Notes for March 3rd 2023

  • The cost-curve of climate tech is going to be a big deal over the coming decade-or-so. Look at solar, who's cost-curve is dropping dramatically, and probably in line with Moores Law. But we need to see that across a lot of different, currently nascent climate solutions. Decarbonisation (pulling the bad stuff out of the air) is a good example. The starting point is so expensive that Moores law may cause the adoption and cost curve to be too slow.
  • An odd fallout from the recent tech layoffs is seeing people retire early. Part of that is obviously that they had stocks they could cash out at favourable prices, or payouts that they could leverage for mortgage clearing, etc. It's a good sign that these places of work were good to people who were able to cash out and leave anyway. But this lifestyle will, in my opinion, change. Tech needs to grow up, so the morning reiki and afternoon mindfulness seminars will likely have to go. As will all the mad jobs that didn't provide direct ROI to the business. And there have been plenty of those.
  • I had a weird moment this week where I had the sudden urge to download Invader Zim! and Johnny the Homicidal Maniac. Both by Jhonen Vasquez, dating back to the early 2000s, circa me being a teenager. I thought they were brilliant, in both a genuine "this is witty" and cringey teenagery way.
  • Next week I'm flying to Bangkok. I've never been (though have been to Southeast Asia a lot in the past). It's a work trip, so it'll be muted in terms of exploring and doing new, fun things. But I hope to nab some time to enjoy and soak up the city somewhat. Plenty of folks have expressed their love for the place, so I'm excited. But I am not excited by the toll of such a long flight and heavy work days will take.
  • In June I'll be headed to Cannes for work, too. Which will be infinitely easier to handle, as it's less of an unknown. But also brings to the fore of my mind how atrocious my carbon footprint is this year already. No amount of charging a car on solar panels or cycling to the office will make up for this. Though I am delivering a lot of shareholder value :)
  • "Nishad Singh, co-founder and former director of engineering at FTX, has pled guilty to six charges including fraud charges, conspiracy to commit money laundering, and a charge related to campaign finance violations. He will cooperate against SBF." This whole FTX thing is genuinely astonishing. It's Bernie Madoff, but maybe worse.
  • One thing I've done a bit of in the past is learning how to drive. Racing, specifically. In May I'm booked in to get to grips (pun intended) with drifting, sliding and brake manoeuvring. I absolutely recommend people learn how to race, because it'll cool you down on the roads. And frustrate you deeply when you witness dangerous driving where lots of innocent people are concerned.
    • I've noticed two very worrying trends on Irish roads recently. One is skipping past the light when it turns red. As if going red means you're fine to filter the last 3 cars through. And the other is overtaking parked vehicles or cyclists into oncoming traffic. Our standards post-Covid seem to have dramatically dropped. And I worry that this is down to consumption of American driving standards, where everyone believes themselves to be invincible, everyone else as the problem and hubris about driving skill.
  • I'm in an alumni channel for $prev_job, and they underwent layoffs recently. One message from a recently laid off ex-colleague stung. Paraphrasing, "What bugs me the most the layoffs is how dissonant it was to our espoused culture. It makes me feel like a fool for having drank the Kool-Aid and believe it. At the end of the day we were no different from any other large, established tech firm".
  • Apple's most beautiful power button: Apple's most beautiful power button
  • This week I learned that, in Slack, you can type /slackfont $locally_installed_font (and /slackfont alone will revert to default). Monospace fonts in Slack has obviously increased my productivity by many percents!
  • One thing I like to mildly maintain in my house is plants. I saw mildly because I'm not particularly dedicated, nor have huge time to preen and prune lots of domestic fauna. But we have some plants in our garden that we eat from, and they've started to sprout. Which means acres of rhubarb and plenty of mint! But this year I'd like to get more houseplants around the place, including propagating some of the ones we already have to spread them out and have multiple pots in multiple places.