Let's Encrypt

I have setup TLS for sono.us and www.cell-game.com using Let's Encrypt. Both certificates will expire January 25, 2016.

Instead of running letsencrypt with sudo privileges on my server, I ran letsencrypt-nosudo. According to Issue #5, this can be done using the official client as well. Because letsencrypt-nosudo was very short, I was able to modify it and vet it easily. There are weaknesses in any system, but the options are quite limited in this system. If you'd like my patch, let me know.

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Control

I thought I'd just write a few thoughts down and see where it goes. I'm having trouble writing down my thoughts. Apologies if I go too fast. I'm not in the mood to be patient.

First things first. I write a lot. My mother is a bibliophile. I am a scriptophile, I love to write. But I don't publish most of what I write. My graphic novel Javantea's Fate ground to a halt not long after it started, so I started a blog called "Making of JF" hoping to gain readership by writing keywords and drawing interesting things a few days per week. Years later very few pages of Javantea's Fate were finished, but 378 pages of Making of JF were done. That's a huge amount of writing. It was a very tough part of my life, so I'm glad that I have that corpus of writing to show what my mind was thinking. But I didn't post everything I wrote. The House MD episode "Private Lives" discussed a person who wrote down everything she was going through. I didn't do that back in 2001, but I was spending a few hours three days a week on it. I can't do that now because I signed a confidentiality contract with my previous employer and one of our clients. They went to bat for me and I owe them my current happy status but I also think that the past four years of not quite radio silence (comparatively) has warped my mind. Of course my mind was warped before I went to work in infosec, but the secrets I've kept have gnawed at me. It's the whole issue of doublethink straight from 1984. I am holding two contradicting truths to be true at the same time. Operational security is incredibly important, information should be made free. But information is power and with great power comes great responsibility. I am an irresponsible person. I don't believe in control.

Let's talk about control. There are more than a few theories on the human mind that talk about control and I'm not going to do them any justice explaining them right now. Let's say that my friend, let's call him Descartes for now says that human beings are incapable of moving. He's wrong, but let's say I'm so furious that I want to prove to him that human beings are capable of moving. So I tell him, if I am able to walk from my current position to one foot in front of you, then I can move and your statement is false. He replies, but how do you know you're moving and not changing my mind about what's going on? Occam's razor? Nope. Descartes isn't having it. So I think again. I am unable to reach out and touch you right now. If I am able to reach out and touch you, I must be able to move therefore your theory is wrong. Descartes is too smart for that. You can change my mind, so how do I know if you're actually touching me?

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Improvements

Over the weekend I have made massive improvements to my blog. I chose a theme and applied it quite well. I made a logo which is not really a logo but the name of the site using my AltSci font. I'm not too thrilled about the splash part on the main page but I'll figure out what I should do later. The comment system is working (I even caught a bug in Django while I was at it). The quote system is up on the front page and the About page. So what's new on the Brazilian front? I have downloaded 64 PDFs and 72 MP3s from Busuu and am turning them into a study guide for myself. At some point I intend to compile this data from my mind into lessons for English speakers. It could also be used for Brazilian Portuguese speakers to learn English. I'll have to see if I meet anyone who can test it out. Currently my setup is 2 pages and I have enough data for 5-10 pages. I plan to only bring 5 pages with me though. I'll be traveling light to keep only one bag. If I was more confident of where I was going and how I could get there I would probably take a light duffel bag. Having carried it enough trips I don't want that extra weight. Since my wrist is broken I won't be able to switch hands which would be annoying if I carry anything heavy. Limits are not necessarily bad. My website is limited by the time I have available. Though I could have saved time and made it a copy of my other blog, I decided that I need a bit of Python on my website.

Now seems like as good a time as any to advertise my other blogs and my projects. Currently I have a really cool project that is already making some steps. It's also written in Python Django and has about 105GB more data than this blog. Almost none of it is original, but don't let that stop you from visiting Philisophical Transactions. A blog post here wouldn't be complete without a link to my normal blog and my previous travel blogs: AltSci Europe and AltSci Japan.

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Digg Diversity


June 10, 2009
Update July 23, 2009

Digg Diversity is a new project by AltSci Concepts. It uses the Digg API to calculate a more fair score for articles on Digg. Why is this algorithm necessary or preferable? Digg has an algorithm that is based entirely on profit, which is acceptable for a company like Digg. The more diggs that occur, the more profit that Digg makes, which means that they will accept, even encourage their users to game the system. The Digg front page algorithm which promotes articles to the front page with as few as 100 diggs means that a small number of people can control the front page of Digg by simply getting 100 like- minded people to digg their articles (and visa-versa). The company Digg benefits when corrupt users promote the same content repeatedly, but the overall community is diminished (especially those users who wish to see important non-repetitive content). This topic is extremely deep and deserves an essay but definitely not tonight on the night of the beta release of Digg Diversity. Many digg comments, blogs, and even a mashup that is currently offline have been written about this issue, but I hope to write the solution.

Digg Diversity is a entirely javascript mashup using the Digg API to retrieve important information about what data is found on Digg. The first set of results may be rather surprising. You will see a list of results quite similar to the front page of Digg. However, the order is by "divvs" which are a new calculated value based on timing and repetitiveness of the digger. The raw data can be found at the bottom of the page (there is a link that displays the data).

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