Tally counters!

Was in need of some kind of counter to keep track of how many times I steep tea leaves. Some types of tea can only be steeped a couple times. Other types can be steeped 3 – 5 times. Often I will make tea, place the tea ball aside, then forget the next day how many times it has been steeped.

So here are these cool, simple yet very practical devices to help:

Tally counters

As a computer science student there’s something cool about a device as basic as this. It is one of the most basic ideas. It basically has just two methods: increment() and reset()

The gifts they fail to give

I wrote previously about this idea of seeing reality as either the receiving and giving of gifts or as the absence of the reception and provision of gifts.

Let’s say that someone is in a position of responsibility – a public official, a politician. That person got into office how? Mostly through scam-style activities and intentions. This is no surprise to anyone. It is well understood that this is basically how politicians operate. Even shows like The West Wing expound this in considerable detail – it is like a background given in almost every episode.

In The West Wing this is offset by the seeming noble intentions of the main politician characters in the drama and their staff. Yes they scheme, but they are scheming for a good cause, and they are scheming because that’s just what you have to do to be a player.

But in real life it’s not so noble. We have the scheming, but the good intentions fail not only because of deliberate disregard for higher intentions, but often just incompetence or pathological delusion.

For example politicians who advocate pro-illegal immigration are advocating for harm of people. While they themselves may not experience the deleterious effects of their actions, others will. While they are insulated from it, others will bleed. That’s how it works, and that’s why they’re pathological.

On the other side, it may well be that even this pathological incompetence is a sham, is a cover for something that is truly, deliberately malevolent. It may just be that their agenda is intentionally to flood a white society with huge swarms of illiterate, high-breeding, third-world invaders in order to provide cheap labor, serve as cogs in their economic machines, even while they lay waste to the host culture.

Whatever it is, people in such positions are basically failing to give gifts. What gifts? Think about it.

I have on multiple occasions been the victim of illegals. I was almost killed by them. There have been many other things also. There are things that are difficult to count – such as opportunities which I have been deprived of which I never knew about because of their absence.

Those are the types of things that are failing to be given.

While politicians who do this are living insulated from the disasters, inconveniences, chaos, and destruction they cause, I believe that surely one day in their own lives they will experience the deprivation of those things which they fail to give. If they fail to give a society of safety, of peace, of low crime, of hope, of positive energy of being among educated people of your culture, then one day they will experience that.

One day they will be in a position, somewhere, somehow where they are deprived of safety, peace, low crime, hope, and positive energy.

That said, it is truly a catastrophe for every country that has such public officials.

As a resident of California and an American citizen, I am sick of feel insecure every time I read the news and see how the public officials in my state and in my city are giving everything away to illegals, how they are rewarding fraud, giving carrots to those who cut the line and broke the rules.

Knowing how hard I have struggled in my own life just to make ends meet and to stay afloat, it makes me sick to see precious public resources – even one penny – being spent on illegals and on criminals and those who have failed to be responsible members of our society.

I thank God that Donald Trump is now President of the United States but it is sickening to witness the widespread treason and betrayal of the American people day in and day out as they stand up for “sanctuaries” even while they are actually destroying my sanctuary and the sanctuaries of millions of people like myself.

If America were healthy it would cultivate brahminic energy, not destroy it

America is getting the shit kicked out of it. Silicon Valley is one of the major forces responsible for this. The betrayal by Silicon Valley of the people of America is an arch crime.

I have been to Silicon Valley. There are companies – huge campuses on vast sites – where there are literally legions of foreigners who have been brought in to work at these companies. Most are from India and China.

Think of this: An entire industry, based in a country, that has no allegiance to that country. In terms of its hiring practicies, it has no allegiance to the people of its own country.

If the American education system is broken, if the infrastructure which supports Americans and enables them to obtain education is broken, what Silicon Valley is doing is not only not helping the problem, they are exacerbating in it a major way. It’s like throwing salt in wounds.

As long as Silicon Valley can get away with another hit of the crack pipe of foreign workers, nothing will ever change – in fact things will continue to get worse. There will be no incentive to address much less even try to understand underlying problems with education, infrastructure, housing, etc.

Right next to these huge campuses are the ghettos of third world, illiterate, mostly illegal migrants who have invaded in legion. It’s shocking to see. Entire cities have literally been taken over by vast swarms of illegals. If you visited a community park in one of these cities say 20 years ago, what you would have seen would have been vastly different than what you see today. It would have been filled with Americans. Now it is filled with illegals. The scale of the flood is mind-boggling. There is no way that the government, that people in authority could not have known. Yet not once have they spoken honestly about this – America went from a country with a normal border and immigration policy to one with no border policy whatsover and a huge floods of people streaming in overnight, and no discussion was ever had. No public discourse was ever engaged in. Politicians will not even admit to it, but if anyone even attempts to speak up about it or try to have a conversation they are immediately branded as a xenophobic extremist racist. What public officials have done – especially in a state like California – amounts to an arch-crime. It amounts to treason, which is literally the undermining of the people of a country in order to benefit foreign citizens.

Someone needs to write a book about all this because this is one of the greatest arch crimes that has occurred in the history of America. If America were healthy there would be no Silicon Valley as it is today. Perhaps as it was 30 years ago. But not today. What it is today is a crime, a betrayal of the people of America.

On another note: Yes there are tech companies that are founded by, run by, and staffed by Americans. In fact I’ve worked at some. But I can also say that many of these companies, in the long run, are inconsequential. Think of a company like Twitter – what does Twitter actually do? All they do is make an app that could really be made by anyone. There’s nothing particularly special nor innovative about Twitter. It is a company. It has had a lot of revenue via exploiting the filling of a particular niche at a particular time – not even in the best way that that niche could potentially have been filled, but in an opportunitistic way. A company like Twitter is not really based on much. It is kind of just fluff. It does not create any hardware. It does not really do that much. [I’m not urging anyone to stop using Twitter, just pointing out it’s position.]

By the way, any company like Twitter could be replaced tomorrow. By a company from China, or from anywhere. If we lose net neurality a carrier could create its own version of Twitter and force people to use it and not use Twitter, in a variety of insidious yet effective ways. Image if you subscribe to a broadband “provider” but, in using them, you are also forced into using all their sites – their version of Twitter, their version of Facebook, of photo sharing, of everything. Because they can just block the competition. Again, not outright block it, but they have a thousand insidious ways they could make it so that alternate services were basically unusuable and their end-users have no recourse to appeal.

Right now when you get a phone from ATT, or Verizon for example, you will see that it is loaded with all their crap apps which we call bloatware. They have the ATT and Verizon versions of everything – of chat, of photo-sharing, of books, newstand, videos, games, etc. Right now you can ignore or delete that bloatware. But they would love nothing more than to force you to have to use it, and to prevent you from using anything else. It really is sick and a violation of the basic principles which underlie the Internet and enabled it to become so successful.

I am concerned because we see a huge shift of companies that do do consequential, major things being shifted to China. IBM sold its Thinkpad division to China. So much of the core tech industry which is now indispensible is based in China, even though most of it was probably developed in Silicon Valley.

I have also written previously about having an environment which is conducive to brahminic cultivation. Every successful society, whether it explicitly recognizes it or not, has a brahminic class – a class that is dedicated to learning, to cultivation, to the highest development of the spirit and intellect. Not every one is a member of this class, but a healthy society cherishes and protects such a class. Allows it to foster. Not throw it under the bus. The braminic class is the class of high priests and scientists who are transmitters of knowlege and shining examples in their societies. It is the people who are intellectual, who learn and who love learning. Not just efficient bean-counters of which there are many, but people who genuninely love culture and arts. They are the true carriers of culture, the ones who pertetuate it. Our society may be so damaged that it is simply used to there being a void of such people, because it has so methodically destroyed the grounds for their existence. Our society may have gone over the brink of not even being able to recognize what it lacks. There are entire realms of the spirit which, in healthy societies flourish, which may be gone and their absence not even recognized.

This class, contrary to the distorted image that people may have, is not a wealthy class but a poor one. The braminic life is not one of material wealth. But neither is it one of poverty as we are seeing now. It cannot exist in the context of hyper-competition that has been recklessly brought about by the oligarchy and the globalist leftists.

It is sickening that as companies like Google have grown, they have actually significantly destroyed the grounds for brahminic energy in the region in which they are located by causing huge disparities. They are like a cancer, not a medicine. Their net effect is to spread disease in the communities that they break.

The abject betrayal of the brahminic classes in their own societies by leftist globalists is sickening. Even while they are shouting for what they claim are human rights they are actually responsible for perpetuating major destruction and damage. They are effectively wiping out a vast amount of the accomplishments that were attainted over the past decades with their pathological globalist insanity. Now they have become so progressive that they are actually embracing cultures which represent a complete regression of the very values they claim to be proponents of. Seeing women at women’s marches with their heads wrapped in headscarves a la Islam – a la reduction of women to slaves of men – is a classic example of this. It is supreme ignorance to think that people from cultures which have literally in bred this negative treatment of women – not to mention many other things – for centuries into their cultural and physical DNA – will just magically change overnight. The consequences of this catastrophic delusion are apparent. One in four women in Sweden is now likely to be raped in her lifetime. Sweden is now the country with the second highest level of rape in the world. Sweden used to be a country with a high level of brahminic cultivation. What it is now is a catastrophe.

The urban centers that the globalist oligarch leftists have had a stranglehold over for decades have become decrepit, rotting third-world pits filled with crime. Even while they are grandstanding for supposed progressive values, the communities they are responsible for have collapsed.

America, and people of cultivation and intellect, are getting the shit kicked out of them and the ones doing the kicking are the leftist globalists.

This is just cool

As I’m into ancient things there’s something really cool about spinning tops. Kids and adults have played with and been fascinated with spinning tops for many centuries.

This all started when about a week ago I finally decided to walk into this one toy store which I would frequently pass. They have these inexpensive plastic tops which are high quality. One thing that makes me upset are poorly built tops. I think a poorly made toy is worse than no toy.

If you look in the spinning tops category on eBay you will see ample examples of what I mean: “Tops” that are not good. I put the word in quotes because many are little more than just odd-shaped items that happen to spin but are not even amusing. The shapes are totally wrong in terms of the distribution of mass. The materials are too light and do not allow them to have sufficient momentum. If you spin them maybe they spin for a few revolutions before they fall over. I can see how a kid would be turned off by poorly made toys like these.

Then you also see some really good ones there that are designed well. Some even cost hundreds of dollars. My plastic one, which is not listed on eBay, cost under $2 and appears to adhere to similar design principles as much nicer spinning tops.

Here apparently is the world-record-longest-spinning top:

So he’s using lead as the metal which makes sense for multiple reasons. One, it’s really cheap. Look on eBay for lead ingots and you’ll see. Second, lead is malleable and therefore could be shaped and adjusted to perfect the balance. Also it wouldn’t be as hard to drill a hole through the center of an ingot. Third – this is the negative point – lead is toxic but of course you’re not going to eat it and you would be careful handling it. Lead is still used a lot for fishing as the material of choice for anchors.

I actually think it would be a cool project to try to make a spinning top using lead or other type of metal as a flywheel.

Here’s another really cool video from a maker of tops:


Here is a source of excellent $1.99 tops. Yes only $1.99 and they spin really long because they have a well-designed spindle which enables them to be spun at a high rpm and also well-designed distribution of mass. Ok you could spend $35 or more to have one that will spin longer, but for only $1.99 you can have 85% of the fun for only 5% of the cost!

Switched to Nextcloud

As readers may or may not know, some time ago the original developer of Owncloud and several others split off from Owncloud to form a new project, Nextcloud.

Nextcloud seems to have a lot of momentum now and it’s uncertain what the future is for Owncloud.

I needed to set up a new server and was uncertain about what to do for a long time. I prefer stability over anything else. But the version of Owncloud available with Debian Jessie is really outdated. And there is no Nextcloud available in the Jessie (the current stable release of Debian) repo (package repository).

So I decided to download the current release of Nextcloud (version 11) from their site and install it that way (i.e. from source rather than through the Debian package repo or other source).

While you may sometimes find that someone has created .deb packages to make the installation of something like Nextcloud seemingly easier, you should be wary when using any packages that are not part of the official repository. Very wary! Think potential major security and other issues. These are often packages that some person managed to build in their spare time and their committment to maintaining them and updating them may be minimal to non-existent.

Installing and configuring Nextcloud is pretty much the same as setting up Owncloud: You install Apache, MariaDB (or MySQL or other DB – last time I was using PostgreSQL) and a few necesary PHP libraries. You can also use Nginx instead of Apache but I really love Apache and it’s many features and high configurability.

You then uncompress the Nextcloud source and move it to the web directory and create a new database. Initially you must change the perms on the Nextcloud directory in order to run the setup. There is a sample script included in the instructions at Nextcloud.com that you run after the setup in order to properly set permissions on the Nextcloud directory for security.

For web caching since my instance is only for a few users I am using APCu.

When you log into Nextcloud as admin the first time it will warn you if something is amiss.

There are a number of plugins available for Nextcloud but mostly I only care about Files and Calendar. I notice there there are two video calling plugins available now. The gallery is included by default but I find it kind of lacking. I would much rather install a dedicated gallery app in the future (or write my own).

Since I was migrating from Owncloud to Nextcloud, before I started the switchover I logged into the web interface of Owncloud and downloaded an export of my calendar from the settings panel of the calendar web interface. I also made a complete backup of my Owncloud directory to be safe.

When you connect your desktop/laptop system to Nextcloud for the first time via the Nextcloud desktop sync client (available for Linux, Windows, and Mac) it will prompt for which directory to use. You can rename your local owncloud directory for example to “nextcloud” or just leave it the same. I just left mine named “owncloud” which is minimally easier to type than “nextcloud” and I’m just so used to it by now. The install dialog has a checkbox to “keep local files” which of course I did.

For connecting your Android devices, there is the Nextcloud sync client for files. For calendar I use the excellent app CalDAV-Sync by Marten Gajda which is well worth the $2.89 cost.

With CalDAV sync when you go into Android settings -> Accounts and add a new account there will be a new CalDAV option where you can set up the connection to your Nextcloud calendar.

I like to use Google Calendar and use a 2×3 calendar desktop widget which is very convenient.

For setting up Nextcloud calendar with the Mozilla Thunderbird e-mail client which uses the Lightning calendar plugin, you need to install the SOGo Connector plugin which allows you to add network calendars in Lighting using CalDAV or iCS formats.

It was important to go into Thunderbird’s security settings and delete old passwords for my old Owncloud server, which is using the same IP address as my new Nextcloud server.

It’s also important to go into Lightning (i.e. the calendar view of Thunderbird) and right-click in the calendars pane on the left and select “Reset Calendar Cache” before adding the new Nextcloud calendar.

I had to use a URL similar to the following for adding the calendar in Lightning:

For Android via CalDAV-Sync I used the default address that is displayed in the Nextcloud calendar’s web interface settings panel, which is like:

If I can manage to find some time between studying for my two intensive CS courses I will post more detailed info on how to setup Nextcloud, but actually the instructions at Nextcloud.com are really good and you can search and find a few pages with good info as well, e.g. “nextcloud install debian jessie” (without the quotes).

Finally I will just add that Nextcloud is the way of the future. Self-hosting things is the way of the future, and freedom of software and freedom of your own information and your own privacy is the future.

Just make sure you know what you’re doing when you set a web server. If you have questions there are good IRC forums on the freenode network dedicated to different topics including for Nextcloud, Debian, and many other things.

When you install a system like Debian, you have the backing of literally hundreds of amazing people around the world dedicated to keeping the system stable and secure. You are relying an a large community that is one of the best in the world. And I don’t mean to belittle other distros either. There are many good choices.

One thing I did not do on this installation was run my web server in a container, but that certainly is something I’m thinking of doing, probably running it in an LXC container which can be managed with virt-manager or some other utility. There are also other options for running containerized deployments such as CoreOS and snap.

The way I set it up is kind of the plain vanilla way but it is a solid way. Most likely though I will put it in an LXC container for security reasons when I can find time.

Nextcloud. Love it!

Tidy Up with KonMari!

I love this. I found this at NHK about organizational guru KonMari. She’s like a goddess. These videos don’t stay up for long so I recommend watching it while it’s available.

KonMari gives amazing tips on how to basically change your space. I already applied some of her techniques and they are truly amazing.

nhk.or.jp: Tidy Up with KonMari!

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