weekly reel January 14, 2018

Well, hello there. Have a sip of Dominique A.

Dominique A - L'Océan & Eleor | A Take Away Show (youtube-nocookie.com)

On the news,

weekly reel January 07, 2018

Bonjour bonsoir, les amis. Chopinons quelques notes ensemble.

Chopin - Nocturnes (Brigitte Engerer) (youtube-nocookie.com)

Meanwhile, on the news,

weekly reel December 31, 2017

¡Feliz año nuevo, frendz 🙂! And music with The Touré-Raichel Collective, merci Marianne.

The Paris Session by The Touré-Raichel Collective

The Paris Session by The Touré-Raichel Collective (bandcamp.com)


weekly reel December 24, 2017

Ho ho ho, friends. Music, with a 👍 new Cabaret Contemporain.

SATELLITE (EP) by Cabaret Contemporain

SATELLITE (EP) by Cabaret Contemporain (bandcamp.com)


Rest of the news:

weekly reel December 17, 2017

Bonjour frendz, long time no see. What about a little Pink Floyd?

Pink floyd - Shine on you crazy diamond (youtube-nocookie.com)

On the news,

weekly reel November 26, 2017

Bonjour bonsoir. Music, with Thor & Friends, merci Sam.

Thor & Friends - The subversive nature of kindness (w.soundcloud.com)

Around the interwebs,

weekly reel November 19, 2017

Music: joni void is (👍 Berthe), FKL is good deep electropop, Annie Hart is sensual.

Selfless by joni void

Selfless by joni void (bandcamp.com)

Out of Tune by FKL

Out of Tune by FKL (bandcamp.com)

Impossible Accomplice by Annie Hart

Impossible Accomplice by Annie Hart (bandcamp.com)

News news news newwwwwwwssssss:

weekly reel November 12, 2017

ATTENTION Benjamin derrière toi c'est affreux. Aaaaand music: fucking awesome Irreversible Entanglements, a "free jazz collective formed in early 2015 by saxophonist Keir Neuringer, poet Camae Ayewa (a.k.a. Moor Mother) and bassist Luke Stewart, who came together to perform at a Musicians Against Police Brutality event organized after the slaying of Akai Gurley by the NYPD", 👌 Bertrand. Also, Ben Frost.

Irreversible Entanglements by Irreversible Entanglements

Irreversible Entanglements by Irreversible Entanglements (bandcamp.com)

The Centre Cannot Hold by Ben Frost

The Centre Cannot Hold by Ben Frost (bandcamp.com)


  • Big data meets Big Brother as China moves to rate its citizens, already mentioned here but reposting as this thing is pure batshit crazy.
  • Atlantic: The booming Japanese rent-a-friend business, via waxy.
  • Scott Alexander:
    • Concept-shaped holes can be impossible to notice.

      Maybe there are fields doing the intellectual equivalent of gaslighting, insisting they have really profound points when they’re just vapor. But err on the side of caution here. Most of us have some hard-won battles, like mine understanding atomization. Where after a lot of intellectual work, a concept that seemed stupid suddenly opens up and becomes important. Sometimes it’s about anarchism, or reactionary philosophy, or privilege, or religion as benevolent community-building institution. Erring too hard on the side of “that’s dumb, they’re probably just gaslighting” closes off those areas to you forever.

    • Does age bring wisdom? , wherein Scott turns 33 and asks good questions about society ↔ personal change ↔ conformism ↔ conservatism.

      All these seem like convincing insights. But most of them are in the direction of elite opinion. There’s an innocent explanation for this: intellectual elites are pretty wise, so as I grow wiser I converge to their position. But the non-innocent explanation is that I’m not getting wiser, I’m just getting better socialized. Maybe in medieval Europe, the older I grew, the more I would realize that the Pope was right about everything.

    • ... which taught me about Chesterton's fence:

      Chesterton's fence is the principle that reforms should not be made until the reasoning behind the existing state of affairs is understood. The quotation is from Chesterton’s 1929 book The Thing: Why I am a Catholic, in the chapter, "The Drift from Domesticity":

      « In the matter of reforming things, as distinct from deforming them, there is one plain and simple principle; a principle which will probably be called a paradox. There exists in such a case a certain institution or law; let us say, for the sake of simplicity, a fence or gate erected across a road.

      The more modern type of reformer goes gaily up to it and says, "I don’t see the use of this; let us clear it away". To which the more intelligent type of reformer will do well to answer: "If you don’t see the use of it, I certainly won’t let you clear it away. Go away and think. Then, when you can come back and tell me that you do see the use of it, I may allow you to destroy it". »

    • Ars Longa, Vita Brevis, good story.
  • Paradise Papers: Dear Tim Cook, open letter on tax evasion. Via HN. Different angle: Fortune - To understand the benefits of tax reform, start by understanding Apple's taxes.
  • Cory Doctorow: How to do everything (lifehacking considered harmful): "Optimization is a form of calcification."
  • [fr] Anne Archet : Banalités de base sur le fascisme découpées en bouchées faciles à mastiquer, mais malgré tout parfaitement indigestes.
  • A garden path sentence is "a grammatically correct sentence that starts in such a way that a reader's most likely interpretation will be incorrect; the reader is lured into a parse that turns out to be a dead end or yields a clearly unintended meaning".
    • "The old man the boat."
    • "The complex houses married and single soldiers and their families."
    • [fr] Et tristement, les exemples sont difficiles à trouver en français, où les mots à la fois nom et verbe sont rares.
  • Half bakery is "a communal database of original, fictitious inventions & ideas, edited by its users. It was created by people who like to speculate, both as a form of satire and as a form of creative expression". Via HN.
  • Tech:
    • Computer Science courses that don't exist, but should (HN). Lovely:

      CSCI 2100: Unlearning Object-Oriented Programming
      Discover how to create and use variables that aren't inside of an object hierarchy. Learn about "functions," which are like methods but more generally useful. Prerequisite: Any course that used the term "abstract base class."

      CSCI 3300: Classical Software Studies
      Discuss and dissect historically significant products, including VisiCalc, AppleWorks, Robot Odyssey, Zork, and MacPaint. Emphases are on user interface and creativity fostered by hardware limitations.

      CSCI 4020: Writing Fast Code in Slow Languages
      Analyze performance at a high level, writing interpreted Python that matches or beats typical C++ code while being less fragile and more fun to work with.

      CSCI 2170: User Experience of Command Line Tools
      An introduction to UX principles as applied to command line programs designed as class projects. Core focus is on output relevance, readability, and minimization. UNIX "ls" tool is a case study in excessive command line switches.

      PSYC 4410: Obsessions of the Programmer Mind
      Identify and understand tangential topics that software developers frequently fixate on: code formatting, taxonomy, type systems, splitting projects into too many files. Includes detailed study of knee-jerk criticism when exposed to unfamiliar systems.

    • jwz: Ashamed to work in Silicon Valley: how techies became the new bankers (HN), and Facebook shadow profiles with jwz linking to Schneier's congressional testimony on Equifax. 👍.

weekly reel November 05, 2017

Bonjour bonsoir, et musique : David Peacock's Disasters for piano inspired by Disasterpeaces's video game pieces, Penguin Cafe Orchestra smoothness, Marcus Marr funky beats, 👌 new Rone (merci Rufin), and a solid new Rat & Co.

Disasters for Piano by David Peacock

Disasters for Piano by David Peacock (bandcamp.com)

Union Cafe by Penguin Cafe Orchestra

Union Cafe by Penguin Cafe Orchestra (bandcamp.com)

High Times (Single) by Marcus Marr

High Times (Single) by Marcus Marr (bandcamp.com)

Mirapolis by Rone

Mirapolis by Rone (bandcamp.com)

Third Law by Rat & Co

Third Law by Rat & Co (bandcamp.com)


/books November 01, 2017

Howdy, friend! Glorious blog has a new glorious "books" section, containing a first note on my recent 10 day Vipassana course. Go have a look, I'll wait.

These are not book reviews but reading notes, to fixate thoughts, with pg’s "keeping a trace of previous brain compilations" mindset, and in Derek Sivers’ style. As described by Sivers, they're absolutely not reviews, but instead tools to help internalize knowledge. I like his approach, so I'm copying it.

And as any good abstraction, it leaks: the first note is not about a book, but rather about my recent experience of a 10 day Vipassana course. Regardless, I keep preferring /books/ to /experiences/ (which is too long and reads like you can conveniently order meth from me, which you cannot –yet–), or /notes/ (which sounds bland). So /books/ it is!

Hope you enjoy it as much as I'm enjoying what noting brings me 🙂; feedback and 📕 suggestions welcome. Take care, take care, take care.

weekly reel October 29, 2017

Hi there. Music, with Alien Sunset.

Alien Sunset by Cut Worms

Alien Sunset by Cut Worms (bandcamp.com)

On the news,

weekly reel October 22, 2017

Music: Gil Scott-Heron, thx Barak for reminding me about him. And more JOY.

Gil Scott-Heron - Your soul and mine (youtube-nocookie.com)

Joy - Mirage (youtube-nocookie.com)

And a meager newsnewsnews week; more next week!

weekly reel October 08, 2017

Hey ho. Jazz, with Theon Cross and Tori Handsley Trio:

Aspirations EP by Theon Cross

Aspirations EP by Theon Cross (bandcamp.com)




weekly reel October 01, 2017

Yo. Music: Matthew Halsall smooth-as-silk trumpet, Sandro Perri's perfect pop, BALAM ACAB beats, Upper Wilds good good rock, and Marc Huyghens as sensual as ever in Valparaiso, 👍 Berthe.

On The Go (Special Edition) by Matthew Halsall

On The Go (Special Edition) by Matthew Halsall (bandcamp.com)

Impossible Spaces by Sandro Perri

Impossible Spaces by Sandro Perri (bandcamp.com)


WANDER/WONDER by BALAM ACAB (bandcamp.com)

Guitar Module 2017 by Upper Wilds

Guitar Module 2017 by Upper Wilds (bandcamp.com)

Broken Homeland by Valparaiso

Broken Homeland by Valparaiso (bandcamp.com)

On the news,

weekly reel September 24, 2017

Hail, frendz, and music. Have I already shared the new God's pee last week? Yes! Would I re-share it once more this week? Absolutely! Thus, the new God's pee. Listen to it attentively, then give them all your money, then tell your frendz to listen to it attentively and give them all your money. Godspeed, frendz.

"Luciferian Towers" by Godspeed You! Black Emperor

"Luciferian Towers" by Godspeed You! Black Emperor (bandcamp.com)


weekly reel September 17, 2017

Hey hooo. Music, with a first full listen to the new Godspeed: Luciferian Towers. Which links to their 2012 Guardian interview, which I re-read, and that part made me smile:

– Maddy Costa: How does Godspeed operate as a community?

– GY!BE: Your car breaks and you take it to the garage dirty room, five mechanics maybe, car keys hung on nails next to the front counter. Two cars on lifts, one car in the corner, all the other cars parked in the back. Everything and everybody is covered in grease, everyone's smoking like crazy. They have to fix 20 cars before 5pm, or else the backlog will fucking break everybody's back until Christmas. The parts suppliers roll in every half-hour or so, mostly bringing new brake pads and flex-hoses, but bumpers sometimes, oil-pans, headlight assemblies or timing belts.

In a good garage, the whole mess of it almost collapses all day long. Dudes yell and argue, everything's going wrong and why are we doing this anyways? The hose won't fucking fit, or the screwdriver slips and you lose the hose-clamp somewhere beneath the undercarriage. The sun starts to set and the floor gets littered with burnt bulbs, spent gaskets, oil, and sweat, and brake fluid. Someone's hungover, someone's heartbroken, someone couldn't sleep last night, someone feels unappreciated, but all that matters is making it through the pile, the labour is shared and there's a perfect broken poetry to the hammering and yelling, the whine of the air compressor kicking to life every five minutes or so.

It all seems impossible. But somehow we make it through the pile. The cars run again. The cars drive away. Rough day but now it's done, and everything's fine; everything's better than fine. Tomorrow we'll do it all over again. You deal with the Volvo, I'll deal with the Toyota. Heat and noise. All day, every day, until it's quiet again. We fix cars until we die. We love fixing cars.

And Wall of death:

Main obsessions by WALL OF DEATH

Main obsessions by WALL OF DEATH (bandcamp.com)


weekly reel September 10, 2017

Buongiorno, frendz. Musique, avec Lydia Képinski, Junto Club, puzzled.

EP by Lydia Képinski

EP by Lydia Képinski (bandcamp.com)

Junto Club by Junto Club

Junto Club by Junto Club (bandcamp.com)

Okay, fine by puzzled

Okay, fine by puzzled (bandcamp.com)


weekly reel September 03, 2017

Hi there. Music: new Portico Quartet and Mogwai, groovy deep tek with Liquid Phonk, and guess what? Aaaa Raaaaaadiohead live, last year in Montréal.

Art in the Age of Automation by Portico Quartet

Art in the Age of Automation by Portico Quartet (bandcamp.com)

Every Country's Sun by Mogwai

Every Country's Sun by Mogwai (bandcamp.com)

In The End There Is A Smile by Liquid Phonk

In The End There Is A Smile by Liquid Phonk (bandcamp.com)

Radiohead @ Osheaga, Montréal - 31 Jul 2016 (youtube-nocookie.com)


my linux nerd toolbox August 29, 2017

Folks! Some of you asked for it, and I'm not –yet 😄– web-famous enough to be asked for a usesthis, so here's a little blog about my setup! Hope you'll find something useful 🙂.

Without further ado: 🔥 🎆 🎇 my linux nerd toolbox 🎇 🎆 🔥 .


As admirably summed up by Peter Welch, software/IT jobs rarely involve a "4700-hour week digging a tunnel under Mordor with a screwdriver", but damaging ourselves as little as possible doesn't seem like premature optimization. So,

  • TypeMatrix keyboards don't suck: narrow (thus bringing the mouse within closer reach), orthogonal, Enter + Backspace in the middle (thus accessible to both hands). Oh, and their blank (label-less) version helped forced me learn to touch-type, which you should totally do. Not sure about the orthogonal layout? Fine, but really, do yourself a service and buy a narrow/compact keyboard without numeric keypad, it makes for a more natural mouse position.
    • On the software side of keyboards, I roll with a custom xkb layout. No Dvorak for me, it's a vanilla US layout (for a. commonness and b. uncrazy brackets placement), spruced up with frequent-for-me characters behind the Alt Gr dead key: local ones (French â é ê ô ù etc; a dead key that makes é with AltGr + e is better than, say, a US International layout that produces é with 'e, because that 'e logic gets in my way when I need to type let animal = 'elk'), conveniences (→ ↔ ← ≠ ≥ © – —), and common emojis (👍 🙂 😄 😕). See that gist; it's a bit similar to that European layout.
  • A vertical Evoluent mouse that doesn't twist my wrist. Say that again? Friends don't let friends twist their wrist.
  • A big screen and beefed up font sizes in apps where I do lots of reading (email client, code editor, etc). I'm myopic, and can't help but occasionally bend my neck to squint closer to the text. Getting a 27" screen at work accidentally solved a years-long shoulder/neck pain; I thought I had good ergonomics and posture, but it turns out I frequently unconsciously sat in terrible bent-forwards posture.
    • Also, no multi-monitor, that makes for potentially long sessions heads turned towards a non-centered screen. I get along just fine on one fat monitor thanks to efficient window switching and simple window management (read below about marathon).
  • Desk at a height that lets my forearms rest, monitors centered and just below my eyes (computer ergo 101).
  • Chair? At work, I thought I liked Aeron chairs, until I realized a simple sturdy & cushion-less chair supports my lower back even better. At home, a DIY standing desk just like hers. The sitting at work / standing at home yo-yo is 👍.



  • A general-purpose language to get things done: Python 3 is carried by a respectful community, pleasant, and featureful thanks to an exhaustive standard library + package index accessed through the pip package manager.
    • I'm enjoying modern nodejs / TypeScript too, Scala at work, and am dabbling in Rust because the tech & community & attitude are all giant balls of light. Babbled with löve and Godot for gamedev attempts, and will babble again.
    • When an evil spirit insists I inflict a shell script upon earth, I reach for ShellCheck's help from Atom/VSCode.
    • Regular expressions are cool. Learn them and play with them on regex101.
  • REPL: Python → bpython/ptpython, node → Quokka, Scala → ammonite.
  • These days, for an almost-IDE-like experience but lighter and more bendable, on odd days I like Atom, and on even days VS Code seems better. A few common packages in both cases. IntelliJ for Scala.
  • When $EDITOR wants ctags, I reach for universal-ctags, "a maintained ctags implementation".
  • The vvvery full-featured DBeaver helps me SQL.
  • To build interwebs, my framework of choice is—WHOA WAIT. This would be a worthless piece of information, as these things change faster than a request-response round-trip these days. I'll quietly pass by the train wreck, muttering that when I don't want to start a web project with (choices ✕ more choiceshey, other choices), my rules of thumb are to:
    • Pick popular-and-stable.js for good StackOverflow factor.
    • Roll with static when I can. This blog is built with obscure-but-oh-so-cute-and-hackable chisel. But ignore this and just pick the most popular static site generator for your favorite language.
    • Murk around HTTP with VSCode REST Client > Insomnia > httpie > cURL.

Short feedback loops everywhere

... or I go crazy. Things like automatically running tests/rebuilds on file changes (with entr or full-blown incrond), js Hot Reloading, or serving static HTML from the devd live-reloading http server.


I spruce up my zsh with oh my zsh. Which is a total kitchen sink, but I'm thankful for the community-managed styrofoam around so many sharp knives, and every three years I discover a plugin I didn't know about and it's wonderful. Maybe fish will stick for you, for me it hasn't (yet).

  • I like ohmyzsh plugins archlinux cargo rust python pip virtualenvwrapper npm httpie tldr git tig tmux sudo docker colored-man-pages history-substring-search zsh-autosuggestions zsh-syntax-highlighting, plus autojump and fzf to shoot portals through terminal walls.
  • Zsh history is shared with with setopt histignorealldups sharehistory, so that different terminals tap into the same history bucket.
  • Git: ohmyzsh's git aliases + a few human aliases to interact with the thing, tig for a nice interactive text interface, and git bisect makes me cry tears of joy each time it lets me isolate the occasional case of hey-here's-this-regression-compared-to-our-last-version-published-six-months-ago-can-you-fix-it-now.
  • sudo-globally-installing python/node command-line tools invariably ends up in divorce with your package manager, so I install those locally:
    • python: pip install --user foo
    • node: npm i -g foo with export npm_config_prefix="$HOME/.node_modules"
    • ... then I expose my local binaries with export PATH="$HOME/.local/bin:$HOME/.node_modules/bin:$PATH").
  • Vanilla grep/find are good but ripgrep/fd are pure I CANNOT EVEN.
  • manpages are good but tldrpages are terser.
  • After too much profanity towards the vanilla vi in a ssh-ed server, I usually mount a pseudo-local folder using sshfs, grin, and enjoy my local toolshed.
  • rsync is the shit. Pronounced à la française: ère-cinq, yes Heinz.
  • Shell happens within gnome-terminal and tmux (started on each shell login). Someday when I get sick of tmux rudeness, I will axe it and shift multiplexing jobs to Tilix, but for now tmux is too lovingly scriptable to get away from.


Through Firefox, because Mozilla cares about the web & me more than The Goog. Nightly, to get features in my grubby little hands 12 weeks earlier, at the cost of the occasional crash that I happily report to the fine folks at Mozilla.

Desktop Environment

Is GNOME, for the simplicity and continued refinement at the cost of designers occasionally sawing a branch I was sitting on.

  • Alt+Tab-ing, or clicking buttons on a bar, or using (gosh) an Activities menu are inefficient and distracting. I focus windows (usually full-screen or half-split) using my own little marathon which lets me bind keyboard shortcuts to focus/launch apps.
  • Shell's Super + {Left, Right} keyboard shortcuts makes for dead-simple window splits without going all the tiling-WM way.
  • Theme nits; Ctrl+Shift+I in any GTK3 app started with GTK_DEBUG=interactive to pop the inspector. Persist changes in ~/.config/gtk-3.0/gtk.css.
  • Nautilus scripts are nice to automate common file-contextual tasks.
  • A few UI changes with GNOME Tweak Tool, and a few GNOME extensions: AlternateTab, Mailnag, OpenWeather, Pixel Saver, TopIcon Plus.
  • Fonts? Sorry Cantarell, but in my terminal and editor I like Ubuntu Mono, and for graphical I like the horizontal compactness and readability of Droid Sans.


  • Non-code creation:
  • Miscellaneousmiscellaneous :
    • Clementine is the only featureful-yet-suckless Linux media player I tolerate (hail foobar in Windows-land). MUBI sells an awesome movie selection for CHEAP per month, and I get subtitles for the occasional illegal flick in seconds from VLC's VLSub extension.
    • When I want to bundle/isolate a heavy or privacy-intrusive webapp, nativefier behaves like I want. That is, opens links in my $BROWSER.
    • I help mom with TeamViewer.
    • Wine runs the occasional Windows app. Steam gaming happens on a dedicated Windows box, where an nvidia GPU doesn't mean death-by-driver-induced-madness.
    • Calibre to manage ebooks.
    • gcalcli to quickly add to my Google Calendar from the terminal.
    • To prune a full hard drive, (graphical) qdirstat or (term) ncdu.

Phew! Got one more magic trick to suggest? Please do, via twitter/email.

Lastly, writing this waaaay-too-long collection brought back to mind Ryan Dahl's "I hate almost all software" rant. So, a reminder (which I'm addressing to myself too): stay curious about craft & tools, but then move on and do stuff with them 🙂.

EDIT 2018-01-24 following discussion on r/Arch: added guetzli, dbeaver, fd, gcalcli, universal-ctags, qdirstat / ncdu.

weekly reel August 20, 2017

Hey ho. Music, with your weekly Radiohead live.

Radiohead @ Lollapalooza, USA - 29 Jul 2017 (youtube-nocookie.com)

On the news,