1.  

    My feedback:

    I don’t care about any of these videos. I also don’t care about any of the videos that are normally ranked highly on YouTube if I access the page without my Google account cookies or that Google deliberately tries to promote by adding them to a section of my personalized, logged-in YouTube front page. All of the value I get out of YouTube comes from watching the specific channels that I personally like, and personalized recommendations that are based on those channels (or, often as not, a specific person mentioning another person’s YouTube channel by name in a specific video).

    It honestly baffles me that there are people who don’t use YouTube like this, and therefore care strongly about exactly what the worldwide-ranking of English-language trending videos is and how it is calculated. Even lobsters rankings are something that’s only relevant to me because the purview of lobsters is a fairly narrow topic. If someone tried to make lobsters but for everything anyone on the English-language internet might publish an article about, I wouldn’t care about the vast majority of it and would look for ways to focus its recommendations only for topics I am already interested in.

    1.  

      They’re cable TV buffs who don’t realize why YouTube has been eating cable’s lunch.

    1.  

      How is Twitter supposed to know that Avi Bagla isn’t the sort of Nazi or misinformation-spreading Russian bot Avi Bagla thinks Twitter should keep from being able to develop apps on their platform, without some kind of impersonal bureaucratic process that kills creativity? There is no way for Twitter to please everyone who can write a blog post about why a decision that Twitter makes is racist.

      Anyway, I’m happy to see that this decision is driving at least some small amount of developer interest away from Twitter and towards Mastodon.

      1.  

        I cannot, for the life of me, figure out why Google hasn’t already just paid Jack Conte a gazillion dollars to buy Patreon and close the loop.

        Between all of the demonetization and baseless DMCA takedowns, and other YouTube incompetence, I’m not going to be at all surprised if sometime soon we see a bunch of the most popular YouTubers standing up and saying, “Despite the billions in revenue we generate for YouTube, it doesn’t feel like we’re being appreciated, maybe let’s go somewhere else.”

        I kinda hope that somewhere is PeerTube or something else non-decentralized but eh, a guy can dream.

        1.  

          There is bitchute.com which uses webtorrent. It works well but that’s only one piece of the puzzle. There needs to also be a business model innovation (like patreon, but doesn’t ban people) that provides a way for small creators to sustain themselves.

          1.  

            I would hope that if Google buys Patreon that will be the impetus necessary to get a viable competitor to Patreon for any kind of content that Google disapproves of up and running.

          1. 2

            A lot of the examples of bad software cited in this essay are web applications and mobile apps with tracking/advertising bloatware - i.e. software that is hostile to the end user by design anyway, but that is in the interest of the provider of the software to include, in order to make money. A lot of these are also non-Free software, so it’s impossible for programmers to try to make those individual pieces of software better (i.e. have less resource use and latency on human-visible timescales) - and people who are currently making money from that software aren’t incentivized to make it available on four-freedoms-respecting terms. I can’t try to make gmail faster because I don’t control it, Google does, and they have their own business priorities which aren’t mine.

            1. 5

              I’ve recently been investigating deduplicating backup software for my personal use, and ended up deciding on borg, but one major annoyance of borg is that it cannot easily use a cloud storage API (like aws s3, wasabi, backblaze, google cloud, etc.) as a backing store. Some other backup tools do allow this (restic for instance), but lack other features I care about.

              I also note that you didn’t mention “compression” as a desideradum. As long as you care about deduplicating data to save backup storage case, however, you probably also care about compressing that same stored data as much as possible.

              Also, looking at you’re asmcrypt repo, I have to ask, why are you writing new software in C in 2018? Especially cryptography software?

              1. 4

                As another note, I’m currently working on a product that may be close to what you would like: https://backupbox.io/ (And there is no C in that code base, all Go currently ) Supporting borg is a specific goal, unfortunately it isn’t quite ready for public use.

                1. 3

                  Just FYI, there’s already a project called Box Backup.

                  1. 1

                    thanks for letting me know.

                2. 4

                  If you haven’t looked at https://www.tarsnap.com/ you may find it interesting. The backend is closed source, which I realize may be a problem, but the frontend if open source and free for perusal.

                  1. 4

                    “The Tarsnap client source code is available so that you can see exactly how your data is protected; however, it is not distributed under an Open Source license.” - https://www.tarsnap.com/open-source.html

                  2. 2

                    https://www.google.com/search?q=desideradum

                    Please note your typo, otherwise thanks for the new word.

                    1. 1

                      Bah I thought the word didn’t feel right when I typed it!

                    2. 2

                      edit: Added note to post. Thank you.

                      With regard to compression, this will come in a post about deduplication.

                    1. 4

                      I have to complain about the choice of name: Juniper is already a very established term in CS/IT, and this name can IMHO only cause un-google’ability.

                      1. 3

                        I’m only aware of it as the name of the networking equipment company. I don’t think that’s likely to be confused with the name of a programming language targeting Arduinos. In fact, I think it’s less likely to be a problem than the name clash between “Cisco IOS” and “Apple iOS”.

                      1. 27

                        I use https://protonmail.com. I wanted a Gmail alternative that was private and fully encrypted. I pay for the plus model so I can use my domain, I did not want the hassle or expense of a self-hosted model. I have been completely happy with Protonmail. I have used them since they were in beta.

                        1. 7

                          Yes, +1 for ProtonMail. From the small research I’ve done, they’re the most secure email provider. I also use my own domain.

                          1. 5

                            ProtonMail is great. The search function is a little bit slow, but since its encrypted at rest it kind of has to be.

                            There are a couple of features that are great. The one I get the most use out of is having multiple address connect to the same email account. I have several email addresses, one for personal use, one used for signing up accounts, one for newsletters (or other noisy notifications), one scoped to projects, etc.

                            There is also ProtonMail’s Bridge that gets around some of the security issues with IMAP/POP creating a connection over TLS, which then locally runs a IMAP/POP server on your machine.

                            They have also had their OpenPGPjs (A opensource PGP impl in JS) library audited.(1)

                            2 major caveats for anyone who is considering an encrypted email service is that

                            1. Email is inherently insecure. It is hitting protonmails server in plain text possibly without StartTLS.
                            2. You are probably going to forfeit some functionality for the this feature.

                            1: It wasn’t directly them, more the community around OpenPGPjs, which they are part of. I’m also unsure of the original ownership of this project, but that can get muddied with opensource sometimes.

                            1. 3

                              I also use protonmail, no particular complaints about it.

                              1. 3

                                I have the Visionary plan and seamlessly migrated my email to them - including my whole archive which goes back about 13 years or so, once the bridge was out.

                                It’s a very nice and simple web client, and the apps are good enough that they just work for my parents.

                                Overall, I like it very much.

                              1. 8

                                I use fish with absolutely no custom configuration of completion scripts. I haven’t actually looked up how to do this yet, even though I can think of a few situations where I don’t like how it tab-completes by default.

                                1. -2

                                  Front-end development is a part of the field that has historically been at least slightly more accessible to women.

                                  This is false. Women are systematically different from men in ways that make women more interested than men, on the margin, at pursuing visual-design roles, which sometimes fade into frontend web development roles.

                                  But the incredible success of the web is based on an architecture of least power, taking advantage of how many more machine optimizations can be made around the less powerful languages of HTML and CSS.

                                  This is also false. The incredible success of the web is most certainly not based on an architecture of least power. It’s based on an architecture of more power - namely, people using Javascript to do increasingly sophisticated things, until the web itself became an application delivery and update platform rather than a content delivery platform.

                                  1. 2

                                    Women are systematically different from men in ways that make women more interested than men, on the margin, at pursuing visual-design roles, which sometimes fade into frontend web development roles.

                                    Do you have any links I could read to learn more about this?

                                    1. -3

                                      Please don’t turn this website into reddit. The awful meme that it’s okay to start asking people for ‘studies’ and ‘sources’ as soon as you lack the ability to actually respond to an argument on its merits is not a good basis for a website. ‘Oh I don’t have any actual response, I’ll use the default: “[citation needed]”.’

                                      1. 0

                                        Check your PMs.

                                    2. 1

                                      The web became incredibly popular long, long before Javascript became prominent. The web has lost importance as Javascript has become more prominent, losing its position to mobile platforms handedly.

                                    1. 3

                                      It baffles me that someone can criticize Facebook for being too slow to ban InfoWars and Duerte supporters, and decry censorship of anti-Taiwan and pro-China content in literally the same paragraph. Does this person not understand that the Chinese government and the millions of Chinese people who support that kind of censorship do so because they think pro-Taiwan advocacy is as harmful to read as he thinks InfoWars is?

                                      Anyway a lot of the points he makes about Facebook censoring content for arbitrary reasons are good, and I like some but not all of his suggestions about alternative software to Facebook that does some of the same things. Signal is a good suggestion; Slack is not.

                                      1. 1

                                        I did stop reading when I reached the common mis-attribution of who did the bulk of the work on the Apollo code.

                                        1. 4

                                          What’s the misattribution in question?

                                          1. 3

                                            Author here: would love to hear more on this? Fact-checking always appreciated. If you’re referring to Margaret Hamilton’s contribution, the article states her position as leading the team, which does not directly mean that she wrote the code in question. Fair enough, I’ll make note to add the actual author of the critical pieces as well.

                                            1. 1

                                              I have to get a good book on the Apollo Code (I bet someone here has a recommendation) but I recall that Hamilton was elevated to leadership position at a more mature stage of the project. Once you put a name to a project, you are making it about a personality (rather than the code) and the question of fair attribution comes up.

                                              1. 3

                                                I think “mis-attribution” is an overstatement. But it’s true that Hamilton did not singlehandedly write the AGC code (nor did anyone; it was a team effort). The single person who probably most deserves credit for the fault tolerance feature is probably MIT’s Hal Laning. He designed the executive and waitlist systems. Hamilton deserves as much credit as anyone, but I wish it was expressed that she was a member of a team rather than a one-person effort.

                                                1. 1

                                                  @craigstuntz thanks for that reference! Is there a good book on the Apollo automation engineering efforts? I’m interested in both the hardware and software and not just the AGC but the whole of it.

                                                  1. 2

                                                    I can tell you about some books I’ve actually read; these might not be the best for your specific interests. “How Apollo Flew to the Moon,” by David Woods. But it doesn’t go into the AGC in minute detail. “The Saturn V F-1 Engine: Powering Apollo into History,” by Anthony Young, is good, but doesn’t cover controls at all. There are a couple of books specifically about the AGC which I haven’t read.

                                            2. 3

                                              You could just give him the specifics. Then he can update the article. I’m curious what yours are since I’ve read several different versions of the story.

                                              1. 2

                                                This story and the story of Rosalind Franklin are both curious to me. We could start a project - ideally primary sources - to do some archaeology. For DNA all I can think of papers. For the Apollo code it has to be early documentation - all US Gov docs have lists of contributors and responsible people.

                                                1. 5

                                                  I was asking because I did it before to address the possibility that a bunch of people did work and she just put her name on it. She seems to have for her team. So, I started saying Hamilton’s team. The problem occurs enough that I started doing that in general.

                                                  Now, as to Apollo, I did have some kind of paper that was specific. I faintly recall it saying they were responsible for one or two key modules but they did all the verification. They were the best at making robust software. So, if I’m remembering right, the paper talked like they were handed the code other people wrote to find and fix the errors on top of their own modules. That’s impressive. So is the stacks of spec and code in assembly in the picture. The “Lessons from Apollo” article here has a description of the environment and mindset that led to that as well. Later, she and another woman spent whole career developing CASE tools (HOS and 001 Toolkit) for designing systems with no interface errors that generated code for you. It was like binary trees, Prolog, and Occam combined which is why usability and performance sucked despite it succeeding on robustness and generality.

                                                  So, that’s what I learned when I dug into it. If I get the papers again, I’ll send you the one with the attributions. No promises that I’m going to do another deep dive into that soon, though.

                                                  1. 3

                                                    That would be a very interesting project indeed! Part of the beauty and definitely one of the main reasons the Apollo program was so successful IMHO is specifically the way the work and communication was organized. To this day the project stands as a testament to how such a large-scale project should be carried out effectively. While I’m not privy to the inner working of NASA, there seems to be evidence that some of the organizational systems were lost later and this led to sever inefficiencies. It’s a pity, but luckily it offers us a wealth of learning opportunities.

                                                    1. 2

                                                      On Hamilton’s side, it seemed like they mostly just let people do their work their own way. The work was also highly-valued and interesting. So, they came up with innovative solutions to their problems. This doesn’t usually happen in process-heavy or micro-managing environments.

                                            1. 3

                                              Isn’t this just a module re-export?

                                              1. 2

                                                Yeah this looks exactly like having one top-level module whose only job is to contain more-specific submodules and reexport the relevant submodule functions under a more convenient namespace. This is a pattern that you can implement in anything from C++ to Rust to Haskell.

                                              1. 11

                                                This is shameful:

                                                To Kaminska’s point, in April a once-shuttered coal power plant in Australia was announced to be reopened to provide electricity to a cryptocurrency miner. And just today, a senator from Montana warned that the closure of a coal power plant “could harm the booming bitcoin mining business in the state.”

                                                At a small scale, heavy residential electricity users in certain U.S. locations where marijuana remains illegal are sometimes checked out in case they are running a growing operation. I wonder if this idea of investigating grid usage by crypto miners could be applied at a large scale, or are they simply too big, coordinated, and powerful to be regulated through anything but national-scale action?

                                                1. 8

                                                  Mining Bitcoin or other crypto is entirely legal. So it’s just a question of the miners signing a commercial power deal with whomever sells electricity. So there’s no need for miners to use subterfuge like illegal growers.

                                                  1. 10

                                                    If anything, people who are illegally growing marijuana might want to disguise their suspicious power useage by pretending to be mining cryptocurrencies!

                                                    1. 5

                                                      There could be zoning restrictions, though I would guess you’d build the mine in a commercial area anyway.

                                                    2. 8

                                                      This is shameful:

                                                      What is the problem?

                                                      We already expend huge amount of electricity on distributing cat videos and movies of men in cape flying around blowing stuff up. How is mining bitcoin any less ‘productive’ than beaming photons into people’s eyeballs?

                                                      We already have huge established industry involving people betting on whether or not something will happen. Sports betting, futures market, roulette etc. If you want to save on some carbon emission, then turn off your computer and surrender your car to the nearest recycling plant. But you won’t because you think those things are ‘worthwhile’ because you like them.

                                                      Maybe bitcoin will be useless technically, maybe it won’t. This is just a decentralised R&D program and a gambling pool rolled into one.

                                                      The problem isn’t bitcoin. The problem is clean energy scarcity.

                                                      1. 5

                                                        “This is just a decentralised R&D program and a gambling pool rolled into one.”

                                                        Best, concise description of it I’ve ever seen. ;)

                                                      2. 2

                                                        There’s a pretty good study on the electricity/carbon burden of marijuana manufacturing in California.

                                                        https://sites.google.com/site/millsenergyassociates/topics/energy-efficiency/energy-up-in-smoke

                                                        1. 2

                                                          It seems to me that electricity is hilariously underpriced, if the best usage anyone can think of for it is a sad desperate attempt to circumvent Chinese capital controls.

                                                          1. 7

                                                            Or… bitcoin is hilariously overpriced if it’s worth the electricity to make it?

                                                        1. 2

                                                          When I read the headline, my immediate thought was “no, it should not”. Then when I read the article I was horrified that it is even legally possible for the government to seize the copyright of something a citizen produced that counts as intellectual property for the specific purpose of restricting the dissemination of that thing. I hope there’s a good legal argument why the courts wouldn’t allow the government to do this if they tried; and in any case, I’m glad that, practically-speaking, it’s basically impossible to actually prevent the piracy of copyrighted information.

                                                          1. 1

                                                            The article did go into a reason for the government to not start doing this, and, summarized, it was the slippery slope fallacy. I would of course remind everybody at this point of the fallacy fallacy.

                                                            1. 2

                                                              Using eminent domain of copyright as a way to prevent the dissemination of any information as an end-run around the first amendment is already really, really bad. If using eminent domain of copyright like that isn’t unconstitutional, it should be.

                                                              1. 1

                                                                It’s 2018, people get very skittish around guns, and I can believe a court might try this.

                                                          1. 2

                                                            I’m also too young to have nostalgia for the 8-bit computer era, although I have a vague idea of the names of things from that era, from consuming media made by people who were nostalgic for it. I first used computers as a kid in the late 90s, in the post-Windows 95 era when lots of things about personal computing had changed from the 8-bit days.

                                                            I actually do remember being exposed to a programming language/environment that called Liberty Basic by a family friend - but I found it pretty underwhelming. I could use it to draw simple graphics with a for loop, but that got boring quick. What I really wanted to do was write a Windows program like Paint or Minesweeper or Chip’s Challenge. But how could I generate an .exe? How could I write the thing that years later I would learn was called a GUI event loop? If Liberty Basic let users use those sorts of things, I couldn’t figure it out as a kid. So I lost interest relatively quickly, and didn’t start actually writing my own computer programs until I was towards the end of high school.

                                                            1. 1

                                                              Liberty BASIC is still around. There’s even an update in June of 2018!

                                                              One thing that’s important to point out — and I’m not saying you didn’t know this — is that the BASIC on the 8-bit machines is much different than things like Visual BASIC or Liberty BASIC, although they are definitely of the same pedigree. Stuff like Visual BASIC and Liberty BASIC (and maybe QuickBASIC?) recognize variable names longer than two characters, for example. Or they have functions. Or integers. Or files. Or come with an editor…

                                                              1. 2

                                                                I was aware of some of those differences between 8-bit BASIC environments and BASIC environments built for 90s PCs, but not all (2-chatacter variable names? Really?)

                                                                The broader point I was making though was that if a programming environment wasn’t designed to teach me how to make programs like the ones that came with the computer, it wasn’t very interesting to me as a kid - and as a kid in the 90s the programs that came with the computer were GUI apps with event loops and reasonably sophisticated graphics and sound and interactivity.

                                                                It might be a shame that the computers people like me and the article author grew up with didn’t have a built-in environment like BASIC to let people learn to control their computers as readily as possible - but on the other hand, the computers that did have 8-bit BASIC couldn’t run those kinds of programs at all.

                                                            1. 11

                                                              I’m of two minds about this. On the one hand, the author is absolutely right - giving a star to a Github-hosted project is a low-effort way of acknowledging that someone else’s project was useful to you in some way; and seeing stars on your project really is an encouraging ego-boost for open-source software creators. On the other hand, stars only exist as a consequence of a product decision Github made, and are unique to their platform - not that other Github-like DVCS-based code sharing platforms coudn’t easily implement something like stars, and I’m sure they have - but when you say “stars”, you’re talking about the thing that Github does. I’m a little reluctant to endorse an open-source best practice that is tied too closely to Github-specific terminology.

                                                              Maybe that’s too nitpicky of a comment though, and we should just take “give it a star” to mean “give open-source projects you forked for later a star-equivalent, so the creator knows you found some value in it”.

                                                              1. 3

                                                                I’m a little reluctant to endorse an open-source best practice that is tied too closely to Github-specific terminology. […] Maybe that’s too nitpicky of a comment though,

                                                                I don’t think it is too nitpicky. When I considered self-hosting more, one thought that crossed my mind is that the large GitHub user base plus starring can show that a repo has a wider popularity. This good signal to potential employers that you are making useful projects and your repositories do not just contain one-off experiments.

                                                                I value decentralization more, but the lock-in is real (of course, there are many other reasons why people are locked in to GitHub).

                                                                1. 1

                                                                  Stars is pretty much the only thing you miss out on with leaving GitHub. Anyone who wants to give a meaningful contribution to your project will take the few seconds to sign up but they won’t do the same to just star a repo. RubyGems and GitHub both have tools that can show all the projects that depend on a repo which is awesome to see how well used a library is regardless of its stars. Unfortunately they both can only show data from projects that are on their service. Would be nice if someone invented a reverse dependencies tool that could scan multiple sources but even then it would have a hard time finding things on self hosted instances.

                                                                  1. 1

                                                                    You can always do both. There’s a number of FOSS project’s whose real master is self-hosted or just not Github with a copy on Github. They use Github both for visibility and easy way to collect incoming submissions. Anything they keep is put into the master which is kept in sync with the Github version. That lets you benefit from Github without letting them control your code in event some rich, greedy, FOSS-sabotaging company acquires them and does evil things. Glad that’s an unlikely scenario. ;)

                                                                  2. 2

                                                                    There’s almost surely some way you can show appreciation. I’ve used some old, semi-abandoned projects from pre-github random websites, with an email address being the only way to contact the author, and in my experience people are always happy to get an email about their old projects and talk about them.

                                                                    1. 1

                                                                      Had a similar experience for devs of less known things. I bet ~90% of devs would love an email showing appreciation for their project but I imagine it would get kind of annoying after getting too many emails.

                                                                      1. 1

                                                                        The benefit is usually to signal to others that a project is useful, which helps the author indirectly. Getting an email is nice, but its not the same thing as having a large following.

                                                                        1. 1

                                                                          If the author cared about having a large following they’d be on Github; it’s kind of hard to build up social capital if you have all your code on a personal cgit instance that doesn’t allow for forms of validation like stars, or follows, or PR numbers. What I’m talking about is more of a courtesy to the author.

                                                                    1. 5

                                                                      This is an interesting take, thanks for sharing it.

                                                                      I have no experience with unikernels but have always been sceptical on exactly this basis - that a lot of that extra stuff you’re cutting out is actually useful and might be missed. I’d be interested to hear if any lobsters have (or know somebody who has) used unikernels in anger, and whether they feel the same way.

                                                                      1. 7

                                                                        Haven’t used unikernels, but I have been using Docker containers for several months, and even there the comment in the article about “debuggability” rings true - I’ve been annoyed plenty a time because a docker container that had some kind of problem I was trying to debug didn’t have a software tool I needed installed (Run docker exec -it /bin/bash to get a shell - but none of the tools you would normally use to debug anything are installed in the image!). I imagine this would be strictly worse in a unikernal environment.

                                                                        1. 2

                                                                          I think the idea is, you just don’t debug a live unikernel. Once deployed, it’s basically a black box. If it’s acting up, you kill it and replace it with a fresh one. So you rely much more on application monitoring and external diagnostics elsewhere in your system, and on tests or other means of assurance during development. Livestock vs pets and all that.

                                                                        2. 4

                                                                          I’ve always wondered why this isn’t done with microkernels instead. That way you can build a whole ecosystem on systems designed in a modular fashion that you’d then be able to remove everything you don’t need with the added benefit of having compatible modules that could help you debug etc. instead of serverless computing that’s cheaper until you need to pay for the privilege of looking at logs when something goes wrong.

                                                                        1. 4

                                                                          We should separate criticism of tools based on legitimate concerns from criticism of tools based on tribal or class issues. Plenty of tools can be used well but largely aren’t because most of their devotees are beginners (see: Java, C, C++, Python). Other tools are fundamentally flawed, and while using them well is not impossible, it is a trick that takes a great deal of experience and is beyond the scope of nearly all of its audience (see: PHP, Perl, Javascript).

                                                                          This is a really important point. The idea that expressing contempt for specific programming tools should be forbidden because the use of those tools is associated with an underrepresented group about whom criticism is forbidden doesn’t make the problems with those tools go away - but it does strengthen the association of those bad tools with the underrepresented group.

                                                                          I consider this really to be an issue of beginners graduating to higher levels of understanding (and systematic pressure making it harder for certain groups to graduate out of the beginner classification), and one way to help this is to be extremely clear in your criticisms about the nature of the problems you criticize — in other words, rather than saying “PHP users are dumb”, say “PHP is a deeply flawed language, and PHP users should be extremely careful when using these particular patterns”.

                                                                          This is always good advice. Criticize the actual problem as precisely as you can.

                                                                          Another way is to make it clear that using a single language is not acceptable in a professional context: any serious developer has a large toolbox already, and if beginners understood that language preference is not a reasonable basis for long-term tribal divisions because any professional belongs to multiple tribes, the toxic identity-based hostility between programming language communities would mostly go away, allowing concrete and issue-based critiques to become more visible.

                                                                          Absolutely, 100% agree. Languages should be tools, not foci for tribal identities. Every programmer should be expected to be familiar with multiple programming languages, even absolute beginners.

                                                                          1. 9

                                                                            This article is a good argument against treating a lack of gender diversity in video games as a problem to be solved. Men and women are systematically interested in different types of video game experiences, and game creators who cater to one type of experience or the other will naturally have a gender imbalance in the sorts of players who want to play that type of game.

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                                                                              It’s a sign of bizarre times that this isn’t obvious. Boys and girls have always preferred playing with different toys since the dawn of time.

                                                                              1. 17

                                                                                There’s nothing obvious about it, and re-examining unfounded claims is not bizarre. We know that, historically, plenty of claims made were just plain wrong (consider the anabolic-catabolic “theory”).

                                                                                Boys and girls had very different /roles/ since the dawn of time for obvious reasons. If you tried, as a girl, to play with the “wrong” toys you could see quite a bit of resistance.

                                                                                1. 16

                                                                                  I’m not saying this is wrong (I haven’t done any research so I don’t know) but it seems very likely that kids are pushed to play with specific toys by society. We label toys as boys or girls, we market toys as being played with by either boys or girls and we give kids toys that we associate with their gender.

                                                                                  I saw a video this year where young babies were placed in a room full of a range of toys. Each time the baby was dressed in either pink or blue and given a female or male name regardless of their actual gender and a babysitter was in the room as well to help them play with the toys. Each time the babysitter would tend to help the baby play with toys stereotypical for their perceived gender. After the babysitter was asked which toys they thought the baby liked and they would say the baby seemed to prefer the toys of the perceived gender regardless of what the babys actual gender was.

                                                                                  Now that’s not really a scientific study but it does seem to suggest that things are not as “obvious” as they seem. It’s a little hard to test because really you would have to raise a kid in an alternative society to see what differences it makes.

                                                                                  1. 2

                                                                                    There’s also evidence that toy choice is gendered along the same lines that we in our culture are familiar with among chimpanzees, suggesting that toy choice has something to do with biological mechanisms of gendering bodies that are older than the human-chimpanzee split.

                                                                                    Anyway, this entire article is already presupposing that gendered differences in toys (well, video game tastes, but is a video game not just a more sophisticated toy?) exist and are important. As per the title, what men and women consider hardcore gaming are not the same.

                                                                                    1. 2

                                                                                      Could as well be the kids wanted to be nice to the babysitter who helped them play. The type of play also needs to be accounted for. There are studies as well which show that very young kids tend to gravitate to certain types of play.

                                                                                      Of course there’s going to be some overlap and gray areas, but what’s the harm in acknowledging the idea that maybe play and preferences have something to do with biology?

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                                                                                        but what’s the harm in acknowledging the idea that maybe play and preferences have something to do with biology?

                                                                                        There is no harm in thinking maybe it might be true and maybe it might not. There is harm in things like OPs comment stating “It’s a sign of bizarre times that this isn’t obvious.” When it’s extremely complex and not obvious at all.

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                                                                                          There is no harm with acknowledging that they “have something to do with biology”, the difference is how much weight is put on it, and the problems are caused when that is used as an excuse for things like exclusion, whether that’s subtle coercion of “oh I wouldn’t bother with that, because it’s been shown that people like me are bad at that sort of thing”, to the deep personal exclusion of “I will never be able to do X in a good way because of my biology, so I should not try”.

                                                                                          Equally, what is the harm in acknowledging the idea that maybe play and preferences have something to do with culture?

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                                                                                            I don’t know where coercion or exclusion came from here.

                                                                                            And surely society has some effect, but reading something like The Blank Slate makes me think it’a not such a huge factor.

                                                                                            Next someone will probably point out Pinker is a white supremacist or something and I’m done with this already.

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                                                                                              I don’t know where coercion or exclusion came from here.

                                                                                              Do societal consequences not matter, just because they’re societal?

                                                                                              reading something like The Blank Slate makes me think it’a not such a huge factor.

                                                                                              The Blank Slate, last I checked, ignores a lot of hard evidence done in the social sciences in favour of bashing Pinker’s strawman of the subjects. In addition, I’m not sure how someone can place a single reasonably cited book as a justification for ignoring 70 years of hard evidence. Especially when such a book’s argument is strongly contested.

                                                                                              Next someone will probably point out Pinker is a white supremacist or something and I’m done with this already.

                                                                                              Does someone’s political views not have any bearing on their research? Surely years of study have found bias in study construction extremely easy. I take the attitude that it must be so, for politics is how we view and frame all manner of parts of the world. Whether or not someone is a racist matters deeply as to the purpose behind the arguments that they make, and the ways that they approach certain details. Likewise if I am a monarchist you would surely wish to know that when arguing about matters of state, since my arguments might be led by conscious or unconscious motivations.

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                                                                                                I don’t think Pinker has a political horse in the race, but I do understand he can be misunderstood to have one even if he didn’t. So as far as anyone should care, the discussion could be limited to the science.

                                                                                                I’m just not particularly interested anymore, because something like infant behavior, sex vs gender, toy preference, biology, anthropology, primatology and who knows what “always” gets conflated with coercion and exclusion.

                                                                                                It’s essentially impossible to discuss matters online, text-based, time-delayed and without real interaction. More so when it starts to feel like something someone wants to win. The easiest win is to claim the other party doesn’t care about something not immediately related yet important and he’s therefore a bad person by implication.

                                                                                                That’s why I’m done.

                                                                                                Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar and men and women choose different toys, ways to play, subjects to study and careers to follow.

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                                                                                            Yes as a hypothetical, and in a context where social coercion doesn’t exist your statement would be totally fine and good. Saying it with certainty, even though it runs contrary to the scientific consensus lacks epistemological responsibility. It’s fine to say I’m not sure I agree with the scientific consensus, however it’s irresponsible to say that the scientific consensus is certainly wrong without any evidence. Once you add in the fact that some people will try to use such claims as a way to pressure a demographic out of an activity, then you have the risk of real harm. I’m not saying you’re the kind of person who would do that but it’s important to be aware that people will try to use your message there to exclude others who are wholly capable.

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                                                                                            I mean there’s no reason to believe that there’s real sexual dimorphism in the toys children choose to play with. I’ve seen boys play with dolls and girls play with trucks. Gender is a construct, that’s the scientific consensus and those saying otherwise value tradition over evidence.

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                                                                                              There are also a lot of arbitrary gendered items that change over time or across cultures. For example skirts of some form have been either male or female clothing depending on the culture/location. Also pants have been male clothing but are now neutral.

                                                                                              There are no doubt very real differences between genders. The obvious one being physical strength/body shapes but I am willing to bet that a majority of the differences between genders today are formed by tradition and not biology.

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                                                                                                The differences in gender as you said are formed by tradition. When you talk about physical strength and body shapes however that’s sexual dimorphism, unless you are referring to the cultural mores that pressure men to bulk up and pressure women not to. Sex informally speaking is the bits between your legs, sexual dimorphism is the physiological difference that often (but not always) come along with that like testosterone or estrogen production, gender is the cultural construct we have around sex. You can have sexes without having gender, which I’m sure has existed and you can have many genders within a single sex if you’re like creating a sci-fi culture.

                                                                                                You weren’t wrong in any way I just thought it would be useful to be clear.

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                                                                                          The reason there’s a push to solve it is the profit motive.Given that roughly 50% of women play games if you could create an experience that tailors to both cultures you could make a lot more money than if you didn’t.

                                                                                          Though I personally also enjoy playing games with people with different backgrounds. Sometimes a different cultural outlook also can have refreshing outside of the box ideas. It looks like for example that according to this survey while women value competition and challenge, they also value looking good while doing it, and going all the way to completion. That would mean if you want to hook women, make sure to add robust customization options or ways to build or design things. I think the completion aspect is already in most games, cheevos. Notice that they don’t disvalue destruction, but they find it less interesting than a well written story.

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                                                                                            Indeed, it is like complaining chick flicks get chick viewers, which is absurd.

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                                                                                              I haven’t heard that particular complaint, but one I hear often is that it’s quite absurd to have a genre lineup that resembles something like “action,” “comedy,” “drama,” and “not for men,” as if “not for men” were its own genre (it’s obviously not literally called that, but you provided your own example above). Deciding to use a “not for men” genre immediately creates its counterpart, “for men,” which is every other genre.

                                                                                              You logically have two choices here:

                                                                                              1. Accept the dichotomy and make explicit the implicit labels: “action for men,” “comedy for men,” “drama for men,” and “not for men.” You’ll have to train your brain to see this everywhere, as the implicit labels are extremely implicit. Along with appeal to the targeted demographic comes license to exclude the other – after all, if your genre is “not for men” then you don’t care if your movie makes men uncomfortable (this is different than making it desirable for not-men). If your genre is “action for men,” you don’t care if your movie makes women feel uncomfortable. It’s not for them.
                                                                                              2. Reject the dichotomy, and distribute the “not for men” qualities into the core genres – “action for men” just becomes “action”. Along with this comes the lack of license to exclude. This has made some movie watchers/videogame players mad – even though there is still plenty of content around (and more being made every day), the consumers of the previously “for men” genres see this as dilution and loss. Some of the things they liked excluded people, and instead of trying to untangle the good from the bad (or learn to coexist with new expressions of things they liked before) they’ve decided to double down and defend everything.

                                                                                              Whichever decision you make will impact how you see the modern media landscape.

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                                                                                            I would love to have a feedback post, three years later. I don’t really know the status of Neovim right now

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                                                                                              All of the points made in the post mentioned are still true.

                                                                                              Neovim is still developed actively and the community is stronger than ever. You can see the latest releases with notes here: https://github.com/neovim/neovim/releases

                                                                                              Vim’s BDFL ultimately caved and released his own async feature that is incompatible with Neovim’s design that has been in use by various cross-compatible plugins for years (no actual reason was provided for choosing incompatibility despite much pleading from community members). Some terminal support has also been added to recent Vim. IMO both implementations are inferior to Neovim’s, but that doesn’t matter much for end-users.

                                                                                              There are still many additional features in Neovim that haven’t been begrudgingly ported to Vim.

                                                                                              At this point, I choose to use Neovim not because of the better codebase and modern features and saner defaults, but because of the difference in how the projects are maintained and directed.

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                                                                                                Vim’s BDFL ultimately caved and released his own async feature

                                                                                                No, he didn’t. He didn’t cave. He was working on async, for a long time, with the goal of producing an async feature that actually fit in with the rest of Vim’s API and the rest of VimL, which he did. Did he probably work on it more and more quickly due to NeoVim? Sure. Did he only work on it because of pressure as you imply? No.

                                                                                                that is incompatible with Neovim’s design that has been in use by various cross-compatible plugins for years (no actual reason was provided for choosing incompatibility despite much pleading from community members).

                                                                                                NeoVim is incompatible with vim, not the other way around.

                                                                                                Some terminal support has also been added to recent Vim. IMO both implementations are inferior to Neovim’s, but that doesn’t matter much for end-users.

                                                                                                Async in vim fits in with the rest of vim much better than NeoVim’s async API would have fit in with vim.

                                                                                                There are still many additional features in Neovim that haven’t been begrudgingly ported to Vim.

                                                                                                The whole point of NeoVim is to remove features that they don’t personally use because they don’t think they’re important. There are a lot of Vim features not in NeoVim.

                                                                                                At this point, I choose to use Neovim not because of the better codebase and modern features and saner defaults, but because of the difference in how the projects are maintained and directed.

                                                                                                Vim is stable, reliable and backwards-compatible. I don’t fear that in the next release, a niche feature I use will be removed because ‘who uses that feature lolz?’, like I would with neovim.

                                                                                                1. 10

                                                                                                  No, he didn’t. He didn’t cave. He was working on async, for a long time, with the goal of producing an async feature that actually fit in with the rest of Vim’s API and the rest of VimL, which he did.

                                                                                                  Where did you get this narrative from? The original post provides links to the discussions of Thiago’s and Geoff’s respective attempts at this. I don’t see what you described at all.

                                                                                                  Can you link to any discussion about Bram working on async for a long time before?

                                                                                                  NeoVim is incompatible with vim, not the other way around.

                                                                                                  Huh? Vim didn’t have this feature at all, a bunch of plugins adopted Neovim’s design, Vim broke compatibility with those plugins by releasing an incompatible implementation of the same thing, forcing plugin maintainers to build separate compatibility pipelines for Vim. Some examples of this is fatih’s vim-go (some related tweets: https://twitter.com/fatih/status/793414447113048064) and Shougo’s plugins.

                                                                                                  I get the whole “Vim was here first!” thing this is about the plugin ecosystem.

                                                                                                  Async in vim fits in with the rest of vim much better than NeoVim’s async API would have fit in with vim.

                                                                                                  How’s that?

                                                                                                  Here is the discussion of the patch to add vim async from Bram, where he is rudely dismissive of Thiago’s plea for a compatible design (no technical reasons given): https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/vim_dev/_SbMTGshzVc/discussion

                                                                                                  The whole point of NeoVim is to remove features that they don’t personally use because they don’t think they’re important. There are a lot of Vim features not in NeoVim.

                                                                                                  What are some examples of important features or features you care about that have been removed from Neovim?

                                                                                                  The whole point of Neovim (according to the landing page itself: https://neovim.io/) is to migrate to modern tooling and features. The goal is to remain backwards-compatible with original vim.

                                                                                                  Vim is stable, reliable and backwards-compatible. I don’t fear that in the next release, a niche feature I use will be removed because ‘who uses that feature lolz?’, like I would with neovim.

                                                                                                  Do you actually believe this or are you being sarcastic to make a point? I honestly can’t relate to this.

                                                                                                  1. 3

                                                                                                    The vim vs. neovim debate is often framed a bit in the style of Bram vs. Thiago, and the accusation against Thiago is typically that he was too impatient or should not have forked vim in the first place when Bram did not merge Thiago’s patches. I have the feeling that your argumentation falls into similar lines and I don’lt like to view this exclusively as Bram vs. Thiago, because I both value Bram’s and Thiago’s contributions to the open source domain, and I think so far vim has ultimatetively profitted from the forking.

                                                                                                    I think there are two essential freedoms in open source,

                                                                                                    • the freedom of an open source maintainer not to accept / merge contribution,
                                                                                                    • in the very essence of open source, that users have the right to fork, when they feel that the maintainers are not accepting their contributions (preferably they try to make a contribution to the source project first).

                                                                                                    Both of this happend when neovim was forked. There is no “offender” in any way. Thus, all questions on API compatibility following the split cannot be lead from the perspective of a renegade fork (nvim) and an authorative true editor (vim).

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                                                                                                      It was absolutely 100% justified of Thiago to fork vim when Bram wouldn’t merge his patches. What’s the point of open source software if you can’t do this?

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                                                                                                        And as a follow up my more subjective view:

                                                                                                        I personally use neovim on my development machines, and vim on most of the servers I ssh into. The discrepancy for the casual usage is minimal, on my development machines I feel that neovim is a mature and very usable product that I can trust. For some reason, vim’s time-tested code-base with pre-ANSI style C headers and no unit tests is one I don’t put as much faith in, when it comes to introducing changes.

                                                                                                    2. 4

                                                                                                      @shazow’s reasoning and this post are what I link people to in https://jacky.wtf/weblog/moving-to-neovim/. Like for a solid release pipeline and actual digestible explanations as to what’s happening with the project, NeoVim trumps Vim every time.