While I was making other plans, pars tres

A day or so after the not-so-thrilling last installment of my medical troubles (previous post), I get my hands on a knee scooter. Rented from a local pharmacy.

This is a big improvement over the wheelchair. I’m more mobile on it, and can pee standing up. If you think that last bit doesn’t matter, pray you never find out what an epic getting on and off a toilet seat is when you don’t have the use of your dominant leg.

Unfortunately, life is tradeoffs. You can fall off a knee scooter; I have, twice. No serious harm done, but that kind of thing is another increment of pain and exhaustion in a process with quite a sufficiency of those, thank you.

The ankle started hurting yesterday, seriously enough that I briefly considered actually taking a Percocet, but only when it was horizontal in bed. I think my sensory feed from that extremity must still be a bit disturbed by the aftermath of the nerve block, because it took me almost a day to figure out that the pain was due to external pressure from some of the support scaffolding in the ankle dressing.

I think those rigid parts have shifted around in an unhelpful way due to my crawling around and/or mounting the knee scooter. We’re going to try to get an appointment at the orthopedist’s office today to have someone there inspect and rewrap the thing.

Which means I’m going to have to deal with getting down (and later up) the steps in front of my house. Yeek! Neither scooter nor wheelchair is well adapted to this; I’ll probably have to bust out the kneepads and crawl again.

It hasn’t been all bad. Saturday a couple of my friends from our Friday night game group came over to boardgame with me; Xia: Legends of a Drift System. A good time was had by all.

My far friends on the net have come through as well. My Patreon feed is $356 per month thicker than it was a week ago. And there have been a bunch of one-off donations. John Carmack (yes, the John Carmack) sent $1000, for which I am humbly grateful.

SELF is definitely a scrub, but we’re making plans for me to video in my keynote. Topic change: I’m going to talk about infrastructure sustainability considered as a problem of load-bearing people, and the fact that the hacker culture doesn’t have any customs about how to support our old maintainer/warhorses or arrange an orderly succession when they die in harness.

I’ve actually been worrying about this problem for years, but mostly because of load-bearing people near me who weren’t me. Now my attention is seriously focused. :-)

I am able to work, and a good thing too or I’d be going bonkers. NTPsec is in a bit of a quiet period right now; we’ve delivered NTS, and the next big push I have in mind will have to wait until Go has a TLS 3.0 binding. So I’ve been making progress on the Go port of reposurgeon.

The Patreon is up to $1709 now. At $2000 it would cover monthly mortgage and bills; that’s starting to look attainable, which is a damn good thing given that I still have no clearer idea what the medical stuff will end up costing than “a lot”.

I increasingly think that software users and engineers who care about the infrastructure commons they rely on not collapsing out from under them are going to have to adopt something like the old custom of tithing, in self-defense.

In simpler times, before state-welfare schemes or insurance companies, community citizens in good standing were often religiously required or strongly encouraged to “tithe” – give a small fraction of their income to a church expressly for relief of the poor.

Nowadays we can cut out the middlemen and attendant risk of corruption. We have Patreon and SubscribeStar. Can we grow a social norm that hackers with regular jobs in the profit-making sector should use services like these to split (say) $30 a month among three infrastructure developers of their choice?

Yes, I am asking this for me, now. But I noticed the problem before it was personal. The problem is bigger than me, and the solution should be too.

The point of suggesting a fan-out of three is to avoid a situation where all that goodwill gets captured by a handful of hackers with high visibility (like, er, myself), and people who want to help have a reason to seek out developers who are doing important work in more obscurity.

UPDATE: A few hours after I initially posted this, I went in in to have my dressing remade – something had gone awry inside it and was griping my foot. A mere resident was enough for that, but since I was there anyway Dr. Miller quite properly came for a look-in.

It was pretty amusing to see the “WTF?” expression on his face when he got a look at the week-old incision site on my foot. Completely healed over, no drainage, the only way to tell there’d been an 5-inch-long entry wound was by the purple stitches. As a friend of mine who’s a GP put it on Saturday, contemplating the place on my scalp where I’d gotten a laceration from that fall two weeks before that required three surgical staples, “Who are you? Wolverine?”

Good genes. Goes with the factory-installed brawler package. Makes me guardedly optimistic about the cartilage in the joint repairing itself. Dr. Miller hadn’t been planning to even see me until the 25th, but now he wants the stitches out a week ahead of the original schedule.

And still later in the day J. Storrs Hall (yeah, the nanotech pioneer guy) showed up on my doorstep with a knee scooter his wife had had to use for a while after knee surgery. Means we can stop renting one.

58 thoughts on “While I was making other plans, pars tres

  1. /me raises a glass to Teh Carmack. He really is one of the best of us, in so many ways.

    Years back, Ubuntu started e-begging for donations before letting you get to their ISO download. You could say no, but they were employing the time-honored vagrant technique of making you feel like a dick for saying no. My feathers suitably ruffled by this development (I was an Ubuntu user only out of employment-related necessity), I decided to do more than say no — and promptly donated to Slackware.

    Few years later I find out that whoever was running Slackware’s donation bin was not affiliated with Pat Volkerding and was just scraping money off well-meaning donors, so I tipped the amount of the original donation directly to Pat’s PayPal. If you have a distribution that’s been as good to you as Slackware has been to me, I encourage you to go and do likewise. (If that distribution be Ubuntu, they’ve made the process super easy.)

    • If you provide something with enough value, people will ask how to donate or contribute. I’ll never give money to that Adblock dude and his wife who get in your face asking for money every time you update your browser.

    • When you fall off the knee roller, are you actually falling off, or tipping over?

      Regarding steps.. We bought our first house in 2017 because neither of us could really cope anymore with the 1½ flights of breezeway stairs to our apartment. And the first thing we installed was a vertical lift in the garage.

  2. Been lurking this blog for a while now. Your recent misfortune prompted me to chime in …

    Get well soon and all the best!

    Pledged and donated a one-time amount to cover this month.

    Greetings from Switzerland and thank you so much for all the free software!
    I’m an atheist, though, so no prayers ;)

  3. Thanks for the nudge in this direction – there are more than a few projects/authors I really ought to contribute to, and this reminds me to act on that sooner rather than later.

  4. I feel like one big obstacle to me donating is that there is only some vague feeling good feedback whereas when I buy something the emotional feedback I get is much more clear. So for donating no tight behavioral loop develops.

  5. In simpler times, before state-welfare schemes or insurance companies, community citizens in good standing were often religiously required or strongly encouraged to “tithe” – give a small fraction of their income to a church expressly for relief of the poor.

    It’s not just an “in simpler times” thing. It’s still more-or-less strongly encouraged by Christian churches (I say more-or-less because most preachers are reluctant to say too much on the topic to avoid tangling themselves up in a conflict of interest), and most devout Christians view tithing as a scriptural requirement whether or not their pastor says much about the subject.

    Also, while the relief of the poor is a significant element of tithing, it is also generally understood that the maintenance of the church property and the income of the church staff is one of the things that the tithe will be used for.

    It is also generally understood that religious organizations not affiliated with any particular church will be supported by donations (and members generally raise their own salaries in the form of donations from their friends, family, churches they have attended, etc). If everything is above-board, however, such organizations generally make clear to potential donors that the scripturally-required tithe is to be made to the local church, and any donation to the organization (or its members) is to be made out of free will in addition to the tithe. My parents have worked for such an organization for my entire life: I was born on a fundraising trip, and practically every bite I ate through my childhood was funded by donations.

    Nowadays we can cut out the middlemen and attendant risk of corruption. We have Patreon and SubscribeStar.

    Those are in fact middlemen. For dealing with corruption, whether a middleman is involved or not, there is no substitute for transparency: “This is how much we are currently receiving, our expenses total this much. These are the uses to which the funds are distributed, etc.”

    Can we grow a social norm that hackers with regular jobs in the profit-making sector should use services like these to split (say) $30 a month among three infrastructure developers of their choice?

    Frankly, I think it has to be broader than that: As long as the information economy is primarily supported by copyright rents, commercial rights holders will be incentivized to implement DRM and SaaS schemes, to lobby for legislation to make it illegal to break DRM, etc., and that will lead to a future where most of our civil liberties are gone. The entire information economy has to run on donations, or dystopia results.

    The problem is, I could easily see commercial donations crowding out non-commercial donations in such a world (donations to Hollywood and the entertainment industry dominating over donations to sexy infrastructure like desktop environments and productivity apps, whose donations are in turn much larger than those supporting unsexy infrastructure like middleware libraries, system daemons, kernels, and embedded code, which in turn crowd out traditional charitable donation), and I’m not sure that doesn’t also lead to dystopia.

    • That wouldn’t be too far from Bell Labs, corporations before they began hiring a bevy of consultants would employ people for indirect purposes.

      Of course ESR could make it more apparent the value he provides by asking about it in what would manifestly be a silly way, common use cases, most commonly used function calls and the like, but many people who make decisions over technology don’t understand it.

    • “…it is also generally understood that the maintenance of the church property and the income of the church staff is one of the things that the tithe will be used for.”

      “Tithe” (or more precisely a tax on agricultural production, assessed in kind and then converted to a money amount by a baroque process) was the major source of funds for the Church of England well into the 20th century. There were “Tithe wars” in various districts in the 1930s.

  6. Well, there’s the jokes about RMS sainthood (which I certainly wouldn’t disagree with), there’s the growing number of projects that require professions of faith and behavioral codes apparently irrelevant to their base purpose… IT as religion. Emacs vs vi crusades all over again, but this time the kids aren’t in on the joke.

  7. and the fact that the hacker culture doesn’t have any customs about how to support our old maintainer/warhorses or arrange an orderly succession when they die in harness.

    Part of this is that it’s only now that the serious draft horses are getting to that age. I mean yeah, we lost Postel and Tim May, but Postel was only 55 when he died and May was 66. This is in an era where we have people working into their 70s and early 80s. Knuth is in his early 80s–though I don’t know what level he’s still producing at.

    BTW, I had foot surgery last September–moderately elective surgery, I could get around ok, it was just painful. Still is, but less so. I am part of a Christian Cost Sharing Plan (I lied a little bit), so it only cost me about 5 or 6k. There’s a great deal of benefit from having something that looks like a PPO to bargin down the costs–if I hadn’t had that it would have cost me over 10k.

  8. If you really think you have Patreon, and even SubscribeStar.. you really aren’t following what’s happened to them.

    But don’t worry! Keep your head down, and you won’t be a target yet.

        • It might be a decent idea for Eric to create some kind of software-oriented business charity which would be separate from his free speech activities, and thus less-attackable than a fund dedicated to him, under his name. (I’m not in love with my own idea for all kinds of reasons, but it might be a decent move on Eric’s part.)

            • >Ask Brendan Eich how well that sort of thing works out.

              Yet another reminder, for those who needed one, that totalitarian gleischschaltung is the bottom line of SJW/leftist ideology.

              Everything else about it is sucker bait, like the surface proteins of a virus constantly mutating but always optimizing towards delivery of the same DNA.

              • The funny thing about Eich is that he’s now running the Brave Browser project/company/whatever which is a Chrome based browser.

  9. I’ll continue to maintain that seeking to oust Eich for his donation preferences was only a minor norm for SJWs to break. But I’ll also note that no one here is calling for legal action against SJWs for doing so; just cultural action. To your credit.

    The way I see it, there’s an unspoken agreement to not dig into each others’ affairs too far. But if, say, Eich was delivering keynotes for traditional marriage on the weekends, I could sympathize with people wanting to boycott him at Mozilla during the week. I feel like the rancor is especially for whoever went spelunking through his donation records. But again, that’s just my take.

    • As the parent of a LGBT child, Brendan Eich can go fuck himself. The sooner we get people like him out of positions of power, the sooner my kid can walk the streets safely.

      Essentially, there are two kinds of freedom; “freedom to” and “freedom from.” How to balance these freedoms is a difficult social and political issue, but Brendan Eich seeks “freedom from losing his job” and “freedom from Gays.”

      My kid seeks “Freedom from murder.” (Also, freedom from various other kinds of prejudice, some of which have not yet been rendered illegal.) When “freedom from murder” is no longer an issue, I’ll happily discuss Brendan Eich’s “freedom from losing his job because he’s a superstitious, hateful douchebag.”

      (Note that Brendan Eich landed very softly; his “Brave Browser” company raised 2.5 million and the ICO raised 35 million. I’m pretty sure he’s set for a nice retirement.)

      • And here we go again. Eich has no desire to murder your child or any of the LGBT folk, or even not to work with or deal with them. He just doesn’t think the state should sanction same-sex marriage. That you would equate his fairly mild belief to a desire to eradicate gays forever is disgusting and disappointing. Your own petty desire to see him out of power makes you little better than the radical SJWs who ousted him in the first place. Seriously, you’re overreacting; get a grip, man!

        • If I ran into someone who’d given a thousand dollars towards making sure Black and White people couldn’t marry, I wouldn’t hesitate to call him a racist. ‘Nuff said, I hope, except perhaps to note that Eich’s contributions are doubtless the tip of the iceberg.

          • The fact that you’re willing to be irrational consistently does not validate the first instance of it.

      • >The sooner we get people like him out of positions of power, the sooner my kid can walk the streets safely.

        And yet I don’t see you getting exercised about Ilhan Omar, who is in an actual position of power and as a devout Muslim is more likely to try to get your kid crushed under a stone wall or thrown off a rooftop than Brendan Eich would be to say even a harsh word to the kid.

        • Actually, Ilhan Omar is pro-Gay rights and has been endorsed by Human Rights Watch, using the following language: “Omar has worked hard to champion the equal rights and dignity of all Minnesotans. She is a strong supporter of marriage equality and the Equality Act, landmark federal legislation that would provide the same basic nondiscrimination protections to LGBTQ people as other protected groups under federal law. She is also committed to addressing the epidemic of homelessness facing LGBTQ youth, and fighting against efforts to undermine LGBTQ equality under the guise of religious liberty.”

          You should probably google next time.

          • It’s called “taqiyyah”–the ancient Islamic practice of hiding one’s true beliefs. She doesn’t actually care about LGBT folk. She only “supports” LGBT rights to the extent that they can be used to 1) get her re-elected (first rule of being a politician), and 2) erode public trust. Comrade Stalin would be proud. As soon as Islam becomes powerful enough stateside, or hell even when the backlash against LGBT rights caused by a vocal minority of in-your-face “you will be made to care” activists pushing too far builds up enough, or for whatever other reason it becomes politically expedient to do so, you can bet that she’ll abandon all that and start pulling out the “throw the gays off the roof in the name of almighty ‘Allah!!” rhetoric. And you’d probably be okay with that anyway because OMG AFRICAN MUSLIM FEMALE, OPPRESSED MINORITY!!

            And that’s not even getting into the disgusting things she’s said about Jews… Hitler would be proud of her, too. Are you okay with that?

            • >It’s called “taqiyyah”–the ancient Islamic practice of hiding one’s true beliefs

              Concur. If you think Omar is not lying about that, you haven’t been paying attention.

              If you think Human Rights Watch wouldn’t cover for her even though it knows or strongly suspects she’s lying, you also haven’t been paying attention.

            • Except for innuendo and slander, do you have any evidence Ilhan Omar does, or even want to, do any of these things?

              As difficult as it might be to get into your heads, but there are compassionate, morally high standing people in any faith.

              Claiming all Muslims must be lying would-be murderers in hiding is not different from what your random genocidal maniac said about those he wanted to kill (pick your genocidal maniac from history).

              I see it as nothing more as a preparation for yet another genocide.

              • >As difficult as it might be to get into your heads, but there are compassionate, morally high standing people in any faith.

                That is true. However, I am pretty sure none of those people routinely traffic in vile anti-Semitic slurs. As, of course, Ilhan does pretty much every time she opens her poisonous yap.

                • What I see in Ilhan Omar writings is criticism against Israel and associated political entities. It seems to be common strategy nowadays to conflate Israel with Jews. But Israel is a state that does things that many Jews and non-Jews alike find abject.

                  Maybe a closer study of her writings and sayings might turn up genuine anti-Semitic opinions, but I have yet to see anything that is directed against Jews instead of against political entities that are active in influencing US and international politics. In my opinion, any entity or organization trying to influence politics should be open to criticism. Neither Israel nor organizations supporting them are excluded.

                  To me, her writings and opinions are even less discriminatory than what I see written in this very blog when addressing social-democrats, socialists, and communists by the very people criticizing her.

            • Sigh. It always makes me really sad to see that anyone imagines that all Islamic people are on the same page about anything.

              Such beliefs ignore the basics of human nature, which knowledge alone should make clear that the nearly two-billion Muslim people on this planet will fight with each other as often as they fight with someone else.

              Such beliefs ignore the nature of theological dispute and human religions; there is always another revelation, or a differing interpretation, or a personal axe to grind, not to mention that each human has their own take on sex, and naturally this feeds back into religious ideals…

              Such beliefs ignore the fact that (depending on who you ask) there are 3-5 major branches of Islam, plus around 150 smaller sects, plus various reform movements. Such beliefs ignore the fact that Islam includes people of many different races, cultures, and language groups, some of whom have excellent relationships with the non-Muslim people around them.

              Such beliefs ignore the nature of secrets and conspiracies (two people can keep a secret if one of them is dead) and imagine that there is some completely unknown (and unprovable) mechanism by which all Muslims are perfectly, secretly united, (while all Christians, Jews, Hindus and Buddhists break into multiple, mutually-loathing subgroups.)

              Etc. The idea that all Muslims believe exactly the same thing and are all cooperating to some hideous conspiratorial end requires a complete and utterly shameful lack of knowledge about religion, history, culture, society and above all, basic human nature.

              And while we’re having this conversation, I am smart enough* to differentiate between criticism of Judiasm and criticism of Israel, so please don’t try to play that particularly odious game with – your bullshit has been called out and your rhetorical efforts have earned their well-deserved F.

              * That is, my brain is larger than that of a herring.

              • >The idea that all Muslims believe exactly the same thing and are all cooperating to some hideous conspiratorial end

                Nice straw man you’ve got there. It’s not about “all Muslims”, it’s about expected probability given known doctrine and behavior. Which in Omar’s case includes fraud, bigamy, and other forms of bigotry.

                • Thinking a bit out of the box, I think the side that somehow got itself labeled “anti-Muslim” could attract better attention if it declared willingness to distinguish between different subgroups of Muslims.
                  They certainly seem actually willing. I run into plenty of people who say “Muslim extremists” as opposed to simply “Muslims”, and plenty of right-wingers know the difference between a Sunni and a Shi’ite, even if they can’t easily tell the difference by sight alone. (This is a large part of the problem, IMO – the only clue we tend to get is “wears a turban”.)
                  So imagine if a US politician on the right conceded that international terrorism is predominantly a problem seen among Muslims, but also said “at the same time, we know a lot of types of Muslims that are nowhere near likely to condone such acts, and we naturally do well to welcome them to the American fold”.
                  I know a lot of people on the right, from libertarians to old-guard wonks to rednecks in the country, who would not only embrace this, but say, “Well of course! This is what we’ve been saying all along!”.

                  • >Thinking a bit out of the box, I think the side that somehow got itself labeled “anti-Muslim” could attract better attention if it declared willingness to distinguish between different subgroups of Muslims.

                    Yeah, the trouble with that is that there is no subgroup of Muslims that isn’t a significant terror risk.

                    There are some that come close. Sufis, my favorite example, are mystics and pretty OK. The problem is that none of those groups has ever in the long run won its argument with the most absolutist forms of the religion. When the Sufi’s children get exposed to Wahhabim or Salafism or Deobandism, they very often don’t stay OK. Often enough that it’s not safe to be within reach of the Sufis.

                    To understand why this you have to know things about the history and internal dynamics of Islam that its apologists either soft-peddle or outright lie about. It had a rationalist wing once – the Muta’azilites. They got slaughtered. Ever since Al-Ghazali won the major argument for occasionalism and fatalism around 1000CE the logic of Islamic doctrine has steadily contracted its horizons. See also “Why the entire Islamic world publishes fewer books per annum than Spain.”

                    There’s a theory that sounds at first sight a bit wacky, which is that the Caliph Othman retooled a relatively harmless variant of Syriac Christanity into a machine for producing warrior fanatics. The theory might not be literally true, but there are features of Islam that make it pretty plausible. The call to jihad, the absolute rule about “no innovations in religion”, the Koranic literalism. These construct a frame in which the rigorists – the zealots – effectively always win the internal arguments.

                    And then, given access to modern weapons, kaboom.

                    • The problem of “moving to the right and getting violent” isn’t just Islamic. We’re seeing major increases in Hindu and Christian violence and intolerance right now as well, and I’d identify the problem as “fear-based grifting.” In the U.S., for example, you may start out in 1978 with the idea of a “Moral Majority,” but if you keep pushing that line for forty years, eventually your followers are living in vans and sending pipe bombs to CNN.

                      The Muslim world is probably more vulnerable for two reasons. The first is the ongoing Israeli behavior towards the Palestinians, and the second is the U.S. neoconservative idea of using “creative destruction” to fix the mistakes Sykes-Picot made when drawing the map of the middle east. (Were I Muslim, I might agree that Sykes and Picot made some terrible mistakes, but I really don’t want those mistakes to be fixed by having U.S. troops come to my village; sadly, the idea of going on the offense against the U.S. makes a peculiar kind of sense from that perspective – so why not join Al-Qaeda?)

                      But it should be obvious that fear-based grifting is the human behavior which is really responsible here. If you tell me that Muslims are horrible, dangerous people, and I believe you, suddenly I start buying guns and I join your militia, and now I’m part of the problem. The fact that I have a Muslim counterpart who’s joined Al Quaeda based on a fear-based grift just makes things worse from any number of standpoints.

                    • Your argument about the Sufis, Muta’azilites, and the rest sounds like a really good one, and just the sort of example argument I would like to see made by people whose argument is currently shortened to “ban all Muslims, yarrrrr”.

                  • I know I’ve recommended the book before, but “The Badass Librarians of Timbuktu” is really worth reading with this in mind.

      • Geez, Trouty, and you were doing so well, even putting a few bucks into Eric’s kitty. Eich not wanting gay people to get married is not the same as him wanting them to be harmed or killed. And he did not put his politics into practice while a part of Mozilla leadership. Inasmuch as he could keep his politics out of Mozilla, he certainly deserved to retain such leadership. I disagree with him strongly about same-sex marriage, and think the Supreme Court made the right call in Obergefell v. Hodges even if they missed one of the most solid justifications for the decision — forbidding same-sex marriage abrogates the First Amendment right to peaceably assemble (broadly interpreted as the right to freedom of association). But I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt regardless.

        It’s this — interpreting another’s actions charitably even when you strongly disagree with their views — that separates us from the savages, on both sides. (It’s pretty amazing how closely the SJWs resemble their hated enemies. If you were demented enough to want to make another Coraline Ehmke, cutting MikeeUSA’s penis off might get you 75% of the way there.)

        • I don’t think Brendan Eich wants to kill anyone. My point was about the difference between my kids worries as regards their ideas about sex and romance versus Brendan Eich’s worries.

          Brendan Eich got chased out of Mozilla due to his ideas on sex and romance. While I don’t have any insights into Mozilla’s inner politics, it’s pretty obvious that he had a choice between resigning and, at the very best, being a strange attractor for all kinds of ugliness, and more likely was given a choice between resigning and being removed. But being fired was Brendan’s worst-case scenario, and he would have had the option to sue had he been fired, because “religion” is a protected class under Federal employment law.

          As an LGBT person, my kid’s worst-case scenario is that they will be murdered for their views on sex and romance. (Check the longevity statistics for LGBT youth if you don’t believe me – they’re easily google-able.) Fortunately, that’s much less-likely in California than elsewhere. Also, note that it is illegal, under Federal employment law, to fire someone for being Christian, but it is not illegal under the same law, to fire someone for being LGBT, so there’s a distinct difference in how Brendan and the Trout-spawn get treated under the law. (Obviously, California has much better protections for LGBT people than the Feds do, but Brendan is protected nation-wide and the Trout-spawn is not.)

          • it’s pretty obvious that he had a choice between resigning and, at the very best, being a strange attractor for all kinds of ugliness

            It’s pretty obvious to you. What is pretty obviously less obvious to you is that Eich could have continued to have been a productive developer after Mozilla dropped the matter after declaring that his views by themselves did not negatively impact his ability to produce, but rather did so only because other people decided they would feel offended by his remaining there.

            Which is certainly their prerogative. But that’s a wash, since it’s also people’s prerogative to feel offended if Eich is fired for nothing more than his views on sex and romance.

            And as Antifa illustrates, being fired for his views is not Eich’s worst case scenario. Whatever distinguished threat LGBT youths face has been eroded by playing up violence against them while playing down similar acts against right-wingers. Not to mention compounded by yet other left-wingers declaring that such violent prerogatives ought to be theirs alone.

            If an LGBT youth expresses concern for their personal safety, let them access tools and knowledge for personal defense, like the rest of us.

            • Two things: First, there is such a thing as personal responsibility. If you’re part of a business in the Bay Area, and you’re higher management, and you’re making contributions against Gay marriage, you’re taking some very obvious work-related risks. You have to know that your LGBT employees won’t tolerate this, and that the community will, at the very least, begin asking themselves whether your leadership is worth the problems it may cause. And giving a thousand bucks is really making a statement. It says, “The anti-Gay marriage issue is really, really super-important to me.” I could live with the idea that he gave a hundred bucks because someone at his church raised a stink, but a thousand bucks? That points to some very strong emotions where LGBT people are concerned, and completely invalidates that idea that he’d be a good steward of his LGBT employees. And the guy worked for a charity. The idea that he didn’t know individual donations could be tracked is something I don’t buy for a second.

              Second, while there are around 30 killings of LGBT people every year, can you document even a single violent attack against an anti-LGBT contributor in the last ten years? I can’t think of any, which renders your point about Antifa moot. (Antifa demonstrates that racists who take to the streets may encounter some violent resistance. It doesn’t demonstrate that Eich is in any danger.)

              • If you’re part of a business in the Bay Area, and you’re higher management, and you’re making contributions against Gay marriage, you’re taking some very obvious work-related risks.

                If you’re female and dress even slightly provocatively and walk down certain dark streets, you’re likewise taking obvious risks. And yet, virtually everyone agrees that women do not deserve what happens to them if they do.

                Meanwhile, if you’re anyone at all who seeks to dox, no-platform, or otherwise knock down anyone who does things you don’t approve of, without doing the hard work of engaging their arguments, while hiding behind anonymity so that the same tactic cannot be applied in turn, you are taking a much smaller risk. Does that seem fair to you?

                I could buy that he didn’t know donations could be tracked, for the simple reason that he could have forgotten, or because he wasn’t working in the part of the charity that processed donations. And that still does not absolve anyone who went out of their way to dig into his donation records of the charge of being something of a nosy jerk.

                Second, while there are around 30 killings of LGBT people every year, can you document even a single violent attack against an anti-LGBT contributor in the last ten years?

                Selective demand for rigor. “While there were lots of instances of this crime I’ve described very broadly, can you document even a single violent attack I’ve described very narrowly?” This is like claiming one should have no fear leaving one’s door unlocked on their house filled with expensive tech, because so far all the other robberies have been for jewelry.

  10. I’m not giving that much specifically to infrastructure developers, but I am giving about $130/mo total on Patreon, and probably $9 of that goes to linux and free software developers. I mostly give a small amount ($1-3) to each project I support because I follow so many different things on the internet.

  11. You should consider leaving the United States. If your income is all passive, and your expenses are dominated by healthcare and (to a lesser extent) housing, the US is just about the least efficient spot on the globe in which to live.

    • What exactly makes the US an especially bad spot in this regard?
      I imagine this situation to be rather difficult anywhere.

      You could come to Switzerland, it’s beautiful, and health care and the rest of the state are pretty solid here. I hereby officially invite you ;)

      Seriously though, everything is crazy expensive compared to pretty much the rest of the world and I doubt it would be much easier making a living here. Plus, uprooting everything and moving is a big step, too – emotionally as well as financially.

      And you might have to leave behind some of your firearms …

      • The US has the most expensive and poorly organised healthcare system in the world.

        The US has among the highest property prices in the world. Indeed in Switzerland property is probably more expensive, but Switzerland is part of only a tiny percentage of the surface area of the earth where that is true.

        I would look at South East Asian countries. They combine much lower price levels than the US across the board, reasonable levels of social organisation, and access to private-means-private healthcare where you pay market prices with cash.

        • That is, only if you have the cash ..?

          What I’m not sure about is how good the state will care for you even if you don’t.

          South East Asia is definitely a good idea. In many ways you get more for your money there. (In fact, my dad is making plans to maybe spend the rest of his days there.)
          On the other hand, in “expensive countries”, like Switzerland, or maybe some Scandinavian countries, you might get more of a free ride/better health care if you really need it and can’t afford it.

          I might be wrong, though. I’m hardly educated on the subject, I’m just guessing.

          (My dad isn’t facing the same questions since he currently has no health issues and as a Swiss citizen can always come back to lean on the state and/or his relatives here, if need be. So not much thought went into a scenario like this.)

          • “That is, only if you have the cash ..?”

            I am talking about Eric specifically. He has, as I understand it, moderate USD savings, and a modest USD passive income. He has a lot of cash by their standards. He does not have very much cash by a coastal US standard.

            It wasn’t my intention to get into discussion of what some Swiss guy in a totally different situation should do.

            • > It wasn’t my intention to get into discussion of what some Swiss guy in a totally different situation should do.

              Neither was it mine.

              I just wanted to illustrate my point that South East Asian countries might only be a good option if you have some savings.

              Definitely your savings will be eaten faster in the US than, say, Thailand. And there is good medical care in at least some parts of South East Asia.
              So if Eric indeed has some savings that might be a good move.

      • >I hereby officially invite you ;)

        It would have one interesting minor advantage over, say, Southeast Asia: I look Swiss. I gave a talk at ETH once and an organizer commented bemusedly on something I’d already noticed – drop me in a crowd on a Zurich streetcorner and I’d blend in perfectly. And those looks don’t lie; my mother’s direct-line ancestors were from the Zurich region.

          • >So what is the current medical status?

            Stitches to be removed on Tuesday the 17th.

            Evaluation to determine whether it’s yet safe for me to put weight on the ankle. Wednesday the 25th.

            I’m in good spirits, able to work, getting around pretty handily on a knee scooter, though still mostly housebound due to the steps out front. Neither the knee scooter nor a wheelchair will deal with those well, so I have to strap on kneepads and crawl to traverse them.

            Very little pain. Haven’t even needed a Tylenol the last two days.

            Still can’t perform the ritual of The Breakfast (which I miss), but Cathy has been cooking it for me and I have no complaints.

            I appear to be healing rapidly and well. The only unknown is how well the cartilage inside the joint is putting itself back together.

        • > drop me in a crowd on a Zurich streetcorner and I’d blend in perfectly.

          I can imagine. You could indeed easily pass for a Swiss guy.

          > my mother’s direct-line ancestors were from the Zurich region.

          So is my mother’s side of the family. May I ask, what was their family name? (Don’t mean to pry, just curious.)

          • >So is my mother’s side of the family. May I ask, what was their family name? (Don’t mean to pry, just curious.)

            Lehmann. That’s probably a common name there, so not much help.

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