Threads for chobeat

  1. 19

    Italian native, working in English in Germany: I would pick English over Italian every day to do anything or discuss anything technical.

    Also Italian has this weird grammatical quirk where every 300 hundred words you have to stop, offer a coffee to the other speaker and then go actually take it at a bar because the one at the machine sucks. I’m caffeine-free so you can see how this wouldn’t work out.

    1. 1

      Yeah, I remember getting my first caffeine shakes, after the sixth coffee break working with an Italian. Scary, but good coffee.

      1. 1

        My limited experience 20y ago was that Italians, just like Germans, have translated a lot of technical terms and insist on using them, so even if you could have a conversation with your every day language skills, there are suddenly new technical terms you’ve never heard. Not sure how common that is in professional software development circles though. In German it seems to get better, but back in the 90s/early 00s some of our teachers and professors insisted on the German versions of e.g. Heap, Stack, FSM, and a million more - whereas others had accepted that English is the lingua franca.

        1. 3

          In my experience as an Italian who’s been writing code professionally for a couple years, people out of university tend to use a lot more translated terms, and depending on the environment they shift towards English terms over time. If you’re not used to it you’ll hear tons of stuff that will have you do a double take, and every new team you work with will use its own melange of Italian and English terms to say the same things.

          I learned programming entirely in English and didn’t have a deep conversation about it in Italian until I started working so this was kind of a culture shock for me, but I’ve grown accustomed to it after a while.

          1. 3

            As said by @steinuil it’s mostly a uni thing. There are some translations that happen but I believe French or Germans are worse. Italians in IT actually use waaaaaay too much English and they are made fun of by normal people.

            One funfact about Italian IT and bad translations: Italians translated “port” as “porta” (door) instead of “porto” (port). So most Italians probably visualize doors or little holes with data going through, instead of harbours you use to land.

            1. 1

              Yeah, I didn’t want to make the impressions that the Germans aren’t worse ;) I also think it’s mostly some people at uni who feel the need to teach a language that no one in the industry speaks - no idea bout academia.

        1. 7

          My primary usecase for adblocker is to make the site load faster, I don’t care about tracking. Ad fraud detection will probably catch this (therefore making tracking work again), and if not the extra clicks just drive ad network’s revenue. I don’t understand the point.

          1. 5

            The ad sector is mostly a scam: a good chunk of clicks are made by bots or automated system of some kind. The assumption is that if you can make this ratio higher and higher eventually everybody will take note, stop buying targeted ads and bring down the monstrosity that is the ad-driven internet and Facebook and Google with it.

          1. 17

            Someone did this manually on facebook: https://www.wired.com/2014/08/i-liked-everything-i-saw-on-facebook-for-two-days-heres-what-it-did-to-me/

            They got sent down a fascist rabbit hole in no time. While poisoning Google’s database sounds desirable, I’d also rather not be classified as a fascist.

            1. 3

              that’s what happens on pretty much any platform. By default you get trapped in right-wing propaganda. Especially true for youtube

              1. 0

                It worries me how meaningless those historically heavy terms have become. Of course I’m being a bit sarcastic, but it’s diluted to the point of “fascist [fash-ist] noun, a person who has clicked a bunch of ads” and if in the year 2049 the government takes browsing history into account to judge a person, I will go to jail, because I installed Ad Nauseam 5 years ago and forgot to turn it off.

                I’d also rather not be classified as a fascist.

                I sometimes worry about this too. Like with 4chan and the OK-Hand sign, context gets so painfully lost. Lines become blurred and doing mallice with those blurred lines becomes easy. Be it the fault of algorithm, person or both, something should be done about this. I complain and offer no solutions, so I am a bit of a hypocrite.

                As for Ad Nauseam, I think it’s really cool what was done here and being banned off Add-on stores really shows, that they successfully annoyed a good amount of people. Be it big Ad corpo or small artist’s blog being stripped of revenue, it created a good amount of discussion, that maybe this shouldn’t be the way the internet functions. Activism done damn right.

                1. 5

                  a person who has clicked a bunch of ads

                  But that’s not a definition, that’s a mechanism for getting categorized by algorithmic advertising as a person interested in content promoting fascism.

                  Like with 4chan and the OK-Hand sign, context gets so painfully lost.

                  “The OK-Hand sign being a dogwhistle was actually a 4chan prank” is the same kind of useless factoid as “tomatoes are actually a fruit not a vegetable”. Yes, it’s true, but it is inconsequential trivia. 4chan may have initially tricked some “liberals” into believing the OK-Hand sign is a hate symbol at a time when no hate group was using it that way. But very early on actual white supremacists started actually using it as a dogwhistle – at first ironically I’m sure (because some white supremacists do hang out on 4chan) but soon it spread to very offline white supremacists who just copied it because it was a thing they saw other white supremacists do and get excited about.

                  There’s a difference between a teenager saying their mom is a fascist for making them clean up their room and calling people like Stefan Molyneux or Richard Spencer a fascist for promoting extreme sexism, white supremacy and violent racial power fantasies. Yes, fascism is a somewhat vague term but most of the alternatives are too euphemistic or only get at certain aspects of how the ideology is presented rather than the ideological underpinnings. Umberto Eco’s shopping list isn’t an all-or-nothing deal either.

                  So yeah, calling a conservative fascist because they are a bit homophobic is a bit of a stretch, but insisting that people like Stefan Molyneux are not fascists because they don’t tick off every item on the fascism checklist is pedantic at best and directly aiding fascism at worst. It’s not like fascism is a coherent ideology to begin with, it’s more of a way to con a people to go against its own interests and submit to a Great Leader under the pretense of restoring some supposed former glory and claim to greatness while actually creating asphyxiatingly oppressive power structures and eliminating undesirables.

                1. 1

                  We will probably do a test deployment of our tool “mobilizon-reshare” we developed in the past few months. It’s a small suite to automate your social media strategy in regards to events, using Mobilizon as a primary source for event data.

                  So basically you point it to a mobilizon account, it pulls the events, it decides what to publish and it publishes on a bunch of platforms according to your configurations.

                  It currently supports: zulip, mastodon, telegram, twitter and I’m almost done with Facebook.

                  https://github.com/Tech-Workers-Coalition-Italia/mobilizon-reshare

                  1. 21

                    Having trouble squaring the whole “ do everyone a favor, and […] don’t work in ad tech” with “I rolled my eyes and reverse engineered the script for him” and everything that follows. If it’s true that you find it all so unsavoury then how about, I don’t know, maybe don’t enable it for your own personal gain in the first place?

                    sometimes things are better left unsaid

                    Yeah, like for example “the reality is I’m prepared to take their dirty money when it suits me but still think it’s cool to write a knowing blog post about how awful it all is when I’ve decided that suits me better instead”.

                    1. 29

                      I spent two years working to drill oil and gas wells. There’s probably 40 wells out there with my name on the paperwork. Doesn’t mean I’d recommend anyone else go into that career, or that I particularly like the petroleum industry, or think anyone should use use fossil fuels. It means I had $3000 in the bank and living expenses of about $2000/month, and had spent six months after getting my grad degree with zero other interviews beside front-line tech support. At least drilling wells was something new, and paid about four times better.

                      I don’t regret making the choices I did, but I sure as fuck wouldn’t go back.

                      (…That said, after that I worked as a staff member in a top tier technical university for a couple years. In retrospect the culture there was probably almost as dysfunctional and generally horrible; at least the petroleum industry is generally honest about using people up and spitting them out.)

                      1. 5

                        Don’t feel bad about it. Cheap energy is the bedrock of civilisation.

                        1. 8

                          it’s also possibly gonna be the end of it

                          1. 0

                            Unlikely though. And it’s worth considering that cheap energy has made extreme climate events much more survivable. From Alex Epstein:

                            https://i.postimg.cc/DfPQGZL5/climate-carbon.png

                            1. 5

                              lol, you know that Alex Epstein is well known to be associated with organizations spreading fake news and anti-science propaganda to defend industrial interests, right? RIGHT?

                              1. 1

                                He wrote a book titled, if I recall correctly, The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels. So, yeah, I’m aware of his position.

                                I don’t see that any of that invalidates the claim that cheap energy - historically at least, provided by burning fossil fuels - saves lives during extreme climate events.

                                Edited to clarify, because it’s necessary in times of heated tribalism: I happen to agree that AGW is a real thing, and may pose some challenges to humanity in the future.

                                I’m also an advocate of cleaner power generation because of the many health benefits it brings, think nuclear power is underutilized in Australia, have worked for a cleantech startup, and also a petroleum wetstock management company.

                                People are complicated :)

                                I’d sum my position up as: fossil fuels have been and continue to be a great boon to humanity, especially in developing nations. Let’s be careful not to throw the baby out with the bathwater when responding to AGW.

                          2. 2

                            I don’t feel bad about it. I learned a lot. Like how annoying people are when they judge off the cuff without putting in any effort to understand.

                        2. 19

                          I mean, it’s quite possible that one can do something in the past and regret it later…

                          1. 4

                            Thats true, yet I fail to read any regret in the article. The author seems totally fine with everything that happened.

                          2. 6

                            I would say he was working against the ad tech. Ad tech is in a big bubble that will eventually burst ( https://www.amazon.co.uk/Subprime-Attention-Crisis-Advertising-Originals/dp/0374538654 ) and it’s hard to argue that what he did was something useful to the ecosystem and instead one of the many scams that are popular in the ad tech.

                            Ad tech is when you scam the people buying ads. If you scam the networks or other of the many intermediaries, you’re something else.

                            1. 2

                              I agree, but money is a powerful motivator.

                              1. 1

                                I got the impression that she was looking back on that time with regret.

                              1. 48

                                This is advocating that you always be a disposable commodity within a labor marker. A repackaging of the “free labour” idea from liberalism - that wage labour frees the worker to engage in any contract as they please. But the reality of being an exchangeable commodity is rather different.

                                1. 30

                                  You can still be indispensable through your unique contribution and areas of focus that others would not have pioneered. By making it easy for people to follow in your footsteps and take over from you, you are influential, you change the way things work, and people notice that. When it’s for the organization’s betterment they appreciate it too. :)

                                  I don’t want to be indispensable in the sense of a bus factor. I do want to be indispensable in the sense of “Wow, it’s a good thing /u/kevinc works here.”

                                  1. 16

                                    That’s perfectly reasonable, but in order for it to work, there has to be a company at the other end that needs, values, and can recognize innovation and unique contribution. All companies claim they do because you don’t want to project a boring software sweatshop image, but realistically, many of them don’t. Only a pretty small fraction of today’s computer industry checks out the “needs” part, and you still got two boxes to go. For many, if not most people in our field, making yourself indispensable in the sense of a bus factor is an unfortunate but perfectly valid – in fact, often the only – career choice that their geography and/or employment allows for.

                                    1. 9

                                      Well technically we’re all bus-replacable. Some of us have enough experience and/or good-will built up in the company that if you actually do what the article proposes, you actually won’t be easily replacable even if you make yourself “replacable”. It’ll be either too expensive for the company to find and train your replacements, or they’ll lose on the value you’re bringing.

                                      What the article doesn’t mention, though, is that you can’t do any of that stuff if you’re a green junior dev. It’s easy to find a job when you’re good at it and you can prove it, but just getting kicked out on the street while I was still young in the industry would scare me shitless.

                                      1. 1

                                        I agree you want to find a workplace that does value you, and even if you do find that, you have to watch for the organization changing out from under you. Just, on your way there, you can earn some great referrals by giving what you know instead of hoarding it.

                                        As an engineer, is it valid to make yourself a wrench in the works entrusted to you? I think no. But to your point, you’re a person first and an engineer second. If survival is on the line, it’s another story.

                                        1. 3

                                          Just, on your way there, you can earn some great referrals by giving what you know instead of hoarding it.

                                          I absolutely agree that it is invalid to make yourself a wrench in the works entrusted to you, but computer stuff is absolutely secondary to many companies out there.

                                          Note: I edited my comment because, in spite of my clever efforts at anonymising things, I’m preeeetty sure they can still be traced to the companies in question. I’ll just leave the gist of it: so far, my thing (documentation) has not earned me any referrals. It has, however, earned me several Very Serious Talks with managers, and HR got involved in one of them, too.

                                          I know, and continue to firmly believe (just like you, I think) that good work trumps everything else, but I did learn a valuable lesson (after several tries, of course): never underestimate good work’s potential to embarrass people, or to make things worse for a company that’s in the business of selling something other than good work.

                                    2. 8

                                      I think this is a bit unfair. I’ve worked with people who have hidden information and jealously guarded their position in a company and it makes it harder to do your job. You have to dance around all sorts politics and all changes are viewed with suspicion. You have to learn what any given person is protecting in order to get what you need to do your job. You hear stories about people getting bribed to do their jobs. People won’t tell you how to do things, but will do them so they are unreplaceable. People build systems with the eye towards capturing other parts of the organization.

                                      Most of that would go away if people did what was described in the article.

                                      1. 9

                                        Maybe if IT workers had a better way of protecting their job security – such as a union – there wouldn’t be the motivation to do this kind of thing.

                                        (Note: I don’t do this kind of thing, but I totally understand why someone would, and worker solidarity prevents me from criticizing them for it.)

                                        1. 2

                                          I don’t know if I agree with you in this specific case. It was at a place that never fired anyone. People who were not capable of doing their jobs were kept for years. It seemed to be more predicated on face saving, inter team rivalry and competition for budget.

                                      2. 6

                                        Yes, I had the same thought as you. It’s true that “if you can’t be replaced, you can’t be promoted”, but since when are people promoted anymore? The outlook of this article is that job security is not something you can always take for granted; indeed, that you can take upward (or at least lateral) mobility for granted. Maybe that’s true for highly-marketable (white, cis-male, young, able-bodied) developers in certain urban areas, but at my age, I wouldn’t want to count on it.

                                        1. 4

                                          Being a disposable commodity doesn’t necessarily imply low value. You can do something that is highly uniform and fungible, and also well compensated, I think.

                                          1. 17

                                            you think wrong. Historically “deskilling” (this is the term for when a worker becomes standardized and easily replaceable) corresponds to salaries going down. This happens for a variety of reasons: you cannot complain, you cannot unionize easily, you cannot negotiate your salary. You get the money you get just because your employer has no mean to find somebody that can do exactly the same and get paid less. If that becomes possible and you don’t have rights that protect (minimum wage, collective agreements, industry-wide agreements) or collective organizations that can protect you, the salaries go down. Fighting deskilling is not necessarily the most efficient strategy and doesn’t have to be the only one, but for sure giving up on that is no good.

                                            On top of that, deskilling is coupled with more alienation, less commitment and in general a much worse working experience, because you know you don’t make a difference. You become less human and more machine.

                                            Programming, I believe, naturally fights against deskilling because what can be standardized and therefore automated will eventually be automated. But the industry is capable of generating new (often pointless) jobs on top of these new layers of automation of tasks that before were done manually. Actively pursuing deskilling is unreasonable also from an efficiency point of view, because the same problem of “scale” is already solved by our own discipline. The same is not true for most other professions: a skilled factory worker cannot build the machine he’s using or improve it (with rare exceptions). A programmer can and will if necessary. Deskilling means employing people that will only execute and not be able to control the process or the organization, leaving that privilege and responsibility to managers.

                                            1. 7

                                              the article is not about deskilling, it’s about communicating your work with your peers. Those are very different things.

                                              1. 8

                                                it says explicitely to try to be disposable. Disposability and deskilling are equivalent. The term, in the labor context, is not just used to say “this job should require less skill to be done”. It’s used for any factor that makes you disposable or not, regardless of the level of skill involved. Clearly skill plays a relevant role in the vast majority of the cases. What he’s advocating is to surrender any knowledge of the company, the platform and so on, so that you can be easily replaced by somebody that doesn’t have that knowledge. You’re supposed to put in extra effort deliberately (not on request from your boss and maybe often going against company’s practices) to make this process more frictionless from your employer. That’s what the article is saying

                                                1. 3

                                                  it says explicitely to try to be disposable.

                                                  While it does say that, I think that the actual meaning of the article is “make the work you do disposable”, not “make yourself disposable”. That way you can go through life making changes that make it easier for everyone around but also highly profitable for the company so that while the work that you currently are doing can be done by whomever, the potential value you bring at each new thing you do is incalculable. So they’d keep you, of course.

                                                  1. 1

                                                    What he’s advocating is to surrender any knowledge of the company, the platform and so on, so that you can be easily replaced by somebody that doesn’t have that knowledge.

                                                    Are you suggesting that the replacement will not have that knowledge, or will at the moment of replacement have gained that knowledge?

                                                    Disposability and deskilling are equivalent.

                                                    This is not the case in my mental vocabulary, and I don’t think it is the case in the article linked. Disposability is about upskilling as a team, becoming more engaged in craft, and having a community of practice, so that the community doesn’t rely on a single member to continue to upskill/self-improve.

                                                2. 1

                                                  While I agree that deskilling is a thing, it might be more something that affects blue collar workers working on an assembly line than IT professionals (to an extent). Replacing someone isn’t just firing the more expensive person and hiring a cheaper one. It involves onboarding and training, which may take several months, which directly translates to lost earnings.

                                                  1. 1

                                                    It happened to plenty of cognitive workers throughout the work. Deskilling is also replacing accountants, fraud analysts or many other professions with ML models that live on the work of data labelers somewhere in Pakistan.

                                            1. 35

                                              Tbh this reads as if its written by a company owner who wants their employees to be very disposable.

                                              1. 31

                                                You wish. More likely it’s written by an employee that internalized his disposability so much that he thinks it’s efficiency

                                                1. 12

                                                  It could also have been written by someone who had the experience of being too irreplaceable, i.e. they wanted to move on from a job, but the company was too dependent on them.

                                                  1. 10

                                                    and what he’s keeping him there? Giving some notice is professionalism, staying years is probably a symptom of unhealthy employer/employee relationship and should be addressed through other means.

                                                    1. 8

                                                      …they wanted to move on from a job, but the company was too dependent on them.

                                                      Honest question, so what? At-will employment goes both ways: if you want to leave, then leave. I would never intentionally screw someone over, but I would also never feel I couldn’t leave if I really wanted to. That just seems crazy. A company is not a family and employment is not a lifelong bond.

                                                      1. 5

                                                        I think, in most of the cases you’d be right. But there are cases where you wouldn’t want to leave the company in trouble. If you create a situation that the situation breaks down without you, that doesn’t imply that the company was actualy bad.

                                                        So now you want to leave to a new job, but you know if you leave, you’ll leave fire and hell on your tails, and all your friends, colleagues, and the company that treated you nicely (most of us here are) and all of them are left to deal with the problems you’ve now created. There are companies where I left where doing that would not make me sorry, but there were also places where I sincerely didn’t want to leave all the people in a mess.

                                                  1. 3

                                                    That’s a very unfortunate comparison, since the “End of History” in Fukuyama’s conception, is the butt of countless jokes and Fukuyama himself, 20 years later, admitted it was a very naive idea.

                                                    This article doesn’t seem like it will age much better.

                                                    1. 1

                                                      Trying to interface Mobilizon events with Jekyll. I’m learning ruby in the process.

                                                      1. 2

                                                        I think the author is conflating the problems of the startup model (that should be taken and set on fire), with the industry at large. Most of the IT is not startups and what he described is valid only in the startup niche. That said, in the article are very good ways to explain technical people why the startup model is not able and is not aiming to improve technology. It’s all theater and we, as engineers, are the paying public. Also the stage is on fire and what is burning are the resources the startup monster needs to fuel itself.

                                                        1. 32

                                                          Wow.

                                                          This article starts off with a thoughtful and nuanced exploration of some of the hard issues around open source and big tech, and then kinda jumps the shark as far as I’m concerned:

                                                          Work at a megacorp and either you rot working on menial things, or learn to play the politics game to get a shot at working on the one interesting project… until it gets canceled when the CEO decides to “refocus”, or when Monday comes if you work at Google.

                                                          Honestly, there’s no reason for this kind of attitude. You don’t want to work for big tech? Great! There’s a lot of merit for staying small and feisty and having total control. Rock on with your bad self! But don’t tar every employee working for big tech with the same brush, because:

                                                          1. Your preferences are not their preferences
                                                          2. Your goals may not be their goals
                                                          3. What brings you pleasure and fires your passion may not do the same for them.

                                                          And who are you to tell me what I do or don’t love, or where I can or can’t find fulfillment?

                                                          Am I asking everyone to sit around the campfire and have a sing along? Heck no! Big corporate jobs aren’t for everyone, What I would like is a bit more nuance, understanding and open mindedness and bit less vitriol.

                                                          The “software you can love” idea is interesting, but I guess I don’t really understand the advantage of further muddying the waters in an already super complicated licnesing landscape.

                                                          1. 19

                                                            Thanks both of you for clearing up my own concerns about the lines about Big Tech being tone deaf.

                                                            The “software you can love” idea is interesting, but I guess I don’t really understand the advantage of further muddying the waters in an already super complicated licnesing landscape.

                                                            I, personally, loved this framing. Among many issues with the Free Software movement, one I see constantly is an insistence that personal feelings of delight and good UX are sidelined in the name of “freedom”. Hate how config files feel and there’s no Settings GUI, so you’re not interested in using the software? Well, you’re an enemy of freedom. You didn’t reach the patch notes, the new software broke your system, and you’re annoyed? Well freedom is a choice, and you just chose against it. Not only does this cause people to not take free software seriously, it just means that people won’t actually use free software and will use proprietary alternatives instead, because you’re not taking the users’ desires into account when you’re designing the software.

                                                            I’d love to see an increased focus in free software on software that actually brings joy to its users; software that is fun to use and also free, not free but sometimes fun to use. I love the framing of that in this article. Software, at the end of the day, should solve a need.

                                                            1. 1

                                                              this feels wrong to me. sure, there are a lot of elitist people in the crowd something like the free software movement attracts, but there are also at least a handful of prominent gnu projects with ease of use as a high priority. gnome is probably the best example here, but there’s also lmms and emacs (emacs not so much, but they’ve made some efforts for semi-gui configuration and so on).

                                                              which is not to say that i disagree with your main point. i love gnome for how little i need to configure it (these days i turn animation off and compose key on, and that’s it), and that’s great. but i also love emacs, and that’s for very different reasons, and maybe a lot of people who love the former wouldn’t love the latter or something, but emacs has very much taken its users desires into account in its design (even if currently maintenance isn’t doing such a good job at that).

                                                              1. 1

                                                                I don’t think we disagree on anything discussed actually. Users of different systems have different expectations and needs. A user of Emacs probably has different expectations than a user of MS Word, for example.

                                                                there are also at least a handful of prominent gnu projects with ease of use as a high priority

                                                                Gnome is actually probably the only one I know. And even then, Gnome gets so much flak from many modern FOSS fans.

                                                                there are a lot of elitist people in the crowd something like the free software movement attracts

                                                                This is a question I’d love to unpack. Nothing about free software ostensibly requires elitism, but it’s present at many points of the conversation. Why?

                                                                1. 2

                                                                  i think you’re right, and i misinterpreted some of what you were getting at.

                                                                  Gnome is actually probably the only one I know. And even then, Gnome gets so much flak from many modern FOSS fans.

                                                                  yeah, this sucks. i think a lot of that flak plays into the elitism thing, particularly as gnome seems to take a lot of inspiration from the mac aesthetic. also it appears that gnome do not consider themselves part of the gnu project, so i guess my point falls down anyway.

                                                                  Nothing about free software ostensibly requires elitism, but it’s present at many points of the conversation. Why?

                                                                  i find this interesting too, and i briefly touched on it in my post about nano being pretty good. fundamentally, i’d say it comes down to the fact that free software is an ethical stance. once the ethics of anything get involved, it becomes easy to consider those who don’t subscribe to, or understand, the ethical position as worse in some way, ergo, elitism. with that foundation, all sorts of other elitism can grow, and technical aptitude is an easy target in a technical environment.

                                                                  1. 1

                                                                    it becomes easy to consider those who don’t subscribe to, or understand, the ethical position as worse in some way, ergo, elitism

                                                                    Yeah that might be it. It’s just unfortunate since elitism and ethics just mean that you can bully folks into accepting your UX of choice in the name of ethics, even though the ethics say nothing about UX.

                                                            2. 21

                                                              And who are you to tell me what I do or don’t love, or where I can or can’t find fulfillment?

                                                              Did you miss this part?

                                                              Big tech has been increasingly unable to create software you can love, and that’s the ability you gain by refusing to work for the silicon valley. It’s not for everyone and I can understand if somebody prefers the security of a stable job in a company too big to fail, where they can just go home after work, forget about software, and live a very comfortable life but big tech jobs are not the absolute best choice for those who really love software craftsmanship and, as it turns out, some of these people have taken a liking to Zig.

                                                              Also

                                                              The “software you can love” idea is interesting, but I guess I don’t really understand the advantage of further muddying the waters in an already super complicated licnesing landscape.

                                                              This has almost nothing to do with licenses, where did you get that idea? It seems to me you need to re-read the post.

                                                              1. 18

                                                                I didn’t miss that part. That part is just as tone deaf as the rest of this section of the article.

                                                                Would it surprise you to learn that there are a number of AWS employees who are fans of Zig?

                                                                People take jobs for all kinds of reasons. Those reasons can and often do have nothing at all to do with what those people may or may not love doing on their own time.

                                                                1. 30

                                                                  Just like some work for AWS, I worked for Redis Labs. I don’t regret it, I learned a lot of things, and it was fun until the last phase. It also paid well and allowed me to live a good life.

                                                                  I have no ill will towards people that work at AWS. I do have ill will towards the company, just like I have ill will towards Redis Labs given what’s happening to Redis.

                                                                  If I had no other alternative, I would be still working at Redis Labs. I was lucky and so now I’m in a position where I can share what I think without fearing losing my job. I don’t expect anybody to become a human sacrifice in the name of software.

                                                                  I really encourage you to read the article without seeing it as a personal attack towards you, or as a statement on licensing. It’s neither. It’s about the current dominant model of producing software, its limitations, and how the ZSF knows how to deal with big players that have different interests that conflict with ours.

                                                                  1. 14

                                                                    I really encourage you to read the article without seeing it as a personal attack towards you, or as a statement on licensing. It’s neither. It’s about the current dominant model of producing software, its limitations, and how the ZSF knows how to deal with big players that have different interests that conflict with ours.

                                                                    Thanks very much for this. I will definitely do so.

                                                                2. 6

                                                                  … but big tech jobs are not the absolute best choice for those who really love software craftsmanship and, as it turns out, some of these people have taken a liking to Zig.

                                                                  It’s bullshit to say I don’t “love software craftsmanship” because I don’t work for, and frankly don’t want to work for, a non-profit startup building a new language. I will decide the “absolute best choice” for me. I really like the ideas and motivations of zig, and Andrew seems like a great guy, but your statement is just categorically false.

                                                                  1. 5

                                                                    I might have messed up the English, but I think you have interpreted the sentence in the opposite way of its intended meaning. The sentence doesn’t say that if you love software craftmanship big tech is the worst choice, nor that if you work in big tech you can’t love software craftmanship.

                                                                    What the sentence hints at is the sentiment where if you are a skilled engineer that care about the craft then you have to aim for a big tech job. I used to have relatives tell me that “oh, you’re so passionate, one day you’ll work at google for sure”.

                                                                    I guess it’s hard to have a honest conversation about something that people consider part of their identity. I personally don’t consider my job part of it. I didn’t before working for a SV startup, nor during, and neither I do now.

                                                                    1. 1

                                                                      Maybe this exchange can be of interest to you.

                                                                      https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=26789129

                                                                3. 14

                                                                  The “software you can love” idea is interesting, but I guess I don’t really understand the advantage of further muddying the waters in an already super complicated licnesing landscape.

                                                                  I had the exact opposite reaction: “software you can love” is nice but honestly doesn’t actually address the root cause of the problem: the profit motive is toxic to software and users. You can talk about love all you want, but the failure of Open Source shows that any approach that isn’t rooted firmly in anticapitalist principles isn’t going to be very effective in the long run.

                                                                  Getting very strong “you don’t hate mondays; you hate capitalism” vibes from the second half of this piece.

                                                                  1. 5

                                                                    I had the exact opposite reaction: “software you can love” is nice but honestly doesn’t actually address the root cause of the problem: the profit motive is toxic to software and users. You can talk about love all you want, but the failure of Open Source shows that any approach that isn’t rooted firmly in anticapitalist principles isn’t going to be very effective in the long run.

                                                                    I suppose I should remind myself that we can hold two ideas in our minds at once. Capitalism though awful has produced a LOT of incredibly good (and incredibly bad :) ) software through the years. That doesn’t necessarily contradict your statement about profit motive’s toxic effect on the process.

                                                                    1. 4

                                                                      Don’t mix up co-occurrence with causality.

                                                                    2. 4

                                                                      I think small shops such as Panic (https://panic.com/) are doing great: it is for profit, but not greedy. Mega corporations are in a totally different league.

                                                                      1. 1

                                                                        I would maintain that it is not capitalism specifically that is the problem, although the profit motive is usually toxic to a degree. Modern capitalism is nothing like what Adam Smith originally proposed and should possibly not even be called capitalism, I prefer the term Neo-feudalism but that is a bit tongue in cheek. I feel like large corporations have become creatures of their own which we no longer control as a species.

                                                                        The pattern of what is happening with humans vs. corporations is starkly reminiscent of what you see in nature when a newly introduced species of plants or animals crowd out endemic species.

                                                                        Should we be concerned that in the long term corporations will replace humans altogether? If so, should we not be waging all out war against them while we still can?

                                                                      2. 5

                                                                        Honestly, there’s no reason for this kind of attitude.

                                                                        100% agree

                                                                        I work for a large corporation. I’m very happy with it. I don’t see any reason to shit on me for that.

                                                                      1. 9

                                                                        The key part,

                                                                        Not only can a Mastodon user communicate with users on different servers on Mastodon, perhaps more importantly this user can also communicate e.g with a Friendica (macroblogging) user or a Pleroma user. These are totally different networks that all support ActivityPub. But this is even taken a step further where that same Mastodon user can follow his favourite PeerTube channel or someone that shares great photos on Pixelfed. This is like you were able to follow someone with your Twitter account on YouTube or Instagram. This also means that this Mastodon user can comment or like the PeerTube video from his/her Mastodon user interface. This is the true power of ActivityPub!


                                                                        There is also Tribes which provides a custom-hosted version (I run mine here).

                                                                        See https://jointhefedi.com if you want to quickly try out the Fediverse.

                                                                        1. 10

                                                                          In all fairness, Mastodon has one of the least spec compliant ActivityPub implementations out there. It gets stumped with a lot of valid payloads that were generated by other services inasmuch as having to implement Mastodon’s quirks is mandatory if one wants to do development for the fediverse.

                                                                          1. 8

                                                                            Maybe an unpopular opinion, but without Mastodon ActivityPub would be living the life it was living before, used by dozens of nerds.

                                                                            Of course that’s not a proper discussion point to some, you may or may not like its ideas and technical features, but to me it was kinda useless when it was only identi.ca and statusnet and whatnot. I’m saying this as someone who was pretty involved in many FLOSS projects at the time. Utterly useless. It was Twitter if you wanted a thing like this and 90% happened on mailing lists and IRC anyway.

                                                                            1. 6

                                                                              Oh, I fully agree that Mastodon is overall a force for good in the Fediverse, at least in the fact that it made it popular with the non technical crowds, but I still wish they would work harder at some things related to ActivityPub compliance. Probably my own service will not be super compatible with it, as it skirts webfinger - something that Mastodon can’t do user discovery without. :(

                                                                              1. 2

                                                                                I didn’t look into it very deeply, so can’t comment if they made some shortcuts for time to market, or enable stuff that would’ve been hard to do, or just because they were careless or simply didn’t care…

                                                                                1. 3

                                                                                  From my perspective they’re prioritizing the features that makes them a better micro blog platform than the features that makes them a better ActivityPub one.

                                                                                  I would like to say that being the major player in this niche they should take their responsibilities in this regard more seriously, but in the end they work on what they enjoy more, and that’s absolutely fine.

                                                                            2. 5

                                                                              Agreed. I am present on a few Mastodon instances but my personal instance is Honk which is a very opinionated and pure (I guess?) ActivityPub server/client/thing

                                                                            3. 22

                                                                              See https://jointhefedi.com

                                                                              The servers recommended on that page are some of the most notorious in the fediverse, notable for hosting bigoted shitheads and having nazi-friendly moderation policies.

                                                                              If you sign up on them, you will find yourself blocked by basically all fediverse instances with active and competent moderators.

                                                                              1. 8

                                                                                If you sign up on them, you will find yourself blocked by basically all fediverse instances with active and competent moderators.

                                                                                This was one of the reasons I stopped using the Fediverse. I don’t like the concept of full-on instance-bans to begin with (something like warnings for out-going actions and filtering for unrequested ingoing actions would be more appropriate). I’m not sure if federation necessarily has to lead to fragmentation, but some people seem to accept it as a necessary tool and don’t care if anyone has a different opinion. In my case I wanted to hear what people on the spinster server had to say, but it was blocked on the instance I was on (ironically this made me go out of my way to listen to the points of radical feminists, which I don’t think was the intention).

                                                                                Part of the problem with Mastodon specifically is that it has inherited a lot of the worst Twitter-culture by presenting itself as “Twitter with better moderation”, while paradoxically decentralisation is usually understood as a means to avoid being shut down by a central authority. Then again, it all ties into more fundamental issues with the Fediverse and how it presents itself as “each server is it’s own community”, while at the same time I don’t care about what server another person is using. The only thing I am interested in is the moderation policy and how well they administer the server.

                                                                                The part of the Fediverse I still remain hopeful for is Peertube.

                                                                                1. 11

                                                                                  I’m not sure if federation necessarily has to lead to fragmentation, but some people seem to accept it as a necessary tool and don’t care if anyone has a different opinion.

                                                                                  Instance bans allow for coexistence without cohabitation. You always have the choice of choosing your own policy domain/deferring to someone else. Forcing all nodes to be wide open would remove a lot of point and cause unnecessary annoyance.

                                                                                  1. 2

                                                                                    You always have the choice of choosing your own policy domain/deferring to someone else.

                                                                                    To a degree yes, thought I’d still rather that not be the case, because I rarely agree with someone on everything, meaning I have to administer an instance myself. But it is not only a personal issue, with instance bans threads are also fragmented, so depending on your perspective, you might unknowingly not see the entire conversation going on, leading to more confusion than necessary.

                                                                                    Instance bans are sledge hammers that are applied to eagerly (I do think they make sense for actual spam servers). Maybe the situation has improved since, but I remember there only being three states:

                                                                                    1. No limits on federation
                                                                                    2. Instance bans by Users
                                                                                    3. Instance bans by Instances

                                                                                    Where I think that there should be more going on between 2. and 3.

                                                                                    1. 3

                                                                                      There are degrees between 1 and 2, at least on mastodon. Admins can “silence”, meaning posts from that instance won’t show up in the federated timeline by default. If I’m not mistaken, there’s also “mute”, meaning interactions from that instance won’t be shown to the muting instance unless there’s a preexisting relationship between the actors.

                                                                                      I should also note that instance bans are not really a thing– you can mute an instance at a user level, but your data is still sent there and you must trust that server’s administration.

                                                                                      1. 2

                                                                                        instance bans threads are also fragmented, so depending on your perspective, you might unknowingly not see the entire conversation going on, leading to more confusion than necessary.

                                                                                        this seems to be an issue even if the instance isn’t banned. I see this happen with my small instance, where viewing the thread on the hosting instance (or from an account on another instance) shows different posts, and I’m pretty sure the missing posts aren’t from blocked instances.

                                                                                        1. 4

                                                                                          iirc mastodon will fetch replies upthread, but not downthread: that is, if the chain goes X -> Y -> Z, and your instance is made aware of post Y (someone follows the poster, it gets boosted, whatever) then it will fetch X but not Z. this is why some people have a norm to boost the last post in a thread, as opposed to the first. this isn’t a technical limitation, since pleroma (the other big fedi server) will fetch the entire thread.

                                                                                          of course, in either case, if one of the posts in the thread is private and you don’t follow the person you’ll just break the thread entirely, but there’s not much that can really be done there.

                                                                                          1. 1

                                                                                            oh wow, that’s confusing. :|

                                                                                    2. 7

                                                                                      Due to how ActivityPub works, you need to have near-ultimate trust of an instance if you wish to federate with them. If you believe the admins are bad actors, using acceptance of harmful ideologies as a proxy for that, then you can’t trust them with your user’s data, and must defederate.

                                                                                      ironically this made me go out of my way to listen to the points of radical feminists, which I don’t think was the intention

                                                                                      This isn’t necessarily against what the blockers wanted! What is called “censorship” on the fedi is usually about protecting their own users. Trans folks don’t want to have to see the same tired take on trans exclusionism for the fifth time today, nor do they want their posts to be seen by those folks.

                                                                                      As you discovered, there was absolutely nothing stopping you from finding out more from the spinsters, and nothing stopping you from making an account there either, right?

                                                                                      If we think decentralization is the key to freedom, then we can’t stop short of free association.

                                                                                      1. 2

                                                                                        Due to how ActivityPub works, you need to have near-ultimate trust of an instance if you wish to federate with them. If you believe the admins are bad actors, using acceptance of harmful ideologies as a proxy for that, then you can’t trust them with your user’s data, and must defederate.

                                                                                        What do you mean by “trust them with your user’s data”? Is there something a server can only access if they are federated, that a “blocked” instance couldn’t see via it’s public feed?

                                                                                        What is called “censorship” on the fedi is usually about protecting their own users.

                                                                                        I get that an instance would decide to mute another instance by default, but if a user explicitly requests to receive data, why should they not be able to interact?

                                                                                        1. 8

                                                                                          A user’s private posts are always federated to any instance that has a single actor subscribed to it. That means that instance is storing a user’s private posts. If the admin’s a bad actor, they could see the private posts even if they’re not authorized to normally.

                                                                                          1. 4

                                                                                            so private posts are not actually private, much like Facebook, though for totally different reasons. great.

                                                                                            1. 5

                                                                                              Yes. Unfortunately, if you view private data disclosure as a security issue, Masto/ActivityPub is less secure than a centralized platform.

                                                                                              There’s hopes that CapTP will solve many of these concerns.

                                                                                              1. 3

                                                                                                It’s similar to plaintext email, no? As long as the plain text traverses a server somewhere it can be read by the server admins.

                                                                                                As far as I know, end-to-end encryption isn’t supported by AP.

                                                                                                1. 1

                                                                                                  yes, but email doesn’t use the term ‘private’ anywhere. I think many(most?) people understand that email is not useful for HIPAA or other things where privacy matters.

                                                                                                  1. 4

                                                                                                    Many people sign up for things with firstname @gmail.com, and then claim the account owner “hacked” them. Many people think that companyname @somecustomdomain.com means you work for them. Many people think that anything @someother.tld means you actually meant @someother.tld.com.

                                                                                                    I don’t think most people understand anything about email.

                                                                                                    1. 1

                                                                                                      I think with all things, it’s complicated. I’m sure people in their 70’s and older who have very little exposure to email are likely not very versed.

                                                                                                      For the average professional that is legally required to care about privacy, then I think they mostly have the understanding that email != private communication.

                                                                                                      Developers SHOULD know better, but they still do stupid things with email, because it’s the only thing you can reasonably assume someone has. (like login with email, use email for password recovery, etc) There are sane things you can do to help mitigate these things, like single use tokens, etc, but.. I’m sure there are still tons of code out there that doesn’t do these things.

                                                                                                      I agree email ADDRESSING, which is what you mostly are referring to, is full of assumptions and mostly none of them can be assumed. The only thing you can mostly assume from user@domain, is that the domain admin at some point thought that user should exist. :)

                                                                                                    2. 2

                                                                                                      I agree with you it’s a bit of a branding problem.

                                                                                                      I’m just so used to the store and forward model of email and NNTP that I just applied that model to the fediverse too. And I have not heard anything about E2EE in the “mainstream” Fediverse.

                                                                                        2. 3

                                                                                          The servers recommended on that page are some of the most notorious in the fediverse, notable for hosting bigoted shitheads and having nazi-friendly moderation policies.

                                                                                          Citation needed.

                                                                                          One of the servers recommended on that page, gleasonator.com, actually was created by someone that experienced bigoted behavior from mastodon’s toxic and neoracist moderation policies: https://blog.alexgleason.me/gab-block/

                                                                                          1. 21

                                                                                            As a queer person and regular fedi user, I concur that these servers are notorious. Multiple accounts from shitposter.club harassed a trans friend of mine just this week because they posted a selfie to their timeline. Freespeechextremist’s users have a habit of sea-lioning their way into my mentions; I think the last one was an extremely tedious “wow aren’t gay people bigoted” monologue mixed with Q-anon rants. Freespeechextremist.com, shitposter.club, spinster.xyz, and glindr.org (another Alex Gleason joint) all have the dubious distinction of being on the relatively short mastodon.social and mstdn.social blocklists for hate speech, harassment, and transphobia. With the exception of mstdn.social, this is not a general-purpose instance list: these instances all share moderation policies aligned with reactionary views on gender and sexuality.

                                                                                            1. 5

                                                                                              That transphobic bigot wasn’t ejected by mastodon’s moderation policies. Mastodon is the service, moderation responsibilities lie with the server admins.

                                                                                              That transphobic bigot was ejected by todon’s moderation policies, because, as he so proudly proclaims, his bigotry is contrary to the server’s stated goals and aims.

                                                                                              Those goals, aims and indeed the moderation policy are clearly stated on the server:-

                                                                                              “we do not accept (among other things): racism, homophobia, transphobia, sexism, ableism and other forms of discrimination, harassment, trolling, hate speech, (sexual) abuse of minors and adults (also not virtual), glorification of violence, militarism, nationalism and right-wing populism, right-wing and religious extremism, tankies (ML), capitalists, (right-wing) conspiracy ‘theories’, hoaxes, and of course no spam and other forms of advertisement.”

                                                                                              Gleason is a bigot. That bigotry was noted by other todon users (I number myself among them) and he was shown the door.

                                                                                              1. -3

                                                                                                The word “transphobia” is often used as a loaded term, just like “hate speech” is,

                                                                                                Usually the use of these terms outside of political environments brings a toxic ambiance and is not conductive to anything felicitous or productive to the domain. I’m sure you’ll have a hard time finding any actual instances of fear/hate (which is what “phobia” literally indicates) from Gleason; and of course defending for female sports rights doesn’t qualify as one (saying otherwise would be bigoted and would at best qualify as … umm … imagined phobia).

                                                                                                ’tis a good thing Lobsters is not politically woke to ban the likes of Gleason, eh?

                                                                                                1. 5

                                                                                                  Gleason is a peddler in transphobic bigotry. Its an essential part of who he is. His “sex-essential” “gender-critical” nonsense is a paper-thin mask for hatespeech against a marginalised element in society.

                                                                                                  You have now defended him, Freedom of Speech Zealotry, White Supremacists and transphobic bigotry up and down this story, which you appear to have posted just to link to the aforementioned listing site for hatespeech and bigots.

                                                                                                  You can put all the ten-dollar words you want all over your post, I can say without hesitation that you’re both posturing and a troll.

                                                                                                  1. 0

                                                                                                    All you are doing, in your anonymous account to boot, is to accuse other people (Gleason and now me–that are not anonymous, neither are afraid to hide behind a mask) without evidence and without engaging rationally (as in without refuting the central point) but merely with politically loaded language (as in resorting to thinly veiled ad hominem).

                                                                                                    Lobsters would be better off without such toxic comments expressing actual bigotry, and I assume on good faith that you did not intend that, and is writing in a state of not being with a sound mind - so I suggest you take a break.

                                                                                              2. 7

                                                                                                They out themselves as a transphone one sentence into the blog post. I’m sure many transphobes think being told they’re a transphobe is toxic.

                                                                                                They also had no problem joining Gab and admitting that it’s full of, their quote, “literal nazis” in the same article.

                                                                                                1. -1

                                                                                                  They out themselves as a transphone one sentence into the blog post. I’m sure many transphobes think being told they’re a transphobe is toxic.

                                                                                                  For those who haven’t read the article in full, this is what the first sentence (which according to the parent commenter indicates that Alex is outing himself to be a “transphobe”) reads: “I got deplatformed from Mastodon for supporting women’s sex-based rights. Now Mastodon is trying to stop me from using Gab.

                                                                                                  They also had no problem joining Gab and admitting that it’s full of, their quote, “literal nazis” in the same article.

                                                                                                  Again, for those who haven’t read the article in full, here’s the full quote: “Gab is a free speech platform. It is true that there are indeed “literal Nazis” on it. This isn’t a hyperbole, as there are some users who quite literally advocate for the extermination of races of people. The reason is because Gab censors no one. It’s not because Gab likes those people or wants them there.” - and that quote was a prelude to explaining why censorship is bad, by citing past examples:

                                                                                                  • Marginalized people are at the greatest risk of being impacted by censorship. The Feminist movement laid the groundwork for freedom of speech in the United States with the formation of the Free Speech League in 1902. They were being censored from distributing material about sex-education and abortion. Keep in mind that the majority of people were against them at the time.
                                                                                                  • The Civil Rights movement of the 1960’s fought hard for free speech. The movement won a landmark case, New York Times vs Sullivan, in which Martin Luther King supporters were sued for running an ad which criticized the police.
                                                                                                  • Black Civil Rights activists were also arrested for: praying, “parading, demonstrating, boycotting, trespassing and picketing.”, “statements calculated to breach the peace.”, “distributing literature without a permit.”, “conduct customarily known as ‘kneel-ins’ in churches.”

                                                                                                  Nevermind that Twitter for instance has an uncommon number of neoracists as well.


                                                                                                  I flagged your comment as unkind, because essentially it is a low-effort post made to flippantly accuse somebody without evidence, and there is zero fellowship regard (much less an assumption of good faith) towards Alex to the point of even misrepresenting what he wrote.

                                                                                                  1. 16

                                                                                                    Friendly warning: anything anywhere that mentions transphobia or nazis becomes a bozo bit here on Lobsters. Don’t try to argue semantics, don’t appeal to actual text or logic or history, don’t waste yours or anybody else’s time–just steer clear of it and save those cycles for making things or engaging in communities with more mature discussion capabilities.

                                                                                                    1. 2

                                                                                                      You’re too wise for this place

                                                                                                      1. 7

                                                                                                        Wisdom is what you get when do something really stupid but take notes.

                                                                                                        …I’ve taken a lot of notes.

                                                                                                    2. 17

                                                                                                      “Women’s sex-based rights” is absolutely a dogwhistle for transphobia, and if you look at what he wrote in his own words he says that ‘transgenderism [was] first popularized on Tumblr’ (?????), links the “TERF is a slur” page, and says “transgender ideology is fiction”. He’s transphobic through and through.

                                                                                                      I’m also extremely unconvinced that there’s no way to prevent people from being actual literal Nazis while not hurting marginalized people. Like, if someone was to come in to the comments section of a Lobsters post and say “by the way, I think we should kill all the Jews”, they’d get flagged and banned, right?

                                                                                                      And you’re ignoring the fact that constantly seeing people say that they think people like me (hi, I’m trans) are abominable freaks that are better off dead, or even ‘just’ mentally ill people who need to stop pretending, is likely to push me away from a place. This is going to happen with any sort of ‘free speech’-focused Masto instance: the bigots will migrate to your instance because they get kicked off elsewhere, and the people who don’t want to have to deal with bigots are going to go elsewhere.

                                                                                                      And, going back to the list, it’s not just gleasonator. As someone who’s used Fedi for several years, every single one of those instances aside from mstdn.social is one that I’ve had shitty experiences with. And it’s not a coincidence that mstdn.social is the only one that’s described as not allowing racism or sexism!

                                                                                                      1. 11

                                                                                                        Like, if someone was to come in to the comments section of a Lobsters post and say “by the way, I think we should kill all the Jews”, they’d get flagged and banned, right?

                                                                                                        Yes. And it’s happened: a few years ago a comment on a story about net neutrality attempted to use that to explain why the U.S. should commit genocide in the middle east. I deleted it and banned the author.

                                                                                                        1. 2

                                                                                                          … now that’s a leap.

                                                                                                      2. 8

                                                                                                        branching off from the thread, that quote is infuriating. they make the following argument:

                                                                                                        • marginalized people are affected by censorship (citing civil rights activists)
                                                                                                        • gab does not participate in censorship
                                                                                                        • gab has literal nazis on it

                                                                                                        therefore:

                                                                                                        • it’s ok for gab to continue to host literal nazis because banning them is similar to the prejudice that civil rights activists face

                                                                                                        i.e. propagating the speech of who people arguing for an ethnostate and committing real-life violence against minorities is somehow beneficial for those same minorities. fucking inane.

                                                                                                        1. 7

                                                                                                          My comment below is terribly off-topic, I think.

                                                                                                          A transphobe is someone who fears or has a negative perception of trans people. Supporting “women’s sex-based rights” is the same as saying that people born with female sex organs have different rights than trans people who are women. That is a negative perception of trans people who are women. Saying that women who were born with female sex organs have different rights than trans people who are women is, precisely, transphobia.

                                                                                                          Your comment is a low-effort attempt to deny that basic fact; if you recognize that trans people exist, saying they should be denied affordances that cis people have is clearly a manifestation of transphobia.

                                                                                                          That claim is so obviously false and inflammatory that I have flagged your comment as a troll. I’ve done you the courtesy of leaving this comment explaining why even though my own comment should rightly be flagged as offtopic. That’s because I’m assuming some good faith even though the obviously false and inflammatory nature of your comment makes me think that’s vanishingly unlikely.

                                                                                                1. 3

                                                                                                  Looking forward a real Fediverse alternative to Reddit, there are centralised and some decentralised alternatives out there but none of them makes makes them a real alternative.

                                                                                                  1. 8

                                                                                                    Lemmy is the main one I’ve heard of; IIRC it’s built on ActivityPub: https://lemmy.ml/

                                                                                                    I haven’t tried it yet tho. What are the problems that prevent them from being a “real alternative”?

                                                                                                    1. 7

                                                                                                      Lemmy is not fully decentralised and the dev has a bad rept of being really political.

                                                                                                      1. 13

                                                                                                        Wait to discover how political is the rest of the fediverse…

                                                                                                        Making FLOSS or Federated software is a political statement inside a political framework. How could they not be political?

                                                                                                        1. 0

                                                                                                          I agree.

                                                                                                      2. 5

                                                                                                        Lemmy is politically slanted. I wouldn’t touch it with a ten foot pole.

                                                                                                        https://github.com/LemmyNet/lemmy/pull/816

                                                                                                        An ideal reddit alternative would by design be decentralizing the power to censor/moderate out of the hands of a select group of admins into distributing it to the users at large. Democratic, not authoritarian. For example,

                                                                                                        […] it simply shouldn’t be up to the centralised tech giants to be unilaterally making those policy decisions. It should be up to the people and their representatives to decide what information they wish to view (outside questions of illegality, of course)

                                                                                                        […]

                                                                                                        The answer is to remove the centralisation. Users should be able to make up their own minds and make their own censorship decisions - something that we’re actively working on and supporting via Matrix’s decentralised reputation work.

                                                                                                        2021 escalated quickly, Jan 12, 2021, Element Blog.

                                                                                                        1. 4

                                                                                                          British people are no longer allowed to go out for a fag. Scientists are unable to discus retarded time or the retardation of planetary orbits. You can’t talk about your spaying your bitch.

                                                                                                          But hey, some right-wing troll will have to go through the extra effort of writing b*tch (and only people on the right use insults, it is a well known scientifically proven fact) so it’s all worth it.

                                                                                                          This is profoundly misguided. Moderation on these kind of platforms is a hard problem, both technically and socially, but this has got to be the silliest take I’ve seen yet.

                                                                                                    1. 4

                                                                                                      Honest question - has rent control ever worked?

                                                                                                      1. 20

                                                                                                        The rent control thing is oh so terrible that almost everyone I know now pays less. A colleague’s rent was halved b/c they were basically ripping him and his family off. Why? Because they could. The law is good for the people of Berlin!

                                                                                                        The market has been a mess for many years, long before the rent control was put into place.

                                                                                                        1. 3

                                                                                                          Also, the Mietendeckel is causing many landlords to start to dump their Altbau units so they can shift their investments to cities like Frankfurt where it’s less regulated. This has personally benefited me as I was able to buy a nicer home than I expected with the budget I planned. So, the rent controls are also benefiting people like me who want to purchase a home for personal use.

                                                                                                          The recently constructed Neubau units that the controls do not apply to have exploded in price, which in turn incentivizes new construction, which alleviates the fundamental problem over time. It’s still the early days, but I’m optimistic it may turn out to be a big success at actually increasing unit availability.

                                                                                                          1. 2

                                                                                                            From various other anecdotes in this thread it sounds like the actual problem is lack of supply, and neither rent control nor no-rent-control alone changes that. “Old buildings are rent controlled and new construction is not” sounds like a potential solution, will be interesting to see what happens.

                                                                                                          2. 3

                                                                                                            This is the seen vs the unseen. I live in Berlin and now pay less. I also was unable to find a new apartment even though I looked for a year. There must also be many people who don’t have any chance to come to Berlin now because trying to get an apartment is like playing roulette (for everyone, not just for evil techbros).

                                                                                                            Maybe the Berlin government can just slash half the prices of everything tomorrow, we’d all save a lot of money that way.

                                                                                                            1. 1

                                                                                                              That has absolutely nothing to do with rent control. It was like that before, in fact it was worse b/c there were simply no affordable places. Now you may actually find one when somebody moves out.

                                                                                                              Now you have crazy high prices for everything build after 2014, before you had them for everything. I fail to see how rent control made that worse.

                                                                                                              1. 5

                                                                                                                No, it was not like that before. Rentable apartment supply has shrunk to 50% of what it was before rent control, and many of those just pretend to rent out and just decline every offer, waiting for the law to be struck down so they don’t have to honor 50% undervalued contracts. When I came to Berlin 5 years ago it took one day of going to the viewing of 4 apartments and I got one. Now I can’t find one at all.

                                                                                                                1. 5

                                                                                                                  No, it was not like that before.

                                                                                                                  I have been here since 2013 and then it was already not easy. People then already stayed in their places, if they were not part of the rich “IT crowd”.

                                                                                                                  and many of those just pretend to rent out and just decline every offer, waiting for the law to be struck down so they don’t have to honor 50% undervalued contracts.

                                                                                                                  There is a law preventing that too, unfortunately not followed up enough.

                                                                                                                  When I came to Berlin 5 years ago it took one day of going to the viewing of 4 apartments and I got one.

                                                                                                                  I am sorry that I have to say this, but if you had that many options 4 years ago, you are probably part of the problem that drove the rents up. IT people like us have a ton of money and may find things affordable that the regular old Berliner can not afford. Berlin was for a long time a poor city and still is not rich. The household income for Berlin was less than 21k/year in 2019 (I could not find newer numbers quickly).

                                                                                                                2. 0

                                                                                                                  It made it worse by causing (non-regulated) prices to rise even faster. https://twitter.com/andreaskluth/status/1366693336715771906

                                                                                                                  1. 1

                                                                                                                    Read more of the replies, the issue was that not all of the apartments were regulated.

                                                                                                                    https://twitter.com/darren_cullen/status/1366824878960173064?s=20

                                                                                                                  2. 0

                                                                                                                    I think you’re right that it means that there are affordable apartments again, but I think you’re missing the fact that it has also had a dramatic effect on number of available apartments.

                                                                                                                    It seems like a lot of landlords are choosing to not sign new contracts and/or just sell the units instead of re-renting them, so there’s been a 50-70% decline in number of new listings. So while there are affordable apartments again, there are just a lot fewer of them.

                                                                                                                    Maybe we just have to wait out the landlords until the Mietendeckel’s legal status is settled? It will be interesting to see how it plays out.

                                                                                                                    Is this better? I don’t know. I’m supportive anything to try to limit housing speculation. And I’m happy for all my friends with newly reduced rents. But for anyone who needs to move it makes life very difficult, and makes it a lot harder for anyone “new” to ever come to Berlin.

                                                                                                                    Sources: Personal experience trying to find a new flat in Berlin flat this year, and a (biased) Bloomberg article that translates a study that my German language skills are not quite ready for.

                                                                                                                    https://archive.is/l3i2w

                                                                                                                    https://www.ifo.de/publikationen/2021/aufsatz-zeitschrift/ein-jahr-mietendeckel

                                                                                                                3. 2

                                                                                                                  Really interesting to hear! I remember reading about the introduction of controls years ago and thinking it was a great idea, great to hear about it working in practice!

                                                                                                                  1. 2

                                                                                                                    This is interesting. Does it not create slumlords like they have in NY? Buildings where none of the amenities are properly maintained? If it takes up to a year to find a new place to live in Berlin, where do you live in the meantime? Do you have to plan every move with multiple months of notice?

                                                                                                                    1. 1

                                                                                                                      Sure, rent control absolutely benefits some people - the ones who are already renting.

                                                                                                                      The economic argument against rent control (which seems to practically universal in the economics profession, regardless of political affiliation) is that this benefit comes with huge costs to future renters & people in marginal accommodation, combined with a hidden drag on the wider economy. In other words, it’s not just a transfer of wealth from landlords to current renters, it’s also a transfer of wealth from future renters to current renters & one that carries huge economic costs alongside it.

                                                                                                                      Nobody seems to have tried Georgist land taxes instead of rent control that I’m aware of, which shows how much political power economists actually have…

                                                                                                                    2. 4

                                                                                                                      While interesting, probably not the best venue for this question.

                                                                                                                      ** Edit ** Actually, if you are interested in stuff like that, I would recommend checking out the urban planning subreddit. It’s got a pretty good community by reddit standards.

                                                                                                                      1. 4

                                                                                                                        Depends on what you mean. If you mean ‘subsidize renters who already have an apartment at the cost of landlords, people moving in and people moving around’, then yes, it works great. I’ve been looking for an apartment for a year and wasn’t able to find one. Many landlords won’t even rent out at all in the moment because they think the rent control is illegal and will soon be reversed.

                                                                                                                        As the article states, the solution to high rental prices is building more apartments, which is notoriously hard and costly in Berlin.

                                                                                                                        1. 3

                                                                                                                          it’s working great, except for tech bros that want to move in. Exactly as intended.

                                                                                                                          1. 2

                                                                                                                            How is excluding “tech bros” “as intended” working out for regular, working-class immigrants?

                                                                                                                            1. 6

                                                                                                                              it was already hard to find a new place for them, because the struggle OP is experiencing was the norm for working-class people targeting low-price apartments. They had a ceiling above which they couldn’t go while tech-bros could. They still can, but there’s just less offer for them.

                                                                                                                              On the other side, working class people that already had an apartment are shielded from price growth that was pushing them away or forced them to move to smaller and smaller apartments or rooms (generating even more competition at the bottom).

                                                                                                                              In the movements that created political support for this rent freeze there are many organizations of immigrant workers. Due to corona I haven’t had contacts with them in a while, but I guess they are happy of their victory.

                                                                                                                        1. 1

                                                                                                                          I used factorio to explain automation, standardization, inter-dependencies and complex systems to adult students. I totally agree that Factorio (or other automation games) can totally work for this and I’m planning to expand on this educational side. Factorio can do more to explain computational thinking than Scratch or those other toy programming languages will ever do, exactly because it doesn’t care about looking like programming. It’s completely detached from any technological restraint on computational thinking and this makes it perfect.

                                                                                                                          1. 19

                                                                                                                            Some time ago I got bitten with the roguelike craze and was heavily into different roguelikes (Dwarf Fortress, Stone Soup, Nethack). I decided I’d take a stab at building my own (in Rust, of course, because it’s the best language on earth).

                                                                                                                            Unfortunately, I got a bit carried away with designing the game. Instead of trimming the specification down to what I could handle, I stupidly went ahead and tried to implement that monstrosity (the mapgen code was, what, 3k lines?). I had all kinds of fancy plans for keeping track of each tile’s temperature, atmospheric makeup, air density, etc. and even for modeling each monster’s thoughts (similar to Dwarf Fortress). I can’t even bear to look at that code anymore, so it’s unlikely I’ll pick it up.

                                                                                                                            1. 9

                                                                                                                              been there, done that (on purpose). I stopped when I had a system that could allow to mod the game in natural language

                                                                                                                              1. 3

                                                                                                                                Wait what. Can you give me an example?

                                                                                                                                1. 1

                                                                                                                                  Programming in natural language isn’t really that new. Here’s an example: https://osmosianplainenglishprogramming.blog/

                                                                                                                            1. 10

                                                                                                                              “maybe IBS maybe who knows” gang reporting in. I feel you, I’m in the same shit (pun intended). The article is nice but, as any good software engineer, I feel you’re overcomplicating the matter.

                                                                                                                              Recipes in the way you treat them are a modern invention, even when they are traditionalized. Recipes make up for lack of food knowledge in the industrialized world. They are the “no-code” revolution of food. They work until they don’t work anymore, like in your case.

                                                                                                                              My suggestion is to throw them out of the window and learn real cooking. Cooking is a system, with rules, principles and sinergies. It’s not just about flavor but it’s about logistics, availability and health. Recipes are prepackaged solutions but they don’t hold any ultimate truth: make your own recipes, learn to design and compose meals according to foundational rules. Go back to the “barebone” cooking to achieve the flexibility recipes cannot give you. Substitutes will appear, because many of them are contextual and probably now you’re limiting yourself to absolute substitutes (like assafetida for garlic or soy cream for normal cream). I hope this will help you explore food from a different perspective and find your okay spot.

                                                                                                                              1. 1

                                                                                                                                So, I completely agree.

                                                                                                                                Regarding cooking as a system, what do you recommend as reading material? I mean, I’ve had trouble finding books that start from nothing and build up from nothing. What’s a good starting point?

                                                                                                                                (Is there like a SICP for cooking, or similar?)

                                                                                                                                1. 2

                                                                                                                                  Depending on your cooking skills you might want to look at something like molecular gastronomy and the chemistry behind cooking or at least outside of regular recipe books. I’m a decent chef myself and usually have no trouble coming up with my own recipes based on what’s on sale, in season, in the fridge or found hiding in the back of the cupboard, and all that comes down to hard earned experience, especially flavor pairing.

                                                                                                                                  Understanding the processes taking place in the kitchen (or at least having in idea of what is going on) is something I find can help me to make my cooking better, more interesting or simpler. Things like understanding how an emulsion works (good when making a dressing or mayonnaise), using acid and base (e.g. vinegar/lemon juice and baking soda/powder) to make vegetables have more or less bite (adding a dash of vinegar when boiling potatoes makes them never disintegrate/become soggy), the relationships between temperature, surface area oil and salt e.g. for all of those nice Maillard reactions.

                                                                                                                                  I’m blessed with having no food allergies, but I imagine that something like consistency and mouth feel can be hard to handle when having a much restrained choice of ingredients. Martin Lersch has a blog at https://khymos.org/ and has a free book, Texture, which has a collection of recipes using different hydrocolloids, i.e. substances that gels in contact with water which can be used to thicken, gel, foam, emulsify etc.: https://khymos.org/recipe-collection/

                                                                                                                                  I see that he’s recently restarted his blog, definitely worth a read with lots of interesting observations and recipes. Check out Maximizing Food Flavor by Speeding Up the Maillard Reaction or Ten tips for practical molecular gastronomy.

                                                                                                                                  I can’t really recommend any paper books, all of my reading has been online (with the sole exception being Cooking for Geeks by Jeff Potter, bought at FOSDEM with their usual O’Reilly discount), but for something gawk-worthy (and expensive) have a look at Modernist Cuisine by Nathan Myhrvold.

                                                                                                                                  Hope this helps!

                                                                                                                                1. 3

                                                                                                                                  you have a “Identity stuff Awesome List” to put on github right there

                                                                                                                                1. 34

                                                                                                                                  Disclaimer: I represent a GitHub competitor.

                                                                                                                                  The opening characterization of GitHub detractors is disingenuous:

                                                                                                                                  The reasons for being against GitHub hosting tend to be one or more of:

                                                                                                                                  1. it is an evil proprietary platform
                                                                                                                                  2. it is run by Microsoft and they are evil
                                                                                                                                  3. GitHub is American thus evil

                                                                                                                                  GitHub collaborated with US immigration and customs enforcement under the Trump administration, which is a highly controversial organization with severe allegations of “evil”. GitHub also recently fired a Jewish employee for characterising armed insurrectionists wearing Nazi propeganda as Nazis.

                                                                                                                                  It’s not nice to belittle the principles of people who have valid reasons to cite ethical criticisms of GitHub. Even if you like the workflow and convenience, which is Daniel’s main justification, other platforms offer the same conveniences. As project leaders, we have a responsibility to support platforms which align with our values. There are valid ethical and philosophical complaints about GitHub, and dismissing them because of convenience and developer inertia is cowardly.

                                                                                                                                  1. 27

                                                                                                                                    GitHub collaborated with US immigration and customs enforcement under the Trump administration

                                                                                                                                    This makes it sound worse than it actually was, ICE bought a Github Enterprise Server license through a reseller. Github then tried to compensate by donating 500.000$ to “nonprofit organizations working to support immigrant communities”.

                                                                                                                                    … other platforms offer the same conveniences.

                                                                                                                                    Maybe, but they definitely lack the networking effect that was one of main points for curl to use Github.

                                                                                                                                    1. 24

                                                                                                                                      The inconsistency is what kills me here. Allowing ICE to have an account became a heinous crime against neoliberalism, meanwhile how many tech companies openly collaborated with the US military while we killed a million innocent people in Iraq? Or what about Microsoft collaborating with our governments surveillance efforts?

                                                                                                                                      I’m not even engaging in what-about-ism here in the sense that you must be outraged at all the things or none. I’m suggesting that ICE outrage is ridiculous in the face of everything else the US government does.

                                                                                                                                      Pick less ridiculous boogeymen please.

                                                                                                                                      1. 20

                                                                                                                                        I see a lot of the same people (including myself) protesting all of these things…

                                                                                                                                        I feel like I should say something to make this remark longer, and less likely to be taken as hostile, but that’s really all I have to say. Vast numbers of people are consistently opposing all the things you object to. If you’re attempting to suggest that people are picking only one issue to care about and ignoring the other closely related issues, that’s simply wrong - factually, that is not what is happening. If you’re not trying to suggest that, I don’t understand the purpose of your complaint.

                                                                                                                                        1. 13

                                                                                                                                          The inconsistency is what kills me here.

                                                                                                                                          Also:

                                                                                                                                          1. Free Software and Open Source should never discriminate against fields of endeavour!
                                                                                                                                          2. GitHub should discriminate against this particular organisation!

                                                                                                                                          and:

                                                                                                                                          1. We need decentralised systems that are resistant to centralised organisation dictating who can or can’t use the service!
                                                                                                                                          2. GitHub should use its centralised position to deny this service to this particular organisation!

                                                                                                                                          Anyway, how exactly will curl moving away from GitHub or GitHub stopping their ICE contract help the people victimized by ICE? I don’t see how it does, and the entire thing seems like a distraction to me. Fix the politics instead.

                                                                                                                                          1. 14

                                                                                                                                            Is some ideological notion of consistency supposed to weigh more heavily than harm reduction in one’s ontological calculus? Does “not discriminating against a field of endeavor” even hold inherent virtue? The “who” and “on what grounds” give the practice meaning.

                                                                                                                                            If I endeavor to teach computer science to under-served groups, and one discriminated against my practice due to bigotry, then that’s bad. If I endeavor to make a ton of money by providing tools and infrastructure to a power structure which seeks to violate the human rights of vulnerable populations, you would be right to “discriminate” against my endeavor.

                                                                                                                                            Anyway, how exactly will curl moving away from GitHub or GitHub stopping their ICE contract help the people victimized by ICE?

                                                                                                                                            I don’t think anyone here has suggested that if curl were to move away from github that it would have an appreciable or conclusive impact on ICE and it’s victims. The point of refusing to work for or with with ice or their enablers is mainly to raise awareness of the issue and to build public opposition to them, which is a form of direct action - “fixing the politics” as you put it. It’s easy to laugh at and dismiss people making noise online, or walking out of work, or writing a heated blog post, but as we’ve seen over the last decade, online movements are powerful forces in democratic society.

                                                                                                                                            1. 8

                                                                                                                                              Is some ideological notion of consistency supposed to weigh more heavily than harm reduction in one’s ontological calculus?

                                                                                                                                              If you’re first going to argue that 1) is unethical and should absolutely never be done by anyone and then the next day you argue that 2), which is in direct contradiction to 1), is unethical and should absolutely never be done by anyone then I think there’s a bit of a problem, yes.

                                                                                                                                              Because at this point you’re no longer having a conversation about what is or isn’t moral, and what the best actions are to combat injustices, or any of these things, instead you’re just trying to badger people in to accepting your viewpoint on a particular narrow issue.

                                                                                                                                              1. 3

                                                                                                                                                If you’re first going to argue that 1) is unethical and should absolutely never be done by anyone and then the next day you argue that 2), which is in direct contradiction to 1), is unethical and should absolutely never be done by anyone then I think there’s a bit of a problem, yes.

                                                                                                                                                does anyone say that though

                                                                                                                                            2. 12

                                                                                                                                              Your first two points are a good explanation of the tension between the Open Source and Ethical Source movements. I think everyone close to the issue is in agreement that, yes, discriminating against militant nationalism is a form of discrimination, just one that ought to happen.

                                                                                                                                              There was some open conflict last year between the Open Source Institute, and the group that became the Organization for Ethical Source. See https://ethicalsource.dev/ for some of the details.

                                                                                                                                              Your second two points, also, highlight a real and important concern, and you’ve stated it well. I’m personally against centralized infrastructure, including GitHub. I very much want the world to move to decentralized technical platforms in which there would be no single entity that holds the power that corporations presently do. However, while centralized power structures exist, I don’t want those structures to be neutral to injustice. To do that is to side with the oppressor.

                                                                                                                                              (Edit: I somehow wrote “every” instead of “everyone”. Too many editing passes, I guess. Oops.)

                                                                                                                                              1. 11

                                                                                                                                                To clarify: this wasn’t really intended as a defence of either the first or second points in contradictions, I just wanted to point out that people’s views on this are rather inconsistent, to highlight that the issue is rather more complex than some people portray it as. To be fair, most people’s worldviews are inconsistent to some degree, mine certainly are, but then again I also don’t make bold absolute statements about these sort of things and insult people who don’t fit in that.

                                                                                                                                                I think that both these issues are essentially unsolvable; similar to how we all want every criminal to be convicted but also want zero innocent people to be convicted unjustly. This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try, but we should keep a level head about what we can and can’t achieve, and what the trade-offs are.

                                                                                                                                                I don’t want those structures to be neutral to injustice. To do that is to side with the oppressor.

                                                                                                                                                In Dutch we have a saying I rather like: “being a mayor in wartime”. This refers to the dilemma of mayors (and journalists, police, and so forth) during the German occupation. To stay in your position would be to collaborate with the Nazis; but to resign would mean being replaced with a Nazi sympathizer. By staying you could at least sort of try to influence things. This is a really narrow line to walk though, and discussions about who was or wasn’t “wrong” during the war continue to this day.

                                                                                                                                                I don’t think GitHub is necessarily “neutral to injustice”, just like the mayors during the war weren’t. I know people love to portray GitHub as this big evil company, but my impression is that GitHub is actually not all that bad; I mean, how many other CEOs would have joined youtube-dl’s IRC channel to apologize for the shitty situation they’re in? Or would have spent time securing a special contract to provide service to Iranian people? Or went out of their way to add features to rename the default branch?

                                                                                                                                                But there is a limit to what is reasonable; no person or company can be unneutral to all forms of injustice; it would be debilitating. You have to pick your battles; ICE is a battle people picked, and IMO it’s completely the wrong one: what good would cutting a contract with ICE do? I don’t see it, and I do see a lot of risk in alienating the government of the country you’re based in, especially considering that the Trump administration was not exactly know for its cool, level-headed, and calm responses to (perceived) sleights. Besides, in the grand scheme of injustices present in the world ICE seems small fries.

                                                                                                                                                And maybe all tech companies putting pressure on ICE would have made an impact in changing ICE’s practices, I don’t really think it would but let’s assume it would. But what does that mean? A bunch of undemocratic companies exerting pressure to change the policy of a democratically elected government. Yikes? Most of the time I see corporate influence on government it’s not for the better and I would rather we reduce this across the board, which would also reduce the potential “good influences”, but the bad influences vastly outnumber the good ones that this is a good trade.

                                                                                                                                                1. 6

                                                                                                                                                  Yes, those are all fair and thoughtful points. I agree very much that with any system, no matter how oppressive, if one has a position of power within the system it’s important to weigh how much good one can do by staying in, against how much they can do by leaving. I rather wish I were living in times that didn’t require making such decisions in practice so frequently, but none of us get to choose when we’re born.

                                                                                                                                                  On the strategic point you raise, I disagree: I do think the GitHub/ICE issue is a valuable one to push on, precisely because it prompts conversations like this. Tech workers might be tempted to dismiss our own role in these atrocities; I think it’s important to have that reminder. However, I very much acknowledge that it’s hard to know whether there’s some other way that might be better, and there’s plenty of room for disagreement, even among people who agree on the goals.

                                                                                                                                                  When I was young, I was highly prone to taking absolute positions that weren’t warranted. I hope if I ever fall back into those old habits, you and others will call me out. I do think it’s really important for people who disagree to hear each other out, whenever that’s feasible, and I also think it’s important for us all to acknowledge the limits of our own arguments. So, overall, thank you for your thoughts.

                                                                                                                                                  1. 2

                                                                                                                                                    I recently read a really approachable article article from Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (via HN), which I found really interesting and balanced in highlighting the tensions between (in this case study) “free speech” and other values. To me it also helps to understand that those apparent “conflicts of interest” are still rather possible to balance (if not trivially) given good will; and IMO that the “extreme positions” are something of a possibly unavoidable simplifications - given that even analyzing the positions of renowned philosophers, skilled at precise expression, it’s not always completely clear where they sat.

                                                                                                                                                    https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/freedom-speech/

                                                                                                                                                    edit: though I am totally worried when people refuse to even discuss those nuances and to explore their position in this space of values.

                                                                                                                                                    1. 7

                                                                                                                                                      Anyone with a sincere interest in educating themselves about the concept of free speech and other contentious issues will quickly learn about the nuances of the concepts. Some people will however not give a fig about these nuances and continue to argue absolutist positions on the internet, either to advance unrelated political positions or simply to wind people up.

                                                                                                                                                      Engaging with these people (on these issues) is generally a waste of time. It’s like wrestling with a pig - you’ll get dirty and the pig enjoys it.

                                                                                                                                                      1. 3

                                                                                                                                                        I’m not sure I agree that anyone who makes a sincere effort will learn about the nuances. The nuance is there, but whether people have the chance to learn it is largely a function of whether the social spaces they’re in give them the chance to. I’m really worried about how absolutist, reactionary positions are the bulk of discussion on social media today. I think we all have an obligation to try to steer discussions away from reductive absolutism, in every aspect of our lives.

                                                                                                                                                        With that said, it’s clear you’re coming from a good place and I sympathize. I only wish I felt that not engaging is clearly the right way; it would be easier.

                                                                                                                                                        1. 5

                                                                                                                                                          I’ll have to admit that my comment was colored by my jaundiced view of the online conversation at this point in time. “Free speech” has become a shibboleth among groups who loudly demand immunity from criticism, and who expect their wares to be subsidized in the Marketplace of Ideas, but who would not hesitate to restrict the speech of their enemies should they attain power.

                                                                                                                                                          I’m all for nuanced discussion, but some issues are just so hot button it’s functionally useless in a public forum.

                                                                                                                                                          1. 4

                                                                                                                                                            I completely understand, and that’s very fair.

                                                                                                                                                            I agree with your assessment but, purely for myself and not as something I’d push on others, I refuse to accept the outcome of stepping back from discussion - because that would be a win for reactionary forms of engagement, and a loss for anyone with a sincere, thought-out position, wherever they might fall on the political spectrum.

                                                                                                                                                            It’s fine to step back and say that for your own well being, you can’t dedicate your efforts to being part of the solution to that. You can only do what you can do, and no person or cause has a right to demand more than that. For myself, only, I haven’t given up and I’ll continue to look for solutions.

                                                                                                                                                2. 6

                                                                                                                                                  There are a lot of people in the OSS community who don’t agree with your first point. You might find it contradictory, or “wrong” (And sure, I guess it wouldn’t be OSI certified if you codified it in a license). But it’s what a decent part of the community thinks.

                                                                                                                                                  And the easy answer to your comment about helping, let’s do the contrary. ICE has policies. Selling them tools to make it easier is clearly helping them to move forward on those policies. Just like AWS was helping Parler exist by offering its infrastructure. You can have value judgements or principles regarding those decisions, but you can’t say that it doesn’t matter at all.

                                                                                                                                                  And yeah, maybe there’s someone else who can offer the services. But maybe there are only so many Github-style services out there! And at one point it starts actually weighing on ICE’s ability to do stuff.

                                                                                                                                                  Of course people want to fix the politics. But lacking that power, people will still try to do something. And, yeah, people are allowed to be mad that a company is doing something, even they probably shouldn’t be surprised.

                                                                                                                                                  1. 4

                                                                                                                                                    And yeah, maybe there’s someone else who can offer the services. But maybe there are only so many Github-style services out there! And at one point it starts actually weighing on ICE’s ability to do stuff.

                                                                                                                                                    I’d expect ICE to be more than capable of self-hosting GitLab or some other free software project.

                                                                                                                                                    Of course people want to fix the politics. But lacking that power, people will still try to do something.

                                                                                                                                                    I don’t think it’s outside of people’s power to do that, but it is a lot harder, and requires more organisation and dedication. And “doing something” is not the same as “doing something useful”.

                                                                                                                                                    As for the rest, I already addressed most of that in my reply to Irene’s comment, so I won’t repeat that here.

                                                                                                                                                3. 12

                                                                                                                                                  no disagreement with your main point, but… a crime against neoliberalism?

                                                                                                                                                  1. 4

                                                                                                                                                    I think they mean against the newest wave of liberal politics in the US. Not the actual term neoliberalism which—as you clearly know—refers to something completely different, if not totally opposite.

                                                                                                                                                  2. 10

                                                                                                                                                    there are active campaigns inside and outside most companies about those issues. It’s not like https://notechforice.com/ exists in a bubble. Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Palantir, Salesforce and many others have been attacked for this. Clearly the DoD created the Silicon Valley and the connections run deep since the beginning, but these campaigns are to raise awareness and build consensus against tech supporting imperialism, concentration camps and many other crimes committed by the American Government against its citizens or foreign countries. But you have to start somewhere: political change is not like compiling a program, it’s not on and off, it’s nuanced and complex. Attacking (and winning) stuff like Project Maven or ICE concentration camps is a way to show that you can achieve something, break the tip of the iceberg and use that to build bigger organizations and bigger support for bigger actions.

                                                                                                                                                    1. 1

                                                                                                                                                      Clearly the DoD created the Silicon Valley and the connections run deep since the beginning

                                                                                                                                                      Oh, I’d love to be red-pilled into that!

                                                                                                                                                  3. 22

                                                                                                                                                    This makes it sound worse than it actually was, ICE bought a Github Enterprise Server license through a reseller.

                                                                                                                                                    LA Times:

                                                                                                                                                    In a fact sheet circulating within GitHub, employees opposing the ICE contract wrote that the GitHub sales team actively pursued the contract renewal with ICE. The Times reviewed screenshots of an internal Slack channel after the contract was renewed on Sept. 4 that appear to show sales employees celebrating a $56,000 upgrade of the contract with ICE. The message, which congratulated four employees for the sale and was accompanied by emojis of a siren, bald eagle and American flag, read “stay out of their way. $56k upgrade at DHS ICE.” Five people responded with an American flag emoji.

                                                                                                                                                    It was not as at arm’s length as they’d like you to believe. Several prominent organisations rejected offers of parts of the $500k donation because they didn’t want to be associated with the ICE contract. Internally the company was shredded as it became clear that GitHub under MSFT would rather be torn apart inside than listen to employees and customers and commit to stop serving ICE in the future.

                                                                                                                                                    There were plenty of calls to cancel the contract immediately, which might’ve been a pipedream, but even the more realistic “could we just not renew it in future” was met with silence and corporatespeak. Long-serving employees asking “well, if this isn’t too far for us, what concretely would be over the line?” in Q&A’s were labelled hostile, and most certainly not answered.

                                                                                                                                                    1. 16

                                                                                                                                                      We could debate the relative weight of these and other grievances here, but I’d rather not. My point is simply that the ethical concerns are based on reason, and Daniel’s blithe dismissal of them is inappropriate.

                                                                                                                                                      1. 7

                                                                                                                                                        Could you elaborate on the reasons?

                                                                                                                                                        You state that the reasons exist, and you give an example of someone you think github should reject as a customer. But you don’t talk about what those reasons are, or really go into principles, rationales or philosophy at all.

                                                                                                                                                        I worry that without a thought-through framework, your attitude degenerates into mindless shitstorms.

                                                                                                                                                        1. 4

                                                                                                                                                          He has not engaged with the ethical concerns you raise. That may well be because he is simply not aware of them. You are overinterpreting that as “blithe dismissal”.

                                                                                                                                                      2. 10

                                                                                                                                                        The firing of the employee has been reversed.

                                                                                                                                                        1. 10

                                                                                                                                                          Just a honest question: does this poop management actually makes them look better to you? Despite this being a reaction to public outrage that would have hurt the company? Like, do you think they that out of guilt or something like that?

                                                                                                                                                          1. 3

                                                                                                                                                            Considering the fired employee was reinstated and the head of HR resigned, this looks like a much more substantive concession than the employment status Ctrl-Z that internet outrages usually produce.

                                                                                                                                                            1. 3

                                                                                                                                                              how? isn’t the “let’s sacrifice a scapegoat without fundamentally changing anything” a quite common strategy?

                                                                                                                                                              1. 2

                                                                                                                                                                None of us know the details of this case. It’s way too easy to form a conclusion from one party, especially if they’re not bound by law from discussing sensitive HR details openly.

                                                                                                                                                                So while I can project a hope that this is a lasting change at GH, you are free to cynically dismiss it as window dressing. The facts, as we know them, support either view.

                                                                                                                                                          2. 17

                                                                                                                                                            Aye, and I commend them for that. But that doesn’t change the fact that “retaliated against an employee who spoke out against Nazism” is a permanent stain on their reputation which rightfully angers many people, who rightfully may wish to cease using the platform as a result. Daniel’s portrayal of their concerns as petty and base is not right.

                                                                                                                                                            1. 2

                                                                                                                                                              Not only that but the HR person who fired him was fired.

                                                                                                                                                              1. 4

                                                                                                                                                                Probably out of convenience and not actually the person who gave the order. At least, I think that’s the case more than we know.

                                                                                                                                                                1. 5

                                                                                                                                                                  The person who resigned was the head of HR. It almost certainly wasn’t the person who made the call, or even their manager, it was likely their manager’s manager. That sends a pretty strong signal to the rest of HR that there will be consequences for this kind of thing in the future.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. 1

                                                                                                                                                                    Damn, the head of HR!? What a turnover. Maybe that means they’re taking this more seriously than I thought at first.

                                                                                                                                                            2. 7

                                                                                                                                                              Every time someone asked me to move away from GitHub it’s been because “it’s not Free Software” and various variants of “vendor lock-in” and “it’s centralized”. I am aware there are also other arguments, but those have not been stated in the two instances people asked me to move away from GitHub. What (probably) prompted this particular Twitter thread and that doesn’t mention ICE or anything like that (also: 1 2). Most comments opposed to GitHub on HN or Lobsters don’t focus on ICE either.

                                                                                                                                                              That you personally care a great deal about this is all very fine, but it’s not the most commonly used argument against GitHub.

                                                                                                                                                              There are valid ethical and philosophical complaints about GitHub

                                                                                                                                                              According to your view of ethics, which many don’t share.

                                                                                                                                                              1. 2

                                                                                                                                                                I think that asking someone to change their infrastructure based solely on personal preferences is a step or two too far, be it based on ethics or ergonomics (“all the other code I use is on GitHub, yours should be too”).

                                                                                                                                                                It’s at the very least a bunch of work to move, and the benefit is likely small. You’ve already made a choice when deciding to put your code where it is, so why would you want to change it?

                                                                                                                                                                If asked, I’d recommend using something other than Github to work against the monoculture we’re already pretty deep in, but I don’t see myself actively trying to persuade others to abandon them.

                                                                                                                                                              2. 4

                                                                                                                                                                Isn’t sr.ht hosted and incorporated in the US? Or are only points (1) and (2) valid? :-D

                                                                                                                                                                GitHub also fought the US Gov to get the Iranian developer access to their platform, which is also helping your platform as far as I know. https://github.blog/2021-01-05-advancing-developer-freedom-github-is-fully-available-in-iran/

                                                                                                                                                                Any organization that is large enough will have some incidents which, when cherry-picked, can be used to paint the organization as evil. But really what happens is that they represent humanity. In terms of evil, you don’t have to look far to see much worse groups of people than GitHub.

                                                                                                                                                                IMO a more compelling argument would be centered around how he is an open-source developer, depending on a closed platform. Daniel’s utilitarian view is understandable but also short-thinking. He is contributing towards building this monolith just by using it.

                                                                                                                                                                1. 21

                                                                                                                                                                  Or are only points (1) and (2) valid? :-D

                                                                                                                                                                  None of the points Daniel raises are valid, because they’re strawmen, and bad-faith portrayals of actual positions.

                                                                                                                                                                  Actual argument: “GitHub, an American company, is choosing to cooperate with ICE, an American instutition which is controversial for its ethical problems”

                                                                                                                                                                  Bad faith re-stating: “GitHub is American thus evil”

                                                                                                                                                                  There is nuance here, and indeed you’ve found some of it, but a nuanced argument is not what Daniel is making.

                                                                                                                                                                2. 6

                                                                                                                                                                  collaborated with US immigration and customs enforcement

                                                                                                                                                                  I think “is American and thus evil” definitely covers this.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. 2

                                                                                                                                                                    Why are two [1, 2] of your most popular projects primarily hosted on github?

                                                                                                                                                                    1. https://github.com/swaywm/sway

                                                                                                                                                                    2. https://github.com/swaywm/wlroots

                                                                                                                                                                    1. 19

                                                                                                                                                                      I have been gradually moving off of GitHub, but not all at once. A few months ago I finished migrating all of the projects under my user namespace (github.com/ddevault) to SourceHut. Last week I also announced to my GitHub Sponsors supporters that I intend to leave the program, which is almost certain to cause me to lose money when many of them choose not to move to my personal donation platform (which has higher payment processing fees than GitHub does, so even if they all moved I would still lose money). If you intend to imply that I am a hypocrite for still using GitHub, I don’t think that holds very much weight.

                                                                                                                                                                      Regarding those two projects in particular, some discussion was held about moving to gitlab.freedesktop.org last year, but it was postponed until the CI can be updated accordingly. In any case, I am no longer the maintainer of either project, and at best only an occasional contributor, so it’s not really my place nor my responsibility to move the projects elsewhere. I think that they should move, and perhaps a renewed call for doing so should be made, but it’s ultimately not my call anymore.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. 10

                                                                                                                                                                        If you intend to imply that I am a hypocrite for still using GitHub, I don’t think that holds very much weight.

                                                                                                                                                                        Nope, I was just genuinely curious since I don’t follow you that closely, and hadn’t heard any explanation or reasoning why those repos are still on github when I have heard you explain your position regarding github multiple times. So it seemed odd, so I asked.

                                                                                                                                                                        In any case, thanks for explaining! I hope those projects are moved off too (@emersion !)

                                                                                                                                                                        1. 6

                                                                                                                                                                          Cool, makes sense. Thanks for clarifying.

                                                                                                                                                                        2. 2

                                                                                                                                                                          I love that you represent another point of view here. I firmly believe that free software needs free tools. We don’t want history to repeat. And Yes, there will be some sacrifice for the switch.

                                                                                                                                                                          Watching your actions closely for months, You represent how a free software leader should be.