Matthew David Rodgers


Entry 17

Actually published a new blog post yesterday. It was a quick one, about getting to the place where TypeScript can be a really helpful tool, rather than a hindrance.

Don’t think it really captured everything I wanted to express, but I’m glad to author more technical stuff, and I think the specific samples I showed are good examples of the “sweet spot” I mention in the post.

Finished Because Internet today, which was a really interesting read, even if linguistics aren’t really my thing. Up next, I think a friend and I are going to read Mark Fisher’s Capitalist Realism.

We’ve been talking about doing this book-club-ish reading together for a while, specifically focusing on sociological or political work on the leftist side of things. We both share the sentiment that Twitter has been phenomenally bad for us in this realm. It can be such an echo chamber that we absorb a lot of ideas by osmosis, totally uncritically, and don’t really have a good basis on what it is we actually believe. So I do hope this is a rewarding endeavor.

Last week I went to a double bill of Good Morning (an Ozu film with a not-insignificant sub-plot about farts and kids shitting their pants. MASTERPIECE) and Tampopo at the Aero Theater, two fantastic movies. But I actually didn’t make it to the end of Tampopo. It made me SO hungry that with 30 minutes remaining I left and drove to a ramen place at midnight. WORTH IT (I had seen Tampopo before, I didn’t totally miss the ending).

I also saw The Green Knight this week, which I absolutely loved. I didn’t know the tale of Gawain and the Green Knight before going into it, so I’m unsure if I’d have different opinions about how it is as an adaptation. But going in blind was amazing. It has such an archetypical quality, and feels like a precursor to tons of “dark night of the soul” stories, even to things like Apocalypse Now.

But David Lowery seem to staunchly keep the movie ambiguous, in a way that most of those stories to come would not be. It’s not clear what a lot of Gawain’s encounters mean or reveal about him, and it’s fairly unclear whether the entire quest is a positive undertaking or not. There is a very clear moment of evolution for Gawain at the end, but it’s possible that even then it’s all for nothing. I found every inch of it fascinating. Not to mention a perfect cast that really delivers.

To close out, I watched a great talk about the Lambda Calculus, and building it up from some of its first principles. I absorbed more than I usually do about the topic this time around, although I still struggle with how we get to some things or how they’re even useful in this state (such as the combinators for boolean logic).

The talk is “in javascript”, but that’s really the least interesting part of the talk. Any language with first-class functions (and dynamic typing) suffices here.

This article about Safari killing the web is also a good read. Some of it is certainly hyperbolic and maybe unfair, but there’s no doubt that Safari’s poor support for a lot of web standards is a real pain point. And yet, at the same time, they’re really the only force holding out against chromium, which makes me want to root for them until the end.

Also to note! Bob Nystrom has officially published a real life book version of his FANTASTIC Crafting Interpreters that I will be shortly picking up! This was a really important spark for me, in my interest in programming language design, experience in actual C codebases, and just general excitement in computer science again. Congrats to Bob on all the hard work.