Threads for Vega

  1. 3

    OT: I really liked the guides at that website, guess I’ll read through the electronics section for a bit

    1. 1

      ^-^ thank you. Unfortunately, a lot of pages are more-or-less stubs. I’ve got basically everything I want to write down floating around in my head, just takes a lot of time to find the right way to put it into words

    1. 5

      As much as I like less data, sometimes blind optimization is pretty bad. In the case of even the original comparison on my hiDPI laptop and phone go from crisp to unacceptable for photography. I also see a lot of tools strip the color profiles and push it into the limited sRGB spectrum. Along with, removing metadata that is either useful to photonerds or legally suspicious removing licence and attribution info all in the name of saving a few bytes. Sometimes this matters more that other times, but I think web developers can be too quick to remove all of this detail and data just to please the Google Lighthouse tool.

      1. 2

        My setup for making this site is 3x 4k monitors, so I definitely understand. However, I think the vast majority of images on the internet serve to break up the text and make site navigation easier, not to actually be dwelled on and appreciated. If my site were about photography, I would still probably convert to .webp or at least optipng my images as hard as I could, but I obviously wouldn’t degrade the quality like I do here.

        I also super don’t care about Google Lighthose. What I do care about is avoiding elements shifting as things pop in after the initial load, and the easiest way to fix that is to just use lighter weight images where applicable.

        1. 1

          Never disagreed, though I’d pick .avif ha. The one that really springs to mind is Instagram and how everything is stripped, including massive cuts to image quality and converting from DCI-P3 if you aren’t using an Apple product. It’s depressing many photopgraphers feel compelled to upload in order to attract a casual audience.

          By proxy this applies to PixelFed as well for copying this.

      1. 7

        Related question: where do you all store your images for serving a static site? I feel dirty every time I check another couple of Mb of images into my site’s git repo, but I haven’t found an elegant alternative

        1. 4

          Could use git-annexe or with some hosts git-lfs ?

          1. 1

            Mine are in the root of the repo on github, though there are two repos- the ‘dev’ repo and the actual public static site repo. This is normal for using github pages, with my website does. If I was actually paying for hosting I would probably find a better way to do it that didn’t involve checking the images into git at all.

          1. 31

            For dithered PNG images, you can improve the compression a good bit if you use an ordered dither rather than an error diffusion dither like Floyd-Steinberg. This is because the ordered dither tends to create regions of repeating pixels that the dictionary compression within PNG can identify.

            For example, using this command:

            convert COMountain.jpg -colorspace RGB -filter box -resize 25% -ordered-dither o8x8,3 -colorspace sRGB -quality 96 png24:COMountainIM3.png
            

            gives this result at 44,369 bytes after lossless recompression with optipng and then zopfli.

            Or we can go a step down in the palette size with this command (note the 2 instead of 3 on o8x8,3):

            convert COMountain.jpg -colorspace RGB -filter box -resize 25% -ordered-dither o8x8,2 -colorspace sRGB -quality 96 png24:COMountainIM2.png
            

            which gives this result for 26,163 bytes after recompression.

            Other details:

            Resampling to downscale assumes linearized colors, and dithering really ought to be done in a linearized colorspace as well. Hence the change to linear RGB as the first step and then back to sRGB for display at the end. Otherwise, you end up with odd color shift after dithering (i.e., it blows out and tends to look too bright).

            Ideally you’d use something like sync filter for the resampling (or at least a cubic filter). But that has a slightly sharpening effect and can introduce ringing which negatively impacts compression. Using a box filter does not sharpen and leans towards smoothing so it gives a tiny boost to compression.

            For the lossless recompression with optipng and zopfli, I used optipng -o7 -zm1-9 image.png; advpng -z4 image.png for both.

            1. 3

              Wow! Thank you for the added information. I was able to reproduce this, and am pushing an update to the post with images produced from these commands, with a big ol’ quote block including this comment.

              1. 11

                You’re very welcome.

                And for what it’s worth, while the dithering was a fun exercise, I agree with you that simply using a better format is the way to go. In my experiments in lossy compression, I haven’t been all that impressed with WebP. It’s usually better than classic JPG even from a clever encoder like mozjpeg, but I find that for equal size files both JPEG XL and AVIF give better results. For your image, with equal size encodings of around 61KB versus WebP, I find that JPEG XL keeps more of the texture of the trees on the left at the expense of ringing (i.e. mosquito artifacts) along the mountain edges, while AVIF has top-notch de-ringing at the expense of loss of texture through heavier smoothing. WebP has both heavier smoothing and all of the ringing. HEIF seems somehere between AVIF and JPEG XL, though closer to the AVIF end but with some odd smudging of edges.

                Overall, I’ve tended to like the look of AVIF a little better and quantitatively I’ve found it’s way ahead of everything else in terms of bit-rate vs. PSNR distortion on my test image corpus. (I haven’t extensively tested HEIF yet, however.)

                1. 7

                  I don’t actually love WebP either. For broad categories of images (real life, anime, etc) I think my preference is HEIF or BPG - which is essentially the same thing. Unfortunately, support for HEIF is abysmal, requiring annoying to install packages from the Microsoft Store on Windows and the Linux decoders are rather slow, lacking acceleration (last I checked). My recommendation of WebP was more focused on the fact that it’s actually supported now, where as AVIF, JPEG XL, and HEIF all lack universal browser support.

                  I dove down this rabbit hole pretty deep when looking to standardize all the images on my computer to one format instead of the mix of png, jpeg, etc. that I have now, so I was trying on my own mix of desktop backgrounds, screenshots, family pictures, and furry art- I ended up giving up due to the poor performance. This was a while ago though, so things may have changed

                  1. 3

                    Unfortunately, support for HEIF is abysmal, requiring annoying to install packages from the Microsoft Store on Windows and the Linux decoders are rather slow, lacking acceleration (last I checked).

                    Yeah, this is still an issue. It takes like 2-3 seconds to decode pictures I took with my iPhone(!) Because I wrote the Imlib plugin myself I thought I must be doing something wrong, but after quite a bit of investigation it turned out … it’s just slow like that.

                    WebP isn’t perfect, but overall it’s quite an improvement over the classic PNG/JPEG/GIF formats, with the biggest downside that support is still a bit iffy beyond “renders in a browser” (e.g. uploading a webp image on GitHub and many other platforms won’t work, although naming it img.web.png works on some platforms 🤷).

                    1. 2

                      AVIF, JPEG XL, and HEIF all lack universal browser support

                      JXL was frozen, like, yesterday. (a few months ago or something.) Give it time! It’s already behind a flag in Firefox Nightly and Chromium. I even have a feeling that Apple might be more enthusiastic about it vs. AVIF due to it not being based on a free video codec that competes with their favorite patent-encumbered MPEG junk.

                      AVIF is in such an awkward spot now… it was there earlier, it’s more “ready”, Mozilla slightly prefers it due to Rust implementations existing, but JPEG XL is now so clearly the one – being a purpose-built image format, it supports progressive loading and lots of other features.

                    2. 5

                      If JPEG XL actually delivers the ability to serve multiple screen sizes / resolutions from the same image as proposed in FUIF, instead of requiring storing many copies of the same image for responsive design, that would be a godsend and would immediately convert me to JPEG XL for graphics on websites. I don’t want the complication of generating, storing, and serving the right image to the right client, there should be one image and clients should only download the amount they want.

                      I mean, in what world is HTML like this the right approach to responsive design?

                      <img
                      	sizes=100vw
                      	srcset="/blog/2020/10/pictures/schuylkill_hu1966b96707887b7b85192359bda88cdb_1900414_576x0_resize_q75_box.jpg 576w,
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                      	/blog/2020/10/pictures/schuylkill_hu1966b96707887b7b85192359bda88cdb_1900414_2880x0_resize_q75_box.jpg 2880w,
                      	/blog/2020/10/pictures/schuylkill_hu1966b96707887b7b85192359bda88cdb_1900414_3200x0_resize_q75_box.jpg 3200w,
                      	/blog/2020/10/pictures/schuylkill_hu1966b96707887b7b85192359bda88cdb_1900414_3384x0_resize_q75_box.jpg 3384w,
                      	/blog/2020/10/pictures/schuylkill_hu1966b96707887b7b85192359bda88cdb_1900414_3840x0_resize_q75_box.jpg 3840w"
                      	src=/blog/2020/10/pictures/schuylkill_hu1966b96707887b7b85192359bda88cdb_1900414_1440x0_resize_q75_box.jpg
                      	width=4032
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                      	alt="The Schuylkill River in winter. There&#39;s snow on the ground, the sun is setting, and the city lights are reflecting in the icy water. The river trail is visible through the trees on the left."
                      	class=full-width>
                      
                      1. 3

                        in what world is HTML like this the right approach to responsive design?

                        That’s a lot of steps.. I just use 1000, 2000 and 3000. Before that, I used to only generate a full-size-but-overcompressed (50% “quality” or so) one due to that post from 2012 :D

                        1. 1

                          That is a good point, but there’s another side of it as well.

                          For …let’s say “smaller” websites and places where people code things by hand or some niches, this would be horrible. But I doubt that a blogger like our OP here would go in so many details - unless there’s a very specific need for this, why bother with so many?

                          And for bigger things, software like CMS (Like Wordpress, Publii, or any of the things we use in our apps), you’d have just one, biggest source file, and your dev pipeline would create all these formats and things itself. You’d rarely ever actually see this code.

                    3. 1

                      There’s also a cool online tool for ordered dithering here: https://seansleblanc.itch.io/ordered-dither-maker

                    1. 7

                      Awesome guide. I wish the article went into a bit more detail about the theory behind these optimizations (e.g. is there a theoretical lower bound on palette sizes, what knobs can I turn with dithering) or had some links, but otherwise great stuff.

                      1. 6

                        Thanks ^-^ I was actually originally planning to do that, but then when I realized that .webp is just so much better quality per bit, it no longer made sense to me to focus on that, as the dithering and palette based images are effectively only useful from an artistic perspective. I also wanted to avoid it being to long of a post to prevent readers from missing the punch line. Otherwise I would’ve mentioned things like HEIC/F (the image formats used by most phones now) and the patent nightmare around it, https://hific.github.io which is AI based compression, color depth and Tom Scott’s ’Why Dark Video is Such A Blocky Mess, and probably a bit about loading in images with progressively better quality with Progressive JPEG

                        As for the knobs to turn for dithering, everything I did here was just poking with options until I got something I thought looked good. I found it interesting that with the black and white (not grayscale) image, adding noise before the dither seemed to improve the quality. The palette I used I made with Color Tool which is $15 on stream, which is actually why I didn’t link or mention it- There are plenty of free ways to make palettes.

                        At some point I intend to do a more complete write up with links and put that into the art chapters, mostly https://opguides.info/design/digital-design/ which already has at least some of these links dropped in. For now though, there are other sections of my website I’ve been prioritizing. If you’re into this stuff, have knowledge to share, and want to contribute, the site is open source ;)

                        1. 5

                          Have you tried pngquant? It should generate a more compressible dithering, although not as “artistic” looking. If you let it generate palettes, it may generate more optimized ones (if you want to change color scheme of an image, change it before quantization, not via forced palette). Better-fitting palette gives smaller files.

                          1. 2

                            Quantization is especially amazing for screenshots with lots of text/UI, OS built-in screenshot tools really should just do it by default..

                          2. 2

                            Awesome! Keep up the awesome work, and I agree that the pithy format works wonders. Short and to the point, a quick read that helped me come away with more knowledge than I started! Thanks!

                        1. 20

                          Spam voters: really? What’s being sold here?

                          Off-topic voters: “person – Stories about particular persons”. That’s what this is. Pretty sure fellow crustaceans are people(s) too.

                          1. 15

                            Didn’t flag, but I think people who flagged for both categories aren’t happy if the person in question is the submitter, especially when there’s a lot of non-computing content.

                            1. 11

                              Cadey is a prolific blogger and self-submits every blog post she writes. IMO this isn’t an appropriate way to use a site like Lobsters, and absolutely qualifies as spam.

                              1. 9

                                I think many people flagged it as spam since the user in question (cadey) post mostly just their own blog and now this interview with themselves. Isn’t the rule of thumb that ~1/3 of your submissions should be self-promoting? Cadey’s ratio (no pun intended) far exceeds this ratio.

                                1. 18

                                  I only care about the ratio of self-submissions if it’s like, content marketing or hellthreads. Pretty much all of Cadey’s content is OT and actually good, so I don’t really have a problem with it.

                                2. 23

                                  Won’t speak for others, but I get a bit concerned over stuff like this that can look like building personal brand using Lobsters. The thing being sold here (mentioned in the interview obliquely) is Cadey.

                                  The article itself isn’t very technical, and unless your brain/epistemology is wired up to support multitenancy probably not actionable.

                                  More generally, some of us are also uncomfortable with how much the tech discourse in the social media age is being driven by Big Personalities with Quirks and characters instead of just, you know, writing code and solving problems and making interesting arguments.

                                  Being probably a bit too real and vulnerable here:

                                  Some of us are pretty normal in our identities, right? And maybe the ways in which we aren’t normal–at least in tech, which is currently deeply enmeshed in US-centric, white-collar, coastal, progressivism –are actively criticized and looked down upon and made to feel like liabilities more than benefits.

                                  We get to skip the deeply unfun and personally inconvenient parts about being gender nonconforming or neurodivergent or the “wrong” minority, but we also don’t really get any celebration of our identities. That’s the tradeoff for being somewhat conformant with norms, and it gets worse the more normal you are.

                                  The deal we were sold on in the 90s of the internet was that our ideas and the way we explain them, not our identities, mattered. But with social media and cultural shit going on right now, people seemingly don’t care about ideas so much as characters and identity.

                                  Cadey does a lot of great Nix work, but I’d bet you ten bucks people recognize her for her fursona and Mara asides. Soatak does some solid crypto writeups, but I’d draw blanks until I’d mention “the dude with security articles that are half blue furry pictures facepalming”.

                                  For those of use trying to get by on our technical and rhetorical chops, this is a bit hard, right? Especially when you can’t really talk about the ways you aren’t “tech normal” without getting flak.

                                  Like, to put it really bluntly:

                                  It is hard/intimidating enough to compete on purely technical merits with folks like Cadey, but to stand out now the market seems to incentivize other stuff.

                                  You gotta build a blog and shill your brand. Fine.

                                  Okay, but now you have to have high production values and a podcast mic. Fine.

                                  Okay, but now you need a fursona, go get one commissioned. Fine.

                                  Okay, you need a mental health issue, depression and anxiety don’t count because who doesn’t have those in late stage capitalism. Fine.

                                  Okay, you need a minority status, and if you are “white” that will probably be most easily achieved with sexuality and gender. It’s not even enough to be gay, you’ve gotta be some flavor of queer or enby or ace or whatever–and really out about it. Trans would be awesome. Fine.

                                  …okay, well, do you have any tulpas?

                                  Do you see how that can make us feel? How does one even stand out at that point?

                                  (And this is all assuming we aren’t facing the background issues of having energy to engage in online theater, overcoming imposter syndrome, dealing with economic insecurity, etc. It’s. So. Much. Worse.)

                                  Again, to be painfully clear: this isn’t an indictment of any people that have those identities. This is an explanation for why some of us feel compelled to flag stories focusing on and celebrating the non-technical stuff.

                                  1. 19

                                    I’m not usually one to finger-point, but … while I sympathize with the feelings you’re expressing, what you’re saying is coming off as pretty insensitive to the experience of people with these non-norm identities.

                                    The deal we were sold on in the 90s of the internet was that our ideas and the way we explain them, not our identities, mattered.

                                    That was true … if you were a straight white cis male. Less true the further you diverged from that, and the less you did to hide those differences. It’s never been as bad as in a lot of other fields, but things like homophobia definitely exist in tech, and obviously also biases against women and Black people.

                                    What I’m hearing here is kind of “it’s OK for them to be gay/trans/furry/poly/whatever, but do they have to be so blatant abou it?” But the thing is, the blatancy is frequently the kind of thing that wouldn’t stand out if it were “normal” — photos of person with partners, descriptions of hobbies, memes interspersed in posts, etc.

                                    Do you see how that can make us feel? How does one even stand out at that point?

                                    Furries and trans people (I’m neither, btw) get So. Much. Shit. about those things that I don’t think it’s unfair for them to get something positive out of it once in a while. I’m reminded of some friends of mine in the ‘80s and ‘90s who were so very much into Being Gay, within our social circles, that it did get a bit tiresome. Nowadays that isn’t so big a deal one way or the other. Instead we do get people being So Very Trans or So Very Furry, and I have to roll my eyes sometimes, but I think they’ve got the right because they’re having to fight to normalize what’s still very much looked down on in society.

                                    This is an explanation for why some of us feel compelled to flag stories focusing on and celebrating the non-technical stuff.

                                    I do agree with that, and I think this interview is edging toward being off-topic for lobsters. It’s nice to learn more about people, but I don’t think long stories about Reddit drama are relevant.

                                    1. 19

                                      My goal with the things I said was to talk about things that are normal to me with all of the normalcy they deserve. Stigma is hard to destigmatize if you shove it down people’s throats. I’ve been trying to be a bit more gentle about it where and when I can.

                                      I’m reminded of some friends of mine in the ‘80s and ‘90s who were so very much into Being Gay, within our social circles, that it did get a bit tiresome.

                                      I have some people in my friend groups that to have that “being trans is their personality” aspect to them, I find it annoying too. However that stage is usually something that people seem to adopt for a while and then really mellow out about.

                                      Furries and trans people (I’m neither, btw) get So. Much. Shit. about those things that I don’t think it’s unfair for them to get something positive out of it once in a while. […] Instead we do get people being So Very Trans or So Very Furry, and I have to roll my eyes sometimes, but I think they’ve got the right because they’re having to fight to normalize what’s still very much looked down on in society.

                                      This kind of stigma you’re mentioning usually leads those people to form isolated subcommunities. It can be really annoying in practice. I want to branch out and have more of a diversity of opinion in my sphere of influence, but for me to really be myself in most genuine expression I can, I have to feel safe enough to express it. There are huge chunks of my childhood and teenage years that I just literally do not remember because of that.

                                      I really hate how much you have to “fight” this. I really wish it wouldn’t matter to people. The stigma pushes people to form isolated communities. The stigmas and cultural biases around what are really boring parts of my existence are annoying and frankly redundant in society. Things are so black and white at times that there’s nobody exploring the gray in-between. I want to make the gray palatable by treating it as normal. I want to be the most complete expression of myself as I can, and that means being honest to myself and other people about who I am.

                                      Being openly nonbinary has almost no impact on my life. All labels are wrong (at the semiotics level we can’t really be sure that everyone has the same definition of words, see Go modules for an example of this), some labels are useful. I’ve found the nonbinary label useful because it helps me explain that space between male and female that feels “right” to me. I still present more feminine to others because that is what I am most comfortable with.

                                      I didn’t choose the thug life, the thug life chose me.

                                      • Tupac Shakur
                                    2. 20

                                      It is hard/intimidating enough to compete on purely technical merits with folks like Cadey, but to stand out now the market seems to incentivize other stuff.

                                      You gotta build a blog and shill your brand. Fine.

                                      Okay, but now you have to have high production values and a podcast mic. Fine.

                                      Okay, but now you need a fursona, go get one commissioned. Fine.

                                      Okay, you need a mental health issue, depression and anxiety don’t count because who doesn’t have those in late stage capitalism. Fine.

                                      Okay, you need a minority status, and if you are “white” that will probably be most easily achieved with sexuality and gender. It’s not even enough to be gay, you’ve gotta be some flavor of queer or enby or ace or whatever–and really out about it. Trans would be awesome. Fine.

                                      …okay, well, do you have any tulpas?

                                      I’m sorry? That doesn’t describe me, or Dan Luu, or Amos, or Chris Siebenmann, or Julia Evans, or @matklad, or @DanielBMarkham, or Daniel Lemire, all of whom regularly top-story on lobsters.

                                      Do you see how that can make us feel? How does one even stand out at that point?

                                      I don’t think this is describing you, because the last thing you authored here was two years ago. And to be clear, this is fine: people shouldn’t have to Generate Discourse to be respected and considered authorities in their community. But it suggests to me that you’re not representing your actual feelings in your argument here.

                                      1. 11

                                        As somebody once said on this site:

                                        I don’t think that you can fundamentally ensure that people always feel welcome, and there is no surer road to ruin than to cater to everybody’s exclusionary preferences. Everybody has a reason to hate Nazis, or furries, or Republicans, or women, or whatever–the only way a community grows and flourishes is by providing people the space and protocols to interact without requiring alignment on those things.

                                        If you can’t even be a decent person by your own standards, then why should anybody listen to your moralizing?

                                        1. 10

                                          Hey there, I’m the guy behind opguides.info. I appreciate hearing this view and understand where you’re coming from, but I also fully disagree with it. Just as I didn’t take any of your reply personally, please dont take this personally either:

                                          The article itself isn’t very technical

                                          I’m a bit confused right of the bat here, the entire thing seems pretty technical-focused to me. It’s technical in the low-level explaining how to do this cool thing with cool new language sense, but the questions are almost all focused on directly technical content, the way we live/work in a digital world, and lessons learned in the wold of tech. Not sure what more ‘technical’ content you could want in an interview

                                          The deal we were sold on in the 90s of the internet was that our ideas and the way we explain them, not our identities

                                          I was born in ‘98. I was never sold that deal, nor is it one that I would accept. I don’t love the fact that today everything is about how big your name is and that actors run for office just to up their fame. On the other hand, if we go entirely your way of ideas > identity, we wind up in a situation where people can’t use their knowledge and skills to defend their other interests as legitimate. Imagine a black professor being denied a position and it going to a less-qualified white person, their skills legitimize their position. Showing the public that you can be LGBT+ and valuable, it legitimizes being LGBT+.

                                          we also don’t really get any celebration of our identities. That’s the tradeoff for being somewhat conformant with norms, and it gets worse the more normal you are.

                                          Being ‘normal’ is a choice. I’m bi, that’s not a choice, but other than some unfriendly folks ™ in highschool that broke my nose for it, it really hasn’t affected me. On the other hand, I chose to be a furry, it gives me something weird and fun to celebrate. You’re welcome to join the community. If you’re unhappy that you’re normal, you’re unhappy because of a choice. Find something different to enjoy, be it being a furry, being overly into model trains, whatever. If you’re truly passionate about something, it’s probably weird.

                                          Cadey does a lot of great Nix work, but I’d bet you ten bucks people recognize her for her fursona and Mara asides. Soatak does some solid crypto writeups, but I’d draw blanks until I’d mention “the dude with security articles that are half blue furry pictures facepalming”.

                                          Yeah, and? Should they just not put that on their posts? It’s their site, their content, which they’re taking the time to write and release for free, often at cost of hosting it. Sure, that cost may be offset by finding employers or other benefits, but ultimately they’re adding their personal touch because it’s their personal site. Just as I do on my site, as I would hope anybody would on their site. If you want a lack of personality, your best bet is to read straight-up research papers and academic journals.

                                          For those of use trying to get by on our technical and rhetorical chops, this is a bit hard, right?

                                          Not really? The reason people like our (Casey, Soatok, other furries + ) content is because we know how to make a bit of a show out of it and make it fun to read. You don’t need to be ‘weird’ to make it fun to read, you just have to know how to put on a bit of a show. Take http://www.jezzamon.com/fourier/ for example or any of the videos from the big educational YouTube channels. I think TomScott is a great example of this, from what I can tell he’s a pretty average dude.

                                          It is hard/intimidating enough to compete on purely technical merits with folks like Cadey, but to stand out now the market seems to incentivize other stuff.

                                          Yeah, the market will never incentivize the purely technical because in general, it’s super dry to read. It’s very hard to stand out and get public attention on something written for a strictly technical audience with no pizaz. It’s why CVE’s with name’s like HeartBleed make the news.

                                          Okay, but now you have to have high production values and a podcast mic. Fine. Okay, but now you need a fursona, go get one commissioned. Fine.

                                          Okay, really? Look at how many views early Kahn acadaemy videos still get despite the audio quality being roughly equivilent to being recorded though a tin can. Look at how many devs have very successful public presences without a fursona (Foone comes to mind).

                                          Okay, you need a mental health issue, depression and anxiety don’t count because who doesn’t have those in late stage capitalism. Fine.

                                          I’m neurotypical. I’m not depressed. I’m not anxious. I go by a different name than the one I was given legally and I have a fursona, but otherwise I’m normal. I don’t take any meds to make my brain work right. Regardless, I think this is one of the most redicious things I’ve read in a long time and I’m honestly annoyed that I’m even taking the time to dignify it with a response.

                                          How does one even stand out at that point?

                                          By making something cool that other people enjoy. You want things to be rewarded for their technical merrit? then make something technically cool, like https://github.com/hundredrabbits/Orca or https://library.vcvrack.com/?query=&brand=Aria+Salvatrice&tag=&license= . Let your work be what stands out. Make good art or good music.

                                          In conclusion: This is technical writing. If you’re not happy with your own technical writing or projects it’s not an excuse to take down others. Thanks, have a nice day ^-^.

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                                            (And this is all assuming we aren’t facing the background issues of having energy to engage in online theater, overcoming imposter syndrome, dealing with economic insecurity, etc. It’s. So. Much. Worse.)

                                            And for minorities those things are already much worse. What’s wrong with people building a brand to get a job they might not otherwise? It’s already hard enough for minorities and women to get work in tech so who can blame them for trying to get a leg up?

                                            Not to mention being a visible minority or woman can help others in those groups not feel like an impostor. When cishet white dude is the assumed default, which it very much is in tech, not mentioning it makes people assume that you’re that too. So when you look around at who’s in the field and you’re a minority it can feel like you’re the only one.

                                            Then there’s that fact that people being so open and honest about these things can help improve everyone else’s experience in the industry. People like to hire people who are like them because that’s what’s familiar to them. So when a non-binary person walks through the door what do you think is going to happen? If they’ve never met or seen a non-binary person before what are the chances that they’ll hire them? Now what are the chances if they’ve read a bunch of technical posts by a different non-binary person who’s very open and proud about it?

                                            The deal we were sold on in the 90s of the internet was that our ideas and the way we explain them, not our identities, mattered. But with social media and cultural shit going on right now, people seemingly don’t care about ideas so much as characters and identity.

                                            You can sit here and complain that everything isn’t about technical merit or whatever any more but it never has been. Who had access to computers in the 90s? I can’t imagine it was many black trans women. All that’s happened is tha the internet has gotten more ubiquitous and different people have gotten on it and made it their home.

                                            Do you see how that can make us feel? How does one even stand out at that point?

                                            I’m going to be blunt here. Who the fuck cares? You’ve described someone who’s the assumed default in the industry. Someone who doesn’t have to worry about systemic discrimination. Why the fuck would I care if you suddenly feel like you’re not special any more? Because that’s what this reads like. “I’m no longer special just for being able to program well.”

                                            If other minorities and women being open about being those things makes you uncomfortable then good, feel uncomfortable because now you’ll know a sliver of what most of use feel on a daily basis.

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                                              …we also don’t really get any celebration of our identities. That’s the tradeoff for being somewhat conformant with norms, and it gets worse the more normal you are.

                                              As someone who’s from a mainstream but geek-culture-leaning background, then also queer and out and of a political scapegoat group, then also married to the opposite sex and gaining enough job responsibilities that I can’t engage in every fight, then also tired of Internet culture battles but sympathetic to their participants, I’ll offer some perspective and I hope you find it useful.

                                              Everybody has some collection of qualities that, in the aggregate, do make each of them unique, and probably very far from a mainstream preconception. Today, talent departments in tech value that very thing. Each of those qualities may or may not have a “____ in tech” group you can join, or be thought to matter at all. But in the current era of people hiring for Culture Add instead of Culture Fit, you surely have something unique to contribute. Suppose you care a lot about your flower garden: You don’t have to leverage that for the sake of a personal brand or just for an interview process, but I believe you could if you want to. For those who have been marginalized out of job consideration in the past, the rising valuation of Culture Add / inclusion / diversity represents an opportunity they didn’t have previously. It doesn’t have to cost you, if you’re willing to bring your background and your nature to the table. Your perspective is viewed as an advantage to the group to the degree that it broadens the range of perspectives available to learn from. It’s not that two identical people are a liability, it’s that a kitchen benefits less from a tenth nonstick pan than the first spatula.

                                              I’ve used the problem domain of getting hired in tech as an example, but this could apply to other domains of life. I realize it’s probably about as frustrating as being told to “just be yourself” on a date in your twenties.

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                                                Thanks for your response. One thing other replies haven’t mentioned:

                                                unless your brain/epistemology is wired up to support multitenancy probably not actionable.

                                                ~70% of what I read on Lobsters is non-actionable, and I’m better (on various axes) for having read it.

                                                Also, I once thought the same as you, but ~18 months ago I changed that after talking to (none other than) Cadey.

                                                (Further, your angersock/friendlysock duality has more in common with some plural approaches than you might’ve guessed.)

                                                I’d add ..

                                                Anyone can form a personal identity that’s worth celebrating. You don’t need anyone’s permission. You don’t need to feign interest (or non-interest) in particular genders or whatever, don’t need to go become a monk or create a bunny girl tulpa or whatever. The point of identity is that it’s something special about you.

                                                Maybe that seems a bit trite when you see an unspecified mass of people who all call themselves trans, because, perhaps to the relatively ‘normal’ outsider, it looks like people who are differentiating themselves by all adopting the same relatively un-differentiated label/stance/whatever. I can only really say that it’s really not that — literally every trans person has a journey and mindset that is, for the most part, radically different to others. It’s the same with other labels you’ve mentioned.

                                                No-one’s saying you go need to amass a series of descriptors, because frankly, that’s not what most of us have set out to do. We’ve arrived here by our own ways, and wherever you are, you’ve gotten there by your own way too. I don’t think you’re lesser because the collection of labels that happen to describe you might be more prevalent in the population. I do note it makes it harder to differentiate yourself, and that that makes the notion of having to differentiate yourself less appealing — you are on the back foot when it comes to differentiating yourself. I’m not looking to deny that that has its own difficulties.

                                                (I don’t think it’s worth trying to compare those difficulties to, say, the difficulties trans or plural or ace or whatever people face, because they’re just in different ballparks entirely. I don’t see you here as actually trying to say “well you were thrown out of home but someone once called me average”, even if it would make my line of thought easier to limn. I’m also not sure I accept the idea that, as a trans person, other people should roll their eyes at what I say but then hold their tongue because I have the right ..? No flak intended to snej, sincerely, but I’d tell a close friend acting that way to fuck off and be straight with me.)

                                                I don’t think that means the solution is to say that we should level the playing field by discouraging people leaning on their unique points of view. If someone occupies a position that gives them insights not commonly held, then that is of interest to me — regardless of how widely applicable they might be. As I said, most of what I read isn’t actionable or applicable to me, but it often surprises me the things that do end up being so.

                                                I think the solution is for those who feel like they have nothing to add to find what they have to add. No-one came down from the light* and gifted me my fursona/alter/whatever. I felt myself out, spent years (decades) on it, and hey, there she is, right in my Gravatar. If people think that adds personality, then great. If people think it’s worth spamming the comments with vaguely anti-furry rhetoric, then welp. It’s a decision I’ve made and it’s time I’ve invested, and not everyone will see it the same way. I didn’t decide to be a special snowflake, but I did decide that my identity was a place where I wanted to make life interesting. As a result, I have some experiences that are unique, and sometimes I’d like to share those. It doesn’t devalue the experiences of others without. Attention may be a scarce resource, but upvotes are not.

                                                Here’s the kicker: there’s only so much to the “[identity] intersecting with tech” discourse to be added to. When I blog about stuff I don’t mix in my perspectives as a trans person because I don’t feel like I have anything to add. Like, if I posted a post a week for three weeks on MIPS I load delay slots, some people would probably find it of at least historical interest. If I continued apace for three years, eventually it’d get pretty solidly downvoted because jesus christ Ashe give it up, there’s only so much to be said.

                                                But if you ask me, this interview covers a lot of aspects that have had very little coverage. These are interesting points of personality and identity, and they interact with Cadey’s technical work in a way that makes them clearly on-topic.

                                                I get that one could read this and feel left out. But don’t flag as off-topic because you can’t put yourself in their shoes. I feel absolutely certain living in your shoes has its own unique points of interest—even if they don’t occupy as “easily” a recognised category as gender identity or whatever. Ones that I’d be unable to relate to. I’d like to hear about them.

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                                                  This is an explanation for why some of us feel compelled to flag stories focusing on and celebrating the non-technical stuff.

                                                  Nothing you wrote here meets the criteria for any flag.

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                                                    Same question as last time:

                                                    If this isn’t an appropriate use of the “person” flag, then what is, and how is it different?

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                                                      I generally like person for people who are dead or no longer in the field, usually with the historical tag.