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Ralsina.Me — Roberto Alsina's website

Cuando Sea Grande

Este sába­do cump­lo 41 (no, no ha­go fi­es­ta, no es que no te in­vité), y creo que llegó el mo­men­to de de­cidir que voy a ser cuan­do sea grande.

Mi prob­le­ma prin­ci­pal para de­cidir un tema tan cru­cial antes de hoy es que me in­tere­san muchas cosas. Y las que no me in­tere­san... sospe­cho que si le pusiera un poco de ganas me in­tere­sarían.

Pero pe­or, ten­go esa con­vic­ción in­ter­na, to­tal­mente in­jus­ti­fi­ca­da de que si me pon­go, puedo más o menos hac­er casi cualquier cosa que no in­volu­cre una ap­ti­tud físi­ca es­pecí­fi­ca.

O sea, no, nun­ca voy a ser pow­er for­ward en la NBA, ni tri­at­lonista, ni equi­lib­ris­ta, ni nin­ja. Per­o... sospe­cho que po­dría ser un gui­tar­rista mediocre, o un po­eta medio pelo, un es­critor ade­cuado, o un ra­zon­able pelu­quero, por no de­cir un com­pe­tente pa­le­on­tól­o­go, un in­tere­sante di­rec­tor de cine, un ac­tor prome­dio, un in­tere­sante anal­ista políti­co, o un buen taxista.

Esa sospecha es in­fun­da­da da­do mi desin­terés en la políti­ca, poesía, de­talles de có­mo se to­ca la gui­tar­ra, y no saber mane­jar, en­tre otras cosas.

Así que du­rante los próx­i­mos diez años, mien­tras me voy ha­cien­do grande, me voy a con­cen­trar en cosas que ya sé hac­er, co­mo... epa. Lo char­lam­os el año que viene.

Nikola is Pluginificated.

Yes, I know that's not a re­al word.

So, the git mas­ter of Niko­la now has plug­ins. In fac­t, not on­ly does it have plu­g­in­s, but is ba­si­cal­ly made of plug­ins.

You see, the code used to most­ly be in­side a class (called Niko­la), and ... it had grown. That class had grown up to around 2000 lines of code. Which is com­plete­ly ridicu­lous.

So, us­ing Yap­sy I turned the code in­side out: al­most all the code that was in that mon­ster class was moved in­to plug­ins and the class turned in­to a smart plug­in load­er.

This has brought sev­er­al ad­van­tages:

  • Now you can ex­­tend Niko­la for your own pur­­pos­es. Just cre­ate a plug­in fold­er in your site, and put the ex­­tra func­­tion­al­i­­ty there.

  • Sup­­port for whole cat­e­­gories of things is now mod­­u­lar. Want to sup­­port a dif­fer­­ent markup? A dif­fer­­ent tem­­plate sys­tem? Just write a plug­in.

  • Want to add com­­plete­­ly new func­­tions to Niko­la? Like, say, a way to im­­port da­­ta from an­oth­er blog tool, or some­thing like plan­et soft­­ware? Well, just add a "com­­mand plug­in".

What has changed for the user?

  • You can delete do­do.py from your site.

  • Use niko­la build in­stead of doit

  • Use niko­la serve in­stead of doit serve

Some mi­nor things still need do­ing in this area (no­table, fix­ing the doc­s), but the main refac­tor­ing is there.

Taxes, Game Theory, and Python (Part 1 of 2)

Be­fore I gave up on be­com­ing an ed­u­cat­ed man, I stud­ied math. And to this day it piss­es me that noone has fig­ured out how to make math in­ter­est­ing to the math­-a­verse. Here's a small at­temp­t.

Let's con­sid­er the fol­low­ing sce­nar­i­o, based com­plete­ly on things I know, not things I do ;-)

Sup­pose that in a city called San Isidro, there is a house. Hous­es in San Isidro pay a mu­nic­i­pal tax, in ex­change for the ser­vice of garbage col­lec­tion, street sweep­ing, tree trim­ming, and street light­ing.

It's a very small tax, but let's say it's $100 a month be­cause it's a nice, easy to han­dle num­ber.

Al­so, San Isidro is in a coun­try called Ar­genti­na. In that coun­try there are sev­er­al laws that af­fect the home own­er­s:

  1. You can't sell a house if you owe any tax­es.

  2. The own­er has a 1% chance of wan­t­ing to sell the house each month.

  3. Debts ex­pire af­ter 5 years.

  4. If you are sued and you lose, you pay they oth­­er guy's lawyer fees.

  5. Lawyer fees are capped to 25% of the mon­ey be­ing dis­­put­ed.

  6. Lawyers are re­luc­­tant to help you sue some­one if they get very lit­­tle mon­ey (de­fined as less than $2000)

  7. If sued by the city for owed tax­es, the own­er al­ways los­es.

  8. Un­­paid tax­es ac­crue 2% com­­pound in­­ter­est mon­th­­ly. So, if you don't pay your $100, you will owe $102, then $104.04, $106.0128 etc.

With all those el­e­ments in place, let's play a game called "Tax Golf"!

The game is played by an in­de­ter­mined num­ber of play­ers called own­ers and one spe­cial play­er called city.

The game is played to 100 "month­s" or un­til all prop­er­ty has been sol­d.

The goal of the game, for the own­er­s, is to pay as lit­tle mon­ey as they can. The score is cal­cu­lat­ed like this: amount of mon­ey you paid di­vid­ed by the time you owned the house.

The own­er with the low­est score is the win­ner.

The goal of the game for the city, is to get as much mon­ey as he can. He's not com­pet­ing against the play­er­s, for him it's a sort of soli­taire where he com­petes against his past per­for­mance.

This, my friends is math. Math is a tool that helps you (a­mong oth­er things) do the right thing in this sort of com­pli­cat­ed, ar­bi­trary, re­al life sce­nari­o.

So, what's a good strat­e­gy for a own­er, and for the city?

In a sec­ond post next wednes­day, I will give some an­swers to those ques­tion­s, us­ing python.

Bypass Gemini (Big Sigma, #1)

Review:

This book is what it is. If what you want is a fun book about a guy who gets in a lot of trou­ble and then gets out of trou­ble (genre I think should be giv­en a nice long ger­man word for a name), this is one, and good at it.

It gets rock­et physics very wrong (rock­ets don't work bet­ter when they have some­thing to "push of­f"), but that's a very mi­nor nit­pick.


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