Daily notes for 2023-07-03

· 1140 words · 6 minute read

John Gruber might be Satan. 🔗

Reader, I lol’d.

magit-wip-mode 🔗

magit WIP modes:

“Git keeps committed changes around long enough for users to recover changes they have accidentally deleted. It does so by not garbage collecting any committed but no longer referenced objects for a certain period of time, by default 30 days.

“But Git does not keep track of uncommitted changes in the working tree and not even the index (the staging area). Because Magit makes it so convenient to modify uncommitted changes, it also makes it easy to shoot yourself in the foot in the process.

“For that reason Magit provides a global mode that saves tracked files to work-in-progress references after or before certain actions. (At present untracked files are never saved and for technical reasons nothing is saved before the first commit has been created).”

I wander back and forth machines a lot and this seems like useful insurance, so I turned it on.

accurate but not good 🔗

Luke prompted a half-response this morning:

I replied in a spirit appropriate to me, which is to say “disappointed idealist who should learn to either quit being disappointed, or give up on being an idealist, or get a new sense of humor.”

Because that article feels like a bookending, illustrative underscore of this column, which I went into sort of nodding along in a “checks out” sort of way, then sitting up straight when it got to:

“Expect more antiracist action plans, more vaporous decolonization, more mandated training, more huckster consultants, more vacuous reports, more administrators whose jobs no one can explain, more sleazy land acknowledgments (“Sorry I stole your house!”), more performative white self-flagellation, more tokenization of minority faculty members.

“And amid this great tornado of race chatter, if you take a moment to plug your ears and look around, you will probably begin to notice fewer and fewer brown and Black kids reading on the quad and, down the line, fewer and fewer brown and Black doctors in the maternity wards. It will turn out that all those initiatives will have next to nothing to do with actually combating structural racism. We may well find ourselves teaching Toni Morrison to rooms that get whiter and richer by the year.”

The biggest change I noticed at my job from 2019 to 2022 was that HR managed to edge everyone out of anti-racist work, and suddenly anything that seemed like it could be meaningful and engage senior managers was ruled “performative.” Mentorship programs? Performative. Sponsorship programs? Performative. I came to realize that “we don’t want to be performative” was just a thought-terminating cliché meant to shut down the conversation.

What were you supposed to do? Basically, fill low-stakes associate positions, maaaaaybe send a manager out to specific recruiting events, but otherwise just hand the entire hiring process over to recruitment and forget about it. If you looked at any demographic information that suggested perhaps the lenses you were supposed to use — ratios that ignored role or level — were problematic, you were asked how you got the information you were using because they thought they’d locked it all up. And I watched a good leader driven out by someone who weaponized the whole topic.

When I helped interview HR business partners, it suggested to me that what I was seeing wasn’t just local. One of them got uncomfortable when I asked about their experience with ERGs, and preferred to discuss how happy people were with a local soccer team ERG they’d sponsored. I honestly didn’t know what to do with that, but just marked “strong no,” explained why, and was relieved the hiring team went another direction. For all I know they thought that — as an older, white, male interviewer — I wanted to hear about a soccer ERG instead of an identity-based one, but I didn’t feel like playing eight-dimension chess. Including soccer fans seemed like an odd DEI triumph.

So if I’m coming off a little mordant about an NYT piece that manages to both report and perform a certain weird forgetfulness in the summer of 2023, it’s because I’m struggling to understand what we got besides a new consultant class, a new slice of territory for HR departments, and vague commitments to “work on ourselves.” I can’t get mad about the reporting itself, because it seems accurate. It’s where we all are. What do we want to do about that?

New loom on the Himalayan 🔗

I stuck the new loom on the RE Himalayan today. It was a 20-minute process, from taking off the side plate to figuring out where everything was, to disconnecting and reconnecting all the connectors.

The net effect is that it puts the gear detector behind the ignition instead of straight to the battery, which I hope will stop the parasitic drain I’ve been dealing with. It’s a weird thing to have to do, but I read a few rumors online that some dealers have been putting them on at sale. It’s just a bad design decision with a $25 fix.

Al and I took a ride for groceries this evening. When we got home I took a reading off the battery then set a reminder to myself to check back in 24 hours to see whether the drain seems reasonable. Since I put an Antigravity battery in there the stakes are a little lower if it drains too much while I observe.

Not related to the loom, the bike is running really well now. It sounds good, feels smooth, and I’ve appreciated how manageable it is. I had it out twice today and just enjoyed driving it through a few curvy parts of southeast Portland in the sun. We’re thinking about taking a camping trip down in Clackamas County and going out separately so we can bring the Himalayan along and enjoy some forest service roads and rides along the river.

Still considering trading it in or selling it, but it’s growing on me again. I just wish RE was just better at QA overall. I’ve got $125 worth of dongles hanging off the thing to get it to just do what it should have done out of the factory, I’ve spent four hours sitting around the dealership while the mechanics grudgingly fixed stuff like pinched vacuum hoses and weirdly tuned electrics, and I spent a bunch of my own time hand-tightening connections and digging overpacked grease out of connectors.

With all that time and effort invested, it’s behaving. I don’t know if I’d recommend these bikes to a newbie. I have some patience and don’t mind having to do a little work — it’s sort of educational and interesting. Someone new to the hobby shouldn’t have to think about that stuff when they’re trying to just learn the basics and wondering if stalls or glitches are their fault.