Inputs and outputs for August 2021


the fam at Jekyll Island

Meghan, Jasper, and I camped at Jekyll Island for a few days to celebrate our wedding anniversary. It was Jasper’s first time seeing the ocean, and our first vacation in quite a while without other family or friends joining. It’s a friendly, quiet place to get away – we loved it.

I finally finished the second book in Karl Ove Knausgaard’s series, which I had been pecking at all year. At first, I had a more difficult time engaging with it than the first book, but his candid portrayal of early family life spoke to me at my current life stage (uncomfortably, since he does not present himself sympathetically at all). As I understand it, Knausgaard’s titular struggle seems to be his slow realization that the true stuff of his existence are his relationships and the minutae of day-to-day life that they are formed upon, rather than any artistic or vocational calling, no matter how ambitious or urgent. I find this very relatable.

Acclimating to Go for my job got me thinking again about what I like and dislike about different programming languages. I am appreciating the type system, but missing a lot of the functional programming elements that have been present in other languages I have used. At first blush, Haskell seems like it might be the language that maximizes my aesthetic and practical preferences for such things, so I have been working through Learn You a Haskell For Great Good. I’ll report back as I spend more time with the language, but I am enjoying it so far, and the book is very playful and fun.

I’m continuing to find 2021 to be a good year for rap music, with my highlight for this month being the Nas album. I got on a Brian Eno kick, as I have been trying to learn (and practice, to some extent – more on that later) more about generative music. There’s also a wonderful set of Nina Simone live recordings out recently:


I have been trying to learn more about generative music and figure out how to make some of it myself. My first foray is a drum loop generator, inspired by Tero Parviainen’s stochastic drum machine, which appears in his fantastic presentation How Generative Music Works. I’m using the same drum sample pack and JavaScript library, Tone.js, as Parviainen, but my program works differently in how it generates the drum loops. I haven’t hosted it anywhere yet (I want to add a visual element, and potentially try some different drum samples, before I do that), but the code that I have written for it so far is here.

I also wrote a short blog post about the onboarding practice of Day-one deploys.