1. 1

    This is cool. It’s nice to have a pure-Lisp option.

    1. 8

      I agree with this, and I believe the door should’ve been slammed shut before I was invited. The past three or four months have definitely had more “HN-flavored” stories, or so it feels at least. There’s no way to keep a community of over 10000 users on track and focussed on the original concept.

      1. 7

        Could you post some examples of ‘HN flavoured stories’ ?

        It is hard to pinpoint what it is about Lobsters that makes me prefer it to other similar communities, but I would summarise this place as:

        Stories for those who enjoy the details

        I had to omit the word ‘technical’, I don’t think it is critical to describe what goes on around here. I would much rather read some well informed and passionate write up on a non-technical subject than some clickety-markety new CSS grid framework piece.

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          Omitting the “technical” part is a big problem.

          1. 5

            You’ve made this claim many times, but it’s clear that there is a large contingent of members–including similarly long-tenured members–who feel otherwise, and it isn’t clear why your vision for the site should be dispositive.

            1. 3

              This is pretty much the only description of Lobsters on the About page:

              Lobsters is a computing-focused community centered around link aggregation and discussion, launched on July 1st, 2012.

              Content is added and somewhat curated by the active community. Whatever is posted today will be the hallmark for what is posted tomorrow. This would evolve over time.

              I retracted calling it a ‘technical’ community as I think the word is ambiguous to the point where it can mean pretty much anything. Stories should just match up with the tags defined, and if they are beneficial to enquiring minds then they should have a place here.

              1. 1

                These posts don’t seem to be overwhelming the conversation on the site. Is the problem that these haven’t been downvoted below zero?

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            I gotta say, as annoying as recruiter emails can be, too many of them is the very definition of “a great problem to have.”

            1. 7

              If they represent real job options but you happen to have better ones, sure.

              But if they’re truly irrelevant - requiring skills you don’t have and never claimed to have - they truly have no value to you and waste your time.

              1. 1

                Recruiter emails are to real job opportunities as “You may already have won the Publisher’s Clearinghouse Sweepstakes” letters are to actual lottery winnings.

                1. 2

                  Some are good, but random recruiter emails do seem much more likely to be ridiculously bad - like lowly-paid and probably high-stress contractor “opportunities” for stacks I’ve never touched in a random city halfway across the country that I have no interest in moving to or commuting to.

              1. 4

                Here’s mine. For remote jobs locations given are company HQ locations, not my own. I haven’t included equity or bonuses since they’ve never been a significant portion of my compensation. I will second femiagbabiaka’s comment that this is nerve-wracking.

                Date      Company     Title                     Location        Remote? Salary
                2005-2006 WebCheckout Support Technician        Chicago         N       ~30k
                2006-2014 WebCheckout Software Developer        Chicago         N→Y     50k→~75k
                2014      Outpace     Senior Software Engineer  SF              Y       100k
                2015-2018 Healthfinch Senior Software Engineer  Madison         Y       120k→145k
                2018      Healthfinch Principal Engineer        Madison         Y       155k
                1. 8

                  I’d never come across range types for times before (https://www.postgresql.org/docs/current/static/rangetypes.html) thanks!

                  1. 6

                    tstzrange is absolutely awesome. Especially when you put an index on such a column. You safe so much code and hassling just by letting your DB do it. Performance and consistency included.

                    1. 2

                      Agreed. You can even make sure that ranges dont overlap based on some other column(s) in the record.

                      1. 2

                        I wrote a prototype Prometheus caching proxy using postgres range types (it’s built around the idea that when dashboard refresh creates a very predictable read pattern and you can stitch together old data and fresh data). It seemed bizarre to cache json from a tsdb in postgres, but indexable range types and operators made prototyping so much easier. https://github.com/shanemhansen/dashcache

                        (Disclaimer: this project never really got beyond “seems to work on my machine” status)

                      2. 1

                        The range types are great. I was doing some stuff with AWS Redshift recently and was heartbroken to realize that Redshift is based on an older version of Postgres (8.0.2! GWB had just started his second term when that was released! XP was the latest version of Windows! The original iPhone was more than two years in the future!) that lacks them.

                      1. 11

                        I clicked expecting “blockchain” to be used metaphorically, but … no, that’s what it is. Huh.

                        1. 13

                          Thanks @sjl! I keep thinking I should try again at Lisp and this post will make a handy roadmap to refer to.

                          But my number 1 question, why aren’t there more significant projects written in lisp?

                          I would think that it would become a dependency for some important piece of software but it never is (aside from Emacs).

                          Git is so important that it will require perl and bash on my local machine (even on windows!), mercurial will include python, firefox is starting to sneak Rust in piece by piece, but is lisp just so happy being on its own island that it never gets used by any other project? Clojure flipped this by buildling the lisp on top of the other language, which I think contributes to its success.

                          Or does it’s flexibility make it difficult to use in large organizations (with varying levels of experience)? Or tsomething else?


                          1. 13

                            First, there are at least some popular non-trivial projects that use Common Lisp – pgloader is an example. But you’re right that it’s certainly rare.

                            The glib answer to “why aren’t there a lot of Common Lisp projects” is”because there aren’t a lot of Common Lisp programmers”. I think there are a couple of reasons for that.

                            One reason is that the barrier to entry for Common Lisp is really high. I’ve had people tell me I could learn Go in a month. I don’t know if that’s true (though I’ll be finding out when I start a new job in Go in October) but I can tell you that you definitely cannot really learn Common Lisp in a month. I think even six months of hard work would be pushing it. It’s been three years for me, with two of them being working in CL almost full time (thanks, grad school), and I’m comfortable now but still feel like I have a lot to learn. Most people aren’t lucky enough to have a few years of their life to dedicate to learning a language, so the pool of Common Lisp programmers is always going to be smaller than languages with less of a barrier to entry.

                            Another reason is that there are some really common misconceptions about Common Lisp, the primary one being “it’s a functional programming language”. It’s not. It’s a language you can do functional programming in if you want, but is really a procedural language at heart. The misconception is bad for two reasons: people who start learning it because they want a functional language get disillusioned and quit, and people who would otherwise want a procedural Lisp never consider it because of the reputation.

                            Your example of Python is a good one because it illustrates another aspect of the chicken/egg problem: Common Lisp isn’t installed by default anywhere. If I write a small script in Python I can be pretty sure I can just run it on a server somewhere. If a newbie wants to get started writing some Python on MacOS or Linux they can just dive in and worry about all the virtualenv shit later. But CL isn’t included by default on any distro that I know of, so that’s another barrier to entry to overcome.

                            Those are just a few reasons off the top of my head. To sum it up: I think there’s a bunch of reasons that all feed back on each other and result in a high barrier to entry for Common Lisp. This means there are fewer Common Lisp programmers overall, and that results in fewer Common Lisp projects overall.

                            1. 6

                              Why is the barrier to entry for Common Lisp so high? Is it just the absurdly high number of things that can be done in it? It kinda sounds like the C++ of parenthesis-languages, if the learning curve is that long.

                              1. 10

                                A couple of reasons:

                                • It’s a big language (though not C++ big, I think). CLtL2 is one book, but it’s a thousand-page book.
                                • A lot of things are structured and/or named oddly for historical reasons. You need to unlearn and relearn a bunch of stuff, and just have to memorize other things.
                                • There’s more high and low-level power than you might be used to in a single language. If you really want to learn CL you’ll want to eventually get comfortable writing super high-level metaprogramming macros and also reading x86 assembly spit out by DISASSEMBLE.
                                • CL tends to err on the side of giving the programmer freedom instead of saying “there is exactly one way to do it” (e.g. the package system’s orthogonality with files).

                                In short: the barrier to entry is so high for the same reasons it took me ten thousand words to describe how to learn it :)

                                1. 8

                                  Shorter: Common Lisp is the combined second-system effect of multiple existing Lisp implementations, all implemented by people who worked at places like the MIT AI Lab and Symbolics and who were, therefore, accustomed to complicated and powerful systems. I mean, when your OS’s command line interpreter is a machine code debugger (HACTRN on ITS), you obviously don’t have much respect for an argument that a given feature gives programmers “too much” power.

                                  1. 4

                                    That’s exactly what I read happened. Each one was a powerful toolset people were using. Common LISP tried to be the one language to rule them all. It was a huge mess that achieved its goal. A programmer wanting LISP-like power without compatibility with older, merged LISP’s might want something else entirely. Hence, the success of some Scheme’s, Clojure, and even non-LISP’s with macro systems. There’s still people that like what Common LISP has, too.

                                    If CL is too much, there’s other options that get one many benefits.

                                  2. 3

                                    It’s a big language (though not C++ big, I think)

                                    It looks like CL standard is quite close in size to C++.

                                2. 6

                                  You don’t write about Clojure much lately, is that because of a preference for CL / distaste for Clojure? Would be interested in your current thoughts on Clojure.

                                  1. 2

                                    Having learned Go (and written the majority of a decent sized system in production), a solid programmer can be productive in 1 month. I taught it to myself (mostly) with a greenfield project and if you were working in an environment with knowledgable co-workers or some code to reference/build on, that shouldn’t be too much of a stretch.

                                    1. 3

                                      You can be a productive programmer in a couple of weeks in CL as well. IIRC Dan Weinreb said they gave new hires PCL and to weeks. But being able to contribute to a code base doesn’t require learning the whole language. For example you can be productive without learning how to customize the reader.

                                      1. 2

                                        Respectfully, I’m going to say Dan Weinreb had a sampling bias. Not all of us live near schools that have students (much less faculty) that are bastions of Lisp (or scheme) programmers. Not to mention that most MIT engineers don’t typically work next to programmers from $SMALL_STATE_SCHOOL.

                                        1. 5

                                          Lisp, and Common Lisp, are not complicated languages to learn. Quite the opposite in fact and that is the reason I like them.

                                          There is a myth that they are complicated. When I tell others Common Lisp is my favorite language one of the first things said (besides the obvious parenthesis jokes) is: “Ooh, that’s such a hard language!” I don’t know where that comes from.

                                          C++ is hard, Common Lisp is not.

                                          1. 2

                                            Not all of us live near schools that have students (much less faculty) that are bastions of Lisp (or scheme) programmers

                                            They were talking about people that didn’t knew any Lisp before joining the company. So I’m not sure why would the availability of Lisp programmers would be of any relevance to the question how long does it takes a programmer to go from I don’t know Lisp to I can contribute to a code base.

                                      2. 2

                                        I can tell you that you definitely cannot really learn Common Lisp in a month

                                        I think you can be productive in a month or two. (In any language, of course, it takes much longer to become expert.) A lot of people compare their experience learning Common Lisp on their own to learning other languages on the job, or in some other collaborative environment where it’s easy to ask questions of more experienced people, or where you are working on an existing codebase, written by people skilled in the language, with patterns you can emulate. It’s much easier to learn a language in that kind of environment, but there are few opportunities to learn Common Lisp that way. I think it’s these circumstantial factors, not anything intrinsic, that give Lisp its reputation as a hard language to learn;

                                        1. 1

                                          Is the barrier to Common Lisp really high?

                                          I’m not sure I agree. It’s pretty easy (except perhaps on Windows) to just start up SBCL and fiddle around. There’s no huge swathes of things you need to install and IDE’s to tweak to do a simple “Hello, World!” or to do some excercises from a book.

                                          Also, it’s a very practical language that does not get in the way. Lisp itself is syntactically very simple.

                                          I do admit that for certain projects (f.e. GUIs) things get a little harder and the standard library is huge but that’s something you pick up along the way.

                                        2. 9

                                          Lisp provokes an instinctive hostility from others, much like Haskell.

                                          The Common Lisp community is a crew of mostly loners.

                                          Writing Lisp well takes, in my experience, an above average programmer, and in a group, a programmer sensitive to varying capabilities.

                                          Many groups reject tools that demand anything above average.

                                          GUI integration is, as usual for most open source, terrible.

                                          Web service software tends to be messy.

                                          No company or Glamorous Person really is championing Common Lisp. Unlike Haskell, the academy has rejected Common Lisp (but tolerates Scheme).

                                          Companies absolutely loathe risk and extra investment, so the above keeps Lisp out of the corporate environment.

                                          All of the above keep Common Lisp roughly around OCaml in capability and mindshare. It’s a shame.

                                          1. 3

                                            Writing Lisp well takes, in my experience, an above average programmer, and in a group, a programmer sensitive to varying capabilities.

                                            I disagree with this assessment. The main attraction of CL to me is that it gets out of my way when I want to do something. I don’t have to jump through hoops of the arbitrary restrictions of a particular programming language. All programers may benefit from this quality. I would concede that it may take an above average programmer to exploit said freedom.

                                            1. 7

                                              A lot of programmers are simply uninterested in expressive power. And, a lot of engineering leads prefer to limit expressive power to limit cleverness. Hence Java and Go.

                                              I understand the power of Common Lisp - I maintainish two Common Lisp assistance sites and used it for 8 years nearly continuously at home; I still use it myself for my own site. But how typical industrial programming work goes is simply opposed to the Common Lisp ideals, in my experience and discussion with others.

                                          2. 3

                                            The main reason why you won’t see a Lisp ‘killer app’ as part of the user’s OS is that Lisp’s world view of the world is incompatible with Unix. Unix accommodates to different languages by providing a ‘common interface’ in processes. To some degree, one can draw the analogy with processes being function calls , the standard input being the parameters of the function and the standard output its return value. By contrast, in Lisp (and Smalltalk) you start with a base world (your image) and you add your program into the world little by little, by incremental compilation. Your compiler, debugger, and the rest of the environment is part of your image. To accommodate to the Unix world view would mean to recompile the whole program each time, which destroys the advantages of incremental development offered by Lisp.

                                            Or does it’s flexibility make it difficult to use in large organizations (with varying levels of experience)? Or something else?

                                            We know its been used in large organization (e.j. ITA now Google Flights) so its not a question of capability.

                                            1. 1

                                              I would say the mind set of not wanting to deal with the outside world seems problematic. You wouldn’t want to write a program that solves a problem for the rest of the world, because the other problems are solved by something else?

                                              I knew of ITA/Google Flights, but didn’t think it qualified as a large organization (though I’ll happily be corrected).
                                              I know that the designers of Java and much later Go and even later Dart all specifically tailored aspects of the language towards large groups with varying skill levels, but I’ve never come across anything that mentioned that was a design goal of Common Lisp - again, happy to be corrected.

                                              1. 2

                                                I would say the mind set of not wanting to deal with the outside world seems problematic.

                                                I didn’t say that Lisp doesn’t want to deal with the outside world. I said that its view of the world is different from Unix. In Lisp a ‘program’ is not different than a function. How else are you going to edit your compiler while its running? Your debugger while your debugging?

                                                Mind you that you could a Lisp implementation that performs the edit/compile/run cycle from the CLI, mocl does AoT compilation and there is wcl (which is mostly a PoC) but that would destroy any semblance of interactive development which is one of the main differentiating features of Lips. It would be no more interactive than the other batch oriented PLs, say Racket.

                                                I knew of ITA/Google Flights, but didn’t think it qualified as a large organization

                                                So what number qualifies? 50+ (Or 70 I’m not sure) developers working on a +2M LoC is a large organization in my books.

                                                1. 1

                                                  Thanks, I was unsure of the size of ITA (pre-acquisition) or Google Flights (post-acquisition).

                                          1. 9

                                            Interestingly noone seems to bring up these valid arguments when discussing E-Mail. It’s the same distribution model, but either everyone deems it to be a lost cause or does not know/care.

                                            All these federated social media discussions can be dehyped if you explain it like you’d explain e-mail…

                                            1. 6

                                              This article is specifically about privacy. E-mail is well-known to have very poor privacy, to that point that it is often singled out by privacy-related regulatory schemes (like HIPAA) which require additional privacy-protecting measures (like user-level encryption). And email’s privacy weaknesses are the same as those pointed out by the author of this article: you must trust the operators of the federated nodes, and in a federated environment you may not even know all of the nodes you are trusting.

                                              1. 1

                                                you can just do e2e encryption (like xmpp or matrix do).

                                                1. 1

                                                  E2E encryption is only part of the story. You also need to solve the metadata problem, which is where Cwtch comes in.

                                              2. 4

                                                There are also federated platforms that provide decent privacy. Matrix supports E2E encrypted messaging so the server only knows who you talk to and not the contents of the messages. The only system I have seen that obfuscates the receiver is bitmessage which works by sending your message to everyone and everyone tries to decrypt it to see if it was sent to them.

                                                1. 2

                                                  It’s not completely one-to-one (at least, with modern email systems, as opposed to getting local unix mail federated on whatever machine you have a shell on thirty years ago), since there’s no sense of users on the local node being closer than users on a remote node anymore. A better match would be usenet, since the number of hops matters more.

                                                  (Of course, if you don’t look at the local timeline, the fediverse doesn’t have much to do with locality except in terms of general visibility of remote hosts, which you as an unprivileged user have near-total control over.)

                                                1. 7

                                                  The hard stop on adblockers is brutal.

                                                  1. 2
                                                    right click;
                                                    inspect page; 

                                                    also it is very basic stuff. I’d recommend this for the philosophy of kafka. and the confluents docs are nice too.

                                                    1. 1

                                                      The device on which I am reading this—like most used to browse the web—does not support any such action as a right click, nor does it provide any DOM editing facility.

                                                  1. 5

                                                    The sad thing is, I suspect this isn’t the “world’s worst” or in fact much worse at all than any other smartlock–I bet they’re all this bad.

                                                    1. 1

                                                      Yeah, I mean, this might be a local maxima of awful, but as software metastasizes through all sorts of new ecosystems, we’ll have to continue to revise the bar upwards.

                                                    1. 17

                                                      This design decision seems pretty hard to defend:

                                                      At 1.3 seconds before impact, the self-driving system determined that an emergency braking maneuver was needed to mitigate a collision (see figure 2). According to Uber, emergency braking maneuvers are not enabled while the vehicle is under computer control, to reduce the potential for erratic vehicle behavior. The vehicle operator is relied on to intervene and take action. The system is not designed to alert the operator.

                                                      1. 2

                                                        “I can’t figure out why, when the emegency stop code is enabled, the car gets all erratic. I know, I’ll just comment it out. Okay, next bug…”

                                                        1. 0

                                                          Holy smokes this sounds bad!

                                                        1. 19

                                                          Kind of funny to see this coming from Gruber, who has been a consistent defender of keeping systems closed in the name of user experience. Facebook used to have RSS feeds, too, and Google Chat used to support XMPP; the writing’s been on the wall for a while. I am surprised that he (and the third-party app maintainers) are really naïve enough to imagine that Twitter can be talked into maintaining these APIs (which allow people to use their service without being advertised to) in the long term.

                                                          1. 7

                                                            Indeed. The problem (for both Twitter and Gruber) is that Twitter started out as a classic Web 2.0 play with open APIs, and only later realized that can be a money drain. Later services like Instagram only offer API access for the real customers - the advertisers.

                                                            1. 12

                                                              Yup. This alone makes Mastodon a superior alternative. Now the trick is getting the masses to move over :) (Though, I’m not REALLY sure I want that :)

                                                              1. 3

                                                                Yeah, or Twitter could have a paid tier that allowed 3rd party apps, better privacy tools, etc. But that’s not the way they want to roll, apparently.

                                                                1. 2

                                                                  (Though, I’m not REALLY sure I want that :)

                                                                  I know the feeling! I kinda liked Twitter better when my acquaintances weren’t in it, and we had actual meetups of Twitter users

                                                                2. 3

                                                                  Later services like Instagram only offer API access for the real customers - the advertisers.

                                                                  Instagram is an even worse example of API bait-and-switch than Twitter - they offered API access to developers (in 2014), deprecated it this January ¹, and then completely removed access this spring, months before the deprecation deadline ².

                                                                3. 2

                                                                  I honestly never understood why anyone cares what Gruber has to say. I give him credit for inventing markdown. Really great idea!

                                                                  All the rest he produces seems to be some variation of “apples is so amazing” and “google is so awful”. Most probably that is confirmation bias on my end, but really: Why does anyone care what Gruber has to say?

                                                                1. 21

                                                                  Gosh, I couldn’t make it very far into this article without skimming. It goes on and on asking the same ‘why’ but mentally answering it in the opposite direction of the quoted comments.

                                                                  Docker is easy, standard isolation. If it falls, something will replace it. We’re not going in the opposite direction.

                                                                  The article doesn’t explain to me what other ways I have of running 9 instances of an app without making a big mess of listening ports and configuration.

                                                                  Or running many different PHP apps without creating a big mess of PHP installs and PHP-FPM configs. (We still deal with hosting setups that share the same install for all apps, then want to upgrade PHP.)

                                                                  Or how to make your production setup easy to replicate (roughly) for developers who actually work on the codebase. (Perhaps on macOS or Windows, while you deploy on Linux.)

                                                                  We’re not even doing the orchestration dance yet, these are individual servers that run Docker with a bunch of shell scripts to provision the machine and manage containers.

                                                                  But even if we only use 1% of the functionality in Docker, I don’t know how to do that stuff without it. Nevermind that I’d probably have to create a Vagrantbox or something to get anyone to use it in dev. (I’ve come to dislike Vagrant, sorry to say.)

                                                                  Besides work, I privately manage a little cloud server and my own Raspberry Pi, and sure they don’t run Docker, but they don’t have these requirements. It’s fine to not use Docker in some instances. And even then, Docker can be useful as a build environment, to document / eliminate any awkward dependencies on the environment. Makes your project that much easier to pick up when you return to it months later.

                                                                  Finally, I’m sorry to say that my experiences with Ansible, Chef and Puppet have only ever been bad. It seems to me like the most fragile aspect of these tools is all the checks of what’s what in the current environment, then act on it. I’m super interested in trying NixOS sometime, because from what I gather, the model is somewhat similar to what Docker does: simply layering stuff like we’ve always done on software.

                                                                  1. 1

                                                                    For the php part it’s not that complex. Install the required versions (Debian and Ubuntu both have 5.6 through 7.2 “major” releases available side by side that’s to Ondrej Sury’s repo. Then just setup a pool per-app (which you should do anyway) and point to the apps specific Unix domain socket for php-fpm in the vhost’s proxy_fcgi config line.

                                                                    I’ve used this same setup to bring an app from php5.4 (using mod_php) up through the versions as it was tested/fixed too.

                                                                    Is there some config/system setup required? You betcha. Ops/sysadmins is part of running a site that requires more than shared hosting.

                                                                    What are you gonna do with docker, have each developer just randomly writing whatever the fuck seems like a good idea and pushing their monolithic images to prod with no ops supporting it?

                                                                    1. 12

                                                                      What are you gonna do with docker, have each developer just randomly writing whatever the fuck seems like a good idea and pushing their monolithic images to prod with no ops supporting it?

                                                                      Yes. The whole point of “DevOps”/docker is to deploy softwares certified by “Works on My Machine” certification program. This eliminates coordination time with separate Ops team.

                                                                      1. 2

                                                                        Is this sarcasm, or are you actually in favour of the definition “DevOps = Developers [trying to] do Ops” ?

                                                                        1. 7

                                                                          Descriptively, that’s what DevOps is. I am prescriptively against such DevOps, but describing what’s currently happening with docker is unrelated to whether I am in favor of it.

                                                                          1. 3

                                                                            I don’t disagree that it’s a definition used by a lot of places (whether they call it devops or not). But I believe a lot of people who wax poetic about “DevOps” don’t share this same view - they view it as Operations using ‘development’ practices: i.e. writing scripts/declarative state files/etc to have reproducible infrastructure, rather than a “bible” of manual steps to go through to setup an environment.

                                                                            I’m in favour of the approach those people like, but I’m against the term simply because it’s misleading - like “the cloud” or “server less”.

                                                                      2. 2

                                                                        I don’t understand your last point, that’s exactly what developers do all day.

                                                                        In Docker, the PHP version the app depends on is set in code. It doesn’t even take any configuration changes when the app switches to a new PHP version.

                                                                        But if there’s one gripe I have with the Docker way of things, baking everything into an image, it’s security. There are no shared libraries in any way, upgrading a dependency minor version requires baking a new image.

                                                                        I kinda wish we had a middle road, somewhere between Debian packages and Docker images.

                                                                        1. 3

                                                                          the PHP version the app depends on is set in code

                                                                          And of course we all know Docker is the only way to define dependencies for software packages.

                                                                          1. 4

                                                                            Did anyone say it was? Docker is just one of the easiest ways to define the state of the whole running environment and have it defined in a text file which you can easily review to see what has been done.

                                                                          2. 1

                                                                            You can share libraries with Docker by making services share the same Docker image. You can actually replicate Debian level of sharing by having a single Docker image.

                                                                            1. 2

                                                                              Well, I guess this is just sharing in terms of memory usage? But what I meant with security is that I’d like if it were possible to have, for example, a single layer in the image with just OpenSSL, that you can then swap out with a newer version (with, say, a security fix.)

                                                                              Right now, an OpenSSL upgrade means rebuilding the app. The current advantage managing your app ‘traditionally’ without Docker is that a sysadmin can do this upgrade for you. (Same with PHP patch versions, in the earlier example.)

                                                                              1. 4

                                                                                And this is exactly why I don’t buy into the whole “single-use” container shit show.

                                                                                Want to use LXC/LXD for lightweight “VM’s”? Sure, I’m all for it. So long as ops can manage the infra, it’s all good.

                                                                                Want to have developers having the last say on every detail of how an app actually runs in production? Not so much.

                                                                                What you want is a simpler way to deploy your php app to a server and define that it needs a given version of PHP, an Apache/Nginx config, etc.

                                                                                You could literally do all of that by just having your app packaged as a .deb, have it define dependencies on php-{fpm,moduleX,moduleY,moduleZ} and include a vhost.conf and pool.conf file. A minimal (i.e. non-debian repo quality but works for private installs) package means you’ll need maybe half a dozen files extra.

                                                                                And then your ops/sysadmin team can upgrade openssl, or php, or apache, or redis or whatever other thing you use.

                                                                                1. 2

                                                                                  I actually do think this is a really good idea. But what’s currently there requires a lot more polish for it to be accessible to devs and small teams.

                                                                                  Debian packaging is quite a pain (though you could probably skip a lot of standards). RPM is somewhat easier. But in both cases, the packages typically bundle default app configuration and systemd unit files, which is a model that sort of assumes things only have 1 instance.

                                                                                  You could then go the LXC route, and have an admin manage each instance in a Debian container. That’s great, but we don’t have the resources to set up and manage all of this, and I expect that is the case for quite a lot of small teams out there.

                                                                                  Maybe it’s less complicated than I think it is? If so, Docker marketing got something very right, and it’d help if there was a start-to-finish guide that explains things the other way.

                                                                                  Also remember that Docker for Mac/Windows makes stuff really accessible for devs that are not on Linux natively. Not having to actually manage your VM is a blessing, because that’s exactly my gripe with Vagrant. At some point things inside the VM get hairy, because of organic growth.

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                                                                                    But in both cases, the packages typically bundle default app configuration and systemd unit files, which is a model that sort of assumes things only have 1 instance.

                                                                                    In the case of the context - it is one instance. Either you build your packages with different names for different stages (e.g. acme-corp-foo-app-test, acme-corp-foo-app-staging, acme-corp-foo-app-prod) or use separate environments for test/stage/prod - either via VMs, LXC/LXD, whatever.

                                                                                    Nothing is a silver bullet, Docker included. It’s just that Docker has a marketing team with a vested interest in glossing over it’s deficiencies.

                                                                                    If you want to talk about how to use the above concept for an actual project, I’m happy to talk outside the thread.

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                                                                                      Also remember that Docker for Mac/Windows makes stuff really accessible for devs that are not on Linux natively. Not having to actually manage your VM is a blessing, because that’s exactly my gripe with Vagrant. At some point things inside the VM get hairy, because of organic growth.

                                                                                      This is exactly why at work we started to use Docker (and got rid of Vagrant).

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                                                                                        At some point things inside the VM get hairy, because of organic growth.

                                                                                        Can you define “hairy”?

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                                                                                          The VM becomes a second workstation, because you often SSH in to run some commands (test migrations and the like). So people install things in the VM, and change system configuration in the VM. And then people revive months old VMs, because it’s easier than vagrant up, which can take a good 20 minutes. There’s no reasoning about the state of Vagrant VMs in practice.

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                                                                                            So people install things in the VM, and change system configuration in the VM

                                                                                            So your problem isn’t vagrant then, but people. Either the same people are doing the same thing with Docker, or not all things are equal?

                                                                                            because it’s easier than vagrant up, which can take a good 20 minutes

                                                                                            What. 20 MINUTES? What on earth are you doing that causes it to take 20 minutes to bring up a VM and provision it?

                                                                                            There’s no reasoning about the state of Vagrant VMs in practice.

                                                                                            You know the version of the box that it’s based on, what provisioning steps are configured to run, and whether they’ve run or not.

                                                                                            Based on everything you’ve said, this sounds like blaming the guy who built a concrete wall, when your hammer and nails won’t go into it.

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                                                                                              I suppose the main difference is that we don’t build images for Vagrant, but instead provision the machine from a stock Ubuntu image using Ansible. It takes a good 3 minutes just to get the VirtualBox VM up, more if you have to download the Ubuntu image. From there, it’s mostly adding repos, installing deps, creating configuration. Ansible itself is rather sluggish too.

                                                                                              Compare that to a 15 second run to get a dev environment up in Docker, provided you have the base images available.

                                                                                              A people problem is a real problem. It doesn’t sound like you’ve used Docker for Mac/Windows, but the tool doesn’t give you a shell in the VM. And you don’t normally shell into containers.

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                                                                                                That’s interesting that it takes you 20 minutes to get to something usable. I never had that experience back when I used VMware and VirtualBox. I can’t remember having it anyway. I decided to see what getting Ubuntu up on my box takes with the new version for comparison to your experience. I did this experiment on my backup laptop: a 1.5GHz Celeron with plenty of RAM and older HD. It’s garbage far as performance goes. Running Ubuntu 16-17 (one of them…), VirtualBox, and Ubuntu 18.04 as guest in the a 1GB VM. That is, the LiveCD of Ubuntu 18.04 that it’s booting from.

                                                                                                1. From power on to first Ubuntu screen: 5.7 seconds.

                                                                                                2. To get to the Try or Install screen: 1 min 47 seconds.

                                                                                                3. Usable desktop: 4 min 26 seconds.

                                                                                                So, it’s up in under 5 minutes on the slowest-loading method (LiveCD) on some of the slowest hardware (Celeron) you can get. That tells me you could probably get even better startup time than me if you install and provision your stuff into a VirtualBox VM that becomes a base image. You use it as read-only, snapshot it, whatever the feature was. I rarely use VirtualBox these days so can’t remember. I know fully-loaded Ubuntu boots up in about a minute on this same box with the VirtualBox adding 5.7s to get to that bootloader. Your setup should just take 1-2 minutes to boot if doing it right.

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                                                                                                  It takes a good 3 minutes just to get the VirtualBox VM up

                                                                                                  What? Seriously? Are your physical machines running on spinning rust or with only 1 or 2 GB of RAM or something? That is an inordinate amount of time to boot a VM, even in the POS that is Virtualbox.

                                                                                                  but the tool doesn’t give you a shell in the VM.

                                                                                                  What, so docker attach or docker exec /bin/bash are just figments of my imagination?

                                                                                                  you don’t normally shell into containers

                                                                                                  You don’t normally just change system settings willy nilly in a pre-configured environment if you don’t know what you’re doing, but apparently you work with some people who don’t do what’s “normal”.

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                                                                                                    Physical machines are whatever workstation the developer uses. Typically a Macbook Pro in our case. Up until Vagrant has SSH access to the machine, I’m not holding my breath.

                                                                                                    You’re confusing shell access to the VM with shell access to containers. The Docker commands you reference are for container access.

                                                                                                    People do regularly make changes to vhost configuration, or installed packages in VMs when testing new features, instead of changing the provisioning configuration. Again, because it takes way longer to iterate on these things with VMs. And because people do these things from a shell inside the VM, spending time there, they start customizing as well.

                                                                                                    And people do these things in Docker too, and that’s fine. But we’re way more comfortable throwing away containers than VMs, because of the difference in time. In turn, it’s become much easier to iterate on provisioning config changes.

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                                                                                                      If time was a problem, sounds like the Docker developers should’ve just made VM’s faster in existing stacks. The L4Linux VM’s in Dresden’s demo loaded up about one a second on old hardware. Recently, LightVM got it down to 2.3 milliseconds on a Xen variant. Doing stuff like that also gives the fault-isolation and security assurances that only come with simple implementations which Docker-based platforms probably won’t have.

                                                                                                      Docker seems like it went backwards on those properties vs just improving speed or usability of virtualization platforms.

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                                                                                                        You’re confusing shell access to the VM with shell access to containers. The Docker commands you reference are for container access.

                                                                                                        No. Your complaint is that people change configuration inside the provisioned environment. The provisioned environment with Docker isn’t a VM - that’s only there because it requires a Linux kernel to work. The provisioned environment is the container, which you’ve just said people are still fucking around with.

                                                                                                        So your complaint still boils down to “virtualbox is slow”, and I still cannot imagine what you are doing to take twenty fucking minutes to provision a machine.

                                                                                                        That’s closer to the time to build a base box from nothing than the time to bring up an instance and provision it.

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                                                                                                          Look, this is getting silly. You can keep belittling every experience I’ve had, as if we’ve made these choices based on a couple of tiny bad aspects in the entire system, but that’s just not the case, and that’s not a productive discussion.

                                                                                                          I did acknowledge that in practice Docker images a lot more things, which factors into a lot of the slowness of provisioning in the Vagrant case for us. There’s just a lot more provisioning has to do compared to Docker.

                                                                                                          And while we could’ve gone another route, I doubt we would’ve been as happy, considering where we all are now as an industry. Docker gets a lot of support, and has a healthy ecosystem.

                                                                                                          I see plenty of issues with Docker, and I can grumble about it all day. The IPv6 support is terrible, the process management is limited, the Docker for Mac/Windows filesystem integrations leave a lot to be desired, the security issue I mentioned in this very thread. But it still has given us a lot more positives than negatives, in terms of developer productiveness and managing our servers.

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                                                                                                            You can keep belittling every experience I’ve had Every ‘issue’ you raised boils down to ‘vagrant+virtualbox took took to long to bring up/reprovision’. At 20 minutes, that’s not normal operation, it’s a sign of a problem. Instead of fixing that, you just threw the whole lot out.

                                                                                                            This is like saying “I can’t work out why apache keeps crashing under load on Debian. Fuck it, I’m moving everything to Windows Server”.

                                                                                                            But it still has given us a lot more positives than negatives The linked article seems to debunk this myth.

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                                                                                                            I have the same experience as @stephank with VirtualBox. Every time I want to restart with a clean environment, I restart with a standard Debian base box and I run my Ansible playbooks on it. This is slow because my playbooks have to reinstall everything (I try to keep a cache of the downloaded packages in a volume on the host, shared with the guest). Docker makes this a lot easier and quicker thanks to the layer mechanism. What do you suggest to keep using Vagrant and avoid the slow installation (building a custom image I guess)?

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                                                                                                              Please tell me “the same experience” isn’t 20 minutes for a machine to come up from nothing?

                                                                                                              I’d first be looking to see how old the base box you’re using is. I’m guessing part of the process is an apt-get update && apt-get upgrade - some base boxes are woefully out of date, and are often hard-coded to use e.g. a US based mirror, which will hurt your update times if you’re elsewhere in the world.

                                                                                                              If you have a lot of stuff to install, then yes I’d recommend making your own base-box.

                                                                                                              What base-box are you using, out of interest? Can you share your playbooks?

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                                                                                                                Creating a new VM with Vagrant just takes a few seconds, provided that the base box image is already available locally.

                                                                                                                Provisioning (using Ansible in my case) is what takes time (installing all the services and dependencies required by my app). To be clear, in my case, it’s just a few minutes instead of 20 minutes, but it’s slow enough to be inconvenient.

                                                                                                                I refresh the base box regularly, I use mirrors close to me, and I’ve already checked that apt-get update/upgrade terminates quickly.

                                                                                                                My base box is debian/jessie64.

                                                                                                                I install the usual stuff (nginx, Python, Go, Node, MySQL, Redis, certbot, some utils, etc.).

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                                                                                                                  Reading all yours comments, you seem deeply interested by convincing people that VMs are solving all the problems people think Docker is solving. Instead of debating endlessly on comments here, I’d be (truly) interested to read about your work-flow as a an ops and as a dev. I’ve finished my studies using Docker and never had to use VMs that much on my machines, so I’m not an expert and would be really interested to have a good article/post/… that I could learn from on the subject on how VM would be better than Docker.

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                                                                                          I think the point is to use something like ansible, so you put some ansible config in a git repo then you pull the repo, build the docker image, install apps, apply the config and run, all via ansible.

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                                                                                          How do you manage easily 3 different versions of PHP with 3 different version of MariaDB? I mean, this is something that Docker solves VERY easily.

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                                                                                            Maybe if your team requires 3 versions of a database and language runtime they’ve goofed…

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                                                                                              It’s always amusing to have answers pointing the legacy and saying “it shouldn’t exist”. I mean, yes it’s weird, annoying but it exists now and will exists later.

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                                                                                                it exists now and will exists later.

                                                                                                It doesn’t have to exist at all–like, literally, the cycles spent wrapping the mudballs in containers could be spent just…you know…cleaning up the mudballs.

                                                                                                There are cases (usually involving icky third-party integrations) where maintaining multiple versions of runtimes is necessary, but outside of those it’s just plan sloppy engineering not to try and cleanup and standardize things.

                                                                                                (And no, having the same container interface for a dozen different snowflakes is not standardization.)

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                                                                                                  I see it more like, the application runs fine, the team that was working on it doesn’t exist anymore, instead of spending time to upgrade it (because I’m no java 6 developer), and I still want to benefit from bin packing, re-scheduling, … (and not only for this app, but for ALL the apps in the enterprise) I just spend time to put it in a container, and voila. I still can deploy it in several different cloud and orchestrator without asking for a team to spend time on a project that already does the job correctly.

                                                                                                  To be honest, I understand that containers are not the solution to everything, but I keep wondering why people don’t accept that it has some utility.

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                                                                                                  I think the point is that there is often little cost/benefit analysis done. Is moving one’s entire infrastructure to Docker/Kubernetes less work than getting all one’s code to run against the same version of a database? I’m sure sometimes it is, but my experience is that these questions are rarely asked. There is a status-quo bias toward solutions that allow existing complexity to be maintained, even when the solutions cost more than reducing that complexity.

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                                                                                                    Totally agreed, but I’m also skeptical on the reaction of always blaming containers to add complexity. From my point of view, many things that I do with containers is way easier than if I had to do it another way (I also agree that some things would be easier without them too).

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                                                                                                Debian solves three different versions of php with Ondrej’s packages (or ppa on Ubuntu).

                                                                                                In anything but dev or the tiniest of sites you’ll have you database server on a seperate machine anyway - what possible reason is there to have three different versions of a database server on the same host for a production environment?

                                                                                                If you need it for testing, use lx{c,d} or vms.

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                                                                                                  Especially MySQL has broken apps in the past, going from 5.5 -> 5.6, or 5.6 -> 5.7. Having a single database server means having to upgrade all apps that run on top of it in sync. So in practice, we’ve been running a separate database server per version.

                                                                                                  Can’t speak for other systems, though.

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                                                                                                    As you said, testing is a good example of such use case. Then why using VMs when I can bin-pack containers on 1 (or many) machine, using less resources?

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                                                                                                      That still isn’t a reason to use it in prod, and it isn’t that different from using LXC/LXD style containers.

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                                                                                                        Do you have rational arguments to be against Docker which is using LXC? For now I don’t see any good reason not too. It’s like saying that you don’t want to use a solution because you can use the technologies it uses underneath.

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                                                                                                          It’s like saying that you don’t want to use a solution because you can use the technologies it uses underneath.

                                                                                                          That’s a reasonable position though. There are people who have good reasons to prefer git CLI to Github Desktop, MySql console to PHPMyAdmin, and so forth. Abstractions aren’t free.

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                                                                                                            Exactly! But I don’t see such hatred for people using Github Desktop or PHPmyadmin. It’s not because you don’t want to use it that it doesn’t fit the usecase of someone.

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                                                                                                              As someone who usually ends up having to ‘cleanup’ or ‘fix’ things after someone has used something like a GUI git client or PHPMyAdmin, I wouldn’t use the word hatred, but I’m not particularly happy if someone I work with is using them.

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                                                                                                                I can do interactive staging on the CLI, but I really prefer a GUI (and if I find a good one, would probably also use a GUI for rebasing before sending a pull request).

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                                                                                                            If I want a lightweight machine, LXC provides that. Docker inherently is designed to run literally a single process. How many people use it that way? No, they install supervisord or whatever - at which point, what’s the fucking point?

                                                                                                            You’re creating your own ‘mini distribution’ of bullshit so you can call yourself devops. Sorry, I don’t drink the koolaid.

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                                                                                                              Your argument is purely flawed. You justify the initially of Docker by generalizing what a (narrow) subset of users is doing. Like I said, I’m ready to hear rational arguments.

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                                                                                                                generalizing what a (narrow) subset of users is doing

                                                                                                                I found you 34K examples in about 30 seconds: https://github.com/search?l=&q=supervisord+language%3ADockerfile&type=Code

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                                                                                                                  Hummm okay you got me on this one! Still, I really think there is some real utility for such a solution, even if yes it can be done in many other ways.

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                                                                                                Maybe I’m just getting old and cranky but it seems like everything takes vastly more work, time, and ceremony than it used to back in the dark ages of pets-not-cattle and mutable infrastructure, with no real improvement in reliability or cost. (I know the customary response is that we’re solving harder problems at greater scale, and of course some folks are, but a lot of us are working on problems and at scales not that different than ones we were working on ten years ago.)

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                                                                                                  At the scale I operate at, this is definitely true. I used to run jobs on local university clusters, but eventually moved to Cloud stuff out of necessity. It was the thing everyone was doing, and in the face of declining support for local clusters, it was the best way to quickly spin up a cluster-like computing environment. But recently, I was given access to an old-fashioned university cluster again, with traditional job-submission tools, and it’s been great. I can submit a job that runs across 64 CPUs with almost no configuration. I don’t manage any infrastructure! There are no containers! I love it.

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                                                                                                    I think containers have been pretty badly pitched in some cases because people end up seeing containers as VMs, when in fact they’re more like virtual filesystems for a program + some isolation. Like containers can be extremely lightweight

                                                                                                    If you are able to set up the container infrastructure properly you end up being able to isolate a lot of tricky components and share this configuration. This actually isn’t much of an issue with newer programs (I don’t understand people who put Go programs into containers…).

                                                                                                    But, if you have software that depends on things like the host system’s font stack (PDF rendering, for example), or something that needs to be running with an old set of libraries (but you don’t want to pollute the host system with this stuff) containers work extremely well. For certain purposes, the isolation lets you provide (basically) single binaries to get things working and destroy the “works on my machine”-style issues in a lot of scenarios.

                                                                                                    A bit ironically, containers are great for old software and a lot less useful for newer software.

                                                                                                    EDIT: also, RE mutable infrastructure… even when you get to a relatively small setup (like 8 or so servers), it’s extremely easy to start having issues where your configuration is desynced from the reality in mutable infrastructure land. Trying to recover a server’s state after a reboot, only to realise that you did a one-time fix when you first deployed your software 2 years ago and it got lost in the reboot is really rough.

                                                                                                    kubernetes is complated for sure, but if you really get into the headspace of something like salt stack it can feel nicer. There’s a big learning curve but after you get it, it can even be faster even for a single server.

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                                                                                                      Well you’ve still got to choose tech appropriate for your problem, that problem will never go away :)

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                                                                                                      Thanks for posting this. Some of these kinds of visualizations work better than others, but I thought this one was really good at communicating some tricky dynamics. (I could complain about the use of scrolling to control things other than the position of the viewport, but that battle seems thoroughly lost.)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                                                                                                                            1. 4

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

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

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

                                                                                                                              1. 1

                                                                                                                                “consumer choice as the solution to environmental issues”

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

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

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

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

                                                                                                                                1. 2

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

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

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

                                                                                                                                  This is another false dichotomy.

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

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

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

                                                                                                                                  1. 1

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

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

                                                                                                                          2. 5

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                                                                                                                                1. 2

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                                                                                                                              3. 3

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                                                                                                                                      1. 7

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

                                                                                                                                        1. 2

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

                                                                                                                                          1. 3

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

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

                                                                                                                                            1. 1

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

                                                                                                                                              1. 3

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

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

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

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

                                                                                                                                                1. 2

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

                                                                                                                                                  Folk remedy is working. Appreciate the tip! :)

                                                                                                                                                  1. 2

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

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

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

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                                                                                                                                                        Awesome. Please report back. :-)

                                                                                                                                                        1. 2

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

                                                                                                                                                          1. 2

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

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

                                                                                                                                                  2. 2

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

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

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

                                                                                                                                              1. 12

                                                                                                                                                Wow, so much to unpack here.

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

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

                                                                                                                                                Please take your fake outrage somewhere else.

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

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

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

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

                                                                                                                                                  1. 2

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

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

                                                                                                                                                    1. 2

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

                                                                                                                                                      It was in the release notes of that iOS release…

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

                                                                                                                                                      1. 1

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

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

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

                                                                                                                                                        1. 0

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


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

                                                                                                                                                          A user on the day of release:

                                                                                                                                                          Hopefully it fixes the random battery shutoff bug.

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

                                                                                                                                                          additionally in a press release:

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

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

                                                                                                                                                          1. 4

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

                                                                                                                                                    2. -3

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

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

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

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

                                                                                                                                                      1. 2

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

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

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

                                                                                                                                                        1. 3

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

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

                                                                                                                                                          1. 3

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

                                                                                                                                                  2. 1

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

                                                                                                                                                  3. 3

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

                                                                                                                                                    I think the consumer who pays for it is stupid.

                                                                                                                                                    1. 3

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

                                                                                                                                                      1. 4

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

                                                                                                                                                  4. 2

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

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

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

                                                                                                                                                    1. 2

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


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

                                                                                                                                                      1. 5

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

                                                                                                                                                        1. 3

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

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

                                                                                                                                                          1. 2

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

                                                                                                                                                            1. 0

                                                                                                                                                              Don’t backpedal. You wrote:

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

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

                                                                                                                                                              1. 0

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

                                                                                                                                                    1. 5

                                                                                                                                                      Working remote requires trust. Trust can be built by long-term commitment, real interest and care for your (langage) community. Trust is often transitive: people there can recommend you so that’s easier for you to work remotely. Try to get closer to people who have talent : don’t pretend you’re interested if you’re not, don’t try to seduce them. Don’t try to be the brilliant jerk. Get better. Help people. Don’t pretend to be someone else, try to focus on what you like most, and learn to like what you need. Choose to get closer to good team players, avoid your local brilliant jerk. Pair program with them on open source projects. Add value. Target exotic yet super efficient functional languages, i.e. Elm if you’re focusing on web technologies. Be pragmatic. Once you’re rewarded by trust and perhaps a remote position, stay with them, take care of newbies. As a bonus : such a community also helps a lot on the social side of working remotely - that’s not easy for everyone.

                                                                                                                                                      1. 2

                                                                                                                                                        Trust can be built by long-term commitment, real interest and care for your (langage) community.

                                                                                                                                                        That’s a really interesting point, thank you. I don’t think I’ve ever really been involved in a language community since I stopped using Perl, some years ago. I don’t see much community in my current areas.

                                                                                                                                                        Don’t pretend to be someone else, try to focus on what you like most, and learn to like what you need.

                                                                                                                                                        I’m good at the first two - that’s how I’ve ended up where I am. Now it sounds like I’ll have to learn to like something different. That isn’t necessarily bad though, different can be good.

                                                                                                                                                        Target exotic yet super efficient functional languages, i.e. Elm if you’re focusing on web technologies.

                                                                                                                                                        I would love to do that. I worry that if I target the exotic, I reduce my job opportunities too much. Perhaps this worry is unfounded.

                                                                                                                                                        1. 2

                                                                                                                                                          I worry that if I target the exotic, I reduce my job opportunities too much. Perhaps this worry is unfounded.

                                                                                                                                                          I think it cuts both ways. There are fewer jobs in “exotic” languages, but that also usually means fewer (or no) local experienced candidates (especially for employers outside of Silicon Valley), so companies are forced to be a little more creative. If you’re writing Java or Ruby, it’s harder to stand out from the local talent pool. Also, I suspect employers who are more willing to try exotic languages are also more willing to try exotic working arrangements like distributed teams.

                                                                                                                                                          1. 1

                                                                                                                                                            Another way to state “learn to like what you need” is “take care of yourself”. I don’t think that’s optional. :)

                                                                                                                                                            Exotic and efficient languages indeed narrow down job opportunities. It’s not a problem if you can count on trust, and it can even be an advantage WRT your income.

                                                                                                                                                        1. 1

                                                                                                                                                          I’ve been to Strange Loop twice and hope to make it again this year–highly recommended if you haven’t been. (Full disclosure: I know some of the organizers.) I’m also attending !!Con next weekend for the first time–not sure what to expect, but it seemed interesting, tickets were cheap, and it’s local to me.

                                                                                                                                                          1. 40

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

                                                                                                                                                            1. 23

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

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

                                                                                                                                                              1. 4

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

                                                                                                                                                                (Might be relevant: I am Asian.)

                                                                                                                                                                1. 7

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

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

                                                                                                                                                                  1. 2

                                                                                                                                                                    Thanks a lot for clarifying this with Karen Sandler!

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

                                                                                                                                                                  2. 3

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

                                                                                                                                                                    1. 3

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

                                                                                                                                                                    2. 2

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

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

                                                                                                                                                                      1. 1

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

                                                                                                                                                                        1. 2

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

                                                                                                                                                                  3. 49

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

                                                                                                                                                                    1. 18

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

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

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

                                                                                                                                                                      1. 19

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

                                                                                                                                                                        1. 12

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

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

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

                                                                                                                                                                          1. 13

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

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

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

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

                                                                                                                                                                            1. 9

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

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

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

                                                                                                                                                                              1. 3

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

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

                                                                                                                                                                              2. 5

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

                                                                                                                                                                                1. 9

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

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. 2

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

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

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. 6

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

                                                                                                                                                                                      Put Your Solutions Where Your Ideology Is

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

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

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

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. 2

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

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. 2

                                                                                                                                                                                          I am specifically talking about the tech industry.

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

                                                                                                                                                                                        2. 2

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

                                                                                                                                                                                        3. 4

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

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

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

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. 2

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

                                                                                                                                                                                      2. 1

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

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. 5

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

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. 2

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

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. 2

                                                                                                                                                                                              Do they exclude Asians?

                                                                                                                                                                                              Yes they do. Quoting Outreachy Eligibility Rules:

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

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

                                                                                                                                                                                      3. 4

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

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

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. 1

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

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. 4

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

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

                                                                                                                                                                                        2. 4

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

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

                                                                                                                                                                                        3. 6

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

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

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

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

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. 17

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

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. 5

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

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

                                                                                                                                                                                            2. 3

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

                                                                                                                                                                                          2. 14

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

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. 7

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

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. 6

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

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

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

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

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                                                                                                                                                                                              Without more info it seems persecution complex.

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                                                                                                                                                                                              After reading the article and many HN comments, I found the headline to be highly misleading as if they’re targeting Signal for their activities in fighting censorship. It’s actually more incidental. They’re targeting a fraudulent practice Signal is doing that violates terms of service. Signal is doing it for good reasons but others might not. Google and Amazon are trying to stop it wholesale. A proper headline might be that “Several providers threaten to suspend anyone doing ‘domain fronting’ via hacks, including us.” Average person reading something like that would think it sounds totally to be expected. A technical person liking Signal or not should also notice the MO is an operational inconsistency that shouldn’t exist in the first place.

                                                                                                                                                                                              So, they’re not doing a bad thing given the situation. They’re just an apathetic, greedy party in a business context fixing a technical problem that some good folks were using to help some other good folks deal with evil parties in specific countries. Sucks for those specific people that they did it but they’re not aiming at Signal to stop their good deeds. They’re just addressing an infrastructure problem that affects anyone hacking around with their service. Like they should.

                                                                                                                                                                                              I wish Signal folks the best finding another trick, though.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                I think the correct headline would be “AWS is fixing a bug allowing domain fronting and calling it Enhanced Domain Protections”. An analogous situation would be console homebrew people exploiting buffer overflows in Nintendo games. Of course Nintendo should fix them, and like you, I root for console homebrew people to find another one.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                  That’s another good one. It’s just a bug in their services. Them not fixing it would be more questionable to me.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                  I found the headline to be highly misleading as if they’re targeting Signal for their activities in fighting censorship. It’s actually more incidental.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  And that’s why they immediately sent signal an email containing a threat to close the account immediately, instead of a regretful email telling them that this will stop working due to abuse prevention measures.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                    It my experience that’s generally how they treat literally any issue.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                    Signal is doing it for good reasons but others might not.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    I’m failing to think of a way to use domain fronting for a not good reason, especially one where the provider being fronted is still happy to host the underlying service.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                      There is nothing fraudulent about domain fronting. Show me one court anywhere in the world which has convicted someone of fraud for domain fronting. That’s a near-libelous claim.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Can you provide an example of a “bad reason” for domain fronting?

                                                                                                                                                                                                      As the article points out, the timing of Amazon’s decision relative to the publicity about Signal’s use of domain fronting suggests that Signal is in fact the likely intended target of this change, not incidental fallout.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      The headline is accurate. Your comment really mischaracterizes what is happening.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                        I meant it in the popular definition of lying while using something. Apparently, a lot of people agree its use isn’t what was intended, the domains supplied are certainly not them, and service providers might negatively react to that. It would probably be a contract law thing as a terms of use violation if it went to court. I’m not arguing anything more than that on the legal side. I’m saying he was doing something deceptive that they didn’t want him to do with their services. Big companies rarely care about the good intentions behind that.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        “the timing of Amazon’s decision relative to the publicity about Signal’s use of domain fronting suggests that Signal is in fact the likely intended target of this change”

                                                                                                                                                                                                        The article actually says he was bragging online in a way that reached highly-visible places like Hacker News about how he was tricking Amazon’s services for his purposes. Amazon employees stay reading these outlets partly to collect feedback from customers. I see the cloud people on HN all the time saying they’ll forward complaints or ideas to people that can take action. With that, I totally expected Amazon employees to be reading articles about him faking domains through Amazon services. Equally unsurprising that got to a decision-maker, technical or more lay person, who was worried about negative consequences. Then, knowing a problem and seeing a confession online by Signal author, they took action against a party they knew was abusing the system.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        We can’t just assume a conspiracy against Signal looking for everything they could use against it with domain fronting being a lucky break for their evil plans. One they used against Signal while ignoring everyone else they knew broke terms of service using hacker-like schemes. If you’re insisting targeted, you’d be ignoring claims in the article supporting my position:

                                                                                                                                                                                                        “A month later, we received 30-day advance notice from Google that they would be making internal changes to stop domain fronting from working entirely.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        “a few days ago Amazon also announced what they are calling Enhanced Domain Protections for Amazon CloudFront Requests. It is a set of changes designed to prevent domain fronting from working entirely, across all of CloudFront.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        It’s a known problem they and Google were apparently wanting to deal with across the board per his own article. Especially Google. They also have employees reading forums where Signal was bragging about exploiting the flaw for its purposes. I mean, what did you expect to happen? Risk-reducing, brand-conscious companies that want to deal with domain fronting were going to leave it on in general or for Signal since that one party’s deceptions were for good reasons according to claims on their blog?

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Although I think that addresses it, I’m still adding one thing people in cryptotech-media-bubble might not consider: the manager or low-level employee who made the decision might not even know what Signal is. Most IT people I’ve encouraged to try it have never heard of it. If you explain what it does, esp trying to get things past the governments, then that would just further worry the average risk manager. They’d want a brick wall between the company’s operations and whatever legal risks the 3rd party is taking to reduce their own liabilities.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        So, there’s at least several ways employees would react this way ranging from a general reaction to an abuse confession online to one with a summary of Signal about dodging governments. And then, if none of that normal stuff that happens every day at big firms, you might also think about Amazon targeting Signal specifically due to their full knowledge of what they’re doing plus secret, evil plans to help governments stop them. I haven’t gotten past the normal possibilities, though, with Amazon employees reading stuff online and freaking out being most likely so far.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                          This rings true to me (particularly the middle-management banality-of-evil take), bar one nitpick:

                                                                                                                                                                                                          The article actually says he was bragging online in a way that reached highly-visible places like Hacker News about how he was tricking Amazon’s services for his purposes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          How did you get that impression? The article states:

                                                                                                                                                                                                          We’re an open source project, so the commit switching from GAE to CloudFront was public. Someone saw the commit and submitted it to HN. That post became popular, and apparently people inside Amazon saw it too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I haven’t read the mentioned HN thread, but that hardly constitutes “bragging online”.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                            I can’t remember why I originally said it. He usually blogs about his activities. I might have wrongly assumed they got it out of one of his technical write-ups or comments instead of a commit. If it was just a commit, then I apologize. Thanks for the catch regardless.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                        “Service provider warns misbehaving customer to knock it off after repeated RFC violations.”