Web Technics

October 23rd, 2018 by harold

The rise of JSON.

2005 He pointed to Gmail and Flickr as examples of websites already relying on AJAX techniques.

It’s interesting to me to point out that because big names, big websites, were doing big things so should we all. That is so strange. It’s like saying Walmart sells stuff and has a big parking lot so you should probably build one next to where you live. Because sometimes you sell things too. Programmers are weird. It gets weirder.

XML is the most fully-developed means of getting data in and out of an AJAX client, but there’s no reason you couldn’t accomplish the same effects using a technology like JavaScript Object Notation or any similar means of structuring data.

So the dude says that some extensive work has been done so that one format (XML) allows developers to share data and also, fuck that. Let’s re-invent again. That’s very efficient, inclusive and not selfish at all.

XML has never been widely loved. Even Winer has said that he does not love XML. But XML was designed to be a system that could be used by everyone for almost anything imaginable.

What the fuck does it even mean to “love” a data format? No one “loves” HTML. A system designed for everyone for almost anything imaginable, is a fucking great idea. But you’d rather screw that for your daily comfort? That is not selfish at all.

Imagine a world in which HTML documents and API responses had the exact same structure.

That was the whole goal! Empowering folks for generations with technical foundations that stand the test of time. Conventions and guidelines that we can lean on. But no, early 2000 programmers had to fuck it up and make themselves look smarter because they found a way to do something that seemed simpler but deter 99% of the population from doing it. An entirely different paradigm would have happened.

Instead programmers circumvented browsers’ security with JSON just so that they can run Javascript code off any website. Websites should have stayed about displaying stuff. They should have been made to have awesome fonts and an easy way to play with them. Websites should have stayed about reading more than watching videos or scroll algorithmically-curated timelines. Having the possibility to play games in the browser without Flash is great I guess but also kind of super useless.

The web was supposed to be for people, not a programmer’s playground.

Been a minute

October 3rd, 2018 by harold

I made it. I successfully landed on my feet after getting evicted.

Last weekend was kind of crazy: moving an entire 500m² (5,000 square feet), a whole 19-year presence from my friend and property manager, Jason. People showed up to help, it was great, hard, emotional. The weather was impeccable, warm and soft. I still went to play basketball in the morning despite hauling ass for 12 hours afterwards. My body feels like granite right now. On Sunday morning, 7am, I woke up with 3 gunshots across the boulevard. 10 minutes later, the cops. 2 hours later, yellow tape all over the block. I saw yesterday that someone died there. Drive-by.

It’s a weird feeling to be so close physically to random death by weapon, you know? Especially while you’re trying to survive sudden displacement and find yourself a nice place to live in. Fortunately, my good friend Arthur has a place and allowed me to move in his house. A wonderful, wonderful home. And I still can bike to work. Meanwhile, I will interview soon for a sound design position in Palo Alto. The week before that I was getting a baby mattress for our homeless woman from FedEx. Yup, she ordered it I don’t know how. But she just lost her delivery address. Ain’t nobody doing this for her anymore. Fuck gentrification so hard.

Shit is super-wild and exciting and scary and I feel like sleeping and stretching for 96 hours.

Workwerkwerkwerkwrek, though. I have all those projects, like buying South Los Angeles and rent it out to whoever I want. Like the white dude who’s buying my ex-block, displacing people who lived there for a substantial time of their lifetime. So dear friends and neighbors around: don’t sell shit. Ask me first, ok?

We’ll get through it child. We’ll get through it.

Keep it movin

September 15th, 2018 by harold

What’s up motherfuckers,

This move/eviction is real now. I hear the sound of tape going over boxes here and there. Roommates packing. I’ll be fine. But damn it’s sad and weird and impossible to change. I’m taking a million pictures. I loved that place.

Halftogon House Concept

August 20th, 2018 by harold

It all comes down to maintenance costs. Having a home is one thing, but making sure that it doesn’t cost you much if at all for years and decades is the goal. I have many examples of friends and family building or renovating houses only to realize that heating that place costs an arm or cooling it down is an issue or that material was great for the first five years but is now deteriorating fast etc.

I designed my home with all that in mind.

So, the best shape in terms of insulation is the circle.


You want to minimize external surface area and consequently heat loss and gain. It also keeps building costs to the minimum. Circles are the best for that. Obviously, circles are not practical to build with. 3D printing solves the issue I guess, but it’s still weird to have interiors that are rounded (and with angled furniture, that’s even weirder). Human evolution pushed my brain to feel suspicious of rounded interiors. So we build squares:


Square is the simplest and easiest shape to build with. One big problem is that it’s boring as hell. Kind of brutal. We see that with modern McMansions and those arrangements of cubes. Not that pretty, even with nice landscape. Bigger problem, when you add surface with a cube or two, it adds thermal bridges and surfaces really quickly. Let’s say you want a L-shape house (two rectangles), that’s six external surface areas with some sort of connection between them (thermal bridges).

It’s not bad per se, but it will have a non-negligible long term cost. What about octagons?


That’s the closest shape to a circle, right? You might be surprised to learn that the octagon is really great for houses: 20% more space than a square shape with the same perimeter. The space inside the house is real space and not hallways and corridors: less space waste.

There’s no big problem with that shape. It’s actually pretty awesome in many ways. But! You kind of need to build big to enjoy decent-sized rooms otherwise they’re small and it feels like you’re an ant moving from a small room to another all the time. I’d rather not build big and probably wouldn’t be able to anyway. Big houses are terrible for the environment and just plain bad financial investment: if you have kids, they’ll live around you, not in the room you specifically designed for them. Bet.

So I got the idea of cutting it in half (when in doubt designing something, just cut).




And then rotate it.


Ta-da! The bottom is full North (street side). The top, the longest line, is South with large windows all along. East on the left, West on the right. If you center around the bottom left corner, the shape is reminiscent of two hands joining at the wrists.

The shape is sheltering, protecting yet stays open on one side. The green roof will accentuate this idea. The 3D printed concrete technique means the house is uni-body. Zero thermal bridges, bitches. Open floor plan, obviously. Cross ventilation East/West with cool North, North/East facing the walls, cooling down the house passively. Sun on the South side for passive heating.

Concrete and glass on the outside pretty much guarantees that nothing will rot or need special attention, ever.

This way I think maintenance and costs would be kept at a minimum all year long while enjoying a serene place to live that regulates its temperature efficiently and naturally. LETS GO

*drops mic*

(next time I’ll show you the floor plan I designed; it’s dope af)


August 18th, 2018 by harold

Gone. It was going to happen. It always will happen. Death is coming to all of us.

But there’s this really haunting thought about performers and musicians of the generation of Aretha: they created everything we’re building new music on. They created everything we’re using in our software. And they’re about to leave this earth.

It’s so bizarre. I’m still processing Prince’s as what would he be doing these days. George Duke, my god. It’s just unreal how much stellar musicianship there is with just those two artists. All the feelings in the world expressed in a dozen of musical styles from pop to hardcore free jazz. There are a few dozens of those artists and they will pass in the next decade or so.

All of them.

It’s just going to be a massive extinction of very high quality craftsmanship in music.

We know that music has become such a a commodity that stars these days are more about charisma than talent. The public has accepted that. The music industry has become a LaCroix dispenser for the past twenty years. You (want to) believe it tastes something. Even more so in the past five years. Everything sounds the same, everyone is using the exact same machines. We forget about tracks and it doesn’t even matter, a new one pops out with the same chords. It’s not right or wrong, it’s ultra-efficient.

And music, although doing well with efficiency –great pop music is universally loved-, is larger than that. A whole lot wider.

Them Spurs

August 7th, 2018 by harold

But I’ll tell you, it’s funny: I might not have even made it to the league at all if Pop had not decided to give me a second chance to make a first impression on him. He invited me back in for another workout, and I made sure not to mess it up. I played a lot better against Lance this time. He still gave it to me pretty good, but I held my own a little bit. And I think I showed off some of the things that I could do on the court.

Tony Parker says Thank You.

Second chances matter. It’s amazing what good can happen when you give someone dedicated more time to prove that they’re the person you’re looking for. *wink wink*

OMG SPURS. This summer has been rough as hell. I’m working silently towards acceptance with Kawhi and Danny Green gone to Toronto. Damn. Tony has to come back for one last year though… Obviously, welcome to DeMar. Spurs lost a Compton bro to get another one. This feels right.

Now, the next season team is… Good? People forget about LMA all the time I hope that fuels him to show once again that he’s a beast. They have young, cold as ice talent (White, Walker). They have intense hustlers (Murray, Mills). They have very experienced players (Ginobili, Gasol) and sharp shooters (Gay, Belinelli, Bertans, Forbes). And then you add DeMar, a great scorer and Poetl, an athletic, quick center.

S P R E A D  D A  F L O O R

As usual, everyone thinks they can’t do shit because Warriors and blabla. We’ll see, haters.

Why we never hear of GenX

August 6th, 2018 by harold

It’s simple:


It doesn’t look like it but we’re the smallest adult generation alive and paying taxes. There are 10 million more boomers and 15 million more millennials. Not only those generations boast 25 million more people, those are so much more prone to consumerism. Thus the media only talk about them, duh.

Gen X grew up conflicted with capitalism. On one hand, we wanted Jordan’s too but on the other hand we were like Fuck You I Won’t Do What You Tell Me, right? We’re an annoying market for the new economy which relies so much on impulse and sucking the hell out of our wallets, a subscription and a convenience fee at a time.

The differences don’t stop at economics. It’s for everything, it’s such a fascinating lens. Take firearms: Boomers want to keep their guns, Silent gen wants more guns, Mills want gun laws, we just want guns to be thrown into the nearest volcano so that we never have to fucking mourn every week ever again. We’re about solutions right now, whatever it takes. Regardless of what was before. Because unlike younger generations who don’t know and haven’t lived the non-digital world long enough before 2000 and might doubt themselves, we did live enough through those times to know what to do, change, edit, reverse in today’s world.

I think Gen X is very important in History. Gen X is quite unique: what millennials experience economically, we pioneered. What boomers had, we got a quick taste of it. The fact that we grew up through the most massive changes in human history made us super wise and also, super tired. It made us determined in our thoughts and trains of thoughts though. We’re the middle generation that shared big moments with all the people alive right now: talking about WWII with greatest gen and silent gen when the internet didn’t exist, making cassettes from our boomers parents’ vinyls and VHS from TV shows, installing computers or making websites for our younger siblings. And of course, going through the entire history of computer games, from the first console ever when we were kids to now.

We’re the most intersectional generation ever. We really went through the world being local to becoming global. Nobody else experienced that monstrous, massive change as a backbone of their lives. Gen X did.

Today, Gen Z’s oldest members born in 1998/1999 are adults. They don’t give a fuck, for what I see. They’ll say “fuck Beyoncé and fuck yo mama too”. They’re like Gen X. Millennials and Boomers share consumerism and complaining. Gen X and Z share the punk attitude and questioning. It makes sense. Things cycle.

Home Size

July 28th, 2018 by harold

How Has the Average House Size Changed?

From 1920 to 1970, fifty years, the average house size grew by 500 square feet (46m²).

From 1970 to 1990, twenty years, the average house size grew again by 500 square feet.

So not only the average size went up continuously but it went more than twice as fast after 1970. It slowed down since 1990 but still: over 4 times more personal space in 94 years. Jesus. You greedy ass bitches.

Essentially, it’s likely that one person nowadays has the same amount of space as a family back in the 1920s!

This is completely ridiculous. Because of technology and the fact that we spend most of our time sitting our asses down, watching a screen, we really, really don’t need more personal space than a whole 1920s family. We just need a lot of outlets. Stable electricity and fast internet. Those don’t take room at all.

What it shows is that people have too much money and don’t think much about how to spend it in a good way. They will spend $$$ on huge houses that they heavily under-used. I can’t stop thinking about looking at one of those modern McMansion here in LA. A big, huge glass cube at night. And this woman is just sitting alone on her coffee table, busy on her phone with only her phone’s screen lighting the large room. It looked sad as hell. Home ownership has become the most inefficient shit and most vicious scam. It doesn’t have to be like that: small house, nice little backyard and front yard, bam.

You don’t know what I see in my head in terms of architecture and urban planning. I’m frustrated.

public void Rigid ()

July 28th, 2018 by harold

I’ve been thinking for a minute about that: how technical people in Silicon Valley and the game industry can politically end up on the extreme right or let’s say a much harder left than most people on the West Coast. When you would think that uh, they would not.

I think it’s due to programming: you cannot program something in many different ways. There’s a few ways at best, only one in a lot of cases if not most cases. Thus, programmers learn, apply and thrive through rigidity. Which is the opposite of a comprehensive and empathetic mind, and pretty much the opposite of what designers go through. Our process is a lot more about seeing all angles, pondering and then min-maxing a decision. Programming is about one thing to get going, the simplest or most straightforward way to do it, usually the better.

Designers thrive with dynamic content. We create dynamism, that’s our goal. Creating the experience. Programmers moderately like this because it’s really hard. “Staticness” is sought after and usually a good thing technology-wise (more stable, less need for re-factoring). Look at websites: we went from static to dynamic to highly dynamic and back to static.

Anyway I’m pretty sure that this rigid mindset is definitely not helping us outside the world of computers say, in real life with individuals that are all different, for instance. That creates dudes who only think in terms of “well IF this and that THEN that”, without really thinking that more often than not, life is quite more complex and nuanced than that. Edge cases everywhere, bro. Everywhere.

lol weak ass

July 28th, 2018 by harold

When a DNA Test Shatters Your Identity

The man St Clair thought of as her brother only shared enough DNA with her to be a half sibling. In fact, she didn’t match any family members on her father’s side. Her biological father must be someone else.

“I looked into a mirror and started crying,” says St Clair, now 56. “I’ve taken for granted my whole life that what I was looking at in the mirror was part my mother and part my dad. And now that half of that person I was looking at in the mirror, I didn’t know who that was.”

The DNA test didn’t erase her happy childhood memories, but it recast her entire life up to now.

I’m always wondering why white people will tell me that the color of my skin doesn’t matter but as soon as DNA is telling them that that’s not really their sibling or father here, they cry and lose their shit, starting FB groups support and all. LMAO. It’s a trip.

Of course there are plenty of secrets and affairs and stuff. It’s as old as the world. But white folks are discovering that, for some reason. Thinking they’re “perfect”. No, you might be the result of a mess. It’s fine.

Who you are is who you are. Your experiences. The way you treat others. That’s you. That’s all. Who made you doesn’t matter. How, doesn’t matter either. You are you. If you’re older, had kids, own a house then be fucking happy and/or learn new shit but don’t dwell on how your dad wasn’t really the one you thought he was. That’s completely unproductive.

So when a DNA test in 2015 revealed her biological father was likely African American, it clicked into place. But her mom denied it. “She wouldn’t answer me. She would change the subject,” recalls Lisa. When she kept pressing, her mother broke down, saying it would destroy the family and that her dad—the man she grew up with—would kill her. She refused to say anything else about Lisa’s biological father.


But once again, that doesn’t change your life now or in the future. You are who you are. If she had a little thing for black music or spices well now she knows why. That’s it. Yes, your mom had sex with a black man. That sex stuff happens a lot, it turns out. Move on. This weird “but what does this mean?” question? It doesn’t mean anything. There’s no meaning in having kids, people. Ideally you want them, sometimes you don’t. They just happen, we happen.

Personally I might have been the result of rape. Or tender love. Or something in between. I will never know! It doesn’t really matter. It’s cool to know I guess, but it objectively doesn’t matter once you’re an adult.

Freaking out about your DNA ancestry is some kind of privilege.