December 19, 2018

A Week in TMSR: 26 November - 2 December 2018

Filed under: A Week, TMSR — Diana Coman @ 4:45 p.m.

On Monday:

Asciilifeform publishes on his blog Chapter 13 of the FFA series.

Trinque announces that he has a working Cuntoo bootstrapper that runs entirely offline and reliably produces the same genesis .vpatch that can then be verified against his signature. His write-up on the topic is due for next day. As part of his work on this, Trinque wonders whether vdiff could or should perhaps be able to produce a genesis .vpatch without requiring an empty directory. Asciilifeform points out in response that the current approach is both standard and without fault to his eyes. Moreover, later during the day, Mircea Popescu also notes that the empty directory is perfectly fine from a philosophical point of view since it represents the perfect code. He also states that an alternative, specific solution (such as diff against /dev/null) is perfectly valid as well for as long as it doesn't turn into a different mode of operation: essentially as long as vdiff simply diffs whether for genesis or not, it's fine; as soon as one wants to define some diff as diff and then something-else as genesis, insanity creeps in. This turns quickly quite vicious as Asciilifeform points out that such insanity is usually the "being smart" of code and as such the bane of any programmer who wants to do something as opposed to just write more code; in turn, Mircea Popescu strikes back with the even pointier point that the "being smart" of people is the even greater bane of any man who wants to do something as opposed to just breathe in and out for yet another day.

As further result of his work on the Cuntoo script, Trinque notes that he doesn't find sane the default behaviour of vdiff to exit with what is normally an error code (i.e. returning something other than 0) just because the given parameters are not as expected. Nevertheless, he makes do with it for now and uses it as it is in his Cuntoo script. Mircea Popescu chimes in to note that Trinque's point on this is valid - there shouldn't be a need to keep adding the check for this case. Phf takes note of the issue raised and says that he is adding it to his backlog of issues to fix and curiosities to look at (with naked eye, powerful microscope or a bigger hammer, as required).

Nicoleci publishes her summaries of #trilema logs of 9 and 10 November 2018. Asciilifeform finds at least one sentence in the latter hilarious.

Spyked comes back from a longish absence due to unexpected health issues of his father. He rates and introduces his new bot, feedbot, points republicans to its help page, promises to publish its V tree as well in the following days and tells Trinque that he can disable the rss part of his deedbot since feedbot is taking over that job. Mircea Popescu would rather have a smoother approach to this take over and points out to Spyked that a planned and gradual take over is likely to be less bumpy (for everyone involved) than the original para-dropping of feedbot into TMSR territory.

Asciilifeform enquires whether there is some automated or semi-automated way to submit new .vpatch and/or .sig files for inclusion into the main repository at http://btcbase.org/patches. His enquiry fails to get an answer and so far he doesn't seem bothered enough to press the issue further.

The current bot count in channel further increases by one as Asciilifeform resurrects his own FFA-bot - his name is PehBot. Asciilifeform gives PehBot a spin, illustrating the newly added capabilities of the bot that matches now the FFA content up to and including Chapter 13. Initially, Asciilifeform plans to move PehBot to #asciilifeform but Mircea Popescu points out that bot or not, one can stay in #trilema for as long as one doesn't become a nuisance.

BingoBoingo publishes on Qntra an article on the seizing of some Ukrainian ships in the Kerch strait. Both deedbot and feedbot jump on the new feed and announce it, prompting Mircea Popescu to poke spyked who hasn't yet noticed the call for a smoother take over. Smoothness might need to be forced upon with a bigger gun.

Asciilifeform fixes the commenting form on his blog after more than a year since they last worked and more like a few days since the latest round of pointed complaints about it from people who wanted to provide feedback on his FFA series. As part of the fix, he replaces one set of tripping wires for commenters with a single tripping thread hoping that the decreased complexity means that at least *some* commenters survive it now.

As part of his www winter-cleaning, Asciilifeform also installs the selection script that enables one to link to specific parts of text in a post. He goes on to have as a result an oft-repeated argument with Mircea Popescu regarding the proper way to keep - since you have to! - and especially keep in check your www stable that includes dirty beasts such as php and wordpress.

The ups and downs of reported fiat-value of Bitcoin continue to entertain as the "valuation" goes down to 3000 green papers out of infinity per one coin out of 21 million total. Asciilifeform saves his laughter for when the valuation goes to 3 green papers for the same coin but as part of the discussion, Mircea Popescu digs out and links several older posts on trilema.com that are a good read at any time.

From valuation of Bitcoin, the discussion moves seamlessly to valuation of people. Mircea Popescu notes that the bar to being a "wise man" in TMSR keeps increasing but there is hope that this increase is actually capped since the steep increases recently witnessed are likely due to catching up with neglected work rather than anything else. Illustrations range from dirty socks to recent (douchebag) and a bit less recent (kakobrekla) failures in #trilema and from Arthur Blair to C.S. Lewis or cardinal Newman in the world at large. As a side point, there is also a definition of "fractional girlfriend" and the observation that not everybody seemingly asking a question is actually looking for its or indeed for any actual answer.

On Tuesday:

Mircea Popescu provides a concrete example of the need to filter an ocean to find a crumb of usefulness. Empirical results seem to suggest that it's about 1 person in 1000 that seem to interact at all with what they read.

Mircea Popescu asks for feedback on his recently published (last week) first draft towards defining a republican replacement for DNS aka the GNS. Trinque says he hasn't yet got around to read the published piece but he promises he will read, digest and come back with a response.

As promised on the previous day, Trinque publishes on his blog his new script for bootstrapping Cuntoo. He asks people to let him know if they try it and with what results. Asciilifeform quickly looks and promises to try it at a later time but for the time being he questions the way in which the script steps through 2 GCC versions to get to the desired 4.9.4 version and the fact that it lacks ave1's gcc. In response, Trinque says that having ave1's GCC is the plan in the longer term but the point of the current item (the script) is to provide a stable starting point made of what-is so including mainstream 4.9.4 gcc. Mircea Popescu chimes in at a later point to say that nevertheless the ebuild with ave1's gcc should be made and preferably quite quickly. He also sketches out the roadmap for the longer term, including the full removal of SSL (all flavours and from all places) that is to be replaced with straight RSA. This sort of replacement is meant indeed for all republican items including for instance TRB although Mircea Popescu notes that the replacement might be FFA or a different republican RSA implementation depending on the practical requirements and constraints of each application.

Joining in the conversation sparked by Trinque's Cuntoo script, phf reveals that he has various POC1 bits and pieces that explore some potential ways of installing packages on a system in a V-reliable way. Trinque would like to see those and Phf promises to pull them out from their respective hiding places but only after he finishes his current move from the US to Russia. At a later point, Diana Coman reads the script and asks for clarification from Trinque on whether the published script can also be used to upgrade an existing gentoo installation to Cuntoo. Trinque replies that such a feat is in principle possible but it's currently undocumented and as such unexplored territory to be yet tried at explorer's own risk.

Nicoleci publishes her summaries of #trilema logs of 11 and 12 November 2018.

Spyked notices the request for smoother transition to his feedbot and acts accordingly to synchronize with Trinque.

Phf "snarfs" the latest FFA vpatches from Asciilifeform. The "snarf" is a term of art and it means that the new .vpatches and their signatures are now mirrored in the main TMSR repository at http://btcbase.org/patches. Asciilifeform profers his fondness of Phf's repository infrastructure that is "unspeakably helpful".

Asciilifeform, Diana Coman, Mircea Popescu and Phf discuss briefly the way in which Ada transitioned from initial ugly and gnarly find to republican standard language for programming. As part of the discussion, Asciilifeform links to Mocky's useful summary of the arguments for using Ada.

Davout was last seen in TMSR in April 2018, more than 5 months ago. Meaningful work from Davout was last seen several years ago. Mircea Popescu gives a quick summary of Davout's known involvement so far: being a tech in the early days and doing the receivership for BitBet at a later date.

A "grubles" from 2014 joins #trilema in 2017 and doesn't last long. By contrast, the negative rating he acquired in 2014 continues to last.

Asciilifeform corrects his own oversight and negrates "Hasimir".

BingoBoingo publishes on Qntra a short announcement of the release of Cuntoo bootstrapper and a brief note on the adventures of some people who run any code they happen to find.

On Wednesday:

Danielpbarron's blog sends delayed pingbacks from 2016 as he is finally uploading old articles on the new hosting with Pizarro. Following the delayed pingbacks, Mircea Popescu reads the content in which they are embedded and expresses puzzlement over the mismatch between the interests and worldview they reflect and Danielpbarron's desire to continue being a lord of TMSR. When asked directly, Danielpbarron states that Bitcoin is still an interest of his and it's simply a matter of enjoying his position and being materially invested in Bitcoin via running a node and having items and ECu in Eulora. He also says he may be lazy but not "morally opposed" to doing meaningful work in TMSR.

Amberglint pops by to offer Asciilifeform a pointer to someone who wants to decap an Ivory processor board. Asciilifeform points out that the operation can't be trusted to anybody walking in through the door as the Ivory is a very scarce resource so the wannabe de-capper is cordially invited to get in the WoT and convince people that he can be trusted with such a task. Phf also chimes in to ask Asciilifeform to postpone any attempt at decapping an Ivory until he gets the chance to provide the docs that he has somewhere burried among other stuff and might shed some light without the dangers of decapping anyone. Asciilifeform publishes a high resolution photo of the Mac Ivory Model 2 processor board together with a shouty "Do Not Touch!" warning neatly guarding it.

BingoBoingo publishes on Qntra 2 articles, on the jailing of a 64 year old woman over holding cotton candy and on sanctions issued against Bitcoin addresses, respectively. He also publishes on his own blog the Peso exchange rate of the day and his practical cooking lesson involving birds and stuffings.

Nicoleci publishes her summary of #trilema logs of 13 November 2018.

Asciilifeform wants to store his valuable Ivories with Mircea Popescu or even just pass them on to him but the latter is neither interested in adding to his pile of rarities nor offering vault space.

Mircea Popescu briefly toys with the idea of sending some bitcoin to the 2 addresses that were "sanctioned" but he notes that they haven't really been used anyway. In the process, he reveals that he can't quite tell apart the orlov of today from the orwell of yesteryear - they are all an orlol to him. Nevertheless, with Asciilifeform's help, he unearths the desired reference that turns out to be from the more recent writer - the topic being that a strongly held "no" is deeply disturbing to those who never encountered such a thing before.

Mocky briefly stops by to let BingoBoingo know about the fate of most recent wires that he sent. He also notes that most employers in his area now require "secret government clearance" for would-be employees.

On Thursday:

Mocky wonders at the latest job descriptions that include "blockchain engineer". He also states that searching for employment sucks but his previous solution for it - to stay with the same company for 14 years - also ended up sucking. Mocky then points out that he got so far precisely what he wanted, namely a lot of kids and a lot of code but he feels like an idjit for not having saved anything during all this time. Mircea Popescu validates Mocky's feelings on this matter.

Nicoleci publishes her summary of #trilema logs of 14 November 2018.

Spyked coordinates with Trinque to take over feeds in the switch from deedbot to feedbot. He also announces he bought himself a c101pa thinking it is a good place to test Trinque's Cuntoo bootstrapper on. Asciilifeform quickly points out to him that no, the c101pa is no such thing.

Mircea Popescu reveals he is burnt to peeling as a result of slut wrestling in the Costa Rican sun. Based on this information, Asciilifeform estimates that he'd last about 10 minutes under similar circumstances and reveals that he can also become crisplifeform under the sun on the 39th parallel.

Asciilifeform compares the LOC2 count for his FFA series that is in the low thousands with that of TRB which is in the tens of thousands not including additional unknown ball of dependencies pulled in. Diana Coman points out that the quality of any lines of code also matters - so it gets even better than the naked numbers show since she'd gladly read Asciilifeform's 1000 LOC at any time in preference of reading even 100 lines of Koch's.

Diana Coman states that she read and will sign Chapter 3 of the FFA series. She has however a question for Asciilifeform on it, regarding the exact meaning of overflow for a shift operation. As she points Asciilifeform to the exact code in question, he is able to confirm that she is right in observing that the code can produce garbage if called with arbitrary arguments but the procedure in question is strictly for internal use of the lib and as such strictly called with correct arguments that don't result in garbage.

Asciilifeform points out node that is stuck behind the top of the chain and he suggests that the aggression patch of trb should be deployed to help it catch up. Lobbes acknowledges that the node is his but notes that it is already running with the aggresion patch so that further investigation is needed to find out the reason for its sad situation.

On Friday:

Mircea Popescu notes the remarkable similarities between apparently different things such as the fate of competent versus incompetent engineers in the current environment or the ability to remain synchronised with the network of Bitcoin nodes hosted with a reliable service as opposed to those hosted with a less reliable one. The similarity comes from the overwhelmingly socialist streak of the environment that is essentially described as "hindering the worthy to prop up the unworthy."

Nicoleci publishes her summaries of #trilema logs of 15 and 16 November 2018.

A certain "zx2c4" revisits #trilema providing Asciilifeform with ample opportunities for restating various basic points including the fact that the technical can never be separated from the political, the fact that a "proof" that requires faith (be it in unread, supporting code) is at most a proof of the proponent's idiocy and otherwise no proof at all and the competent opinion that "Rust" is a "leprous pile of shit" no matter how one looks at it. Upon coming online to the whole zx2c4 display, Mircea Popescu swiftly negrates zx2c4. The action prompts Asciilifeform to cite from "Левый марш": ваше слово, товарищ маузер! (tm). Upon coming online to this last line in Russian, Ave1 embarks upon making sense of it and as a result swiftly publishes his attempt at translating the "Левый марш" to English. Asciilifeform contributes in the comments to Ave1's post with his own quick translation of the whole thing.

Diana Coman publishes Chapter 10 of her SMG Comms series including an implementation of Action and RSA keys types of messages for Eulora's needs. She also signs chapter 3 of Asciilifeform's FFA series.

BingoBoingo publishes on Qntra 2 brief notes on some US new fines and Argentina's new deal to buy soy from the US. He also updates his previous Qntra post on the 2 Bitcoin addresses that were sanctioned: the update includes the clear evidence that the sanctions are worthless since there are newly confirmed transactions to those addresses.

The potential decapper of Ivories turns up under the nickname of SeanRiddle. Mircea Popescu confusingly thinks he's the author of pbfcomics.com and rates him accordingly. Further discussion regarding SeanRiddle's procedure for decapping reveals that he does decapping only as a weekend hobby, uses rust remover to remove top layers, leaves stuff with multiple layers for someone with better equipment, doesn't do any comic stuff and works as a programmer for most of the time. He also provides on his blog only low resolution photos because of limitations of his initial blog setup that involved blogspot and wikimedia. Mircea Popescu points out that he is better served with an actual blog of his own where he can also simply upload files as big as they might be to have the high resolution that is needed for the task. Asciilifeform notes that the number of layers to remove from the Ivory is not known and Mircea Popescu re-rates SeanRiddle with the more apt reference to his existing decapping hobby as opposed to his inexisting comic work. Upon further discussion, Asciilifeform passes on the offer of using SeanRiddle as a decapper for the precious and rare Ivory and SeanRiddle himself agrees that he'd rather leave this job for someone else. Amberglint joins in and provides a few .pdf files of potential interest, prompting Mircea Popescu to suggest he starts his own blog already, possibly hosted with Pizarro.

Mircea Popescu complains to Mocky about an issue with Mocky's bot in Eulora but Mocky says he won't be able to look at it until he is done finding his new "daily bread overlord". Mircea Popescu acknowledges the answer and points out to anyone able to read that there is this opportunity waiting for them to contribute by fixing the bot issue.

On Saturday:

Danielpbarron publishes on his blog his conversation on religious issues - it turns out he took out parts of it anyway so it's only some of the conversation, with some dudes in some chat room called #LRH.

BingoBoingo publishes on Qntra the November 2018 Report on Qntra activity noting 3117 words published during the month, all of them by BingoBoingo himself. He also publishes on Qntra an article on an FBI raid.

BingoBoingo and Asciilifeform discuss the unreal state of the real estate in Uruguay and Argentina noting mostly the inflated prices of flats and the similarly inflated expecations of owners.

Amberglint pops by to point to Asciilifeform the Soviet Refal machine and other hints of Soviet Lisp machines but Asciilifeform is already familiar with those and points to Amberglint the place they all went to: /dev/null.

Danielpbarron will consider visiting Uruguay but doesn't actually plan a visit. He also considers running a poker bot but his consideration is stopped dead by the realisation that he can't legally operate a gambling anything from the country he is in. Mircea Popescu points out that this aspect is a problem of the country itself to the point that one cannot legally operate almost anything there but Danielpbarron doesn't consider that to be the worst of things anyway.

Mircea Popescu illustrates the issue of naive extension of notions to domains or situations where they don't apply. As concrete example, he notes that amortization does not make sense as a concept to be considered by a country when deciding what to do with its current generation since each generation is a set of resources that will be spent anyway and always without any possibility of saving any of it.

Mircea Popescu and Asciilifeform discuss the nature of what distinguishes individuals out of a mass. Initially Asciilifeform seems to consider it is a matter of having more or less of some characteristic such as courage but Mircea Popescu points out that the only practical way to distinguish is the answer or lack of answer to some specific situation - essentially whether one gets the "calling" or not.

Asciilifeform and Mircea Popescu disagree in their view and interpretation of Lavrentii Beria. The discussion spills onto the next day.

On Sunday:

Asciilifeform and Mircea Popescu continue at length their discussion of Beria, Stalin and the whole entourage. Asciilifeform provides a curated fragment by Bukovsky in support of his own point. Mircea Popescu attempts to read it but quickly runs into abundant examples of stupidity and therefore stops before getting to full blown rage.

Ben Vulpes asks BingoBoingo to send him over the Pizarro transactions so that he can produce the full statements and move on to making and filling with data a customer equity tracker for Pizarro. BingoBoingo provides the required data.

BingoBoingo publishes on Qntra a short post on the protests in France. He also publishes on Pizarro's blog a summary of his activities for the business.

  1. Pics and pocs might be anything but here I read it as proof of concept! 

  2. Lines of Code 


  1. > Upon coming online to the whole zx2c4 display, Mircea Popescu swiftly negrates zx2c4.

    'Twas not promptly (though yes, swiftly, but I disclaim all responsibility). 'Twas following

    mircea_popescu: next shit out of your dumb mouth fails to string match apologizing for being quite so fucking stupid, i'ma fix the negligence whereby you can still speak here.

    Also shouldn't http://ave1.org/2018/%D0%B2%D0%B0%D1%88%D0%B5-%D1%81%D0%BB%D0%BE%D0%B2%D0%BE-%D1%82%D0%BE%D0%B2%D0%B0%D1%80%D0%B8%D1%89-%D0%BC%D0%B0%D1%83%D0%B7%D0%B5%D1%80/ get a link ?

    > Asciilifeform and Mircea Popescu continue at length their discussion of Beria, Stalin and the whole entourage.

    I expect the summary should include the respective views. Perhaps something like "alf sees beria as a very gifted administrator who presided over the core of soviet accomplishment during the time of peaking soviet accomplishment ; whereas mp sees the words and deeds of his contemporaries pointing to Beria being 'promising but sadly insane'. As they do not discuss the same things, their disagreement can not be resolved, and their efforts to expand the field to reach mutual ground so greatly expands the field as to (tacitly admitted) exceed their capacity to fit in brain while at the same time dubiously if at all including any mutual ground worth the name. The dispute is therefore tabled for later times."

    Comment by Mircea Popescu — December 19, 2018 @ 6:19 p.m.

  2. Good summary. Thank you.

    Comment by tetrahedron — December 19, 2018 @ 6:25 p.m.

  3. Mircea Popescu Yes, indeed (on all three points). And thank you for the summary of the views on the Beria discussion.

    Initially I was thinking of focusing on what got done rather than what was said but the whole thing being a log of discussions, that turned quickly into "have to summarize the views expressed too" so yes, the views on Beria should actually be in there indeed.

    Tetrahedron You're welcome.

    Comment by Diana Coman — December 20, 2018 @ 7:25 p.m.

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