How much faith is enough?

I have solid faith based on rational skepticism and the axiom that 'God exists'

Atheists have the same; solid faith based on rational skepticism and the axiom that "God does not exist"

I'm fine when I read a study about religious belief leading to less altruistic behaviour, because I've already incorporated that into my worldview

I'm constantly impressed by those who have more faith than me - they do good and make good decisions! I know my rationalism is not the whole story, much as Richard Dawkins and I both wish it were

Climate Change and Malthusianism

"Malthusianism is a school of ideas derived from the political/economic thought of the Reverend Thomas Robert Malthus . . . which describes how unchecked population growth is exponential while the growth of the food supply was expected to be arithmetical. Malthus believed there were two types of "checks" that could then reduce the population, returning it to a more sustainable level.

This is a script to allow quick gitlab merge requests on the cli.

If you create a new branch, commit it, and then run gitlab-mr my new merge request, then a merge request will be created on the appropriate project from the current branch into the develop branch, with title "my new merge request".

There are additional command line options to specify a markdown description, using cat and Ctrl+D to enter the input.

Use bash like a hacker

(Prepared to be shared at my work: smiley)

Through long trial and error, and with a healthy dose of help from the Linux from Scratch website, I've accumulated some good knowledge of Bash in my time with Linux and OS/X. Here are the highlights:

Sometimes you make a git commit, but there's a typo or syntax error in there by accident. I normally use git rebase -i HEAD~2 and then through the magic of vim I'm fairly productive at squashing the two commits together.

But wouldn't it be nice if there was a way to run one command to squash your most recent commit (which probably has a useless message like "typo" anyway) into the next most recent? Lucky for you, there is now!

Make mosh print the message of the day on Ubuntu 14.04

I'm running mosh 1.2.4 on my Ubuntu server, and it's always annoyed me that it doesn't print the message of the day (MOTD) on startup. ssh prints helpful information when you log in, like if you need to reboot or update packages, that I miss when logging in via mosh.

So you can imagine my surprise when I found out that this issue was fixed in version 1.2 of mosh, 4 versions ago!

Turn off MySQL Password Expiry

The other day my computer begain repeatedly giving me this MySQL error:

Your password has expired. To log in you must change it using a client that supports expired passwords.

It happened to my root account and my Devin account. I searched online quickly and found out (after more looking than I'd hoped for) how to change my password.... but the problem came back a few days later.

Copy ssh key in one command

This is absolutely brilliant

cat .ssh/ | ssh 'cat >> .ssh/authorized_keys'

All credit to Matt Might

Working more efficiently with rails migrations

I've been working on a major schema refactor on a rails application recently, and time and again I've had to reset my database because of some syntax error or another in my migrations. I'm changing schemas and moving data between columns, which makes the migrations really fragile.

It's also been fun learning about the rake tools that allow you to manage database migrations. In particular, three rails commands have come in handy:

HSTS and git

I've been in China for two months now, and I enjoy programming so I've checked probably 5-6 projects out of github at this point.

During this time, I've had troubles accessing This always struck me as weird, but I didn't think too much of it.