Ossa Sepia

July 12, 2019

My First Hours on Dev.to

Filed under: Dark Modern Ages, Outreach — Diana Coman @ 2:46 p.m.

As I really have too little time to waste any of it on fretting about how to start on things, I just picked Dev.to as the first online place to explore in search of young hands that grow from their right place and not from arse1. The choice was quite arbitrary really - it popped out on my unordered list as a relatively lively place and it uses GitHub old accounts so at least I did not have to make yet another "account". As a result, I now have in there too, that same old end-of-uni photo of mine that GitHub also has but so what. Anyway, to start it off, I gave them some content for free, sure, what's a few paragraphs to me now, here it is:

Come work on what matters, so you matter too.

I'm part of TMSR - the place where well-thought Bitcoin innovation happens steadily, publicly, unfashionably and with inescapable, far-reaching consequences. From a new model of software development to a MMORPG and building up a working market for computer artists plus everything software and hardware in between, the focus is at all points on owning what you do and growing your knowledge and ability at a sustainable pace.

The programming language of choice is Ada (with a fully-documented rationale as to why Ada) but work with legacy code includes C, C++, Python, Lisp and potentially anything else really.

Come work with me on things that matter, if you want to matter too. I write (and have been writing for a while) at http://ossasepia.com

The post above quickly got a few "hearts" and so far (1 day later) precisely no comments at all. Apparently love is easier to get than conversation, did you ever notice that? And what does it actually tell you, hmm?

The easy love aside, I didn't really wait (or expect) for any conversation to actually start from my first post, no matter what I'd have written there2 and so I just started looking around at the whole thing instead, trying to figure out its structure and therefore some way to *systematically* explore it. That quickly bumped into the obvious fact that the whole thing seems rather on purpose built *against* systematic anything. There are tags for instance to group supposedly by interests the content and you can "follow" tags even with "weights" attached but you can't see ALL tags (I know because I asked them, right there, in the "hello" thread, yes). You can see "the top 100" tags and supposedly that should be enough for everyone, screw the unpopulars, apparently I'm not supposed to be able to find them even if I am willing to go through as many tags as it takes to precisely reach them too! There are also profiles of course and you can "follow" those too but again, no way to actually see a list of them and be able to just go and talk to each one, no. Gotta try and map the space through the conversations that they feed you (literally, it's a "feed", right?) or otherwise go pretty much by chance, here and there, looking under each stone in search for people nowadays. Oh, and the platform is some Open Source pile of code, of course. Anyways, doesn't it strike anyone as really weird this thing where precisely online stuff that is by its nature exactly fit for systematic organisation and access is instead by design anti-systematic? Note that it's not just a matter of "offering also a fuzzy path to follow" but rather limiting the option to that and nothing else.

Anyways, 100 tags at least are better than none, so I started reading from there, for lack of any other better strategy really. Reading3 and commenting of course, since the whole point is to engage with people, what else. So after a few hours yesterday reading and commenting around there, here's how my dashboard on dev.to looked like:

Looking at the numbers this morning (after another 15 minutes spent on dev.to), I have: 1 post published (with "under 100 views"), 29 comments written, 10 "followers" and 4 "total post reactions." Hopefully I find a way to get faster at this as I do it more since I can't say I really have as much time as the current rate promises to eat up.

As for people actually following on what they said and making their way to irc and/or to this blog (or Stan's, since there was one DrBearhand whom I pointed towards FFA), I'll believe it when I see it happening and not earlier. But in any case if those I reached already fail to actually act on their own words now, it's their failure and nobody else's anymore, certainly not mine - from here on, it's on them entirely. What do you think the actual rate will end up like, 1 in 100? 1 in 1000? 1 in 1mn?

  1. It's Stan's term-of-art, see the logs

  2. I suspect I'm getting old really, there's no other explanation for this sort of lack of silly expectations here. 

  3. Really, having read lots and lots of legacy code prepared me for everything and anything, there is that. 


  1. How did you come across dev.to? Do you have some particular method for finding these online places, or is it just googling until you stumble across something useful?

    Comment by spyked — July 12, 2019 @ 5:25 p.m.

  2. Part asking around people that I know and part assorted google searches (with filtered results), yes. For this kind of thing, google "works" since (for once!) I am basically searching for what I'm "supposed to" search as it were. Sadly I don't know of any actually systematic way of compiling a list of those other than following links between them until there's nothing new dredged up as it were - pretty much the rule of thumb.

    Comment by Diana Coman — July 12, 2019 @ 6:54 p.m.

  3. Interesting first impressions of the site, what about the community?

    "Come work on what matters, so you matter too." - what? where? more info please?

    Comment by Vuild — July 13, 2019 @ 9:51 p.m.

  4. Welcome Vuild. Let's say I give more time to figuring out people than I ever give to figuring out tools/sites/platforms.

    As for what and where, come over to irc on #ossasepia and we can talk at length - there isn't a one size fits all so how can I tell upfront what would be a good fit for you? Have a look around if you want to see the sort of things I'm doing and follow the links to find out more about the people I'm working with and what *they* are doing (from designing hardware to computer graphics, starting an ISP or going to Qatar there is plenty variety really) and so on. Pick at what interests you and/or puzzles you and we go from there, step by step. There is no shortcut that is worth taking really and given the length of the #trilema logs + all the republican blogs, I really don't think it's information that is missing, you know?

    Comment by Diana Coman — July 14, 2019 @ 1:25 p.m.

  5. Thanks Diana, honestly, I've been in this game for a very long time.

    I am looking for ways to decentralize the web a bit as it is in a mess, not really looking to chat so much as do things ASAP.

    That includes engaging in stuff that is not big tech.

    Talking at length or journeys of discovery are less interesting to me than new players in the game at all levels of the stack. New connections, new ideas, new businesses, new tech. I don't like what is there now.

    I'll take a read around.

    Comment by Vuild — July 15, 2019 @ 8:27 a.m.

  6. Ahaha, TMSR is *the* player - outside the "stack" entirely and certainly about way more than software (or even tech for that matter). It's so outside the box that most often people have trouble figuring it out in the first place - too "foreign" to stick, as it were.

    I have no appetite for empty talks and "journeys of discovery" either but whether you realise it or not, you are *outside* TMSR and the easy ways in have closed quite some time ago (see here: http://trilema.com/2016/how-to-participate-in-the-affairs-of-the-most-serene-republic/ ).

    The above being said though, you are of course absolutely welcome to try and find your way in the hard way or not at all, sure.

    Comment by Diana Coman — July 15, 2019 @ 4:56 p.m.

  7. > no way to actually see a list of them

    Randomly opened dev.to/iriskatastic/43-most-popular-github-js-repositories-in-july-2019-5cb5 (it was the top of the feed at the time) and discovered both

    a) the id="article-link-141232" / id="engagement-count-number-141232" class="engagement-count-number" etc peppered throughout (suggesting that the articles -- and likely everything else, fetlife-style) are trivially enumrable, once one figures what portion of the site to programatically feed that number into (sure as fuck there's something somewhere)

    and b) that the article is actually taken from syndicode.com/ruby-on-rails-agency-blog/ ie it's what they call "link bait" -- some guys trying to get their own business going write an article and then post it to "platforms" to try and drum up interest.

    This latter discovery came through the lulzy avenue of

    <a href="/iriskatastic/22-most-popular-rails-repositories-on-github-in-june-2019-o67" class="small-pic-link-wrapper index-article-link" data-preload-image="https://res.cloudinary.com/practicaldev/image/fetch/s--mmKep-sS--/c_imagga_scale,f_auto,fl_progressive,h_420,q_auto,w_1000/https://syndicode.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/Rails-Digest-June-24-e1561384472132.png" id="article-link-127994">

    which is a tiny bit of bandwidth leeching.

    So, in conclusion : the "accounts" on that site aren't accounts in the sense of users in the sense of, people "using" the "platform" in the sense of, giving it free shit. They rather are accounts in the sense of users in thr sense of, people actually using "the platform", in the sense of, trying to leech its shit.

    As you'd expect therefore, the platform isn't rich (by whatever metric), but poor -- so poor, in fact, it can't even aford to host a thumb. So low the value per user! Imagine that!

    Comment by Mircea Popescu — July 16, 2019 @ 3:31 p.m.

  8. Ah, there IS a ton of web-dev/spinning cssplates and the like that are about as much value as one imagines. And certainly the most visible, yes but if anything those are the parts I'd rather filter out. I'll have to dig a bit more in the source of their pages - it's one sort of archeology I didn't pour much time in so far indeed.

    Comment by Diana Coman — July 16, 2019 @ 4:12 p.m.

  9. This is like jumping into a movie half way, in the middle of heavy dialogue between the lead characters while I am driving, in fog, on a mountain road, in a place I have never bee before, at night.

    I am clearly outside of TSMR & every other system. I don't go places I am not invited & shun people's 'clubs'. Not even following this comment tread well.

    Very happy to learn if it is worthwhile, but not chasing 'closed doors' to something new as there is too much that needs to be actually done to rectify things.

    Would be grateful to hear a clear explanation.

    Comment by Vuild — July 17, 2019 @ 9:55 a.m.

  10. An explanation of what exactly? You say you are interested in "decentralizing the web" - so go and read about gossipd for instance, about how TMSR ditched DNS and is not looking back (unless it is to laugh, of course), about Pizarro hosting and the wider plan with it, about Qntra reporting, about V versioning and the Web of Trust (WoT) and even Eulora's disruptions of all sorts. There is active work done on many fronts in TMSR - the question is asked of you really, not the other way around: where do *you* fit in here?

    If you are too "busy" to read about what is actually being done and developed in radically different ways to "consensus" and "what everyone knows" I guess good luck, go ahead and toil at changing the world all by yourself or something - TMSR already even has a term for this (because guess what, you are not the first with this particular problem), it's called "man alone" and it's a verb too as in "you're man alone-ing it".

    " there is too much that needs to be actually done to rectify things. " - so there is. But working within TMSR makes it a degree of magnitude easier than working anywhere else - for those interested in actually changing the sad state of the world as opposed to only patching it here and there or papering it over. Understand though that "explanations" are not going to help you any - go and explain to the rider who never saw a car just how and why is driving a car faster than riding a horse, let alone how is the car more than just "a fast horse".

    Comment by Diana Coman — July 17, 2019 @ 10:46 a.m.

  11. > while I am driving, in fog, on a mountain road, in a place I have never bee before, at night.

    Amusingly, this is exactly to the letter Nicole's experience of driving my car. How did you intuit that ?!

    PS. Nobody gives a flying fuck about your aspie dumbass and your self-perceived needs ; and we need you like we need chewed gum. Either learn to offer yourself meaningfully or else get the fuck lost back into the swamp.

    Comment by Mircea Popescu — July 17, 2019 @ 11:15 a.m.

  12. Sadly, it being to the letter points more to "that's the standard sentence to use for X" than to any intuit. Basically that's the only representation of unknown that they have /can easily get to - after all, other than driving what else exactly do youngsters get to do nowadays that is even in the least in this category of going into the unknown - the potentially deadly unknown even.

    Comment by Diana Coman — July 17, 2019 @ 12:10 p.m.

  13. Note that wasn't Nicole's description, but actual lived experience : I had her drive Bartholomew at night, on the side of Arenal towards San Jose, there's this place where it often fogs so thickly you can't see five meters out, and that night it happened to. And I was screaming at her all the while she's going too slow. This is how that road looked during flooding period that very same Spring (and this is some idea of the sorta fog tropical rainforest can get going -- though this is light yet). Poor girl even made a hand-drawn illustration of the horror afterwards, like small children trying to cope with trauma.

    But anyway, I suppose you were right from the get go : rando anon is coming from the (utterly ridiculous, let alone entirely untenable) place where he holds the masterplan, and how does this tmsr thing fit into it ? Hence I suppose the aspie qualification : such worldviews are directly equal to desocialization, as in, the clinical symptom.

    Comment by Mircea Popescu — July 17, 2019 @ 1:45 p.m.

  14. I am neither swamp nor aspie, I am chewed gum.

    Not even a man alone, but when I started I was alone a lot. Not a random anon. Nothing of the sort.

    You managed to completely misjudge the situation. You make lots of assumptions, many of which are incorrect. I just help real people in real bad situations.

    Diana invited me to chat so I came to see what your stuff was about but there is too much to dive in.

    As you stated, you need nothing from me.

    Comment by Vuild — July 18, 2019 @ 7:16 a.m.

  15. This will be fun to re-read in a few years.

    Comment by Diana Coman — July 18, 2019 @ 9:35 a.m.

  16. Misreading the situation happens to me with some frequency ; yet somehow, it doesn't seem to ever last.

    Comment by Mircea Popescu — July 18, 2019 @ 5:35 p.m.

  17. Eh, it's "too much to dive in".

    Comment by Diana Coman — July 21, 2019 @ 12:47 p.m.

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