1. 32

    I don’t see why this progress bar should be obnoxiously put at the top of the page. It’s cool if you wanna do a donation drive but don’t push it in the face of everybody who comes here. Honestly at first I thought this was a bar for site expense. Then I realised it’s to ‘adopt’ an emoji.

    1. 7

      Lobsters isn’t a daily visit for most readers, probably even for most users. They can’t see it to join in if there isn’t anything visible for it, and it has an id for adblocking if you prefer not to see it.

      1. 22

        Personally a check this site quite regularly on my mobile device… which doesn’t have an ad-blocker.

        1. 13

          That sounds awful. If you’re an android user, normal uBlock Origin works on Firefox for Android just like it does on desktop. :)

          1. 3

            Or use Block This!, which blocks ads in all apps.

            1. 3

              Oh, that’s a cool little tool. Using a local VPN to intercept DNS is a neat trick. Unfortunately doesn’t help with in this case because it blocks requests to domains and not elements on a page via CSS selectors.

              That does make me want to actually figure out my VPN to home for my phone and setup a pi-hole, though.

            2. 2

              Ohh! Good to know, thanks.

            3. 2

              Firefox 57+ has integrated adblocker nowadays, on both desktop and mobile; plus, there’s also Brave.

            4. 27

              That is still annoying that I need to setup my adblocker to fix lobste.rs. So much for all the rant articles about bad UX/UI in here.

              1. 11

                maybe one could just add a dismiss button or sometimes like that? I don’t find it that annoying, but I guess it would be a pretty simple solution.

                1. 1

                  I concur, either a client side cookie or session variable.

                  1. 1

                    Well, yeah… that’s how you could implement it, and I guess that would be the cleanest and simplest way?

                2. 2

                  It’d be great to see data about that! Personally I visit daily or at least 3 times a week. Lack of clutter and noise is one of the biggest advantages of Lobsters. And specifically, I looked at the link, and I have no idea who this Unicode organization is, or their charitable performance, or even if they need the money. I’d imagine they are mostly funded by the rich tech megacorps?

                  1. 1

                    [citation needed] ;-)

                  2. 3

                    Adopting an emoji isn’t the end goal: the money goes to Unicode, which is a non-profit organization that’s very important to the Internet.

                    1. 5

                      If this bar actually significantly annoys you, I’m surprised you haven’t literally died from browsing the rest of the internet.

                    1. 0

                      If you are doing something somebody will pay for, then that means that whatever you are doing is good for that somebody, otherwise why would he pay for it. So the more money you make, the more meaningful your activity is.

                      So the more money you make, the more meaningful your life is. Don’t trust your brain internal measure of meaningfulness, it was evolved when we were hunter-gatherers and it is incapable of correctly measuring meaningfulness of your activities in the modern world. Trust your bank accounts or crypto-wallets.

                      Some people think that giving food to random starving children around the world is ‘meaningful’, but it’s not. You are just doing genetic socialism and propping up bad reproductive strategies that are proven to not work. In continuing to propagate the information embedded in the DNA of those starving children, you are actually allowing the bad strategy to be more widely implemented, and thus making the problem you are trying to solve worse. And what does your bank account say? It says you have less money. Brain: 0, Bank account: 1

                      But that’s just one way of defining ‘meaningful’.

                      In reality life in inherently meaningless. You have been lucky (or unlucky) to be born into a time and place of plenty that allows you to ask yourself a question with no answer. If you had been born in a pre-industrial farming community, then you only care about surviving the next winter. You have no time for such pointless thought processes as asking yourself what is a ‘meaningful’ life.

                      You can try reading philosophies but those are just the rambling non-answers of those who came before you who asked the same question.

                      You are just a robot who was built to replicate information embedded in DNA. You by accident was given a nervous system capable of asking questions like “What is the meaning of life?” and “How do I live a meaningful life?”. Those questions are just syntactically correct enough to convince you that they are meaningful questions, but they are not.

                      Don’t worry though, sooner or later your children will come home from school and your neural “let’s make sure the children are well so they will propagate my genes” system will fire and you will forget about all these silly questions.

                      Life is without meaning, and any attempt to find one is just your mind incapable of accepting the fact that you are mortal and small, and wanting to be large and forever.

                      1. 10

                        This perspective is vulgar:

                        Some people think that giving food to random starving children around the world is ‘meaningful’, but it’s not. You are just doing genetic socialism and propping up bad reproductive strategies that are proven to not work.

                        Social Darwinism is a sickness.

                        1. -3

                          Social Darwinism is a sickness.

                          That is strange, when it is essentially impossible for natural selection to not apply to humans. If an all pervasive and always applicable by definition effect is a sickness, then the word sickness has such weak boundaries on its definition as to render it pointless as a word.

                          1. 3

                            What you might call a “sickness” is the tendency to over-simplify important and complex issues in the real world into a few convenient logical predicates and them arrive at serious conclusions, which if taken seriously, would result in actual people actually suffering.

                            I also once were a robot like you, but then I realized that the real world is many orders of magnitude orders of magnitude more complicated than I could ever hope to analyze or even observe, so I’ve learned to trust my hard-evolved feelings to take care of the complexity, and I only use my logic to choose between the alternatives that feel right relying on the predicates that feel right. As a matter of fact, anything that involves people suffering has a very little chance of feeling right.

                            1. 0

                              Does it feel right to chase away a predator in order to save a cute prey?

                              1. 1

                                If I witnessed a wolf chasing a cute rabbit, I’d probably save the rabbit if I had the means. But if I had the means to save all rabbits from being eaten by all predators, I’d definitely not do it since it’d have a terrible impact on the environment. But then, if you came to me and convinced me, through logical arguments, that saving that one rabbit from that wolf will have a significant negative impact on anything I care about, my feelings about the former issue could change and I could let the wolf eat the rabbit.

                                Now, hypotheticals aside, there’s no universe in which I could be convinced that children dying from starvation could be the solution to anything. Even if you made very good arguments about why them not dying from starvation would cause something very bad, I’d still try infinitely many ways to find other means of avoiding that very bad thing. But children dying from starvation is off the table. In general, convincing me to support the suffering of people would take far more that some juvenile arguments coming from an extremely simplified and naive interpretation of the very complex phenomenon that is evolution.

                                1. 1

                                  Why is the wolf starving to death preferable to the rabbit being killed by the wolf?

                                  1. 2

                                    You don’t get the point, I’m not pushing that wolf to starvation by stopping it from eating that rabbit. It has a whole forest to hunt. If the circumstances were such that me saving that rabbit means certain starvation for that wolf, I’d feel differently about the issue. To save you the trouble, you really should stop wasting your energy trying to come up with simplified dilemmas to draw logical arguments about complicated situations. And that’s actually my whole point. Logic is an illusion, it’s a tool our pathetic brains use to overcome our inability to conceive even a tiny fraction of the world around us.

                                    1. 1

                                      Logic is an illusion,

                                      well if you reject logic, then what tool do I have to argue against you? My feelings?

                                2. 1

                                  Since we’re really talking in metaphor, I wouldn’t just chase it away, I’d kill it. You have failed to understand the role and nature of social interaction. You will be discarded, just as you have discarded others unless you change.

                                  1. -1

                                    So it’s okay for predator to starve to death because they are not cute?

                                    1. 2

                                      Survival of the cutest my friend.

                              2. 2

                                It’s funny given your ideas on genetics if you were right you’d be the defective one because failing to realize social implications is a pretty obviously material defect. Thank goodness you’re wrong because you’re totally uninformed about modern science. You can improve!

                            2. 9

                              I used to engage in this sort of nihilism and it was a sad and depressing way to live, so I sympathise, fellow robot. That’s the trouble with too much logic and not enough context (indeed, how robotic!). Once I learned that my conclusions hinged on blatantly false unexamined assumptions, I was able to shift my views to something more constructive.

                              Having children doesn’t stop questions about meaning, by the way.

                              1. 1

                                Once I learned that my conclusions hinged on blatantly false unexamined assumptions,

                                Now if only you would be so kind as to state those false assumptions and why they are false, I would be enlightened.

                                But you chose not to.

                                1. 6

                                  I thought it rather unlikely that you would be enlightened by a stranger on the internet. It was far more likely to result in a pointless argument.

                                  Anyway, for me there were two primary false assumptions:

                                  • That it’s all about me - my individual fulfilment, freedom etc. This is plainly against where the human evolutionary path led us - we’re a social animal, not a solitary one. Caring about others is essential to us.
                                  • That the meaning is to be found somehow. Clearly, the universe just is, as you also point out, so there’s nothing to be found, but that’s beside the point because we have the capacity to make up the meaning. When we have this capacity and the alternatives are so depressing, what’s the point of refusing to make something up?

                                  Once I got rid of these assumptions, it turned out that contributing to the sustainable future of the human race or ensuring that I personally see a continuation of my family is actually pretty meaningful if I let it be meaningful. Even better, it aligns well with what it means to be a human robot, as you suggested regarding DNA propagation.

                              2. 4

                                You are just doing genetic socialism and propping up bad reproductive strategies that are proven to not work.

                                There’s something odd about someone calling themselves libertarian but espousing racial collectivism. Or is your username meant to be ironic or something?

                                Life is without meaning, and any attempt to find one is just your mind incapable of accepting the fact that you are mortal and small, and wanting to be large and forever.

                                This may be true.

                                Don’t worry though, sooner or later your children will come home from school and your neural “let’s make sure the children are well so they will propagate my genes” system will fire and you will forget about all these silly questions.

                                This is completely false.

                                1. 2

                                  They aren’t a libertarian just like the nazis weren’t national socialists. It’s just a way for them to spout bullshit and hope naive libertarians will buy in to it without questioning the line of reasoning. While I do have reservations about libertarian ideology, this person is just a classist racist bigot and frankly has no place on lobsters. I’ve yet to see anything they’ve spouted to actually be libertarian anyway.

                                  1. -1

                                    There’s something odd about someone calling themselves libertarian but espousing racial collectivism.

                                    You are clearly projecting here because there’s nothing racial about my comments.

                                    1. 4

                                      You claim that starving children are starving because they are genetically inferior.

                                      1. 6

                                        This user probably isn’t worth replying to. Expect to be sealioned to hell.

                                        1. -3

                                          I never said they are inferior, but that the reproductive strategy embedded within their DNA has proven to fail by the very fact that they are starving.

                                          You really are projecting.

                                          1. 10

                                            I intended to stay out of this but there’s nothing genetic about any of:

                                            • being born into an unstable, grossly unfair, or failed nation-state.
                                            • experiencing a famine or a natural disaster.
                                            • being surrounded by a civil war.
                                            • having your ethnic group despised and persecuted.
                                            • not acquiring a useful education when basic needs are unmet.
                                            • having children when birth control is unavailable or proscribed.
                                            • being unable to emigrate or prevented from emigrating.

                                            These are exactly the sorts of situations that produce the kind of human suffering that people respond to with generosity. You might argue that in some cases aid perversely subsidizes and supports corrupt regimes and allows the situations to fester that prevent these people from having a reasonable life longer than if there were no aid and the society/state collapsed (with an even greater degree of short-term misery) but it’s not “embedded within their DNA”.

                                            Restating OP’s argument, “Fuck them, they’re unlucky. Let them die out of my sight and don’t you help them because they’re undeserving by virtue of being unlucky. Now go tend to your lucky off-spring.”

                                        2. 2

                                          Said the horrible racist. Get banned already please.

                                      2. 2

                                        Your ideas around genetics are outdated and wrong.

                                      1. 4

                                        So if a bunch of people decide to fork their own version of Roko’s Ransomware, which one should I pay protection fee to to not be tortured for eternity?

                                        1. 3

                                          Addressed in the Charlie Stross blog post I referenced in a comment in this thread:

                                          why should we bet the welfare of our immortal souls on a single vision of a Basilisk, when an infinity of possible Basilisks are conceivable?

                                          1. 2

                                            Good stuff.

                                            There’s also the question “why should we care about hypothetical copies of ourselves in the future?” - after all, there should be hypothetical copies of ourselves in parallel universes and if the present universe is infinite, there be an infinity of copies of ourselves here, some portion in hell, some in heaven, some in bizarre purgatories.

                                            Moreover, even if you posit a god-like intelligence able to accomplish virtually anything in the future, that godlike intelligence seems unlikely to be sift through the quantum noise to create truly exact copies of ourselves (I could make reference the “no cloning” theory of quantum mechanics and etc). So the hypothetical punished copies wouldn’t even be as good as copies suffering whatever other fates might await elsewhere or elsewhen.

                                            It seems like the construct illustrates the difficulty humans have in separating intelligent ideas from garbage-thoughts when one is conceiving AIs (who has noticed that humans follow stated goals in a highly nuanced fashion rather than literalistic fashion? Not lesswrong it seems - or at least they haven’t consider this is key part of our being “more intelligent” than computer programs or the way we’re still better than programs).

                                            1. 3

                                              As for hypothetical copies — this version of a basilisk seems to be worded carefully enough to say that you cannot be sure if currently you are a pre-Singularity original version, or a simulated copy.

                                        1. -1

                                          Eventually we will stop investing in chemical rocketry and do something really interesting in space travel. We need a paradigm shift in space travel and chemical rockets are a dead end.

                                          1. 7

                                            I can’t see any non-scifi future in which we give up on chemical rocketry. Chemical rocketry is really the only means we have of putting anything from the Earth’s surface into Low Earth Orbit, because the absolute thrust to do that must be very high compared what you’re presumably alluding to (electric propulsion, lasers, sails) that only work once in space, where you can do useful propulsion orthogonally to the local gravity gradient (or just with weak gravity). But getting to LEO is still among the hardest bits of any space mission, and getting to LEO gets you halfwhere to anywhere in the universe, as Heinlein said.

                                            Beyond trying reuse the first stage of a conventional rocket, as SpaceX are doing, there are some other very interesting chemical technologies that could greatly ease space access, such as the SABRE engine being developed for the Skylon spaceplane. The only other way I know of that’s not scifi (e.g. space elevators) are nuclear rockets, in which a working fluid (like Hydrogen) is heated by a fissiling core and accelerated out of a nozzle. The performance is much higher than chemical propulsion but the appetite to build and fly such machines is understandably very low, because of the risk of explosions on ascent or breakup on reentry spreading a great deal of radioactive material in the high atmosphere over a very large area.

                                            But in summary, I don’t really agree with, or more charitably thing I’ve understood your point, and would be interested to hear what you actually meant.

                                            1. 3

                                              I remember being wowed by Project Orion as a kid.

                                              Maybe Sagan had a thing for it? The idea in that case was to re-use fissile material (after making it as “clean” as possible to detonate) for peaceful purposes instead of for military aggression.

                                              1. 2

                                                Atomic pulse propulsion (ie Orion) can theoretically reach .1c, so that’s the nearest star in 40 years. If we can find a source of fissile material in solar system (that doesn’t have to be launched from earth) and refined, interstellar travel could really happen.

                                                1. 1

                                                  The moon is a candidate for fissile material: https://www.space.com/6904-uranium-moon.html

                                              2. 1

                                                Problem with relying a private company funded by public money like SpaceX is that they won’t be risk takers, they will squeeze every last drop out of existing technology. We won’t know what reasonable alternatives could exist because we are not investing in researching them.

                                                1. 1

                                                  I would say that they will squeeze everything out of existing approaches, «existing technology» sounds a bit too narrow. And unfortunately, improving the technology by combining well-established approaches is the stage that cannot be too cheap because they do need to build and break fulll-scale vehicles.

                                                  I think that the alternative approaches for getting from inside atmosphere into orbit will include new things developed without any plans to use them in space.

                                              3. 2

                                                What physical effects would be used?

                                                I think that relying on some new physics, or contiguous objects of a few thousand kilometers in size above 1km from the ground are not just a paradigm shift; anything like that would be nice, but doesn’t make what there currently is a disappointment.

                                                The problem is that we want to go from «immobile inside atmosphere» to «very fast above atmosphere». By continuity, this needs to pass either through «quite fast in the rareified upper atmosphere» or through «quite slow above the atmosphere».

                                                I am not sure there is a currently known effect that would allow to hover above the atmosphere without orbital speed.

                                                As for accelerating through the atmosphere — and I guess chemical air-breathing jet engines don’t count as a move away from chemical rockets — you either need to accelerate the gas around you, or need to carry reaction mass.

                                                In the first case as you need to overcome the drag, you need some of the air you push back to fly back relative to Earth. So you need to accelerate some amount of gas to multiple kilometers per second; I am not sure there are any promising ideas for hypersonic propellers, especially for rareified atmosphere. I guess once you reach ionosphere, something large and electromagnetic could work, but there is a gap between the height where anything aerodynamic has flown (actually, a JAXA aerostat, maybe «aerodynamic» is a wrong term), and the height where ionisation starts rising. So it could be feasible or infeasible, and maybe a new idea would have to be developed first for some kind of in-atmosphere transportation.

                                                And if you carry you reaction mass with you, you then need to eject it fast. Presumably, you would want to make it gaseous and heat up. And you want to have high throughput. I think that even if you assume you have a lot of electrical energy, splitting watter into hydrogen and oxygen, liquefying these, then burning them in-flight is actually pretty efficient. But then the vehicle itself will be a chemical rocket anyway, and will use the chemical rocket engineering as practiced today. Modern methods of isolating nuclear fission from the atmosphere via double heat exchange reduce throughput. Maybe some kind nuclear fusion with electomagnetic redirection of the heated plasma could work, maybe it could even be more efficient than running a reactor on the ground to split water, but nobody knows yet what is the scale required to run energy-positive nuclear fusion.

                                                All in all, I agree there are directions that could maybe become a better idea for starting from Earth than chemical rockets, but I think there are many scenarios where the current development path of chemical rockets will be more efficient to reuse and continue.

                                                1. 2

                                                  What do you mean by “chemical rockets are a dead end”? In order to escape planetary orbits, there really aren’t many options. However, for intersteller travel, ion drives and solar sails have already been tested and deployed and they have strengths and weaknesses. So there are multiple use cases here depending on the option.

                                                  1. 1

                                                    Yeah right after we upload our consciousness to a planetary fungal neural network.

                                                  1. -4

                                                    Now we need an “Importent men in CS who aren’t Alan Turing” list.

                                                    After all, men and women are equal before the Gods.

                                                    1. 3

                                                      Be the change you want to see. There’s a women’s list because someone felt it was worth the effort, and no men’s list because nobody cared enough to do more than whinge that it wasn’t done for them.

                                                      1. 11

                                                        Also I can rattle off 30+ important men on the spot while finding 15 important women took me a couple of days of research

                                                      2. 0

                                                        This would be true, if it were the case that most people didn’t know about any important contributors to computer science, except for Alan Turing.

                                                      1. 11

                                                        I use a dumb phone.

                                                        A phone is for urgent contact. Email is at the work desk. Chat is at the work desk. When I’m idling, I take out my e-reader and read a book. When I walk around, my eyes are scanning the environment to keep my situational awareness up. When I have dinner, I just eat.

                                                        The only time my smartphone is online is when I am traveling and I need to check in via a wireless/cellular network.

                                                        It is funny because when I was younger the ‘normals’ used to make fun of me for being on the computer a lot but now the table has turned, and they have now instead decided that not being in front of a computer all the time is a ‘weird’ thing. They were on mindless TV then and are on mindless social media now and they don’t like it when I don’t join them in this brain-melting process.

                                                        1. 4

                                                          Excellent point about being constantly in front of a computer, haha

                                                          I use a dumb phone

                                                          The only time my smartphone is online…

                                                          Do you mean you own two devices or that you mostly use your smartphone as a dumbphone?

                                                          1. 2

                                                            now the table has turned

                                                            Exactly. Same experience I had. Also like your characterization that they kept with the mindless stuff when they got on board. I was trying to sell them on what one could create and do before rather than consume.

                                                          1. 3

                                                            If something was dying, then nobody would talk about it, and thus the general answer to the article titled “is x dying” is no.

                                                            1. 4

                                                              Most companies going bankrupt and projects getting terminated have customers or users right up to the point of termination. So, no. Need a different metric.

                                                            1. 1

                                                              I find the idea nice, but I do not understand what it does exactly. Ok the projector is able to recognise a piece of paper and print the output of the code on top of. But do you really need to print the code on the paper? It seems not right?

                                                              What can you do else with it?

                                                              1. 2

                                                                What can you do else with it?

                                                                Show it off to the internet to show how clever you are?

                                                                This is one of those cleverness for cleverness’ sake.

                                                                1. 2

                                                                  Art for art’s sake. Ok why not.

                                                              1. 10

                                                                An unauthenticated cleartext audio stream delivered over an unisolated multicast domain? Sounds like you could’ve loaded up VLC and some The Exorcist soundbytes, and had yourself a good old time :-)

                                                                1. 1

                                                                  An unlocked house next to a street? Sounds like you could have loaded up a beanie and some bag and had yourself a good old time d:^D

                                                                  1. 3

                                                                    To be fair his claim is more like filling their home with packing peanuts. Obnoxious, a crime, but also not on the same scale as theft.

                                                                1. 19

                                                                  I don’t know what’s worse, the (ab)use of JavaScript noted in the top 3 answers, or the fact that someone thought that this was a good interview question to pose.

                                                                  1. 3

                                                                    It is a great opportunity to showcase js wizardry, though.

                                                                    So I think it is a fair question.

                                                                    1. 2

                                                                      “Wizardy”, which if ever actually used would only lead to confusion and bugs. If anything, the interviewer should expect the interviewed person to add that this should never be used, even if it’s possible.

                                                                      1. 5

                                                                        At the same time, it’s that sort of deep knowledge that is used to break code. Knowing what’s possibly in play when the impossible seems to happening is a good skill to have. It does seem a bit excessive for an interview question. Unless the job is developing a JS library, then it may be relevant.

                                                                  1. 3

                                                                    I haven’t had any problem because I only buy midrange cards and play older games or newer games at lower graphics.

                                                                    most graphically demanding games are shallow gameplaywise and I don’t enjoy them as much.

                                                                    1. 4

                                                                      Except midrange cards are the best for mining now. RX 580s go for >$500-600.

                                                                      1. 1

                                                                        I haven’t had any problem because I only buy midrange cards and play older games or newer games at lower graphics.

                                                                        Now, there’s a person whose beaten the system with its unnecessarily-high expectations and forced upgrades. :)

                                                                        1. 8

                                                                          The ultra fine granularity and relative low quality of the NPM packages make ideal circumstances for abuse, as the article eloquently shows. It’s a good case for the “batteries included” environments, which would be less prone to that type of attack. At the end of the day, the root cause is more social and organizational than technical – and that’s a fascinating aspect of computer security.

                                                                          1. 1

                                                                            Counter-point: the fine granularity allows for not pulling much dead code in. With all the jokes about left-pad, it is easier to audit then activesupport.

                                                                            I don’t think a good case for any of these environments can be made. I’d say the question of how to audit artifacts that literally include code from all over the world properly is unsolved.

                                                                            1. 1

                                                                              I don’t have to audit activesupport, I have to trust the people with commit access. That’s a much smaller group than the set of package authors in my npm dependancies

                                                                          2. 4

                                                                            This is not npm problem. More like third-party code can be malicious problem.

                                                                            1. 6

                                                                              Yes, but 3rd-party code which can effectively be published by everyone without oversight by any more trusted parties and where it’s accepted to ship minified code and/or compiler output in packages; such ecosystems are especially vulnerable to the scenario described in the post. And then there’s this cultural norm to put every few lines in its own packages so that you end up with implicit trust to literally hundreds of people in many projects.

                                                                              I mean Debian for example has got it’s own fair share of criticism and lacks in people to audit changes, but: You need to earn community trust before you can push anything in to the main repositories and minified code is not accepted.

                                                                              1. 2

                                                                                Also, package signing is mandatory in Debian and unsupported in npm; it’s ordinary for npm users to import code from hundreds or thousands of authors, any of whom can be hacked.

                                                                          1. 1

                                                                            if he loved plaintext so much, why are there hyperlinks on his blog?

                                                                            1. 2

                                                                              I read this as the backend of the blog is plaintext (or rather Markdown, which made the plaintext file as blog backend possible for me).

                                                                            1. 2

                                                                              everything

                                                                              what i have read

                                                                              none so far

                                                                              1. 21

                                                                                After reading some of Alan Kay’s comments on media (in a broad sense), I went with some instantly actionable resolutions: quit Netflix, quit Facebook, stop reading the timeline on Twitter, block some distracting web sites.

                                                                                It’s partly to facilitate my goal of creating more time for undistracted work and reading, partly because I got tired of being manipulated into being a media consumer, and partly because I need to set an unambiguous example for my daughter - if I don’t want her to get sucked into this stuff, then I shouldn’t be either.

                                                                                1. 4

                                                                                  Do it. After a month you feel super weird and you realise that despite not being connected to the fire hose the world carries on.

                                                                                  Also, it makes you appreciate the things you do give your time to a lot more when you do, like a new movie, etc… I was starting to just not be excited by anything anymore because I could just watch whatever I wanted, when I wanted. Now when I see a movie coming out I really want to see I actually feel really excited about it. You become more selective. Nowadays I honestly only look at doc web sites, lobste.rs, and occasionally hacker news and the reddit home page. There’s nothing else I consciously open in a browser. You become more invested in the things you do decide to give your time to. You also lose the whole incessant feeling like you’re not keeping up with everything pretty quickly.

                                                                                  I don’t think I’ll ever go back as it’s been over a year now.

                                                                                  1. 1

                                                                                    This is the sort of results I’d like to get. The never-ending torrent of information and content created negative feelings for me, in addition to being a time sink.

                                                                                    This actually carries over into the real world as well in the form of too many consumer choices. Luckily, where I live (New Zealand) the choices are limited, and I’m often grateful for that.

                                                                                  2. 3

                                                                                    A book I recommend along these lines is definitely Deep Work by Cal Newport. Highly recommended.

                                                                                    1. 1

                                                                                      Thanks, I’m going to read it.

                                                                                    2. 2

                                                                                      because I need to set an unambiguous example for my daughter

                                                                                      I don’t think it would work as simple as that. You daughter is going to be exposed and sucked in. Given that it takes conscious effort and discipline to go against the natural tendency to fall for the infinite-scroll, just seeing your dad not doing it won’t be enough. It’s still better than seeing your dad doing it, though.

                                                                                      1. 2

                                                                                        I totally agree, and the point is for me to have a leg to stand on with regards to enforcing boundaries. It’s much easier to point out that mum & dad don’t do it either than to create some sort of justification for why we can do it and she can’t.

                                                                                      2. 2

                                                                                        Good luck! Mind sharing links to some of those comments?

                                                                                        1. 2

                                                                                          It’s a bit hard to point to a specific comment. He touches on it in this interview: https://www.fastcompany.com/40435064/what-alan-kay-thinks-about-the-iphone-and-technology-now

                                                                                          He also made some comments in HN discussions:

                                                                                          https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=15269014 https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=11944999 https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=11945066

                                                                                          I wouldn’t say that these comments changed my perspective, but rather that they nudged me when I had some time to think about how I want to spend my time, which made me make the little bit of effort to ditch social media and Netflix. The point is, I’m not sure that Kay’s comments are the best source of information if you want to understand the manipulative nature of modern media (although I’m not sure what other sources to recommend).

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                                                                                          I quit facebook and other centralised social media a few months ago. I use mastodon and have been pretty happy with the level of discourse and interaction. Though it can still be distracting.

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                                                                                            Distraction is the primary concern with regards to media for me, so I think I have to stay away from Mastodon too. I enjoy thoughtful and thought-provoking discussions which are not biased towards quick responses, but I haven’t really found any online media that facilitate this sort of interaction (other than email).

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                                                                                          Questions (and answers) like this really ought to start with a definition of what they mean by “Agile”.

                                                                                          The top voted answer appears to be critiquing a very rigid Capital-A-Agile methodology, but none of it comes through to me as a valid critique of a more general lower-case-a-agile methodology: deploy regularly, tight feedback cycles with users, integrate feedback.

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                                                                                            I guess these discussions are always a bit futile, because “Agility” is by definition a positive property. It’s a tautology really.

                                                                                            Most criticism of agile methods are more focussed on a specific implementation (scrum at company X), and the usual response is “this is not true agile”.

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                                                                                              “this is not true agile” I’ve been guilty of this in the past. Agile is good, therefore if what you’re describing to me isn’t good then it’s not true agile.

                                                                                              But after years of Scrum at various shops, sometimes under the guidance of pricey “Scrum coaches” consultants I’m totally burnt out and disillusioned by it.

                                                                                              As you say agile is by definition positive but beyond this, I think there are still a lot of good ideas and principles in the early agile movement just not in the Scrum process itself (which doesn’t predate Agile) and what it has come to represent.

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                                                                                                I would define Agile as “follows the principles of the Agile Manifesto”. This implies a few things:

                                                                                                1. The Manifesto devalues things like comprehensive documentation. This can be criticized and discussed.

                                                                                                2. Scrum is only one possible instance of Agile. Not necessarily the best, maybe not even a good one. I would suspect that people discussed that to death already when Scrum was fresh.

                                                                                                3. You can do Scrum without Agile. Scrum is usually defined superficially. This means there is a lot of room for variation including stuff which undermines the Agile intentions. Second, it helps the consulting business, because how could you get Scrum right except by oral teachings of certified people?

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                                                                                                  The Manifesto devalues things like comprehensive documentation. This can be criticized and discussed.

                                                                                                  This aspect is a bit peculiar. Do they devalue software-documentation? (which is how I understood this principle). Or maybe it can be thought of a devaluation of a requirements-library/document. I came to terms with this principle in the sense, that it meant as an advice to avoid wasteful, up-front documentation, because clearly you cannot build a good product without documentation.

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                                                                                                    From the manifesto:

                                                                                                    That is, while there is value in the items on the right, we value the items on the left more.

                                                                                                    It’s not “documentation doesn’t matter”, it’s “deliver something that works or your documentation is pointless”.

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                                                                                                    The key bit of superficiality that reduces Scrum’s value is that people ignore the fact that Scrum does not mandate a process:

                                                                                                    It is the opposite of a big collection of interwoven mandatory components. Scrum is not a methodology. What is Scrum?

                                                                                                    Scrum is not a process, technique, or definitive method. Rather, it is a framework within which you can employ various processes and techniques. Scrum Guide

                                                                                                    They take the initial process guide, defined in Scrum as a starting point to test, reflect, and improve upon, and treat it as a big collection of interwoven mandatory components. It makes middle management feel good as they get to hold meetings, see progress, and implement a buzzword, but avoids all of the valuable parts of Scrum.

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                                                                                                    Bertrand Meyer has some criticisms (and compliments) of the core ideas, especially user stories vs requirements.

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                                                                                                      thank you for that link. Would prefer text over video, but if it is Meyer, I’ll try to make room for it.

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                                                                                                        Yeah, I feel the same way. He apparently has a book on the same topic, but I haven’t read it.

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                                                                                                          okay, I haven’t watched it fully, but skipped over a few parts ,but I made sure to look at the user storeis and requirements parts. I am a bit torn on his view, because I can relate to his feeligns as a software user, that many times his user-story was forgotten and he attributes this to not generalizing them into requirements. However, I wonder if the lack of a requirements document is really the reason. Also, I think he must have forgotten how unusable a lot of requirements-backed software has been.

                                                                                                          I share his sentiments on design and architecture work. However, good teams with good management have always made it possible to fit such work into the agile workflow. I attribute to agile consultants, that throughput and “velocity” have been overemphasized to sell agile, when it should much more be about building good products.

                                                                                                          He lost me when he commented on test-driven development.

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                                                                                                          His book is called “Agile! The good, the hype, and the ugly”, it’s brief, insightful, and well worth a read.

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                                                                                                      I would argue that what you’re talking about there is more the consequences of adopting continuous integration and making deployments less painful, which one might call operational agility, but it has very little to do with the Agile methodology as such, at least from what I can see.

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                                                                                                        Nope. Having tight feedback cycles with users is a core principle of Agile. Continuous integration on its own has nothing to do with user feedback, and doesn’t necessarily cause responsiveness to user feedback.

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                                                                                                          The Agile Manifesto does not mention tight cycles, only “customer collaboration”.

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                                                                                                            the Agile Principles (you have to click the link at the bottom of the manifesto) make multiple references.

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                                                                                                              Can you explain? I don’t see the words “tight”, “feedback” or “cycles” here http://agilemanifesto.org/principles.html

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                                                                                                                Presumably: The main difference between collaboration with customers (vs contract negotiations) is that rather than getting a single document attempting to describe what the customer wants up front (feedback cycle = one contract) you continually work with them to narrow down what they actually want (shorter/tighter than that).

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                                                                                                                  the first principle, satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of valuable software, implies it. the third, deliver working software frequently, implies it. the fourth, business people and developers must work together daily, is an out-and-out statement of it.

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                                                                                                              In my experience CI&CD is more useful for bugs than features. If you are coming from waterfall I understand where the connection between CI/CD and agile comes in.

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                                                                                                                Regardless of your experience and opinion of utility, those strategies are core to Agile and have obvious analogues in other industries that Agile draws inspiration from. They aren’t unique or novel products of Agile, but I think it’s fair to say that’s how they reached such widespread use today. It’s definitely incorrect to say they have little to do with Agile methodology.

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                                                                                                            After having been making the error of using the word “agile” in the latter generic sense for some time, I came to realize that pretty much nobody does it. When you say “Agile” business people automatically think “Scrum” and it works (still) as a magical incantation. When you try to talk about the actual merits of agile approaches (plural) they tend to phase you out and think you’re trying to look smart without knowing anything.

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                                                                                                              The top voted answer appears to be critiquing a very rigid Capital-C-Communism ideology, but none of it comes through to me as a valid critique of a more general lower-case-c-communism ideology: democratic, common ownership of the means of production, state and classlessness

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                                                                                                              You should not donate to charities.

                                                                                                              Like they say, give a man a fish, he becomes dependent on handout for the rest of his life; teach a man to fish, he becomes dependent on foreign expertise for the rest of his life; do nothing, and a man must learn to fish for himself or die, thus making available more land and other resources for other men who figured out how to fish thus creating a self-developing independent and thriving society.

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                                                                                                                Minor PSA: This comment, while I don’t agree with it, is neither uncivil nor off-topic. Please don’t downvote things just because you don’t agree with them.

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                                                                                                                  I don’t know… it looks to be off-topic to me. Reading this thread I expected to see links to charities and discussions about them. I did not expect posts claiming that donating is pointless - it might be, but this is not a topic (or imho site) to discuss this.

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                                                                                                                    Yeah I’m not sure how I feel about it. I spent a bunch of time thinking about whether I should reply asking whether it’s sarcastic (it’s hard to fathom that anyone could mean it seriously, though I ultimately concluded it probably is serious), but I ultimately think not engaging is better.

                                                                                                                    I hardly blame anyone else for downvoting though.

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                                                                                                                    So what do you recommend some person/organization to do instead donating to charity for say, attempting to prevent malaria?

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                                                                                                                      Yeah, Johnny! You muscle through that cancer and pull yourself up by your bootstraps! The free market will evaluate your worth! /s

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                                                                                                                        You got where you are because people helped you. If your mother had not helped you as an infant you would have starved to death in a month. You want to deprive others because you have all that you need. If everyone had your attitude you never would have lived. It’s such a stupid, idiotic, uninformed, self-serving attitude that will one day leave you destitute.

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                                                                                                                        When can I expect food neutrality next so I can get steak and lobster and the same price as the guy who got a salad?

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                                                                                                                          Maybe when eating a salad prevents you from using the infrastructure your taxes paid for.

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                                                                                                                            Or when your internet connection and mobile plan cost twice as much because you have to tick the Gmail, Facebook, Netflix and Youtube boxes that were once provided for free.

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                                                                                                                            While it’s easy for me to scoff at anything you post because of your username, I’m gonna guess that you didn’t mean any harm with this joke but over 17 million american households were food insecure in 2012, and 18 million americans live in a food desert, where access to perishables is either overwhelmingly expensive or simply absent.

                                                                                                                            Maybe food neutrality wouldn’t be such a bad idea :)

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                                                                                                                              That’s an incorrect comparison; food neutrality in your hypothetical restaurant already exists since the restaurant doesn’t charge differently for using their cutlery and crockery depending on what you eat.

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                                                                                                                                You aren’t a libertarian, you’re just a capitalist.

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                                                                                                                                A stereomicroscope

                                                                                                                                now every single object is interesting.

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                                                                                                                                  I think the main reason you need a degree to work for bigco is that bigco is big so nobody can make a decision and thus decision making with regards to whom to hire must be delegated to a procedure. And it is much easier and repeatable to say “have a degree in x from a university” than allowing an HR person to make an independent judgement on the capability of each individual.