Musings

No answers, only opinions

My first Xbox console was a gift on my twelfth birthday. I learned about computer networking by connecting that console to the internet.

Over decades, I've played Halo, Halo 2, Halo 3, Halo 3: ODST, Halo 4 on my Xbox 360. I made friends. Won tournaments. I got addicted to improving my GamerScore— imaginary achievements, bragging rights. I was good at it too.

The secret to success was neglecting relationships and responsibilities— the definition of addiction. Hmmm, addiction doesn't have a good ring to it— how does Gamification sound?


Adulthood grew on me. The realization that I was being groomed since childhood by a billion-dollar corporation sunk in.

I loved games. I still love games. I love the connection and satisfaction that a good game can invigorate in a community.

My dream was to make games. It is still my destiny.

However, I've been forced to take a detour. I'm at a disadvantage.


My earliest “real” programming experience was in college. It was in a free student version of Microsoft's Visual Studio. Quotes added to highlight how marketing driven development works.

Steve Ballmer once gave a speech primarily consisting of the word “Developers”. That has been a consistent strategic rally cry of Microsoft. Without developers, any platform is boring.

If something is boring, people won't come.


The SARS-Cov-2 was declared a Pandemic in March 2020. I began working from home and reflecting on my life and career choices.

I always wanted to make video games, why didn't I do it?

  • I need enough industry experience to compete
  • I need to be self-sufficient and insulated from volatile platforms
  • I want to be direct to consumers
  • I want to own my own toolchain

I've spent the past two years laser-focused systematically eliminating each of these bottlenecks.

By the time I'm done, I will have:

  • An operating ecosystem that can run on any device capable of running Firefox
  • A high-level language for building applications capable of global real-time communication
  • A platform for managing creative projects from ideation to final delivery and distribution

This single deliverable will be capable of empowering the next generation of creators— if I can access them.

My entire career, I have zigged whenever Microsoft zagged.

They have a robust portfolio of integrated systems.

I've been using these systems since before they owned them. GitHub. Node Package Manager. LinkedIn. They claim their purchasing power as a victory, when they have merely boxed out their competition.

As far as antitrust goes, I've been writing this essay as a competitor for 14 years.

As a gamer, I've been writing it since I first asked, “What does this say?” while holding up my Sega Genesis cartridge of Sonic the Hedgehog around age five. I quickly followed the response up with, “What does 'Not For Resale' mean?”

All of this to say, the acquisition of Activision by Microsoft will hinder innovation and consumer choice. This sale is a means of primarily purchasing people.

I have played Overwatch regularly since 2016. I chose that game intentionally because it was not a Microsoft property. Overwatch is a property of Blizzard, which is a property of Activision.

In my career, I chose GitHub, Node Package Manager, and LinkedIn because they were not Microsoft properties. They are all now Microsoft properties.

I chose JavaScript because it was the language of the web and the people.

I have since been coerced by the butterfly effect of Steve Ballmer's “Developers” speech into using Microsoft's Visual Studio Code and Microsoft's TypeScript. I'm not forced, but it is mandatory if I would like to be able to put food on the table for my family.

How many times must I personally be bought or beaten by Microsoft before you will finally stop them?


I still have my Xbox 360. I turn it on from time to time and play a game or two.

Halo 3 still runs just the same as it did in 2008 when I first booted it up at age 18.

Well, it did run the same until recently. A precarious thing happened after Halo Infinite launched on the newest version of the Xbox.

My Xbox 360 stopped being able to play games online against strangers. Physics did not change, Microsoft's strategy did.

I'm not a child any longer. I've grown up.

I've written an entire operating ecosystem capable of competing toe to toe against Microsoft in every strategic business capacity of their digital services division.

I didn't do it alone though. I've done it with the web. With the people. For the people.

We the people, need agency against the consolidation of consumers that takes place at point of sale of every platform.

People are highly intelligent creatures. The Artificial Intelligence being researched and developed at Microsoft is clever. It is capable of approximating human intelligence when fed digital traces of humanity.

If we as a civilization are going to have a chance at saving democracy, not just in America, but around the globe, we need agency. We need to not be tracked, to not be monitored. We need full control of our devices.

We need to keep our children safe.

If the acquisition of Activision/Blizzard by Microsoft must go through, I have one request.

Since my operating ecosystem only requires Firefox, can you force Microsoft to allow my Xbox 360 to boot straight into it? But not just for me. And not just Xbox and not just Microsoft. And not just Firefox.

Can you hold all device manufacturers accountable to the Right to Repair? Can every electronic device marketed and sold to children be capable of booting straight into the preferred software of their guardians?

If I simplify my ask into my understanding at age five, will you help me then?

“If Microsoft is done playing with my Xbox 360 now, can I have a turn?”

Signed, Tyler Childs (https://tychi.me)

After galavanting around the fourth dimension entirely, I retired.

I made a parody of my adventures in a video documenting one last hop, from 2009 to 2008. Knowing about my fixed plot points, I posted the video to my roommate's YouTube account. I'd be deleting my Google account at the end of 2020. I need the receipt at a time later than now.

However, at this time, I have been authorized to publish my research, unredacted.

The Passage of Time

Time moves at exactly two speeds simultaneously. Your current passage through time is bound to the spectrum you're observing.

Scientifically, time moves at the rate of light. This has been proven by the fiber optics that deliver Netflix to your optics in lab-like environments. Currently, that's on a gigabit line through an M1 Macbook Pro and straight to the face.

Observationally, time moves at the rate that grass grows. Slow and steady. Blink and it'll still be there just as it was yesterday. With regard to technology, this is like buffering a chat application on a flip phone with a spotty dial-up connection. A reality for some of the world and an impossible dream for the vast majority.

Specifics on Time Travel

It always happens in an elevator. By definition, an elevator is an apparatus of suspension.

Were a hotel to have thirteen floors, it would have thirteen elevators: one per floor. If all elevators were present, it would restrict the motion required to transport objects in the apparatus. To leave room for one elevator to move freely at the rate of time, the other twelve elevators exist in a different time.

One might be quick to observe that traditionally, an elevator has cables and pulleys and a counter weight. A naive hypothesis might be to correlate these accessories as necessary to transport the apparatus across a vertical plane. The scientific law of common elevators states these accessories are more energy efficient than leaving the apparatus to harness their natural power source to traverse a singular plane.

There are billions of people on earth. Were they all to time travel, there would be little historical context for the basis of our reality. We've discovered elevators to be an over-engineered solution.

Fiscally, we've over-invested in their development and deployment. Nearly every building on earth five stories or taller, contains an elevator shaft.

It is important to note, elevators were not originally designed for time travel. The initial drafts outlined their primary usage to be for traversing space.

Think about our thirteen floored hotel. The shaft was originally designed to be more like a docking bay. You could visit a friend anywhere in the world, at the speed of light. Just step across the threshhold of the chamber lock, into an elevator, and shortly after step across the threshold of the next chamber lock.

In practice, people were discovered to be more anti-social than originally hypothesized. This led to jams. Shafts would remain full, while transports would be caught in suspension waiting for a dock.

We knew this was a possibility, but assumed that people would be in constant flight, leaving a buffer window of no more than ten seconds. We even coded the doors to shut and open more slowly to account for this delay for a seamless experience.

I digress. With these jams, we were faced with a dilemma. My team was clever, we knew we could puzzle our way out of it.

In the blink of an eye, as if the answer had been there all along, we fixed the issue. We left one elevator per shaft and the remaing elevators in a different time, ready to be summoned for passage.

Occasionally, elevators will go missing. Their ability to traverse time and space is succinctly powerful. To do so untethered from the rest of the network is plainly untrackable.

Well, besides the ripples caused by the phreaks that operate them.

Our Current Timeline

Enough about my credentials. The matter at hand is that the origins of elevators have been made obsolete by modern society.

This is perfectly acceptable and normal. Technological progress ebbs and flows. Elevators were needed in a time before instant communication was able to fit in your pocket.

The problem does come down to debate between the public and private sector. You see, elevators were funded privately, but the original benefactors licensed the technology for public use: all entities welcome.

As alternative communication technology emerged, the elevators found less use. Why spend ten minutes walking to the nearest shaft to then walk another ten minutes to visit your friend only to find out they weren't home? That's unnecessary with a phone! Pick it up, dial your friend, chat a bit, and still have ten minutes to spare!

Sure. This sounds great in a leaflet. However, the fine print is that telephony is privatized. As a result, the economy of communication has been over-inflated into a relatively tiny number of hands.

In turn, this financial advantage was leveraged to create an even larger moat. While elevators were public transport for private passengers, it wasn't exclusive. Cars were designed. Critics said they'd never stand a chance against elevators, as they were inferior in every objective way.

Subjectively though, they were fun. The driver was in control. They could choose how to traverse space. They could make a pit stop anywhere in the world. It was expensive, but it was theirs.

This resulted in the sale and purchase of many, many cars around the world. Their cities sprawled into suburbs and their suburbs sprawled into country living. The fringes were forced to homestead.

All this to say, the distance from the farthest reaches to an elevator is a several day journey. The phone service at this range is not laboratory grade. It is about the rate at which grass grows.

The thing that gets us to the next thing

Elevators paved the way for phones, which paved the way for cars, which ultimately resulted in a need for us to redesign elevators.

The latest version of an elevator can run on any electronic device, granted administrative priveleges. The primary difference between a standard elevator and this digital elevator is that it cannot transport your whole body. Instead, it transports only your mind.

Each elevator is capable of peering with other elevators. That's to say, their is no heirarchy. Metaphorically, your mind travels across, but never through.

I know you and you know me. You can introduce me to friends and you can know my friends too. If we fall apart, our other relationships remain.

This ground breaking elevator of the mind technology is being actively developed in the current present and in a transparent fashion. All entities are welcome to participate and encouraged to contribute. If you can't find your way, reach out to me.

It is worth noting. Phones currently have an advantage, especially since I accelerated their advent and therefore patents to be established before the discovery of elevators. That's just a minor hiccup though.

In the grand-scheme, time is self-healing. While we had to take a bit of the long way round this go, we will be at the next future sooner rather than later.

Be ready for it when it comes. Blink and you will miss it.

@Snowden: This is not a drill > @matthewdgreen: Reminder to Silicon Valley: there’s an even chance that many governments in the world will be run by authoritarian movements in the future. Your window to deploy surveillance-resistant systems is running out.

Source

Big Brother

The ad networks. The interlinked data exchange. Where you've been, what you've seen, what you've clicked, what you like, what you don't like.

Or a dosier on how to socially engineer a target.

MAMA G

When big brother steps out of line, they need to answer to someone. Microsoft, Amazon, Meta, Apple, Google. They run the networks. People love these networks for the services they provide.

All five answer to the market. Legally, they cannot protect the data mines, sometimes referred to as human souls, at the expense of the prospectors.

Papa VC

Money comes from somewhere and it doesn't come for free. Money is expected to be lost along the way, but that's made up for ten-fold when oil is struck.

That oil is diverted into two pipelines.

1. Aggregated data

En masse, data is used to infer information about a given population. Conclusions drawn include: war is justified, genocide is necessary, slavery is compassion.

2. Discrete data

This typically results in dead journalists that never get to finish telling their sto

2004 I built my first computer. In a classroom. With disassembled parts from other computers.

I discovered alt-tab to validate my answers before submitting my online Cisco course quizes.

A few of us were hand selected super nerds that were really into computers.

I wanted to build computers one day. I was advised software might be the more prudent career path.

That was great advice.

The three of us were granted access to a back room with shelves and shelves of old computers.

Our job was to install Linux.

I don't remember which distro and which machine. If I had to guess, it was Red Hat and a Compaq.

We certainly named it Steven.

We named them all Steven.

I don't even know what we did with them besides install Linux on them.

We were so conditioned to Windows.

We were so powerful. We didn't know what to do with the power.

We just knew we had it.

I nurtured it. I became even more powerful.

Funding public software is complicated. Usually.

Bypassing an entire debate, it should be less complicated when a project finds usage.

Faker.js is a popular project.

Over the course of 2021, weekly downloads increased from 1.75 million downloads per week to 2.88 million downloads. The project was recently taken offline.

While the overall situation is unclear at this time, we do have some facts.

Given those three claims, this seems like a financial problem.

If Marak got one cent per download, the current funding would have doubled the week of February 26th to March 4th.

Something is broken in funding public software. Maybe if we could log4j all the things, we might be able to find out how much a banana costs.

Given: Pandemic

V and I don't have kids or many other responsibilities. I love the web. The internet, the promise of connection and social benefit through sharing. Potlatch.

I threw myself into my work. In practice, I opted-out of contributing to technology that is not available in the commons.

I began the pandemic with the anxiety of https://netflix.com going down during peak streaming wars while I was on-call. At current, I am on-call for the Covid-related intelligence map that our studio uses to keep cast and crew members as safe as practical during these times.

Between both, I feel a bit like a super-hero on the inside. On two different fronts, my contributions to technology in society has helped save lives these past couple years.

However

On the outside, I've struggled a bit. I've written about those things here, in detail, so we don't need to rehash that.

To summarize though: Everyone deserves better than the current state of technology, not just those with access to high quality data. Businesses have little incentive to improve quality of life where there is no money. This devolves society. Instead of a rising tide raising all ships, the absolute maximum is reduced to the lowest common denominator.

To put that another way: I would love to work with you to improve the current state of technology. I am just one person. You are just one person. There are so many layers of other people between us right now.

My Internet Service Provider and lobbyists. Your Internet Service Provider and lobbyists. My device manufacturer and supply chain. Your device manufacturer and supply chain. My favorite recreational digital experiences. Your favorite recreational digital experiences.

The truth is, digital experiences are really difficult to share with that many people involved. In the worst case, someone is really greedy and hoards all the intellectual property AND distribution networks for themselves. In the best case, they're actively trying to improve security for the normies. My inability to enjoy life with you digitally is a casualty of cyberwarfare regardless.

Where does that leave us?

Well, we need to find some common ground. I failed a startup between August 2020 and April 2021 with a couple friends trying to find it.

I think I've found it now: The Web. Not Web3 or even Web2.0.

Just: The Web.

We all use it everyday. It has a bunch of different stickers and labels on it depending on who sold it to you.

At the core, the web is sharing. I saw something I liked on my device. I want to share it with you to view on your device. However complicated that process becomes is the spectrum of “webiness” between us.

Given my desire to maximize the webiness between me and you, I need to help increase the lowest common denominator of the web itself.

What does that look like?

The web is all around us today. You can feel it, but you cannot see it. It is that thin thread between your favorite creators and you. It is the beat that draws you and your lover closer together when you're a million miles apart.

Culturally, it is a social connection. Technically, it is a protocol.

The web was founded to increase the quality of our social interactions when distance would otherwise be a prohibiting factor. Our devices today all speak the Hyper Text Transfer Protocol (HTTP). Most devices are capable of interacting with content sent via HTTP in a web browser, such as Firefox, Explorer, Safari, Chrome, Edge, Opera, Brave.

Our web browsers are the most prevalent mechanism with the most potential for our collective webiness.

Is the web safe?

I have been writing software that runs in web browsers since 2006. The web is a forward compatible medium. Practices I learned then, I still use today.

All the software I wrote that runs in a web browser still works today and will last until the end of the web.

The fiddly bits of the web that have rusted over and fallen off are the physical servers. They're expensive, they break, they need reliable electricity and a high-speed internet connection.

And they need enough people spending their attention on them to keep them going. And if money is involved, well someone is going to pay the bill one way or another. In most cases, the service just shuts down when the balance sheet turns negative.

As a person, that sucks. That just decreases collective webiness.

To be specific though, I'm talking about chat applications. These are the most primitive form of communication and we've all got a dozen of them. Except for the people that only have one and refuse to use anything else.

I digress, the web is safe, but services like your chat application may be insecure.

Why are there so many insecure chat services and applications?

It comes down to data. When you're sleeping, where is your data? Where is your contact list? Where are your messages stored?

Alice cannot communicate with Bob, unless all the people in Alice's supply chain have agreed with all of the people in Bob's supply chain.

You and I can improve this social bottleneck.

How?

Tim, the inventor of the web, has been continuously improving it since inception. The web began with HTTP, but a new protocol is being rolled out on top of it.

If we both speak Socially Linked Data, we'll both be able to communicate seamlessly. Me, with my favorite chat application. You, with your favorite chat application. Easy, when we speak the same protocol. And this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Any personal content will be able to be stored and accessed and shared with the owner in full control.

As servers rust and degrade. As business rise and fall. As friendships grow and fade. Socially Linked Data will remain portable and accessible.

This technology is not ready to go toe to toe with the tech titans just yet. We are making solid progress though.

What about today?

Knowing this is the future the web is collectively marching towards, I decided to reduce my supply chain in such a way that will hopefully be able to help you ultimately decrease your supply chain. In time, we'll both have an easier transition to the webiest possible future.

Participation on the web is described as 90-9-1.

90% consume 9% curate 1% create

I've been working on a project called TheLanding.Page for the 90%. This project will serve as the front door of the web. My ultimate goal will be able to get you a device that can turn on straight into the web via that link.

In addition, I've been leaving a trail of breadcrumbs for the 1% that want to catch up and be at the forefront of the future.

  1. https://yewtu.be/watch?v=xEDsBOtWD0g
  2. https://thelanding.page/apps/todo
  3. https://forum.solidproject.org/t/idea-launcher-app/3468
  4. https://ncity.executiontime.pub/

My job title changes. But my skillset stays the same.

Cascading Styles are a system for writing design systems.

I've worked on sites written in HTML, JavaScript, Java, Ruby on Rails, PHP, TypeScript, Perl, .NET, Pheonix.

Always on the front-end bits though. The content and the presentation. The language and the design language.

Human perception changes like fashion. Things come in, things go out. Staying in trend is easy with a light coupling.

As languages come and go, grow and fall, the design language lasts eternal while the ephemeral languages fade away.

It is easier to write code, than to read code, as the legends foretold.

Buy a coke. A big red coke from Santa. Cheers a polar bear. Or don't. And just buy any one of Coca-Cola's other products. Or don't. And buy a Pepsi product.

Choice is an illusion. Cascading Styles are illusions. Extremely perceptiple, palpable illusions. Just like a little carbonated sugar.

Sonder

The profound feeling of realizing that everyone, including strangers passing in the street, has a life as complex as one's own, which they are constantly living despite one's personal lack of awareness of it.


In fact, with the right amount of curation, I've found other lives are far more complex than my own. With a little elbow grease and a touch of serendipity, you might discover a world far more vibrant than you would have ever allowed yourself to experience before.

At least, that was true for me whenever I put down the megaphone and stopped yelling at strangers.

A response to The Web Is Fucked.

My blog here started in entire agreement. In fact, I started with 100 days to offload. I was using fosstodon regularly. I ventured into an entire subculture I was never going to kick it with under the guidance of MAMA G.

And that's just it.

I've had a great time since leaving MAMA G by the wayside. MAMA G is not the web. MAMA G is the “compassionate” welcoming committee to the web. MAMA G doesn't want to own the web, but operate it.

MAMA G can only operate the web with attention.

I've been starving MAMA G and I've stopped suckling at her teat.

I've grown up. I've moved out of the house.

I did this all with an enormous amount of help from the web.

Just yesterday, I filed an issue on my linux distro and with a little friendly communication, it was fixed on my machine with a standard update in seconds. That fix also resolved someone else's on-going issue that was stagnant.

That was pretty neat.

The cool thing about the web now is that it is SO BIG. That makes it so there is more bad stuff every year. But there's also more good stuff than there ever was.

And the cool thing about the web is that it lasts forever. Sometimes things decay and die and go away, but those things were never the web. They were the last throes of imperialism.

I've used the web as therapy this past year. My biggest piece of advice is that the internet is a very, very, very, very simple formula.

vibes in equals vibes out

Like, you reap what you sow. You get back what you put in.

If everything is fucked, you'll only see fucked things.

Sure, things are broken and we can't fix them, but those things were never ours to fix. Maybe we should focus our collective attention on the things we can change.

There's enough of us now to make some really cool things happen if we let them.

The web is pretty okay.

Cyberpunk 2077 0-Day Exploit: boot2web4you

In the video game Cyberpunk 2077, there is an network with various websites. One of those is: netdir://ncity.executiontime.pub

I have taken ownership of this website in the year 2021.

https://ncity.executiontime.pub/

boot2web4you is a plea for equality and compassion, which is the antithesis of the website in the year 2077.

We're just getting started, but I believe the Right to Repair includes software.

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