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Kartik Agaram @akkartik@mastodon.social

Pinned toot

Researching new ways to write software that make it easier for newcomers to understand rather than for insiders to maintain. Systems that build easy, reward curiosity. akkartik.name/about

Author of Mu: github.com/akkartik/mu. Using it to teach kids programming 1:1: akkartik.name/post/mu

. Ethos: ship with all deps, gradually streamline their code for own situation, get ideas for improvements, send patches upstream. Implies: can't have too many deps!

@jbond @akkartik @britt Everything is broken in multiple places, I know. And until we jump over to GNUnet or something TLS we'd better work on the fixing and making fixing easier.

(Nevertheless, PKI delendam esse)

@dpwiz @akkartik @britt Blogs especially, but also information websites have a tendency to be long running and have embedded images inserted years (even decades) ago that are served as http. So at least some of the content ends up being mixed http / https. Which then throws security warnings. Actually fixing all this can be a major piece of work.

@akkartik @britt @jbond Without content signature TLS provides your blog could indeed be dangerous to the visitor coming from public networks like sponsored or free WiFi: DNS poisoning, content injection, traffic redirection and other MITMs.

Just trying to bring a federated toot into the instance I'm residing in

I can tell how good a codebase is by how tense my neck muscles are. And this one is particularly tense one.

@britt @akkartik I think level of intrusiveness should change based on user activity, read vs post comment vs enter credit card....

@jbond De-listing or aggressively demoting HTTP only sites in ranking seems like too heavy handed of an approach.

@akkartik I think there is something useful about telling people your blog is not encrypted, though it shouldn't be marked "dangerous" like submitting an unencrypted form. Whoever is sitting on the network can see that I'm going there which is a bit of my data, but also I can't know that the contents haven't been tampered with in transit. Seems tinfoil hat until you use hotel wifi.

@britt @akkartik There's a side effect here of Google's monopoly. Search+Chrome+Android means that regardless of whether https is necessary in a particular case, Google can effectively hide any site or source that doesn't use https. You can see that as a good thing or a bad thing. And you don't need tin-foil-hatage to see it. More likely is that Google will just do something, for reasons, and we'll just have to put up with it. No malice, just unforeseen consequences.


RSS and Google Reader are Dave Winer's pet peeves, and I'm sympathetic. But he's missing an even better example: what Google did to Dejanews. Just look at all these complaints about stuff that used to be on Usenet that is no longer available: hn.algolia.com/?query=groups%2


The part about HTTPS totally makes sense. I've been struggling to articulate this for a while.

I tweeted about this in a more provactive way. Basically, does your mental model of human behavior cleanly explain The Scene?

Maybe >20 responses from different highly confident people with different conflicting models of human behavior.


As a corporation, Microsoft will out-live all of us. Same for Google and Apple. Free software is an inter-generational effort. We don't know what proprietary software companies will do beyond our lifetimes, so we need to do our best to care for free software in our lifetime. Same goes for a lot of other, similar efforts.

@akkartik @vgr This brings me back to my view that we need a supplement to the current status-based open source reward system and the obvious alternative is to find more ways to pay people for low status contributions.

@neil @KevinCarson1

This review seems great and the book worth reading: "I get the impression some advocates of “scaling up” are unable to grasp the possibility of 300 million people brushing their teeth in an uncoordinated effort using their own toothbrushes, unless it is somehow “scaled up” to everybody brushing at one time with a single 10,000 ton toothbrush—coordinated by a central body that formulates tooth-brushing guidelines...."
#horizontalism #platformcapitalism

We should try to set some thematic priorities here and find ways to encourage them. I propose jokes as a key theme.

Q: What did the Overton window say to Chesterton’s Fence?

A: I can’t see past you


@Elmkast The noun or verb for being bored. But the word would only come into existence iff there was a concept. My (wild) suspicion is that before the cultural homogenization began, there wasn't any concept of being bored in the Indian subcontinent.

PSA: if a user habitually boosts stuff you don't want to see, you can turn off boosts just for them without unfollowing them

view their profile in the regular masto UI and you'll see a "Hide boosts from X" in the hamburger menu

this can make the whole experience a lot less annoying, but it's not well-known!

If you're interested in VR at all, I highly recommend getting an Oculus Go and then buying "Virtual Virtual Reality."

Probably first thing on VR that felt like I was actually playing a video game. Long enough to require multiple sessions.

Game dynamic is great. You put on virtual VR headsets in the game and you can go arbitrarily deep so you're like in VR in VR in VR in VR.

A lot of funny commentary about AI too. Aesthetic feels like Portal.