Week 9 the cost of being human

June 6th, 2021

I worked a bunch on sound related things. I wrote a real time FM-synthesizer (will publish at some point soon) that is able to reproduce a big chunk of FM8. I also wrote a music tracker that accepts live events and Promise based beats (to sync with games).

The next step are: finish the wavetable synth; and write some nicer "analog-style filters" and effects.

My next mini game is already done. It's a remake of Async Corp. Hopefully I'll be able to use some of the new sound stuff there.


I rewatched one of my favorite videos of last year: the past we can never return to.


the most expensive number in engineering talks about how engineering has to deal with the cost of the limits of knowledge.

As the joke goes, an engineer is someone who calculates to five decimal places, then multiplies by two.

I think of the factor of safety as a modern day version of the libation or offering. I’d rather keep pouring out the same amount of wine as my ancestors rather than skimping and risking offending the gods. That $1.5 billion price tag, which seemed absurd when I began writing this, now just looks like the cost of being human.

It's a cool exploration around the history of safety factor. And it's made even greater by its conclusion: why can't we do better? Because we are not better.


One of the most fun chess puzzles I've seen in a while.

In spite of what it looks like, this is a valid chess board (i.e., a state that can be reached through regular play).

The question: what must have been the first white bishop move of the game? Answer here.


A few years ago, I had this silly idea while I was trying to understand how blockchain works. In the end, the hash-based data structure of bitcoin is not any different than a git tree, so could git become a blockchain? That's why I wrote chainy, a 50 lines script that implements a (inefficient) proof-of-work blockchain on top of git.

I don't think this "proves" anything. And I do believe that it's not fair to judge a potential of a technology by its current limitations. That said, I believe that demystifying (and simplifying) things that have a "tech/nerdy aura" is also important. Very often, stupid solutions are protected by a layer of complexity. It's not about whether the king is or isn't naked. It's about cutting his head off.


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