The Noonday Sun

Emacs outshines all other editing software in approximately the same way that the noonday sun does the stars. It is not just bigger and brighter; it simply makes everything else vanish.

Neal Stephenson, In the Beginning was the Command Line (1998)

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Emacs Sparks Joy

Much like how some people enjoy tinkering with motorcycles, electronics, or craft projects, I enjoy tinkering with software. If my computing environment stays the same for too long, I start getting restless. I crave constant change.

Emacs is a tinkerer’s dream, an infinite sandbox that can be molded into something entirely different each day. I can dive into the manual and discover new features, try different combinations of packages to see what’s most comfortable for me, glue together packages to make them do things they was never intended to do, write snippets of ELisp that help me get my work done faster, and so much more.

In this way Emacs is not only a tool that lets me do my job, but also a creative outlet that provides endless hours of entertainment and joy. I consider it one of the best pieces of software ever written.

Of course, there are other reasons for using Emacs — longevity, efficiency, ubiquity — but these features can be found in many other tools both free and commercial. Only Emacs is good at being Emacs.

Week of 2 November, 2020

  • Biden won! This is great news not just for America, but the entire world. It’s a ray of hope for those of us who have been disillusioned the democratic process in recent years.
  • Now if only we could get rid of our own knock-off version of the Orange Man. Sadly, we have to endure until 2024 before we get a chance to vote him out.
  • In more good news, I finished the first part of Crafting Interpreters! I used Python for my implementation, which you can find here. Next step: do it all over again in Rust 🦀
  • The medication I was initially prescribed for anxiety had been working well for me until three weeks ago, when it inexplicably started giving me brain fog and putting me to sleep for most of the day. I was put a different medication last week, and this one makes me wired. Fun. Funfunfun.
  • Since I wrote my last weeknote, I’ve really gotten into Emacs. Like, really really really gotten into Emacs. Besides programming, I’m now using it to read RSS, take notes, keep a journal, manage files, and read email. I’ll maybe possibly probably write a longer post about this later.
  • Even though this has been a terrible year for musicians, a surprisingly large number of good albums were still released. My favorites so far are RTJ4, SAWAYAMA, how i’m feeling now, Saint Cloud, BOSS, and Ultra Mono. There’s still a few weeks to go before the end of the year, so I’ll probably end up expanding this list pretty soon.