☆: Wednesday, July 4, 2018. ∆: Saturday, September 12, 2020. Belief: n/a.

particle 17 is a heterogeneous journal. My areas of interest are fairly diverse: fiction writing and storytelling, programming, working, and living a quantified life are examples of this.

I created particle 17 because of a general frustration with online platforms. I find traditional blogs to be cumbersome and hard to discover. But right now social media isn’t my thing, and it doesn’t particularly like long-form writing anyway. So we’re here.

My goal with particle 17 is to create a venue where I can discuss anything I want and share it. That’s all. It is my hope to create a varied journal.

the author

My name is Lucas Nicodemus.

The “hakusaro” handle comes from the Japanese katakana ハクサロ, pronounced as ha ku sa ro. It has no meaning, and is entirely made up. I’m also around the net as:

  • particles
  • nicatronTg

Briefly: I’m into a lot of things, but probably most known for information security & information systems architecture.


I live in California, but I have lived in Colorado & Wyoming. California is warm and nice. Wyoming is quiet, but cold.


I was born and raised in Colorado. Colorado is a bit of a mixed climate, with severe weather most prominently in the spring, but stable otherwise – something that locals refuse to admit. It tends to be relatively pleasant in Colorado in most areas.


I went to school in Wyoming, which didn’t give me a great impression of the place. The quiet really is astounding though. It’s super safe and nice.


I moved to California and got record breaking rainfall which was awesome. The nights and days are warm and sunny. I greatly prefer SoCal to the Bay Area.


I’ve worked at a few corporations, which are kind of like people but not.

  • Mercury Intelligence Systems
  • Northrop Grumman
  • Poll Everywhere (currently!)


My areas of specialty are information systems, security, and development. I also have a strong interest in several other fields: communication, storytelling, psychology, behavioral economics, neuroscience, and genetics. Chances are I’m forgetting something here.


My Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is INTP1. On the big-five personality trait scale, from Truity Psychometrics, I received the following results:

  • Factor 1: Openness: 92%.
  • Factor 2: Conscientiousness: 58%.
  • Factor 3: Extroversion: 42%.
  • Factor 4: Agreeableness: 79%.
  • Factor 5: Neuroticism: 62.5%.

Because it wasn’t entirely clear what the percentages meant (were they percentiles?), I re-took the big-five personality test from Open Psychometrics and got the following allocations (percentiles):

  • Factor 1: Intellect/imagination: 95%.
  • Factor 2: Conscientiousness: 62%.
  • Factor 3: Extroversion: 22%.
  • Factor 4: Agreeableness: 91%.
  • Factor 5: Emotional stability: 34%.

I took the tests about a month apart. I didn’t remember my original Truity scores nor did I review them prior to taking the inventory from Open Psychometrics (you have to trust me on this).

For a company retreat, Poll Everywhere paid for me to take the RHETI/Enneagram personality inventory (on January 17, 2020). The full report is available as always, but it essentially broke down into a three way tie between:

  • Type 2: The Helper
  • Type 7: The Enthusiast
  • Type 5: The Investigator

I think type 5 matches best?


I was genotyped on the 23andMe v4 platform in 2016 and on the 23andMe v5 platform in 2019. I’ve shared these reports with the world2.


  • TShock for Terraria and the associated Terraria Server API are kind of notable.
  • Pryaxis Jump was a service that scored information security / cyber security competitions.
    • “The Magi” was a service that predicted the outcomes of CyberPatriot competition rounds.

other places

  • MyAnimeList. I watch a lot of anime and I try to keep this up to date. I don’t post reviews here, though. The MAL review system is weird, and I don’t think I want to write in-depth for this site.
  • Twitter. I don’t use this much, but I do use it.
  • hakusa.ro. This website just links back here, really.
  • GitHub. This is where my code lives.


Please give me some context as to why you want to talk if you message me. “Hi” isn’t a really good example of that.

epistemic statuses

I’ve adopted the practice of attaching an epistemic status when possible to pages and posts. This is the belief section. First and foremost, it’s subjective with few exceptions. It represents my internal belief about something, not an objective truth. The scale goes like this:

  • very unlikely – something that is probably just wrong. I tend not to publish these, but if something turns out to change over time or I gain new insight, I’ll retroactively mark things at this state. I won’t unpublish something.
  • unlikely – sometimes I hold a view that’s outside of the norm, but I think has a shred of hope.
  • confident – no evidence to the contrary that I can think of, but no supporting evidence I can think of either.
  • likely – some supporting experience or evidence backs up my claim, or else a good amount of anecdotal experience.
  • very likely – a good amount of experience or evidence backs up my claim. Posts written with this status should be considered what I stand by.

There are some special statuses:

  • n/a – content is not classified because it’s a collection, or because confidence makes no sense in context.
  • evidence backed – effort was made to collect data, cite sources, run experiments, etc. Scientific.
  • fully/partially retracted – a previously evidence backed post was discredited for some reason.
  • in progress – content is published in an incomplete state, and thus not yet classified.

style guide

  • Headers are lowercase, save for proper nouns. If something is published, the title case convention as followed by the published work is followed when capitalizing it.
  • Footnote anchors should live directly next to what they’re a footnote for, unless that happens to be a link, in which case a space is permitted. If at the end of a list item, after the period works.
  • Bulleted lists have periods at the end.

categories, tags, and dates

Posts are categorized based on time relevance, and tagged by subject. Items categorized as timeless should mostly stand independent of when read. This is the case for essays or long compositions. Effort is made to decouple these items from other events so as to make them last longer. Items categorized as in the news are in response to world events, news, or timelines. This is the case with most review style posts. Items in the Svbtle archive are carried over from my previous blog on Svbtle, which is the only blog I maintained for a long period of time.

Posts are given two dates: a ☆ and a ∆ date, indicating the initial writing date or publish date, and the last revision date, respectively.

on terrible people

In particle 17, I attempt to collect and categorize a lot of information, some of which might be created by terrible people. Unfortunately, due to lack of time machines, I won’t know if someone is terrible until after it comes out that they are. If I link to or endorse someone who I later find out to be terrible, they will be expunged from the site, no matter how good their work is.

So, if it turns out my favorite book was written by a sex offender, I’m going to throw them and their book out. As a society, we should exclude individuals who are terrible and forge ahead without them. Epistemic status: very likely.

This policy has been invoked one time.

technical details

particle 17 is hosted on GitHub pages, using Hugo. It’s using the hugo primer theme by Qiushi Pan, with some modifications. It uses the hugo action by peaceiris to automatically commit to the gh-pages branch on the same repo that backs it, which is then configured in GitHub as a page. Using a CNAME file in the static folder, GitHub serves it on a TLD without a pages subdomain or subfolder. The secret ACTIONS_DEPLOY_SSH_KEY has an SSH key that can authenticate to GitHub as me, and publish changes6.

My YAML configuration for the GitHub action/workflow is below:

name: Publish to Pages

    - master

    runs-on: ubuntu-latest
      - uses: actions/[email protected]
          submodules: true

      - name: build
        uses: peaceiris/[email protected].58.2
          args: --gc --minify --cleanDestinationDir

      - name: deploy
        uses: peaceiris/[email protected].3.0
          PUBLISH_BRANCH: gh-pages
          PUBLISH_DIR: public/

  1. Sometimes it’s actually INTJ. I actually think this is probably more accurate about 70% of the time, but it’s hard to say. I also fundamentally believe that re-taking the MBTI assessment with the hope of getting a result, or while knowing a prior result, will probably taint the outcome. [return]
  2. I call it “DNA” in the header because that’s what people colloquially believe it is. It’s fundamentally a subset of my DNA, not a fully sequenced genome, which would be my actual DNA. [return]
  3. I’ve re-run reports several times with mild changes each time, as per the Promethease recommendations. However, due to FDA action on October 31, 2018, Promethease began to redact its reports and hide anything related to drug interactions (PGx). This has the side effect of hiding many of the most significant items from SNPedia, so I haven’t found much value from them lately. Codegen offers a similar reporting service, but they don’t have an easy export/download function. [return]
  4. Weird things happen when your DNA is imputed and recombined with the original source. [return]
  5. Is it safe to post your genotyping data online? I think it’s probably safe. Blaine Bettinger posted his genotyping data online. There are a handful of genotyping results on GitHub. It’s worth noting that unless you go through the process of getting your entire genome sequenced (as opposed to being genotyped on a limited-in-scope chip), you really don’t have a lot to lose. You have a few valuable SNPs for medical and ancestral information, but a large chunk of it is missing. This means most (if not all) of public “genomes” are actually just a set of SNPs, not complete sets. [return]
  6. Depending on your level of fear, this could be terrible. I’m currently okay with the risk. [return]