Bitcoin cryptocurrency · politics

Bitcoin will greatly reduce the power of the state, which rests entirely on its capacity for violence. This capacity is maintained by paying and equipping people to commit violence on its behalf, and it acquires the resources to do so by printing money, collecting taxes, and issuing debt.

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Symmetry fiction

I don't do as much deep thinking as I used to. When I was a kid, I remember imagining what it would be like if the universe was symmetrical, mirrored right down the middle. I imagined a white room, floating in space, right on the plane that separates the two halves of the universe. If you parked your spaceship outside and opened the door, you would see yourself in front of you, opening the same door. It would be the you from the other side of the universe.

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Wanko Manko fiction · shitpost

Thought of a hilarious idea for a manga and eventually anime when it inevitably gets super popular.

It takes place in Japan, but only because that seems like the only appropriate setting for an anime.

The story is about a twenty-something bachelor. He wants a dog, so he adopts a beautiful female malamute from a shelter.

However! When he gets home, he realizes that the dog has the most beautiful human-looking vagina he has ever seen. Like, all-time-top-voted-post-on-r/godpussy tier. Of course, since it's an anime, you only ever see it pixelated.

Then, basically the entire show revolves around him trying to resist the temptation to fuck his dog, and situations that make it hard to resist temptation. His catchphrase is "Inu ni makemasen!" / "I won't lose to the dog!"

Like, for example, in one episode he leaves out a jar of strawberry jam, and the dog gets into it, and then when the dog is done eating the jam, it pulls its snout out of the jar, and there's strawberry jam on its mouth in the exact shape of sexy lipstick. This of course sends him into a fit of desire, and he has to like, I dunno, take a cold bath, or watch sumo wrestling or something to resist.

In the final episode, he's taking the dog for a walk in a dog park, and he sees another dog running around, and notices that it has a huge, beautiful human penis. (Pixelated, natch.) He then look over and sees its owner, who's a beautiful woman his age. They lock eyes and instantly fall in love.

I can't decide if it's a happy ending, where he gets this great girl and the two dogs with beautiful junk get each other. Or if it's a darker ending, where he has sex with the woman for the first time and her pussy is absolutely ruined, and he realizes that she hasn't resisted temptation and has been getting railed on the reg by her dog and its huge human cock. Or afterwards he asks her how it was, and she says "It was okay…" in a super wistful voice, and then looks over at her dog, while the color drains from his face as he realizes the truth.

I'm not sure whether it should be called Wanko Manko, which means "Dog Pussy" in Japanese but rhymes, or Venus in Fur, as a play on Venus in Furs by Leopold von Sacher-Masoch.


For some reason I'm fascinated by the debris in this vacuum product photo. If you look closely, you can see that it's several specific kinds of debris. Uncooked grains of rice, sunflower seeds, maybe coffee beans, and clumps of hair. I'm imagining some intern getting just the right debris ready for the photo.

vacuum-debris


fuck-around-and-find-out


Policy For Manufacture politics

The complex priority system that the state is using in many countries to roll out the covid vaccine is reminiscent of this plane boarding algorithm:

Yes, it is optimal. No, it won't work in real life.

The state, of course, ignores this. Its reach exceeds its grasp, and we are left with fragile, sub-optimal, poorly implemented plans that are, without exaggeration, worse than a free-for-all, and much worse than market allocation.

The state makes the same mistake in all spheres, because it makes no distinction between designing policy and implementing policy.

The opposite of this is design for manufacturing, where designers of a product modify a design with manufacturing constraints in mind, even if it makes the design worse on some axes. The final outcome, of course, is substantially better.

The product is subject to fewer delays, costs less, and can be made in higher quantities.

However, we cannot expect the state to grasp this simple wisdom, for it is utterly bereft of the incentive to do so.


Haircut Numbers internet

I was trying to find an image reference for what different clipper guard lengths look like. Every single reference I found had different models with different hairstyles, or used illustrations instead of photographs.

After searching a bit, I found this video, which shows the same person with different hair lengths, with the hair uniformly short over the whole head.

I think it's quite interesting that a random YouTuber may have created a best-in-the-world reference, even if it's for something as mundane as haircut lengths.


How To Debug Things programming
  1. What is happening?

  2. What is a hypothesis that would explain why this is happening?

  3. How can you test this hypothesis?

  4. Test it! What did you do?

  5. Did it work? If not, write down what happened and go back to step 2.

  6. You're done! Nice work!


Sex Sells markets

As an unrepentant degenerate and fan of microeconomics, it should come as no surprise that I find the online sexual economy endlessly fascinating.

Most of what happens there isn't surprising to me, with the exception of pricing for online sexual services, which is much higher than I would have expected.

As an example, take private, one-on-one cam shows. Browsing reddit.com/r/sexsells, the going rate seems to be between $2.50 and $5.00 per minute, or $150 to $300 per hour.

This is mysterious to me.

Looking at ads on eros.com, offline prostitutes seem to charge $300 an hour. This isn't the amount advertised for a one hour session, but the marginal difference in price between a one hour and two hour session, and thus a reasonable estimate of the hourly rate, when preparation and travel are factored out.

Given that private cam shows are legal, can be done at home, and require minimal equipment; while offline prostitution is physically dangerous, illegal, unpleasant1, and highly taboo, it seems strange that they are priced roughly the same.

A priori, I would have expected a price difference of 10× or more, like $300 per hour offline and $30 per hour on cam.

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Advice For Programmers programming

In an October 1935 article in Esquire. Hemingway offers this advice to a young writer:

The best way is always to stop when you are going good and when you know what will happen next. If you do that every day when you are writing a novel you will never be stuck. That is the most valuable thing I can tell you so try to remember it.

Reformulated for programmers and equally valuable:

The best way is aways to stop when you are going good and you have just written a failing test. If you do that every day when you are writing a program you will never be stuck. That is the most valuable thing I can tell you so try to remember it.

If you start programming for the day, a failing test to fix will get you right back on track.

Instead of having to muster willpower to get started and brainpower to figure out what you were doing and what to do next, you can mindlessly do whatever it is that will fix the test.

After that, you'll be much more likely to be in the flow of things, and be able to keep going in good spirits.


Equitable Auction markets

The PS5 was released about a week ago, and, predictably, it is impossible to get one. All retailers, online and IRL, are sold out. Of course, consoles are available on Ebay at ruinous prices, so at least the scalpers are doing well.

Economists, of course, are wringing their hands and mumbling about Vickrey auctions. What Sony should do, they mutter, is to hold a daily auction for PS5s, and let the market decide the price.

The economists are, of course, quite right. If Sony auctioned off PS5s there would be no lines, no scalpers, and no uncertainty. You could put in a bid at the price that you wanted to pay, and then simply wait until demand had died down for your bid to be filled. As a bonus, Sony would make more money for producing something that people wanted to buy, and more capital to ramp up production.

Unfortunately, the economists don't get their say here, because of their arch enemy, non-economists. Non-economists, or, normal people, as they are otherwise known, as far as I can tell, don't understand that there is such a thing as an inescapable trade-off. They want everyone to get a PS5, everyone to pay MSRP for it, there to be no scalpers, nobody to ever make a profit from demand exceeding supply, and all things to be fair, based on confused and self-contradictory conceptions of unfairness.

So, companies can't hold auctions for scarce goods, and have to set an MSRP, produce whatever they can, and hope for the best.

I wonder though, if there might be some way for a company to hold an auction for their products, but in a way that would be perceived as fair.

Here is one possible setup for such an auction, using Sony as the example company, and the PS5 as the example product:

Essentially, any time someone pays over MSRP for a PS5, they ensure that eventually, someone will get a PS5 for less than MSRP. If someone rich or impatient buys a PS5 for $1000, two less impatient people can eventually buy PS5s for $250.

I think, perhaps, this would be perceived as fair. But, with real people, you never know.


Applescript programming

I wrote a nontrivial AppleScript to merge duplicates in my iTunes library.

It is easily the most gruesome thing I have ever written.

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Just: How I Organize Large Rust Programs programming

One of the things that I personally struggled with when learning Rust was how to organize large programs with multiple modules.

In this post, I'll explain how I organize the codebase of just, a command runner that I wrote.

just was the first large program I wrote in Rust, and its organization has gone through many iterations, as I discovered what worked for me and what didn't.

There are some things that could use improvement, and many of the choices I made are somewhat strange, so definitely don't consider the whole project a normative example of how to write rust.

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Autonomous Consensus internet

I feel like BGP would be a great place to experiment with PKI systems, possibly with some additional global consensus mechanism.


GIMME THAT BIG BISCUIT SHREDDED WHEAT BOM BOM BOM THAT BIG BISCUIT SHREDDED WHEAT big-biscuit


Lexiclean programming

I just published a simple crate that performs lexical path cleaning: lexiclean.

Lexical path cleaning simplifies paths by removing ., .., and double separators: //, without querying the filesystem. It is inspired by Go's Clean function, and differs from the Go version by not removing . if that is the only path component left.

I implemented this for a command line utility I'm working on, but split it off so others could use it.

There are a few reasons I prefer lexical path cleaning to fs::canonicalize:

There are some reasons you might prefer fs::canonicalize:

Are there any other reasons to prefer one over the other? I'd love to hear them!

It is very lightly tested! If you intend to use it, I encourage you to submit additional tests containing paths you might encounter, if you think the existing tests don't cover them. In particular, I haven't thought about all the exotic prefixes that Windows paths might be adorned with, so there might be bugs there.

I don't expect to modify the crate or add features to it beyond what I need for my own purposes, so if there are additional features you want, please consider opening a PR! Of course, if you find a bug, I will happily fix it.


Uninsurance markets

From Scott Alexander on the Amish health care system:

The Muslims claim Mohammed was the last of the prophets, and that after his death God stopped advising earthly religions. But sometimes modern faiths will make a decision so inspired that it could only have come from divine revelation. This is how I feel about the Amish belief that health insurance companies are evil, and that good Christians must have no traffic with them.

The post is about the advantages of the Amish health care system, which seems to have much lower costs and equal effectiveness when compared to conventional American health insurance centered health care.

The post is gripping (well, at least if you're interested in why American health care is so expensive), so I recommend reading it. But briefly, the Amish seem to have much lower costs with the same quality of care due to:

I wonder if much of this could be replicated with, not an insurance plan, but, something else… an "uninsurance plan":

I suspect that such a plan would be very cheap, to make a number up, perhaps no more than $10 per month. If it were only $10 per month, and members got an HSA, they might want to join just for that. And, if they got insurance-negotiated rates when paying out-of-pocket while being uninsured, the would almost certainly be willing to pay for it.

Such an uninsurance plan would encourage consumers to plan ahead, shop around, and save for medical expenses in their HSA, maybe giving them health care approaching that of the Pennsylvania Dutch.


mcmahon-durag



Nature abhors a discontinuity.


intermodal-container-ship


Just Hack programming

Just is a general-purpose command runner written in Rust with a make-like syntax.

If you're interested in hacking on just, I'd love to help!

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BTC chart lookin' spicy 👀👀👀

spicy-chart


USG was always this this incompetent, this inefficient, this craven, this self-serving. It just needed external stresses requiring a competent response to reveal the extent of its functional bankruptcy.




anarcho-catbus-peacetime-flag


mars-surface-composite


monkey-dong


cyberpunk-rust


yubikey-translation


no-there-there


ethereum-development-process


Democracy politics

All democracy gives you is this: People convince themselves that the best way to get what they want is by voting, lobbying, and running for office, and not with AK-47s in the streets.

Which, all things considered, is probably better than nothing.

But don't suck democracy's dick and expect good decisions, wise governance, and functional laws to shoot out of it.


Ideal Male Body shitpost

ideal-male-body


Programmer Art art

programmer-art


Anarcho Catbus Wartime Flag politics

anarcho-catbus-wartime-flag


Punished Jones shitpost

punished-jones


Bonded Matzot superstition

I happened to visit these pages one after the other:

The similarity is striking.

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This is the 200th time I have Googled "CSS Box Model" and I have become exceedling efficient at it.


Intermodal sharing · programming

TL;DR

Intermodal is a new command-line BitTorrent metainfo1 utility for Linux, Windows, and macOS. The binary is called imdl.

It can create, display, and verify .torrent files, as well as generate magnet links.

demonstration animation

It has lots of features and niceties, is easy to install and run, and is hopefully just the beginning of an ambitious project to make decentralized content sharing better.

Features include:

You can install the latest version of imdl to ~/bin with:

curl --proto '=https' --tlsv1.2 -sSf https://imdl.io/install.sh | bash

Development is hosted on GitHub, where you can find the code, the issue tracker, and more installation options.

Give it a try and let me know what you think!

I'm eager to hear what works, what doesn't, and what features you'd like to see added. I'll be working on novel functionality—more on that below—and I'd love to hear your critical feedback and ideas.

You can get in touch by open an issue, joining the discord server, or sending me an email.

Happy sharing!

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Decentralize Messaging internet

Twitter is funding a team to decentralize social media. I think they should start with messaging.

TL;DR

Why

How

Update: I no longer believe Matrix is fit for use.

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Popcorn Time Should Become a Browser programming

I am not a lawyer. This is not legal advice.

Popcorn Time-style video streaming apps seem to be vulnerable to legal action by rightsholders.

For example, the popcorntime.sh domain was recently suspended, and the operator of a site which merely provided information about how to obtain and use Popcorn Time was sentenced to prison.

Although given that Popcorn Time's servers do not themselves host infringing content this may seem a bit unfair, it is simply the reality of the world we live in.

It is interesting to note, however, that although web browsers can be used in exactly the same way as Popcorn Time, namely searching for and viewing copyrighted movies, the developers of web browsers have thus far not faced successful legal challenges.

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The Stack programming

Computering is a party. The stack is best visualized as a bunch of Jenga blocks on the floor, and the heap as a bunch of balloons floating around bumping into each other on the ceiling. The fact that the stack usually grows downwards in memory is a travesty.


I saw a janitor sweeping dirt from the fronds of his enormous push broom with a normal-sized broom.


Unix Utilities in Rust for Great Success programming

I've often been asked for suggestions for an appropriate first project in Rust, and I think that writing a version of a unix utility is a great choice, for a bunch of reasons!

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Kademlion cryptocurrency

A Kademlia-inspired modification of Dandelion for use in Grin.

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Cabal cryptocurrency

We all stood, gathered our things, walked down the cafe stairs and out to the dark and bustling Berlin street.

After a few goodbyes and handshakes, everyone headed off in different directions, for different destinations.

The meeting had felt momentous to me, a marker of strange and interesting times to come. I headed to the U-Bahn, alone.


New Rustacean Resources programming

Mushrooms fiction

I woke up last night after only a few hours of sleep, sweaty and disoriented.

Maybe it was miasmatic vapors rising up from beneath South of Market streets. Maybe it was the widening gyre opening up under the world. Maybe it was nothing at all. I don't know.

It felt like the world had ended, but I was still there. And the lights of the city glimmered through the window, so, it was still there too.

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Lightning Exchange cryptocurrency

The Lightning Network has the potential to greatly improve cryptocurrency exchanges.

Lighting Network payment channels could be established between users and exchanges to speed the transfer of funds.

This would be a huge boon, moving many on-chain deposit and withdrawal transactions off-chain, but is possibly only the beginning.

Since Lightning Network payments can span different blockchains, an exchange could use a cross-chain Lightning node to expose its internal order book to external entities.

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Iota cryptocurrency

IOTA is a cryptocurrency targeting the internet of things. It purports to be scalable, decentralized, and feeless. Unfortunately it is none of those things.

In this article I attempt to summarize the numerous technical, social, and ethical problems surrounding the IOTA project, The IOTA Foundation, and the IOTA developers.

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Actuality Films media

VXX is a dangerous chimeric creature; it is structured like a bond, trades like a stock, follows VIX futures and decays like an option. Handle with care.

And, currently being algo traded by a program written in Excel VBA.

Strange times indeed.


Structural Heterogeneity cryptocurrency

Investing in cryptocurrencies is not the same as buying simple equity in a company.

Although each company has a different business model, they and the equity they issue are largely structurally homogeneous. They hold their monies in banks, pay for their expenses with wire transfers and cheques, follow prescribed rules of accounting, and issue stock that operates according to well understood rules. This is not to say that said practices are good or bad. They are simply a known factor.

Cryptocurrencies and tokens, however, are structurally heterogeneous. They have different codebases, modes of operation, levels of complexity, and security models. Although broadly lumped into the same category, they can, by the nature of these differences, have almost nothing in common.

Investing in one is like buying stock in a company with novel business models, banking practices, and accounting methods, and furthermore whose stock is issued under a bespoke scheme and follows unique trading rules.

Accordingly, a much, much greater level of care is required when making such investments. If any one of these novel mechanisms fail, your investment may go up in billowing smoke and flames overnight.

This is not to say that you should completely avoid cryptocurrencies and tokens, just, you know, do your homework.


I only program in PL/I because I'm BASED.

Delinearization programming

Programs first crawled from the murky oceans as simple lists of instructions that executed in sequence. From these humble beginnings they have since evolved an astonishing number of ways of delinearizing.

In fact, most programming paradigms simply amount to different ways to transform a linear source file into a program with nonlinear behavior.

Some examples:



Parse structure from the languageless void.

Transcript fiction

This is pretty nuts. I was poking around in the storage area of my house, and I found a huge cardboard box filled with letters and audio cassettes and dust. Everything was Danish, German, and English, but mostly Danish. The name Max Rasmussen was everywhere, so I think it was all his stuff. I had to get a tape player at best buy to play the tapes, but surprisingly, they all played fine. One of them was an interview, in English, between Max and a man named Hans. I listened to it a few times, and I don't even know what to say. It's transcribed below.

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Declarative Programming fiction

"Well," he began, moving closer to her, "declarative programming is when you tell the computer what you want, and then the computer figures out how to get it. Pretty sweet, huh?"

"What kinds of things can you tell the computer you want?" she asked excitedly, her cheeks beginning to flush.

He thought for a moment, and began stroking her hair gently. "All kinds of things. There's a language called prolog you can use to ask about logical relationships. In SQL you can ask questions about huge quantities of data. With a program like bison you can declaratively describe a language, letting bison generate a program that recognizes it."

"Oh," she said breathlessly, leaning her head on his shoulder, "so I don't have to worry about choosing an algorithm--the computer will pick one for me?"

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