Hello from Abu Dhabi!

I’m on my way to speak at my first-ever in-person ApacheCon in Bratislava, Slovakia. I had a long layover in Abu Dhabi and took the opportunity to see the city.

To summarize my experience, good food makes up for the unbearably hot weather.

I strongly encourage you to spend time at the Louvre Museum if you are ever in Abu Dhabi. I have been to many museums, but this one stood out because of the visible level of thought and effort put into curating each piece and building a narrative.

It gave me vibes similar to those of the Asian Civilizations Museum in Singapore, which tells a story of shared cultures and forgotten connections.

I’m on my second cup of coffee as I write this to keep myself awake to catch my 3 AM flight to Vienna, followed by a two-hour bus ride to Slovakia’s capital. But getting to meet people I have only had the privilege of talking to online is always worth the effort.

This week’s newsletter will be short because I haven’t had time to curate content or write new blog posts.

What’s Happening?

I switched back to using Vim as my primary text editor. That’s what’s happening.

This isn’t going to be a lecture on how Vim makes me faster, how it is ubiquitous, or any of those “Vim bro” comments. The only reason I made the switch from VS Code was to try something novel.

I spend all my time staring at text. I have wanted to use Vim for a long time now, and since everything else is streamlined, the cost of learning to use Vim is minimal, as it doesn’t really affect my work.

Many people complain that the effort required to learn Vim shadows whatever benefit you get, if any, from using Vim. But to be honest, it isn’t that hard!

Once you get used to some Vim motions and figure out the Vim grammar, i.e., how you build Vim commands, you should be able to be productive quickly. Then, all it takes is some practice (like every other skill).

You don’t have to learn all key bindings or use many plugins. My Vim configuration is minimal, around 100 lines, and offers everything I need to write code, similar to my VS Code setup.

It also forces me to rely on command-line tools, which I have always wanted to improve. I will share my progress in the blog.

I only have a few links for you today:

  • My Last Five Years of Work: AI making what we know as work obsolete might not be bad. It can free up a lot of time for us to indulge in other meaningful activities.
  • The day I became a millionaire: When wealthy people give advice that boils down to “money isn’t everything,” it is easy to dismiss it as a platitude. But the rich are better positioned to discuss money and what it can and cannot do.
  • A Plea for Sober AI: The unwarranted hype around the already impressive AI models cloaks the hidden revolution beneath. We should see AI as a tool for automation, which it is now, rather than hyping superintelligence.
  • Spam, junk … slop? The latest wave of AI behind the ‘zombie internet’: Giving the name “slop” to unwanted AI-generated content helps people talk about it easily, just as labeling emails “spam” helps deter such unwanted emails.

Hot off the Press

There is a lot of talk about sustainable open source business models. In one of my older articles, I explain how I have set up sponsorships on one of my projects and its results in a joking fashion.

I think it’s interesting in its own regard.

Read here: “Vada (Fritters) Profitable