Festive December - weeknotes #63, #64, #65, #66
Welcome to my first monthnote written in the weeknote format.
I’ve had a ton of fun with note-taking this month and, for better or worse, have let go of graph-db-flavours of Roam (e.g. Athens). I went all in with Notion and despite the clunkiness of how Zettelkasten-type patterns work in it, I’ve not looked back yet.
Just wanted to highlight Jeff’s point one more time about the difference between a feature and a product:
The [[wiki link]] is just like #'s and @'s — public-domain innovations in hypertext.— Jeff Tang 🏛🍊 (@tangjeff0) December 29, 2021
But just cause your social app has @'s and #'s doesn't mean people will use it.
It's a starting point, not a finish line. We've just begun.
And of course, welcome to 2022!
Three events or storylines defined December 2021:
- I broke my thumb in a silly, non sport-related bicycle fall over some ice. Consequently, I spent a good deal of this month worrying about care, surgery, pain and future recovery. 0/10 would like this to not happen again.
- There were family celebrations over the festive period, and we spent half the month in France. All of it got turned upside down several times because of the resurgence of the virus, but I feel blessed nonetheless.
- My folks helped us get over the uncharted territory hump and sent my partner and I away for two nights while they looked after the little one. Our first childless holiday since her birth. And you guessed right: two morning sleeping in.
Now, work-wise. So… Aside from a few actual work days, I spent most of these few working hours preparing 2022. That means emailing some folks I contact periodically, sending an actual pitch for a three-month project, and replying to an open call for consultancy from Tactical Tech. That also means sorting out a few unknowns on the accounting front and wanting at my partner about how complicated things are in Germany and how little I can work out about some pretty important things like health insurance and my precise bottom line.
What I know however is that we renewed my contacts with Global Witness and the Deutsche Welle for assignments covering all of 2022! 🎉
Without hitting the jackpot yet, I’ve done some thinking about a simplified infrastructure for Global Witness Data & Investigations as I sunset legacy bits, and what a cool Wireguard VPN à la Tailscale could unlock regarding resources I really need to keep very private.
The buzz-themes of the month were web3 and datalog, mostly by virtue of having several friends and colleagues interested in the same things at the same time.
I did no work on the Toolkit but had two amazing meetings — one of which was with Ilya and Ed from Web Recorder who are way ahead drafting the spec for WACZ, an interoperable web archiving format and tools.
Finally, no real surprise there but I didn’t manage to publish some Moon dataviz sketches, let alone turning them into Christmas presents.
- “Researchers train AI on ‘synthetic data’ to uncover Syrian war rimes”, by Madhumita Murgia, technology correspondent at the FT
- “Leland Wilkinson, creator of The Grammar of Graphics, passed away ” 😢
- “Spam, Spies, SMS: how it works” by Crofton Black for the Bureau of Investigative Journalism
- “Sleaze will be hard to clean up while the data remains so opaque”, by Max Harlow, who knows a good deal about British open data, on the FT