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Comment: Re:What do you mean, modern? (Score 1) 716

by Vyse of Arcadia (#49030621) Attached to: Is Modern Linux Becoming Too Complex?

One of the things I love about Linux is that there are a gazillion flavors of it. We call them distros, and they span a whole continuum of configurations. My personal preference is for some, but not too many, bells and whistles, and there's a distro for me! The people who want more bells and whistles than me, but who don't want the whole shebang, there's a distro for them too!

Comment: Re: Who cares what RMS wants? (Score 2) 551

by Vyse of Arcadia (#49016595) Attached to: RMS Objects To Support For LLVM's Debugger In GNU Emacs's Gud.el

He has the freedom to throw a tantrum. You, and everyone else, also have the freedom to distribute a version of Emacs with LLVM support.

... coming soon GPL v4.

Clause IV "...any code GPLv4 may not include, link, or run on any non GPLv4."

But serisouly GPLv3 started because of his tantrum with Tivio. It would not surprise me if he did a version 4 if clang takes over.

Tivo, not Tivio. And Tivoization is a real problem. It's frustrating enough that I'm locked out of modifying my own devices without risk of breaking them or the law. But it's even more frustrating when I have a device that purports to run free open source software that I can't modify. (I'm looking at you almost every Android device ever.) It's against the whole point of the GPL if I can't tweak the code to fix or improve my device because the manufacturer locks me out.

rms is often not the most mature orator, but he saw a problem, and he fixed it to the best of his abilities. Don't belittle GPLv3 by saying it started with a tantrum.

Comment: Re:It's called self-interest (Score 1) 181

I will soon be graduating with my PhD in mathematics, and my experience thus far as a graduate student in the US is that it's really hard to get a position in academia where your research is more important than your teaching, and it's almost impossible to get an industry job where you can research what interests you instead of what's immediately applicable to your company.

I won't have any trouble getting a job. I won't even have trouble getting a very well-paying job. But getting a job that lets me pursue my research interests as I see fit? Not without 2 - 5 more years of postdoc positions and some really great papers. And then 5 more years of writing papers like a maniac to get tenure. A lot of pressure to go after low-hanging fruit, even if it's stuff that doesn't interest you. That's a lot of years of 80 hour weeks just for the privilege of studying what you want.

Comment: Re:Shame on them (Score 1) 181

You seem to be completely unaware how patronizing and presumptuous your analysis was, even while getting particularly sensitive of your own feelings simply from somebody defending the ability of mathematicians to exercise free will successfully.

I am a mathematician, and quite frankly I don't want you defending me.

Comment: Re:Shame on them (Score 1) 181

You just assume you're so much more intelligent and worldly and wise than these leading mathematicians, but that isn't obvious to me at all.

Wait, are you addressing me specifically? If you are, that's decently insulting. If not, you sound like you're a bit off your rocker. Like a guy ranting on a streetcorner.

Comment: Re:It's called self-interest (Score 1) 181

That's not the argument. Mathematicians aren't going to starve, but they're also not going to find many opportunities in industry to do mathematical research without direct, obvious application. Research that we have no way of measuring the value of, because applications haven't been found.

Comment: Re:Shame on them (Score 3, Insightful) 181

I agree that the mathematicians in the direct employ of NSA should take a long hard, look at their own ethical code, but the fact of the matter is, the NSA provides lots of funding for university mathematics departments. For research that is open to public scrutiny. From TFA, $4 million goes to a grant program administrated by the AMS and things like undergraduate research programs and number theory conferences. The NSA is just throwing money at mathematicians on the off chance that they discover something useful to national security.

If the AMS were to sever ties with the NSA, there goes $4 million of funding for public mathematical research in a puff of impotent outrage.

I'm all with you when it comes to not working for fascists, but we're talking about public research here, for the enrichment of all humanity. Not shady spying stuff.

Comment: Re:Shame on them (Score 4, Informative) 181

Speaking as a PhD candidate in mathematics, while I personally won't have anything to do with the NSA (other than being on their watchlists, natch. I guess I shouldn't have dared to ever glance at Linux Journal,) I can't bring myself to hate on mathematicians who do. For all I know, my fellow grad students and I are only studying math because the NSA gave the university money to cover some of our stipends. In fact, that's probably the case.

Like it or not, if mathematicians cut ties with the NSA, there would be fewer mathematicians. Not just fewer mathematicians directly employed by the NSA, but also fewer mathematicians doing research at all and fewer mathematicians in training. American mathematical research would suffer a setback. I can see why the American Mathematical Society doesn't want that to happen.

At the source of every error which is blamed on the computer you will find at least two human errors, including the error of blaming it on the computer.