Bad Org-Mode Habits

Org-mode is great. Org is this super-task management package that merges outlining and structured document editing abilities with task management glue. It sounds like a weird combination at first, when you realize that it means that you can effectively do work and organize your work in the same set of files without needing to "switch modes," between a planning/task list interface and a "doing things" interface, the effects are amazing.…

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Flaws with SSH

In response to 9 Awesome SSH Tricks some posted the following quote (on the old commenting system): The workarounds have become smoother and some of the things we can do with networks of Unix machines are pretty impressive, but when ssh is the foundation of your security architecture, you know things aren't working as they should. -- Rob Pike, 2004 So let's clarify things a bit. SSH is great as an end user protocol, and great for dealing with the realities of our distributed computing environment in an exigent manner, SSH lets us:…

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Undercover

This is a post drafted a couple of weeks ago, while I was still doing the commute. I wonder sometimes, what the people on the trains I take actually do. While there's some variation on who's aboard, there's a very common and consistent cast of characters on each leg of my journey. God only knows what they're doing. One fellow, I've spent the winter thinking of as "the short dorky one.…

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Changes and Resetting

A week ago, I quit my job. For a number of reasons this shouldn't come as a huge surprise: I'd been burning out on a 2-hour each way commute from Philadelphia where I live(d), nominally. The boyfriend in New York City, didn't make things easier. And while, I really liked a lot of things about my job, I knew that it was getting to be time to move on. My last day was Friday.…

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Leadership in Distributed Social Networks

Let us understand "social networks," to mean networks of people interacting in a common group or substrate rather than the phenomena that exists on a certain class of websites (like Facebook): we can think of this as the "conventional sense" of the term. As I watch Anonymous, the 'hacktivist" group, to say nothing of the movements in Egypt and Tunisia, I'm fascinated by the way that such an ad hoc group can appear to be organized and coherent on the outside without appearing to have real leadership.…

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Breaks and Dodging Writer's Block

Over the past few weeks, I have developed (redeveloped?) the habit of pushing through a few hundred words of fiction writing a day on the train. If nothing else, this means I get a few pages done a day. I sometimes wish that I were able to write more, writing something is better than nothing, and I'm within a chapter and some change of the end of this beast, so I'll take it.…

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Progress Reports

I wish there was a good way, in the context of a blog post or some other convenient digital media, to regularly say: "I've done some things, you may be interested in them," and "I'd like to do some things, here are some notes of what I think I'd like to be working on in the next little bit." I've yet to find a good way to get in the habit of writing this kind of post.…

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