node created 2012/06/17
last changed 2013/02/04
I often warn people: "Somewhere along the way, someone is going to tell you, 'There is no "I" in team.' What you should tell them is, 'Maybe not. But there is an "I" in independence, individuality and integrity.
When you get more experienced most of these things make me laugh or cry (depending on the siuation); it does not matter what companies like FB, Google do; people on HN or Reddit will take it and do it to the extreme: we now ‘need to’ use React for everything; if it does not fit, just beat it with a hammer until it does. Kubernetes and microservices must be used for every tiny little part if the app even if it causes a lot more overhead in performance/memory use (computers are cheap and fast!) or debugging. Abstract almost everything! (Java + OOP, Javascript and the npm mess) to Abstract almost nothing! (Go w/o generics), Make everything reusable (left-pad), Rewrite everything in JS!, Rust!, Go! etc etc. Everyone is running after eachother and doing it more extreme and the end result is just as shit as if you would not have done that at all and just thought about it bit before opening some IDE and codegenerate you million lines of boilerplate with the instable and slow framework-du-jour. As an older coder I sigh when a codebase is taken out of the ‘mothballs’ even 6-12 months after creation and people cannot get it running because everything they used is outdated because the framework and library authors move fast and break everything all the time. And ofcourse it is in an outdated language / framework(Ruby on Rails is soooo pase) so noone knows anything , it uses the 358 most popular DSLs (350 unmaintained since january) at the time so unless you drank the same coolaid it is a nightmare spelonking adventure.

At least Dijkstra had sound mathematical reasoning for his arguments and wrote about them eloquently (and with good humor I may add); most of what is peddled in the hipster coding circles is a smooth talk by a gifted social media frontman that has no solid basis in anything besides that the person is popular. I do not even understand how people dare to put their name on complete messes like npm or one line npm packages unless it is a joke. I assume things like leftpad are in fact a joke; if they are not I would have to cry myself to sleep every night. So I just lie and say it is funny.
As long as we continue to have children, or accept people having children, we have chosen - as a species - to not give up on them, and their descendants.

Preserving a livable environment, and preferably much more than livable, is simply a duty springing from that fact.

There is no need for any deep philosophy, to care for the environment is - essentially - a consequence of choices already made.
In all major socializing forces you will find an underlying movement to gain and maintain power through the use of words. From witch doctor to priest to bureaucrat it is all the same. A governed populace must be conditioned to accept power-words as actual things, to confuse the symbolized system with the tangible universe. In the maintenance of such a power structure, certain symbols are kept out of the reach of common understanding – symbols such as those dealing with economic manipulation of those which define the local interpretation of sanity. Symbol-secrecy of this form leads to the development of fragmented sub-languages, each being a signal that its users are accumulating some form of power.
"Children of Dune"
This is what happens when academics want to get on the juicy lecture circuit and seduce starry-eyed graduate students.

Hell no. There are no academics in the sovereign citizen/freeman movement.

That is what happens when people who are down in the pecking order first see rich people doing whatever they want and getting away with it, and then someone comes and tells them that they too can do whatever as long as they follow these simple steps.
Frankly, most people have a grossly stunted sense of empathy, with exceptions only for those things that they have firsthand life experience with. An instructive contrast is media depictions of sexual violence against women: for a couple of decades, there has been a concerted effort to decry media depictions of violence against women (sexual or otherwise) that are perceived as unnecessary or trivializing. The success of these campaigns is to be lauded, but what they reveal about how empathy-bankrupt monsters most people are is sort of chilling: people en masse can be taught to play-act empathy by rote if it's drilled into their head that a particular case is no longer socially acceptable, but they don't seem to be capable (en masse) of practicing the skill of empathy itself.

For anyone who watches Game of Thrones: Compare the huge outcry against the depiction of Sansa's marital rape to _an entire season_ of infinitely more gruesome torture porn by the same perpetrator against a male victim, which included genital mutilation. Despite being a far more egregious and lengthy display of gratuitous and stomach-turning violence, the latter caused no backlash whatsoever, and is in fact still fodder for jokes about Game of Thrones-themed foods ("Theon's Flayed Sausage"), including from publications like Huffington Post which were some of the loudest complainants about how unforgivable the former scene was.

TL;DR: It's not a particularly popular opinion, but most people are far more depraved and far less capable of basic human empathy than even their own ostensible moral standards would imply. Like you, I can't relate to how people watch that stuff, but I can definitely understand it.
It’s Facebook. You’re the product, not the customer. The hot dog rolls at the supermarket don’t get a complaint button either.
[..] being a weirdo with eccentricities and preferences wasn’t something that demanded medication and diagnosis and labels and highly precise rules for what’s normal and what’s not. You could be awkward. It wasn’t a big deal.

Now, that is no longer true. People are keeping score starting at five years old, boxing kids into limited futures of medication and unrelenting demands for strict behavioral protocols.

So, what changed? The schools. The doctors. The kids didn’t change. The adults did. The trend was to demand more from children, and thus force them into tighter constraints in adulthood. The trend was to try and force a society to do more with less, and to weed out the weak.

Kids have to do homework in kindergarten, and that is bullshit. They shouldn’t have homework until middle school, really. They should just be kids. They shouldn’t have anxiety about grades when they’re little. They should be permitted to exist as tiny little humans, getting a first look at a gigantic world. Up until age ten, they should just be exposed to what it means to be a person.
[..] celebrities (particularly, but not solely, movie stars) are always playing a role, even in interviews, etc. When they make a public appearance that isn't overtly as a character, the role they're playing is their "movie star" persona. Unless you are an actual friend of theirs, you don't really know what their true authentic selves are.

Social media, it seems to me, has caused everyone to do the same thing. In social media, people tend to be playing a role -- that role being what they view as the best version of themselves. But it's not their true authentic selves any more than with the celebrities.

I think this has caused a serious degradation in the social fabric. Before social media, the most common interactions you had were with friends and family, and you were mostly interacting with their authentic selves. After all, nobody really knows you until they've seen you at your worst.

Interactions in social media are not like that. You're interactive with people playing parts, and that interaction is no longer genuine human contact. It just has the window-dressing of that.

Loneliness and isolation is the logical result of that. It's a bit like replacing most of your food with "dietary fiber" that is made to look and taste like food. It will fill you up and taste good, but in the end you'll still starve to death.
The only answers are either open source or objective third party auditing, or preferably some combination of both. Words from google employees mean nothing.
Unanimity of opinion is a very ominous phenomenon, and one characteristic of our modern mass age. It destroys social and personal life, which is based on the fact that we are different by nature and by conviction. To hold different opinions and to be aware that other people think differently on the same issue shields us from Godlike certainty which stops all discussion and reduces social relationships to those of an ant heap. A unanimous public opinion tends to eliminate bodily those who differ, for mass unanimity is not the result of agreement, but an expression of fanaticism and hysteria. In contrast to agreement, unanimity does not stop at certain well-defined objects, but spreads like an infection into every related issue.
Everything is worse in these authoritarian countries, not just the freedom. That is another thing people generally don't understand. There is nothing to catch up to. We just have to make sure to not get worse ourselves. And to actually use the advantages we had. That is why I am saying that it is the West that is defeatist. It is we that are changing our ways, to a large extent from our post war ideals.

If you want the feature of democracy you have actually be democratic. Which many areas of our societies increasingly aren't. It is nice to be able to say whatever you want, but if no one is listening there is no effect. The point is that something should happen, otherwise we are just cargo culting ourselves and being jesters for those in power.
When books or pictures in reproduction are thrown on the market cheaply and attain huge sales, this does not affect the nature of the objects in question. But their nature is affected when these objects themselves are changed rewritten, condensed, digested, reduced to kitsch in reproduction, or in preparation for the movies. This does not mean that culture spreads to the masses, but that culture is being destroyed in order to yield entertainment.

The result of this is not disintegration but decay, and those who actively promote it are not the Tin Pan Alley composers but a special kind of intellectuals, often well read and well informed, whose sole function is to organize, disseminate, and change cultural objects in order to persuade the masses that Hamlet can be as entertaining as My Fair Lady, and perhaps educational as well. There are many great authors of the past who have survived centuries of oblivion and neglect, but it is still an open question whether they will be able to survive an entertaining version of what they have to say.
> There was a widespread conviction that it is impossible to withstand temptation of any kind, that none of us could be trusted or even be expected to betrustworthy when the chips are down, that to be tempted and to be forced are almost the same, whereas in the words of Mary McCarthy, who first spotted this fallacy: "If somebody points a gun at you and says,'Kill your friend or I will kill you,' he is tempting you, that is all." And while a temptation where one's life is at stake may be a legal excuse for a crime, it certainly is not a moral justification.

[..]

> It is fortunate and wise that no law exists for sins of omission and no human court is called up onto sit in judgment over them. But it is equally fortunate that there exists still one institution in society in which it is well-nigh impossible to evade issues of personal responsibility, where all justifications of a nonspecific, abstract nature - from the Zeitgeist down to the Oedipus complex - break down, where not systems or trends or original sin are judged, but men of flesh and blood like you and me, whose deeds are of course still human deeds but who appear before a tribunal because they have broken some law whose maintenance we regard as essential for the integrity of our common humanity. Legal and moral issues are by no means the same, but they have a certain affinity with each other because they both presuppose the power of judgment.

[..]

> What mattered in our early, nontheoretical education in morality was never the conduct of the true culprit of whom even then no one in his right mind could expect other than the worst. Thus we were outraged, but not morally disturbed, by the bestial behavior of the stormtroopers in the concentration camps and the torture cellars of the secret police, and it would have been strange indeed to grow morally indignant over the speeches of the Nazi big wigs inpower, whose opinions had been common knowledge for years. [..] The moral issue arose only with the phenomenon of "coordination," that is, not with fear-inspired hypocrisy, but with this very early eagerness not to miss the train of History, with this, as it were, honest overnight change of opinion that befell a great majority of public figures in all walks of life and all ramifications of culture, accompanied, as it was, by an incredible ease with which life long friendships were broken and discarded. In brief, what disturbed us was the behavior not of our enemies but of our friends, who had done nothing to bring this situation about. They were not responsible for the Nazis, they were only impressed by the Nazi success and unable to pit their own judgment against the verdict of History, as they read it. Without taking into account the almost universal breakdown, not of personal responsibility, but of personal judgment in the early stages of the Nazi regime, it is impossible to understand what actually happened.
"Personal Responsibility Under Dictatorship"
Man they knew how to dance. I'd often stand there fucked out of my face just watching them dance. It was an absolute pleasure in fact. They were so passionate about the music, not like nowadays. It seems like a self obsessed society now. Full of cunts worrying about how they look...
1. Start with the set of all potentially serious journalists.

2. Filter out the ones who put forth arguments which downplay the dangers to the press of prosecuting Assange.

3. Filter out the ones who don't explicitly argue against prosecuting Assange on 1st Amendment grounds.

Follow the small group that survives #3 to get a variety of (probably) high-quality perspectives from serious journalists.
Once the door is fully opened, everybody rushes through. Once more-or-less targeted assassinations have been normalized by a government, you can be sure that it will be used by every government following them, and ultimately by every other government on the planet. Effective tools will always be used.

Be that mass surveillance, drone strikes, offensive cyber warfare or kidnapping people on foreign soil to fly them to torture camps.
You're not a "girl electronic producer". You're a producer. That's it. And you're not a girl, you're a woman. A human. An adult.

Some women seem to infantilize themselves, doing the "listen to me I sound like a 6 year old" blinky eyed baby doll thing, perhaps in order to unsconsciously not appear "serious" or "threatening" to men or others. Fuck that. You are serious and you are a threat. Now join the fray, where you will be praised and you will be trashed. Get out there and produce some great shit.
The MO is shoot the messenger. As old as the hills.

We aren't discussing what Wikileaks leaked anymore. We are discussing Julian Assange's cats. See how they shifted our attention? That's the power of a propaganda - eventually, it will work. They just have to keep at it, and they did.

Nobody even disputed what was leaked. Officials confirmed the authenticity and so far, 0% is wrong of the leaks. Yet, we are still discussing how the condom slipped, the smell of the cat, and so on, and so on.

No consequences for anyone, almost. We should focus on whether the leaks are legitimate or fabricated and then deal with the perpetrator(s) in a court of law. We should not focus on the person that had the platform to leak them on.
I feel like everyone is doing social media marketing - or something equally useless while the world around us is breaking down.
I'm kind of sick of the whole "bias" obsession. It's everyone's go-to counterargument these days, and it's a shallow, poorly developed one. It's like everyone's lost critical reasoning skills, which require delicate attention to the particular strategies and propositions deployed in a given argument, and found these set of stock biases to use instead. In fact it's impossible to purge an argument or line of thinking of all so-called biases (though these don't actually exist in arguments, they are deduced from arguments)--if it were, it wouldn't be an argument or thought.

The goal of catching our own mistakes is an admirable one, and I'm not advocating people stop doing that--I just think it too frequently bleeds into trying to find so-called biases in arguments (whether written or verbal). In fact, this is more or less a fool's errand. What people are actually trying to point out in arguments are logical fallacies which are traits of the argument. Biases contrarily occur at the individual level and are operational flaws, they only occur during the thought process, and it's only meaningful to talk about them in these terms (that is, as they manifest in the ongoing practices of a person)--they are not properties of a line of thought's encoding (the written or spoken argument). Fallacies or viewpoints expressed in an argument may hint at the biases of the author, but it's a non-sequitur to start talking about them (when critiquing an argument), as the only way one could actually confirm this is by observing the author at work in daily life. To say, such an such an author is biased, is useless. It doesn't contribute meaningfully to a critique of the argument, and it would need to be verified through observation of the author.

Demonstrating to someone that they have developed/fall prey to particular bias frequently and working to rectify that one-on-one is a totally different story, or trying to catch biases operating in yourself is a totally different story.
We don't deserve to find another Earth if we can't sustain this one.
I'm rapidly becoming anti-tech, and I live and breathe tech. People no longer seem to know how to actually talk to each other, unless they already agree 100% with each others positions on any given subject. I don't see all of this heading in a positive direction for humanity, and I think we see that unfolding all around us, every day.
Even if it were possible to design a provably correct, impossible to tamper with, anonymous electronic voting system (which seems unlikely to me) it still should NOT be used. Why?

Everyone understands paper in ballot boxes, and how they can be cheated, what to look for. Everyone can assess an argument as to whether this happened based on the evidence presented.

Basically nobody would understand what to even look for in cheating the electronic system. It would be totally my expert says your expert is wrong and so it is/isn't fraud. Having even the possibility of that argument for electoral fraud is completely insane.

It doesn't just have to be fair, it has to be seen to be fair. Really it does. We need to have reason to have faith in our democratic processes most especially when the people you want to win, don't and the result surprises you.

The sooner we get to "Any electronic voting must be used to mark a standard paper ballot which becomes the entire source of truth." The better. Everything else in electronic voting is dangerous, sinister and flat out evil. Oppose it. Loudly. At every opportunity. Especially if you're known as someone who understands computers on some level.
Give us an open (hardware) phone and OS plus apps will follow. Manufacturers however would hate this because the phone (tablet, etc.) as a platform allowed them to undo what Open Source achieved in the last decades on personal computers: now they have again a piece of hardware they can fully control; the software is closed and incredibly dumb, and it forces you to connect to online services to do anything. We're sort of back to mainframes, that's like killing over 40 years of IT development!
And the cover of Vodafone's Digital Parenting is a picture of three lovely-looking little kids, about eight years old, all sat in a line on a sofa, where they're all absorbed by handheld devices and computers and screens, and they're not interacting in any meaningful human way. And all through Digital Parenting are all these disguised advertorials about "edu-taining" software that you absolutely need to buy. Vodafone's Digital Parenting. It's like the fox's guide to chicken security.
My reason for reducing my social media presence is the Like count next to every thought expressed. By adding a publicly visible number next to every expressed human thought, you influence behavior and thinking.
He that is kind is free, though he is a slave; he that is evil is a slave, though he be a king.
Oh, I've been following the bass line since James Brown invented it. I was a great disco queen.
I'm a professor of 30 years in a STEM field. I'm sorry Diana, but Paglia is right. The liberal arts died long ago, and now their death has come full circle and is public policy. Administrators in universities are the very failed illiberal students of 20 years ago. As a result, these administrators (ie they who sign the checks) make decisions which now lay waste even to the sciences. Since universities are businesses and want to attract as many students as possible, the pressure is always to lower standards and appease the customers (witness Mizzou). And since these administrators have been well equipped with all the mental machinery to justify devaluing education (witness Iowa), we're on a downward spiral. What makes your challenge to the youth impotent is that the pressures against liberal thought are coming from many disparate directions. A young mind might hear your message, but at the same time hears, but I have to get a job, I need to survive in this world. We are at the end of an era, but what comes next is darkness.