Do any micro.bloggers trust Bitwarden as their password vault? I’m a longtime LastPass user looking to jump ship. I am not sure about 1Password, but maybe I am being silly.

Trust

Trust relies on three things:

  1. Competence—can you do something well?
  2. Benevolence—are you doing good?
  3. Integrity—will you do the right thing, even when things are bad for you?

I heard this breakdown on a podcast episode earlier this week, and loved the idea so much that I hastily dictated a note to Siri about it (I was in my car at the time), but I can’t recall which podcast I heard it on or who said it. I found an analogous summary of the idea on the Wiley Online Library site, in an abstract about a chapter of the book Handbook of Principles of Organizational Behavior: Indispensable Knowledge for Evidence‐Based Management, Second Edition:

This chapter focuses on using the concepts of ability, benevolence, and integrity as a means of increasing trust. Ability, benevolence, and integrity are the most critical facets of trustworthiness. They foster a sense of trust in the leader by followers. Ability reflects the knowledge, skills, and aptitudes of a leader, in both technical areas and general management competencies. Benevolence and integrity are aspects of the leader’s character, and require more time and attention on the part of followers before they can be reliably judged. In order to increase trust, leaders need to take steps to increase their ability, build their benevolence, and demonstrate their integrity. Leaders can do so on a follower‐by‐follower basis, but can also take steps to create a culture of trustworthiness within their organizations.

Breaking down concepts like “trust”—which seem innately understood and obvious—into component parts can be very powerful. It gives you a way “in” when it comes to solving problems dependent on that concept.

Trying to learn Hugo

I have been slowly teaching myself Hugo tonight. I haven’t gotten to the fun part yet, I guess. Due to incompatibilities with themes and, in the case of my first install, with the location where I want to store my site files, I had to install Hugo (on my Linux server) four different times now: via snap, apt, the “hugo” .deb package, and finally the “hugo extended” .dev package. I am finally at the point where I may have found a theme that is suitable for my personal site landing page.

Hugo is not my first static site generator. I actually landed on a less-known one called Punch a long time ago. It is not longer being developed, so I don’t want to use it any more. It was very simple to use, though, in a way that Hugo does not seem to be. I think that once I get the hang of Hugo I will love it though.

Covid Vaccines for Kids Are Coming, but Not for Many Months

I wonder about when my kids can get Covid vaccines every day. What the New York Times reports today tracks with what I thought: late summer, at the very earliest.

Much to my surprise, Marco Arment is in the exact same quandary I am in regarding dealing with a web development environment and a package manager on macOS.

After a long work day, I finally caught up on “WandaVision.” It is weirdly delightful. I like to think that cast was having fun with its nutty premise.

For some reason, I really do not want to install homebrew, npm, or Hugo on my new Mac mini. I have bad, but completely unrelated, memories of completely borking (that’s a technical term) my prior Mac’s Python environment, homebrew install, command-line git install, and so on. Plus, I had planned on using the machine only for Xcode, Fork, Mail, Safari, and PDFScanner. So much for that, now that I want to refresh my websites.

Websites moved to Linode…mostly complete

I transferred all my websites, other than my hosted micro.blog of course, to a single Linode instance. I set up nginx, fail2ban, and certbot from a bare Debian 10 install. I set up DNS to point 5 domain names to it, and got my email MX record set up properly on the firs try. I feel pretty good about it, mostly because I didn’t have trouble with the typical things: permissions, users, groups, etc. Unfortunately, DNS propagation tripped me up on one of my domains, so SSL isn’t working right, and it is affecting my micro blog URL, too. Hopefully I can fix it in the morning.

My webhost got hacked and is going out of business. I can migrate my blog here, but I will need some cheap webhost for my four other low-traffic websites. Anyone know a good, cheap web host? I wish I knew of a good tutorial to get all of my sites with different URLs to be hosted on the same server.

I have been building tiny bots in Automation Anywhere this morning. It has taken me a little bit of time to figure out how to do what I want to do without resorting to writing a Python script—which I can do, but don’t want to do—but I am getting there. 😀💪

Boston Red Sox’s Dustin Pedroia announces retirement from MLB

Joon Lee of ESPN reports:

Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia, who hasn’t played since 2019 because of a knee injury suffered two seasons earlier, announced his retirement Monday.

“Could it have ended better and I finished my career the right way? Yeah of course,” Pedroia said on a Zoom call with the media. “But there was a reason I was the first one dressed at 5:30 for a 7 o’clock game. I always tell my teammates that you never know if the game is going to start early. My biggest thing in my mind was that this could be my last game and you don’t know. That’s the best way I approached it from Little League on. I had the best time playing.”

As a Red Sox fan, Pedroia’s retirement is no surprise. He hasn’t been physically able to play for years, since he got injured by a Manny Machado slide at second base. It is sad nonetheless. In his prime, he was fun and exciting to watch, and embodied the quality I enjoy seeing the most as a fan: “the love of the game.”

I found myself reading the Wikipedia entry for _Groundhog Day_ this morning. I doubt I have time to watch it again anytime soon, but I may listen to the different-but-also-excellent Tim Minchin musical adaptation later.

NYU researchers find no evidence of anti-conservative bias on social media

Kim Lyons reports in The Verge:

“The contention that social media as an industry censors conservatives is now, as we speak, becoming part of an even broader disinformation campaign from the right, that conservatives are being silenced all across American society,” the report’s lead researcher Paul Barrett said in an interview with The Verge. “This is the obvious post-Trump theme, we’re seeing it on Fox News, hearing it from Trump lieutenants, and I think it will continue indefinitely. Rather than any of this going away with Trump leaving Washington, it’s only getting more intense.”

This is one of those studies that may help future historians sort through the mess we are living through now. It is pretty obvious to me that there is a conservative bias on social media rather than a liberal one. The shocking election in 2016 of a mendacious “conservative” social media gasbag is enough proof. That he wasn’t deplatformed until he lost the 2020 election, despite sowing devision and inciting violence on social media platforms, is further proof of it.

I bristle now at hearing or seeing the word “conservative” describe the people running a disinformation campaign against their fellow citizens. There’s nothing “conservative” about this influential and dangerous wing of the Republican Party, which is undermining the basic traditions and institutions of society. I identify strongly as a political progressive, but I am also quite conservative in how I think that people should behave publicly and how ethically and transparently political institutions should be run.

The winter storm in New Jersey today is more likely than not to delay my COVID vaccine appointment. It is snowing more than I ever expected to see again here, after the past 4-5 years.

I really like the simplicity of the Keysmith app, but I can’t find any use for it.

Fullmetal Alchemist

While I have been working a ton lately, I can’t work every second of the day. I have been watching the “Fullmetal Alchemist” anime series (there are two), mostly late at night, to unwind.

I watched the entirety of “Fullmetal Alchemist”—which is the first anime adaptation of the manga—first. Because it veers widely off of the plot of the manga (which, since I am not a manga reader, I don’t care about), it seems to be widely considered the lesser of the two adaptations. I think that sells it short. There are lots of sad, thought-provoking episodes, especially toward the beginning of the run, in which characters and the audience question what it means to be human, and what is the value of a human soul. These questions build up to big ideas and set pieces by the end, which is satisfying. There are some structural problems with how the story is told—mostly in the way the timeline, pacing, and character balance shift between the beginning, middle, and end of the series—but there is no problem that majorly detracts from the series as a whole. You could quibble that a lot of the theory behind how the magic system works doesn’t make any sense, which is vital to the overall theme of the series. Consider, however, that it is a magic system, you have to suspend disbelief quite a bit to begin with, and of course it doesn’t make perfect sense.

I am almost done watching the second adaptation, “Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood”, which stays true to the manga plot and is generally lauded as the better of the two anime series. At this point, I don’t think of it as “better” but it certainly is much different. The stakes in “Brotherhood” are much higher, the characters are more tightly integrated throughout the series, and the tone overall is funnier and less sad, despite the raised stakes and some (somewhat) more mature relationship elements between childhood friends/teenage-phenoms Edward and Winry. Despite these advantages, “Brotherhood” is far more cartoony in style, which I don’t prefer. It uses chibi (super deformed) style far more heavily than the first adaptation did, which I find distracting—the characters are often blowing their stacks in anger or are extremely embarrassed or go into some of other extreme, but emotionally and visually, that takes me out of the story a bit. That is a relatively small demerit, however, and it is offset by the increased complexity of the story.

I am eager to see how “Brotherhood” ends, and would recommend that everyone try watching both series, especially the first one, because it is very good despite being the less-loved one.

Little Voice

My wife and I recently discovered the Apple TV+ show “Little Voice” and very much enjoy it.

It is different in pace and tone from other shows (like “Curb Your Enthusiasm”) that we have been watching lately. While there is a lot going on in each episode, the pace feels slow and thoughtful, as if the show is focused mainly on the growth of its characters and on illustrating (a version of) the New York City music scene. I would not recommend watching “Little Voice” for its main plot, because it appears to follow the well-worn path of “talented-but-unknown artist slowly becomes successful.” That said, there are a ton of great character moments throughout.

The main draw of the show is the music, most of which are songs written by series co-creator Sara Bareilles. There is a lot of music performance in each episode. All these sections look great, sound great, and are integrated completely naturally into the story. However, they serve as the primary reason why the pace is slow. If you don’t like the music, then the show will not be for you.

Overall, I think that “Little Voice” is under-rated. It didn’t blow up like “Ted Lasso” (which is, indeed, great) or “Central Park” (which is also great), but is my third-favorite Apple TV+ series thus far.

I have been super, super, super busy today, and it just won’t stop. It looks like I’ll be working a lot of overtime…like right now. At least, once the kids go to bed, I can put my headphones back on and enjoy some music while I work.

The Business of Influenece with MKBHD

I found this fairly long interview on The Verge with Marques Brownlee (MKBHD on YouTube) to be very interesting:

But what looks effortless and fun to the viewer is often the result of careful planning and investment. YouTubers are entrepreneurs, and Brownlee — my guest on today’s episode of Decoder — talks that talk with the best of them.

Marques Brownlee could be described as “tech reviewer” or a “social media influencer” or a “YouTuber.” I don’t watch all his videos, but I have checked in with his YouTube channel periodically since I first saw him (as a college student!) on an episode of TWiT. While he is telegenic and charismatic, he also presents himself as someone with a strong sense of ethics who is very smart and thoughtful about he approaches his business. This interview gives a pretty long look into Marques Brownlee’s professional world.

My wife, who is a high school teacher, recently reported to me that one of the top “professions” that teens want to go into is “social media influencer.” That is kind of eyeroll-inducing to me, but I suppose it is as realistic and as meaningful an aspiration as “famous writer” was to me. It is important to know how much work goes into that sort of job, and how much time, investment, and infrastructure goes into keeping up with the competition.

My name got mentioned three times on the all-team call at work today, which is three times more than usual. 😎

I don’t really want to criticize TapBots for making TweetBot version 6 a subscription app. I would like to highlight that $6.99/yr is a reasonable price to pay every year if you use an app every day. I wish more annual app subscriptions were below the $9.99 level.

The Covid-19 Vaccines Are Amazing. Let’s Quickly Get Them into People’s Arms.

Jason Kottke’s blog post offers some great advice that we all should heed:

So what can you do about this right now? 1. Stop worrying about the variants until the experts let us know we have something to worry about. 2. If you are eligible for the vaccine, get it! 3. Spread the word about vaccine availability in your area. Yesterday Vermont opened signups for vaccination appointments for all Vermonters 75 and older, and I texted/emailed everyone I could think of who was over 75 or who had parents/relatives/friends who are over 75 to urge them to sign up or spread the word. 4. Continue to wear a mask (a better one if possible), wash your hands, social distance, stay home when possible, don’t spend time indoors w/ strangers, etc. Thanks to these remarkable vaccines, real relief is in sight — let’s keep on track and see this thing through.

My family is now obsessed with wearing two layers of masks, which I tried but couldn’t get to work with my glasses on. I am more interested in finally being able to buy and wear N95, KN95, and KN94 (my favorite) masks, which are more effective than the cloth masks and surgical masks I have been stuck with since February.

In New Jersey, vaccine distribution is both successful (my wife, who is a teacher, got her first dose yesterday) and a total mess (it is very hard to get an appointment, there is no central coordination of virus distribution, and any effective effort on prioritizing inoculations for higher-risk groups is effective gone). If my family is a good indicator of people’s behavior, then lots of us New Jerseyans keep hammering away at the appointment systems, trying to get a better appointment slot, which further jams up the system.

I wrote a support email to Ulysses last week inquiring about micro.blog support. I got a response that said that it was on their “immediate roadmap” which is pretty exciting and still slightly mysterious.🤞

I can’t believe that Tom Brady is going back to the Super Bowl. Then again, it seems like the most normal thing.

New iPhone Day

After dithering on it for several weeks, I finally ordered a blue iPhone 12 mini late Friday night. I plan to keep it for the next four years, and also plan to keep using my iPhone 7 Plus as an occasional video player/video game player around the house.

It was supposed to be delivered here on Tuesday, but it came late this morning—a couple days early. Strangely, I find myself not ready for it! I have too many things to do today, and will have to wait to open up my new toy until after the kids go to bed.