System.d and the Dreaded BSOD

Do what thou whilt shall be the whole of the law.

Before I go into the weeds with this one, let me start out by saying I’m not i one of those haters who dislike system.d as a whole. In general I find it a useful piece of kit unix philosophy be damned. I’m even in favor of the move they’re making in terms of user directories becoming portable files so long as it’s done elegantly and doesn’t break anything.

That being said, in recent news the system.d project is implementing a function to display a blue screen of death message during a boot error.

I think this is a bad move, but not for the knee jerk reasons many may have towards it. The thing is, we already had an answer to this; kernel panic. What we need is not to just ape the Windows solution but simply improve the existing solution. Have a kernel panic or boot error crash down to a terminal output and display all the debug information that way as part of the terminal output. If it’s lower level than bash, then just display a simulated one, like GRUB has. It’s more in line with how Linux behaves in general based on established norms. Since Linux users are used to getting debug information from the terminal, not via full screen messages with a blue background, keep in spirit of what we already know. If I didn’t know about this change and got hit by one of these things, I’d assume it was a virus or some sort of rootkit before I’d ever think it was a legitimate Linux output message. It just doesn’t match the way things are handled in our neck of the woods. We’re not Microsoft. We’re not Windows. We should never try to be. You can take lessons from it all day long but you should never just effectively copy and paste them like this. You should go “hmmm that’s a useful feature. How can I adapt the mechanics we already have to include that kind of feature for our system without breaking our established behavior of software and blindsiding front line techs with a sudden and uncharacteristic change of this magnitude?” Then do that.

Also ditch the QR code and just display whatever it would say along with the message.

Love is the law, love under will.


TikTok Security Concerns

Do what thou whilt shall be the whole of the law.

The following is a compilation of excerpts from various websites and news sources that detail various social and software security concerns over the behavior and use of the TikTok app. The sources used are all listed below under “Sources”. Any one of these alone is reason enough to never install it on any of your devices. I recommend to never install the app (though watching the videos in Firefox is probably fine) and never trust anything you see there too much.

TikTok has a long list of very real privacy scandals under its belt. In December 2022, the company admitted that employees had spied on reporters using location data, in an attempt to track down the source of leaked information…TikTok also reportedly planned to surveil the locations of specific U.S. citizens using location data from their devices, Forbes reported last October.

TikTok also engages in what some observers have called invasive tracking measures against ordinary users. These tactics include prompting users to let TikTok harvest their phone contacts lists, as a way of connecting users who already know each other on the app. Even if you refuse to give TikTok access to your contacts, it will still prompt you to follow people who have your number in their phone contacts lists.

Chinese national security laws can compel foreign and domestic firms operating within the country to share their data with the government upon request, and there are concerns about China’s ruling Communist Party using this broad authority to gather sensitive intellectual property, proprietary commercial secrets and personal data…the company has come under increasing scrutiny in recent months, and in July it acknowledged that non-U.S. employees did in fact have access to U.S. user data.

China-based ByteDance employees have repeatedly accessed non-public data (like phone numbers and birthdays) of U.S. TikTok users. Separately, Forbes reported in October that ByteDance planned to use TikTok “to monitor the personal location of some specific American citizens,” which the company denied.

Chinese law essentially requires companies to do whatever the government wants them to in terms of sharing information or serving as a tool of the Chinese government. And so that’s plenty of reason by itself to be extremely concerned.

“This is not something you would normally hear me say, but Donald Trump was right on TikTok years ago,” Warner told Australia’s Sydney Morning Herald. “If your country uses Huawei, if your kids are on TikTok … the ability for China to have undue influence is a much greater challenge and a much more immediate threat than any kind of actual, armed conflict.”

lawmakers said the app can track users’ locations and collect internet browsing data even from unrelated websites — adding that Beijing could develop profiles on millions of Americans for blackmail or espionage purposes, as well as collect sensitive national security information from U.S. government employees.

They also worried about potential abuses of TikTok’s algorithm, and specifically that it could “be used to subtly indoctrinate American citizens” by censoring some videos and promoting others.

“TikTok has already censored references to politically sensitive topics, including the treatment of workers in Xinjiang, China, and the 1989 protests in Tiananmen Square,” they wrote. “It has temporarily blocked an American teenager who criticized the treatment of Uyghurs in China. In German videos about Chinese conduct toward Uyghurs, TikTok has modified subtitles for terms such as ‘reeducation camp’ and ‘labor camp,’ replacing words with asterisks.” The lawmakers called this an especially frightening prospect given how many adults get their news from TikTok.

And Aynne Kokas, a professor of media studies and the director of the East Asia Center at the University of Virginia, says it is “part of a larger Chinese government effort to expand extraterritorial control over digital platforms.”

TikTok, the smartphone app beloved by teenagers and used by hundreds of millions of people around the world, had serious vulnerabilities that would have allowed hackers to manipulate user data and reveal personal information, according to research published Wednesday by Check Point, a cybersecurity company in Israel.

The weaknesses would have allowed attackers to send TikTok users messages that carried malicious links. Once users clicked on the links, attackers would have been able to take control of their accounts, including uploading videos or gaining access to private videos. A separate flaw allowed Check Point researchers to retrieve personal information from TikTok user accounts through the company’s website. “The vulnerabilities we found were all core to TikTok’s systems,” said Oded Vanunu, Check Point’s head of product vulnerability research.

Oversecured has once again uncovered high-severity vulnerabilities, this time in the TikTok app. The app contained one vulnerability to theft of arbitrary files with user interaction and three to persistent arbitrary code execution. All these vulnerabilities could have been exploited by a hacker if a user had installed a malicious app onto their Android device. Since the path was fully controllable by the attacker, this provided read-only access to arbitrary files. An attacker could therefore gain access to any files stored in the app’s private directory, and also to history, private messages, and session tokens, resulting in complete access to the user’s account. The vulnerability could have been exploited by an app that was only run once and then, say, deleted. The library would have been written to the app’s private directory and could have been loaded by the app even after the phone was rebooted or the app restarted.

TikTok uses a technique equivalent to keylogging in its in-app browser. “TikTok iOS subscribes to every keystroke (text inputs) happening on third party websites rendered inside the TikTok app,” Krause wrote in the report. “This can include passwords, credit card information and other sensitive user data.”

The flaw in TikTok’s Android app is the latest security concern for the social media company, which was criticized last month for having keylogging functionality in its iOS app. Microsoft disclosed a verification bypass vulnerability in TikTok’s Android application, raising concerns about the security and functionality of the popular social media app. Microsoft detailed the TikTok vulnerability, tracked as CVE-2022-28799, which could enable threat actors to hijack accounts and publicize private videos, send messages and upload videos under the users’ accounts.

TikTok Inc. illegally tracks user activity on third-party websites through its integrated web browser, in violation of the Federal Wiretap Act, according to a proposed class action filed in Illinois federal court that echoes earlier claims from consumers. When a user clicks on a link in TikTok, the app opens the page via an “in-app browser” that uses code to track interactions with the website in an effort to increase advertising profit, said the lawsuit filed Friday in the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

TikTok gathers data on people who don’t even use the app itself. …the company embeds a tracker called a “pixel.” Pixel gathers user data from these websites…Among other data, TikTok collects the IP address; a unique number; the page a user is on; and what they’re clicking, typing, or searching for.


Beyond just the app itself, the company’s policies and treatment of their employees is not unlike that of the CCP and its social score system. I highly recommend researching that topic in depth.

TikTok is cracking down on remote work with an app to track in-office attendance. The social media company has implemented a new internal software called MyRTO — or my return to office — this month. The app part of its mandate requiring US employees to work from office at least three times a week. Some employees may have to work from office for the entire five-day work week. According to The New York Times, MyRTO tracks badge swipes that employees make when entering office premises. Employees will be asked to explain “deviations” from expected in-office attendance. The badge swipe data will be analysed by employee supervisors and HR staff. The report further said that employees were warned that “any deliberate and consistent disregard may result in disciplinary action” and could even impact their performance reviews. A section of the TikTok workforce has voiced its “frustration and dismay” over the attendance policy. TikTok, owned by the Chinese company ByteDance, employs around 7,000 people in the United States across major cities like New York and Los Angeles. Last year in October, it implemented a strict return-to-office policy as the coronavirus pandemic subsided. Workers were told they would be fired if their home address did not match the address of their office.


Love is the law, love under will.


A Moment Lost

Do what thou whilt shall be the whole of the law.

The Christmas truce of 1914 was a moment where humanity won. But it wasn’t to last. Instead of using that momentum to change the course of history. To stand up to their leaders and refuse to fight and forever do away with war, prejudice and national barriers. However everyone went right back to fighting the next day as if nothing ever happened. Letting that moment slip away. Humanity is tragic like that. Everything dark eventually snuffs out the light if we let it. Everything can go right back to the mundane ignorance of life, of love, and of freedom if we do not stand guard against such things. Do thy will, not the will of some pretentious “leader”. After all…

Love is the law, love under will.



Rise of the Triad Ludicrous Edition

Do what thou whilt shall be the whole of the law.

Rise of the Triad Ludicrous Edition just dropped. Rise of the triad is what Apogee developed after Id broke off to work on Doom. They used the Wolfenstein 3D engine and massively upgraded it. The original version was Rise of the Triad: The HUNT Begins was the shareware version. Then the retail version Rise of the Triad: Dark War was released, but it doesn’t include the content from the shareware game so it’s technically the sequel to that. Then later they released an expansion pack called Extreme Rise of the Triad. Then nothing for years until 2011 when the fans created a sequel in the GZDoom engine. It’s a standalone iwad. It replicates the design and gameplay from the original but expanded in ways that take advantage of the features in GZDoom. Then after a little wait, in 2013 they officially released Rise of the Triad (2013). It’s an upgraded game utilizing full 3D graphics. Despite the name, it’s not really a remake as it doesn’t attempt to replicate the levels etc from the original game but rather be an entirely new game.

More recently, the original Rise of the Triad game was released on Steam. When you open it, you have the option of selecting between The HUNT Begins, Dark War, and Extreme. Then recently a new project appeared on Steam slapped with a “coming soon” release date called Rise of the Triad Ludicrus Edition. It’s an updated version of the original games plus Return of the Triad, the fan game. Words cannot express how cool that is that they turned a fan project into an official game. I haven’t had the chance to pick it up yet now that it’s out, but I tried the demo and I’m already impressed. I’ll be grabbing it next paycheck.

Love is the law, love under will.



AI isn’t what they pretend it is

Do what thou whilt shall be the whole of the law.

The ridiculous ways tech companies have been talking about using AI would be laughable if it wasn’t so destructive towards real human jobs and their ability to make a livelihood to support them and their families. In short, AI isn’t what they want you to think it is.

AI uses probability to decide what’s next in the output. That’s why it’s able to fake human speech and art. However that technology is already a thing under a different name. It’s called autocorrect, and pretty much everyone knows how bad that is. All these tech companies hyping AI are essentially talking about shoving a supped-up version of autocorrect into everything, and are placing real human workers’ jobs in jeopardy while they beta test this disaster waiting to happen by unleashing that it on the general population to beta test. That’s why AI art is as wonky as it is and why it can only output text based on other text. It can only output art based on other art. It can’t create anything wholly unique beyond just something akin to the uniqueness of your kid exhibits placing letter magnets on the fridge before they learn to read. Sure, what they line up looks like a word you might put on the fridge, but “cafatw” isn’t an actual word.

When I’ve tried to put in a description of the art I want it to generate, I couldn’t get it to actually output my request*. It was a simple enough request any human artist could have understood and created without issue, but the AI failed despite making multiple attempts on my part to rewrite the original request statement in an effort to try to get any of them to generate what I was actually asking for. I tried various different AI art portals with the same disappointing result. In fact, the image it generated closest to the query were grossly malformed.

The problem is, if it doesn’t have something similar in its database to plagiarize, it just selects elements it does have that it determines is the next most probable element without any of the nuance or context that an actual human can understand with relative ease. The researchers call this phenomenon “hallucinating” despite having nothing to do with the kind of hallucinations a real human could experience. They’re trying very hard to humanize the thing to try to sell it to human investors, but it is fundamentally not human.

This capability of human conceptual understanding is what our brains seem to do best and what other species of animals seem to struggle with. It’s that ability that gave rise to the development of language, technology, writing, poetry, mythology, ritual and beyond. Without that capability, our society would never have been built. Sure, other species can communicate to each other through various means, but it doesn’t ever seem to be anywhere close to the kind of communication humans are capable of. After all, it’s why our species came to dominate the world rather than the myriad other hominid species roaming the Earth. It’s what gave us the advantage and the capability to survive in an ever-changing mostly hostile world. Without the power of language, it’s hard to coordinate anything at all. Imagine a group of dogs trying to build a skyscraper.

The human brain is a complex organ evolved to be very good at conceptual understanding. It’s not something a machine running probability algorithms to predict what words or images to use next is likely ever going to be good at. Unless something fundamental changes dramatically in the way this sort of technology is created and functions, it almost certainly never will be. Human biology isn’t even fully understood by humans in the first place and neuroscience is still in its relative infancy. (Though it’s amazing what human scientists and doctors can already do with what we do know.) Given that, and the complexity of such a task, how do you expect a bunch of IT nerds to be able to replicate that capacity in its entirety using machines? Why do we assume it’s even possible to create a functioning synthetic brain capable of the kinds of tasks humans do with relative ease? And beyond that, why even try to do that at all? Human artists and writers aren’t going away anytime soon. If paid well and properly valued as people, human creatives are capable of producing some of the best things this life has to offer. It’s the kind of things that make life hold meaning. Why would we even want to give such an important task to unthinking and unfeeling machines in the first place? If they could make mathematical computation processors behave in a convincing enough way to trick humans, we’d be robbing it of its inherent beauty and the wonder of the accomplishment.

Love is the law, love under will.

With a toast to human creatives,

*I was trying to get it to generate an image of a woman in a full suit of armor emblazoned on the front with a unicursal hexagram holding a lance and the holy grail while the sun shines brightly behind her. Some of the best results are shown above. Some are unquestionably beautiful images, sure, and if it was made by a human artist rather than plagiarized from one, I’d be impressed, but it wasn’t, and it wasn’t what I asked for. The one closest to holding what I actually described is horribly malformed. Interesting that despite using several different AI art portals, most of them have come up with images that seem on the surface to be of the same person until you start looking closer at the details.

PS: If you want to know more about how AI works put in layman’s terms, checkout this page: ChatGPT Explained: A Normie’s Guide To How It Works

Inspired by A.I. is B.S.

Discord is Down

Do what thou whilt shall be the whole of the law.

So, Discord is down* and with it I’m cut off from the bulk of the people I know and care about. I don’t have all their phone #s, nor have them on any other platform for one reason or another. It’s pretty isolating if I’m being honest. It’s moments like these where I’m forced to reconcile with the problems of trusting the cloud too much. I’ve got far too many contacts who I can talk to through Discord alone. The same goes for Facebook. I have accounts on other platforms but those platforms don’t get as much use as Discord and Facebook do. Of course, there’s always going to be that ever-present chicken and the egg dilemma for any alternative social network; My friends are all on a different platform and so this social network no matter how good it is, doesn’t have my friends so why would I focus on it? Relevancy issues like that are a problem with a lot of media in general.

Ironically, the problem is worsened by the influx of alternative platforms. Mastodon, Minds, Diaspora, Librem Social, Bluesky, It’s easy for people to become overwhelmed with options and not know which one is worth more of their time should they decided to go down that route.

There’s also the problem of social media adjacent platforms as well, YouTube being the biggest in this category. Many many attempts have been made to create an alternative to YouTube but none of them have proven very successful because of the chicken and egg problem they overcame by just being in the right place at the right time. Services like Peertube, Flotaplane, Dtube, Odysee, and others generally just can’t keep up with pace and size of the YouTube platform, making YouTube a de-facto monopoly.

I can’t help feeling like we’re putting more and more eggs in one basket and I worry what volatility could be wrought should one of these titans fall. People pour so much of their lives and their time into using these platforms and if it should be suddenly taken away, I imagine it would really hurt those kinds of people, and it would cut you off from friends you didn’t bother adding anywhere else.

I don’t really have an answer for any of this, but it’s something to keep in your mind at least.

Love is the law, love under will.

On Cloud 9,

*Discord is back up now as of this writing.

Layoffs are Disgusting

Do what thou whilt shall be the whole of the law.

A friend of mine is facing layoffs and it’s disgusting.

I hate how management is allowed to just up end people’s lives with layoffs like it was just like buying a new stapler. It’s fucked. Human lives are not disposable. I abhor the way that so many people, especially the media, talk about it like it just happens to a company, like a snow storm, rather than being a choice management decides to do to people, and their families, of their own volition. They could make other much better decisions if they valued human life above green pieces of paper, but they don’t.

On their behalf, I begin to pray: Thou Child, Holy Thy name and undefiled! Thy reign is come; Thy will is done. Here is the Bread; here is the Blood. Bring me through midnight to the Sun! Save me from Evil and from Good! That Thy one crown of all the Ten Even now and here be mine. AMEN.

Love is the law, love under will.

In hope of a brighter future,

I don’t want to die.

Do what thou whilt shall be the whole of the law.

“I don’t want to die.”

It’s such a simple sentence and one most people would probably gloss over and yet it’s taken me years to say it and mean it. My life has changed dramatically since I was checked into the psych hospital for being suicidal, self-harm, and psychosis. I got help and I’m so glad that I did.

Love is the law, love under will.


Just Sometimes…

Do what thou whilt shall be the whole of the law.

Medicated depression. That’s what I call it. Depression but not bound in the disordered depression hole I’ve tasted so many, far too many, times in my life. That addictive poisonous leech of the pit born in shadow and hunger, always gaping, always…no…just normal people depressed, at least I think…i hope…

So why am I feeding it? I’m not sure. I’m feeding it with Phoebe Bridgers, that aural beauty seldom matched; the crowned and conquering queen of tearjerkers…


…sometimes it’s ok to be depressed and even soak in it a bit so long as it’s not an avenue to the darkness pit. Sometimes you need to feel down to remind you you’re still human. Sometimes it’s ok to make yourself cry over old things you’ve already cried over before. Sometimes it’s ok to long for the void. Sometimes, just sometimes. Just remember to always bring your emotional support rope to get yourself out when you’ve done all the sulking you need; so you can get back up and move along to the next thing your life has in store for you. Everything’s ok at the end of the episode until it isn’t, but that’s just a part of the cycles of possessed corporal matter. You can’t hold it together forever and eventually it gives out and you have to prepare for the next. Cycles of conception, birth, life, and death. Ever ever it goes, the wheel of fortune bringing what it will when it will for none but reasons only Chaos knows. This is ok, that’s ok, were ok. Life is what you need it to be to get you to where you need to go. You’ve got this thing, this will, this task sitting in your arms begging to be fed, and you have nothing but milk to give; to feed the infant to grow and find their own meaning, to find that thing that thou hast no right but to do. Oh to feed the crying infant will, to feed the infant will…

…bring me though midnight to the sun. Save me from evil and from good. That Thy one crown of all the ten. Even now…


Love is the law, love under will.


The Trans Experience

But I have burnt within thee as a pure flame without oil. In the midnight I was brighter than the moon; in the daytime I exceeded utterly the sun; in the byways of thy being I flamed, and dispelled the illusion. –Liber LXV V:9

Do what thou whilt shall bet the whole of the law.

This was originally written as various responses to messages.

Anyone who’s to the point where they’re about to get the surgery have already had to deal with so much gatekeeping and hoops to jump though. Generally the only people who regret it are the ones where it’s botched and there’s certain surgeons we’re warned to avoid because they’re known to do that and also not listen to the patient.

Wanna get on HRT? Go to a therapist first and get them to send us a letter. Want to get SRS? Go to two different mental health professionals and get letters plus your PCP. Then good luck actually affording it. Oh you got the letters? Ok well now you have to get perminent hair removal for the entire genital region. Oh the places near you refuse to help trans customers? Oh well, figure it out. Oh great you have your hair removal done? Ok now you have to loose 50 lbs because reasons. Oh it’s hard to lose weight because of the side effects of the testosterone blocker? Tough. I don’t care you have to figure it out anyway. Oh you want facial feminization surgery and a tracheal shave? Well your insurance doesn’t cover it so you’ll have to pay out of pocket. Good luck affording it since trans people make way less than cis people doing the same job and we’re often locked out of promotions and the like just because of our gender, and often the person making the decisions doesn’t even realize they’re doing it because it’s just so normalized that it happens on a subconscious level. If I had the power and the ability, I’d make every cis person have to live a week as trans so they can appreciate just how privileged they are to be cis.

Kids who are trans know it even if they don’t know how to express it. I knew at 6 years old. For kids, they don’t do anything. For themselves they put them on puberty blockers which simply delay the effects of puberty until they turn 18 and can make the decision to go further with care. I wish that had been an option when I was in school. Instead I had to deal with years and years of testosterone poisoning which made my second puberty not as effective as it could have been if my first was delayed long enough to start the second as the first and only. But honestly that’s not good enough. Being the weirdo on puberty blockers is gonna cause social isolation. If it were up to me, you’d be able to start the transition care therapy during the time when you’re supposed to start puberty so the child can grow in pace with their peers and not to suffer as much dysphoria. Again, I knew at 6 years old. I also knew that talking with it with my parents was not safe because of how they’d treated me up until that point. When they’d tuck me in for bed I’d pretend to fall asleep until they left the room and were out of earshot I’d get back up and pray desperately to be made into a girl. The thing about transition people like to forget is that it’s a medical issue; it’s called gender Identity disorder. The symptoms are primarily the presence of gender dysphoria. Gender dysphoria is a feeling as real and physical as pain or orgasm. It centers on anything about their body that conflicts with their true gender. Untreated, GID has an extremely high mortality rate. The longer the patient experiences that dysphoria, the worse it gets until you can’t ignore it or otherwise make it go away so you get desperate and in far too many cases the only available answer to how to make it go away is suicide. They’ve tried to treat GID with every thing you can think of and many things you didn’t and the only treatment that has any degree of meaningful success is transition and the earlier the better. So remember that before you think of anything related to trans healthcare. Gender dysphoria is a ticking time bomb. There’s a reason we don’t have a trans pride celebration but rather trans day of remembrance where we morn or many dead from the past year. Ourb bodies are actively trying to kill us and society only seems concerned with making it worse.

I can’t help but be incredibly jealous of cis women. They were just born with everything I should have had and they just take it for granted. I have to go through this really obnoxious process to get even halfway there and with technology where it’s at, that’s the best I can do. So many stupid-ass hoops to jump through. First you gotta find a sympathetic therapist and get them to give you a letter. Then you then have to find a doctor willing to prescribed them and give them the letter. Then you have to live full time for a year or two on the hormones before they’ll give you a referral to a surgeon. Then you need 2 more letters from medical professionals. Then you gotta meet this arbitrary set of criteria. For me the thing that’s in my way is I haven’t finished hair removal and my weight I have to loose down to 190 before they’ll do my vagoplasty. Then I also have to do voice surgery which means I won’t be able to talk for several months. Then there’s other surgeries insurance won’t even cover; tracheal shave and facial feminization surgery. And even then after all that there’s people who will discriminate against you for being trans. There’s people who would kill you for it given the opportunity. (and it happens all the time) Dating is a nightmare because people have all kinds of fucked up biases about it. Plus tons of friends and family will cut you off when you finally come out. There’s nothing fun about being trans. Most trans people are suicidal. There’s no silver lining. It’s living life on hard mode until you die and hopefully reincarnate into someone cis. Hopefully, though, that time bomb won’t go off for me in the meantime. I hope that for all trans people out there. We all deserve better. May we all see days when the timer can be stopped and the bomb dismantled so it can hurt us like it has for far too many

Love is the law, love under will.

In a spirit of freedom,