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Comment: Re:Parent Post Semantic Content: Null (Score 2) 233

by causality (#49354569) Attached to: How Professional Russian Trolls Operate

Actually when I read that comment, I thought: "it IS good to consider that this is not solely a Russian problem". I didn't necessarily see an appeal to the bandwagon approach to "morality". The person could have meant that, too, but since it was not specified, we don't actually know that.

But this is Slashdot, where assuming you know the poster's intent (through some sort of psychic powers, I guess) is somehow not considered arrogant.

Comment: Re:Cue the Whiners (Score 2) 318

I can hardly wait for the inevitable posts from while males complaining that if there's discrimination going on, they're not seeing it except against themselves. Their whining is so...

White males are the one group that it's tacitly deemed "okay" to discriminate against. Especially if they happen to be Christian, and even more so if they're Protestant ("WASP").

You just can't have a civil, enlightened society if there's ANY grounp it's okay to fuck with. Even if you think they deserve it. Even if retaliation, based on group identity, against those who didn't personally decide historical events (with their enduring consequences) is somehow your idea of "justice", and simultaneously not your idea of "vengeance". Reversing the tide doesn't cause the state of "tide-free". And it isn't going to.

Otherwise, like if a single individual -- or single institution -- or small group of institutions -- made all these bad decisions, I would be perfectly fine with shunning and refusing to trust that person based on an observed track record. But what you have with the group-guilt scenario is this implicit idea that a large group of people, including those who had no input into the process, should bear some guilt for it. That's a total flat-out rejection of any sort of accountability or individuality.

If you want some kind of one-ness or collective, you don't get it this way. Dystopias are created by trying to find more efficient ways of doing it like that. No, you start by honoring the individual and letting those flourish, interact, and coalesce as they will.

Comment: Re:The new "Moral Majority" (Score 1) 318

I believe it was a series of counter suits combined with public boycotting that finally ended these people in most areas. You know, the ones that would send a few million snail mails to the FCC when someone said something they didn't like, and had numerous people fired from jobs because their viewpoint was not the same. Similar actions are needed against the extremists.

I've yet to witness a Majority which was truly Moral in both word and deed.

Comment: Re:So in other words (Score 3, Interesting) 318

This reminds me of my dad's 5 rules for life (slightly asciified, and probably from someone before him):
^ That way is up
v That was is down
All men are assholes
All women are crazy
Beer is good.

I prefer red wine, myself. Like maybe a good, dry cabernet sauvignon. But to each their own! Enjoy that beer, my friend. Salud!

Comment: Re:Why so many social justice articles here at /.? (Score 1) 318

Yes, I submitted an article about how Wikipedia canned a gaggle of feminist editors from Wikipedia for spewing crap on gender related entries and it never saw the light of day, yet this agitprop makes the grade? Okay, the day will come and indeed is coming when this clear bigotry will reflect very badly indeed on slashdot editors. I know I'd certainly never hire one of them based on their past performance.

I wouldn't hire them anyway, based in sheer incompetence. The most readily observed incompetence: calling oneself an "editor" while remaining unable to spell-check or understand and apply the 5th-grade English grammar in which most news stories are deliberately written.

Comment: Re:Just in tech? (Score 5, Informative) 318

IMHO everyone should have that amount of time off.

Why? You may value time off. That doesn't mean everyone does. When I was younger, I routinely worked 60-80 hour weeks, and loved it. My work was much more interesting than anything I could sit at home and watch on TV. I got a lot of bonuses for getting stuff done, and at that age the extra money was far more important than time off. Now that I am older, with a family, and stable finances, I prefer the opposite tradeoff. But I am not going to force my choices onto anyone else.

The problem is, the workaholics and institution types effectively have forced their ways on everyone else. Worker productivity has steadily risen since at least the 1950s, meanwhile wages (indexed against inflation) have remained relatively stagnant. That would be equitable if the number of hours worked per week had been reduced, but it hasn't (that, by the way, is what steadily improving technology could have brought us, but it's never enough, the owners want more, more more).

That means someone's getting screwed, and unless most of your revenue comes from investments or other unearned income, that includes you. If you don't work the overtime and place your corporation above your family, you're "not a team player". Because these are conflicting goals, they cannot all be simultaneously satisifed. One must be chosen at the expense of all others, meaning some group who want it one way are going to force this upon everyone else. Currently, in so many work environments, this favors those who want more work and less free time.

Comment: Re:I know I'll get flamed... (Score 1) 165

by causality (#49351323) Attached to: RMS Talks Net Neutrality, Patents, and More

Rather than call it pure coincidence, which I deliberately and knowingly stopped short of saying, I was implying that it is not. I simply didn't care to get into the minutia of precisely how that happened and what the exact sequence of events were, since my point did not depend on the details, only on the truth that things happened in this manner.

Comment: Re:I know I'll get flamed... (Score 1) 165

by causality (#49329269) Attached to: RMS Talks Net Neutrality, Patents, and More

I urge you to consider that Occam's Razor does not apply in the social realm, where motives are often hidden. This makes "paranoia" difficult to distinguish from "foresight".

In my personal unqualified opinion, it's like using alcohol. If there is no sign that it harms your well-being or reduces the quality of your life, then you do not have a problem. If there are such signs, then you do. In the absence of such signs, I would call it "caution".

Comment: Re:Need a standards based Facebook replacement (Score 1) 165

by causality (#49323715) Attached to: RMS Talks Net Neutrality, Patents, and More

And who is going to pay to set this up and fund the day-to-day running of this operation?

I assume it will be the same sort of people who paid (i.e. their time and expertise) to create and make freely available other software like BitTorrent, the Linux kernel, the Apache server, etc.

There is ample reason to believe this is possible. There are numerous extant examples, far too many to enumerate here, in the form of just about every GPL'd project ever created. Perhaps you missed the part where I said it would need to be decentralized and peer-to-peer, so much like BitTorrent, the users themselves would bear the cost of the bandwidth and CPU cycles.

The question of how to host content that many users will want to share without ever-increasing costs of a centralized system to bear the load was, after all, the chief problem that BitTorrent was created to solve.

Comment: Re:I know I'll get flamed... (Score 1) 165

by causality (#49323675) Attached to: RMS Talks Net Neutrality, Patents, and More

The world could have collaborated and built the modern Internet just fine on BSD licensed software, which is itself a variation of public domain. What Stallman deserves credit for is inventing the Copyleft license as a way to compel source code sharing. He's stayed relevant beyond that as source for paranoia about software being used against people, a stance that looks more prescient each year.

The BSD license very well could have worked, in the sense that I know of no law of physics or any other hard barrier making it impossible, yes. But generally to get something like what we've seen from the GPL Open Source movement, you need some kind of hedge against total selfishness. This is particularly true when dealing with corporations. That's the one thing the BSD license does not provide.

Perhaps in a more ideal world that does not still have such a pronounced scarcity mentality, the BSD license would have been sufficient. But in the world we know today, it's clear to me why one was more successful than the other (in terms of participation) long after a time when both were available.

I'll add, "paranoia" is one of those words that gets thrown around. Properly understood, it means an unreasonable fear of what is either impossible, or so astronomically unlikely as to be completely impractical. It doesn't take much study of history to see the repeating pattern that, again and again, any form of power or authority that can be abused, has been abused. Knowledge and technology are forms of power. It is inevitable that those who can wield them will abuse them. It's a scenario that is not only inevitable, but one that should be expected and prepared for.

To do otherwise is simply foolish and naive, an act of investing tremendous trust in institutions that have repeatedly proven themselves untrustworthy. I wonder sometimes if it's merely a problem of scale. If an individual lies, deceives, manipulates, or otherwise acts dishonestly towards another individual, confidence is quickly broken and trust withdrawn, often permanently. If a government or other large institution repeatedly acts dishonestly, you often see this faith-based (certainly not fact-based) defense that it meant well, will do better next time, and deserves our continued trust. This is usually never explicitly stated, but can be readily observed in the decisions many people make.

Comment: Re:You must use software I like (Score 1) 165

by causality (#49323325) Attached to: RMS Talks Net Neutrality, Patents, and More

... and never use software I don't like! My opinions are objective truths of the universe and can never be wrong.

Perhaps this is a generational difference. In school, I was taught not to write "I think this is so" or "I believe this is true" in anything even slightly resembling formal composition. I was taught that, perhaps barring a rigorous scientific publication, anytime you read any written work of any sort in which the author takes a position, what you are reading is exactly that: one person's position. It should be understood as something like an opinion, something that may change at a later date, something with which others may have good reasons for disagreement. This is one part of thinking for yourself, by the way.

The more modern trend is to assume that anytime anyone speaks, they automatically presume to speak for everyone else in the most absolute terms possible unless this is otherwise disclaimed. Therefore much time is wasted bickering about things like "but I'm an exception!" and "that's just your opinion!" and many false judgments against someone's character are made, such as yours. While condemning someone for such a flimsy reason may be a reassuring outlet for the type of insecure people who contribute nothing but love to throw stones, if you are honest, you may have noticed it's not making any progress.

Comment: Re:A few problems with that (Score 1) 165

by causality (#49323279) Attached to: RMS Talks Net Neutrality, Patents, and More

I don't view Stallman as having a "communistic" mind-set at all. I view him as having a post-scarcity mind-set. In terms of the modern Information Age and its ability to make virtually infinite perfect copies of bits at nearly zero cost, he is correct. That you and others who share your viewpoint would read his works and falsely liken it to a doctrine arising in the mid-1800s (i.e. Marxism/Communism) simply tells me that the man is ahead of his time.

The point about a hammer stands, because much software is used as tools for making other things. No manufacturer of hammers would last a moment in court if they tried to implement an EULA, yet in the quest to make "intellectual property" more like physical property, copyright law allows this sort of thing to be done with software. Obviously this means it goes too far. The desire for software freedom is simply a desire to achieve a more reasonable balance.

The thing I have great difficulty understanding is this need so many have to worry about the guy personally. Did you know that no one is going to try to force you to agree with him 100%? Did you realize that you can take his ideas that resonate with you and ignore the rest? For example, you can run a mostly Open Source Linux system, but then use some proprietary software such as the nVidia drivers? Yes, you can, with your own systems, achieve whatever balance *you* find reasonable, no matter what Stallman says (of course, you have this option at all because of him).

If Stallman were threatening to send storm troopers to your home to force you at gunpoint to live the way he wants, then I would understand all this vitriol against someone you never had to listen to. I've never heard of him doing that and I don't consider it likely. Meanwhile, of course the man is going to advocate what he believes. Did you expect him to advocate a philosophy he doesn't believe in? So what's the actual problem, here? That he has an audience, that when he speaks it makes headlines, and when you speak it doesn't? Is that the root of the problem? If so, that's known as simple jealousy.

Comment: Re:How would Stallman know what Facebook is? (Score 1) 165

by causality (#49323191) Attached to: RMS Talks Net Neutrality, Patents, and More

Modpoints or I'd post in my own name ...

Highly tempted to mod you up but I am terminally unable to decide whether to mod you as "insightful" or "funny"

Definitely "Funny", since it's an AC. If it were a logged-in user, I'd use "Insightful" to contribute in some small way to their karma score.

Comment: Re:Need a standards based Facebook replacement (Score 1) 165

by causality (#49323169) Attached to: RMS Talks Net Neutrality, Patents, and More

Finding people is what directories are for. Pictures, Location, affiliations... whatever people want to put out there. And what is to prevent a standard protocol for people to share their friends lists with their friends?

If you want to get rid of Facebook (have it go the way of MySpace -- remember them?) without replacing it with the next centralized panopticon, what you need is a completely standardized, completely open, secure, encrypted, cross-platform, peer-to-peer method of implementing the same features. Nothing less will do. Until then, when Facebook finally diminishes it will simply be replaced by the next Facebook-wannabe.

Simplicity does not precede complexity, but follows it.

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