Larry Myers

May Notes

May 22, 2024

Advice to my kids: the internet makes the world feel very small, while in reality it is very big.

People can say anything they want on the internet, and it is amplified by the algorithms that push it at us to maximize engagement and consumption (because advertising). This means you will get hot takes put in your face frequently, and it will be targeted specifically to get a reaction from you.

The great part about the internet is that you have a close button. Go outside, touch grass, and enjoy some sunshine.

May 15, 2024

I am a pragmatist when it comes to software. While I prefer open source software, some of the best solutions involve closed source proprietary software. I do not think is is wrong to use them, especially when they are the best tool for the job. I am more dogmatic when it comes to open data and data formats. As a software engineer I can build my own tools for manipulating and processing data. Those tools may not be the best available in the market, but they will do the job. But I cannot engineer my way out of a situation where the data is unavailable or in a format that I cannot parse.

When you are making a choice concerning software, have a strong preference for software that uses well documented data formats, and makes that data accessible to you on demand. If you put effort into something that results in data, and you do not have the freedom to access and use that data how you see fit, you likely need to explore other options.

We do not get locked into software, we get locked into ecosystems that do not allow us to access our own data.

May 9, 2024

May is by far the best month in Chicago. We’re officially out of winter, which no threat of false spring, everything is green again, and it’s not silly humid or hot yet. I try to be on my bike every chance I get, and enjoy long rides along the lake shore.

Video games can wait. Side projects can wait. This is time to be outside.

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