1. 5

    Engineers of all stripes have an ethical responsibility to uphold, and it’s in making tough choices, like turning down customers, that you prove your worth.

    That being said, it makes me sad that a scandal like this one, which in my sense is plagued by political opportunism on the left, has so much traction.

    1. 1

      Yeah… Some problems are not so clear cut. There are big differences between short term and long term outcomes, also between intent and outcome, as well as adjusting plans that don’t work well currently vs having evil intent.

      • Would I say Trump has much empathy? … no.
      • Is the right wing sadistic and enjoy suffering? I would also say no.
      1. 0

        Is the right wing sadistic and enjoy suffering? I would also say no.

        Citation needed.

        1.  

          That’s pretty outrageous, the hysterics that can be seen everywhere are laughable.

          1.  

            Yes, they are totally laughable if you’re a fascist or fascist sympathizer.

            1.  

              it sounds like you live is an echo chamber or out of control feedback loop. Try getting information from more than one source.

              1.  

                We have access to the same information, and have come to different conclusions due to our conflicting values. If you’re ashamed of the label that fits your opinions, perhaps you should consider changing your opinions or values to be less shameful. But I assure you, the problem is not my sources of information. I suspect it’s not yours, either.

                1.  

                  You are a like a sick caricature, You behave exactly how fox news and the right want their opposition to behave, total lunacy is easy to beat in elections.

                  1.  

                    Citation needed.

    1. 5

      Some thoughts:

      Now that trump is easing up the policy, would you allow this customer now?

      I would prefer you refuse to buy from people you view as unethical rather than refuse to sell. Eventually they run out of money and cannot buy.

      Clearly this is good for marketing in some ways.

      This reminds me of those bakers who did not want to sell to homosexuals because they view being homosexual as unethical. I struggle with saying they are wrong and this is right at the same time without presuming I can read peoples minds and intents.

      1. 1

        How exactly do you stop buying from a government organisation? Also with that logic if a kid walks up to you asking for a gun so he can shoot up a school, its ok as long as you don’t buy anything from the kid?

        1. 2

          How exactly do you stop buying from a government organisation?

          Voting seems to be how it usually works.

          Also with that logic if a kid walks up to you asking for a gun so he can shoot up a school, its ok as long as you don’t buy anything from the kid?

          How would I know that the individual was going to cause harm without mind reading powers?

          Your counter example also seems off because the government enforcing immigration laws is far more morally ambiguous than shooting up a school, it is also not a kid.

          1.  

            How would I know that the individual was going to cause harm without mind reading powers?

            Because they make it known to you before. Like how you can tell what government departments are doing.

      1. 7

        I go back and forth.

        1. 2

          I think it helps immensely if the person leading the startup takes an interest in understanding what each person is working on, and asks good questions.

          An example:

          • Programmer1 - “Still working on foobar… sigh”
          • Leader - “Hey, I remember you were stuck on baz, did you get the help you needed on that?”
          • Programmer1 - “That wasn’t too bad actually, now I have a problem with xyz actually.”
          • Leader - “I remember Programmer2 was working on xyz on Monday.”
          • Programmer2 - “Oh yeah, maybe I can help with that, lets talk after standup”

          I think some enthusiasm from the leader can break the monotony of the standup and get some more useful info out. The caveat is that it requires some charisma on the part of the leader. Which if you don’t have, basically anything can be boring and useless.

          1. 5

            What I don’t really understand is how Andrew has a comfortable standard of living in NYC on $600 per/month.

            https://www.patreon.com/andrewrk/overview

            I’m guessing that there must be another source of Zig donations aside from Patreon?

            1. 7

              Savings?

              1. 2

                Oh woops, I misread the first paragraph, I thought it stated that Zig was supporting him entirely, when it’s actually about his programming supporting him.

                1. 3

                  Note that this isn’t his first attempt at doing this. But the project he was working on before Genesis didn’t find the same traction as Zig has. BUT, if I recall correctly, he also didn’t live in NYC the last time… Anyway, he’s got experience with living frugally, so I’m sure he knows what he’s doing here.

                  1. 2

                    he extrapolated the donations growth versus his savings.

                2. 2

                  What I don’t understand is if you are not working in NYC anymore, and only working on your own and getting donation, why doesn’t he move to anywhere but NYC to minimise his personal expense?

                  I’m sure there are cities in the US with 80% the fun of NYC at lower than 80% of the cost.

                  1. 17

                    I work remote, and there are places I could move that are < 20% of the cost.

                    My friends aren’t going to move with me, and I have enough money to live where I am. Why be wealthy and lonely?

                    1. -10

                      Didn’t know your city is the only source of friends in the world. That must be good for the economy.

                      1. 32

                        I know that this is very hard for some people to believe (seems to be harder the more western the society is), but some people don’t consider their friends a replaceable commodity. Not that I don’t want to make new friends, but these are my friends right now and I am more loyal to them than I am to a meaningless job or to money.

                        1. 4

                          Maybe because your partner has a job he/she really enjoys in this city? I mean, we’re lucky in our field to have a lot of different possibilities, in remote or not, mostly well paid. Let’s not forget that it’s a chance and not something everybody has.

                      2. 2

                        The usual reason is the significant other.

                        1. 1

                          There’s a shit-ton of them. Even Memphis TN that’s close to me with all its problems is low cost of living with all kinds of fun stuff to do. Just don’t live in or shop around the hood. Solves most of problems if you don’t have kids going to school or college.

                          There’s plenty of cities in the US that similarly have low cost of living with plenty going on. One can also live in areas 30-40 min from cities to substantially reduce their rent. The fun stuff still isn’t that far away. The slight inconvenience just knocks quite a bit off the price.

                          1. 4

                            I don’t remember the details, and I can’t find the link, but a few years ago someone did some research here in Berlin where they compared the cost of rent in more-or-less the city proper, and the cost of rent + public transportation tickets when you lived in the outskirts. It ended up being not much of a difference.

                            1. 2

                              Well, if you don’t workin in the city and need to commute then you spend even less. Though OTOH, you get tax returns for commutes in Germany so probably the commute is not that expensive to begin with.

                              1. 2

                                Berlin is currently the city with the highest increase in rent world-wide and a few years ago, it was unusually low.

                                Also, Berlin is hard to compare in many aspects, possibly because of a very unique city history.

                        1. 7

                          I always laugh when people come up with convoluted defenses for C and the effort that goes into that (even writing papers). Their attachment to this language has caused billions if not trillions worth of damages to society.

                          All of the defenses that I’ve seen, including this one, boil down to nonsense. Like others, the author calls for “improved C implementations”. Well, we have those already, and they’re called Rust, Swift, and, for the things C is not needed for, yes, even JavaScript is better than C (if you’re not doing systems-programming).

                          1. 31

                            Their attachment to this language has caused billions if not trillions worth of damages to society.

                            Their attachment to a language with known but manageable defects has created trillions if not more in value for society. Don’t be absurd.

                            1. 4

                              [citation needed] on the defects of memory unsafety being manageable. To a first approximation every large C/C++ codebase overfloweth with exploitable vulnerabilities, even after decades of attempting to resolve them (Windows, Linux, Firefox, Chrome, Edge, to take a few examples.)

                              1. 2

                                Compared to the widely used large codebase in which language for which application that accepts and parses external data and yet has no exploitable vulnerabilities? BTW: http://cr.yp.to/qmail/guarantee.html

                                1. 6

                                  Your counter example is a smaller, low-featured, mail server written by a math and coding genius. I could cite Dean Karnazes doing ultramarathons on how far people can run. That doesn’t change that almost all runners would drop before 50 miles, esp before 300. Likewise with C code, citing the best of the secure coders doesn’t change what most will do or have done. I took author’s statement “to first approximation every” to mean “almost all” but not “every one.” It’s still true.

                                  Whereas, Ada and Rust code have done a lot better on memory-safety even when non-experts are using them. Might be something to that.

                                  1. 2

                                    I’m still asking for the non C widely used large scale system with significant parsing that has no errors.

                                    1. 3

                                      That’s cheating saying “non-c” and “widely used.” Most of the no-error parsing systems I’ve seen use a formal grammar with autogeneration. They usually extract to Ocaml. Some also generate C just to plug into the ecosystem since it’s a C/C++-based ecosystem. It’s incidental in those cases: could be any language since the real programming is in the grammar and generator. An example of that is the parser in Mongrel server which was doing a solid job when I was following it. I’m not sure if they found vulnerabilities in it later.

                                  2. 5

                                    At the bottom of the page you linked:

                                    I’ve mostly given up on the standard C library. Many of its facilities, particularly stdio, seem designed to encourage bugs.

                                    Not great support for your claim.

                                    1. 2

                                      There was an integer overflow reported in qmail in 2005. Bernstein does not consider this a vulnerability.

                                  3. 3

                                    That’s not what I meant by attachment. Their interest in C certainly created much value.

                                  4. 9

                                    Their attachment to this language has caused billions if not trillions worth of damages to society.

                                    Inflammatory much? I’m highly skeptical that the damages have reached trillions, especially when you consider what wouldn’t have been built without C.

                                    1. 12

                                      Tony Hoare, null’s creator, regrets its invention and says that just inserting the one idea has cost billions. He mentions it in talks. It’s interesting to think that language creators even think of the mistakes they’ve made have caused billions in damages.

                                      “I call it my billion-dollar mistake. It was the invention of the null reference in 1965. At that time, I was designing the first comprehensive type system for references in an object oriented language (ALGOL W). My goal was to ensure that all use of references should be absolutely safe, with checking performed automatically by the compiler. But I couldn’t resist the temptation to put in a null reference, simply because it was so easy to implement. This has led to innumerable errors, vulnerabilities, and system crashes, which have probably caused a billion dollars of pain and damage in the last forty years.

                                      If the billion dollar mistake was the null pointer, the C gets function is a multi-billion dollar mistake that created the opportunity for malware and viruses to thrive.

                                      1. 2

                                        He’s deluded. You want a billion dollar mistake: try CSP/Occam plus Hoare Logic. Null is a necessary byproduct of implementing total functions that approximate partial ones. See, for example, McCarthy in 1958 defining a LISP search function with a null return on failure. http://www.softwarepreservation.org/projects/LISP/MIT/AIM-001.pdf

                                        1. 3

                                          “ try CSP/Occam plus Hoare Logic”

                                          I think you meant formal verification, which is arguable. They could’ve wasted a hundred million easily on the useless stuff. Two out of three are bad examples, though.

                                          Spin has had a ton of industrial success easily knocking out problems in protocols and hardware that are hard to find via other methods. With hardware, the defects could’ve caused recalls like the Pentium bug. Likewise, Hoare-style logic has been doing its job in Design-by-Contract which knocks time off debugging and maintenance phases. The most expensive. If anything, not using tech like this can add up to a billion dollar mistake over time.

                                          Occam looks like it was a large waste of money, esp in the Transputer.

                                          1. 1

                                            No. I meant what I wrote. I like spin.

                                        2. 1

                                          Note what he does not claim is that the net result of C’s continued existence is negative. Something can have massive defects and still be an improvement over the alternatives.

                                        3. 7

                                          “especially when you consider what wouldn’t have been built without C.”

                                          I just countered that. The language didn’t have to be built the way it was or persist that way. We could be building new stuff in a C-compatible language with many benefits of HLL’s like Smalltalk, LISP, Ada, or Rust with the legacy C getting gradually rewritten over time. If that started in the 90’s, we could have equivalent of a LISP machine for C code, OS, and browser by now.

                                          1. 1

                                            It didn’t have to, but it was, and it was then used to create tremendous value. Although I concur with the numerous shortcomings of C, and it’s past time to move on, I also prefer the concrete over the hypothetical.

                                            The world is a messy place, and what actually happens is more interesting (and more realistic, obviously) than what people think could have happened. There are plenty of examples of this inside and outside of engineering.

                                            1. 3

                                              The major problem I see with this “concrete” winners-take-all mindset is that it encourages whig history which can’t distinguish the merely victorious from the inevitable. In order to learn from the past, we need to understand what alternatives were present before we can hope to discern what may have caused some to succeed and others to fail.

                                              1. 2

                                                Imagine if someone created Car2 which crashed 10% of the time that Car did, but Car just happened to win. Sure, Car created tremendous value. Do you really think people you’re arguing with think that most systems software, which is written in C, is not extremely valuable?

                                                It would be valuable even if C was twice as bad. Because no one is arguing about absolute value, that’s a silly thing to impute. This is about opportunity cost.

                                                Now we can debate whether this opportunity cost is an issue. Whether C is really comparatively bad. But that’s a different discussion, one where it doesn’t matter that C created value absolutely.

                                          2. 8

                                            C is still much more widely used than those safer alternatives, I don’t see how laughing off a fact is better than researching its causes.

                                            1. 10

                                              Billions of lines of COBOL run mission-critical services of the top 500 companies in America. Better to research the causes of this than laughing it off. Are you ready to give up C for COBOL on mainframes or you think both of them’s popularity were caused by historical events/contexts with inertia taking over? Im in latter camp.

                                              1. 7

                                                Are you ready to give up C for COBOL on mainframes or you think both of them’s popularity were caused by historical events/contexts with inertia taking over? Im in latter camp.

                                                Researching the causes of something doesn’t imply taking a stance on it, if anything, taking a stance on something should hopefully imply you’ve researched it. Even with your comment I still don’t see how laughing off a fact is better than researching its causes.

                                                You might be interested in laughing about all the cobol still in use, or in research that looks into the causes of that. I’m in the latter camp.

                                                1. 5

                                                  I think you might be confused at what I’m laughing at. If someone wrote up a paper about how we should continue to use COBOL for reasons X, Y, Z, I would laugh at that too.

                                                  1. 3

                                                    Cobol has some interesting features(!) that make it very “safe”. Referring to the 85 standard:

                                                    X. No runtime stack, no stack overflow vulnerabilities
                                                    Y. No dynamic memory allocation, impossible to consume heap
                                                    Z. All memory statically allocated (see Y); no buffer overflows
                                                    
                                                    1. 3

                                                      We should use COBOL with contracts for transactions on the blockchains. The reasons are:

                                                      X. It’s already got compilers big businesses are willing to bet their future on.

                                                      Y. It supports decimal math instead of floating point. No real-world to fake, computer-math conversions needed.

                                                      Z. It’s been used in transaction-processing systems that have run for decades with no major downtime or financial losses disclosed to investors.

                                                      λ. It can be mathematically verified by some people who understand the letter on the left.

                                                      You can laugh. You’d still be missing out on a potentially $25+ million opportunity for IBM. Your call.

                                                      1. 1

                                                        Your call.

                                                        I believe you just made it your call, Nick. $25+ million opportunity, according to you. What are you waiting for?

                                                        1. 4

                                                          You’re right! I’ll pitch IBM’s senior executives on it the first chance I get. I’ll even put on a $600 suit so they know I have more business acumen than most coin pitchers. I’ll use phrases like vertical integration of the coin stack. Haha.

                                                    2. 4

                                                      That makes sense. I did do the C research. Ill be posting about that in a reply later tonight.

                                                      1. 10

                                                        Ill be posting about that in a reply later tonight.

                                                        Good god man, get a blog already.

                                                        Like, seriously, do we need to pass a hat around or something? :P

                                                        1. 5

                                                          Haha. Someone actually built me a prototype a while back. Makes me feel guilty that I dont have one instead of the usual lazy or overloaded.

                                                            1. 2

                                                              That’s cool. Setting one up isn’t the hard part. The hard part is doing a presentable design, organizing the complex activities I do, moving my write-ups into it adding metadata, and so on. I’m still not sure how much I should worry about the design. One’s site can be considered a marketing tool for people that might offer jobs and such. I’d go into more detail but you’d tell me “that might be a better fit for Barnacles.” :P

                                                              1. 3

                                                                Skip the presentable design. Dan Luu’s blog does pretty well it’s not working hard to be easy on the eyes. The rest of that stuff you can add as you go - remember, perfect is the enemy of good.

                                                                1. 0

                                                                  This.

                                                                  Hell, Charles Bloom’s blog is basically an append-only textfile.

                                                                2. 1

                                                                  ugh okay next Christmas I’ll add all the metadata, how does that sound

                                                                  1. 1

                                                                    Making me feel guilty again. Nah, I’ll build it myself likely on a VPS.

                                                                    And damn time has been flying. Doesnt feel like several months have passed on my end.

                                                          1. 1

                                                            looking forward to read it:)

                                                    3. 4

                                                      Well, we have those already, and they’re called Rust, Swift, ….

                                                      And D maybe too. D’s “better-c” is pretty interesting, in my mind.

                                                      1. 3

                                                        Last i checked, D’s “better-c” was a prototype.

                                                      2. 5

                                                        If you had actually made a serious effort at understanding the article, you might have come away with an understanding of what Rust, Swift, etc. are lacking to be a better C. By laughing at it, you learned nothing.

                                                        1. 2

                                                          the author calls for “improved C implementations”. Well, we have those already, and they’re called Rust, Swift

                                                          Those (and Ada, and others) don’t translate to assembly well. And they’re harder to implement than, say, C90.

                                                          1. 3

                                                            Is there a reason why you believe that other languages don’t translate to assembly well?

                                                            It’s true those other languages are harder to implement, but it seems to be a moot point to me when compilers for them already exist.

                                                            1. 1

                                                              Some users of C need an assembly-level understanding of what their code does. With most other languages that isn’t really achievable. It is also increasingly less possible with modern C compilers, and said users aren’t very happy about it (see various rants by Torvalds about braindamaged compilers etc.)

                                                              1. 4

                                                                “Some users of C need an assembly-level understanding of what their code does.”

                                                                Which C doesnt give them due to compiler differences and effects of optimization. Aside from spotting errors, it’s why folks in safety- critical are required to check the assembly against the code. The C language is certainly closer to assembly behavior but doesnt by itself gives assembly-level understanding.

                                                          2. 2

                                                            So true. Every time I use the internet, the solid engineering of the Java/Jscript components just blows me away.

                                                            1. 1

                                                              Everyone prefers the smell of their own … software stack. I can only judge by what I can use now based on the merits I can measure. I don’t write new services in C, but the best operating systems are still written in it.

                                                              1. 5

                                                                “but the best operating systems are still written in it.”

                                                                That’s an incidental part of history, though. People who are writing, say, a new x86 OS with a language balancing safety, maintenance, performance, and so on might not choose C. At least three chose Rust, one Ada, one SPARK, several Java, several C#, one LISP, one Haskell, one Go, and many C++. Plenty of choices being explored including languages C coders might say arent good for OS’s.

                                                                Additionally, many choosing C or C++ say it’s for existing tooling, tutorials, talent, or libraries. Those are also incidental to its history rather than advantages of its language design. Definitely worthwhile reasons to choose a language for a project but they shift the language argument itself implying they had better things in mind that werent usable yet for that project.

                                                                1. 4

                                                                  I think you misinterpreted what I meant. I don’t think the best operating systems are written in C because of C. I am just stating that the best current operating system I can run a website from is written in C, I’ll switch as soon as it is practical and beneficial to switch.

                                                                  1. 2

                                                                    Oh OK. My bad. That’s a reasonable position.

                                                                    1. 3

                                                                      I worded it poorly, I won’t edit though for context.

                                                            1. 3

                                                              Coming from npm, and knowing little about Go’s packaging or import system, it took a significant amount of time reading this article to understand two properties npm/Node has that seem to help alleviate the problems Go is grappling with:

                                                              1. npm has a strong semantic versioning culture. Very strong. Packages that don’t respect semver (at least packages that aren’t rando code from someone inexperienced) are in the tens and easy to lock down. That helps a lot to guide upgrade decisions.
                                                              2. Far more importantly, Node’s import machinery doesn’t have any global notion of a package. Meaning, A and B can depend on different, incompatible versions of C and everything is fine because their dependence on C is really an implementation detail that’s hidden from the global system.

                                                              Of course there are valid criticisms of both of these, some that I’m sure I’m not aware of (the author of this article is clearly more of a problem domain expert than I am) but they clearly solve a lot of problems too. The behavior of a solver in npm is a non-issue because there’s no version conflicts to solve, so you just don’t need one in the first place.

                                                              I wonder if this has contributed to npm’s small modules culture too - if you have the possibility of version conflicts then the risk of such a conflict is directly, positively correlated with the number of packages you use. But if there’s no possibility of a conflict (ignoring peer dependencies, which are more uncommon and considered an anti-pattern), then there’s no cost to having more packages in the conflict risk sense.

                                                              1. 3

                                                                go has/had vendoring that is like 2.

                                                                1. 1

                                                                  Why isn’t it used to prevent conflicts then?

                                                              1. 2

                                                                How does one properly back up a SQLite based application like this? Regular DUMP to text files and then put it in S3 or somesuch?

                                                                1. 12

                                                                  There are two options - a shared lock, or the online backup API

                                                                  https://sqlite.org/backup.html describes both.

                                                                  1. 4

                                                                    Much better answer than mine. I’m going to downvote myself.

                                                                    1. 1

                                                                      Thanks for sharing this link. I have been using the “copy” method described by @akkartik for years with no issues, but I can understand why that is risky. I’ll have to look into implementing this in the NimForum.

                                                                    2. 1

                                                                      You can literally just copy the .sqlite3 file(s).

                                                                      “A complete database is stored in a single cross-platform disk file. Great for use as an application file format.” (https://www.sqlite.org/features.html)

                                                                      1. 1

                                                                        How does that work? As in, how do you guarantee that the DB is in a consistent state when you do the copy? Or for a large DB how do you guarantee that the state won’t change DURING a copy?

                                                                        1. 2

                                                                          Oh yes you have to bring it down to ensure consistency. But that would also be true for the options you listed above.

                                                                          1. 2

                                                                            I didn’t see any options listed by @feoh, but you probably already know this but I’ll say it for others: DBs like PostgreSQL, Cassandra, Riak, etc provides mechanisms to do backups without stopping your application. At an administrative cost, though.

                                                                            1. 1

                                                                              It’s a nonissue, lvm volumes can do live snapshots of ext4 filesystems, so can zfs and btrfs and others. Very easy to do live backups of sqlite with no downtime. Sqlite itself has no problem with snapshots as it is designed to be resilient to power failure, which is what that would look like.

                                                                              1. 1

                                                                                I was referring to “Regular DUMP to text files and then put it in S3 or somesuch?”

                                                                      1. 1

                                                                        I recently tried out https://workflowy.com/ . I really like the simplicity and flexibility.

                                                                        1. 4

                                                                          To be honest, I found this article long winded and sparse on concrete complaints other than “people are unreliable”.

                                                                          1. 1

                                                                            The way comptime deals with generic types in zig is interesting, I wonder if an approach like that could work for go 2.0.

                                                                            1. 75

                                                                              Capitalism is killing us in a very literal sense by destroying our habitat at an ever accelerating rate. The fundamental idea of needing growth and having to constantly invent new things to peddle leads to ever more disposable products, that are replaced for the sake of being replaced. There’s been very little actual innovation happening in the phone space. The vendors are intentionally building devices using the planned obsolescence model to force the upgrade cycle.

                                                                              The cancer of consumerism affects pretty much every aspect of society, we’ve clear cut unique rain forests and destroyed millions of species we haven’t even documented so that we can make palm oil. A product that causes cancer, but that’s fractionally cheaper than other kinds of oil. We’ve created a garbage patch the size of a continent in the ocean. We’re poisoning the land with fracking. The list is endless, and it all comes down to the American ethos that making money is a sacred right that trumps all other concerns.

                                                                              1. 22

                                                                                Capitalism is killing us in a very literal sense by destroying our habitat at an ever accelerating rate.

                                                                                The cancer of consumerism affects pretty much every aspect of society, we’ve clear cut unique rain forests and destroyed millions of species we haven’t even documented so that we can make palm oil.

                                                                                One can get into a big debate about this, but the concept of externalities has existed for a long time and specifically addresses these concerns. Products do not cost what they should when taken their less tangible environment impact into account. It’s somewhat up to the reader to decide if the inability of society to take those into account is capitalism’s fault, or just human nature, or something else. I live in a country that leans much more socialist than the US but is unequivocally a capitalist country and they do a better job of managing these externalities. And China is not really capitalistic in the same way the US is but is a pretty significant polluter.

                                                                                1. 5

                                                                                  Indeed, it’s not the fault of the economic system (if you think Capitalistic societies are wasteful, take a look at the waste and inefficiency of industry under the USSR). If externalities are correctly accounted for, or to be safe, even over-accounted for by means of taxation or otherwise, the market will work itself out. If the environmental cost means the new iPhone costs $2000 in real costs, Apple will work to reduce environmental cost in order to make an affordable phone again and everyone wins. And if they don’t, another company will figure it out instead and Apple will lose.

                                                                                  Currently, there is basically no accounting for these externalities, and in some cases (although afaik not related to smart phones), there are subsidies and price-ceiling regulations and subsidies that actually decreases the cost of some externalities artificially and are worse for the environment than no government intervention at all.

                                                                                  The easy example of this is California State water subsidies for farmers. Artificially cheap water for farmers means they grow water-guzzling crops that are not otherwise efficient to grow in arid parts of the state, and cause environmental damage and water shortage to normal consumers. Can you imagine your local government asking you to take shorter showers and not wash your car, when farmers are paying 94% less than you to grow crops that could much more efficiently be grown in other parts of the country? That’s what happens in California.

                                                                                  Step 1 and 2 are to get rid of the current subsidies and regulations that aggravate externalities and impose new regulation/taxes that help account for externalities.

                                                                                  1. 2

                                                                                    I have talked to a factory owner in china. He said China is more capitalist than the USA. He said China prioritizes capital over social concerns.

                                                                                    1. 1

                                                                                      Ok? I can talk to lots of people with lots of opinions. That doesn’t make it true.

                                                                                      1. 1

                                                                                        It’s just impressive that a capitalist would say. If China was even remotely communist, don’t you find it interesting that most capitalists who made deals with China seem ok helping ‘the enemy’ become the second largest economy in the world? I prefer to believe the simpler possibility that China is pretty darn capitalist itself.

                                                                                        1. 2

                                                                                          I did not say China was not capitalist, I said it’s not in the same way as the US. There is a lot more state involvement in China.

                                                                                          1. 2

                                                                                            Is your claim then that state involvement means you have more pollution? Maybe I’m confused by what you were trying to get at, sorry :-/

                                                                                            1. 2

                                                                                              No, I was pointing out that different countries are doing capitalism differently and some of them are better at dealing with externalities and some of them are worse. With the overall point being that capitalism might be the wrong scapegoat.

                                                                                    1. 7

                                                                                      I think the consumer could be blamed more than capitalism, the companies make what sells, the consumers are individuals who buy products that hurt the environment, I think that it is changing though as people become more aware of these issues, they buy more environmentally friendly products.

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                                                                                        You’re blaming the consumer? I’d really recommend watching Century of the Self. Advertising has a massive impact and the mass of humans are being fed this desire for all the things we consume.

                                                                                        I mean, this really delves into the deeper question of self-awareness, agency and free will, but I really don’t think most human beings are even remotely aware.

                                                                                        Engineers, people on Lobster, et. al do really want standard devices. Fuck ARM. Give me a god damn mobile platform. Microsoft for the love of god, just publish your unlock key for your dead phone line so we can have at least one line of devices with UEFI+ARM. Device tree can go die in a fire.

                                                                                        The Linux-style revolution of the 2000s (among developers) isn’t happening on mobile because every device is just too damn different. The average consumer could care less. Most people like to buy new things, and we’re been indoctrinated to that point. Retailers and manufactures have focus groups geared right at delivering the dopamine rush.

                                                                                        I personally hate buying things. When my mobile stopped charging yesterday and the back broke again, I thought about changing it out. I’ve replaced the back twice already and the camera has spots on the sensor under the lenses.

                                                                                        I was able to get it charging when I got home on a high amp USB port, so instead I just ordered yet another back and a new camera (I thought it’d be a bitch to get out, but a few YouTube videos show I was looking at the ribbon wrong and it’s actually pretty easy to replace).

                                                                                        I feel bad when I buy things, but it took a lot of work to get to that point. I’ve sold or given away most of my things multiple times to go backpacking, I run ad block .. I mean if everyone did what I’d did, my life wouldn’t be sustainable. :-P

                                                                                        We are in a really solidly locked paradigm and I don’t think it can simply shift. If you believe the authors of The Dictators Handbook, we literally have to run our of resources before the general public and really push for dramatically different changes.

                                                                                        We really need more commitment to open standards mobile devices. The Ubuntu Edge could have been a game changer, or even the Fairphone. The Edge never got funded and the Fairphone can’t even keep parts sourced for their older models.

                                                                                        We need a combination of people’s attitudes + engineers working on OSS alternatives, and I don’t see either happening any time soon.

                                                                                        Edit: I forgot to mention, Postmarket OS is making huge strides into making older cellphones useful and I hope we see more of that too.

                                                                                        1. 7

                                                                                          I second the recommendation for The Century of the Self. That movie offers a life-changing change of perspective. The other documentaries by Curtis are also great and well worth the time.

                                                                                          1. 3

                                                                                            Century of the Self was a real eye opener. Curtis’s latest documentary, HyperNormalisation, also offers very interesting perspectives.

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                                                                                            Capitalism, by it’s very nature, drives companies to not be satisfied with what already sells. Companies are constantly looking to create new markets and products, and that includes creating demand.

                                                                                            IOW, consumers aren’t fixed actors who buy what they need; they are acted upon to create an ever increasing number of needs.

                                                                                            There are too many examples of this dynamic to bother listing.

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                                                                                              It’s also very difficult for the consumer to tell exactly how destructive a particular product is. The only price we pay is the sticker price. Unless you really want to put a lot of time into research it is hard to tell which product is better for the environment.

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                                                                                                It’s ridiculous to expect everyone to be an expert on every supply chain in the world, starting right from the mines and energy production all the way to the store shelf. That’s effectively what you are requiring.

                                                                                                I’m saying this as a very conscious consumer. I care about my carbon footprint, I don’t buy palm oil, I limit plastic consumption, I limit my consumption overall, but it’s all a drop in the ocean and changes nothing. There are still hundreds of compounds in the everyday items I buy whose provenance I know nothing about and which could be even more destructive. Not to mention that manufacturers really don’t want you to know, it’s simply not in their interest.

                                                                                                You’re creating an impossible task and setting people up to fail. It is not the answer.

                                                                                                1. 2

                                                                                                  “It’s ridiculous to expect everyone to be an expert on every supply chain in the world, starting right from the mines and energy production all the way to the store shelf. That’s effectively what you are requiring.”

                                                                                                  I don’t think it is what they’re requiring and it’s much easier than you describe. Here’s a few options:

                                                                                                  1. People who are really concerned about this at a level demanding much sacrifice to avoid damaging the environment should automatically avoid buying anything they can’t provably trust by default. The Amish are a decent example that avoids a lot of modern stuff due to commitment to beliefs.

                                                                                                  2. There’s groups that try to keep track of corporate abuse, environmental actions, and so on of various companies. They maintain good and bad lists. More people that supposedly care can both use them and join them in maintaining that data. It would be split among many people to lessen each’s burden. Again, avoid things by default until they get on the good lists. Ditch them if they get on the bad ones.

                                                                                                  3. Collectively push their politicians for laws giving proper labels, auditing, etc that help with No 2. Also, push for externalities to be charged back to the companies somehow to incentivize less-damaging behavior.

                                                                                                  4. Start their own businesses that practice what they preach. Build the principles into their charters, contracts, and so on. Niche businesses doing a better job create more options on the good lists in No 2. There’s entrepreneurs doing this.

                                                                                                  So, not all-knowing consumers as you indicated. Quite a few strategies that are less impossible.

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                                                                                                    @ac specifically suggested consumer choice as the solution to environmental issues, and that’s what I disagreed with.

                                                                                                    Your point number 3 is quite different from the other three, and it’s what I would suggest as a far more effective strategy than consumer choice (along with putting pressure on various corporations). As an aside, I still wouldn’t call it easy - it’s always a hard slog.

                                                                                                    Your points 1, 2 and 4 still rely on consumer choice, and effectively boil down to: either remove yourself from modern civilisation, or understand every supply chain in the world. I think it’s obvious that the first choice is neither desirable nor “much easier” for the vast majority of people (and I don’t think it’s the best possible solution). The second is impossible, as I said before.

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                                                                                                      “consumer choice as the solution to environmental issues”

                                                                                                      edit to add: consumer choice eliminated entire industries worth of companies because they wanted something else. It’s only worsened environmental issues. That’s probably not an argument against consumer choice so much as in favor of them willing to sacrifice the environment overall to get the immediate things they want.

                                                                                                      “either remove yourself from modern civilisation, or understand every supply chain in the world”

                                                                                                      This is another false dichotomy. I know lots of people who are highly-connected with other people but don’t own lots of tech or follow lots of fads. In many cases, they seem to know about them enough to have good conversations with people. They follow what’s going on or are just good listeners. Buying tons of gadgets or harmful things isn’t necessary for participation. You can get buy with a lot less than average middle or upper class person.

                                                                                                      What you said is better understood as a spectrum to be in like most things. Lots of positions in it.

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                                                                                                        I think we might actually be mostly in agreement, but we’re talking past each other a bit.

                                                                                                        That’s probably not an argument against consumer choice so much as in favor of them willing to sacrifice the environment overall to get the immediate things they want.

                                                                                                        I agree with this. But even when consumer choice is applied with environmental goals in mind, I believe its effect is very limited, simply because most people won’t participate.

                                                                                                        This is another false dichotomy.

                                                                                                        Yeah, but it was derived from your points :) I was just trying to hammer the point that consumer choice isn’t an effective solution.

                                                                                                        You can get buy with a lot less than average middle or upper class person.

                                                                                                        Totally. I’ve been doing that for a long time: avoiding gadgets and keeping the stuff I need (eg a laptop) as long as I can.

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                                                                                                          “But even when consumer choice is applied with environmental goals in mind, I believe its effect is very limited, simply because most people won’t participate.”

                                                                                                          Oh OK. Yeah, I share that depressing view. Evidence is overwhelmingly in our favor on it. It’s even made me wonder if I should even be doing the things I’m doing if so few are doing their part.

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                                                                                                  The blame rests on the producers, not on the consumers.

                                                                                                  Consumers are only able to select off of the menu of available products, so to speak. Most of the choices everyday consumers face are dictated by their employers and whatever is currently available to make it through their day.

                                                                                                  No person can reasonably trace the entire supply chain for every item they purchase, and could likely be impossible even with generous time windows. Nor would I want every single consumer to spend their non-working time to tracing these chains.

                                                                                                  Additionally, shifting this blame to the consumer creates conditions where producers can charge a premium on ‘green’ and ‘sustainable’ products. Only consumers with the means to consume ‘ethically’ are able to do so, and thus shame people with less money for being the problem.

                                                                                                  The blame falls squarely on the entities producing these products and the states tasked with regulating production. There will be no market-based solution to get us out of the climate catastrophe, and we certainly can’t vote for a green future with our dollars.

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                                                                                                    Consumers are only able to select off of the menu of available products, so to speak. Most of the choices everyday consumers face are dictated by their employers and whatever is currently available to make it through their day.

                                                                                                    That’s not true even though it seems it is. The consumers’ past behavior and present statements play a major role in what suppliers will produce. Most of what you see today didn’t happen overnight. There were battles fought where quite a few companies were out there doing more ethical things on supply side. They ended up bankrupt or with less marketshare while the unethical companies got way ahead through better marketing of their products. With enough wealth accumulated, they continued buying the brands of the better companies remaking them into scumbag companies, too, in many cases.

                                                                                                    For instance, I strongly advise against companies developing privacy- or security-oriented versions of software products that actually mitigate risks. They’ll go bankrupt like such companies often always did. The companies that actually make lots of money apply the buzzwords customers are looking for, integrate into their existing tooling (often insecure), have features they demand that are too complex to secure, and in some cases are so cheap the QA couldn’t have possibly been done right. That has to be private or secure for real against smart black hats. Not going to happen most of the time.

                                                                                                    So, I instead tell people to bake cost-effective security enhancements and good service into an otherwise good product advertised for mostly non-security benefits. Why? Because that’s what demand-side responds to almost every time. So, the supply must provide it if hoping to make waves. Turns out, there’s also an upper limit to what one can achieve in that way, too. The crowds’ demands will keep creating obstacles to reliability, security, workers’ quality of life, supplier choice, environment… you name it. They mostly don’t care either where suppliers being honest about costs will be abandoned for those delivering to demand side. In face of that, most suppliers will focus on what they think is in demand across as many proven dimensions as possible.

                                                                                                    Demand and supply side are both guilty here in a way that’s closely intertwined. It’s mostly demand side, though, as quite a few suppliers in each segment will give them whatever they’re willing to pay for at a profit.

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                                                                                                      I agree with a lot of your above point, but want to unpack some of this.

                                                                                                      Software security is a strange case to turn to since it has less direct implications on the climate crisis (sure anything that relies on a datacenter is probably using too much energy) compared to the production of disposable, resource-intensive goods.

                                                                                                      Demand and supply side are both guilty here in a way that’s closely intertwined. It’s mostly demand side, though, as quite a few suppliers in each segment will give them whatever they’re willing to pay for at a profit.

                                                                                                      I parse this paragraph to read: we should blame consumers for buying what’s available and affordable, because suppliers are incapable of acting ethically (due to competition).

                                                                                                      So should we blame the end consumer for buying a phone every two years and not the phone manufacturers/retailers for creating rackets of planned obsolescence?

                                                                                                      And additionally, most suppliers are consumers of something else upstream. Virtually everything that reaches an end consumer has been consumed and processed several times over by suppliers above. The suppliers are guilty on both counts by our separate reasoning.

                                                                                                      Blaming individuals for structural problems simply lets suppliers shirk any responsibility they should have to society. After all, suppliers have no responsibility other than to create profits. Suppliers’ bad behavior must be curtailed either through regulation, public education campaigns to affect consumption habits, or organizing within workplaces.

                                                                                                      (As an aside, I appreciate your response and it’s both useful and stimulating to hear your points)

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                                                                                                        “I parse this paragraph to read: we should blame consumers for buying what’s available and affordable, because suppliers are incapable of acting ethically (due to competition).”

                                                                                                        You added two words, available and affordable, to what I said. I left affordable off because many products that are more ethical are still affordable. Most don’t buy them anyway. I left availability off since there’s products appearing all the time in this space that mostly get ignored. The demand side not buying enough of what was and currently is available in a segment sends a message to suppliers about what they should produce. Especially if it’s consistent. Under vote with your wallet, we should give consumers their share of credit or blame for anything their purchasing decisions as a whole are supporting or destroying. That most won’t deliberately try to obtain an ethical supplier of… anything… supports my notion demand side has a lot to do with unethical activities of financially-successful suppliers.

                                                                                                        For a quick example, there are often coops and farmers markets in lots of rural areas or suburban towns in them. There’s usually a segment of people who buy from them to support their style of operation and/or jobs. There’s usually enough to keep them in business. You might count Costco in that, too, where a membership fee that’s fixed cost gets the customers a pile of stuff at a promised low-markup and great service. There’s people that use credit unions, esp in their industry, instead of banks. There’s people that try to buy from nonprofits, public beneit companies, companies with good track record, and so on. There’s both a demand side (tiny) and suppliers responding to it that show this could become a widespread thing.

                                                                                                        Most consumers on demand side don’t do that stuff, though. They buy a mix of necessities and arbitrary stuff from whatever supplier is lowest cost, cheapest, most variety, promoting certain image, or other arbitrary reasons. They do this so much that most suppliers, esp market leaders, optimize their marketing for that stuff. They also make more money off these people that let them put lots of ethical, niche players out of business over time. So, yeah, I’d say consumer demand being apathetic to ethics or long-term thinking is a huge part of the problem given it puts tens of billions into hands of unethical parties. Then, some of that money goes into politicians’ campaign funds so they make things even more difficult for those companies’ opponents.

                                                                                                        “Blaming individuals for structural problems simply lets suppliers shirk any responsibility they should have to society.”

                                                                                                        Or the individuals can buy from different suppliers highlighting why they’re doing it. Other individuals can start companies responding to that massive stated demand. The existing vendors will pivot their operations. Things start shifting. It won’t happen without people willing to buy it. Alternatively, using regulation as you mentioned. I don’t know how well public education can help vs all the money put into advertising. The latter seems more powerful.

                                                                                                        “(As an aside, I appreciate your response and it’s both useful and stimulating to hear your points)”

                                                                                                        Thanks. Appreciate you challenging it so I think harder on and improve it. :)

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                                                                                                      Only consumers with the means to consume ‘ethically’ are able to do so, and thus shame people with less money for being the problem.

                                                                                                      This is ignoring reality, removing cheaper options does not make the other options cheaper to manufacture. It is not shaming people.

                                                                                                      You are also ignoring the fact that in a free country the consumers and producers are the same people. A dissatisfied consumer can become a producer of a new alternative if they see it as possible.

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                                                                                                      Exactly. The consumers could be doing more on issues like this. They’re complicit or actively contribute to the problems.

                                                                                                      For example, I use old devices for as long as I can on purpose to reduce waste. I try to also buy things that last as long as possible. That’s a bit harder in some markets than others. For appliances, I just buy things that are 20 years old. They do the job and usually last 10 more years since planned obsolescence had fewer tricks at the time. ;) My smartphone is finally getting unreliable on essential functions, though. Bout to replace it. I’ll donate, reuse, or recycle it when I get new one.

                                                                                                      On PC side, I’m using a backup whose age I can’t recall with a Celeron after my Ubuntu Dell w/ Core Duo 2 died. It was eight years old. Attempting to revive it soon in case it’s just HD or something simple. It’s acting weird, though, so might just become a box for VM experiments, fuzzing, opening highly-untrustworthy URLs or files, etc. :)

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                                                                                                      Capitalism is killing us in a very literal sense by destroying our habitat at an ever accelerating rate

                                                                                                      Which alternatives would make people happier to consume less – drive older cars, wear rattier clothing, and demand fewer exotic vacations? Because, really, that’s the solution to excessive use of the environment: Be happier with less.

                                                                                                      Unfortunately, greed has been a constant of human nature far too long for capitalism to take the blame there.

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                                                                                                        Which alternatives would make people happier to consume less – drive older cars, wear rattier clothing, and demand fewer exotic vacations?

                                                                                                        Why do people want new cars, the latest fashions, and exotic vacations in the first place? If it’s all about status and bragging rights, then it’s going to take a massive cultural shift that goes against at least two generation’s worth of cultural programming by advertisers on the behalf of the auto, fashion and travel industries.

                                                                                                        I don’t think consumerism kicked into high gear until after the end of World War II when modern advertising and television became ubiquitous, so perhaps the answer is to paraphrase Shakespeare:

                                                                                                        The first thing we do, let’s kill all the advertisers.

                                                                                                        OK, maybe killing them (or encouraging them to off themselves in the tradition of Bill Hicks) is overkill. Regardless, we should consider the possibility that advertising is nothing but private sector psyops on behalf of corporations, and should not be protected as “free speech”.

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                                                                                                          If there was an advertising exception for free speech, people would use it as an unprincipled excuse to ban whatever speech they didn’t like, by convincing the authorities to classify it as a type of advertising. After all, most unpopular speech is trying to convince someone of something, right? That’s what advertising fundamentally is, right?

                                                                                                          Remember that the thing that Oliver Wendell Holmes called “falsely shouting fire in a crowded theater” wasn’t actually shouting “fire” in an actual crowded theater - it was a metaphor he used to describe protesting the military draft.

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                                                                                                            I agree: there shouldn’t be an advertising exception on free speech. However, the First Amendment should only apply to homo sapiens or to organisms we might eventually recognize as sufficiently human to possess human rights. Corporations are not people, and should not have rights.

                                                                                                            They might have certain powers defined by law, but “freedom of speech” shouldn’t be one of them.

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                                                                                                          IMO, Hedonistic adaptation is a problem and getting worse. I try to actively fight against it.

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                                                                                                            It would be a start if we designed cities with walking and public transportation in mind, not cars.

                                                                                                            My neighborhood is old and walkable. I do shopping on foot (I have a bicycle but don’t bother with it). For school/work, take a single bus and a few minutes walking. Getting a car would be a hassle, I don’t have a place to park it, and I’d have to pay large annual fees for rare use.

                                                                                                            Newer neighborhoods appear to be planned with the idea that you’ll need a car for every single task. “Residential part” with no shops at all, but lots of room for parking. A large grocery store with a parking lot. Even train stations with a large parking lot, but no safe path for pedestrians/cyclists from the nearby neighborhoods.

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                                                                                                            The new features on phones are so fucking stupid as well. People are buying new phones to get animated emojis and more round corners. It’s made much worse with phone OEMs actively making old phones work worse by slowing them down.

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                                                                                                              There has been no evidence to my knowledge that anyone is slowing old phones down. This continues to be an unfounded rumor

                                                                                                              1. 2

                                                                                                                There’s also several Lobsters that have said Android smartphones get slower over time at a much greater rate than iPhones. I know my Galaxy S4 did. This might be hardware, software bloat, or whatever. There’s phones it’s happening on and those it isn’t in a market where users definitely don’t want their phones slowing down. So, my theory on Android side is it’s a problem they’re ignoring on purpose or even contributing to due to incentives. They could be investing money into making the platform much more efficient across devices, removing bloat, etc. They ain’t gonna do that.

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                                                                                                                  Android smartphones get slower over time at a much greater rate than iPhones.

                                                                                                                  In my experience, this tends to be 3rd party apps that start at boot and run all the time. Factory reset fixes it. Android system updates also make phones faster most of the time.

                                                                                                                  1. 1

                                                                                                                    Hmm. I’ll try it since I just backed everything up.

                                                                                                                    1. 3

                                                                                                                      I’m still using a Nexus 6 I got ~2.5 years ago. I keep my phone pretty light. No Facebook or games. Yet, my phone was getting very laggy. I wiped the cache (Settings -> Storage -> Cached data) and that seemed to help a bit, but overall, my phone was still laggy. It seemed to get really bad in my text messaging app (I use whatever the stock version is). I realized that I had amassed a lot of text messages over the years, which includes quite a lot of gifs. I decided to wipe my messages. I did that by installing “SMS Backup & Restore” and telling it to delete all of my text messages, since apparently the stock app doesn’t have a way to do this in bulk. It took at least an hour for the deletion to complete. Once it was done, my phone feels almost as good as new, which makes me really happy, because I really was not looking forward to shelling out $1K for a Pixel.

                                                                                                                      My working theory is that there is some sub-optimal strategy in how text messages are cached. Since I switch in and out of the text messaging app very frequently, it wouldn’t surprise me if I was somehow frequently evicting things from memory and causing disk reads, which would explain why the lag impacted my entire phone and not just text messages. But, this is just speculation. And a factory reset would have accomplished the same thing (I think?), so it’s consistent with the “factory reset fixes things” theory too.

                                                                                                                      My wife is still on a Nexus 5 (great phone) and she has a similar usage pattern as me. Our plan is to delete her text messages too and see if that helps things.

                                                                                                                      Anyway… I realize this basically boils down to folk remedies at this point, but I’m just going through this process now, so it’s top of mind and figured I’d share.

                                                                                                                      1. 2

                                                                                                                        I’ll be damned. I baked up and wiped the SMS, nothing else. The phone seems like it’s moving a lot snappier. Literally a second or two of delay off some things. Some things are still slow but maybe app just is. YouTube always has long loading time. The individual videos load faster now, though.

                                                                                                                        Folk remedy is working. Appreciate the tip! :)

                                                                                                                        1. 2

                                                                                                                          w00t! Also, it’s worth mentioning that I was experiencing much worse delay than a second or two. Google Nav would sometimes lock up for many seconds.

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                                                                                                                            Maps seems OK. I probably should’ve been straight-up timing this stuff for better quality of evidence. Regardless, it’s moving a lot faster. Yours did, too. Two, strong anecdotes so far on top of factory reset. Far as we know, even their speed gains might have come from SMS clearing mostly that the reset did. Or other stuff.

                                                                                                                            So, I think I’m going to use it as is for a week or two to assess this change plus get a feel for a new baseline. Then, I’ll factory reset it, reinstall some apps from scratch, and see if that makes a difference.

                                                                                                                            1. 2

                                                                                                                              Awesome. Please report back. :-)

                                                                                                                              1. 2

                                                                                                                                I’ll try to remember to. I’m just still stunned it wasn’t 20 Chrome tabs or all the PDF’s I download during the day. Instead, text messages I wasn’t even using. Of all things that could drag a whole platform down…

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                                                                                                                                  Sms is stored on the SIM card, right? That’s probably not got ideal I/O characteristics…

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                                                                                                                                    I thought the contacts were but messages were on phone. I’m not sure. The contacts being on there could have an effect. I’d have hoped they cached a copy of SIM contents onto in-phone memory. Yeah, SIM access could be involved.

                                                                                                                        2. 2

                                                                                                                          Now, that’s fascinating. I don’t go in and out of text a lot but do have a lot of text messages. Many have GIF’s. There’s also at least two other apps that accumulate a lot of stuff. I might try wiping them. Btw, folk remedies feel kind of justified when we’re facing a complex, black-box system with nothing else to go on. ;)

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                                                                                                                    Official from apple: https://www.apple.com/au/iphone-battery-and-performance/

                                                                                                                    They slow phones with older batteries but don’t show the user any indication that it can be fixed very cheaply by replacing the battery (Until after the recent outrage) and many of them will just buy a new phone and see it’s much faster.

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                                                                                                                      Wow, so much to unpack here.

                                                                                                                      You said they slow old phones down. That is patently false. New versions of iOS are not made to run slowly on older model hardware.

                                                                                                                      Apple did not slow phones down with old batteries. They throttled the CPU of phones with failing batteries (even brand new ones!) to prevent the phone from crashing due to voltage drops. This ensured the phone was still functional even if you needed your phone in an emergency. Yes it was stupid there was no notification to the user. This is no longer relevant because they now provide notifications to the user. This behavior existed for a short period of time in the lifespan of the iPhone: less than 90 days between introduction of release with throttling and release with controls to disable and notifications to users.

                                                                                                                      Please take your fake outrage somewhere else.

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                                                                                                                        Apple did not slow phones down with old batteries. They throttled the CPU of phones with failing batteries (even brand new ones!) to prevent the phone from crashing due to voltage drops.

                                                                                                                        In theory this affects new phones as well, but we know that as batteries grow older, they break down, hold less charge, and have a harder time achieving their design voltage. So in practice, this safety mechanism for the most part slows down older phones.

                                                                                                                        You claim @user545 is unfairly representing the facts by making Apple look like this is some evil ploy to increase turnover for their mobile phones.

                                                                                                                        However, given the fact that in reality this does mostly make older phones seem slower, and the fact that they put this in without ever telling anyone outside Apple and not allowing the user to check their battery health and how it affected the performance of their device, I feel like it requires a lot more effort not to make it look like an intentional decision on their part.

                                                                                                                        1. 2

                                                                                                                          Sure, but if you have an old phone with OK batteries, then their code did not slow it down. So I think it is still more correct to say they slowed down those with bad batteries than those that were old even if most of those with bad batteries were also bad which really depended on phone’s use.

                                                                                                                          The difference is not just academic. For example I have “inherited” iPhone6 from my wife that still has a good battery after more than 2 years and performs fine.

                                                                                                                          1. 2

                                                                                                                            the fact that they put this in without ever telling anyone outside Apple

                                                                                                                            It was in the release notes of that iOS release…

                                                                                                                            edit: additionally it was known during the beta period in December. This wasn’t a surprise.

                                                                                                                            1. 1

                                                                                                                              Again, untrue. The 11.2 release notes make no mention of batteries, throttling, or power management. (This was the release where Apple extended the throttling to the 7 series of phones.) The 10.2.1 release notes, in their entirety, read thus:

                                                                                                                              iOS 10.2.1 includes bug fixes and improves the security of your iPhone or iPad. It also improves power management during peak workloads to avoid unexpected shutdowns on iPhone.

                                                                                                                              That does not tell a reader that long-term CPU throttling is taking place, that it’s restricted to older-model iPhones only, that it’s based on battery health and fixable with a new battery (not a new phone), etc. It provides no useful or actionable information whatsoever. It’s opaque and frankly deceptive.

                                                                                                                              1. 0

                                                                                                                                You’re right, because I was mistaken and the change was added in iOS 10.2.1, 1/23/2017

                                                                                                                                https://support.apple.com/kb/DL1893?locale=en_US

                                                                                                                                It also improves power management during peak workloads to avoid unexpected shutdowns on iPhone.

                                                                                                                                A user on the day of release:

                                                                                                                                Hopefully it fixes the random battery shutoff bug.

                                                                                                                                src: https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/apple-releases-ios-10-2-1-with-bug-fixes-and-security-improvements.2028992/page-2#post-24225066

                                                                                                                                additionally in a press release:

                                                                                                                                In February 2017, we updated our iOS 10.2.1 Read Me notes to let customers know the update ‘improves power management during peak workloads to avoid unexpected shutdowns.’ We also provided a statement to several press outlets and said that we were seeing positive results from the software update.

                                                                                                                                Please stop trolling. It was absent from the release notes for a short period of time. It was fixing a known issue affecting users. Go away.

                                                                                                                                1. 4

                                                                                                                                  Did you even read the comment you are responding to? I quoted the 10.2.1 release notes in full–the updated version–and linked them too. Your response is abusive and in bad faith, your accusations of trolling specious.

                                                                                                                                  1. [Comment removed by moderator pushcx: We've never had cause to write a rule about doxxing, but pulling someone's personal info into a discussion like this to discredit them is inappropriate.]

                                                                                                                                    1. 2

                                                                                                                                      I don’t hate Apple. I’m not going to sell my phone because I like it. The battery is even still in good shape! I wish they’d been a little more honest about their CPU throttling. I don’t know why this provokes such rage from you. Did you go through all my old comments to try to figure out what kind of phone I have? Little creepy.

                                                                                                                                      1. 2

                                                                                                                                        I’m not angry about anything here. It’s just silly that such false claims continue to be thrown around about old phones intentionally being throttled to sell new phones. Apple hasn’t done that. Maybe someone else has.

                                                                                                                                        edit: it took about 30 seconds to follow your profile link to your website -> to Flickr -> to snag image metadata and see what phone you own.

                                                                                                                          2. -3

                                                                                                                            They throttled the CPU of phones with failing batteries (even brand new ones!)

                                                                                                                            This is untrue. They specifically singled out only older-model phones for this treatment. From the Apple link:

                                                                                                                            About a year ago in iOS 10.2.1, we delivered a software update that improves power management during peak workloads to avoid unexpected shutdowns on iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus and iPhone SE. [snip] We recently extended the same support to iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus in iOS 11.2.

                                                                                                                            In other words, if you buy an iPhone 8 or X, no matter what condition the battery is in, Apple will not throttle the CPU. (In harsh environments–for example, with lots of exposure to cold temperatures–it’s very plausible that an 8 or X purchased new might by now have a degraded battery.)

                                                                                                                            1. 2

                                                                                                                              You are making a claim without any data to back it up.

                                                                                                                              Can you prove that the batteries in the new iPhones suffer voltage drops when they are degraded? If they use a different design with more/smaller cells then AIUI they would be significantly less likely to have voltage drops when overall capacity is degraded.

                                                                                                                              But no, instead you continue to troll because you have a grudge against Apple. Take your crap elsewhere. It’s not welcome here.

                                                                                                                              1. 3

                                                                                                                                You’re moving the goalposts. You claimed Apple is throttling the CPU of brand new phones. You were shown this to be incorrect, and have not brought any new info to the table. Your claim that the newer phones might be designed so as to not require throttling is irrelevant.

                                                                                                                                Please don’t accuse (multiple) people of trolling. It reflects poorly on yourself. All are welcome here.

                                                                                                                                1. 3

                                                                                                                                  You can buy a brand new phone directly from Apple (iPhone 6S) with a faulty battery and experience the throttling. I had this happen.

                                                                                                                        2. 1

                                                                                                                          Google services update in the background even when other updates are disabled. Even if services updates are not intended to slow down the phone, they still do.

                                                                                                                        3. 3

                                                                                                                          The new features on phones are so fucking stupid as well.

                                                                                                                          I think the consumer who pays for it is stupid.

                                                                                                                          1. 3

                                                                                                                            It’s both. The user wants something new every year and OEMs don’t have anything worthwhile each year so they change things for the sake of change like adding rounded corners on the LCD or cutting a chunk out of the top. It makes it seem like something is new and worth buying when not much worthwhile has actually changed.

                                                                                                                            1. 4

                                                                                                                              I think companies would always take the path of least resistance that works. If consumers didn’t fall for such stupid tricks the companies that did them would die off.

                                                                                                                        4. 2

                                                                                                                          Yep. I guess humanity’s biggest achievement will be to terraform itself out of existence.

                                                                                                                          This planet does neither bargain nor care about this civilizations’ decision making processes. It will keep flying around the sun for a while, with or without humans on it.

                                                                                                                          I’m amazed by the optimism people display in response to pointing out that the current trajectory of climate change makes it highly unlikely that our grand-grand-children will ever be born.

                                                                                                                          1. 2

                                                                                                                            The list is endless, and it all comes down to the American ethos that making money is a sacred right that trumps all other concerns.

                                                                                                                            s/American/human

                                                                                                                            You can’t fix a problem if you misunderstand what causes it.

                                                                                                                            1. 5

                                                                                                                              Ideology matters, and America has been aggressively promoting toxic capitalist ideology for many decades around the world. Humans aren’t perfect, but we can recognize our problems and create systems around us to help mitigate them. Capitalism is equivalent of giving a flamethrower to a pyromaniac.

                                                                                                                              1. 3

                                                                                                                                If you want to hash out how “toxic capitalism” is ruining everything, that’s fine–I’m just observing that many other countries (China, Germany, India, Mozambique, Russia, etc.) have done things that, to me at least, dispel the notion of toxic capitalism as purely being American in origin.

                                                                                                                                And to avoid accusations of whataboutism, the reason I point those other countries out is that if a solution is put forth assuming that America is the problem–and hence itself probably grounded in approaches unique to an American context–it probably will not be workable in other places.

                                                                                                                                1. 2

                                                                                                                                  Nobody is saying that capitalism alone is the problem or that it’s unique to America. I was saying that capitalism is clearly responsible for a lot of harm, and that America promotes it aggressively.

                                                                                                                                  1. 0

                                                                                                                                    Don’t backpedal. You wrote:

                                                                                                                                    The list is endless, and it all comes down to the American ethos that making money is a sacred right that trumps all other concerns.

                                                                                                                                    As to whether or not capitalism is clearly responsible for a lot of harm, it’s worth considering what the alternatives have accomplished.

                                                                                                                                    1. 0

                                                                                                                                      Nobody is backpedaling here, and pointing at other failed systems saying they did terrible things too isn’t much of an argument.

                                                                                                                          1. 3

                                                                                                                            I did not write this module, but I know the author and we’ve discussed this concept. His goal is to make programming more accessible and translating documentation is just one step towards this. I also know that the current implementation, using Google Translate, is more or less a proof of concept. The ideal scenario would be a help system for Python packages that supports localisation, i.e., provides ways in which people can document their modules in multiple languages, and perhaps optionally defaults to automatic translation for missing languages.

                                                                                                                            I’d be curious to know what other people think.

                                                                                                                            1. 1

                                                                                                                              come up with some way to combine a wiki system to let people contribute translations perhaps?

                                                                                                                              1. 2

                                                                                                                                This is an awesome idea, and there has already been some work done in this space.

                                                                                                                                I don’t know how translations are handled in python (and since this tool is using google translate, I’m not sure how portable this idea is), but in C (and many other languages), GNU’s gettext is the standard. One of the benefits is that there are some great tools available for accepting translations; e.g., poedit. And there are online editors available too (though I cannot vouch for them).

                                                                                                                                Allowing a public translation effort (probably with review from someone) in a wiki style would be incredibly cool!

                                                                                                                                @achilleas, awesome project; I ope the author keeps it up!

                                                                                                                            1. 1

                                                                                                                              I agree with him. To be honest, the risk reward for such ambitious projects does not make sense. Years of effort to write a new filesystem, and for what gain? That level of effort and talent could be spent on numerous other things that would work out better for both the world and the author.

                                                                                                                              Most OSS is subsidized in two ways by companies, unsatisfied workers with a feeling they must do something else, and paying engineers enough so they don’t go broke while wasting massive amounts of time on some questionable projects. I hope the career in mathematics makes him/her happy.

                                                                                                                              1. 3

                                                                                                                                I wonder why he didnt just start writing high-assurance software in a lightweight formalism or working with proof assistants. I saw him do a piece on Hoare triplets or something. A formal semantics or verifying popular libraries in Rust might have satisfied his need for math and correctness while getting something done.

                                                                                                                                1. 5

                                                                                                                                  My personal Rust verification project is to verify str::contains in the standard library. It is quite challenging, as it uses two-way substring search algorithm, and as far as I can tell there is no verified implementation of this algorithm in any system.

                                                                                                                                  1. 2

                                                                                                                                    Something that’s a first, but still smallish, sounds like a great project to tackle. Good luck. Do post a write up once you get it done.

                                                                                                                                  2. 2

                                                                                                                                    Or it would contribute to the feeling of vaporware that nobody uses. That is not meant as being critical of proofs, just that the field seems even more prone to the problems of lots of work that nobody is yet using, and he is getting no benefit from.

                                                                                                                                    1. 1

                                                                                                                                      That’s true. He’d have to use it on something that doesn’t change often that he can drop into existing stack. Good example is verified crypto that miTLS is dropping into Firefox. Other possibilities Ive seen people prototype were string libraries, GMP, and C libraries (ie stdlib). Plenty potential fo do verified stuff people will use.

                                                                                                                                  1. 2

                                                                                                                                    In the last week I got a message like this from both twitter and github. I am happy I started using a password manager and random passwords.

                                                                                                                                    1. 5

                                                                                                                                      I think outreachy is fine to donate to whoever they want, a nice thought experiment: how would a white male only scholarship would be received? Or perhaps economically disadvantaged Europeans? Where is the line and why does one exist? If you are fine with one, and not with the other, are you a hypocrite? if not, why not?

                                                                                                                                      1. 39

                                                                                                                                        I don’t understand the author’s objection to Outreachy. As far as I can tell, they want to fund some interns from marginalized groups so that they can work on open-source. They are not preventing the author from working on open-source. They are not preventing the author from funding interns he approves of from working on open-source. What is the problem?

                                                                                                                                        1. 22

                                                                                                                                          Outreachy funds members of specific minority groups and would not fund a cisgender white guy’s internship. He decries this as discrimination.

                                                                                                                                          On this topic, the term discrimination has differing interpretations and it’s very easy for folks to talk past each other when it comes up. It sounds he’s using it in a way that means disfavoring people based on the sex or race they belong to. Another popular definition is that it only applies to actions taken against groups that have been historically discriminated against. This use gets really strong pushback from people who disagree with the aims or means of projects like Outreachy as begging the question, making an assumption that precludes meaningful discussion of related issues.

                                                                                                                                          1. 4

                                                                                                                                            It’s not only that Outreachy would not fund a cisgender white guy’s internship. Outreachy also would not fund Asian minority’s internship. Asian minority is a group that has been historically discriminated against. Outreachy is discriminating against specific minority. In summary, Outreachy is simply discriminating, it is not using alternative definition of discrimination.

                                                                                                                                            (Might be relevant: I am Asian.)

                                                                                                                                            1. 7

                                                                                                                                              I asked Karen Sandler. This is the reason for the selection of groups:

                                                                                                                                              <karenesq> JordiGH: I saw the lobsters thread. the expansion within the US to the non-gender related criteria was based on the publication by multiple tech companies of their own diversity statistics. We just expanded our criteria to the groups who were by far the least represented.

                                                                                                                                              1. 2

                                                                                                                                                Thanks a lot for clarifying this with Karen Sandler!

                                                                                                                                                I think this proves beyond any shade of doubt that Outreachy is concerned with not historical injustice, but present disparity.

                                                                                                                                              2. 3

                                                                                                                                                He had a pretty fair description of where the disputes were coming from. Far as what you’re saying on Outreachy, the Asian part still fits into it as even cultural diversity classes I’ve seen say the stereotypes around Asians are positive for stuff like being smart or educated. Overly positive to the point that suicide due to pressure to achieve was a bit higher according to those sources. There’s lots of Asians brought into tech sector due to a mix of stereotypes and H1-B. The commonness of white males and Asians in software development might be why they were excluded with the white males. That makes sense to me if I look at it through the view they likely have of who is privileged in tech.

                                                                                                                                                1. 3

                                                                                                                                                  Yes, it makes sense that way, but it does not make sense in “historical discrimination” sense pushcx argued. I believe this is an evidence that these organizations are concerned with the present disparity, not with the history. Therefore, I believe they should cease to (dishonestly, I think) argue history argument.

                                                                                                                                                2. 2

                                                                                                                                                  Well, if you were a woman or identified as one they would accept you, regardless if you were Asian or not. I do wonder why they picked to outreach to the particular groups they picked.

                                                                                                                                                  And you have to pick some groups. If you pick none/all, then you’re not doing anything different than GSoC, and there already is a GSoC, so there would be no point for Outreachy.

                                                                                                                                                  1. 1

                                                                                                                                                    You can pick groups that have been historically discriminated against, as pushcx suggested. Outreachy chose otherwise.

                                                                                                                                                    1. 2

                                                                                                                                                      To nitpick, I was talking about the term “discrimination” because I’ve seen it as a source of people talking past each other, not advocating for an action or even a particular definition of the term. Advocating my politics would’ve compromised my ability to effectively moderate, though incorrect assumptions were still made about the politics of the post I removed and that I did so out of disagreement, so… shrug

                                                                                                                                              3. 49

                                                                                                                                                For those who are used to privilege, equality feels like discrimination.

                                                                                                                                                1. 18

                                                                                                                                                  I think the author’s point is that offering an internship for only specific groups is discrimination. From a certain point of view, I understand how people see it that way. I also understand how it’s seen as fair. Whether that’s really discrimination or not is up for debate.

                                                                                                                                                  What’s not up for debate is that companies or people should be able to give their money however they feel like it. It’s their money. If a company wants to only give their money to Black Africans from Phuthaditjhaba, that’s their choice! Fine by me!

                                                                                                                                                  Edit: trying to make it clear I don’t want to debate, but make the money point.

                                                                                                                                                  1. 18

                                                                                                                                                    It is discrimination, that’s what discrimination means. But that doesn’t automatically make it unfair or net wrong.

                                                                                                                                                    1. 12

                                                                                                                                                      The alternative is inclusive supply plus random selection. You identify the various groups that exist. Go out of your way to bring in potential candidates of a certain number in each one. The selection process is blind. Whoever is selected gets the help. Maybe auditable process on top of that. This is a fair process that boosts minorities on average to whatever ratio you’re doing the invite. It helps whites and males, too.

                                                                                                                                                      That’s the kind of thing I push. Plus, different ways to improve the blindness of the evaluation processes. That is worth a lot of research given how much politics factors into performance evaluations in workplaces. It affects everyone but minority members even more per the data. Those methods, an equal pull among various categories, and blind select are about as fair as it gets. Although I don’t know exact methods, I did see GapJumpers describing something that sounds closer to this with positive results. So, the less-discriminating way of correcting imbalances still achieves that goal. The others aren’t strictly necessary.

                                                                                                                                                      The next scenario is specific categories getting pulled in more than everyone with organizations helping people in the other ones exclusively to boost them. That’s what’s going on here. Given the circumstances, I’m not going to knock them even if not as fair as other method. They’re still helping. It looks less discriminatory if one views it at a high level where each group addresses those they’re biased for. I did want to show the alternative since it rarely gets mentioned, though.

                                                                                                                                                      1. 13

                                                                                                                                                        I really agree with this. I was with a company who did a teenage code academy. I have a masters, and did a lot of work tutoring undergrads and really want to get back into teaching/academia.

                                                                                                                                                        I wanted to teach, but was actually pushed down the list because they wanted to give teaching positions to female staff first. I was told I could take a support role. The company also did a lot of promotion specifically to all girls schools and to try to pull women in. They had males in the classes too, but the promotion was pretty bias.

                                                                                                                                                        Also I want to point out that I had a stronger teaching background/qualifications than some of the other people put in those positions.

                                                                                                                                                        I’m for fairness and giving people opportunity, but I feel as if efforts to stop discrimination just lead to more discrimination. The thing is, we’re scientists and engineers. We know the maths. We can come up with better ways to pull in good random distributions of minorities/non-minorities and don’t have to resort to workshops that promote just another equal but opposite mono-culture. If anything you do potential developers a disservice by having workshops that are only women instead of half-and-half. You get a really one sided narrative.

                                                                                                                                                        1. 9

                                                                                                                                                          I appreciate you sharing that example. It mirrors some that have happened to me. Your case is a good example of sexism against a man that might be more qualified than a women being hired based on gender. I’ll also note that so-called “token hires” are often treated poorly once they get in. I’ve seen small organizations where that’s not true since the leadership just really believed in being good to people and bringing in different folks. They’re rare. Most seem to be environments people won’t want to be in since conflict or resentment increases.

                                                                                                                                                          In your case and most of those, random + blind selection might have solved the problem over time without further discrimination or resentment. If process is auditable, everyone knows the race or gender part gave everyone a fair shot. From there, it was performance. That’s a meaningful improvement to me in reducing the negative effects that can kick in when correcting imbalances. What I will say, though, is I don’t think we can always do this since performance in some jobs is highly face-to-face, based on how groups perceive the performer, etc. I’m still uncertain if something other than quotas can help with those.

                                                                                                                                                          Most jobs I see people apply for can be measured, though. If it can be measured, it can sometimes already be blinded or may be measured blindly if we develop techniques for that.

                                                                                                                                                          1. 3

                                                                                                                                                            I agree with these comments, plus, thanks for sharing a real life example. We are definitely fighting discrimination with more discrimination doing things the current way. For a bit I’ve thought that a blind evaluation process would be best. It may not be perfect, but it seems like a step in a better direction. It’s encouraging to see other people talking about it.

                                                                                                                                                            One other thought- I think we as society are handling race, gender, age, etc problems wrong. Often, it’s how a certain group ‘A’ has persecuted another group ‘B’. However, this isn’t really fair for the people in group ‘A’ that having nothing to do with what the other people are doing. Because they share the same gender/race/whatever, they are lumped in. Part of this seems to be human nature, and it’s not always wrong. But maybe fighting these battles in more specific cases would help.

                                                                                                                                                          2. 5

                                                                                                                                                            I think the problem here is that whites and males don’t need extra help. They already get enough help from their position in society. Sure, equal distribution sounds great, but adding an equal amount to everyone doesn’t make them equal; it doesn’t nullify the discrepancy that was there before. Is it good to do so? Yes, of course, but it would be better served and better for society to focus on helping those without built-in privilege to counteract the advantage that white males have.

                                                                                                                                                            1. 9

                                                                                                                                                              There are lots of people in bad situations who are white and male. Saying someones race and gender determines how much help someone has had in life seems both racist and sexist.

                                                                                                                                                              1. 2

                                                                                                                                                                I’m not saying that it applies in all circumstances. But I am saying that they have a much larger support structure available to them, even if they didn’t get started on the same footing as other examples.

                                                                                                                                                                It’s not directly because of their race and sex, it’s because of their privilege. That’s the fundamental difference.

                                                                                                                                                                1. 6

                                                                                                                                                                  I don’t even know how much it matters if it was true. Especially in rural or poor areas of white people. Their support structure is usually some close friends, family, people they live with, and so on. Often food stamps, too. Their transportation or Internet might be unreliable. Few jobs close to them. They have to pack up and leave putting themselves or their family into the unknown with about no money to save for both the move and higher cost of living many areas with more jobs will entail. Lots of drug abuse and suicide among these groups relative to whites in general. Most just hope they get a decent job where management isn’t too abusive and the lowish wages cover the bills. Then, you talk about how they have “a much larger support structure available to them” “because of their privilege.” They’d just stare at you blinking wondering what you’re talking about.

                                                                                                                                                                  Put Your Solutions Where Your Ideology Is

                                                                                                                                                                  Since you talk about advantages of privilege and support structures, I’m curious what you’d recommend to a few laypeople in my white family who will work, have basic to good people skills, and are non-technical. They each have a job in area where there aren’t lots of good jobs. They make enough money to make rent. I often have trouble contacting them because they “have no minutes” on their phones. The areas they’re in have no wired Internet directly to renters (i.e. pay extra for crap), satellite, spotty connections, or they can’t afford it. Some have transportation, others lost theirs as it died with four digit repairs eclipsing 1-2 digits of surplus money. All their bosses exploit them to whatever extent possible. All the bosses underschedule them where the work couldn’t get done then try to work them to death to do it. The schedules they demand are horrible with at least two of us having schedules that shift anywhere from morning to evening to graveyard shift in mid-week. It kills people slowly over time. Meanwhile, mentally drains them in a way that prevents them learning deep stuff that could get them in good jobs. Most of them and their friends feel like zombies due to scheduling with them just watching TV, chilling with friends/family, or something otherwise comfortable on off days. This is more prevalent as companies like Khronos push their optimizations into big businesses with smaller ones following suit. Although not among current family now, many of them in the past worked 2-3 jobs with about no time to sleep or have fun just to survive. Gets worse when they have an infant or kids.

                                                                                                                                                                  This is the kind of stuff common among poor and working classes throughout America, including white people. Is this the average situation of you, your friends, and/or most white males or females you know of? These people “don’t need help?” I’m stretching my brain to try to figure out how what you’re saying fits their situation. In my view, they don’t have help so much as an endless supply of obstacles ranging from not affording bills to their evil bosses whose references they may depend on to police or government punishing them with utility bill-sized tickets for being poor. What is your specific recommendation for white people without any surplus of money, spotty Internet, unreliable transportation, and heavily-disrupted sleep?

                                                                                                                                                                  Think quickly, too, because white people in these situations aren’t allowed much time to think between their stressful jobs (often multiple) and families to attend to. Gotta come up with solutions about on instinct. Just take the few minutes of clarity a poor, white person might have to solve a problem while in the bathroom or waiting in line at a store. It’s gotta work with almost no thought, energy, savings, or credit score. What you got? I’ll pass it on to see if they think it’s hopeful or contributes to the entertainment for the day. Hope and entertainment is about the most I can give to the person I’m visiting Saturday since their “privilege” hasn’t brought them much of anything else.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. 2

                                                                                                                                                                    I’m not saying that it’s applicable in every situation; I am specifically talking about the tech industry. I don’t think it’s about prejudice in this case. I think it’s about fixing the tech culture, which white males have an advantage in, regardless of their economic background. White males don’t always have privilege, that would be a preposterous claim. But it’s pretty lopsided in their favor.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. 2

                                                                                                                                                                      I am specifically talking about the tech industry.

                                                                                                                                                                      It’s probably true if narrowed to tech industry. It seems to favor white and Asian males at least in bottom roles. Gets whiter as it goes up. Unfortunately, they also discriminate more heavily on age, background, etc. They want us in there for the lower-paying stuff but block us from there in a lot of areas. It’s why I recommend young people considering tech avoid it if they’re worried about age discrimination or try to move into management at some point. Seems to reduce the risk a bit.

                                                                                                                                                                    2. 2

                                                                                                                                                                      Your comment is a great illustration of the danger of generalizing things on the basis of racis or gender, mistakenly classifying a lot of people as “privileged”. Ideally, the goal of a charity should be to help unprivileged people in general, for whatever reason they are unprivileged, not because of their race or gender.

                                                                                                                                                                    3. 4

                                                                                                                                                                      “It’s not directly because of their race and sex, it’s because of their privilege. That’s the fundamental difference.”

                                                                                                                                                                      But that’s not a difference to other racist/sexist/discriminatory thinking at all. Racists generally don’t dislike black people because they’re black. They think they’re on average less intelligent, undisciplined, whatever, and that this justifies discriminating against the entirety of black people, treating individuals primarily as a product of their group membership.

                                                                                                                                                                      You’re doing the exact same thing, only you think “white people are privileged, they don’t need extra help” instead of “black people are dumb, they shouldn’t get good jobs”. In both cases the vast individual differences are ignored in favor of the superficial criteria of group membership. That is exactly what discrimination is.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. 2

                                                                                                                                                                        You’re right in that I did assume most white males are well off, and it is a good point that they need help too. However, I still think that the ideas of diversifying the tech industry are a worthy goal, and I think that having a dedicated organization that focuses on only the underrepresented groups is valuable. I just don’t think that white males have the same kind of cultural bias against them in participating in this industry that the demographics that Outreachy have, and counteracting that is Outreachy’s goal. Yes, they are excluding groups, but trying to help a demographic or collection of demographics necessarily excludes the other demographic. How could it work otherwise?

                                                                                                                                                                  2. 1

                                                                                                                                                                    Why exclude Asians then? Do Asians also already get enough help from their position in society?

                                                                                                                                                                    1. 5

                                                                                                                                                                      Asians are heavily overrepresented in tech. To be fair, the reason we are overrepresented in tech (as in medicine) is likely because software development (like medicine) is an endeavour that requires expertise in challenging technical knowledge to be successful, which means that (unlike Hollywood) you can’t just stick with white people because there simply aren’t enough of them available to do all the work. So Asians who were shut out of other industries (like theatre) flocked to Tech. Black men are similarly overrepresented in the NBA but unfortunately the market for pro basketball players is a bit smaller than the market for software developers.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. 2

                                                                                                                                                                        Do they exclude Asians? I must have missed that one. I don’t think excluding that demographic is justified.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. 2

                                                                                                                                                                          Do they exclude Asians?

                                                                                                                                                                          Yes they do. Quoting Outreachy Eligibility Rules:

                                                                                                                                                                          You live in the United States or you are a U.S. national or permanent resident living aboard, AND you are a person of any gender who is Black/African American, Hispanic/Latin@, Native American/American Indian, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian, or Pacific Islander

                                                                                                                                                                          In my opinion, this is carefully worded to exclude Asians without mentioning Asians, even going so far as mentioning Pacific Islander.

                                                                                                                                                                  3. 4

                                                                                                                                                                    It’s a simple calculus of opprotunity. Allowing those who already have ample opprotunity (i.e. white, cis, males) into Outreachy’s funding defeats the point of specifically targeting those who don’t have as much opprotunity. It wouldn’t do anything to help balance the amount of opprotunity in the world, which is Outreachy’s end goal here.

                                                                                                                                                                    It’s the author’s idea that they deserve opprotunity which is the problem. It’s very entitled, and it betrays that the author can’t understand that they are in a priviledged position that prevents them from receiving aid. It’s the same reason the wealthy don’t need tax cuts.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. 1

                                                                                                                                                                      Outreachy’s end goal seems to be balancing the amount of opportunity in the world for all, except for Asian minority.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. 4

                                                                                                                                                                        Each of us gets to choose between doing good and doing best. The x is the enemy of the y. If Outreachy settles for acting against the worst imbalance (in its view) and leaving the rest that’s just their choosing good over best.

                                                                                                                                                                        You’re also confusing their present action with their end goals. Those who choose “best” work directly towards their end goal, but Outreachy is in the “good” camp. By picking a worst part of the problem and working on that part, they implicitly say that their current work might be done and there’ll still be work to do before reaching the end goal.

                                                                                                                                                                    2. 4

                                                                                                                                                                      What’s not up for debate is that companies or people should be able to give their money however they feel like it.

                                                                                                                                                                      That is debatable. But, I too think Outreachy is well within their rights.

                                                                                                                                                                    3. 6

                                                                                                                                                                      I’m not going to complain about discrimination in that organization since they’re a focused group helping people. It’s debatable whether it should be done differently. I’m glad they’re helping people. I will note that what you just said applies to minority members, too. Quick example.

                                                                                                                                                                      While doing mass-market, customer service (First World slavery), I ran an experiment treating everyone in a slightly-positive way with no differences in speech or action based on common events instead of treating them way better than they deserved like we normally did. I operated off a script rotating lines so it wasn’t obvious what I was doing. I did this with different customers in new environment for months. Rather than appreciation, I got more claims of racism, sexism, and ageism then than I ever did at that company. It was clear they didn’t know what equal treatment or meritocracy felt like. So many individuals or companies must have spoiled them that experiencing equality once made them “know” people they interacted with were racist, sexist, etc. There were irritated people among white males but they just demanded better service based on brand. This happened with coworkers in some environments, too, when I came in not being overly selfless. The whites and males just considered me slightly selfish trading favors where a number of non-whites or women suspected it was because they were (insert category here). They stopped thinking that after I started treating them better than other people did and doing more of the work myself. So, it was only “equal” when the white male was doing more of the work, giving more service in one-way relationships, etc.

                                                                                                                                                                      I’d love to see a larger study done on that kind of thing to remove any personal or local biases that might have been going on. My current guess is that their beliefs about what racism or sexism are shifted their perceptions to mis-label the events. Unlike me, they clearly don’t go out of their way to look for more possibilities for such things. I can tell you they often did in the general case for other topics. They were smart or open-minded people. Enter politics or religion, the mind becomes more narrow showing people what they want to see. I spent most of my life in that same mental trap. It’s a constant fight to re-examine those beliefs looking at life experiences in different ways.

                                                                                                                                                                      So, I’m skeptical when minority members tell me something was about their status because I’ve personally witnessed them miscategorizing so many situations. They did it by default actually any time they encountered provable equality or meritocracy. Truth told, though, most things do mix forms of politics and merit leaning toward politics. I saw them react to a lot of that, too. I’m still skeptical since those situations usually have more political biases going on than just race or gender. I can’t tell without being there or seeing some data eliminating variables what caused whatever they tell me.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. 17

                                                                                                                                                                        So, in your anecdotal experience, other people’s anecdotal experience is unreliable? 😘

                                                                                                                                                                        1. 5

                                                                                                                                                                          You got jokes lol. :) More like I’m collecting this data on many views from each group to test my hypotheses whereas many of my opponents are suppressing alternative views in data collection, in interpretation, and in enforcement. Actually, it seems to be default on all sides to do something like that. Any moderate listening closely to those that disagree looking for evidence of their points is an outlier. Something wrong with that at a fundamental level.

                                                                                                                                                                          So, I then brought in my anecdotes to illustrate it given I never see them in opponents’ data or models. They might be wrong with their anecdotes right. I just think their model should include the dissent in their arguments along with reasons it does or doesn’t matter. The existence of dissent by non-haters in minority categories should be a real thing that’s considered.

                                                                                                                                                                        2. 3

                                                                                                                                                                          I think that the information asymmetry that you had with your anecdotes affected some of the reactions you got. For one, if someone considers your actions negative in some way, they are conditioned by society to assume that you were being prejudiced. If your workplace was one that had more of a negative connotation (perhaps a debt collection service or what have you) that goes double. That’s a reason for the percieved negativity that your white male colleagues didn’t even have to consider, and they concluded that you were just being moderately nice. Notice that you didn’t have to be specifically discriminatory, nor was it necessarily fair. It’s just one more negative thing that happens because prejudice does exist. I would imagine that you would not have so many negative reactions if you explained exactly what you were doing vis-a-vis the randomization of greetings and such. I think I would discount percieved discrimination if someone did that to me.

                                                                                                                                                                      2. 14

                                                                                                                                                                        Yes, it’s a ludicrous hissy fit. Especially considering that LLVM began at UIUC which, like many (most? all?) universities, has scholarships which are only awarded to members of underrepresented groups–so he’d have never joined the project in the first place if this were truly a principled stand and not just an excuse to whine about “the social injustice movement.” (I bet this guy thinks it’s really clever to spell Microsoft with a $, too.)

                                                                                                                                                                        1. 6

                                                                                                                                                                          That jab “Microsoft with a $” was really uncalled for. You have no evidnece of this. Please stop.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. 6

                                                                                                                                                                            The point is a bit bluntly made, but it’s for a reason. There’s a certain kind of internet posting style which uses techniques like changing “social justice movement” to “social injustice movement” to frame the author’s point of view. Once upon a time “Micro$oft” was common in this posting style.

                                                                                                                                                                            For extreme cases of this, see RMS’ writing (Kindle=Swindle, etc).

                                                                                                                                                                            (The problem with these techniques, IMO, is that they’re never as clever and convincing as the person writing them thinks that they are. Maybe they appeal to some people who already agree with that point of view, but they can turn off anyone else…)

                                                                                                                                                                            1. 2

                                                                                                                                                                              I think there is a difference here. “Microsoft” is not framing any point of view. “social justice movement”, on the other hand, is already framing certain point of view. I think “social injustice movement” is an acceptable alternative to “so-called social justice movement”, because prefixing “so-called” every time is inconvenient.

                                                                                                                                                                        2. 0

                                                                                                                                                                          Without more info it seems persecution complex.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. 2

                                                                                                                                                                          This looks neat, and I have a lot of questions that I don’t know the answers to, so I’m hoping someone else can clear stuff up:

                                                                                                                                                                          1. My guess is that the Ptrace sentry, with PTRACE_SYSEMU, mode would incur a ton of overhead for apps, and it’d be more appropriate to use the KVM sentry in production. Can anyone confirm this suspicion?
                                                                                                                                                                          2. Networking. The README suggests that it creates a TAP device (meaning, virtual Ethernet), and then there’s netstack involved. My understanding of how that’d work is that the application makes calls to the BSD sockets API, and the syscalls are translated to netstack calls, from which the gVisor process sends along raw ethernet frames to the host kernel to send on it’s way. This would mean that gVisor’s netstack would have to implement full TCP/IP with congestion control, etc, etc, etc, and seemingly make it impossible to monitor connections from the container host (unless of course gVisor has an API that provides this data, e.g. through 9p or something?) But, surely that’s not the case? Surely this doesn’t leave you in a blind behind ethernet frames state?
                                                                                                                                                                          3. Networking part 2: There’s the ability to use the host‘s network stack, as well, at the cost of reduced isolation. I guess in that case, the syscall trapping basically proxy’s the BSD sockets API calls to the host…, which would make it possible to use standard networking tools, but open up more potential for isolation violations?
                                                                                                                                                                          1. 1

                                                                                                                                                                            The issues section make it look like kvm mode isn’t that well tested. It would be nice if they actually explained how much this is used, and how they test it internally. I have no idea how production ready this tool is.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. 3

                                                                                                                                                                              After reading both the code, and the various Linux patches Google published on LKML, I came to the conclusion Google most likely uses a patched Linux kernel that uses some special eBPF technology to implement syscall interception, not ptrace or KVM.

                                                                                                                                                                              Speaking of ptrace, I don’t believe it is safe to use. Just like systrace(1), it is plagued by TOCTOU. Unlike systrace, it can protect one program from another, or it can protect the host kernel from a malicious program, however, it can’t protect a program from itself. ISTM a vulnerability in a program can be made much worse by exploiting TOCTOU. E.g. it can be used to exfiltrate data from the process. Yes, the vulnerability has to already be there, but once it’s there it’s easier to exploit it that in another environment.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. 2

                                                                                                                                                                                Very useful connection w/ the LKML patches, thanks. After reading your comment, some of the Google folks’ comments elsewhere definitely sound like they’re using some other interface. E.g. this one responds to a criticism of ptrace by saying: “The default platform is ptrace so that it works out of the box everywhere”. Which sure sounds a lot like “that’s just the default, we’re not actually using that configuration”. Which doesn’t necessarily make it bad, but my confidence in a sandbox is a lot less if I’m trying to use it in a different configuration from the one that the main developer/tester uses themselves.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. 1

                                                                                                                                                                            This seems smart to me. I sometimes get annoyed manually using sync.WaitGroups in Go to get similar results manually.

                                                                                                                                                                            http://libdill.org/ seems to be the same idea for C, structured tree of concurrent processes.