Reading and writing compressed disk images with dd in MacOS

I’ve been prepping server images for my offline journey running the lights on the fabulous gay sheep at Burning Man 2018. Doing so requires yearly updates, enhancements, new server builds and copies of old ones just in case the shit hits the fan without access to the outside world. This year I decided to write scripts to make things easier, efficiently store image data, and quickly read/write it within MacOS.
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