Future-proof your skills with Linux, Python, vim & git as I share with you the most timeless and love-worthy tools in tech through my two great projects that work great together.

LXD Linux Containers in Windows Linux WSL2, But What Is Home?

I explore the concept of home, referencing John Belushi and George Carlin to illustrate how labels are unnecessary. I compare the book The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and the MGM movie, and discuss how my mother escaped her home life in the same year as the movie. I conclude that home is where you make it, and that I am continuously reinventing myself and encouraging my loved-ones to do the same. To create a new home, I'm developing a special git repo, creating a personal homepage.

Creating a Home: Exploring the Concept of Home with John Belushi and George Carlin

By Michael Levin

Friday, June 24, 2022

Today I answer some of the biggest questions in life: where is home? And where do you keep all your shit? Labels are stupid. We seek better symbols through example. I talk about the early-days SNL comedian John Belushi a lot as the ultimate Blues viber. For a Green Arrow perspective, we look to George Carlin, the very person who cleared the way for me to open this post with the expletive I do. George tells it to you like it is.

Issues concerning “home” and your true identity cut to the quick, as the movie-version of The Marvelous Wizard of OZ says. George has some other ways of saying it. Call it what you will. We all go through several rebirths in our lives. Home changes. Where we store our stuff changes. It may or may not change you, depending on what you want and how you let it.

Dorothy was born into bleak, gray Kansas. What the MGM movie did was not just an artistic decision celebrating Technicolor movie production. No, the book, actually named The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, opened in black and white too. Don’t believe me? Here’s an excerpt:

“When Dorothy stood in the doorway and looked around, she could see nothing but the great gray prairie on every side. Not a tree nor a house broke the broad sweep of flat country that reached to the edge of the sky in all directions. The sun had baked the plowed land into a gray mass, with little cracks running through it. Even the grass was not green, for the sun had burned the tops of the long blades until they were the same gray color to be seen everywhere. Once the house had been painted, but the sun blistered the paint and the rains washed it away, and now the house was as dull and gray as everything else.”

Ahh, there’s no place like home, right Dorothy? At least for the mainstream movie audience that need some good old American Way brainwashing. I told you I was born the same year as UNIX, 50-miles from Murray Hill, NJ, right? For those who bust on New Jersey—we just gave you the modern digital world, is all. And when Washington crossed the Delaware from Pennsylvania to turn the revolutionary war, where was it into? New Jersey. You’re both free and on your phone or computer right now because of what? New Jersey.

We’ll, my mom was born the same year as The Wizard of OZ, 1939, just 20-days before its release. I think to myself her problems probably began with such a large cultural event stealing all the thunder of her birth, additionally aggregated by being the 3rd of 3 children and the first girl in a family that didn’t much value females I’m told—old-school Hungary-fleeing pre-WWII merchant-class Jews as they were. My Pop Pop ran a shoe store while his two sons entertained themselves by throwing tennis balls at my mom growing up. Ahh, home.

We’ll, Dorothy and my mom escaped. Little known fact, Dorothy’s experience wasn’t really a dream. Unlike Alice’s adventure in Wonderland where she woke up and returned to her static state, Dorothy really went to the land of Oz, located hidden in the middle of the uncrossable great desert somewhere in the United States. I suspect it was for the solar power or maybe geothermal energy sources for the data center Oz would require. Data center locations are kept secret too when they can be. Baum was a true channeler.

Oz is real and Dorothy eventually moved her doubting Aunt Em and Uncle Henry there who started out living fancy in the urban Emerald City but ended up moving to a small farm in Munchkin-land for familiarity and comfort. Ah, home. There’s no place like home, but it need not be bleak grey Kansas (no disrespect to the fine city of Topeka that birthed the Amiga Computer’s Video Toaster). Home is where you move your Aunt Em and Uncle Henry too, even if that means uploading them to Oz. We’ll deal with the moral implications of what to do with the “original matter” bodies in later posts. It’s the information, and “living experience” it induces that actually matters.

Growing up and leaving home, still supported my parents. Later, supporting ourselves. Getting your shit together for the 1st time for “next-level” stuff—doing it a 2nd time, a 3rd time, rinse & repeat until dead. These are times we reinvent ourselves. You’re never done reinventing yourself. It’s actually a continuous process. You’re subtly doing it right now just my listening to me. It’s all been said before, but the Pied Piper gets to add their particular flair and charm to the music. The more you let yourself “be static” the more forced and painful these transitions will be—so says I.

It’s true for your loved-ones too. The more you encourage them to be static personalities and to close their minds and take up “your ways 2-point-oh”, the more they’re going to be pained later on when they realize it’s not their ways. It’s not what makes their heart leap for joy and their soul sing. You chose their “home” and slapped a ball-and-chain in their legs to keep them there as a little carbon copy of you—probably out of fear and not for a true love for life you feel yourself. If you love something you set it free. If the live was real, it may or may not come back to you. It’s not about you.

But what about you? And what about home? Home is where you transition all that is love-worthy. Home is where you organize your heart, mind and a little bit of stuff. Don’t invest too much into matter. It’s just a form of ball-and-chain. Left at your parents’, it’s held hostage. Moved to your living space, it’s choking. Put in public storage, it’s a costly drain. Purge, my friends. Purge and get down to what’s most love-worthy and irreplaceable. That’s home. Everything else can be reacquired or recreated. Better yet, just grab enough information about it so that it can be remembered and release similar neurotransmitters in your brain as the space occupying boondoggle once did.

Hope is what you back up in git repos (folders or directories) and then back up in remote repositories for safety, such as Github or Git Lab on your own private cloud server (or two). It might sound too techie or unachievable today, but that won’t last for 10 years. Personal secure cloud servers will be as common as external hard drives are today in under a decade. They’re almost there today with network application servers from QNAP and Synology and endless Kickstarter projects. Put all your eggs in one basket and then back that basket up all over the place.

Next, curate the one particular folder you call home. It holds your .vimrc (vim configuration), .bash_profile (terminal startup script with aliases, etc.) and a few other things such as your /usr/local/sbin contents that you can move “home” for the sake of a git repo backup. You’re essentially packaging “home” to go. It’s what the Jews did with the canonical 5 Books of Moses and slapped into the Ark of the Covenant every time they were kicked out of their home and out into the diaspora. Get the most important basics. Everything else can slip back into oral tradition. If it was really important, it’ll return to your life.

Don’t answer these questions in this video. Too big! Just pose the questions to clarify next steps in your mind. Show a few tabs of research. And leave it as a cliffhanger as you go off to investigate on your own. But of course the answer to all these questions is some sort of qualified Yes.

Go, Go Unstoppable Me!

What’s home?

Bonus feature: stay alert to what makes you happy and what works best for you. Have another “vanity home” or public mailbox if you will where you can collect, refine and even advertise these things about yourself. Let’s call it a personal homepage on the Web. My name is Mike Levin so why not have a domain name that is a nearly perfect match? But you can’t have spaces in a domain name and you need to choose a top-level domain (TLD). What about MikeLev.in? Okay but it implies the wrong pronunciation. Emojis to the rescue. I have a 🎤. I like to talk. I 💙 to talk into the mic. I’m 🎤 💙in, so let’s begin.

Why would you do this? Why would you share your current interpretation of who you are and what you’re about on the Internet? It’s to help satisfy the second tier of the Maslow Pyramid of Needs: societal connections and belongings. I’m connecting with Scott M for example in my video chats, a 20-year veteran of the Murray Hill NJ facility where UNIX and half our modern world was invented. There’s that and that he sounds like an interesting guy himself to boot. So, let’s boot. It’s never too late to reboot. Pick yourselves up by the bootstrap and defy the law of conservation of momentum. Be human!

That just may be the purpose of sentient life.

There’s no place like the current instantiation of your system for defining current home.