Monthlog 13: November 2020

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This is the 13 installment in my 'Monthlog' - a public list of articles, papers, books, discussions, videos, podcasts and software that catch my attention each month. I hope that regular readers will skim through the listings and find one, or multiple, things that pique their interest.

Note: Posts are not ordered in any particular way. If you find an article you think I might like, send it to me via one of the channels on my homepage.


  • Master How To Learn: Why I No Longer Tell My Friends about Anki/SuperMemo - In a month where I've spent hours inside Anki, adding hundreds of cards and completing thousands of reviews, this was well timed to show up in my Hacker News feed. I've recommended Anki to quite a few people over the years, none them seem to have picked it up, and I think this article kind of explains why. You really need a strong desire to want a better study solution, and to stumble across a tool like Anki on your own for it to really hold your attention long enough for you to get hooked. I'm currently drafting a blog post about my exam study technique, with a lot of details about how I leverage Anki. Discussion on HN

  • Eliezer Yudkowsky: Beware of Other Optimizing - Linked in the above post as a key inspiration. Lengthy discussion below the article itself.

  • Parse, Don't Validate - A blog post from 2019 that provides some really valuable context and understanding for the next article.

  • Names are not type safety - Thoughts on data modelling, with a functional perspective that applies well to languages like Haskell and Rust. The rough argument here is that type aliases type Email = String often don't offer the benefits we hope they do. Discussion on HN

  • Vasco Figueira: Microservices — architecture nihilism in minimalism's clothes - Great article, long form and very in-depth. Doesn't just criticise Microservices, but explains the common problems people run into, why they might arise and provides multiple ways to think about microservices that might be less error prone. Highly recommended. Discussion on HN

  • Andrew Montalenti: Work is a Queue of Queues - A good look at how work and task management methods can modelled through CS data structures. Quite enjoyed this article, it's a bit longer than some of the others but probably worth your time if you're into things like GTD or Agile/Scrum.

  • Using Anki for Math - I've used Anki for a number of years but have often struggled to find a suitable way to learn math theorems and proofs through Anki. This article offers some insights into building cards for math study.


  • Ox - 'An independent Rust text editor that runs in your terminal!' Worth keeping an eye on but I'll be using NeoVim for now.

  • Dog - 'Command-line DNS client', a replacement for Dig written in Rust. Been using this for a bit now and really enjoying it. Just a few quality of life improvements over standard dig.

  • Delta - 'A fancy git diff viewer.', written in Rust. I've set this up in my Dotfile setup and quite like the slightly more readable diff view it offers over the standard diff tool. Definitely worth a look if, like me, you use the Git CLI over a Git GUI.

Recommended Sources to Follow

Below are a few media sources and voices I follow.



  • James Clear's Newsletter - Twice a week James sends out his 3-2-1 Newsletter, 3 ideas from James, 2 quotes from others and 1 question for the reader.
  • This Week In Rust - Rust news every week.
  • EthHub Weekly - Weekly Ethereum updates, a quick paragraph summarising each headline.


  • The Changelog: 'Conversations with the hackers, leaders, and innovators of software development.'
  • Software Engineering Daily: Daily conversations covering anything Software Development related.
  • Linux Unplugged: A Jupiter Broadcasting show. Relaxed, focused on Linux but touches on all things Unix and Open Source.
  • Invest Like the Best: Finance and investing podcast often featuring Crypto.
  • Y Combinator: Conversations with Y Combinator founders.
  • Into the Ether: 'Focusing on all things Ethereum, the leading blockchain for decentralized applications.'