Nixers Newsletter

Nixers Newsletter

Unix

Thoughts

Risk means more things can happen than will happen - Elroy Dimson

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Nixers Newsletter

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Vermaden Valuable News

UNIX

Hardware

Life & Other

https://vermaden.wordpress.com/

Thoughts

“I am not a pessimist but I am a realist” - Always coming from the pessimist in the room

I'm reviewing old articles on my blog and I'm surprised by how some ideas are even more true today. We live in a society that is increasingly attached to realism, that cannot take metaphors, abstract topics, and ambiguity. Maybe this is an idea worth sharing for those struggling out there.

https://venam.nixers.net/blog/psychology/2017/05/23/deliberate-positive-illusion.html

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Nixers Newsletter

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UNIX

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Thoughts

The internet is full of consequences now because real life is full of consequences. The membrane between online and real life has long since dissolved.

https://www.theverge.com/2018/5/18/17366528/snapchat-decline-internet-ghost-towns

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Nixers Newsletter

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It's not that we have too little time to do all the things we need to do, it's that we feel the need to do too many things in the time we have. - Gary Keller

Sorry, no vermaden valuable news this week, he switched the publishing schedule to Mondays and so we'll get the issue next week. Or maybe we could start publishing the newsletter on Mondays too. Tell me what you think?

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Nixers Newsletter

Unix

Vermaden Valuable News

UNIX

Hardware

Life & Other

https://vermaden.wordpress.com/

Thoughts

Talk about what you love.

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Nixers Newsletter

Unix

Thoughts

In the absence of information, opinions become facts.

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id:24ec1e06-21b7cac4-48144cc6-e49e090d

Nixers Newsletter

Unix

Vermaden Valuable News

UNIX

Hardware

Life & Other

https://vermaden.wordpress.com/

Thoughts

Culture is shaped by the best behaviour a leader is willing to promote.

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Nixers Newsletter

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UNIX

Hardware

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https://vermaden.wordpress.com/

Thoughts

Plans are worthless, but planning is everything.

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Thoughts

Food for thoughts of this week.

"To maintain these strong counter-scientific consensus views, you kind of have to have a lack of knowledge." - Philip Fernbach

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Thoughts

Whenever you learn something new it adds, mixes, and changes the way you perceive the world around you.

Here's a fun Quora thread: https://www.quora.com/Does-programming-change-the-way-you-think-and-see-things

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UNIX

Hardware

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https://vermaden.wordpress.com/

Thoughts

This is the first fressh issue of this new year. As cliché as it sounds let's emphasize some thoughts about change.

Remember those "Culture clash" from 86 and "Edge effect" from 84, let's start on this tone. Give yourself permission to make yourself a priority, at least for a while. Try out new things, or continue what you've left behind, or simply grow on the same path.

"We often underestimate our capacity to reinvent ourselves" - Shankar Vedantam

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Thoughts

This week is a week of festivity in a lot of parts of the world. So let's share a piece that I've found helpful, maybe you'll find some value in it too.

https://www.theminimalists.com/understanding/

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Thoughts

This season needs elves, and this is what I'm giving you the most in this issue (actually this was so time consuming I couldn't give anything else).

I hope you enjoy it, and happy holidays!

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Nixers Newsletter

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UNIX

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Thoughts

As you may have noticed I've removed the Random section of this newsletter. There's already enough content, brace yourself for a long read this week. Sorry for the double email, I almost missed vermaden valuable news.

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Xero's Weekly Ricing Tips

zathura is a vi{m,} like pdf and comicbook viewer.

besides having vi like bindings and a minimal ui, zathura is extremely "riceable" and has a awesome feature called "recolor". when set to true, you can define custom colors for bg and fg of textual documents, but it also sets images to greyscale and tints them in matching inverted hues. :set recolor is a toggle command, so if your set it to run by default in your ~/.config/zathura/zathurarc file, manually calling it from the ui will disable the feature.

here's my config for reference: https://github.com/xero/dotfiles/blob/master/zathura/.config/zathura/zathurarc

cite:

  • man 5 zathurarc
  • https://pwmt.org/projects/zathura/documentation/
  • https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/zathura
____  ___
\   \/  /___________  ____
.\     // __ \_  __ \/ _  \
./     \  ___/ | | \( <_>  )
/___/\  \___  >__|---\____/
|     \_/   \/        |
| xero harrison       |
| xero.nu@gmail.com   |
| http://0w.nz        |
| http://xero.nu      |
| http://fontvir.us   |
`---------------------'

rocx rocks at skteches

2 years anniversary

Random

Thoughts

Issue 104, yet another 52 weeks have gone by.
After passing the 100 issues mark we've finally made it to two years of Unix newsletters.

Thanks to everyone who contributed and to all the readers.

It's fantastic, spread the word around!

Archive

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Nixers Newsletter

Unix

Random

  • One of those habit building blog
    https://jamesclear.com/reset-the-room
    https://thecreativeindependent.com/guides/how-to-balance-full-time-work-with-creative-projects/

    But a good one, not an annoying listicle type. It gets 2M hits a month on the blog and I've just discovered it. The second post is also related to organizing yourself, the usual work-life balance, a quite popular topic on technology news website. It reminded me of the discussion we had on the forums about Scientifically Proven Digital Attention Helpers, things such as knowing the times in the day when you are more focused, finding what works when guiding yourself towards an intent, what keeps you focus or reminds you of what you need to do (environment or not), splitting big tasks into smaller achievable ones to be able to track them, going with the intent rather than a goal, etc.. See also "Time management and management in general" of issue 98. While also ending on a good note about the histrionic busy: see "Over-Productive" in 78, "Production" in 66, and "The busy trap" in 32.

  • Akira
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IqVoEpRIaKg

    There was a time when anime wasn't associated with what it is today, a time of burgeoning. Probably one of the most impressive animated movie I've seen, along with the Studio Ghibli.

  • Information war
    https://www.ribbonfarm.com/2018/11/28/the-digital-maginot-line/

    Complementary to "7 items you won't believe are shockingly amazing!" in issue 85 and to all our "state of the internet" kind of articles.

  • Custom typeface
    https://www.arun.is/blog/custom-typefaces/

    Also, yet again, a recurrent talk in this newsletter: fonts. This episode covers custom typeface, why companies do it, should they continue doing it, and if you should you pay attention.

Thoughts

Judgment is but a mirror that reflects the insecurities of the person who’s doing the judging.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PpBC_jyg-go

Some people live in a world where there are haters and lovers, people that get you and others that don't, everyone judging each others, scaling and measuring their behaviors, inspecting if everyone moves in their plastic manner, pantomime, and making sure they never diverge from their cookie-cutter molds otherwise we'd have to re-invent how we perceive them. It's a world where one move means everything, where you can't make mistakes.
The thing is this only exists when we are teenagers full of hormones living the school days life (or if you're a politician). Real life is much more complex, so get over it.

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Nixers Newsletter

Unix

Random

Thoughts

The mind can be trained just like the body.

Thinking About Thinking

Meditation, learning psychology, taking the time to teach ourselves about cognitive biases, controlling our day to day intents and attention, leading our future changes and directions. All those are things that are possible and we live in the best time to try them. As much as a cliché as this is I still thought of putting this as the thought of the week.

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Nixers Newsletter

Unix

Random

Thoughts

If you can't tell me what you'd like to happen it means you don't have a problem yet. It's simply nagging. A problem exist only if there's a difference between what is effectively happening and what you'd like to happen.

Going along with the last link of the random section, a thought that's been playing in my head for some time now is to "Make explicit what is implicit". We often assume wrongly that some things should go unsaid but it's always better to be clear about what we have understood, what we expect, what we would wish would be the best possible outcome, that's the only good way to avoid mistakes and misunderstandings. Also we need to add that this does not only apply to problematic scenarios but to any others, if we like something we should be explicit about what exactly what done right and what exactly we liked, this way everyone progresses.

Have a wonderful week everyone.

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Nixers Newsletter

Unix

Random

Thoughts

It's been a 100 weeks of Unix newsletters, congratulations everyone! 1763 Unix links, 569 random interesting links, all and all more than 2300 links.

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"One of the worst things you can do is force people who don't feel pain to take your aspirin." - Dan Meyer

https://www.nctm.org/blog/ifmathistheaspirin/
A reminder of "The Shirky principle" in 72.

I'm sending the newsletter early this week because I'm taking some vacations as a birthay gift to myself, I've worked 3 months in the span of 2 months.

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"There are two ways of constructing a software design: One way is to make it so simple that there are obviously no deficiencies, and the other way is to make it so complicated that there are no obvious deficiencies. The first method is far more difficult." ― C. A. R. Hoare

"At first I hoped that such a technically unsound project would collapse but I soon realized it was doomed to success. Almost anything in software can be implemented, sold, and even used given enough determination. There is nothing a mere scientist can say that will stand against the flood of a hundred million dollars. But there is one quality that cannot be purchased in this way - and that is reliability. The price of reliability is the pursuit of the utmost simplicity. It is a price which the very rich find most hard to pay." ― C.A.R. Hoare

https://www.innoq.com/en/blog/do-we-worship-complexity/, somewhat of a reminder of "Holding it in my head" in issue 94.

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Nixers Newsletter

Unix

Random

Thoughts

"Confusopoly"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confusopoly
http://dilbert.com/strip/2010-11-21
http://blog.dilbert.com/2011/12/07/online-confusopoly/

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Nixers Newsletter

Unix

Random

Thoughts

"Everyone is complex and made out of different parts. Those parts grow at different rates. Some parts of ourselves could still be teenagers while others mature more fully."

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Nixers Newsletter

Unix

Random

  • The WWW is awesome (continue+)
    https://youtu.be/wSn7CJ0cNZ4

    Last weekend I had this discussion with a friend about this series I ran in this newsletter about the WWW awesomeness of niche found in there and why I was doing that. The sort of refreshment in the face of the never ending list of articles and debates about the online click-economy, privacy, and attention span issues that I've discussed so much in the state-of-the-web state-of-the-mind series. This link is from this same friend, it's quite interesting and well researched as are a lot of those sort of educational Youtube videos, maybe not as niche as the other kinds of videos I've inserted in this newsletter but still fun. This is entry is more of a reminder of the topic then being about the content of the video. So, readers, if you stumble upon things on the internet that makes you go "Waw, damn this is good" then hit me up with it and I'll happily share it in the newsletter.

Thoughts

"Whatever your strengths are, they will likely lead straight into your weaknesses."

A quote from the "Twelve Natural Laws of Business", see http://www.zingermanscommunity.com/2012/01/natural-law-10-whatever-your-strengths-are-they-will-likely-lead-straight-into-your-weaknesses/ for more info.
What I have been reminded by this quote is actually the total opposite, when someone is aware of their weakness it will often appear to others as their most polished attribute.

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Nixers Newsletter

Unix

Random

Thoughts

"Different people define relationships in different ways"

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Nixers Newsletter

Unix

Random

Thoughts

"Chess has shaped how I think. This idea that most chess moves are mistakes, even when made by very good players. Also, you can’t blame other people for your own problems, even though some of your problems may be their fault." - Tyler Cowen

You know the "Baader-Meinhof" effect, well it happened this week to. It seemed like everywhere I went chess made an appearance. From a series I'm watching with my significant other, to a podcast, to my coworker learning some new moves. Though I haven't got to play this week, ironically, but the concept that kept floating in my mind was the one found in this quote.

The newsletter is coming early this week because I'm taking some small vacations, have fun everyone.

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"does the tournament make sense as you keep going?"

Why are we striving for what we are striving for. Does it make sense to focus more on it or to stabilize, spread out, and balance efforts into other things. To keep going on in the tournament we have to put more of ourselves in it and so less into other things. Maybe this is a warped up way of saying "rat race" maybe it's not, it depends on how deliberate we are about our decisions.

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  • Once more... About Identity
    https://regularflolloping.com/posts/identity-in-the-wired/

    Let's bring back an old topic that keeps resurfacing in this newsletter: Identity, and specifically digital identity. This short thought piece should get you back on those thoughts, plus you can always dig in the archive to find all that has been shared.

Thoughts

"Are they smart? Do they get things done? Do I want to spend a lot of time around them?" - Sam Altman

This week we have a quote related to work culture, more precisely partnering up aka having coworkers or hiring. I've noted that quote when the "How to Start a Startup" course at Standford in Fall 2014 came out and have kept it in my mind since then. How do we know that the team is holding well together. Some of the criteria are in that quote, what others do you want to add? This can be your conversation starter for next week.

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"Commonality is worst habit of mind"

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"Trust breeds trust"

Maybe I don't need to say anything and gently leave those here:

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Everything in life has an expiry date, especially for electronics. Some companies even plan ahead this expiry date and indirectly forces you to buy new. But also, most of the things can be repaired, the question is if it's worth the effort to repair it.

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"One theory says that man is a neoteny and is no longer able to evolve. If this is true, then what an absurd creature mankind has evolved into." - Eiri Masami

On a side note, we've broken the 240+ readers mark, congratulations everyone! I can't help but be happy at the thought that everyone deliberately chose to receive this newsletter, and that it only spread through word of mouth.

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A truly open mind means forcing our imaginations to conform to the evidence of reality, and not vice versa, whether or not we like the implications. - Lawrence Krauss

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There are known knowns. There are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we know we don't know. But there are also unknown unknown. There are things we don't know we don't know. - Donald Rumsfeld

A seemingly humble quote that should certainly be put in its context. Rumsfeld was a politician and this was something he said following 9/11 regarding "weapons of mass destruction" and the lack of evidence for them. There are multiple aspects to this, on one level it reminds us of our relation with our knowledge, on another it gives you a moment to stop and think before assuming or over-rationalizing, and finally it shows that cheesy quotes are often posted on social media without checking their background story (yet another week with cheesy quotes, I know!).

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  • Have you showered?
    http://www.homethingspast.com/vintage-antique-showers/

    Because this is the trendy new thing in town, an unusual contraption called a shower. I stole that from HN and thought it was a nice article, similar to "Remote Control" in 82, "A history of the picnic table" in 77 and "A story on privacy" in 65. This is interesting to go back and time and trace the history of today's common ideas and things.

  • Social media craze
    https://anildash.com/2018/07/13/unfollowing-everybody/

    It's been a while since I've shared something with the "state of the internet", so here's one about quitting but not quitting entirely. The writer goes through a weird complex and filtering process (sort of related to the obsessive over-rationalization of "Goddess Spreadsheet" in 28). It's like the middle-ground between smoking 10 packs a day and saying 5 cigs a day won't kill you - The underlying reason why you smoke hasn't changed in both cases, you haven't tackled the issue.

  • Edge effect
    https://deepgreenpermaculture.com/permaculture/permaculture-design-principles/10-edge-effect/

    A phenomena that stay true across domains of life and inter-domains of life. Be sure to check the delightful comments at the bottom of the article.

  • Bring it on!
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/10/well/the-power-of-positive-people.html

    Spend time with your friends this week. This is what I'm going to do and I hope this is going to be super fun for everyone! "In general you want friends with whom you can have a meaningful conversation. You can call them on a bad day and they will care. Your group of friends are better than any drug or anti-aging supplement, and will do more for you than just about anything."

  • Glitch art
    https://www.theverge.com/2018/7/15/17564588/datamosh-youtubeartifacts-glitch-art-kraftsow

    All cyberpunk unite! This post goes into a simple technique to create glitchy videos, a new but old trend on youtube. It's nice that this is coming back to life. This seems to be the thing these days: Remake whatever is old cool again. There's certainly a marketing idea behind that to target people based on nostalgia but still, I ain't got anything against that as long as we're deliberately choosing to revive memories.

Thoughts

How we spend our days is how we spend our lives - Annie Dillard

You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with - Jim Rohn

We become and attract what we think about most of the time - Jerry Bruckner

Three quotes that are pretty much encompasses the same idea, to do things deliberately because this is what this is, not a future concept of what could be. Hope this can enlighten your week, cheers!

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You may delay, but time will not. - Benjamin Franklin (can't find the source?)

Can't throw a cheesy quote without more context:
https://philosiblog.com/2013/02/18/you-may-delay-but-time-will-not/

This article takes it from the side of productivity (see "Over-Productive" in 78, "Production" in 66, and "The busy trap" in 32) however this is not really accurate as many of the most prominent inventors didn't have the mindset we today portray as overly obsessed with managing their time and work. The other side of it is that it's a reflection on paying attention to what matters to you, an appreciation of life.

Have a great week!

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The less confident you are, the more serious you have to act. - Tara Ploughman

For context: https://www.quotes-clothing.com/less-confident-are-more-serious-act-tara-ploughman/

I've always liked this quote, I have no clue if it's true but from anecdotal evidence I can assert it. Aren't the advices about being "more confident" pullulating the online self-help trend trying to say indirectly that we have to take ourselves and things in general less seriously. Yep, cheesy social media quote that actually has more in it than it looks.

Have a wonderful week!

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The S in IoT stands for Security

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"Every choice we make allows us to manipulate the future. Do I ask Adrienne or Suzanne to the spring dance? Do I take my holiday on Corsica or Risa? A person's life, their future, hinges on each of a thousand choices. Living is making choices! Now you ask me to believe that if I make a choice other than the one that appears in your history books, then your past will be irrevocably altered. Well, you know, Professor, perhaps I don't give a damn about your past, because your past is my future. And as far as I'm concerned, it hasn't been written yet!" - Captain Picard about time travel

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Everything is a conspiracy when it doesn't suit us. When it does it's just the state of the world. We live in bubbles, when is the right time to question the state of affair and when is it not?

I've setup a new scavenger hunt on the forums, be sure to check it out: https://nixers.net/showthread.php?tid=2206.

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"From this moment forward all my writings are fish hooks: perhaps I know how to fish as well as anyone - If nothing was caught, I am not to blame. There were no fish." - Nietzsche

An idea similar to the thoughts in issue 74: Push your ideas out there in the wild, without spoon feeding people, without following the clickbait trend, all you have to do is prepare the content in the most appropriately consumable way for anyone that ever encounters it.


PS: I've beaten last week record by making this newsletter longer than the last one. If you really enjoy it be sure to share it with your friends that might be interested.

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You never fully realize how inept mainstream media is until they cover a topic you know a lot of. - /r/showerthoughts

This was the longest newsletter I've compiled since the start of this project. I hope you're enjoying it as much as I am enjoying reading all those articles every week. Let me know if you find anything interesting to share with our close circle of readers. If you're intested in contributing in whatever form or way, there's always a list of ideas at the bottom of this newsletter on how you can do so.

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Much unhappiness has come into the world because of bewilderment and things left unsaid. - Dostoyevsky

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"Yep, that's the point of public key cryptography, never share your privates in public" - A user on reddit

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Sand mandalas are incredibly intricate works of art that take many people many days to construct. They’re very expressive, but fragile, works of art.

After a mandala has been constructed – and displayed – it is ceremoniously deconstructed – which is meant "to symbolize the Buddhist doctrinal belief in the transitory nature of material life."

_why’s entire online presence and code was presented in the sand mandala that was '_why'. The person behind '_why' simply decided to move on and close that portion of his life.

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HTTPS & SSL doesn't mean "trust this." It means "this is private." You may be having a private conversation with Satan. - Scott Hanselman

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For they do not appear to me to have lost the faculty of reasoning, but having joined together some ideas very wrongly, they mistake them for truths; and they err as men do that argue right from wrong principles. For, by the violence of their imaginations, having taken their fancies for realities, they make right deductions from them.

An essay about epistemology by Locke. http://enlightenment.supersaturated.com/johnlocke/BOOKIIChapterXI.html

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In the end it is those who derive consequences and seize the importance of the ideas, seeing their real value, who win the day. They are the ones who can talk about the subject.

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Be conservative in what you do, be liberal in what you accept from others.

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"GUIs normally make it simple to accomplish simple actions and impossible to accomplish complex actions." - Doug Gwyn

Probably one of the most cliché quote of all time, maybe it needs more pondering. Is it a limitation from the medium or from ourselves, what other types of media are we not using that could solve this?

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A good model makes reality look normal, not weird; a good model assigns high probability to that which is actually the case.

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  • Thinking in new ways
    https://medium.com/the-mission/mental-models-how-to-train-your-brain-to-think-in-new-ways-ad538ca9052c

    This is an article that sums up a lot of what I hold close to my heart, namely building a base, not limiting yourself to a single domain, being inter-disciplinary at a minimum level.

  • Facebook
    All the clickbaity articles that have been spammed in the media the past few days

    I don't think I have to say anything other then point you back to other issues in order, have fun going back in the archive: "SSI" 13 , "Social Networks" 20 , "It's leaking from everywhere" 26 , "Digital Identity" 27 , "More on digital identity" 36 , "In need of a website to understand a process that should be simple" 39 , "Well researched and timely articles" and "Differential privacy" 47 , "A continuation of last week "Random"" 48 , "Wear some colorful tight pants and continue on this crazy train with Ozzy!" 50 , "Propaganda" and "A timely article" 52 , "Are you tired of the articles of two weeks ago because there's more" 53 , "Create a category and people will get attached to it" 55 , "Will Geocities websites make a comeback?" 56 , "Compartmentalization" 62 , "A story on privacy" 65

Thoughts

Organisms organize. human organisms organize reality - William Perry

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You need to be your own universe, to have your own dynamics, and only then there'll be a place for others to be part of. Relationships are stars in colliding universes.

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"Our riches of information are in some deep and perverse sense a terrible burden to us. We have to artificially invent ways to forget..." - Bruce Sterling

https://w2.eff.org/Misc/Publications/Bruce_Sterling/comp_game_designers.article

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Many of us always think interesting things in their minds, but no one other than themselves get to hear them because we don’t say those things out loud, we don’t communicate them or sometimes can’t find the exact words to describe them.

The only places in the world where this is possible might be the internet.

A black box for anonymized speech which unfortunately is misused.

I'm going to link the archived newsletter from now on because it seems like not everyone sees them. I'm also going to use different email titles for every issues, including the issue number in it, which is something I should've done a long time ago. Thanks for all the feedbacks, we now have 197 subscribers.

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"Rationality worship is central to many, perhaps most, of the twistednesses of our culture."

This is a controversial quote but one that couldn't be more timely. Rationalizing our behaviors has become the everyday toy of many.

PS: There are some new changes on the forums, let us know what you think of them.

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  • Patience is a virtue
    https://www.gilroygardens.org/play/circus-trees
    https://www.treehugger.com/sustainable-product-design/living-bridges-in-india-have-grown-for-500-years-pics.html
    https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/vine-bridges-japan

    At different scales of time we can still appreciate and live in symbiosis with trees.

  • Compartmentalization
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compartmentalization_(psychology)

    Hello there people that like to read stuffs related to psychology (and those who don't). The topic of compartmentalization has been one of my "Baader-Meinhof" aka frequency illusion for some time now... Well, it's more of a temporary kind of focus on a certain topic and what relates to it, it's deliberate and not really and illusion (I've seen the idea repeated in multiple books and articles I've read). Compartmentalization is the fabric of everyone of us, there are extreme cases like when those separated parts are contradictory but even so our personality lies within the connections of the compartment (which might explain why when there opposites it leads to personality disorders). This has been proven by many psychological experiments. Without them we do not exist, boundaries with links between them are what define an individual as a self. We can't be everything at once, we can't fulfil all our roles in life at once, we can't be all of our personality traits at once. The father cannot be at the same time the lover cannot be at the same time the worker cannot be at the same time the friend, etc.. And those have to stay within their confined boxes. Some social platforms nowadays try to destroy those and put everything in the same box. This turns an individual into a single blob, flattening their existence, labelling, simplifying, breaking down, and leading to the destruction of the self. Take this as food for thought for the week (and let me know if going on a tangent like that in the newsletter is too much).

Thoughts

We might be fighting with someone, and in the midst of the fight the phone rings. After some heated argument as to who will pick it up, we finally answer the phone with a voice and attitude that are in total contrast with what we were just portraying of ourselves in the argument.

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Have you ever noticed that when somebody says "That’s a good question?" it’s usually because they don’t yet have an answer?

That quote couldn't be more wrong.
Every single time I hear someone say "That's a good question" and remember the saying I pay extra attention to the discussion and realize that it's the total opposite.

What do you think?

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"There are three deaths. The first is when the body ceases to function. The second is when the body is consigned to the grave. The third is that moment, sometime in the future, when your name is spoken for the last time." - Those don't necessarily happen in this order.

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"It is really true what philosophy tells us, that life must be understood backwards. But with this, one forgets the second proposition, that it must be lived forwards. A proposition which, the more it is subjected to careful thought, the more it ends up concluding precisely that life at any given moment cannot really ever be fully understood; exactly because there is no single moment where time stops completely in order for me to take position [to do this]: going backwards." - Søren Kierkegaard, in his journals (1843)

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The three golden rules to ensure computer security are: do not own a computer; do not power it on; and do not use it. - Robert Morris

Note: There used to be a bug related to gmail where links weren't clickable. This has been fixed with the help of mort.

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Idle hands are the devil’s workshop; idle lips are his mouthpiece. - Proverbs 16:27

We live in an age where we don't have to lift our fingers, so much that it has become an issue. This might be of religious origins but can easily be taken out of this context and applied to anyone.

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"Don't worry if it doesn't work right. If everything did, you'd be out of a job."

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"It is a sad fate for a man to die too well known to everybody else and still unknown to himself" - Francis Bacon in The Essays (Of Great Place, referring to men in positions of power)

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You need huge material wealth, acquired only through intense engagement with the affairs of the world, to build monuments that inspire us to abandon wealth and to leave the world behind.

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One regular chatter noted that on the CB Simulator "you meet someone from the inside out. You judge them on their heart and values, not what kind of jeans they wear." - About the 1980 CompuServe CB Simulator.

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Heavy and full of technical topics, this is the 52nd issue which completes a year worth of newsletters. Let's see what this new year has in store. Share with the world what you've thought of those past newsletters and what you're looking for in the future. Which issues were your favorite ones?

https://newsletter.nixers.net/entries.php

Congratulations everyone!

It's starting to get cold outside, keeping a Unix machine next to you and running :(){ :|:& };: is a great way to stay warm.

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"You and me are real people, operating in a real world. We are not figments of each other’s imagination. I am the architect of my own self, my own character and destiny. It is no use whingeing about what I might have been, I am the things I have done and nothing more. We are all free, completely free. We can each do any damn thing we want. Which is more than most of us dare to imagine." – Jean-Paul Sartre talking about how consciouscness is freedom but hell for most.

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Whatever requires a bit of effort without prestige isn't that popular

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If it seems too good to be true it probably is.

if wishes were fishes, we'd all cast nets.

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Nothing is so firmly believed as that which we least know - Michel De Montaigne

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Do not propose solutions until the problem has been discussed as thoroughly as possible without suggesting any.

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Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away. - Antoine de Saint-Exupery

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Random

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Internet arguments in a nutshell:

ednos: technically, I'm not pedantic

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Someone complaining on social media is free advertising.

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"The Internet is not for sissies." -- Paul Vixie

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Those are sentences that have resonated a lot with me the past few days.

To worship a phenomenon because it seems so wonderfully complex is to worship your own ignorance.
If a phenomenon feels complex, that is a fact about our state of knowledge, not a fact about the phenomenon itself.
Complexity is a property of questions, not answers.

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I ran killall cat to kill all the stray cats (pardon the pun), which surprisingly took several seconds but cleaned everything up nicely.

Keep up with your projects, whatever those are, and if you don't have any then replace down time with one.

Have a wonderful week everyone!

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nobody needs to know but yourself

You can be content just within you.

Let's hope this newsletter makes you smile!

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Sometimes I wonder if guests are present at the table when they are obsessing about photographing everything they eat, one time a guest suggested I change the colour of the plates (from white to black) because he said the photographs would look better. – Massimo Bottura

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For even better randomness, let your cat walk on the keyboard.

On a side note, I've created a page that you can use to browse the old entries of the newsletter: http://newsletter.nixers.net/entries.php

I hope you're enjoying it as much as I'm enjoying putting this together!

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Unix

Xero's Weekly Ricing Tips

did you know there are multiple terminal multiplexers? features like persistence, multiple windows, and session sharing are the common features sets. the big three all can be customized with at least a statusbar.

  • screen - the prototype. hardstatus is the variable you want for customizing the statusbar.
  • tmux - the archtype. status-right and status-left configure it's statusbar.
  • dvtm - the leanest. uses dvtm-status is an add on statusbar.

if you like premade or configurationless setups:

  • mtm - as simple and streamlined as they get.
  • byobu - a suite of enhancements for screen and tmux
  • neercs - an ansi art style "windowed" multiplexer
  • twin - "Textmode WINdow enviroment" a full text only wm setup

Random

Thoughts

If you're dreaming or complaining, it's the same shit. It means you're just not doing shit.

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Concentrate all your thoughts upon the work at hand. The sun's rays do not burn until brought to a focus. - Alexander Graham Bell

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All models are wrong, some models are useful. Try to look at where the models converge. That's where I find the truth.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/All_models_are_wrong

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Nixers Newsletter

Unix

Xero's Weekly Ricing Tips

fonts: don't just install some magic font package, take the time to acutally grok how the fontconfig works:

venam: And be sure to read/listen to the podcast about fonts: https://nixers.net/showthread.php?tid=2065

Random

Thoughts

It is easier to port a shell than a shell script. - Larry Wall

On a side note, the survey we started last week is over and I've compiled the results in this thread: https://nixers.net/showthread.php?tid=2149

So be sure to check it out and bump it with all your comments.

...And thanks for loving this newsletter so much!

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Nixers Newsletter

Unix

Xero's Weekly Ricing Tips

tmux: programmatically change tmux tab names in your shell aliases

alias tshrug="printf '\033k┐(\`-\`)┌\033\\'"
alias tlol="printf '\033k\(^0^)/\033\\'"

Random

Thoughts

Figure 3.3: On-disk layout of a typical UNIX file system. Figure is not drawn to scale, and files may appear larger in your rear-view mirror than they do in real life.

On a side note, we're running a the first <nixers.net> self assessment after 6 years: https://nixers.net/showthread.php?tid=2144

The answers so far are captivating. If you haven't answered it, please do before the end of next week.

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Nixers Newsletter

Unix

Xero's Weekly Ricing Tips

compton: add a subtle fading effect to your windows in your ~/.config/compton.conf

fading = true;
fade-delta = 5;
fade-in-step = 0.03;
fade-out-step = 0.03;
no-fading-openclose = false;

Random

Thoughts

2007: “You are the product.”
2017: “You are the training data.”
j_s

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Nixers Newsletter

Unix

Xero's Weekly Ricing Tips

shell: colored hexdump

hexdump -C <filename> | GREP_COLORS='mt=01;33' grep '^........' |
GREP_COLORS='mt=01;34' grep ' ..' | GREP_COLORS='mt=01;33' grep '|*.|'

Random

Thoughts

I have always wished for my computer to be as easy to use as my telephone; my wish has come true because I can no longer figure out how to use my telephone." - Aloha (on an HN thread)

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Nixers Newsletter

Unix

Xero's Weekly Ricing Tips

vim: change the style of the vertical split in your ~/.vimrc

set fillchars=vert:▒

some interesting values: │┃┆┇┊┋╎╏!|╿╽║█▓▒░

Random

Thoughts

Code is not sentient, nor does code have a spiritual presence... yet. - Haden Odom

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Unix

Xero's Weekly Ricing Tips

shell: xero's disks alias

alias disks='echo "╓───── m o u n t . p o i n t s"; echo "╙────────────────────────────────────── ─ ─ "; lsblk -a; echo ""; echo "╓───── d i s k . u s a g e"; echo "╙────────────────────────────────────── ─ ─ "; df -h;'

Random

Thoughts

They have computers, and they may have other weapons of mass destruction.


On a side note, this newsletter should now go straight to your inbox and not be flagged as spam anymore. I've fixed some issues related to the domain name.

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Nixers Newsletter

Unix

Xero's Weekly Ricing Tips

figlet/toilet: if you plan on creating your own figlet fonts, step one is reading the spec : http://www.jave.de/figlet/figfont.html

there are lots of requirements people often miss (e.g. headerline values, required characters, etc)

Random

Thoughts

any sufficiently advanced kind of work is indistinguishable from play. - Seb Paquet

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Random

Thoughts

You are not your ideas

https://joneaves.wordpress.com/2014/11/20/you-are-not-your-ideas-a-strategy-to-lessen-the-blow-of-rejection/

A reflection on ideas and why some don't feel rejection.

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Random

Thoughts

The June events started so don't be lazy and join in.

Standards and specs are hard to read but repeat after me:
"Specs are good." - A random user on stackoverflow

Why a coding standard at all? Because of your brain - A shell script

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Random

Thoughts

"That's what it feels like when debugging your code."
- Suddenly sputtered someone

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Any fan of Perl around? There are a bunch of useful utilities in there.

We've got your back... I think so.

I've been refreshing my algo skills and stumble upon that link.

I keep this guy's blog bookmarked and keep peeking at it from time to time. He's always up to something astonishing.

Here's another blog. There are articles about fun shell scripts and others about test with hardwares.

Apparently it had some papers backing its theory on the site. Let's see where this goes.

The answer is simple, ergonomics.

This tool is Linux only. It's for checkpoint and restore of program states. Imagine it as a "longer" suspend.

Coreutils but on steroids. My favorite amongst those is vidir.

Those "this tech is dying" articles are a bit abhorent. Mp3 isn't dead, it's free now. IRC is not dead, it's niche now.

Random

A long & extremely interesting article about the mathematical constructs in our heads.

The latest article is about an automatic "babel fish"-like translator, check it out.

Why we should all accept that we might be wrong.

I showed that to someone and they said it was "lame".

Thoughts

"Someone that cannot respect another's journey hasn't traveled very far himself." - A random guy on youtube

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Unix

This questionaire might help you choose the best "distro" for you. Now imagine if Google could do that with all the tracking information it has accumulated over the years!

A fan of retro museums?

Yes and this one is small so you can read it.

I keep wondering at which point this was added in useradd but can't find any date, it's in POSIX. In older Unix accounts were created using passwd (http://man.cat-v.org/unix-6th/1/passwd) or by changing the /etc/passwd directly.

When your child asks the question.

A wonderful article pondering about a common state of mind, intellectual view of the world, between Unix users.

Lots of talk, a lot of it.

Not directly linked to Unix but makes us think of the conundrum.

"Everyone" knows that awk kicks asses - Everyone should!

The hate of GUI on the side, this is really nifty.

Xero's Weekly Ricing Tips

it's a .vimrc file that makes you look like a ninja. it's the absolute minimal setup. no colors, no highlights, no messages, no status bar, nothing. just text.

"ninja vimrc http://xero.nu set nocompatible set modelines=0 set shortmess+=I set noshowmode set noshowcmd set hidden set lazyredraw set noruler set laststatus=0 syntax off filetype off

Random

It's interesting how you can have a "default" emotions when not having emotions... And a bit frightening. That explains first impressions.

Different way of interacting and programming a machine.

I'm glad we can have those these days, excellent way for a 8-12yo to have fun and learn something along the way. It's fascinating that this generation of kids and beyond will learn programming just like learning to read and write. We'll see how it changes how people perceive life. The last link is about explorable explanation.

We've got your back with this fart generator.

Now that we have skew incorporated in css3.

Thoughts

Solving today's problems with yesterday's technology, someday.

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Nixers Newsletter

Unix

Ever used notify-send and wondered how it worked. Now you wish you didn't know.

"When in need of a system to randomly fuck you up" - Quote writen by a non-sentient being stuck inside the infinite monkey theorem.

Regulate the traffic between your softwares and the world.

I'm not a crypto expert but I sort of get how arc4random works now... or maybe just a bit. Always belittled by the crypto gods of OpenBSD!

Yet another rant, a good one though a bit immature. I agree with most of the points he put forward. I guess the more you understand something the more you see its faults and the more you can expect the unexpected from it. That's still better than a black box.

That nasty old operating system that used to be considered too difficult for most people to use.

Related to the previous video, it's funny when you look at the marketing aspect of Unix, the feud (Unix) wars and partnership between companies, some partnering with others you wouldn't guess. For example in the last video you had the Sun386i which ran DOS and UNIX on the same machine and using the OpenLook design by Sun partnering with AT&T plus some licensed technology from Xerox corporation. You also had the HP360 using the OSF Motif tech from both DEC, IBM, and HP. Then the Mac2cx by NextStep with the MAC user interface which was the cheapest of them all, unlike today's Apple product.

Where are you rocx, you can draw better than that dude.

A simple command which also has advance usage.

The title says it all, this is an article about UX.

Yo!

Random

Such a nice website.

A bunch of free documentaries from the defcon guys.

  • Map of the world

Ascii is great.

We've got your back + spellcheck.

This was shared in a discussion.

Thoughts

By the way: I was a mediocre writer whenI started out. Explaining technical concepts is hard. Coming up with good examples takes time, and explaining a diicult concept takes time. So it’s easiest to gloss over the hard stuf. I thought I was doing a pretty good job, until ater one of my posts got popular, a coworker came up to me and said, “I read your post and I still don’t understand this.” I still had a lot to learn about writing.

  • Aditya Y. Bhargava

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Nixers Newsletter

Unix

...Then test it on this website!

This guy puts into words the whole reason why I've switched away from tiling. And also his blog is pretty amazing too, so check that out.

This is a nifty little script, and the animation on the project page is hilarious.

Yet another one, and a good one at that.

Well, but we have some sort of standards too, you know.

A shell script that saved the day - the comment section is gold.

Having trouble remembering the HTTP status?

"Unix in a nutshell", a reference book about Unix stuffs.

A lot of the links are dead but some are not, and that's important. I love those oldies, check this one for example: https://web.archive.org/web/20090302112430/http://freeengineer.org:80/learnUNIXin10minutes.html it's another one of those "learn everything in one page".

A wonderful online book about why we are where we are today and how to continue moving forward.

Random

A bunch of safe resources to practice.

When you become expert in a domain you loose the ability to be surprised.

Sometimes it's worth it to pursue random ideas.

Thoughts

"Chris Dixon captured this guerrilla pattern of the ongoing shift in political power with a succinct observation: what the smartest people do on the weekend is what everyone else will do during the week in ten years."

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Nixers Newsletter

Unix

Read up about how they approached the live USB problem.

Let's educate ourselves about how to utilize the ram as a filesystem on Linux.

That is to link the last entry from the previous list of links adding some links that are generic about ramdisks.

The very simple and elegant Unix tape archiving program.

In need of a programmer meme to lighten up the mood?

This small article from the author of ssh was in the news and it deserves the reading.

If you haven't read it already.

I'm not a particular fan of one liners as I always get lost in the list and don't find what I need from them but it might be useful to others.

The whole reason why plan9 hasn't taken off...

This website has a lot of interesting manual and documentation of old machines and softwares.

Random

This is a newsletter I recently signed up to, it summarizes recent events that have been happening in the world.

This keeps popping up everywhere! Are you on social networks? Why? Let's discuss that. What's a social network?

Everyone wants to join it, I've heard they're distributing free beers.

Bring your family and friends on weekends, I'm sure they'll enjoy!

Thoughts

"That which can be destroyed by the truth should be." — P.C. Hodgell
http://lesswrong.com/lw/o2k/flinching_away_from_truth_is_often_about/

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Nixers Newsletter

Unix

Brace yourself for some horror stories.

To continue with the horror stories, there are many arguments on the internet about Linux and it's purity as a Unix system. Some of those arguments are just to be discarded, others are serious. Like any criticism if it's not constructive you have to take it lightly.

All that is required is that it stays stable for the enterprise world by following the POSIX and Open Group standards. The EulerOS 2.0 and K-UX 3.0, derived from Red-Hat prove that, even though they aren't derived from the original UNIX and under the hood have a different architecture.

An article that goes to the root of the issue.

Some hilarious oldies scripts that could possibly be useful, such as this one: http://www.brendangregg.com/Specials/mkzombie_example.txt

The turbo button was one of those weird thing of the past that doesn't mean much these days.

To continue on with our series of links about JS and the web, here's one that's not about emulation but about running a shell in the browser. Last time I've heard of that it was about pwning websites through web-shells. The last link, the research paper, gives another interesting side to the story.

Programmers get pissed off a lot by useless semantics, etymologies, and epistemology. This is a fun way to put things back in perspective, which reminds me of the new-age bullshit generator (http://sebpearce.com/bullshit/)

Last week I mixed up two links.. https://vim-adventures.com/ and passweird, sorry 'bout that fellows. Vim adventure is a great and really addictive way to learn about vim. Though, it's only free until lvl3.

Please come back on the forums, we love you!

rocx rocks at skteches

A sketch related to one of the above links:
http://imgur.com/a/OBjVR

Random

Share the most wtf secrets you have.

Ever wondered what the code in movies really was.

Don't be shy to ask questions or contribute to conversations.

Thoughts

The art of not giving a fuck, "Ever watch a kid cry his eyes out because his hat is the wrong shade of blue? Exactly."

https://markmanson.net/not-giving-a-fuck

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Nixers Newsletter

Unix

Security through obscurity.

The big question of "should the Wayland protocol include networking support or should the Wayland compositor implement it?"

atacontrol, vpddecode, biosdecode, dmidecode, get the info you want from the BIOS.

So many minimal system, here are two new ones you can add to your list, and a link to pidsley from the linuxbbq community who always impresses us with his ricing. On a side note, Linuxbbq has a wonderful and thriving community.

Have fun trying this new Unix-like OS.

"compgroups give users free access to computer public newsgroups."

Databases of file extensions and information.

"My BSD sucks less" a talk that dives inside technical differences between FreeBSD and OpenBSD.

I always find those kind of reverse hacking/(script kiddie ddos botnet) post interesting, even though his post is more or less of a bragging about the sysdig utility, which is not that bad (http://www.sysdig.org/wiki/sysdig-examples/), you can get it from your distro's repo.

This goes along well with the book we shared some weeks ago "The Craft of Text Editing" (https://www.finseth.com/craft/), I read only half of that book, it was too much indepth for me. However some readers might find value in this and so I'm sharing!

Random

Ever dreamt of having to remember a password and tell yourself "If only someone knew this."

Generate some "Web Economy Bullshit".

Want to meetup with other compatible Gods in your region, checkout this website, it's the next-gen meetup.com.

A play on word with how the internet of things is "secure".

Thoughts

Yeah,