int main() {

Journaling tool (22 May 2017)

I found this really neat utility called jrnl that I have been using for daily writing over the past week or so. However, it didn't fit perfectly with my workflow, which is to have separate files for each day of writing, e.g. "2017-05-22.txt" would be today's entry. Alas, I don't know Python, so hacking on jrnl would be a bit of a learning curve for me. Rather than going down that rabbit hole, I replaced the entire thing with a single line of shell script (wrapped here for display) which fits much better with my workflow. I use fish shell, but it should be easily adaptable to posix or whatever you prefer.

alias jrnl '
  pushd "$JOURNAL_DIR";
  and git pull;
  and echo "##### "(date) >> (date "+%Y-%m-%d.txt");
  and vim (date "+%Y-%m-%d.txt");
  and git add *.txt;
  and git commit -m "jrnl "(date "+%Y-%m-%d.txt");
  and git push;
  and popd'

This expects a variable called JOURNAL_DIR to be defined that tells it where to write the journal. If you just want to use the current directory, you could remove the pushd and popd commands. I also keep my daily writing under source control, hence the git commands. Of course, you can also substitute your editor of choice for vim.

I hope that someone else finds this useful, or at the very least, interesting! I've been finding lately that a lot of things that I used to use complex tools to achieve can be done just as simply with a few lines of code adapted to my particular use case.

Update 25 May 2017 - Added git pull/push before and after, made it so that the journal won't clobber itself if you use it twice in the same day.

Interesting Stuff (15 Aug 2016)

I managed to get a working install of Plan 9 on my Raspberry Pi, and it's been a pretty interesting experience thus far. First, I had to buy a three button mouse just to use it, because the Plan 9 mouse drivers apparently didn't work with my usual mouse (the ridiculously named Razer DeathAdder.)

Trying to learn how to even navigate around the Plan 9 interface was another stumbling block. It definitely doesn't hold your hand, although the default windows opened on first boot helpfully include tutorials on how to use various applications. If you can figure out how to scroll up and down in them, that is. Once you figure out the UI paradigms that feel like they've been invented on an alien planet, things start to make a little more sense. Acme, the text editor/shell, reminded me a lot of the worksheets from Macintosh Programmers Workshop. A lot of the documentation is in Postscript format, which is an interesting choice. I've yet to find something that looks and formats as well as a PDF and yet can be edited as plain text and works with Git. Postscript has its share of problems, but PDFs feel like a step backwards in a lot of ways.

It's fun exploring the ways in which Plan 9 stretches usual systems to fit its worldview of "no really, EVERYTHING is a file." It aligns nicely in some ways, and in others it feels forced. I can't really pass any judgements until I've used it more. It doesn't feel like a system that's meant to be used in isolation, though. I get the sense that it wouldn't really shine unless you used it in a homogenous network of Plan 9 systems, say, in a lab somewhere. A bell shaped lab, maybe.

Deep Lab Book (17 Apr 2015)

Deep Lab is a congress of cyberfeminist researchers, organized by STUDIO Fellow Addie Wagenknecht to examine how the themes of privacy, security, surveillance, anonymity, and large scale data aggregation are problematized in the arts, culture, and society.


Members of Deep Lab are engaged in ongoing critical assessments of contemporary digital culture and exploit the hidden potential for creative inquiry lying dormant within the deep web. Deep Lab supports its members' ability to output anonymously via proxy tools; in this way, our research can remain fluid via multi-pseudonymous identity. Deep Lab promotes creative research and development that challenges traditional forms of representation and distribution, evaluating these practices alongside typical traffic analysis identification. This process leverages the research of Deep Lab to contend with outdated modes of understanding culture within traditional social structures.


The Deep Lab Book is CC-BY-NC-SA 4.0 and can be downloaded from this link.