So… it’s no secret that I haven’t been posting lately which has more to do with minor health problems, no it wasn’t the C or the T viruses, more than anything else it’s mostly been me just letting life get in the way of my propagandist hobby!

And before we begin I would just like to say that I am saddened to hear about electrical engineer/mythbuster/roboticist Grant Imahara’s death. 😦

But setting that sad news aside, I started working today by checking the comments on my blog to clear out all the spam and one shining gem stood out among the crowd of coprolite.

One spammer put in just that little extra bit of effort to troll me about not posting and it’s so perfectly executed I just have to share it, though I’m not exceedingly stupid so I’m going to remove the phishing link (NEVER click the phishing links!!!).

The spammer trolled on:

“Reliable postings. Regards. home loans”

Note that the “home loans” part was the phishing link.

This level of attention to detail could possibly mean that it came from My Dear Spammer Creep but it’s not quite their style… in any case, I do feel such exquisite warmth and love from the community of spammer trolls who have clearly taken up permanent residence near my blog!

Also of note, though changing topics, is I recently got the chance to consult with a friend on some PHP code, and he claims I “saved him some time”/”he owes me a soda!!”.

Personally, I think I probably should have suggested using the existing “rest” function rather than writing a separate security token “auth” function but I guess that’s what missing too much sleep will do to you!

I only hope that the duct tape holds well enough to muffle all the screams!

Anyway, during my unannounced hiatus I was awarded a “badge” on GitHub, which was an unexpected surprise! 🙂

I didn’t even know GitHub had badges! 😛

But, if you’re gonna receive one, this one seems like a mildly interesting one to get!

It’s called the “Arctic Code Vault Contributor” merit badge / award thingie.

The “Arctic Code Vault” is a backup of “all of its (GitHub’s) public open source code” which means it is a little like a “participation trophy” so I guess I shouldn’t be too smug about it even though I do feel a little twinge of the o’l narcissism flaring up!

What it means is that some of my code was deemed moderately useful enough by someone, who isn’t myself, a friend or family, to be preserved for at least 1000 years in a secure, remote underground nuclear hardened facility as insurance against the unfortunate event of, (cough)… “Total Atomic Annihilation” for you know… posterity sake.

Actually, it’s not a half bad idea because IF “world leaders” decide to start a nuclear war and obliterate modern society and there are survivors… they can rise from the stone age when they reacquire the information and technology contained within the cache.

Think Vault-Tech “Prepared for the Future!” but “real” and without the evil experiments… hopefully!

I imagine in a thousand years someone will crack that sucker open and Joan Wilder/Jack T. Colton blow the dust off of El Corazón and uncover my code.. oh, uh… and everyone else’s too and review it as like a digital time capsule. Indiana Jones will probably go along just to make sure things stay above board!

I will say that It is kinda nice to know that something I’ve done will be preserved at least as far as 1000 years into the future, even if it’s not me personally surviving cryogenically preserved like Walt Disney in the vault until 3020ish, though now I’m having an idiocracy flash back! 😛

And not to be resting on my laurels or anything but… sure seems like I can now die with the greatest sense of accomplishment knowing that no matter what happens going forward in this nihilistic universe we all live and do other things in, my name and accomplishments will certainly outlast EVERYTHING, most if not all of you, will EVER do!

#GameOverIWin 😛

Granted, that shouldn’t stop all of you from trying to beat my score, but let’s be honest… that’s hard to do and your ass feels pretty warm and comfy right where it is!

Also, it amuses me to no end because some programmers look at PHP code like a cockroach (for only somewhat valid reasons), but now thanks to me (oh and the archivists too I guess)… like a cockroach,  PHP is going to survive global nuclear fallout and it could even become the technological bedrock that all “future code” is derived from!

Just think of it, PHP 10,000 AD…

Now that’s a VR experience I’d pay to play!

Here’s the thing though, if I’m being totally honest, I always expected that this blog would be the thing of mine that would be archived and preserved (probably by law enforcement but possibly also by historians) to enlighten the future masses… at the very least so future generations could study my bizarre ramblings for wisdom and insights into inferior primitive human physiology, if not my physical brain as well!

Oops, my narcissist is showing again, thought I tucked that in.

In any case, it’s notable that the subterranean vault/bunker that my code is being stored in is like right next to the “Svalbard Global Seed Vault” which is essentially the same thing but with seeds for foods and textile crops and probably like trees and grass and some flowers and stuff.

Anyway… most likely, almost everyone will eventually get one badge or another on GitHub which means badges could become some kind of “status symbol” that quadfurcates the coding community into “the haves” and “the have nots” vs “the wants” and “the want nots”.

And sure, they give you the option of not displaying them but even the choice of not displaying them is just information that will feed back into the primitive gamified online social interaction mechanisms of hominids in 2020, yielding more stratification when the more radical members of the “the want nots” group argue that “badges” are “inherently divisive” and possibly even “evil” due to the discord (not the app) they cause and the more centrist “the haves”+”the wants” will say they are just jealous and “the have nots”+”the wants” will sympathetically agree while “the haves”+”the want nots” will empathetically not give a damn leaning towards possibly agreeing with the more radical faction of the “the want nots”!

But see, the quadchotomy isn’t so simple because the choice to NOT show a badge “says something” just as much as the inverse and opposite, which might be “the opt-in to participate/receive an accolade”+”the choice to display it” (as opposed to being forced to have to receive and display it) and of course we can’t forget the “NULL results” where despite active participation (willful or not), some folks just wont get any!

Making this a quintchotomy? Hmmm… actually, it’s starting to feel more like an octochotomy but likely that’s just me over analyzing things again. 😛

I simply do not have the time and energy to parse the complex tree resulting from such a model of human interaction but I’ll tell you this, what it feels like is a drug and a dealer!

Of course we all know the first few badges are free but uh… once you need the poison you’re addicted and you’ll do anything for the yummy reinforcing taste of that sweet “social feedback”!

This Could Be You!:

It hurts real bad man! I’m Jonsin’ here! I just need a little LIKE to hold me over till I write my next post or publish my next script on GitHub so I can earn another badge!”

It could only be a matter of time before they roll out “the paid subscription shiny badges”!

Oh its “totally cosmetic” but WE ALL KNOW the “shiny badges” get all the cool “extra perks” that are fundamentally NOT cosmetic!

Ha! What about the mostly intangibles?!

Like, after receiving the “Arctic Code Vault Contributor” badge, I’ve noticed a totally undeserved non-insignificant bump in the appreciable average annual starting salary for the job offers I receive via email… oh uh… not that I’m complaining though! 😛

So, multiply that effect by a factor of paid badges like “Professional Hoopajooper” & “Expert in Foo’Barification” (I happen to be both), which of course would only be accessible behind a paywall because “there’s a test and we TOTALLY verify all the blah blah…” (I’m having CompTIA A+ flashbacks here), that establishes that you are an #AOkayNumber1SuperCoder or you know… whatever the thing is and as a result of the fact that those badges could become “status symbols” of being “qualified/elite” they could also become hiring markers that indicate “fitness” for employment!

“We WOULD hire you BUT… you’re not a member of the “Green Check Mark Badge” group on GitHub and in our experience, check mark members are simply the bestest best!”

Now… despite my serious concerns over a gamified scifi apocalyptic future where digital badges are as good as or better than currency and are counterfeited en masse in back alleys and in old boarded up warehouses the world over… after much thought and deliberation, though not wishing to feed the zeitgeist and also genuinely not wishing to throw my lot in with the more radical faction of the “the want nots”… I have decided follow the path of least resistance and leave the badge displayed on My GitHub page because in the end, it takes more effort than I care to exert to disable it and then have to defend that decision.

And… if you think about it, it is kind of a cute little asterisk / literal special snowflake badge thingie… or maybe… an  “arctic north star”?

I’m not really sure actually and in any case, my thoughts keep returning to the phrase…

“The first one is free…”

The whole thing feels a little Skinnarian or possibly Pavlovian, and its hard to say if the bell rings therefore I salivate, or if I salivate so therefore I ring the bell?!

Though this will compute…

if ($badges == $carrots){

$Joy->IsStillUncertainOf(‘What the stick might be’);

}

Certainly such things are above my pay grade and would likely mean I’d have to find someway to break the fourth wall and view the universe from the perspective of the simulation creators looking in… on the other hand… that might just be me being solipsistic again!

Anyway, my source code says I owe you all a wallpaper.

A Transcendent Space Girl Wallpaper

So… today’s wallpaper is inspired in part by the Code Vault award and by the background image in the video or Kotovsky86’s – Space Traveller:

I love the image of the girl with the alien sky background with her sort of scifi “designer canvas” look.

I imagine that she isn’t actually on that planet, it’s an animated digital wallpaper that lines the walls of the corridor she’s in.

She arrived a little earlier than her water ice hauling contract required and her Orion was securely moored with the docking pylon.

She crossed the airlock in the mooring tether to board the station while the bots offload the ice and a few dozen tons of food and industrial supplies.

First stop is of course the system famous Atomic Spacer’s bar and grill, best grub you’ll find 800 million miles from earth! Their name and slogan are probably a little on the nose but they sell Florps and that’s good enough for everyone!

The lights and colors in the bar make it seem like a familiar future. Just sitting there you’d never even know you were millions of miles from earth.

As she sat down,  a notification from corporate about a bonus of 75 Kryptos being deposited into her digital wallet displayed the top right corner of her gamified Kiroshi contact lenses hud.

The company likes it when you make them look good to their customers.

She received another notification that an “Early Bird” badge was added to her permanent record.

She mentally swiped left on both and brought up the news feed from Earth while she waited for the robot to come take her order…

“In other news… Ms. Crystalline Actinide from the Global Archivists Guild tweeted today that the 2019 Arctic Code Vault time capsule has finally been opened after 1000 years and archeologist computer scientists are reviewing the code now…”

As the broadcast continues, for one brief nanosecond, my name flashes across the video feed in her contact lenses and at that moment, centuries long past my death, I will step forward in time and transcended my death, even if is just for a blink of an eye!

My Transcendent Badge Wallpaper
My Transcendent Badge Wallpaper

If you are wondering, yes I have a Patreon, if not, no worries!

Much Love,

~Joy