I wrote two blogposts today:

Revisiting the first website 30 years later

All of those definitions are clear to us today, almost as if we couldn’t understand otherwise, but imagine how much effort they must have required throughout the preceding years to even be able to imagine in the first place. Project Xanadu started before the first bit-mapped displays (Plasma Display Screen of PLATO IV?) were even prototyped, so when you envision that a “document” can transclude videos from another document, that’s incredibly ahead of its time.

How much disk space would everything take?

Two 22 TB disks at ~1,200 USD and an entry level 2-bay NAS at ~200 USD should be able to store and serve all of the movies that you may realistically ever want to watch. In the little spare capacity you have, you may squeeze a mirror of Debian for your architecture, a copy of Wikipedia, and a map of the world even. All in 4 litres of space (165 mm x 100 mm x 225.5 mm).

Cruel optimism (and lazy pessimism) by Tegowerk

I think the sign of a good work (be it an article or a movie) is the absence of absolutes: there are no definite conclusions, no heroes, no doctrines. Tegowerk captures the tension between cruel optimisim and lazy pessimism eloquently yet concisely.

The FBI Identified a Tor User by Bruce Schneier

There are lots of ways to de-anonymize Tor users. Someone at the NSA gave a presentation on this ten years ago. […] It’s unlikely that the FBI uses the same sorts of broad surveillance techniques that the NSA does, but it’s certainly possible that the NSA did the surveillance and passed the information to the FBI.

It’s not news but it’s a good thing to be reminded of: Tor isn’t about absolute privacy but more about increasing the cost of tracking.

It’s truly a shame that Tor is utilised only as an anonymiser, its features are perfectly suitable for gradual privacy and censorship resistance too. I wrote about this in 2021: Tor, Practical Privacy, and Censorship Resistance. What I’m really excited about are (1) its embrace by shadow libraries (e.g., Anna’s Archive) for censorship resistance, and (2) Arti, anew Tor rewrite in Rust with a stable API for embedding.

No Haunted Graveyards (2017, PDF) by John Reese

Our job is control, not to avoid all danger at all costs. Things you’re afraid to change are serious existential risks.

Otherwise, superstition eats away at the edges of our world and we lose the ability to control it.

The last sentence resonates not only in professional context but in personal one too; things you’re afraid of are serious existential risks to you.

Crazy New Ideas by Paul Graham

But the main thing that leads reasonable people to dismiss new ideas is the same thing that holds people back from proposing them: the sheer pervasiveness of the current paradigm.


Few understand how feeble new ideas look when they first appear.