jenius, if I provide a VPS, would you be willing to set something up that fetches his spools, turns them into PDFs, and then uploads to that Scribd collection automatically? Or even lets you manually upload them? That would be fantastic.
WestCoastJustin, if I provide a VPS, would you be willing to set something up that fetches his spools, turns them into PDFs, and then uploads to that Scribd collection automatically? Or even lets you manually upload them? That would be fantastic.
apparently `lp -o raw -d "<yourprintername>" <FILE>` should print the pcl to your printer. I couldn't get it to work though. Maybe you're printer has to speak pcl. I tried cups-pdf (virtual printer) with no success.
If anyone wants to hook their actual printer up to _why's queue (which I'm pretty sure is what he intended), iandennismiller transcribed the OCaml program in SPOOL/HOMEWORK which polls whytheluckystiff.net and sends the PCL files to your printer: https://github.com/cwales/cwales.github.com/pull/4
It's quite magical. I was woken up this morning by my printer, when the first pages were being published. Now every 5, 10, or 15 minutes my printer starts clanking away (it's an old one) and a brand new page slowly emerges. Great way to read a novel, if that's what it is.
I realized recently that my tries to stay or become more anonymous on the web didn't really have the ideological reasons I thought it had. I thought it was all about internet privacy rights and avoiding the inevitable creep of privacy loss; once your data is out it is unerasable.
I found out that my interest in internet privacy varied wildly with how depressed I was during that period. That when I'm clear I don't really care about it.
But when I'm depressed I wish that my every contribution on the web of forums, github, etc was disconnected and anonymized. Commenting without committing your identity to it, seeking praise (github stars) without a face..
In truth, most of my motivation to disconnect my online identities is just an echo of my unwillingness to be one, whole, person; unwillingness to be me.
That rings very true. But it needs to be taken further:
I would say that regardless of mood, it's still a worthwhile pursuit. Because to sometimes be unwilling to be one, whole, person is essential to finding who you are, eventually.
Once you have found who you are, you are less likely to see changing who you are as a top priority - granted that you like who you are. But it most likely took a lot of time to be who you are and during that time, it would have screwed you forever to be forced to stay who you were. Which is, I guess, why young people care about privacy. And who is to say that you will always like who you are? Which is probably why old people care about privacy.
Becoming a person in the first place has a lot to do with trying out traits or persons. I don't think Depression is necessarily a cause (although it may be) for pursuing privacy about that search, maybe it's just a symptom - that not being whole is depressing and thus searching for yourself deserves privacy. To protect your unfinished person to be finished by the outside world.
But it's also about the pressure we put on ourselves. Merlin Mann said somewhere that Procrastination is forgetting who you are for a certain period of time. I initially thought that that was an entirely negative statement. It just now occurred to me that it can be a positive statement as well. And that being depressed about not "getting things done" is entirely useless, because you're basically punishing yourself for trying harder to find out who you are (instead of finishing stuff that who you were cared about). Which stunts your development and leaves you more likely to procrastinate, kicking you back into a cycle of self loathing.
I just read everything (so far). Given the person behind it, I'm finding it difficult to separate the man from the character; however, I did note that he chose to use his real name at least once and the perspective seems far more personal than it seems in-line with the _why character.
I sincerely hope I'm wrong but this whole thing reads like a suicide letter. I'm wondering if anyone else has had that thought while reading it? Perhaps it's about the death of the _why character; however, given the seemingly personal nature of so much of the writing I can't shake the thought that there may be a very real person in real trouble behind these writings and there's a whole community completely missing that piece of the puzzle.
This seems like a bit of attention whoring. If the guy wants to come back to the scene, which he very obviously does, then just do it. These occasionally cryptic updates should be reserved for the new releases of half life and portal. Not for a Ruby programmer who had a nervous breakdown and has now decided to return to public life. It is annoyingly cocky to be posting what he does and to assume the community will go through the time to behold his crypted messages and even more saddening that everyone is going for it hook line and sinker.
HN is not for this kind of stuff and it should be flagged. Tech news; not personal drama.
Also worth nothing- Jonathan Gillette never vanished into thin air. _why was just his made up character. Like kermit the frog.
"A hacker is someone who loves to program or who enjoys playful cleverness, or a combination of the two. The act of engaging in activities (such as programming or other media) in a spirit of playfulness and exploration is termed hacking."
What _why is doing definitely fits that definition.
If anyone's guilty of seeking attention, it's me (who posted this link) and all the people upvoting this. I posted the link. All _why has done is make changes to his website, and I and many others have been following the puzzles he's created.
There's nothing I've done that could command such attention. I suspect the same might be true for you.
What parts lead you to believe these are words of someone is who about to off themselves? I ask because nothing about the text strikes me as someone who's depressed. It's all a bit absurd, maybe, but I didn't feel sadness.
"she did a feature on individuals who had left society and, in the process, had eliminated every trace of themselves."
"Maybe it's me. I'm a relic which is already out of his time in the present age. Maybe I am what is holding things back, maybe I am already not of any relevance. Good things to consider."
"That's a lot, but I think he could have doone it, even alone, even with tuberculosis. Imagine Kafka's fiendish little face rubbing his hands over that fire! Seems fun. Or he could have hidden it inside an old 32-bit PowerPC. No one's going to look there. Just goes to show that you can't trust people who aren't you. Of course he didn't want them burned. That was just Kafka, writing his own death. The ending has his signature on it. Reality's kind of a medium, maybe greater than paper."
Clearly a lot of us care about it, so it should be here. If you don't like it, don't read it.
People care enough about half life and portal that their cryptic games are part of the fun. The same goes for _why. It isn't cocky, perhaps there are many people doing it right now, and none of us know because no one is paying attention to them.
But we value _why. You may not, that's your judgement to make.
HN is not for this kind of stuff and it should be flagged. Tech news; not personal drama.
The guidelines on HN are frequently ignored but in this case I think it might "gratifies one's intellectual curiosity" even in just the way it's been released and encoded.
In contrast, the Boston news was huge on here the other day yet ran against the "if they'd cover it on TV news, it's probably off-topic" suggestion and the "stories about crime" guideline, but much of HN's flavor, like it or not, lies in what actually makes it to the front page rather than what is strictly valid HN content.
Or, perhaps he simply finds it amusing to post his ever-odd thoughts and watch the reaction. Does that have to be cocky?
Or, perhaps I give him a pass for whatever he does, because I enjoy his personality. In any case, it doesn't seem to me that such vitriol is necessary toward another human being, and fellow hacker. If you find him so annoying, why are you paying so much attention?
I don't take that comment as being made out of anger, or as an attempt to be judgmental, or anything of that sort.
Whether it's deserved or not, the drama and idolization the Ruby community tends to exhibit can get kind of annoying to others.
I don't think that anyone would really object to discussion of _who, or Zed, or DHH, or whatever the current drama-of-the-day is, as long as it's done within a Ruby-specific mailing list, IRC channel, conference or other locale.
However, once this starts spilling over into more general discussion forums, it can be seen as disruptive and out-of-place by some.
"What progress, you ask, have I made? …
I have begun to be a friend to myself."
A github user thdvl (likely _why) communicating with another github user cwales (also likely _why) saying he's begun to be a friend to himself. Is _why coming to be at peace with himself? So many ways to interpret this art :)
I am a fellow, a professor of sorts, who is doing work under an anonymous guise and I have just finished reading your book "Kill Yourself! The Terrible Things People Say and Do When They Aren't Themselves." Now, before you start to usher a reply, I am not writing to disagree with you.
My complaint is that my real name is very plain and I prefer to have a fictional one. You don't seem to suffer this problem, since your real name is quite fictional-sounding on its own.
I do realize that having a fictional name makes me a bad person, but how bad of a person does it make me? Please rate on the scale of John Q. Public to Mister X.
Also, is it too late to be real?
His reply came in a few days:
Yes, it's true! I know your real name! I asked a few of my experts to trace back the little e-mail you sent and it lined up with the coordinates of one Pirate O's General Store in Draper, Utah. It seems that you composed the e-mail while you were plugged into their connection, enjoying a Sangria Senorial it seems. A quick call to store owner Chase McGuinn sorted all of this out. Now
Many, many years ago, so long ago that it's a real stretch to find anyone else who can remember this, on the old Oprah show, she did a feature on individuals who had left society and, in the process, had eliminated every trace of themselves. She had like three or four guests up on stage, if I recall correctly, and they had all gone back and diligently destroyed every little bit of information previously known about them. Burning birth certificates and ID cards, canceling bank accounts. Stealing photos out of family member's albums and destroying them. They had hired hackers to break into schools and erase their records. In fact, each of these persons had done such a bang-up job that all that was know about each of them was their social security numbers. (Although Oprah's researchers were unable to say which social belonged to which person; these numbers were only know because of the noticeable gaps that were left in the government's records.) On the program, these people sat in the dark, nameless and unsorted. No one know who the were.
The audience laughed, female laughter. Incidentally, the videotape of this program can be seen at http://youtube.com/watch?v=ShpcjWG_Me0. (I don't know if it is proper to
dump a YouTube address here. It feels like I have maybe just gone ahead and ruined what I am writing by doing that. Has all of this writing lost its timelessness, to have this relic here? But maybe this link will never break, maybe it will stay there for all time. Maybe it's me. I'm a relic which is already out of his time in the present age. Maybe I am what is holding things back, maybe I am already not of any relevance. Good things to consider.)
Allow me to leave the jerktoasters on Oprah's darkened stage while I drop a name. Any of you happened to read the work of Dr. Emery Pestus? I can't go on with this story until you've read him, he's a big name in -nymity. Knows everything about it. Naturally, he goes on about all the things you know already: that anonymity obscures the truth, that it opens a vent for hatred, basically that it turns people into vile and slanderous beasts. But too often we let disguised persons slide when it comes to little poems or donations.
On that point of Anonymous donations, he writes:
Where one sees Anonymous etched, one witnesses the spoil of all the other names etched on the stone beneath it. In many cases, the gift of each part is the same, but the gift or Anonymous seems somehow the more virtuous. This lie speaks to the cynicism of our time! Where is the real man in all of this? Where has he hidden? We hate the man who is good and who is himself.
It's a little taller, but it still looks like an o to me. If you go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ShpcjWG_Meo it says "This video is unavailable", which means that a video did exist at some point at that URL.
I mean, I don't really get it, that's why I think he's trolling. I don't mean trolling in the sense that you spam "fuck you" on a forum, rather the sense that he is fooling or teasing us(if that's the right word) in a intelligent way.
I don't really know much about _why nor the Ruby community.