1. 2

    Just use Lua.

    1. 1

      I don’t, security is overrated

      1. 14

        It’s based on libui which looks interesting by itself: native Windows, MacOS GUIs and GTK as backend, lots of language bindings (because it’s in C and not C++). I’m not sure, however, how much complete is it, never encountered it before.

        1. 2

          It’s a shame there’s no mature GUI framework with a proper C API. I’ll definitely be watching this.

          1. 4

            There’s always Motif.

            1. 3

              GTK+ is mature, but only for X11 (maybe for wayland too). It has lots of problems on Windows and Mac OS (especially Mac OS). I’m not talking about “widgets look not native”, it’s the least concern, most programs never had “native” look (i.e. Photoshop, most 3D modelling apps, DAWs, even Chrome and Firefox), but there are problems like dropdowns behaving like modal windows, keybindings stopping working, lack of GtkGLArea on MacOS, etc. Some great programs like Inkscape and Mypaint are almost unusable on Mac OS.

              Also not sure about “proper C API”, that GObject thing looks more like language on top of C than C API.

              1. 2

                Sorry I meant to say cross-platform as well.

                And proper C API is entirely subjective. In terms of quality/portability, I’d want something like SQLite, Lua, OpenGL, or Objective-C.

          1. 22

            “ These days, Microsoft seems to have turned the other leaf, contributing to a huge amount of open source and supporting open standards, and is becoming a good citizen of the technology community.”

            Good write-up. I’m nitpicking this point due to patent trolling. Microsoft’s patent suits and claims netted them a billion dollars in revenue off Android suppliers while contributing nothing to Android. A number of companies like Microsoft claiming patents on something is quite a threat to a smaller company without a big legal team. Microsoft is doing better on open-source front but are still coercive parasites on patent front.

            1. 7

              There is no contradiction.

              Both Microsoft and Google use open source software as per design.

              Indeed both have their patents, just like many other companies.

              Open source is not Free Software, it’s just a (valuable) marketing tool.
              Whatever the license, it can be useful and well designed, but it spreads no ethics, just brands.

              1. 4

                I’m pretty sure the vast majority of people on this site (especially nickpsecurity) can make the distinction between open source and free software. It’s still nice that M$ is embracing open source, it’s better than nothing.

                1. 6

                  I am going to add one thing in that open source doesn’t really work the way it intends to when two, different, legal systems apply to software. The copyright might say it’s pretty open. Then, the patents can be used to remove benefits of open source. The reinterpretation of copyright law like in Oracle API claims can as well. Who knows what reinterpretations of patent law might, too, for those licenses attempting to address it.

                  So, I’ve been thinking open source licenses aren’t really enforcing open source. Many are too weak to do that. Microsoft and Google know that. They benefit from it. Others wanting intended outcomes of open source that might contribute for little to no money to those companies’ dependencies often don’t know that. They might not be willing to put in effort that ensures truly open source despite many angles of attack. I don’t think many of us thought on this angle enough. As a result, a lot of code intended to support such positive outcomes may support that or be used to fund predatory agendas that might actually reduce outcomes that open source intended. And free software did better but I’m not convinced the basic licenses handle this level of attack either.

                  1. 3

                    Exactly.

                    @N64N64 I did not intended to correct nickpsecurity: I was trying to expand his argument.

                    The point is that corporate open source software should just be considered as good quality shareware.

                    It’s usually well designed and all, and you can read (some of) the sources, it works well, but it is designed and distributed with corporate goals in mind.

                    Corporate goals that are legitimate in the under-regulated global capitalism that we face, so I don’t want to blame such marketing strategies here.

                    But developers should be aware of that before contributing to their projects (or even to projects lead by their employees, if cultural fit is a thing).

            1. 2

              This article is pretty hollow. I mean yeah, Bitcoin failed. There’s no doubt about that. The weird balance of power between the developers/miners is poorly designed and there really is no incentive to use Bitcoin/Ethereum/Monero/etc other than for speculation and buying drugs.

              However these are just design flaws, the germ of the idea is out there and I’m sure someone will iron out these edge cases. Personally I think it involves consolidating the developers and miners together so that they are one (probably anonymous) entity. You need to trust the developers already, might as well put that into the design instead of also having to trust randos who can afford massive GPU farms.

              1. 11

                So your solution to achieving a trustless design is … a design with trust in?

                What bit of the cryptocurrency promise is left?

                1. 1

                  I mean, it basically boils down to what kind of political system you think would work best. Bitcoin is clearly anarchist, personally I think a monarchy is the way to go.

                  So your solution to achieving a trustless design is … a design with trust in?

                  How can we be sure a trustless design is even possible? With what’s available now, you have to trust the developers to ensure the protocol works as advertised, and to distribute software updates. You have to trust the miners to not pull a 51% attack.

                  What bit of the cryptocurrency promise is left?

                  A frictionless, resilient, (hopefully) non-corruptible financial system.

                  1. 1

                    personally I think a monarchy is the way to go

                    Why do you favor a monarchy?

                    1. 1

                      I think, with the right ruler, it’s the best you can get.

                      1. 1

                        That’s what the people I know in Singapore tell me. They tell me all kinds of messed up stuff about their little surveillance/police state. They also tell me the main rulers are smart people that at least want to take care of the people. The younger one is also a bit tech savvy I’m told. About the closest thing to a monarchy or surveillance state I could tolerate. Close to. Call me paranoid. ;)

                        1. 2

                          That’s interesting, I’ll have to visit Singapore at some point :D

                2. 2

                  You need to trust the developers already

                  no, you can verify their code or write your own alternative client.

                  1. 3

                    In practice, about 0 users actually do this, and it should be reasonably obvious that this won’t change - particularly for a system aspiring to general adoption. Civilisation runs on division of labour; the universally competent Heinleinian individual is a fictional construct.

                    1. 2

                      I think at least a few hundred people review each change, perhaps thousands. Then you’re not trusting the developers, you’re trusting that if something were wrong then one of the people who reviewed it would make a fuss about it.

                      1. 2

                        I presume you’re not familiar with Ethereum Classic, and why it came into being?

                        1. 1

                          I’m guessing your point is that not all open source code is bug free? I don’t see how that contradicts anything I’ve said.

                          1. 3

                            Nope, the DAO hack was a bug in the contract, not Ethereum itself.

                            My point it’s not just about bugs in the software and verifying that the software does as advertised. The developers are BDFL and are at the sole discretion of how the cryptocoin evolves. The Ethereum devs decided that they wanted their money back and forked the blockchain to reverse this DAO hack. Lots of users protested, to the point of creating an entirely different cryptocoin with the original blockchain in-tact, but it clearly failed, look at their prices. Most people just don’t care.

                            1. 2

                              Exactly. So much for immutable, decentralized, and trustless.

                              1. 1

                                It’s not like the Ethereum project can do whatever they want. They were able to do that fork because enough people thought it was reasonable. Any changes they want to make are at the mercy of public opinion.

                                1. 3

                                  Sure, what they can do is limited. But as we have seen, they have enough power to do some pretty nepotistic stuff, with little protest.

                                  enough people thought it was reasonable

                                  I don’t think so, most people just weren’t aware of what was going on or didn’t care. There have been other hacks since the DAO, with lots of money at stake, that didn’t see a fork.

                                  1. 1

                                    My contrast, your idea of consolidating miners and developers seems that they could do whatever they want. Unless I’ve misunderstood your proposal.

                                    1. 2

                                      Yep, that’s exactly what I’m saying. I don’t think centralization isn’t inherently bad, as long as the people in charge have good intentions.

                                      1. 1

                                        have you thought through how to select people who have good intentions, and how to ensure that they aren’t corrupted or replaced by people with bad intentions?

                                        1. 1

                                          I’ve thought about it but haven’t really figured anything out yet. The other thing you have to consider is competence, they can be well-intentioned but if they don’t know how to lead then things could go bad as well.

                                          As far as specific people go I thought about Scott Forstall and Smealum, but I’m not 100% sure they would check both boxes. There’s always a risk, I guess.

                    2. -2

                      So much ignorance in one post… It’s hard to know where to begin.

                      Bitcoin has a market cap of $117 billion. N64N64, if that’s your idea of “failed” you have great aspirations indeed!

                      “there really is no incentive to use Bitcoin/Ethereum/Monero/etc other than for speculation and buying drugs” - Bitcoin was originally designed by Satoshi Nakamoto as a response to the bank failures of 2008. He wanted to disintermediate online transactions, removing banks from the equation altogether. Today thousands of online merchants accept Bitcoin or Bitcoin Cash, and it’s growing. International remittance is the really big application for cryptocurrencies right now though with millions of dollars being transferred internationally every day. Banks aren’t a party to these transactions so to that extent Satoshi’s vision has succeeded.

                      “buying drugs” - Bitcoin is uniquely poorly suited to confidential transactions given its public ledger. These days the NSA routines tracks all Bitcoin transactions so only the most foolish would use it for illegal purposes.

                    1. 21

                      I love how this thing is written: only plain old Lisp that directly translates to plain old HTML and plain old SQL. No complex template engines, ORMs, multiple inheritance, events, callbacks and modern complex machinery I’ve struggled with in the past.

                      Nowadays I tend to follow a similar simplistic approach to web programming, and it’s so much better. I don’t think I’m the only one, and I think many of us try to “rediscover” this simplicity through recent projects like HyperScript or Ecto.

                      I think we should learn a lot form the past.

                      1. 10

                        I have taken to writing web “apps” in Ruby using only the standard library. It’s way more than enough. And extremely educational to use: you’ve got to put all the pieces of a web stack together yourself. After building a few personal apps this way I have a few utility classes that cover the abstractions I care about.

                        The biggest is a 50 line SimpleController base class that extends WEBrick::Servlet, pre-processes request data, wraps responses with some default headers, and renders ERB templates with a render method like Rails does.

                        And I set up WEBrick to authenticate my client TLS certificate. I love having all the security and convenience of ssh public keys for my personal web apps too. Although I wouldn’t bother with that in a million years if MacOS Keychain Access didn’t make it trivial to generate client certificates.

                        WEBrick - built in HTTP server

                        • multi-threaded
                        • access and error logs
                        • static file server
                        • multipart/form-data (file upload) support
                        • cookies support
                        • HTTP Basic Auth
                          • pluggable UserDB backend
                          • comes with Apache-style htpasswd and htdigest backends
                        • SSL/TLS, including client-side certificate validation

                        ERB - built in HTML template engine

                        • did you know this was in the standard library?
                        • WEBrick can run .rhtml files as ERB
                        • erb cli tool ships with Ruby, great for debugging templates

                        YAML::DBM - built in database

                        • transparently stores objects as YAML in a key-value store
                        • syntax identical to hash map, e.g. db['key'] = obj
                        • original DBM was written by Ken Thompson at Bell Labs
                        • multi-threaded with just a couple lines of code
                          • DB_LOCK = Mutex.new
                          • def transaction() DB_LOCK.synchronize { yield DB } end
                          • transaction { |db| v = db[k]; v.a = b; db[k] = v }
                          • if you think I’m joking then benchmark it
                          • literally the same strategy used by MongoDB until 2015
                        • for sufficiently simple apps SQL is more trouble than it’s worth
                        • for kicks implement the WEBrick::UserDB interface in a 10 line class

                        Minitest - built in unit test framework

                        • actually a good test framework
                        • default test framework for Rails apps

                        Kernel.open - default open call is special magic

                        • require 'open-uri' makes regular open work on http[s]:// URIs
                          • Ruby stdlib vs Python Requests library:
                            • content = open('https://google.com').read
                            • content = requests.get('https://google.com').text
                          • also adds .open method to URI objects
                          • handles redirections, etc.
                        • calling open on a pipe-prefixed string opens a subprocess
                          • e.g. p = open('|cat'); p.write('neat'); p.read() == 'neat'
                          • for small projects shelling out is often the easiest way to do certain things

                        Thread / Queue / Mutex / ConditionVariable / Monitor

                        • I find Ruby’s traditional concurrency classes extremely usable
                        • Threads and Queues are just as easy as goroutines and channels
                          • it’s 2018, threads are pretty cheap
                        1. 9

                          I’d argue it’s not about rediscovering something we forgot. Doing things simply is actually really, really hard. And everyone has to learn it by themselves, I don’t believe it’s a teachable technique. And it just takes time. And by the time you’re there you couldn’t care less about hyping up your acquired knowledge and putting it on display in the form of a framework :-) That’s why trending hot stuff is invariably over-complicated.

                          1. 3

                            I wrote a web app in C++ (long story) and tried to do this. For HTML I made a DSL using variadic templates and user-defined operators so I could write div("class-name"_class, p("Hello there")) etc, found a nice SQL DSL to write queries in a similar fashion, and so on. It was simpler to me than something like Django, but of course I would never use C++ for a public web app.

                            1. 3

                              OpenResty is pretty nice in that regard. Just a scripting interface to nginx.

                            1. 2

                              This doesn’t change anything, the only people who care about this are in tech circles. Everyone will forget about this in two weeks.

                              1. 5

                                I don’t agree. It’s personal anecdote, but at every group event I attended over the holidays a non-tech person talked about how they were deleting Facebook from their phones or closing their account entirely. And a more recent survey had 7.5% of Facebook users claiming to have deleted their accounts in respond to the Cambridge Analytica stories. We’ll see what’s in Facebook’s 2018 Q1 10-K at the end of April, but all the signs I’ve seen point to a significant hit and no signs towards grown in user count or engagement.

                                1. 1

                                  recent survey

                                  How did they choose their sample and how was the survey conducted? A red flag that immediately comes to my mind is that these 7.5% of people claimed to have deleted (not deactivated) their account. Either:

                                  1. Toluna got their terminology mixed up, and these people actually deactivated their account, since the delete account button is hidden.
                                  2. These people really mean they deleted their account.

                                  I’m inclined to go with 1 because nowhere in the article is there a statistic of people deactivating their account. They only mention deletion and updating privacy settings. Seems kind of weird to me. If I’m correct in this assessment, then this undermines the integrity of the survey. If they can’t get that right, then they probably didn’t pick a good sample to begin with.

                                  1. 2

                                    It was through a Facebook quiz. :)

                                    1. 1

                                      Hmmm… I agree that Facebook’s self-serving differentiation between “deactivate” and “delete” is problematic in actually determining people’s responses. But challenging the integrity of the survey seems a step too far.

                                      Shit, Mark himself in the quoted article says they haven’t seen a meaningful number of deletions, which he doesn’t quantify or compare with deactivations. He’s taking advantage of the same fuzziness that they created.

                                      You’re probably right. Many people don’t realize that deactivate isn’t delete. But, presuming the survey-folks are doing their jobs, having that many people INTEND to delete their account is a meaningful measure of sentiment. Maybe not earth-shattering (it’s not 50%), but given how entrenched Facebook is right now, it rings as important to me.

                                      1. 1

                                        But challenging the integrity of the survey seems a step too far.

                                        I’m sorry, but I’ve been on the Internet way too long to just take what I read at face value. Based on my experience, people/publications (especially relatively unknown ones, like the one that was linked) blow things way out of proportion to get clicks/views. There is no indication as to how the survey was conducted, so I’m going to assume the worst, because that’s usually what it is.

                                        1. 1

                                          Hey, I used to be a social studies teacher. I’m all about skepticism in sources. I’m not sure I see reason to put zero stock in their ability to call 1000 people, but hey, fair enough.

                                          Edit: Hah, then I duckduckgo-ed Toluna, the company who did the survey (according to the article). Evidently it’s paid online survey-taking. That doesn’t necessarily mean they fudged anything, but I’m sure that’s not representative of the population as a whole. Touché.

                                          What would you suspect that percent of deleters (or maybe including “intend to delete but got unintentionally stuck at ‘disable’”) is then? I’m one of five I know, and the only one in the tech industry.

                                1. 6

                                  Lua will replace all scripting languages.

                                  1. 2

                                    It is great to see how languages can be used as runtimes for other languages. JavaScript is probably the language that has the most “sugar transpilers” out there. An interesting derivative question is: which set of primitives make a great semantic bedrock for implementing programming languages. In JavaScript, the prototypical inheritance, native list and maps, plus closures make it very easy to kickstart a new language. What would be Lua’s in that case?

                                    1. 9

                                      which set of primitives make a great semantic bedrock for implementing programming languages. […] What would be Lua’s in that case?

                                      The reason I like Lua so much is that the language has a ruthless simplicity. There’s no “Lua: the good parts” distinct from the whole language itself. You have your numbers and strings, your tables and your closures, and that’s 95% of the language right there. When it’s time to get really fancy you can break out your metatables and coroutines, but most code really doesn’t need this. Share-nothing threads and queues can be added by a platform like LÖVE, but they’re not part of the core language.

                                      I think the fact that this question would even be asked tells you more about Javascript than anything else.

                                      1. 3

                                        “Lua: the good parts”

                                        I’ve been avoiding JavaScript like the plague for the past 10 years and finally decided to pick up that JavaScript book. With pretty much every feature he described I was thinking to myself, “man, this is a shittier version of what Lua does”

                                        1. 1

                                          I guess the underlying question is: if you free a language from its syntax, which (minimal) set of core semantics become your basis (as in linear algebra) for implementing new languages or simply new syntaxes. What I find so interesting with Fennel and many JavaScript transpilers is how it challenges our preconception of what a language is, by showing that syntax is “just” a UI.

                                          Did you know about Io (the language)? It was designed with minimalism in mind and is inspired by Lua in its implementation. The semantics are quite different, and one could argue, lend themselves even better to creating derived languages.

                                          1. 1

                                            I’ve read a bit about Io but never used it myself. It does seem conceptually a lot simpler than any OOP-centric language I’ve seen with the possible exception of Smalltalk, but these days I don’t have a lot of patience for OOP to begin with. But Io’s lack of any built-in reserved syntax and its focus on runtime introspectability do look appealing.

                                      1. 1

                                        I’m sorry, but this looks like copyright infringement to me if the author doesn’t have Nintendo’s consent to publish this.

                                        1. 6

                                          It’s reverse-engineered code, a legal gray area. Emulators would be in the same legal gray area if not for the precedent Sony vs. Bleem set.

                                          1. 4

                                            I’m a law student from Europe, specifically Germany, so I can’t say anything about the legal situation in the U.S.A. Maybe I should have clarified that. For Germany, emulators operate on the exemption for private copies (§ 53 German Copyright Act, and related § 44a for the ephemeral copy in RAM).

                                            This however does assume that you obtain your emulatable software yourself. It does not cover purchase of software ripped by anybody else than you. Specifically, § 53 of the German Copyright Act does not permit publishing anything you ripped. There are some unhealthy paragraphs — which I’d like to not be there — on the prohibition of DRM circumvention in the law as well. §§ 95a ff. forbid circumvention of DRM (making the private copy exemption pretty useless for DRM’ed content) culminating in a criminal law paragraph § 108b that penalises circumvention of DRM under certain conditions. I find it cynic that § 95b(1)(Nr.6)(a) specifically allows DRM circumvention under the premise that your private copy is on paper. That being said, I have no idea whether whatever Nintendo used or did not use on the Pokémon game cartidges counts as DRM or not.

                                            If you did not only rip the software, but also modified it, you are probably in breach of another paragraph as well, because § 69c(Nr.2) makes modification of computer software dependant on the consent of the rights owner (this is different from modification of all other kinds of copyright-protected works, where modification does not require consent, but only publishing of the modification). There might be some more sections relevant, all the above is what I tought of off the top of my head.

                                            The German Copyright Act is based in most of its part on the EU Direction on Information Society 2001/29/EC, which enables me to say that the situation is probably very similar in other EU member states.

                                            At least in Europe, I thus conclude that publishing software ripped from cartidges on the Internet is illegal. What about people downloading the software? That’s only illegal if this repository is “clearly illegal” (original wording § 53). Given my lengthy legal explanation above, I wouldn’t say it’s “clearly” illegal, so users are probably fine. OTOH, since I now gave these explanations, to anyone who made it this far in this post it may now be “clearly illegal”. So you must decide yourself now. The familiar “ALL THE WAREZ FOR FREE!!” site however is probably “clearly” illegal.

                                            1. 2

                                              It’s not ripped/modified software though. It’s hand written code which used Pokémon Red as a reference. If you want insight into their reverse-engineering process, look at pokeruby. Right now pokeruby falls into the “clearly illegal” category (since it’s full of raw disassembly), but once it is finished, it will be all hand-written C code.

                                              I’m not saying it’s legal, I’m just saying it’s a gray area.

                                              1. 1

                                                It’s hand written code which used Pokémon Red as a reference.

                                                That’s interesting. I’m sorry that I didn’t immediately understand. In that case, the judicial outcome depends on what you mean by “reference”. The process here appears to have been then that the author did walk through all the machine code and then produced a programme that does the exact same like the machine code he viewed at. For that matter, he could have just written the programme in any other language as well.

                                                Taking something as inspiration is of course not covered by copyright law in any way. If a programme is reproduced in all its instructions and structure however, I would qualify this as a copy. It’s an interesting issue about which I need to think more deeply. It is a question of the definition of “copy” then. And if it isn’t a copy, it might still be a “modification”. Both actions are reserved for the rights owner in case of computer programmes.

                                                On a side note: I haven’t checked, but if the author uses the original Pokémon graphics, then we’re at a copyright infringement there more easily than with the code.

                                                Edit: Decompilation is specifically regulated as well and usually forbidden as well §69e. :-)

                                                1. 1

                                                  if the author uses the original Pokémon graphics, then we’re at a copyright infringement there more easily than with the code

                                                  I thought the Internet made this part of copyright law essentially meaningless? As far as images go, anyway. Sites like Serebii and Bulbapedia host these images, not to mention all of the screencaps and whatnot that are posted on Twitter/Reddit/4chan/whatever. It would be kind of weird to go after pokered for hosting those sprites when there are tons of other people/businesses who do the same thing.

                                                  1. 1

                                                    the judicial outcome depends on what you mean by “reference”. The process here appears to have been then that the author did walk through all the machine code and then produced a programme that does the exact same like the machine code he viewed at. For that matter, he could have just written the programme in any other language as well.

                                                    From what I can tell, a base ROM was never in the repository. It was user-supplied and used to build the entire pokered repo for a while, until all code and assets had been dumped into files that could be used to rebuild the ROM from just the pokered repo itself. See an early README mentioning base ROMs being required: https://github.com/pret/pokered/blob/c07a745e36cf3b3d07bbf7c2d3c897ddd5127200/README#L3-L16

                                                    The translation process was probably just using a tool to disassemble code and labeling pieces. This is most likely an act of “decompilation” as 2001/29/EC understands it. In all likelyhood, the original was programmed in assembly as well; C was very rare in the Game Boy days. The author could not have “written the programme in any other language”: the few compilers that do exist for the Game Boy yield code that is unsuitable for the constraints of the Game Boy. Furthermore, if 1:1 identical binaries are your goal, you cannot just rewrite it in C when the original wasn’t; there’s no realistic way to get identical results.

                                                    pokeruby first disassembled Pokémon Ruby and then adds a pass to conversion to C with the same goal, which is only possible because they have also unearthed the correct compiler.

                                                    And yes, by definition of having an identical ROM, there are all of the original assets, namely player-visible text, graphics, sound. They’re shipped as part of the repository.

                                                    (The judicial outcome is a total crapshoot anyway. Copyright law in the context of software makes for surprising decisions one after another. It’s simply unsuitable and doctrine in other countries has incessantly pointed it out, but due to international pressure from the United States of America, it happened anyway.)

                                            2. 3

                                              The project has gotten rather large. It seems to be while the legal situation is indeed far from a clear one, Nintendo and The Pokémon Company international seem to be leaving this repo (or any of the other github/pret efforts) alone.

                                            1. 8

                                              This advice should be expanded. Do not under any circumstance use any kind of 3rd party VPN at all.

                                              1. 4

                                                VPNs are this decade’s antivirus.

                                                1. 2

                                                  This advice is hyperbolic…. there are tons of valid uses for a 3rd party VPN. For example, I use a 3rd party VPN to torrent over networks that punish me for doing so (LTE, university WiFi).

                                                  1. 1

                                                    OK… this is not very helpful advice. But, if you have something constructive to say on the subject, I’d like to hear it!

                                                    I don’t suppose you’re saying that you should just trust your ISP.

                                                    Perhaps you’re saying that you should set up and maintain your own VPN? Do you have any helpful resources to suggest for those of us who might want to do that? Because I can imagine a few ways to get that wrong too.

                                                    But perhaps more to the point, what do you suggest for less technical people who are concerned about their privacy, or those who don’t want to maintain that much infrastructure?

                                                    1. 3

                                                      I don’t suppose you’re saying that you should just trust your ISP.

                                                      If you’re using a VPN service, that’s exactly what you’re doing - just trusting the VPN operator.

                                                      But perhaps more to the point, what do you suggest for less technical people who are concerned about their privacy, or those who don’t want to maintain that much infrastructure?

                                                      “If you’re telling people not to buy these rocks, what do you suggest for people who are concerned about keeping tigers away and can’t afford fences and guns?”

                                                      If you genuinely need to access the internet without being tracked, you need to put the legwork in and use Tor; this is not something you can afford to trust someone else to do for you (though there are bundled installers etc. that can make it slightly easier).

                                                      1. 2

                                                        Sometimes I trust my VPN operator more than my ISP. Thus using the VPN is nicer

                                                        Example cases:

                                                        • being in China
                                                        • airport wifi
                                                        1. 1

                                                          Using tor for many tasks is no harder than a vpn anyway

                                                        2. 3

                                                          There was another blog post not too long ago about not using VPNs. This article does state all the reasons to use a VPN: protect your from your ISP and protect your location data.

                                                          However a VPN isn’t TOR. They can still keep logs on the VPN side and turn them over to police, even in other countries. It has a limited use and people need to understand what those uses are. Too many people use it without understand what VPNs do and don’t do (similar to the confusion around Private Window browsing .. even though there’s a clear wall of text describing the limitations, most people don’t read it).

                                                        3. 1

                                                          I’d argue that pretty much anyone who reads this site has the wherewithal to set up their own VPN. Check out Streissand or Algo

                                                        1. 8

                                                          When it comes to programming, I’ve found that meaningful work is orthogonal to getting paid for it. At this point, the only way to make money through programming is either by doing some boring, menial task nobody else wants to do, or by controlling and manipulating others in some form.

                                                          So, to answer your question, no.

                                                          1. -2

                                                            authors of popular databases who discuss their sexist ideas openly, neo-reactionaries leading functional programming conferences.

                                                            How dare people discuss controversial and offensive ideas openly? They should be forced underground so those ideas can fester without any external contradiction or moderation.

                                                            And of course people with weird, icky politics should be censored from purely technical events. Who knows what kind of whacky fascist programming paradigms they might force on us otherwise?

                                                            1. 29

                                                              This is an incredibly bad faith excerpt to take out of context. The author was discussing doubts they had about attending the Recurse Center, and:

                                                              A bigger part was the mission itself: “to get dramatically better at programming”. Did I even want to get better at programming?

                                                              A lot of bad things in the world have been created by programmers: software for operating drones that bomb civilians, data-mining that violates privacy, companies that “disrupt” by dropping vast amounts of capital in to a market without any intention of building a sustainable business. A lot of bad people love programming: open source thought leaders who harbor deeply racist views, authors of popular databases who discuss their sexist ideas openly, neo-reactionaries leading functional programming conferences. The norms of programmer culture still revolve around using needless complexity as a cloak of wizardry.

                                                              As @vyodaiken says, you’re demonstrating the toxic behavior the author is wary of.

                                                              1. 5

                                                                This is such a misguided fear (even though the author says it wasn’t realized in reality anyway) - lot’s of bad people love mathematics, science and music too, it’s no reason to question the value of those pursuits.

                                                                1. 13

                                                                  That’s the nature of fear. I don’t know how to interpret your comment except as a criticism for the author talking about something she honestly felt, then talking more about it later when the fear wasn’t realized. How is this a problem?

                                                                  Tons of people worry about the impact of their work and whether they are on a path that is ultimately doing more good than harm for the world. Is the author not allowed to worry about that too? Is she not allowed to talk about it?

                                                                  I’m trying to give you the benefit of the doubt, but I don’t understand what else your comment could be saying.

                                                                  1. 0

                                                                    It is more about me being puzzled by the train of thought. I understand wondering if programming is worthwhile, but I don’t understand how the actions of others have any relevance at all.

                                                                    edit: I guess you could make the case harm is an inevitable outcome of programming.

                                                                  2. 4

                                                                    A misguided fear? The Recourse Center has designed social rules to prevent behavior we know is endemic in technical (and business) forums. The author appreciated the results of those rules. But she’s “misguided” ! In what way? Is it your contention that there is not an endemic toxic culture in tech forums? Are all those women just making it up? Is Yarvin’s hobby of smirking racism something we are obligated to ignore? How do you get to decide the validity of what other people experience?

                                                                    1. 2

                                                                      Misguided that the actions of others has bearing on your own personal value that can be derived.

                                                                      1. 2

                                                                        It has a bearing on whether I want to put up with it

                                                                  3. 2

                                                                    I wasn’t responding to that part of the article; I was responding to the part of the article I had an opinion on. What is your rule for when people are allowed to respond to things? Do they have to fully agree or disagree with the entire article first?

                                                                  4. 17

                                                                    And of course people with weird, icky politics should be censored from purely technical events. Who knows what kind of whacky fascist programming paradigms they might force on us otherwise?

                                                                    How dare women suggest tech and especially programming is a potentially hostile environment one might not want to enter! Preposterous. It is just “locker room talk” for programmers! Either learn to deal with it or stay out of our tree house, you icky girl!

                                                                    Why? Why would you focus on that sentence in a post full of great sentences about positive aspects of the Recurse Center?

                                                                    1. 19

                                                                      Reminds me of a quote from Lean Out

                                                                      Women in tech are the canary in the coal mine. Normally when the canary in the coal mine starts dying you know the environment is toxic and you should get the hell out. Instead, the tech industry is looking at the canary, wondering why it can’t breathe, saying “Lean in, canary. Lean in!” When one canary dies they get a new one because getting more canaries is how you fix the lack of canaries, right? Except the problem is that there isn’t enough oxygen in the coal mine, not that there are too few canaries.

                                                                      (from Sunny Allen’s essay What We Don’t Say)

                                                                      1. 6

                                                                        Lot’s of people have a knee jerk reaction because a lot of this stuff sounds like “remove undesirables from society/jobs/conferences”, and puts the power of who is undesirable into the hands of some questionable people.

                                                                        It wasn’t the point of the post though, so i agree with you.

                                                                        1. 8

                                                                          Got another Lean Out quote for you cause they’re just so damn relevant. This one from Sexism in Tech by Katy Levinson.

                                                                          In the least three years, I was asked not to use the words “sexism” or “racism” when speaking on a diversity panel because it might make the audience uncomfortable.

                                                                          Which throws into especially stark relief wyager’s comment that sparked all of this discussion, since “both sides”[1] are equally worried about censorship. But one group actually gets to say racist, sexist, discriminatory stuff and remain in charge. The other can hardly speak on panels and post on their blogs without the whole world jumping down their throats.

                                                                          So yeah, the knee jerk reaction you mention rings a little shallow to me.

                                                                          [1] I know, “both sides” is highly misleading, but it captures the duality on display here.

                                                                          1. 5

                                                                            The other can hardly speak on panels and post on their blogs without the whole world jumping down their throats.

                                                                            You mean like how people tried to ban Moldbug (presumably who the OP was talking about) from LambdaConf?

                                                                            1. 4

                                                                              With something akin to backchanneling over weird views on a blog totally unrelated to his behavior in conferences, too. Another I cited previously was Opalgate where a guy that didn’t agree with trans people on Twitter got hit by a storm of folks in his project wanting him ejected. They didn’t contribute anything to it like he regularly did but did demand it adopt all their political positions after ejecting its main contributor. The venom was intense with much talk of things like burning bridges and them trying to set him up to look like he supported child molestors or something.

                                                                              And these are supposedly the oppressed people who have to worry about “the whole world jumping down on their throats.” The people who eject any folks who disagree with their beliefs from their own projects, conferences, and this thread. You and their other targets don’t look very powerful and oppressive from my vantage point. They were wielding more power in each of these circumstances.

                                                                              1. 5

                                                                                You want people who Yarvin declares are inferior to politely accept his views? Why should they?

                                                                                1. 6

                                                                                  We separate things based on context. In conferences, he had caused no trouble at that point. The reports at the time said he just went to give talks and be helpful. On his blog or personal life, he says or does things I don’t agree with. More than many others but still same thing: many people disagreeing with many things. I’d rather have him at the conference because I don’t ban people I disagree with. If he misbehaves at conferences, then we deal with him.

                                                                                  My opponents have a different view. They think everyone should believe/do certain things and not believe/do other things. They should be compatible with those in every forum. If they aren’t in even one place, they are to be shamed in or ejected from every place. He was just one example of that behavior. He was an easy target since his crazy views wouldn’t bring lots of sympathy. In the Opal example, the project had been welcoming and nice to everyone with the violation being a maintainer’s actions on Twitter. Nothing stopped people from participating in the project and no evils were done in it. The maintainer did violate a rule of their politics in one public forum, though. So, an entire group of them hit that project, ordered the ejection of that member, ordered total compliance with their beliefs, trolled the hell out of them, and of course offered nothing to the project in code or other support.

                                                                                  I’d rather stop that kind of stuff. It’s just domination rather than anything moral or productive. We can either let a small group of people enforce their arbitrary views on everyone with no discussion or dissent allowed like they desire. Alternatively, we accept everyone under rules the various groups have a consensus on where good things we agree on are encouraged and bad things are prohibited. That maximizes the overall good and productive things we do. That’s my stance. It’s also what we usually do at Lobsters. It’s also what most successful companies and democratic governments do. What my opponents who eject people at conferences ask for is more akin to a dictatorship or theocracy since discussion/dissent is considered evil to be punished.

                                                                                  1. 7

                                                                                    I have somewhat similar thoughts as you, but here’s a thought experiment for you that might help put some things in perspective. Let’s say you are running a conference. You are invested in it and hope for it to succeed, and you have some or all power in determining who is invited to speak. After the CFP ends, you like Foobar’s talk and invite them. Sometime later, you post the list of speakers. To your surprise, a lot of people are upset about Foobar’s invitation because Foobar maintains a very controversial blog that makes a lot of people uncomfortable.

                                                                                    You decide to stick to your guns. You definitely appreciate that Foobar expresses controversial views and understand that it makes a lot of other people uncomfortable, but you determine that since Foobar’s controversial views are not related to the conference topic, and therefore, they should still be allowed to speak. So you communicate this to all the would-be conference goers and other invited speakers.

                                                                                    I think this is all pretty reasonable actually, although I do understand why some might object to this type of decision making on ethical grounds. But here’s the kicker. At this point, you hear back from N of the invited speakers and M of the people that would otherwise buy tickets. All of them feel strongly enough that they refuse to attend your conference.

                                                                                    So here’s the question: how big does N and/or M need to be for you to retract your invite to Foobar? Are you so ethical as to allow the conference to fail? Or are you so pragmatic as to let it succeed? Perhaps a little of both?

                                                                                    I think the point of this thought experiment is to demonstrate that morals/ethics aren’t necessarily the only thing at stake here. In particular, you could even be in violent agreement with Foobar but still rescind their invitation for practical reasons alone because you want the conference to succeed. I personally don’t have a strong answer to my thought experiment either, so this isn’t a “gotcha” by any means and probably more of a rhetorical proposition than anything else.

                                                                                    1. 2

                                                                                      (Sorry for delay. I was getting overwhelmed between work, email, and foums exploding. Trying to reply to everyone.)

                                                                                      Alright, before the thought experiment, I’ll note that the situation with that conference was a bit different per initial reports I read. The conference wasn’t experiencing a huge loss hinging on accepting or taking such people. Many people liked the presenters’ talks. Instead, a handful of political activists worked behind the scenes convince the people running it to eject a person they didn’t like regardless of what the conference thought. They probably said a lot of the same kinds of things, too, since an organizer would be receptive to them. This kind of behavior is a major reason I’m holding the line resisting the political or meta stuff such people want to work with.

                                                                                      Alright, now to your exploration which is more than reasonable: it’s something I’ve worried about myself.

                                                                                      “At this point, you hear back from N of the invited speakers and M of the people that would otherwise buy tickets. All of them feel strongly enough that they refuse to attend your conference.

                                                                                      It really comes down to the philosophy of the organizers I guess. There’s a few routes they might take:

                                                                                      1. Ideological. Do what’s perceived as right regardless. In this case, they should include their politics in their marketing to give clear signal of what’s expected. They should block or eject anyone not compatible even if the talk fails. The example you gave is one where the talk could fail. On other end, certain conferences in highly-liberal areas might fail if not doing enough to address their concerns like inclusive language.

                                                                                      2. Impact and/or financial success. This philosophy says do what it takes to succeed financially or just in terms of conference activity. Nothing else matters. You gave one example where a conference might have to eject folks controversial among highly-liberal people to get attendees. I’ll also note this same rule would justify reinforcing ills of society like racism or sexism at conferences under “don’t rock the boat” concept. Lecturing or politicizing typical bunch of Silicon Valley or enterprise developers, esp the privileged males, will only irritate them with lost sales. This priority is a double-edged sword.

                                                                                      3. In the middle. The great thing about real life is most stuff is a spectrum with tradeoffs. That’s the hard thing but also good here. An example is an organizer might set ground rules that reduce bad behavior instead of force politics front and center. Another example is ignoring diversity or bad behavior on the sales team at conferences or in meetings for enterprise segment to drive up sales since buyers often want to know their partners are “like them” or some crap. Whereas, the backend, developers or community side, can be really diverse without the haters even knowing they’re supporting an organization that heavily invests in developming minority talent. This is one of my hypothetical schemes rather than something I’ve observed outside Fortune 500 trick of having immigrants doing lots of work in background.

                                                                                      So, I see some possibilities here where the conference organizers’ priorities seem to be the biggest factor in whether they should accept or block someone. They might block some but not others depending on level of extremism. They might rule exclusively on behavior instead of beliefs. The crowd they’re serving might like behaviors like sexism or hate it with serving the crowd being morally context-sensitive.

                                                                                      I write off top of my head for honesty. I wrote that before I got to your last paragraph. I was about to say I don’t really have an answer for you past the conditional framing above. Too dependent on circumstances or whose in control. Seems you didn’t have one either, though. It is a very important consideration, though, since conferences are usually created to accomplish specific things instead of brag they were compatible with ideology of a person or group. Most of them anyway.

                                                                                    2. 5

                                                                                      My opponents have a different view. They think everyone should believe/do certain things and not believe/do other things. They should be compatible with those in every forum.

                                                                                      It is possible that there is a belief, or set of beliefs, which are sufficiently sociopathic that they disqualify people who hold them from a platform in any context? Is there some value for X that if someone publicly and explicitly said “X” you would refuse to support them in any way?

                                                                                      I hope it’s uncontroversial that the answer to both of those questions should be “yes”. In making that affirmation we’ve established that the set of things exists. Now the discussion shifts to which things belong in the set. Reasonable people can make reasonable arguments for this or that belief. I think it’s completely understandable that Moldbug’s feudalist racism would cross the threshold for a lot of reasonable people.

                                                                                      Put more succinctly: a society isn’t obligated to give a platform to the intolerant in deference to the abstract right of free expression. Rather the opposite: a society is made better through a vigorous assault on intolerance, in whatever form it blossoms.

                                                                                      1. 3

                                                                                        You might separate things by context but I don’t. People are not compartments. You might think other people should separate by context and not consider that e.g X is a holocaust denier when X speaks on functional programming. Great but don’t dare demand I do the same. That would be super presumptuous. BTW you appear to believe some organized group is after you. I’m unaware of any such group.

                                                                                        1. 1

                                                                                          e.g X is a holocaust denier when X speaks on functional programming. Great but don’t dare demand I do the same.

                                                                                          I always challenge people who say that to list all of their political beliefs on the major topics that provoke controversy somewhere to link in their profile. We’ll just link it before any comment they make so the person replying can see the entire political spectrum of who they’re talking to plus what they’re saying in that moment as one thing. Then, like you said, they can want to interact with that person in their entirety or ignore all value they may have contributed over one thing they didn’t like. I think we should heed Richelieu’s warning instead.

                                                                                          “BTW you appear to believe some organized group is after you. I’m unaware of any such group.”

                                                                                          I just cited a few. The Yarvin thing was a small group of political activists trying to get rid of someone they didn’t like in a shady way. The Opal scandal was Ehmke’s posse pummeling that project on Github with no problems within it. Ehmke’s been in quite a few of these with an openly-stated mission to force her brand of politics (“social justice”) in every forum using her Code of Conduct as leverage. Two people involved in those actions are active in this forum with both voting for a similar CoC here. Ehmke later griped about the hate she and her white-hating buddies receive online and at Github saying it was because she’s trans rather than shoving her politics down the throats of everyone she meets. I particularly loved how they bragged about hiring “token, white people” on their team. Nobody could even joke about that if they said black. Anyway, I called Ehmke out on that submission for trying to pretend her politics had nothing to do with it. Then, some organized group was after me with the community at least being more impressive in how that was handled than most forums those kind of people hit.

                                                                                          (Edit to emphasive these are loosely-organized, small groups that know how to say the right things hitting people not usually expecting it or knowing how to react. They create PR nightmares with passive-aggressive sophistry, basically.)

                                                                                          So, yeah, there’s definitely organized groups doing the exact thing I’m worried about with some here that have done it on previous forums. They always prop up the rules they use as leverage by saying they’re just trying to stop discrimination or hate speech but (a) they get to define what is or isn’t and (b) their own actions are quite discriminatory against other groups with inconsistent enforcement. Even minority members that disagree with them get hit as happened on HN same week where I got slowbanned for quoting women disagreeing with women. Give them an inch in a new place, they’ll take a mile. I’m not giving them an inch.

                                                                                          Note: There’s plenty of similar stuff happening at college campuses across the states, too. A lot of folks doing this sort of thing come out of them. Hard to combat since dissenting speech is considered hate speech or otherwise put down.

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                                                                                            That’s not a challenge, it is an example of sealioning. I don’t have any obligation to provide you with an algorithm or to be consistent or to satisfy your sense of what’s right. My right to not read Pound’s poetry because he was a fascist or to read Celine’s early work because it is so eloquent even though he became a fascist, or to refuse to attend a conference where Yarvin speaks or to prefer the rules of Recourse center doesn’t depend on your stamp of approval. Sophie didn’t make any demands of you. On the contrary, you are demanding that she not express opinions that make you uncomfortable. Get over yourself. Go explain why Yarvin’s work is so damn great that you don’t care that he’s a smirking racist or cheer for the pseudo-science of the Google Manifesto all you want. You have the right to speak. You do not have the right to demand others approve or refrain from criticizing or even shunning you.

                                                                                            1. 1

                                                                                              I applaud your patience with this guy, who really just seems to be one of those crappy Damore-Dudes, end of story.

                                                                            2. -1

                                                                              Why would you focus on that sentence

                                                                              Because I didn’t have anything to say about the other ones. Do you think I’m obligated to address every sentence in an article if I want to address any of them?

                                                                            3. 7

                                                                              The fact that we almost know who she was talking about proves that they can currently discuss these ideas openly mostly fine.

                                                                              So these people express their opinions, and others are like “well now I don’t want to talk to them”. If you(*) want to barrage people with your unpopular opinions, people will stop wanting to hang out with you .

                                                                              I understand the fear of being shut out of social events like conferences. But they’re social events, so if you make yourself unliked… No amount of rulemaking will solve that, I think.

                                                                              The bad faith logical inverse if your argument is “everyone should be friends with everyone. No matter how much disagreement with social issues are present, someone should always be allowed to be present. This includes allowing to bully other members of the community without repurcussions ever.”

                                                                              It’s the bad faith interpretation, but one that some people will make.

                                                                              (*) Impersonal you

                                                                              1. 5

                                                                                “So these people express their opinions, and others are like “well now I don’t want to talk to them”. “

                                                                                These people express opinions but want anyone disagreeing to shut up. That’s been present in replies on most threads here where people did. Allowing only one side to speak while defining any disagreement as an attack or hate is political domination.

                                                                                “This includes allowing to bully other members of the community without repurcussions ever.””

                                                                                There’s the word games your side is famous for. vyodaiken did it earlier redefining a rhetorical disagreement as an attack on one side but not the rhetoric of the other side that painted everyone without qualification with negative labels. In your case, the people whose politics I oppose here regularly define any disagreement as hate speech, offensive, bullying, behaviors not to be tolerated, and so on. Not all of them do but many do. You all redefine the words from the neutral, tolerable thing they are (eg disagreement or political bickering) to a new word we all have a consensus against (eg bullying, hate speech). Then, you’re arguments for action focus on the new word with its meaning whereas what was actually going on is a lesser offense which wouldn’t be justified.

                                                                                So, what people supporting Sophie actually want is anyone on their side able to express their opinions without disagreement and without repurcussions ever. Whereas, anyone disagreeing with it is automatically labeled as something far worse, dismissed immediately, and for some ejected if allowed by rules. That’s always worth fighting against even if wyager’s parody was as poor a wording strategy as Sophie’s own overly-broad, only-negative portrayal of programmers.

                                                                                1. 3

                                                                                  She never advocated censorship. She never said “most programmers” or “all programmers”. So your response is obviously not directed at her words but at something else.

                                                                                  1. 2

                                                                                    as Sophie’s own overly-broad, only-negative portrayal of programmers.

                                                                                    Again, this is an opinion unsupported by the data. The examples were specific, and real. The concerns are non-trivial, and real. You’re making something about you that isn’t about you.

                                                                                    1. 0

                                                                                      That’s always worth fighting against even if wyager’s parody was as poor a wording strategy as Sophie’s own overly-broad, only-negative portrayal of programmers.

                                                                                      wyager is arguing that people with bad values should be allowed space in public or in others’ private spaces, which is a bad value. Majority supremacists, patriarchal maximalists, authoritarians, etc. should not be allowed safe spaces, and should never be accommodated.

                                                                                      From your characterizations of the author’s post and how they portrayed programmers, it’s clear you’ve either not read it and are arguing from ignorance, or you have read it and are arguing in bad faith, since the passage is clearly contextualized as part of explaining an internal struggle about how best to grow as a human being.

                                                                                      1. 4

                                                                                        From your characterizations of the author’s post and how they portrayed programmers, it’s clear you’ve either not read it and are arguing from ignorance, or you have read it and are arguing in bad faith

                                                                                        I’ve read it. Part of learning a field and growing as a human being is a fair assessment of what’s going on in it good and bad. Author’s concerns in that section solely focus on the bad… the worst of it actually… with the people side being like talking points out of one part of a political debate. Outside of those, I usually see a wide range of claims about programmers, jobs, effects on world, etc. Author is setting up false, strictly-negative premises in either ignorance or bad faith, maybe even unintentionally due to bias, then struggling to work from within the moral straight-jacket she put on. Totally unnecessary if starting from a more accurate worldview that includes the positive and neutral people and programs.

                                                                                        Note that I liked all the stuff about RC in the article. I enjoyed the article right up to that point. I just mentally deleted that part so I could just think about the rest which was most important parts. As in, more corroboration and anecdotal evidence in favor of RC visits. Then, the debate started.

                                                                                        1. 1

                                                                                          Note that I liked all the stuff about RC in the article. I enjoyed the article right up to that point. I just mentally deleted that part so I could just think about the rest which was most important parts.

                                                                                          I feel like you’re attempting to speak in good faith, so I’m going to do the same.

                                                                                          This point I’ve highlighted here, that you “just mentally deleted that part”, is an example of privilege in action*. You have never had your life or well-being threatened by people or organizations like the ones the author calls out, and you have never had to be concerned with whether or not they were active or influential in the spaces you inhabited. Other people are not so lucky, and have learned from difficult experience that they need to be aware of their surroundings and who might be in them, or else they may be injured or otherwise harmed.

                                                                                          Some people, especially those who come from outside the main software development industries, have heard only that IT/tech has a huge problem with sexism and toxic masculine culture. Some people are members of the marginalized groups whose well-being is directly threatened by the personal values of community leaders of some of the popular software communities, as named by the author of the post. The Recurse Center attracts a lot of people from diverse and non-technical backgrounds, and many of those people share the concerns that the author had, and would appreciate having them explicitly dispelled with regards to RC, as the author did.

                                                                                          So the least that those with privilege, like you and I have, can do, is not make it harder for those less fortunate to engage with the playground we have (programming) that also gives us power and status. It’s bad form to raise barriers against those with a harder lot in life than we have. These kinds of messages, from “the other side” as it were to those people who might be afraid of what they’ll find when they get there, are super important. And it’s not about you, or me, or anyone here, unless they’re part of the problem. It’s for other people like the author or who might be thinking about getting into a tech career by applying to RC, but who have heard the industry has some problems.

                                                                                          *) note that you have this privilege, even if you are not privileged in other ways (eg, you were born into a poor family, etc.). life is complicated.

                                                                                          1. 1

                                                                                            Since you’re being in good faith, do read this next like I’m just bluntly saying something instead of losing my shit or being loud. ;)

                                                                                            “You have never had your life or well-being threatened by people or organizations like the ones the author calls out, and you have never had to be concerned with whether or not they were active or influential in the spaces you inhabited. “

                                                                                            You’re assuming I don’t understand the concept because I’m presumably white male. My first school experience was being attacked or mocked because I was a “nerd.” All but a few people excluded us which happened varying degrees whole time in school. That included “minorities.” They all do to nerds what they claim others do to them, including violence by alpha males but not police. They might interrogate or arrest them if something happened involving computers if said nerd is known programmer or hacker.

                                                                                            Next, I was white in a black-run, mostly-black school where they added to mockery or exclusion the fact that we were shouted down if disagreeing with any issue (especially racial) plus randomly attacked. I doubt most of these people talking about their minority concerns have been held down on a bus while black people take turns beating them with the smirking driver not reporting it. Attempts like that were too common for me until I learned kickboxing and paranoid vigilance, esp wide turns around corners. Still had to dodge fights due to rule white people can’t be allowed to win against black people either at all or too much. Varied. My friends and brothers who went to other black schools endured the same where just bending over a water fountain could be too much vulnerability. I avoided bathroom stalls, too, after seeing what that led to.

                                                                                            I also got to be a man in places run by women who favored women. Essentially, whoever stayed in their good graces talking about what they talked about, being an insider, laughing at anti-male jokes, and so on had more privileges in those places. That would benefit grades, get more work hours, increase odds of promotion, even get some guys laid with those opposing sexism shamed. Unlike women on average, it’s been a while since I dealt with that but happening again in my current company. Highly-political, card-playing woman took over a specific department I was almost transfered to. After exit-interviewing her ex-employees, I blocked transfer fast before expected changes happened: she hired mostly black folks like her (esp exploitable youth), promoted only the older black women exactly like her kissing up instead of mix of races/genders who outperformed them, and politics over performance further destroyed that departments’ numbers with them saying nonsense about why. Current team is good with mix of straight/gay/lesbian, white/black, and liberal/moderate/redneck. Usually fun, interesting group with occasional in-fighting due to differences all apologize for after.

                                                                                            That covers structural racism and sexism which the type of politics I fight denies even exists for whites or men despite supporting data. We get no help. What about “neo-reacitonary?” Well, I am an outspoken liberal and Union man who defends decent Muslims and calls out police corruption on the side in the rural South deep in Trump, meth, and capitalist country. Interesting enough, one insult they fling at me here is probable Hillary supporter while people I argue with on liberal forums assume I’m a right-winger. Biases… Being outspoken in rural spots led me to have to negotiate with people intent on beating or killing me right there if I got too many words wrong. Rare people but non-passive outsiders will run into them. Most online “activists” on social media talk about threats which I find are folks talking shit online or with prank calls that don’t on these issues result in hospitalizations or anything almost ever. Just irritating trolling by jerks shielded by anonymity. Pales in comparison to what even a trip for groceries can cost a white person in impoverished areas in or around Memphis, TN. The First 48 was banned from there over too much stuff to cover. Some police are gang members, too, so gotta act in a way to reduce risk of their attention.

                                                                                            Since you admitted it, you might have privilege of growing up as or hanging with white people that didn’t face racism, sexism, or drug heads’ threats on regular basis. Lot of us in poor areas, minority-controlled areas, areas of opposing politics, isolated areas… these are some where many say they have similar experiences to me. We find it strange people “speaking for oppressed” as they might say ignore existence of probably millions of us due to skin color or gender. Especially rural whites given their high rates of both drug addiction and suicide, too. My friends and family have had to fight those.

                                                                                            Alright, what about someone like Sophie or I who are concerned with environments where we might be facing racists or sexists that hate our group? Well, I agree with you entirely that it can be reassuring to see someone bringing that up saying it doesn’t happen at a specific location. Going from an all-black school to a mixed school where they didn’t hate us was… it was heaven. We had fun together! Likewise, groups with fair/excellent women or being around civil Southerners who only get X-ist if explicitly talking politics. I’d definitely want to know every place or group where I could avoid groups I mentioned first in favor of others if that was best I could hope for.

                                                                                            That said, remember how it started was exclusively portraying the field based on worst of the worst. I don’t do that. Since we’re at that point, I’ll tell you the violent people I met were single digit percentage of each area, the negative bias was huge, there were coping mechanisms to get me past some of it, there were neutral/decent people, and some were so fair or good they inspired me to be more skilled or tough. If I talk about a field, I try not to throw them under the bus entirely or I take the counterpoint I had coming for screwing up due to emotion winning or whatever. You’ll see that in programming with C or PHP languages where I’m a strong opponent but don’t pretend they’re 100% bad even if many developers do damage. Likewise, following my politics, I’m still getting along with and exchanging tips with specific Lobsters who were strongly opposing me in prior political debates.

                                                                                            So, what she was doing isn’t the only way to respond. It was a weaker, overly-broad, politically-charged claim that got low-value reactions followed by a whole battle that distracted from her main points. She set her post up to fail to quite a degree. I’d have told her to be more fair and accurate since bringing politics in is putting a spotlight and a metaphorical scope on you. The negative responses left over would have to be haters or themselves prioritizing some politics. Easy to dismiss when they have little to no ground to stand on. Those of us in minority positions unfairly have to be careful about our claims since they’ll get more scrutiny and attack.

                                                                                            Since she probably made up her mind, I just mentally deleted it like I trained myself to do when saying something to that person won’t change their views IRL. Focus on good, shrug off perceived bad if not an intentional attack, and go on from there. It’s how we integrate and survive down here in our powder keg of diversity. Works fine, too, with most of us getting along well enough. :)

                                                                                            “These kinds of messages, from “the other side” as it were to those people who might be afraid of what they’ll find when they get there, are super important.”

                                                                                            This I disagree on if they’re aiming to affect policy or law anywhere. I’ve already seen it happen in many places with ultra-liberal universities being good examples. In those, allowing it to go too far without participation shifted power to those groups. Those groups built on their politics and power until they regularly belittle whites or males in various ways. They also try to silence disagreement on political issues saying it’s not about them. Well, if we stand to lose anything (even rep or jobs) by decree, then it is about us and we should at least weigh in. I don’t gripe about the reasonable stuff where each person has a view they can state, chance at the job, etc. I’m usually backing it.

                                                                                        2. 2

                                                                                          I’m sure all the people hit with the bad value hammer will disappear into the ether once you get your (apparently unauthoritarian) way.

                                                                                          1. 1

                                                                                            Your false equivalence, that being intolerant of intolerance and hatred, is also cowardly stated using passive aggressive style, as well as sarcasm. That is, you are acting like a coward, lest I be accused of not speaking my point forcefully enough.

                                                                                            1. 0

                                                                                              I find passive aggressive sarcasm allows for remarkable concision, but whatever. I don’t respect you and your group as the arbiters of good and bad values and all people like you have done is make me care substantially less about being labeled a patriarchal maximalist or whatever you’d like. Many people I know feel similarly. We’re not going to leave the field if you succeed in banning us from the recurse center

                                                                                              1. 0

                                                                                                Hey, have fun hanging out with Nazis, then.

                                                                                                1. 0

                                                                                                  Enjoy weilding whatever power that label still has while it has any at all.

                                                                                                  1. 2

                                                                                                    I don’t want to wield power. I want to not be around assholes. Are you really saying you’d rather hang out with white supremacists and gamergater pigs, than take a stand and say, “Those values are not welcome?” How is this even a question?

                                                                                    2. 12

                                                                                      Great illustration of what she wanted to avoid.

                                                                                      1. 8

                                                                                        I don’t get why people don’t want to talk about this? I don’t necessarily agree with wyager, but this type of discourse is pretty healthy IMO. It’s precisely why I prefer this site to HN, because that comment would surely have been censored by the moderators.

                                                                                        1. 5

                                                                                          It’s also completely off topic in the context, which is about using programming for good, and it’s really obnoxiously phrased to boot. Which does matter.

                                                                                          1. 6

                                                                                            In your opinion it is obnoxious, I didn’t find it so bad, but maybe that is just me.

                                                                                            1. 16

                                                                                              Obnoxious is a bit subjective, but his comment is destructive (as opposed to constructive), and that’s an objective observation.

                                                                                              How dare people discuss controversial and offensive ideas openly?

                                                                                              This is sarcastic and demeaning.

                                                                                              They should be forced underground so those ideas can fester without any external contradiction or moderation.

                                                                                              Sarcastic and a strawman.

                                                                                              And of course people with weird, icky politics should be censored from purely technical events.

                                                                                              Sarcastic and a strawman.

                                                                                              Who knows what kind of whacky fascist programming paradigms they might force on us otherwise?

                                                                                              Sarcastic and a strawman.

                                                                                              Here is a what a more honest, direct version of the post would be:

                                                                                              I think people should be allowed to express controversial and offensive ideas openly. Otherwise, they’re pushed underground where they fester, instead of being brought out into the light where they are exposed to moderation and contradiction.

                                                                                              But that wasn’t the comment we got, and for good reason. The more direct version wouldn’t be posted because it is immediately obvious that it isn’t related to this topic. The response to it might be

                                                                                              The author is just talking about what makes her uncomfortable in most programming community spaces, and why the Recurse center was so valuable for her. She isn’t making an argument or saying you need to feel the same way.

                                                                                              Thus it is clear that the comment, even in a less caustic form, isn’t particularly relevant. I mean, look at the originally quoted snippet in wyager’s post: it’s just a list of facts.

                                                                                              1. 0

                                                                                                “controversial and offensive” is a fluid social contract that changes with audience and context. The big problem is nobody can ever agree on what is controversial and offensive. At the same time people’s nuanced opinions are routinely caricatured as the most extreme version (in both directions, and I’m guilty of it too) then paraded on social media to people with no context.

                                                                                                1. 3

                                                                                                  I try my best to avoid the words controversial and offensive. Constructive and destructive are less weighed down with baggage and relativity (though there is always room for people to mess with words). Constructive moves the conversation forward. Destructive moves it backwards.

                                                                                                  At the same time people’s nuanced opinions are routinely caricatured as the most extreme version […] then paraded on social media.

                                                                                                  Yeah, I’m a bit detached from it since I don’t use Twitter or Facebook, this being a primary reason. It’s a good example of destructive conversation. Nobody ever learns from it, nothing really improves.

                                                                                                2. -5

                                                                                                  I’m very sorry I didn’t use the exact rhetorical style you were hoping for. In the future I will avoid using sarcasm and any other rhetorical technique that you don’t like is “destructive”.

                                                                                                  1. 5

                                                                                                    God forbid you say what you mean.

                                                                                                    Come off it, you know it isn’t about what I happen to prefer. If you don’t know better, then you should.

                                                                                              2. 3

                                                                                                Hm, I suppose it did completely derail this thread

                                                                                            2. 10

                                                                                              I doubt it. She’s making political points in the post instead of just talking about good things at Recurse Center. She’s putting it front and center in people’s minds as they read. Anyone reading it deserves to respond to that. That automatically means a thread might get political. It’s definitely her intention.

                                                                                              Predictably, someone responded to it with thread turning to the tangent. Ive had enough politics for the week, though. So, just pointing out the obvious that statements like hers with accusations against a bunch of programmers or political statements will definitely get a reaction. She couldve got the points across without that but wanted it political.

                                                                                              1. 10

                                                                                                She’s not allowed to talk about politics? She makes a fairly common point: she finds the environment around programming often unpleasant or hostile and she wanted to avoid that. So she did. Many people, including myself, are put off by people who sound like that Google Memo person or worse and try to avoid it. If that makes other people uncomfortable, that’s too bad.

                                                                                                1. 8

                                                                                                  wyager is allowed to counter her politics if she is going to bring it up. It’s not “what she was trying to avoid.” It’s what she or anyone else should expect saying what she did. All Im saying.

                                                                                                  Your initial comment read like one should be able to make negative, political characterizations of programmers with no reply expected.

                                                                                                  1. 10

                                                                                                    I guess for me it’s not who’s “allowed” to “counter” things or not, but is this actually a useful discussion? The comment reads to me as a wordy way of saying “I disagree with your politics”, which, ok, but what does that add? When I read the original post I could already guess some people would disagree, sure. A person doesn’t have to reply to every in-passing comment they disagree with on the internet. It wasn’t even the main point of the post!

                                                                                                    I’ve noticed more discussions here lately being sort of tangential sniping threads. I posted an article a few weeks ago and the entire discussion was a thread about whether people like PDFs. Ok, fine, but I posted a research paper, and the fact that you don’t like PDFs isn’t really on-topic, novel, or interesting. And then there was one last week where someone didn’t like that the title of an article ended with a question mark. I think we could use less of that kind of thing.

                                                                                                    1. 2

                                                                                                      I’ve noticed more discussions here lately being sort of tangential sniping threads. I posted an article a few weeks ago and the entire discussion was a thread about whether people like PDFs.

                                                                                                      I agree with this. It happens in political threads so much I voted against politics in meta. I can’t overemphasize that since, yet again, one disagreement with a political point in a submission created another situation like this. I basically just represent the dissenting side if they’re getting dogpiled or call out double standards when people pretend it’s about logic or civility rather than politics.

                                                                                                      I totally agree, though, about the sniping thing with me preferring some kind of rule against it if not politics in general. Maybe in addition to. It should make for a quality improvement. I’m still fine with tangents, though, so long as they’re adding insight to a discussion like the meta stuff I try to do connecting sub-fields.

                                                                                                    2. 7

                                                                                                      But he didn’t counter her politics, he attacked her. She didn’t call for suppressing anyone’s speech. She simply said she found a certain common mode of speech in tech, a mode I find offensive too, to be unpleasant and wanted to avoid it. There is no sensible way to take issue with that.

                                                                                                      1. 7

                                                                                                        She said this about programming:

                                                                                                        “A lot of bad things in the world have been created by programmers: software for operating drones that bomb civilians, data-mining that violates privacy, companies that “disrupt” by dropping vast amounts of capital in to a market without any intention of building a sustainable business. A lot of bad people love programming: open source thought leaders who harbor deeply racist views, authors of popular databases who discuss their sexist ideas openly, neo-reactionaries leading functional programming conferences. “

                                                                                                        She painted a picture of programming as if it was mostly bad things done by bad people. She painted the picture that people going to thought leaders, doing database work, or getting involved in functional programming were only going to be dealing with the worst. You’d think the profession was one of most horrible ever invented reading that stuff. Don’t ask that she properly qualify that: take her word for it without any of your own comments or reactions. She is attacking most programmers with a programmer, @wyager, reacting to that statement.

                                                                                                        When a man here said something similarly negative about tech industry, several of us countered him pointing out how he was vastly overstating the problem projecting the worst groups onto the average or majority in a way that was unfair to them. Like her, he exclusively considered the bad things and people in tech when judging the field instead of the vast amount of decent or productive things programmers have done many of whom were OK people. We also suggested maybe he avoid the worst if we couldn’t get rid of them since they were ultimately unnecessary to interact with being a drop in the bucket of the many people and resources out there. I don’t remember all these people being there supporting his view shocked anyone disagreed with him. This one was a woman with different set of politics. Let’s see what happened.

                                                                                                        So, wyager responds with a political comment that looks very motivated by emotion lacking qualifiers, consideration to others, or evidence much like Sophie’s. While Sophie’s ad hominem is allowed to stand, you imply his rhetoric shouldn’t be present at all. @jules deconstructs his aiming for purely logical or information content with some strawman which was not done to Sophie’s (or most here with similar viewpoints). @mjn said it was not adding anything new which was true about Sophie’s (or most here with similar viewpoints). These replies are exclusively given to people whose politics each person disagrees with but not people doing same things whose politics each agrees with. They’re held to a lesser standard. So, rather than it being what it appears, these comments aren’t really about addressing civility, information vs rhetorical content, and so on. You all mostly ignore those attributes for comments supporting your type of views while downvoting for opposite naturally leads to dominance of your side in those threads. As in, it’s political maneuvering by folks of one type of views against another rather than quality assurance with any consistency.

                                                                                                        Here’s a few where those writing thought wyager and others disagreeing were supposed to nod saying it makes sense with what happens next being too ironic and obvious:

                                                                                                        “How dare women suggest tech and especially programming is a potentially hostile environment one might not want to enter!” (fwg) (my emphasis added)

                                                                                                        “But one group actually gets to say racist, sexist, discriminatory stuff and remain in charge. The other can hardly speak on panels and post on their blogs without the whole world jumping down their throats.” (jules) (emphasis added)

                                                                                                        “I’m not allowed to respond about politics?” (wyager)

                                                                                                        “I missed the part where anyone asked for you to be deprived of that right.” (vyodaiken)

                                                                                                        You must have missed yourself and the others basically telling him to shut up, the downvotes adding up by a vocal minority, and wyager’s thread collapsing into oblivion where it isn’t seen unless we expand it. Quite unlike most low-info-content, political comments here that are in favor of view’s like Sophie’s not disappearing. Doesn’t look like Sophie or other women with her views would be facing the “hostile environment” with “censorship” and people “deprived” of the right to speak. That contrived scenario is instead what people that agree with her were doing to others who express themselves in a similarly low-evidence, rhetorical way like Sophie or some of their crowd, but with different views. Some of these talk about how everyone is out to get people on their side of spectrum in the same thread where they disappear their opponents’ claims. As opposed to just disagreeing or discussing. Then, they defend the low-quality, repetitive, rhetorical statements of people like Sophie on the same threads since they agree with their views.

                                                                                                        Gotta love politically-motivated double standards for discourse that exclusively benefit one side. Also, people talking about how folks on their side have a lot to worry about as sub-threads their opponents make sink and disappear with some clicks. That’s just too rich in reality distortion.

                                                                                                        1. 6

                                                                                                          She painted a picture of programming as if it was mostly bad things done by bad people . . . You’d think the profession was one of most horrible ever invented reading that stuff.

                                                                                                          This is not a reasonable conclusion to draw from the passage you quoted.

                                                                                                          1. 6

                                                                                                            You are completely inverting what is happening. Sophie Haskins wrote her opinion. A lot of people here are apparently very angry and want her to shut up. They position their arguments as if she argued for censorship which is a lie and are attempting to shout her down. If you disagree with her opinions, you could say: “My experience is that most programmers are nice” or “It doesn’t matter to me if people who have interesting technical ideas are racists” or otherwise - you know - disagree. But you are not doing that. Instead you are offended that she expressed her opinion and are inventing this whole oppressive regime that wants to suppress your opinions. There is a difference between freedom of speech and impunity. If people want to express racist opinions, for example, they don’t have a right to have other people applaud or pass over in silence or even listen to them. This is exactly the issue of the Google Memo. Its author is free to proclaim all sorts of men’s rights and racist claptrap on his own time, but he has no right to either have his coworkers refrain from reacting to it or have his employer decide that offensive speech in the workplace is ok. The toxic atmosphere of many tech forums is a reality. You should make an effort to understand what Sophie Haskins actually wrote instead of leading a Crusade for the right to be socially acceptable while denigrating others.

                                                                                                            1. 2

                                                                                                              “You are completely inverting what is happening. Sophie Haskins wrote her opinion.”

                                                                                                              Her opinion did not happen in isolation. You yourself mentioned that along with some other people. She is part of a group of people that are concerned with and speaking out about bad actors in tech. That’s all I’m certain about right now. Instead of being fair as you expect of me, she paints an exclusively-negative picture of tech’s contributions and the kind of people in it. As she wonders/worries aloud, what she describes is pretty far from reality of a diverse field with all kinds of people in it that mostly don’t do horrible stuff. Majority just support businesses that provide some value to consumers in the economy. Many are also volunteers in FOSS on code or communities. Many other writers whose work was submitted, including about every woman, had a more balanced view in their writing. The exceptions were those all-in on a specific brand of politics that frames tech in terms of race and gender. She writes more like them.

                                                                                                              “Instead you are offended”

                                                                                                              I’m neither offended, nor did I reply to her. I countered you, not her. I discussed other things as people brought them up. People like her trash-talking whole fields is something people do all the time in many ways. I don’t get offended so much as roll my eyes just to maintain peace of mind if nothing else. Whereas, people expecting nobody to reply to or counter a false, negative claim does concern me. That’s allowing one side to discuss but suppressing another in a place where that can define community norms. I often get involved when that happens. All I was doing initially before other claims appeared.

                                                                                                              Now, you’re talking about racism, denigration, etc that we shouldn’t tolerate. The first to do that was Sophie in her unfair characterization of the field. If you think that’s unfair perception, then you can test if that kind of comment is acceptable to people with opposing views in this thread by going to any forum where they’re dominant submitting this version of Sophie’s claims: a white male is concerned about about going to a workplace, conference, or CompSci courses at specific colleges because “there are some bad programmers” who “hate men” behind filesystem development, “hate whites” organizating at major colleges, and support “radical views” leading community teams of major projects. Each of these people exist in the field with groups of people backing them who will shout down or eject opponents within their area of influence. So, the person you’ll ghost-write as is a non-radical, friendly, white male who is concerned about getting into programming should they run into those people they’ve read about. They just worded it like Sophie did in their context.

                                                                                                              What do you think would happen? We can guess based on prior replies to claims like that. Detractors would show up in large numbers immediately citing evidence showing most people aren’t like what he worries about. They’d say he shouldn’t denigrate entire groups like women or non-whites based on behavior of a small amount. Some would say racism against whites or sexist against men are impossible based on their redefinitions of those words that make it maybe impossible. Others would say it’s unrealistic worrying to point he should know better or even distracts from “real” problems (i.e. their worries). Probably some evil, political intent since only a X-ist would say it. If he said that wasn’t his intention, they’d force him to be clear on a version they were cool with. They’d tell him he should phrase his writing more appropriately so others who are different feel safe in that space. That he must think in terms of how people might read that. The person would be dismissed as a racist, sexist idiot as they dogpiled him like many others have.

                                                                                                              When this woman did it, we’re supposed to assume the best with no concerns about larger implications of what she’s saying in terms of what’s in her head or perception of what she writes. Countering it on just incorrectness like we’d do anything else is now not just dismissing bad ideas or statements: it’s “toxic behavior” that needs to be stamped out. Nah, someone said some political BS on the Internet with disagreement of various quality following. Something we do for any kind of claim here. She doesn’t deserve special treatment or defense of her poor arguments/methods any more than a male does.

                                                                                                              To males, you usually have quick, small rebuttals of ideas you disagree with (esp on tech) where you didn’t do a full exploration of everything they might be thinking before you countered. It’s pretty clear you do a quick take on what they might mean, compare it to your own beliefs, and fire an efficient response. Most people do that most of the time I’d guess. You’re doing the opposite here. Whereas, I’m treating her equally to anyone else by protecting dissent and countering her overly-negative claims like I already did to a man who did the same thing before. Like I’ve done to a lot of people’s claims here and everywhere else. Clearly a political bias in action on other side if expecting her claims to get a level of acceptance or no critique that’s not expected of men here or for other topics. I say they all get treated the same from agreement to critiques or we don’t discuss that stuff at all.

                                                                                                              I’ve said enough for this part of this thread as both our views are plenty clear.

                                                                                                            2. 2

                                                                                                              She painted a picture of programming as if it was mostly bad things done by bad people. She painted the picture that people going to thought leaders, doing database work, or getting involved in functional programming were only going to be dealing with the worst. You’d think the profession was one of most horrible ever invented reading that stuff. Don’t ask that she properly qualify that: take her word for it without any of your own comments or reactions. She is attacking most programmers with a programmer,

                                                                                                              This conclusion is bonkers.

                                                                                                        2. 2

                                                                                                          She’s not allowed to talk about politics?

                                                                                                          I’m not allowed to respond about politics?

                                                                                                          1. 3

                                                                                                            I missed the part where anyone asked for you to be deprived of that right.

                                                                                                        3. 2

                                                                                                          I doubt it. She’s making political points in the post instead of just talking about good things at Recurse Center. She’s putting it front and center in people’s minds as they read.

                                                                                                          Those “political points” are some of the more important “good things” about the Recurse Center.

                                                                                                        4. -5

                                                                                                          is there a latin phrase for “does your mom know you’re gay?”

                                                                                                      1. 14

                                                                                                        I’m shocked that 1) they didn’t anticipate $1 donors getting angry at this change 2) the change wasn’t telegraphed ahead of time. How can a company change such a fundamental part of their business like this? I worry that their VC-funded business is going to result in all sorts of shenanigans once they have to start showing 10x returns on venture capital.

                                                                                                        1. 10

                                                                                                          Yup, my thoughts exactly. I’d like to see a co-op model where creators have control over company decisions and share in the profits.

                                                                                                          1. 3

                                                                                                            Yes! Something like the way Vanguard is structured. It’s a workable model for a company that commits to it.

                                                                                                          2. 10

                                                                                                            Wow, I had no idea Patreon was VC-funded. Talk about an oxymoron.

                                                                                                            1. 7

                                                                                                              It’s why I recommended against it. A lean nonprofit is best for that kind of thing.

                                                                                                          1. 1

                                                                                                            Is it realistic to build a phone and software with that money? Many have failed with more resources

                                                                                                            1. 4

                                                                                                              They have built laptops with much less crowdfunded, so there’s a reasonable chance that they will ship the Librem 5 too. I imagine crowd funding is not the only source of money in their budget (they did spend a year and a half on research prior to launching the campaign, after all).

                                                                                                              1. 2

                                                                                                                Yeah, something definitely isn’t adding up. The $4M and $8M stretch goals seem like snakeoil too.

                                                                                                                1. 2

                                                                                                                  I should say it should be possible, for the reasons Algernon put forth. For reference, these were the targets of previous Fairphone crowdfunders, which both succesfully reached production and had follow-up batches made. They also both included a degree of OS development (Android customization) – Fairphone OS’s home screen / launcher is still the nicest I have used to date, and not just because it’s Google-free.

                                                                                                                  • 2012 (Fairphone 1): 1.5 million € (5000 pre-orders at 325 € each). Selling 5000 phones was enough for them to start producing their first batch of 20 000 phones.
                                                                                                                  • 2015 (Fairphone 2): 7.9 million € (15000 pre-orders at 529 € each). Not sure what the production batch size was. Cost breakdown.

                                                                                                                  (Edits: formatting)

                                                                                                                  1. 0

                                                                                                                    It depends. Will they have a brick with a capacitive touch screen and some modems in it, that runs on battery power? Almost certainly yes. Will it be something that anybody wants (for some reasonable definition of “anybody”)? Almost certainly not.

                                                                                                                  1. 4

                                                                                                                    “In addition, Pytorch is quickly developing popularity amongst top AI researchers. Torch users, although nursing RSI injuries from writing Lua code to perform simple string operations, simply aren’t deserting in droves to Tensorflow – they are switching to Pytorch.”

                                                                                                                    Needs citation.

                                                                                                                    1. 4

                                                                                                                      I don’t know anything about the second, but I can confirm that PyTorch is quickly developing popularity within the AI research community, especially in NLP.

                                                                                                                      source: I work at an AI research institute

                                                                                                                      1. 1

                                                                                                                        I can also confirm. I’m a grad student studying ML and my group is switching to PyTorch. Plus, I’m recommending it to people I meet, something I didn’t do with Tensorflow.

                                                                                                                      2. 1

                                                                                                                        Here’s a citation. The CAT bytecode operation and table.concat are JIT compiled in LuaJIT 2.1, which is the version Torch uses by default.

                                                                                                                        So, either these people are using a 2+ year old version of LuaJIT, or their code is bad.