Archive for September, 2019

A Year of Not Total Failure

Monday, September 30th, 2019

Let it not be said that 2019 was a year of failures.  This evening I managed to establish direct contact via e-mail with a certain Ms. Du, who is a Chinese translator located in Mainland China.  She has agreed to translate one short news article for me on a weekly basis indefinitely.  Of course no one is interested in reading the typical fluff broadly available, but I hope to learn from and maintain the relationship so that in the future when more substantial content has been located, she will be available to aid in translating it.

Summary of 'Your Feelings Are Out to Get You'

Sunday, September 29th, 2019

Your Feelings Are Out to Get You is summarized below.

Over time, more and more people have come to express thoughts as having originated from feeling rather than from thinking.  The effects of this after growing mostly unnoticed suddenly became obvious and detrimental to the enjoyment of life.

You can see it any time someone expresses an observation or conclusion using "feel" instead of "think."  It appears that either people are being taught that feeling something is enough to act  without thinking, or they are not being taught that this is bad.  It could also be a combination of both.

When she first came upon the idea that her feelings didn't matter, the author felt hurt.  She believed her feelings mattered simply because she was a person.  She believed that her feelings were important to others and herself.  However, that pain was just covering up the truth, which is that when thinking, feelings aren't actually driving anything.  Feelings in fact have no impact on anything without the feeler choosing to act on those feelings.

Anyone could pretend that feelings do matter in order to protect themselves from emotional pain by seeking this or avoiding that because it feels good or feels bad.  In fact more and more people probably do, especially those who have never wanted for food.  However, pretending thus results in only more pain.  Furthermore, attempting to evade consequences caused by acting on feelings instead of thoughts through associating only with others acting the same way only delays and exacerbates the inevitable consequences.

Beyond the problem of delayed and amplified consequences, allowing feelings to guide you prevents you from learning.  Given that most learning involves someone teaching you and that you may not feel good about whoever is doing the teaching, your learning opportunities will be severely limited by this approach.  By ignoring painful information, you will end up living a painful shadow of a life you could have otherwise lived.

Feelings are not thoughts, and if you try to treat them as thoughts, or hide from the truth behind them, you will not succeed and the truth will in the end hurt you.  Going forward, think about whether hiding behind your feelings is worth sacrificing a joyous connection with reality.

DALNet linking application, annotated

Saturday, September 28th, 2019
DALnet Server Link Application - Version 3.2.0 - Rev. 10 July 2019

Revised by brandon ( on 10 July 2019
Revised by brandon ( on 2 Jan 2018
Revised by brandon ( on 2 March 2012
Revised by Simon P ( on 02/06/2003
Copyright (c)1996-2019 The DALnet IRC Network


Before you apply, you should familiarise yourself with the DALnet Server
Application Guidelines.  These guidelines explain the application process,
the recommendations and requirements for linking to DALnet and give technical
and other information to assist in your application.  You may view these
guidelines at

Once you are sure your IRC server meets the recommendations and
requirements, you should fill out this application form.  You must
complete each of the following six sections.  When complete, please
mail the application to

Data collection scripts for Section 6 may be downloaded from

Applications that do not follow these instructions will be ignored!

Section 0: Quick Link Eligibility Check List

0a. Have you (admin) read and understood the Server Application Guidelines
    and believe your server to meet the requirements of linking to DALnet?

0b. Is your server provider-sponsored, and not being paid for by you or
    your business? 1

0c. Are you running some flavor of UNIX?

0d. Is your server capable of absorbing massive, multi-GBit/second DDoS
    attacks? 2

If you answered No to any of the above questions, do not submit an
application. Do not submit this portion with your application.

------------------------------- CUT HERE ---------------------------------

DALnet Server Link Application - Version 3.2.0 - Rev. 10 July 2019

Section 1: Server Information

1a. Full server (machine) hostname:
1b. Server's IPv4 address:
1c. Server's IPv6 address:
1d. Hosting network's ASN:3
1e. Intended DALnet server name:4
1f. Ports (ports 6667-6669, 7000, 7325, 6697[ssl] required):
1g. Server's operating system/version:
1h. Server's processor info (type/speed/cores):((AMD Opteron 4226/2700 Mhz/6 cores))
1i. Server's memory:5
1j. Is the machine dedicated to DALnet? (see guidelines):
1k. Server's geographic location (city, state/country):
1l. Maximum clients you will allow: 6
1m. Type and version of named used as a resolver:
1n. Type and version of time sync program: 7
1o. Are you or your sponsor applying or linked to any other IRC networks?
    (please list):8
1p. Is this a physical server or a virtual machine?:
    If virtual, please complete questions 1q-1v
1q. Are the CPU/RAM resources dedicated to the guest dynamically shared,
    or dedicated to the irc vm?
1r. VM Host Software & Version:
1s. VM Host hardware specifications (Total CPU/Cores/RAM):
1t. Approximate number of guests on this host infrastructure:
1u. Please describe the nature and purpose of other guests:
1v. Please list anyone with administrative access to the VM Host:

Section 2: Personal Information

2a. Admin's real name (Last, First):
2b. Admin's E-Mail address:
2c. Admin's nickname on DALnet:
2d. Does admin have "root" access on server:
2e. Who else has "root" access on server (Please list and explain why):
    Note: Console/admin access to a VM host counts as root access.
2f. Server owner's name (or ISP):
2g. Server owner's E-Mail address:

    It is your responsibility to provide contact phone numbers to DALnet
    officials if they are required.


Section 3: Host Information

3a. Where is your server hosted? (Please give the name and location of the
    ISP and/or datacenter)

3b. Please indicate your relationship to the hosting provider and whether
    your server is colocated (i.e. you are personally paying for bandwidth),
    ISP-sponsored or has some other arrangement.

3c. Please provide a brief statement of permission from someone in a
    relevant position of authority at the HOSTING SITE where your server is
    located (who is entitled by that organisation to give such permission),
    clearly stating that they know of, support and agree to your
    application.  A name and contact e-mail address should be included.

3d. Is your host/provider sponsoring any IRC servers on other networks?
    If so, please list.

3e. Does the ASN associated with your server IP belong to the sponsoring
    organization?  If not, please explain why.

Section 4: Routing Information

4a. Describe, in detail, your connectivity to your transit providers. You
    may also list peering arrangements. When doing so, list everyone who
    peers with you at that location, and with what amount of bandwidth. 9

4b. Please obtain from a network engineer at your sponsor10 the output of
    'show ip bgp summary' (or the vendor equivalent) for EACH router that
    is directly connected to the upstream providers listed in 4a, and
    paste here.  If this action is not possible, please explain why. 

4c. Does the ASN associated with your IP address match the name of the
    provider hosting your server (the company that provided permission in
    question 3c)?  If not, please explain.

4d. How much outgoing bandwidth (in Mbit/s) is available to the server?11

4e. What is your switch port speed?

4f. Describe, in detail, how your server will be filtered from Denial of
    Service attacks. Make sure you include the hardware type and software
    release running on the devices doing the filtering. 12

Note:  For security reasons, any information provided in 4b and 4f will be removed from your application before it is shared on the DALnet staff list.

WARNING: DALnet's Routing team will verify any information in this
application to ensure consistency and validity.  Please ensure the
information you are providing is *real* and *correct*.  Applicants that
falsify anything on their application will have their application revoked
and will be barred from ever re-applying to DALnet.

Section 5: Free Answer (Use as much space as needed)

5a. Please describe the ways you have been involved with DALnet, and why
    you feel your server should become part of DALnet. 13

5b. Do you have any IRC Operators in mind?  (Please list and state why you
    think they will be a good addition to the DALnet staff.  Please note
    that DALnet does not allow you to nominate an assistant administrator
    (AA) on your server application form.  The right to appoint an AA is
    subject to a separate admin CFV after you are fully linked to DALnet.)

5c. How much active time would you estimate you will be able to dedicate
    to DALnet per week?  There are approximately 112 waking hours in a
    week; be realistic. 14

5d. Please provide a brief summary of your *personal* experience in:

    1) implementing OS level configuration changes to accomodate ircd15
    2) actually compiling and running ircd16
    3) any other relevant *technical* skills that you have17

5e. What action will you take if your server's performance becomes a
    detriment to the operation of DALnet?

5f. Do you have anything you would like to add that you haven't yet been
    able to tell us?  (If so, please describe.)

Section 6: Traceroutes

Please submit a set of traceroutes as follows:


On a Wednesday of a given week, run the traceroute script found
at at the following times:

  12pm EST (midday)
  10pm EST

Paste the results below.

To avoid any line break issues, please paste your entire application into
a plain text file and attach that file to the email you send to

  1. I believe as things stand I am excluded here.  I wish they were more specific though.  From the guidelines:
    h)  Out-of-pocket Servers
        The costs involved in hosting an IRC server are often unpredictable due
        to the cost of bandwidth and the risk of Denial of Service Attacks.  It
        is not feasible for an individual to absorb these costs.  DALnet does
        NOT accept applications for servers that are paid for out-of-pocket by
        an individual.  Servers MUST be sponsored by a hosting company or
        network operator.  If you are paying for the server you would like to
        link, you need not apply.
  2. What is the standard for absorption? []
  3. AS16578 []
  4. thimbron []
  5. 31 GB []
  6.     No idea what the max my server could handle would be.  From the guidelines: Question 4b of the application form asks how much outgoing bandwidth is
        dedicated to the IRC server.  In addition, question 1k asks for the
        maximum number of clients your server will be able to hold.  The amount
        of bandwidth stated in your answer to auestion 4b must be sufficient to
        hold the number of clients stated in your answer to Question 1k. 
        For North-American (USA/Canada) based servers:
        You must be prepared and able to support a minimum of 2,500 concurrent
        user connections.  The ability to support 5,000 users is recommended.
        For servers located in all other areas:
        You must be prepared and able to support a minimum of 2,000 concurrent
        user connections.  The ability to support 5,000 users is recommended.
        As a rough rule, a decently sized public client IRC server will use
        about 1Mbit/sec per 1000 users (95th percentile) or 600GB/month per
        1000 users (inbound + outbound) data transfer.  For example a server
        with 5000 users will use about 5 Mbit/sec, or 3000 GigaBytes/month
        inbound + outbound total data transfer.  This is assuming normal
        operating conditions.  During synching to the network, your server
        might burst to higher usage than this.  See below for information on
        the problems of Denial of Service attacks.
  7. I wonder why ntp is required? []
  8. Technically no but we will be later []
  9. Going to have to ask colo for this info []
  10. who is my sponsor supposed to be? []
  11. 1000 I think - colo claims 1 GB connection. Apparently the guidelines linked in the first paragraph indicate 10GB is required, which would require me to upgrade my plan. []
  12. I think these types of questions will make my colo nervous, good to know nonetheless []
  13. Although I have not participated on DALnet, I have participated on Freenode for quite some time. Freenode is losing it's independence by relying more and more on platforms to run its servers and is not accepting independent servers. We wish to provide a reliable platform for promoting and supporting Bitcoin []
  14. Perhaps 3 hours []
  15. I have experience building and configuring linux machines in general []
  16. I have previously built an ircd for my own private use []
  17. Computer science degree, years of experience running a colo'ed machine []

How I fucked up my previous GPG Key

Monday, September 23rd, 2019

The fuck up happened roughly here:

I am persuaded by lobbes's explanation of why my key old key1 is fucked.

That said, I will attempt to put it into my own words, and in general write down all my thoughts about it.

At some point I created this signed text file.  This text file, which served as a gpg contract, contains the text "I agree."  It does not specify to what the agreement pertains, or to whom (other than myself, which is indicated by the fact I signed it).

In the context that this agreement was signed, it was intended to be an agreement to distribute qtnra shares to my account on Coinbr:  Although I no longer have the logs, I probably pm'ed jurov the account name, then pm'ed the link to the signed agreement.  It didn't really make sense to me at the time, but I did it anyway, not realizing that jurov was joking, even though asciilifeform lol'ed on the next line.

Once this contract was published in #bitcoin-assets, it became clear to me that I had made a mistake.  The most obvious problem with the contract was that it's scope was not limited, so it could be interpreted to mean that I agree to anything.  One could object and say, "Well, but who would ever pay attention to such a stupid contract?"  The following hypothetical illustrates why this contract is still a problem.

Let's say I had at that point decided to continue to try and use the key.  Let's say I wanted to sign an agreement to ship 5,000 bags of potato chips (all the potato chips I have) to Jim in Chicago.  A competitor (Julie) could legitimately claim that I had actually already agreed to ship 5,000 bags of potato chips to Atlanta, and as evidence show the retarded "I agree" contract to the Chicago recipient.  How would Jim be able to determine which agreement I would follow through with, clearly not being able to follow through with both of them?  It would be a hassle for him to contact me and ask me "WTF?"  and he would also think I was pretty dumb for having signed such a document.  He might also think Julie something of an annoyance, but mostly he would just not to bother with the whole mess.

I believe this example demonstrates the principle spelled out by lobbes above.

Now, what should the text of the contract have been to avoid these problems?

I2 request that jurov3 allocate Qntra shares to my account on CoinBr <account id here - forgot it> for all disbursements for the next year starting on June 6th, 2016.

This updated agreement limits the scope of this contract to the participants, includes the details of the agreement (my account name on CoinBr), and limits the time period of the contract.  Now, with these limitations, if someone were to wish to do business with jurov and (had I rated him) wished to inquire about his trustworthiness for some related type of contract I can answer that he performed according to the contract, whereas with the original contract this was not possible.

I think another aspect I misunderstood was the global nature of the contract.  It wasn't just something between myself and jurov.  It would likely be reviewed by anyone wishing to do business with myself in the future, for the rest of my days.  At the moment I can't think of a more abstract way to put this.

  1. I used to go by gernika.  I have a new key registered to thimbronion. []
  2. we know who I am since it's signed by me []
  3. we know who he is because he has to sign a string with his key to get voice []

Making contact..

Saturday, September 21st, 2019

Today I found a potentially interesting way to contact mainland Chinese.  I found a Chinese language exchange Discord chat room.   At the time of day I happened to drop in there were few Chinese online, but it was pretty late.  I was able to have some brief discussions in Chinese.  Overall the server seems pretty active, and I intend to come back when more people are likely awake in China.   The Discord crowd seems pretty young, but also pretty genial and earnest.  Also it is interesting to learn that at least some people can access Discord from inside China.

The most memorable conversation, sadly, was in English, and was between a French girl and Winston (a Chinese high school kid) about plastic surgery.  Winston was all about getting eye lid surgery, and the French girl was trying to tell him everyone is uniquely beautiful in their own special way and  Chinese girls are considered hot in France.

Preparing to join #ossasepia

Friday, September 20th, 2019

Having spent some cycles following through with this comment, I've come up with the following.

I am interested in China and the Chinese.  I like how they play by their own rules wherever they go.  They are a good group to have connections with for obtaining dirty fiat cash, or building things.  I want more Chinese connections, specifically connections that grok Bitcoin.

I am persuaded that the news about Bitcoin coming out of China is filtered through a very specific class of characters - mainly bilingual diaspora Chinese such as Hong Kongers and Singaporeans, or the kind that have been merit-washed via the Ivies.  I suspect that the perspective of mainlander Chinese who don't speak English is not coming across.

In order to get that perspective, I would like to find or create a network of resources in China that can supply me with this perspective.  I would like to share this perspective via news stories in English.  I would also like to publish likbez in Chinese, just to see what I can dredge up from behind the firewall.

I am prepared to accept that there may be absolutely no thinking whatsoever concerning Bitcoin happening behind the firewall - this would also be good to know.

How I'm Learning Chinese

Tuesday, September 17th, 2019

I am using the approach suggested in the log1 on at least one occasion.  I believe the best way to learn a language is to live in a country that speaks that language.  I can't live in China right now for many stupid reasons.  However, I do live in a Chinese colony which you may know of as California, although the people who actually own their houses here call it 加州.

In my particular region there are many Chinese run massage parlors.  Many of the women there speak English poorly, in fact poorly enough that they prefer to converse with me in Chinese, poorly though I speak it.  So I pay a small fee, get an hour long conversation session + a great massage.  I supplement this with an app called Du Chinese, that has graded readings and a built in flash-card system that can generate cards from characters in the readings.  I have made a good deal of progress over the past year, such that I can get by days at a time using only Chinese with my 情人(lover).

  1. Although on re-reading, which I should do more of, I am perhaps doing it wrong []

Monitoring the Chinese News Feed

Sunday, September 15th, 2019

I've been monitoring, on and off, the Chinese Bitcoin news feed1 I found a few weeks ago.  Thus far it appears mostly to consist of news originating in the West.  I suppose it is interesting to see what is of note to a Chinese audience, but this is disappointing none the less.

The only story originating in China on the front page today concerns some sort of scam being busted by provincial police in An Hui, with notes about the scammers attempting to flee to the Philippines.

  1. If you can call it that.  The Bitcoin specific feed appears only to be available on my iPad, and of course doesn't support Atom/RSS.  It's at, for reference, if you happen to have an iPad or iPhone. []

Julian Jaynes

Sunday, September 15th, 2019

Julian Jaynes had a very interesting theory concerning the Bicameral Mind.

This theory is that in earlier pre-conscious ages, men literally heard voices (auditory hallucinations) commanding them in mildly to highly stressful situations.  Men represented these voices as gods.  Due to many reasons, mainly the Bronze Age collapse, these voices began to fade away, leaving us with many highly unsatisfactory coping mechanisms for the loss of authority.

It seems to explain a good deal of the alienness of Bronze Age - the all-encompassing devotion to gods that no-longer exists, and many other things.  I wish Julian had written more about the remnants of the bicameral mind in primitive peoples that still exist today in the Amazon or New Guinea.

And of course he's in the logs.