What Interest Me This Week

The art of calling it done

My custom rolled trading engine has tested suspiciously well in staging.

But there are two dozen items more to do before it can be exposed to real money. That's if I'm trying to stall myself.

Good project management calls for setting up a handful of parameters to hit. Beyond that you have to release no matter what. That's the rational approach.

But this is not about rationality. Deciding a work is good enough to ship is ultimately a matter of courage.

Software get the luxury of releasing in baby steps to contain damages.

Works of art (books, films, children) however are often irreversible one git-commit into history. Willingness to abandon your art in a knowingly incomplete form (the only form there is) is courage.

What is Xi Jin Ping's endgame?

Why this matters: this is about how dangerous the CCP is willing to be.

The kayfabe lense in which western politics are watched no longer feels sufficient for the Chinese theater.

Western democracy optimizes for performances. Since nobody gets to be dictator for live, the players' endgames are easily boiled down to fame. If the world is a chess match, western politicians are players vying to get onto the seat not to win the match but for photo ops and sponsorship deals.

For someone like Xi and Putin, photo ops are for losers. These chess matches came with queens and rooks taken away. The win calls for reconfiguring the game.

Which brings me to the question: what does winning mean for Xi? I highly doubt it's domestic power at this point.

Consider first a less dangerous possibility: he wants stronger economic muscle for China in order to stay in power. The United States are standing in the way of developing these muscles therefore the impending cold war. This is the mainstream narrative, the pieces seems to line up.

Now consider the more dangerous scenario: what if Xi is ideology driven?

What if is he a true Marxist or something crazier? If so, what if winning to Xi looks like Thanos in Infinity War, retiring to a beautiful field in satisfaction of the reconfigured world order without him ruling over?

What part of his idealogy requires making enemies? Or is enemy simply a necessity for performance-politics?

At this point, my sense of worst case scenario remains the same: war will eventually break out with China, but fought the same way wrestling matches are done. No blood is spilled, artileries are fired as sport performances to rally the spirits of spectators.