Joel Salatin Programming

…we respect and honor the pigness of the pig and the chickenness of the chicken.

Joel Salatin

Joel Salatin is an innovative farmer / agricultural philosopher(!) who has inspired me personally for quite some time. One of his farming tenets is respecting the inherent nature of the animals and the environment under his care. That resonates with me deeply. And I think it applies to programming.

We need to vigilantly avoid forcing logic against the grain of a language or its associated culture. Instead of asking “can I do this in language X?”, we need to be asking “should I do this in language X?” all along the way.

Because it’s never as simple as just writing logic a new way. Before writing that magical brilliant code in language X derived from paradigm Y, we need to ask ourselves questions like:

  • Does the logic mesh with the language’s natural expressivity?
  • What is the readability cost?
  • What are the context switching costs? Relative to rest of the project codebase? Relative to the rest of an organizational codebase?
  • What are the dev onboarding costs in deviating from community expectations?
  • Is the approach likely to be sustainable over time? Or will the magical library that makes it all possible flame out quickly?

Digital Identity Diversification

Do you signup with the same username/display name on every web service?

Twitter? Instagram? Amazon? Myspace? Livejournal? That Beanie Baby phpBB forum from twenty years ago? WebMD? Goodreads?

If you do, I’d suggest googling that username if you haven’t done that before. There is a high chance you may see a rather exhaustive history of everything you’ve ever done across the web. And that maybe fine depending on your personal POV.

But it can also be a bit freaky. And, if you fall in the camp that finds such an expansive, public, one-click view of your personhood a tad uncomfortable, I have a solution for you: digital identity diversification.

The idea is quite simple1: choose a unique username per service.2


1Hat tip password managers.
2Obviously, if you divulge details about yourself or expose a different unique attribute (eg: your real email address) that will break said compartmentalization. Just a heads up.

Sgt. Pepper Remixed

Are you a Beatles fan? Run, don’t walk:

( Apple Music | Spotify )

I hadn’t “clicked through” on this release until a couple of days ago as I thought it was simply a cash grab coming on the heels of the exquisite mono releases and the serviceable 2009 stereo remasters. I was wrong.

This is crafted love by George Martin’s son (Giles), remixed for the first time from the original four track tapes. This release immediately obsoletes the 2009 stereo mix for me. Listen to the mono release for the quintessential experience and listen to this to hear the Fab Four alive at EMI Studios.