Plenty of Time to Read and Think

What I’m reading

What I’m thinking

  • This “shelter in place” order in San Francisco, and now California, have created a noticeable drop in marine traffic. The ferries are running a minimal schedule and some have stopped altogether. I think about the effects on the marine life and health of the Bay.
    • What impacts do the reduction in traffic and engine noise have on marine fauna and flora?
    • What species are benefiting the most from the less churn of the waters?
    • Are the fauna exploring deeper into the Bay?
  • On the same shelter in place, with bicycle and pedestrian traffic having free reign on the streets, how is this affecting daily life?
    • Can we make more streets car free?
    • How are people filling their time now that they aren’t commuting?
    • Is stress, on average, higher or lower overall now that life has slowed down a bit?
    • Do the skies seem more clear and the air cleaner to the average person?
    • Is everyone enjoying the silence?
    • What makes a restaurant decide to double down on takeout versus shutdown altogether?
    • Are bicycle shops seeing a rise or fall in sales? Service-related sales?
  • Decentralized vs Peer to Peer. I have a longer post percolating in my head, but I’m currently trying to tease apart the subtleties of decentralized versus peer-to-peer. Maybe it’s really about federalized protocols vs peer-to-peer. I’m thinking about this in relation to my own mastodon server, mastodon.is. I’ve recently had a few hundred spam accounts created, but who’s to say I cannot enable them and unleash them on the decentralized mastodon network? I’m the dictator of my own mastodon instance, and I can set my own rules to the benefit or detriment of the larger network. I’m by far not the first to think of this topic, but it’s interesting to think about it nonetheless.
    • How is decentralized better or worse than our super-centralized networks now?
    • How is peer-to-peer different and similar than decentralized and super-centralized?
  • Can’t we use machine learning to remove background noise? There are some commercial solutions, but given nearly everyone has a GPU and CPU in their laptops and phones, we must have enough power to do it all in realtime. Some of those realtime parts I’ve found are:
  • I still hate video conference software. Use and improve WebRTC already!

2 comments

  1. LEWMAN! (sorry)

    I enjoyed the article about email encryption. As you probably remember, I’m an email nerd. I have one quibble with their diagnosis and prescription, though. The reason email is inherently insecure is because it has to interoperate with so many other insecure systems (other email systems, archival systems, discovery systems, and of course: humans). The reason they can recommend Signal as an alternative is because it simply doesn’t do any of those things and is a closed environment. So sure, it is more secure. But as usual, when you add security, you trade off functionality. Given any one of us a closed environment and we can secure it. Except for the pesky humans, of course – they break everything.

    I also like the thoughts on pollution and sustainability. I was just talking to my daughter about this the other night. The various global shutdowns already show how much of an impact we have on our planet.

    Liked by 1 person

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