Every time I’m involved in some social media discussion, I hear so much
completely inaccurate information being repeated time and again. Today,
someone claimed that people in South Africa would have “Black
Privilege”, completely ignorant of the long history of violent white
supremacy that ended less than 30 years ago. Additionally, way too many
people are ignorant of Jim Crow, and all the things that led up to and
followed the 1960’s Civil Rights Movement.
Ignoring the history of race relations is the foundation of a generation
of future racists. This complete ignorance of the past, this
white-washing, this idea that “racism ended in 1964 with the Civil
Rights Act”, these ideas are the start of a belief that the current race
relation problem is “reverse racism”: White people being discriminated
against. And since anti-Black racism is “over”, all the crime statistics
that show problems disproportionately affecting Black people must mean
that Black people are “just naturally like that.”
Curiously, these people are always well-“informed” about the history of
slavery world-wide, but never about how the Americas changed all that,
too. Indentured servitude is not chattel slavery, but the distinction is
both lost and meaningless to those who want to believe that global
racism ended with the abolition of slavery in the US. And again, the
bleaching of history: The Civil War was about state’s rights, despite
the libraries of information written at the time on the topic about the
It has taken me mere months of casual perusal to learn the things that
I know, or, more accurately, probe the vastness of the chasm that is my
ignorance. With all the current news about racial violence, what hope
for change can there be if we aren’t all putting in this minimum amount
of effort to understand our fellow humans?
For this year's Perl QA Hackathon, I
travelled to the UK for the first time. I don't know what I was expecting, but
what I got was kind of surreal. I've watched a lot of British television and
movies. But experiencing it was a lot different.
I knew things would be different. But the interesting thing was how subtle the
differences are. Everything's closer together, but the effect is warm and cozy
not oppressive (despite the weather). The roads are a lot different. I can see
why some modern subdivisions are eschewing a grid of streets with a curvy,
winding road system (though the effect in the US is anti-pedestrian).
Asda was very familiar though. Freakishly familiar. Finding out that it was
owned by WalMart makes absolute sense. The interior of The Lawrence Sheriff
was familiar as well, but because it's a JD Wetherspoon, which is a franchise
(picture the interior of pubs in the Cornetto
When I got back, all I could think about is how loud Chicago is. And how
organized. Efficient (that's not a compliment). A lot of the difference between
the two boils down to "big city" vs "small city". Rugby has 70,000 people, and
another city I've lived, Oskhosh, WI has 70,000 people, and the differences are
still severe. Records of the village of Rugby go back to 1000AD. The hotel I
was staying at pre-dated the entire city of Chicago (by perhaps 100 years). The
hotel probably pre-dated the United States. It's difficult to fathom.
And now, watching UK TV as I often do, I find myself recognizing the styles.
There's now a very obvious difference in my head between "generic human
dwelling" and "English house", and between "generic human village" and "English
All in all, I really enjoyed the trip. Next up: Germany. I hear that a mad
king created some
This year, I was invited to the Perl QA Hackathon in Rugby,
UK. It was wonderful to meet all
the Perl people I'd been interacting with all this time.
My goals going into the hackathon weren't that clear: I've recently
begun adopting the CPANTesters project,
and I had to take the opportunity to talk with its former leader,
Barbie, fix some current issues, and then...
While Barbie fixed the version summaries and Metacpan
I started work on an automated deploy for
CPANTesters using Rex, which
will allow for reproducible deployments and development virtual
machines, and I began keeping track of the project and future goals in
a CPANTesters project
which should help with keeping CPANTesters going as an open community project.
I'll be making future blog posts on both of these, though I've spoken
about Rex before.
Thanks to Barbie for 10 years of CPANTesters, and special thanks to
Capside for their donation, both monetary and
avian, as they sent Oriol Soriano to
help with some CPANTesters tasks.
And finally, thanks to all the other sponsors of the
their support, we couldn't do all the work we do on the Perl ecosystem.
I've been in charge of a certain community for a very
long time. Before my actual tech career started, even. Back when doing
websites was just a hobby I didn't want to ruin by getting money
I was put in charge of this community after only a few hours of effort:
I wanted to learn something, I saw that a community didn't exist for
this topic in some prime community real estate, and so I created one.
Instantly, I was the leader of a community. Within weeks, people started
The funny thing about being in charge of a community is that it doesn't
require merit or community-building skills. Being in charge of
a community merely requires that one have authority: The ability to
decide who is part of the community and who is not. Because I founded
the community, I had the authority.
Continue reading A Community is a Reflection of its Leaders...
As a data warehouse, a significant part of my job involves log analysis.
Besides the standard root cause analysis, I need to verify database
writes, diagnose user access issues, and look for under-used (and
over-used) data sets. Additionally, my boss needs quarterly and yearly
reports for client billing, and some of our clients need usage reports
to identify data they might be paying for but not using (which we can
then shut off to reduce costs). This has recently become a popular space
for new solutions.
On the other side, as a sysadmin, I need to get other reports like how
all the machine's resources (CPU, memory, disk, network) are being used,
what processes are running on the machine and how those processes used
resources over time. This is basic monitoring, and there are lots of
solutions here, too. In the true Unix philosophy, there are command-line
programs to query every one of these, which write out text that I can
In my previous post about
ysql, I showed how
to use the
ysql utility to read/write YAML documents to SQL databases.
Now, Yertl has a
utility to parse plain text into YAML documents.
Continue reading ygrok - Parse plain text into data structures...