Tom MacWright


Hello from sunny Brooklyn, where it’s suddenly summer. What’s new?

Over at the Val Town Blog, I wrote about how searching source code is a pretty hard problem. It was pretty well-received: I confirmed that yes, it’s a pretty hard problem. We’re really trying not to write a search engine, but it’s tempting, maybe just to tinker with Tantivy.

Me running a half marathon

This is a big year for running, so far. My first race of the year is complete - the Brooklyn Half Marathon. I ran 1:36:21 (7:21/mi pace) – a time that just squeaks past my previous personal best. Felt pretty good! My pacing was good until it wasn’t: need to work on endurance past the eleven mile mark.

I have two 5Ks lined up, but might try running another longer race, because beating my half marathon PR seems more achievable than beating my 5K PR, which I set in high school. I’m also hoping that New York doesn’t ramp up into high humidity and temperatures and make running a challenge, but that is probably unavoidable.


We went to see the solar eclipse within the totality - which meant Ohio. If you’re ever passing through Marion Ohio, I heavily endorse Shovel City Drinkery.

I’ve been listening to Mister Goblin’s new album - pretty good! No films to note in April: I watched a bunch and wasn’t impressed by any of them.

“I would say I’m not very good at selling myself,” he admits. “I grew up believing that real men, whatever real men are, don’t boast. Nowadays, everybody boasts. People will actually come up to you and tell you that they’re compassionate! But I don’t look at it like I was held back or that I should have been a superstar. Although it’s difficult for people to believe, being rich and famous never occurred to me in my plan. I realised by the time of my first album that I was not in the mainstream. So all I actually wanted was for my work to be useful. And For the Children made me realise that, well, the reason why you’re on the outside is because you’re actually trying to be useful.”

This article about Labi Siffre, who I discovered via Hot Sugar’s remix of Bless The Telephone:

Moreover, he said, “We have a great corporate welfare programme. Our users are the richest companies in the world. Indeed, we’ve enabled companies like Google to be created.”

From Bruce Perens on why Open Source has failed. (I’ve been saying this too)

Anyway, movies and music and articles aside, this is another time when the outside world needs to be mentioned. There’s not much I can say that hasn’t already been said on the topic, but the very least I’ll say is that the degree to which the US’s militarized police forces are being used against nonviolent protestors is appalling. It’s especially bad in New York, where the NYPD is unaccountable for its actions and has nearly unlimited funding and power. It shouldn’t be scary for people to go to nonviolent protests.