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neeto weekend readings - Jan 22

Karthik MenonBy Karthik Menon  in blog on April 19, 20222 minutes read

Empires of Light: Edison, Tesla, Westinghouse, and the Race to Electrify the World

By Jill Jonnes

The book has spent quite a lot of chapters on the early stages of electricity when it was still being developed by Edison and all the issues that come with electrifying a house. You will be surprised to know that for the longest time there was no "off" switch. It was yet to be "invented" :-)

From the outside, it seems there was a lot of fight between Edison and Tesla. However, on the business front, there was more fight between Edison and Westinghouse and Westinghouse kept winning all the fights. Westinghouse pretty early on bet on AC and Edison was all about DC. Then how come GE is still alive and we hardly hear about Westinghouse. That's because there was a financial crisis and Westinghouse's company could not overcome the money problem while Edison had JP Morgan as his friend and his fancier.

Overall I found the book to be quite informative but the book is on the dry side. Not an easy read by any means.

Professor Galloway has a way with his words. Internet is filled with anti crypto articles but this essay definitely gives a hard punch. I'm pretty sure you will enjoy reading. This style of writing is also a good reminder about how to write in a manner which maintains the interest of the reader.

Hiraeth is a Welsh word that is somewhat difficult to describe in English, for the reason that there is no single English word that expresses all that it does. Some words often used to try to explain it are homesickness, yearning, and longing.

Hungry Planet: What the World Eats - in pictures

The Man from the Future — John von Neumann’s nuclear vision
Ananyo Bhattacharya’s biography contrasts the scientist’s genius with his hawkish leanings — and cavalier attitude to using the atomic bomb

My first impressions of web3
This author of this blog is the creator of Signal.

There are over 500 coding bootcamps all over the world. Some interesting stats.

Learnable Programming
Bret Victor
When it comes to teaching Bret's take is always unique. Implementing his ideas is not easy but it's a good mental exercise nonetheless. The way he thinks about depicting a "while loop" with flow is a truly new way of looking at things.
Overall I'm not sure if all the solutions are worth the effort but it's always good to look at other ideas about effective teaching.

How a routine gem update ended up creating $73k worth of subscriptions
Continues to depict that when it comes to software engineering how primitive the field of software engineering is compared to other fields of engineering like Civil or Metallurgy. We can't even upgrade even a minor version of Gem or a package without worrying about things breaking. We just don't have that kind of discipline yet.