jc blog - tales of a modern-day nomadic hunter-gatherer

Follow jcomeau_ictx on Twitter This is the weblog of Intrepid Wanderer. You never know what you might find here; graphic descriptions of bodily functions, computer programming secrets, proselytizing for the antichrist, miscellaneous ranting and kvetching, valuable information on living off the land... if you don't share my rather weird interests you may want to try slashdot instead.

You can consider my Del.icio.us links an extension to my blog, as are my LifeTango goals and my other to-do items. My to-buy list is also public, but only for sharing any useful ideas that might be there; I'm not requesting charity, neither do I offer it.

You can find me easily in google searches, as jcomeau, jcomeau_ictx, or jcomeauictx. There are lots of other jcomeaus, but AFAIK I'm the only jcomeau_ictx out there so far.

If you want to comment on anything you see here, try the new Facebook comments, reachable by clicking the "[comment]" link at the end of each post. If for some reason that isn't working, go ahead and email me, jc.unternet.net. You know what to do with the first dot. Make the 'subject' line something reasonably intelligent-looking or it goes plunk! into the spambasket unread.

This RSS feed may or may not work. Haven't fiddled with it in forever. RSS Feed

2021-05-24-0140Z

Since Stephan Kinsella challenged me to come up with a definition of ownership that justifies stating that I own Bitcoin, I will attempt to define the word "homesteading" in a way that encompasses digital assets the same way John Locke justified ownership of land by adding one's labor to it.

Digital homesteading, in my proposed definition, is the acquisition of a unique string of bytes that is unknown to anyone else. For some common examples: (1) a Bitcoin private key (256 bits); (2) A GPG signing key (typically 2048 or 4096 bits); (3) an online bank account password (typically 50 to 100 bits of entropy (defined as L * log2(R), where L is the password length and R is the size of the pool of characters (typically 72 letters, digits, and special characters).

This ownership is conditional, just as Lockean land ownership is. It depends on several factors, one of which is the difficulty of someone else "reaching" the same asset on their own, and another is one's ability to keep the asset from prying eyes. These are analogous to the need to defend one's land claims from those who wish to trespass and steal.

To some extent, there is often a trust requirement for this to work. Your bank should not have to know your password; all they require is a cryptographic hash of it to be stored. But they could easily store it at any point of the registration of any login process, so you have to be able to trust the employees with access to that data will not misuse it. Likewise, if you run a Bitcoin node on a VPS or dedicated server, you have to be able to trust that the techs at those data centers will not keylog you or use their physical console access to grab your keys.

But as long as you have some expectation of trust, and are otherwise able to keep your digital assets private, you own those assets to the extent that they cannot be guessed. [comment]

2021-05-13-1810Z

Teeth feeling really sensitive again. Just looked in the mirror, ugh. Receding gums, plaque, rotted and cracked teeth everywhere. [comment]

2021-05-10-2255Z

No luck dry roasting Chlorogalum pomeridianum, California soaproot, on the stove, so I tried just sauteeing one, about the size of a small shallot, in butter. Didn't taste particularly good, and the sliminess was a little off-putting, but if I don't have any horrible GI reactions to it I'll continue to keep it in mind as a survival food. [comment]

2021-05-09-1742Z

Caught a wild sourdough after just 4 or 5 days. Going to make the first flatbread with it tonight. [comment]

2021-05-07-2347Z

Tried another of my winter ferments, the California Bay fruits. Most of them had decayed to mush, but there are a few that still have some substance. Ate half of one. It was similar in appearance to an olive, but much spicier. A few of these chopped up along with some olives could add a unique flavor to a meal. No idea what it would go well with. Maybe as a replacement for capers? [comment]

2021-05-05-1301Z

When I posted coffee and crypto 3 weeks ago, my crypto balance was around $8000, and now, primarily thanks to Dogecoin, is over twice that much. I traded some of it to boost my holdings in BTC, BCH, and ETH, but I'm still going to HODL a good chunk of it. Easily the best investment I ever made in my entire life to this point. [comment]

2021-05-05-0014Z

As my Instagram friends may have noticed, my camera finally started focusing again, all on its own, after several weeks of being stuck with about a 3 inch focal point.

Opened up my jar of olives I brined last fall. It had a thick layer of moldy scum on top, and has black spores on and near the lid, but the contents looked and smelled fine. Ate half an olive and it tasted good. I'll try more later, if I survive! [comment]

2021-05-04-2119Z

Clipper says I can buy a senior discount Clipper card at their retail locations, so I went to the Whole Foods on east Washington. The guy at the customer service desk says they don't sell them there because those require paperwork, and directed me to the transit office on MacDowell. So I went crosstown. Asked there, and they haven't done customer service from that location since Covid hit a year ago.

That's getting to be a pretty lame excuse. A whole year, and you still can't get your act together? While retailers have remained in business all this time. Funny how the San Diego MTS sells their senior Compass cards through their retailer network. All I had to show at the Albertson's on Third and J in Chula Vista was my driver's license. [comment]

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