Thursday, October 09, 2014

Domain disaster, identity, history, account balance and horizons

I've added Python tag to this post, because the traffic above is mostly Python related, so it might be interesting to those concerned about preservation on their posts (or about essential properties of well-known trolls in certain communities). Blogging is not an easy process, especially if you're not an English native and it takes about 4 hours on average to rewrite and reword the content until it satisfies you, so preserving this knowledge is somewhat important. Some of the most emotional and big posts are never published at all (like black hate of Python 3 default system encoding or drafts of Spyder plugin architecture) .

So, what happened with the graph above?

With zero income over the past 2+ years I couldn't keep up with my bills and the domain name registration expired after I couldn't make it. It doesn't cost much ~$10 a year, but it is on the bill with DreamHost web hosting plan that costs $120 yearly + minimal VPS instance for $5/month to run Bitbucket mirrors and other services. I got the money from a $500 gift that I wanted to make to my girlfriend after we broke apart. To be honest I never had a girlfrend, but it was a nice try. It was painful, but in the end these $500 helped to save on debts without sacrificing my desire to meet with friends. I must say it is really hard to sustain any kind of relationship (timely replies, calls, switching to the context of another person, sharing interests, job activities) when you have an ADHD mindset, especially in those moments when you "catch the flow" and just escape everything outside until the feeling passes. The escape is possible. Otherwise it would be a direct way nowhere, but it is always stressful and takes its toll on psychosomatic resilience (how much stress a person can handle until it starts to grow on person's in physical form). Other factors may be contributing too, such as wiring scheme in ADHD trained brain - which can be more flexible so that it is able to diverge resources from maintenance of body systems to cognitive abilities. If there is some virus or generic modification in your body (chronic disease is also an option) - it might (probably will) take this chance to capture more territory when under a stress condition. At a time when rewiring process switches off lights in corridors near the dark corners of immune system. But that's is just a theory, an indication how easy it is for me to become distracted, which in turn is the cause why the situation emerged at all.

Looking at the chart of traffic I think that if that traffic was in any way useful at all, I wish it could be directly converted into paying for domain name and hosting. I don't need extra and don't want to "monetize" content by introducing pestering ads and other nasty stuff from the "business end" - just need the power to keep the systems up and operational. It is quite sad knowing that only a year needs to pass after you die to erase traces of your work from the internet, and even don't help when new owner of your domain uploads robots.txt to block resource-sucking spiders. It will be much more comfortable knowing that what you do will persist to help somebody else save some time in future.

The easy answer would be to just blog on * * or facebook if you like, and that's already an option for a newer generation, but you own domain is one of the achievements in the ladder of your technical skills. Or sometimes it is just matters for some reason.

One high tech idea to build a sustainable human-less domain preservation mechanism was to build a closed loop around automated recurring payments with bitcoins. That one needs a lot of time to develop and clean up roadblocks for an automatic chain that transforms useful traffic to Etherium or any other similar Bitcoin 2.0 concept. There are two concerns here. First is that useful needs to be defined more clearly. I am sure for some reason that Google already knows and calculates the metric even for posts without views, likes or +1 buttons. Second concern is that there is so much buzz about Bitcoin 2.0, that it looks like people are already fighting to capture this playfield, and I am not sure that these new technologies are really worthy. Investigation and review needs time and it is hard to tell how much exactly without trying.

Another option to sustain the costs was to use DreamHost referral system that through a referral link allows to get bonus for every newly registered user. is a very old account - it uses a deprecated recurring bonus scheme, that shares 10% of new user's payments instead of one-time bonuses, but so far I had only $5 from 10 people registered over last 5 years or so, and I don't think it is a good route to take unless you want to force people to hate you, because you're obsessed with selling them to DreamHost as referrals. also possesses a nice looking donation URL that looks like but it does not answer the questions "how much does this this blog needs to be alive and why?", "what part of a share should I pay?" and more import "why should I pay for this?". In other words there is no transparency and trust in "modern" economy, because openness and transparency hurts it. And if resources become scarce, the economy starts a killing cycle. It is not from economy - it is from ecosystems.

There are always ideas for new experiments and horizons in this area, such as marrying Gratipay concept with BitHub. These project are less obsessed with "doing money software for the money", but they can not escape the "preferential attachment" of people around it, meaning that people will support projects that support money movement more than projects that need actual support, such as PyPy, Spyder and PySide. It might be not even about project support, but more about people contributing to these projects. I don't think that I have a solution to the problem, because it complex, but I think I'd be happy to try if I had a chance.

I tried to submit a proposal for activities to H2020 program as a last chance to escape the corporate clutches and dedicate some time to experiment, but I could not find a single idea over which to subscribe myself to work over for the next five years. In the end I realized that I am alone and hardly the right the right person to do coordination and communication work even though it might be extremely interesting at some point (and hence extremely difficult to resist).

So, in the conclusion of this letter to make it more useful and worthy of 4 hour time, I'd really like to see more people from hard core Python projects that are somehow supported in Europe (such as PyPy and PySide), and especially people from outside who interested in helping them, to take a look at the Horizon 2020 program. It is a funding scheme for EU companies, but organizations from outside (including US and Russia) are welcome to participate with their own funds if they contribute something unique. I believe it is the only way for independent R&D to continue and it will be a pity to miss this chance to experiment with transparent economy schemes and trust systems to support people in open source and open science projects. And it requires more than just coding skills to handle. In fact, it may require a completely different set of skills, even art or design or cognitive sciences - everything that helps better understanding and communication. Because all problems in the world are the problems of communication.