1. 2

    Hilarious that they’ve just… Decided… That Word and Excel are three One True Way for text and cell editors to work.

    Nah.

    1. 4

      This is a very programmer thing to say.

      1. 1

        Yep! Because innovation in interface design is bad, and doing whatever Microsoft does is good. Got it.

        1. 2

          What FLOSS products are innovating in interface design, compared to Microsoft? I’m genuinely interested and curious.

          From personal experience, I’m continually impressed with how well the (now quite aged) ribbon design metaphor works.

          (edit to soften wording)

          1. 2

            Well, the most popular design for in-browser editing, as far as I know, is still the kind popularized by PhpBB in the aughties, with a big text-box with a single or double toolbar full of icons for various features (bold, link, etc) either above or below the text box. Even just the use of this metaphor in Google Mail is likely sufficient to place it in the most popular category, and it’s used in many other places as well. This is not how Word lays out its controls anymore, as you mention.

            Wordpress, an extremely popular free software product, includes a WYSIWYG text editor as a primary user-facing feature. It has a pretty innovative interface that works very well for its niche. It used to have an interface like the one I described above, which it replaced in the most recent major version revision.

            Wikipedia’s WYSIWYG editor is not very Word-like, in my opinion.

            1. 1

              Thanks for clarifying and expanding.

              I found this series of Word screenshots (warning, Windows fan-site, so very ad-heavy!):

              https://www.thewindowsclub.com/history-evolution-microsoft-office-software

              As can be seen, up until the Ribbon era (Office 2007), there were buttons and icons for bold, italic, indent, etc.

              This still lives on in MS Teams to this day.

              Anyway, my point (which I didn’t make very well), is that Office is way more than just the interface. If I create an Excel file and save it, it appears in the “recent files” list in Outlook’s “attach file” dialog.

              Office has decent mobile clients.

              Office as pretty damn good keyboard affordance - hit “Alt” and each menu item is labeled with a 1 to 2 character shortcut, which can be used to apply the effect of any button in the ribbon to a document or spreadsheet.

              As promised back in Microserfs, I can copy a spreadsheet from Excel and paste it into OneNote.

              Each “page” I create in OneNote is transparently saved to the cloud (Word and Excel, bizarelly, still have to be explicitely saved).

              And so on. Replicating this, let alone improving on it, is a Herculean task.

              1. 1

                But we’re discussing UI paradigms, not actual functionality. Yes, Office is more than just the interface - literally every program is - but that’s not what was on the list.

                1. 1

                  You’re right, my brain tends to run away from me sometimes.

                  As a final statement on my part, I’d argue that the ribbon interface was a huge usability step forward for complex software suites like Office. But I also know it was maybe only fully implemented there, and with a big backlash from users, and it does not seem to have had any further development.

                  Thanks for the discussion!

      2. 2

        Users value familiarity.

        1. 2

          It’s more than familiarity. Millions of business processes in place today involve Excel or Word. Just this week I’ve had two support issues for our product regarding exporting data to Excel.

          1. 1

            Proprietary and poorly specified formats invented with the sole purpose of killing off open alternatives are common, so we should stick with them. Makes perfect sense. ;)

            1. 1

              Word and Excel’s popularity are despite their formats, not because of them.

              Besides, your strawman chronology is wrong.

              […] in 1983, Microsoft chose to use the DOC extension for their proprietary Microsoft Word format.[1]

              I challenge you do find any viable alternative open format that’s from the mid- to late 1980s (plain text and TeX/LaTeX doesn’t count).

              [1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doc_(computing)

              1. 1

                I’ve been talking about their current format, OOXML. Sorry for the confusion.

                And I’m going to disagree regardless. For an average user, someone who just wants to open and edit documents, not use macros or some unique functionality or anything, handling of the MS formats was the biggest obstacle for migrating away from MS Office.

                1. 1

                  Thanks for clarifying.

                  I do concede and agree that MS formats provide lock-in. I don’t think that this was their primary function, however. MS formats are what they are because they make MS goals of providing new features, as well as preserving old ones, slightly easier.

                  MS quasi-monopoly is both a blessing, and a curse. It’s a blessing because it’s almost guaranteed revenue, a curse because every change (even vital ones) can be vetoed by a customer, who has, after all, paid for this stuff.

                  1. 1

                    Vetoed by a customer? I wonder why people who bought ForeFront before they went from actively marketing it to suddenly declaring its EOL didn’t veto its EOL.

                    1. 1

                      I’m talking customers like GM or Walmart…

                      But yeah, another thing MS has against them is that they keep releasing products and APIs and frameworks, then abandoning them. Silverlight, anyone?

                      1. 1

                        The opening sections of this article (submitted here) explain what I’m getting at in a much better way!

        1. 5

          If this isn’t off topic as politics, I’m not sure what is.

          1. 2

            eh yah you’re right

          1. 3

            Are there any alternative clients without Javascript?

            1. 3

              It seems like this is just an email client, so you could presumably use any email client?

              1. 2

                Yes, this is the whole point. It’s an e-mail client that has UI affordances for instant messaging.

            1. 4

              Readjusting my sleep schedule so I can wake up at 0630 reliably, and digging back into school after getting back from Rust Belt Rust!

              1. 5

                For those of us writing Rust, is a plain Cargo package okay?

                1. 6

                  Yes! For FreeBSD, at least - we can package these very very easily, the Ports framework has a command for adding all the crates from the cargo lockfile :)

                  Though if you want to go beyond just an executable and ship a whole desktop app with resources and stuff, check out what Fractal does with Meson and cargo vendor.

                  1. 2

                    That’s awesome!

                    I just released a potentially useful tool at https://git.nora.codes/nora/utf8-norm ; where should I go to get it looked at for inclusion?

                    Also, thanks for the info re: desktop apps. I’ll look into that for gDiceRoller.

                    1. 2

                      Someone who’s interested in writing and maintaining the port needs to post it to bugzilla. As for how you get someone interested if you’re not going to be the maintainer yourself… I’m not aware of a formal place for “someone please package this” requests. Usually maintainers find interesting stuff themselves (by browsing this website or the orange one, for example).

                      1. 1

                        Totally makes sense. If I ever manage to actually get a daily driver FreeBSD system going, I’ll definitely submit and maintain some stuff. Until then I don’t feel super good about committing to maintain ports I can’t test in daily use.

                1. 8

                  Attending Rust Belt Rust. It’s going great!

                  1. 1

                    Hey, I’m here too!

                    1. 1

                      Awesome! Hope you’re enjoying yourself :)

                  1. 6

                    I had no idea that YubiKeys could store SSH and GPG keys. Currently, my whole digital identity can be trivially bootstrapped from my SSH key and my GPG key:

                    1. Install SSH and GPG keys
                    2. Use SSH to clone my pass database from git.nora.codes
                    3. Use GPG to decrypt any password from my pass database
                    4. Use GPG + a symmetric key derived from a passphrase I have memorized to get all my financial information

                    It would be really nice to back these with a hardware store.

                    1. 3

                      They only store gpg keys (as a smartcard), but the gpg-agent tool can use gpg keys for ssh (as a drop in replacement for the ssh-agent tool).

                      You can use gpg-agent to use any gpg key as an ssh key, not just a smartcard one.

                      1. 2

                        A great guide to setting up GPG and ssh with a Yubikey can be found here. I found it very helpful.

                        1. 2

                          Ah, understood. Very cool!

                          1. 2

                            You may also want to look at pivy which allows SSH key and other signing use of Yubikeys and smart cards without the GPG business!

                      1. 1

                        Reposting this, because a. my old website is gone, so the link is broken, and b. it’s relevant to the discussion of “GUI-less” development I posted earlier.

                        1. 1

                          I think this is interesting both because it discusses an interesting piece of hardware (the Tomu) and because it reveals just how different embedded C development is from, e.g., desktop app or web app development for people who have never done it before. I started my programming journey with embedded C and Lua, but a lot of people didn’t, and I think it’s interesting to think about the effect that working in a constrained, difficult to deploy to embedded environment has on the way one thinks about programming and engineering in general.

                          1. 16

                            Am I misunderstanding, or is this quote:

                            unless you’re a doctor, or a neuroscience researcher, or a bigot (but I repeat myself).

                            saying doctors and neuroscience researchers are bigots? Not commenting on the topic, but just double checking my reading comprehension.

                            1. 7

                              Trans people want to be able to determine their gender themselves, which contradicts the medical view that it is biologically given. Of course trans people hate doctors, and doctors are confused with how to deal with trans people.

                              I consider the medical knowledge quite accurate in describing the things as they are, and i consider the view of transgender people as accurate in describing how they feel.

                              1. 13

                                I think this is a little bit too simplistic. The problem is really that trans people (in my experience) tend to be afraid that doctors will deny necessary medical treatment (hormone therapy, mostly) and the letters that many governments require to “prove” that someone is “really trans”, and that doctors tend to be dismissive of women and trans people regarding totally unrelated medical problems - especially pain. (Off the to of my head: The Atlantic reported on this.)

                                I consider the medical knowledge quite accurate in describing the things as they are, and i consider the view of transgender people as accurate in describing how they feel.

                                Whoof. I’d appreciate a clarification on this because I really want to engage with this in a useful way, but it sure does read as “Trans people think they’re X but doctors (and I) know they’re really Y.”

                                1. 6

                                  [Update: I agree that dealing with the medical system is a PITA]

                                  What else is body dysphoria if not the discrepancy of what you observe yourself to be and what you feel you are?

                                  I intentionally mirrored the phrasing of both parts to show that they are equally valid, even if they are incompatible to some extent. Science is the tool, our well-being the means.

                                  1. 1

                                    Ah, that makes sense, I see. A deft prosaic move I entirely missed. Clearly I need some coffee :)

                                  2. 2

                                    Alternatively, why is it suddenly wrong for health care professionals to really evaluate people carefully before prescribing drugs? I really feel like we overprescribe things like anti-depressants and ADHD medication and that should really concern people.

                                    What is so wrong with simply offering the option of therapy to help someone be okay with their biological gender? They can also offer the option to transition, but both should be equal options. I realize some may equivocate that with “pray the gay away” type therapy for those not wishing to be homosexuals, but what if it’s not?

                                    Gender dysphoria is treated in radically different ways to other types of dysphoria. We don’t suggest people with Body Integrity Disorder amputate their arms and limbs as the first means of treatment. We don’t accept people with anorexia as being healthy in their view of the world/themselves. Both of these types of dysphoria deals with the metaphysical dissonance from one’s self reflective empirical view of the world to an outside classification based view of the world. Yet for gender dysphoria, why is it okay to offer treatment that helps an individual conform to the outwards portrayal of a given empirical classification?

                                    1. 11

                                      Actually, people suffering from ADHD are notoriously under prescribed due to this myth. I went 25 years without medication due to the ADHD medication panic. Do you know how many opportunities passed me by in those 25 years? These “careful evaluations” are mass hysteria nanny state garbage. Doctors and patients do not need an arbitrary set of hurdles set by an uninformed public for with diagnosing and treating individuals. Imagine if you needed to go through physical therapy before getting a cast for your broken arm. The doctor says, all modern research shows that it would actually be better for you to get the cast before physical therapy but some lawmaker decided that was illegal, so you’ll have to go to therapy. Good luck getting someone with ADHD to follow treatment instructions without medication.

                                      1. 4

                                        Anorexia and “gender dysphoria” are nothing alike.

                                        Try living close to two people who have or have had these conditions and you’d appreciate that.

                                        Both people have received treatment according to modern medical and scientific consensus, and luckily not from the op-ed pages of Quillette.

                                        1. 3

                                          I mean, that’s anecdotal. I have actually had close friends in both of those camps and I think there are similarities, but my experience is also anecdotal (and by definition empirical).

                                          Here’s an opinion from a woman who thinks there’s similarities who has anorexia:

                                          https://thefederalist.com/2016/06/27/why-is-transgender-an-identity-but-anorexia-a-disorder/

                                          I think her views are worth reading, but that’s not hard data. What this post is about is data science. To get hard data, you have to make classifications, and look at what you pull back, and see if there is a close enough R value to have a correlation, and even then you might not have causation. That’s a whole different level of introspection.

                                          The trouble is it’s getting increasingly difficult to even do the research. If we can only identify someone by their self-identifcation of gender and not their biological sex because that’s bigoted, we don’t even get accurate data to show, “For thing x, there is no difference between a trans woman and a cis woman” or “For thing y, there is a huge difference between a trans woman and a cis woman.”

                                          When people get so angry and just keep throwing up anecdotes and restrictions instead of larger data sets and controls, and research, we’re not going to be able to get real meaningful data. And as scientists and engineers, we should value that hard data, no matter what uncomfortable truths it might reveal.

                                          1. 5

                                            You’re comparing the current body of suggested treatment against anecdotal evidence, don’t you wonder if that’s not at least a little indicative of the frailty of your argument? For the record, anorexia kills when they embody their desired presentation, being trans does not. Anorexia inherently is incapable of being resolved through allowing them to present themselves the way they desire, because doing so kills them. You can’t meaningfully compare that to someone who can live a happy life after treatment. Furthermore, therapy isn’t going to do diddly for a lot of these issues in the same way that you probably would have a great deal of trouble convincing yourself tomorrow that you’re the opposite gender you are. If it’s surprisingly easy for you, congratulations you may be genderfluid, and that’s cool, but most people aren’t. Most people go through progressive rounds of trying things, seeing if that level of treatment works for them. They try HRT, which works for many. Then they try non-surgical cosmetic modifications. etc, etc.

                                            1. 5

                                              The Federalist has its own agenda when it comes to transgender issues: https://thefederalist.com/?s=transgender

                                              The mystical doctrines of transgenderism exemplify modern self-worship, in which the human replaces the divine dictates of revealed religion as the source of meaning. source

                                              It’s not a publication that’s a friend of science.

                                              The trouble is it’s getting increasingly difficult to even do the research.

                                              Citation most definitely needed. How can a (relatively) broader acceptance in Western society of LGBTQ+ people and issues cause less research to be performed?

                                    2. 4

                                      I stumbled over the same sentence, and had to re-read it a few times. I thought it was unnecessary and detracted from the piece, tbh

                                      1. 8

                                        A lot of trans people experience a lot of ignorance and discrimination from medical personnel, especially doctors. In my experience this tends to stem from doctors thinking that they know more about people’s own gender and self-image than those people, and using their position as gatekeepers of things like legal gender changes and hormones to force trans people to conform to their often narrow definitions of transgender.

                                        Obviously not all doctors are bigots, but they do have a… reputation.

                                        1. 10

                                          not all doctors are bigots, but they do have a… reputation.

                                          Of all people, I would think that trans women would be the least likely to engage in this kind of callous generalization. Why do you do that?

                                          1. 9

                                            Safety. The less I interact with new doctors, the less likely I am to have bad things happen to me regarding my prescriptions, etc. Same thing with therapists, and not just for trans people; lots of people, though mostly women, have the experience of having to search for a doctor or therapist who will take them seriously. It’s actually a pretty well documented phenomenon, and there have been several studies showing that marginalized people (women, trans people, people of color, and of course people at the intersections of those identities) are taken less seriously by medicine.

                                            1. -1

                                              Oh no, it makes sense. The biological model of gender is supported by massive amount of physical evidence which the doctors were educated in and see in their patients everyday. The new ideas of gender identity originated in far-left colleges with basically no hard evidence backing them: just psychological studies (“soft science”) of what trans people believe about themselves and tell them. There’s some neurological studies showing mixed results. Even they suggest their brain works differently while the rest of them is the biological gender.

                                              So, it makes sense that most doctors trained on and seeing confirmation of the biological model of gender would reject trans identity claims in favor of biological model. That’s the scientific thing to do until there’s more evidence of the new claims than the old claims. Unlike at some universities, the P.C. folks can’t just shout down and eject the doctors. Not yet anyway.

                                              1. 24

                                                The new ideas of gender identity originated in far-left colleges

                                                New compared to what? I mean, this stuff was considered radical and new in the 1920s (it’s literally what the Nazis used for their book-burnings).

                                                As to mechanism - it is definitely not solved and I’m not even aware of any good evidence-based theories.

                                                It is, however very well-established:

                                                • That gender dysphoria (the distressing belief that your body is Wrong) is real
                                                • Strongly correlated with suicide (41% of sufferers attempt it vs 1.6% of general pop - yeah, the study is from a gender studies school, but who else is going to look into it?)

                                                It’s less strongly established (but there’s good evidence for):

                                                • Suicide risk is markedly reduced among those who can ‘pass’
                                                • Surgery makes it much, much easier to pass
                                                • Obtaining surgery (or any other treatment) requires you to fit a set of diagnostic criteria. Evaluating these criteria takes 3+ years in many jurisdictions, with no guarantee of success.

                                                Many - many - people with a plausible belief that treatment would help them get denied because they don’t meet the precise diagnostic criteria. Getting that news after 3 years of fighting for it is a pretty serious blow.

                                                As a result, they are pretty angry, on the whole, at doctors who do not bend over backwards to fit them into the diagnostic criteria, because they believe (correctly, IMO) that the criteria are both too narrow and require excessive investigation (one year being seen as more reasonable than three).

                                                1. 8

                                                  I want to add that queer activism is probably compensating/self-dealing behavior for people with gender dysphoria, and is probably not representative of transgender people in general.

                                                  Anecdotal: Asperger/Autism, depersonalisation and self-harm also seem quite common for trans people.

                                                  1. 9

                                                    Can I ask what you mean by “queer activism?” I mean… yeah, people who have gender dysphoria often want to alleviate that dysphoria, and in our current society that requires being an activist, at least in the small (advocating for yourself with your doctor, not going to stores/working at companies with transmisic policies, etc.)

                                                    1. 5

                                                      Some people are really obsessed with queer and identity politics, so much that their entire existence revolves around being trans, non-binary or ally. I call them activists.

                                                      And then there are people that just used to have a different gender at birth and are now living a life as the gender they wished for.

                                                      There is a clear line - the second category does not like to be called ‘trans’, they are ‘girls’ or ‘boys’. The non-activist queer person is the one who is just neither a ‘girl’ girl nor a ‘boy’ boy. They defeat the gender binary without defining themselves as queer.

                                                      1. 8

                                                        I see what you mean, but I think it’s a little more complicated than that, for a lot of people.

                                                        I’m a woman, definitively so, and I actually pass as cis most of the time, but I do like people to know that I’m trans sometimes, especially people like nickpsecurity, because it upends their idea of what a trans person is. I also have experiences that some women, mostly cis women but also trans women who were able to block their first puberty and start hormones at the socially appropriate time, don’t have, and identifying as “trans” is a nice way to get into groups with people who share and can understand my experiences.

                                                        In any case, I’m realizing that this whole thread is pretty far off topic. Thanks for humouring me and clarifying your posts!

                                                        1. 5

                                                          I’ve been reading everything in what little time I had. I’m mostly holding off on replying to this thread until I have some sleep or not at all until I contemplate the highly-insightful replies I got. I should mention…

                                                          “but I do like people to know that I’m trans sometimes, especially people like nickpsecurity, because it upends their idea of what a trans person is”

                                                          …that I figured you were a trans woman after a few comments. @cadey, too. There’s a difference between how you all speak and write versus most of the thousands of biological women I’ve known. I’m not saying it’s in any way highly accurate. My intuition has almost exclusively been exposed to trans women who are tech geeks on Lobsters: the only place I run into trans people on the regular (that I know of). There’s definitely a difference that some part of my mind saw which captivated me further to read each of your posts. That’s on top of the fact that you were smart, thoughtful people whose comments demanded my attention regardless of source.

                                                          That said, the quote is still correct in that I’m learning about you all. How I learn takes exposure and real conversations with people to get through all the biases and cultural BS. The South, maybe the world in general, is too hateful on trans people for me to do that. They react with instant withdrawing or combat likely assuming I’m like the worse folks they encounter. I do appreciate the replies from trans folks on Lobsters who have very much broadened my understanding of things. Also, quite a few have set a hell of an example for how to do this vs others I’ve met. @Irene especially comes to mind as she was one half of what set that in motion in my head.

                                                          All I’ll say for now. Too sleepy from work to do much more than this off top of my sleepy head comment. Hope yall have a good night. :)

                                                          1. 5

                                                            How I learn takes exposure and real conversations with people to get through all the biases and cultural BS. The South, maybe the world in general, is too hateful on trans people for me to do that. They react with instant withdrawing or combat likely assuming I’m like the worse folks they encounter. I do appreciate the replies from trans folks on Lobsters who have very much broadened my understanding of things. Also, quite a few have set a hell of an example for how to do this vs others I’ve met. @Irene especially comes to mind as she was one half of what set that in motion in my head.

                                                            Thank you for at least trying to learn and be open minded. As a fellow Southerner (I’m a Tarheel!), I definitely agree that there are some real cultural differences. Being trans pushed me towards overcoming a lot of those, but all we can ever do is be willing to learn.

                                                            I’m sorry I judged you too quickly, and I hope we can learn more from each other in the future. I’m also always happy to talk privately about this stuff; especially keeping in mind your comments about cancel culture, it can be easier to learn without an audience.

                                                    2. 6

                                                      I see parallels between modern queer activism and Zionism - in that I can understand what motivates it (their lives are plausibly threatened), and I can’t blame its participants for the conclusions they’ve come to (I’ve not had to find out how far I’d go to protect myself), but I’m still deeply upset by what they are doing.

                                                      1. 16

                                                        I’m still deeply upset by what they are doing.

                                                        Like @NoraCodes said: What is the issue here? My queer activism is centered in things like:

                                                        • I should be able to see my partner in the hospital
                                                        • Everyone should have access to HIV prevention
                                                        • People should be called by the names and pronouns they like
                                                        • You should be able to get hormones, hair treatment, and surgery if it helps you live a fulfilling life
                                                        • I’d like folks to stop yelling “faggot” at me on the street, and I want to buy groceries without people threatening to kill me for being gay.
                                                        • It’d be cool if kids didn’t grow up feeling like they were fundamentally unlovable and worthless because they were queer
                                                        • Let’s… not murder people for their sexuality or gender, ok?
                                                        • You should be able to use the restroom without being assaulted because you didn’t seem masc or femme enough to be there

                                                        I hope these aren’t too upsetting for you.

                                                        1. 2

                                                          Sorry, that was hastily written and needlessly inflammatory.

                                                          I’m referring specifically to cancel culture, especially the outrage-porn-driven variety, and especially especially where it results in online vigilantism.

                                                          One poorly-thought-out tweet gets screenshotted and cross-posted to a bunch of other networks. Within a week, the author is either publicly begging for forgiveness, or unemployed. They can’t use notifications on their phone anymore due to the volume of spam.

                                                          Even in the case where this person genuinely held an offensive view, I don’t think that’s a good outcome.

                                                          The people who are doing this hold a justified belief that lives are at risk, and hold that any amount of collateral damage is acceptable defending themselves.

                                                          1. 3

                                                            A particularly egregious example of this is getting speakers no-platformed from university campuses.

                                                            Universities are perhaps the only place where I really couldn’t support any form of no-platforming.

                                                            They are - literally - a place set aside for sorting bad ideas from good ones.

                                                            1. 2

                                                              Understood; “cancel culture” is a totally different topic and truly completely irrelevant here. Nobody is being cancelled and nobody has threatened to do that. It is not unique to nor synonymous with queer people, activism, or even progressives.

                                                              1. 2

                                                                I’d argue it’s a subtype of ‘activism’ (though agree it’s not limited to progressives or queer peeps).

                                                                Fair point that it’s a method largely orthogonal to the cause. However, it’s harder to argue that it’s not a popular method in queer activism (popular in part, IMO, because the stakes are high enough that the collateral damage is judged acceptable).

                                                                1. 2

                                                                  Understood; “cancel culture” is a totally different topic and truly completely irrelevant here.

                                                                  I’ll note there was an entire meta dedicated to me after one of my run-ins with P.C. culture here. One person, with some upvotes, wanted my entire user tree banned. Seeing mob-like behavior, I stopped inviting folks to avoid reputational or other collateral damage for them. The metas always have people voting in large numbers in that direction or similar paths. We mostly downvote or filter, though, since our moderation strategy does it better than what much of that crowd wants.

                                                                  So, de-platforming is not irrelevant when there’s people actively trying to make it happen. It’s always worth remembering they’re here like they are in many places, esp colleges. I don’t worry about it since I know our admin and mods. I just keep an eye on it while representing the dissenting side who are not present or too worried to speak in as civil way as I can.

                                                            2. 11

                                                              Why? Like, truly, what about me taking estradiol and changing my name is such a huge problem for you?

                                                              1. 2

                                                                At least by my book, that’s living, not activism (see also my response to /u/aphyr).

                                                                1. 4

                                                                  I say this gently, but this is the most cis+heterosexual thing I have read all day.

                                                                  1. 1

                                                                    Fair point to the ‘living is activism’ crowd.

                                                              2. 4

                                                                What do you mean by the term “Zionism”? The original quasi-nationalist ideals of Theodor Herzl, or the modern semi-articulated ideology of the modern Israeli right?

                                                                1. 3

                                                                  Specifically, I mean the combination of two ideas popular around the founding time of Israel (and key to the US fundraising which enabled their defense immediately post-foundation):

                                                                  • That a homeland was the only way to safeguard their lives, and
                                                                  • That any action is morally defensible when protecting your own life.
                                                                  1. 1

                                                                    Are there trans activists advocating (implied) violence in this way?

                                                                    1. 1

                                                                      I know several. Thankfully, none of them are any good at violence (presumably the main reason they stick to advocating it).

                                                                      1. 1

                                                                        Wow. That’s not part of the LGBTQ+ rhetoric here in Sweden at all.

                                                            3. 1

                                                              “New compared to what?”

                                                              That is unclear looking back on it. I’m not talking about existence of trans people, gender dysphoria (well established), etc. Even Ben Shapiro of all people often cites gender dysphoria (“mental illness” in his words) and suicide risk in his arguments against accepting trans identity. They’re just facts that can be used to argue for or against many things.

                                                              Let me try again. I’m talking about the new-ish rule that sex and gender are different. It appears that somewhere from half to a majority of the U.S. believe that your sex is your gender. This was prevalent belief for most of human history. Noting the biological differences was entire reason the gender words/pronouns were invented. These meanings got into lots of systems and institutions people later built.

                                                              Then, the newer thing came along starting in universities that I can tell. Their studies and internal debates led them to redefine gender, male, female, etc to mean entirely different things. Those views started spreading to a lot of other places. Then those with those views wanted everyone, esp general public outside these universities and groups, to similarly redefine the existing words to match the newer meaning. Then, many are surprised and/or outraged that those people continued using the words for the popular beliefs they were actually designed for. They’ll have to convince those people the new meanings are true with evidence that outweighs all their experiences supporting that the biological definition is true. If that can happen, it requires different approach than whatever they did to preach to the choir.

                                                              The other thing I noticed was an inconsistency. Certain words or symbols, esp that were associated with hate, are forever banned from being reused in new situations. The people that advocated that explained to me that the words had a lot of baggage, established meaning, widespread belief, history, etc that came with them. We can’t separate that from the word anymore. So, we have to come up with new words. Then, some of those same people were telling me that we’re redefining gender to mean something entirely different than what hundreds of millions of men and women think it means and how they’ve used it for over a thousand years. Seems inconsistent, even hopeless. So, I advocated new labels, pronouns, or just modifiers to indicate the difference to increase chance of adoption.

                                                              “ because they don’t meet the precise diagnostic criteria”

                                                              I haven’t researched much about the surgeries or their rules. I leave others to decide that stuff since I don’t have an informed opinion on it.

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                                                                Then, the newer thing came along starting in universities that I can tell. Their studies and internal debates led them to redefine gender, male, female, etc to mean entirely different things.

                                                                This series of posts is a good example of why having classes on gender and sexuality can be helpful. Sex and gender have a complex history, and studying a bit of that history can give you an appreciation for your current cultural perspective. For instance, Navajo has at least four (perhaps five) genders, and pre-colonial gender systems throughout the Americas included cultural scripts & roles for people falling outside what you and I might describe as the male/female binary. Some associate healer or shamanic roles with third-gender persons. Some have specific ceremonies for gender transition. Pre-colonial Hawaiians revered gender-non-conforming people as sacred educators. India has a well-known role called “hijra”, for male or intersex people who dress in feminine clothing, as well as “sādhin”, who wear men’s clothing and short hair.

                                                                Indeed, modern queer roles in the US (e.g. “a gay man”, “a transgender woman”, “a non-binary person”), just like normative roles (e.g. “a straight woman”) need to be understood not only as the product of innate identity, but also as a consequence of our culture, which inherited a rigid gender and sexual binary in part from Victorian England. Modern queer roles in the US are controlled by and also subvert that gender system. They’re a product of individual and collective experimentation, friendships, families, bars, media, and yes, liberal (and conservative!) universities, operating in the context of a mainly-heterosexual, mainly binary-gender culture. This is also nothing new: there’s thousands of years of precedent outside the gender and sexual system you’re thinking of as universal and eternal.

                                                                There’s a lot of history I’m eliding here, and this comment is already too long–but hopefully this inspires you to read and learn a bit more!

                                                                TL;DR: sexuality has never been simple.

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                                                                  Preach 🙏

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                                                                  Let me try again. I’m talking about the new-ish rule that sex and gender are different.

                                                                  Again, this is “new-ish” in the sense that it’s a product of anthropologists around the 1920s finding that gender in some societies (that were either newly contacted at that time, or being newly re-studied) didn’t work exactly the same as it did in European society. They wanted to keep sex as an etic category (seen from the outside) while using gender as the emic category (as seen from inside the society). So it’s new if your sense of novelty has a 100 year lag; though I suppose the distinction didn’t make it out of anthropology departments and into the rest of the university until maybe the 60s?

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                                                                    Imagine if non-programmers talked about 100 year old discoveries in computer science as “new-ish”.

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                                                                    This was prevalent belief for most of human history

                                                                    It appears that somewhere from half to a majority of the U.S. believe that your sex is your gender

                                                                    Historically, it’s more-or-less always been true that there’s a minority ‘queer fringe’, who live with varying degrees of acceptance alongside a society which doesn’t really understand them. There’s ~always been a majority belief that your sex is also your social role.

                                                                    The major conflict in the west (unfolding in public for at least 60+ years) is over access (by that minority) to mainstream society - in particular, access to jobs, housing and healthcare. EG Being openly gay used to get you fired and/or evicted, and the government deliberately suppressed info on AIDS treatment because it was a ‘gay person’ disease.

                                                                    The mainstream has accepted some of the larger segments of the queer community. However, the smaller populations (inc trans people) weren’t able to really fight effectively and didn’t win many rights/recognition at that time.

                                                                    Then, the newer thing came along starting in universities that I can tell

                                                                    That’s where it started getting pushed out into public life. I think it’s pretty unlikely that nobody had come up with this idea before - it’s immediately obvious to (for instance) a gay man that they do not fit the gender role assigned to their sex, because chasing women is so closely tied to that role.

                                                                    I think it’s more charitably viewed as ‘people on the sidelines got enough access to make themselves heard’.

                                                                    The other thing I noticed was an inconsistency. Certain words or symbols, esp that were associated with hate, are forever banned from being reused in new situations

                                                                    Agree it’s yuck and weird. That said, if you’re going to get hung up on ‘their side are inconsistent’, there hasn’t been a movement in history to meet your criteria.

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                                                                      This is purely anecdotal, as it’s just my experience on the matter, but what ultimately convinced me to accept the redefinition of gender with respect to sex wasn’t evidence, it was decency. Fundamentally, there’s no particular reason I should take a position on how other people should identify - this goes beyond gender, but that’s a particularly prominent example of the general point. The most effect it has on me is in choosing pronouns, and in my experience most people will be fine with a genuine apology if you make a mistake - even if you make the mistake repeatedly over time, as long as you’re also clearly trying and being respectful.

                                                                      Obviously, a person’s sex is of practical importance in a lot of situations; medical treatment, shopping habits (does this person need access to tampons/menstrual pads?), etc., but most of those situations don’t involve me and I can’t think of a single one that can’t sensibly accommodate a decoupling of gender and sex.

                                                                      So ultimately, for me, it didn’t come down to an evidence-based, rational decision along the lines of “Well, I’ve been convinced this is how the world actually works”. Instead it came down to recognizing that “how the world actually works” is an absurd concept in a fundamentally subjective topic, so what I really ought to do is just accept that people work differently from one another. My only vehicle for understanding others has always been to trust their self-description, so what’s the harm in applying that here? I’ve got no special perspective that gives me authority over who is or is not appropriately described with certain words, so the decent thing to do is to back off and let people be who they are. And I’ve also got no reason to believe that such a perspective is even conceivably possible.

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                                                                        Coming back to this later, I think I didn’t word it as well as I could’ve - it’s really easy to read this as saying that anyone who disagrees with me is not being decent (and I got a -1 troll vote that I hope was because of that instead of some other mistake I haven’t noticed).

                                                                        I used the word “decency” because it’s the best reflection of how I think about my own ethics, and that’s tangential as hell so I’m not going to waste more words talking about it here. The point I wanted to make was that my take on the subject turns out to be orthogonal to evidence-based reasoning - not that I think you have to agree with me to be a good person. You can have a different ethical code that doesn’t lead you to the same conclusions, and that code could be entirely sane.

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                                                                    I want three things from a doctor: the same exact medical care as anyone else, an estradiol scrip, and a letter to change my gender on my passport. All of these things are pretty reasonable.

                                                                    We shouldn’t have gender on passports, because if it’s referring to biological sex it’s not useful for identifying people and if it’s not then it’s… still not really useful for identifying people. I mean, there’s a photo on there, right? Failing that, people shouldn’t demand to see other peoples’ identification before calling them what they ask to be called. I go by Nora in a lot of places, but my ID says “Leonora”. Nobody shits themselves over that, but for some reason when I had an ID that said “M” everybody was all in a tizzy.

                                                                    In any case, it seems pretty reasonable to get such letters so long as they’re needed for people to be respectful.

                                                                    Estradiol should be informed consent, and usually is these days. WPATH and other professional organizations recommend this, and doctors who don’t do it are not really doing a good job. It’s not even expensive; you take a blood test a couple times to make sure your kidney’s aren’t fucked up and then cheap pills that millions of cis women are on anyway. No real personal or social downsides to that one.

                                                                    Regular medical care should be provided to me regardless of my transgender status, but isn’t always (see: trans broken arm syndrome), in much the same way it’s not always provided to women in general, or fat people.

                                                                    The biological model of gender is supported by massive amount of physical evidence which the doctors were educated in and see in their patients everyday. The new ideas of gender identity originated in far-left colleges with basically no hard evidence backing them: just psychological studies (“soft science”) of what trans people believe about themselves and tell them.

                                                                    I’m curious what you mean here. What is the “biological model of gender”? Do you mean the idea that gender and sex are the same thing? Sure, that’s fine, but we still need a word for “the internal understanding of one’s body and the way it relates to society’s gender roles”. Let’s call it foo. I’m transfoo. Foo isn’t the same as sex. Etc.

                                                                    To put it another way: what evidence would convince you that gender is “really” different from sex? It’s an inherently mental, personal, subjective thing, because it (to a much greater degree than sex) is socially constructed. (Meaning, it’s basically just an agreement between a bunch of people about how people should act. You’re saying it should be based on your junk, I’m saying it shouldn’t, and that’s the only point on which we disagree on this topic.)

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                                                                      You’re saying it should be based on your junk,

                                                                      Yes a lot of these people are acting like if they as a man woke up one morning in a woman’s body that they would just magically be okay with it, and wouldn’t even be upset. IIRC not being bothered by what gender you present means you’re gender fluid, and congrats to you people for being gender fluid, most people aren’t.

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                                                                        This is actually an extremely good point. I mean, come on, have these people never watched anime? :P

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                                                                      Exactly. If data scientists want to add a ‘self identified as’ field, they can get a new interesting subset. But they still want the rational physical world for measurements. Could you include people on hormone replacement therapy as a sub-group and look for differences? Absolutely. But it depends on your study and research.

                                                                      I wish it weren’t hateful to simply say, “Transgenderism is an ideology,” because it is. Some trans people are fine with being distinct: Like M2F who identifies as a man transitioning or transitioned to a women. But some want to be the other sex, anonymously without any biological distinction. They have to BE the other, in all ways legally and metaphysically. This is mostly fine and no one has a problem with it… except when it comes to unfairness where biological differences are present: like sports. It also applies to medication that might have different dosages based on male/female biological factors.

                                                                      It can get heated because it is an ideology and challenge to that is a challenge to orthodoxy. I don’t know what the solution is, but transgenderism is very similar to Catholic transubstantiation; a believe about the metaphysical nature of reality. We’ve never been in this boat in terms of equality and it will be interesting to see where people push this in the coming years.

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                                                                        transgenderism is very similar to Catholic transubstantiation; a believe about the metaphysical nature of reality.

                                                                        Oh you are on SUCH a good track here. I’d like to take this point a little further. Gender itself is a metaphysical belief. So is sex.

                                                                        Both sex and gender, as equivalence classes that allow you to categorize all people as one of, say, two types, are broken. They’re fuzzy categories at best, and once you start getting rigorous, you start seeing lots of exceptions. That’s not to say they’re not broadly useful concepts, and they do work for lots of people, but when we’re designing systems that work with sex and gender (for instance, in medicine, or sports!), we should think carefully about what those categories really mean, how they’ll be used, and how they’re going to work for people who don’t fit the boxes neatly.

                                                                        For instance, say you’re trying to code people as male or female based on the “rational physical world” of measurements. Do you take chromosomes? Sure. 46XY is male, 46XX is female. I guess we could call 45X female and 45Y male too. What are 47XXX, 47XYY, and 47XXY? 49XXXXY? Y generally induces testicular development, so maybe any copy of Y codes as male. But if you’ve got androgen insensitivity syndrome, some “standard male” 46XY people will have breasts and labia. And some of those 46XX folks with CAH might look outwardly like men. Which soccer team to do you force these people to play on? Who gets prompted for testicular screenings and pap smears?

                                                                        We haven’t even gotten into chimerism yet. You know some people have multiple genotypes, right?

                                                                        Okay. Let’s back off to genitals. We can measure those, right? If you have testes, you’re male. Unless you’ve had a hysterectomy, or orchiectomy, but you’d know if that happened to you. Well, unless it happened at birth. Turns out that in some cases a doctor guesses, based on some complicated rules and their best judgement, what kind of genitals would be best for you, a newborn infant. Maybe you’re genetically XY, but your penis was small at birth, so they surgically constructed a vagina, removed the testes, slapped an F on the birth certificate, and told your parents you should be raised female. Maybe you never knew about that until getting a gene test in middle age, and then you realized, holy shit, I’ve been male/intersex/trans/etc this whole time. Maybe you’ve got ambiguous genitalia. Maybe you’ve got a vagina, but no uterus, and internal testes instead.

                                                                        These things aren’t THAT rare. Roughly one in two hundred people don’t have a “standard” male/female body plan. Chances are you personally know someone like this! About one in a thousand people receive “normalizing” surgery. If you’re a primary care physician, you’ve likely got a couple patients who might need you to have a more nuanced understanding of what sex is. Maybe you need to ask your male patients if they’re considering pregnancy.

                                                                        Fine. Let’s decide based on someone’s body’s secondary sex characteristics. Adam’s apples? Facial hair? Voice? Musculature? Height? Breasts? Pelvic geometry? These are all over the place. Slender, wispy people covered in hair. Barrel-chested, high-voiced musclebears with no Adam’s apples. People who fall smack dab in the middle of your female and male coordinates on whatever measurement system you choose. Some of these characteristics are reshapable with surgery, hormones, and practice. Some change with age. But these secondary characteristics are also how we usually code people as male or female. For example, when was the last time you checked to see if everyone walking into the men’s bathroom had a penis?

                                                                        And this is just sex! Physical, biological stuff that’s measurable with rulers, blood tests, and CT scans. Gender’s even more spectacular.

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                                                                          Possibly the best write-up of this particular flaw in the idea of “biological sex is binary” I’ve seen in a while. That’s going in my bookmarks for sure. Thanks :)

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                                                                            For instance, say you’re trying to code people as male or female based on the “rational physical world” of measurements. Do you take chromosomes? Sure. 46XY is male, 46XX is female. I guess we could call 45X female and 45Y male too. What are 47XXX, 47XYY, and 47XXY? 49XXXXY?

                                                                            99.9% of all humans have normal chromosome Karyotype. What you describe are outlies of less than 1% .. You make it sound like all these variations are common when they’re really not. And on top of all of that, almost all people with abnormal karyotypes are sterile. Very few of them can reproduce.

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                                                                              It’s more like 99%, actually. There are almost a hundred million people out there with some kind of intersex condition - probably more intersex people in the world than desktop Linux and Mac OS X users combined :P

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                                                                                99.9% of all humans have normal chromosome Karyotype. What you describe are outlies of less than 1%

                                                                                Sure! XXY is ~1:1000 births. If we were doing research on something with broad interest, like a soda flavor, we might decide that the error we introduce by categorizing those people as male, or female, or removing them from the sample altogether, isn’t significant enough to affect our results, and go on with our lives. It’d be problematic if we needed everyone in a sample of tens of thousands of people to fit exactly one category. Unfortunately, that’s how a lot of our society is built.

                                                                                XXY doesn’t shorten life expectancy much. That means in the US you’ve got ~327,000 people with XXY. A suburban high school with a population of 2000 students has a good chance of having at least one XXY person in their prospective student pool, and will need to decide whether those people are allowed admission (for an all-boys school), and what sports teams (if sex-segregated) they play on. A typical Wal-mart will see a handful a day, and expect them to choose the right bathroom. A suburb of 50,000 could (with sufficient motivation) field an all-XXY football team. A decent-sized airport like Miami International will see ~120 passengers every day whose sex indicated on their ID doesn’t match their karyotype. A major metro area could run a Kleinfelter Kickball league.

                                                                                Let’s imagine you’re like me: a cis man who hasn’t been karyotyped. Maybe you took a 23andme test, and that came back XY, because they don’t report trisomies. There’s a nontrivial chance that you, who grew up believing you were male, who has always been treated like a man, might not be a “biological male”–at least by a strictly genotypic definition. Of course that’s ridiculous. You know you’re a man, and everyone else does too. You don’t get dirty looks for using the men’s room at work. You can hand over your ID at the bar or airport without fear. Nobody called the school board outraged that you were allowed to play on the men’s basketball team. You never had to worry about these things, and you still don’t. That’d be silly. Nobody’s going to find out unless you tell them, and even then, I’m sure they’d understand. Well, most people would. Except for people who believe that “male” means “XY”, and then, well. That’s a different story.

                                                                                That story might involve your marriage being challenged in court–but a neighboring state used anatomy, rather than genetics, to determine sex, so you were able to remarry there and bypass the issue. You may have been asked to use the women’s room at work–only they don’t want you there either, so you wind up having to ask for a special bathroom. The only single-occupancy stall is on another floor, so you take the elevator every time you have to pee, and hope nobody’s using it. You might be stripped of your sports trophies, and banned from competition. You might wind up with a new ID that says F on it. You have to sigh and explain every time you show it, and hope that when you’re pulled over it doesn’t lead to arrest. You haven’t gotten the bank updated yet, and you’re dreading the bureaucratic nightmare that’s sure to follow. Every few weeks, you blunder into a conversation on the internet where someone insists that you aren’t a real man.

                                                                                Think about how that might feel.

                                                                                Now read your posts again.

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                                                                                  Klinefelter syndrome. XXY is a chromosome disorder in males. People with XXY chromosomes are classified as male, they present and physically are male, and .. they cannot reproduce. There has never been a recorded case of someone with Klinefelter reproducing.

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                                                                                    Okay. I recognize that it’s difficult to go from never having thought critically about sex or gender in your life to Oh Shit All These Things Are Happening??? If it helps, this is a journey we all have to go through. While you’re on it, consider:

                                                                                    XXY is a chromosome disorder in males. People with XXY chromosomes are classified as male,

                                                                                    You’ve recognized here that “male” and chromosomes are two different things, and that “male” is a category we, as humans, apply to people. It’s also true that people with XXY are usually classified as male, but that’s not always the case. Some people with XXY look completely masculine. Other people with XXY look physically female, with large breasts, soft skin, no beard, etc. Genotype is not always phenotype, which should be the first clue that “biologically male” is an ill-defined concept.

                                                                                    they present and physically are male

                                                                                    Presentation is a complex phenomenon involving body characteristics, movement, speech, dress, grooming, pronouns, location, cultural roles, etc. These things usually go together in patterns we think of as “male” or “female”, but they don’t have to. Most people with XXY present as men, but not all do! As it turns out, I have a friend with XX+XY (though she’s not sure if that’s via trisomy, a more exotic aneuploidy, mosaicism, etc) who presents in basically all respects as a woman. She’s hella cool. It’d be weird to declare her male.

                                                                                    Being “physically male” is a fuzzy concept for all the reasons I outlined above.

                                                                                    and .. they cannot reproduce. There has never been a recorded case of someone with Klinefelter reproducing.

                                                                                    I don’t think this is relevant, and I’m not sure why you’re bringing it up, but, uh… you know this isn’t true, right? People with Klinefelter do reproduce, both unassisted and with the help of technology. Low fertility is a common consequence of XXY, but it doesn’t render every person sterile.

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                                                                      That is not the full sentence, though. Since you mention reading comprehension, I would suggest interpretating any alarming sentence fragments not in isolation, but in the context of the full sentence (and the rest of the piece). The full sentence is this:

                                                                      There’s no test that you give someone to determine they’re “actually” trans, unless you’re a doctor, or a neuroscience researcher, or a bigot (but I repeat myself).

                                                                      Seeing the full sentence this reads like a syllogism: (people who administer) transness tests are bigoted, doctors & neuroscientists administer transness tests, therefore doctors and neuroscientists are bigots. Still an overgeneralisation, but a far cry from ‘doctors and neuroscientists are bigots’ on its own. So, ya, my guess is that probably you misunderstood the author’s intent?

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                                                                        Ohhh, the irony… It would be funny if it wasn’t so pathetically pervasive.

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                                                                          It probably refers to how the medical discipline is policing trans bodies and not even trying to renounce its role as gender gatekeepers.

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                                                                          Can’t we just remove the “data” and say science in general? Any systematic approach to knowledge about our world that is built around categorization or definition is doomed to marginalize those that defy categorization or definition.

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                                                                            Most science done has ethical boundaries they attempt to follow. Some of these boundaries may be more or less compromised. Most scientific studies for example won’t include you without your explicit consent. Data science is more slippery than typical scientific practice because it revolves around data already gathered. Bypassing your consent is MUCH easier. The problem then gets further compromised when we start talking about businesses who may have a profit motive in ignoring scientific norms. Without any of the normal rules, regulations, and protections provided in a normal study they can really go off the rails. Without protection and oversight most businesses will be too tempted by the prospect of profits, and they will always choose what they perceive shareholders will value. Of course, mined data is a toxic asset, especially without consent. It can be illegal, or worse reputation destroying, and I suspect that will only get more so over time. Businesses that “mine data” as their primary way of doing business might lead to a bubble like crash that would be pretty bad for us devs. When that day comes it’s possible we won’t have to worry about this conversation so much, but until then it’s important to talk about specifically where the problems arise.

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                                                                              Nice strawman argument. But, there’s a large jump between science and Seeing Like a State. See: the vast majority of human history.

                                                                              To wit, we are not resources for a state to manage in order to maximise GDP growth.

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                                                                                I’m not sure what about my argument is strawman. In the article the argument is that data science can be used to subjugate or violate the rights of queer people. To quote the article:

                                                                                There’s no test that you give someone to determine they’re “actually” trans, unless you’re a doctor, or a neuroscience researcher, or a bigot (but I repeat myself).

                                                                                If we’re going to argue that data science threatens transexuality because it attempts to understand it or at the very least to categorize it, then we can just throw most natural science efforts out the window too. I don’t think the leap from the scientific method to panopticism is as great as you seem to think it is. The problem is that scientific reasoning can be used for many things, but what it’s best at is systemizing knowledge and define things against other things. That happens to be very useful at building knowledge, and those with knowledge have power, and eventually GDP. I’d love a counter example of a ludite culture that has a thriving GDP and loose definitions around their beliefs.

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                                                                                  Whether a person is trans or not, isn’t a scientific question. Cool that you’re going to bring that strawman to your grave tho.

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                                                                                    Whether a person is trans or not, isn’t a scientific question.

                                                                                    As someone totally not in the loop, why isn’t it a scientific question? Somewhat related to that, why wouldn’t everything also be a scientific question?

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                                                                                      It’s currently what many scientists are studying and debating. There’s knowledge, theory, and practices around the subject. It’s definitely a scientific question. Further, it’s a settled question for some while a debated one for others. All depends on one’s views.

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                                                                                        Whether a single person or not is trans is - for now - a question of their subjective experience.

                                                                                        There’s definitely science to be done about whether there are commonalities, biological markers, etc.

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                                                                                          That’s all I’m saying. Especially the subjective experience. That biological gender is objective with objective data, but trans identity is subjective, is exactly why there’s such a strong debate about whether to accept or reject it. Science has been making the situation just a little more objective. That might help in some ways down the road.

                                                                                          Or make it worse. Never know how scientific results will be [ab]used… Just gotta take the chance since the subject is too important to not investigate.

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                                                                                            It seems a subtle nitpick to the uninitiated, but receiving the suggestion that a scientist could ‘set them straight’ about their subjective, personal experience is a common enough occurrence that you’ll enrage people if they think you’re doing it, which makes reasonable discussion hard.

                                                                                            Rereading “Whether a person is trans or not, isn’t a scientific question” with that context might make more sense of the reaction.

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                                                                                              This is the real MVP comment of the conversation. The same way science can’t tell you if you’re “objectively” sad or “objectively” a baseball fan, it makes no sense to ask if someone is “objectively” trans, but that doesn’t mean we get upset at people for crying when their grandparents die or spending hours watching people run around on a field.

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                                                                                                This response has been absolutely boggling my mind since I’ve first read it. Are you actually comparing gender with an interest for a sport? Then are you trivialising the implications of self-id (which is a thing). I mean, the entire discussion has been one of the catalysts of the alt-right, something I hardly think something like “baseball” could have had brought into life. I guess what they share in common, is that there is big money pushing both (after all, there’s a lot of profits one can make off people who depend on permanent medical supervision).

                                                                                                It’s not a surprise that Gender cannot be scientifically determined (as compared to sex), since it’s social, and has become meaningless in a society that’s relying less and less on gendered division of labour. But how that means that gender becomes individual (an apparent paradox) is foreign to me. People often say self-id is the best solution, because nothing else works. But that doesn’t mean it is good in itself. Nothing works! Because gender is dead!

                                                                                                To clarify this: None of this is meant as an insult against you or anyone else. None of this can be used an excuse of violence or smears. None of what I say is an attack on gender non-conformance. I don’t know you, and don’t wish to comment on your opinions. Ignore me if that’s what you want, I demand no response or attention. I just had to write this, even if it it were all wrong. This thread has already become so off topic, that there’s little more to care about. This topic has severely dealt damage to my mental well-being over the last few months, and suppressing it hasn’t done me well. I’ve been trying to get over it, but at no avail.

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                                                                                                  I agree with you here; I was just using that as an example to help other people see why the specific idea I was referring to was a bit silly. It’s reductio ad not-quite-absurdum to illustrate a point.

                                                                                                  This topic has severely dealt damage to my mental well-being over the last few months, and suppressing it hasn’t done me well.

                                                                                                  I’m very happy to talk about this privately, if you want.

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                                                                                                    Very kind, but there’s no point to burden anyone with my issues. The usage of the term “severely” was wrong, and I would edit it out if I could.

                                                                                            2. 6

                                                                                              If we’re going to talk in scientific terms it is important that we get the terms correct. So please don’t take this as me being pedantic because most people don’t know the precise definitions of these words. Heck even I didn’t before I had a close friend transition. I think it will help disambiguate and dissolve conflict. Gender specifically refers to the cultural construct, and therefore is subjective. You can have a gender even if you were a cybernetic brain in a box, no body required. Sex is the sexual dimorphism we observe, genitalia, hip size, bone structure, muscle mass, hair presentation, etc. As sexual dimorphism is not a binary, so even though yes your chromosomes may be XX or XY you can be XX with several male features. For example if you found out Hugh Jackman had XX chromosomes you wouldn’t more more likely to marry him, so the sexual dimorphism actually matters a great deal. Traits we generally think of as “male” or “female” often end up on people of either sex. In more extreme cases those traits are “fixed” surgically to fit the “birth sex” (what is perceived to be their sex by the parent, or the preferred sex by the parent). So sex as we talk about it in everyday language is not the chromosomes but rather the sexual dimorphism we observe.It’s quite a bit more common than people would like to think when we start to consider the full gamut of possible traits that can be considered sexually dimorphic. A woman at birth can have a “male” jawline, or a mustache, or a beard, or “male” muscles etc.

                                                                                              Identity itself is a construct, so the only measure we can have is how real it feels to them, the one who is perceiving it. So, the very question of “Is this person’s perceptions about their own identity real” is a vacuous question to answer. It’s akin to debating the tautology ⊤ = ⊤, because you’re debating the reality of a fundamentally immaterial thing. More importantly when a person perceives something about their body, concretely, that doesn’t agree with how their body presents they will go to the ends of the earth resolve that cognitive dissonance. It will cause them great anguish until they fix that. It’s akin to if you woke up one morning with tiny hands coming out of your stomach. Body horror is an entire genre for a reason. There can be an element of body horror for someone like us when we observe someone transitioning, because we are projecting our identity on that person, and imagining how horrible it would be to change our bodies. However this body horror is precisely what many trans people live with when they do not transition. Therefore we should not put our own discomfort above theirs, as what they live with is an order of magnitude more intense than what we experience as an observer.

                                                                                              The debate that arises around this subject is almost exclusively among lay people like you and me, and not researchers. The debates almost exclusively arise from the kinds of loose wiggly terms and the misconceptions around those terms that lay people use. The scientifically incorrect perception of sexual dimorphism as a binary, the conflation of sexual dimorphism and gender, and the conflation of sexual dimorphism and chromosomes are common contributors to why lay people debate on this until their lungs give out. The scientific consensus isn’t particularly divided on this subject. Some people don’t like the results, maybe some find them a bit disturbing, but that’s not the same thing as having a sound basis to doubt the conclusions. As we start unraveling the strings that hold together our consciousness, I suspect we will soon find things that are a great deal more upsetting than this.

                                                                                              1. 1

                                                                                                Very interesting read, thank you.

                                                                                      2. 1

                                                                                        Why is GDP even relevant? Lol, life is not a competition to get rich dude, chill down. Also if you believe that ludites or neoludites are against science and tech, you should maybe spend your fraction of the GDP on some book about the subject.

                                                                                        Science is a tool and as such should be treated. You elevate it to a source of truth, which is not. To each problem its tools. Understanding subjective experiences and the formation of identities is not a problem for natural sciences.

                                                                                        1. 1

                                                                                          I certainly didn’t say anyting about GDP being the alpha and the omega. I was meerly making the point–a point which often lost on many counter-culturalists—that the scientific method has proved itself over the last few hundred years to be VERY effective at stockpiling resources: knowledge, material and spiritual. I am actually pretty left-leaning in my own right and have very pessimistic views about the current trajectory of the application of the scientific method to our world. But this isn’t the right forum for those arguments.

                                                                                          I was just trying to make an intellectual argument based on the claims of the original story that if you’re going to attack data science as hostile to the subjective quality of being human, you can go ahead and throw out biology, physics and chemistry which all attempt to categorize and objectify our gender with just as many horrible effects as data science.

                                                                                          1. 1

                                                                                            I don’t think any of those disciplines ever concerned itself with gender. Sex yes, gender no. Gender, if any, is studied by sociologists, anthropologist and so on. Biology has nothing to say about gender. Also it’s not clear what the scientific method told us about spirituality

                                                                                            1. 1

                                                                                              Those disciplines should not concern themselves with gender, but they certainly do. The scientific method has certainly been used to attempt to explain our process of belief from a biologically necessary perspective.

                                                                                              1. 2

                                                                                                If you’re talking about stuff like evolutionary psychology, it’s still hotly debated if, epistemically, they fall into modern science. Otherwise it’s not clear what you’re talking about. I mean, clearly at some point some scientist that never concerned themselves with humanities for sure tried to apply science where it was inappropriate, but Science as a discipline is something else.

                                                                                    2. 6

                                                                                      Science is essentially the process by which humans seek verifiable knowledge. It is the only tool we have to try to understand the universe we live in without simply taking someone else’s word for it. What would you replace it with?

                                                                                      1. 1

                                                                                        I’m not arguing for replacing science. But in the context of the article, the nature of science is to categorize and define, and to do so with a decent amount of ruthlessness with regards to personal privacy and subjective feelings. It is not data science alone that is threatening to queer people. All of science is positioned against the more fluid and unexplainable aspects of being alive.

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                                                                                      As a trans woman who recently discovered that my photos are being used without my consent to train facial recognition to identify trans women, I heartily suggest that cis and straight engineers read this and then consider whether tracking data points like gender are actually necessary.

                                                                                      1. 5

                                                                                        Firstly, that sucks. I think questioning what data points are really necessary is a good idea and may help this and other problems. The people who worked on this are absolute monsters and whoever built this deserves whatever ruin they have coming. I am not a lawyer and this does not constitute legal advice, nor do you necessarily have the interest or ability to fight it. I’m not recommending you spend months or years in court fighting this out. All being said this may be a violation of personality rights, they may have broken the law.

                                                                                        California, Kentucky, Utah, and Wisconsin; hold both Statute and Common law on the subject. Each of these states had this article linked on wikipedia. https://web.archive.org/web/20161015041919/http://www.vjolt.net/vol6/issue1/v6i1a03-Carpenter.html

                                                                                        Wisconsin had an additional citation on wikipedia for this. http://rightofpublicity.com/statutes/wisconsin

                                                                                        Personality rights probably don’t just apply to celebrities, and in some states they appear to specifically apply to non-celebrities.I’m mostly soothing my anger with a power fantasy of justice, but maybe someone will absolutely wreck their trash idea with an “all your money” lawsuit. I’m not a lawyer, and this was for entertainment, a fleeting joy of imagining their trash idea getting absolutely wrecked.

                                                                                        Sorry you went through that, and I’m sorry the best I can offer is a story.

                                                                                        1. 10

                                                                                          I appreciate the links! I’ve looked into a few legal avenues that all seemed extremely dubious and expensive, but perhaps I should look again.

                                                                                          I think questioning what data points are really necessary is a good idea and may help this and other problems.

                                                                                          I’ve had a number of good conversations about this, on Lobsters and elsewhere, and my understanding is basically that recording gender is useful mainly for advertising. Sometimes one has to record sex when working with healthcare data, which is a slightly different matter, but I’m basically of the opinion that if a piece of software asks for gender information without a very obvious reason (dating app, etc), it shouldn’t be trusted regardless of what you think about your own gender.

                                                                                          1. 7

                                                                                            As a trans person who spent nearly five years working on advertising privacy at Google, I can confirm that advertising is essentially the only factor in favor of having gender fields, not just for Google but for every tech company.

                                                                                            1. 1

                                                                                              “and my understanding is basically that recording gender is useful mainly for advertising”

                                                                                              “but I’m basically of the opinion that if a piece of software asks for gender information without a very obvious reason (dating app, etc), it shouldn’t be trusted regardless of what you think about your own gender.”

                                                                                              The first quote is why what you want will not happen. Very much the opposite. The second quote is true for reasons similar to the first: the uses originate from human greed and primitive emotions. Any data going into something like that will get abused or just wasted eventually.

                                                                                              1. 10

                                                                                                Yes, unfortunately. I’m aware of this, but as my North Carolinian grandma used to say, “That don’t make it right.”

                                                                                              2. 1

                                                                                                Interestingly, as a guy that has had girlfriends that have introduced me to a lot of interesting products that aren’t generally considered “guy products” (skincare crap seems to work as well for me as for most humans), I just find it funny that I think some ad networks now have me pegged as a woman.

                                                                                                Just thought you may find that amusing, that said cerave is worth getting misidentified. One of these days I’m sure I’ll buy some of those rando products they keep trying to pawn off on me. >.<

                                                                                                1. 1

                                                                                                  Heh, yeah. As somone who tends to block ads whenever possible, I have no idea how they have me down, except as someone who watches a lot of technical talks on YouTube.

                                                                                                  There are always stories about ad networks being too clever for their own good (see: the story of Target identifying someone as pregnant before anyone, including her, knew about it), but they can also be pretty stupid.

                                                                                                  1. 2

                                                                                                    I block ads a ton too, but if i throw the youtube app on my tv on to watch things I get…. interesting ads. While I’m flattered to get ads for “guy soap, ugh, seriously something that doesn’t need to be gendered is soap even if it smells like unicorn farts”, I also get ads for maybelien (sp?) lipstick.

                                                                                                    I’d buy the lipstick before the guy soap though, those ads piss me off and make me happy youtube-dl exists. But every time I browse the web without an ad blocker I have to laugh a bit internally at how stupid ML/AI/BIG DATA is. Hell give me ads for stuff like diswasher tablets, thats useful crap I didn’t know existed and I needed.

                                                                                                    And if I were in your shoes I’d be worried about all this data collection as well, we saw in Germany how stuff like this can get used for rather horrid end results later on by the likes of say IBM. Hell I bet someone could use the fact that I buy moisturizer etc… as a way to keep me in line for being an errant nail not of the traditional macho man ilk.

                                                                                                    1. 0

                                                                                                      Absolutely. Look at the current Supreme Court docket; if things come out wrong, you could be fired for not using that man soap!

                                                                                            2. 8

                                                                                              As a person working on a system that involves face recognition: well then don’t complain when it doesn’t work. I hear so much talking about “discriminatory” algorithms, when you just need the data to be there, but the groups calling the algorithms “discriminatory” just don’t give it.

                                                                                              1. 25

                                                                                                I think perhaps you misunderstand - I specifically object to people developing software that identifies faces as “trans” or “not trans”, not the inclusion of trans people in facial recognition datasets in general, and especially the lack of any way to remove my data from that dataset.

                                                                                                Edit: Furthermore, this demonstrates a lack of understanding of the power of monopoly. For instance, I could not possibly care less if some jackass writes millimeter wave scanner software that consistently identifies me as a threat because my body doesn’t conform to their ideas of what a body should look like (because I’m either a man with odd chest protrusions or a woman with an oddly shaped crotch.) It starts to matter a hell of a lot when that software decides whether or not I get patted down whenever I fly.

                                                                                                If your software is going to be used in a situation where people have no choice but to interact with it, and there are consequences for it failing to classify them right, it is your responsibility to make it work right, for everyone, or make it right to them. You don’t get to shift that off onto them.

                                                                                                1. 9

                                                                                                  About the lack of ability to remove your face from a dataset: yes, that is not acceptable. But in your first comment you said:

                                                                                                  consider whether tracking data points like gender are actually necessary.

                                                                                                  But being able to tell the gender from a photo is surprisingly useful. And queer people don’t like being miscalled about their gender. So it is insanely useful to check if a person is queer to make sure not to miscall them, knowing how important their gender is to them.

                                                                                                  1. 13

                                                                                                    So it is insanely useful to check if a person is queer to make sure not to miscall them, knowing how important their gender is to them.

                                                                                                    Maybe just don’t assume gender at all based on someone’s face? This article is about how the act of doing so perpetuates administrative violence. You can’t detect it based on any visible features for some people. If you make any decision about what pronouns to use based on your software, you are going to cause some people distress. You are assigning probability distributions about how safe it might be to assume, but doing so at all is harmful.

                                                                                                    In some ways I see this as a caste system being dissolved.

                                                                                                    1. 1

                                                                                                      In my specific case gender isn’t assumed from a photo, we already know what user says. Here the gender is used for more as a checkup, and filtering queer people would remove a lot of false negatives.

                                                                                                      1. 9

                                                                                                        I know English isn’t your first language but the words you’re using sound utterly horrifying. The application you are working on also sounds like it can be used for some very nefarious purposes. It’s probably just a misunderstanding on my part, but if I, as a white straight male, feel chilled by the work you’re describing, imagine what someone not in that position would feel.

                                                                                                        “This machine can see if I’m queer”. It’s positively Orwellian.

                                                                                                        1. 10

                                                                                                          Yeah, my wording could’ve been better. The point is, we need to check the persons gender as part of a security process, and we have the users photo(uploaded with full consent for processing), which can serve as an adittional factor. Knowing that it is difficult to identify queer people’s gender, it is beneficial to filter them out of that check.

                                                                                                          1. 6

                                                                                                            Oh this makes total sense! I’m sorry I misunderstood, and thank you for clarifying.

                                                                                                            I do still think that the idea of this software existing is pretty scary, but I’m glad you’re at least using it for good :)

                                                                                                            1. 2

                                                                                                              Thanks for clarifying!

                                                                                                      2. 10

                                                                                                        being able to tell the gender from a photo is surprisingly useful

                                                                                                        I am very interested to hear about your use case, actually. Other than advertising, I really can’t think of any.

                                                                                                        queer people don’t like being miscalled about their gender

                                                                                                        Nobody does, really. Call a big dude “miss” in a bar a few times and see how that goes for you.

                                                                                                        1. 6

                                                                                                          I am very interested to hear about your use case, actually. Other than advertising, I really can’t think of any.

                                                                                                          I’m affraid I cannot tell, confidential work stuff. But it definetly isn’t advertising. It would allow us to avoid a lot of manual work asociated with gender misidentification.

                                                                                                          Nobody does, really. Call a big dude “miss” in a bar a few times and see how that goes for you.

                                                                                                          Yes, getting miscalled several times is anoying. But while most binary gender people which are suceptable to miscalling, will correct you after the first time and don’t really care about it, trans people often get angry right after the first miscall. I understand that they probably have to deal with this problem more often and that is why they are so annoyed.

                                                                                                          1. 10

                                                                                                            Super fair. I guess I just don’t see why it’s necessary to identify people’s gender at all, most of the time, and if you do need to identify what to call them, why not just have a dropdown/box on a form/question in your interview:

                                                                                                            “How would you like to be addressed? {Ms., Mr., Mx.}?”

                                                                                                            I just… I hope you recognize that there are so many absolutely terrifying uses of “gender nonconfirming recognition” technology that I feel pretty uncomfortable about it unless there’s a really good reason for it. Imagine a Uganda empowered by automated facial recognition that tags gender nonconforming people (trans people, effeminate gay men, butch women, etc) in photos and submits their names for arrest in accordance with their new death penalty for being gay.

                                                                                                            1. 7

                                                                                                              But while most binary gender people which are suceptable to miscalling, will correct you after the first time and don’t really care about it, trans people often get angry right after the first miscall.

                                                                                                              I don’t think that’s universal. In my (admittedly somewhat limited) experience, transgender people are generally understanding regarding how cis people slip up or don’t know what words to use or use the wrong gender, as long as we try our best and don’t intentionally misgender people.

                                                                                                              Maybe the transgender people I’ve been around are different from the kind you’ve been around though.

                                                                                                              1. 9

                                                                                                                I’m affraid I cannot tell, confidential work stuff. But it definetly isn’t advertising. It would allow us to avoid a lot of manual work asociated with gender misidentification.

                                                                                                                That really doesn’t inspire a legitimate use case, if it’s confidential.

                                                                                                                1. 4

                                                                                                                  It is confidential for “trade secret” reasons, not for some secrecy against the public. Images there are uploaded with fully explicit consent for them to be processed and used in training.

                                                                                                              2. 1

                                                                                                                queer people don’t like being miscalled about their gender

                                                                                                                Nobody does, really. Call a big dude “miss” in a bar a few times and see how that goes for you.

                                                                                                                The previous commenter recognises that it’s important to use inclusive and correct gender/form of address for everyone. So why are you still giving them shit for it?

                                                                                                                1. 14

                                                                                                                  The idea that queer people are somehow uniquely sensitive about being misgendered is not supported by my experience - and, in fact, is pretty harmful. I tend to go out of my way to be extremely respectful to people, even people who are clearly misgendering me on purpose, so I don’t get labeled as an “angry trans person”/“it’s MA’AM” type of stereotype.

                                                                                                                  In addition, they were using it to support the idea that identifying people as transgender was necessary to not misgender them, which is… odd to say the least. Just include trans women in your female data set. (Or stop using machines to sort people into socially constructed gender categories, but it’s clear that’s not an option, for some undisclosed reason.)

                                                                                                                  1. 2

                                                                                                                    So why are you still giving them shit for it?

                                                                                                                    You’re reframing it. The original commenter is actually giving them and everyone else doing that kind of work shit for doing it. Then, the accused responded with justifications for the work. ignaloidas eventually argues that making sure our AI’s properly classify and speak toward trans people is consistent with the rule that humans do. There’s also people doing things such as inclusive hiring that brings in trans people that start with identifying that they’re trans in the first place.

                                                                                                                    NoraCodes effectively is arguing that humans should recognize trans identity but AI visions systems shouldn’t for ethical reason. It’s her line of argument. ignaloidas is just reacting to it.

                                                                                                                    1. 11

                                                                                                                      NoraCodes effectively is arguing that humans should recognize trans identity but AI visions systems shouldn’t for ethical reason.

                                                                                                                      In much the same way that we shouldn’t build computer vision systems to sort people into other socially constructed categories, yeah. If someone constructs a CV system that sorts people into “white” or “not white” (or “black” or “not black”), that’s going to be hard to make work, because as humans, our understanding of who is white and not white is muddled. No matter how closely you make it mirror one person’s understanding, it’ll never mirror everyone’s, and you need such a large data set you probably can’t even do that.

                                                                                                                      I guarantee that you’ve met trans people you had no idea were trans. Almost everyone has. Do those people get encoded as cisgender while others don’t? Probably. In that case, what’s the point? If not - if you interview every person in your dataset, for instance - you’re making something that can identify certain characteristics common in trans people better than any one person. If it’s a black-box system like a neural net, you’ll likely never know what it’s telling you it thinks is “trans”, so it’s both scary and not very useful for legit purposes.

                                                                                                                      The use case ignaloidas is talking about is actually pretty interesting - identity verification, but if the person looks trans don’t harass them about their gender - but it makes me think that maybe we just shouldn’t use gender to identify people.

                                                                                                            2. 3

                                                                                                              It sounds like you really should read the article. Your suggestion is explicitly argued against. (Not saying that that’s “right”, but you might present your argument a bit differently given the context?)

                                                                                                              1. 1

                                                                                                                The article assumes that even with more data the algorythms will be used in a discriminatory way and I find this such assumption highly misleading and appealing to victimising of queer people.

                                                                                                          1. 2

                                                                                                            This is the first time I’ve seen the term “modding” used for this.

                                                                                                            1. 7

                                                                                                              Indeed. As I mentioned at the bottom of the post, the traditional term (“ricing”) is quite racist, as I was informed the last time I posted it here. Modding makes intuitive sense here, and is a widely used term in other places. “modding Unix” or “modding Linux” is easily Google-able, too.

                                                                                                              1. 5

                                                                                                                I LOVE the Unix “modding scene” but the terminology can be cringe. I can never link co-workers to the r/unixporn subreddit for example.

                                                                                                                I hope more graphic designers start to use modded Unix PCs and help boost this art form. It seems like Figma and the decline of Apple/Adobe are creating the conditions for designers to move to Linux next decade.

                                                                                                                1. 3

                                                                                                                  That, and the slow shift away from such cringey language - see, e.g, the GIMP -> Glimpse fork, et cetera.

                                                                                                                  We can hope!

                                                                                                                2. 2

                                                                                                                  I’ve never heard the term ricing used in this context. To be fair, I didn’t pay attention how Linux users call it, because it’s simply configuring things ;)

                                                                                                                  In the past the term I read most often was deskmodding or skinning, back when you needed special tools to make your Windows installation a little more unique. ThemeXP, ResHacker, Winamp Skins…

                                                                                                                  1. 2

                                                                                                                    Always wondered where the term ‘ricing’ came from. Thanks for the clarification.

                                                                                                                    1. 2

                                                                                                                      FYI there’s still one instance of the term “ricing” (just after the first two screenshots).

                                                                                                                      I don’t suppose you’re still using the purple theme? I like it.

                                                                                                                      1. 2

                                                                                                                        Oops! I should improve my ripgrep skills, clearly :P

                                                                                                                        I’m no longer using the same purple theme; the contrast was not sufficient, so I made the background color a little darker. I’m glad you like it!

                                                                                                                  1. 2

                                                                                                                    Hope the sun comes up in Barcelona soon, we’ve got it down to 10% battery!

                                                                                                                    1. 2

                                                                                                                      It’s currently 9:36 PM there, so… probably going to go offline tonight.

                                                                                                                      1. 4

                                                                                                                        We should link to their infrastructure site instead, right? https://www.lowtechmagazine.com/2015/10/how-to-build-a-low-tech-internet.html

                                                                                                                      2. 2

                                                                                                                        The sites is archived, so just use that instead.

                                                                                                                      1. -1

                                                                                                                        For all their talk about low-tech, for them it’s obviously just an aesthetic, not something they practice.

                                                                                                                        This is a low-tech website. It doesn’t need CSS or images or any of the other stuff this site is built on, and it conveys information much better than this site does.

                                                                                                                        1. 9

                                                                                                                          CSS isn’t exactly high-tech though. The linked site isn’t all talk, either.

                                                                                                                          1. 8

                                                                                                                            The stylesheet is 3kb and you don’t have to use it. Why care about css that minimalistic when the page loads several images, with the header image being 2,900% the size of the stylesheet? Weird priorities.

                                                                                                                            1. 1

                                                                                                                              Images can be used to convey information. CSS is just frippery, at least as that site uses it.

                                                                                                                              1. 2

                                                                                                                                Contextualization is information and CSS contextualizes. Anyways, it’s absurd to liken CSS to the great founding member of famous rock band King Crimson when I doubt he has to spend time doing web design. Jokes aside, the page works completely fine without the miniscule stylesheet, and it’s really not that hard to turn it off. I can show you if you like.

                                                                                                                                1. 0

                                                                                                                                  When you stop joking around I’ll take you seriously. So far, nothing you say is worth very much.

                                                                                                                                  Also, using the downvote mechanism to disagree discredits your arguments.

                                                                                                                                  1. 1

                                                                                                                                    Also, using the downvote mechanism to disagree discredits your arguments.

                                                                                                                                    I didn’t downvote your post, don’t be so full of yourself, and lighten up :) we’re talking about stylesheets, not taxes. It’s not that serious of a topic.

                                                                                                                                    1. 1

                                                                                                                                      I think that might have been me. CSS is 25 years old, and is quite low tech. You may not like it, and you don’t have to use it, but that doesn’t make it “high tech”.

                                                                                                                              2. 1

                                                                                                                                This seems like the spark of a very interesting conversation - how do we define “low tech”?

                                                                                                                                1. 3

                                                                                                                                  Standing on a mountain and banging two electrically charged rocks together? Oh, you said ‘spark’ already. Hah! :)

                                                                                                                                  1. 2

                                                                                                                                    If I pull out a 20-year-old computer, meaning something like Windows 98 and IE5, because I have nothing better, will the website be functional using that browser?

                                                                                                                                    What about a 23-year-old computer with Netscape 3? What about NCSA Mosaic?

                                                                                                                                    What about just a 10-year-old iPad with iOS 5 on it?

                                                                                                                                    For an English-language website which is only sharing information as text and perhaps some images, there is no good reason except effort required that the answer to those questions can’t be “Yes”.

                                                                                                                                    Example: http://hike.qdb.us/demo_oct15/

                                                                                                                                    1. 1

                                                                                                                                      I dunno about IE5, but it works fine in text-only browsers like Lynx and Links.

                                                                                                                                      1. 1

                                                                                                                                        Lynx will actually handle a lot of things that, e.g., IE6 will not, because it is actively maintained. One of the hardest stumbling blocks standing between a retro browser and a modern bare-bones site is TLS versions (and ciphers). I run a self-consciously retro front-end for a modern web service, but I keep the TLS up to date because it handles logins. Lynx works fine on it (because it’s compiled against current OpenSSL), while anything older than early Firefox releases usually won’t (because of dropping support for SSL and for TLS 1.0).

                                                                                                                                        1. 2

                                                                                                                                          Yeah, I just tried to get a Win98 VM to go so I could actually try it. Finding an Ethernet driver for it that worked was far more work than it should have been, so I just saved it as a file and loaded it into the VM.

                                                                                                                                          The rendering of the page itself wasn’t exactly pretty or flawless, but worked okayish: see here (offer good until 2020). Does look better when you just take out the CSS entirely though.

                                                                                                                                    2. 1

                                                                                                                                      That is interesting. I suppose there are two different spectrums: one for human technological achievement, and the other for personal technological fluency. Relative to a state-of-the-art web app, this website/server is decidedly low-tech, but to my grandmother, it’s anything but.

                                                                                                                                      1. 1

                                                                                                                                        I personally like to call it “Lo tech”

                                                                                                                                      2. 1

                                                                                                                                        yarchive is low-tech because it’ll render correctly in the simplest possible web browsers. The linked site conveys information using images and a permanent footer, neither of which will render in low-tech rendering engines. There’s very little way to claim the linked site is as low-tech as yarchive.

                                                                                                                                        1. 0

                                                                                                                                          What you’re saying sounds like some robert “frippery” to me, because this page renders just fine with (external) css completely disabled!

                                                                                                                                    1. 3

                                                                                                                                      That website isn’t accepting my blog/domain, it should probably attempt to do a DNS query instead of trying to validate addresses with regex.

                                                                                                                                      1. 4

                                                                                                                                        Oof. It accepted mine at .codes, which is usually a good test for whether they’ve implemented validation well. Sorry about that!

                                                                                                                                        1. 2

                                                                                                                                          No problem, i get these kind of validation problems all the time :D

                                                                                                                                      1. 9

                                                                                                                                        You don’t have to work on embedded devices to have a “GUI-less” workflow.. I have worked on many things from desktop apps, web sites/services, etc using vim and a trusty terminal emulator. Not only is it more efficient to never need to take your hands off the keyboard, these tools are almost certainly MUCH faster than the full featured web browser + 10000 tons of javascript ‘required’ for some ‘modern’ IDEs to even function.

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                                                                                                                                          Huge agree (shameless plug for my post about this). I think it’s really important to introduce new programmers to the idea that, in addition to learning programming languages and APIs, they will have to re-learn how to use a computer, to some extent (and we should be building user-friendly command line interfaces for programmers and non-programmers alike!)

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                                                                                                                                          I just tested this on my dev machine and the profile thing is extremely nice. I dislike having to remember to install all these different things every time I onboard a new person into Rust.

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                                                                                                                                            I’m getting a T480, which I’ll need to set up, and then I’m heading out on a road trip ending in Dayton for Rust Belt Rust! And looking for dev jobs as usual.

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                                                                                                                                              What is the configuration and how much did it cost?

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                                                                                                                                                1080p display, 8 GB of RAM, and a 256GB NVMe drive for about $900, plus I bought some aftermarket RAM and an aftermarket NVMe drive. I’ll use the one that came with it for something else. I also bought an additional battery so I can take more advantage of the bridge battery system.

                                                                                                                                                I suspect the T480 will be the new T430/T430s: cheap on eBay, tons of parts available for a long time, etc.

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                                                                                                                                                I love my T480. Might be too late, but I learned this trick from jsc’s blog:

                                                                                                                                                (Note to US buyers: search the interweb for “Lenovo Perks login” before ever buying a ThinkPad, you’ll save nearly 30%)

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                                                                                                                                                  I got it on 40% sale plus student discount, but I hope that helps others!

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                                                                                                                                                It is unfortunate that this distribution mixes a very good idea (a simplified Linux likely to get traction on servers and in containerized workloads) with a very bad idea (not including support for more than one language). Lack of non-English languages (and in fact, lack of any localization support, as they’ve removed gettext and intltool completely) is a mistake.

                                                                                                                                                This is already apparent in the FAQ, where it’s clear that they’ve realised that some people otherwise in their target audience really do need internationalization features and have outsourced those (specifically keyboard layouts) to another project.

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                                                                                                                                                  I get why people want internationalisation, but I don’t understand why everyone needs it. This just seems geared to those who don’t? And if one wants to go even further, than I believe one must accept that this isn’t a unfortunate mix, but that internationalisation in it’s current form is incompatible with what is deemed simplicity in the realm of Unix.

                                                                                                                                                  Also, this isn’t so much an explicit choice of the distro, as much as they choose to base their system on the musl libc, that doesn’t have internationalisation support, per se. Try void+musl, it’s the same thing.

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                                                                                                                                                    what is deemed simplicity in the realm of Unix.

                                                                                                                                                    My point is that this is incompatible with simplicity, as is already demonstrated by the fact that anyone using a non-US keyboard, including an ISO standard keyboard, has to fetch files from another project outside of the package management provided just to use the thing.

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                                                                                                                                                      But don’t forget: Simple doesn’t mean easy to use. See anything Unix minimalists to theoretical mathematicians.

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                                                                                                                                                      What is “the realm of Unix”? (And why should anyone care?)

                                                                                                                                                      To me, this seems like simplicity in the realm of asshole nerds.

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                                                                                                                                                        I’d say “the realm of Unix” is what one considers good and elegant style within a (classical) Unix system. You can shoehorn Unix to act like something else, but some people don’t like that, and I guess they are the ones who care, because they want to.

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                                                                                                                                                      I just find it interesting that their version of simple includes dependency-tracking package management but excludes Spanish.

                                                                                                                                                      Distros without dependency-tracking package management exist, you know.

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                                                                                                                                                        The line has to be drawn somewhere, and they’ve drawn it at i18n. Either they end up caring about those people otherwise in their target audience—or their current model ends up working for them in the long run. There’s nothing inherently wrong with not shooting for the stars.

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                                                                                                                                                          Writing a package manager in shell is also a bad idea!

                                                                                                                                                          (Fun story: I’ve tried that back in the day… on one of those Motorola phones powered by Linux… the result was rm -rf /, which permanently bricked the phone because a very important unique-to-individual-phone security boot partition thing was always mounted read-write because lol)

                                                                                                                                                          Excluding the modern freedesktop stack is a bad idea too, if you ask me.

                                                                                                                                                          good idea (a simplified Linux likely to get traction on servers and in containerized workloads)

                                                                                                                                                          er, that exists, it’s called Alpine, it already dominates containerized workloads pretty much?

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                                                                                                                                                            Slackware has been using a package manager written in shell script for 15 years, it still works flawlessy

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                                                                                                                                                              There is an unlink function in every language, but I confess that the shell has many quirks.

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                                                                                                                                                                unlink do not work for directories and rmdir refuses to remove non-empty directories, so this is less problematic unless such language provides rm -rf equivalent OOtB.

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                                                                                                                                                                The author is experienced in shell and careful to write safe code. Additionally, everything is linted by ShellCheck.

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                                                                                                                                                                There is a difference in supporting localization in the end, user-exposed application (where gettext could come handy) and supporting locales in the system utilities.

                                                                                                                                                                In french, the coreutils free command translation changed between versions, and this lead to scripts parsed with AWK failing (1 word -> 2 words).

                                                                                                                                                                Also, coding with locales is terrible. This mean you cannot parse RFC822 formats with strptime(); as part of a parsing library, unless you define the locale in the library, which will change the whole program behavior!

                                                                                                                                                                Instead, locales should work as passing an argument to the functions supporting them. But so is POSIX today.

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                                                                                                                                                                  That’s Unix’s problem for making bags of bytes both the user interface and the IPC mechanism, IMHO.

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                                                                                                                                                                  Regarding keyboard layouts, the compose key gets most of the issue out of the way, but I don’t know about ie Cyrillic.