Confession: I’ve recently taken up the habit of studying textbooks for fun. (Well, for knowledge and enlightenment, but it also happens to be fun.) While I work at a library and have access to a considerate number of textbooks there, for now I’m sticking with open educational resources, the better to see where things are at in 2019.

For the first round, I chose economics and criminal law, since my knowledge of both is meager at best. Via the Open Textbook Library, I found Economics: Theory Through Applications and UMN’s criminal law textbook.

I’ve been working through both books at a moderate pace, and so far, they’re good. It’s slower going than regular nonfiction, of course, but studying topics methodically like this is something I’ve missed. (Outside of my CS coursework for my master’s, that is.)

Also, thanks to a reference in the criminal law textbook, I’m now also reading Blackstone’s Commentaries on the Laws of England. While it too is slower going (it was published in 1765), it’s surprisingly readable, and learning about England’s common law of yore is a delight.

Poor Notre Dame.

While visiting London around a decade ago, I decided on a whim to take the Eurostar over to Paris for a day. Several hours later I stood before the cathedral but sadly — now more than ever — was too done with being a tourist to go inside.

I wish I’d pushed through. And now I can’t help but wonder what percentage of one’s time in old age consists of both shouldering and trying to ignore all the regrets of things undone (or foolishly done) along the way.

Mozilla just announced their Pyodide project, built with WebAssembly and emscripten:

Pyodide gives you a full, standard Python interpreter that runs entirely in the browser, with full access to the browser’s Web APIs.

WebAssembly has a lot of potential. I’m excited to see where it goes.

Decided to stop posting my art to Instagram. Some of the features of social media — likes and favorites, more than anything else — mess with my brain, latching on like behavioral barnacles that I can’t scrape off easily other than by exodus and abstention. And so I’ve left.

One of the other reasons for leaving: I’m inescapably fond of being able to craft and form the platform I publish my work on (to wit, this site). I’ll post more in this vein soon, but in the meantime, Zeldman’s recent article on the indie web is worth reading.