On the Freedom of Information and Expression

“In the absence of the governmental checks and balances present in other areas of our national life, the only effective restraint upon executive policy and power in the areas of national defense and international affairs may lie in an enlightened citizenry — in an informed and critical public opinion which alone can here protect the values of democratic government. For this reason, it is perhaps here that a press that is alert, aware, and free most vitally serves the basic purpose of the First Amendment. For, without an informed and free press, there cannot be an enlightened people.”

– Justice Potter Stewart, New York Times Co. v. United States, June 30, 1971

Convert OPML to PDF with a Bash Script

Many popular programs use a strange file format for data exports called OPML, or “Outline Processor Markup Language” (such as the popular note-taking app, WorkFlowy). This XML-based format is often used to relay outlines and mind maps as a hierarchical, ordered list of arbitrary elements. One of the benefits of using this format is its wide-spread use in other applications as a means of “importing” data. But what if you want to render OPML on your own without using third party software? It was this simple question that led me to write opml2pdf.sh, a simple but powerful Bash shell script. Continue reading Convert OPML to PDF with a Bash Script

On Proof of Stake Design Philosophy

“Cryptography is truly special in the 21st century because cryptography is one of the very few fields where adversarial conflict continues to heavily favor the defender. Castles are far easier to destroy than build, islands are defendable but can still be attacked, but an average person’s ECC keys are secure enough to resist even state-level actors. Cypherpunk philosophy is fundamentally about leveraging this precious asymmetry to create a world that better preserves the autonomy of the individual…”
Vitalik ButerinInventor of Ethereum

Fix the Ubuntu 18.04 Installation Bug (10 Simple Steps)

Several Ubuntu users have been complaining about a particularly annoying bug that has occasionally manifested in the installation process of the new Ubuntu version 18.04 resulting in a “login loop” and an inaccessible system. Here’s how to fix the bug. Continue reading Fix the Ubuntu 18.04 Installation Bug (10 Simple Steps)

The Execution Time Differences Between sed, grep, tr, and Bash

I’ve been writing a lot of time-sensitive server side code recently and in doing so I’ve come up against the timeless issue of execution times. While there exist many useful and easy-to-understand code frameworks and programs out there, some of the more complex and confusing programs simply run faster than them (most likely due to the lack of “fluff” coding involved in their operation). Continue reading The Execution Time Differences Between sed, grep, tr, and Bash

The Question of Motivation

Why do so few people seem to ever possess motivation?

Motivation and enthusiasm manifest as desire and interest, and as a driving force that pushes you to take action and pursue goals. A lack of motivation is the main reason for failure and it is the core reason behind why 98% of people are “okay” with living a mediocre life. Continue reading The Question of Motivation