The Recap #3

A regular recap of my journey through life and towards financial independence. Contains my notes, community feedback, and a few scattered links. Subscribe to get those in your inbox.


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The Recap #3

This is my last week at my current job, and then I am really on my own.

Of course, this should be no surprise to the readers who have been following the blog for a while. At the end of last year, I announced my intention to start my own business as a solo entrepreneur. It has been a long way leading to that decision. Over the last 12 months, I have systematically reduced my working hours as an employee - first down to 80%, later, down to 60%. Yet, it wasn't until late December that I took the leap and filed my leave notice. As I noted int the last edition of The Recap, I am happy that in the three months of this year, I managed to achieve a few things:

Still, for the time that is coming ahead, I am both scared and excited.

A Few New Artworks

While writing new bonus chapters for Generative Art in Go, I ended up creating a few artworks using concepts well-known to algorithmic artists (Perlin Noise, particle interaction, forces, etc.). Still, I think they will be new and exciting to the Go community.

Some of my recent experiments with Perlin Noise and particles

Without even noticing, while I was working on my new sketches, NFTs (once again) became a thing almost overnight. I wasn't sure whether I wanted to be part of the game. On the one hand, it's an exciting opportunity for anyone aspiring to be an artist, even if we take aside the money aspect. On the other, there is the whole screwing up the environment aspect. At the beginning of last week, I shared my concerns and cautiously kept searching for an alternative that's less taxing to the planet.

Interestingly enough, there seems to be an Ethereum-contender that's both faster and less resource-hungry. It is called Tezos and has been quietly marching forward since the first big round of ICOs back in 2017. There is also a smaller but growing community in the NFT space - primarily around the site hicetnunc.xyz, which I immediately fell in love with because of its unpolished aesthetics. It gives one the feeling of room to grow and build upon.

I don't want to go too much into detail about cryptocurrencies. I am not doing an endorsement of any kind here, but I am just curious to explore the space a bit. So, for whatever it is worth. I went ahead and set up my own profile on hicetnunc.xyz.

Check out my NFT artworks

Update to Ghost 4.0

I am happy to announce that my blog and newsletter are now running on the latest and greatest version of Ghost - 4.0. If you have missed the official announcement, you can check it out here. Ghost 4.0 comes with the Membership feature built right in (no longer in Beta) and a redesigned Dashboard to better overview how one's community grows. It was a seamless upgrade from Ghost 3.4, and I am super happy with it so far.

Links

Alright, time for some links.

The Soviet Union's Nuclear-Powered Lighthouses

The nuclear lighthouses built by the Soviets in the Arctic - BBC Reel
The Northern Sea Route goes for 5600km from the Kara Sea to the Bering Strait, connecting Western Russia to the Far Eastern territories. In the 1930s, the USSR started building hundreds of lighthouses along this Arctic route. With no keepers, and no other form of electricity available they would run…

This short story blew my mind away last week. It turns out that between the 1930s and the 1980s, the Soviet Union built more than 1000 nuclear-powered lighthouses situated along its entire northern coast. Due to the remote location and freezing temperatures, the lighthouses needed to operate autonomously for years without human intervention. Thus, each lighthouse got equipped with a radioisotope thermal generator (RTG) - a nuclear-powered battery that could last for decades. And serve they did, but after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the lighthouses got abandoned. Many of them became a target for burglaries and damages, which ultimately contaminated the surrounding areas. Nowadays, the sites of still known lighthouses are frequently visited by adventure seekers.

After watching the short documentary, my mind played out at least ten different scenarios for games or stories that could be made on top of this setting. I immediately got the vibe of a Strugatsky-style story waiting to be written down.

Abandoned Russian Polar Nuclear Lighthouses - English Russia
Trolley Conundrum
Software development satire
Artificial intelligence model detects asymptomatic Covid-19 infections through cellphone-recorded coughs
An artificial intelligence model can detect people who are asymptomatic with Covid-19, through cellphone-recorded coughs. The work was led by Brian Subirana and colleagues at the MIT Auto-ID Lab.
What you read is none of their business
There’s this scene in the 90s movie Se7en where the detectives played by Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman are able to hone in on the serial killer via a secret FBI program that monitors people’s library habits. The killer, played by Kevin Spacey, has been reading Dante’s Divine Comedy, Milton’s Paradise…

Until next time!

Cheers,
Preslav