JS Party – Episode #257
New Year's Party
with Jerod & (almost) the whole crew
It’s our 4th annual New Year’s party! Jerod & the gang review our (failed) resolutions from last year, discuss what’s trending in the web world, make a few predictions of our own & even set some new (probably failed) resolutions for this year.
Fastly – Our bandwidth partner. Fastly powers fast, secure, and scalable digital experiences. Move beyond your content delivery network to their powerful edge cloud platform. Learn more at fastly.com
Fly.io – The home of Changelog.com — Deploy your apps and databases close to your users. In minutes you can run your Ruby, Go, Node, Deno, Python, or Elixir app (and databases!) all over the world. No ops required. Learn more at fly.io/changelog and check out the speedrun in their docs.
Ship It! – A podcast about getting your best ideas into the world and seeing what happens. Listen to an episode that interests you and subscribe today.
Notes & Links
|1||00:00||It's new year's party time, y'all|
|2||01:54||Welcome to a whole new world|
|3||03:14||Setting the agenda|
|4||04:21||KBall's handstand push ups|
|5||06:22||Looking back at Divya's 2022|
|6||09:47||Divya's fav new language|
|7||11:39||Jerod just keeps winning|
|8||11:47||Nick didn't burn out in 2022!|
|9||13:03||Nick is so fit right now|
|10||14:18||The Apple Watch controlling your life|
|11||16:41||Pros & cons of tracking your biometrics|
|12||21:58||Feross' 2022 resolutions reviewed|
|13||25:03||Divya's failed prediction|
|14||26:37||Amal's bad prediction|
|15||27:20||Ali's correct prediction|
|16||28:33||Jerod & Chris with the best prediction|
|17||29:50||Mikeal & web3 builders|
|18||32:01||Still waiting for crypto killer apps|
|19||34:20||Are DAOs even cool?|
|20||36:49||Are smart contracts the answer?|
|21||39:53||Benefits of decentralization|
|22||41:58||Time for one last failed prediction|
|23||43:10||Sponsor: Ship It!|
|24||44:39||KBall predicts Twitter bankruptcy|
|25||52:14||Betting on Twitter's future|
|26||53:55||Jerod's wishlist: RSS!|
|27||55:06||Divya's 2023 predictions|
|28||58:00||Feross' 2023 predictions|
|29||1:00:12||Nick's 2023 predictions|
|30||1:01:19||Jerod's 2023 predictions|
|31||1:04:38||Feross "predicts" the end of human culture|
|32||1:05:04||JS Party feeds the LLMs|
|33||1:05:55||KBall's 2023 resolutions|
|34||1:06:44||Divya's 2023 resolutions|
|35||1:09:53||Nick & Feross summon ChatGPT|
|36||1:10:25||Nick's 2023 resolutions|
|37||1:10:55||Feross' 2023 resolutions|
|39||1:13:09||Outro (take the FF survey!)|
Click here to listen along while you enjoy the transcript. 🎧
Happy New Year’s! We are lacking a kazoo, so Kball is playing one with his hands… Insert AI-generated kazoo sound right here… I’m Jerod, I’m your internet friend, and we are happy to be celebrating new beginnings in 2023. Now, a little secret - we may or may not be recording this with a couple of weeks left in 2022. Don’t tell anybody. It’s actually January 2023, I promise… But if we say something that sounds stupid in January 2023, because of some recent event that happens maybe at the end of 2022, a little grace would be appreciated.
If Spotify can wrap a month early, we can, too.
Fair enough. See? If Spotify can do it, we can do it, too. That’s Nick Nisi making that claim. What’s up, Nick?
Ahoy-hoy. How’s it going?
How are you enjoying ’23?
It’s amazing. It’s a whole new world out here.
Do you want to sing the song from Aladdin?
I do… you can just tune down the lyrics, and… [laughs]
I get to be Jasmine.
I’m not sure about that. [laughter] That might be appropriation. Kball’s here… What’s up, Kball?
[singing] A whole new world… Hi!
I expect nothing less from Kball. Always willing to sing on the pod… Which is why we keep inviting you back, for these moments. Who else is here? It’s Divya. What’s up, Divya?
Happy to have you with us. I think this is your third – or if this is actually our fourth annual New Year’s episode, which is kind of weird to say, we’ve done this for years… I think you’ve been here for all of them, so congrats.
Yay! Can I get an award for that? A participation trophy…
You get your resolutions scrutinized on the air, because you made resolutions and predictions last year… Whereas Feross, who is also here - what’s up Feross?
Hey. How’s it going?
It’s going well. It’s going better for you, because you weren’t on last year’s New Year’s episode, which means I can’t make fun of your bad predictions, and your failure to resolute. But maybe next year; maybe next year we can get you.
So the agenda for today is to review 2022 resolutions and predictions, to create 2023 trends, wish lists, predictions, and maybe resolutions, and just to have fun and enjoy a little party. So that’s what we’re going to do…
So I dutifully went back and I forced myself to listen to our own podcast from last year. Actually, it was kind of fun… It was kind of fun to hear what everybody wanted to do and accomplish… Unfortunately, most of those people aren’t here today. So Amal was on that episode, Amelia had stuff to say, Ali… They all had things, and they couldn’t make it today, so that is unfortunate. But we’ll just make fun of them without them being here. Chris as well, who was just furiously looking for it as kazoo, could not make it. So we’ll do what we can…
Chris has dropped out of the running for the longest-running set of New Year’s. So now it’s down to Divya, Jerod and me, I think.
This will be four in a row.
Well, if there’s a podium, all three of us would be on it, so I guess we’re already winners. Chris does not make the podium. Well, Kball, you were here last year; like you said, you’ve been here every year. We appreciate you for that. And you made some resolutions. Last year your resolutions were kind of downtrodden, I guess. It was kind of like starting fresh… You said your goal last year was to get back to growing again, to get back to positive, get back to moving forward… And a couple of particular places that you were working or thinking about was you wanted to do a lot more writing regularly, and focusing on that. You also had this push-up goal that had failed; I’m not sure if there was a follow-up to that…
Yeah, the handstand push-ups.
Oh, the handstand push-ups. You failed that one…
I completely failed that. I am back to like working out regularly, but I am not – I don’t know, I’m tempted. Should I put that back on the resolutions for this year? [laughs]
Can you do a handstand in the first place? [laughs] I feel like there’s two parts to this…
Call him out, Divya…
Yeah, throwing shade.
Yes. So I can do a handstand; not for like massive amounts of time, but for a while. I have not tried a handstand push-up in a long time. I am back to working out very regularly… So we can put that on the resolutions again for this year.
I’ll just – I’ll be cautious this year. I’m gonna say one by the end of 2023… [laughs]
What was the number last time? Was it like five, or something?
It was like ten, or something? I don’t know…
It was a lot.
And then I tried on the air and couldn’t even do one.
Yeah. Last year’s show he actually tried on this show. Go back and listen to that episode, it’s pretty hilarious.
[05:48] Yeah. I’ll say one this year. But no, I mean, I think – I was doing my annual review process… I do a personal annual review every year… And this year was pretty good, honestly. Especially when you compare to the dumpster fires that were 2020 and 2021… Like, yeah, back to positivity. I had like four things I was trying to grow on, and three out of the four, solid wins. I did a bunch of writing; got published in some new industry publications. Like, I feel good about it.
Awesome. Happy to hear that, and I’m excited to hear what you’re up to in this new year. Divya, you kind of had similar sentiments last year; it was kind of like you want to get back to thriving… You wanted to get excited again. You were kind of burnt out on technology. You had just started a new job at Fly, and you were excited about that, but you wanted to learn, grow, develop, and then do something that’s completely outside of your comfort zone. So do you feel like – here we are, looking back… Do you feel like you got that done?
What are you writing? Rust?
I write Go…
Not at all. I wish, actually…
Don’t tell Nick that…
I write a lot of Go, I write a lot of Ruby on Rails, I write a lot of Elixir and Erlang…
Those are all fun things.
And Phoenix. Yeah.
It’s fast to write it, but then when you run those Go programs, you’re “Holy smokes, they’re smoking!”
Yeah, it takes forever, and the compile system takes a while, and like some of the codebases I work on, you have to build it in Linux, and I write my code on Mac… So it’s a very frustrating build process for me. So yeah…
What do you do? Do you like run a VM on the Fly, or do you have a local VM?
No… So I, I have like a NUC, however you say that, that’s like sitting next to my desk.
And then I SSH into it, and then run code there.
I’ve never heard of this. What’s a NUC? Is it like a–
I don’t actually know what it stands for. It’s just like a tiny… It’s like those tiny box –
Next Unit of Computing.
Yes. Next Unit Computing.
It’s like a tiny box that you can run an OS on, and then you can have a visual interface. Mine is purely a CLI, because I do a lot of like CLI-based stuff on it… But it’s nice to have like a different system. Because Virtual Box and like VMs are really, really slow. And so yeah, this is the fastest way for me to run code.
So you’ve definitely gone outside your comfort zone, which was one of your goals a lot.
A lot, yeah… To the point where now writing code is more of an arduous process, because –
You’re so uncomfortable.
…there’s so many systems. Yeah. So yeah, I did. I actually accomplished my goal…
…which is, I guess, a good thing.
I think I’m biased, because part of it has to do with the competency piece, and I get frustrated when I’m working with a language that I’m not competent in. It’s kind of like when you go to a country where you don’t speak that language, and then you have that frustration where you’re like “I’m trying to express myself. Why does no one understand me? I’m an intelligent human being.” And yet, I’m just being like “Donde esta el biblioteca?”, or whatever…
La biblioteca… [laughs] Yeah.
But people will work with you. Computers will just be like “Nah! Broken.”
Yeah. Well, it depends. It depends on which country and which language…
Well, some people won’t work with you either. [laughter]
But yeah, I think that’s what it comes down to. And then it takes a while to get competent. And I think the thing for me is if you’re switching so many languages, you don’t really get competent; you get good enough to get stuff done, but then half the time you’re… Yeah.
Very cool. Well, I was on the pod last year, but my only resolution is not to make resolutions, and so I succeeded once again… So we can move swiftly on Nick and Feross. You guys weren’t on the podcast. Did you have anything you were trying to accomplish in ‘22, that you set out explicitly to accomplish? And if so, did you feel like you achieved that? We’ll start with you, Nick.
I can’t remember… Was this supposed to be like tech-related, or…?
Just whatever, man.
Yeah. Well, tech-related, not to burn out. And I’ve almost – I mean, it is ’23 now, so I guess I succeeded.
Yeah, you’ve made it.
But maybe – there’s still plenty of time, potentially, if we happen to be recording earlier.
You’re gonna burn out between – well, midway through December and New Year’s?
Are you doing Advent of Code? That will surely get you then…
That’ll burn you out…
That’ll burn you out, yeah. [laughter]
I mean, you can burn out on the holidays…
I saw an amazing video, like a TikTok or something of a girl who was like showing her Advent of Code experience… Did you see that one?
Yeah, the reality… Yeah.
Yeah. And it’s her sitting down, cracking her knuckles and sitting at a computer on day one, like ready to rock, and then she’s like “Hm…” and it cuts. She’s like thinking really hard. And then she’s kind of like – it cuts again, her head’s kind of down… And then the next thing is just – it cuts to her like full-screen just playing video games. It’s like “Yeah, I’m done.” It’s beautiful. Sorry, Nick. We cut you off. Keep going.
That’s okay. That’s okay. That’s why I’m not doing Advent of Code. And I don’t think I’ve ever done it.
I haven’t either.
Yeah. But on a personal side, or I guess a fitness side, I had been going really strong into working out every single day, and keeping up trends, and things like that… And one goal that I had was to, in a healthy way, stop those trends, so that I stopped focusing on them so much… And I made it to – like, I use the Apple Watch, and I made it to 802 consecutive days of closing my rings to 1000, and 2000 calories burned, or whatever…
All three rings?
That’s the move ring, and then standing for 12 hours and working out at least – I averaged at about 105 minutes.
Right. So you closed all three rings for 800 days?
Yeah. But I helpfully stopped that, and it was like a choice. It wasn’t like I would have been devastated if it was like “I missed it.” But I went on a vacation where I was fishing in the middle of nowhere, in the middle of Canada, and I was on a boat for 12 hours. There was just no way I was going to be able to do it, and that was okay in my head. So ending that trend. And I’ve gotten right back on it, and I’m going strong still… But ending that in a non-devastating way was important, and I did it.
[14:16] That’s cool.
That’s cool, yeah. I’ve seen one of my friends just like pacing back and forth like at 11:30, trying to get the last few steps in, or like jumping up and down… And I don’t think that’s–
I don’t think that’s cool. Yeah, that’s not the point. It’s like, you’re trying to get the data to like look good, even though what you’re doing is just not what it was supposed to be.
They’re moving, they’re moving… [laughs]
Oh, yeah. And you can trick it in different ways. Like, my wife will stand there – or sit there, because she’s not standing… And she’ll just pump her arm like this; it’s to get her stand goals. She’s like “If I pump it enough, it just thinks I’m standing.” Stuff like that.
And I’m a completionist, so I was on the train of closing the rings, and what happened to me was my Apple Watch broke, and I had to either go get a new one, or be done. And like day one and two, I was like “I’ve gotta go get a new Apple Watch. I’m gonna lose everything.” And then like day three and four, I was like “Freedom…!” I was so happy not to be tracking myself anymore. I still do not have a watch to this day. It’s been like a year and a half now. And it’s just like “You know what - I don’t need that in my life, it turns out.”
I had a similar experience, but it was caused by me dropping my watch on the bathroom floor, and it landed screen side down, so it shattered… And then it was still working, I could use it, but probably 10% of the time I touched the screen, I would like cut my finger… So, I was like “Alright, it’s not worth it”, and so I just took it off… And then – I don’t know, it was so close; it was like three, four months away from the new watch coming out, and I was just like “I’m gonna just try freedom, and see how freedom feels”, and it was good.
I don’t know what that’s like. I still wear it every day.
Well, you had freedom for 12 hours, on the boat, Nick!
it’s very similar to like Jinns and Genies where they have those shackles on them
…basically, just like slavery to you… The master being Apple…
Yes… Make master happy…
My skin had turned totally like a different color under the – like, my original skin color, without any sun, like underneath it… And then even the texture of the skin had changed to be kind of like – I don’t know, it just has metal touching it for like years, and so it just somehow… It’s normal now. [laughter]
Mine’s like that. I have recently upgraded to the Apple Watch Ultra, so I can go two days without having to charge, so it’s just on me that much longer…
This raises an interesting question, right? So what are the benefits, and what are the drawbacks? And where do you find that sort of happy space? Because I got an Oura this year, and I’m enjoying it. But I also am like –
What’s an Oura?
An Oura is like a ring-based tracker. So I have this ring on my finger, and it tracks heart rate, oxygen levels, and something else.
Sleep too, no?
HRV, yeah. Heart rate variability. So it gives me good sleep data, it gives me heart rate data during exercise, it gives me calorie burn stuff… And I’m like, it’s interesting. And I think the sleep data probably was one of the big reasons I got it, and I wanted to track like how fast my heart rate came back down after workouts, and things like that. But it very easily could get into this sort of obsessiveness, and like, I’m trying to sort of watch for that, and figure out where’s the plus/minus…
The funny thing was, it told me things after I already knew it. So back before I quit my job, we had a week where there were gonna be layoffs, and there was this, and that, and like three days into it, my app associated with it was like “Hey, your heart rate has been elevated in sleep the last three days. Are you stressed out about something?” And I’m like, “You think?”
Right. “I didn’t need you to know that.”
[17:59] Exactly. I was aware of that, actually. There’s some stressful stuff going on. But I guess it does validate that it will catch that type of thing if you’re not aware.
Yeah. And the benefit for me - I speak about my freedom now, but when I first did get the watch, and the closing of the rings, I was more latent prior to that, and it motivated me to get moving, and to develop good habits… And what I found out was once I had the habits, I didn’t need the tracker anymore. And that’s why I was like “Freedom!” And I still continue to this day working out three to five times a week, habitually, without any tracking, and I’m fine. But it was motivation, and it was actually - for me, it helped me get going again. So there’s definitely value there. Divya, what were you gonna say?
No, I was gonna say it’s really similar to – I have a lot of friends who are very athletic, and they have a WHOOP, which is like the fitness tracker watch. It’s like a band, and it’s actually cloth. It’s not metal. I think there’s one piece that’s metal, that touches the skin… But it’s actually really cool, because they would use it to track their recovery rate, and it tracks a lot of – so especially if you’re trying to be stronger. A lot of them are climbers who are trying to climb stronger… And so you would be able to see data around like – because it would track your sleeping, and then from there, it would calculate your recovery… And then you can sort of look at the data and try to be better about – I don’t think it gives you tips on like what to do, but I think you basically are the one who’s like trial and erroring, like, how do you make this better… And it’s actually kind of cool, because it’s less about the focus around like tricking the system and like working with what you already care about, which I think is kind of cool. I mean, data and tracking aside, it has that sense of like you as a person care about being – like, your athleticism and your peak performance… So then it works for your needs in that way, which I think is cool.
I bet Nick has one of those as well…
I actually thought about it, about having multiple trackers… But I haven’t gone down that deep end yet, luckily…
There’s also a leaderboard, which is like – I think a lot of my buddies are like very into it. So they’re trying to be like “Who can get best recovery?” And I think one of them is like “When I sleep on the floor, my recovery is like through the roof.”
[laughs] That’s awesome.
I was like “Alright, cool…”
Those are extremists. They’re willing to go to extreme lengths in order to have extreme results.
That was the focus for me though, was like “Oh, if I just stay on the streak, it’ll form a habit.” And I surpassed that a long time ago. I didn’t need 800 days to say, “Now I’m in a habit.” But it was just fun to kind of keep it going and see where I could go. And I thought about going to 1000, or beyond that, but I was like “You know, if I just end this in a healthy way, on my own terms, it will be like a devastating thing when it accidentally happens.”
There’s an interesting psychological piece of that, which is - there’s been studies that show the most important thing for staying on an exercise routine is not the initial habit - though that’s important - it’s how do you get back on after you disrupt it.
And the danger with a mega streak like that is, if you break it accidentally, does that then demotivate you from getting back on it? Whereas in your approach, you’re like “I’m going to deliberately break this, but still keep going.” I think that’s good. I wonder if these things are as useful for helping people get back on the wagon as they are for sort of that initial streak.
I care much less about the data now. I’d still track everything, but I’m mostly doing like strength training, so I’m mostly tracking progress and how much I’m lifting, and things like that. So it’s not nearly as much about the rings as it once was.
Alright, well let’s move on to reviewing last year’s predictions. I see Feross wrote in the doc “No resolutions”, so…
I have some I could share.
I can share my actual resolutions – I know I didn’t share them on the podcast, so you’ll have to take my word for it that they were my resolutions…
No, please do. We trust you…
He created a list and then checked it off immediately… [laughter]
Just right now, on the spot…
Actually, my family, like my immediate family, my parents and my brother - we all do like a resolutions call, usually around New Year’s; like the day before or the day after.
We all talk about what we wanted to do last year, and what we want to do the year ahead… We write it down, and so we can look at it, and stuff. It’s kind of a fun tradition, I think; it’s like a chance to get in everyone’s head and see what everyone is thinking about, and what they want to do, and stuff.
So for me, the big one was - last year I hadn’t launched Socket yet, so the big one was like to finish that up and get it out into the public. And so we did that on March of the year. I knew that was gonna happen, but it was like a relief to kind of get it released. And the launch went really well, and a bunch of organizations installed it, and I think we’re protecting like 50,000 repositories right now. So it was pretty successful, I would say.
The other company-related one was to raise funding for it, so we could keep hiring people and working on it. That one also went well, thanks to the launch going well, I think. We have some pretty cool investors, including like Guillermo Rauch from Vercel, and Nat Friedman, former CEO at GitHub, Dylan Field, the founder of Figma, and a few other folks like that. So it’s a pretty good – I would say that was a success as well. We definitely had a good fundraise.
And then I think the other goals were personal ones. So I had really two personal goals. One was to train every day; like, some kind of exercise every day, which I think was probably too ambitious… But I was thinking if I do it every day, then I’ll create the habit, and it’s better than trying to pick a couple days a week, because then you’re just constantly – you’re not doing the same thing every day. So I tried – my goal was to do it every day, and I actually found that I started doing lifting, and that you just can’t do it everyday… So I’ve been doing it like one to two times per week. And it’s not quite as much as I probably should be doing it, but it’s pretty good. Like, I actually kind of have sort of a habit of doing it now, I would say. But that one definitely wasn’t a success, I guess, because I didn’t actually do it every day.
And then the last one was kind of a silly one… I just wanted to try jujitsu, because I had heard it was cool, and I wanted to just see what it was about… So I tried it, and I liked it, but I also kind of hurt my shoulder doing it… [laughter] They make you do these somersault things to warm up…
Yeah, you have to roll.
Yeah, yeah. And it’s really intense. That was not the best. But it’s a really cool sport, and I really like it, so I’m gonna try and like do it occasionally.
Very cool. Thanks for sharing.
Alright, trends and predictions from last year. Divya, you had one, which I will summarize…
Yeah, please do…
You think that we’re kind of moving away from React and Next.js. And your evidence towards that was Vercel’s hiring of Rich Harris, and kind of the rise of Svelte - this was last year… Your unplugged a bit from the JS scene, so I guess we can all kind of sound off on whether or not we feel like that’s true.
That did not happen… [laughs]
What do we think, people?
I mean, I know that Next had like a conference, and they’re really building it out a lot more, so that did not happen.
Yeah. I’ve seen some trends on Next.js’ growth, adoption growth, and it’s hockey stick kind of stuff right now. It’s like really blowing up.
Yeah. Clearly. I suck at trends.
But Svelte 1.0 made a big splash this week.
Or two weeks back, in 2022.
[25:57] So definitely a lot of excitement around Svelte, Astro… A lot of excitement around Astro… If we’re looking at non-Next.js things, Deno’s out with their fresh framework… There was definitely a lot of new frameworks entering the scene. I mean, that’s always a trend, I guess. Miško Hevery from Angular is back with a new, quick library… All of which we’ve covered on the podcast.
So there’s definitely a lot of diversity, but I definitely think that React and Next.js continued to grow and thrive in 22. So… Better luck this year.
Well, it wasn’t the worst prediction of last year. I can easily say the worst prediction of last year was Amal, and she’s not here to defend herself… [laughter] First, let me premise it by saying I don’t want to talk about Elon Musk for very long. I’m just sick of talking and thinking about and hearing about him… But Amal predicted that Vercel is going to team up with Elon Musk to create Rocket.js. So she said 2022, mark her words, there’s gonna be a Vercel and SpaceX collab.
Thankfully, it sounds like Vercel was smarter than that.
Little did you know that Elon would not be interested in SpaceX very much this year. He’s got other things on his mind. Or last year…
Like tiny blue birds…
Yep. That was interesting. Ali had a wish list and a forecast of developer tooling and developer experience becoming even more important. I think she was on point about that one. What do y’all think?
I think that happened. Like, even if you look at VC funding, it was like a ton towards developer tooling and dev ex, for sure.
Yeah, I think the rise of DX, dev ex as like a top-level buzzword or jargon - like, there’s now conferences, there’s podcasts, there’s newsletters all about developer experience, which I think is pretty new, overall.
Even insecurity - like, everyone in security and application security wants the tools that they adopt to be really developer-friendly… Because they’re worried about making the developers upset or interfering with their workflow, or slowing them down, and all that kind of stuff. So even in security, it’s actually the number one thing, is like “How do we not annoy our developers?”
For me personally, this is the trend that I saw as I moved into a developer tooling/experience role focused internally within the company, just making tools better… And that’s been going really well, and it’s a lot of fun.
So good job, Ali. Drilled that one.
Now, Chris and I teamed up for what was probably the best call of last year, if I do say so… Which is that Christopher Hiller, b0neskull, said he has a wishlist item. He says, “I kind of don’t want to mention it… It involves the something-chain, and I don’t want to mention the third version of the thing.” You know, the third version of the thing he doesn’t want to mention. But he really just wishes it would go away. And I followed that up to say, “I think we’re gonna see our next bubble burst, specifically around NFTs.”
December of last year was pretty much the top. I think November – you know, global markets, but I can’t remember when the crypto markets themselves went… But if we track the highs of the US stock market, November was the top. That podcast was recorded in December, and I think January was when things started to kind of show their weakness; crypto markets ever since then, February… I mean, it just keeps getting worse now. FTX, of course, causing another rash of value just gone… And I don’t think we’re done. There’s talks of Binance being the next potentially dangerous place to hold your cryptos… It’s bad out there, y’all.
Yeah, contagion is hitting. Everybody was invested in everybody’s stuff; when one goes down, it puts holes in the other one’s balance sheets… Has anyone heard from Mikeal Rogers recently? Wasn’t he like huge in NFT stuff?
I just spoke with Mikeal a couple of weeks back; I can’t remember when it was. He’s very much working on protocols, decentralized protocols, Web3.storage, I think, he’s still into that… Still bullish on the technology.
[30:08] He was always very pragmatic about his approach to Web 3.
Yes. He was always focused on the tech, was my experience with Mikeal. I think he still is. Feross, you’re friends with Mikeal…
Yeah. I mean, he’s really into the protocols, and into the true vision of decentralization, and like making that happen with new primitives, and like building new stuff… So I’m sure this isn’t good for protocol apps. You know, the market’s down, and everyone is skeptical… But I think he’s just thinking about it longer-term than that, so it’s not gonna stop what he’s doing.
Right. Whenever you talk to or read from the real builders, the ones who are there for principles and for technology and not for gains, and ponzis, and like quick things - which many people just come for that - they like the down markets, because all of the hype and all of the noise and all the scammers kind of just go away, and they can just put their head down and build cool stuff… Which is what they were doing the whole time anyways. But all of this stuff surrounded them. And so they tend to like times like this, because they say “Okay, we can just quit explaining it to everybody, quit talking about it, and we can build, build, build”, and eventually, show us to the Promised Land.
It’s getting to the point now for me where it’s like – I remember when we first had Gavin Woods on the Changelog talking about Ethereum, and I asked him “Where’s the application?” And I’m still waiting for the killer app; and we had ICOs, and we had NF Ts, and neither of those had been killer enough. So it’s like, “When’s it gonna hit?” Is it gonna be the Twitter replacement? Well, it seems like we’re going federated for that, not full blockchain for that. All those people trying to do it, but… I don’t know. I’m still waiting for real-world, “How’s this gonna make my life better?”
I totally agree with what you’re saying, Jerod. I feel like the whole crypto space has been a little disappointing. There was like all this really cool decentralization work happening before the ICO craze started; there was – I’m gonna shout out some of my friends here, but I feel like the Dat Project, Mathias Buus, Chris and Kelby, and Paul Frazee, and all the people building that… The Secure Scuttlebutt project, with Dominic Tarr, and a whole cool community there… And then I’ll throw WebTorrent in there, too; I thought it was pretty cool.
So basically, there was all this stuff that was actually working, right? It worked, it actually did what it said it was supposed to do, it worked. It had almost no – or literally no financial backing behind it, and yet, we shipped stuff that worked. And then this whole crypto thing kind of took the air out of the room, and everybody started throwing money at it, and for several years I kept wondering “Okay, when is this stuff gonna actually start to work, and do what it says it’s supposed to do?” And it took a really long time for that to start materializing.
And then now, if you kind of look at “Okay, what has all this accomplished?” I mean, there’s definitely real stuff happening, and I don’t want to be totally cynical about it… There’s definitely good people doing real computer science, and like making new stuff. But overall, I kind of just feel like the whole thing is so self-referential. If you ask people “Okay, what does your project do? What does this company do? What does this product do?”, it’s always like “Oh, well it connects this chain to this other chain.” And then it’s like “Okay, cool, that seems useful”, but then you go and ask those two chains, “Okay, what do you guys do?” and then it’s like “Well, we connect this thing to this other thing.” And it’s like, at what point does it terminate with actually doing something useful, right? It’s just a little bit too self-referential and too circular, and there’s only a couple of use cases that I can think of that are actually real.
I don’t know, it’s just – my hope for this whole thing is that it ends up actually doing useful things for real people at some point. That’s the real letdown for me so far.
[34:07] Yeah. And you just wonder, like, how long do we have to wait? Because for a long time, it’s like “Well, it’s young technology.” And now it’s like “Well, it’s like 15 years old.” I don’t know, eventually it should manifest… And it has in small ways. I mean, DAOs are interesting. Like, the fact that you can do that is interesting. It never could be done before. But it hasn’t really shown much value for many people. It’s not like the web, which is what the comparison always is, which obviously was like hugely valuable to a global audience, and has provided a lot of people –
I’m gonna pick a bone with “never could have been done before.”
Yeah. What does that do that a co-op doesn’t do?
You don’t have to be with people and know them. I mean, a co-op is like “Here we are. We’re gonna go down to the warehouse and I’ll decide on some stuff.”
Do any DAOs where you don’t actually interact with the people function? Because the key problem with DAOs is like you’re trying to coordinate humans. So you need human interaction there. The purely technical ones that I’ve seen fall flat on their face. They end up fighting, or being co-opted… Like, they’re not working.
Well, what about the one that bought the US Constitution? Like, that achieved its goal, and I could get involved in that and not have to know or talk to the people. I could be part of that from afar.
Wait, did it? I thought it lost.
I think it did not buy it, and then all the money disappeared because of crypto fees.
The gas fees, yeah.
Yeah. If they didn’t have to pay the gas fees, they would have won. But they had so much to pay in gas fees that they lost.
Right. This could have worked relatively straightforwardly had they tried to organize people via, I don’t know, a bank account, or something, where the fees are minimal.
Right. I think gathering the money into a bank account globally is still today very difficult and slow. But they failed, I guess, so… Bad example. Was there one that worked? That’s the one that came to mind…
There was a DAO store that was near my house. There’s a storefront that’s been saying “This store is owned by a DAO. Go here to be part of it.” And it was just like an empty store for a whole year, and then now it’s like a real shop that took over. So nothing happened – I don’t know, I just kept walking past that every day, and I was like “Cool. There’s like a DAO store. Okay, what are they going to do with this DAO store?” And then, I don’t know, it’s not even – like, a retail store business isn’t even like the best business to get into. why would you want to own like a store, and then have to manage it through – anyway…
What a world we live in…
I’m picking on them a little too much, because it’s hard to do new things, and I don’t want to be a hater… But yeah, it was kind of funny.
The thing here - and this is a little bit of a hobbyhorse for me… But there are technical problems in this world, and there are human problems in this world. And it’s really hard or possibly impossible to solve human problems like coordinating a set of humans without involving humans in the solution, right? Like, if you try to do this entirely via technical solutions, and try to avoid having to talk to people, it’s not going to work very well. Software as law, or whatever… Or what is it - code as law, these sorts of things, they don’t work very well, because humans are error-prone, code is buggy, situations change. You need the flexibility of humanity involved to solve human problems.
Yeah, fair enough.
Sometimes there’s stuff that you just want a machine to do, though, or I could see it being useful… Like, knowing that if I’m interacting with a smart contract, and it’s going to do what the code says, and there’s no risk that that person will not keep up their end of the bargain - that can be kind of useful. The other part of that that’s cool to me is that it’s like it is actually kind of like a new computer science primitive, in a sense; like, you have this new thing that you can do, that wasn’t possible before… I just would like to see people doing more interesting things with it.
[38:05] And I think the part where it seems to fall down today is related to what you’re saying, Kball, which is anytime it needs to touch the real world… Like this DAO store, for example - probably it was coordinated through a contract, and there were these rules and stuff, but at the end of the day, somebody has to go and like make the store work; open the store up. And then at that point, you’re just sort of - like, what are they doing? There’s no way to validate that they’re doing – as soon as it connects to the real world, it just falls apart, right? There’s no way to make sure that that happens, and that all involves like trust, and humans, and stuff like that. And so yeah, that’s the problem I see.
Or conditions change, right? We set up a contract under one base of assumption… I mean, you’re doing a startup, right? How often have you changed your understanding of the problem and had to update your software?
Yeah, pretty common. Pretty frequent.
If there’s no mechanism for changing, for example, a smart contract, because conditions have changed - like, what use is this situation, right? And in the non-software-as-law world - recourse, you end up going to court, you end up doing whatever, and interacting with humans who can look at a situation and say, “Oh yes, here are these things that we didn’t account for, and yes, we need to deal with that, and here’s the mechanisms we have for doing that.” And that whole ecosystem of discretion, of “We’re actually trying to do something real here, and we acknowledge that the world is variable and unpredictable, and we have frameworks for dealing with that” doesn’t exist in this world.
I mean, I’m not the most up on this stuff. We should bring Mikeal on and talk about it. I think he would probably say that there are a bunch of cases where you don’t want discretion; like, where you just want to know that it’s gonna happen in a certain way. But I’ll defer to him to make that argument, since I’m not really from the crypto world, I would say. I’m more of the OG decentralization…
Which - decentralization is phenomenal, don’t get me wrong on that. I do like the idea of decentralized organizations. But they should take into account the fact that they’re organizations for human beings, and try to work that way.
Yeah. With BitTorrent stuff, I was always like – I loved that it was just people deciding to contribute their bandwidth and just be part of it… So when the crypto stuff started happening, there were all these people that would say, “Wouldn’t it be cool if you could pay a fraction of a cent for every megabyte that you’re getting from the peers in the system? Wouldn’t it be cool if we could pay people for their bandwidth, and stuff?” And I was like “Actually, it’s kind of cool that everyone just shows up here in BitTorrent land and just kind of shares with each other… And I didn’t get the fascination with that myself. I was like “It’s actually cool that we have this social system that people just share”, and I don’t think it’s actually an improvement to financialize it in any way. But yeah, that was just me, I think, because a lot of people were really excited by that.
And do you think that’s cool? I think you have a lot of situations where people don’t share, and so there’s less content, less value, and so if there was a financial reason to share… So I have seeded torrents before, and then eventually I’m like “I’m gonna turn it off now.” Or I find ones where it’s like there aren’t any. Like, here’s the contents [unintelligible 00:41:11.16] tracker. I don’t know how it works, Feross. You do. There’s a tracker for this thing, and there was people doing it, and no one’s doing it anymore. And I’m like “Well, that sucks. I can’t download it.” And it would be cool if that thing was still out there, and maybe if somebody was making money for seeding or whatever, then it would still be out there. So I think there’s some value there, but I definitely understand and agree with you that people just out of the goodness of their hearts share stuff, because they received some value from somebody else, and so they’re going to also allow you to download it from them for a while. It is cool, and it is maybe as cool, and maybe cooler in certain ways, but then maybe not as cool in other ways.
There’s also a startup called Temporal.
There is, so that’s a little confusing… But this is the in-browser API replacing the need for Moment.js, and date functions, and all the things, because they’re gonna just have cool date and time facilities inside the browser, which is something that’s desperately needed. I think it was Amal was hoping, wishlist, that Temporal would be more usable. Am I right? Is it still completely unusable?
As far as I know…
No one knows. Divya’s been writing go code. Nick?
CanIuse.com says that it is not supported across the board.
Okay, so maybe that’ll be a prediction for next year, or a wishlist item.
Let’s move now to ‘23 and looking forward, and talk about what we hope happens, what we think will happen, ideas, bold predictions, complete guesses… Where do we see things heading? I think TypeScript is going to finally disappear this year… Just kidding. Let’s go to Kball. What have you got? 2023.
Yeah… So my prediction, which makes me really sad, is I predict that Twitter’s gonna go into bankruptcy. I don’t think it’s necessarily going to be a massive tech failure; early on into the Elon massacre and laying off of everyone, everyone’s was like “Oh, the system’s going to completely fall apart.” It hasn’t yet. There’s a lot of holes around the edges. I don’t know. But I think their ability to save it - they’ve completely torched their advertising base; mostly Elon has completely torched their advertising base, because nobody wants to get close to that dumpster fire. And they’re on a crash course for tons of lawsuits; lawsuits in the EU around how they were trying to lay people off against the local laws, lawsuits around privacy, and all these different things. They’re trying to get away from employee contracts in California, there’s going to be lawsuits here, and there… The dude is like “Oh, nobody can constrain me”, and he’s going to find out that actually, governments do have a lot of say on different things, and you can be fined a heck ton of money… And they don’t have that much money. So I think they’re gonna go bankrupt. It’s anyone’s guess as to what’s going to happen after that point.
[46:14] I mean, I loved Twitter as a service, I still am on it, despite all of the different things… I do think it’s gotten a lot worse in the last few months; there’s a lot more trolling… I got like porn images in threads that I have never seen that… They used to actually have reasonable content moderation; it was not great, but that all got laid off I think, too.
So I guess my ideal outcome would be it goes bankrupt, they sell the service to somebody who actually gives an F about it… Because it’s not clear that Elon does, other than just like stroking his own ego.
I haven’t had the personal experience that you’ve had with the service. Everything seems to work okay. I haven’t seen any porn or weirdness. For me, content-wise, I’m just sick of everybody talking about Twitter all the time on Twitter.
It’s this self-referential thing that Feross was talking about with crypto; it’s now hit Twitter, too.
Yeah, it kind of is. It’s just like, I’m just so – and I know it’s just on our minds because it’s like such a big… And you know, in the tech industry and for us – I mean, I’ve been on Twitter since 2009. That’s a large portion of my adult life, and it’s not like it was great up until now, and now it’s terrible. I’ve disliked it for lots of different reasons over different times. It’s just so navel-gazing right now. And one person described it as like Twitter has an MC now; like Elon is the MC of Twitter. He kind of dictates the topic of conversation. And I think that’s kind of true. And I don’t like it, because I don’t want to talk about this stuff…
He’s a really bad MC…
No, he’s achieving his goal, because the derisiveness is what gets people to look at it. I mean, it’s why none of us are on Facebook, or talking about going to Facebook, because they capitalized on hatred, and – not necessarily hatred, but just like getting everyone angry about something. And he’s trying to do the same thing at Twitter, and he’s succeeding, and it’s making it a terrible place… And tech Twitter is not a happy place anymore, because it is all self-referential… And that’s the big problem. But I think that he thinks he’s winning by being the villain of the day, every day.
So you think it’s gonna go bankrupt in ’23?
Like Kball, I’ve had a lot of good moments on Twitter, I’ve gotten jobs through Twitter, I’ve had a lot of connections through Twitter… I think that it’s probably been dead for a while though, and we’re just like seeing it now, without the facade of what it used to be. I’ve been on since 2007. Not to one-up you there…
Oh man, you’re cool, Nick…
[laughs] I don’t know, it’s sad, but at the same time, I still have an account there. I occasionally go look at it, but I’m not really posting anymore, and it’s not like I feel like something’s missing. And I’m not filling it with Mastodon either. I’m spending a few minutes today looking at that, too. It’s not really like there’s a hole that I need to fill with something now. It’s just like “Yeah, it’s not there, and that’s okay.” And that’s how I’ve felt about it… Which is surprising to me, because before I would have said that I’m addicted to Twitter.
Right. Any other thoughts or reactions to Kball’s prediction?
I feel like my experience has been very similar to Kball’s, that like every day I get mentioned – so mine is not like Kball’s. Mine is just NFT threads. I just get added to a bunch of NFT threads constantly.
It’ss every day at this point. And then I have to basically leave conversation and block. So at this point, I don’t actually get any engagement, besides that, like, all my Twitter alerts is that, and it’s very frustrating, because there’s just like no way around it. It just is.
Yeah… The engagement is at an all-time low. I talked about this on some other show, but… Go Time does those unpopular opinion polls, and we post the polls on Twitter. We always have. We put the opinion out, and then the poll as the second tweet on the thread. And now Go Time’s on Mastodon, so we are on changelog.social, and so now I’m just posting to both places when we do those threads. And Go Time’s Macedon has 1/40 of the followers, and they get more votes on the polls. 10,000 people follow Go Time on Twitter, and we get 20 votes on the polls. And these are like people who are ostensibly interested in having conversations around these topics… There’s just no – no one’s there, actually. That’s what I’ve noticed on Twitter. Feross, you were gonna respond…
[50:33] Oh, I mean, I guess I agree with a lot of the feelings about how Twitter’s a little bit less fun to use, and folks aren’t using it as much… I’ve definitely seen that, too. I would take the opposite side of that bet though, that they’ll be bankrupt next year. I feel like the advertisers will – I mean, I could be wrong on this, but I feel like they’ll probably come back. I mean, I think with all the layoffs, they’re probably profitable at this point, so that might give them a lot of time.
Yeah, it’s a skeleton crew.
I think Kball’s point about the fines - like, if they actually start getting sued successfully for large sums, that could be problematic. And the question is, how long is it going to self-fund stuff? And he’s selling off a lot of his reserves at this point. I don’t know, Tesla’s stock way down…
I don’t know why he wanted to step into this whole social area… Because if you think about all the social networks just always get hauled in front of Congress, and you just have this – like, everybody hates you as soon as you are running one of these things, because you can’t make anybody happy… Both sides think that you’re censoring them, or you’re not censoring, or whatever… It’s just like a huge – I’m just surprised why anyone would just subject themselves to that whole thing…
And he’s been leaning into it. Like, it’s an impressive level of self-immolation.
Well, I think it was like bravado, and then he actually got stuck buying it, and suddenly he’s like “Well, if I’m gonna buy it, I’m gonna go all-in on it.” I don’t think he actually wanted to. I think he wanted to act like he was going to, and then not. And then he had to, because the way he stated the contract was like he didn’t have to do any due diligence… Remember, he waved due diligence on the contract. And so I think he was like “Well, I’m buying it, so now I’m gonna do it the best I can.” Anyways, I didn’t wanna talk about Elon Musk too long today… So let’s move to our next prediction.
Well, I’m glad Feross took the other side of the bet, though. What should we wager?
That means you both have to be on next year as well.
I was gonna say, bragging rights at next year’s New Year’s show?
I think Nick’s with you on that one, Kball. I’m gonna go with Feross. I’m gonna say no bankruptcy in ‘23. And I will wager Feross’ Apple Watch. [laughter]
The Shattered one?
Yeah, the shattered one.
I think it’s important talking about this though briefly, as brief as possible, just because tech Twitter has been such a big thing. Like, that’s where you go to hear about things, like all of the big frameworks and everything, and all of the tech people that are the Rich Harris’es, and the – everyone’s on there talking, and you get like a live feed into their stuff, and then you can reply to them, and they reply back. And there’s a good dialogue that has been there for so long. So that’s why it’s like so important to us… Whereas otherwise, it’s just like this meddling social network that nobody uses outside of tech and politics, really. And I think that it doesn’t matter if it’s bankrupt or not, because I think that they’ve lost – they’re going to lose that. I don’t think that it’s going to be the place for tech anymore…
And so you can make that bet, and next year that will be the first time we talk about it in six months, because we’re just off of it, and somewhere else, would be my prediction.
I guess I would still take the opposite bet there. I haven’t spent that much time on Twitter recently, so I don’t know how much things have changed. Maybe they’ve changed more than I expect, but I feel like Twitter will still be where tech happens. I don’t feel like Mastodon is gonna take off.
I don’t think it’s gonna be Mastodon.
Here’s my wishlist item, okay? Every developer goes out, registers a domain name that they own, use their name, use their handle, call it whatever they want. They publish their thoughts on said domain, and they provide an RSS feed for everybody else to subscribe. [laughter]
What if we wrote on our own websites, and just like did the web?
[54:18] Old school tech.
That’s honestly the best.
Let’s do it.
Who here still uses an RSS reader and reads it daily?
Okay. Awesome. Me.
All of us.
That is cool.
Let’s use Pocket, and everything goes through.
Okay. So it’s feasible.
I use Reeder. It’s great.
Well, that’s heartening for me, to know that all of us are doing that… Hopefully, all of our listeners are doing that as well and everybody gets doing that, and we can just talk to each other from our own websites, and we can use all the cool new web technologies, like web mentions, and stuff… I don’t know how all that stuff works, but we can try it. We can talk about that - what works, what doesn’t… Let’s go old-school, back before we centralized all of our thoughts on other people’s websites.
Okay, moving forward now… Divya, forecast.
This year was basically the return SQLite, because everyone was using SQLite.
Fly basically acquired Litestream, or like we basically adopted it. It was like an acquihire situation, and so now we support SQLite. And then there’s like a lot of other companies that are doing similarly… I think – is Cloudflare’s D1 SQLite? I think it is.
They have a SQLite-based service. I’m not sure if it’s that one, but they do.
Yeah, so they released – they had like a KV for workers. I think it was like R2, or whatever term they used.
That’s their S3 alternative.
Their S3 version…
And then recently – I only know this because I’m friends with Rita, and I went to a meetup in Singapore, and she talked about it. But… So D1 is like their SQLite offering that’s sort of different than R2, because R2 is KV, and then D1 is SQLite. So yeah, and there’s a lot of other companies that are sort of offering very similar, and like moving in that direction, which I think is really cool and interesting… And it’s also kind of filling this gap, because right now it’s like everyone – I don’t remember if last year we talked about… We probably did, like, talked about edge… Because I’m pretty sure every time I’m on the podcast I’m like talking about edge.
Yeah, I think we did.
And so the thing was edge is like now you have the issue of like your data being co-opted alongside your apps, which is always like an issue… And SQLite sort of is really nice for distributed systems in that way, because you’re embedding data directly onto the hardware, essentially, at a high level… And so yeah, it’s kind of cool to see that, similar to our going back to RSS feeds… There’s like a cycle, and I think we’re seeing this cycle and this return back to – I guess I would call it an old-school technology, even though it still works today. And I think it will continue.
Relational databases are back, baby.
Yeah, exactly. It’s back. And people are building companies on top of it. Like, you have Planet Scale, and you have Supabase… I mean, Supabase is obviously not SQLite, it’s Firebase-style, I think…
Yeah, Postgres. So yeah, you just see a lot of these, which I think is gonna continue into next year.
They’re back, and they’re better than ever.
And a lot of cool stuff with SQLite in the browser via Wasm, versus what it used to be, which was like via Absurd SQL, which was a crazy, absurd library, that had multiple layers on top of IndexDB. So very cool stuff; SQLite folks are putting work in to – I wouldn’t say modernize, but like add new ways of using it, that didn’t previously exist. Alright, let’s go to Feross. Forecast for us. What’s going to happen this year?
[58:00] So I have two predictions for 2023. So the first is - and this is really just kind of the continuation of a trend… I guess both of mine are really like continuations of trends that are already happening, I think. The first is that all the biggest open source projects seem to be backed by companies these days. I have mixed feelings about that, because I love independent open source, published by just like random individuals, just doing it out of the love… But it’s kind of unavoidable. If you look around at all the projects that we use, they’re usually all backed by companies, and that’s actually kind of a good thing in some ways, because they get a lot of support, and they get a lot of money and stuff put into documentation, and all this other stuff… So yeah, I just think about the stuff I use… I mean, Next.js, React, VS Code - all that stuff has big companies behind it, and so I just predict that trend will continue.
The other prediction is - if you look at 2022, there was several headline-grabbing supply chain attacks involving npm packages… The two big ones that come to my mind are Colors.js, where the maintainer sabotaged the code, decided he wanted to kind of put like infinite loops, and weird print statements and stuff into his package, and that affected a whole bunch of folks. And then the other one was the peacenotwar package, where the maintainer of that wanted to protest the war, and did that by deleting people’s hard drives if their IP address appeared to be coming from Russia. And so those are the ones that stuck in my mind.
So I just predict there’s going to be more of this stuff. I know that npm has done some good stuff on the security side with mandating 2FA for popular packages, and stuff like that, but I just feel like there’s still so many ways that the maintainer themselves can go rogue, sabotage their code, or can add a new maintainer who turns out to be an attacker in disguise, or just biding their time, and then they turn evil at some point… So I just feel like despite the progress we’ve made, 2023 is going to have several more of these headline-grabbing attacks in packages with millions of downloads. Yeah, just stay on the alert, and do what you can to avoid it.
Well said. We will see, we will see if you are right this time next year. Nick, do you have any wishlist items or predictions for ’23?
And then almost at the same level, I guess, we have npm, we have Pnpm, we have yarn… And Pnpm is a joy to use, and I think that it will also bolster probably npm, and make it much more of a joy to use. But they’ve added a lot of good features, too. I don’t know how recent the Workspaces stuff is, but the Workspaces stuff in npm is fantastic. It’s really good in Pnpm too, and the competition is going that layer deeper and pushing everything forward, which I’m really excited about. And I think that the ability to use most npm packages within Deno really makes it a bigger contender, too.
I agree with that one. Okay, so real quick for me… I’m going to go in the AI space, and I’m going to predict a change. So we’ve had different winters and summers of AI. We’re in a bit of a summer right now; we’ve had a lot of big, ground-shaking things, from Stable Diffusion, to ChatGPT… A lot of excitement, and we’ve seen some real-world uses, GitHub Copilot etc. I think we’re going to continue to see that trend for probably like the next three to six months, and then I think we’re going to hit a plateau again, and we’re going to have – like, GPT-4 is going to come out, and it will be slightly better, but we’ve already kind of seen what it can do… Stable Diffusion too already was – people were like “Um, it’s better in certain ways, but it’s not like mind-blowingly better. In fact, in other ways, it makes worse images.” And then people were like “Well, how do you define better and worse? We’re getting subjective.”
[01:02:07.25] But I think that we’re gonna see some of this, because we’re riding the wave right now. I think halfway through the year I think we’re gonna have a plateau, people are gonna stop talking about it. You’ll see more of the same; you’re not going to see like a new, ground-shaking thing in the second half of ‘23. And I think we’re still gonna be writing our own code at this time next year. I think we’re going to have help, but we’re not going to be replaced yet. That’s my prediction.
And also, my wish list - because I don’t want to be replaced. I want to continue to provide value, for a little while, at least, until I retire… What age do you retire these days? Does anybody retire still? Do we get to do that? I don’t know.
Not in this economy…
It used to be you put in your time, and then you got a pension or something, and then they took care of you.
Yeah, not in this economy.
I think the idea that we’re going to be replaced misunderstands most of software development, because code generation is great for the first 10% of writing software… But so much is like maintenance, and all these other different pieces, and it’s not clear to me that cogeneration is going to help you create a maintainable system.
Right. Maybe downsized is a better term. So maybe two people can do the job of ten, because they have so much aid. And so less of us are required. But I think there’s always gonna be more software needs as it continues to eat the world… And so there’ll be more people required. Yeah, I mostly just speak tongue-in-cheek a little bit about being completely replaced… But, I mean, look at a lot of artists out there. I mean, at this point they were like “We’re the creatives. We’re gonna be the last ones to be replaced.” And man, Stable Diffusion and Midjourney and these things - they’re getting pretty good. They’re still going to be times where you need to have a digital artist draft something from scratch, but for a lot of use cases, I guess they’re already kind of commoditized.
Well, a lot of the AI pulls from existing artwork as a source, so technically –
Yeah, so there’s that.
…they need that as a source. It’s not drawing from nothing.
Well, eventually, the thing eats its own tail, you know?
That’s fair, yeah.
I mean, you can take ChatGPT’s output and feed it back into it. That’s kind of freaky, but you can do it. This is actually a problem going forward for StabilityAI and the people doing these large image models, is that they won’t be able to differentiate original works from their own created works. And so how do you even not take your own input as you retrain the model? Anyways…
This is where society gets fixed in time, basically. They’re only going to be able to use stuff, images to train on that were before like 2020. And so human culture will not evolve. This is not my prediction. [laughter]
It sounded pretty good…
I’m just speaking out my thoughts…
Human culture will not evolve.
It will be basically just iterations of 2020 forever. [laughs]
Right. So one thing that’s cool about our transcripts, and the fact that we’ve been doing them for a few years now, is they’re a part of these models. Like, our words on JS Party as they’ve been transcribed and then sucked in as input to GPT-3, and 4, and so on - we are part of the hive mind now. Like, your words are in there.
Oh, I wonder if you can ask ChatGPT to explain something like Jerod would, or like Nick Nisi would.
I’ve tried, and it outputs something… It doesn’t look like what I’ve said, but it doesn’t just tell me “I can’t do that. I don’t know who that is.” So there’s hope there, I guess, maybe…
Like “Sorry, Nick, you don’t talk enough on the show.”
Specifically, it doesn’t come up and say, “Ahoy-hoy” as the first thing.
Ah…! Worthless, worthless. We will not be replaced anytime soon, I think that’s fair to say. If we can get “Ahoy-hoy” semantically associated with the term Nick Nisi, then I don’t know what it’s doing.
[01:05:57.20] Alright, let’s do resolutions, rapid style. If you’ve got one or two, and you want to put them on the record, so we can test you next year, please shout them out. Kball, you’ve written something. Please, go ahead.
Yeah. So I quit my job beginning of this month. I’ve been jobless/funemployed for two weeks now, about, and my resolution for this year is to have a sustainable income without needing a job. So some amount of consulting, some amount of coaching, training, doing a bunch of stuff in that space, a lot of publishing of different sorts, I’ll be podcasting… Expect to hear me on JS Party… All these different things, but my resolution is sustainable income, not losing money.
Awesome. Yeah, congrats on solo, free once again… And definitely hope you succeed at those goals. Divya, do you got one?
I think mine is… I feel like the last – not last year, because last year, I was… I’m not gonna put this as a goal. But the last few years it was “I want to write more”, and I feel like that’s a constant with me… But I think instead of saying writing, I think what I want is to be able to consolidate what I know into a shareable form. I don’t know what that looks like. Either give a talk, maybe… I haven’t given a talk in a really long time, because I basically got burnt out from doing that in 2019. And then 2020 it was – video conferences are horrible, and I hated them. But I think it would be really cool, because what I’m learning and what I’m working on is really interesting, and I haven’t felt confident enough to explain it to somebody else, because I don’t feel like I know what I’m doing half the time. I’m just like “I think I have a general idea of this.” I can explain gRPC maybe, but it’s just, I want to get better at doing that. And I think it would be really cool, because I think what I’m doing is – I have this whole rant that I sometimes go on about how what I’m doing is not hard, it’s just more difficult to get the knowledge.
When you work in web, and you do frontend, backend, full stack, and anything in that domain, there’s so much information and resources around how to get stuff done, how to do things, the concepts… And so it’s really much more straightforward to understand and grasp things, and then gain competency. But I think when it comes to platform engineering, the information is so disconnected, and there is no real entry into it; it’s like, you kind of just get thrown in the deep end, and it’s really frustrating. That’s been my experience.
And I think more people are going to be working on this, honestly, because we have more database companies, and we have more people who are interested in working on edge technology. So this is gonna be a thing. So I think it’s possible for this to be learned, and it will be cool for me to share what I know. I just don’t know how to do that, and I don’t feel confident. But maybe next year I will gain some clarity.
This year I fulfilled my goal of coming out of my comfort zone. The corollary to that meant that I’m outside my comfort zone, but I just cannot tell you where exactly I am, because I’m just in a blur constantly…
You’re too comfortable, yeah.
Yeah. So next year maybe more comfort, and in that comfort comes the distillation and the “Here, this is what I learned, and this is what you can take away from it maybe.” or maybe it’ll just be a journal entry for myself.
There you go.
Because the only people who will read it is you all, from the RSS feeds…
[laughs] Your four RSS subscribers, who are your fellow JS Party panelists?
Awesome. Feross, how about yourself? Have you put thought into this yet? I know you do this with your family, but time warps…
[01:09:59.02] I’m currently asking ChatGPT what I should do in 2023.
Okay, we’ll loop back to you. Nick, what have you got?
I’m doing the same.
Oh, gosh… [laughter]
Oh, let’s see; it’s typing right now. “I predict that the use of TypeScript will continue to rise as more developers recognize the benefits of static typing and improved code organization…”
Lame… That is something you would say.
It is… [laughter] I’ll put it all in the show notes, I suppose. But I think that my resolution for next year is to – I got a little bit of a taste of conferences this last year. I went to Amsterdam, that was a lot of fun… I applied to two conferences, got accepted to two, and then backed out of one, for reasons… But I consider that two for two, which I’m excited about. I want to speak at more conferences. I want to do more of the fun stuff that I like, and less of the stuff that I don’t like doing, like work… And I want to not be completely burned out next year, at this time.
Okay. We’ll check it on you next year at this time. Feross, has ChatGPT given us your resolutions?
That was cool to know. But no, it hasn’t helped me with my resolutions. My resolutions are - I want to build and release something that uses GPT-3 or some large language model, just because I think it would be cool to learn more about them. I think there’s – it’s pretty rare that a new technology comes out that feels exciting and magical, and that I don’t fully understand; that feeling is pretty cool, and I think it’s something that I want to follow that feeling and see what can be done with this stuff, just because it’s like… Who knows, who knows what you can do with this? So I want to play with that, and release something.
And then the other goal is - and I tried really hard to not put only company goals on here, because this company can be very all-consuming… But the one thing I am really excited for is to have multiple language support on Socket. So to add like Python, and Go, and just a bunch of other ones… So that’s something we’re going to do in the new year, and I’m really excited for that.
Yeah, man, that will be huge. That will be huge.
Very good. Well, I’m resolute in my refusal to make resolutions, and so I will continue to succeed, I will continue to win by not playing the game, which is the same way I win all of our debate episodes, is by not participating. So I will not be participating in this year’s resolutions, but I will definitely listen to this episode next year and hold all y’all’s feet to the fire, and see how you did. Now, I have to close, because I have to go, but we’ll have a special ending today. This is DJ Jay-Rod, live from JS Party.
I haven’t tested my soundboard yet. Let me make sure it’s working. [His beloved TypeScript.] Could you hear that? [laughter] That’s Nick’s beloved TypeScript. Yeah, that’s Amal; she got on the soundboard recently. This is her best clip of all times… [Your mind is a powerful weapon, Jerod.] That’s the best one.
[laughs] So you just play that as the motivational anecdote? [laughter]
When I’m feeling down, and need a quick win, I’m just like… [Your mind is a powerful weapon, Jerod] Yeah! It is! You’re right! I should have BMC make a song out of that…
Make something motivational, like Rocky…
Did you upload your new song that you –
I have it in here. I figured we play it as the outro maybe, at the end of the show. That might be kind of a cool way to end. Yes… The struggle with it - and Feross, for context, and Divya, I’m not sure if you were there that day, is that…
I don’t think I was.
So we won the Jammy. Did you guys see that? We did win the Jammy Award.
Yeah, I saw you post it.
Yeah. So as part of that, they had me record some reaction videos. And they had all of the people record videos, the three parties that were up for it. And you had to record in case you won, and then in case you lost… Like, they had all these different scenarios. And so I spent way too long on these stupid little videos. I’m like “This is ridiculous.” But I did it for them, for the love of the game. And then I just – they played them live at JAMstack Conf, but nobody else was there, so I never got to see them up there…
I was at JAMstack, but I didn’t –
Did you see it?!
No, I missed that day. That Jammies day I wasn’t there.
So anyways, I had these videos on my hard drive, so I was like “Well, I’ll put them in the JS Party Slack channel, just for the lols.” And one of them was – there’s two versions of me reacting to me winning, just being silly… And Thomas Eckhart in our chat was like “You should get a Breakmaster Cylinder to remix this into a song.” And I was like “Don’t tempt me…” And then I got tempted, and I’m like “Hey, BMC, can you turn this into a song?” And so they did, and we have the song. It’s like a 30-second DJ Jay-Rod, which is what they called it…
So that’s what Kball’s referring to. It’s pretty funny.
It’s pretty cool. It’s funnier if you’ve seen the video, though… That’s the only problem with it. If you haven’t seen it, you’re just like “Wow, Jerod’s weird.” If you’ve seen the video, you’re like “Well, Jerod’s weird, but he had a reason why he was doing this.”
[laughs] I was gonna say, the videos don’t change that…
[laughs] Fair enough. Fair enough. My kids love it though.
It’s like that episode where we did the song lyrics sneakily in every different part… And everyone was like “What? Why are they acting so weird? Why are they just saying random words?”
That episode made me so happy.
To this day, the best – I think the apex of JS Party to this day was that.
I don’t know, I think Nick Nisi’s children’s story explaining React Hooks…
Oh, yeah… Monad’s Hook?
That was up there, too. Monad’s hook.
Nick’s definitely involved in some of our most glorious moments… Alright, let’s start the show. So we’re gonna start it with a countdown now… So I’ll count down, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, and on one, we’re all gonna say “Happy New Year’s!” and then that will be the beginning of the show. Sound good?
5… 4… 3… 2… 1…
Our transcripts are open source on GitHub. Improvements are welcome. 💚