git tear-hair

I use git. It's fast, it's convenient, it gives you github, and mostly it works. But several times now I've managed to bollix a git repository, been faced with impenetrable messages, and been unable to continue using git unless I sort them out. This latest time I had enough stubbornness to figure out how to un-bollix my repository, and I wanted to record it for posterity (specifically, for people whose problem-solving technique involves Googling for the specific error message). The error I received was:
error: object file .git/objects/86/5d2dffe9a3d72917934ed9693c7167efb6d8d5 is empty
fatal: loose object 865d2dffe9a3d72917934ed9693c7167efb6d8d5 (stored in .git/objects/86/5d2dffe9a3d72917934ed9693c7167efb6d8d5) is corrupt
Read on for how it happened, my understanding of what it means, and how I fixed it. Or skip this even-more-technical-than-usual post; I'll try to post something with corals or kittens soon.

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Available from Amazon
I recently read (listened to? What's the right way to say that for an audio book?) "Justice: What's the right thing to do?" by Michael J. Sandel. It's an interesting book, though rather heavier going than Nate Silver's breezy book on prediction. The basic question it addresses is, how do you decide what's right? Not just what's legal — you need some basis for deciding which laws are just. He talks through several approaches, including some ideas of his own. While he talks about several currently-debated topics, he refrains from stating his position on any of them, instead pointing out what the conflicting ideas of justice are that motivate the two sides.

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