Fall; or, Dodge in Hell
Over my recent vacation, I read Neal Stephenson's latest book Fall; or, Dodge in
Hell, which is a rough sequel to 2011's
REAMDE. I thought I'd write up some brief thoughts I had on it and
maybe some questions for a hypothetical future reader. Like all of Stephenson's work from the last couple of decades,
this book is a meandering combination of science fiction, philosophy, political commentary, and
mythical fantasy. The Kindle edition I read is 880 pages long, and went pretty quickly over four three-hour flights.
In general, I'd give it ★★★☆☆. It's got lots of interesting ideas, but it's shot through with too much ridiculous
libertarian ideology, and it tries to tell too way too many stories in parallel. If you liked Cryptonomicon, you'll
probably like this book, but I would be surprised if anyone likes it enough to plod through it twice.
WARNING: This post will contain significant spoliers for both
Fall and REAMDE; don't keep reading untless you've either read both or are highly confident you aren't going to read
Small update: this website now supports "Dark Mode" on macOS 10.14+ iOS 13+, and the forthcoming Android Q, all using the
prefers-color-scheme CSS media
selector. Let me know if you see anything that looks janky!
Ode to a Pager
I've been on-call for most of the last 11 years. I was on-call for the CS Department at Mudd. I was on-call at
Yelp, in a rotation that at times contained as few as three people. I was on-call at Uber in rotations ranging from one
to twenty people. And I've been on-call at EasyPost — initially in a rotation with one other person, and
currently with two other people. I have responded to tens of thousands of pages. I have been woken up in the middle of
the night hundreds of times. For the last seven or …
Ditching Gmail After 15 Years
Everyone who even casually follows the tech industry knows, intellectually, that Google builds an enormous dystopian profile of everything you do in order to sell ads.
But I think there's a difference between knowing that Google Analytics is a shameless back door to do cross-site tracking and actually coming face-to-face with your own profile. Yesterday, CNBC featured a
story about a new
Google UI which shows you a list of every purchase that you've made in the last few years:
https://myaccount.google.com/purchases. For me, wide variety of commercial activity — every
purchase I've ever made at a …
GPG Key Transition
My current PGP/GnuPG key is expiring, so I've rolled a new one. The ID of the new key
0x3C7775DD37811E62 (full fingerprint:
1ED5 E5A3 01C3 D109 9040 2289 3C77 75DD 3781 1E62)
and it should be in your favorite keyservers,
cross-signed by my old key. You can also find it at https://files.roguelazer.com/roguelazer.gpg.
It has also been attached to my keybase.io account and my Github
profile. My previous key (
) has not been revoked
and has not been compromised, but you should still stop using it if possible. The new key is a 4096-bit RSA
key with SHA-2 digest signatures — I'm not quite bold enough to switch to ECC for a long-lived key yet.
My signed transition document is below, and can also be found at
you prefer to download it directly.
Additionally, I have generated a separately-signed key with ID
0x233E5EAF0EC3ABA9 (full fingerprint:
14E8 9660 188D BC9B 2C17 67AA 233E 5EAF 0EC3 ABA9). This key should not be used for communication,
but will only be used to sign VCS commits/tags/&c (in Git and perhaps in
Pijul). It's going to be on my [managed] work computer, so treat it with a grain
I went up yesterday with my wife's family to hike around on some Sonoma Land Trust
property up in the North Bay and brought my
camera. It's amazing to
see the hills green and growing after so many years of drought! You can see a
smattering of photos in this flickr
here are some of my favorites:
If you're in Northern California and are physically-able, you should try to get out and enjoy this; it's gorgeous!