2021-09-17 Nerd Roundup

What a great Nerd Roundup today! We did some Erlang, Docker, language design, type classes, railguns, and much more. There was also an extra amount of silliness in the news in the past week for some reason

2021-09-17 Nerd Roundup

James Grenning stopped by and we had a blast.

For whatever reason, Greg Young seems convinced that the roundup happens an hour earlier than it does. The last three times, he keeps pinging me asking where everybody is. He did not make the reschedule. He had other appointments.

We either need to reschedule the time to whatever Greg has, or we might be able to convince Greg to move his calendar appointment. I have no bets on which one is more likely.

[Inside baseball] This is a good example of why a fixed time is the only way Nerd Roundup is going to work]

I would have really loved to dive down into the BEAM stuff or the principles of language design, but, sadly our time was limited.

Civilian astronauts in space? Wowser!!
Inspiration 4 homepage
QUICK Obligatory SpaceX mention. NO LINKS. STORY IN PROGRESS
Optical-Cavity-Induced Current
I want to believe. Is there a real Santa? Here's the main scientist doing a layman's ptich on YT
ZPE (Zero-Point Energy) Again! Yay! It's extremely likely that this is yet another EMDrive, but it'll be a hecka fun ride watching it play out until it finally dies. It's FTL neutrinos all over again
BEAM Wisdoms
Elixir Google API: Server-side access to all of the Google cloud apps from Elixir. You can also just use small scripts and CLI
Erlang is next on my language list, and this looks like a great place to start. Now I just need to start! Erlang/Elixir is considered mostly done, and is rock-solid. Compare and contrast that with every other app/deployment platform
Some of the most iconic 9/11 news coverage is lost. Blame Adobe Flash
Farm tractors , ebooks, old apps and games, lost historical footage, millions of websites stop working. DRM and forced upgrades are destroying out history
Stuff that's detrimental, manipulative, and many times just flat-out false goes around the world 20 times in a second, shared by millions. Meanwhile other things completely disappear, either through DRM/Copyright, link rot, or dropping off the search engine radar. It's the worst of both worlds
The fungal mind: on the evidence for mushroom intelligence
Top 15 smartest animals on the planet
If we can have ZPE, surely we can have mushroom people, right? We are quickly reaching the point that whatever biological system you specialize in, you're convinced it has secret, hidden intelligence that you're determined to share with the rest of us. This kind of mixing around with definitions and publishing anything that'll get clicks is how we end up with ZPE and lost historical stuff. Content production is orders of magnitude greater than conten consumption
Social media influencer/model created from artificial intelligence lands 100 sponsorships
Towards Data Science has a great article on the positive uses of deepfake AI. My guess is that once folks start using it regularly for any reason, we're all in the boat.
And so, here we are
.NET 6 Minimal APIs at a glance
An introduction to functional reactive programming
I like it, I guess? So we're now re-inventing FRP on top of the rest of that mess? What could go wrong? We gotta stop this default pattern of software growth by endless acretion. Society works on humans and humans need agency and a reasonable cognitive load for our system to work. If everything does everything and nobody can approach and quickly understand it, we are creating a new magic/religion
Stripe banned us for payment disputes but we never had a dispute
HN discussion with a shoiutout from the Stripe cofounder doing a mea culpa, fwiw
Interesting point here about doing "just enough" with a business using ML. Because there's no reasoning about how ML works, that last 1-10% of folks you either under-serve or screw over don't have a chance to find a better business. Either that or a big hunka small biz competition and startups finding traction is going to end up being Big Data/ML That's a crazy new market entry barrier
'Amazon of Information': Why Ethereum Will Overtake Bitcoin
HN discussion on Web3, one place this is all headed.
This is a good argument, and this web3 thing where the token moves along the web with your money in it independtly of browser, bank, or currency? Could be bigger than crypto currency itself
Bitcoin billionaires bet big on reviving woolly mammoths to combat climate change
Wikipedia page for de-extinction
I have this vision of billionaires riding wooly mammoths into battle against oil wells. Don't rob me of that
FSharp Designer on downsides of Type Level Programming
It's all the fun of inheritenace in C++ only mostly-invisible and with types. Don makes a great case for why it shouldn't be in there. Here's a great explainer article on typeclasses
We gotta do this. Language design is something I wish we had more time for. Maybe in Nerd Ninja, if we do that
Researchers successfully potty train cows
Eight exotic pets that can be house trained
Ducks that curse, cows that use the restroom. I no longer recognize the barnyard. What's next? Dancing mules? Intelligent corn?
Defense Department seeks nuclear propulsion for small spacecraft
Relevant source: Defense Innovation Unit: Advanced Nuclear Propulsion and Power. Apply now! Closing in next two weeks
We desperately need a SpaceX Starship for interplanetary travel. Wonder who, if anybody is going to pick up that mantle?
U.K. Royal Marines Want to Acquire Autonomous Hybrid Surface, Subsurface Stealth Vessel
Royal Navy Outlines Future Vision. All kinds of cool concept art here
Now make this into a factory. Perhaps, maybe, we're beginning to see the Elon Muskification of many of these huge and cumbersome defense efforts. If so, it'd be good for all involved. Jon or Greg and I were talking about this the other week
Study finds astronaut blood mixed with Mars soil makes ultra-hard concrete
We Can Build A Future Martian Colony Literally Using The Blood, Sweat Or Tears Of Astronauts, Say Scientists
Yikes! I'm not sure if this is genius or a living nightmare. Vampires on Mars? Sounds like a 50s movie
Scorned wife raids ex-husband’s cryogenics lab stealing frozen brains of people who hoped to be brought back to life
Cryonics tycoon accuses ex-wife of stealing frozen bodies
Brains! Brains!
The Navy’s Last Stealth Zumwalt Destroyer Has a Huge Problem
Seven Billion dollars, three ships, no guns, systems don't work, and the damned thing breaks down all of the time, but everybody got paid! Win!
BONUS WILL NOT COVER: Navy builds multibillion dollar stealth destroyer but it has no weapons? Maybe we can use harsh language and angry letters

Michael Jackson riding a woolly mammoth. Your question is invalid
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