2018 Year in Review

As at the end of years past, I'm writing this post to take a look back at what I've written over the past twelve months and highlight some of my favourite posts. It's also an opportunity to provide a convenient annual archive so readers can click on interesting links they may have missed.

Probably the most notable thing that happened this year was buying a house. Getting settled in and starting to tackle various homeowner projects (like making a couple of pieces of DIY furniture) has taken a lot of my focus. But it's been enjoyable and I love the location.

I took a memorable trip to Denmark and the Netherlands (mainly around Amsterdam and Rotterdam). For my job, I travelled to Virginia (and had some time to go on a couple of hikes there one weekend) amoung other places in the U.S. and Canada. Close to home, I went on a very good sea kayaking tour with Seascape on Deer Island.

In an effort to learn more programming skills I worked through a book called Seven Languages in Seven Weeks in the late winter/early spring. Here is the final post of my series on that, which contains a brief summary and links to the other posts. Now that some time has passed, I look back at Clojure as the most interesting language covered in that book and may try to find an opportunity to practice with it some more; Haskell might also be worth spending some more time with.

My first post of 2018 was partially about Bitcoin. Of course it and other cryptocurrencies have had a wild ride this year. My hope for 2019 is that—like in the aftermath of the dot-com bubble—speculation can cool off and some genuinely useful applications can come to the fore.

In 2018, I read over 20 books and reviewed a number of them on my blog. I don't often write about the novels I read—although I will briefly mention that Daniel Abraham's "The Dagger and the Coin" series was my favourite work of fiction this year—but most of the non-fiction ends up getting discussed. Factfulness by Hans Rosling is one that I widely recommend. The topics of Water on Sand (environmental history in the middle east) and Designed for Dry Feet (the engineering of dikes and related infrastructure in the Netherlands) are more niche*, but I certainly found them interesting to read and to write about. And the topic of complexity from my most recent book review post is something that I hope to touch on further in the future.

*the latter review also contains a link to a case study I presented at a local conference, along with some Sankey diagrams as a graphical abstract.

Partway through this past year I reached the milestone of 200 posts. If you're looking for some highlights from the archives you can find them there.

Finally, two more posts from 2018 that I'd like to draw attention to are one about the arcane computer game Dwarf Fortress and one discussing a technical paper about biofilms.

Here is the complete list of posts from this year (previous years: 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017):

  • GHOST_URL/documentary-notes/
  • GHOST_URL/dwarf-fortress-gdp/
  • GHOST_URL/canzuk/
  • GHOST_URL/nb-budget-2018-getting-educated/
  • GHOST_URL/circles-and-triangles/
  • GHOST_URL/updating-ubuntu/
  • GHOST_URL/week-1-ruby/
  • GHOST_URL/week-2-io/
  • GHOST_URL/week-3-prolog/
  • GHOST_URL/week-4-scala/
  • GHOST_URL/week-5-erlang/
  • GHOST_URL/assorted-links-spring-2018/
  • GHOST_URL/st-paul/
  • GHOST_URL/week-6-clojure/
  • GHOST_URL/week-7-haskell/
  • GHOST_URL/steppe-cycle/
  • GHOST_URL/pirates-and-vikings/
  • GHOST_URL/a-new-twist-on-familiar-vistas/
  • GHOST_URL/200-posts-interlinked/
  • GHOST_URL/five-days-in-denmark/
  • GHOST_URL/noord-holland/
  • GHOST_URL/zuid-holland/
  • GHOST_URL/four-maritime-museums/
  • GHOST_URL/fietspaden-en-droge-voeten/
  • GHOST_URL/trip-planning/
  • GHOST_URL/appalachian-appellation/
  • GHOST_URL/a-day-off-of-deer-island/
  • GHOST_URL/words-on-biofilm/
  • GHOST_URL/aga-and-ago/
  • GHOST_URL/c-gclf/
  • GHOST_URL/facts-forecasts-figures/
  • GHOST_URL/assorted-links-fall-2018/
  • GHOST_URL/waifs-of-the-tide/
  • GHOST_URL/dominion-strategy/
  • GHOST_URL/go-proverbs/
  • GHOST_URL/oak-ash/
  • GHOST_URL/the-basics-of-complexity/
  • GHOST_URL/2018-year-in-review/

Happy New Year!