Sailor, software engineer, musician, terminally online.

I miss the pre-adtech internet.

  • 7 Posts
Joined 1 year ago
Cake day: June 1st, 2023


  • The old low pressure sodium lights we had in the UK were great on this front. They were about as efficient as LEDs as well but the bulbs got too expensive to make, so the last factory making them in Europe closed down and they mostly disappeared quite quickly.

    I reckon they should switch street lights over to monochromatic yellow LEDs, they’d look the same as the old lights and not affect insect populations so much. They’re good for astronomers too as the light is only one wavelength.

  • I’m currently working in medtech, I don’t want to dox myself because the company is quite niche but it involves using machine learning to diagnose a particular disease much earlier when it’s more treatable. I’m managed by an experienced senior engineer who’s probably forgotten more about about the profession than I know and the workload is reasonable and well compensated. Yeah it’s a startup so you temper your expectations in terms of long-term job security but there’s definitely good companies out there, don’t get me wrong there’s a lot about the industry and the broader socioeconomic context it exists in that’s awful but there’s a lot of good opportunities too. I could bitch about the ecosystem for hours but at the end of the day I’m a bit of a drama queen, I’m well paid for interesting work and you can’t say fairer than that.

    There’s certainly much more than adtech, you could actually exclude business to consumer industries entirely if you wanted and make an excellent living in the business to business sector where there’s lots of interesting problems to solve. If you’re thinking of training as a software engineer or similar and entering the industry I’d still very much recommend it if it’s something you enjoy and are good at. Give frontend a wide berth if you’re worried about framework churn too, the vast majority of my work is backend where the churn isn’t as bad and there’s always plenty of work for you if you’re decent at SQL and a couple of common languages used for that purpose.

    We’re not all patent-shagging tech bros, if you want proof of this you can look at how most of the industry runs on freely shared code that’s written in enormous volumes for no other reason making the lives of programmers easier and therefore improving their productivity. If this almost anarchistic process stopped even for a month the whole thing would fall over and never get up again!

  • Yeah I’ve no love for Musk but Twitter is full of pretty unpleasant people in general and it made political journalism worse by encouraging low-effort hot takes over slower more thoughtful content. I won’t miss it when it’s gone.

    My problem isn’t really with its politics (I’m quite left-wing myself these days) but its personalities, you can be politically progressive without having the mentality of a schoolyard bully and that’s what Twitter was fundamentally about, bullying the main character of the day.

  • I genuinely am starting to think 2024 will be to the Tories what 1979 was for Labour in that it’s not just going to hurt the party but the assumptions that underlie it. Labour when they returned in 1997 were a very different party after their time in the wilderness.

    The neoliberal consensus has had forty years to do its thing and the state of the country is testament to its failure. Who would have thought reviving ideas from classical liberalism that fell out of favour literally because they contributed to causing the Great Depression might cause economic instability in the long run?

  • I think this policy will fail to be honest; while I’m not in Wales any more Oxford where I live now is a supposed ‘cycling city’ with most roads at 20 mph and honestly I hate being on the road there either in a car or on a bike; I get the bus in even though it’s often flaky. Driving you’re sat between second and third gear the whole time so you’re either revving too hard and wasting petrol or the car naturally speeds up so you’re spending a lot of attention on not getting fined rather than keeping it on the road, and when you’re cycling the cars that do keep to 20 mph linger beside you for what feels subjectively a lot longer when they overtake which isn’t fun either and the tiny bike lines make you feel vulnerable to traffic. I had a lot of near misses when I did it regularly and Oxford is a very small city, the idea of cycling somewhere like Cardiff would be terrifying to me.