It really does. If you don’t know what it is, see my RobLaWiki description (at <https://robla.miraheze.org/wiki/Mastodon> ), or see the Wikipedia article (at <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mastodon_(software)>), or just see my user profile: <https://mastodon.social/@robla>.
I have accounts on Quora, Twitter, Medium, reddit, Mastodon, myndmess, Electorama, Miraheze, GitHub, GitLab, and robla.net, among other. Blogging is so aughts. I’m going to cover just a few of the sites that I journal on here:
- Website(s): robla.net/RobLaWiki
- Website(s): Electorama/electowiki
- Website(s): myndmess.org
- Website(s): Wikipedia (en)/Wikidata/Wikimedia
- Website(s): MediaWiki
Those are just a few sites that I’m “blogging” on. I’m going to edit this as I notice things I forgot or mistakes I made.
UPDATE: 2020-04-24 – I posted most of what I was working on a few days ago over at Quora:
I still have some content for Daily Kos as well, but I’m still working out how to present it for the Daily Kos audience.
2020-04-14: I have a blog post that I’m working on over on Daily Kos that I plan to publish the following URL:
I may copy/adapt and replace this placeholder, but I’m reserving the slug on my blog now. I’ll probably link here from Daily Kos.
In the meantime, you should also follow me on Quora: https://www.quora.com/profile/Rob-Lanphier
You might be able to figure out what I’m writing about…
This could end up being more rambly than normal, so I’ll cut to the chase: there’s a few things I’d like you to do:
- Go to https://miraheze.org
- On the top right, you’ll see a green button with a gift icon labeled “Donate!” Click on it.
- Follow the instructions, and make a modest donation (e.g. $10 is truly appreciated; $20 will probably be appreciated more)
Since most folks that I know haven’t heard of Miraheze (and probably aren’t sure how to pronounce it), I’m not entirely going to blame you for not racing to donate. I might be quietly judging you, but I won’t be blaming you. 😉 Seriously, though, if you’re willing to trust me and donate to Miraheze, you don’t need to read the rest of this.
Why am I doing asking you to donate to Miraheze? Well, it’s a lo-o-o-n-n-ng story, full of tangents. That story goes back to 1994…Continue reading “Why donate to a non-profit with a hard-to-pronounce name?”
I didn’t get a chance to publicly pontificate about Internet Archive while I was employed there. From March 2019 until very recently, I managed the Core Infrastructure team at Internet Archive.
I suppose I did take one notable opportunity to blog about it. I wrote a blog post for blog.archive.org titled “Two Thin Strands of Glass“, which was about the long outage we had due to a fiber cut. It happened the day before the manager of our operations team (and lead network engineer) Jonah Edwards and his spouse were planning to leave San Francisco for their new home address in Portland, Oregon. My role during the outage was to briefly be the remote hands at the colocation facility for our upstream connection the Internet the evening the site went out, and to reinforce the message Jonah was telling us: there is no situation so bad that a panicked response won’t make it worse. Thankfully, the team was really great at biding their time until the fiber repair was complete, and quickly restored service once the fiber connection was repaired.
I loved working with Internet Archive, and I wish the organization well. As a longtime Wikipedian, I’m looking forward to having better access to the books that show up in Wikipedia citations. The team that I managed (Internet Archive’s “Petabox” team) is an amazingly intelligent and capable group of people, and facilitated a lot of fantastic services (both directly, and indirectly though the larger staff). I learned a ton about how this scrappy non-profit provides such an important service to the world (over 50 Petabytes of storage!) with such a small budget.
As for what’s happening with me next: I’m not sure. There’s software I’ve been working on for the past few years that I’d like to make suitable for wider adoption. I’ll probably also return to working on electoral reform (e.g. re-engage in work on electowiki.org) and helping to ensure that what happened in 2016 doesn’t happen again.
A few weeks ago, I posted “Replacing the jungle primary“, where I outlined a couple of proposals that seemed like plausible replacements for California’s current “top-two” primary system. I assigned both proposals jargon-y names, but I only want to highlight one of them: “Majority Approval Filter (MAF)”. MAF is my preferred option, and has generated the most discussion. I’ve been refining this option over the past few weeks, and I want to discuss the new version with a wider audience.Continue reading “Replacing the jungle primary, December edition”
(originally published November 20, edited November 25; see footnote)
I’m thrilled with the huge win for approval voting in Fargo, North Dakota, where voters overwhelmingly chose approval voting as their voting system for mayoral elections.
I’ve been jealous of Fargo since I learned of that effort. In our primaries here in California, we use a jungle primary to narrow down the field of candidates to the top two in our primary election in June (or rather, our primary in March), and then choose between them in November.
I’ve been mulling over an idea for replacing California’s jungle primary with an approval-based primary. I think with the system I describe below, we can also replace our two-candidate general election with a approval-based system that occasionally offers a third choice, but I also offer an alternative that only replaces the jungle primary.
Back in 1996, I wrote an article for The Perl Journal, which they published in the Volume 1, Issue 3 in Autumn 1996. There are several alternatives available for the article:
- A scan I made of my 1996 article “Perl, Politics, and Pairwise Voting: Perl as the Activist’s Friend” – I used CamScanner to make a quick scan of my paper copy, turned it into a PDF, and uploaded it to Dropbox. Contains the cover of the magazine, plus my 8 page article.
- “Games, Diversions & Perl Culture – Best of the Perl Journal” published by O’Reilly Media – edited by Jon Orwant. I’m honored that my article became a chapter in this book. Jon and the O’Reilly editors cleaned it up and made it look sharp. But they ask that you pay for it. My article is chapter 40.
- A foo.be mirror of the 1996 “Perl, Politics, and Pairwise Voting: Perl as the Activist’s Friend” article – This site appears to be an HTML mirror of The Perl Journal. A couple of corrections for the eskimo.com URLs listed therein:
For years, I’ve wanted to have stable redistribution of this article, and a stable URL that I could refer to. There have been many URLs over the years to refer to this, but nothing too stable. Well, as of right now, there is a stable URL:
….which, as of this writing, just redirects right back to this blog post. That’s probably the URL I’ll redistribute from now on.
I managed to get into some wordy discussions with MikeMC over on Medium. Here’s how it played out from my perspective:
- Oprah Winfrey gives an excellent speech at the Golden Globes (transcript). This causes rampant speculation about Oprah for President 2020.
- A backlash ensues. The backlash includes a lot of crappy discussion on a giant social network that irritates me, so I start writing my thoughts. I leave the draft sitting around a while.
- Just around the time that it’s old news, I finally get around to publishing it on Medium:
- robla (2018-02-14) – “A celebrity would be alright“
- That post got under the skin of a friend of mine, who posted this rebuttal:
- MikeMC (2018-02-18) “A celebrity President would be the perfect acknowledgement of everything wrong with America right now, goddammit.” In this post, MikeMC claims he’s going to offer a rebuttal to end all rebuttals (or as he puts it: “I’m fully gonna (metaphorically) kick him down the stairs in the most brutal fashion for the article he just wrote“
- I now feel up to the challenge to write a rebuttal both to MikeMC and to another author who takes a similar tone. It takes me a while, but I finally publish the silly thing:
- robla (2018-05-01) “Celebrity Democrats: ignore the haters“
- MikeMC feels compelled to offer a rebuttal to my rebuttal:
- MikeMC (2018-06-09) “I won’t swear in this response….“
I don’t think either of us has convinced one another of anything, but still, that’s where we left things. I still think Oprah would be a perfectly acceptable choice by Democrats in 2020. Not my favorite choice, but still, a powerful strategic move. MikeMC still thinks its a terrible idea.
I’m offering this summary only because I have something vaguely related that I’d like to share, and I’d like to refer back to this discussion. I hope you enjoyed this summary.
In January 2016, before either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump had secured their nominations, I posted an article on Daily Kos titled “What Donald Trump and Jimmy Carter have in common”. Since Republicans hadn’t settled on Trump yet, many Democrats were not-so-secretly hoping that Trump would win the nomination. I felt pretty alone in suggesting that Trump might not merely win the primary, but he might even be able to win the general election. That filled me with dread, but took comfort in the conventional wisdom of the day that Trump couldn’t win.
The comparison of Carter to Trump in 2016 still holds true today in 2017. Though that gave me dread in 2016, it gives me hope looking forward to the 2018 election. Let’s revisit the topic, because the subsequent election of 1980 holds lessons about 2020 that feel less dreadful IF we learn from history.
- Departed deity that was in charge in the receding party’s glory days
1976 : FDR (Democratic President: 1933–1945)
2016 : Reagan (Republican President: 1981–1989)
- Party with receding wave
1976 : Democrats (New Deal)
2016 : Republicans (supply-side economics)
- Party with rising wave
1976 : Republicans (“government is the problem”)
2016 : Democrats (“we are the 99%”)
- “Obvious” safe choice for party
1976: Gerald Ford (the White House incumbent)
2016: Hillary Clinton (“realist” choice)
- Candidate riding rising wave
1976: Reagan (narrowly lost 1976 nomination)
2016: Sanders (narrowly lost 2016 nomination)
- Unlikely party outsider for receding party
1976: Jimmy Carter
Now to explain:Continue reading “Jimmy Carter, populism and Donald Trump”