2014 Year in Review

2014-12-182021-01-04 in progress certainty: log importance: 0


Tech­ni­cal­ly, rewrit­ing the site to use Hakyl­l-4 as a sta­tic site gen­er­a­tor and con­vert­ing the repos­i­tory from Darcs to Git were ma­jor pieces of tech­ni­cal debt I needed to pay off. Painful, but it had to be done. I was also pleased to fin­ish my an­no­tated ebook of Ra­di­ance: I think it’s an un­justly ob­scure piece of lit­er­ary sci­en­tific fic­tion which shines even more when the his­tor­i­cal con­text is laid out.


Some­what to my sur­prise, each month I was able to com­pile & send out a newslet­ter stuffed full of links and other things:

Putting them to­gether was a lot of work, but thus far it seems to be worth it: I am up to ~450 sub­scribers, most of whom click on at least one or two links, and I sus­pect most would not fol­low the RSS feed or my Google+ pro­file.


2014 was an event­ful year. Bit­coin con­tin­ued evolv­ing to­wards re­spectabil­ity de­spite the Mt­Gox dis­as­ter (which I think sur­prised even the more cyn­i­cal ob­server­s), and the tech­ni­cal pos­si­bil­i­ties con­tinue to be ex­plored (I par­tic­u­larly like sidechains and Truth­coin). The dark­net mar­ket scene saw dizzy­ing turnover as mar­kets con­tin­ued to rise and fall in the post-SR1 vac­uum (although in many cas­es, the fall was no less than merit­ed) with 42 new mar­kets and more clo­sures, not to men­tion var­i­ous pros­e­cu­tions. Mon­i­tor­ing them all, much less scrap­ing them, has proven to be quite a chal­lenge, but I now have fairly com­plete archives which I have dis­trib­uted to a num­ber of aca­d­e­mics; with luck, I can do a pub­lic re­lease in 2015. This all drew some me­dia at­ten­tion as well; I did in­ter­views in per­son or over email with Mike Pow­er, the NHK, and Er­ica Fink.


En­tries are sorted in de­scend­ing or­der of how much I liked them, tak­ing the top half.




  1. The Re­mains of the Day, Kazuo Ishig­uro
  2. Worm, wild­bow
  3. , Carter Scholz
  4. Di­as­pora, Greg Egan
  5. The Quan­tum Thief, Hannu
  6. , Heller
  7. Chron­i­cle of a Death Fore­told, Márquez
  8. Hy­per­bole and a Half: Un­for­tu­nate Sit­u­a­tions, Flawed Cop­ing Mech­a­nisms, May­hem, and Other Things That Hap­pened
  9. , Burgess
  10. Ra, Sam Hughes
  11. Echopraxia, Pe­ter Watts
  12. The Iron Drag­on’s Daugh­ter, Swan­wick


  1. The Wages of De­struc­tion: The Mak­ing and Break­ing of the Nazi Econ­omy, Tooze
  2. Ge­nius: The Life and Sci­ence of Richard Feyn­man
  3. Sav­age Con­ti­nent: Eu­rope in the After­math of World War II
  4. Clear and Sim­ple as the Truth: Writ­ing Clas­sic Prose, Thomas & Turner
  5. Frag­ments of an An­ar­chist An­thro­pol­ogy, Grae­ber 2004
  6. The Many Worlds of Hugh Everett III: Mul­ti­ple Uni­vers­es, Mu­tual As­sured De­struc­tion, and the Melt­down of a Nu­clear Fam­ily, Bryne
  7. , Hadamard
  8. Ex­cuse Me Sir, Would You Like to Buy a Kilo of Iso­propyl Bro­mide?