2023 Review

Hard to believe I have been doing these annual posts for over a decade now. Revisiting some of the old entries triggered a strange mix of nostalgia and cringiness. But I am compelled, against all reason, to keep going! And thus, this post exists.

New Tech

The Rube Goldberg-esque complexity of the JavaScript ecosystem has been a well-trodden trope for years. So it has been very refreshing to spend some time playing with Bun in late 2023. It's oversold as a "drop-in Node replacement", as many compatibility issues remain, but the speed and simplicity is a breath of fresh air. Bun's pace of development is truly impressive, too, and despite the lack of a sustainable funding model, it's been so fun to use that I'm considering moving a few projects from Node to Bun this year.

Of course LLMs were a fascinating topic in 2023. Simon Willison's blog was, and continues to be, an engineering generalist's essential reading on the topic. ML is very far from my circle of competence but it's been fun to learn about a new field that is deep and fascinating.


Regular readers of the blog (are there any?) will be familiar with my annual vanity metric– number of books read in the year. Even as I smashed my previous record this year, I realized how pointless and counter-productive this number is, given I retain very little of what I read. For 2024 my goal is to take a full page of notes for 20 high-quality books. I did this for only 9 books last year.

Retention issues aside, I enjoyed quite a few reads this year. Favourites were:

  • Rusty Brown Chris Ware
  • Same as Ever Morgan Housel
  • Drive Dan Pink
  • Outlive Peter Attia
  • Competing against Luck Christensen et al
  • Building a Second Brain Tiago Forte
  • From Strength to Strength Arthur Brooks
  • Clear Thinking Shane Parrish
  • Exhalation Ted Chiang
  • Just Keep Buying Nick Maggiuli
  • The Remains of the Day Kazuo Ishiguro
  • You are Here Thich Nhat Hanh
  • Invisible Boy Harrison Mooney
  • Dilla Time Dan Charnas
  • Hark! A Vagrant and Ducks Kate Beaton
  • Lost and Founder Rand Fishkin
  • Refactoring UI Wathan & Schoger
  • Turning Pro Steven Pressfield
  • Mind MGMT – Omnibus 1 Matt Kindt
  • Be Useful Schwarzenegger

Blogging and such

Last year I wrote down some nifty indieweb tech that I thought would be cool to explore on this site, and predictably, none of those things came to fruition. One day, maybe. As usual I didn't really write anything here, though I did do a little blogging elsewhere. A few people even told me those posts were useful, which, if true, is probably a first for me.