Thanks for subscribing to the newsletter! For those I haven’t kept up with, I’m currently taking some time off from my undergraduate studies in Computer Science at Northeastern to evade online lectures and learn as much as I can about what I’d like to do.
In this email, I’ll cover what I’ve been doing over the past several months; future emails will be moreso weekly updates. I’ll be writing about things I’ve learned or done and linking to relevant resources, and will try to sneak in some of my recent favorites from around the internet as I do so. I’ll try to do some deep dives into individual projects or topics I’ve been working on if there’s interest as well.
A snapshot of an Oregon State University greenhouse from earlier this year.
I’ve spent the past couple of days putting serious effort into learning more about programming languages research. To learn Racket, probably the best tool for creating programming languages, I’ve been working through Beautiful Racket’s exercises. I’ve also been reading through TAPL, a ubiquitous introduction to thinking about programming languages in a more formal manner. In this realm, I’m primarily interested in developing general structured editors for existing programming languages to help new programmers learn to use old technologies.
Developing compilers and automating proofs are also quite interesting, but ultimately I believe that it’s much more important to improve our ability to interact with and understand existing systems and technologies than to constantly refactor and adapt to new languages or libraries.
To become a better software developer, I’ve been focusing on developing fluency in Clojure and ClojureScript - an opinionated yet incredibly flexible ecosystem that I believe provides the fastest way to develop applications for the web today.
I’ve spent a long time developing my NixOS configuration - a precisely reproducible duplicate of my laptop and server configuration. The biggest selling point - with about ten commands and thirty minutes, you can have an exact replica of my laptop, including every program and setting I use, installed on your machine. I’ll continue to iterate on this as my workflow improves.
The other long-term project I’ve started has been my wiki - hosting most of the notes I’ve taken and ideas I’ve had in the past year. It’s rendered from this repository using this Haskell codebase that heavily leverages pandoc tech.
Some favorite artists lately have been Sidney Gish, Thetamancer, and Anatomic Coil - all current or former Boston students with incredible technical and songwriting skill. Gish is a singer-songwriter with a clever, punk-like attitude, while Thetamancer and Coil are great listens to follow artists like 100 Gecs and Aphex Twin.
Here are a couple of playlists I’ve been enjoying:
'I want girls to like me...’ was created to introduce a friend to Sad Boys, Drain Gang, and a variety of other favorites off their Year 0001 label. Expect to be speaking fluent Swedish after listening.
''Uneven compromise' started with the namesake Lil Ugly Mane track, and evolved into a curated subset of the songs I was queuing often while stuck in my Stockholm apartment during a winter quarantine.
Ava’s redoing things is a short note on iteration - not to perfection, but as a labor of love. All of her essays are worth checking out; her verbose knowledge of literature really shines through as she ties every thought to so many people, references and ideas.
Simon Sarris writes about creating not for commodity or homogenity, but to craft beautiful, unique works and experiences, lamenting the disposable culture of mass production of which we’re all in part complicit today. It’s a great reminder to value building for the sole sake of mastering the craft.