The latest and greatest package is not so much beneficial in production, and e.g. with containers you do not even have to bother much about it since all you probably care for is kernel and container runtime updates.
What I still would be interested in though is if there is any technical benefit from Ubuntu server? Something which is not easily resolved by configuration management or a simple "apt-get install"?
It's not your job but what do you feel are some of the best QOL improvements?
For 24MB more than Alpine, you get the stability and long term support from Ubuntu. I think a third of the size difference are glibc and muslc?
Nice 'Three body problem' reference they've sneaked in.
Although i think the terms hydrate-dehydrate are not unheard of in tech stacks for example in a django REST framework called tastypie to denote serialization-deserialization of data.