Getting there…

With the Case of the Disappearing Comments shunted off until the weekend, I’m now focusing on other incompatibilities with wordpress. These fall into two broad categories:

1. While WordPress recognizes both categories and tags, the default wordpress plugins view these terms as synonymous, so that it will apply either the tag or the category based permalink system to both, leading to about 50% dead links.

2. I’d like a way to make work, so that people who set up their blog reader on the blogspirit site won’t have to adjust anything to get new posts.

Any thoughts?

Gene Expression: More pathogens means more collectivism?

Gene Expression: More pathogens means more collectivism?

Razib’s post is an important read for anyone thinking what what SysAdmin/post-disaster nationbuilding activities  will be like in 20 years or so.  It seems that pathogenic load (how many diseases are about) does a good job of predicting political collectivism.  This could be from environmental, epigenetic, or genetic factors — probably all three.

Imagine an armed force entering a region or province, sampling the water, taking some blood (with needles, not bullets), and being able to predict how to distribute walking-around money.

Really exciting stuff.

WordPress Annoyances

So far the transition from Blogspirit to WordPress has been a bit better than I feared, though I think the difficulties I’ve experienced validated my hesitation.  WordPress is definitely software “by geeks for geeks,” meaning it comes broken in numerous ways and requires manual programming on the user’s part in order to get it working write.  So far, this blog is still “broken” because of errors on WordPress’s part.

0. Importing has to be done through the web front-end.  There is no FTP or CLI method to batch-upload to the blog.  This is incredibly wasteful, as tdaxp is a large site that requires a long time to enter a file, click, submit, wait, submit, repeat, over and over.
1. It comes broken, and WordPress knows it.  WordPress imports tags as numbers.  The only solution is to delete what you’ve imported, manually change the code in a file, and import again
2. It comes broken, and WordPress doesn’t know it.  WordPress is importing only about half of the comments that exist in wordpress data file.  It doesn’t generate an error or leave any trace of the eaten comments — just, they’re gone.

Leaving Blogspirit

It has now been about 48 hours since blogspirit stopped along comments that require user authentication through, and about six days since I last heard from customer support on any of my six outstanding tickets.

This is unacceptable.

I am currently in the process of migrating off of blogspirit. Blogspirit makes this as difficult as possible, but I believe I have managed to back up the current site, and I am currently writing the scripts that will be necessary to import all the posts, comments, and everything else from this site to a new home for

I ask for your patience in this transition.

Satellite Takedown

Some friends and I were eating at Pizza Ranch this evening, discussing the US military’s shoot-down of the failing spy satellite. With respect to the armed services, we came up with a better method:

    1. Build a giant trebuchet. Giant. So large that low-altitude satellites will need to be diverted to avoid hitting it.


    1. Launch a large boulder from the trebuchet to the Sun. Not directly at the Sun, but close enough so that Star Trek IV-style “slingshot effect time travel method” occurs, sending the boulder back to when the satellite was launched.


    1. Because the trebuchet was built so carefully and aimed so precisely, the boulder hits the rocket that is carrying the satellite during take-off, destroying it on the launch pad.


  1. The engineers in the past, aware that such a direct hit by a boulder from the Sun could only occur because of a time travel into the past in order to prevent a mistake, realize that something is wrong with the satellite. They then rebuild it, but better, avoiding whatever went wrong, as well as eliminating the need for the trebuchet, and, more importantly, the need to waste all the fuel diverting the functioning satellite’s out of the trebuchet’s path.

The last point is important, because the trebuchet is a carbon offset, eliminating the need for environmentally-unfriendly rockets.