Prediction and Change

I’ve been thinking a lot recently about the mistakes I make in predicting things. Often I will just observe a trend, and then extrapolate that trend into the future. This will be my prediction. The world doesn’t work like that though. Trends will last for a while, but then something changes, and before you know it the world has changed direction.

I want to think more about how and why a current trend could change direction. For example – what would it take for the trend of rising property prices in London to change direction?
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Our Work and Aging

As Helen and I get older, I think that the way we work will have to change. At some point we will probably find it difficult to get contacts because of ageism, and also we will be too expensive in comparison with graduates  with a few years experience. We will be forced to work entirely on our own projects. This is going to mean a few changes to the way we think. Both Helen and I have been ingrained with a strong work ethic, which struggles when we work on our own more nebulous projects. We both find it hard to stick with projects that don’t have a certain income stream. In the future we will need to change both the way we work, and the way we think about our work.

Day 3 of no caffeine

I decided to give up caffeine the other day. I haven’t been sleeping that well, and my caffeine intake has been steadily increasing over the last few months, so I thought I’d better get it under control. Yesterday was a nightmare! I was feeling really zonked. Today I an feeling pretty good though, so I think I am over the worst. I am interested in measuring two things now – my quality of sleep and my blood pressure. It will be interesting to see if giving up caffeine has any impact.

Another long period between posts

Well, despite resolving to blog more, it’s been another long period between blog posts. It’s not like I haven’t been thinking deep thoughts, or pursuing interesting projects. It’s that I’ve been worried that my thoughts have been too nascent to post. It’s silly really. I should be using the “Lean Startup” philosophy of releasing early and often. Still, at least there’s a lot of room for improvement!

Python OAuth2 failing with X509 error

I’ve just spent about 20 minutes trying to authenticate with Twitter using the Python OAuth2 module. I kept on getting an X509 error, specifically:

ssl.SSLError: [Errno 185090050] _ssl.c:343: error:0B084002:x509 certificate routines:X509_load_cert_crl_file:system lib

The solution to this is that the cacerts.txt file in the Python installation is only readable to the root user / wheel group. In order to fix that up, first find the cacerts.txt file:

find /Library/Python/ -name cacerts.txt

Then modify the permissions on the file:

sudo chmod 644 /Library/Python//2.7/site-packages/httplib2-0.7.7-py2.7.egg/httplib2/cacerts.txt

Note that the URL endpoints for twitter on the python-oauth2 Github page are currently wrong. To use the “Twitter Three-legged OAuth Example” change http://twitter.com/oauth/request_token to https://api.twitter.com/oauth/request_token, etc.

Back to blogging

Well, it’s been a loooonnng time since my last blog entry. One of my resolutions for the new year was to do more blogging. Despite this, I haven’t blogged anything for the whole of January. OK, so this stops now. As of today I am starting to blog again. Even if it’s just a short and almost meaningless entry about how I’m going to start blogging again.

Brighton

Last Monday we bought a house in Brighton. I wasn't sure it was going to happen. Genetically I'm predisposed to worry about stuff, and right until the last moment I was thinking of disaster possibilities. We were supposed to exchange contracts and settle at 2pm. We spoke to the vendors and they were saying that they couldn't possibly be out of the place before 2pm, so we decided to travel down by train and get there around 3pm. We got final confirmation from our solicitor that the settlement had happened at 3pm, while we were still on the train. We got to the house, and the vendors were still in the process of moving out. We grabbed some keys and went and grabbed something to eat. By the time we came back, the vendors had left and the place was ours!