The Aeronauts

Watched it last night. Not bad, a tad boring, but for a movie focused on a balloon going up then coming down it’s difficult to expect too much. IMDB link.

I also enjoyed this article as a follow up, particularly:

For the actual September 5, 1862 flight, things weren’t as alarming. The landing was a little rough but still okay. As stated by the BBC, they landed in a field at a place called Cold Weston. Glaisher and Coxwell walked to the train station, but there were no trains. So they went for dinner, only to be disappointed by the food. Glaisher then telegraphed their location and the news of the men’s success came out on September 11, 1862, in The Times. So the adventure was all there, but there was none of that romance. But yes, even for Glaisher and Coxwell, the skies did lie open.

Emphasis mine.

After attempting and succeeding at such a feat, I, too, would land in the middle of nowhere and go off to find dinner. I’m fairly certain the food in the middle of nowhere would also be middling and mediocre.

Wikipedia Has Cancer

Well, this makes me sad. 2019 was one of the years I decided to donate, since I get a huge amount of value from Wikipedia.

Two broad takeaways from this are

  • Wikipedia / Wikimedia foundation is one of the healthiest (financially speaking) non-profits out there
  • For an online encyclopedia edited by volunteers, they spend way too much money on salaries and things not related to hosting their website.

Uncontrollable growth is a problem faced by so many tech companies. Everyone is trying to emulate the Google-Alphabet model where you do one thing well and therefore you must try to do all the things well. Eventually, the revenue gains run out and you’re stuck trying to float too many things. The core thing that has value and everyone loves dies in the raging bonfire of your other bets failing.