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All of the books in the world contain no more information than is broadcast as video in a single large American city in a single year. Not all bits have equal value.
-- Carl Sagan

Blog Posts for June 2013

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Everything is a Post

In my search for ongoing work, I've stumbled into a WordPress gig. Or gigs. Depends on how it goes.

So I hadn't actually written anything yet - still trying to grasp the platform, and then it occurred to me: in WordPress, everything is a post. Literally. And every post gets a page.

If you're creating a site about dogs and cats, and you needed to create relationships between the cats and dogs, then you create a post_type for Dog and for Cat. Each dog and cat has their own page. Any extra information about them gets dumped into a postmeta table. In that table is a field called "value" where you can dump anything you like - but here's the thing: for every value you need to store, you're not only forcing a read/write each time, but you're dumping a ton of data for every entity/object/post.

I have a way to deal with that, fine, but everything is a post?

In other words, I've always known that programming and the database schema should represent reality as closely as possible. And hey, guess what: a fundraising campaign is not similar to a basketball drill is not similar to a blog post. The post metaphor is brilliant for organizing and displaying pages about content, but it falls far short of being true to life for everything.

For example, creating an accounting system in WordPress seems ludicrous because it's the wrong tool for the job. But I think it depends on how you do it, and I think I have a way to achieve something like that.

Why does this matter? My work on 247Toolset, as it turns out, bears resemblance to WordPress in its approach to themes and functionality. Nothing special about that - many other custom sites do this very thing. But some of the special features of 247Toolset might be easily adapted to WordPress plugins.

So, I have a few ideas about what might grab the WordPress community. I'll be testing them out later. In the meantime hopefully, I hope to have enough development accomplished by Monday to impress a new client.

by Brett Rogers, 6/1/2013 11:40:09 PM


Remember when the left was all up in arms about the Patriot Act and spying on Americans?

What say you now, oh civil rights fighter?

Glenn Greenwald reports on secret court order, issued in April, which compelled one of the nationís largest telecom providers to hand over daily call logs to the federal government. The information did not include actual content of conversations, but it included everything but.
So you, me, and many who are part of Verizon's network were (and are) being watched by the government without a warrant and without our knowledge.

The tyrant in the White House doesn't give one crap about your rights as an American. He uses the IRS to target political opponents. More Americans killed in Afghanistan under him than Bush. Spying on the American people.

He's an asshole. You elected him, and you did it mostly without knowledge or care of who he is. He speaks well. The press, 96% leftie, fawns over him. It felt like good style to say that you voted for him. And that he violates every principle you claim to hold dear doesn't matter to you. You'd vote for him again.

Here he is, in all his hypocritical glory.

If you voted for this claptrap, you're desperately ignorant. You're in the ranks of the low information voter.

by Brett Rogers, 6/6/2013 6:35:33 AM


Patti and I decided a month ago to move. The city of Houston is big - its population is twice the size of the entire state of Iowa. We lived 45 minutes from her work. Time to retrieve 90 minutes back from her day.

Over the weekend, we've moved to northwest Houston, and got ourselves a little apartment for now. Her family, we're closer to them, and so we can see them more often. She can bike to her summer gig teaching advanced algebra at summer school, and I am getting productive work through two web development companies here in Houston, so things are grooving pretty well.

And then there's us: through the entire move, it was a very loving time. Helping each other, listening to each other... she's the only woman who every looked at me and said with conviction, "What we do, we do together."

As I type this, baby Carlin is being sung to by my beautiful Patti. We have her overnight.

Life is good.

Oh, and one other thing. I had a guy respond to my Asshole post via email. He's a liberal, and got all defensive about his vote for Obama and harped on me for my "ad hominem" attack. Okay. Truth is truth. I was no fan of Bush when Bush spent way too much money and employed crony tactics in government to the detriment of we the people.

Bush is over - so very 2008. If your only response to "Obama is an asshole" is "Look at Bush!" then I appreciate your validation of my sentiment. Distraction, and not refutation, is agreement.

I did agree with his point that neither party is good. Absolutely. They both suck. I really don't see any difference between the two any more. Neither is fighting for business, low taxes, strong defense, or anything of urgent merit. My point wasn't that only Obama is an asshole. He's just the asshole with the biggest power, and that's rather irrefutable.

Let's all stop the hero worship of politicians and treat them with the merited universal disdain that they deserve.

1 Comment
by Brett Rogers, 6/15/2013 10:15:30 PM


A long time ago, I read a book called Walking Softly in the Wilderness. It's a Sierra Club book. The premise: to teach "backpackers how to enjoy a genuine wilderness experience through a common-sense approach to adventure that leaves nature undisturbed."

Undisturbed. The idea that nature should in no way be changed for your existence.

Every animal in nature changes the world for their existence. The Sierra Club asks something of us that we expect of nothing else in nature. It's an interesting idea, but unrealistic. More importantly, it defies our very purpose.

You're supposed to change things. You're supposed to change the world.

You were meant to disturb the world. It's why you're here.

Get busy.

by Brett Rogers, 6/30/2013 9:19:00 PM