Duff O'Melia

Command History Meme

Why not? Everyone else seems to be.

history | awk '{a[$2]++}END{for(i in a){print a[i] " " i}}' | sort -rn | head
125 git
66 gs
64 rake
56 cd
45 cap
33 ls
18 g
16 ./script/server
9 mv
8 svn

g is an alias for `git`. gs is an alias for `git status`. I like Chu’s alias of ss for `script/server`. I think I’ll do that.

Cap Deploy Pending

Running `cap deploy:pending` displays the commits since your last deploy. I wanted it’s output to be a bit different primarily so I could send a message to the others on the team about what’s just been deployed.

Specifically, I wanted the output to look something like this:

Deployment revision 49c45b7
I deployed the latest. It includes:

* Added avatar support  (Duff)
* Cleaned up the project switcher  (Alex)

To do that, I added the following capistrano recipe:

namespace :deploy do
  namespace :pending do
    desc <<-DESC
      Show the commits since the last deploy
    task :default, :except => { :no_release => true } do
      deployed_already = current_revision
      to_be_deployed = `git rev-parse --short "HEAD"`

      puts "\n\nDeployment revision #{to_be_deployed}"
      puts "I deployed the latest. It includes:"
      system(%Q{git log --no-merges --pretty=format:"* %s %b (%cn)" #{deployed_already}.. | replace '<unknown>' ''})
      puts "\n\n\n"


Then I added a hook in my deploy.rb to run this automatically whenever someone deploys:

before "deploy:update_code", "deploy:pending:default"

The next piece of automation I’d like is to have it automatically post a message to basecamp.

No Kahuna

My friend Alex and I spent 2 full days last week creating No Kahuna. It was an intense and quite enjoyable 48 hour burst of design and development. We can’t wait to see what the world thinks of it.

Of course, we used Spreedly to handle our subscriptions and payments. Without Spreedly or something like it, going live in that time frame with a subscription-based web site capable of collecting real money would be pretty difficult if not impossible.

I hope you can give it a try.


I’m seeking some investment capital for a new project. I’d like to make a man-made island in the center of an ocean somewhere. I’m thinking it could start out maybe the size of Rhode Island. Maybe smaller. It will of course grow over time. It will be a sovereign nation tentatively named Libertonya. The citizens of Libertonya will be truly free. It will be a self sufficient nation.

For you investor types reading this blog, I’m looking for about $25 billion to start out.


I found two excerpts in Ilana Mercer’s article to be particularly interesting.

Henry Hazlitt said that “government has nothing to give to anybody that it doesn’t first take from somebody else.”

This writer holds that the sole role of a legitimate government is to protect only the inalienable rights to life, liberty and property, and the pursuit of happiness. Why life, liberty, and property, and not housing, food, education, health care, child benefits, emotional well-being, enriching employment, adequate vacations, ad infinitum, as promised variously by the remaining (viable) presidential contenders? Because the former impose no obligations on other free individuals; the latter enslave some in the service of others.

Is government by its very nature coercive? I personally think a government can be established in which the people are truly free. Is there currently a place on this earth where people can live without others imposing their will on them?

Passionate Votes

J.D. Tuccille makes an excellent point that “Unfortunately, visibility measures passion, but winning isn’t about passion”.

I’d also say that straw polls measure passion but often don’t translate into actual votes on election day. It takes passion for the 112 Ron Paul supporters in a town to show up at a straw poll. But then on election day, there are thousands of people voting who don’t care much and who probably can’t identify a policy difference between the candidates. Ron Paul often crushes the competition in straw polls. It hasn’t translated into victories in an actual primary yet.

The only signs and bumper stickers we see here in North Carolina are Ron Paul signs. They’re everywhere. Will it translate into votes?

I’m starting to think that the funding of the candidates also measures passion but doesn’t necessarily translate into votes. In the final quarter of 2007 over 200,000 people contributed to Ron Paul’s campaign. Those passionate people will vote. But their passionate votes won’t count for more than the lukewarm votes of millions.

The Money Scorecard

For the final 3 months of 2007, the Republican candidates raised the following:

  • Ron Paul: $19.95 million
  • McCain: $9.9 million
  • Romney : $9.2 million
  • Huckabee: $6.7 million

So Ron Paul more than doubled the other candidates.

Cash on hand at then end of the quarter:

  • Ron Paul: $7.8 million
  • McCain: $2.9 million
  • Romney : $2.4 million
  • Huckabee: $651 thousand

Romney did chip in an extra $18 million of his own dough during the quarter.

Ron Paul is crushing the competition in terms of raising money. So far, that hasn’t translated into crushing the competition at the voting booth. Will it ever?

The Consent of the Governed

From the United States Declaration of Independence :

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…

From George Bush’s Final State of the Union :

On education, we must trust students to learn if given the chance and empower parents to demand results from our schools.

The federal government “empowering” parents? Shouldn’t it be the other way around? Doesn’t the federal government become empowered by the consent of the governed? The president used the word “empower” at least 11 times in the State of the Union address. Where did the federal government get the authority to “empower” the people? Wasn’t the power already in the people at the start?

Republican and conservative politicians talk ad nauseam about getting government off our backs and making government smaller. Then in their next breath they refer to new government programs they’d like to introduce. The cognitive dissonance can be quite disturbing.