 2

Yesterday I wrote a bit about BingeWorthy, the app I wrote a couple of years ago that helps you find new shows to binge based on the ones you and your friends like. We need more users for it to really achieve its potential.

I would be happy to do a deal with a tech company on this product. I think Twitter would be great, but there are lots of companies where it could find a good home. I just want to see millions of people using so I can meet all the people who like the same stuff I do. I think we'd take over the world, figuratively. ??

A network of people based on their entertainment tastes would make sense for a growing service like Hulu with lots of highly rated shows, that wants to grow their service. Part of the philosophy that "people come back to places that send them away."

BTW -- here's the readout of people most like me in their ratings. I don't know @alisonjfields but we seem to like the same stuff. @jsavin is #1. I also like to see @nakedjen and @leolaporte high on the list.

I wonder why the tech industry hasn't done something like BingeWorthy. I think it's because they create data mining tools for advertisers. This is a data mining for users. The more users, the better the data. A real incentive to get your friends on board. BW should really be a product offered by Netflix, Metacritic, Twitter, Facebook, even Google. What show to watch is a question millions of people have, esp this time of year. This is what the platform should look like. Share profiles w friends. An interesting twist, it's not just about finding shows to binge, it's about finding friends with similar taste.I was surprised to find that Jake Savin, who I worked with a long time ago, and I, have very similar taste. We like and dislike the same things.

Maybe they should do interviews with Covid doctors on CNN from the room where intubated patients are waiting to die.

Sometimes people deliberately mispronounce or misspell my name, I guess theyre trying to embarrass me? I have a name almost as bad as the Boy Named Sue. Its hard to get under my skin that way. ??

I tried watching Get Back, but after five minutes of holy shit those are the young Beatles acting like normal people it became fairly boring. I guess I like a plot? Did it get better?

Twitter Blue gives you a pretty lame undo command. I guess its impossible to do it for real with their server architecture.

I added The Great as a favorite on my BingeWorthy profile. I'm well into Season 2. It's a pseudo-history dramedy in the spirit of Succession or The Death of Stalin. It's about a Russian empress who overthrows her husband the emperor. As they say, hilarity ensues. ??

One of the stars of The Great, the guy who plays emperor Peter, is a dead ringer for a young Elon Musk. Same mannerisms and look, but hes funnier and of course a better actor. One of the tech companies or car companies should hire him to do ads.

You can get anything you want at Alice's Restaurant. ??

I just started Get Back, the first few minutes of the first episode, enough to know that it's going to be a heavy emotional experience for me. As a kid I had so much invested in the Beatles. Each period of their existence marked some big period or event in my life, things that I've mostly buried, but come right to the surface with (for example) Paul and George flopping their heads in the chorus to Twist and Shout. To see the Beatles, alive and young and at the peak of their creativity, in a way we couldn't see them at the time, that's like reading a letter from a long-dead relative. The people are gone, the experiences were seminal, and recoverable.

I'm watching The Great on Hulu, and it's really good. Didn't get the best reviews. I'm only on episode 4. It's about Catherine The Great of Russia. The story is pretty heavy, but believe it or not, it's a comedy!

I am a NYT subscriber, but can't access Wirecutter. It's weird, the site seems broken -- when I try to log in it just sends me back to the page that says I have run out of free articles. It could be they want more money for WC, if so, the answer is no. I don't read a lot of NYT articles as it is. I have a very bad feeling about them, and it gets worse every year. That took a lot of work on their part because I was raised on the NYT.

The Beatles

The Beatles at Shea Stadium, 1965.

Paradox in social custom

An example of a social custom from two points of view.

  • It's wrong to bring sex into a work relationship.
  • I think it's equally wrong to bring business into a sexual relationship.

It has happened, esp in Silicon Valley or New York, when a woman I was dating, or interested in dating, revealed that she was really there for the business. I want to understand up front. If it's business, fine -- I'll evaluate it one way, if it's sexual, another. It's a really awkward situation where someone I was attracted to sexually, wants to do business -- and wouldn't have gotten a meeting if it were clearly about business.

Honestly I think the two sides are the same thing, but we view one as wrong, and don't have explicit rules for the second.

Another example.

  • If you work for me, or we're equals in a business relationship, either way -- no one is accountable to the other for what they do with personal time. Your boss can't call you up on the weekend and expect you to tell them what you're doing. You don't have to tell them anything, unless it impacts your ability to do the work.
  • I think it's equally wrong when a person who reports to me, or is an equal, reports to me on what they're doing in their personal time. It creates a conflict, am I expected to reciprocate, because I won't. I draw a solid line between work and personal time. If I share personal things in a work context, they are no longer personal.

These concerns are spelled out more carefully in professions like medicine, academics, law. A therapist isn't allowed to date a patient. A lawyer can't represent both sides in a legal battle. When the lines cross, there's trouble ahead.


Last year on Thanksgiving we were in the midst of the worst of the pandemic, and the best we could do is stay home and hope we don't get infected. This year it's very different -- thanks to the vaccine. I got my first dose of Moderna on January 20, the day we inaugurated the first post-insurrection president. What a relief, in two ways. The Orange Tyrant who tried to overthrow the US government was gone, and I was on my way to being protected from the virus he let run rampant through the country we all have been told is the greatest on earth, but did the worst job of protecting its citizens. I hope that was the low point, but who knows!

I also was thankful for my car. It's funny that I thought about that post just the other day driving my new Tesla around the neighborhood, marveling at its intelligence, muscle, and how much it is like the computers I use, the exercise bike I just bought, and the phone I carry everywhere with me. The Silicon Valley design ethos, which I am schooled in and in a small way helped develop, is eating the world, as venture capitalist Marc Andreessen said so well. The Subaru I drove last year is a fine machine, and in some ways it's more comfortable than the Tesla, and it'll probably do better if we get a blizzard in the mountains. But its software is a jumble of poorly designed components that don't work well with each other from a UI standpoint. In that area the Tesla is perfect. It's a system designed to be understood by a modern user. The pre-Tesla car manufacturers have a long way to go to catch up to Tesla.

I am thankful for the first users of Drummer. We have reached a critical mass where I can add features, and get feedback from users, and that gives us the ability to move forward. I think this happened because I decided to put my head down on Drummer and work until it was really ready. There still are problems with the software, it is far from perfect, and I'm thankful for the users' patience, but mostly I'm thankful that there are users to be patient.

At 66, health is no longer something I can take for granted. it takes work to keep going, and I've had my troubles this year, but basically I'm still here, and most of my body is working fine. I'm thankful for that.

For whatever reason I'm not very talkative this week. Not sure why. Often when this happens it's followed by a period of idearrhea. No apologies, I'm still here, feeling more pensive. Happy Thanksgiving! :-)

Next iteration on Markdown-in-an-outline

This time I think I have it, for real. I swear. ;-)

Here's the deal...

  • All the action is in Old School.
  • A new head-level attribute, flSinglespaceMarkdown.
  • Default: false -- which means we generate two newlines per outline node, with one exception.
  • If a node has an flSinglespaceMarkdown att set true, its subs are single-spaced.

The assumption is that most often people will write in the outliner one paragraph per headline. but there are exceptional cases where you need more control over the markdown text we generate, and need to do your own double spacing, so you tell Old School to just do one.

Comment here.

A script that generates the list of Drumkit verbs. For people who worked on outlines in Frontier, have a look. I found a way to work on outlines as JavaScript structs. It's very efficient and much easier to program.

I love my new Tesla. I'm looking for excuses to drive places. I haven't felt this way about driving since I was a teenager with a new license.

There are so many interesting things about the Tesla, and I'm just getting started learning about them. It's as if I didn't get a PC until the IBM PC came out. Or maybe later. Here's something I figured out the other night, driving on a mountain road with lots of turns and ups and downs, a road I'm quite familiar with -- the Tesla makes you a better driver. This is something my Subaru does too, you only have to hold the steering wheel loosely while navigating the turns and ups and downs. The road is well-marked and the car knows what to do. The Tesla even more so. It's like my iPhone which takes better pictures in 2021 than the 2011 model did. We like to say "no filters" but the truth is they're just really good filters that make you think you're the photographer, but the phone did the hard work. Same with the Tesla. I like driving it in the same way. It flatters me to think I'm that good a driver. I know the truth though -- I didn't become a better driver, I just got a car that makes me feel that I did. And who wouldn't love that.

Heres a thread reader integrated into Twitter. Next: eliminate the numbers, add links, simple styling, let me give it a title (optional) and were ready to rock. Think theyll have that by say 2030?

Google's search engine really doesn't like this blog. I tried searching for Scott Love on my blog. It didn't find the instance where I wrote about him here earlier this month.

Yesterday I did my tenth Peloton ride. The exercise is making me stronger. I don't know why I didn't want to do the classes. I love my teacher, Emma Lovewell. She's super nerdy. When we're doing something particularly strenuous, I close my eyes, focus on my breathing, in through the nose, out through the mouth, and I listen to her say that this pain is worth it because it'll become strength when the workout is over. It's so true. I don't particularly care for the music she chooses, I don't know any of it, and it's not catchy. But she's a lot younger than I am, so I guess this is the kind of music the young folk listen to? I'd love it if there were a Tom Petty ride or a Grateful Dead ride. I can see riding to Refugee or US Blues.

Markdown summary

Drummer, an outliner, now allows you to write blog posts in Markdown.

The question was -- how?

This is what we came up with:

  • - One newline per outline node.
  • - Indentation belongs to the author, generates nothing.

I think this works and is true to the philosophy of MD.

Markdown work

Going to do some more cleanup work this morning on Markdown support in Old School.

In the meantime, the thread continues. If you're planning on using Markdown to write blog posts in Drummer, you might want to tune in, because things are being locked down today.

There are only two rules that govern how Old School generates source for the Markdown processor:

  • One newline per outline node.
  • Indentation belongs to the author, generates nothing.

I sent a private note to John Gruber a few days ago, letting him know this discussion is going on. As far as I know we are setting prior art for outliners used to generate Markdown for publishing. If there is prior art, I would love to know about it now, asap.

This is different from the Obsidian model also used by LogSeq -- which uses Markdown as a file format for outlines.

Update: Here's a list of this morning's changes to Markdown support for publishing.

Video demo of a new Drummer feature. Headlines whose type is 'rss' can be expanded to reveal the items in the feed it connects to.

Poll: If a person from NY uses the word "fuck" in a sentence that means..

Does anyone seriously think that Facebook-the-company wants to fuel hate in the world? Yet you see articles that say exactly that from supposedly credible news orgs.

The Repubs get more obnoxious all the time. There doesn't seem to be any limit.

A new Drummer verb, rss.readFeed, returns a JavaScript object. This used to be a complex thing to do, but it's absolutely as simple as it can be. I did something new here. I'm only passing through values that are documented in the RSS 2.0 spec and the source namespace. That's not as draconian as it might sound, because I'm using a Node package written by my friend Dan MacTough that handles all the common feed flavors, including Atom. His code translates the variants to a common vocabulary. And I further winnow it down to just the basic concepts. To some extent, RSS grew in an unruly chaotic way, but imho the core is solid. After all this time, with Drummer as a new platform, I think it's a good time to pause and create (hopefully) a simpler future that can work better.

A discussion about how Markdown should be processed for Drummer blogs. Basically, what role if any should indentation play, and how many newlines to generate for each line in the outline. My current position -- indentation should play no role in the Markdown we generate from the outline, it should be ignored. And we should generate one newline for every line in the outline. Note this is not how Drummer works now.

What people at bigco's say for 2000, Alex

Something I've been hearing from employees of big tech companies for my entire career, going back to the late 70s --> "Who the fuck are you?"

That's what they say and do. So many examples. And almost all of them are gone. They were significant, maybe, for a few weeks. Then poof, some other asshole at some other tech giant comes along, and gets his or her (mostly his) few minutes to be a super asshole.

How much more would we get done if we lived up to the hype about supporting innovation. You can't do a lot of that as some random putz inside of a bigco.

You pretty much have to do what I've done, which is stay out of those monstrous structures, that is, if you want to actually do anything.

And then of course the jerks come along and kick over your sand castle.

And then they're gone in a few weeks.

So far I've survived them all. Knock wood, praise murph, etc.

My new Tesla

Here she is, my new blue Tesla Model 3.

Drives great.

A bit hard to get in and out of.

Very comfortable to drive.


Wish it had Apple CarPlay.

It's charging now in the garage.

It's as powerful a car as I've ever driven, like my 2007 BMW 535i.

Most of the Tesla people at the Mt Kisco store were assholes, but they finally gave me someone who talked like a New Yorker. Most of the Tesla people have the same smarmy attitude that they're doing you some kind of favor to sell you a hugely expensive car, like at an Apple store. The guy we finally got talked to us like human beings who love computers and are excited to own a new kind of car.

Thanks to Peter Politi for taking the trip with me.

I did a refresh on the ArtShow collection yesterday, a few hundred more classic paintings. Free to download, or use via web.

A simple XML viewer?

When you view a normal XML file in the browser, Chrome gives you a simple, readable XML viewer.

I want to be able to invoke that viewer from a JavaScript app running in the browser.

Some kind of JavaScript call like

  • window.xmlViewer (xmltext);

The only other option is to rewrite it from scratch, which I'm open to doing but would rather not. Does anyone know if such a thing exists?

BTW, one of the things that kind of silently limits the size of RSS is the way browsers display RSS feeds. They can handle other XML types in a normal sensible way. But the RSS viewer is broken. I wish they would just let it be, and show it as a normal XML file.

A thread to discuss.

A podcast about Project Glorp.

I'd love to discuss Markdown with people who know Markdown and use Drummer. We should have a Markdown nodetype. I've been playing around with it, but I'm not satisfied with what I have yet, not ready to lock it down. Here's an RFC with a link to an example.

Project Glorp

The next Drummer-related project is called Glorp.

Glorp is for you if you document projects on GitHub. It's good at managing docs across lots of projects, all in one outline.

I'd like to get a small group of people who do a lot of doc-writing for GitHub to review the design and docs.

If you're part of the test group, you are making a commitment to use the software, to report problems, to let us know if fixes worked.

I'm looking forward to working on this software with some excellent developer docs kind of people.

If you'd like to be part of the test group, please fill out this form.


PS: A podcast about Glorp.

A week of Peloton

I've had my Peloton for a couple of weeks now.

I've done a session every day for the last six days.

At first I didn't think I wanted to do the classes, but the second time I tried a class I was intrigued, then by the third, I was hooked.

The exercise on a Peloton is more than twice the exercise you get riding around the moutains on an E-bike. It's hard work going up the hills, but you get to just have fun going down, there's no work involved. So 20 minutes of Peloton riding equals 40 minutes of road riding. Only it's even more, because you're working harder. Always harder.

My legs feel stronger and healthier, and overall I feel that way too.

An entirely positive experience, and my idea of what exercise is about is shifting in an interesting way.

And -- tomorrow I get my Tesla Model 3. So I expect some more major horizon busting is to come.

Chromebook for Dave?

Thinking of a Chromebook, for reading news over breakfast, possibly taking it with me to a coffee place to do a little writing.

Running an Electron app in Linux? Is this possible?

It should have a couple of USB ports, bluetooth, a nice keyboard, mike, camera, etc.

Looks nice. Light.

Under $200?

Comment here.

PS: I went with the Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5.

Malynda Hale: "Imagine if Kyle Rittenhouse were a Black teenager."

There's a dichotomy in outliners -- 1. The outliner as a document, like a spreadsheet or word processing file. A file format. 2. The outliner as a file system, a container for documents, a way of organizing them. Drummer, used as a blogging tool is a solid #2.

In 2006 I ran into PC columnist John Dvorak at the Apple store in downtown San Francisco. We got talking about how he was a troll, and he told me to turn on my video camera and he explained how trolling works. A classic.

If I had a billion dollars, I'd buy a TLD and sell domains for 10 cents each, to see what would happen.

Edward Hopper

Conference at Night, 1949.

About this Web 3 thing. Listen. I understood the Web in about a minute. Web 2.0, I played a role in defining and developing it. So you could say I got it. But Web 3? Why did they choose a name that promises so much, and more than anything -- simplicity. The idea of anything called "Web" being opaque, sounding like a scam, a VC's wet dream -- that's so counter to what the word means in tech. I shouldn't have to read a few white papers, and still not get it. Look, my intuition says that the web is the web is the web and there is no Web 3, there's just the web. I don't like that they usurped the name of something so simple and precious for something that looks scammy. I think they should have chosen a different name.

My Peloton

I wrote this thread on Twitter this morning.

  • Ive had a Peloton for a couple of weeks.
  • I got it so I could exercise when the weather is too nasty to go out for a ride or a walk.
  • Ive done classes and rides with no content. I dont like the classes. The impersonal you can do I it motivation is a real turn off. Who the heck are you, and yiu have no clue who I am. Ugh.
  • Why not have classes where you learn something? Then Id look forward to it, instead of dreading it.
  • Im going to keep trying with the classes. Basically I am already motivated, I love the high I get from exercise. But I wouldnt mind using the time to learn stuff.

Then this evening I took a class with a teacher I really liked. And it made all the difference. I got a better workout, and I had fun. I even talked back a few times. Totally got into it. Weird. Peloton

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