Bonum Certa Men Certa

Gemini Links 27/07/2023: Communal Fragmentation, Launching Gaming Sites/Companies in Gemini

Links 27/07/2023:

Links for the day

  • Gemini* and Gopher

    • Personal/Opinions

      • Red Sun (Fairbanks, AK, USA, 2023-07-27)

        I read yesterday in the News-Miner that 30 new forest-fires had started recently in Alaska, due to lightning. This morning, there was enough haze that I was able to look directly at the sun without any pain or discomfort. So, I took a few photos on the way to work.

    • Politics and World Events

      • Real Everyday Activism

        I encounter many people who _think_ they are doing the right thing, because it makes them feel good. They tell acquaintances to boycott Kevin Spacey after "cancelling" him because someone said something on Twitter. They yell at the old Asian guy for packing their fancy take-out in styrofoam (after paying with Venmo or Apple Pay). They buy a Tesla because it's "green". They get angry about the Supreme Court for undermining gay rights, even the 'right' to support a fascist business!


        Avoid giving money to fascists and megacorporations.

        Maybe it's convenient to venmo money to a friend or pay with paypal, but you are directly supporting a fascist billionaire. Surely you don't want to do that.

        Housing costs are through the roof because of AirBNB. You don't have to extract every bit of value out of your apartment, like some horrible capitalist you like to criticize. And you don't have to make them richer by staying at such places. There are alternatives.

        "Ride sharing". That misapproprioated term means sharing rides with friends and neighbors, not extracting money with demand-priced algrothims to maximize profit.

        Don't drive. Buying an electric car and making Elon Stench another billion is not green. That "man" is responsible for more pollution and suffering by miners than anyone else I can think of. Put your money where your very large mouth is and get a used bike, the kind without a motor. Or walk. Move somewhere where you can live without a car, or as my LGBT friends like to say, "Just shut the fuck up, it's not for you to talk about this".

        Avoid ultra-capitalist startups that raise millions to extract every bit of profit from anything standing. You can live without some app that rents out your driveway while you are at work.

    • Science

      • National Ripoff

        The “numbers game” is type of illegal lottery that was common in the United States, and there are two interesting things about it.


        The first interesting thing is the problem: if the whole thing is illegal, how do you generate a random number that everyone can trust, and without it being an obvious event for law enforcement to target?

        It turns out to be not that hard: the games used some well known published random number: the last digits of the balance of the US Treasury, or middle digits of the number of shares traded on a public stock exchange.

        So, everyone could easily agree on whether some individual had won—and in a way that was obviously fair.
    • Technology and Free Software

      • Just kinda here

        I’m at a conference this week, and honestly I’m just kinda here. I don’t have a lot to do and I’m uncomfortable in this environment, but I’ve reconnected with some friends I haven’t seen for a long time. I’m practicing my Byzantine music at actual church services, and it’s about 110℉ (about 43.33℃ for my eurofriends).

      • Thumby goodness

        I was given a Thumby for Christmas. It's a ridiculously small gameboy-style console. It's so small that it's hard to believe it works. It's also hard to use because you have to press buttons with your thumbnails. There are pre-loaded games, more available on line, and a web-based IDE for writing your own in Python. I've started on a mine game based on one that I vaguely remember playing long ago as a coin-op. So far I can scroll around the mine (taking no notice of walls, floors, etc). It seems pretty straightforward to deal with the Thumby API. My issues have been with figuring how to implement the game concept and my lack of Python experience.

      • Internet/Gemini

        • Communal Fragmentation

          It feels to me that the Internet is fragmenting at a surprising pace. Twitter, now rebranding to X, is losing more users by the day, as is the traditional Facebook site. Alternatives, at least nominal alternatives, are gaining more and more users: Threads, Bluesky, the invasion of Mastodon, Substack, Rumble, the list is endless. While many alternate services are still owned by major Internet companies, the individual users of separate platforms don't communicate with each other. The result is still a splintering of the global marketplace of ideas. More and more people, beyond simply not wanting to talk to each other, now simply have no opportunity to talk to each other.

          I fond this so interesting because it reflects how the world largely was before the rise of mass information in the 19th and 20th centuries. Before the telegraph, the radio, the television and the computer, people did not get news from very far away. They tended to stay within their own communities, becoming deeply and intimately familiar with those they communicated with every day. Conversely, they strongly distrusted and looked down on outsiders, preferring dissociation or even persecution.

        • Launching soon!

          My game dev company will probably one of the first to have a Gemini site. (Launching soon!)

        • Favorite Interweb Tools

          What are some of you guys' favorite tools for general computer use?

          F.lux is great for me, along with ventoy for my USB drives.

      • Programming

        • Permissions Mirror

          Someone asked how to mirror the permissions and ownership from one file to another, so here's a provisional script to do that. The question concerned OpenBSD so extended ACL and other such fancy things (such as selinux making your life hell) are not considered.

* Gemini (Primer) links can be opened using Gemini software. It's like the World Wide Web but a lot lighter.

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