September 20, 2020

Socialist Art and Architecture of Sacramento

Filed under: travel — thimbronion @ 10:02 p.m.

All of the above images are taken from the back alley behind my apartment.

This is an outdoor olympic weightlifting gym, also in the back alley behind my apartment. I won’t report how much I can lift just yet.

I do like the industrial warehouse look of these two buildings, although both are now used for non-industrial purposes.

Disgusting, don’t you think?


This is where Newsom contemplates climate change instead of doing anything useful.

I actually liked this building until I discovered it’s a federal building.

More modern architecture.

Some train pics for the spergs.

Me and my ride.

Notes on Chinese from gregorynyssa

Filed under: china — thimbronion @ 5:30 p.m.

In this article I attempt to condense some interesting information about Chinese I’ve learned in my recent discussions with gregorynyssa, a scholar of Chinese, Greek, and Latin, much after my own heart but far more advanced in all of these studies than myself.

Sentence Structure

According to gregorynyssa speakers of Mandarin Chinese, a language significantly lacking in grammar (such as explicit case), use these tricks with sentences to express more complicated ideas.

Since Chinese does not handle embedded clauses very elegantly, often speakers have a tendency just to avoid them.

Here are three techniques used by Mandarin speakers to express more complicated ideas.

Comma Splicing

Join two complete sentences with a comma. A result of this is there is no consistent distinction between commas and periods in Chinese writing.


Subject-periodic Construction

This involves combining sentences which share a subject.


Pivotal Construction

If the object of the first sentence is the same as the subject of the second, omit the latter and join the two sentences with a comma.


Digraphic Verbs, Improper Digraphic Verbs, and Monographic Verbs

Monographic verbs can’t serve as nouns.
Improper digraphic verbs can’t serve as nouns.
Most but not all digraphic verbs can serve as nouns.

The upshot of this is that it is necessary to learn the the noun forms for all improper digraphic verbs. For example, 睡觉 may not serve as a noun. In that case 睡眠 must be used. This partially explains why there are so many two-character words in chinese where both characters, according to the dictionary, mean exactly the same thing.

Improper digraphic verbs generally have a second syllable indicating direction or result.

Minor Grammatical Points

来 before a verb indicates the infinitive.
得 is more idiomatic when used vefore adverbs.
来到 is an improper verb meaning “come to.”
迅速 is used more often as an adverb in declarative sentences than 快, which is most often used in an imperative sense.
去 may only be used before place names, non-monographic verbs, and before terms indicating general vicinity1.

Further Reading

According to gregorynyssa, reading Disyllabic Words in Chinese and
Metrical Phonology have helped him fundamentally understand the nature 普通话(Putonghua). I haven’t yet read these papers and as of yet have no comment on them.

For a better understanding of how 普通话(apparently of relatively recent origin) differs from Ancient Chinese, read Peasant and Merchant as well as Rule of Law.

  1. Thus it is necessary to append 那边 to nouns like 超市 when expressing “going to <non-place name> []

Simple Mp-wp Article Import Script

Filed under: alethepedia, mp-wp — thimbronion @ 12:36 a.m.

Below is a simple script for importing an article directly into mp-wp via the db inspired by lobbes' previous work on importing logs into mp-wp. It is a necessary step towards being able to import the entire Encyclopedia Britannica into mp-wp. I thought it might be useful for anyone wishing to automate creation of articles.


import mysql.connector
import time
import json
from pprint import pprint

def add_article(cnx, article):
        cursor = cnx.cursor()

        content = article['content'] 

        current_date = time.strftime("%Y-%m-%d %H:%M:%S",
                                                     (1910, 1, 1, 1, 3, 38, 1, 48, 0))
        current_date_gmt = current_date
        title = article['title']
        post_url_relative = '-'.join(title.split())

        query = '''INSERT INTO wpmp_posts(post_author, post_date,
                        post_date_gmt, post_content, post_title,
                        post_category, post_status, comment_status, ping_status,
                        post_name, post_modified, post_modified_gmt, post_parent,
                        guid, menu_order, post_type, comment_count,
                        post_excerpt, to_ping, pinged, post_content_filtered,
                        post_mime_type, post_password) VALUES (%s,%s,%s,%s,
                                %s,%s,%s) ; '''
                (0, current_date, current_date_gmt, content, title, 0, "publish",
                 "open", "open", post_url_relative, current_date,
                 current_date_gmt, 0, "", 0, "post", 0, "", "", "", "", "", "")


cnx = mysql.connector.connect(user='jwz', password='justwantedto',
json_file = '../data/encyclopedia.json'
with open(json_file) as json_data:
    data = json.load(json_data)
add_article(cnx, data[0]['articles'][0])

September 1, 2020

Chicken Lives Matter

Filed under: china — thimbronion @ 4:48 p.m.

Pour one out for this chicken that was ritually sacrificed on behalf of my health sometime in the last few days by my Chinese ex-girlfriend’s1 priest/shaman somewhere in the godforsaken East.

I can already feel the chicken’s essence giving me power as its soul seeps slowly into my qi. I don’t know if this chicken will be enough for me to do the work to begin importing encyclopedia entries into mp-wp. It may take a few more chicken lives.

  1. I’ve left her on read for months but she persists []

July 18, 2020

July Search Update

Filed under: Uncategorized — thimbronion @ 4:03 p.m.

Work is progressing on the search bot.

I now have a configuration that will index the logs. The resulting index is not perfect - anything from reddit is excluded due to my ip being blocked, and many pages are not successfully indexed due to periodically going offline. There is an error when attempting to index any Bitcointalk link that I haven’t been able to resolve. Also, due to the timespan involved, many links have rotted and are lost forever. Most links provided as “shortened” links also no longer work. The results for this crawl should show up in the bot’s index about one week from now.

Work on the encyclopedia crawl progresses as well. Apify delivered a half-functional crawling script that works with their platform. At the moment I don’t have a configuration which allows the crawl to get all volumes of the encyclopedia. I am currently working with support to get this resolved.

June 28, 2020

So I'm getting divorced

Filed under: authority — thimbronion @ 4:49 p.m.

So I’m getting divorced. Not because I had the courage, like I should have had, to have broken it off years ago, but because of a condom wrapper my wife found in my back pocket on the morning of Father’s day. My wife wants to try to fix things, but I don’t, and I’ve said that. I welcome the shift from feeling anger, resentment, and fear daily to mostly sorrow and relief. She’s been very apologetic, and I should have given her the chance to respond to how I felt, like I said above, many years ago, before it was way too late. In any case I have my freedom now, like I could have had all along if I had any courage at all.

June 18, 2020


Filed under: bitcoin, irc, search — thimbronion @ 2:06 a.m.

The results for lekythion’s first crawl of are in. The index created is not of much use due to the crawler being blocked by many sites including, reddit and tardstalk for not complying with the robots.txt files.

Nevertheless I now have a comprehensive list of links from the #trilema logs. I think the index should include the logs themselves, but it might be convenient to be able to compartmentalize crawling external links into a separate task/configuration.

June 8, 2020

The Voice of Trilema

Filed under: bitcoin, irc, rhetoric — thimbronion @ 5:52 p.m.

Now that I’ve been reading Trilema (successfully or not) for about six years, I thought I’d take some time to comment on the style and voice of the English portion of the the blog.

His voice is distinctive in many ways, but some of the distinctive features that most stand out to me are mircea_popescu’s frequent use of the 2nd person and the the use of graphic sexual metaphor to illustrate many, many concepts.

Given the prominence of this person in his writing, it wouldn’t be a waste of time to think a little bit about who exactly is “you.”

Is it really me, the person reading? In many cases yes, if I go by his qualifications - those usually being something along the lines of either not having read some text or not having some particular thought on my own by my late teens. The interesting thing is, after time, if I come back and read an article again, the “you” is less and less me, and more someone else, and the article begins to feel off - because I’ve likely read the text or internalized the thought by that point.

Whoever the “you” is, mircea_popescu in this voice at least plainly holds the reader in contempt. I think this is intended as a form of rhetoric. In other words he’s using this voice to evoke particular emotions in the reader for persuasive purposes. Whoever the reader is he is in a miserable state and is absolutely responsible for being in this state and is responsible as well for his parents and grandparents sucking and so forth. There is no quarter given, without exception, except perhaps to those who realize their worthlessness and die either by their own hand or in some highly risky endeavor1. Now I have to be careful here because I know it’s impossible to know what someone else is thinking, and I certainly don’t want to appear to be making that claim. I am only speculating. In any case, I speculate that the intended effect of this use of rhetoric is to arouse a feeling of shame. Shame is painful. “You” are to be spurred on by this pain. “You” are to do whatever is necessary to deal with the pain. In my observations of some others reading Trilema, this pain turns them immediately away and they never come back. Others, such as myself, somehow either become addicted to the pain, or perhaps keep reading on to find some sort of salvation from it2.

As for the frequent use of graphic sexual metaphor mircea_popescu himself explains why he prefers this style. I suspect this rhetoric also is meant to instill pain in many readers, and perhaps levity in others. Either way it is memorable, and I can’t think of any other writer using sexual metaphor to this extent.

Another aspect of his style that I’d like to comment on is the … finality, the unforgivingness. Read any article and there is a very good chance he’ll make you aware of a mistake you’ve made that can never, ever be corrected, only regretted. It is interesting to contrast this with other writers in the Anglosphere today, where there is endless redemption to be found.

And while there is doubtless much more to be said, this is all my cup of chai will allow me to put forth today.

  1. Not that it matters but I don’t particularly disagree with this attitude []
  2. Pain itself in various forms is a major theme in Trilema articles and it makes sense that given the significance of pain’s role in mp’s thoughts on education, reading Trilema itself would be painful []

June 7, 2020

Lekythion Search Bot Source

Filed under: Uncategorized — thimbronion @ 4:36 p.m.

I am publishing the current source for the lekythion search bot here for anyone who may be interested. If anyone should later be interested in publishing a patch, I will go to the further trouble of creating a V genesis. I suspect the widespread allergy to Ruby will prevent that from ever happening, but the offer stands.

Also, lekythion now gets an updated index every 2 days.

May 31, 2020

Lekythion search update: additional blogs and other things

Filed under: WoT, irc, search — thimbronion @ 3:12 p.m.

I’ve added several new blogs to lekythion’s search feature, including:

I intend to add more as I have time. I am also open to suggestions for additional sites and blogs to index.

The crawler still needs some tuning for many of the sites listed above. For example there are still instances where the bot will return multiple identical results for a search term due to different urls displaying the same content.

Also ranking is still very basic and doesn’t incorporate anything like pagerank, although it can search using l-distance.

In addition to adding the encyclopedia (work on which is underway), I’m considering adding Bitcoin transaction search. I wrote my own app for such purposes last year and have found it occasionally useful. I don’t know how much demand there is for publicly tracking transactions, but it wouldn’t be a big deal to set something up and try it out.

In terms of infrastructure, the bot is now running on its own vps. The next step is automatic index updates.

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