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Moving to HTTPS

About a year and a half ago I added HTTPS support to my sites but kept them running on HTTP for the time being. Chrome plans to eventually mark all HTTP pages as "Not secure", however, and HTTP is in fact not secure, so today I decided to switch over to HTTPS as the default. more...

Guardedness in EA

There's a continuum of guardedness: how careful are you in how you communicate, putting a lot of effort into saying only exactly what you intend to say? For example, public statements by heads of state are (traditionally) very carefully composed, while people talking to close friends generally just say things as they come to mind. When you speak in an unguarded way you risk saying something that doesn't quite match what you think, or what you would think on reflection, and the risks to this vary depending on the situation. If I'm talking with friends the risks of this are very low: maybe they'll think slightly less of me for saying something dumb, but any harms are minimal and short lived. If I'm talking publically the risks are higher: an unfortunate phrasing, bad joke, or poorly thought through idea could be recorded (video/audio/text) and distributed very widely, and it could be damaging for years to come.

There are a lot of benefits to unguarded communication: you can move faster, you can open up your tentative thoughts to friendly consideration and criticism, you don't have the mental or process overhead of needing to get every statement as perfect as possible. You might say something that you don't mean to, but in a friendly environment you can correct yourself or accept someone elses correction.

Despite these benefits, it seems to me that things generally move in the more guarded direction more...

PayPal Giving Fund

The PayPal Giving Fund seems good enough that I feel like there must be a catch, but looking at it I think it's fine. So either there's something I'm missing, or we should be sending basically all large donations via the fund. more...

Small Child Handrails

Handrails on stairs are generally about three feet up [1] and I don't think our youngest (1.5y) has that much vertical reach with her hands straight above her head. They're also generally too far around for little hands to get a good grip. So I put in child-sized banister:

These are 3/4" dowels, 4ft long, attached to regular handrail brackets. more...

L and R hand positions

A few months ago I was wondering whether we could base contra role names off of whether hands face up or down. [1] Recently I realized we already did!

In the picture below, the first person is holding out their hands like a Gent / Lark while the second is holding their hands like a Lady / Raven. See how the first hand makes an 'L' and the second makes an 'R'?

If you're dancing the role where you start on the 'L'eft then you're a 'L'ark and you make an 'L' when you offer hands for a swing / circle / etc. If you're dancing the role where you start on the 'R'ight then you're a 'R'aven and you make an 'R' when you offer hands.

[1] I think the best pairing to come from that discussion is Palms/Knuckles, though it's not a very good one.

full post...

Getting Booked For Dances II

When the Free Raisins had been playing for ~3.5 years I put together a set of charts showing how booking had worked for us. Since it's now been another 3.5y I thought I'd make some updated charts.

Here's a chart showing when we booked each gig, and how long from then until we played it:

(While this is accurate for bookings through today it doesn't show the full picture for gigs because we might still get booked for something on shorter notice.)

I also made a chart showing how often we asked for gigs (blue), vs were asked (red), vs put together a tour (green):

One big change is that since we now live on two coasts and in three states we can pretty much only take gigs if they're willing to fly us, which mostly just means dance weekends. We also haven't organized a substantial tour since the summer 2014 one, because I can't be away from my family that long. On the other hand, we're still playing a bunch because each booking now typically corresponds to ~4x the amount of playing that it did when we were playing single evenings.

(As before, the code and raw data is on github. If I hadn't uploaded it in 2013 I doubt I would have had the code around, and I definitely wouldn't have put in the time now to redo it.)

full post...

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