Archive for October, 2019

Hawaii, Communication

Friday, October 25th, 2019

I've been in Hawaii trying to think without much success. I joined #ossasepia with the hopes of being of some use working in/around China, but that path is closed off for the indefinite future due to a failure to communicate. I am not interested in doing software. I've been doing software almost every day for 16 years. There has to be more to life. This leaves me stuck. I would rather open a laundromat.

I know that I do need to get a better understanding of what is meant here by engage. And here.

I actually find chit chat boring, and prefer to engage in discussions about actually important subjects with my friends. For example, I spent two afternoons on this trip talking about Bitcoin (when asked, and not autistically), business, politics, relationships, and even touched on a bit of ethics with my friend1 who lives here.

Another recent example is that I started a meetup group in Sacramento about history and philosophy. Three people attended the first meetup. I lead the group, having everyone introduce themselves and talk about what brought them to the group, and then lead the discussion of Xenophon's Apology and Symposium. It went off pretty well and I believe it was rewarding for everyone who attended.

I also joined a Spanish language meetup recently and spent about an hour speaking mostly in Spanish with a guy I never met before mostly about Mexico. It was kind of a one sided conversation with me asking the questions and him answering and kind of going off aimlessly on whatever.

Here in Hawaii I did speak with a few randos on the beach here and there, but it was just the "where you're from" type stuff described in a Trilema article I can't find.

And now for some pics of Hawaii.

My friend took me snorkeling out beyond the rocks. It was beautiful but I did worry about being sucked out into the ocean.

This is from a trail down to a beach not far from Hawi.

From the beach

The view back up into the valley

Building a tadpole farm

You can see Maui in the distance.

Pics from a trip to the Waipio Valley

My friend had this house built. Off the grid, powered by solar + Tesla batteries.

This papaya was delicious

How to kill a pig

  1. He's an electrical engineer who made his fortune selling a kind of web portal for EEs to a bigger business. He's now working on a board game that (in my opinion) is actually interesting. []

A Bitcoin Missionary in China

Friday, October 18th, 2019

I found this post to be interesting. It's just not the sort of thing you usually see coming out of China in any medium. Judging by the quality of this translation which is rather low in my opinion, she struggled with it. Here is a note from her:

this paper is really longer and harder to translate than before. Comparing to previous work, the acadmic paper or news takes less time to translate as it have strong logic. But the logic of this post is disordered to some extent, and it takes me nearly 4 hours to translate.


When I decided to ask passers-by for exchanging Bitcoin to RMB during the National Day holiday, I suddenly remembered a news a few years ago. It was a foreign family, exchanging all of their money and property to Bitcoin, and then preaching Bitcoin globally.

I did not understand why they did that at that time, and I had no interesting in Bitcoin. Abnormal behavior often contains a truth that one does not know, which is what I learned later from reading The Structure of the Scientific Revolution. I hope I could influence others to get to know Bitcoin through my effort, even only just one person.

However, I underestimated the ability of the police. Just after talking with a few people, I was arrested on the first day. Not because I preached bitcoin, but disturbed the order of the scenic spot.

Yesterday I went to Hedacheng (a shopping mall in Hangzhou). A Menswear shop owner was very interesting for my topic. I asked her if she supported Bitcoin
She said that she had heard of Bitcoin, but she did not support it!
I told her "If you support, I will buy more clothes." She still said no.
I asked her for the reason and told her it is very simple. Just need to download a wallet and I would send her Bitcoin. She shook her head and let me go.

Sometimes I really want to know the reason that why they I refuse me?

I pretended to go to Fred Square to have lunch in order to follow two students of National People's Congress all the way. I pretended that I had not eaten a meal for a long time, because no one wanted to exchange RMB with me.
They wanted to get rid of me a bit. But their way back to the school was the same as going to Fred Square with me. I took the opportunity continue to say a lot about Bitcoin.
"You can try to get to know Bitcoin, in case this thing is useful to you. 20 RMB can't be a huge loss. I also graduated from your university, major in computer “. One of them seemed to have been moved by me but just for sympathy, not because they want to know Bitcoin. For the reason that I said that I am very hungry and I had not eaten for a long time.

"Our company is recruiting now. Even if one of the interviewers said he had Bitcoin, we would hire him, because he at least took the initiative to get to know and buy Bitcoin, not afraid of new things. I think such people are brave. You could also consider block chain as your future internship direction. There are very few talents in this area. The block chain comes from Bitcoin.”

Then, one of them would like to buy a bowl of noodles for me, and the other one would like to know, but did not want to exchange Bitcoin. I asked him whom bought me the noodle to download the wallet. I sent him 20 Bitcoin and told him to remember the password.

I was thinking about how to introduce Bitcoin in five minutes or so, and what the difference between Bitcoin and Alipay or WeChat payment. I told them there was an upper limit of Bitcoin but no upper limit for RMB issuance. However, they did not get any interest about that.

I told them to learn and understand the principles and knowledge of Bitcoin and block chain and recommended them some books about that, warning them not to speculate in the Bitcoin market. However, they wanted to end the conversation with a stranger like me and left without waiting me to eat the noodle.

I didn't know what they would talk about when they went back. Were they surprised, curious, awkward, or really thought this is an opportunity. On the way back, I thought for a long time, why they would refuse me?

People live in the familiar environment all the time. Most of them have not thought about whether some habits or cognition is reasonable and whether people could have better choices and living environment. I believe people are worth to improve themselves in lots of aspects, but they do not realize it. The fundamental is that people do not try to think about the abnormal things that are different from the routine, just live in the familiar environment.

I wanted to go back but reluctant. I was really tired and sat by the side of the subway with paper. I hope that passers-by can look at me and ask what Bitcoin is. But no one stopped.

I walked over to a couple who were taking pictures and told them that I could give you double bitcoin if you would like to exchange money with me. He shook his head and let me go. Then, I met a college student who was researching block chain. But he didn't want to exchange and regarded me as a liar. But I really thought he was a liar.

There were four passengers played by the roadside. I asked them weather they would like to exchange Bitcoin. They said four times that they were not interested, with mockery.

Was I discouraged? Not, it was all expected.

People gave me some comments on the Weibo. Some comment that they want to exchange with me and some want to cheer me up. Some people think my behavior could only make passersby hate bitcoin more and I could not get any benefit.

I decided to go back. When I was waiting for the subway, I asked the stuff about the time of the last subway. The stuff told me 11 o'clock. I took the opportunity to talk with him about Bitcoin and the purpose why I come here. He was still not interested about Bitcoin.

Walking out of the subway, I took a photo and told myself to continue tomorrow. I know that the result of tomorrow is still the same, but I still have to do something.

Although I know that there is no effect, I still have to do it.


EsperNet 2nd Chance

Friday, October 18th, 2019

I tried another tack in another channel (#help) on EsperNet last night with the following results.

[19:48:07] <thimbronion> Who should I talk to about linking a server?

[05:45:24] <lol768> thimbronion: can be submitted as a support ticket. Can't guarantee we'd accept a link application though.

[09:45:58] <thimbronion> lol768: How is the decision made and why couldn't you guarantee a link application would be accepted?

[09:53:27] <lol768> It gets votes on by the admin staff

[09:53:34] <lol768> * voted

[09:53:47] <lol768> And I am not a mind-reader :p

[09:54:32] <lol768> It might be other folks think we are fine for new servers right
now, or would prefer applications come internally

[09:59:12] <thimbronion> lol768: I see. So a simple majority vote?

[11:18:36] <lol768> 2/3rds majority

[13:14:52] <thimbronion> lol768: Do you know who the people might be who would object on the grounds that no servers are needed right now or prefer no external applications? Or perhaps there are some recent past proceedings I can check out?

[13:46:41] <chauffer> thimbronion, out of curiosity, why do you want to link a server?

[14:47:56] <thimbronion> chauffer: IRC is very important to us (I'm here for TMSR, lots and lots of logs here: so we want to have a stake in whatever network(s) we join.

[14:56:18] <chauffer> what is TMSR?

[15:20:12] <lol768> >Or perhaps there are some recent past proceedings I can check out?

[15:20:31] <lol768> External link applications don't happen very often, I don't think one has happened in my time as an admin

[15:30:24] <lol768> We had four link applications in the ticket system in 2014. One was accepted, 3 were rejected. In 2015, we rejected one server application. In 2016, one was accepted.

[15:36:59] <lol768> Missed from my stats, an acceptance in 2013 and another rejection in 2014. So, it varies - and you won't really know until you submit the app. Common rejection reasons: inadequate DDoS protection, inadequate hosting, poor quality of application, concerns about longevity of the server, concerns over bandwidth, concerns over the submitter's ability to maintain the server.

[15:37:05] <thimbronion> chauffer: TMSR stands for "The Most Serene Republic." We are working on several projects around Bitcoin, from a game, to cryptography.

[15:39:14] <thimbronion> lol768 - very interesting thanks. So how long have you been an admin?

[15:42:30] <lol768> 2018

[15:42:35] <lol768> I was an oper before then

[15:43:01] <lol768> (so, not long at all in the grand scheme of things :P)

[15:43:17] <lol768> This network is older than me

[15:43:26] <thimbronion> lol768: ah so do those acceptances include any external apps?

[15:44:22] <lol768> these are just external apps, I think (I'd expect internal apps to be submitted differently) - though in one or two cases the folks applying had been around the network a while

[15:45:49] <lol768> I might be wrong on this, though

My questions went unanswered for the most part and I let it pass ("Very interesting thanks").

I wonder if Linus Torvalds came in and wanted to link a server, would they be so adamant about him filling out the damn application? I do not know how to communicate clearly that they are missing out on the chance to save their network from oblivion.

IRC Diplomacy: OFTC, Undernet, EsperNet, DALnet

Wednesday, October 16th, 2019

[Updated 10/18/19 - fixed missing nicks due to escaping problem]

I began attempting to contact IRC administrators in order of their need for more resources based on reported number of users per server on Mon. Oct. 14th. Initially I had to take some time to figure out how to connect weechat to multiple IRC networks via a single ZNC connection, as I anticipated needing to hang around a while in the various relevant channels to get a response. After I got that working, I contacted OFTC, then Undernet, then DALnet. Other than EsperNet, where someone bothered to inform me there was a typo in my link to (which for some reason I keep typing as ""), the only response I've gotten so far was from Ahnberg in #ahnberg on DALnet, which I have quoted below.

[10:24:32] <thimbronion> Hey Ahnberg I'm coming from TMSR ( We've got a growing set of high quality people and a lot of resources and are interested in linking a (at least one) server to DALnet. Are you (or is DALnet) interested?

[10:25:53] <thimbronion> sorry typo

[10:28:34] <Ahnberg> What is TMSR and/or ossasepia?

[10:31:21] <thimbronion> Ahnberg TMSR stands for "The Most Serene Republic." We're working on a bunch of projects related to Bitcoin, from a game, for example, to cryptography. Ossasepia has the logs of all of our channels which are currently on Freenode. BTW Welcome to join #ossasepia and #trilema to ask around.

[10:31:40] <Ahnberg> Ok. Interesting!

[10:32:30] <Ahnberg> We don't really "need" more servers on DALnet so we're not actively looking. But anyone who thinks they have the interest or passion to join the network might apply. We do prefer if someone joins after actually using the network, being active part of the community or such, not just to expand footprint on as many networks as they can. Not saying you are one of those, but just explaining what adds value to

[10:32:36] <Ahnberg> us.

[10:44:11] <thimbronion> Ahnberg I see. Is that a hard requirement? Asking because our criteria for joining a network is being able to contribute to it. And in lieu of us having an established presence here, you can see our history going back several years in the #trilema logs.

[10:45:08] <Ahnberg> Not a hard requirement, but makes it quite complicated since it usually indicates that someone just wants to grow their footprint regardless of major network they end up on. We prefer people who are passionate about DALnet itself and care about this specific network.

[10:45:18] <Ahnberg> Sounds weird coming from me maybe since I am linked to almost every major network. :P

[10:45:46] <Ahnberg> But to my defense I have been using IRC since early 1991 and I am really involved and fond of all the networks I partake in hehe

[10:47:48] <thimbronion> I'm not quite clear on what you mean by growing our footprint. In this case, we would actually be leaving freenode. That's not to say that we wouldn't want to join other networks that meet our criteria.

[10:53:42] <Ahnberg> Not directed at you specifically since I have no idea who you guys are. Just that people who seek to link to any major network where they haven't had any interest in the past has the risk of just seeking to expand their footprint, i.e. size/presence/reach and don't actually care about the network, is all I'm saying.

[10:53:54] <Ahnberg> Which is why it is harder to get accepted applying to a network where the staff doesn't have a known history.

[11:11:07] <thimbronion> Ahnberg can you go into more detail about what it means to care about DALnet? I don't mean this to come off flippantly in any way.

[11:13:50] <Ahnberg> "Oh DALnet is big so we might as well try to link there, if that doesn't work Undernet seems quite big too so we'll try there as well" .... vs "I have a lot of friends on DALnet, I have spent my last 8 years on the network, it would be awesome if I could help support the network since its meant so much to me over the years".

[11:19:03] <thimbronion> We definitely want to care about DALnet! :) Our experience with Freenode however was that we built up a lot of infrastructure around it, but they ultimately turned our offer to link servers down, leaving us somewhat stuck. We definitely don't want that to happen again.

It's been several hours since Ahnberg last replied, and I don't anticipate hearing anything more from him. This dialog went awry where he said "I have no idea who you guys are" after I gave him a link to years of logs. I don't know how he'd know us any better if the logs happened to be from DALnet.

For reference, here were my openers on the other networks:

Undernet #routing-com

19:31:56] <thimbronion> Hi. I'm here on behalf of TMSR( I'd like to chat about linking (at least) one server to the network. Are you interested?

EsperNet #esper

[19:44:59] <thimbronion> Hi! I would like to chat with the network administrators about linking (at least one) server. Where would be a good place to do that?

[19:45:30] <thimbronion> Btw I'm from TMSR, which you can find more about here:

[21:01:20] <kbuck> thimbronion: your link is dead

[21:02:45] <kbuck> looks like it's probably .com

[21:57:36] <thimbronion> @kbuck .com, yes.

[14:53:31] <thimbronion> Kramer Kristina, any interest in my proposal above?

For some reason ZNC did not log the OFTC chat.

Review of Summary

Sunday, October 13th, 2019

[I don't think this review works. I've commented in brackets where I see problems.]

I am here reviewing my summary of 'Your Feelings Are Out to Get You' because in order to improve my summarization skills I need to know exactly what was wrong with it, and I need to write this review to learn from my mistakes.

Overall there is a lot of confusion in this summary about how to express the subject of various parts of the piece. In addition the structure of the summary is broken, I wasn't explicit about all the assumptions I was making about the piece, and I miscategorized it as being a general, rather than a personal piece [I don't fully understand what I'm saying here]. Also, where I didn't understand concepts, I failed to make note of that.

The problem with expressing the subject can be seen throughout the summary where, for example, I switch from "more and more people" to "you", and occasionally "she," and even an "anyone." Take the first instance, where I write:

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.

The actualy subject of the first paragraph is the author, so an accurate summarization would have represented that the author "believes that..." I should also have either asked the author who "those enjoying the forest" were, or noted that it was unclear to me who exactly the people enjoying the forest were, or what the forest represented. I instead assumed that this just meant "life in general."

Another example of this problem is in the fourth paragraph which starts off with "Anyone could pretend..." In fact the author doesn't claim that anyone could do anything, she claims that she specifically could "construct a false sense of reality..." There are other examples, but I have run out of time to cover them.

Moving on to the structure of the summary, the paragraphs are not well linked together. Excluding all other problems with the first and second paragraph, the first sentence at least refers to something in the first. The third paragraph abruptly introduces the author's idea that her feelings don't matter, and I can see no direct link between the second paragraph, which ends with a paraphrased musing about the reason for people expressing themselves with "feel" instead of "think."

[I clearly don't know what I'm talking about here] I put this piece in the wrong context. I don't know much about the author, and haven't read much of her blog, or her work in general, besides her educational posts on the Bitcoin Talk forum, so I don't understand where she was at when she was writing this. I should have picked up on the clues that this was a personal piece - the main one being that she is talking about her personal experiences, and doesn't make any general statements or claims until the conclusion of her piece.

There was at least one case where I knew I didn't understand a part of the piece and tried to summarize it anyway. I'm sure the are many other parts of the piece that I didn't understand, but the one I knew about was when I tried to summarize "... a feeling doesn't matter within the context of thought, and has no impact whatsoever on anything at all unless I choose to act upon it..." I summarized this as:

Feelings in fact have no impact on anything without the feeler choosing to act on those feelings.

Instead of removing the subject and guessing at a generalized version of it, I should have stated that I didn't understand it, or asked for help in #ossasepia, or on hanbot's blog.

[There should be a conclusion here, but nothing came naturally to me to write.]

Review Questions

Friday, October 11th, 2019

I am stuck attempting to write my review of my summary. These are the questions that arose (after diana_coman had to step away from IRC today) Since there are a lot I decided to make a post rather than start several threads on the channel.

  1. What is the relationship of exercise to needed step? Is the exercise a necessary step, or is it something else that achieves a different end that I'm missing? Not understanding this got in the way of me properly attempting to put my goal into my own words.
  2. Does the conclusion go at the beginning or end of the review in it's final form?
  3. How do I decide what is detail and what is top level?
  4. I do not understand how I changed the subject when summarizing the first paragraph. What is meant by subject? The person talking? The topic of the paragraph?

IRC Takeover Initial Findings

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2019

[Updated 10/3/19 8:54 PM PST]

Over the past week, I've spent some time surveying the websites of the top IRC networks gathering information about their linking policies.  Many are in a state of disrepair and haven't been updated for some time, as evidenced by the latest "news" items on their front pages being several years old.  From their linking application forms (or lack thereof) many of the top networks look averse to linking new servers.  For example, see the IRCNet documents:

Please be aware, that usually administrators never link servers from people, who apply for a link. If there is really need for a server, the administrators of that TLD will look around which organization would be most appropriate, and then ask them, if they would like to support an IRCnet server.

That said, some appear to be reasonable and they are at the top of the list.  In terms of hardware, my server far exceeds the recommended specifications (which all appear to have been written long ago).  My hosting provider has approved my request to run an IRC server, and will contact me if my bandwidth usage spikes significantly.  For whatever reason they felt it necessary to inform me that:

In addition please take note that we cooperate with government agencies to
deliver secure web services for all our customers and the Internet at large.

Below is a partially researched list of the 100 top IRC networks according to  Details about more networks will be added as time allows.  Having found a few apparently amenable networks I will next focus on contacting them.

Due to the wysiwyg editor1 in my blog not being able to handle cutting and pasting list items, instead of reordering, for now I've bolded networks of initial interest and added a users per server metric in parentheses next to each researched network name. I intend to add a notes row to each item, but did not have time as of publishing to review already researched networks to add relevant notes.

Based on my readings of the server applications and the user/server ratios, I have selected the following networks for my initial linking efforts in the following order:

  • OFTC
  • Undernet
  • EsperNet
  • DALnet

Network Linking Application and Contact Info

Source List

  1.  This data might be better suited to be in a spreadsheet and presented as a .csv file. []

Chief Analyst of Guosen Securities Financial Industry: Central Bank R&D is a kind of digital cash, not a digital currency independent of the RMB.

Tuesday, October 1st, 2019

Wang Jianwen, chief analyst of the financial industry of Guosen Securities Economic Research Institute, analyzes how to understand the central bank's1 digital currency2. Wang Jian pointed out in the article that the emergence of Bitcoin means a new currency different from the sovereign currency of each country. Bitcoin is based on blockchain technology. There is no single issuer, and all transactions are recorded at all nodes of the network, which is difficult to tamper with. Bitcoin also wants to control its circulation and maintain its currency by limiting the amount of future issuance. But precisely this kind of goodwill has deviated from the essence of money. This new type of digital currency, which is completely different from the original sovereign currency, is called "digital currency.” Obviously, central banks that have the right to issue currency rights in various countries will not welcome this new thing aimed at depriving them of their currency distribution rights. Therefore, it is obvious that the central bank is researching to launch digital cash, not digital currency. Although it caters to the public, it is also called "digital currency.” At the end of the article, Wang Jian also indicated that although Bitcoin itself has deviated from the essence of money3, the introduction of blockchain technology has made it possible to control the risk of double-spending. The application of the blockchain enables the entire network to identify the only transaction, thus basically eliminating the risk of illegal copying of digital cash, and greatly improved the security of circulation. Adding the function of the smart contract and some personalized functions of the transaction could also help the currency circulation, reduce transaction costs, and improve the service level of the payment link. Therefore, he believes that the central bank is developing a digital cash that uses a new circulation technology rather than a digital currency independent of the RMB.


  1. 'Central Bank of China', which develops and implements monetary policy in China []
  2. This is the specific project referred by by 'R&D' in the title.  The translator clarified when asked what the name of the project might be: It is not mentioned in the article, but as far as I know, the central bank set up a specific team several years ago, called Digital Currency Research Department, focus on researching Digital Currency. And recently the Central Bank announced they researched and developed a digital currency, which is a kind of digital cash. The entire article is talking about Wang Jian's interpretation of the digital currency which is researched and developed by the Central Bank. []
  3. Bitcoin is deviant, you see!  And money has an essence, and I, Wang Jian, know what it is! []