AltSci Concepts in Python

Mar 1, 2017

It took quite a few months to get the time to work on this blog. I had AltSci Cell and AltSci Blog updated to the new blog system back in November. I ported most of AltSci Concepts to the new blog system a few months ago, but I didn't want to convert it until I had comment working. You can see there are no comments at the bottom of this page because I'm not ready to backport the comments to AltSci Cell yet. But if you go to any of the posts on AltSci Concepts you'll be able to post your comment.

In all the years of AltSci, only a handful of people have commented. The main purpose has been to collect a large corpus of spam (389245 spam comments from 67085 unique IPs, 9683389 csrf spam attempts rejected) which I've had to filter at times. But the opportunity to post responses is a valuable part of the Internet. That's probably why sites like Hacker News and Reddit are so valuable: they let you comment on important topics where the comments are disabled or too toxic to post in. That doesn't mean that these sites are infallible. In fact, that's a lot of the controversy in any open forum -- people post in a thread that is going to stay linked to that website for a long time and time increases a search engine rankings. When should the post be deleted? When should the admins leave it alone? These problems are not trivial to solve. If you think they are... please create a thread to discuss this post and e-mail me a link.

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Photoblog of Zürich

I thought I'd give you a short photoblog with a very important message. Okay, it's not that important. The lesson for today is: Never delete anything unless you have to for privacy or safety. The corollary, keep everything encrypted. The corollary to the corollary, remember the password as long as you keep that data encrypted.

Photoblog of Zürich, Switzerland from 2005

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Let's Encrypt

I have setup TLS for and using Let's Encrypt. Both certificates will expire January 25, 2016.

Instead of running letsencrypt with sudo privileges on my server, I ran letsencrypt-nosudo. According to Issue #5, this can be done using the official client as well. Because letsencrypt-nosudo was very short, I was able to modify it and vet it easily. There are weaknesses in any system, but the options are quite limited in this system. If you'd like my patch, let me know.

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Open Letter to Jim McDermott and Congresspeople

April 13, 2015

Hi Jim, this is Joel. I'd like to ask you to tell your fellow congresscritters to vote against reauthorizing section 215 of the Patriot Act. You understand that the mass surveillance that is currently occurring under your watch is unconstitutional and makes our country not a functioning democracy but a dictatorship, a tyranny. Tell your fellow congressmen and congresswomen to vote against reauthorizing section 215 of the Patriot Act and that will be a step toward making our nation a functioning democracy with a working system of checks and balances. Nothing can undo the harm that has already occurred under the Patriot Act and we can no doubt expect that the NSA will repeatedly attempt to continue mass surveillance of the entire world, including innocent American citizens here in the US. Constant vigilance is required to ensure that the tyranny that the NSA has created collapses and is never again rebuilt.

I will keep the rest of my thoughts to myself so that you can go on doing your job.

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