Notes from the Library

Dec 2011

Sat, 31 Dec 2011

The stubborn include the opinionated, the ignorant, and the boorish. The opinionated are as they are because of pleasure and pain. For they find enjoyment in winning [the argument] if they are not persuaded to change their views, and they feel pain if their opinions are voided, like decrees [in the Assembly]. Hence they are more like incontinent than like continent people. —Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, bk. VII

Meant to post this a few days ago.

Sir Michael Dummett obituary | The Guardian

Obituary has made me want to put more effort in to understand his intuitionistic philosophy of maths.

According to a friend Dummett founded my degree course, Maths & Philosophy.

Recently got told off for using password-less SSH keys, with the excuse that they’re all stored on an encrypted hard drive—this isn’t even true anymore, though, since my desktop HDD isn’t encrypted like it used to be.

I’ve also learned that gpg-agent can also do SSH keys. Since I run gpg-agent all the time anyway for signing e-mail messages, it’s easy to have it doing SSH keys too. Using SSH agent forwarding, only my local machine has to see any keys. Anything from Emacs to a terminal SSHing out from my local machine will pop up an X11 password entry dialog (if the key isn’t cached already), and if I ssh from a remote machine to somewhere else, the same X11 dialog will pop up as the agent gets tunneled back automatically.

With the key only stored on two local machines, there’s no need for loads of SSH keys to selectively disable in the case of compromise: one for my two trusted machines, another for use with PuTTY on friends’ machines, and another for my git server on untrusted machines.

continue reading this entry

Fri, 30 Dec 2011

Pyblosxom 1.5 is finally out (and in fact 1.5.1), so I’ve upgraded this blog. The main thing I’ve been waiting for is a working pagination plugin, so this site should be much easier to move around now: there are next and previous links to find older entries without digging into the archive (and some entries completely inaccessible without the permalink are now linked).

I’ve also added a search boxes across the site, which make use of the excellent DuckDuckGo, and changed the way my /writing entries are managed. They are no longer linked to from the top of every page—I think this was a bit pretentious—and I’m also truncating what gets displayed on index pages with a “read more” link. This is to avoid massive walls of text on the front page, making it harder to navigate. Unfortunately I suspect this means that my RSS feeds won’t contain the full text of articles anymore, which is annoying, so sorry about that to the three people subscribed via RSS.

Tue, 27 Dec 2011

I actually put effort into a bop costume for once but I’m not sure quite how Ghost of Christmas Past turned into Generic Angel.

angel2thumb.jpg

angel3thumb.jpg

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