Excursions by Amit Gawande

While we have faced challenges before, this one is different.

This time we join with all nations across the globe in a common endeavour, using the great advances of science and our instinctive compassion to heal.

We will succeed - and that success will belong to every one of us.

Mon, Apr 6, 2020 thoughts
Liked the post Lemons for Yeast for Flour

We might be going back to the barter system — not too surprising.

Nextdoor, an app that connects users within the same neighborhood, is a natural platform for this practice. While people bartered on the app before the pandemic, some users are noticing a large increase of trade requests on the site.

Wed, Apr 1, 2020 thoughts
In reply to IndieWeb Events

I plan to be part of my first Homebrew Website Club meeting with the London event. I always wanted to be part of one, but there were never any events that I could easily attend. Given the events have gone online-only provides me with a good opportunity.

Wed, Apr 1, 2020 reply rsvp
In reply to IndieWeb Events

Skipping, as this event is for Nottingham folks only. I plan to be part of my first Homebrew Website Club meeting with the Nottingham event. I always wanted to be part of one, but there were never any events that I could easily attend. Given the events have gone online-only provides me with a good opportunity.

Tue, Mar 31, 2020 replies rsvp

I always find your experiments with the homepage interesting. I do wonder though, won’t this blank slate’ metaphor work better if you are editing your homepage as-is? The way Dave can? Do you do that? If not, isn’t the homepage primarily for the readers, who may not appreciate a blank page? I am just curious about your views.

Tue, Mar 31, 2020 reply links
Liked the post Moods and actions

And this is the perfect moment for generous connection. Going way beyond the news of the day, we have the chance to create intimate digital interactions that last.

Mon, Mar 23, 2020 likes links

There are 3 people WFH at our house - me, my wife and my sister. All have got their own corners to work from. We have explained our daughter why she should not do just 1 thing throughout the day. Some activities like art/craft/drawing/coloring. Some Lego. Some reading. And some controlled TV time. She doesn’t get an iPad or mobile.

She is also welcome to come to any of us to mingle, but only if they are not on calls or in middle of some important work. Someone else takes over in that case. Regular breaks are still in, like lunch, tea time and it is spent without a miss when all are together.

Things have been going fine for last week/week and a half. Might need some changes when this routine gets boring.

Sat, Mar 21, 2020 thoughts
In reply to Colin Devroe

I do not think people have gotten used to the changed routine yet. More family time. More work time. It will take some time to set a routine around this whole setup and daily grind.

Thu, Mar 19, 2020 reply links
Liked the post a tweet by anand mahindra

India has done a fine job, so far, of managing the crisis. Preemptive measures for containment have been lauded the world over. But our testing rate could be our Achilles heel. We need to allow the pvt sector to begin testing & scale up our capacity dramatically.

Wed, Mar 18, 2020 thoughts

The Coronavirus Pandemic is on our doorstep, whether we like it or not. Between outright dismissal (crazy) and panic (understandable), there is a middle ground of being cautious. And that is the ground on which I am walking, and I am paying close attention to what the scientists are telling us.

Thu, Mar 5, 2020 thoughts likes links

I think it possible is non-visibility of anything physical. So on a phone call, it is as if the phone is acting as an intermediary and introducing a third party, that is you.

I believe this is Amit” will sound equally absurd on a video call? Because my visibility makes me the first party?

Thu, Mar 5, 2020 thoughts
Liked the post Take Better Screenshots

The screenshot is the holy grail of customer support, paradoxically both the first and last ditch attempts at being absolutely sure the recipient of the picture will understand the needs of the sender.

Thu, Oct 31, 2019 likes links

As technology becomes more and more integral to everything we do, it can sometimes distract us from the things that matter most to us. We are committed to helping everyone with the tools they need to develop their own sense of digital wellbeing.

Wed, Oct 23, 2019 likes links

If Apple needs to do things differently in China to comply with Chinese law, they need to explain exactly what they’re doing and why. Otherwise people are going to assume the worst. Trust us” is not good enough. If they’re embarrassed to explain in detail what they’re doing to comply with Chinese law, then they shouldn’t be doing it.

Current (another!) kerfuffle involving Apple and China best summarized by John Gruber - especially the last line. All the criticism comes down finally to this.

Tue, Oct 15, 2019 replies links
In reply to Rhoneisms

I am currently reading Thinking Fast and Slow and your post reminded me of this brilliant quote from Daniel Kahneman.

A general law of least effort” applies to cognitive as well as physical exertion. The law asserts that if there are several ways of achieving the same goal, people will eventually gravitate to the least demanding course of action. In the economy of action, effort is a cost, and the acquisition of skill is driven by the balance of benefits and costs. Laziness is built deep into our nature.

Sure, as you rightly said that criticism does not achieve the same goal as direct action. But our laziness makes us believe it does.

Sun, Oct 6, 2019 replies links

I think people in customer service are a lot more wary of not displeasing their customers — even more so in hotels with their guests. This fear does expose them to being prone to social engineering. I believe they are trained to quickly move on from the problem to the solution they can provide — makes them trust others easily. I hope they are also trained to not be careless doing that.

Fri, Sep 20, 2019 thoughts
Liked the post Change – Colin Walker

If you contrast anger and depression, both negative states, you realise that someone who is angry is passionate, still cares, is still engaged. Someone who is depressed and demotivated is not engaged, has lost that passion, and that is a dangerous place to be.

Wed, Sep 11, 2019 likes links

Even I enjoy using rwtxt for capturing my thoughts. I too have hosted it on my own server. However, as much as I enjoy using it and would like to use it for journaling, am not sure about controlling the access.

I installed it on my own server (there’s a free hosted version too) and created a private domain for my diary, another one for notes and also one, which I can use to share notes with others.

Your setup really sounds interesting to me and I would love to have something similar setup. Can you please elaborate on this a bit?

Tue, Sep 3, 2019 thoughts

The phone number associated with the account was compromised due to a security oversight by the mobile provider. This allowed an unauthorized person to compose and send tweets via text message from the phone number. That issue is now resolved.”

Yes, the weakest link continues to remain the mobile providers, trying to care for the customers.

Sat, Aug 31, 2019 thoughts

There’s a beauty in being shaken out of routine, even if just for a short while, and even if that shaking is somewhat uncomfortable. There’s a lot to learn, big and small, in that discomfort—and I have a lot more learning to do.

Fri, Aug 30, 2019 likes links

Unfortunately, while there was an award made for the first place female, there was no award prepared for the first place male. Instead, there was only a trophy for the overall winner, which was predicted to be a man.

Of course, isn’t it? 🙄

Tue, Aug 27, 2019 likes links

I completely agree with you Ben. I am in the habit of searching for things to read while I idle around. In queues or while sipping a cup of tea alone. But, just like you, I rarely find much to read in my RSS reader queue. It is very unlike what the typical algorithm driven social media timelines — which always has something new (or even old, for that matter) waiting for you.

Of course, RSS is how I read your posts. And would absolutely love if you find what I write interesting enough to subscribe.

Mon, Aug 26, 2019 replies links
Liked the post Introducing nushell

Today, we’re introducing a new shell, written in Rust. It draws inspiration from the classic Unix philosophy of pipelines, the structured data approach of PowerShell, functional programming, systems programming, and more.

Mon, Aug 26, 2019 likes links
Liked the post Chasing the Pink

And this is the thing that is so brilliant and awful about Lyft and Uber’s gamification: it preys on our desire to be of service, to be liked, to be good.

A fascinate look inside the world of ride sharing drivers.

Thu, Aug 22, 2019 likes links
Liked the post Mike Monteiro on Twitter

I am now going to play with my idiotic dog, who quite honestly, deserves my attention, pays me back for it tenfold, and is absolutely smarter than Ben Fucking Shapiro. Be the people your dogs already think you are.

Thu, Aug 15, 2019 likes links
Liked the post The Real Dark Web

Perhaps more of us would use the latest and greatest code if it was well documented, and proven to be sustainable. If we thought that the people behind it thought about the coming 5 years, rather than the coming 5 job interviews.

Fri, Aug 9, 2019 likes links

Can an information system be art? Because, like I said, it’s flipping sweet, and all executed in Banksy’s trademark tongue in cheek style. This whole authentication process would easily be my favourite artwork by Banksy.

Tue, Aug 6, 2019 likes links
Liked the post Ban the guns.

It’s not about mental health; it’s not about drugs; it’s not about videogames. It’s not about prayer in schools. It’s about limiting access to instruments of death.

Tue, Aug 6, 2019 likes links
Liked the post Letting Your Ego In

From experience we should all try and remember that our opinions do not matter more than others; you can learn from each one fo your interactions, and be humble at all times.

Sun, Apr 14, 2019 likes links

I feel you are over-analyzing it. For me, all it comes down to is the order. So for the two categories you mentioned, blogs are usually ordered by the freshness of the content. You believe may be it should be ordered by the date they were posted. Search engines behave just the way you say even now.

Pagination would come next for overall user experience perspective. I am sure you agree with the perspective. The way I read your argument is around the ordering — sure it would be good to keep page numbers consistent for posts. However, it is only the writer who is aware of that. And even that might be a stretch.

Wed, Apr 3, 2019 reply links

A very valid point. I need to work on identifying these personalities and make sure I do not spend any more time listening to them criticizing these mainstream services. They are biased because they must benefit from them in some form. Such a terrible state that when the strong voices are help captive to these undoubtedly ugly services.

Tue, Mar 26, 2019 thoughts
In reply to Matthew Lang ·

A perception is built around Google now that they do not stick with their products — so much so that it’s a vicious circle now. And Google’s making no attempts to address this.

Mon, Mar 25, 2019 thoughts
Liked the post The Free And Open Internet

I think subscriptions have their place in the publishing business. But the way paywalls are implemented today stinks. Some content should never ever be put behind one. And paywalls should federate, like the early ATMs did, so that joining one means joining them all.

Wed, Feb 13, 2019 likes links

♺ Reposted a tweet

QA engineer walks into a bar. Orders a beer. Orders 0 beers. Orders 99999999999 beers. Orders a lizard. Orders -1 beers. Orders a ueicbksjdhd.

First real customer walks in and asks where the bathroom is. The bar bursts into flames, killing everyone.

Tue, Feb 12, 2019 repost links

Getting rid of the digital clutter is a lot important for me. I have observed it helps me focus on things that matter.

  • I am very aggressive unsubscriber — be it email updates/newsletters or feeds or podcasts. I like to control the amount of stuff getting pushed to me.
  • Regarding apps on my phone, I tend to come up with a limit on number of apps that is just enough. Anything I very rarely use, I uninstall. Same for app that make me access my phone subconsciously, without much purpose (like apps for social media).
  • If I want to install an app, I would scan once if I can get rid of another one that I do not need.

May be I am too stingy in a sense, or too specific. But it helps to not let my devices control what I want to do.

Thu, Feb 7, 2019 thoughts
In reply to Josh Dick

I haven’t used any high-end Bluetooth headphones. I have tried ones from Sony, JBL, Jabra and have been unimpressed, especially with music playback. I have heard a couple of recommendations for ATH-M50x now. Even AirPods. But I just can’t depend completely on Bluetooth any longer — have to carry my wired option. Hence the empathy for the overall dislike for Bluetooth amongst Audiophiles.

Wed, Jan 30, 2019 thoughts

So here’s my advice: check to see if you actually know your password, because you just might not. And, even if you do, make sure you have a way to get back into your computer in case you forget it.

A very valuable reminder from Brent Simmons indeed. I never trust my memory. I think it is because I have been burnt many a times when I simply won’t remember a thing I always do. I have copies of things I would need saved at multiple locations, in both digital and physical forms. I try to be ready for that time as much as possible.

Fri, Jan 25, 2019 thoughts

Fast forward a year, and after a lot of trial and error I’m ready to now take the next step in removing Google from my life — I’m ditching Android.

To say that I’m ditching Android is a pretty incomplete statement - because there is no one Android. It really matter which flavour of Android we are talking about. And which specific device. For example, the bloatware might not be a problem on a unlocked pixel device. At this point, both iOS and Android are in pretty stable states. It comes down to individual preferences. The author primarily seems to have an issue with Google, which again is justified.

Sat, Nov 3, 2018 reply links

I strongly believe we need tread extra cautiously while observing what these companies do with the internet. They would like to have their own walled sections of the internet where they define the rules and govern the policies. It started with URLs first (facebook.com was the internet for many). It is shifting to whole top level domains - Google’s usage of .new” for example.

I agree that the best solution will be to reduce the concentration of power. However, it is extremely complex to implement. There are too many parameter in play, both technological and political. It would be important to not let these walled premises build until we have the solution.

Thu, Nov 1, 2018 reply links

(…) expanding a license’s requirements beyond derived works is not entirely new; the GPLs requirement that build scripts be released is one example. But this takes that requirement to a rather different level, to the point of, Garrett suggested, even requiring a relicensing of the Linux kernel if a MongoDB service runs on Linux.

The change in licence terms sounds too stringent — far beyond just the scope of derived works which is typically the case. MongoDB can very well stop calling itself an open source software then when to use it in any significant manner, one needs to get into a proprietary license agreement. Wish the license doesn’t get approved as a valid open-source license.

Thu, Nov 1, 2018 reply links

It is so difficult to explore anything that Google announces without passing it thought the lens shaded by their ad business model. It doesn’t matter with what intention they implement a change or if those intentions are pure.

Sure, this will make the login secure by preventing credential stuffing. But doesn’t this also help them get more data from users who preferred not to by disabling JS? And was this the best and only solution to tackle this problem?

I believe internally too, Google must struggle with this perception.

Thu, Nov 1, 2018 opinion google

Infinite scroll can be disorienting, uncontrollable, and can cause your users stress (…) UX people shouldn’t consider infinite scrolling as a silver bullet to solve their pagination issues.

It’s worse when they load a new article when you reach the end of the current one. This is a hostile behavior towards your readers when you force articles to him/her in your quest for maximizing ad revenue via page views.

Mon, Oct 22, 2018 likes links

I’m turning off crossposting my blog to Twitter via Micro.blog. (…) Twitter is its own thing, it’s weird when I post something on my blog, but I have to check reactions separately on a closed social network. At least I get a webmention from Micro.blog, but nothing from Twitter.

Well, I have a different perspective to this than Zsolt. I post on my site, is all how I see it. And it then gets syndicated to everywhere - Micro.blog, Twitter and Mastodon. I do not worry about how it would be received where. If anyone responds/reacts to it, webmentions flow back to the post (from both micro.blog and Twitter, not from Mastodon for now).

Having said that, I share the experience with Zsolt that I receive most interactions from m.b. But there are posts that talk about a brand or a group only active on Twitter. Though rare, syndicating to Twitter allows getting responses from such folks too.

Thu, Oct 11, 2018 reply links
Liked the post Sans Forgetica

The desirable difficulty’ you experience when reading information formatted in Sans Forgetica prompts your brain to engage in deeper processing.

Fri, Oct 5, 2018 likes links

It’s entirely possible for a company like Google to make good, usable products that strike a balance between privacy and profit. It’s just that without some countervailing pressure forcing Google to hold up their end of the bargain, it’s going to be increasingly hard for Google executives to justify it.

Thu, Oct 4, 2018 likes links

I admire Aaron for his capability and willingness to be on road, traveling so often. It takes efforts to keep your mind fresh and body energized to fly around places. But some part of me also envy him that he gets to visit such fascinating locations and meet such diverse set of people all along. No doubt his perspective towards things is so genuine.

Travel makes you earnest. Wish I had means, and importantly zeal, to travel more.

Thu, Oct 4, 2018 thoughts

As it stands, I’ve put in 2,600+ hours and written 62,176 lines of code (mostly C++). The game’s made $27.92 in income, which nets out at about $0.01 per hour.

It is a sorry state for indie game developers; actually, the state would be the same even for the apps. But, on an average, I believe it takes significantly more effort to think of, design and implement a game. The race to the bottom on every app store out there is for sure to blame. Going indie full-time is becoming harder by the day. Especially so for new entrants.

I seem to have arrived very late to the party, and there are broken bottles and passed-out revelers everywhere.

I think many indie developers will share this emotion.

Mon, Oct 1, 2018 reply links
Liked the post The soup of abuse

I think we’re on the cusp of a huge revolution in humanity. Living in a soup of abuse and having to pretend everything is perfect, that’s the world we’re coming from. It’s the only world we’ve known.

Sun, Sep 30, 2018 likes links

♺ Reposted a tweet from Vox

Both Christine Blasey Ford and Brett Kavanaugh fielded questions from lawmakers and prosecutor Rachel Mitchell.

But only Ford made an effort to actually answer every question.

Sat, Sep 29, 2018 repost links

(..) it worked out all right because there was that woman using the responsive, fully interactive, enterprise-ready ERP system sheet of paper and a pencil” that allows you to reschedule bookings at will, with no programmers involved.

Tue, Sep 25, 2018 likes links

(…) we cannot measure ourselves by what we think we should also be able to get away with. In fact, this is the sort of behavior that no one should be engaging in on the court. There have been many times when I was playing that I wanted to break my racket into a thousand pieces. Then I thought about the kids watching. And I grudgingly held on to that racket.

Tue, Sep 11, 2018 likes links

In the case of Tesla, what’s missing: gravitas, which is needed when you are a public company. It needs an independent board. It needs its own Tim Cook and it needs strong executives. Musk needs to figure out how to live with the same public markets that have turned him into IronMan for some and a village idiot for others.

Sun, Sep 9, 2018 likes links
Liked the post Why Read the Classics?

A classic is a book that has never finished saying what it has to say (..) A classic is something that persists as a background noise even when the most incompatible momentary concerns are in control of the situation.

Mon, Sep 3, 2018 likes links

The power of mobs in Mastodon reminds me of the power of mobs in baby Twitter of 2009. Which is to say: it’s entirely possible it will get worse and worse — as it did on Twitter — to the point where lives can be ruined and even threatened.

Fri, Aug 31, 2018 likes links
In reply to Colin Devroe

I am happy that is the case currently. But there is a fear deep within, there always comes a time when network effect kicks in. When users who do not really have much attachment to a specific platform tend to settle down with the platforms where most of the acquaintances are. And then it is a snowball effect from there.

There has rarely been a place for many social networks to co-exists1. Hopefully, this time it is different. I doubt, but strongly wish that’s the case.

  1. Twitter is not a social network. It was only Facebook for so long.

Fri, Aug 24, 2018 thoughts

Every time I visit Aaron Parecki’s website, I come back with some inspiration - understand why & how he is implementing the things the way he is. There are many design decisions he’s handled perfectly.

But every time I visit his Articles” page, I am bewildered with one decision he has made there. He loads a list of posts, fine. But then follows it with complete contents of 20 recent articles. Given that his articles are heavy on images, that’s more than 25 MB of response. Not ideal, I think.

Mon, Aug 20, 2018 thoughts

Thank you Daniel for taking time to write the detailed post. Nanopub code and your notes helped me a lot while I was implementing the support for syndication to Mastodon. The documentation on APIs is really not clear; so was struggling a bit.

Anyway, all sorted out now. I was finally able to add the support for syndication in Blotpub.

Mon, Aug 20, 2018 thoughts

★ Liked Stories Are About Change

(..) if your story doesn’t change your lead character irrevocably from beginning to end, no one will really care about it. It may entertain them, but it will have little effect on them.

Fri, Aug 17, 2018 likes links

★ Liked Tokyo’s Long Lines Lead to Magic

Tokyo is a magical place. I knew this going in, even though I’d never been there before. It’s a fast, crowded, chaotic place, surging and staccato—until it’s not. The city is a pattern of movement and stillness, sounds and silences.

Fri, Aug 17, 2018 likes links