Ephemera - 17th October, 2020

Intro

Reading

An Honest Review of Gatsby

I kind of wish I'd read this article from Sentry before trying to migrate the Fishbrain tech blog from Medium to Gatsby. While there are some cool aspects of Gatsby, the whole "everything is Graphql" approach feels way overkill for a blog.

City of Amsterdam Algorithm Register

I love this concept of an algorithm registry that the City of Amsteram has. Algorithms are a bit of a boogyman, but at the end of the day its just a way of rearranging and transforming data. I'd be curious if anyone knows of apps that do something similar? I'd love to see something like a Facebook or Amazon algorithm registry!

On Call Shouldn’t Suck: A Guide For Managers

Charity Majors is a continual font of knowledge for an inexperienced engineering manager such as myself. While I'm not directly involved in my company's on call setup, I am tangentially involved, and I found this article enlightening. I can definitely see how a poor on call situation could easily death spiral an engineering team. As Charity puts it:

And if your on call experience is mandatory and severely life-impacting, and if you don’t take this dead seriously and fix it ASAP? I hope your team will leave you, and go find a place that truly values their time and sleep.

Listening

Autechre - SIGN

It's Autechre, so you can't go too wrong! It starts off in the vein of their NTS Sessions form a few years back, but pretty quickly dives into ambient-is tunes that I wouldn't necessarily associate the group with. It's lovely stuff though.

Scanner - An Ascent

I'm mostly familiar with Scanner via his appearances on a bunch of music tech webcasts and his early 90s IDM tracks. His recent work that I'd listened to seemed to be more towards the performance art side of things - something which I appreciate but don't tend to return to much. An Ascent, however, is an amazing collection of ambient soundscapes. I'm all the more impressed that this is done completely on modular.

One thing I've noticed as I've built out my own modular system over the years is that my ears have become trained to identify how sounds were made, thus removing some of the air of mystery that electronic music has. This album, however, is by no means obvious in it's construction, and I think that's why it appeals to me so much at this point in time.