Archive for November, 2009


While I was home for Thanksgiving, my dad and I had several conversations about economics that centered around people’s earnings and their rights to them.

I think our issues were largely semantic — we use the word “earned” with at least two distinct senses:

  • Exchange of Labor — Bob cleaned the gutters on my house and earned $35.
  • Capital Investment — In the last 30 seconds, Warren earned $4718 in the market.

(That’s $62 billion at the historical 8% return from the stock market. Of course all his money isn’t in the stock market, and he likely has less now than he did a few months ago, but the idea’s the same.)

1 year365 days
1 day24 hours
1 hour60 minutes
1 minute60 seconds
30 seconds


I don’t think that it makes sense to treat these two transfers of money as even remotely similar in terms impact on a person’s life or amount of effort put forth. I don’t really know the terms to use to separate “earning” in investment from “earning” in labor, but I think I would have an easier time talking to my dad if I could create a separation.

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Stupid Find

This command should work, imho:

$file = ~/personal/private/.htaccess;
find ~/ -name .htaccess -type f -exec diff $file {}
              || ( echo 'Replacing: ' {} && rm {} && ln -s $file {} );

It should hunt down all the copies of my .htaccess files that are only there to password protect a directory and make them symlinks to an authoritative version.

There are many ways to accomplish the task and ⟰ is apparently not one of them. ☺

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A Project Root

In the last post I mentioned the idea of adding a user root special directory at ‘…’. My other new directory is the repository (or project) root.

For example, I designed the site for the volunteers in Mauritania. Part of the site is a cookbook, both of those sites though are a part of my web repository.


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System Usage

I want a web service where I can easily put a url to the output of a system command. I’d like to be able to stick a tag in this post and have the output of:

df | awk '/^//{ used += $3; total += $2 } 
        END { print (used / 1024 / 1024) "g" 
                        " / " (total / 1024 / 1024) "g" 
                        " = " (used / total) }'

Piped into it whenever the page is loaded (with some caching to handle). It would be a network-level /proc filesystem. The systems could key the values on URIs. Putting it at the network level also lets you run a genetic algorithm on the programs that and being used to configure routing.

Adding artificial intelligence to routing does sound like a pretty good idea, now that I mention it. ☺ I could let remote programs run commands that I don’t care about being public like df, free. I could even expose a version of ps.

The network really would be the computer in that situation as individual routing agents learned from each other the optimum distribution patterns.

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I’ve Killed Subversion

Version control software was created to help programmers keep track of their code. All it does is let you see the version of a document as it existed at any point along the commit chain. (It’s like Vista’s restore points except on a per-file basis, so more complex to use, but hella powerful for managing data.)

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