Jeremy Felt

Thoughts for the week's end

Anne Trubek writes an excellent newsletter. In the most recent edition, she talks through some of the financial issues with literary awards. It focuses on Galley Beggar and their success with Ducks, Newburyport, a book released last year that was shortlisted for the Booker.

I’m a perfect audience for this because I immediately pre-ordered Ducks, Newburyport last February after reading an article in the Irish Times that highlighted it with a handful of others from independent presses. I have a strange draw to “It’s 900 pages, it’s one sentence long…“. I haven’t read it yet, but absolutely will in 2020.

Anyhow. It’s nuts to think about the logistics required to play in the world of big prizes. Sam Jordison, one of Galley Beggar’s founders, wrote an interesting piece in October that shed some light on the money and time required by the publisher and author once a book is nominated. That piece was particularly critical of the Booker’s handling of the dual prize that was awarded this year.

I’ll avoid recapping the entire story here. Instead, I definitely recommend checking out Anne’s newsletter.

In the meantime, I went all in and actually subscribed to Galley Beggar’s “Galley Buddy” service, so I’ll be getting 4 of their books over the next year. If you find yourself tempted to do the same thing, let me know and we can have a focused book club.

I’ve been using VIM ever since I can remember knowing what it was. Let’s call it 20 years?

Only today did I bother to look up how to search and replace text. Only today! Even though I’ve spent countless hours adjusting domain names in nginx config files. Even though I know VIM is literally a text editor. Even though I’ve actually watched this amazing video in which VIM’s creator, Bram Moolenaar, walks through all of the crazy things you can do in VIM.

I never bothered to try :%s/search/replace/g. Imagine that.

I had a moment where I realized I’ve been using DNSimple to manage my DNS for about 9 years. A genuine feeling I have is how fantastic of a service it’s been and how I’m happy it hasn’t gone away and hasn’t changed in any strange way.

Of course, as soon as I thought that I started calculating how much money I had spent on this service alone over the last 9 years and it’s somewhere in the neighborhood of $1200-$1500. That’s a lot of money!

It’s disappointing that we took the idea of property from the physical world and transferred it directly to the digital world. For things like address management, it’d sure be nice if there was a viable commons.

On the last day before returning to work for the first time this decade, I received notice of a credit added to Happy Prime‘s Slack account due to one team member’s inactivity—me!

This must mean I’ve done the best among the three of us at keeping Slack closed for the previous two weeks. 🙂

Here’s an idea to carry into 2020:

You cannot create or curate a community where everyone is welcome. It’s an incoherent, fake goal. It sounds nice but it is categorically impossible. Some people, by their very presence, make a space unsafe and unwelcoming to others.

Holden Shearer, Twitter, January 2, 2020

This is an interesting thread to think about. I know I’ve struggled in the past with trying to be welcoming to new community members while also identifying who’s “offhand” remark is going to become a problem and figuring out how to tell them it’s not welcome. Something to strive toward!

I’ve realized more and more that I want something I can only describe as inline blocks in Gutenberg. That may solve some of the pains I have with “block editor” vs “text editor” and one day allow for a text editor inside a block—maybe?

I’m also ruminating on WordPress being the “operating system for the web” and how a good OS would probably allow for a plethora of editors. 🤔

Just fucking blog” is pretty good advice from Bix. [via Joho the Blog]

See, blogging is easy” is an excellent sentiment from Evan Williams. It’s nice to see one of the originals back and using the tool he founded.

Of course there’s a but!

Medium is one of those centralized hosted writing services that could choose to implement its proprietary features (e.g. “claps”) using decentralized protocols and open web standards so that the general web can participate and benefit.

Twitter is another: “likes”, “retweets”. is another: “reblogs”, “likes”.

Granted, there’s a lot of work involved, but it’d be fun!

📺 We finished season one of the Politician on Netflix this week. It was really, really good. Such great characters and almost like a prequel to House of Cards. Looking forward to where things go in Season 2 while also hoping it has a solid arc.

📺 And we finished the Dracula mini-series—3 long episodes—on Netflix. It was somewhere around 95% really well done. I’d feel weird giving away the 5% that I thought was horribly done, so I’ll be quiet. I guess ping me if you want to share rants.

Oh, and if this comes back for a season 2, I’ll take back most of the nice thoughts I have about the show.

📚 I finished Terry Pratchett’s Equal Rites this week. It’s the 3rd of the Discworld series and 1st of the Witch series. I love the idea of headology already and I’m very much becoming a Terry Pratchett fan. Mort is next on the list.

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