Michael S. Manley

Giant mushroom in roadside cemetery, NC.

Prof. James Mickens' 2018 USENIX keynote takes some wild and occasionally nerdy/cringey turns, but ultimately speaks clearly to a question I’ve had often lately: Do we really know what questions we ask, assumptions we adopt, and consequences we ignore when we write software?

A week or so ago there was a spate of discussion about “likes” on the micro.blog platform. Today I ran into someone who appears to have drafted the Simplest Thing That Might Work with the Open Heart Protocol on the back end and a web component for the front end.

Currently reading: White Noise by Don DeLillo. Enjoyed the movie quite a bit. Haven’t read DeLillo since graduate school. πŸ“š

Finished reading: This Is What Happened by Mick Herron. The first of his books that I didn’t particularly enjoy. πŸ“š

Currently reading: This Is What Happened by Mick Herron πŸ“š

Finished reading: Nobody Walks by Mick Herron πŸ“š

🐢Fresh from the salon.

This horrifies me: The creeator of the web editor Hypertext Plus, has lost his home: I’m Selling My Name by Russell Beattie.

Currently reading: Nobody Walks by Mick Herron πŸ“š

Finished reading: Lovecraft Country by Matt Ruff πŸ“š

The last Funky Winkerbean actually happened on Sunday, Dec 25, 2022 so that Tom Batiuk could go out the way Sparky Schulz did with Peanuts. This last week of John Byrne guest strips is just contractual obligation. πŸ’¬

I’ve noticed that many authentication providers & libraries fail to mention Ed Tech software like Clever, Canvas, or other LTI SSO providers. Given the variety in OAuth2 implementations, you do need a specific integration. This is one area where we could do better in open source.

A good, nerdy deep-dive into the details: Stranger Things and the Amiga 1000

Finished reading: Viriconium by M. John Harrison. Now I think I need to go read criticism of the book so I have a shot at understanding what it says. πŸ“š

Currently reading: Lovecraft Country by Matt Ruff πŸ“š

Finished reading: Attack Surface by Cory Doctorow. As usual, I agree with Doctorow’s tech/political thinking a large part of the time, but I almost always have questions about choices he makes in constructing his fiction. πŸ“š

I’ve waited for years for a cross-platform whiteboard/diagramming/mindmap tool that worked anywhere near as well as Scapple on the Mac. Today, Obsidian Canvas launched and so far, it appears to meet the brief.

What part of the Gartner Hype Cycle are we in now for ML? Is it the Burning of Megatons of Cash or the Accidental Destruction of Innocent Bystanders? Let me know when we get to the Plateau of Standing Around in the Ashes Saying “Who Could Have Predicted This?”

I generally don’t pay attention to Bird Site shenanigans these days, but I just learned they’ve banned links to a specific set of other social media. Ok, whatever. But one of those is Nostr, and as far as I know, you can’t even link to Nostr. They added that for hipster cred.

The daily 🐢s


I believe Talking About Large Language Models by Murray Shanahan should be required reading for anyone working with LLMs. You really must understand what you’re actually asking of a system vs. what it looks like you’re asking of a system.

Currently reading: Attack Surface by Cory Doctorow πŸ“š

Finished reading: Shifty’s Boys by Chris Offutt πŸ“š