How did it get so late so soon? 
It’s night before it’s afternoon. 
December is here before it’s June. 
My goodness how the time has flown. 
How did it get so late so soon?
Dr. Seuss

It has been a few weeks since I sent one of these updates. I thought I would write one last month. Like all writers, I, too, have developed a penchant for procrastination. It is a deadly affliction, especially if your think in words and write to bring order to your inner self. So this morning, when a 4.0 Earthquake woke me up, I knew I couldn’t go back to sleep, and I took it as a cue to sit down and write this quick note. 

Over the past few weeks, I have been busy playing with new technologies and jotting down ideas for future (longer) pieces. It is a much better use of time and a good distraction from the shit show around us. Twitter, in particular, is a dumpster fire. And while I am not on Mastodon (yet,), I might set up a personal instance and tinker with it over the holidays.

Mastodon, in itself, isn’t novel, as it mimics Twitter. The idea of Fediverse and, by extension, ActivityPub, are interesting because they hark back to an early vision of the web, one that wasn’t dominated by the “centralized attention” economy. I feel there is a big opportunity for WordPress (my blog publishing system) to give a push to Fediverse and ActivityPub. More on that in a future communique.

In case you missed some of the recent writing, here are a few links.

December is almost half done, though I am just getting started. Winter months are my favorite time of the year — when I take my camera and head out wherever there is snow. 

And now for some recommendations: 

  • If you are looking for a nice, calm (cozy) crime series to view this holiday season, I highly recommend Three Pines, which is based on a novel by Louise Penny and stars Alfred Molina. Molina is just such a great pick for the role of Chief Inspector Armand Ganache. It is spectacular viewing and free to watch for Amazon Prime members.
  • If you are in London and are looking for a modernist twist on Indian cuisine, I highly recommend Bibi. Great ambiance, a fresh take on food and flavors I am familiar with, without pandering or diluting the originals. 
  • Closer to home in San Francisco, check out El Rey Taquiza Artesanal, which has a fresh (and I mean really fresh) take on Mexican food. I have been there a dozen times already and have never been disappointed. 
  • If you are on Mac, you should check out Arc, a new, simpler, modern take on the Chrome browser. It is kinder to your computers than the junk Google puts on the market. There is a waiting list.
  • I got rid of Google search and replaced it with Neeva. It is a new search engine built by Google Search team members. For me, it has been worth switching. 

PS: Please visit the website more often and catch up on my short posts, recommendations, and photos. You can leave comments and start a conversation now that we are avoiding Twitter. 

December 17, 2022

Friday Night Lights: SF Giants Stadium, long after the game is over. Leica SL2-S. Leica M 135mm lens.

“Tweek,” is an aggregation of the tweets I sent out during the week. It is a habit I picked up from Disquiet, a blog run by Marc Weidenbaum. It allows me to remember what I was thinking about during this specific time. It also allows me to correct my grammar and spelling. If you don’t follow me on Twitter, this is just the best of what I have shared with my community.) 

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September 23: The passing of Melvin Van Peebles made me think of his son, Mario, who made the most wonderful 1991 release New Jack City, which like The Godfather, is one of the best movies about the brutalism of the capitalist way. Quote: “Yo baby, we talkin’ about combinating and consolidating!”

***

 In response to a tweet by outgoing Facebook chief technology officer Mike Schroepfer, I did a tweet thread. 

September 22: Here is my PR-bullshit free translation: 

  • 1. There is no way stock will do better than what it has done over the past 13 years. 
  • 2. Govt(s) oversight is going to grind the company. 
  • 3. Top-down leadership is getting crazier. 
  • 4. Term limit on enabling a monster is 13 years.

I remember when Mike was part of @mozilla and what a strange journey from being part of the open web’s champion to being part of the evil “attention sucking” empire that is a net negative for the web, SV ecosystem & Society.

The last thing I will say to this – the longer you have stayed inside the circle, the less trustworthy you are. It is a shame that SV is hiring from a knowingly toxic and morally ambiguous place. All things learned there are going to pollute the ecosystem for a long time.

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September 22: The macro photography on the iPhone 13 Pro is insane. Here is a close-up of nibs from a new Twisbi pen. My short review from yesterday, in case you missed it.

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September 20@PitchBook: $23.5B invested in Indian startups this year, nearly double what the country’s VC ecosystem collected over the last two years combined. Forty-one unicorns, 17 minted this year. Big market, more local tech IPOs & China (Tech)Chill prompting shift of $$$s to India.

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September 19: 25 years ago, sometime this week, @djshadow

 dropped the mind bomb called Endtroducing. We might be getting old, but that album still keeps rocking. Raise your hand if you heard it then! (Read)

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September 19: Damn @disneyplus has deprecated the @IPL viewing experience by pushing it to @ESPNplusHD & killing @DisneyPlusHS. This is what happens when a global strategy is set from California without understanding viewership. The point of “apps” was to create curated experiences and go after niches. Instead, we are back to the lame “cable oriented thinking,” which isn’t surprising since most media giants aren’t known for innovation.

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”Now that syndication is no longer the cash cow it used to be, that goal is no longer as important — and the value of shows going on for years and years has thus plummeted in the eyes of the networks, while they become some of the most popular library content offered by the streaming services,” writes former colleague Liz Shannon Miller. She bemoans the death of really long-living TV series, the kind we talk about after years. For example, Friends, which is 25 years old now. My view: post-Internet society has such fractional attention span, that seasons long series feel like a drag unless they are exceptional. Not to mention, the ddemands on our attention are manifold.