Not boring, and a bit of a condescending prick

Logo of telegram channel boremeno — Not boring, and a bit of a condescending prick
Logo of telegram channel boremeno — Not boring, and a bit of a condescending prick
Channel address: @boremeno
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Language: English
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Description from channel

Semi-digested observations about our world right after they are phrased well enough in my head to be shared broader.

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The latest Messages

2021-09-02 10:01:34
If you think Facebook's UI/UX and/or moderation policies are reasonable and without flaws, think again

Also, an admin or a moderator of my own feed is yours truly, right?
62 views07:01
Open / Comment
2021-09-01 19:11:08 The next planned system design meetup is about storage and databases.

I'm preparing quite seriously, and this is perhaps the first time the slides are really worth reviewing way ahead of the event: link.

Comments are more than welcome, here in Telegram, or just in the Google Slides documents.

Looking forward to the real meetup, and I'll announce the date once there's a bit more certainty of my calendar (we're planning a team event for the whole next week, hard to say if I might be able to find time, but I'll do my best).

132 views16:11
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2021-08-24 16:50:48 I like tolerant people, and believe I am quite a tolerant person myself. Here's a thought (*) from today.

Personally, I don't pay much attention to holidays, or even weekends, in my own life. My philosophy is and remains that if what I'm dedicating my life to doing professionally is not worth my time and attention on a weekend, why should it during the "standard" business hours?

That said, I relentlessly and unconditionally respect the personal time of others.

Vacation? You have fun, I won't bother you at all. Weekend with kids? Enjoy, and, if you need a break and you see me online, I'd gladly chat with you about what you have in mind, but, from my end, you'd never receive any ask to have some "urgent" work done.

Want to trade some biz day to get an extra day off? Sure thing, I'd cover you best I can, and, rest assured, if anything goes wrong it'd be my responsibility — just make sure to get the job done, and we'll handle everything else in a BAU fashion.

Taking this further, I actually enjoy it quite a bit that most of the people I work with are very much used to taking weekends off to disconnect from work 100%. (Most of my peers these days are Canadians and Brits, which most certainly helps.)

In a way, I like to think I'm a big contributor to the culture where anyone can be off at any time, and the whole hive would still perform as it should. It just never crossed my mind that such a mindset should apply equally to myself, because, yes, as I said above — I like what I do, and I don't see the point in working on something that would not excite me enough to get [parts of] it done over a weekend or on a holiday.

Interestingly, this topic relates to an old debate about hiring "superstars".

On the one hand, from a purely corporate setting, hiring superstars is a terrible idea, as they are hard to replace, tend play by their own rules, and would, at times, strongly demand something that the organization has committed to provide, but, for organizational and other reasons, is unable to provide at the time. From these grounds yours truly is making a terrible mistake by refusing to "lay low" and pretend to be part of the "tribe", quite valuable yet perfectly replaceable. (**)

On the other hand, superstars are who help shape the culture, after all, and I firmly believe that good leadership consists of people who can not only find and hire the "right" superstars, but also a) trust them enough to form and sustain the "lead by example" culture, and b) retain them, so that those people feel empowered to keep making those changes, in ways that, quite frankly, do not always follow the chain of command, or the playbooks, or the overall "best corporate practices" of the company.

Thanks for all the congrats btw, two years and flying smoothly at PokerStars!

(*) prompted by the fact that in the past two weeks, more than once, I had calls with someone in their pre-5am. "You sure? It's damn early on your end of the world?" "Hey, no worries, I'm already enjoying my coffee at the computer, so why not, it'd make my morning."

(**) just realized while writing this that last two times I actually interviewed for a job (~2 years ago and ~3 years ago) I sincerely argued that my attitude is to never try to be irreplaceable, but rather to be perfectly replaceable — just in the right cohort of people, who are relatively high paid and relatively hard to recruit.
133 views13:50
Open / Comment
2021-08-18 18:56:14 Mobile phones have a battery life of about one day.

A bit less if you're lucky, a bit more if you prioritized battery life when choosing the phone, and some 5x more if you have a power bank on you.

Life changes with a charger in your pocket. Your "battery life" is effectively infinite now. In the vast majority of places these days total strangers would let you charge your phone, for free. The cost of power, after all, is miniscule.

In fact, if your phone needs a standard charger, there's a good chance you don't need your charger with you at all; in many, if not most places you could find yourself at people would be happy to have your phone charged.

If you are a semi-frequent Starbucks, or virtually any, coffee shop visitor, quite frankly, you don't have to worry about charging your phone at all. A daily cup of coffee, virtually by definition, does pay this bill.

~ ~ ~

Why can't we, as the civilization, do the same for the Internet?

Forget video. Forget streaming. Three very basic Internet usecases are:

⒈ 𝗔𝗰𝗰𝗲𝘀𝘀 𝗶𝗻𝗳𝗼𝗿𝗺𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻. To read Wikipedia, or my favorite book, or today's news.
⒉ 𝗠𝗲𝘀𝘀𝗲𝗻𝗴𝗶𝗻𝗴. End-to-end encrypted, and unconditionally free from censorship of course.
⒊ 𝗣𝗮𝘆𝗺𝗲𝗻𝘁𝘀. A healthy mix of Venmo / Zelle and crypto. Banks are welcome.

Banks, in (3) are, of course, welcome, as are third-party messenging platforms in (3), as long as they provide the basic guarantee of unconstrained wealth transfer and unconstrained message passing.

In other words, most of today's banks and today's messengers are not welcome (the former have a tendency to block innocent payments, the latter have been caught multiple times failing to send the messages which the platform "does not endorse"). They are still welcome. On the proper API terms.

Let's get this Net Neutrality thing working. I don't care about the term; it would likely need to change. Still, there's no reason at all that poor kids all over the planet are deprived from a feature as simple as sending a "Hello" message, or sending $10 to a friend, or reading today's news.

~ ~ ~

Maybe this would be the largest impact Elon Musk makes all in all. Make Starlink available 24/7 for ~1KB/s traffic, unconditionally. Simple as that.

If he attaches a cryptocurrency to this (a possible future for DOGE, right?), this alone could be cash-positive AF. I sincerely hope this, or something like this, is about to happen some time very soon.
135 views15:56
Open / Comment
2021-08-05 08:50:30 So, I really love open source.

To the extent that I often mention, in private conversations, that my ideal “engineer” life is to be paid for working in a 100% open fashion, so that my business hours could be screencast.

And that I’d need to do nothing to configure a new laptop or desktop but to copy a bunch of dotfiles and have its public key populated on the repos I work with.

As of now (2021) this, technically, is attainable. But the question already is in the air: what if my open source work benefits the wrong people?

My answer to this concern remains the same: “none of my problem”.

Because if that’s what you are worried about, why don’t you focus your energy on making our world more united and more positive-sum? As opposed to contributing to its divisiveness by erecting even more barriers, such as constraining what general-purpose technologies should be open source by the reasoning that goes along the lines of “intellectual property”, “corporate secrets”, and “national security”.

Technology, after all, is that high tide that lifts all boats. And, when it comes to software, the cost of making it possible for everyone to contribute to it is literally zero. In fact, this cost is negative — as controlling access to the code is by itself a nontrivial task that’s quite an expense for the entity that “owns” this code.

And we, each and every human being, undoubtedly benefit from better maps, better messengers, and better wealth preservation and transfer solutions that are near-instant, know no borders, and are mathematically guaranteed to do their job well.

~ ~ ~

And it occurred to me just today that such a point of view may well be cancel-worthy in some not too distant future.

Which is a very sad thought. Because it means I myself do not believe 100% that my dear humankind is interested in playing more and more positive-sum games moving forward.

Seriously, the Golden Age of technology may already be past us. To the degree that I feel the urge to publish this post today, while it is still safe to hold such a point of view publicly.
142 views05:50
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2021-08-04 15:15:16 As part of doing something pure and useful every once in a while, I've spent some ~1.5 hours to confirm I speak cmake sufficiently well.

Code:, with the README describing what does it accomplish.

I've even added a Makefile to shortcut the popular commands, so that you won't have to worry about cmake at all.

git clone
(cd cmake_playground; make)
(cd cmake_playground; make test)

On both Linux and Windows, in Qt Creator and Visual Studio respectively, this code can be "opened" (as a directory and/or as the CMakeLists.txt file), and the IDE would do the magic down to identifying individual googletest cases. Heck, I can even debug them one by one — it's been a while since I used anything but gdb on Linux for these purposes.

Back to the real work now =)
123 views12:15
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2021-07-20 15:22:53 In the meantime, the System Design Meetup is growing, and we are now 99 people in Slack.

If you are interested in making it a three-digit number, or in joining the meetup, or both, here's the invite link:

To also take part in the on-the-record episodes, which we release on YouTube, please also fill the form.
161 views12:22
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2021-07-19 12:06:14 This is hilarious: a robotic cue to take pool shots. I was dreaming of something like this 10+ years ago, and the guy has implemented pretty much most of it =)
187 views09:06
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2021-07-16 07:08:11 The Kafka episode of the system design meetup is ready:

Enjoy responsibly!
185 views04:08
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2021-07-12 17:21:32
166 views14:21
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