Hi, I'm Ceasar. This page holds links to some cool stuff I've made or written.

Projects

  • Encyclopedia

    My personal encyclopedia. Really just a set of hyper-linked notes. Enables me to incrementally learn about things without worrying about forgetting. Also makes me super aware of how little I understand literally anything. Hopefully makes me better at asking questions when I'm trying to learn something new.

    I started the project in December 2013. There are now over 1500 articles of widely varying quality. Some I don't feel too embarrassed showing people: Earth, Tooth, Skin, and Skeletal muscle.

Coding

Pure coding things.

  • twosheds

    Library for making POSIX shells, written in Python. Incomplete, but usable. Named after Arthur "Two Sheds" Jackson.

  • staticjinja

    A minimalist static site generator for Python. I didn't like the existing tools with so much configuration options. Some people have found it useful.

  • Minesweeper

    Recreation of the Windows 95 puzzle game in the browser. Has saved me from boredom many times.

Essays

Long expositions.

  • Far Cry

    Can video games make us feel pride or shame? I answer the question and discuss the implications by analyzing Far Cry 2, an open-world first-person shooter designed by Clint Hocking. I shared the essay with Hocking, whom I greatly admire, and he was impressed, which was one of the happiest moments of my life.

Posts

Short expositions.

CivCraft

CivCraft is a political Minecraft server with no rules and no way to win. Players pursue their own personal goals (e.g. "get rich", "build a cool house", "get elected mayor", "conquer the world"), and conflict arises when those goals conflict with one another. When conflict can't be resolved peacefully, players can indefinitely ban their enemies from the server by defeating them in-game.

The server never shuts down and never resets. It's essentially a parallel universe with its own dramatic history.

CivCraft also has its own virtual economy, which was my main interest. I worked on several projects to try to advance the maturity of the economy with mixed success.

  • The Civ Mercantile Exchange (CME)

    The CME was a building where players could buy and sell items at fair market prices. As players bought more of a particular item, the price would slowly increase, and as players sold more of a particular item, the price would slowly decrease. The result was that players would continuously buy and sell in the exchange until they thought prices were "fair" and there was no profit to be made. Thus, prices at the exchange were always at worst fair or more often a good deal.

    The CME was entirely autonomous. By design, it generated a profit whenever it connected a buyer and seller. And since anyone could sell items to the exchange, I never had to worry about keeping the shop stocked-- someone would eventually sell items to the shop if prices rose high enough. The autonomous design enabled me to continuously generate wealth even when away from the game.

  • Multisig vaults

    I used multisignature locks to implement low-trust escrow. A "vault" is a secure structure for storing wealth. A "multisig vault" is a vault constructed by three players in such a way that no one player can enter the vault alone, but any two players can enter the vault together.

    Multsig vaults can be used to enforce two-party contracts that involve collateral. The two parties construct the multsig vault with a mutually agreed upon arbiter. If there is no dispute when the contracts ends, the two parties can open the vault together and return the collateral. If there is a dispute, the arbiter can interpret the contract, issue a verdict, and open the vault for the winner.

  • Securely managing wealth on behalf of a group

    I applied simple geometry to create a system in which players can securely pool wealth by minimizing the maximum wealth a defector could steal.

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