Posts Tagged ‘extropy’
by adminadam in articles
As you may know, the last time I wrote about Extropian Linux Operating System Distros I examined my top two choices of Debian and openSUSE. Why were they my top picks? Well, to start they both have strong communities of developers. Additionally, they are stable distros with long support cycles — not as long as CentOS, mind you, but I digress — these long support cycles mean that each version of the operating system will last and be well supported for a long time, probably two to four years.
Both Debian and openSUSE are independent projects as well, which I quite enjoy. None of that opt-out spying and 3rd-party profit-motivated collusion that you get with Ubuntu.
My top two choices are also both predicated on user-friendliness. None of that Arch & Gentoo command-line installation stuff. Sweet and simple installs for me.
Recently, I’ve determined that I would like to create a blog and host it on a home server (and build the blog app with Mojolicious and so on…). For this purpose and to familiarize myself with what I believe will be the best, most extropian pick in the long run, I’ve gone with the stalwart: Debian.
Debian has over 3000 developers worldwide and forms the basis for many other big name projects, such as Ubuntu and Linux Mint. (It must be doing something right!)
In order to streamline the process of testing for myself (and ideally that of installation on friends’ and family members’ computers) I went with the default Desktop Environment choice of GNOME 3. I was disappointed, however, to find that it didn’t work anything like what I was used to with GNOME 2 (which I last used with Fedora 14) or CINNAMON (which I last used with Linux Mint 14).
I guess this is what a lot of users were complaining about: A major break in design and user experience for no apparent reason at all.
Secondly, and perhaps the main reason why I am abandoning GNOME 3 (and most likely KDE as well) in favor of the XFCE desktop is that I felt GNOME 3 to be a resource hog. DISCLAIMER: I am running Debian 7 virtualized in VirtualBox. UNDISCLAIMER: This may actually be an excellent test bed for — or simulation of — the use of Debian on friends’ and family members’ old PC’s and Macs. The lighter on the system, the better. Otherwise we are giving Entropy a leg up as we lean towards ditching our old hardware; it’s still got plenty of potential as long as the tools we use are not too heavy.
What’s nice about XFCE is that it is super-lightweight. It uses minimal system resources, RAM, hard-drive space, etc.
It looks good. Not super polished like openSUSE or anything, but it has a clean and functional look. Read the rest of this entry »
by adminadam in home
You only have one day to live. How do you spend your time?
What legacy or example do you leave behind in the form of pure enjoyment, your presence, and your oneness with others and the world around you? How do you say goodbye? For me being with the people I love would be my main priority.
If you only had one month what more could you do? What lasting impressions would you leave? What would you bestow upon people around you? I might try to mail some hand-written letters to folks I care about, for instance. Some apologies and some affirmations.
With a year perhaps you could finish some larger projects, or go on longer expeditions. I think I would do some good reading, write a will, and leave treasures spread about the Northwest, hidden in waiting for the adventuresome (see: geocachers) to find. I would also find uses for all my possessions and try not to leave too much of a mess behind when I depart.
What ambition drives you? What lasting change(s) could you insinuate into the world? How different a person might you be at the end of this time? And would your ambition carry through, through your own transitions and transformations? I assume that this is probably too long a timeframe on which to position or plant yourself firmly — even if you could somehow know that you were going to die after exactly ten years. Encroaching glaciers move not men like tigers do.
I feel that, just as in everyday life, the way you live and the way you make other people feel is the thing that will be best remembered. I don’t believe we are all destined to write amazing books or carve out timeless masterpieces, but with that said, one may become a Genius at something after ten years with a weekly investment of 20 hours (see: Outliers, by Malcolm Gladwell), correct? Perhaps I could become a Virtuoso on the Trumpet given that amount of time…
If you were to master something, what would it be?
What could be passed down? What could remain intact for 100 years? I recently cleaned out my new Spanish classroom and found a Latin American Literature textbook from 1921. That will certainly last the remaining 7. In fact, I think I’ll keep it forever. Such things are like gold to me — the foundations of future history.
For you, is there anything in your possession that you would want preserved (or alternatively, anything you’d want used until it is used up)?
I once tossed a mini-time capsule into the woods when I was 13. It contained some trinkets and coins, wrapped and packaged in multiple boxes of various materials, wood and stone, taped up with duct-tape, and sealed in a jar. Someday perhaps it will surface to someone’s surprise and amusement. “What for save these pennies and nickels? Silly ancestors…” Or perhaps: “Wow, thanks for the treasure!”.
The other matter to consider here is: Might I actually still be alive in 100 years? I know that insurance companies commonly assume that death rates will “decline 1 percent a year” (see: Predicting How Long You’ll Live). Also, seeing as a hand-full of folks have already lived past 120, is it so unlikely that some from my generation might see 130, or perhaps 140? And although this is perhaps a disturbing thing to consider, as we’ve only ever known people of such advanced years to be incapacitated in various ways (and/or decrepit), what if our medicine allowed us to live productively for significantly greater portions of this time? This would most certainly alter the legacy-making potential of individuals such as yourself. (See my post on Actuarial Escape Velocity, a.k.a. “The Methuselarity”, for more on this.)
For now, assuming most people would be dead, is there anything you would want the world 100 years hence to have? Or any message you would want them to hear? Maybe I would want to plant a forest…
One Millennium (and Beyond):
Not many human structures would survive this expanse of time. Many things would be subsumed, corroded, or broken-up. What could we save? What could we pass down that would have a fighting chance of surviving? Are there any movements that we could take part in that would carry on? Any cultural fires we could try and keep fueled? Bronze sculptures apparently could last up to 10 million years.
What about our messages to other civilizations? Our transmissions will expand out into the cosmos forever. Are there any positive messages to send? Have we in fact, sent out anything of value, either in terms of insights into ourselves or invitations to connect and understand each other?
The answer is a resounding Yes. The first was the Arecibo Message sent in 1974. It contained the following information and was designed by Carl Sagan, Frank Drake (of the famous “Drake Equation”), and others:
- The numbers one (1) to ten (10)
- The atomic numbers of the elements hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, and phosphorus, which make up deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA)
- The formulas for the sugars and bases in the nucleotides of DNA
- The number of nucleotides in DNA, and a graphic of the double helix structure of DNA
- A graphic figure of a human, the dimension (physical height) of an average man, and the human population of Earth
- A graphic of the Solar System
- A graphic of the Arecibo radio telescope and the dimension (the physical diameter) of the transmitting antenna dish
For a complete history of the messages we have sent into space, including (surprise!) a Doritos advertisement sent towards a nearby (read: 42 light years away) solar system in Ursa Major, see New Scientist’s “Earth calling: A short history of radio messages to ET“.
Some of the more affirming and beautiful things include the following messages sent towards Gliese 581d, one of the wettest (read: H20) and lightest exoplanets so far discovered as part of Cosmos’ Hello from Earth campaign:
Smile :) Humans are naive and fragile. We are not evolved to understand everything. We are children in a vast and mysterious universe.
– Tommy, Adelaide, Australia
We come in peace. If you are out there, please respond. We want to be friends. We are all different and we can’t wait to meet you! From the children of Earth.
– Class4M, Castle Cove Public School, Australia
All our petty disputes, disagreements and wars fade into insignificance when we consider our tiny world’s place in the cosmos.
– Silvio Zarb, Melbourne, Australia
What do you see when you look up into the sky? Do you feel small and lonely, just like us? From now on, I can assure you one thing: you are not alone. Be happy.
– Sergio Camalich, Hermosillo, Mexico
The woods are lovely, dark, and deep, but I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep. And miles to go before I sleep.
– John Xavier, Chicago, United States
If you know the meaning of life, please send it to us. If not, let’s celebrate together anyway! Thanks in advance, from a curious carbon-based life form!
– Monica Echagen, Barcelona, Spain
Apparently Australia is the top country sending these out. (Good for you guys!)
At the very least — even if we cannot hope to build pyramids, bronze statues, or more monuments like Mt. Rushmore — we can live well and send out our positive thoughts to the universe. Perhaps someday we’ll get a response..!
As for you, what good signals and vibrations would you have transmitted? What great gifts would you give to the future?
by adminadam in home
Raincup.ch Technology Stack
Future Perl Programming & Perl-Based Blog
I want to create a blog and media server using (as much as possible): the Perl programming language and perl-based tools, along with an open-source database and server, and HTML and CSS for the visual layout of the website.
Here is a breakdown of the tools and frameworks I plan to use thus far.
WHAT & WHERE
MVC — MODEL VIEW CONTROLLER
Nginx, Plack/PSGI, or Apache
PostgreSQL, MySQL, or MariaDB
HTML TEMPLATING LANGUAGE
Template Toolkit, Mason, HTML::Template, or possibly the Mojolicious Template System
UPDATE: To make things easier on myself, I have decided to go with Mojolicious, use their in-built Morbo server, and leave other things like special databases, SSL, nginx servers, etc. out for the moment. When I have a simple blog that I can present to the world I will be happy, for one, and two, then I can start to build greater functionality into it. Expect the Raincup.ch blog in the next few months — perhaps by February, 2014. I have a lot of (other) work to do! : )
Last I wrote about Linux I summarized my findings from my research into the distributions of Linux with the longest-term stability and best customizability. I also looked at the variety of architectures (i.e. older hardware, older mac’s, etc.) on which these distributions could run.
I started with 12 distros and then narrowed them down to my top 7, mostly eliminating newer, more unstable, or less user-friendly distributions, such as Arch Linux, which, while popular, does not have a graphic installer, meaning you must know how to decipher the code and what to type into the console in order to get it installed in the first place.
The top 7 I ended up with were what I called the Most Extropian Linux Distributions available. They are resilient to internal (political) and external (economic and security) threats or disturbances. They are open and have strong communities of support. They are likely to last a long time and make it easy for new users to transition into Linux. They also play nicely with others and do all their homework daily. They are, in reverse order:
7. Slackware Linux (because it is old and still popular)
6. Puppy Linux (because it is small and can be run effectively from a USB stick)
5. Linux Mint (because it is popular, beautiful, and easy)
4. CentOS (because it is rock-solid and supported for up to 10 years)
3. Debian (because of its huge community, myriad customization options and supported architectures)
2. Fedora (because it is popular, beautiful, versatile, and fairly easy)
1. openSUSE (because it is easy, beautiful, popular, well-supported, and KDE-tastic*!)
Where I am at now in regards to this list is not much different from when I first summarized all the above-mentioned research I did. At this point I am making determinations of which desktop to invest my time in mastering — both for myself and for the purpose of being able to recommend an easy-to-use and nice-looking distro/desktop to my family and friends. You see, I have many family members with ailing PC’s. I have a friend with a PowerPC Mac that hardly runs a thing, and a grandfather with an old XP dinosaur. Both of their machines could be reinvented by utilizing any one of the above distributions (although I have serious doubts about my ever helping non-techie acquaintances to install Slackware or Puppy Linux). I will most likely push CentOS, Debian, Fedora, or openSUSE. While Linux Mint is great, as I’ve discussed, I worry about their small development team and their dependence on Ubuntu (and its mother-corp Canonical).
I have four distros in mind. Of these I have tried only Fedora (either as a hard-install or virtualized), and it’s been a while since I last touched them. I have my sources for reviews, however, namely Linux Outlaws, Everyday Linux, and Going Linux (the audio podcasts). I listen to these podcasts everyday driving to and from work in my commute and also read a wide assortment of Linux-related news from Hacker News, Slashdot, and Reddit.
With my current knowledge I lean towards Debian and openSUSE the most as my likely Top Two recommendations for friends and family. I love how Fedora 18 and 19 look. I also love CentOS’s 10-year support cycle — it is simply amazing. What I cannot get behind completely with Fedora is its rapid release cycle of only 18 months. The support term is concomitantly too short, around 12-13 months. CentOS is solid but looks a bit clunky and is a bit behind the times with many of its preinstalled packages, however, so I still hesitate about it too, sadly.
Debian and openSUSE, on the other hand, have 2-to-3-year support cycles. They both also support PowerPC processors (old mac’s), and of course old PC’s! They both offer multiple desktop options: GNOME, KDE, and XFCE at least. Also, both have very large development communities or dev teams. Debian’s default desktop is GNOME (although you can download a pre-wrapped version with either KDE or XFCE as well as LXDE). I will most likely use KDE or GNOME as they are the best known, most popular, and best supported desktop environments. openSUSE, inversely, comes by default with KDE but can be downloaded locked-and-loaded with GNOME or XFCE too.
by adminadam in articles
Allow me to revel for a second in the beauty of millions of volunteers working together from around the world to build free and open-source (and awesome) alternatives to the profit-driven, privacy-abusive, user-patronizing, security-lax, and design-arbitrary Corporate Operating Systems of the Modern World, namely: Windows and Mac OSX.
Here goes: Linux, along with Wikipedia, Wikileaks, the Bitcoin Crowd, Anonymous, Firefox, Diaspora*, and the Occupy Movement may just represent the pinnacle of human cultural development as it stands in the 21st century. That is, at its core, it (Linux) has Freedom, Respect for the dignity of individual humans and human communities, Love and the love of Art and Aesthetics, and Truth as both its mode of operation and its end goal (product, in this case). Both path and destination are glorious. What does Microsoft want from you? Servitude. Apple? Your Soul. And if we look at the other fields I’ve jacked into the equation here, what does Chrome want from you — being another semi-open-source browser with great design and functionality? Your Data, of course. All your data are belong to us. Linux is divergent; counter-culture. Eventually, hopefully, it will be the new norm for you and me.
With these idealistic ends in mind I’ve decided to go all out and bring my best Thrivenotes-y analysis of the top 10 Linux Distributions to you, dear reader, in the hopes that it will help you consider your options, firstly, and secondly, know where to start for when you decide that you’ve had enough of Big Brother Data Corp and Their Friends.
First off, let’s give us a definition here, shall we?
What is Linux? Surely our friend Wikipedia can answer that!
This from the Simple English Version:
Linux or GNU/Linux is a free and open source software operating system for computers. The operating system is a collection of the basic instructions that tell the electronic parts of the computer what to do and how to work. Free and open source software (FOSS) means that everyone has the freedom to use it, see how it works, and change it.
What does it do?
It basically allows you to do all the things you would normally do with a computer. Go online, check your email, organize your photos, write letters and documents, create art, play videogames, listen to music, etc., etc..
What doesn’t it do?
Linux is all about free software. With that said, some types of Linux are (by design) not very good at using proprietary software, such as Microsoft Office or Adobe Photoshop. With that said, there are some pretty kick-ass (as in free, as in beer) alternatives, namely: OpenOffice or LibreOffice, and GIMP or Inkscape.
What are the most popular flavors — or types — of Linux?
Ubuntu is the name most people who’ve heard of Linux will recognize. It is amongst the best known. It is, however, the LAST flavor of Linux that I would recommend. Canonical, the company that creates it, seems to have, by default, set it up so that it will share with the company (and any other 3rd parties it deems business-worthy) what you are doing on your computer, what you are searching for (on your own computer), and possibly more. Frankly, Ubuntu makes open-source look bad. Open-source, and Linux as a whole, is all about respecting user privacy and user needs. Canonical (and Ubuntu by extension) have changed the way they do business in a fundamental way by making this data-sharing an opt-out feature. For that, I strike them from my list.
Let’s get on with it. What else is out there?
So so much!
What if we just did a simple little search for the top ten distributions?
Sounds good to me. According to distrowatch.com, during the last year, the top-viewed (read-about) Linux distributions/flavors have been:
- Linux Mint
- Arch Linux
- Puppy Linux
Honorable mentions, which have also been in the top 10 in the past 2 years at some point are:
- Manjaro Linux
What should we look at now?
What about Google Search Results for each of these?
OK! Here are our Google Search Results (# of Results) for each of the 12 Linux Distros:
1. Ubuntu – 189.0 million results – Most Recent Version: 13 “Raring Ringtail” – TPB Seeders: ~95
2. Debian – 81.2 million results – Most Recent Version: 7 “Wheezy” – TPB Seeders: ~25
3. Fedora – 55.8 million results – Most Recent Version: 18 – TPB Seeders: ~40
4. CentOS – 38.5 million results – Most Recent Version: 6 – TPB Seeders: ~70
5. Linux Mint – 23.2 million results – Most Recent Version: 14 – TPB Seeders: ~55
6. OpenSUSE – 14.2 million results – Most Recent Version: 12.3 – TPB Seeders: ~30
7. Arch Linux – 11 million results – Most Recent Version: a13-2 – TPB Seeders ~3
8. Slackware Linux – 8.2 million results – Most Recent Version: 14 – TPB Seeders ~15
9. Puppy Linux – 3.8 million results – Most Recent Version: 5 – TPB Seeders ~10
10. Mageia – 1.9 million results – Most Recent Version: 3 beta 4 – TPB Seeders ~40
11. PCLinuxOS – 1.5 million results – Most Recent Version: 2013 – TPB Seeders ~9
12. Manjaro Linux – 383,000 results – Most Recent Version: 0.8.2 – TPB Seeders ~1
Ok, so what do Google Results tell us?
They are an indicator of the popularity of something, but more importantly, this tells me that Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora, and the others on top are more likely to have a lot of users and a lot of forums and Q&A and info-sharing communities on the web. This is important to me as I want the most community-supported, most stable, and most accessible Linux distribution possible. Longevity, commonality, and stability are all good extropian (negentropic) criteria to consider. What is the Linux Distribution least likely to disappoint at some point in the future? I believe that this is answerable (roughly) though these surveys I’ve completed: Distrowatch, Google, and #’s of TPB Seeders.
What do the TPB Seeder numbers mean?
Once you decide to get a Linux Distribution to try it out (I recommend VirtualBox for testing them out without replacing your current operating system). Anyways, once you decide you want a specific distribution, one of the fastest ways to get it (download it) is through the bit-torrent protocol. Peer-to-peer downloading, that is. The Pirate Bay is one such place where you could get a torrent file of a distro you want. Also, the more that people are seeding that distro, the stronger a sign it is to me that it is a good one. People don’t (tend to) seed crap (very often), so to speak.
Now to aggregate a bit…
We don’t want Ubuntu. Doesn’t respect privacy.
Long-standing champions in the Linux arena are: Debian, Slackware, Fedora, Linux Mint, CentOS, openSUSE, Arch Linux, and Puppy Linux, as far as I can gather. PCLinuxOS is new to me. We can look into it a bit, but right now let’s focus on eliminating some of those that remain, either because they are too new or because few people are or have been talking about them.
Mageia and Manjaro, you’re out too. No offense.
What are we left with?
4. Linux Mint
6. Arch Linux
8. Puppy Linux
That’s based on Google. What about distrowatch page views again?
1. Linux Mint
5. Arch Linux
8. Puppy Linux
Now let’s remove Arch Linux, because although I’m sure it’s great, it is known for difficult installation.
Also, PCLinuxOS, I’m taking you out of the picture for now, not that I won’t come back to you (someday), but we all have limited time here and you only have 1.5 million Google results. You’re getting there, I’d say… ; )
Now we have 7 to look at more closely. These are all seemingly solid, easy-to-access, community-supported, and stable options. Note: I have re-inserted the TPB Seeder “Scores” here…
Linux Mint – TPB: 55
Fedora – TPB: 40
Debian – TPB: 25
openSUSE – TPB: 30
CentOS – TPB: 70
Puppy Linux – TPB: 10
Slackware - TPB: 15
All have decent numbers of seeders in my view, especially considering that Pirate Bay torrents is not the primary path most linux users would tread to obtain their system images or live CD’s. Most people go to debian.org, for example, or fedoraproject.org, to download directly the distribution they want. It’s just an added bonus in my mind the notion that enough people want it to be rapidly downloadable through torrents (which is amongst the fastest methods of file transfer overall) that they themselves upload and then seed those torrents for you and me. It’s pretty cool. So consider them bonus points — Bonus TPB points, let’s say.
Now let’s organize them by bonus TPB points.
1. CentOS – 70
2. Linux Mint – 55
3. Fedora – 40
4. openSUSE – 30
5. Debian – 25
6. Slackware – 15
7. Puppy Linux – 10
Now we’ll talk about each one a bit. It is nice to know a little about the roots of each, the developers that develop each, the desktop environments offered, and the support life cycle, among other things. I will give a break down for each distribution now then, starting with the candidate I am least likely to pick as my main, everyday, desktop Linux distribution — and ending with my top choices based on my research and experience so far.
by adminadam in videos
New levels of intelligence to stay the tide of human negligence and stupidity.
We live in a complex and complicated world. Such safeguards against chaos and entropy are key to maintaining our forward momentum, of course, but the Taoist in me asks: For what such momentum? For what such speed? For what such complexity?
Obviously it is good to prevent needless tragedy and destruction, but are we really building to the stars — or have we stagnated as a species?
Post your thoughts in the comments.
by adminadam in articles
This from PhysOrg:
Reliable information on the depth and floor structure of the Southern Ocean has so far been available for only few coastal regions of the Antarctic. An international team of scientists under the leadership of the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research, has for the first time succeeded in creating a digital map of the entire Antarctic seafloor. The International Bathymetric Chart of the Southern Ocean (IBCSO) for the first time shows the detailed topography of the seafloor for the entire area south of 60°S. An article presented to the scientific world by IBCSO has now appeared online in the scientific journal Geophysical Research Letters.
The IBCSO data grid and the corresponding Antarctic chart will soon be freely available in the internet and are intended to help scientists amongst others to better understand and predict sea currents, geological processes or the behaviour of marine life.
The new bathymetric chart of the Southern Ocean is an excellent example of what scientists can achieve if researchers from around the world work across borders. “For our IBCSO data grid, scientists from 15 countries and over 30 research institutions brought together their bathymetric data from nautical expeditions. We were ultimately able to work with a data set comprising some 4.2 billion individual values”, explains IBCSO editor Jan Erik Arndt, bathymetric expert at the Alfred Wegener Institute in Bremerhaven.
by adminadam in videos
The gentleman in this here TED Talk leads with the astonishing and shocking statistic of the global dearth of adequate shelter: Over 1 Billion of us live in ramshackle, unsafe, and inadequate housing. Shelter is a fundamental need and construction is currently a costly, dirty, inefficient, and corruption-prone enterprise. Enter the new age of 3D-printed housing. Cheap, sturdy, adaptable, and fast!
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