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Comment: Re:Citizen of Belgium here (Score 1) 1254 1254

Ah, really? Well then you first then as your characterization of the existence of poor people in today's society "gives you a way to keep them in their place" is a typical lie of those claiming that others need to give more to make the problem go away.

I'm not asking you, or anyone, to give anything. I'm simply pointing out that the AC's attitude, that of someone making 20 times as much as someone else as well as holding all the power in the situation yet still believing themselves to be the victim is precisely the kind of self-deception that makes poverty possible in the first place. And I also claim this is not an accident, but an intentional aim of our current social structure - poverty exists to ensure factories have an unending supply of desperate labour, or more generally, that there's people who both hold all the power in and have every reason to support the system.

Basically, the AC followed his cultural programming which makes him unable to see the basic absurdity in what he posted, and you followed yours which prompts you to attack any perceived criticism of the basic assumptions of the system - in this case unequality and one-sided dependence - and apparently you picked an old Cold War relic memetic program to type the actual text. Or possibly got one from an old archive or something. Which is what I'm trying to figure out.

So, did you grow up during the Cold War, or...?

Comment: Re: Systemd (Score 1) 108 108

Humiliation? WTF? How's that work? It's not humiliating, it's frustrating.

Neither is appropriate for when people refuse to care about your orders because you don't have any authority over them. You aren't paying so you aren't in any position to demand features, or anything else.

Like I said, it's the "you're not my boss, fuck you" attitude that really turns people away.

It's not "you're not my boss, fuck you" but "you're not my boss, so stop giving me orders". Altough I suppose "fuck you" could very quickly follow if you refused to take the hint.

The attitude you just displayed right there. Are you a developer on any open source projects?

So disagreeing with you is "fuck you" to you? Seriously?

Comment: Re:Unchanging UIs? Not just for old people (Score 1) 239 239

If software companies are upset that we're obstinately staying with older versions of their products, instead of paying for the latest and greatest, the answer might be simply "I know how to use this version, and I don't want to spend hours with each new revision trying to figure out where you've hidden the button this time."

More to the point, the concept of "product" was part of Industrial Age and simply doesn't make sense in Information Age. In the world of plenty a business model based on scarcity requires you to create artificial scarcity and inevitably makes you a villain. It also doesn't work. Current software companies stay afloat because Information Age is only dawning, and the old myths - the values and patterns of behavior consider the "default" - of Industrial Age have held dominance; but as economy leaves industrial production a niche, just like it did agriculture earlier, copyrights and their underlaying ideas if "software is property" will lose what little power they still have and selling software will become impossible.

So what will replace it? Perhaps some kind of "work for hire" model. In this model, software houses didn't have products, rather they'd implement new features and polish existing ones, maybe funded through something like Kickstarter. Then again, it's possible that, as Information Age progresses and the new model becomes the default, the entire concept of property will simply crumble. After all, if a robot built by other robots builds a doohickey from materials mined by yet more robots, why should it "belong" to anyone? If I want one, I can just tell the robots to build one; if you want one, you can tell them to build one too. Nobody needs to be paid.

If this happens - if production will become a background process like trees making oxygen, unlike the entire focus of human existence like it currently is - then future will basically be a communist utopia developing, as Marx predicted, when ideological - currently capitalistic - covering of the society has outlived its usefulness and said society sheds it, like it has many others previously. Which may or may not be enough to stop gratuitous changes to user interface.

Comment: Re:pardon my french, but "duh" (Score 2) 239 239

Why should an old person learn to use (in rapid succession) CompuServe, AOL, Yahoo, LiveJournal, Myspace, Facebook, Flicker, Pinterest, Instagram (and so on and so on), instead of his relatives putting a little effort into hand written letters and face time?

Because those handwritten letters and face time are going to become a chore very soon, and chores have a tendency to be "forgotten", especially when they only exist in the first place because their benefactee is too lazy to invest into learning modern communication methods.

If you make it hard for other people to stay in contact, they probably won't bother.

Comment: Re: Systemd (Score 1) 108 108

It's just the "fuck you" attitude that gets to us. When users demand features, you are supposed to listen. But nope, this stock answer is trotted out every time as a way to avoid doing work.

But it's not work. The developers are free to listen to you, and they're also free to ignore you. You aren't their boss. Refusing to treat you like you were isn't "fuck you". You just took it that way because getting rejected is humiliating and you didn't want to admit you misunderstood the situation.

Comment: Re:'Faceglory' (Score 1) 286 286


I am, and I almost facepalm every time I hear someone come out with that line. Likewise, when various activities are talked of as 'sinful', or talked about in a way so as to imply that they are wrong, as if they are self-evidently wrong.

Some Christians take simplistic lines, but some do not.

The trouble is the drift in meaning caused by tradition and human nature. That the Gospel accounts illustrate precisely this problem, and yet too many churchgoers seem blissfully unaware of it takes a little effort to get your head around.

Comment: Re:Citizen of Belgium here (Score 1) 1254 1254

It's so much better when the commisar decides & comes in to take all your excess food, right komrade? Make everyone poor so that none can complain that any are poorer!

You know, if you feel the need to lie about your opponent to make yourself look good, then that usually means you are the bad guy.

Or was it your indoctrination speaking? Some old Cold Warrior reliving their youth? A kid who thinks Red Scare is fashionable? Inquiring minds want to know how you got from "I guess this explains why we still have beggars" to "Make everyone poor so that none can complain that any are poorer!"

Comment: Re:Citizen of Belgium here (Score 1) 1254 1254

If I work everyday to earn twenty dollars, and every day you ask for a dollar, eventually I'm going to get tired of supporting you when I have my own financial issues to worry about.

If your income is twenty times mine, and even that pittance is dependent on pleasing you, and you still have the nerve to play the victim, then it seems to me that my best option would be to start a revolution and put your head on a stick. I have nothing to lose but my chains, after all.

Comment: Re:Throw it all out (Score 2) 448 448

One thing I love about xfce (I tend to use UbuntuStudio on most of my machines) is the ability to assign arbitrary keystrokes to commands in the desktop preferences. I thus use the Windows key (call it Meta if you like, but I am too used to calling it Windows, especially since it has a Windows logo on) so that Win-W launches my default word processor, and then if necessary modifiers like shift and ctrl will launch an alternative word processor. Win-T launches the terminal, Win-G does gimp, Win-Shift-G does krita, Win-E does the file manager (having got used to this one on Windows), Win-K does kodi, and so on.
Rather than rely on some dodgy AI to figure out what I want, give the user an easy way to teach it what you want, so that one can easily teach the user how to train the computer to respond. The idea that a few software engineers in a country a few thousand miles away can anticipate how I would want to use the computer is just silly, but that is what Apple, M$, and many desktop environments effectively do.

This hotkey arrangement means that I can go from off to word processor in three touches (power button, which boots to desktop*, Win-W) and about ten seconds. With windows 8, already booted and logged in, it usually takes me longer than that, and many more touches, to get a working word processor. Likewise for other common apps (Win-B does Firefox, Win-Shift-B does Chromium)..

One thing I dislike about how things are on my Linux boxes at present is a kind of 'fragmentation' in the sense that only certain bits of my environment can be directly controlled from the command line, and the command line is limited compared to a language such as Python. I would personally take the idea of sending messages in a command language that would, in practice, resemble a simplistic Lisp, as a core of all applications. UI events like changing font in a word processor or changing colour in a paint program would resolve to commands sent to a mailbox in the app somewhere. This would make the MVC paradigm much more explicit, and I would have the ability to 'log in' to a command processor built into every program (essentially stick such things into the runtime -- look at F-Script anywhere on Mac Os X for an idea about what I am describing).

In particular, if I can conceive of a simple task for, say, my word processor, I would like there to be an easy method to tell it to do this. I am a big fan of the idea of pervasive scriptability, But that does require more thought about the nature of the scripting languages: you want something data-structure based (like Lisp) that is easy to compose programmatically (so that any old scripting language can compose a script for this pervasive scripting language) and easy to pass between processes, whether local or remote (so that a script can throw a complex request to a process somewhere else to handle).

*and I take care to use encrypted containers for anything that I don't want someone with physical access to my machine to get at.

Comment: Re:Please insert Multics subthread here. (Score 2) 448 448

It has occurred to me before that a 64bit memory space is adequate for most purposes (except really big computers), and then a hierarchical arrangement of 64bit address spaces (essentially give each 64bit memory space its own index, with 0 meaning local-default or something like that). Similarly, I started thinking through the idea of a really minimal Forth for 64bit chips where, rather than strings naming words, we just limit things to strings of 8 1-byte characters, possibly using a different character set than ASCII, and ordering it so that lexicographic ordering is identical to the native integer ordering of the processor (then you can remove all need for string processing from the Forth, and move it, if needed, into a frontend).

Chuck Moore (of Forth fame) once commented about the database. Casual users forget that their filesystem is a database, and quite possibly one that is far from optimal for what they are doing with it. Viewing memory and storage as a database of 4K pages, and working up is something that to a certain extent already happens, but making it explicit in system architecture makes a lot of sense to me.

Ideally I would have a system where a minimal Forth like this sits at the bottom level, then there is a minimal Lisp for higher level stuff, with access to a sufficient compiler infrastructure to do basic assembly and writing of components. As for system architecture, I would strip away many of the abstraction layers we currently have. View both storage and memory as a database of 4K pages, each of which is natively viewed as a vector of 512 64bit integers, and viewing smaller cells as fractions of a 64bit integer, and larger cells as vectors of 64bit integers.

As one goes up, implement systems for the various programming paradigms, borrowing from languages such as the various oo languages, the various functional languages, and things like erlang, and the bright ideas that turn up in webserver systems such as nginx and node.js (that is, lightweight 'threads').

The difficulty with any dream like the above, however, is to avoid the 'design by committee' problem of ramming in every pretty idea you see, and of trying to arrange things so that the complexity of the end result system does not blow up massively as things grow towards what we would expect of a modern operating system.

Comment: Re: All possible languages? (Score 2) 286 286

I wonder how much their idea of 'sin' resembles that of those people who wrote the various Bible passages with that word.

I can also imagine it backfiring when someone considers how appropriate faceglory could be as a name for a rather more naughty website.

Comment: Re:Citizen of Belgium here (Score 1) 1254 1254

Even if the money was printed and then given to the IMF, the moment the money was printed, the value it has came from devaluing all of the other money in circulation.

This is only true in an economy that's already working at 100% capacity. That hasn't been the case for a long time now. In the current situation of idling economy some actor getting more money will likely simply activate idle production capacity, which will actually increase the size of the market and the value of existing money.

Of course, the whole idea that supply exceeding demand can cause a crisis speaks for the absurdity of the entire economic system. It might be best to focus efforts on coming up with its replacement.

The price one pays for pursuing any profession, or calling, is an intimate knowledge of its ugly side. -- James Baldwin