Dorion Mode

September 28, 2020

The shadows of an Indian summer.

Filed under: Amor fati — Robinson Dorion @ 18:49

It struck me recently that a major cause of my outrageous behavior these past few months is that I've continued to neglect writing the articles for the fabled outlines I published through the process of applying be a Pageboy of Diana Coman and the Young Hands Club. As she observed, I spent most of my twenties finding my feet, which lead me to live in a foreign land I came to consider my home.

Then, 11 days after TMSR's closure I decided to leave the city with everything apart from my friends that couldn't be replaced to stay with my parents in the hills I grew up in. Not having written the articles in the outlines is evidence I've not thought through and processed fully those trials and tribulations. Instead of writing, publishing and moving on1, I went on a summer vacation as if it was my childhood. I did what was easy, rather than what was correct. I literally walked in scores of loops around golf courses.

shadows-1

Above, from hole 7 tee box of Rutland Country Club Saturday. Below, from behind 7th green.

shadows-2

It has been a sunny, Indian summer stretching into September and I reverted to the shadows, even if I spent more time outside and under the sun this summer than I have in a decade plus. I'm at ground zero of where my weaknesses are rooted, but I have rested rather than working to strengthen them. I have allowed myself to atrophy and incur opportunity costs. I could think of more things to say and as I start to a lot of negatives come up, but ultimately lead me to asking, what now ?

I'm reminded of a point that was quite a surprising relief to read in the moment and to be reminded of now. What now then is to confront myself and my past, remind myself stupidity is penalized exponentially by the wise and the world with good reason, and start chipping away at writing those articles and doing what I know I have to do. By greasing my writing gears, more will be sure to follow, one simple step at a time. Tu nu poti daca nu te chinui suficient.

  1. While at the same time having it available to reference relatively cheaply at any future point. []

July 13, 2020

In defense of honoring Rutland Raider Power.

Filed under: Amor fati — Robinson Dorion @ 23:43

The local newspaper, The Rutland Herald, recently published an op-ed written by a former classmate of mine titled, "RHS Mascot must go", which you can read here. I submitted a sightly shorter version of this, e.g. doesn't have any pictures or footnotes, to said herald this evening, which I've linked. The last piece I submitted to them was about 10 years ago, which they didn't publish for unspecified reasons. To give you an idea, this is a paper that still publishes the long-ago discredited Paul Krugman. I'm not holding my breath for them to publish this, but we'll see.

For new readers of the blog, mind there's a comment box at the end. Leave your thoughts, if you please; both supportive and critical comments will be published. At the end of each footnote there's a link that will return you to your place. Here goes.

Dear Fellow Rutlanders and Ms. Gokee,

To be clear, while I disagree with her methodology and conclusion, I write this in the spirit of debate and with all respect due to Ms. Gokee, of whom I always had a positive experience of in the flesh. I learned of several things from her piece and I hope this article returns the favor.

Nicknames and titles are characteristic of honor-based societies, which have endured millennia because they reflect the self-evident hierarchy that exists in nature and predates land-based organisms. True story: even sea creatures secrete endorphins when they win a turf war and raise their standing in the world. This neurological structure is older than trees.

The Latins used ''cognomen'', which English speakers call nicknames, to distinguish, among other things, heroic battle achievements. Fortunately, the bounty of excess resources the capitalists of generations past graciously bequeathed us has provided sufficient cushion to afford our youths (previously known as ''useless eaters'') the luxury of organized athletics. The rub is, when you name a team in town, you don't have those individual stories that support the individual nicknames. As a consequence, the tenacity competition requires traditionally leads the namers to use names representing something fierce, e.g. lions and tigers and bears, oh my!! American football is the sport most reminiscent of battle and probably that which the Rutland Raiders are most renowned for in this state, so let us dwell for a moment. George Carlin nails it, y'know? ''In football the object is for the quarterback, also known as the field general, to be on target with his aerial assault, riddling the defense by hitting his receivers with deadly accuracy in spite of the blitz, even if he has to use the shotgun. With short bullet passes and long bombs, he marches his troops into enemy territory, balancing this aerial assault with a sustained ground attack that punches holes in the forward wall of the enemy's defensive line. In baseball the object is to go home! And to be safe! I hope I'll be safe at home!''.

''Raid'' is a Scottish word with etymology tracing to describe a ''mounted military expedition''. Football requires bravery, tenacity, physical fitness, power and grace, team coordination and willingness to get dirty and bleed for the team and town to experience the high of achievement and victory. Naming the mascot a Raider honors the spirit and characteristics through a symbol the student-athlete can draw on for inspiration. The arrowhead itself symbolizes and honors a culture that leveraged the tool to feed, clothe and shelter families and evict derelict neighbors and perhaps even against neighbors who were simply boring and dull. It's true that there are undertones of violence, but the wisdom of using them in this context is they are actually beneficial in dangerous, physical competition, where strictly enforced rules allow violence to be pushed to the edge of civility and an advantage is gained for knowing well where the line is.

Sure, racists and bigots employ propaganda to manipulate those less bookish, but do you really want to be a person who imputes the views and behavior of a small minority of individuals on an entire community? Pretty sure there's a word for that. It's certainly not consonant with my experience of being around Rutland athletics for over two decades as a water boy1 , athlete2 and fan, during which I can't recall I witnessed any instances of racism3. There is brotherhood amongst opponents.

I accept as true that racist and bigoted people exist across cultures and geography. I've lived over a quarter of my life as a social and racial minority in foreign lands, this isn't my imagination, but first hand experience. Humans are social creatures with in-group preference. We tend to prefer friends and family to strangers for most activities and tend to feel uncomfortable when surrounded by conversation in a foreign language. Learning hurts.

With that being said, to say honoring a culture's symbols by taking them for inspiration into a gamified battle is appropriation and racist is to look at the situation from not only a very limited, but fragile perspective. Where does this argument go if applied ''equally''? Do you really want to start a culture war where symbolizing and utilizing cultural contributions are restricted to progeny of the originators? Should descendants of Europeans now take offense whenever someone else wears a necktie when they are dressing for success? The ''cravat'' is distinctly European military attire, after all. Are you making fun of my ancestors?!? What about electricity and the Internet Protocol and aeroplanes and automobiles and the number zero? Surely it will tilt the balance of power towards the ''just'' if you lot pass a law that grants license to state clerks to use violence to restrict (suspending all sense, for a moment, to assume it could be done) technologies to those who can prove a bloodline (sarcasm). Taking a step back, it seems such a path leads to more division rather than cooperation. And if all of a sudden you don't want to apply your new rule equally, well... I'll let you fill in this blank and I don't think you'll like the word that fits.

It's true, history involves men fighting and killing and taking from and enslaving each other. Such behavior is cross-cultural and recurs throughout history because nature imposes scarcity and language and cooperation take more effort in the short term. C'est la vie. The fact that Europeans developed and utilized technology such as horses and the wheel and gun powder and the printing press which enabled them to more effectively control the resources of this landmass is not to their shame; anymore than it's the Turks' shame for developing superior cannon technology4 that enabled them to take the city5 that was the center of the world for over a millennia; nor is it Michael Jordan's shame for dominating the NBA during his prime, even if he was mean at times. The lists go on and on to demonstrate hierarchies are self-evident. The other side of 'the Indian problem'' was what the Europeans referred to as their burden to spread the high standard of living they achieved and which we enjoy through the harsh winters. Chimneys for the win, amirite ?!?! Monty Python's ''Life of Brian'' hits the nail on the head, ''All right, but apart from the sanitation, the medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, a fresh water system, and public health, what have the Romans ever done for us?" That is, check the toolbox you depend on for survival prior to impugning the deceased and scorning their progeny for whatever you convict their ancestors of posthumously, lest you find yourself lost in the cold. Side note: Lost in the Cold is a great Twiddle song, look it up.

To say in one sentence ''we're Vermonters'' and in another that this here is ''Abenaki land'' is a contradiction I hope others caught. Perhaps some progeny of the Byzantines refer to that grand city on the Golden Horn as Constantinople to this day, but any ticket they buy to go there surely reads Istanbul. Perhaps some Bitcoin Barron will take ownership of this land in the future and rename it. Until that day, it's called Vermont to signify this is an outpost of European civilization. There was war, subjugation and brutality on this continent far before their ships beached and for whatever reasons, after losing many battles fighting with and against the Natives, the Europeans came out on top. If you must hate, please don't hate the player, hate the game. Then try to not hate because bitter roots bear bitter fruit. Try instead to learn why the winners won.

It's probably the case some old white man dressed in a three piece suit sat in his leather chair at his Mahogany desk smoking his pipe some century and a half ago to make the name and came up with the alliteration we've inherited. Maybe he even wore a monocle and kept coins in woven bags with dollar signs painted on strewn about the marble floor of his office which his servants polished daily on their hands and knees with toothbrushes. Given we've uncovered the etymology, do you think it could be possible the man was a silly Scotsman who knew what the word meant and used it to counterbalance the rivalrous ''Mounties'' of Convent Avenue in this here city? Wouldn't that be something?

I don't know what the real source of the name is, but I must ask what the long-term consequences are of trying to whitewash the name and symbols thousands of young Rutlanders have been proud to represent in constructive, competitive activities they cared deeply about? If you thrash the arrowhead, will you then chastise me and my friends for wearing our state championship gear? Should we have a big bonfire and burn all the threads6? Or what if I have a son who grows up and wants to wear his old man's throwbacks, should he expect grief? Should I prepare him to defend himself because he may be attacked if wearing it in public? I'm not trying to put words in anyone's mouth, I'm genuinely curious how far you think the 'removal' will go. Seems like a major distraction from the actual travesty taking place presently through socialist central banks appropriating purchasing power via the inflation tax, y'dig? But hey, driving division using the racist wedge and meanwhile debauching the currency is straight out the Communist playbook. Maybe I'm biased, "the Commish" of the Mounties, a.k.a Mr. William O'Rourke III, J.D., did nickname me ''Raider Rob'' for my fidelity to the tradition, after all. My point is there are more sides to the story than the scapegoat of evil white men making fun of people they conquered.

If you manage to succeed, perhaps you pick a name more benign, but likewise virtuous, activity that Rutland is actually famous for. Probably should be something about marble since that's what the world actually knows this area for. The mythology would be similar to a Slater who quarries for sacred material deep in mother earth and erects enduring structures for art and his family's refuge. For all I know though, you'll claim Mr. Proctor was a ''thief''/''Robber Barron''/omgwhatever for ''stripping the land''. Regardless, I reckon the Raider spirit will remain adamant in Rutland independent of whether the current tensions are opportunistically exploited to further the agenda of cultural Marxists7.

My neighbor gave me the nickname out of admiration despite wanting to see me lose and even cry my eyes out whenever his team was on the other side of the ball and I love him for that because competition brings out the best within us. Personally, I'd rather see arrowheads on the backs of teenagers' cars who loved playing as Raiders so much they parade the symbol around town in perpetuity. The reason is, the meaning to me isn't some racist symbol; the arrowhead represents hard work, dedication, deferral of gratification, courage, physical and mental mastery, making enduring memories with lifelong friends, teamwork, excitement, community support, giving your jersey to a cute chica on gameday, sportsmanship, sight and sound, intensity with integrity, living such that you have no regrets and on that score I know I'm not alone. Whether you like it or not, that's what you're attacking and that's probably the primary reason there's resistance. Surely there would be more resistance if the risk and consequences of being slandered a racists weren't so high. I'll take that risk, and say what I believe to be correct, and leave to faith that the logos still remains in the thousands of people who've known and supported me in this community throughout my life.

Ms. Gokee writes, ''The problem is that putting Native Americans in the past erases our existence in the world today.'' Likewise, saying present day Rutlanders use the arrowhead as a racist symbol such that their history should be torn down rather than a symbol of admiration is unmitigated prejudice. I, for one, will keep my nickname with honor as long as I live because the roots of the words are simply too profound not too --you're not digging them up.

For the record, the time is always now, that's why it's called the present. Look it up if you don't believe me. The phrase for the time when you tear down the proud symbols of a society is post mortem.

In Liberty and Sincerely Yours,
Robinson, a.k.a ''Raider Rob'', a.k.a ''Digger'', Dorion.

  1. Here's a pic from 1998 following a Raider victory over Hartford in the semi-finals :

    raider-power-1

    From left to right: yours truly, Jake Eaton, T.J. Bowse.

    The Saturday prior, the Raiders beat the Mounties on Alumni in the Rutland-MSJ game. The following Saturday, MSJ beat Rutland in the State Championship game on Alumni and Rutland was the away team. They were also both contenders for the basketball title that year, which MSJ won. During the 1996-2006 period, Rutland won 7 of 11 titles while MSJ won 3. Ten out of eleven's not too bad for one town.

    For foreigners, the MSJ herein referred stands for Mount St. Joseph Academy, the Catholic School cross-town rival. []

  2. For the pics or it didn't happen crew, here you go.

    raider-power-2

    I had one of my better games that day and Coach Norman awarded me the game ball. Mr. Hadley, the father of Josh Hadley, one of our Senior Captains, and his Sophomore brother Ethan had passed away the week of the game. The ball is buried with Mr. Hadley. []

  3. That's not to say it never happened, maybe it did. It's simply that if it did it was so rare that I don't recall. That is, there are always bad apples, but it was never part of the athletics culture. []
  4. Who else misses the cannon at Raider football games ? 'Bring Back the Cannon 2020 !' ? For those unaware, from about 2000-2002, after every touchdown and other special occasions, a powder filled cannon was touched off at every home game. If I recall correctly, some residents of Gleason Road whined loud enough to get it mothballed. []
  5. Constantinople. []
  6. Here's a small sample:

    raider-power-3

    If memory serves, the story behind that 2000 lid is Josh Finley made a leaping, back shoulder catch on a deep post (the play-call was probably 26 iso pass) thrown by Sean Hurley late in the 4th quarter of a low scoring game to really take the stinger out of the Hornets of Essex and ultimately lead to the Raiders squashing them.

    raider-power-4

    Above: Sam Reynolds, Zak Acquistapace, Ryan Corey, Matt Littler, Josh Hadley.

    Below: Andrew Baker, Justin Stewart, Jon Bassett, Chris Kiernan.

    raider-power-5

    []

  7. Whether you're aware of it or not, that's what's going on. When Communism failed economically, as it always must, they pivoted. []

July 1, 2020

GBW-NODE : Gales Bitcoin Wallet Node verified acquisition, build, install and run in 21ish short, simple steps.

Filed under: JWRD — Robinson Dorion @ 17:32

This article documents the steps I took to verify I obtained the correct code to install and start using gbw-node, the online component of Gales Bitcoin Wallet, authored by Jacob F. Welsh (WoT : jfw) which he documented on Fixpoint through his work with JWRD Computing in a 1 2 3 4 5 6, count'em, 6 article series.

For maximal key security, the software is structured in two components : the node gbw-node and the signer gbw-signer. gbw-node is written in Python 2 and gbw-signer is written in Jacob's anti-Thompsonistic, almost-R5RS-plus-extensions Scheme implementation, Gales Scheme. This design facilitates use over an airgapped system. Such a system would be composed of at least one online computer where gbw-node collects information from the Bitcoin network and broadcasts transactions and an offline computers where gbw-signer is used to generate Bitcoin keys and sign transactions. Usage instructions for gbw-signer will come in an article to follow.

Before we dive in head first here, if you find yourself glossing over the instructions below as if written in hieroglyphics, take heart that it's only ASCII and the command line is not too hard to learn with some dedication to consistent practice and a good guide to walk you through the process. The other side of acquiring the skill is you're equipped with a new set of eyes that allows you to, among other things, enforce ownership over your money. Jacob and I have created training curriculum and hardware packages along with software like Gales Bitcoin Wallet to help our clients do just that and which you may read more about here. Alright, dive at will.

The pre-requisites to verify sources, compile, install and run are :

  1. The machine I used has 2 cores, 4 GB RAM and 500 GB SSD.
  2. V. I used Jacob's V in Perl with keksum starter kit.
  3. a Unix-like OS. I used a fresh, minimalist install of Gales Linux, which comes with the Gnu C Compiler (GCC) 4.7.4 ; musl C Library ; Busybox userland ; and Linux Kernel. Gales also comes with "gport" build scripts for Perl, Python 2 and SQLite. Perl is required for my V selection and and Python 2 and SQLite are required for gbw-node.
  4. GnuPG (GPG). I used the gport build in Gales Linux.
  5. The Real Bitcoin (TRB). I pressed my install here to Jacob's bitcoin_system_compiler.vpatch.

2020/07/01 Update : As Diana Coman kindly pointed out in the comments, if you already have a TRB node in operation, you may skip directly to step 18 for all gbw-node functionality apart from the push command. For push to work, you need Jabob's bitcoin_rawtx_get_send.vpatch.

Commands issued1 to download and install complete orchestra from Gales Linux base install :

Add the following IPs to /etc/hosts :
198.199.70.97 fixpoint.welshcomputing.com
96.43.130.234 deedbot.org

1. Build and install GnuPG.
cd /var/build/gales/gports/gnupg ; gbuild ; gpkg-install -f gnupg-0.0-1.4.21.sh.gz ; mv gnupg-0.0-1.4.21.sh.gz /gales/dist/pkg/

2. Build and install Perl.
cd ../perl ; gbuild ; gpkg-install -f perl-10.1-5.24.2.sh.gz ; mv perl-10.1-5.24.2.sh.gz /gales/dist/pkg/

3. Build and install Python.
cd ../python ; gbuild ; gpkg-install -f python-0.3-2.7.13.sh.gz ; mv python-0.3-2.7.13.sh.gz /gales/dist/pkg/

4. Build and install SQLite and its docs.
cd ../sqlite ; gbuild ; gpkg-install -f sqlite-3.0-3.21.0.sh.gz ; mv sqlite-3.0-3.21.0.sh.gz /gales/dist/pkg ; cd ../sqlite-doc ; gbuild ; gpkg-install -f sqlite-doc-3.0-3.21.0.sh.gz ; mv sqlite-doc-3.0-3.21.0.sh.gz /gales/dist/pkg

5. Acquire the keys for the seals you intend to verify. In this case, jfw, diana_coman, spyked and mod6.
mkdir /root/keys ; cd /root/keys ; wget wot.deedbot.org/{0CBC05941D03FD95C3A47654AE0DF306025594B3,E72DCCB73A5E06694C5CD781D5196EE6390F999E,0x541A976BB5FC4B455D7FBC61BDAE9D051A3D3B95,027A8D7C0FB8A16643720F40721705A8B71EADAF}.asc

6. Prepare the V build tree.
mkdir -p /var/build/v/{v,trb,gbw-node}/{.seals,.wot,patches} ; cd /var/build/v/v/.wot ; ln -s ~/keys/0CBC05941D03FD95C3A47654AE0DF306025594B3.asc jfw.asc ; ln -s ~/keys/E72DCCB73A5E06694C5CD781D5196EE6390F999E.asc diana_coman.asc ; ln -s ~/keys/0x541A976BB5FC4B455D7FBC61BDAE9D051A3D3B95.asc spyked.asc

7. Acquire jfw's V.pl Keksum starter kit.
cd .. ; wget http://fixpoint.welshcomputing.com/code/v/v-pl-keksum-starter-v2.tar.gz ; wget http://fixpoint.welshcomputing.com/code/v/v-pl-keksum-starter-v2.tar.gz.asc

8. Import his key on your gnupg key ring and verify the tarball with his signature.
gpg --import .wot/jfw.asc ; gpg --verify v-pl-keksum-starter-v2.tar.gz.asc

9. Extract the tarball, poke around to your content2 and run the install script.
tar xzf v-pl-keksum-starter-v2.tar.gz ; cd v-pl-keksum-starter-v2 ; sh install.sh

10. Acquire the vpatches and seals to press your V tree with the installed starter.
cd .. ; wget -P patches http://fixpoint.welshcomputing.com/v/v/{v_strict_headers,v_keksum_busybox_r2,v_fixes_vpatch_sync,v_keccak_vtools,v_mod6_99993,v_mod6_genesis,v_fix_exptimes_paths_etc}.vpatch ; wget -P .seals http://fixpoint.welshcomputing.com/v/v/{v_strict_headers.vpatch.{diana_coman,jfw},v_keksum_busybox_r2.vpatch.jfw,v_fixes_vpatch_sync.vpatch.{diana_coman,jfw,spyked},v_keccak_vtools.vpatch.{diana_coman,jfw,spyked},v_mod6_99993.vpatch.{diana_coman,jfw,spyked},v_mod6_genesis.vpatch.{diana_coman,spyked},v_fix_exptimes_paths_etc.vpatch.jfw}.sig

11a. Issue a flow.
v.pl f
v_mod6_genesis.vpatch (diana_coman, spyked)
v_mod6_99993.vpatch (diana_coman, jfw, spyked)
v_keccak_vtools.vpatch (diana_coman, jfw, spyked)
v_fixes_vpatch_sync.vpatch (diana_coman, jfw, spyked)
v_strict_headers.vpatch (diana_coman, jfw)
v_fix_exptimes_paths_etc.vpatch (jfw)
v_keksum_busybox_r2.vpatch (jfw)

11b. Press your V tree, install the binary on your path and give it execute permission.
v.pl p v_keksum_busybox_r2 v_keksum_busybox_r2.vpatch ; cd /local/bin/ ; ln -s /var/build/v/v/v_keksum_busybox/v/v.pl v.pl ; chmod +x /local/bin/v.pl

12a. Acquire the vpatches for your press of The Real Bitcoin Vtree.
cd /var/build/v/trb/ ; wget -P patches http://fixpoint.welshcomputing.com/v/bitcoin/{asciilifeform-kills-integer-retardation,asciilifeform_add_verifyall_option,asciilifeform_aggressive_pushgetblocks,asciilifeform_tx-orphanage_amputation,asciilifeform_and_now_we_have_eatblock,asciilifeform_dnsseed_snipsnip,asciilifeform_lets_lose_testnet,asciilifeform_maxint_locks_corrected,asciilifeform_orphanage_thermonuke,asciilifeform_ver_now_5_4_and_irc_is_gone_and_now_must_give_ip,asciilifeform_zap_hardcoded_seeds,bitcoin-asciilifeform.1,mod6_phexdigit_fix,mod6_der_high_low_s,asciilifeform_and_now_we_have_block_dumper_corrected,asciilifeform_dns_thermonyukyoolar_kleansing,asciilifeform_zap_showmyip_crud,bitcoin-asciilifeform.2-https_snipsnip,bitcoin-asciilifeform.3-turdmeister-alert-snip,bitcoin-asciilifeform.4-goodbye-win32,bitcoin-v0_5_3-db_config.6,bitcoin-v0_5_3_1-rev_bump.7,bitcoin-v0_5_3_1-static_makefile_v002.8,bitcoin_rawtx_get_send,bitcoin_system_compiler,genesis,makefiles,mod6_excise_hash_truncation,mod6_fix_dumpblock_params,mod6_manifest,mod6_privkey_tools,mod6_whogaveblox,programmable-versionstring,rm_rf_upnp,malleus_mikehearnificarum,bitcoin-asciilifeform.3-turdmeister-alert-snip}.vpatch

12b. Acquire the seals of your choice.
wget -P .seals http://fixpoint.welshcomputing.com/v/bitcoin/{mod6_manifest.vpatch.{mod6,jfw},asciilifeform-kills-integer-retardation.vpatch.mod6,asciilifeform_add_verifyall_option.vpatch.{jfw,mod6},asciilifeform_aggressive_pushgetblocks.vpatch.mod6,asciilifeform_and_now_we_have_block_dumper_corrected.vpatch.mod6,asciilifeform_and_now_we_have_eatblock.vpatch.mod6,asciilifeform_dns_thermonyukyoolar_kleansing.vpatch.jfw,asciilifeform_dns_thermonyukyoolar_kleansing.vpatch.mod6,asciilifeform_dnsseed_snipsnip.vpatch.jfw,asciilifeform_dnsseed_snipsnip.vpatch.mod6,asciilifeform_lets_lose_testnet.vpatch.jfw_unchecked,asciilifeform_lets_lose_testnet.vpatch.mod6,asciilifeform_maxint_locks_corrected.vpatch.mod6,asciilifeform_orphanage_thermonuke.vpatch.mod6,asciilifeform_tx-orphanage_amputation.vpatch.mod6,asciilifeform_ver_now_5_4_and_irc_is_gone_and_now_must_give_ip.vpatch.mod6,asciilifeform_zap_hardcoded_seeds.vpatch.{jfw,mod6},asciilifeform_zap_showmyip_crud.vpatch.mod6,bitcoin-asciilifeform.1.vpatch.{jfw,mod6},bitcoin-asciilifeform.2-https_snipsnip.vpatch.{jfw,mod6},bitcoin-asciilifeform.3-turdmeister-alert-snip.vpatch.mod6,bitcoin-asciilifeform.4-goodbye-win32.vpatch.{jfw,mod6},bitcoin-v0_5_3-db_config.6.vpatch.mod6,bitcoin-v0_5_3_1-rev_bump.7.vpatch.{jfw,mod6},bitcoin-v0_5_3_1-static_makefile_v002.8.vpatch.{jfw,mod6},bitcoin_rawtx_get_send.vpatch.jfw,bitcoin_system_compiler.vpatch.jfw,genesis.vpatch.mod6,makefiles.vpatch.{jfw,mod6},malleus_mikehearnificarum.vpatch.{jfw,mod6},mod6_der_high_low_s.vpatch.mod6,mod6_excise_hash_truncation.vpatch.{jfw,mod6},mod6_fix_dumpblock_params.vpatch.mod6,mod6_phexdigit_fix.vpatch.{jfw,mod6},mod6_privkey_tools.vpatch.mod6,mod6_whogaveblox.vpatch.mod6,programmable-versionstring.vpatch.mod6,rm_rf_upnp.vpatch.mod6}.sig

12c. Populate your .wot directory.
cd .wot ; ln -s ~/keys/027A8D7C0FB8A16643720F40721705A8B71EADAF.asc mod6.asc ; ln -s ~/keys/0CBC05941D03FD95C3A47654AE0DF306025594B3.asc jfw.asc ; cd ..

13a. View your flow.
v.pl flow
genesis.vpatch (mod6)
bitcoin-asciilifeform.1.vpatch (jfw, mod6)
rm_rf_upnp.vpatch (mod6)
bitcoin-asciilifeform.3-turdmeister-alert-snip.vpatch (mod6)
bitcoin-asciilifeform.2-https_snipsnip.vpatch (jfw, mod6)
bitcoin-asciilifeform.4-goodbye-win32.vpatch (jfw, mod6)
asciilifeform_dnsseed_snipsnip.vpatch (jfw, mod6)
asciilifeform_zap_hardcoded_seeds.vpatch (jfw, mod6)
asciilifeform-kills-integer-retardation.vpatch (mod6)
asciilifeform_zap_showmyip_crud.vpatch (mod6)
asciilifeform_dns_thermonyukyoolar_kleansing.vpatch (jfw, mod6)
asciilifeform_and_now_we_have_block_dumper_corrected.vpatch (mod6)
mod6_fix_dumpblock_params.vpatch (mod6)
bitcoin-v0_5_3_1-static_makefile_v002.8.vpatch (jfw, mod6)
bitcoin-v0_5_3_1-rev_bump.7.vpatch (jfw, mod6)
asciilifeform_ver_now_5_4_and_irc_is_gone_and_now_must_give_ip.vpatch (mod6)
asciilifeform_orphanage_thermonuke.vpatch (mod6)
asciilifeform_and_now_we_have_eatblock.vpatch (mod6)
bitcoin-v0_5_3-db_config.6.vpatch (mod6)
asciilifeform_tx-orphanage_amputation.vpatch (mod6)
asciilifeform_maxint_locks_corrected.vpatch (mod6)
asciilifeform_lets_lose_testnet.vpatch (mod6)
asciilifeform_add_verifyall_option.vpatch (jfw, mod6)
programmable-versionstring.vpatch (mod6)
mod6_der_high_low_s.vpatch (mod6)
malleus_mikehearnificarum.vpatch (jfw, mod6)
makefiles.vpatch (jfw, mod6)
asciilifeform_aggressive_pushgetblocks.vpatch (mod6)
mod6_privkey_tools.vpatch (mod6)
mod6_manifest.vpatch (jfw, mod6)
mod6_phexdigit_fix.vpatch (jfw, mod6)
mod6_excise_hash_truncation.vpatch (jfw, mod6)
mod6_whogaveblox.vpatch (mod6)
bitcoin_rawtx_get_send.vpatch (jfw)
bitcoin_system_compiler.vpatch (jfw)

13b. Press when ready.
v.pl p bitcoin_system_compiler bitcoin_system_compiler.vpatch

14. Acquire Bitcoin's dependencies. The deps/Makefile invokes curl, which isn't present out of the box on Gales Linux. Instead I ran wget by hand.
cd bitcoin_system_compiler/bitcoin/deps/ ; wget -O boost_1_52_0.tar.bz2.asc http://deedbot.org/deed-422651-1.txt ; wget -O db-4.8.30.tar.gz.asc http://deedbot.org/deed-422651-3.txt ; wget -O openssl-1.0.1g.tar.gz.asc http://deedbot.org/deed-422651-4.txt ; cd ..

15. Ensure mod6's key is in your gpg key ring3 and compile the code with the make script :
gpg --import ../../.wot/mod6.asc ; make

16. Install the bitcoind binary to the preferred location on your preferred user's path, e.g. :
cp -a build/bitcoind /path/to/user/path/

17a. Configure bitcoind. Some select flags from ~/.bitcoin/bitcoin.conf. You'll also want to set the addnode flag a few times to the IP of trusted nodes.
logtimestamps=1
verifyall
lows=1
caneat=1

17b. Run bitcoind and sync your local copy of the Bitcoin block chain.
bitcoind & tail -f ~/.bitcoin/debug.log | grep SetBestChain

18. Acquire the vpatch and seal for gbw-node.
cd /var/build/v/gbw-node/.wot ; ln -s ~/keys/0CBC05941D03FD95C3A47654AE0DF306025594B3.asc jfw.asc ; cd .. ; wget -p patches http://fixpoint.welshcomputing.com/v/gbw-node/gbw-node_genesis.vpatch ; wget -p .seals http://fixpoint.welshcomputing.com/v/gbw-node/gbw-node_genesis.vpatch.jfw.sig

19. Press and install Gales Bitcoin Wallet Node.
v.pl p gbw-node gbw-node.vpatch ; cd /package ; ln -s /var/build/v/gbw/gbw-node/gbw-node-1/ gbw-node-1 ; cd gbw-node-1 ; sh package/install

20. Configure gbw-node by making the hidden directory and redirecting the gbw-node's SQL schema into the database file.
mkdir ~/.gbw ; sqlite3 ~/.gbw/db </package/gbw-node/library/schema-node.sql

21a. Game time. Ask for help.
gbw-node help
Usage: gbw-node COMMAND [ARGS]

Available commands (can be abbreviated when unambiguous):

help
scan
reset
tags
addresses
unspent-outs
watch
push
balance
register
unlock-wallet

21b. Watch a list of addresses, identified by a tag. In this case, one of the more historic financial transactions to be recorded which marked the end of an era and the start of a new era. Enter your list of addresses separated by enter, press control d to send python the end of file signal and exit gracefully.
gbw-node watch mps-bitcoin-berkshire-bet
16u2LKbGwAARwsWEXKTjBu8XMghnVMcFEi

21c. Print your tags and addresses.
gbw-node tags
mps-bitcoin-berkshire-bet

gbw-node addresses
16u2LKbGwAARwsWEXKTjBu8XMghnVMcFEi

21d. Scan the Bitcoin block chain for transactions sent and received by your watched addresses. (This took approximately 24 hrs to scan from the genesis block to approximately block height 634,000.
gbw-node scan
...
block 290841 new-outs 0 spent-outs 0
block 290842 new-outs 1 spent-outs 0
block 290843 new-outs 0 spent-outs 0
...

21e. Print the history of your transactions and the change in your balance. Can add an optional tag parameter to filter if you have multiple tags.
gbw-node register
290842 2 1000.00000000 0.00000000 1000.00000000

21f. Print your balance. Can add an optional tag parameter to filter if your have multiple tags.
gbw-node balance
1000.00000000

21g. Print the list of spendable transactions, a.k.a. unspent transactions outputs (utxo), available to your watched addresses. The output of this command is formatted how gbw-signer expects its wallet/transactions file to be formatted. It's best practice to run multiple independent trb + gbw-node instances to ensure the transactions you're being fed from the online machine are the ones you actually you want to sign.
gbw-node unspent-outs
16u2LKbGwAARwsWEXKTjBu8XMghnVMcFEi 1000.00000000 227d88033f4a26f60285462254f23c521bff96975f58ff60eadbeb62dca68578 1 #blk 290842 tx 2

And there you have it. Enjoy ! And the next time a central bank doubles their digital money supply or restricts transactions cause one of their friends has their panties in a bunch, recall that while time waits for no man, Bitcoin will be there, hardening.

  1. I've presented the command flow as root user throughout for simplicity. In practice, only the install commands require root privilege. []
  2. I modified the BINDIR variable to /local/bin/ since that's an element in the default execution $PATH on Gales Linux. []
  3. His signature is on the deeded dependencies. []

May 2, 2020

Protect What Matters with JWRD

Filed under: JWRD — Robinson Dorion @ 02:16

How much do secure, efficient computing and monetary stability matter to you ?

Virtually all 21st century business operators and investors face two core challenges : 1) leveraging a secure and efficient computing infrastructure and 2) maintaining business continuity through underlying monetary instability. This article lays out how JWRD1 Computing works with clients to convert these challenges into a competitive advantage.

The challenge of deploying and maintaining secure and efficient computing infrastructure comes into play on all levels of the supply chain ; from communications to analytics to contracts to payments to financial instruments and markets to even as deep as money itself, computers and the Internet have become integral tools in commerce and finance. Security and efficiency are powers derived from underlying understanding and control over one's environment.

The modern market has become flooded with computing solutions pushed by big corporations which are proprietary, costly and take away control of crucial infrastructure and even data, leaving businesses more exposed to counterparty risk from their vendors. Businesses that want to retain or regain such control have been left with dwindling options and the stakes continue to rise.

Fronts where control has been ceded and resulting counterparty risk has risen include :

  • Access to and compilation of source code2 on every level from firmware to operating system to applications.
    • In 2015, spyware was planted (archived) in the Apple developer toolchain, which was then propagated to over 4,000 iOS applications available in their App Store.
    • Since ~2008, all Intel chips have been infected with their Management Engine at the Basic Input Output System (BIOS) level. The Management Engine system allows Intel to remotely exfiltrate information from the machine even when powered off. Intel prevents the owner of the machine from replacing Intel's code with independently compiled code. This is essentially a backdoor enabling Intel, or anyone who gains access to Intel's system, to access your information at will and likely without your notice.
    • Operating Systems such as Microsoft Windows compound the risk factors of proprietary code with being over-engineered and unnecessarily complex. This makes them more prone to error and seemingly necessitates regular changes to the system pushed by Microsoft. The supposed owner of the system is not able to effectively verify the code being installed in the updates pushed and it's often the case that supposed fixes to old bugs introduce new bugs.
  • The downsides of third-party compiled code are amplified by increased reliance on cloud based solutions. "The cloud" is really marketing speak for some machine owned by someone else which provides that someone else3 full access to what was your sensitive information.
  • Closer to the cause of the preceding points is the pervading industry fashion we refer to as "fast food computing". Fast food computing is the expectation an outside corporation will provide marginally convenient solutions that are cheap in the short-term and that the user need not know the ingredients nor inner workings.

Ceding control to a third party makes one more dependent and fragile. JWRD Computing exists to save our clients time and money in the process of putting them firmly back in full control of their own digital infrastructure -- i.e. helping them regain personal sovereignty. We work from the principles of comprehensibility toward the goal of intellectual ownership for our clients of all the products and services we provide. Our service allows clients to mitigate the risk of unexpected catastrophic expenses and focus on improving efficiency and capitalizing on opportunities to grow their business.

Maintaining business continuity through monetary instability. The multi-decade, unprecedented experiment of high inflation5 global central banks have been engaged in has incentivized unsustainable debt levels that have made corporations and governments alike fragile and desperate. Evidence continues to mount that central bankers and politicians are more likely to continue to devalue the purchasing power through adding zeros to the end of accounts on the central server6 and attack the fungibility of the currencies they monopolize than to admit they've been wrong. The risks to business operators and investors include :

  1. the fiduciary being forced by government to freeze funds or deny transactions ;
  2. insolvency of the fiduciary ;
  3. arbitrary wealth tax ;
  4. insolvency of government deposit insurance ;
  5. negative interest rates ;
  6. central bank inflation that dilutes purchasing power and is steadily ratcheting the risk of Weimar/Zimbabwe/Venezuela style hyperinflation.

Bitcoin7 was designed to thrive in an such an environment. While Bitcoin provides owners several cutting edge advantages, it comes with its own additional set of security challenges. JWRD provides clients with hardware, software and operator training to mitigate risks and fully capture the upside of Bitcoin payments and custody.

What we've done to confront these challenges.

We've developed solutions on three major fronts.

  1. Hardware :
    1. Secure Key Management Hardware Package ;
    2. Build recipes and configurations for Corebootable Hardware ;
    3. Build and configuration recipes for Router ;
    4. Standard Operating Procedures for airgap operation via Optical Data Diode ;
    5. Procurement of Hardware Random Number Generators ;
    6. Faraday cage design and implementation.
  2. Custom Software :
    1. Gales Linux8, among other security advantages, it's one of the only Linux distributions which provides the operator the independence to compile all source code ;
    2. Gales Bitcoin Wallet (GBW) : designed to be used over an airgapped system. The offline signing component is written in Gales Scheme9.
    3. Code contributions10 to the Bitcoin reference implementation, i.e. The Real Bitcoin (TRB)
    4. yrc, the Unix Internet Relay Chat (IRC) client. Common modern chat services require the use of the providers' proprietary software clients and servers. IRC is an Internet Standard chat protocol which can be deployed to implement your own privately operated chat network.
  3. Operator training curriculum covering :
    1. Unix command line operation ;
    2. System and Network Administration ;
    3. Secure Key Management ;
    4. Encryption/Cryptographic Signing Software, Gnu Privacy Guard (GPG) ;
    5. V, TRB and GBW installation, configuration and usage.

What we offer.

We provide design consulting, support, custom software development, and hardware packages that match your needs. Below are some examples of what we provide :

Option 1 : Consulting, System Administration and Development :

For businesses with deployed systems we provide auditing, consultation system administration and development services to improve the efficiency and security of extant tools and operations. Auditing and consulting clients receive a report that reviews the strengths of current infrastructure and procedures and provides recommended plans and quotes for strengthening weaknesses.

Our System Administration and Development experience includes :

  • Windows, Mac, Linux, Unix and BSD operating systems ;
  • VMware and KVM virtualization ;
  • ERP and CRM software configurations ;
  • a variety of apps & protocols, databases, hardware, networking and monitoring ;
  • custom browser configurations and secure password management procedures ;
  • software development in 10+ programming languages.

Our personnel has experience deploying everything from ancient POWER servers needing custom-wired serial cables to SPARC to modern HP blade systems and more in between. Given the flexibility of this service, the pricing varies per project ; email us at sales (at) jwrd.net today to get started on tailoring a solution to you.

Option 2 : Key Management Hardware Package :

This package includes two Corebootable11 laptops (one for offline and one for online use), an optical data diode for securely transferring data between online and offline systems, a Hardware True Random Number Generator (TRNG)12 and a router.

Item Units Price
Laptops 2 $1,600
Optical Data Diode 1 $220
Hardware TRNG 1 $500
EdgeRouter Lite 1 $180
Total $2,500
jwrd-hardware-1920px

Option 3 : Operator Training :

We distinguish ourselves methodologically by working from the root axiom of V, to quote:

Software is the property of people running it, and part of the systems running it.

We execute on this by providing clients a system reduced to essential complexity and training on operating the system from a well-established and high leverage tool, i.e. the Unix command line. With the skills to operate in a text-only environment, they're afforded the double advantage of 1) improving their security by saving millions of lines of complex and often unsafe code --measuring often in Gigabytes, used to commonly implement the mouse-driven13 graphical user interfaces (GUI) and 2) improving their skills, mindset and efficiency through learning the command line14.

Training sessions and homework assignments to develop following knowledge and skills:

  1. Beginner : 9 sessions, $3,600. All delivered remotely, no hardware purchase required.
    1. Unix command line operation ;
    2. The advantages of plain text as the universal interface ;
    3. Intermediate file system theory and practice ;
    4. Handy tools in a pure text environment : vim, less, tmux ;
    5. Intermediate shell usage ;
    6. Time, File & Stream Management ;
    7. System and Network administration.
  2. Intermediate : 10 sessions, $4,000. Requires purchase of one router and one laptop. Price does not include hardware costs.
    1. Fundamentals of cryptographic key generation and management ;
    2. GnuPG usage ;
    3. V - usage of the cryptographic version control system ;
    4. yrc, the Unix IRC client usage ;
    5. Router and firewall installation and configuration ;
    6. Bitcoin node compilation, installation and configuration ;
    7. Bitcoin node usage ;
    8. Gales Bitcoin Wallet installation, configuration and usage.
  3. Advanced : 8 sessions, $3,200. Full Key Management Hardware Package required. Price does not include hardware costs.
    1. Compilation, installation and configuration of Gales Linux ;
    2. Compilation and installation of BIOS ;
    3. Hardware TRNG firmware verification and usage ;
    4. Optical Data Diode usage.
How does the training work ?
  1. Placement Testing: All clients take a placement test to determine which level they'll start in.
  2. Training Options : Study Heavy and Class Heavy.
    • Study Heavy : 3 hours independent reading and practice exercises for each hour of training session.
    • Class Heavy : 1 hour of independent reading and practice exercises for each hour of training session.
  3. All sessions are 90 minutes either once or twice a week.
  4. Exercises and reading are assigned between sessions.
Model Training Pace of Study and Payment Options

The table below breaks down the pricing and time commitment for common examples of study pace and payment options. Receive 5% off when two modules are purchased at a time and 10% off when all modules are purchased upfront. Group sessions of 2 simultaneous clients receive a 10% discount per client and groups of 3 receive a 20% discount, with 3 being the maximum group size.

Study Heavy Study Heavy Class Heavy Class Heavy
Number of Sessions: 27 sessions 27 sessions 54 Sessions 54 sessions
Study/Session Ratio: 3:1 3:1 1:1 1:1
Session Time: 27 x 90 min = 40.5 hrs 40.5 hrs 54 x 90 min = 81 hrs 81 hrs
Study Time: 121.5 hrs 121.5 hrs 81 hrs 81 hrs
Time Commitment: 162 hrs 162 hrs 162 hrs 162 hrs
Payment Options : 3 payments totaling $10,800 1 payment of $9,720 3 payments totaling $21,000 1 payment of $18,900
Cost: $10,800 $9,720 $21,000 $18,900

The Bottom Line result is....

... as our client you break out of the common learned helplessness that herds the mainstream to fit into whatever the mass production line is pumping out and on its schedule too15 ; own your complete infrastructure and make it work for you ; lower the cost to understand the software you use by enumerating goodness, minimizing complexity, verifying sources and compiling everything ; becoming a stronger operator through education and practice of sensible skills such that you build the capacity to establish private communications and ownership of money and transactions.

What clients say.

Johan Castellanos, CEO of SayShannon :

"I had no concept what so ever of Linux/Unix but after the course I feel that I can venture into the world of operating systems with confidence and with the assurance that I will find answers."

How does JWRD compare ?

  • The Unix command line is the most established and one of the oldest modes of computer operation because of the efficiency and security advantages it provides. It's available natively on Linux, BSD and Mac OS X systems (Mac OS X is derived from BSD). As such, there is an abundance of educational and practical resources available on the web to learn the Unix command line and a reason clients can test out of the Beginner level. Our Unix training balances underlying theory and one-on-one guidance of an expert in practicing the commands to accelerate the learning process. Training is done on Gales Linux and thus clients get direct experience utilizing the design advantages it offers.
  • No one we're aware of offers a key management hardware package as thorough we do, which includes Hardware Random Number Generator, Optic Data Diode for Air Gap data transfer, Corebootable machines for both Offline and Online systems and Router installation and configuration.
  • No one we're aware of offers training on airgapped Bitcoin wallet or GPG usage.
  • The skills and system to safely transact and save in Bitcoin provides a clients power not really comparable to anything else. Where else can you own an arbitrary amount of wealth in a small series of numbers16 ? And furthermore, the power to verify both the money supply and conduct arbitrarily large transactions globally for the cost of a few modestly provisioned computers, internet connection, software that's publicly available and a few weeks worth of dedicated training on the skills to operate the tools ? Even a banking license and underlying capital and competence to make the license economical don't provide you that power.

The Cost of Waiting

  • Cryptographically safe hardware is in increasingly limited supply. It is unknown how much remains, we can get you set up quickly while supplies last.
  • The cost of our service priced in fiat currencies will rise indefinitely.
  • Your personal opportunity cost can only be yours to evaluate, we invite you to consider the value of the results you'll earn for yourself by enhancing your security over your information, computers and money.

How to get started today.

To start the process of regaining your personal sovereignty through strengthening your digital security with JWRD, email us at sales (at) jwrd.net today with your name and a brief description of your interest. If you're interested in a call, include your phone number and a convenient time to reach you.

  1. Jacob Welsh (WoT : jfw) & Robinson Dorion (WoT : dorion []
  2. People read and write source code. A program called the compiler converts the human readable source code into the machine executable binary code, the latter being exceptionally costly for humans to understand. That is to say, if you're installing third-party compiled binary files (binaries), there is little to no chance you understand what you're actually installing and are thus more at risk to third party malice and incompetence. []
  3. and note, any other third party it's associated with or becomes a target of. []
  4. VPS is a technical lingo for the cloud. []
  5. Meaning the proper definition of inflation, i.e. money supply growth, not that "consumer"/"producer" price propaganda the socialist state has been pushing. For example, the yearly change in Federal Reserve reported M1 since 1971 has a geometric average north of 6%. []
  6. What percentage of USD/EUR/GBP/JPY/CNY is digital after all ? []
  7. The undebaseably scarce, peer-to-peer digital cash, the most robust extant protector of property rights and largest computing network on earth for some years now. Bitcoin supply is undebaseably scarce by definition at the protocol level and through its mathematical properties. Pretty much any natural commodity that has or could in theory serve as money is debaseable either through relatively cheap dilution of impurities, e.g. in 1964 when US silver coins were replaced with nickel plated copper coins, or arbitrary expansion of the supply, e.g. if salt is the money and the king wants more salt he could tax the pepper farmers and invest the proceeds expanding the salt works and supply. Those closest to the new supply (salt, fiat or otherwise) spend it into the economy, bidding up goods and diluting the purchasing power of savers and creditors. []
  8. Reviewed to date by bvt (WoT : bvt), Lucian Mogosanu (WoT : spyked) and Diana Coman (WoT : diana_coman) and on which Mircea Popescu (WoT : mircea_popescu) noted :

    mircea_popescu: "A feature that I liked a lot is that shell is the only scripting language in the default install of the distribution. Typically perl and python get pulled in unconditionally as a build dependency of a runtime dependency of some rarely-used default-installed utility, or are directly used to implement package manager, etc. With Gales, a decision about what scripting language to use can be made without constraints created
    mircea_popescu: by ready availability of python or others." << indeed this is mindblowingly beautiful, and as far as i current;y know the foremost fearher in jfw 's cap.
    mircea_popescu: feather* []

  9. Gales Scheme is a dynamic, type-safe, functional programming language. The code is published here on Fixpoint with articles to describe the code pending. Scheme is a well-established, powerful language that is specified in a shade over 50 pages of text. The advantage Gales Scheme provides JWRD clients is superior comprehensibility of mission critical components such as handling the money. []
  10. The code is described and made available on Fixpoint : here and here []
  11. Coreboot is an open source BIOS project that can be used on some machines which do not enforce the Intel Management Engine discussed above. []
  12. To quote from the vendor's website :

    Why is entropy important ?
    As the old adage goes, "Any one who considers arithmetical methods of producing random digits is living, of course, in a state of sin."

    Any Turing machine (such as any desktop or laptop computer, tablet, smartphone or other digital device of any type, kind, make or vintage, including without limitation any machinery used by any government for any purpose, be it nuclear tests, space flight, military applications not to mention Tamagotchis and old Nintendo boxes) is, by definition (and without exception possible in theory or ever encountered in practice), a square keyhole. It can be opened equally well by all those who possess the mighty secret of the shape of its key : a square.

    Entropy provides the only solution available, and the only solution possible to this problem. The only way known, and the only way that can ever be or will ever be devised to transform a computer into my computer, as a matter of fact rather than an exercise in delusion -- relies on the use of entropy. There is not, nor could there ever be, any alternative.

    Consequently, the only fair statement of the situation is to point out that entropy is not merely fundamental, but specifically required for personal as opposed to collectivist computing ; and as technological development pushes society further into the digital age, entropy becomes ever more central as the only available building block of individual existence. In short : without entropy, you don't exist, because without entropy -- there is no you, there's only a morass of "us".

    []

  13. A.k.a. point and click, click and cluck, etc. []
  14. To help those readers who've never considered the advantages of the command line interface (cli) begin to conceptualize what they've been missing, I invite you to reflect on the fact a supreme authority compared it to discovering sight after living in a state of blindness, to quote:

    mircea_popescu: the fundamental problems are that cli-iliteracy is a serious, life-changing disability. in terms of severity, blindness compares, deafness does not. obviously the afflicted are scarcely aware, but this doesn't mean they're not afflicted.
    mircea_popescu: whole "work-years", entire "departments" could readily be replaced by you know, half hour's worth of sed ; they aren't because us corporatelandia mostly exists as makework, to create the illusion for millions of ambitious derps that they're "doing something" lest they take to the streets and start throwing rocks. nevertheless, even if the cutting legs is systematically needed in socialism, to crate the sort of helpless vat
    mircea_popescu: -people it can thrive amongst, it's still personally disabling.
    mircea_popescu: so you know, as far as the life prospects, the future evolution, however you will name the sum-total potential of a person's existence, understanding how to command line is more important than meeting their father. it'll certaily do a lot for them, and it certainly CAN do way the fuck more for them.
    mircea_popescu: gales or no gales, the man who can't cat | grep is closer to a boy than any other man.
    mircea_popescu: http://logs.ossasepia.com/log/trilema/2020-01-24#1957189 << quite so. using tools, ~thinking in ways which make their activity amenable to useful tools~ and so on.
    ossabot: Logged on 2020-01-24 19:54:12 jfw: http://logs.ossasepia.com/log/trilema/2020-01-24#1957173 - regarding the "because" there: there was perhaps a degree of teaching it because we'd built it, but I see it more the other way - a text-only Linux being a good choice for the job specifically because it doesn't have the GUI crutch and CLI illiteracy is one of the bigger barriers that otherwise intelligent people face to using serious

    []

  15. Apple's planned obsolescence scam may come to mind about now. []
  16. i.e. the private key which in Bitcoin is 256 bits. The advantage of it being physically small is it lowers your cost to hide, protect and transport. []

March 13, 2020

Friday, March 13th

Filed under: Amor fati — Robinson Dorion @ 23:53

Friday the 13th is thought by some to be unlucky. Whether or not you think the following to be unlucky, Friday, March 13th past and present have marked key turning points in my life where what I was standing on fell out from under me.

I was supposed to write about this months ago, but what better time to write it than now ? It was five years ago today that I received the news Coinapult wouldn't be continuing. The evening prior they'd asked Silbert and Lenihan for a Series A on top of the seed funding they'd put in and were denied. I wasn't at the table and I don't have beyond hearsay and suspicions why it happened. I do know that while the company was struggling for months, things appeared to be turning the corner. I didn't give up that weekend ; there were talks with other potential investors in motion. Those talks went silent on the 17th 1. I likewise have suspicions about the compromise, perhaps I'll go into the noted suspicions later.

It slapped me pretty hard, but I kept breathing and moving forward in search of my feet. While Jacob and I had known each other for about a year, it wasn't until after Coinapult 2 collapsed to be sold in distress that he and I started forming our friendship that later turned to business. Without Coinapult going down, it not guaranteed we'd have neither the friendship, nor the business.

I was slapped again Wednesday evening of this week with the Closure of TMSR. While I'm much stronger and have much greater support to handle this slap, I don't have the words to describe how much more it stings. It's unquestionable and immeasurable how much greater TMSR was compared to that stack of BVI papers, pile of duct tape and paper clip code and boyish group of gringos. It stings most because I know I should've done better.

While I've wept, I'm not going to be sad, or panic or hold regrets or run away. It is what it is and all I see worth doing now I doubling down on my learning and communication and using it to kill the poisonous stupidity I swallowed as a child and which I've not yet fully purged from my system. I don't know where that will take me, but if I die trying I surely won't have regrets.

  1. Luck of the Irish, eh ? []
  2. An insight into their management capabilities is that he asked them in Q1 2014 about work and they didn't even offer him an interview. []

March 4, 2020

TMSR OS, February 2020 Statement

Filed under: TMSR OS — Robinson Dorion @ 07:21

For the month of February, 2020 I didn't manage to deliver any of my agenda from the last report. With that being said, not all was lost and a point of reporting is to learn your lessons and improve how you work with people moving forward.

At the beginning of the month, Diana Coman provided me valuable feedback and conversation on the 2nd attempt at the Why it's +ev to contribute to TMSR OS which resulted in deciding to move back up a node and write about why TMSR OS came to be. I didn't make meaningful progress on that or anything else on the list.

The first couple weeks of the month, the majority of my productive output was directed at a conference clients asked jfw and myself to help host which took place Feb 13-14th. We generated some JWRD leads, made presentations we can reuse and turn into articles and gained experience hosting a ~20 person, 2 day event.

The later half of the month I took a couple steps back to do some personal reflection on the past few months and further given the occasion I turned 30 last week. This included picking back up an old, resourceful habit of hand written journaling in an effort to examine some of my unexamined bad habits and replace them with more productive habits. A key shift I'm is looking in the accountability mirror at the close of each day and publishing on my weekly Young Hands plan a reflection on some questions to help me grow consistently in the right direction.

Moving to March, the first month of the Roman year and the resumption of military campaigns, my objective is to strike off the items from last months' list.

  1. bvt's February
    1. published his awk + posix shell + Ada Vtron in a 3 part series (1, 2, 3)
    2. Investigated TRB wedge
  2. bvt's March
    1. moving onto the regrind of keccak RNG patches for 2.6.32 kernel
  3. spyked's February
    1. published Gales build and install report on January 31st
  4. spyked's March
    1. TMSR OS Hardware research
  5. jfw's February
    1. reported completion of the offline component of Gales Bitcoin Wallet and a successful test transaction was confirmed.
    2. published on article on Bitcoin transactions and their signing that's building toward a series of publications presenting the code.
    3. pointed out to musl their move towards an infinite alphabet is misguided and does not have the consensus they may have imagined.
  6. jfw's March
    1. finish the Gales Bitcoin Wallet article series and genesis the code, which will include TRB patches to build on Gales Linux and a sendrawtransaction regrind.
    2. Ask about proposed clearsigning scheme.
  7. trinque's February/March
    1. reported to be closing in on another article in his Republican OS series, but it's not exactly clear what that will cover.
  8. No word from ave1
  9. lobbes reported he'll need to put down TMSR OS work for the short term as mp-wp delivery and changes on the home and saltmining front are higher priorities.

Last but not least, the proposed clearsigning scheme that was seeded could use the sowing of intelligent discussion.

February 7, 2020

Dealing with Death

Filed under: Amor fati — Robinson Dorion @ 20:02

As my luck has played out, in ~30 years of life, I've somehow not been touched much by tragic deaths or death generally. As you'll read below a couple tragic deaths have affected me, but they either happened before I was born or I was too young to remember. The closest person to me to have taken the eternal nap was my paternal grandfather - Walter, a.k.a. Red - who passed when I was 21. He was a couple months away from turning 92 and lived ~15 miles away. He was ready and when his time came, I took comfort in the fact that I'd gone out of my way to spend substantial time with him in his last years. Apart from him, no very close personal relationships had been severed by the ultimate fate of all the living.

All that changed a bit the first week of December. The family dog, a Lhaso Apso, had just turned 17 in November and had been on his last legs for most of 2019. We got him when he was 3 months old and I was turning 13. Probably not the only dog in New England around that time named Nomar1. My parents said they got him for my 10 year old sister, but I think a part of them wanted a kid to care for as she and I started becoming more independent. He was an easy dog to have : clean, loyal, protective, lots of energy, but also knew how to chill out. He lived a better life and ate better meals than most people2. Of the four of us, I was the least close with the dog3, so I reckon it really helped my parents for me to be there in coming to the decision. Looming large was the Hawai'i trip, for which they had decided they weren't going to kennel him. The 3rd or 4th of December they made the appointment with the vet to put him down the 11th or 12th. Given the known fate, I spent some extra time with him including walking him up the block the 5th. It was snowing and despite his relatively weak, old legs he ran most of the walk and some of it through the powdery snow which was up to his shoulders.

Chilling out with him the evening of December 5th :

life-death-3

As fate would have it, my Father woke up to him having some kind of seizure the morning of the 6th and thought he was going to die right there. He bounced back, but the decision was made then to move up the schedule to that afternoon. I accompanied my Father and held Nomar in my lap the few mile drive to the vet, he was getting pretty antsy towards the end. We proceeded to the room and had about 10 minutes with him to say goodbye before the vet came in. We took off his collar and my Father held him as they administered the sedative. After that was in, they released him and he wandered the room a bit before the drowsiness kicked in and he fell right at my feet. His goofy last steps reminded me of what he sometimes looked like as a puppy. We were both crying by then, cause what else are you going to do after 17 years ? We moved him into his bed, the vet applied the lethal injection and confirmed shortly after that his heart had stopped. I felt thankful to have him as a dog, thankful to be there for his last moments and thankful for life being able to move on now that the people are freed from the uncertainty and stress they were carrying given his precarious state.

Turning the page to Saturday the 7th, a close hometown acquaintance, Pat Gilligan, overdosed on some form of opiod. He was two years older than me, but the town of less than 20k and high school of about 1k is small. I remember him since I was about 8 and we shared many of the same friends. My sophomore year of high school I mainly spent time with seniors because I was on the varsity teams. I was never teammates with Pat, but his best friends were the group I hung out with so we spent a decent amount of time together from when I was 15 to 20 and always had laughs and good times. It was hard not to like him, his classmates gave him the superlative of "everyone's friend", he was smiling regularly and making others smile and had the brain power to make himself into a civil engineer. The funeral was a standard Catholic affair that didn't really hit me until his two older sisters gave the eulogy at which point it all sunk in and the tears flowed. It was tough to learn that though he had struggled with this addiction for about a decade, he had been sober the past 10 months, spent an enjoyable Thanksgiving with family, was making Christmas plans to sync with friends only then to slip into relapse and have it all taken away days later. I spent the afternoon and evening with those friends4, many of whom I'd not seen nor spoken to for 5 or 6 years. Touching base with them was good for reminding me where I came from and although it had been half a decade, we were able to pick right up as if we'd all been hanging out the weekend prior and every other weekend since high school5. That experience, along with some others helped underscore the strength of the bonds I managed to forge in my small town upbringing6.

life-death-1

Above, Pat7 at "Bomoroo" 2010, Lake Bomoseen, VT. For a number of summers everyone would invite their college friends to a party that started as a boat tie up at the south end sand bar of the lake, transition to BBQ then Pond Hill Ranch in Castleton for the Saturday night rodeo, then to The Bomoseen Inn, a.k.a. The Dog, then for those degeneratesfun people still standing, Hampton N.Y. where the bars stayed open a couple hours later8. R.I.P Patrick.

Now, moving on to a funeral that was paid for, but not yet executed. At some point in December my paternal, 97 year old, grandmother June took the time to make her arrangements. While she has flirted with death on a number of occassions, she could also live another few years. In fact, I thought I'd seen her for the last time and said my goodbyes in May of 2017. About to turn 94, she had moved in with my parents the weekend prior and I was visiting. My maternal grandmother, Pam, was also visiting for the week and the three of us were sitting down to breakfast. June went to the washroom and a couple minutes later we heard a crash from in there. She had fallen and I was first on the scene. After not hearing a response to my knock on the door, I opened it through the resistance of her walker that I found to be obstructing from the inside to see her lying on the ground. I rushed to her side and started talking to her for about 30 seconds trying to elicit a response to realize maybe I ought to check her pulse and shut up and give her a chance to to respond, which she ended up doing. Pam came to the door and I told her to call an ambulance and lay talking with her and rubbing her back until the ambulance came. She said, "The back rub feels nice," to which I replied, "You could've asked for a back rub without falling down," which made her laugh, which hurt her back because she had sustained some compression fractures.

She was in a lot of pain and when we went to visit her in the hospital that evening the pain hadn't subsided. During that hospital visit she shared, "What's the point, we know this isn't going to get any better and I'm going to end up back here in worse shape. You know I love life and I've lived a good one, but I'd just as soon not make it to 95." It was a month out from her birthday. After that, pretty much overnight, she went from being coherent enough to live independently at 94 to disassociating to the point of not forming complete sentences. Part of it may have been the pain meds being administered, but I think the disassociation was caused moreso by checking out from life. What's the point of carrying on conversations if it's about to be over ? This experience taught me a lot and my visits involved trying to make eye contact with her and tell her I was thankful for knowing her. There were a couple times in the hospital when I was alone with her that she briefly snapped out of the disassociation to tell me that I understood her to soon break back down to the disassociation. I returned to Panama with closure thinking it was the last time I'd see her.

The only problem was, her internals were too healthy and after a month of realizing she wasn't dead yet, she decided to come back to reality and go home. Since then she has returned to her correspondence - a good chunk of which is in French with her former students,9 playing bridge,10 drinking her evening Manhattan and carrying conversation when she manages to hear what's being said. In many ways she's still waiting to die. Pretty much all of her friends and many of her former students have passed. I don't really know how to conclude it here other than to say I'm thankful her underlying health bought us some more time together and allowed me to witness someone close preparing to part with the gift of life. Make the most of the time you have with the people you love and say what you have to say because either you die before them and you don't get to say it or they die before you and you don't get to say it. Also, drink Manhattans if you got 'em. Throwing up cheers with June at The Fair Haven Inn, July 2018 :

life-death-2

The final aspect of processing death during this time was the Hawai'i cruise itself. The back story is, my maternal grandmother Pam, isn't my biological grandmother. The first part of the story is when my mother was 10, her family was in a fatal car accident on Highway 37 south of Mt. Vernon, Illinois ; killing her mother Shirley and youngest brother Barry. They say my grandfather was saved by the steering wheel and my mother and her three other brothers saved by luck of being in the backseat. My grandfather married Pam in the late 1980s and the second part of the tragic backstory is he died in a hang gliding accident in 1992. My first birthday :

life-death-5

Despite being married less than a decade, Pam stayed with the family and has been the glue that has held it together since. She has financed numerous holidays, including the trip to Hawai'i, and I'd say is the primary reason I know my uncles, aunts and cousins to the extent I do. Pam remarried in the 1990s to a man with a daughter from a previous marriage. This aunt is the one that introduced us to the French75, in addition to being cool in various other ways.

On one such holiday when I was about 11 I had made some money caddying in Long Island. Pam was making a second career as stockbroker at that point. I later found out her broker had asked her if she was interested in it after he noticed she was good at picking companies to invest in. At the time, she declined because she was preparing to retire from education with my grandfather. After his passing, she went for it. Fresh cash in hand, she sat me down on the porch by the sea, explained the high level concept of long term value investing and made me a proposition : she'd open a brokerage account for me and for every dollar I invested, she'd match. I took her up on this and that's what sparked my interest in investment. Paying respect in 2016 at Grandpa's memorial11 in West Frankfurt, Illinois :

life-death-4

On the negative side, the downside of the tragic deaths of my grandparents is hard to express. The reverberations of how they rocked my family are still felt today. I'd have enjoyed and learned a lot from my grandfather as everyone says we had a lot in common. On the positive side, without those deaths, I'd not have my grandma Pam, perhaps never been interested in finance and for sure would be a different person. Maybe in the alt-reality of them surviving to the present I'd have found my way to where I am now, but I wouldn't be who I am now.

Life is precious and robust. Death is part of life and while it's difficult to deal with the fact that you'll die and everyone you know and love will die, it's still worth making the most of in the finite time you have. What else are you going to do ?

I'll play Ode to Joy and take refuge in amore fati.

  1. After then Boston Red Sox star shortstop Nomar Garciaparra --Nomar Garciapuppy ?-- who ended up being traded at the deadline summer of '04, the year the Sawx broke the 86 year "Cruse of the Bambino". Despite "our guy" being traded, and Orlando Cabrerra delivering in October, the name wasn't going to change at that point. []
  2. My dad usually served the dog's portion of the meat first to shut up his excited barking. []
  3. You know that bit from Snatch, yeah ?
    Mickey: "Do ya like dags ?"
    Tommy: "Oh, dogs. Sure, I like dags, but I like caravans more."

    I like dogs ok, but I like people more and have a sneaking suspicion most people who have dogs do so to cover the hole in their personality that prevents them from earning higher quality relationships with people. Especially people in cities who essentially sign up to have their lives run by an animal and pick up shit for a decade for a beast they will never hold a conversation with. At least for all the diaper changing children learn to talk pretty early. If I'm ever to have a dog it'll be if/when I own a farm, can keep it outside and train it to hunt. Anyways, </rant> []

  4. Jacob was in town and tagged along to the after "party". []
  5. Within certain bounds of course. Perhaps only one or two in the group can begin to grok what I've written on this blog so far. []
  6. It also underscored how weird people can be because some people that obviously ought to have been at the "celebration" didn't show. Imagine living 3 hours drive away in Boston and not going to the funeral of your childhood/high school friend the weekend prior to Christmas. Unfathomable to me. []
  7. The only pic I had of him. []
  8. No wonder I managed to keep the pace on the cruise like I did. []
  9. A family tragedy typical of gringolandia is that while both her and Red spoke French (she taught at what's now Castleton University), they only spoke it as an encryption mechanism, i.e. when they didn't want their children to understand. So depsite my surname, I'm struggling to reclaim my linguistic heritage in my 20s. The poverty of being American. []
  10. She's a grandmaster, but no, she didn't teach us that either, sigh. []
  11. How he earned the memorial is an article for another day. []

February 6, 2020

Ode to Joy

Filed under: Uncategorized — Robinson Dorion @ 21:52

During my childhood athletics were my main interest and activity. My mother had a piano in the house that did not really get any use and when playing an instrument was introduced as an option by the school when I was nine, I wasn't interested at all. I had baseball, basketball and football to play in the neighborhood after school and wasn't going to be sitting inside for anything really. Fast forward to my senior year of high school and my best friend Mark and I were driving around town1 talking about what it'd be like when we became old men. We resolved we'd be neighbors and sit in rocking chairs during long afternoons on his front porch or mine drinking rum, smoking cigars, playing chess and harmonicas and telling stories. He didn't play any instruments, but had musical inclinations on account of his father, Willy C, being a musician2 and part of a band, Satin and Steel,3 and furthermore was the music teacher at the county vocational school. We decided then to make a detour to Willy C's classroom to see if we could score some harmonicas. He called the music store down the road and sent us over and we put two Blue Bender C harmonicas on his tab and off we went. Below, one of the Blues Benders in question.

blues-bender

Though I carried the harp with me during my travels since, I didn't look into learning how to play it until a couple of months ago. Learning new things both helps you grow and keeps you young and music looked like a good area of opportunity. I found the aptly named Learn the Harmonica youtube channel and "Ode an die Freude", from Beethoven's 9th Symphony, caught my eye since I've been most interested in classical music these past years, primarily Bach and Mozart. According to my friend Chad, who composes and studies music, music started going downhill since Beethoven because he started the break away from counterpoint,4 but given the lesson was in the C harmonica and I like it, I went with it.

The first couple days I listened to the lesson and then wrote down the tablature notation,5 presented below, to practice without the video. The positive numbers represent blow notes and the negative represents draw notes and the numbers represent which hole on the harmonica to apply the air.

A: 5 5 -5 6 6 -5 5 -4 4 4 -4 5 5 -4 -4
B: 5 5 -5 6 6 -5 5 -4 4 4 -4 5 -4 4 4
C: -4 -4 5 4 -4 5 -5 5 4 -4 5 -5 5 -4 4 -4 3 5--
D: 5 -5 6 6 -5 5 -4 4 4 -4 5 -4 4 4
E: -4 -4 5 4 -4 5 -5 5 4 -4 5 -5 5 -4 4 -4 3 5--
F: 5 -5 6 6 -5 5 -4 4 4 -4 5 -4 4 4

I've been focusing mainly on this song, playing during previous down times, such as while walking across the city. I still have some work to do isolating the individual notes. Nevertheless, I'm making progress and enjoying the process and here's a recording I made this week.

Enjoy !

  1. Driving around for the sake of going for a drive is a popular past time in those parts. []
  2. His father was a good athlete and musician. Mark's older brother Billy turned out to be the musician and Mark the athlete. []
  3. They'd been playing together for over 30 years and I grew up going to their concerts prior to knowing Mark. []
  4. The Ode to Joy bit is in fact a break from custom in that vocals weren't commonly being included in symphonies prior. The vocals are derived from Friedrich von Schiller's 1785 poem. []
  5. If any readers have suggestions for representing music notation as text, please write in. []

January 27, 2020

TMSR OS, January 2020 Statement

Filed under: TMSR OS — Robinson Dorion @ 04:12

This statement reviews December 2019 and January 2020 TMSR OS developments and previews the work ahead for February. I said I would make a statement at the beginning of January to review December and plan for January, but ended up having too much fun as the year turned and didn't regain my bearings until mid-January. Please accept this under the traditional MPEx reporting standard of one late monthly statement per calendar year. Moving forward, my reporting plan is to publish statements monthly that reflect on the prior month and report prospectively on the month to come. My weekly reports on Young Hands Club will continue to include TMSR OS activities and to tighten the feedback loop and keep the plans structured as flexible road maps rather than straitjackets I'll comment with a status update mid-month on the prior statement.

Yesterday, January 25th, marked two months since I received the call to head up TMSR OS :

mircea_popescu: yo dorion , you wanna head the tmsr-os project for us ?
diana_coman: just in case he had found things moving too slowly around here, lolz.

Unsurprisingly, Diana Coman had anticipated the potential of such a development a couple weeks prior :

diana_coman: dorion jfw current tribulations in tmsr might even push your schedule earlier re getting more visible and involved.

After following TMSR from the shadows since 2015, while manaloning with Jacob all the while, I didn't hesitate to take the call once I'd confirmed what heading the project meant :

mircea_popescu: http://logs.ossasepia.com/log/trilema/2019-11-25#1953458 << nothing new or different, same old thing management always was. write a plan, get people to ~commit~ to parts, chase the commitments, reschedule as needed and so on.
ossabot: Logged on 2019-11-25 14:32:04dorion_road: http://logs.ossasepia.com/log/trilema/2019-11-25#1953428 << my initial bias is to say, yes I want it. Before I take the claim though, I have to better understand what the responsibility of heading the project means.

This responsibility was further clarified in my mind December 3rd as Mircea Popescu disabused me of the notion some central website ought exist.

You're the coherent entry point, that's what you do, own it as such.

Thank you, Sir. The coherent entry point I must be then.

I re-read La Serenissima and Personal Sovereignty this morning and the identity being allodial property of the person point sunk in :

La Serenissima does not recognise nor will ever enforce any sort of claim of any entity that purports to impinge on the sovereignty of persons. No entity may claim rights to person's identity under this rule, and if they try to they're being the enemy and should be treated like the enemy. For all intents and purposes identity is allodial property of the person therein represented, and no convention may touch it.

And layering on the factor of the leverage of invested individuals the advantages amplify.

If project C has a decision making system formed out of 18 elements, which each obviously will require a separate pitch, as well as 39 groups formed out of the 18 elements in varying compositions, while project D has a decision making system formed out of one single person, we can say that D offers leverage and couldn't be bothered to mention C again.

There ain't going to be no tmsr-os.orgUSG.dnsTVraft, http://dorion-mode.com/category/tmsros/ is where it's happening.

Given this is the first report, let's link in some of the preceding work that was done. Trinque published Cuntoo November 2018 and between then and November 2019, diana_coman , bvt , spyked , hanbot , lobbes , mod6 , and shinohai had published installation reports.

Despite being instructive on various levels, trinque himself didn't see continuing its development to be sustainable and said he'd be pivoting to a kernel + busybox style arrangement for his own stack.

My familiarity with jfw's Gales Linux1 was encouraging and since he'd just published it, having Republican eyes look it over is a good step towards considering what we have to use to forge TMSR OS.

So given than context, what's been going on these past couple months ?

On November 28th, Mircea Popescu clarified The TMSR-OS Implicit Clients which is a high level description of the software TMSR-OS must be prepared to serve.

On November 29th, I published Implementing TMSR OS which outlined some management objectives2 and the domains of technical work to be owned and delivered. The comments were pretty active there, with a major technical takeaway being GCC 4.4.7, 4.7.4 and 4.9.4 are all up for consideration when an owner of the compiler and C library antes at the table.

On December 2nd, Mircea Popescu comments on the weight of the efi/uefi problem in #trilema :

mircea_popescu: anyway, the efi/uefi problem is actually looming the largest here.
jfw: myeah. if Intel decides the PC architecture is no longer the PC architecture, OS maker has to bear the burden ?
mircea_popescu: the nsa is firmly entrenched in controlling that sweet, sweet path to diff power analysis, they've glued it thoroughly with all the broken glass of "energy efficiency" faux ourdemocracy preoccupations, it strikes me as one of the things that'll only dislodge once the emperor himself is rapemeat.
mircea_popescu: jfw, the ideal solution here'd be a de-uefi-izing dongle.
mircea_popescu: but in any case, the item's probably the most contundent impediment to sanity in computong
jfw: But what do you put in its place? Reversing boards was tough enough as I gather even before the standard fritz chips
mircea_popescu: myeah.
mircea_popescu: i dunno, i'd rather this didn't end up with a tmsr motherboard.
mircea_popescu: in any case, my point being, this whole uefi thing needs some serious mapping.
jfw opens up the spec PDF he had lying on HDD, is reminded it's 2500 pages
mircea_popescu: there;s at least one major separation in the uefi latrine (plenty others, of course, the thing's fractally broken), which fortunately occured just about that moment in time when intel chips became thoroughly useless. so not supporting uefi-2, "must have to work" is relatively a small loss, as it goes with the shitty spycore intel chips anyways, which nobody wants (though might be tolerated in some roles for cheapness' sake
mircea_popescu: ). uefi-1 however is just this jumble of works-with-or-without, maybe-so-maybe-not, up to indeed about 2015 or so.
mircea_popescu: getting concrete details on this partition would certainly help, as a starting point.
mircea_popescu: i don't really know anyone who both a) is technically literate and b) thinks post 2015 intel chips are actually worth money, as it happens. a situation eerily reminiscent of every other socialism's progress, late sovok folk similarily didn't think late sovok artefacts worth deploying.
jfw: Are the post-2013 AMDs any better? 'platform security processor' to keep up with the competition right?
mircea_popescu: prolly just less documented equally worse, nfi.
jfw: the noted split in UEFI severity is a point.
mircea_popescu: Where do anti-good ideas come from? They come from misguided attempts to do the impossible - which is another way of saying "trying to ignore reality."
mircea_popescu: not bad, huh.

Spyked stepped up to the plate here and published his initial report on Bootloading Operating Systems December 31st, through which the decision to support a dozen or two motherboards per architecture and let the rest wither was made.

On December 5th, I drew on some ancient trilema articles and noticed TMSR OS may have the mid to long term profit center potential those articles describe :

dorion_road: It occurred to me this morning, this tmsr-os project could be utilized medium to long term in both lifetime support consultancy and the hottest business idea in btc (code review and code insurance) ventures.
dorion_road: I haven't developed it very far past what's in those articles and what we've done to develop JWRD, but seems like there is a medium to long term profit center to establish.
ossabot: Logged on 2019-05-17 19:17:54 trinque: republic is scant of profit centers

Ideas aren't worth shit without action, but nevertheless, informed long term vision and mission are imperative.

On December 5th, bvt published his vpatch and article to Cement Keccak Hashing into Kernel RNG, continuing his prior work of ripping out Linux kernel RNG and replacing it with a driver that could be directly fed with random data provided from userspace (i.e. from FUCKGOATS). You know, that feature that's, in part, "turning the currently worked-upon cuntoo 3 from a flavour project some group stylistically flavours to a must-have item with no possible competition in the professional (as opposed to toy&smartphone) IT space."

On December 6th I managed to reel lobbes back into the project :

dorion_road: http://logs.ossasepia.com/log/trilema/2019-12-04#1954338 << on the one hand, there is other work to be done aside from writting code, but on the other hand, portage/emerge/ebuild system is python.
ossabot: Logged on 2019-12-04 22:32:39 lobbes: though tbh, this whole experience makes me think that maybe computers just ain't my thing. Perhaps I ought to think about BingoBoingo's writing for Qntra course a little more instead of this TMSR OS project
ossabot: Logged on 2019-12-04 22:49:59 lobbes: and even then, it has always been 'soft computering' like reporting, sql queries, excel jockying, etc. The only programming language I really know is python (and that I've only ever used here in tmsr)
dorion_road: while I understand you wanted to the logging project to go smoother, but you were also picking up a new langauge for the job.
lobbes: this is true. I've given it some reflection, and I'm going to go ahead and commit to diving into the ebuilds.

Between December 9th and 10th I engaged trinque in #trilema and with MP's help, got commitment from him to provide high level analysis generally and a look at Gales Linux in particular, the fruit of which so far has been his enlightening Republican OS series.

  • Part 1 was published December 28th which establishes solid definitions of Republican and Operating System and discusses hardware selection, compiler, bootloader and kernel with line count measurements of various options.
  • Part 2 was published December 29th which establishes solid definitions of complexity and ownership and discusses and weighs glibc vs musl for libc choice.
  • Part 3 was published January 20th which details the Linux bootprocess on ATX-compatible computers and weighs busybox vs non-busybox system.

Part 3 4 appears to have uncovered some opportunities for TMSR OS to leverage busybox further to slim down the codebase Gales is using --namely using busybox's native mdev for device management, init for init and syslog or logging in place of MAKEDEV, jfw's custom init and multilog via daemontools which Gales use.

On December 9th, bvt committed to giving Gales a test run and published his Gales Installation Report December 29th.

On December 11, Mircea Popescu laid out the important marks against python 5 :

dorion_road: http://logs.ericbenevides.com/log/trilema/2019-12-10#1954799 << hmm. I know python is discussed at length in various log threads, for the sake of clarity, would you mind summarizing the most important marks against it ?
ericbot: Logged on 2019-12-10 19:25:02 mp_en_viaje: anyways, i have serious reservations about anything-python. it's the first time for me, i never thought before a lang is basically the satan ; but it seems to me anything derived off python's going to be stupid, for that reason.
mp_en_viaje: dorion, i wouldn't. let's use the call-and-response format for this. so, what would you say is the problem the republic's formed to resolve?
dorion_road: good question. the problem of maintaining a hierarchy of indivdual agents.
dorion_road: individual*
mp_en_viaje: ever heard / seen someone say "bring it" ? as in you know, the challenge, there's some kinda threat an' the response is... bring it
dorion_road: yes, I have.
mp_en_viaje: the job of gnoseology, the collected product of thought, is to enact partitions, and record them. some of these are more interesting than others, as illustrated through experience ; an examined life is exactly this "following phenomena while aware of the partitions list"
mp_en_viaje: i'd say the most interesting partition available upon "living things" is whether they are ready. there's the living things that are, and the living things that aren't. hence that whole discussion of http://trilema.com/2017/the-day-of-failure-trilemma/
mp_en_viaje: now, people as a particular class of living things are perverse (this is called "intelligence" in pantsuit gospels), meaning they also have a recursion built in there.
dorion_road: that's an interesting partition for sure.
mp_en_viaje: practically this enacts another partition, nietzsche's will.
mp_en_viaje: now there are three groups : the ready, the willing unready, and the dumb unready. in more traditional terms the middle class is denoted as organized stupidity.
mp_en_viaje: they'd like to be ready, see. they just... aren't. and because people are perverse, this tends to manifest rather as exam taking than actual improvement. they don't become any ready-er, they just become adept at pretending they are.
mp_en_viaje: this having progressed unchecked for lo these many years, the principal problem of the republic is dealing with organized stupidity. this is a lot like any other cleaning job, because yes there's no difference between the filth that supports vermin infestations and the "collective action" that supports the marauding idiots.
mp_en_viaje: my objection is that foremost and before being any other thing, python is a tool for the wilfully stupid.
mp_en_viaje: hence the link relating it to wikipedia recently that now of course i can't find. basically what it does seems to me in any and all particulars based upon the forwarding of the "group action" agenda of the only evil in this world ; much like the republic's in all workings promoting itself python's in all its workings first supporting the enemy.
mp_en_viaje: the problem with this argument of course is that it can be applied quite well to A LOT of the things we use ; most notably c++. but it's at the core, i suspect, if unexpressed, of why nobody ever pushed for say c#.
diana_coman: fwiw I wanted to add precisely ^ .
dorion_road: python is then not available to meaningful examination because it has been exam taking and pretending to be ready (e.g. usg.mit now uses it instead of scheme), rather than actually making itself ready for human use.
mp_en_viaje: no, python is a tool built so as to permit the unready to write very bad code.
dorion_road: ah, now I see.
mp_en_viaje: but i do mean ~very~ bad. fractally bad, it even gives them the impression they haven't been writing bad code. without prejudice to lobbes, look at his experience, not necessarily just since sept.
mp_en_viaje: i don't think it's him ; i think it's the damned python.
mp_en_viaje: i am not proposing bash is good ; but i made a point of it in that context because i believe it is in this respect opposite. it has all the ills naggum finds it, yes, but it does not have that one thing that produces pete dushenskis out of otherwise promising young men.
mp_en_viaje: it doesn't promote smarm.
dorion_road: mp_en_viaje makes sense, thanks for laying it out.
mp_en_viaje: this'd be to my mind the string holding pantsuit online together : python, wikipedia & wediditreddit.

On December 11th, I published Heading TMSR OS to further detail my perceived responsibilities owning this position. I've made progress on many of the points, but there remains substantial work to do to close the various open loops. On December 14th, I published Contribution Guidelines for TMSR OS to document established best practices. On December 16th, I published TMSR OS Mission and Vision Statement Genesis. On December 19th, I published Some Reasons Contributing to TMSR OS is +ev.

On December 23rd, lobbes delivered his article on Portage and ebuilds.

On December 18th, Diana Coman shared her initial thoughts on v-shaped package management in #ossasepia :

diana_coman: jfw, dorion_road while I haven't really spent time specifically pondering the v-shape of a package management system, I think it essentially stems from that fundamental "each V-tree" is the context of its all vpatches; as such, for one thing there isn't an "automatic dependency resolution" external to the v-tree because what would it do anyway, mess up trees or what exactly? and the problem otherwise switches more to a proper grind ...
diana_coman: ... of the tree ie a reader/signer's thing rather than a system; ie possibly even different grinds of "my OS" since anyway, tmsr-os or not, it's still up to each user what exactly they run on their machine.
dorion_road: http://logs.ossasepia.com/log/ossasepia/2019-12-18#1013429 << the matter needs to be considered further and i read your reasoning to be strong. in each deployment the user subjectively selects the vpatches and sigs for a particular machine and his plans for it.
ossabot: Logged on 2019-12-18 12:33:03 diana_coman: jfw, dorion_road while I haven't really spent time specifically pondering the v-shape of a package management system, I think it essentially stems from that fundamental "each V-tree" is the context of its all vpatches; as such, for one thing there isn't an "automatic dependency resolution" external to the v-tree because what would it do anyway, mess up trees or what exactly? and the problem otherwise switches more to a proper grind ...
diana_coman: it's just my initial thought on it really, so I expect there will be more discussion on it esp as things get moving otherwise, certainly; the main thing though is that in this/similar, I fail to see much use/space for ebuilds/portage/very-similar.

Between December 29-30th, Mircea Popescu, trinque and bvt conversed on what v-shaped os means in #trilema :

mircea_popescu: "A feature that I liked a lot is that shell is the only scripting language in the default install of the distribution. Typically perl and python get pulled in unconditionally as a build dependency of a runtime dependency of some rarely-used default-installed utility, or are directly used to implement package manager, etc. With Gales, a decision about what scripting language to use can be made without constraints created
mircea_popescu: by ready availability of python or others." << indeed this is mindblowingly beautiful, and as far as i current;y know the foremost fearher in jfw 's cap.
mircea_popescu: feather*
mircea_popescu: neways, as to the burning "OTOH, I wonder if things like Apache or imagemagick get installed, how will the package management system work out, and how comprehensible will system stay?" question -- i see the merit of using the clean spot as a fixed point to attempt expanding cleanliness. so, it would work by apache becoming tmserv or w/e, and not sucking anymore.
mircea_popescu: at least, ideally.
mircea_popescu: or to put it another way, i do not believe it is either intelligent or even tolerable to try and carry forward the "install" paradigm from derpworld. something much more akin to diana_coman 's work on eulora is what "get installed" will have to mean.
feedbot: http://ossasepia.com/2019/12/29/the-shady-business-with-shaders-in-cs-notes-on-graphics-in-eulora-ix/ << Ossa Sepia -- The Shady Business with Shaders in CS (Notes on Graphics in Eulora, IX)
trinque: mircea_popescu: does this mean "everything is always built and installed" ?
bvt: mircea_popescu: ty; fixed.
trinque: I don't for example need anything GUI-related in an embedded linux device
trinque: I agree that there should be single, correct answers when choosing components (as I'm trying to lay out the options for such selection in my series), but not that each component is always present in any system.
trinque: they are however all to be in the source v-tree, of course.
bvt: mircea_popescu: re second q, imho cleaning up the components will be driven by how the OS gets [re]structured around V, too early to say right now
trinque: bvt: not trying to be a pedantic dick over here, but it's v that's the boundary around the other stuff, not the other stuff around v
bvt: at the individual v-trees sure, but on the yddragsil level?
trinque: no, there's only one v tree
trinque: we've just only ever composed fragments of it yet.
bvt: in this case, i can restate it as 'depends on how current fragments will get composed into one tree'
mircea_popescu: http://logs.ossasepia.com/log/trilema/2019-12-29#1956202 << not necessarily, what i meant was, "everything is first read, then the ints are fixed, then it's read some more, then all the shit is taken out, bit by [http://fixpoint.welshcomputing.com/2019/draft-gbw-node-schema/?b=Compared&e=be#select][bit], then eventually a small pile of actually useful and working code is left behind, implementing 108% or so of what the old pile actually did while removing 98% or so of what it had no business doing"
ossabot: Logged on 2019-12-29 13:49:02 trinque: mircea_popescu: does this mean "everything is always built and installed" ?
mircea_popescu: http://logs.ossasepia.com/log/trilema/2019-12-29#1956205 << i don't think anyone's proposing all components should be present in all systems. rather, i expect the v-way to do this is end up with a large tree, with some usually-favoured leaves or final branches. the gui/nogui split seems very early, like one of those
ossabot: Logged on 2019-12-29 13:51:19 trinque: I agree that there should be single, correct answers when choosing components (as I'm trying to lay out the options for such selection in my series), but not that each component is always present in any system.
mircea_popescu: http://logs.ossasepia.com/log/trilema/2019-12-29#1956212 << for some reason the proposal there's multiple choice there sits ill with my totalitarian mindset ; but we don't have to argue about it rightnao.
ossabot: Logged on 2019-12-29 13:57:52 bvt: in this case, i can restate it as 'depends on how current fragments will get composed into one tree'
mircea_popescu kicks ossabot
mircea_popescu: hey!
mircea_popescu always knew kicking mechanisms is legitimate maintenance technique.

On January 12th, the decision to port bvt's kernel RNG work from 4.9.95 to 2.6.32 was made :

dorion: mircea_popescu in light of never moving off linux 2.x series, it seems to me bvt ought to port his rng work from 4.9.95 it currently sits on to 2.x.
dorion: perhaps it's not an immediate priority, but I'd like to clarify the path forward.
mircea_popescu: http://logs.ossasepia.com/log/trilema/2020-01-12#1956783 << well, or at the very least comment on it.
ossabot: Logged on 2020-01-12 12:47:24 dorion: mircea_popescu in light of never moving off linux 2.x series, it seems to me bvt ought to port his rng work from 4.9.95 it currently sits on to 2.x.
dorion: mircea_popescu comment on major/important changes between linux 2.x and 4.9.95 ?
mircea_popescu: you're not serious, are you ?
mircea_popescu: between 2.4 and 2.6 the principal change is how kernel modules get loaded (they were actually linked pre 2.6).
mircea_popescu: between 2 and 4 the difference simply is "2 was a linux kernel, 4 is treasonable atrocity built atop 3, which is how you say '''mike hearn''' in linux"
mircea_popescu: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/timeline/a390b4b428edb39f3d7f6fcd66aa2d05.png << this timeline might help your visual style i guess.
dorion: mircea_popescu re seriousness, I know it'd be a helluva lot, but I don't imagine porting his work from 4.9.95 to 2.x isn't trivial either. I should've asked, comment how ?
mircea_popescu: dorion, of course it's trivial, he doesn't use any of the pestilent doohickeys. he could port it to most 1series also.
mircea_popescu: this is in no small part due to how alf thinks, he's remarkably exceptional at this side of things.
dorion: mircea_popescu I see, nice. today I learned.
bvt: mircea_popescu: moving to 2.6 kernel will be interesting experience wrt. newer hardware. 2.6.32 was one of the better-patched ones, could try to use that. otoh, the machine i am writing from requires 2.6.38 minimum for full hardware.
bvt: *full hardware support
bvt: porting rng to 2.6 kernel should indeed be not too hard, the only thing i may need adaptation is kfifo api (iirc it's api changed at some point, which may break the code)
dorion: bvt wrt to newer hardware, did you see get a dozen or two alternatives, let the rest wither ?
BingoBoingo: mircea_popescu: I am inclined to attribute this in part to your use of technology to dive into what seems to be historically uncharted territory as far as extreme literacy goes.
bvt: dorion: in this case, picking 2.6 will not be a problem, of course
mircea_popescu: bvt, i dunno man, commodity servers to this day come on 2.6, random sample turned out 100%
mircea_popescu: unless by newer hardware you mean who knows what random home luser dongle.
mircea_popescu: but the cost to replace that is minimal, i mean... oh, so your video card doesn't work no mo ? awww, splurge on 50 bux, which as per latest j-lo self-promotion 1hr long advertisement incomprehensibly packaged as "a movie" ain't even enough to START the moneycount.
mircea_popescu: skip trying to buy a coupla shots for whatever rando hobag at the club next time, get yourself a working peripheral [see all the hobags in history naked-er and working it more excitedly anyways].
mircea_popescu: it's not clear to me how i'd actually go about computing the value-add of supporting whatever config isn't self-supporting ; but it seems indisputable it's under the cost of five second's labour. making the matter not even work considering, let alone discussing.
dorion: trinque html stripped from comment again, here's original : http://paste.deedbot.org/?id=3p4J
mircea_popescu: http://logs.ossasepia.com/log/trilema/2020-01-12#1956798 << just the simple string "lts" makes my skin crawl
ossabot: Logged on 2020-01-12 14:02:44 mircea_popescu: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/timeline/a390b4b428edb39f3d7f6fcd66aa2d05.png << this timeline might help your visual style i guess.

On January 17th, Diana Coman reported a successful build of Gales Linux, which she has unearthed a Lenovo x200 for installation.

Upon trinque noting rEFInd being a relatively slim but robust bootloader apparently developed by one man, I said hi to Rod Smith in email, received a positive reply from him and subsequently invited him to join #trilema on January 18th.

On January 18th, jfw began the process of answering my earlier question about the ability to have multiple C libraries installed and used on a system as a way to approach supporting libGL for Eulora. I say began the process because as the answer indicates, there may be something there, but needs serious research by the man who steps up to own compiler and C library.

I'll note here that I never did follow through on the Cuntoo install I said I'd do back in December.

dorion_road: I'm budgeting time this month to carry out spyked's method using qemu and lobbes is deepening his understanding of the ebuild system.

This is one that fell through the cracks and though I'm not against doing it, I'm not exactly clear to me at this point what would be learned and what the gain would be relative to the time investment to pursue it. In other words, I'm not sure if this task ought to stay on the road map or is an unnecessary straitjacket.

Much of my January activity has consisted of catching up with comments on the various articles published late December. Being back on the ground in Panama also caused me to be a bit overweight in time allocation to JWRD business development. Diana Coman's guidance is helping me establish more balance between TMSR OS, JWRD and a more diversified selection of writing on this here blog since they're all long term and really tied together.

So what's on the agenda for the month ahead ?

1. Moi :

  1. Recurse and give a second go on why it's +ev to contribute to TMSR OS.
  2. Get feedback on the mission and vision statement.
  3. Draft a page for Dorion Mode of a list of all the dependencies the genesis of the system requires.
  4. Get cracking on my code shelf.
  5. Start strategizing on growing contributors

2. bvt :

  1. He expects to deliver awk + posix shell + Ada Vtron by the end of next week
  2. then he'll be on to porting his kernel work to Linux 2.6.32. TODO : have him establish expected delivery date.
  3. What are other priorities for the kernel ?
  4. While I don't want to overload bvt, I recall reading, but sadly don't have the link, that he did the kernel work because important, not because it was most interesting to him. At what point is kernel "good enough" short term and can he be freed up to tackle something else of higher priority ? I'm asking the question, not saying one way or the other ought to be pursued.

3. trinque :

  1. 1-2 more articles in his Republican OS series. He's established a foundation to discuss how V integrates it all and then will summarize and publish a specification6.
  2. No time frame right now about casting his discerning eye over Gales, but keep up the momentum on the path you're on trinque and we'll decide later if/when tearing Gales to shreds is +ev.

4. spyked :

  1. He got his botworks patches out this weekend.
  2. Report on the Gales Linux build and install process was scheduled for January and may still be achievable depending on the demands from his saltmine, but may leak into February.
  3. Acquiring corebootable boards in general and covering suppliers of the APU1 in particular.

5. jfw

  1. Online part of the Gales Bitcoin Wallet is drafted and the code annotation is complete.
  2. Offline work continues in February, optimistically will be done next month, but may leak in March.
  3. Once that's genesis'd and off his plate, decide what he wants to own. I haven't really rushed him here because the wallet is a big win and we've discussed offline it probably ought to include a genesis of Gales Scheme, which will be a big Fixpoint series in and of itself.
  4. Also, while Jacob's been on gbw work, I've been holding my breath on ave1 re-emerging to claim gcc + C lib. I reckon Jacob'd be a good fit here, but if we have a reliable and Lordly ave1, Jacob can own something else.

6. lobbes

  1. He's partially through the gales build and install, was expecting to deliver report by Jan 31st, but MP-logger is dragging a bit, so may leak into next month.
  2. Once his plate has been relatively cleared, need to have a conversation with him about what he thinks is a good fit for him, or at least which ways he's interested in growing his skills, which as I said in the bit quoted from December doesn't have to be purely technical.

7. ave1

  1. Feedback modes are a sign of life, let's see the extent to which he can shorten the loop. First things first is conversations, I don't want to pressure him into a situation to trigger his being an engineer until he's ready.

I'm not hiding or shying away from my junior management status, so if there's anything I've missed, am confused on or am overlooking, please set my head straight in the comments !

P.S. February's my birthday month, I'm not asking for presents apart from those listed above, so don't go have me chasing them ;)

  1. Which uses busybox and aims to avoid the unnecessary complexity Gentoo has fallen into the the sad state of importing []
  2. Some of which were determined to be ill-informed and have been struck. []
  3. Now shapeshifted to TMSR OS. []
  4. See comments there for the details. []
  5. Of interest here given Cuntoo/Portage uses python []
  6. I didn't get an estimated timeline out of him yet, but am assuming for now at least one of those will be out in Feb []

January 25, 2020

Simple Steps Part 2: Hopping Caribbean Islands to land in Prospect Point

Filed under: Ego — Robinson Dorion @ 09:55

After an extended hiatus from the Simple Steps series, I'm pickup up where I left off in School Spirit to start filling in The Fabled Outlines. This article primarily paints the backdrop of the picture of the life I lived during my 22nd year, 2012. Future articles will cover the actually causes I was working from, the output of which was primarily the work I did with Euro Pacific Bank, what I learned, etc.

Disclaimer: This is another mega-photo article, I hope all the pics didn't crash your browser.

The Investment Consultant position1 with Euro Pacific Bank I'd applied for back in early January wasn't officially offered until early February.

The interim involved deferring the transfer admission to George Mason Univeristy and a sit down interview with Peter Schiff at his Westport, CT office2. He shared with me that he'd taken time away from university to work as well prior to eventually graduating. We spoke for at least an hour about his plan for the bank. It was mostly him talking, I didn't ask many questions as I wasn't in the mode of actually considering the offer, I had already decided I wanted it3.

Once the offer was made and contract signed4 I made a day trip to the New York Euro Pac office to shadow an entry level broker, made travel arrangements with two other hired hands I'd be moving with, packed my belongings5 as if it'd be my last time at my childhood home and on US soil6, took Amtrak from Vermont to New York City February 29th for the March 1st departure from JFK to Barbados7.

The other hired hands I made the move with were Ashe Whitener8 (archive) and James Guzman (archive). As Ashe and I were boarding, we shook hands for the first time and pretty much simultaneously he received a call. It was James, he was at JFK, but too late for security to allow him through and he'd be catching a later flight. Ashe hung up, relayed this to me and followed through with, "I don't give a fuck, I'm not here to hold hands." "Hah, neither am I," was my reply.

We9 arrived to Barbados and received a 30 day tourist visa at the airport; stayed in a hotel for a rather annoying10 week house hunting until managing to rent a house near Holetown on the Leeward side.

Below is James outside our 3 bedroom, standalone crib, I'm in the background locking up.

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We settled in and started to learn what the bank was. I'll get to that in an article to come, but Barbados turned out to be a short term stay. You see, three weeks in, we went to immigration to renew our tourist visas and promptly had our passports confiscated. Yeah, that's right. We returned to immigration a day or two later and were interrogated in the basement to learned they essentially had pinned us as narcos ; paraphrasing :

"What're three early to late twenty year 11 old gringos doing wanting to live on our island? We only want retired, baby boomer gringos."

They didn't want to hear the truth, which we backed with documentation, that we worked for a foreign bank. They presented us a catch-22 and required us to have work visas to stay; given we didn't work for a Bajan company, it would've required us to form such a company and then apply for their "work"12 visa.

By that time we had been referring to it as Barmalos13 anyways so said what we had to say to recover our passports and were on an evacuation flight to St. Vincent and the Grenadines within a few Earth spins.

The volcanic island of St. Vincent was a polar opposite14 to the flat dinner plate of Barmalos.

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Above, areal view of Kingstown ; below, view of Kingstown from the harbor. A shade over 10% of the island's 130k people live in the town. The bank had an office there, but we worked from home and pretty much only went to the office once a month to pick up our cash 15.

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Above, the luxurious Young Island just off the southern coast. Below, demonocracy slogans...

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Unlike Barmalos, since the bank was headquartered there, we had connections on the ground from the jump in the form our drivers "Pops" and "Goldfinger"16. We also had connections reaching to the top as Marcus Ballantyne, the son of the Governor General, was the registered corporate agent for the bank and its mutual funds.

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Above, Ashe, Pops and yours truly. Below, Robert, a.k.a. Goldfinger. Goldfinger picked us up every Sunday (the only day we didn't make calls) to bring us to the grocery store and back.

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You're probably asking why Mark didn't recommend we domicile there out the gate. In one part, he didn't want brokers domiciled there and in another, his gringo baby boomer tastes seemed to favor Barmalos. The reason he only wanted admin there and not brokers was because in theory there would be labor laws applied to us. We simply worked from home and didn't tell the bureaucrats we were working. Then we didn't go back to renew tourists visas, stayed illegally and paid the $10 or whatever it was in December when we left.

Anyways, the bank covered our flight and first month at the Prospect Point Racquet Club on the southeast corner of the island, about 30-40 minute winding drive from Kingstown. "Once you're home, you're home," noted Pops upon our initial arrival.

Mark had booked us a two bedroom, two beds and a cot place at the Racket Club the month of April while we looked for more permanent accommodations. Mark had claimed business people stayed there, and we let him know how pissed we were he'd set us up in a dump over the phone the hour we arrived ; hence our renaming it the racket club. After being asked to leave one shitty island, being kept from making calls, and a month facing the reality of how poorly Caribbean islands are provisioned with food, "Our pet's heads were falling off" and we didn't exactly have the presence of mind to notice the windows were open and our shouts were pouring into the kitchen of next door neighbor, who happened to be the owner, lol.

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Above, our unit was on the first floor of the building to the right. Below, yours truly making calls from the porch.

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At least two good things came from the racket club. On the one hand, our future landlord was a member and that's how we met him. Other places we looked at were not nearly as good as the place we landed with him. On the other hand, we met Cecilia, the lady that ended up cooking us lunch every day the remainder of the year, who lived on the premise.

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Cecilia, above and below.

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Above, a goat tied to a post. Below, guard dogs on high ground ready to pounce.

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Despite the struggles, we had settling and it was really a beautiful time in my life. On the one hand, I had a lot of enthusiasm, but up until that point, no one really to share it with. Ashe and James had been studying Austrian economics, libertarianism/anarchocapitalism, etc. much longer than I had so they were like the older brothers I never had. Plus, everyday I was talking to people all over the world about a solution I genuinely thought was in there best interest to utilize.

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Above, myself, James and Ashe on Easter weekend, 2012. We took a ferry 15km from Kingstown to the second biggest islands, Bequia, where they were having a regatta.

Below, Ashe. He grew up in the Charlotte area, N.C. His Dad and Grandfather worked on engines and motorcycles and being from stock car racing central, one of his first jobs was with a NASCAR team. He was an Eagle Scout and was laughing at me and James for not bringing flashlights with us to the islands. Being a teen of the 90s, he was into computers and says he was on Napster the first time it had 100 simultaneous users. He studied electrical and computer engineering at NC State (hence the wolfpack gang sign he's flashing) and worked 6 years as a support engineer at SlickEdit, a licensed IED, in the Research Triangle Park17 in Raleigh prior to making the jump to the bank.

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Above we make our approach to Bequia. Below, some structures carved out of the rocks on the south end.

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Above we enter the bay and harbor, below we view from a nearby vista the same.

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Watch your step, but throw up a cheer.

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We went for a tailgate tour around the island and found Fort Hamilton.

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Spring had sprung and with it, new life.

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It's always fruit season in the tropics. Papaya above, if anyone knows what's called the one below, holla in the comments.

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Whale vertebrae for bar stools.

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According the Ashe and Steve (who was a diving instructor and you'll meet in a bit), Bequia has some of the best diving they've experienced. According to me, that sunset was quite nice.

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By the start of May, we settled on the unit on the left hand side of the duplex pictured above. It was owned by a Club member and located adjacent to the Club who let it to us for $1k monthly all included. It had 3 bedrooms, but by that time, James decided he'd move instead to Acapulco. He'd been working Jeff Berwick and The Dollar Vigilante 18 people for referrals and through that process decided to go live there. So after fighting two months of chaos, Ashe and I established order, hunkered in a finally got to the work that had us on planes, trains, boats and automobiles to arrive at.

The place sat on a hill and the windows were designed to catch the wind whipping through. The design was Robert Horry clutch 19 since we didn't have air conditioning and consequently, we named our headquarters the wind tunnel.

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Above is where we'd eat breakfast, lunch and dinner. In the mornings we'd watch the ferries such as the one below come in from Bequia and in the evenings we witnessed countless pure sunsets 20 over the ocean.

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Above an eggs scramble breakfast about to be crushed, below a Paul Purest sunset on the horizon and okra growing along the picket fence in the foreground.

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Above, a view from the roof and below later in the year after the yard had let its long, blonde, wavy locks grow.

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Above, the morning twilight anticipating the sunrise ; below, you can see our view from Prospect Point provided us a vista of Bequia.

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There were rainbows.

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And double rainbows.

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And more double rainbows.

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So intense.

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Our wind tunnel at Prospect Point was strategically located on top of a mountain with the volcanic, blacksand Brighton beach to the southeast, pictured above, and the white sand Breakers beach to the southwest, pictured below.

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We went to Brighton beach more because it was easier to access. I had my closest tempting of death there one the first times we went. The east side of the beach is protected by a coral reef and is much more calm, but we didn't know that then. The west side of the beach has long waves. I decided I wanted to get out passed the waves, but then found myself out a bit too deep and realized the east-west current was threatening to either sweep me out to sea or smash me into the rocky shore and I wasn't down for trying out either. I wasn't sure if it was life threatening, but my conscious said, "Might as well pretend like it's life or death and swim for everything you love in life." I listened and took a diagonal path to the northeast and ended up cutting my way back to safety in short order to collapse on the beach from adrenal fatigue as soon as my feet touched the sand.

From that point, I realized why the Vincentians gathered on the east side and tended to hang out over there :)

Directly below we're viewing the peninsula south of Breakers beach from our road with Bequia in the distance center and, probably the most notable Grenadine, Mustique, further in the distance left.

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Ashe turned 30 on Cinco de Mayo, 2012 and his young brother Zane paid us 21 a visit. So we decided to hike the active volcano, La Soufrière, which last erupted in 1979 and still smells like sulfur. Above and below we're at the top, where the wind was whipping.

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This hike was our first, so we let a guide take us. After the hike, he took us to a tunnel so we could get a pic to highlight how white the Whiteners and yours truly are. Or maybe to show us the industry 22 that used to be. Or maybe show us the bats, pictured below. Probably a mixture of both. Anyways, the bats are great and would come out every night around dusk to wave to us with their wings and feast on the bugs.

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Those Whitener's are funny guys. Zane above pointing out the Chino hat looking island with his eyes. Zane below drinking black people beverages23.

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Uhm, Elaine, jerk stores may not exist, but Diana has a bone to pick with you given her Jerk Centre keeps long hours in light of all the demand.

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Speaking of jerk, we ran through bottles of the seasoning --from the jerk store-- to cover too many chickens to count.

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The owner's brother moved into the unit next to us. He was on his death bed and his caretaker, Craig, kept a dog that at first barked and barked and barked at us --in between itching his skinny, flea bit self-- until we started throwing the dog bones. He gained several pounds off chicken bones alone and we named him Itchy. We'd buy a ham once a week, bake it, throw him the bone and it'd be gone in the morning. Itchy the Vincentian bone crusher.

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Our kitchen, with a plate of the aforementioned de-boned ham on the right and a cracked coconut to the right further.

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A typical eggs scramble with mad coconut oil from the market. We'd have Cecilia buy us the oil to get the local price. I did a lot of the breakfast and dinner cooking since Ashe wasn't too strong there and he was helping me in plenty of other places.

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Fruit of the sea.

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Island banana stand.

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Bananas not yet ripe or frozen, though there's probably money under the treestand, scroll for it...

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Nevertheless, Ashe is the banana bread baking Baron.

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In brief, beautiful.

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Below, Ashe's bread machine.

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Ashe, Cecilia and I above ; the neighbor Craig 24 and me below on a Friday towards the end. The party was goin' on and we kept their heads ringin' that night.

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Wa gwan ? Rastaman Ebbo doin' rasta things below. A lot of the neighbors thought we were religious since we didn't go out so much. While we thought that was funny, we didn't go out so much since we were on a mission25 and it was quite the hike to get to town.

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A stickbug on our patio.

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Our resident gecko we named Leo since he liked to hang off the stern of the ship. Would ya look at the size of that sucker ? How many bug bites you reckon he saved us ?

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Above, I view from the top step; below a crescent moon paired with Venus. The night sky was a real treat and in December there were at least a couple meteor showers.

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What up dawg ? Yeah, you read that right, that's 100% juice. The drink is over there, next to the chicken and giblets.

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In June, Ashe's friend --from high school, NC State and beyond-- Steve came to visit for a week. Strong thumb game.

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We made another hike of La Soufrière. This time, Pops just dropped us off at the trail head and we made our own way.

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A steer or two showed us their snout and wisely steered themselves to the side as we made our way.

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The Dudes abided the sign above and couldn't help but notice the palm tree below growing right out of the middle to tower over and shade the towering shade tree. Do you like apples ? How you like 'dem apples ?

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Youngblood on the ascent...

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...given the fog and that rain had washed out part of the trail, we took our time and made piles of rocks toward the top to mark our path. If I recall correctly, Steve was an Eagle scout as well, so dudes were prepared.

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The rum distillery was paid a visit.

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Craig lent a machete and a hand in removing the inner coconut from the outer.

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We managed the rest in putting the lime in the coconut.

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Cheers to you.

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While Steve's visit was all well and good, shortly after marked a defining moment. You see, he was recently engaged and Ashe was to be his best man later that Autumn. The rub was, Ashe had meet the bride to be and listened to Steve talk about her and their relationship during the trip. He told Steve he didn't think it was a good idea to marry the chick, said he didn't support it and declined to be the best man. He thought he was marrying her for the wrong reasons and that he shouldn't settle. That was some of the most keepin' it real I'd ever witnessed to that point in my life. Ashe wasn't just mouthing off talking about being a friend. He was cool, calm, collected, rational, empathetic, courageous and serious. It wasn't easy, but he made it simple. He might not of been there to hold hands, but he stepped up and had his buddy's back. Steve didn't want to hear it, went through with it and they didn't talk for many years. I don't know how the marriage worked out, but for sure this showing of character strengthened my relationship with Ashe because apart from Zane, I was naturally the one he spoke with most about. I saw exactly where he was coming from and I listened and supported him in speaking up.

Through working together on what we thought was the most important thing we could be working on, i.e. Euro Pacific Bank, moving to a couple different countries together, learning about philosophy and self-knowledge and talking to each other every day for months that turned into years, Ashe and I formed the strongest friendship either of us had had. He was always really close with Zane and we formed our own level of brotherhood.

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Ashe and I blazed our own trails pretty much side by side from 2012-2015. We grew tremendously on levels we certainly weren't expecting prior to deciding to move to a foreign country with some strangers to work a start up bank. I'm about as old now as he was when we met and I wouldn't be standing where I am today without the guidance he was able to offer me then.

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We've grown apart in recent years by focusing on different roots, branches and fruits of the tree of knowledge, yet there remains plenty to reap from natures bounty.

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Onward and upward, through the mist and to the peaks above the clouds.

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  1. The buy your ticket, eat what you kill, starve otherwise arrangement, i.e. not what you'd call a job. The log link there was gifted to me through whaack's comment on my previous article. Isn't engaging the world great ? []
  2. I couldn't help but make leap the office was built as if Howard Roark designed it. It lie into a hill and stepped up 3 levels away from the road with the hill. Peter's office sat in the southeast corner with large windows overlooking the harbor and sunrise. []
  3. How does this relate to the present ? Hm. While I didn't ask Diana Coman any questions, her process is public and works from the cause of "killing stupidity on sight", which has a higher likelihood of providing a stronger foundation than previous leaps of faith I've taken. Similar to Peter, I'd observed her answer more questions than I counted prior to talking to her. []
  4. The contract included a 5 year non-compete agreement; not that it was likely to be enforced, but I mention to note lack of strong negotiation. Also, being even more optimistic in my youth, I was of the mindset I'd work for this organization my entire life. I couldn't imagine anything better. []
  5. Essentially clothes, computer and a stack of dead tree books. []
  6. "Dollar could 'collapse', i.e. hyper-inflate, 'any day now.'" When people asked at the time, I said I'd go back when it's the former "United States". Little did I know then it was, against the BTC, and I had the wrong numeraire. []
  7. Barbados was recommended by Peter and Mark Anderson, the Bank's President. Their concept was the 10-12 newly hired hands would all move there with the three of us being the first batch. []
  8. Fun fact : the start of this Oro pseudonym was when we started hiring junior brokers to work under us and forming teams. EPB being a precious metals shop, one of the other brokers named his team "Team Gold", which Ashe partially trolled with "Team Oro" (we were living in Panama by then). []
  9. James made it that night []
  10. Primarily caused by being keen to get to work while interfacing with the island... pace, let's say. []
  11. I had just turned 22, Ashe was about to turn 30 and James was somewhere in between. []
  12. As if any work's being done there whatsoever, pfff []
  13. I'd certainly not step foot out the airport, it's a hub of the region, for really any reason. Place is a tourist chumpatron to the hollow core. Dun be a chump, aight ? []
  14. To the degree Caribs can differ. Apart from sailors and medical students, St. Vincent has very few tourists. Those tend to frequent the Grenadine islands such as Mustque and Bequia. In all there are 32 islands in the Grenadine chain, including St. Vincent. As such, the eat loose change shaken from cruise ship tenants for breakfast, lunch and dinner Barmalos culture wasn't present in SVG. []
  15. The bank was for non-U.S. people, we weren't allowed to have accounts (not that I prefer some "account" to cash anyways). []
  16. The Vincentians love their nicknames. []
  17. Where RedHatrathead started []
  18. To his credit, I understand he had a big falling out with them by calling bull on that Galt's Gulch scam. []
  19. This dude was a role player who played 16 seasons in the league and managed to win 7 titles. Hitting clutch shot after clutch shot was pretty much all he did along the way. []
  20. A Paul PiercePurest sunset was when no clouds obstructed the setting and the sun melts into the water. You don't know it'll happen until it does because there may be clouds kilometers out on the horizon that're only visible when the sun is behind them. []
  21. Part of what he paid us with was a suitcase full of goods. The most important item was a Berkey water filter, which was Reggie Miller clutch* since there was something off with that island water. No wonder the elite Hawaiians positioned themselves to take it directly from the clouds.
    --
    *These layers of '90s-'00s basketball references may have you lost, but they were legit part of our slang. While I'm here, I'ma just go over the top with it and barf out Puke Walton --if you get that one, hat tip. There, I think it's out of my system, roflmao. []
  22. I don't remember what industry the tunnel was used for - sorry, it was 8 years ago :/ -- but I'll bet you dollars to doughnuts the Masters kept the slaves moving and producing. []
  23. I don't think we were quoting that Chappelle bit then, but I have it now, so I ask, "Nigga, what the fuck is JUICE !!?!?! I want that grape drink. Ingredients : sugar, water and, of course, purple." []
  24. Looks like he vote labour, me say. []
  25. "Like keep grindin' boy your life can change in one year, and even when it's dark out the sun is shinin' somewhere. Look here I pay dues, my own worst enemy so either way I can't lose." - J. Cole., Premeditated Murder []
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