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Once The Canadians In The Audience Recover From Their Shock… (rwblog S6E9)

New experiment: to keep this newsletter fairly lightweight — easy to write, easy to read — I’m going to try capping it at about 500 words. So here goes!

The facade of a new building under construction in Mission Bay

Table of Contents

Open Table of Contents

Safari is the Lightest Browser

A stray thought that wandered through my mind sometime in the past month:

Safari is the lightest browser.

A choice of software often comes down more to a feeling, a vibe, than a technical decision. Tim Hwang and Omar Rizwan had a similar insight when arguing that “the computer is a feeling”. In this case, I use Safari because it “feels” lightweight, in a hard-to-define way.

I can certainly pinpoint a few of the technical decisions leading to this feeling. I don’t keep a lot of tabs open and often close the browser entirely, so I appreciate that Safari starts almost instantaneously, unlike the seconds it takes for Chrome to start up (see also: Craig Mod’s “Fast Software, the Best Software”). I appreciate that Safari’s tab bar is noticeably shorter than Chrome’s, which makes it feel more like I’m peering through a pane of glass into a website rather than starting a complicated engine for web-surfing. I actually had some similar reflections while discussing the Arc browser!

But just listing design decisions feels slightly off here. There’s an overall feeling, a gestalt that’s more than the sum of its parts, that explain why I continue using Safari no matter how many websites nag me to switch to Chrome.

Fahrenheit is Good, Actually

This is perhaps the pettiest hill I am willing to die on, but I believe Fahrenheit is good, actually, when used for outdoor temperature.

Once the Canadians in the audience recover from their shock, allow me to explain. Fahrenheit works well to describe outdoor temperature in a temperate region (say, the American Midwest). In that situation, Fahrenheit will range between about 0°F and 100°F throughout the year; that’s apparently a major reason Fahrenheit was adopted the US in the first place. Also, in that application, the finer grain of Fahrenheit degrees is useful, because you can make general statements like “high 60s” in a meaningful way, whereas in Celsius you have to be fairly precise; 15°C is very much not the same perceived temperature as 17°C.

Now, should we use it for cooking and all our other applications of temperature? Eh, that hill isn’t worth dying on.

You Should Read Weekend Coffee Time

Friend of the newsletter (can I say friend of the newsletter? Who knows!) Kerls has a new(ish) newsletter called “weekend coffee time”. It’s a delightful weekly(ish) update that’s always a bit spontaneous and surprising. Like this week was about how to find things to read, and last week was about thrifting china (where I learned there’s a difference between vintage and antique!).

What Are The Haps My Friends

I wrote a couple things on my lil garden on the internets recently. First up I wrote about how I set yearly goals, which unfortunately ended up with a bit of a techbro vibe 🤷‍♀️ I also set up a pattern language, where I define some mental models that I tend to use, mostly so that I can link to them in the future — you can see a couple of those links above.

I also updated the search page to only search titles — that is, I made it more of a quick-jump page — because that’s personally more useful than a full-site search.

Oh, also, some folks I know started a podcast called The Growth Gradient and asked me to show up on an episode about productivity! So that’s hopefully coming out in the near future.