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901  Other / Off-topic / Random thought: Logging as a key design principle in relational databases on: February 05, 2019, 05:09:35 PM
I've dealt with relational databases for well over 10 years. One thing which I've realized in the past few years but which I've never really seen mentioned in any of the books or guides about this (though maybe I've just missed it) is the following principle of effective relational database design: You should always start designing a relational database schema from the perspective of logs. For example, instead of having an "email_address" column in a users table which gets updated from time to time, you should have a table like email_log (user_id, time, email_address), and the user's current email address will be their newest entry in that log.

On countless occasions I or someone else had not done this, and I'd regretted it. Structuring things in this log-based way:
 - Promotes application-level database consistency, since you can't as easily update data outside of the intended contract.
 - Gives you access to a more complete picture of each piece of data, which you often want later.
 - Makes normalization the default.
 - Starts you off on a good footing performance-wise, since insertions into a log table are usually near-free and non-locking. Because two processes never need to write the same data at the same time, contention is kept to a minimum. Locking/contention is in practice the biggest performance issue for many applications, such as websites.

Now, sometimes it's too annoying to always do this. If your idea of a "user" is the end result of a dozen or more logs, then it may be difficult or performance-poor to perform more complex queries on the data. In this case, you can create more traditional "caching" tables using triggers on the log tables (or at the application level, or by using DBMS support for materialized views). Since these tables are only derived from the real data, in some cases it may be acceptable to do this on a "best-effort" basis, for example by only updating the caching tables occasionally or by using low levels of transaction isolation when dealing with the caching tables.

It's fairly common I think to do the reverse of the above paragraph, where you have triggers on the main tables which fill up log tables, but I don't regard this as ideal because it removes most of the advantages I listed earlier.

If logs become too large to be performant or convenient, it often requires no changes to the application to just delete all non-latest log entries older than <some time>.
902  Other / Politics & Society / Re: Elizabeth Warren Doesn't Understand Wealth Taxes on: February 04, 2019, 05:31:19 PM
If any wealth tax is imposed, that's basically the end of the US as a major economy. While Warren's proposal would only affect a tiny percentage of the population, it'd probably directly lead to economic and societal collapse, massively encouraging wasteful spending and discouraging savings, risk, and investment. It's also a slippery slope to ever-increasing wealth taxes.

It could be worse...

AOC's 70% progressive-income-tax proposal is very bad, but it's a lot better than any wealth tax. The economy could basically continue, though very fettered, under such a system.
903  Other / Meta / Re: Suggestion: length limitation to trust ratings on: February 03, 2019, 05:25:38 PM
For feedback longer than the 600 characters, I prefer that you consolidate it into posts somewhere. Even if the comments are good, long comments kind of monopolize the page.

Can the three times activity be increased maybe with the rank?

Some people are near to the cap

If anyone runs into it and thinks that they should be allowed to continue, PM me and I'll think about the issue more. I could whitelist certain individuals, or I could make it expand significantly at higher ranks.
904  Other / Politics & Society / Re: So, let's talk about that new abortion law... on: February 03, 2019, 05:02:13 PM
When I was younger, I used to be totally pro-choice, but now I'm mildly pro-life. When I was pro-choice, it was based mainly on:

1. The "evictionism" argument: the woman's body is fundamentally hers to do with what she wishes. If eg. you live at the south pole and someone barges into your house and must stay for 9 months or else die from the cold, your property rights allow you to refuse them, especially if their presence creates risks for you.
2. Unborn children aren't developed enough to be moral agents with rights. If you treat them the same as full humans because they can (at certain points) feel pain, have a heartbeat, etc., then you might as well consider animals as full humans too.

My opinion on the evictionism argument was changed by the counter-argument that it's more as if you hit someone with a car far from civilization, and they're going to die if you don't shelter them in your house. By bringing a child into life knowingly or through carelessness, you've created a sort of tort against both them and your partner which obliges you to at least try to keep the child alive until birth.

I still somewhat agree with #2, which is why I'm only mildly pro-life. If the subject has never been able to form thoughts objecting to it, I can't consider it fully murder, at least.

That said, I find it very problematic on an intellectual level to set hard timeline-borders such as "it's totally OK 1 second before birth, but murder 1 second after birth". If you believe that abortion is OK just before <time X> then the only consistent position is to believe that it's not much worse just after <time X>. So in the Northam controversy, I actually find his "post-birth abortion" position more intellectually honest than many of the more extreme pro-choice advocates, even if I strongly disagree with him. I think that you have to define "moral agency" as a continuous function over time, starting at conception and ending at some point in the future, perhaps even after birth. So perhaps killing the fetus should be treated as "75% murder" both 1 second before and 1 second after birth, for example. I'm not advocating any specific function, though -- I suppose it should be based on the local cultural standards and the available scientific data.

It's frustrating when one side of this issue totally fails to perceive the other side's legitimate arguments. Many people scream "you're killing babies!" or "you want to control women's bodies!", completely closing their minds to the opposing arguments.

These sorts of tricky issues which will never have a single universally-agreed-upon answer is a major thing which attracted me to David-Friedman-style anarcho-capitalism, which in a very natural way allows for different people with different ideologies to have different laws.

My instincts have developed as I've gotten older. The thought of abortion used to not bother me at all, but now it makes me uncomfortable even very soon after conception. But we must remain aware that this sort of instinctual discomfort is an external factor enforced by evolution, and it is disconnected from rationality.

Also, from a utilitarian perspective I totally reject over-population arguments. Humans create usable resources on net through innovation - practically-speaking, resources are not some limited pool which we all fight over in a zero-sum way. The more people, the better.

the shift from abortion being a rare last resort, kind of intervention, to a method of contraception in lieu of others.

Agreed, while I don't think that this kind of thinking is all that common, where it exists it is really unpleasant.
905  Other / Meta / Re: grin is now accepted for forum payments on: February 03, 2019, 01:17:14 AM
How did you know about grin so early? Was it posted somewhere?

I read the original mimblewimble paper in 2016 and was very interested. I mentioned it a few times on Reddit and here (eg. here). A while later I heard that someone was working on it in the form of grin, but I then mostly forgot about it. I wasn't actively following it. But luckily in December or thereabouts I stumbled upon some article on coindesk or similar that mentioned its impending release.
906  Other / Meta / Re: Suggestion: length limitation to trust ratings on: February 02, 2019, 02:56:03 PM
Well just the ones that do not conform to the new standards. I suspect he will re apply those in a more sensible/accurate manner soon.

No, that was a clear case of trust spam. 200+ very similar ratings with many against the same users over and over again. He's banned for 14 days.

These new restrictions are not retroactive.
907  Other / Meta / Re: Suggestion: length limitation to trust ratings on: February 02, 2019, 02:50:26 PM
OK, new limits:
 - You can't give more than 5 ratings to a single user.
 - Your total sent ratings is limited to three times your activity, but at least 1.
 - The comment length is limited to 600 characters, but each newline counts as 120 characters.
908  Economy / Auctions / Advertise on this forum - Round 268 on: February 01, 2019, 07:08:31 PM
The forum sells ad space in the area beneath the first post of every topic page. This income is used primarily to cover hosting costs and to pay moderators for their work (there are many moderators, so each moderator gets only a small amount -- moderators should be seen as volunteers, not employees). Any leftover amount is typically either saved for future expenses or otherwise reinvested into the forum or the ecosystem.

Ads are allowed to contain any non-annoying HTML/CSS style. No images, JavaScript, or animation. Ads must appear 3 or fewer lines tall in my browser (Firefox, 900px wide). Ad text may not contain lies, misrepresentation, or inappropriate language. Ads may not link directly to any NSFW page. No ICOs[1], banks, funds, or anything else that a person can be said to "invest" in; I may very rarely make exceptions if you convince me that you are ultra legit, but don't count on it. Ads may be rejected for other reasons, and I may remove ads even after they are accepted.

There are 10 total ad slots which are randomly rotated. So one ad slot has a one in ten chance of appearing. Nine of the slots are for sale here. Ads appear only on topic pages with more than one post, and only for people using the default theme.


- Your ads are guaranteed to be up for at least 7 days.
- I usually try to keep ads up for no more than 8 or 9 days.
- Sometimes ads might be up for longer, but hopefully no longer than 12 days. Even if past rounds sometimes lasted for long periods of time, you should not rely on this for your ads.


Exact historical impression counts per slot:

Info about the current ad slots:

Ad blocking

Hero/Legendary members, Donators, VIPs, and moderators have the ability to disable ads. I don't expect many people to use this option. These people don't increase the impression stats for your ads.

I try to bypass Adblock Plus filters as much as possible, though this is not guaranteed. It is difficult or impossible for ABP filters to block the ad space itself without blocking posts. However, filters can match against the URLs in your links, your CSS classes and style attributes, and the HTML structure of your ads.

To prevent matches against URLs: I have some JavaScript which fixes links blocked by ABP. You must tell me if you want this for your ads. When someone with ABP and JavaScript enabled views your ads, your links are changed to a special randomized URL which redirects to your site when visited. People without ABP are unaffected, even if they don't have JavaScript enabled. The downsides are:
- ABP users will see the redirection link when they hover over the link, even if they disable ABP for the forum.
- Getting referral stats might become even more difficult.
- Some users might get a warning when redirecting from https to http.

To prevent matching on CSS classes/styles: Don't use inline CSS. I can give your ad a CSS class that is randomized on each pageload, but you must request this.

To prevent matching against your HTML structure: Use only one <a> and no other tags if possible. If your ads get blocked because of matching done on something inside of your ad, you are responsible for noticing this and giving me new ad HTML.

Designing ads

Make sure that your ads look good when you download and edit this test page:
Also read the comments in that file.

Images are not allowed no matter how they are created (CSS, SVG, or data URI). Occasionally I will make an exception for small logos and such, but you must get pre-approval from me first.

The maximum size of any one ad is 51200 bytes.

I will send you more detailed styling rules if you win slots in this auction (or upon request).

Auction rules

You must be at least a Jr Member to bid. If you are not a Jr Member and you really want to bid, you should PM me first. Tell me in the PM what you're going to advertise. You might be required to pay some amount in advance. Everyone else: Please quickly PM newbies who try to bid here to warn them against impersonation scammers.

If you have never purchased forum ad space before, and it is not blatantly obvious what you're going to advertise, say what you're going to advertise in your first bid, or tell me in a PM.

Post your bids in this thread. Prices must be stated in BTC per slot. You must state the maximum number of slots you want. When the auction ends, the highest bidders will have their slots filled until all nine slots are filled.

So if someone bids for 9 slots @ 5 BTC and this is the highest bid, then he'll get all 9 slots. If the two highest bids are 9 slots @ 4 BTC and 1 slot @ 5 BTC, then the first person will get 8 slots and the second person will get 1 slot.

The notation "2 @ 5" means 2 slots for 5 BTC each. Not 2 slots for 5 BTC total.

- When you post a bid, the bids in your previous posts are considered to be automatically canceled. You can put multiple bids in one post, however.
- All bid prices must be evenly divisible by 0.02.
- The bidding starts at 0.02.
- I will end the auction at an arbitrary time. Unless I say otherwise, I typically try to end auctions within a few days of 10 days from the time of this post, but unexpected circumstances may sometimes force me to end the auction anytime between 4 and 22 days from the start. I have a small bias toward ending auctions on Fridays, Sundays, and Mondays.
- If two people bid at the same price, the person who bid first will have his slots filled first.
- Bids are considered invalid and will be ignored if they do not specify both a price and a max quantity, or if they could not possibly win any slots

If these rules are confusing, look at some of the past forum ad auctions to see how it's done.

I reserve the right to reject bids, even days after the bid is made.

Price flattening

At the end of the auction, after the winning bids are all determined, I will do a "price flattening" operation. This has no effect on which bids actually win. For each bid, in order of lowest to greatest price/slot, I will reduce each bid's price/slot to the highest value which is equal to or only the minimum increment greater than the next-lower bid. This allows you to bid higher prices without worrying so much, but you still mustn't bid more than you're willing to pay. Example:

Slots  BTC/Slot  Person
    6      0.20       A
    1      0.16       B
    1      0.08       C
    1      0.08       D

Slots  BTC/Slot  Person
    6      0.12       A [step 4: reduced to 0.10+0.02=0.12]
    1      0.10       B [step 3: reduced to 0.08+0.02=0.10]
    1      0.08       C [step 2: same as the next-lowest, unchanged]
    1      0.08       D [step 1: the lowest bid is always unchanged]

Payment, etc.

You must pay for your slots within 24 hours of receiving the payment address. Otherwise your slots may be sold to someone else, and I might even give you a negative trust rating. I will send you the payment information via forum PM from this account ("theymos", user ID 35) after announcing the auction results in this thread. You might receive false payment information from scammers pretending to be me. They might even have somewhat similar usernames. Be careful.

[1]: For the purposes of forum ads, an ICO is any token, altcoin, or other altcoin-like thing which meets any of the following criteria: it is primarily run/backed by a company; it is substantially, fundamentally centralized in either operation or coin distribution; or it is not yet possible for two unprivileged users of the system to send coins directly to each other in a P2P way. The intention here is to allow community efforts to advertise things like Litecoin, but not to allow ICO funding, even when the ICO is disguised in various ways.
909  Economy / Auctions / Re: Advertise on this forum - Round 267 on: February 01, 2019, 07:05:25 PM
Auction ended, final result:
Slots BTC/Slot Person
4 0.26 blenderio
2 0.24
1 0.22 SwC_Poker
1 0.22 CryptoStats
1 0.20 Renko
910  Other / Meta / Re: Seeking reporter badge images on: January 29, 2019, 11:23:48 PM
still waiting for it Cry

Sorry for the wait, when I went to implement this it ended up being quite a bit more of a can of worms than I originally thought because of opting out, preventing certain report-count-padding strategies, etc. It's still on my to-do list, but there are several things above it.
911  Alternate cryptocurrencies / Announcements (Altcoins) / Re: [ANN] Grin | PoW Mining | Electronic transactions for all. Community driven. on: January 27, 2019, 08:18:47 PM
I am trying to get into Grin and read and watched a couple of articles and videos. Grin pomotes itself as scalable. However Jasper van der Maarel states [1] it does process only 10 transactions per second. This is definitely not scalable. So, how is that meant to be scalable?


It's 14 tps.

It's scalable because it doesn't have ever-mounting costs. If you took Bitcoin and gave it 100 MB blocks, that'd be up to 5.2 TB of data added per year to the history that some subset of users would have to completely store and all full nodes would have to completely download. Altcoins get away with using large max block sizes and saying that they're "scalable" because their blocks are usually empty, so they don't actually have to face the costs.

Grin has a 15 MB bitcoin-equivalent max block size, and while this increases the bandwidth which nodes require (from an absolute minimum of 53 kbps on Bitcoin to 200 kbps on grin - note however that the network cannot function if most nodes have only this minimum), it largely does not increase the history which nodes must keep track of, since mimblewimble uniquely allows the entire network to forget old data.

Maybe in the future there will be a willingness to increase the minimum required bandwidth on grin substantially as global Internet speeds increase. At first glance 200 kbps seems conservative for grin, and since grin does not aim to be a store of value, it can afford to be somewhat reckless anyway. But as long as your network relies on every network participant taking a look at every transaction (ie. on-chain transactions in all decentralized block chain systems), you have no hope of competing with the throughput of eg. Visa, since you have to support ordinary people with less-than-optimized Internet connections running nodes. Global broadcast just doesn't scale well, which is why we're not all tapped into the same Ethernet network. LN can get Visa-level transaction volumes because it keeps most transactions local to the participants.
912  Alternate cryptocurrencies / Speculation (Altcoins) / Re: Grin Observer - GRN/BTC - Price Movement and Discussion on: January 27, 2019, 02:27:55 AM
Told you guys this'd be even better than HoweyCoins!

(But seriously, these prices are extremely unlikely to be long-term-stable IMO.)
913  Alternate cryptocurrencies / Announcements (Altcoins) / Re: [ANN] Grin | PoW Mining | Electronic transactions for all. Community driven. on: January 26, 2019, 09:39:51 PM
HI thanks for help,

wallet 713 is good?


wallet713 still requires that you run the grin daemon, so you might as well get that set up first.

wallet713's grinbox addresses would theoretically be OK if you never reused them and ran wallet713 via Tor, but wallet713 doesn't even support Tor yet.
914  Other / Politics & Society / Re: Trump Threatens To Keep Government Closed "For Months Or years" on: January 26, 2019, 02:31:45 PM
Well, Trump caved yesterday, with $0 for the wall. It's not over yet but I find it hard to believe that he can get anything now that his bluff's been called.

This is just a CR, so a full budget will be coming soon. I still think he might get the $1.6 billion (and call it a massive victory). The $5.7 billion is very unlikely now, since the inertia is now strongly against him, and he's demonstrated a lack of willingness to follow through. I predict that there will not be another shutdown in 3 weeks.

I'm disappointed it ended so soon. Things were just starting to heat up.

I'm constantly shocked and how incompetent Trump's advisors must be. He could have won this if he'd been willing to endure major disasters and widespread outcry, but clearly he wasn't anywhere near so willing, since he broke at almost the first sign of trouble. So it's now clear that he had no strategy for winning when he went into this. I get the sense that he's surrounded by the sort of energetic but unrealistic ideologues you see on eg. /r/The_Donald, plus a handful of establishment neocons who he only sometimes listens to. I kind of like Trump - his policy instincts are better than most politicians, and he's unusually willing to buck the establishment -, so it's disappointing that his administration is such a mess.

If I were him and had similar values as he does, I'd fire basically my whole staff, replace them with people from the Heritage Foundation, tell them to figure out a way to get a wall built and make me look good, and then let them do 99% of the work from there. Then he'd have a functioning administration and he'd probably end up getting his wall, since he'd have actually-competent people working on it. Right now he's clearly in way over his head and surrounded by people who are either trying to undermine him or loyal-but-incompetent.

The reason he has emergency authority to build a wall is because it falls quite clearly under national security grounds, and most importantly defense of the nations sovereign borders.

This is the kind of overly-optimistic advice he should not be believing...

If he just had to move military to the border or something like that, he might get away with it. But in order to build a wall, he has to confiscate private property, and that's never going to stand. Every property-owner is going to sue Trump, and if even one of those many courts orders that construction be stopped, it's stopped. Furthermore, a president lost a very similar case  in the Supreme Court previously: In order to fight a war more effectively, a president tried to confiscate steel factories, but was prevented.

So if he tries doing it via national emergency, the courts will stop him near-immediately, it'll be stuck in legal proceedings for years, and at the end he'd probably still lose. Though even if he knows this, he might still try it so that he can say "well, I tried everything I can to build the wall".
915  Other / Politics & Society / Re: Venezuela on: January 25, 2019, 04:29:35 PM
What Venezuela has never seen, is a classic liberal system.

Agreed! Is anyone in Venezuela working toward that?
916  Other / Meta / Re: What if someone is wrongfully banned for plagiarism? on: January 24, 2019, 11:22:54 PM
First of all, if you have a history of good posts, then we're going to be suspicious of any plagiarism accusations. Second, if it does happen, you can come to Meta on a new account and explain it.

That exact scenario happened with chimk, and he was unbanned after we found out. And although it was certainly a big mistake on our part to have banned him in the first place, the person who framed him did in in a pretty sophisticated way, and his case was exacerbated by the language barrier (eg. we were unable to immediately determine whether he was a good poster or not).
917  Other / Politics & Society / Venezuela on: January 24, 2019, 10:58:11 PM
What are your thoughts on the current situation in Venezuela? I know that Bitcoin is pretty popular there; do we have any Venezuelan forum members?

Guaidó is the most obvious CIA-backed politician I've ever seen, but Maduro is totally evil. I'd recommend that the people of Venezuela find a third option, but between the two I suppose Guaidó is probably better...?

The interventionists in the US government really want to send troops there, so they're having diplomats stand in the crossfire in the hope that an incident occurs and this can be used as an excuse to invade. If Maduro is really careful, this can maybe be avoided, and perhaps he can last a while longer. Even though the US is talking as though they'll militarily support anti-Maduro rebels, I don't think that they'll actually openly do so without something that they can say constitutes major provocation.

Whatever happens, I hope that the situation in Venezuela finally improves. From what I've heard, it's been basically a hellhole there for at least several years.
918  Other / Meta / Re: [Local boards] Boards not showing trust - German board w/o moderator on: January 23, 2019, 09:46:45 PM
Added to Auctions. I'll investigate the moderator issue.
919  Alternate cryptocurrencies / Announcements (Altcoins) / Re: [ANN] Grin | PoW Mining | Electronic transactions for all. Community driven. on: January 23, 2019, 06:07:42 PM
"ツ" aka "Tsu" was adopted as the official currency symbol of the project.

Bad idea IMO since ツ is so common in Japanese. It'd be like using the letter "G" as their symbol.
920  Other / Meta / Re: grin is now accepted for forum payments on: January 23, 2019, 12:50:16 AM
Theymos, for someone who touts the importance of decentralization above all else, your level of hypocrisy by allowing yourself to play such a central role in the crypto community simply because you were the first to jump major discussion mediums is quite astounding.

Take a look at the interesting and worthwhile developments of the past 5 years, and not just the few your buddies throw their weight behind.

We've built blockchains that are interoperable, language agnostic, free to use, highly scalable, highly secure (in some instances- more secure than Bitcoin)... the list goes on. Some of these are unpolished, like Grin (which you concede), but others are running as well oiled machines. Is there any argument behind your point of view besides ignorance of how the space has changed in the latter half of the decade? "I'm Theymos so I am right" only works so many times.

You seem to have mistaken me for some sort of politician. If anyone interprets anything I say/do as "I'm theymos so I'm right," then they have totally misunderstood me. I'm very interested in grin on a technical level (not so much for investment), and I didn't see any harm in supporting it, so I spent a few hours adding it to the forum. I'm not trying to make any grand statement here. If grin ends up failing completely, then that will not be too surprising.

Occasionally in other cases I might have an attitude of, "I'm doing it this way because I'm convinced that I'm right. If I'm wrong, show me." If you disagree with my view that all but a few altcoins are based 95-100% on marketing, with only very half-baked actual features/ideas, then that's fine; I won't stop you. Use one or more of those altcoins to build interesting things, and I will be happy to see the ecosystem usefully expand in surprising ways.
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