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Ask HN: What is your “I don't care if this succeeds” project?
573 points by JNRowe on Feb 10, 2022 | hide | past | favorite | 935 comments
Last February there was, in my opinion, a really uplifting thread with the same title¹. I'd like to see all the cool new things going on, and I'll steal the intro text from as89 to explain:

One where you don't care if it makes money or gets a lot of attention, but you are working on it regardless. I don't think I mean private hobbies, exactly, but projects that could or will be shared with others - you just don't care about the outcome.

¹ https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=25992782

I built a satirical social network called shlinkedin. It started as a way for me to learn elixir and make fun of thought leadership with my roommate, and has gradually gotten bigger. It’s all open source and a ton of fun to work on. Everyone is an alter ego (think Beff Jezos or Office Spider), and it’s hilarious to see how much people commit to the characters they create. And I can’t say enough good things about working with elixir / phoenix liveview. Definitely a steep learning curve for me (I’d never used a functional language before), but payoff is huge.


HN hug of death. And well deserved, I had a great time with this one.

I was SO CLOSE to finishing the tale about the Officer Spider who ended up free his former employee of his biggest constraint, TIME, but... then it crashed. I really want to finish that story!

Damn! Sorry about that. I’m upping the servers right now. Can’t wait to hear the end of this inspirational tale :)

Should've built it in elixir, I heard it's webscale

I’d be curious to hear what went wrong and took the server down. Elixir apps usually handle these traffic spikes just fine.

That's sound interesting, I wish the website up soon otherwise I'll just forget and moving on with my day.

Isn't elixir supposed to scale better than this?

Elixir probably isn't the bottleneck. The VPS instance itself, and whatever server they're using there, probably bit the dust.

yeah so I'm seeing a ton of "(Postgrex.Error) FATAL 53300 (too_many_connections) remaining connection slots are reserved for non-replication superuser connections", which I'm guessing means the pool size is too small? Although I've tried upping that, CPU, and memory, and none have seemed to fix it. My devops skills still aren't great so if anyone has any ideas on how to help, let me know!

This might be a good opportunity to change the server to try out fly.io

Pgbouncer is your friend for postgres dB's with lots of client connections.

Larger pool size only helps if they're freed up quicker than they are used.

Would you mind elaborating on the second point? Is this unique to larger pools? My inclination is that this would be true for pools of all sizes

I suspect GP meant: increasing pool size is only prolonging the inevitable

I've also observed on other DBs that you can increase the connection pool but it shifts the problem to other resources.

Thanks for the clarification. Makes sense

BEAM is not fast. You're probably going to get better performance with Node.js. It is however really really low-latency. But that doesn't help with handling load. Anyway, even so I'd guess bandwidth or the database is the issue.

BEAM is not fast when it comes to CPU intensive workloads. "Better performance" has many dimensions, in many (most?) scenarios of web serving the bottleneck is latency to other services (i.e. Postgres) and not the processing of the web server, like you suspect in this case as well.

BEAM/Erlang/Elixir's main advantage IMHO is parallelism and "cheap" concurrency that's easy to wrap one's head around. It reuses multiple cores, and processes (lightweight threads) are both cheap (smaller stack size, per-process GC) and easy to get right (due to immutability of data structures and supervision). Also you'll get less spiky latency even under high load.

Node.js main advantages are the breadth of the library ecosystem, industry familiarity and its JIT compiler (if used correctly). At the cost of more setup one can also run an instance per core if they care for parallelism.

So I'd suggest that with BEAM he'd get quite a good performance both in terms of developer time and in serving many (network bound) requests on a multicore machine.

> BEAM is not fast

> It is however really really low latency

I've been interested in Erlang for a while, and reading this is intriguing. Taken literally the above makes no sense :) but it also kind of... does, sort of, and I would like to understand how this works.

There's often a tradeoff between latency and throughput. Think GC algorithms or IO buffers. The Erlang project has historically chosen the far left end of this spectrum. They also haven't cared about numerical performance at all, delegating that to C code.

Ooooh, burst response as opposed to flat-out super tight hot loops.

That honestly makes a lot of sense. Thanks!

Probably too many queries to the database.

I've seen it before. It's hilarious

I'm also starting to learn elixir/phoenix liveview and seeing shlinkedin's code is a great help for figuring out how you've done certain things, thanks!

Love shlinkedin and I think you have a shoot of making it successful. Not "the next Google" kind of successful, but could be at least a life style business.

Love the hilarious emoji post options: chili, glass of milk, slap

Wi-fi enabled hot sauce. I did not know so much satire could be packed into four words. That's satire-rich semantics, right there. SatiricWeb3.

Thanks, had a blast there for a while. Nice alternative to trolling in LinkedIn, which I've done as well. A crapton of stiffies in the latter one.

Hopefully they'll switch to Node soon so I can help too

So excellent, happy to see you're open to contributions too!

I love it and the people that I have share it with loved too

Shlinkedin is the best. Still yet to use our software tho :(

This is awesome!

Aaaaaaaand you’re sued

I'm a musician. Long term. 43 years old, been playing forever. Don't care if I get any success at it.

Not a hobby. Makes money sometimes. I play professionally. For money. On stage.

If you play for your entire life, you can get really good at a ton of things.

I played pedal steel at a rehearsal for my country band tonight. I played piano at a rehearsal for my hot club jazz band on Monday. I played upright bass at a rehearsal for a string band last night.

Sunday I recorded a new track with my girlfriend, ambient techno (novation circuit, moog, girlfriend's esoteric warblings).

Monday I finished an EDM track.

I have a bunch of aspirational goals. I'd like to DJ at my local ecstatic dance. I'd like to front a Louis Prima style jazz band.

I've been playing trumpet and trombone every day for the last 2 months.

I don't care if I have any professional success. But hard to say all that is a hobby. Maybe I'll eventually be able to retire and just work as a musician, teaching and doing my little gigs and producing the records I engineer for other folks and running sound for the little parties we play out in the desert in Utah.

Don't care. My kids are raised, I've got a reasonable remote day job.

We'll see how it goes.

I’m a musician too, for over 30 of my soon to be 40 years. I too don’t care about its “success” I’ve made a grand total of $11 and two tall boys performing, and easily spent a few thousand on gear/recording software (not to mention the running joke that I’m not allowed to buy more guitars). I play/record inconsistently but I love the hell out of it when I’m in it, and I’m just tickled that other people have enjoyed anything I’ve written too. Good for you!

Similar for me. I turned 50 last week, and have a good remote dev job. ATM finishing off recording a song with the band I've been in since 1987. Also running FB ads for some solo piano stuff. Not quite true to say "I don't care" because when my (tiny) audience grows a little it puts me in a good mood, but I do it because its enjoyable in itself

34 years old, been playing forever, and all that matters to me is that I get to keep listening to music, playing music, collecting music and spinning music.

Started playing the violin in orchestra in elementary school, taught myself the double bass in middle school so I could join jazz band, then taught myself the alto sax so I could help teach my little brother. Ended up shifting my focus to DJ'ing, then picked up the guitar in my 20's and now I'm learning the piano. I own some synths, too, and produce Ambient music occasionally.

Most of it's for myself, but sometimes I'll spin in a club which is always a blast. I love volunteering with local club promoters to help them throw underground shows. I love putting together abstract concept mixes for myself and sharing them with just some family and friends. I love trying to bend some of my favorite piano pieces into some kind of abstract Ambient piece. I thought about pursuing it as a career and took some music production classes in college, but quickly realized that I really didn't want to bring money into the equation.

You could call it a hobby, but I think a better word for it is passion. There's always something new to learn; new methods of playing, new ways to build a set, new instruments to pick up, new records and artists to happen upon. It's exciting to know that I'll always be discovering and learning in an area that I love so much. There's also a strong emphasis on improvisation in most of what I do, and learning how to trust my gut without second-guessing myself is an area that's always up for improvement.

I don't need other people to hear what I do, I don't need to make a single cent doing it. I just need to be able to get lost in it. Aside from my wife and kid, there's no better feeling in the world to me than when I get that itch, that urge, that screams, "Go play RIGHT NOW," because I've learned over the years that, even if I don't know what I'm about to play, I almost always fall into that "flow" so goddamned easily and for such a long period of time whenever that urge hits. I love it so much.

That's quite relatable. I've been doing a whole lot of pro-bono hauling of generators/ sound systems to the middle of nowhere lately.

I will say that as my kids got older and I got better, going out and playing for a little cash made it slightly easier to feel okay leaving the house.

Additionally, I've played with a lot of "Dad" bands, where Thursday night or whatever is how the guys get out and have a couple of drinks and socialize-- as an older guy who has raised kiddos and been through a couple hard relationships, one of the more rewarding things about this practice has been being able to have those social relationships with other guys.

And while I like your term "passion", I think that "practice" might be the better thing. In the same sense that one might be a doctor or a plumber or a lawyer. Or in the sense that we might do yoga or meditate.

I didn't start playing piano until my late 20s, and I don't think I will ever get to where I can play Brahms or anything, but that instrument by itself seems deep enough to explore for a long, long time.

My only point where I am just starting to depart from what you're saying here is that I am finding that, as I get older and find myself more and more invested in this practice I feel like I need to get myself out into the world more. Like, I just bought some genelecs last month, and I have a pair of AKG 414 coming today. Over the last couple of years I've accumulated an octatrack and asome modular synth stuff, a pedal steel guitar setuo, a double bass amp, a PA... all that's paid for itself. But as my kids have left, I also find myself spending about 2-3 hours a day playing trumpet and another couple hours messing around with recordings.

I feel like if I am going to spend that much time on stuff, I ought to at least explore how to share it with other folks.

>Additionally, I've played with a lot of "Dad" bands, where Thursday night or whatever is how the guys get out and have a couple of drinks and socialize-- as an older guy who has raised kiddos and been through a couple hard relationships, one of the more rewarding things about this practice has been being able to have those social relationships with other guys.

I've actually been interested in picking the bass back up precisely for this reason. Finding a couple of other musicians to just jam with on a regular basis sounds fantastic. My kid's only two and I have another arriving soon, so maybe this will have to wait for a couple more years, haha.

Speaking of kids - as an aside, it's been really awesome to watch my kid learn how to listen to music and develop their own musical tastes.

>And while I like your term "passion", I think that "practice" might be the better thing. In the same sense that one might be a doctor or a plumber or a lawyer. Or in the sense that we might do yoga or meditate.

I don't know why, but I was going to strongly disagree with this until you compared it to yoga/meditation, and now I'm onboard! It's definitely a practice that I am continually improving at while simultaneously centering and, perhaps, "resetting" my self.

>... as I get older and find myself more and more invested in this practice I feel like I need to get myself out into the world more.

>I feel like if I am going to spend that much time on stuff, I ought to at least explore how to share it with other folks.

I completely understand this. Most of my peers use Soundcloud to host their work, but I've really been drawn to the idea of building my own bare-bones website to host my work in perpetuity. I really like the thought of a website that presents my art exactly as I want it presented, with fewer copyright restrictions, no trackers, no fluff, just, "Hey, this is who I am musically, check back here from time to time if you like what you hear, or don't, I don't care," lol.

I think one reason I'm drawn to that moreso these days is because I'm a father. Sure, the way I'm doing it now will allow my kids to see me interacting with the art, but there's no place for them to see all of the stuff I've completed that I'm extra proud of. I'd hope that having that kind of a repository would encourage their own creativity as they grow up.

Similar vein - making music with AI. I had never been blessed with "natural" musical talents so I needed "cybernetic" support to get it done... using openAI's Jukebox. Will write a longer post about the experience at some point / guessing HN may like that.

youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVRpMo19NwYKloFhnw6QzMg soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/songshtr blog: songshtr.github.io

Music is about discipline. "Talent" is more or less a multiplier, but is useless without discipline in the first place. Needing "talent" (to be very good at it) is a myth. You don't have to be the best in the world to be very good at something.

There is no secret. It just takes time and work to get good at an instrument or producing.

edit: clarity

I mostly agree with you, but with some changes (applies not just to music but any other field). Discipline is the multiplier on talent, not the other way round. "Talent" is most definitely not a myth - to take it to an egregious example, no amount of discipline would ever make me play center in the NBA or piano in Carnegie Hall. But... that's ok.

I should specify there's a difference of being in the top percentage of people in a field, and just being very good at that field. With sports, physical attributes are more important but even if you're not gonna be in the NBA you can still be quite good, etc.

I don't see music as really competitive in that sense though because everyone has different tastes. Once you put in the time and work to learn to produce or play an instrument, it then comes down to creativity and networking really.

Again, I mostly do agree with you, especially as you get to more creative fields. I think what I would rephrase as is: given my genetic makeup, discipline is more likely to yield benefits using openAI Jukebox rather than guitar or piano.

On this topic, if you have not already, one of the best movies I have seen in last couple years: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt11423784/ (is on netflix in the US).

"think what I would rephrase as is: given my genetic makeup, discipline is more likely to yield benefits using openAI Jukebox rather than guitar or piano."

I don't agree with this sort of sentiment at all. I'm not talking about benefits as in being in the top % of people in a field- I don't care about that. I'm talking about getting very good and playing with people and/or earning income. Anyone can achieve that with time and work.

The best players that I know all study quite diligently and play/make music literally all the time. They're getting their 10,000 hours in and then some. I'm speaking here as a guitar & bass player but this applies to really any instrument.

Unless you physically or mentally cannot play e.g. the guitar, if you studied it diligently for several years, you would be better than a lot of people who haphazardly study it. By 1-2 years you could already be sitting in and doing small gigs (for bass, a lot sooner, since there's a glut of of amateur guitarists). By 3-4 years of again, diligent study, you would be quite decent/respectable. As far as "making it", that comes down to the above + socializing with musicians + interpersonal skills like being on time, etc.

"Genetic makeup" or "talent" have absolutely zero to do with that unless it's literally impacting your ability to play or practice. All that's needed is discipline to study correctly (and motivation, which goes without saying). And a great many people study poorly.

There are amusical people in this world for whom making music (ie keeping pitch, keeping rhythm) is difficult in such a basic way that it’s hard to explain to others who just “get it.” Sort of being dyslexic I suppose. I can tell you from personal experience 2-3 years was not enough for me me on the violin but maybe 4 would have been. Oh well maybe it’s the “diligence” I didn’t have enough of. Anyway- I only disagree with you in the absolutes… generally your formula holds.

I dunno.

I started out playing punk rock and frankly if I listen to the stuff I was doing in the 90s, it sucked. My timing and pitch was pretty bad. Like, as bad as anyone including the people I know who say they are a-musical.

I've gotten measurably better.

I don't believe that this is a genetic thing. Rather, I just like goofing around with music so much that, over the decades, I've developed much better timing and pitch as well as my larger musical vocabulary.

I cannot speak for other people, but it's pretty obvious that while I am a pretty good musician now, I was not born with those abilities... they are the product of many, many hours of joyful exercise. If people can't find joy in sucking really bad at things (which is super helpful) that's probably something that can be overcome.

In the course of decades, unless someone has a severe and measurable impairment, the minor differences in people evens out to the point where I don't feel it makes much sense at all to bring genetics or even personal disposition into the discussion.

Added for clarity: folks should be able to make music however feels fun for them, as far as I am concerned.

I really like self-generating sounds created by modular synths. If coding is fun and feels rewarding for folks, my feeling is that AI or whatever is a wholly legit thing. Have fun and keep at it.


Truth! Im a professional musician and in my experience, "naturally talented" generally means "enjoys practicing". No one produces moving music without practice.

And success can't be completely ruled out. Only childish success, of being a prodigy and a star very young with no failures, a monotonic career after being (this is the secret) being picked to be a winner by the industry, can be ruled out.

> If you play for your entire life, you can get really good at a ton of things.

That's the thing. I think what ruined it was the concept that getting to the top required 10,000 hours of practice. That's prostitution, violin takes twice as much, and becoming the best at a very new skill can take only 1,000. But if you put your whole life into it, that too transforms what you can accomplish.

That sounds like a great life… I like making music for the sake of making music, which is specifically relevant atm with FAWM (February Album Writers Month) happening.

I’m a hobbyist singer/songwriter, and the forced creativity of having to write 14 songs in 28 days really works for me. Shameless plug, 4 songs in so far! https://fawm.org/fawmers/christmascard/

I'm 31 and just started learning music a year ago. Ever since I started this is probably the only thing I actually enjoy doing everyday. Is it possible to get to a level of proficiency at this point in life where you get to play good enough you can start getting paid for it?

Making a living out of music is difficult, but it's not that hard to make pocket money from playing in bar bands. You don't need much in the way of technical proficiency, but probably you'll need to do a lot of playing (esp with other musicians) to learn things like stagecraft and timing before anyone will give you a paid gig.

You can get paid, but it on its own most likely won't cover the costs that go into creating it. But it's often worth that cost anyways

Yeah, it's a side business for me. Pre-covid, I was making $10-15k a year playing on the weekend. Kind of a fun thing to chase too, as if you're playing paying gigs you get to play with better musicians,

Same for me, though I've never made any money off it, or even played in front of someone. About 4 years ago I started playing with synths because I needed some music for a game dev project, and have loved it ever since (at great detriment to my wallet)

That's basically me except I don't even charge for playing. I've been accompanying singers for quite a few years, mostly friends but not requesting any money.

Thanks for mentioning this when I almost thought I did everything for money!

Considering the cost of music gear + lessons, I find it unlikely I'll ever make a profit. I also consider it more than a hobby, but something I can't fully commit to due to having a day job to focus on.

you're an inspiration man, thanks for posting that. :)

You aren't "succesful" because you have a "real" job that you care too much about. (You're a geek, not a musician.) A "real" musician tells the boss, the wife, the son to go "fuck themselves" and plays to an audience of homeless pedos if he has to, because it's in his blood man. It just ain't in your blood.

I mean, I'm sure your joking, but the reality is that I know folks who live that.

From the places I grew up, I can look at Townes or Blaze Foley or any number of folks who drank themselves to death following that line of thought. And those are the "successful" ones.

At some point I realized that the main difference between me and the dudes drinking themselves to death on the Armadillo Farm was that I didn't have to take amid-week $50 gig playing "into the mystic" and "brown eyed girl": we were all still playing the same shitty $150 gigs on Saturday afternoon.

I've been working on a project that aggregates data for every public transport provider in the country (Slovenia) and presents it as a simple API, along with an application to find rides with as few clicks as possible (without having to check every provider's website). This has involved tiring meetings with city officials convincing them to give us access to the data and writing scraping bots where they weren't convinced, so I've sunk countless hours into the project.

I currently know of only 3 people using it, but I'm one of them and I believe this is something that should exist, so I don't care that I'll likely never evem break even on it. I've started a nonprofit to fund the project, but it's been mostly my own money so far. Working on it has been really fun and I learned a ton about how stuff gets done in the intersection of public and private sector - both positive and negative.

// For anyone in Slovenia interested in using it, there's an email in my profile. It's currently a closed beta, but everyone is welcome

This is deeply commendable work and a real public service. Access to public transportation is an issue for a lot of people, and outside of the usual issues of cost, often comes down to people finding the PT systems difficult and hard to use. When people make their own apps and make them freely available with the PT data, those apps are usually lightyears ahead of the official apps to the degree that it is embarrassing.

I too have been working on public transit for my city in the US and several smaller cities that I visit that tend to get ignored by the big apps.

Most of these cities have real time data, but it is from a 3rd party vendor that either tries to lock up the data or has a terrible app.

For example, the one for Steamboat Springs Colorado, a small little ski town, uses a 3rd party vendor for real time tracking information. But the app from that third party vendor is slow and frustrating. On top of that, it is a single app that supports 30+ small cities. If you search for "Steamboat Springs transit or bus" in the app store, that vendor's app doesn't even come up. As a tourist, no one has any idea that an app even exists for their public transit.

I wrote an opensource app that supports multiple real time vendors backends which I can whitelabel for different cities.


Awesome! I'm pretty sure I came across your app when I was looking for open source systems to integrate with. I'm going for the big ones first (transportr (navita), onebusaway, OSM...), but if I do end up needing a standalone app, yours looks like a great base.

Steamboat Springs is an amazing place!

One bit of feedback on your website -- it's agonizingly slow to have to wait for the list of cities to scroll -- a bar or an arrow would be lovely.

Thanks, I'll add some arrows. I guess it isn't intuitive that you can click and drag to scroll left and right through the cities.

This is, naturally, awesome.

If I put my backseat driving hat on :D my next steps would be to

a) Wait for things to take off, iron out the initial kinks, and become quietly successful, then talk to the city at a few levels higher to showcase the benefits of cohesive open data, or at least structured data - leading the conversation here might (?) be interesting, but fostering additional connectivity between different branches (while helping to frame the focal points of the technical discussion, which is critical yet often tricky) would leave a positive impression for starters, may also help with internal communication and efficiency, and will of course help everyone slowly lumber towards modernity overall.

b) Whisper "GTFS" in Google's ear ;)

I would definitely do (a) before (b) - particularly the slow-paced adoption and settlement process (maybe even quietly build the GTFS integration yourself, before making any noise) - to give the city the best fighting chance possible against involuntary infections of Chromebooks/Google Workspace/etc ;P around the time the GTFS people show up. Y'know, just in case. Good to have a position first and all that.

The reason (b) could be particularly interesting, is that - presuming there is currently poor or no integration (this suggestion is irrelevant otherwise) - running interference here successfully may (alongside improving transport info for everyone) wind up netting you an interesting position at the city (consistent, set for life, good opportunity for lateral movement and initiative-taking given your start point, etc) or a decent shot at whatever office/presence Google has in/near Slovenia (could be interesting, could be hit/miss, might not appeal at all).

It's entirely possible you're doing this because you're already in a solid position you're happy with, in which case ignore most of the above :D

The funny part is that several providers do actually have GTFS included in GMaps. Someone with decent lobbying power managed to score a contract to provide "Google Maps integration", so I don't think the providers even have the right to share the GTFS files, even if they have them.

And since the contract is absurdly overpriced and (unofficial info) charges for each conversion instead of simply handing over the conversion software, their GMaps data is often out of date. So currently, for at least one city, the GTFS file my system generates from scraped data is actually more accurate than the one they have and provide to Google.

One of my goals though is quite similar to what you're saying - to have the most accurate data and provide it openly enough that it takes away Google's (and anyone else's) power to come in and offer something like "we'll develop a conversion system for free if you push Chromebooks or GClassroom in your schools". Our municipalities love making deals that are "free", but actually end up costing far more in other ways and it really needs to stop.

I was wondering what the situation was, hah (and hoping my totally presumptuous read of the situation wasn't totally off lol... yay it wasn't).

Ugh, incompetence enforced by policy is the most flat-out frustrating thing ever. One wonders where hard cynicism comes from... :'(

I'm very happy to hear you're (somehow?!?!) succeeding at your goal of building this out, while somehow dodging all of the rent seekers' radars (boggle). It's very cool to see when these sort of wins happen. Fist bump :D

I hadn't quite mentally resolved/connected the sequence of "push XYZ service" -> "free GTFS integration"; it was much vaguer in my head, more just thinking the very presence of Google in a likely-highly-permeable environment (without strongly held technical opinions) would have a reasonably statistically meaningful likelihood of Sales swinging past at least once or twice. I guess my brain immediately noticed the opportunity to show a spine and then be observed for having done that, something something free positive reputation. I... *sigh* I guess that is only satisfying and representative of good opportunity if there is actual competent perception on the other side of the table.

My naive guess is that Google does GTFS integration (and long-term maintenance) for free worldwide (likely with small internal teams in charge of resolving locale-specific spec violations and creative interpretations) to make Maps' moat bigger and further entrench their guarantee of establishing and retaining their captive audience. I always got the impression GTFS as a whole (which I understood was a Google initiative) was predominantly a broad sweep towards getting everyone mostly on the same chapter (as opposed to the same page) to strategically solve for the "last mile" of fixup work and viably keep up with the incoming firehose of transport updates at global scale.

I can only agree that it's incredibly frustrating that sales, municipality manglement, and wasteful solutions/implementations combine with exponentially negative and infuriating effect.

As a footnote (I'm not sure if it's helpful), the state I live in (NSW Australia) has a functional/sprawling GTFS (incl. realtime) implementation that covers the (inhabited parts of the) whole state (800,000km²) with the vast majority of the transport chaos :) disproportionately centered around the greater Sydney area (vaguely around 12,000km²). It's kind of far away :) so headscratching about the data would probably have the occasional semblance to poking at a distant server in the cloud, but it could be useful as a high-level reference. (I'm unfortunately not sure what it does especially well and what it gets especially wrong.) https://opendata.transport.nsw.gov.au/

In the Netherlands we have https://9292.nl/. It is awesome, I can plan a trip and it will show me how long I have to walk, whats buses/trains I have to take, and I can also buy tickets for all the different providers. Almost everyone here in NL uses it when they plan a trip, its even useful when you do this trip daily because it shows delays, maintenance and other important information.

Is 9292's data open? The parent commenters' project sounds more similar to http://www.openov.nl/.

This is a real public service and _I_ hope it does take off.

maybe not being in closed beta could help?

Of course :) That is the goal, but I don't want to "launch" it until the issues are ironed out - the last thing we need is to get a lots of users and then a bunch of them miss their trains/buses because our data wasn't accurate (this has happened once or twice to our testers).

Maybe not. Right now the traffic is manageable and manual rate limiting, blocking etc is feasible.


I'm the kind of person that always buys electronics used on eBay, where you can get really powerful but 2-3 years old devices for a few hundred $. And, I find shopping for used electronics elsewhere is still terrible (how good is a 1yo i5 vs a 3yo i7?). So, I made this site to help me in that -- I started scraping eBay listings for laptops, picked out the specs and cross-referenced them to benchmarks.

True to form, I made this early in the pandemic for the fun of it (I'm not even a software dev), then realized marketing is boring and never shared it with anyone. Real life makes me busy, but there's tons of features I want to add eventually. And now I have a very interesting dataset to play around with.

I have a small maybe-bug report for you. I thought, hey I don't want anything with a HDD, only SSD. So I set HDD to 0-0, and it just filters out everything. Even systems with no HDD disappear.

Very similar, but for servers, https://labgopher.com/. It originated from the Reddit r/homelab sub

Sadly the Australia section redirects to ebay.co.au as opposed to .com.au, welp. Noticed this about a year or so ago, maybe more.

Set and forget APIs that just work are kind of cool... maybe that's the moral of the story there lol

Thank you! I've used this website before, but I had trouble remembering its name last week, I was searching "lab gator" "gator lab"...

great! unfortunately the pound/TB sorting doesn't work.

That is a seriously good concept. Your metric works too good though, compared to the refresh rate of the listings so all the good stuff is sold out. If you had a mailing list I would definitely subscribe.

Thanks. Yeah I thought about a mailing list, but couldn't think of a way to make it not spam you every single day for the 1 or 2 best listings. But obviously can't aggregate them unless it's a digest of "here's what you missed," which would be slightly amusing.

Another bug report:


4GB RAM, 64GB SSD, and an i5-1035G is misparsed as 64GB RAM and 1035 GB SSD.

This is great, except it's showing me listings for laptops with 8GB of SSD storage and 935GB of RAM.

A flag button may be the most useful practical reaction to this problem. That way you can outsource the problem of faulty reports - and best case scenario even build up a following of trigger-happy users who are helpfully inclined to click the flag button in the future when the occasional glitch sneaks through.

Publishing the parser may also honestly be a good idea as well. Not the whole site, just the parser specifically - maybe with instructions on how feed in the results of small-scale scrapes (~100 pages) - so people can understand exactly what it's doing and provide feedback.

This is a very community-oriented sort of project IMHO, so by definition you'll wind up with a small following of stragglers if you hang in there; by the same token, it's possible (gain, best case scenario) that leveraging the spare cycles the community might be able to bring to the table may make it viable to maintain a level of quality that would otherwise be very hard to sustain long term.

Scraping projects looking for relative deals is fun. Did that way back in the day with Craigslist motorcycles.

THX a lot great idea. Table alignment is a miss on firefox :) https://i.imgur.com/6lBuwQ0.png

Ah, yes looks like my hacky double sliders don't look great either. css was probably my least favorite part of this project

I’m the project leader for Homebrew and have been maintaining it for 12 years. I have no planned dramatic changes for it or expectations I’ll radically improve it in any way. I just try to keep all parts of the project ticking along and I still enjoy doing so, despite feeling no real obligation to continue.

Can you invert a binary tree on a whiteboard though?

Possibly dumb question, but have you considered looking for a successor to take over the project?

Homebrew has basically reached the point where it's "critical infrastructure" for macOS devs, and it would really be a damn shame to see it slowly fade away just because the creator has moved onto other things.

I think you may be misunderstanding GP's clarity around the intended scope of the project with a lack of enthusiasm about maintaining the project.

Homebrew is critical infrastructure, which is exactly why it shouldn't change dramatically.

Now, if GP has lost interest in the project, or doesn't have the time to keep it running satisfactorily, I'd definitely agree with you - but I didn't get that impression from his post.

If I understand correctly, it's not about losing interest but ensuring there is a successor for when GP wishes to step back or is forced to do so. The community should acknowledge this and fund training and possibly salary for who's next.

I’ve been working on finding a successor and ensuring the project has a bus factor of more than one for at least. The latter has been solved but the prior won’t until I step down, despite my best efforts otherwise.

Many times. I haven’t found one yet whom I felt would take over everything I do. Given I still enjoy it, it feels like there’s no need to reduce the number of humans working on the project in the hope that it’ll encourage someone else to step up and do more.

It's not critical infrastructure.

There are better alternatives, even, that are a quick and painless install process away. For example, nixpkgs is competitive with it, and does not include the Google phone-home supercookie tracking spyware that is on by default without consent in every Homebrew installation, and works great on macOS.

Homebrew could disappear tomorrow and nothing extremely bad would happen. That can't be said for the power grid or water system. Tossing around the term "critical infrastructure" for things that are important but very sub-critical is hyperbole that waters down the (important) term to meaninglessness.

I bumped into a lion in the forest the other day that was aghast and somehow offended and told me the same thing when I mentioned that power grids and water systems were critical infrastructure.

If you don't make money off of it, you really should. I'll definitely try to make my employer pay for it. Homebrew is quite important piece of tooling. Thank you for making it.

You have done a great job, and helped innumerable developers along the way. Thanks

So casual :-)

I use Homebrew every day. Thank you for the the incredible work in keeping things ticking along. And congrats on still enjoying it!

Homebrew has made a difference to me and dozens of other developers I personally know, and probably hundreds of thousands world wide. Thanks for your efforts.

You’ve done an unbelievable job, Mike!

You do great work. Can I buy you a $DRINK for your dedication?

I've been using homebrew for almost 10 years and I just wanted to say thank you for your amazing work!

Is there a donation link or something for homebrew? I can't believe such a popular tool is not making you guys money.

This is like meeting a celebrity. Awesome work on homebrew!

If there's anyone at Apple reading, pay this guy.

They provide help and CI hardware. I have no desire to be either employed by Apple or work on Homebrew for a living (currently, at least).

Glad you are being supported in the manner to which you have become accustomed! When you retire maybe ask for a donation. I doubt they'd say no.


I've been running siftrss for about five years now. It lets you enter an RSS feed, add a filter, and get a new RSS feed excluding the stuff you specify. I made it to scratch my own itch.

Originally it wasn't going to be public but I thought, "eh what the heck, it's only a bit more effort to put a simple interface on it." Since then more than 100k feeds have been created and donations have paid for the minimal hosting costs.

I do get feature requests from time to time,and I would like to fulfill them eventually, but for the most part I rarely work on it. I'd love to have richer, more powerful filters with boolean logic along with feed combining, rewriting of tags, proxies, all sorts of things... but I've been a software engineer long enough to know that the greater complexity would mean more people emailing me their demands and blaming me for their (mis)use of the tool. It just wouldn't be fun anymore. It'd be another chore.

I've thought about trying to monetize it but 1) it seems unlikely that it'd ever amount to anything substantial, 2) probably wouldn't be worth the effort, and 3) kind of feels against the spirit of RSS.

I guess in some sense it has succeeded, but in reality it succeeded on day one when I was able to use it myself.

Do you know https://linklonk.com from @lonk11? It feels like RSS is slowly regaining traction with all those small projects that add missing functionalities.

Indeed, RSS is a great minimal API and we need more tools that can create and consume feeds. For example, you can create a feed in siftrss.com and submit it to LinkLonk so it could rank content from feeds you follow based on their signal-to-noise ratio.

Regarding the OP, I'm building LinkLonk to test out a different mechanism for cultivating trust among strangers and for discovering interesting stuff along the way. I wouldn't say I don't care whether it gets attention. That's the whole point of the experiment - to find out if it is a viable alternative to the AI driven feed. I am prepared though to maintain it for years and not looking to "fail fast".

Ooh, this is something I have contemplated making for a while. I think a really good way to get sophisticated filtering is to allow filters to be specified in snippets of JS (or LUA) that are then executed by a sandboxed interpreter that presents the filter with a very restricted “DOM” representing the post+feed metadata. Include things like author and title and body and links, and let the user do whatever filtering logic they want. And if you really wanted to make it user friendly, instead of having them edit the code, give them a blockly UI for the filter editor. You have to limit the CPU time given to a filter to avoid runaways but that isn’t hard.

I've been making a proper survival strategy game. I made a few games before but they were only about a week's worth of work each, so I don't count them as "proper".

This time I wanted to make a full-on project with professionally-done models, art, music etc. It's a reverse of the 4X formula - rather than starting as a small country and becoming a vast empire over the course of the game you start off heading a vast empire that's on the brink of collapse and you've got to try and prevent that from happening as long as you can.

I've never run a project with this kind of scope - I've been on them but when you're actually making the decisions it's a real change in perspective.


> you start off heading a vast empire that's on the brink of collapse and you've got to try and prevent that from happening as long as you can.

Neat. Reminds me of some of the scenarios in the old Simcity where you became mayor of a big city with _issues_ and had to turn the ship around.

I like the terrain rendering. Is that a prepackaged thing or did you write it yourself?

It's a custom material (since I'm using UE4) - there's small detail (grass, snow, sand etc) with their own normal maps, and that's all filtered to break up tiling and applied to the terrain.

The other part is the macro-level stuff that you see more of when you're zoomed out. I did the landscape using Quadspinner Gaea to simulate erosion based on a heightmap I drew with the basic shapes I wanted. Gaea lets me do a colour map based on terrain features, which I added on top of the small detail, and an 8K normal map which I blend with the detail normals based on the distance to the camera. The normal map adds a lot of little hills and valleys that are normally invisible since they're only small variations in the height map.

The title image is so reminiscent of Age of Empires ;). No harm there. Is it safe to assume that AoE series was an influence?

As it appears to be targeted only for Windows, I will not be able to try it (on Mac). But the premise sounds good and pretty unique!

Best of luck with it.

Thank you! Yeah absolutely it was influenced by AoE, more in a thematic sense rather than the gameplay which is more influenced by grand strategies and Total War.

Come to think of it, there's really no reason I can't release it on Mac since it's Unreal Engine, apart from me not owning a new model that can run it. If the game's a success (hopefully!) it would definitely be worth getting one so I can build for it.

>If the game's a success (hopefully!)

Title of the thread: "I don't care if this succeeds"

;) Anyway, best of luck, the idea sounds awesome! I've added the game to my steam list.

Based on the spec requirements listed in the Steam store, I think you should be able to target 8 or 16GB M1 Macbook Airs. Everything else is above that. And targeting Intel Macs is pointless.

An M1 Air is $1200ish. So it shouldn't be a burden assuming you have outside income and desire :).

Good luck!

$1200 isn't bad! You've convinced me, I'm releasing it for Mac.

Thank you! Can’t wait to try it

I really like the idea and the art looks good.

You have set the release date to Nov, 2022 - when did you start working on it i.e. how much time is needed for a game like this?

Also, how much expirience have you had with UE or any other game engine before starting this project?

Do you do everything by yourself (art, music etc.) or do you buy / use free stuff from someone else?

Thank you! I started in July of 2020 with just the map and no mechanics, and worked on it intermittently until about 6 months ago when I decided to put some actual work into it.

November is the release date because if I don't set one I'll be more likely to get sidetracked, so I wanted to be concrete about it.

I didn't have that much experience with UE, I'd played around a bit in school and uni but I didn't make anything substantial with it, and I did the same in Unity. Everything is custom-made for the game except for a save game system, since UE's save game stuff works well for smaller-scale projects but kind of breaks down when you've got to save hundreds of cities, armies, etc.

I did the environment and static assets by myself, but I'm no good at illustration or music and I got some great artists to do that instead of me.

Wow, the premise of the game sounds really cool! Do you plan on adding a multiplayer mode to the game? Me and some friends have been on the hunt for a new fun mp strategy game for a while

Multiplayer is something I'd probably add post release, I think it would be hard to implement for the strategic world map since the factions are so asymmetrical. If I was going to add it in, it would probably have to be just the tactical battle map.

What is the tech stack behind a strategy game like this ?

It's all done in Unreal Engine 4, which is great because you don't need to worry so much about all the cross-platform stuff. The assets are done in Gaea for terrain, Blender for models, Illustrator for icons and Photoshop for some more texture work

Wait, can you win/expand or is the demise inevitable?

You can't expand or capture any new cities, but you can still win since the win condition is based around completing the storyline and surviving longer is how you progress in the story.

I'm building wooden benches for bus and light rail stops in my neighborhood.

Lots of riders are elderly and find themselves sitting on the curb, feet in the gutter, as they wait for transit. Studies suggest that perceived wait time increases by 30%+ when riders are forced to stand while they wait. There's no cheaper way to shave several minutes off of perceived trip time, for every trip.

Inspired by https://www.latimes.com/entertainment/arts/miranda/la-et-cam....

I have such a hard time relating to this. In Denmark I feel like 95% of bus stops have some sort of bench, and a lot of them has like a small shed, to get out of the rain in bad weather. It's wild to think that citizens should be adding those themselves. But I guess there's no profit in adding benches to each stop as a bus company.

> It's wild to think that citizens should be adding those themselves.

Antipathy towards the homeless ends up harming other citizens: "If we add a bench there, the homeless could sit/sleep there, and we'd have to look at them". The result is lack of benches, or ones that are incredibly user-hostile.

I used to live in Southern California. Many bus stops have no bench and no weather protection. It can get brutally hot without shade, and since it's a drought area, lots of people get caught without clothing for inclement weather. I think it almost criminal that there's at least no covering for these stops, much less a bench to help wait out such conditions.

I love this.

I've been through so many places where it's nearly impossible to find a place to sit for free. You just walk and walk and walk, until you're ready to spend 4-6$ to sit inside a business.

Benches have no economic value. You just sit there for free - you loiter - for as long as you want with no expectation of buying anything. Yet they provide undeniable value to their users.

I've made a habit of mapping benches on Open Street Map. Have you considered adding yours there, or updating the bus stops accordingly? StreetComplete lets you do it easily.

I really shouldn't ask and then pick favourites, but between you and me I love this.

Now that you've made me think about this, I can only place one bus stop with a half covered "perch" within a few kilometres of my house. All of the others are just a sign in the grass verge, or a wind exposed perspex cover in a couple of cases. Sadly, it hadn't even occurred to me how unhelpful that it is for many of the people that rely on busses.

I'm just curious about the logistics-- so are you allowed to just put a bench down at bus stops, legally? No one removes them?

IMHO you succeeded the moment you installed the first bench.

Good to know there are decent and kind people out there :-)

I posted this as a show HN a few weeks ago, I maintain a small, completely free html/js game. There's no chance of it ever making money in its current form, it's just a fun waste of time with a few hundred players[0].

[0] https://wallsmash.com

A while ago, I found this incredible website: https://wilderness.land/

It's basically somebody's web adventures as a map. It's inspired me to make my own version with hex tiles. I'm adding this to my list of sites :)

Can I see yours, I want to do it too!

This is an interesting mechanic, and I like the Arkanoid+Tetris kind of feel, but I have NFI what's going on. Why are there lasers? What determines how much lasers there is? What determines where the start point will be on the next go? A bit of explanation and polish could really make something great here.

The ball shaped powerups add more bullets, the rectangle shaped powerups increase laser strength. Starting point is wherever your first bullet returns.

What is the wall-destroying ray that shoots before the balls fly out? It's really fun, but that prefire isn't obvious to me :(

> it's just a fun waste of time with a few hundred players

Few hundred and one. Damn, I should be working instead.

Wow, thanks! This is an incredible rethinking of breakout, and well balanced mechanics :).

My only suggestion would be a button to speed up time in later levels (or to do it automatically), it gets a bit tedious watching the last 5 balls bouncing around for 15 seconds.

Loved it! The fun parts of breakout (getting shots trapped behind blocks) without the stressful controls!

It's really hard, though. I only survive like 5 shots. If theres a wall of 5s coming at me, what can I do?

Still, really cool.

There are ‘laser’ powerups and bullet powerups. You can use the laser to blast through big columns of blocks, and or at least weaken them until your shots kill them with bounces. It introduces an interesting tension between wanting nice horizontal bounces versus wanting to hit as many blocks as possible with the laser. Fun stuff.

Is this mentioned somewhere on the page? I was wondering what they do.

I commented yesterday but I'll say it again, this is awesome.

This entire thread is great and a true inspiration.

I just vaguely worked it out after getting addicted.

Haha, I had an addiction phase as well. It drives me crazy how the beginning is hard, then it gets very easy, and suddenly, you lose.

I think you have to accept that some starts are better than others. If you get no powerups on the first screen you're going to struggle. I think you're right that the middle game is quite easy (i.e. you can just bounce off a wall and clear the screen pretty easily). At higher levels you have to plan a bit more, and get really good at hitting corners to achieve horizontal bounces, which is hard to do reliably. It was certainly worth a weekend of my life, anyway. :)

Fuck, this is hard.

It's fun!

This is a lot of fun; spent way more time than I should have on this just now.

This is awesome. Bricks on steriods.

Ooh, like Holedown in a browser.

Super fun!

so so good, but yea maybe a bit too hard.. or too hard to get good at

Awesome game

I bought some land over 10 years ago, it's about 2 hectares, water runs through it and I wanted to make a garden, so I started digging, would sleep on site for a couple of weeks then return to civilization... eventually I planted it with fruit trees and comfrey and stuff and just left it to it's own devices... there's an inverted swastika like you see on some churches in india, an @, and a bunch of other motifs.. at one point I thought of selling it as land art, but no idea how to go about it... I'll give a cut to anyone who helps me though :-) :-) https://imgz.org/iRe6wg3Z/ https://imgz.org/i9UEvZca/ https://imgz.org/i8zESSAw/

Wow! Can you post some non-satellite pictures? Is willow the primary plant making all those shapes? Or have you done significant earth moving too?

I dug it all by hand :-) :-) except for the inverted swastika and a small "pond on the extreme left part of the land... I think the willows will have exacerbated the forms, but mostly I just laid down wood, grass, dug trenches and put the earth on them (a bit like hugelkultur) and slowly widened, deepened the trenches.. there's a river running paralell and I dug a wide trench paralel to this hoping to use the river to irrigate occasionally... it's very meditative "work" perfect for mulling a book over :-) :-) if you use the link provided by a poster below and go on streetview, you'll even be able to see I carved out the word UBUNTU :-) :-)

what is your goal for this land? You are looking for help but in what? Creating more art?

Help in ...selling it as land art, the goal was to make a garden in the style of permaculture, pfaf.org , plants for a future is a good example of stuff I wanted to plant, it's transformed pasture land into an "ecotopia"... ultimately it was a productive use of my time as while digging it manually I processed a lot of reading material in my head and had a healthy lifestyle. I think creating such gardens could be a matrix for (young) people as you create ongoing wealth that can be increasingly harvested over the years (there are more than 10kinds of willow planted on it, raspberries, mint spreading more each year ...

Wow that was fast, did you find it using "la blaisance" and the D949 as references? I should have scrubbed those :-) or did you use other more esoterical methods... could I ask you to kindly take down your link and let hackers be hackers? Cheers

FYI - the lat/lon coords are in your screenshots

IMHO I think it's very good that you don't seem overly eager to just get it sold all at once, because I can't help but cautiously suspect that a lot of buyers would say all the right things then either just let it rot, or go build on top of it (it seems to be located in a rural area, but near some other houses, suggesting low to moderate demand).

Creating paper nautical maps. NOAA has stopped updating 15% of all their nautical charts and will discontinue the rest by Jan. 2025.

The proposed replacement for the beautiful maps they produce now is "print electronic maps yourself". Unfortunately the electronic charts are only usable with an interactive interface which paper is not, to say nothing about their aesthetic qualities.

There are data errors too in the new "custom charts" that are being offered for printing, one such error is that virtually all US water lots a foot of water according to the maps! I investigated this and it is due to rounding down when converting to meters and then rounding down again when converting back to feet.

Let me know if you care, or want to help.

How are the British Admiralty charts for the US? Those have been the ones I've tended to use when going international in Europe at least.

Love to know more. I want to print them, and I'm sure others have similar needs:

1. I want a paper backup chart on my boat when I'm in the ocean. The one I have is deteriorating.

2. I want a large-scale print or collection of them so I can plan and track journeys with my family. I have them pinned in my stairway wall on foam board, and have been considering a different approach.

This sounds like a perfect intersection of a few interests of mine so would be super interested in learning more. What type of help are you looking for?

Believe it or not, I sell the following on Fiverr as radiantxp21: "I will special stocks and option picks lose all your money fast and intelligently"

I know, it sounds a bit, non-English, but in my defense: it was my first time using Fiverr and I had no clue how to use it. The ad is up for a few months already, and I had many laughs creating it, but yesterday I had my first client! I panicked, I realized that I am as bad at picking bad stocks as good ones. I felt like a fraud! And I was laughing so hard that I felt like a fraud.

I genuinely have impostor syndrome telling people how to pick the worst stocks of their lives that will lead them into financial ruin :') I feel there's something funny about the whole aspect of: you ask for a service where you lose your stuff, now you gained more stuff, you're happy as a person but probably not too happy with my service.

Writing the order was a ton of fun! I just get so many questions. Why would one want to lose money? Why listen to me? Would he want to adopt me? What are they really expecting? How does one pick a horrible horrible stock? Should I inverse my own trades, or should I lose the money to feel a sense of comradery? How serious should I be?

The result is: I set up this persona that I feel is funny as hell, yet I try to analyze things as intelligently as possible and really show my real side as well.

Thinking the question through: how can I deliver the worst possible stock (that is not something synthetic, or an index)? Really having the same strong drive that I normally have when I want to buy a winning stock.

I can't put my words on it, but I feel it's splendidly beautiful if done in moderation.

And I am proud to now say at parties: I am a professional financial advisor, I make sure people lose all their money. I am so good at it, I need a place to crash, can I stay at your place tonight?

Are you licensed? Maybe the first candidate just intends to take your financial advice and then sue you into the ground afterwards.

I hope original comments see this. Advising investment vehicles for money, without proper disclaimers and a licence is a very bad idea.

I feel like licensing could be an issue, but if you're advertising that you will lose someone's money, either you succeed (hard to argue that the customer didn't get exactly what they asked for), or you fail (hard to prove damages).

Advising on losing stocks is definitely an investment advice, it just means client will short them. This will be obvious to a court especially if the advice is for money. They will not bite for the absurd argument of paying for losing money.

Rational interpretation, meet law. Law, meet rational interpretation.

we already know how this ends.

> I know, it sounds a bit...non-English

Should one in 18th century verse himself be passingly versed

your crier's cry rings out artfully.

One fraud's earnest scheme to a knowing fraud's great mirth does bring

a wild-cat's prey; loss an LLC's bounty.

edit: s/knowing fraud/knowing fraud's/g; sorry for the typo

> edit: s/knowing fraud/knowing fraud's/g; sorry for the typo

Wait, that was the typo in this post?

Begun this clone war has!

> I panicked, I realized that I am as bad at picking bad stocks as good ones. I felt like a fraud! And I was laughing so hard that I felt like a fraud.

Seems easy enough. Just tell them to give the money to you to buy them "special" stocks and options, keep the money, and make them do the New York Times crossword puzzle or something. You've then just "special stocks and option picks lose all [their] money fast and intelligently" and kept your end of the bargain. The original task is in such broken English anyways I doubt your legally liable for anything.

This is pretty funny, but in functioning financial markets, it's just as hard to pick losers as winners.

The beliefs of professional traders about whether a stock will go up or down is already baked into the price. If you believe a stock is going to go down, and you are right, you can make money by shorting it.

Exactly, the only sure way to lose money is to trade so much that it all goes away in commissions.

Maybe they mean to counter trade you, i.e. short the terrible stocks you recommend and become immensily rich.

Yeah, logically someone who can see a bad trade can see a good trade. Anyone who is able to reliably underperform the market would be a valuable trader.

Traditional finance theory says that the world's worst stock picker is just as valuable as the word's best stock picker.

My day job. Personal projects get a little more heart, but "success" to me is usually intrinsic, not extrinsic. I'm probably a little weird when it comes to motivating factors, but not alone.

Oof. This is probably most people, too.

There need to be more jobs where the interest alignment in work is 100%. Disney animators, Nintendo programmers, audio programming, SpaceX engineers, ML/AI, bioinformatics, ... Rockets, chemicals, machines, visual toys, solving moonshot things, ...

Less plumbing and glue code. Less adtech. Less studying and optimizing trivial human interactions that nobody will remember.

> There need to be more jobs where the interest alignment in work is 100%. Disney animators, Nintendo programmers, audio programming, SpaceX engineers, ML/AI, bioinformatics, ...

Some of these jobs can involve crunch time, low pay, and other forms of employee abuse, since people are willing to suffer for the sake of their passion. Sometimes boring work is the healthier option.

^^ this

Would add: prestige law and government jobs; trying to be an actor; working at Amazon; working as a chef/cook at most restaurants, esp fancy ones--the list is quite long of "passion jobs" that pay poorly and involve all sorts of abuse people wouldn't put up with at other jobs.

working at Amazon is a passion job?

I think people would generally describe "software at FAANG" as a high quality job. Amazon is being called out here because it is notoriously stressful compared to the rest.

Yeah I guess that label isn't accurate for Amazon (and a lot of other bigtech jobs) and prestige law, which are more about social status, etc.

I think more prestige. But yeah, for some people.

FWIW, I find glue code and integration to be quite rewarding sometimes. You take other good, useful things and connect them, resulting in a new/bigger/better useful thing... without "doing anything"! :)

Seriously, for some of the things you mentioned, I suspect the key is to NOT be highly focused on the career path which pays the most. I kind of doubt that audio programmers are paid as much as Sharepoint developers, but I would hope they have more fun.

I work in audio machine learning, and it's pretty great. :)

Sometimes people call it a niche field, but I think they are typically just over focused on imagenet.

there's a lot of jobs like this out there -- and a lot of people working in them -- but you pay a premium for it. I think economists even have a term for it. employers don't have to charge as much when people are willing to take a pay cut to do the work.

be careful what you wish for, though. in the entertainment industry, for people like actors and directors, the pay cut is only at the early stages, and unions limit how deep it goes even then. for video games, though, it's an absolute nightmare. interest alignment in work, in that case, can turn into a recipe for suffering.

The haskell tax.

I like my job. I mean, it's not necessarily my _passion_, but I care about the cause and believe I contribute directly and significantly to it. And while there is a lot of plumbing to do, I also have freedom to explore news ideas and learn new things.

But "anything I do for work" was my first thought when I saw this post.

What it comes down to is that there's only so much I can do to help my work's projects succeed. There's just too much out of my control. Decisions have already been made; contracts are already being signed; the clients believe they've done enough testing.

I can pick up the slack, go above and beyond, and do other people's job. But the project can still fail to get user buy-in, fail to make any notable impact, fail to make or save money, or just outright fail for reasons I can do nothing about.

That doesn't mean I don't try. I just don't care if these projects succeed. If we did what we could and learned things we can carry forward, I'm satisfied.

I work in data and ML and it’s mostly plumbing and glue code lol

People seriously underrate how important data cleaning and massaging is in ML though.

Unless you're constantly changing jobs, it doesn't last.

Have you considered using "will the skills I hone here help me with my side projects?" as a way to decide which job to apply for?

I don't have enough data to say it's a good idea, but so far I'm liking it.

For me at least, its not the work tasks itself, its the dealing with the company and the amount of inefficiency that gets in the way of being able to do my tasks. When I do them, I enjoy them. Waiting a week for information and not being allowed to work on other tasks in the mean time will make anyone a little demotivated.

I'm doing/have done this!

I took my current job (in communications) in order to get better at outreach, marketing, etc. for when I work for myself since that's what I was the weakest at as a freelancer. I'm also interested in tech ethics so I took a job in politics so I could become more familiar with how the sausage is made.

Now I'm looking for a swe job so I can get more experience working in teams of devs since most of the tech work I've done has been solo work.

I'll let you know how it worked out in 10 years?

It's always been the reverse for me - side projects have tended to give fresh input that my day job doesn't provide.

Useful metric!

Among the other factors, which are:

"Does this job allow me to have time to do side projects?"

"Does this job provide the funds for my hobby?"

I feel this way too. Success is measured in just "is my employer happy with what I do?"

I built a Visual Studio extension that wraps ag (the silver searcher), because I was constantly flipping to the terminal to use it to search the UE4 codebase I work on. The built in MSVC text search is egregiously slow, and even tools like Visual Assist (which search via indexing symbols) take forever to run on the entire engine.

It can do a full regex search on the entire UE4 codebase in about ~6s on my SSD. Searching just the game's codebase takes ~200ms, enough to feel instant. The speed is all credit to the developers of ag, I just put a convenient interface on it.

I use it essentially as a navigation tool and it's a core part of my workflow, but haven't gotten any paying customers. I initially had hoped to sell a few copies, but since it has completely solved my own problem and probably saved me hundreds of hours of waiting for slow searches, I'm happy.


isn't ripgrep (rg) better than ag, performance-wise?

it is, but a) they don't care if it succeeds or not, b) there's a new faster grep-alike every couple of years, and c) there are diminishing returns from these performance enhancements. so if you're enjoying ag, more power to you.

btw my own "idc if it succeeds or not" is forkfreshness.com, a system to surface active downstream forks of otherwise dormant projects. if you've got a project you want to use, but it seems like abandonware, you can find out if other forks are keeping it alive.

oh this is brilliant, I've often had to really dig into github to find out this information!


I haven't benchmarked it, but it could probably just be a drop-in replacement as I believe the arguments are compatible. Would be interesting to try!

Likely. The dude who developed ripgrep spent like 2 man-years on it full-time, apparently. Interesting (long, detailed) blog post about it: https://blog.burntsushi.net/ripgrep/

I don't think it took that much time. If you count the time involved in the regex engine though, you might get a bit closer. :-)

LOL. I thought I read that somewhere in your blog post about it (which was amazingly detailed and interesting), but human minds are poo. Thanks so much for this sweet tool! Is there a ripgrep lib that other software can build on this, btw?

Technically yes, and this is the best I can offer: https://github.com/BurntSushi/ripgrep/issues/1009

In practice, there's no real high level documentation. And there is still a considerable amount of "glue" code in ripgrep's main executable. So the library layer exists at a lower level of abstraction, which may or may not be okay for your use case.

Thanks for all your hardwork! I've been dabbling in Rust and doing toy projects, but have years of experience in other languages. Are there any rust projects you recommend contributing to that have a good community?

Rust itself for sure. And rust-analyzer. I'm sure there are more. :-)

Honestly everything I do. I used to have such high expectations of every side project I built, blogs I wrote, videos I made.

At the end of the day, I realized that the very fact of caring too much prevented me from creating more. The more I created, the more people would engage and those projects would succeed. Weird how that works.

Glad to see this thread come back! I'll share something of my own, though it's not a tech project.

I've been working on translating Japji Sahib - which is the foundational prayer of the Sikhs - into English poetry. The original is a poem, but most of the existing translations are in prose and use Western religious terminology that's not really appropriate to the original.

I just wrapped up a first draft of the translation itself. Also working on putting together an essay on why I felt another translation was necessary and why preserving the form of the poem is important to understanding its contents. Planning on getting it published one way or another.

Been sharing snippets from my translation here, if you're interested in following along: https://twitter.com/verseofpunjab

Thanks for your original thread, obviously it stuck in my mind.

It has been great to read all the responses again. I've probably spent a few years worth of upvote budget, assuming I haven't tripped some upvote spam detector ;)

Hah, same here

Very nice!


I built a website to help me track my Apple Fitness+ workouts. Specifically, I needed several features that Apple doesn't offer today:

- A chronological history of the workouts I've completed.

- Notes and like/dislike tracking on the workouts I've completed.

- Real search capabilities to let me find particular types of workouts (e.g. filter to yoga workouts and search for "pigeon")

And, if people actually use it, then that'll be a big win, because I'd love to be able to see others' thoughts on workouts, find out what's popular in a category, etc.

I have an 'invitation only' system in place on the site today to help mitigate the risk of spam, but I've been sending out invitations to people who sign up pretty much immediately.


p.s. in case anyone's curious about the tech stack: it's a completely boring Rails 7 website with a Tailwind-based UI, backed by Postgres, and running on Render (https://www.render.com).

Wodscribe is a danish startup doing something similiar.

They use AI to determine what workouts you do, with logging and other features.


Hey, this looks really cool. Saved!



My wife and I started an online/offline shop last year. When our very first orders came in, it was the best feeling ever! I wanted some kind of celebration device that would turn on and play some celebrating music each time this happened. So I started learning IoT / hardware and build a cool retro-looking police light that I can plug into our WooCommerce/Shopify/Zapier accounts (or really anything else with webhooks). This was such a fun project and people wanted to get some for their own. So I'm working on making it a "real" product. I don't care if it becomes a "success" or not, I'm already so happy to use it for my own and my friends.

Cute project. Minor typo in this sentence:

"We’e going to produce 100 of them."

Nice catch, thanks! Just fixed it. I'm still working on that website, a lot of the copy is still kind of temporary.

This is so awesome!

Any recommendations on how to get started learning IoT and hardware?

Thanks! I knew absolutely nothing about IoT and hardware before this, but quickly realized how big and welcoming the community is. This made things very motivating and enjoyable to get started (but still quite overwhelming!). I personally started by diving into the Arduino ecosystem and the world of micro controllers, particularly the esp8266 and esp32. It's all open-sourced and there are tones of tutorials to help you get started. The most challenging part for me so far has been to go from a "DIY prototype" for personal use to a "certified, safe commercial product". It's been a LOT more challenging than I thought, and took way longer to get there. But very fun to say the least.

After you get the "certified" product up and running maybe look at selling it as a kit for the DIYer.

My favourite website is Adafruit! They have stuff to buy, lots of learning resources and CircuitPython (a MicroPython fork with lots of libraries).

Will you support Amazon sales?

Yes, at least via websites like Zapier, integromat etc. I haven't looked at it yet, but I'm sure it's very possible to do it natively from Amazon via webhooks too. So I'd say 95% yes!

I’ve been making mint-tin tabletop games. I’m aiming for a new game every other month. Being a web person for like 20 years now, everything I make disappears in months-to-years. As someone I worked with once described it, we’re digital ice sculptors.

So as a change of pace, physical games! I’ve released 2 so far, next one coming in March.

One is a set-collection competition called Come to Call where players are royal PR people. You’re trying to win the favor of rich patrons without seeming too desperate. Your goal is to send the least interest delegate that will still steal the show. It’s a game of kings, queens, fools, and way too many butlers.

The second game is a push-your-luck dice-rolling egg hunt called Egg Roll! You’ve only got time to make 6 stops to find eggs. Roll the dice to find eggs. If you find some, you can move those to safety or roll to find more. Find nothing and score nothing for the round instead. Works well with kids and adults alike! And comes with 6 variants to change the game up.

You can see both at my little corner of the web, https://fredandfun.com

If you use the coupon codes on my site, I make less than 50¢ per game sold. I’ll never recover what I spent on art. But I dob’t care. As long as someone anywhere has fun with either of them, it’s all worthwhile.

I am taking down the corrupt top judge of a leading Western nation, for fun.

A first instance judge had committed a serious criminal offense. Her husband, a wealthy and influential lawyer then bribed the presiding appeals court judge. So I made the assumption he would also influence the ensuing constitutional court case.

The case had been accepted by the court and assigned a case number. I waited for a month then caused the husband to panic with a morning fax sent to his law firm making fun of his felonious wife and mentioning the case. Without thinking, he used his close connections to the court, trying to save his wife I suppose. Apparently unaware I had caused this in a provable way, the top court decided the very same day to not take the case and gave no reason whatsoever. Such decisions are supposed to be scheduled ten days ahead by law, which did not occur here. The case was also objectively valid since one of the appeals court judges had refused to be on the panel, so the assignments were wrong, a severe procedural error. The judge assigned to fact-finding in the case was the President of this court, the number five in the diplomatic ranking of this nation.

My intent is to end his judicial career and thus alter the course of his nation a little bit.

I am only doing this for fun and don't care if this succeeds.

E-Mail in profile if you are a lawyer or journalist and want to see something interesting happen. There is already a public website with all case materials that caused further drama within the judiciary.

A tech connection: a false claim of immediate threat to the life of the felonious judge had been made to obtain an IP address from Cloudflare, bypassing due process.

Another tech connection: The legal entity operating the website is a DAO on Ethereum, the (minimal) costs are paid with funds originated from a tech billionaire...

If your strategy makes as much sense as your writing, you're definitely going to prison.

Had ended up in hospital with a potentially lethal complication in connection. It won't be me going to prison.

None of the stuff published so far is writing targeted at the general public, it is directed at people involved who are aware of the details.

What is the illegal part?

what does "illegal" have to do with "going to prison" when fighting top players in a known corrupt system?

prison might be the nice outcome.

Note I'm making a lot of assumptions here on the validity/veracity of the story.

I did consider this and protected myself by letting the judges know in a side letter about some background.

Obviously would not have pursued this matter if I wasn't a fairly well-connected person and Covid-19 restrictions made available the time to do so.

The veracity of the case can be trivially verified as I filed nearly everything electronically thus have receipts with digital signatures. A singular court decision was also served digitally because an enraged judge wanted it served instantly right after an ex-parte phone call didn't go the way he had thought.

Will be created^Wfound later on /s

Ahh, sorry. Hadn't had enough coffee to spot the sarcasm. Indeed, dangerous games to play against people without scruples.

I, too, have wanted to undertake projects that would fight against corruption, but I guess I shouldn't have any attachment to my family or friends if I were to go ahead.

Weird to assume that when we don't even know which country it is. I don't find blanket cynicism in favor of apathy to be useful.

Have you checked the carbon monoxide levels in your home lately for a leak? Genuinely concerned…

That is some count of Monte Cristo level shenanigans.

There are many more fun details to the whole story. For example the judge had taken the case files to her house to keep them hidden there, in one panel decision a singular judge voted twice because he could only find one other judge willing to go along, the way I obtained certain info from court staffers was by showing up in person walking in crutches which I actually didn't need, some legal filings had appropriate chess endgame problems for a cover page, and so on.

Nobody expects you to handle your cases like a tech venture, where we only really care for high-variance outcomes and not the simple wins...

Chess endgames?!


The resolution some months later:


The court was unable to print pages due to a css media selector preventing this, so the - presumably bribed - judge had them printed at the nearby law offices of the influential husband. This showed up in log files with his IP address, and can likely be proven as the color printouts of screenshots have forensic features connecting them with his printer.

Since this leaves little doubt about an inappropriate connection to the case and possible bribery, which the prosecutor's office has a legal duty to investigate, this was considered the game over moment.

Somewhat bizarrely, the judge then claimed she felt threatened by this chess game. However, the queen actually remains standing at the end of the game.

The wiki appears to be down. Cloudflare returns an Error 521: Web server is down.

Sorry, this is unexpectedly blowing up. Had wrongly assumed few people would care about the matter.

Should be back up soon with Cloudflare caching.

There's already a website and you tease with this? Why keep the website private?

It's in German language and legal stuff, although one may enjoy the renderings of numerous corruption-involved public officials. These were made using AnimeGANv2.


The felonious judge is named Wicke so this was thought to be the most hilarious domain name.

It has been kept low-profile on purpose because analytics enabled amazing observability about who talks to whom, and who is particularly nervous about the matter. The caching gets bypassed currently due to tracking cookies, which may explain slowness.

Also should point out the (excellent) criminal evidence has thus far not been made public. The state attorney has zero interest in touching a politically highly sensitive matter obviously, so his hand needs to be forced by means other than simply handing over the evidence....

> It has been kept low-profile on purpose because analytics enabled amazing observability about who talks to whom, and who is particularly nervous about the matter.

You are aware that this goes against the DSGVO? I think you are posting way too much information in this thread. I wish you the best of luck.

I am not the publisher. Correlating times and locations with a sequence of events is no data privacy violation.

Further, this is a research project into how corruption works in practice.

Das liest sich wie ein Krimi!

So do you want this to go public yet, or are waiting for further actions by some of the involved courts?

I expect all cases are going to be retried.

As a criminal defense strategy the judge made a claim she "felt threatened" for an extremely long duration including all of her decisions. I have thus filed for nullification, since her claim implies judicial bias.

This matter is currently pending.

I wanted to complete legal proceedings first. A late-night post in a half-day old thread on HN is getting orders of magnitudes more visits than I had thought.

Well this involves the German Supreme Court, any kind of corruption there would be Europe wide, if not World news.

Honestly not so sure. This appears to be a fairly corrupt nation as a baseline so many may find this matter not all that surprising. His appointment a few years ago was controversial within legal circles.

Unlike SCOTUS, Constitutional Court here is by law not entirely at liberty whether to take a case but who gets to interpret the statute. Of course it will be claimed this court can do however it wishes.

To fully convince the public the course of this case was far outside the norm certain data from this court will be helpful, which of course they refused to release voluntarily and the federal data protection authority, meant to enforce something similar to FOIA, claimed to have dropped a matter due to clerical error. This might suggest the matter is already a known political problem at the federal level, but one can only guess. Strangely enough, getting the info will ultimately involve suing the top court (administration) in a lower court.

One thing to keep in mind is that this nation is one without genuine separation of powers. Any matter ends up being citizen versus the state, not citizen invoking one part of the state to check on the power of another part.

Holy mother of a server this is glorious. Bruh/sis you are legendary.

Your wiki's JavaScript hijacks the navigation controls on Firefox for Android.

No way to escape the page except closing the browser

Thank you for letting me know, this will be fixed soon. I should point out this is, for legal reasons, not "my" wiki.

This really sounds like one of them projects you should care if it succeeds if you’re doing it.

This has realistically no more than a 10-15% chance of succeeding, not dissimilar to a startup. For either, it is perhaps better to not get attached too much to a specific outcome.

To quote one of the most formative phrases for me politically (and, come to think of it, in tech and in a bunch of other endeavors): “be realistic, demand the impossible”. Caring about the outcome isn’t the same as being attached to it.

I have nothing personally against the guy, responding to personal asks for a favor is inappropriate but simply how such things work.

This is simply a means to achieve the strictly necessary: to have two criminal offenders amongst judges removed from their appointments. Realistically this only happens if the prosecutors, which are directed by state politicians and are not independent, look bad to the public unless they handle the matter properly.

And that I do care very much about.

A lot of judges are somewhat corrupt, the difference is how much.

But make no mistake, the power/influence they yield is enormous and i would certainly restrain myself for ever doing this.

A judge ( in Belgium) stopped a documentary about his criminal doings, pledged psychological issues ( and his brother is a shrink) and is now happily drinking beers and enjoying ( forced) early retirement.

He accepted briberies from anyone to influence cases fyi. Some cases are pretty nuts too.

Oh yeah, "there was no proof of any briberies" was the result of many cases. But people who live nearby know a thing or two and there is exactly 0,0% chance that he was "clean".

Well aware of the politics. The play here was to predict the ways corruption works and use their own moves against the other side.

Obstruction of justice can already be shown to have occurred within the prosecutor's office, in a case against the judge related to her faking of a crime. Police had concluded there was no threat. That page went missing from her file but I have it from another source.

A number of my friends and acquaintances are, in fact, high-level judges. This court had no way of knowing this.

You sound insane. Generally concerned for your mental health

I appreciate your concern.

Her own staffer did ask me some time ago, unprompted, if she too must fear criminal charges. There exists proof of this.

I do feel bad for her and even the judge's superior, the court president, who I believe failed to take action not because she couldn't recognize the problem but because this judge wields more power than her boss.

Finally, some documents have been designated a state secret because public knowledge would be disadvantageous to the state, something I can agree with. These were circulated before I could interpret the acronyms thus outside my control now.

What did I just read?

I'm not qualified to say this, so this isn't a diagnosis, but the post strikes me as similar in tone to the postings of a paranoid schizophrenic who regularly used to post on a forum I visited.

Completely convinced they're on the verge of uncovering something that will "change history" yet very difficult to follow the detail of what they're saying.

I don't believe or have claimed this will "change history".

Had in fact offered to let the whole matter slide if and only if two judges ruling on health insurance matters hand in their resignations, as I consider them a danger to the general public.

Is that really a decision for you to single handedly make? People make mistakes, but it doesn’t mean they are evil. Pushing them to admit their wrong doing, give up their livelihood/careers, etc. is just stupid. Especially if “doing it for fun”. That’s not admirable, it’s disturbing.

> Especially if “doing it for fun”. That’s not admirable, it’s disturbing.

I see you are attempting to take away the "hacker" in "hacker news".

I see this as social engineering, for a good cause.

Good cause according to who? The OP? You? How about the other people that have received and live with judgements from this official?

And sorry, but social engineering is pretty unethical if you ask me, and has nothing to do with the name of the site.

Exposing a corrupt judge is among the most noble goals a citizen can have. The more incentive judges have to act fairly, the better.

I am not sure you read the story correctly. But I'm pretty sure a judge will get due process - not abusive penalties.

People have been using "the ends justify the means" to justify all sorts of unethical behavior, not the least of which includes torture, genocide, and wars. Let's not go down that ethical reasoning wormhole.

As for his story, my read on it must be much different from your own. Because from what I am seeing, this is far more about the judge's husband than anyone else, and it is to right a sense of personal injustice than a (still misguided) aim of doing what's best for everyone else. Oh, and he's doing it for fun (his words).

The judge felt safe to commit an overt serious crime due to her husband. He is the conditio sine qua non without which this the entire matter had not happened.

He could make a choice. Either talk to me or influence the court. The choice he ended up making is quite clear. Of course I could not point out his options, as that no doubt would have been misconstrued.

There is some evidence suggesting the cases at the court don't get assigned randomly, as per the rules, and she might ask for off-label use cases to get preferentially assigned to herself.

Upon an inquiry the court did not deny this is true. To find the truth one would have to verify the sequence of other case assignments, which should be possible from incoming filing times and such. Here a second case got assigned to her but with a sequence number oddly enough belonging to a different chamber. Per the law there was supposed to be a singular number, and for some reason she split the case without a required decision.

She is also the only judge at this court who ever wrote anything public on the topic.

Due to an adventurous recent personal medical history I became well-aware what problems unlawful denials do cause for patients.

Speaking of genocide, torture and war, since this topic is about german politics, it might be good to remember a certain time in that countries history, when the law was in support of all of these things. Breaking the law cannot be equated with ethical behavior. Social engineering is indeed a method, wether it is morally objectable needs to be argued and not assumed out of the gate.

I don’t think I made that argument, in fact, my comment was made specifically without the qualifier of it being legal vs. illegal. Manipulation (which let’s face it, social engineering is a fancy way of saying) is a pretty solid example of an unethical behavior depending on your ethical world view. Utilitarian? Great, you must also think torture is acceptable so long as it saves lives. Deontological ethical world views might have something different to say, speaking of Germans (e.g., Kant).

Regardless, I think contriving scenarios where you think someone may act corruptly just to catch them doing so is equally as unethical as a police officer encouraging someone to commit a terrorist act then arresting them once they do.

It is manipulative, may not have happened otherwise if not for the original actor, and is akin to saying “I hope you don’t behave like I’d expect a human to instinctually behave if put in a corner”.

Note I did nothing to manipulate the top court. The application was phrased politely and only hinted at a crime background.

Severe procedural errors including denial of access to court files alone justified a reversal, besides the blatant misinterpretation of the law. There was no need to argue beyond this point or label anyone an offender at the time.

(Ordinarily one would have filed to have the decision voided locally instead of applying to the top court, but that court had unlawfully denied access to the assignment rules and does to this day.)

Nice use of words specifying your actions regarding the high court instead of the judges in question, who were specifically being referred to.

You do realize that just because other people act like jerks, it does not give you license to do the same, right? I don’t know why you believe what you are doing is going to have a positive outcome for anyone, including yourself, but I think you have some serious growing up to do.

I’m sorry you had to go through what you did, I really am. It doesn’t sound like a positive experience and I have my own chronic health issues that have been a battle and I can understand being angry.

I just don’t believe it is yours or anyone’s place to take matters into their own hands, nor do I think their actions justify yours. In this situation, you all suck.

Consider I had just survived a rare cancer that kills nearly everyone who gets it quickly, then when addressing a serious side effect from treatment this happens.

Not claiming any moral high ground here. Many would descend into anger and despair or feelings of victimhood, I simply made a choice to play this like a game instead.

Hey, if nothing else, at least you’re owning it at this point in the conversation.

Separate: I sincerely hope you feel/get better my friend and are able to get the medical treatment you were seeking (if you haven’t already). Best wishes to you!

Thank you for your wishes. For future needs I was able to return to private health insurance which suffers from no such problem. However this cannot cover claims arisen prior to policy issue, so the subject matter remains open.

No judge ruling in this court actually has public health insurance.

Well, for what it’s worth and I sincerely mean this, if there is anything I can do to help you out (medically, not legally) please let me know.

I appreciate the offer. Otherwise I did have a superb experience with the medical system, that is real doctors not state workers with lapsed qualification.

Different standards apply for judges within proceedings, especially those making decisions at the very top.

I did offer each offender a second chance, as I thought they might have learned from this. They chose not to take it.

The first instance judge had been given four chances even.

Why do you believe it is your position to give any official ultimatums just to meet your own perceived sense of Justice? The way your are speaking about this is to right your own feelings of injustice, not anyone else’s, yet you do it under the auspices of doing what’s best for everyone else. Do they get a say in this as well?

You interpret this as an ultimatum, I see offering them a way out as being nice. At the same time one has to assert seeing through obvious b-s.

What is appropriate gets decided by lawmakers not judges.

Once judges willfully violate the code they have stepped outside their assigned role. This quickly became more of a political problem than a legal one, and what is right is ultimately for voters to decide.

Whether I am able to interpret the code and precedent correctly we will see. I did score close to the very top when taking the LSAT however.

To clarify, the "way out" was simply a new filing for an interim order based on the novel fact that a potentially lethal complication had just occurred in connection with the case. I substantiated this with medical and research evidence.

This was a very simple thing for her to grant, and in my view she was required to do so based on constitutional principles.

I would more likely than not have let the previous incident slide. Why she did not take this opportunity I have no idea.

You can try to wordsmith and twist the logic all you want. Telling someone “resign and do what I want, or else” is an ultimatum and bordering on blackmail. It is an ultimatum that is directly counter to your stated goal as well, which to “allow the voters to decide”. That’s you deciding for them.

Providing someone a nasty choice isnt neccesarily blackmail or wrong.

Imagine you work as a prosecutor. Someone submits fairly strong, and actionable evidence, that your wife has commited a crime your office is required to prosecute. You are legally compelled to excuse yourself, and let someone prosecute, preferably someone not independent of you. If you do, you know your wife will go to prison, and in the process of the procecution, your every dirty secret will be exposed, and even if you are entirely righteous, and was entierly unaware, and willing to believe the worst of your wife, your reputation will be in tatters. Its also possible that you know that the other prosecutor wont prosecute, but instead attempt to blackmail you, or your wife, using the evidence.

You now have a nasty choice.

Lets say you chose to hand the evidence over to a righteous collegue. Your reputation will be damaged regardless, but if you resign the damage will be light, and as you are no longer with the prosecutors office, you are not expected to approve requests for eg your personal banking information by default. Making it much easier to hide any missdeeds. But if you keep working, everyone who wants your job will spread the information, and your opponents in court will bring it up repeatedly. Both with insentive to lie, or exaggerate. Further, prosecutors are often required, or at least expected, to cooperate with legal investigations in ways regular people are not.

Lets say you chose to hand the evidence to a non-righeous collegue. Your reputation is intact, but he will keep requesting favors, it looks better, but there are no guarantees it goes away.

You can also immideately resign, knowing that it will take a year or two for a replacement to get up to speed, and all you need to do is put the specific case on the bottom of the priority pile, pretend you never read it, and techically have commited no crime, while getting years to prepare, stuff to get lost, or just jump countries.

Or you can chose dismiss it for lack of evidence, toss the evidence in the bin, and pretend like it never happened. Its a boring procedural thing anyways, and odds are good it was just someone temporarily pissed off, who wont care. After all, they didnt even know they submitted it to your office, what idiot does that...

Its not blackmail. Its just that resigning is the better option for you.

I think the flaw in your logic is the assumption it was an either/or situation. There are a whole lot of options between “resign or face the consequences”, and let’s face it, is destroying someone’s career one way or the other (via by choice or otherwise) really a choice at all?

If you think it is, I’d be curious what your choice would be given the same scenario and whether you felt a bit coerced into your position.

Blackmail to me implies that the blackmailer requires something of the blackmailed, in exchange for the blackmailer to not take a specific action. In my example, the sender has already taken their action and given no indication that they are willing to accept a bribe to retract it. If they had required payment to retract it, it would have been blackmail. Meaning no blackmail. The ops story is confusing, so I wont say anything about it. Not sure what you mean about choice there?

In my case? If I was roleplaying the example as the judge, probably call a press conference and loudly condemn my wife for her heinous actions, and promise to vindictively prosecute her to the full extent of the law. Then I would start doing that, knowing full well that her lawyer will argue I committed a procedural errors in managing the evidence(as people cannot prosecute their close relatives, or manage evidence thereof) which then precludes its use in court, letting her go free by technicality... While I win the next election for being the righteous crusader against corruption no matter how much it hurts... Well assuming I actually love her, if I didn't, or wanted to upgrade to a younger model, now is a perfect opportunity to get out of that pesky prenup...

I would not feel coerced, but I would feel threatened. I would like to think that I would chose my wife over my career any day, I hope I never need to find out.

Being forced to make a choice under threat is kind of the definition of coercion, but I think we are getting hung up on semantics (e.g., the word blackmail) and you certainly raise a mature perspective and valid points. I think your interpretation of blackmail is much more akin to extortion, but we can at least agree they felt threatened.

The choice I was referring to was one of resignation and giving into the threat, or fighting the base of OP’s claim(s). Both lead to the loss of their job, except with one option they at least have a chance of keeping their job (fighting it).

Just to clarify, I said it was bordering on blackmail, which I think we can probably agree with each other that this was skirting pretty close to that line.

However, my contention was that it was an ultimatum, while he stated it was not. You don’t seem to be arguing that it was not an ultimatum, just that it was not in your opinion blackmail, which is fair and I won’t beat a dead horse.

Thank you for also sharing your perspective on what you would do in the same situation. I wish I could so confidently say the same, especially when you involve kids, personal attachment, biased storytelling (e.g., him hearing a different story from her than what is/isn’t the truth, which no one knows here), among other factors.

It’s a complicated situation to say the least and based on what OP said, I think there were some serious mistakes made that had a negative impact on him. However, I still do not think his actions are justified, for much other purpose than to be vindictive/take out his anger, and is super risky for everyone involved.

We know nothing about these personalities and outside OP’s own experiences, neither does he. It’s also impossible to predict the future and whether his actions are going to somehow help society writ large, or do more damage than good.

That is my issue with the ultimatum, no matter what you want to call it.

I did not ask her or any judge to resign. This was a proposal to the prosecutor's office prior to filing any of the serious charges and triggering certain events then required from them by law.

Unlike public officials I was fully within my rights to first seek a more politically tenable solution.

There is no doubt everyone involved is fully aware of the situation, although people won't admit to it.

Ugh, your story literally changes and is moving the goal posts. So now it was the prosecutors who made the decision? Not that an indirect threat is any better, but here's your previous description: "I did offer each offender a second chance, as I thought they might have learned from this. They chose not to take it."

To each their own, do what you gotta do - but I stand by my original opinion on your actions.

It does sound insane, but sometimes these things are founded.

Just a few months ago, a local government body finally awards as millions to someone their formed chief executive had been persecuting for two decades. During that time, the random member of the public was imprisoned. This case involved multiple corrupt people.

If it wasn't for the happy conclusion, I'd have said this was the tale of a lunatic.

The podcast is at https://www.private-eye.co.uk/podcast/68

Well, if you're not qualified for it, why do you still do it?

Who knows. They used to say people who think the government is saying on people are tin foil loonies, now everyone is worried about privacy. Don't see the reason to assume this most be crazy. Journalists as a whole have that "when I break this story everything is gonna change" mood regularly

For clarification, evidence for the bribery claim is only circumstantial at this point, which is also made clear in the record. The other claims however are substantiated with strong evidence encompassing intent.

You have a serious case of delusions of grandeur. Get some help.

It is sad that you would rather believe the parent has mental health issues, rather than entertain the possibility that yes, someone is actually doing something effective against powerful corrupt people, and that requires creative thinking.

To me, it echoes "Discourse on Voluntary Servitude" by La Boétie. Powerful people are just people. They are powerful because we are collectively granting them that power. This is not a case of delusion of grandeur, but a case of saying no to learned helplessness.

So thank you byecancer21 for what you're doing against corruption, from a stranger on the internet.

One of the documents shared on the page is a letter to the constitutional court of Germany where the plaintiff explains how not taking his case constitutes a mortal sin for which the president of the court will go to hell and lectures him that he cannot visit church services anymore. It is very hard to take the rest seriously if the same person is claiming the corruption.

This was a fun thing sent three days before the election, which his party was expected to lose. The same judge was vice-leader of this party until his appointment and is known to be ultra-catholic.

Such writing is obviously not directed at him but rather at his staffers. At the lower courts the same tactic actually worked to change staff willingness to make themselves an accessory to crimes. An interesting consequence is later decision were not served correctly because no staffer wanted to put any identifying information on there anymore – this is however a legal requirement for certified copies.

Note I am not actually accusing the top judge of a crime but merely of inappropriate bias.

I am well aware it is important to convey the events in manner understandable to the general public. This has not occurred yet as I had no immediate plan to go public. Before HN the site was only known to a small circle of lawyers.

Was that sent by the poster or someone they are targeting?

It’s fairly obvious to infer that OP is experiencing some type of psychosis or schizotypical behavior

Well, adding "obviously" to an argument does not add anything to the argument.

I can see how you _might_ think this some type of mental health issue, but seeing a behavior that is weird from your point of view does not make it a medical behavior automatically. It might, it might not, and you can't tell for sure.

To push another armchair diagnosis with exactly the same value, I'd say it looks someone who plays the game of life at a high level, which can sometimes looks like lunacy from the outside. But that's just like, my opinion, man.

My inference is that you've never felt strongly about a topic like this, and live a fairly normal life. That's fine, but you shouldn't drag others down.

Not being able to tell if the facts are true I see why one might be inclined to think as much. I did discuss the matter with friends throughout the course of events to assure my own sanity however, also because certain aspects are in our view rather entertaining.

A future matter is the health data protection violation the judge's family committed by hiring problem solving consultants first and giving them my personal info, prior to escalating to a false threat claim.

Interestingly the law assigns such cases to her branch of the judiciary.

So this judge might soon become a witness or even defendant at her very own court, in a matter directed against her actions.

I will grant you this sounds crazy on the face of it. It is the law however (SGB X).

It's fairly obvious that actual psychiatrists make that diagnosis on a lot more than a HN post

If you read the website, it's apparently because an off-label medicine wasn't approved.

But it looks like Patient F has survived though, which is good.

The medical reviewer, a public employee, had ruled on a matter she was not professionally qualified for.

The court asked the patient's doctor for facts as they routinely do, which left no room for denial. The judge dropped this document from one file, then in another file claimed the same matter had already been decided and passed over all evidence while at the same time knowingly making a false assertion of facts.

Access to these files was denied for months, beyond the constitutional court case even.

Without the ability review the files, had to guess what she had done and this did turn out to be factual later. From judicial instructions found on the back side of a page at the appeals level it is clear these judges had been aware. The judge assigned to fact-finding had refused to handle the matter, a procedural violation.

Had asked the medical board for proof as one way to have these decisions nullified. No response for months. In a hearing that was recorded I mentioned the medical board and, carelessly, two days later they sent a letter refusing me the information. It is clear a judge is behind this. This matter is now pending in administrative court.

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