Hi. You can call me Pre.

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Here’s the stuff I’ve made that I’m most proud of.

Diary

Here’s my latest posts to the free fediverse, some rambling, some ranting, mostly just commenting on stuff I’ve read lately. Some of it gets syndicated to Twitter but mostly not. The best of it reaches my monthly digest email.

Thu, 22 Sep 2022 20:13:32 +0000

The zoomers I know are really smart and tolerant and woke and right-on and if they finally get to outnumber their elders they'll do a way better job of running the world.

My samples are inevitably incredibly biased, and tiny. If you know more than a classroom full you know better than me. So I dunno. Tell me if I'm wrong.

I don't think they'll get the chance to fix the world though, because wealth becomes entrenched, and existential risks accrue, and the low birth rate means in the wealthy countries the old will outnumber the young.

And then the super-intelligence will likely just kill everyone before the century is out, even if the ice caps can be held at bay and the oil crisis doesn't result in nuclear war.

If we stay a democracy, we become a gerontocracy, while having an inverted pyramid in age distribution.

None of that ends well.

Fingers crossed for moores law frankly, because if we don't get continual exponential growth we do actually all die.

Thu, 22 Sep 2022 19:34:07 +0000

Remember this the next time you hear that the UK is a democracy:

* Unelected head of state

* Prime Minister elected by 0.2% of the population.

Apparently this conference will vote on again.

I hope they don't let the unions screw it up for them again like last time.

Thu, 22 Sep 2022 18:33:57 +0000

If you don't learn how to use your software, your software will learn how to use you.

Thu, 22 Sep 2022 18:32:07 +0000

I am using it primarily for Twitter at the moment, and my god it's better having these things in a well designed reader instead of letting the algorithm dictate what you read based on corporate interests.

I'm using as my reader with rules to sort feeds into Skim/Follow/Stalk with sub-trees of a couple of categories.

Often just marking whole tranches of "skim" things as read without reading them.

Making sure I read every post from everyone in my Stalk list, even those that are replies to people I never heard of.

Automatically marking read replies to people I never heard of for people in the Follow list.

Similar stalk/follow/skim structure for the longer-form RSS feeds that mostly ain't twitter.

When one guy I followed was kicked off of Twitter, I just edited his feed to point at an RSS of his Telegram and it's like he was never cancelled.

You can't let the corporate-controlled algorithms control what you see my friends. You gotta take control yourself somehow.

Even if that means learning to use an RSS reader.

Thu, 22 Sep 2022 18:20:12 +0000

Want to follow users with a fairly nice RSS feed?

Want to mix in users too?

Fed up with feeds which don't include a preview of the links they mention?

All these things can be fixed if you just fuzz with the feeds enough.

If you have a server running PHP/Apache then you can install this little bit of software I wrote and it'll do all those things.

I call it , cuz it fuzzes with feeds.

github.com/revpriest/fudz

EG: Fetching an RSS of my twitter account:

dalliance.net/fudz/twitteru/re

Or if you wanted a nicer RSS of my Mastodon account than Mastodon provides by default:

dalliance.net/fudz/mastou/boin

Or if you wanted to just add previews to links on some RSS feed?

Well, the normal Mastodon RSS feed for my account is at: boing.world/@pre.rss

Stupid thing doesn't include preview boxes of the first link. But this does:

dalliance.net/fudz/feed/https/

It's locked down and will only serve those three links to your IP. My RSS reader is whitelisted for others.

Install it yourself on your own server if you want to actually use it.

I intend to continue to fuzz with feeds when they are annoying, and add things as I need them, but to do it slackfully when I can be arsed.

I finally made it able to have an IP-whitelist and a path-whitelist a while back so it's safe to publish now without any risk of anyone overloading my cache space.

Wed, 21 Sep 2022 21:17:30 +0000

Latest updates from my Tesco groceries delivery.

Drive will be late, it'll arrive at 14:20.

No, more delays, it'll arrive at 20:55.

No, running even later, it'll be 22:00

No, we were wrong, actually it should arrive by 02:00, 2am.

Thing is, it arrived about 13:20 exactly as I asked for. Presumably they didn't mark it on their doodad that they've delivered it.

Wonder if I'll just keep getting updates every 4 hours forever now.

Tue, 20 Sep 2022 23:03:17 +0000

Been loving Strange New Worlds. Trek as it should be, just the right mix of old and new characters. Pike does an amazing job. That hair. Totally keeps reminding me of @comcompod@twitter.com Stewart Goldsmith.

Here's a quick

Mon, 19 Sep 2022 01:26:16 +0000

And that's where holiday ends. All day and more traveling home tomorrow. 31 hours? No. Just over 24 door to door but the time difference makes it seem that way.

Mon, 19 Sep 2022 01:24:11 +0000

Exhausting day, but it's quite a place. High and difficult to reach. They abandoned the place and burned all the trails to it to prevent the Catholics destroying it. Though the elements still did quite a job. It's cleaned up a bit for the tourists now. Some call it a wonder. Where the jungle meets the Highlands.

Mon, 19 Sep 2022 01:21:43 +0000

Then, through the trees, Machu Picchu. An old Inca temple.

Mon, 19 Sep 2022 01:20:51 +0000

Today we got a train to the jungle. There we met a lizard.

Sun, 18 Sep 2022 02:23:47 +0000

They have an observatory and planetarium at this hotel. Been out looking at Saturn and Jupiter through their second biggest telescope (biggest is a ccd to computer not direct). Seen Saturn before at Greenwich but a good telescope view of Jupiter is new to me. They're both pretty. Andromida is alas below the horizon.

Sat, 17 Sep 2022 22:23:08 +0000

Went to a little llama farm, fed the llamas. My favourite was the little baby one. I'm scritching his head here.

Followed by visiting Ollantaytanbo, which is a temple that the Inca never finished constructing. Their own civil war and then the invasion of the Catholics halted construction.

It's quite a climb, lots of terraces up the hill and this precarious walkway across the cliff. Pics of the walkway and the view from it, with the village and valley below.

Sat, 17 Sep 2022 01:16:12 +0000

Spent a lot of time on a coach listening to this week.

Andy Weir's "project hail Mary" is amazing. Like his earlier "the Martian" it's about a guy stuck alone in space using science to get himself out of scrapes. Brilliant aliens. Brilliant scrape to be gotten into.

Narrated by the same guy who did the "bobiverse" books, so it feels like an extention of that excellent series too. He does a really great job of narrating with voice and emotion.

If you only do one audiobook this year, that'd be the one I'd suggest.

Sat, 17 Sep 2022 00:01:13 +0000

A day in cusco.

Visited Saqsaywaman. It used to be the biggest temple around, 500 years ago. The Inca building style didn't use any mortar. Just cut the blocks of granite into jigsaw shapes so they hold together without. Strong and earthquake proof.

Then the Catholics took it apart to use the blocks in their cathedrals. Which were also impressively ornate. But which fell over in the next earthquake.

While i was there the front area was full of school kids practicing their dance and ceremony for solstice. Was quite impressive.

Also a church in town. Much of the town is built on Inca foundations. That mortice free interlocking blocks. Then modern styles in top.

The museum of precolombian art has lots of very old art. This fox jug is thousands of years old.

Fri, 16 Sep 2022 23:35:37 +0000

Visited this archeology site in the borders of the old Inca empire. It mixes Inca building tech with a neighbouring tribe. Nobody is sure what it used to be so they call it a temple, but i think i agree more with those who reckon a factory or trade/distribution center

Lots of storage buildings, and two styles suggests cooperative building, which to me suggests trade.

The long corridor aligns with the solstice sun, but you'd do that anyway given free range i reckon.

Wed, 14 Sep 2022 22:55:04 +0000

About 500 years ago the Spanish invaded the land now called Peru. The Inca fought back, and many bloody battles ranged over the area.

The Uros people living on the shores of lake titikaka found themselves stuck in the middle. Fuck this, they thought, we're out of here.

So they used their boats made from reeds and rowed the hell into the lake looking for new land.

But there was no new unoccupied land to find.

They find that the dried clumped roots of the lake's reeds floats. So they lash lumps of it together, cover it in a reed flooring, and make artificial floating islands to live on.

And have been living there ever since.

Went to visit those islands today, met an Uros family who invited us into their floating reed island homes.

They took us for a ride in their reed boats and explained through our translator how they build these things.

The islands are bouncy like walking on a mattress, and slowly soak up the water, becoming sunken islands in around 25 years. So the two families living on the island we visited will need to build a new one in a decade or so, when their homes start to sink into the lake.

Amazing stuff, i had no idea they existed.

Wed, 14 Sep 2022 00:35:44 +0000

I once had a dream like this. A ball game played by players attached to helium balloons in balance so flapping wings could make you fly around the warehouse pitch.

Upon waking i calculated the needed amount of helium and figured the game impossible coz the balloons would be too big.

And i think that's true still. Couldn't really play a ball game with balloons this big.

Would still be a cool time though. Flapping about. Perhaps one day the ball game can be played with smaller balloons on the moon.

youtube.com/watch?v=CwABJGzifa

Tue, 13 Sep 2022 23:20:26 +0000

Tonight's hotel view of lake titicaca. Arrived just in time for it to get dark.

Tue, 13 Sep 2022 23:18:30 +0000

Highest point about 5km above the sea level. The Inca make these piles of stones with offerings for their gods. Now tourists do it for luck making wishes. I wished for a successful kickstarter in November.

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Bookmarks

A list of the last few things I’ve enjoyed reading/watching or sometimes bookmarked to read later. You can also subscribe to the RSS feed here or follow the little robot on the fediverse that toots them out as I bookmark them.

Thu, 22 Sep 2022 10:35:04 +0000

Bookmarked by @pre: America’s Open Wound - Continuing Ed — with Edward Snowden

"From the year it was established, Presidents and their cadres have regularly directed the CIA to go beyond the law for reasons that cannot be justified, and therefore must be concealed — classified. The primary result of the classification system is not an increase in national security, but a decrease in transparency. Without meaningful transparency, there is no accountability, and without accountability, there is no learning."

edwardsnowden.substack.com/p/a

Sat, 17 Sep 2022 01:45:04 +0000

Bookmarked by @pre: Clive Lewis on monarchy

many are not there to honour the institution of monarchy or a royal individual; what is prevalent is the expressed need to feel part of something more than themselves.

theguardian.com/commentisfree/

Sat, 17 Sep 2022 01:05:04 +0000

Bookmarked by @pre: Imposed Insanity – Royalty, Propaganda And The Coming Catastrophe

As for the Telegraph’s declaration, ‘Grief is the price we pay for love’; this is a paper that reflexively supports every blood-drenched Western war going, that waged merciless propaganda war on Corbyn, incinerated Assange, and mocked the climate crisis threatening all humanity for decades. But their hearts are full of love for the icon of unlimited wealth.

medialens.org/2022/imposed-ins

Fri, 16 Sep 2022 13:15:04 +0000

Bookmarked by @pre: Craig Murray on the royal propaganda blitz

When the so-called “Leader of the opposition” opposes protest against a new unelected head of state, out of respect for the previous unelected head of state, you know you live under totalitarianism. Except almost all dictatorships do at least have the form of an election. Indeed, some of the worst dictators in modern history have […]

craigmurray.org.uk/archives/20

Mon, 12 Sep 2022 22:05:03 +0000

Bookmarked by @pre: Chris Hedges: We Are Not the First Civilization to Collapse, but We Will Probably Be the Last

Civilizations die in familiar patterns. They exhaust natural resources. They spawn parasitic elites who plunder and loot the institutions and systems that make a complex society possible. They engage in futile and self-defeating wars. And then the rot sets in. The great urban centers die first, falling into irreversible decay. Central authority unravels. Artistic expression and intellectual inquiry are replaced by a new dark age, the triumph of tawdry spectacle and the celebration of crowd-pleasing imbecility.

mintpressnews.com/chris-hedges

Sun, 11 Sep 2022 02:55:29 +0000

Bookmarked by @pre: Craig Murray on royalty

There can be no clearer example than the monarchy of the unrelenting media propaganda by which the Establishment maintains its grip.

craigmurray.org.uk/archives/20

Wed, 07 Sep 2022 20:55:04 +0000

Bookmarked by @pre: Jonathan Pie: Welcome to Britain. Everything is Terrible. | NYT Opinion - YouTube

Johnathan Pie introduces the new prime minster to Americans for the New York Times.

youtube.com/watch?v=m5aWtcx02Z

Thu, 01 Sep 2022 14:45:05 +0000

Bookmarked by @pre: Mars Cyclers - by Peter Hague - Planetocracy

Use a big solar-orbiting ship to move lots of mass between Mars and Earth: A cycler.

planetocracy.substack.com/p/ma

Thu, 01 Sep 2022 14:10:04 +0000

Bookmarked by @pre: Geoffrey Bindman on Labour's antisemitism scandal: 'There has been political manipulation' | Middle East Eye

Surprise! It was all about Palestine after all."JVL knows of 54 Jewish members of the party subjected to disciplinary proceedings in relation to allegations of antisemitism. Of these, 47 are full JVL members. All 11 of JVL’s executive committee have faced disciplinary action, nine of these in response to allegations of antisemitism."  ... "As Corbyn’s shadow chancellor John McDonnell noted in a letter to Starmer and David Evans, Labour’s general secretary, that to be a member of JVL is to be 35 times more likely to be accused of antisemitism than any other party member."

middleeasteye.net/news/labour-

Wed, 31 Aug 2022 14:55:04 +0000

Bookmarked by @pre: The Great Clutching at Pearls - Craig Murray

"The 2008 banking bailout gave hundreds of billions of dollars straight to the ultra-wealthy, to be paid for by ordinary people through over a decade of austerity cuts to social services, real terms cuts in pay, and increased taxation. In the current crisis the plan is to advance money in some form to ordinary people, for them to pay off by a further decade of the same. In neither instance was taking money from those with billions in personal wealth even considered."

craigmurray.org.uk/archives/20

Mon, 29 Aug 2022 14:50:04 +0000

Bookmarked by @pre: Don’t be fooled by the ‘noble lie’ we live in a democratic West

That is why in the United States, the imperial hub of the democratic west, the choice is narrowly controlled by two large institutional parties, themselves dependent on wealthy donors. The public is supposed to choose between two politicians who have worked their way up through the ranks, and been vetted each step of the way, for their willingness to obey the logic of elite power.

jonathancook.substack.com/p/do

Thu, 25 Aug 2022 22:40:04 +0000

Bookmarked by @pre: Book Review: What We Owe The Future - by Scott Alexander

Scott Alexander on Will MacAskill's "What We Owe The Future"For what it's worth I never accepted the Repugnant Conclusion coz I never accepted that creating people is a moral good even if they are happy healthy people with no suffering. And also don't accept there can ever be a person with no suffering. To create a child is to add to the suffering in the world and you don't balance that out with happiness. It is not a weight-scale.Create people if you want, but you won't convince me it is a moral good to do so. Let 'em all die if you want too. That's less suffering at least. In the end.

astralcodexten.substack.com/p/

Mon, 22 Aug 2022 23:55:04 +0000

Bookmarked by @pre: Code, Speech, and the Tornado Cash Mixer | Electronic Frontier Foundation

The government order github to take down the Tornado Cash code.But code is speech, and Americans have free speech.The EFF is representing a computing professor who has re-posted the code "for academic study".Glad to see the EFF fighting for electronic freedoms

eff.org/deeplinks/2022/08/code

Mon, 22 Aug 2022 22:30:05 +0000

Bookmarked by @pre: The gathering crisis - Charlie's Diary

Charlie Stross on the situation in the UK: The harvest is failing. Energy bills are soaring to the point where businesses, already hit by a bad recession, are going bust because they can't keep the lights on. (Not posting a link but I've seen reports of Fish and Chip shops shutting down because they can't afford the power bills for the fryers—or, soon, the bill for the potatoes and the expensive sewage-free imported fish.) A third of the country can't afford to pay their bills: there's a grass-roots movement to start a payment strike against the energy companies, who are seen as exploiting the situation for profit.The health service is in crisis. Inflation is wiping out pensions and savings. A general strike seems possible by the end of the year, something that hasn't hit the UK since 1926.

antipope.org/charlie/blog-stat

Wed, 17 Aug 2022 19:00:04 +0000

Bookmarked by @pre: Why is Amnesty apologising for telling the truth about Ukrainian war crimes? | Middle East Eye

Should a human rights organisation apologise for publishing important evidence of war crimes and human rights abuses?If it does apologise, what does that suggest about its commitment to dispassionately uncovering the truth about the actions of both parties to war? And equally, what message does it send to those who claim to be “distressed” by the publication of such evidence?

middleeasteye.net/opinion/russ

Tue, 16 Aug 2022 11:00:04 +0000

Bookmarked by @pre: Lego Batman Goes to Prison (Snyder Cut) - YouTube

Forrest Fire's lego-batman prison fight is very well done.

youtube.com/watch?v=2w3LtaHrK5

Mon, 15 Aug 2022 13:10:18 +0000

Bookmarked by @pre: Why The Ethereum Merge is a Monumental Blunder (13 August 2022) - YouTube

A presentation on all the centralizing forces unleashed when Eth goes to Proof Of Stake, and how doing so is likely to lead to regulatory capture by the US government.

youtube.com/watch?v=gyP0uxxB6V

Wed, 10 Aug 2022 21:40:05 +0000

Bookmarked by @pre: Pluralistic: 10 Aug 2022 – Pluralistic: Daily links from Cory Doctorow

Companies make us sign weird agreements, EULAs, for every website we sign up at. What if there was a standard one, and companies had to offer that too?You may notice an obvious problem but in Cory's article here there is a solution:"Lemley says that if a seller prices their product at $25 with the EULA and $1 million without, then the buyer who accepts the EULA is handing over $999,975 worth of value when they click "I agree." Lemley says we should tax that as income."

pluralistic.net/2022/08/10/be-

Wed, 10 Aug 2022 20:40:03 +0000

Bookmarked by @pre: Danny Blanchflower and Mark Blyth: Have central banks overcooked their response to the rising rate of inflation? | HeraldScotland

Compounding this the UK will have a new Prime Minister and no Chancellor in place, and from what we have heard so far, whoever is in place hasn’t the faintest clue on how to dampen a recession when rate rises are the only topic of discussion. In such circumstances the foreign exchange market is likely to have a field day as speculators short the pound.

heraldscotland.com/business_hq

Tue, 09 Aug 2022 12:10:03 +0000

Bookmarked by @pre: Feeding the Russia menace media frenzy - IAN SINCLAIR

All of which begs the question: if the US intervenes in the UK way more than any other country, why are the media so fixated on Russia? Kennard explains: “The focus on them [Russia] in the corporate media, in the mainstream and amongst the national security state is because it is useful to certain interests.”

morningstaronline.co.uk/articl

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A tentacle themed attire for the gig