Logbook + Scratchpad

nvitucci's federated blog, with notes and unfinished ideas

I've noticed that, while writing here, I tend to write for long stretches of time on a single topic rather than mixing topics up. This may be a consequence of my focus on a specific project, book, or thought, which gives me many ideas to ponder, research further, or just take notes of.


It is true: the more I am focused and consumed by something, the more I want to do – and not only of that thing. Actions begets action, inaction makes it more difficult.


I know, I should not care. I should also know that they probably have their place. But I am really, really annoyed when I read “cheap” book blurbs with sentences such as:

n million copies sold worldwide!” “I've enjoyed it”, “Miss it at your own risk”, “Brilliant” (Someone famous for a reason or another) “This book will change your life.”

No, I am not buying it because many others bought it. I'm not buying it because some famous person said a couple words about it. I'm not buying it for some feel-good promise. Damn it.

#thoughts #books

Two Python packages I've come across while experimenting with MIDI programming:

  • pyknon for music theory and easy MIDI file generation
  • pychord for chord parsing and generation

I was not looking for any libraries explicitly, as I was having fun creating some of their features from scratch. As usual, serendipity helped: I've found both in another project that I cannot recall at this very moment.

#Python #music

A while ago I published a Python client for Alda, a project I've liked since I learned about it. Recently, though, I've had a desire to go “back to the basics” and deal with MIDI directly.

After a long time, I've picked Mido up again to write some MIDI files programmatically. I've even managed to make it run both on Windows and on MacOS, which required a little more setup. It was a good chance to review some aspects of the MIDI protocol itself, which I'm using for some experiments.

#Python #music #MIDI

The book I've been reading in the last couple days asks one question many times and in different ways: Why are some people so pedantic with the language (and enjoy that)? After all, once you have conveyed the meaning of what you want to say, isn't form just a useless burden? In the case of punctuation, shouldn't we just get rid of most (if not all) of it and only keep the words? Wouldn't it make things better?

Personally, I think this fixation (which I share too, up to a point) stems from the need of order and clarity some people have. Punctuation has been introduced to make written text clearer for readers and actors, and slowly it has acquired grammatical meaning too. Why should we get rid of something that has slowly developed to make communication less ambiguous, just because people cannot be bothered to learn it properly?

#language #grammar #thoughts

One of the things I've learned from the book I've mentioned in the previous post is that the different types of brackets have different names in British and American English. I've used these names interchangeably until now, so I'll start paying more attention.

To summarize (confirmed on Wikipedia too):

Marks British English American English
( ) Round brackets / Brackets Parentheses
[ ] Square brackets Brackets
{ } Curly brackets / Braces Braces
< > Angle brackets Angle brackets

(The book actually references curly brackets as “brace brackets”, but I found this quite uncommon.)

#grammar #punctuation #TIL

Some time ago I read some excerpts from this little book, so when I found it in a second-hand book shop I decided it was time to buy it and read it end to end.

The book is for hardcore grammar nerds, so for everyone who dies a little bit inside while reading sentences like “The book and it's author” and “I like they're hair”. For each punctuation mark, there is some nice history and a practical “how to use” section. I have found some interesting use cases I didn't know about, and it's overall funny to read.

I'll expand on the practical notes to keep as a reference.

#books #grammar

I've watched Dune: Part Two at the cinema, unfortunately not with as big a screen as I wanted (but still hoping to have that chance shortly).

The movie is spectacular in all the media elements: wide settings, vivid colors, huge soundscape. There is some whispering that makes a few parts less clear (and I am not the only one noticing this generally in recent movies), but overall dialogue is also quite easy to understand.

Several themes that I found intriguing: the battle for power, hidden agendas, exploiting religious beliefs for personal gain, all-out war, the importance of resources, extremism, survival, the danger of outside “saviors”, and so on. It is no surprise the original books inspired videogames such as Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri, one of my all-time favourites.

Overall, a great movie for sci-fi aficionados.


I am evaluating whether to make use of another federated platform like BookWyrm (self-hosted) or not. The choice is between a separate account on a more specialized social network and a consolidated blog where to cover every topic.

The nice thing about BookWyrm is its book search function that uses public APIs to get information about a book. I am less interested in tracking my reading activity and more into having a place where to keep my reading notes and “organize” my books.

In the meantime, here is the BookWyrm instance I've created: https://books.nvitucci.social/

As of now, it's still empty.

#fediverse #choices