Derik Badman's Journal

2019-10-22 08:18

Once again trying to load balance our chat app is not working totally right. Some people just can't connect when the load balancer is in effect. We've tried two types of AWS load balancers and neither resolved that. I'm convinced it is some kind of network or firewall issue at the customers' local institutions, but how can I prove that or debug it? IT needs to get involved, and they tend to just blame us and then move on. I'm out of ideas, I'm pissed off, and I'm sick of dealing with it. I got stuck dealing with this live chat stuff and it's been an ongoing headache ever since. So of course I'm stressed again, especially last night, cause it was our Australian region that was first reporting issues, so I was in bed reading when I got messages about it.

I finished the first half (the overview portion) of Bordwell's Ozu book. The rest is movie-by-movie commentary and analysis, which I think I will leave for another time. I dip into it when I watch specific ones, but I'm not sure I want to read it all in a row.

I'm also reading this book How to Take Smart Notes by Sonke Ahrens, which was recommended in one of Kevin Huizenga's zines. Since I was thinking about how bad I am at taking notes, it seemed like a relevant recommendation. The book is purportedly about using this note taking method used by this guy Niklas Luhmann, but also spends a lot of time arguing against the way writing academic papers is taught. In many ways it almost glosses over the actual notetaking process in favor of academic arguments about learning and writing in way that is... well academic. A lot of the ideas seem useful, but one doesn't get a really clear sense of the process as it would actually work.

The primary concept is the "slip box" where one files notes. The notes are written out as actual sentences and thoughts, rather than the kind of shorthand abbreviated jottings one tends to think of as "notes". They are then connected to each other via numbering and... somehow built upon later. In the context of actual physical notes, it's never totally clear how one actually finds any of the notes to connect new one to. In a digital environment that becomes easier with searching. There is an app someone made to use this method, but it's a few years out of date at this point, and is one of those apps created by someone who didn't find it necessary to get any designers to help with the UI. It uses a lot of icons that are very abstract and it's not at all intuitive how to use it (also it's desktop online, no sync, which is a dealbreaker for me (and probably a lot of other people)).

We started watching the HBO miniseries Years and Years last night, which is by Russel T. Davies who did the Doctor Who reboot. The show is a near future family drama, that feels very... of the moment. There are refugees/asylum seekers in camps and firey right wing politicians and tech that is just the other side of contemporary. Like the novel I read last month Infinite Detail it's at times a little too realistic feeling. In it, Trump, in his last days of office (later followed by Pence as President) drops a nuclear missile on a contested man-made Chinese island. The one we just watched had a bank collapsing with people losing their savings and desperately mobbed around banks trying to do something about it. It's enjoyable to watch but also, so far, rather a downbeat type of enjoyment.