“Cryptography has existed, in one form or another, for most of recorded history. We can see examples of such practices that stretch in complexity from very simple substitution ciphers to the fairly complex electromechanical machines that were used just before the invention of the first modern computing systems. Although such primitive cryptographic methods would not stand up under modern methods of cryptographic attacks, they still form the basis for our modern algorithms.” [ J. Andress, The Basics of Information Security, 2014 ]
Learning To Code
I initially built simpatico crypto on the extremely limiting and rather disingenuous wordpress dot com platform [you have to start somewhere] and completed the migration to my own hosted space at SiteGround in mid 2020.
The site serves as a portfolio and a space to experiment with images, bespoke CSS, JS and PHP – customising templates etc.
The idea began with Simpatico.Crypto and Simpatico.Zil using Unstoppable Domains on IPFS – I wanted to build a brand for the crypto space that would allow me to write sense-making articles, which I was already doing on places like PublishOx, and as a way of starting my developer’s journey. As I progress in my Web Dev courses and various other explorations, and when I have something to say, I write it up in Signal To Noise.
New Podcast and Website
I’ve recently launched ‘Cardano Foundry‘ – a website and monthly podcast. Because of my history in music technology, recording, editing and producing the audio is relatively easy – and with my new skills, I have been able to customise the classic TwentyTwentyOne WordPress theme into something that looks and feels a little different from the original. I intend to create templates myself, and as I work my way through the stack, I’m particularly looking forward to more PHP.
Code As A Whole
Seems to me that you’re not really interested in one code language unless you’re interested in them all. Of course, one needs to specialise to make a living, but I find that all the languages that we use to be fascinating. I did try and learn Basic in the early 80s on my ZX81, but although I did progress to a ZX Spectrum, and later used Atari 520ST and the 1040 for music sequencing, and then later in the 1990s using ClarisWorks to create and manage databases, writing my own websites in copy paste HTML before Dreamweaver was a thing, as well as all the industrial warehouse management software I’ve used in the many jobs I’ve had [not working in IT I stress, just as a lowly picker, packer or forklift or maintenance team in later years – I can mend anything tbh]. I remember computers ‘coming in’ in the mid 1980s in work environments, and in music promotions as typesetting went out and DTP came in – this was rare at first. People hated computers, so people like me were always put in front of them. Still, I never considered coding. I was too interested in music, which I did for way too many years.
I remember much later on [+/- 2015] having to clean and maintain various IT departments and chatting with those people and thinking if only I had time to learn all this stuff, because it’s easy to me. But it took me till 2020 to actually get the idea I really should be to learning to code, and Bitcoin Script was the first course I completed this year. Blockchain was the magnet that finally pulled me in.
I realised that I had to properly grasp the nettle when I found myself investigating, just for fun, how the machine code worked at the logic gate level back in 2017. From there, I could easily understand the basics of Boolean Logic, and how, in this way, many complex processes were boiled down to strings of 1 and 0 – and for me, this was a revelation.
Gates are an integral part of music technology – and I’ve always loved engineering – and if one already has the mindset of the engineer, software and hardware of all kinds is naturally attractive. It’s all the same, in a sense – figuring out how to mend a car, van or iPhone, or creating music with machines [or being a decorator, building, carpentry, 12 volt electrics etc etc etc] have more in common than you might think.
I’ve been taking things apart since I was a small child. And, later on in life, also putting them back together so they work. I came to realise [partly thanks to Scott Adams] that if I’d put a fraction of the effort I had put into music into learning to code, then I would have been far better off – but if I thought that way early on, I would never have been a techno rave party promoter and DJ – Generation X was never about the easy, safe path. But one system is like another, and the sprawling cambrian explosion of music technology was the perfect setup for the cambrian explosion of blockchain tech. I’m happiest when trying to get a vast sprawling system under control. I love that feeling and frustration of ‘not knowing’ as it turns, slowly, into mastery.
Reverse engineering is much of the battle. Why something does what it does can be revealed with enough effort of mind. Luckily I’ve been able to follow my heart and intellect into this vast computing landscape in which you never stop learning, and, tantalisingly, truth can be known.
Knowing truth is compelling. Art is nothing without craft. And craft is nothing without the slow grind of practice.
This is my blog where I write up detailed articles about key blockchain projects, software, coding, computing, tech and crypto topics that I have experiential knowledge of.
“Simpatico” – (of a person) – Having a compatible temperament or pleasing qualities. quotations ▼ From simpatia (“sympathy”)ultimately from Ancient Greek σῠμπᾰ́θειᾰ (sumpátheia, “sympathy”, literally “suffering together”).
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