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Comment: Re:slashdot (Score 1) 145 145

I am generally anti-Apple and think Steve Jobs was a massive cock, but I still think that's true. Look at how ineffectual Apple is without him.

Perhaps, but I just don't agree that "but he made a lot of money" excuses cruelty or nastiness. We didn't and still don't need Apple.

It's often criticized, and over the last few conversations on the subject I'd say that the tone on slashdot has been more muted, with less support for his level of abuse. On the other hand, when has Linus gone off on someone who hadn't definitely earned a less-than-polite brush-off?

That's great, but for many years every nasty, unprofessional, over-the-top tantrum he's thrown has been received overwhelmingly glowingly by the slashdot commentariat. I think it's probably the best instance of what I'm talking about, this idea of noticing your own flaws on a successful person and trying to explain those flaws as virtues that explain the success.

Where are those people now? We haven't heard from them basically since... well, you know. Since their argument got taken away..

They were defending him after the guilty verdict. Even after he led police to the body, there were some people on slashdot seriously trying to come up with explanations how he could know where the body was but not have killed her. And, of course, loudly insisting that even if he did kill her there was reasonable doubt during the trial (which there absolutely was not). The defenses tended to be "he's just a geek, he's being persecuted for being uncomfortable with people like me!"

He was in a position of awesome responsibility and performed his job duties to the best of his ability. That's a fairly useless level of integrity in my opinion, but yeah, a very high level as well. He was only arrested after actually having made arrangements to hand over the passwords, as well.

The problem is he did not do his job; he created a new job in his head and did that one. And any administrator who sets himself up as the sole accessor of mission-critical hardware is doing a poor job per se. But in any event, the response here was over-the-top support

Oh no, he's both. He's an easy target, but still a target.

But around here any criticisms of his personality are frequently met with insinuations that it's just the US trying to destroy him. I really don't see the big deal in dropping charges, raising them again, etc.. It's actually not uncommon in criminal prosecutions at least in the US, as decision-making authority moves from police to prosecutors to maybe a higher level prosecutor.

Comment: slashdot (Score 2) 145 145

There's always been this weird dynamic on Slashdot where if someone has done something good or useful, or is perceived as "one of us," you get this absolute defense of every single action of that person, no matter how objectionable. A lot of it seems to be based on perceiving oneself in that person, and I suspect wanting to defend them from criticisms they themselves have received in real life.

Examples: Steve Jobs was a cruel narcissist, but he "had to be" to turn Apple into what it is. Linus Torvalds has on occasion treated people nastily, but that's something to be absolutely admired and never criticized. Hans Reiser was being persecuted because he was a geek. Terry Childs was the epitome of integrity for locking out his supervisors. Julian Assange isn't a self-obsessed narcissist, he's the noble target of an international conspiracy to besmirch his good name.

Here's my view:
Julian Assange did a lot of good through wikileaks, and should be praised for that.
He's also on a personal level an objectionable human being and that should not be excused or explained away.
If he is accused of committing a crime in Sweden, he should fight those charges in Sweden.
Whether he's innocent or not of those charges, he's probably not innocent of violating bail, and should be charged with that as well.
The first point I made above is completely consistent with all the ones that follow. people who were I think a lot of it is a sort of

Comment: Re:Competent Authorities (Score 1) 145 145

"So you agree that it's the US, not Swedish law, that wants him imprisoned and made an example of? Because your assertion doesn't really make sense otherwise." That does not logically follow. Both US and Sweden can want him imprisoned, and Ecuador could be acting to thwart just the US. Alternately, just Sweden can want him imprisoned, and Ecuador could just mistakenly believe that the US wants him imprisoned and are acting on that false belief.

Comment: eh I don't know (Score 1) 186 186

I don't know about NetHack. I started with Hack back in the late 80's, and have played that then NetHack off and on since, usually picking it up for a day to a few weeks then losing interest. Never finished the game. I'd usually play until I got a guy down pretty far with a great kit, then when he inevitably died from something stupid, I'd be annoyed and lose interest again.

It's a good game, maybe even a great game, but it's not a perfect game and it's not the best game ever. Too much of it is just not fun. The major design flaws in my mind:

* Once you hit the labyrinths and have to deal with the wizard following you around, it just becomes a grind. A little bit of a grind in order to achieve something afterwards is fine but when a game becomes work then that is not.
* It doesn't give you a fair way to figure out what to do. A lot of the actions required to finish the game are neither hinted at nor intuitive.
* It's too repetitive. It doesn't exercise my mind much; you just do the same things again and again.
* It's too time-consuming, and frequently unnecessarily so (which goes back to the repetitive point).


Anyway, just my thoughts.

There must be more to life than having everything. -- Maurice Sendak

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