Bookmarked Blockchain’s real world problem by Ryan BarrettRyan Barrett (

Blockchain and smart contracts are truly groundbreaking advances. They fascinate me. I hope they mature and succeed. However, we had to trust people before blockchain, in all sorts of ways, and we still do now. It’s the basis of modern civilization. This is a good thing, not a bad thing. Let’s remember that.

Ryan Barrett reflects upon the the potential of the blockchain and the importance of human trust.

Next time you hear someone say they’ve taken a real world problem and solved it by putting it on the blockchain, ask them how. How do they authenticate the data? How do they vet the systems that do that authentication? How does the data get onto the blockchain? The more guarantees they make, the more they’ll depend on off-chain tools, procedures, organizations, and people. Always people. Verisart punted on many of these problems, as did most of its cousins, but that didn’t make them go away.

For me, this touches on the association between technology and magic.

Liked COVID was bad for the climate by Ryan BarrettRyan Barrett (

This decrease is “just a tiny blip on the long term graph.” To keep global warming under 2°C, we’d need sustained emissions reductions in this range every year for the next 20-30 years. The pandemic has been hugely disruptive, but it’s still temporary, and all signs point to a strong recovery. The drop in emissions was largely caused by lockdown, not persistent structural changes that will persist for decades to come.

Liked Deep piano by Ryan BarrettRyan Barrett (

One key phrase seems to be deep practice, popularized by Daniel Coyle in The Talent Code as an expansion of Anders Ericsson‘s research on deliberate practice. It’s a bit underwhelming, both the underlying science and the practical techniques. The main physiological mechanism that shows up is building myelin, the insulating sheaths around axons. That makes sense broadly, but is mylenation really so fine grained and specialized that I grow a Clair de lune myelin pattern when I practice that piece? Or is it like exercise or eating right, growing evenly and aiding overall cognitive function?

Similarly, the science-inspired practice techniques are believable, but leave me wanting. Chunking and repetitionwere table stakes when I played piano in high school. Same with playing slowly and forcefully. The two new ideas I came across were interval training and distraction, eg turning the TV on (with volume low or off) while you practice.

📓 IndieWeb Itch – Activity Pub / Better Connecting with Mastodon

I have a new #IndieWeb itch. Inspired by Doug Belshaw’s recent microcast, I now want to explore setting up my own ‘instance of one‘.

After exploring the Activity Pub plugin, I am currently exploring Bridgy Fed to work out the difference between the two.

This method seems to involve a few other steps, including adding a feed to the header and Safe Redirect Manager plugin. It also seems to be a bit more technical. However, I am assuming that the Bridgy Fed and Mastodon options recently added to Syndication Links mean that it can be controlled per most, as opposed to every post with the Activity Pub post.

I have followed the steps, but still trying to get posts to follow through. Maybe I need to have my new instance added to Bridgy? Not sure.

Liked by Ryan BarrettRyan Barrett (

Shh, don’t tell, I’m afraid some low level product manager at Twitter will discover this and “fix” lists like they “fixed” the home timeline a while back.

I have been following a list for a while in my reader and wondered about the purpose of ‘following’ other than some sort of hat tip. This reminds me of Anil Dash’s effort to start from scratch, but different.
Liked Backfeed without code by Ryan BarrettRyan Barrett (

Here’s a hand wavy design sketch:

– Create a new task that’s triggered by a new reply to one of your posts.
–  Configureit to send a POST webhook to Telegraph’s API ( with these query parameters:
token: your API key
source: the reply’s URL
target_domain: your web site’s domain

Replied to Goodbye Facebook, Goodbye Google+ by Ryan BarrettRyan Barrett (

Facebook, surprisingly, wasn’t much harder. I’d gradually become dissatisfied with the company over time, so I was already using the product less and less. I only posted six times in 2018. Regardless, it’s still the one social network that has all the people I care about in real life. I’ll miss posting pictures of my daughter and knowing my extended family, high school friends, and other parents at school will all see them.

I like your point about Facebook Ryan. I must admit that I have not shared there for a long time and also deleted my content, but I can not bring myself to delete my account. I am reminded of Naomi Barnes’ push to go beyond avoiding to discuss what next.
Replied to Good Technology by Ryan BarrettRyan Barrett (
My electric toothbrush is good technology.
It has one button. The button turns it on. It vibrates for 30 seconds, buzzes, then repeats three more times. It has no other controls.
It works one way: the standard, A…

I am wondering if there is a means of making ‘bad’ technology good or if once bad then always bad?
Liked IndieWeb Google Custom Search Engine by Ryan BarrettRyan Barrett (

Google has offered custom search engines for individual sites for a long time, so I threw together one that searches all of the sites in Indie Map, plus lots more that have joined the IndieWeb since then. It seems to work ok so far. Try it out and let me know what you think!
A search engine for the whole IndieWeb has been a hot conversation topic, on and off, for many years now. Many of us offer search on our own individual sites, and more ambiti…