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    Since a couple of months ago, I use an old Nokia 6310i. It’s a great phone, with surprisingly many handy features like a timer, calendar, calculator etc.

    A potential problem, as you say, is the lack of modern messaging apps – but messaging was already a big problem for me, even when I had a smartphone. I refuse to use Facebook Messenger, and while alternatives like Signal exist, it’s hard to convince everyone you know to use them. So even with a smartphone, I’ve found that it’s much easier to convince people to use SMS, because everyone already knows how to do it.

    Regarding emojis, they usually don’t carry a great deal of meaning that cannot be inferred from the context. If people want to send pictures, I usually tell them to e-mail me instead.

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      FYI: The “Newer Posts” and “Older Posts” labels are mixed up on your home page!

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        That’s neat. Couldn’t you extract this into a separate program? If we call it depend (as in “dependent”):

        $ depend tail -F /var/log/x.log &
        

        Where depend would run tail and keep track of the parent shell process, killing tail when the shell process ends. getppid(2) retrieves the pid of the parent process; is there some sort of kernel event for when a process ends?

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          I was thinking the same, as a generalized principle, and i started to sketch something like that. :-) If you are interested I can give you a ping when I’ve got something semi-usable

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          I’m shocked (in a good way) people haven’t expressed outrage at 9front’s propaganda. http://9front.org/propaganda/

          Maybe because it’s blatant satire, so no one could possibly think that they were literal nazis.

          Unfortunately in today’s social climate humor is becoming less and less acceptable. Anything mocking, outrageous, edgy, or otherwise not-mainstream can make your coworkers feel unsafe or uncomfortable. A react programmer was nearly crucified after he made the OK symbol with his hand during a conference talk.

          https://twitter.com/ken_wheeler/status/1164934308366340096?lang=en

          And it was 4chan that started that “OK symbol = white power” troll, specifically to troll everybody into thinking it actually had any kind of white power meaning. It’s like the media can’t help but play right into 4chan’s hands. https://www.bbc.com/news/newsbeat-49837898

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            4chan is also packed to the rafters with open and unironic white power enthusiasts so it’s not particularly giving your arguments any credence. When you do something ironically enough times that unironic enthusiasts of that thing are more prevalent than the people who do it ironically, then it’s no longer ironic, it’s just that thing.The thing that makes 9Front different is that they also espouse literal opposites as propaganda. It’s like putting skateboarding is a crime on your skateboard.

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              Can you think of a reason why recycled Nazi propaganda, even as a joke, might cause some people earnest anxiety, in our present moment?

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                Which of those images are Nazi propaganda? I can see a V2 launch, but I’m not sure it is propaganda any more than archival footage. I see far more references to the US nuclear program and radiation than anything else (Which I suppose could be offensive to some).

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                  For the same reasons a repurposed Jurassic Park screencap might?

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                    For the same reasons a repurposed Jurassic Park screencap might?

                    I don’t understand the reference or implication here, can you spell it out for me?

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                      1. 1

                        Maybe just riffing on Operation Paperclip? Who knows, actually…there’s even a photo from the Alien 3 set, which really sold them to me. Alien 3 is a strange flick.

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                  Maybe because it’s blatant satire, so no one could possibly think that they were literal nazis.

                  I think it’s because there imaginary is all over the place. You’ve got Kennedy, Mao, 30’s Germany, Orwell, movies, etc.

                  As far as I remember They also had have the communist manifesto somewhere in their source , which I guess ends up worrying other people (and sometimes the same).

                  Edit: It’s in this directory, under manifesto: https://code.9front.org/hg/plan9front/file/82cc8a9cd294/lib

                  And it was 4chan that started that “OK symbol = white power” troll, specifically to troll everybody into thinking it actually had any kind of white power meaning. It’s like the media can’t help but play right into 4chan’s hands. https://www.bbc.com/news/newsbeat-49837898

                  That was particularly mean, because on the one hand it started as satire, but at the same time it became a symbol, because it was satire, making it an actual symbol, beyond satire, masked as satire. Quite honestly, it was executed masterfully, it’s really a surprised it even worked.

                  1. 1

                    Quite honestly, it was executed masterfully, it’s really a surprised it even worked.

                    Heads they win, tails we lose: the more the symbol is used by fascists the more people talk about how it’s a fascist symbol; the more people talk about how it’s a fascist symbol the more cryptofash, fash-lite and fash adjacent people mock the notion that it’s a fascist symbol - thus giving cover to fascists who use it.

                    Feedback loops, oof.

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                    Unfortunately in today’s social climate humor is becoming less and less acceptable. Anything mocking, outrageous, edgy, or otherwise not-mainstream can make your coworkers feel unsafe or uncomfortable.

                    This is such bullshit and I’m tired of hearing these tired and lazy talking points repeated without question any time the topic comes up.

                    Humor is not “becoming less and less acceptable.” What is actually happening now is that, at least in the United States, we are slowly starting to be aware as a culture, in fits and starts, that the status quo in place for most of the history of the U.S.–where it was okay to use people in a perceived lower social class as punching bags and call it “humor”–is actually maybe not okay and not a cultural value we want to keep and moreover, not even funny. And in response what we are hearing is a bunch of people getting butthurt about not being able to talk shit about whoever they want without repercussions…and claiming that actually they are just being “edgy” and the rest of us snowflakes can’t take it. It’s the same bullshit as when Rush Limbaugh was complaining about political correctness hampering his ability to say racist shit without getting called on it back in the 90s, and he is still making money, so obviously things haven’t really changed that much…yet.

                    You know what edgy humor is? Scott Thompson going to Russia during the Sochi Olympics and flaunting his gayness in a place where that could get him arrested or beaten. It’s the Monopoly guy showing up to senate hearings, or, basically anything The Yes Men do. It’s the Satanic Temple unveiling a Baphomet statue at the AR state capitol to make a point about church and state. It’s the Chappelle show’s Frontline Sketch about Clayton Bigsby but, unfortunately, not Dave Chappelle making jokes about trans or gay people or doing racist Chinese accents–that stuff is old and tired.

                    So maybe if you’re saying shit that makes your co-workers feel unsafe and uncomfortable, you should first ask yourself if you should really be saying shit that makes your co-workers uncomfortable (if it’s not about the work itself) or unsafe, and then consider whether it’s really that important to be able to freely make “edgy” and “outrageous” jokes in a work environment. It’s probably not. I will go out on a limb and say that you’re almost definitely not contributing anything useful if you’re making people feel unsafe, and you should probably be fired.

                    I don’t think any of this is particularly hard but yet, a lot of folks seem to have trouble figuring it out. Hopefully this helps.

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                      Why would you bring this up? At best, it’s off-topic…at worst, it could result in an outrage ball that could result in issues for 9front or the removal of that comedy.

                      Why?

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                        Unfortunately in today’s social climate humor is becoming less and less acceptable.

                        It’s all fun and games to cry “wolf!” when everybody knows there’s no wolves for hundreds of miles around.

                        It’s not cool to cry “wolf!” in a dark forest when the howling of wolves is carried clearly on the midnight air.

                        My point is: if I tell a joke and my audience doesn’t laugh, blaming the Fun Police might soothe my ego, but really I should think about what my audience will find funny before I try again.

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                          Are we even looking at the same thing? Can you explain what, exactly, you’re reacting to? (Maybe a screenshot?) All I see is a bunch of random images with their logo on them.

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                            Maybe because it’s blatant satire, so no one could possibly think that they were literal nazis.

                            How could anyone get the impression that they are Nazis from that collection of almost entirely Nazi-less images?

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                              Someone started a rumor that the ok sign is white supremacist and then white supremacists started doing it en masse so it’s safe to say it’s officially a white supremacist symbol now. You’re playing into their hands by allowing them to maintain plausible deniability.

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                                How should anyone who lives outside the social media filter bubble know what symbols are used by extremists now and thus are not okay to use anymore? I never heard of this rumor before and do not know anyone who has.

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                                  The user I’m responding to posted a link to the BBC, it’s not just some social media thing.

                                2. 4

                                  Rather than flipping out, why not just claim it back by doing it for the exact opposite reasons? If you don’t they will just do the same thing with a million other symbols… maybe thumbs up is next?

                                  All that you are doing by perpetuating the idea it is a white supremacist symbol, is losing a little ground.

                                  The original trolls who started that joke must laugh to themselves every time they see someone mention it seriously like you just did.

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                                    No, the white supremacists who use it as a white supremacist symbol are perpetuating the idea that it’s a white supremacist symbol.

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                                      The point is the same, why allow that? They are just gonna steal thumbs up and the peace sign next. Is there not a counter to that?

                                      1. 3

                                        Yeah, the best counter is to organize and smash white supremacy.

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                                          Yeah, but even then, when can we do okay signs again?

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                                            It’s a lot like viking runes, Nazis picked em up for their propaganda, using them doesn’t mean you’re a Nazi but if you see someone with a bunch of them they might be a Nazi. People who have viking heritage and want to have an artifact of their culture avoid the most propagandized ones.

                                            You can do whatever you want. It is a white supremacist symbol now. If you see someone doing it in a situation that seems overtly racist, they’re probably a white supremacist. If you see someone doing it when someone would say ok, it’s probably not a white supremacy thing.

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                                              Do you actually think this is a question I can answer or are you making some kind of point?

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                                                It’s a serious question.

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                                                  I’m a lot more worried about the increased frequency of hate crimes in the last few years than when I’ll be allowed to use a specific hand gesture again to be honest with you.

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                                                    I’m worried about the rise of hate crimes, for sure. But, I’m also worried about the Internet’s ability to cause irrepairable harm to innocent people. It’s incredibly easy to take some tweet, some forum post, some photo out of context and cast someone as $X because of $Y, and $Z. “They used a certain hand gesture, and wrote a tweet 3 years ago that, if you squint, suggests they support nationalism–they’re a white supremacist!”

                                                    The downvoted OP linked to a tweet where this seems to have happened. I don’t know anything more than what is in the thread, but guy is bald, used an OK sign for another reason, suddenly he’s the same as Richard Spencer.

                                                    I don’t want to make light of White Nationalism! Far from it. But, we cannot assume, by default, that everyone is bad, and we seem to be doing that more by default. Of course, this could be, and probably is to some degree, reactionary to the rise in hate crimes…

                                1. 3

                                  A very well-written article. I especially liked the positive twist at the end. All counter-arguments listed in this comments section are pragmatic, which is the opposite of what both the article and the free software movement as a whole are grounded in – an idealism without which free software neither would or could exist at all.

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                                    I’d like to comment on another meta-point in the article.

                                    The trouble with this type of platform restriction is that the opinions do not go away. Those who are removed from social media platforms often feel ostracized, angry and perhaps even vindicated in their persecution. They take to other platforms like Gab and Voat, where other like minded people validate those opinions. They leave larger Internet communities with a variety of voices that could potentially steer their own opinions in a more moderate direction.

                                    This was a perfectly reasonable and effective position on content moderation until recently. But what we’ve learned about internet communities in, say, the past decade, is that sunlight is not always the best disinfectant. Trolls and Nazis and etc. will reliably ruin platforms if left unchecked, and even swing moderates into their camp; the idea that they can be made more civil by exposure to cultural norms is simply not borne out by the evidence. Consequently this sort of free speech idealism is naïve to the point of being unethical. Free speech isn’t an unimpeachable virtue, or some end to work towards. It’s a means, a tool, that we’re obliged to wield to just ends.

                                    Furthermore, getting the opinions to go away isn’t really the goal. Laws don’t make crime disappear, but we still have them, because they tend to have positive outcomes on their societies. Similarly, deplatforming doesn’t make bad ideas disappear, but it does reduce their availability and accessibility. Deplatforming works, let’s keep doing it.

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                                      Does Deplatforming work and what do you mean by work? Brendan O’Neill has some very good points about how things we currently consider ‘progressive’ have been deplatformed in previous centuries. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BtWrljX9HRA

                                      Furthermore, I’d suggest reading The Coddling of the American Mind, which talks a lot about the current call-out culture in academia, that leads to harming the relationship between students and professors; preventing people from being able to discuss difficult topics and ideas without fear of retribution or being called Nazis or White Suprematists.

                                      Trolls and Nazis and etc. will reliably ruin platforms if left unchecked, and even swing moderates into their camp

                                      One thing I didn’t really cover is the issue with anonymity. That is another problem space (and I’m working on a full post on it). Anonymous networks are really … interesting … as far as content (4chan, 8ch and other chans .. Reddit/Voat/HackerNews, ActivityPub/Fediverse stuff). People act very different anonymously, which is one reason Facebook and Google+ pushed so much for only having real names/people, and why Reddit/Twitter require so much moderation to make them more (advertiser) “friendly” platforms. There are a lot of complexities there to unpack.

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                                        If you get to link to YouTube and pop politics books, then I get to link to https://slatestarcodex.com/2017/05/01/neutral-vs-conservative-the-eternal-struggle/ and https://slatestarcodex.com/2015/08/15/my-id-on-defensiveness/ which makes a pretty reasonable argument that there is no way Voat could have possibly gone right.

                                        Or, to summarize it another way, the same way the distinction between consumer tech and enterprise tech doesn’t exist, the distinction between “separate online communities” doesn’t exist either. Stuff that happens on one will have an effect on the other, inevitably. The discourse on Twitter (including the effects of their algorithms) leaks onto Lobsters and back onto Twitter again; you can have some control over your little corner, but you aren’t actually separate.

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                                          Does Deplatforming work and what do you mean by work?

                                          By “work” I primarily mean that fewer people get exposed to hate speech at a macro scale, especially inadvertently. But also that fewer people get recruited into hate groups, especially for the lulz. And also that hate speech propagandists, robbed of some of the dopamine from engagement on larger platforms, are discouraged from continuing. And yes, all evidence suggests that deplatforming works by these metrics.

                                          People act very different anonymously,

                                          Again, this was a truism like 10 years ago, but we’ve since learned that, anonymous or not, the internet tends to create echo-bubble environments that bring out the most extreme and frequently negative properties of the human condition. There’s an abundance of grotesque, racist, whatever nonsense written by people on Facebook next to their real names. There aren’t any consequences for it, really, so why not?

                                          1. 7

                                            By “work” I primarily mean that fewer people get exposed to hate speech at a macro scale, especially inadvertently

                                            I think this gets into dangerous territory. We should be exposed to things we don’t like or agree with. Having friends of different political backgrounds and ideological persuasions, and honestly talking about tough issues, is how we grow and change over time. I’m not for bullying, but I’m also not for safetism. It’s a hard line to cute and much harder on-line than in real life. Like the Brendan O’Neill debate I posted, there was a time when people who thought homosexually wasn’t wrong or that we didn’t need god or that the Bible should be translated into languages that could be read by everyone, were de-platformered, marginalized and told their ideas were greatly offensive. To say which ideas are good or bad for society change greatly over time. I know my views on what is just and unjust have changed significantly from my 20s to my 30s.

                                            Yes there are trolls who just shit post. But there are also a lot of true believers, who went cut from a platform they feel they’re making reasonable comments on, will go further into their cause and more radical. We saw that when Anita Sarkeesian deleted all the YouTube comments on her videos and locked them. Yes there were typical garbage YouTube comments, but there were also a lot of reasonable arguments. You delete all of those, and people tend to go harder in and be less reasonable. De-platforming lets people grab onto the same victimhood culture as those who de-platform; the “my views are being oppressed” rubbish instead of “let’s talk about things and maybe agree to disagree.”

                                            I think I understand where your coming from though. I think these topics are pretty complex though, and they can get into some really gritty details, for example the recent Stack Exchange / pronoun / code of conduct fiasco. Those are the type of debates that quickly get muted everywhere because we’re simply to afraid to have them. They then show up as much more polarized and much more extreme hard left/right lines when they appear on Reddit/Gab/Voat/etc.

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                                              We should be exposed to things we don’t like or agree with.

                                              Sometimes yes, sometimes no.

                                              It’s fine to say that Chicago-school economists should be exposed to Austrian economic theory. Or that Baptists should be exposed to Lutheran theology. That Ford owners should be exposed to GM fans. That NIMBYs should be exposed to YIMBYs.

                                              It’s not fine to say that a rape survivor should be exposed to the gloating of their assailant after being found not guilty on a technicality. Or that a black school child should be exposed to a Klu Klux Klan rally on their walk home from school. These things are certainly and technically “different ideological persuasions” but no good is advanced by enduring them.

                                              So there’s definitely a line where the ideal of free speech, or the marketplace of ideas, or whatever, is insufficient to justify the outcome. We’re just debating where that line is.

                                              It used to be that we could talk about white supremacy or Nazis or whatever pretty freely, because nobody (or very very few people) were actually threatened by those things. But the context has changed, white supremacists are marching in our streets with literal torches, and lots of people have very good reason to be afraid of what might come next. The line of what’s acceptable to deal with, in this particular space, has moved. So, no, at a societal level, we shouldn’t be forced to confront this particular “thing we don’t like or agree with” in deference to an abstract ideal. We are justified in stomping it out, like an immune system response, with tools like deplatforming, and whatever others are effective.

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                                                we’re simply to afraid to have [debates]

                                                This is not a fact. This is a right-wing trope that’s not based on reality all that much.

                                                No one is “afraid of debate”. Actually people are just tired of having to prove that they deserve to exist, to be themselves, to love who they love, and so on. These things should not be up for debate.

                                                De-platforming lets people grab onto the same victimhood culture as those who de-platform

                                                They grab onto that either way.


                                                Highly recommended listening:

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                                                  We should be exposed to things we don’t like or agree with. Having friends of different political backgrounds and ideological persuasions, and honestly talking about tough issues, is how we grow and change over time.

                                                  Fascists don’t argue in good faith. You aren’t going to change minds in a positive direction by platforming them. What you will do is tacitly promote the idea that genocide is a valid topic of disagreement, and help them recruit.

                                                  Deplatforming them works.

                                                  1. 4

                                                    Milo wasn’t wrecked by deplatforming. Milo was wrecked by defending pedophilia and directly working with neo-Nazis, which is what made his right-wing supporters turn on him. The “Deplatforming stopped Milo” narrative only appeared like a year later.

                                                    1. 3

                                                      The “Deplatforming stopped Milo” narrative only appeared like a year later.

                                                      At the exact point that Milo said that he no longer had an audience enough to sustain him, and had to work on other projects for money.

                                                      You’re saying that he was “wrecked by defending pedophilia and directly working with neo-Nazis, which is what made his right-wing supporters turn on him”, which is in and of itself, a form of deplatforming. Whether or not he did it himself is irrelevant to the fact of it being deplatforming or not. It’s like saying “he didn’t drive a vehicle, he drove a truck”.

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                                                        I believe that those incidents are what motivated his deplatforming, and the decline in audience he suffered was multiplied by his loss of access to a large platform.

                                                      2. 1

                                                        Fascists don’t argue in good faith.

                                                        And everyone is a fascist who doesn’t agree to your agenda. You can be “deplatformed” from the largest mastodon instance if you have the “wrong opinion” on funding domestic terrorist organizations (the antifa), and voice it.

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                                                          You can be “deplatformed” from the largest mastodon instance if you have the “wrong opinion” on funding domestic terrorist organizations (the antifa), and voice it.

                                                          If I’m reading between the lines correctly, here, and the implication is that you think a group literally called Anti-Fascists are terrorists, then I don’t think you really get to call foul when people judge that to be roughly aligned with fascism, eh?

                                                          1. 0

                                                            there was a poll:

                                                            • you support the antifa (that is a terrorist organization in the USA!) with money
                                                            • you are a fascist

                                                            I think the antifa an their supporters are the fascists of these days. The binary rhetoric, the violent opression of different opinions, etc. are just as bad as what they claim to be against.

                                                            Regarding de-platforming: I was born in a communist dictatorship. Lots of voices and opinions were “deplatformed”, in the name of the greater good, “antifascism”. For example punk music, and punks, who are now thought to be a left wing/left leaning genre, were just as much enemies of the “left wing” state… I believe discourse is necessary and nobody should be de-platformed, as long as their actions are legal, and when they are illegal, they should be regardless of political stance.

                                                            1. 1

                                                              I think the antifa an their supporters are the fascists of these days. The binary rhetoric, the violent opression of different opinions, etc. are just as bad as what they claim to be against.

                                                              Well, that’s ludicrous.

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                                                                That’s also an opinion, and I’m glad to hear that. Now I won§’t go to de-platform you for disagreeing with me. It should be this simple. Unfortunately it is not.

                                                          2. 0

                                                            Case in point.

                                                      3. 1

                                                        By “work” I primarily mean that fewer people get exposed to hate speech at a macro scale, especially inadvertently.

                                                        Personally I’m totally uncertain on this topic, but seeing that banning people from reddit has made them relocate to voat, banning threads on 4chan has made them relocate on infinitychan. There they gather, organise, produce more propaganda and create more stories. Would they have done so on the previous platform? probably. What I don’t know is if it would be better or worse. What I find even more perplexing is that if one, “edgy”, community gets band on one site, it gives a push to all of them. Ban racists on facebook, and reddit will use it to push their narrative.

                                                        I really don’t see a solution, but what’s wrong it to claim that deplatforming is a step forward. That’s like saying that just throwing your rubbish out of the window is fine, instead of putting it in the recycling bin.

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                                                          Banning people from reddit has made them relocate to voat, banning threads on 4chan has made them relocate on infinitychan

                                                          I don’t care about the true believers. Let them fester in their holes. I care about the thousands or millions of passersby, regular visitors to popular sites like Reddit or (less so) 4chan, who get exposure to these hate cultures when comments by the trolls are co-mingled with rational people in unrelated articles, or when racist memes are mixed in with cat videos on /r/all. Reducing that exposure is a huge net win and worth doing.

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                                                            A study found the effect of Reddit’s bans was to reduce the incidence of hate speech there, including from individuals who’d formerly participated. (I’m not aware of research for or against the narrative you quoted. Maybe somebody has more sources.)

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                                                              But that’s my point. You just need a few “true believers”, and enough people to trust or follow them. They will (and have) return, and they will be (and are) stronger. If they don’t get in through the front door, they will use every crack in the wall to slowly infest any community from the fringes inwards. It’s just deferring a problem that was not created in the space of moderation and curation.

                                                              Again: This is not an argument for or against banning. I’m just saying nothing works, and that should be consciously realised.

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                                                                You just need a few “true believers”, and enough people to trust or follow them.

                                                                “Deplatforming” takes away the second part.

                                                                People who had huge followings on major social-media sites suddenly have far far smaller followings when kicked off, because they no longer have the major sites’ algorithmic “suggestion” systems giving them free promotion to millions or even billions of eyeballs. And that switch, from having new people passively funneled to you en masse by the original platform, to needing your existing audience to actively follow you somewhere else and actively promote you to people not already on the new platform, typically comes with a multiple-orders-of-magnitude drop in reach and following.

                                                                I believe that’s also in part why reddit’s “quarantine” feature exists; one effect of quarantining is that it yanks the subreddit out of automated promotion/suggestion by the site’s algorithms, which makes it far harder to recruit across the site through getting things splashed onto random users’ home-page views of reddit.

                                                                1. 2

                                                                  People who had huge followings on major social-media sites suddenly have far far smaller followings

                                                                  Sure, when it’s about individuals you’re concerned about then de-platform as much as you want to. But watch out, not that this one is gone, three others are trying to fill the hole he left behind. But seriously, a twitter account, a youtube channel or whatever is just an appearance. Anyone who used image boards knows how much even a small group of creating individuals, even if nobody ever finds out who they are, can do. The site can be shut down, but they can just as easily reconstitute themselves anywhere else. Maybe it takes a while, but just pushes people further.

                                                                  1. 3

                                                                    But watch out, not that this one is gone, three others are trying to fill the hole he left behind.

                                                                    You say these things as if they’re just natural ways of the world, as if they’re true, but they’re just not.

                                                                    When /r/fatpeoplehate was banned why didn’t /r/largepeopleanger and /r/hatethosebigfolks and /r/hatefats spring up in its absence? When Cloudflare deplatformed 8chan why didn’t 16chan and 32chan and 64chan immediately rise up from the ashes? When what’s-his-face who did all that heinous shit to the Sandy Hook parents was banned from all his vlogging and podcasting channels, why didn’t he and his fans just create dozens more?

                                                                    When you de-platform someone or something that’s built a substantial audience, the creator and the audience have to do a lot of work to build themselves back up to their previous levels. And it’s a lot harder when the platforms that drive the highest engagement and acquisition numbers won’t host your shit anymore.

                                                                    1. 3

                                                                      When /r/fatpeoplehate was banned why didn’t /r/largepeopleanger and /r/hatethosebigfolks and /r/hatefats spring up in its absence?

                                                                      As far as I remember, there were a few subreddits that came up to replace them, but all of them were shut down in their infancy. But then again, you’re confusing the forum for the people, they didn’t disappear. It’s internet pre-history by now, but it was one of the rallying calls leaving reddit, and was used as an example for how “SJW” are taking over. This lead to voat, 4chan exodi, and still is part of their impulse.

                                                                      When Cloudflare deplatformed 8chan why didn’t 16chan and 32chan and 64chan immediately rise up from the ashes?

                                                                      Oh there are millions of image boards that are trying to fill their absence, but that takes a bit. infinitychan also had to prove itself after all. But you’re right, until then, they are weakened. And if all you’re after is short term goals, good job. But again, the people, the ideas, the images are all still there, preparing to regather. And I’ll bet that this will incentivise more people than ever before to look into distributed alternatives, that will be harder to “de-platform”, because just like the users, they will have no platform they rely on.

                                                                      When you de-platform someone or something that’s built a substantial audience, the creator and the audience have to do a lot of work to build themselves back up to their previous levels.

                                                                      You’re doing it again. I’m not talking about individuals or “content creators”, they are worthless. It’s the same kind of thinking that leads people to believe that if Hitler were killed in WW1, there would’t have been any nazis. It’s an underestimation and fatally a lack of understanding what is being dealt with.

                                                                      1. 2

                                                                        I’m not talking about individuals or “content creators”, they are worthless.

                                                                        What are you talking about, the ideas themselves? The movements?

                                                                        Movements are only as strong as their adherents, the people behind them. Making it harder for the movements’ content creators to reach and engage audiences is nearly as good as somehow stopping people from being bigots in an abstract sense. It’s not the same but the net effect on a society is approximately equivalent. And more to the point, it’s one of the few ways that a society has traction in fighting these antisocial contagions.

                                                                        1. 2

                                                                          What are you talking about, the ideas themselves? The movements?

                                                                          Am I really that incomprehensible? Is what I am saying that foreign? I’ll quote myself:

                                                                          banning people from reddit has made them relocate to voat, banning threads [made by… people] on 4chan has made them relocate on infinitychan

                                                                          The site can be shut down, but they can just as easily reconstitute themselves [ie. the community, of… people] anywhere else. Maybe it takes a while, but just pushes people further.

                                                                          But again, the people, the ideas, the images are all still there, preparing to regather

                                                                          The actually existing people behind these posts. Do you think the harassers and trolls aren’t driven by conviction? Do you think racists think what they do because they are bored? These “movements” are movements of “content creation”, not lead by them. Those parts of these committees that people are always talking about, would be the last to give up because of inconvenience. They literally think there is a world conspiracy against them. It’s just not that simple.

                                                                          It’s not the same but the net effect on a society is approximately equivalent.

                                                                          But again, t e m p o r a r i l y.

                                                                          1. 2

                                                                            Do you think the harassers and trolls aren’t driven by conviction?

                                                                            Yes, I think conviction merely provides the rationale for what they’re doing, I think the vast majority of their actual output is primarily driven by dopamine responses from audience engagement. And if you take that away, conviction alone won’t be enough for them to meaningfully continue. Not that it matters: if they want to bleat into the void and have nobody hear them, that is a complete victory from my perspective. I’m concerned about macro-scale effects on society.

                                                                            Do you think racists think what they do because they are bored?

                                                                            In our zeitgeist, on the internet platforms we’re currently talking about? Yes, actually. That’s a huge part of it. And things that are boredom-adjacent: a sense of community, dopamine from engagement, etc.

                                                                            It’s the 90/9/1 thing that applies to any online community, the fact that it’s about hate ideologies is irrelevant. 1% of the people are the true believers and actually producing content, 9% are highly engaged and curating/amplifying/whatever, but 90% are lurkers, consumers, a passive audience that is fickle and will disappear if you can deplatform the 10% from the most popular N sites on the internet.

                                                                            Every society will always have some bigoted assholes, and they’ll always have some kind of cult of personality or ideology that will attract some people. That’s unavoidable, those 10%. What’s avoidable is letting those subcultures attract and grow their 90% audiences. That’s the shit that tends to produce the lone-wolf spree shooters, tends to normalize microaggressions in day-to-day life, and most everything in between. And deplatforming is a really good tool for stopping that specific thing. Which is huge.

                                                                            1. 1

                                                                              In order for this to not go on forever, I’ll try to just summarise what I see our disagreements being:

                                                                              1. You’re concerned about the “macro-scale effects”, while I am more worried about the long-term effects.
                                                                              2. You think that racism is fuelled by boredom, while I think that is has deeper roots (although it can be set of by (life) boredom).
                                                                              3. You think that the 90/9/1 rule still applies, I think that the power/danger of the new communities comes exactly from transcending it.

                                                                              Unless you have anything else to contribute, I think it would be better to come to an end with this thread. The only question I have for you is what your direct experience is with these underground forms and image boards?

                                                        2. 1

                                                          Coddling is a silly book rife with contradictions, it doesn’t strengthen your case to namecheck it https://www.theguardian.com/books/2018/sep/20/the-coddling-of-the-american-mind-review

                                                          1. 2

                                                            Guardian is a silly newspaper rife with contradictions. What’s your point?

                                                            1. 3

                                                              I have no real stake in the Guardian as a publication overall; it’s got a lot of crap, and some decent articles every now and then. I thought the review did a great job demonstrating why Coddling is a silly book. That should have been obvious.

                                                              By just attacking the least important part and not engaging with what I linked in any substantive way, I suspect you’re not arguing in good faith, saying quippy aggressive things. Come back if you want to address the contents of the review, or Coddling.

                                                              1. 1

                                                                I read this review and I’ve read the book. Frankly, the review doesn’t really address the book. This review is polarized and mentions some parts of the book totally out of context, and then tangentially starts talking about politics and Trump. The book is a really good read, and it’s well sourced. I looked up several of the stories it mentioned while reading it and I think it does a fair job of portraying what’s happening in a lot of universities, especially on the west and north east coasts.

                                                                There is a growing distrusted between those who teach in academia and their own students. Call-out culture is a a thing. There is a growing trend to react today first and to call for resignations and dismissals; to the point where I know people in academia who are afraid to talk about any difficult or hard issues.

                                                                It’s not a silly book. I’ve listened to other interviews with people like Haidt (one of the authors) along with people like Sam Harris who have brought up these same issues. Harris and Haidt is often labelled as alt-right or alt-right adjacent (same with Joe Rogan), but reading and listening to their views, they’re hardly that! And this goes back to the issue of calling everyone you don’t like or disagree with a Nazi or White Suprematist (especially those who don’t self-identify as such). It pushes more of this polarization narrative and people who have never even listened to these people now immediately dismiss everything they say.

                                                                1. 4

                                                                  Thanks for actually engaging on this. I happen to disagree with almost everything you wrote (I read the book and think the review is dead-on) and think Sam Harris is a pompous Islamophobe and Joe Rogan is boring, mainstreaming people with terrible views by never challenging them, &c; &c;

                                                                  I doubt we’ll get very far hashing it out here (and I have work to do lol, you probably have other responsibilities than hashing this shit out with a stranger on the Internet) but again, appreciate you rising up and responding sincerely 😄

                                                        3. 3

                                                          I whole-heartedly believe that freedom of speech is an end in itself, but that doesn’t mean I’m against moderation. Not at all – too many communities are ruined by unpleasant, ill-willing people, and I think this very site is a clear example of how important content moderation can be.

                                                          Reddit, however, is a different type of site, one with many communities that are more or less separate from each other. Already before those hateful subreddits were banned, what they wrote in their walled garden never reached the eyes of redditors on the outside, unless they willingly looked inside – in this sense, there’s really no difference between subreddits and separate websites. So why were these subreddits banned? Well, because of pressure from other redditors, peeking inside the walled garden and not liking what they saw, and shareholders, presumably.

                                                          Of course, even though there’s little difference between having your community on Reddit versus hosting it on Voat, in the sense described above, Reddit is a bigger platform with more users than Voat. Being expelled from Reddit severely limits the user base of a community, which can be used both as an argument for banning these communities and as an argument for being careful about banning any communities whatsoever.

                                                          Anyway. I’m not defending these communities. My point is just that these bans weren’t really examples of content moderation, but rather, giving in to large amounts of criticism, valid or invalid as it may be.

                                                          1. 3

                                                            From your article:

                                                            Those with the power to do so have both the right and ethical obligation to stop these infections at the source, by organizing, by protesting, by de-platforming, and by recognizing that free speech isn’t an end in itself, but merely a means, a tool, which we’re obliged to use to make our society better.

                                                            I see nothing in that sentence with which Tourquemada would have disagreed.

                                                            We spent the last four hundred years building a world in which might doesn’t make right. We built a society which tries really hard not to unperson dissenters. It’s taken a long time, and it hasn’t been perfect, but we did it. And now, in just about a decade and a half, we have thrown away four centuries’ hard work and created a world in which it is once again no longer possible to speak truth to power, because once again those in power feel comfortable using that power to extinguish dissent and dissenters.

                                                            1. 1

                                                              We built a society which tries really hard not to unperson dissenters . . . And now . . . [we] created a world in which it is once again no longer possible to speak truth to power . . .

                                                              Look dude if literal Nazi-ism and white supremacy qualifies as “dissent” and “speaking truth to power” to you then we’re not going to be able to have a productive conversation. And to be extremely clear that is explicitly and only what this discussion is about. Not abstract and undefined “uncomfortable political ideas” or “unpopular opinions” or other weasel phrases. This whole conversation is about the alt-right race-baiting white-supremacist trolls of Voat.

                                                            2. 2

                                                              I think there is a large part of not being able to combat these ideologies because many people just don’t understand the fundamentals of them to begin with. That makes it easier to push people to extreme theories or ideologies because, in many cases, they put forth simple arguments for them or against whatever they’re against. It’s kind of like an ELI5 for ideas.

                                                              I’m not opposed to moderation and I think outright inflammatory posts should be removed immediately, but I also think we should be educating people better about ideas and not just resorting to calling people names. There are arguments against these ideologies, but we don’t have a general populace explaining, in an easy to digest way, why they aren’t good. I think we’re too quick to try to silence, which really doesn’t silence at all, but pushes the fringe folks together where their ideas echo and ultimately amplify.

                                                            1. 52

                                                              Voat is a link aggregation platform, where users can submit text or links to content, comment on existing submissions and vote both links and comments up or down. It’s essentially a Reddit clone, but, due to several bad design decisions, it has become known on the rest of the Internet as a community that promotes intolerance and hate speech.

                                                              What.

                                                              Voat was created in direct response to Reddit’s deplatforming of hate subreddits, and its owners and content moderators explicitly invited those deplatformed trolls with open arms. Voat’s notoriety wasn’t the inadvertent consequence of bad decisions, it was part and parcel of the site from day one.

                                                              1. 22

                                                                As far as I remember it wasn’t created as a response[1], it was fairly new at the time a lot of people jumped ship tho. It was just created as a news aggregator site with a focus on freedom of speech. Then all the reddit banning happened and a lot of people moved there.

                                                                [1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voat

                                                                1. 3

                                                                  Yeah, Wikipedia certainly seems to agree with you.

                                                                  1. 2

                                                                    Any platform that focuses on “freedom of speech” is dog whistling for hate speech.

                                                                    Removing hateful garbage off your platform is exercising your freedom of speech in a responsible way.

                                                                    There is a clear line between censorship that is about brainwashing the masses and that which removes things that only exist to hurt/attack people. If you can’t see this line you have a problem.

                                                                    1. 6

                                                                      Any platform that focuses on “freedom of speech” is dog whistling for hate speech.

                                                                      What a world we live in. Wow.

                                                                      1. 3

                                                                        Show me one “free speech” platform that isn’t full of hate speech please. They’re all the same.

                                                                        Freedom of speech does not mean I have to be forced to read or listen to it. Or publish it.

                                                                        1. 5

                                                                          If you asked the maintainers/moderators of Lobsters, reddit or even HN, I’m sure they’d all attach a very high value on free speech. I’m sure you’ll say, “but that’s different because they don’t treat free speech as an absolute value that is prioritized above all else.” But that isn’t what you said.

                                                                          In any case, I’m more or less reacting to how absolutely incredulous your position is. It’s straight out of 1984 doublespeak. Historically, prioritizing free speech has always been understood as an ideal, and that allowing others to say what they want is very much distinct from actually endorsing the message. But we’ve lost that ideal apparently. Absent other evidence, “prioritizing free speech above all else” is at worst naive. Jumping to “they just want a place for a hate speech” is absolutely absurd. And your weaseling “dog whistle” phrasing is doing exactly that.

                                                                        2. 3

                                                                          In one sense, yeah, I feel you, but in another, more pragmatic sense, /u/feld is completely correct, and the world would be a lot better if more people realized it.

                                                                          1. 5

                                                                            Thank you, and this is the last I’ll comment on it. Online. Forever. This is only a discussion worth having in person.

                                                                            I’ve simply had enough of this. People wrapping themselves in the Free Speech flag and spreading hateful crap is leaking everywhere we go on the internet. The problem is that the internet is not a good analogy for real life or a public square. There is no fear or shame for these people.

                                                                            In real life, exercising your right to hate speech looks like this: https://www.instagram.com/p/BX-0YVIlLGz

                                                                            On the internet, it’s more like guerrilla warfare. These cowards do not have to deal with confrontation. They’re allowed to spread their hate with no consequences, shame, or fear; protected by their computer screen separating them from the world.

                                                                            Remember, only one side of the political spectrum is filled with people whose goals are to hurt people.

                                                                            If you really think Free Speech Zones are such a great idea, why not lobby to open Lobsters to the masses instead of having an invite-only membership?

                                                                            Freedom of speech is definitely important. People should be allowed to say whatever they want without fear of criminal punishment. But platform operators are still allowed to control what is published on their platform.

                                                                            1. 5

                                                                              If you really think Free Speech Zones are such a great idea

                                                                              On the Internet, I don’t think they are a good idea at this point in time. I don’t regularly visit any web site that prioritizes free speech above all else. I am myself on the moderation team for official Rust community spaces and have been an advocate for stronger moderation here at Lobsters.

                                                                              So it seems to me like you’ve completely misunderstood my criticism. Which isn’t that surprising, because outrage culture (along with several other things) drives an Us vs. Them mentality. It’s seemingly inconceivable to you that someone can say “I believe in free speech” and actually be sincere about it without also being a surreptitious vehicle for hate speech. I’ve been in online forums for a couple decades at this point, and I personally see web sites that prioritize free speech above all else as bad ideas, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t people out there that see them as good ideas in good faith, or even have ideas on how to fix what makes them so bad. I don’t know how to do that, but there’s a lot I don’t know. And just because I don’t know how to do something doesn’t mean I’m automatically going to assume the worst about people.

                                                                              But if the best we can do is rave about dog whistles, then we’re never going to see the rich nuance that is involved in these issues, and good people are going to get caught in the crosshairs of outrage.

                                                                              1. 3

                                                                                It’s seemingly inconceivable to you that someone can say “I believe in free speech” and actually be sincere about it without also being a surreptitious vehicle for hate speech.

                                                                                I appreciate that you interpret what’s being said through the lens of Us-vs-Them extremism and so say things like “seemingly inconceivable” when summarizing someone else’s position. There’s certainly enough evidence in the dialog to support that conclusion. Nevertheless I think you mischaracterize what’s actually being said, or suggested.

                                                                                It’s not that we think good faith advocates of free speech literally don’t exist. It’s that they are so much in the minority in the spaces and contexts that we’re talking about that they may as well not exist in a statistical sense. And, carrying that point a bit further, that spending more than a statistically insignificant amount of time, energy, or benefit of the doubt addressing those people is (at a minimum) a misallocation of resources, and (at a maximum) actually providing normalizing cover to the bad faith actors in the space. And exploiting that dynamic, exploiting the naïvety of idealists who want to assume good faith and have a discussion purely on the merits, is arguably the principal tool that trolls use to achieve their ends.

                                                                                I like to think of it in terms of macro vs. micro. I think you are coming at this discussion from a micro- or individual-scale: in any given pairwise interaction between two people, it’s a shame and probably even harmful that we don’t give the benefit of the doubt and engage in good faith. I don’t disagree. But I, and I suspect feld, are coming at it from a macro- or group-scale: we care about the aggregate effect of positions on issues, measured at the societal level. And rational advice or behavior or best practice at one scale is frequently entirely opposite the best practice at the other scale.

                                                                                1. 3

                                                                                  Yes. I am certainly predisposed to an individualist viewpoint. But I guess that’s the point. I don’t believe in outrage culture as a means to an end, in part because it gets otherwise good people caught in the crosshairs. At a macro pragmatic scale, outrage culture is not limited to very clear cases of Nazis or trolls or fascists or otherwise bad people. It makes leaps of faith based on “dog whistles.” Ultimately, people throwing around phrases like “dog whistles” are not held responsible when they’re wrong, in my experience. It sours all interaction instead of just the interaction with trolls/Nazis/fascists.

                                                                                  I am also in general pretty skeptical of a statistical argument here. I can see how one can perceive statistical significance here, but I’d be very surprised to see hard data supporting that conclusion there because I’m not sure it’s actually available.

                                                                                  As I said, we are on two different wavelengths here.

                                                                            2. 2

                                                                              I don’t agree and based on your other comments, we are definitely on two different wavelengths here. IMO, the rise of the phrase “dog whistle” has allowed for sloppy and lazy thinking. It being used here, in this context, is exactly what outrage culture is built on top of. Hate speech is bad, but so is being outraged when someone says they like free speech. There’s a non-ridiculous position to be had in the middle there.

                                                                          2. 2

                                                                            First of all, I never actually got into the discussion of what “freedom of speech” means, whether it’s worth defending, or whether it’s hate speech in disguise.

                                                                            If you can’t see this line you have a problem.

                                                                            I don’t see why you felt any need to attack me. I merely clarified that it wasn’t created as a response to the reddit bans, it fed from them as it was advertised as a platform for freedom of speech which attracted the kind of people reddit was getting rid of. I don’t think I defended any position anywhere in my post. I just stated some facts about the timeline.

                                                                            Now, after this has been clarified, I mostly agree with you but I still think it’s a slippery slope and one that is worth examining thoroughly.

                                                                            Just as an extra comment, I don’t think someone defending freedom of speech is automatically defending hate speech. There are real freedom of speech problems around the world, and I don’t think this antagonization of the term brings anything positive to the table.

                                                                        3. 18

                                                                          Yeah. There’s neutrality, and then there’s misreporting. This definitely falls into the second category.

                                                                        1. 20

                                                                          Am signatory, AMA.

                                                                          1. 5

                                                                            Were there any project leaders that refused to sign?

                                                                            1. 6

                                                                              Let’s provide some context here, shall we?

                                                                              There’s been 20 signatories, and one of them isn’t even a maintainer of any package (they’re a staff member).

                                                                              There’s close to 400 GNU packages, plus close to 100 additional discontinued GNU packages:

                                                                              E.g., about 5% of folks singed this. Many bigger packages like GCC would have more than one maintainer, too.

                                                                              Additionally, it’s been pointed out on another platform that this whole thing is a Guix’ response to disagreeing with Dr RMS on his GNU Kind Communications Guidelines some 11 months ago, because they weren’t punitive enough:

                                                                              I’d say the whole thing was brewing for quite a while. Would be surprised for the list of signatories to change in any significant manner. Just looking at these numbers and the dates, I’d be surprised if many more folks haven’t been afforded the opportunity to join the mob, but didn’t. The fact that they hide all these things reveals their methods of action.

                                                                              1. 5

                                                                                We are not hiding anything. Stallman is not a victim. We are not a mob. We are a collective of GNU maintainers who have had enough, and we’re hardly alone in the world with having had enough with RMS. He’s had good philosophies that persuaded all of us at one point, but his leadership and communication have been sorely lacking.

                                                                                I actually expect the number of signatories to increase a little. I know of at least a few who wanted to sign but just didn’t get around to it because they were busy. Of those 400 GNU maintainers, most are inactive. GNU is not as cohesive as you might think, which again I think shows lack of good leadership.

                                                                                Yes, there’s only 20 or so of us, but we represent some of the biggest GNU packages.

                                                                                1. 1

                                                                                  We are not hiding anything. Stallman is not a victim. We are not a mob. We are a collective of GNU maintainers who have had enough, and we’re hardly alone in the world with having had enough with RMS. He’s had good philosophies that persuaded all of us at one point, but his leadership and communication have been sorely lacking.

                                                                                  I actually expect the number of signatories to increase a little. I know of at least a few who wanted to sign but just didn’t get around to it because they were busy. Of those 400 GNU maintainers, most are inactive. GNU is not as cohesive as you might think, which again I think shows lack of good leadership.

                                                                                  Yes, there’s only 20 or so of us, but we represent some of the biggest GNU packages.

                                                                                  There’s so much misrepresentation here I don’t even know where to begin.

                                                                                  There’s already at least a couple of people on the list that aren’t even developers.

                                                                                  You refer to yourself and all other signatories as “GNU maintainers”, including the “GNU Octave maintainer” on your hat, but what does it mean exactly?

                                                                                  Not familiar with GNU Octave, I originally got the impression that you were the sole person responsible for the project. In fact, that’s what the word “maintainer” means in most other projects. Which, per further examination, cannot be further from the truth — there’s a bunch of commits over at http://hg.savannah.gnu.org/hgweb/octave, and none of them seem from you. When searching for your name, http://hg.savannah.gnu.org/hgweb/octave/log?rev=Jordi, we get a whole 10 results, spanning 2014 to 2017. Do you use some other ID within the project? Or is this pretty much representative of your involvement with the project you claim to be an official representative of? Wikipedia has a link to http://hg.savannah.gnu.org/hgweb/octave/file/tip/doc/interpreter/contributors.in, which reveals that there are a whole of 445 contributors to GNU Octave, and you’re the only one of these people who is a Guix signatory listing Octave.

                                                                                  Sure, some of the folks on the list are actual maintainers and/or are responsible for significant work. But do you even fail to see how simply putting a random list of semi-active part-time and drive-by developers as signatories behind cancelling the founder and 80-hours-per-week full-time advocate of Free Software is not exactly representing things as they are? How’s that not a mob?

                                                                                  Also, what is your exact intention when presenting yourself and everyone else as a “maintainer”, and with statements like “we represent some of the biggest GNU packages”? Were you officially designated to speak on behalf of any of these projects? Or is the whole intention to confuse others in a way similar to how you had me confused with your hat here on Lobste.rs? I don’t have time to check out every name (and some do checkout, some don’t), but it is beyond obvious that you don’t actually represent the views of GNU Octave as you imply, and presenting yourself as an active “maintainer” shows that you have no interest in spreading any truths anywhere, either.

                                                                                  1. 5

                                                                                    As much as I dislike the backstabbing of this “joint statement” by GNU developers, I have to say that you are grossly mis-representing JordiGH contribution to Octave. He’s easily the main scientific contributor to this project after Eaton himself (which makes me even sadder that he’s actually signed the backstabbing manifesto).

                                                                                    1. 2

                                                                                      He’s been busy, but jwe finally got around to signing it too. 24 signatories now.

                                                                                      1. 3

                                                                                        I’m very sad to hear about that. From the outside it looks like you are part of the pithy smearing campaign against free software. I fail to understand how this “joint statement” at this moment helps anybody (besides mattl and the like).

                                                                                        I admire the work of most people who signed this statement, and jwe is one of my heros and sources of inspiration–as much as RMS. Even if I agree with the principle that the FSF/GNU leadership can change for the good, the second part of the statement that you signed reads as a callous backstabbing. I literally cried when I read the list of signatories. I cannot help but feel a bit guilty today when recommending octave to my students.

                                                                                        1. 1

                                                                                          GNU leadership and its structure needs to change. Hell, GNU needs a structure to begin with – we don’t have any sort of organisation yet and thus our ties and cohesion between GNU packages over the years have weakened.

                                                                                          Even if RMS were a perfect saint and the hero many of us made him out to be, nobody should be appointed leader for life. We rotate other leadership positions, and we should do the same with this one.

                                                                                          1. 4

                                                                                            I agree 100% with what you say here, but not with the public statement that you signed, which alienates me.

                                                                                    2. 1

                                                                                      He’s been busy, but jwe finally got around to signing it too. 24 signatories now.

                                                                                  2. 1

                                                                                    Who is the staff member?

                                                                                  3. 3

                                                                                    I don’t know. I wasn’t the one doing the outreaching.

                                                                                  4. 4

                                                                                    How was this coordinated?

                                                                                    1. 8

                                                                                      Private emails. We all were kind of aware of each other and Ludovic started an email thread where we discussed this.

                                                                                    2. 4

                                                                                      You all planning to replace RMS with a new “chief GNUsciance”, or planning to switch to a steering council like Python did?

                                                                                      If there is no plan, then which one do you prefer?

                                                                                      1. 9

                                                                                        No plan yet, just a plan to discuss. I am personally in favour of a steering committee. It seems to have mostly worked for gcc. I got to see some gcc people a couple of weeks ago for GNU cauldron, and that was fun. I would like something more like that.

                                                                                      2. 2

                                                                                        I’m confused by this FSF statement: https://www.fsf.org/news/fsf-and-gnu.

                                                                                        It links using “GNU leadership has also published a statement”, which kinda implies with the surrounding text that GNU leadership is multiple people, but the link target is mail by Stallman saying that he will talk to FSF as a single person.

                                                                                        https://lists.gnu.org/archive/html/info-gnu/2019-10/msg00004.html

                                                                                        Is there anyone else or is this just a language oddity?

                                                                                        1. 3

                                                                                          Just a language oddity. As of right now, nothing has changed and “GNU leadership” is synonymous with “RMS”.

                                                                                        2. 2

                                                                                          So, if rms resigns from GNU and suffers any negative mental health outcomes, would you believe yourselves to be contributing factors or perhaps even responsible?

                                                                                          1. 27

                                                                                            Let’s not play into “if you leave me, I’ll hurt myself and it’ll be your fault” abuser playbook.

                                                                                            RMS should get help if he needs it, but not in the form of coddling him in a position of power he’s unfit for.

                                                                                            1. 9

                                                                                              I don’t know about abuser playbooks, I’m just thinking about it in terms of common decency for folks that have had internet mobs arrayed against them (correctly or incorrectly).

                                                                                              I certainly think it would be tacky if, say, a bunch of trolls got somebody ousted from their position in an open-source project and then refused to take responsibility if that person was harmed. The only salient difference to me here seems that you think (and correct me if I’m wrong!) of rms as an acceptable target.

                                                                                              1. 10

                                                                                                RMS getting fired over the Minsky remarks is utter bullshit, and it was a total violation of due process, journalistic integrity, and other niceties of civilization… but that doesn’t mean he should be in a leadership position. I think the the whole Epstein business was used as a pretext for people who already wanted him out (for good reasons) to kick him out (based on a bad reason).

                                                                                                Which is to say, it’s not entirely that simple.

                                                                                                1. 3

                                                                                                  RMS getting fired over the Minsky remarks is utter bullshit,

                                                                                                  He wasn’t fired. He voluntarily left of his own accord, because of comments that he made, while interjecting into a conversation that he was not originally part of. The comments are in line with culturally taboo statements he has made public on his website for over 20 years that people have willfully ignored for the sole reason of giving him the benefit of the doubt. This time, he crossed a line because a) the statements that he made are incredibly adjacent to, and almost identical to, arguments made by people who abuse young children (Regardless of his intent) and b) there were abuse survivors in the conversation that he interjected into, that were likely affected by those statements.

                                                                                                  and it was a total violation of due process, journalistic integrity, and other niceties of civilization…

                                                                                                  Well, no. Not only is his position as chairman not subject to those concerns, he himself violated said niceties of civilization.

                                                                                                  but that doesn’t mean he should be in a leadership position. I think the the whole Epstein business was used as a pretext for people who already wanted him out (for good reasons) to kick him out (based on a bad reason).

                                                                                                  Indeed. The word is that he has continually scuppered several projects (Including GNU’s version of DotNET which had a presence on the steering committee!!!) which caused non-GNU alternatives to have the upper hand, defeating GNU’s objectives of software freedom in the process.

                                                                                                  1. 8

                                                                                                    Pretending his exit was voluntary is disingenuous.

                                                                                                    1. 4

                                                                                                      he himself violated said niceties of civilization.

                                                                                                      One of the niceties of civilization is the rule of law, in particular “just because you broke the rules doesn’t mean I get to”. So that’s irrelevant.

                                                                                                    2. 0

                                                                                                      They railroaded a guilty man, in other words?

                                                                                                      1. 3

                                                                                                        Not sure I follow the phrasing, but perhaps “a good thing done badly” might describe it, depending on whose stories you give credence to.

                                                                                                    3. 7

                                                                                                      Part of leadership is your subordinates not wanting to be lead by you anymore. This doesn’t make him a target.

                                                                                                      Harm reduction may be a goal in these situations and, if you have a look at the statement, it gives appropriate credit to RMS, but also makes it clear that his time is over.

                                                                                                  2. 17

                                                                                                    He’s fine. We’re not responsible for his behaviour or his health. He is, and his own actions over the decades are.

                                                                                                    But really, he’ll be fine. He’s not a martyr. We need a change in leadership and he needs time to reflect.

                                                                                                  3. 2

                                                                                                    What’s the big deal?

                                                                                                    1. 8

                                                                                                      I don’t understand the question. Big deal about what?

                                                                                                    2. 1

                                                                                                      Perhaps I’m out of the loop. I’m aware of Stallman’s anti-social behavior in the past, but is there some new reason this is happening now, rather than years ago?

                                                                                                      Edit: Oh, I am definitely out of the loop. I just read about Stallman’s Epstein remarks. How vile.

                                                                                                      1. 10

                                                                                                        If you ask me (which I think you did), this should have happened years ago, but yes, the recent incidents were the final push we all needed.

                                                                                                        1. 2

                                                                                                          I don’t think that the Epstein remarks, at least what I’ve heard of them, are anything new or surprising if you’ve followed Stallman for a while. It’s not out of character at all.

                                                                                                        2. 1

                                                                                                          Well, it may be nice to have a different leadership for the GNU project. Why not discuss it with the man himself? Has anyone tried before going public?

                                                                                                          1. 1

                                                                                                            We’re trying to discuss different leadership. And they’re trying to not go public. I don’t think i can say much more without being unkind.

                                                                                                            1. 1

                                                                                                              So I guess, that’s a no. “Unkind” is too kind a word.

                                                                                                              Edit: to clarify this comment, this all reeks of “the ends justify the means”. While I agree with the ends, the means do not look good, and it changed how I perceive both RMS & the projects under the GNU umbrella.

                                                                                                              I hope I did not sound angry. I’m just annoyed at myself (mostly). I wish you luck in this endeavour and other future projects. :)

                                                                                                        1. 4

                                                                                                          Cool that you’re using Mercury, by the way – how is it working for you, in comparison to Prolog?

                                                                                                          1. 1

                                                                                                            It’s been a good experience so far. I’ve never done Prolog. My Mercury experience has all been working on Prince. Most of my time as YesLogic has been writing font handling code in Rust and integrating that with the Mercury code.

                                                                                                          1. 3

                                                                                                            Just another example of how Emacs is a real productivity machine. It’s like an IDE and an operating system combined.

                                                                                                            1. 2

                                                                                                              I agree with the other commenters, this was a good introduction. I especially enjoyed the fizz-buzz demonstration!

                                                                                                              1. 15

                                                                                                                Apart from buggy syntax highlighting, broken scrolling and others

                                                                                                                It is explicitly advertised as “Pre-alpha - not yet usable!”, so picking on bugs doesn’t seem especially fair to me.

                                                                                                                Want to contribute to Onivim? Don’t. They make a profit out of your contributions.

                                                                                                                Vim was used to write Google, and they make billions and billions off that. Is that not worse than spending a few bucks for someone’s time?

                                                                                                                I don’t really have any opinion about this OniVim thing. Perhaps it’s great, perhaps it’s not. But it’s clearly people spending time writing code. What’s wrong with paying them?

                                                                                                                We really need to get away from this “zomg making profit from code is bad” attitude. The “please please please donate”-model doesn’t work very well, and it’s time for some new options. The “time-delayed license” doesn’t strike me as a good option for various reasons, but the article doesn’t state any of them. It just goes “profit bad!” Not very insightful.

                                                                                                                If you want to write really good software you need to spend time. Quite a lot of it. Right now writing free software is often like a job, except that you don’t get paid.

                                                                                                                Imagine if the supermarket worked this way: “this bread is €2, but you can also take it for free, if you want”. That would be an unthinkable business model: people still need to actually make the bread, and they’re not going to do it in the evening after their day job. Software can be distributed for free – so it’s not exactly like bread – but people still do actually need to make the software.

                                                                                                                1. 3

                                                                                                                  I think the argument might be made that Vim was created as a hobby project and then transformed into a charitable one: the popularity of Vim is used as a vehicle to raise awareness and increase donations for a charity. In many ways, then, Vim is a charity project before it is an open source project.

                                                                                                                  With that being said, piggygbacking of Vim is “worse” than piggybacking off of other software. Hobbyist software exists to be used, raise the profile of the author(s), etc. The “mission” of that software is to be used. The “mission” of Vim is to raise money for needy children in Uganda. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be paid for your software if that’s what you want, but that’s not what Vim’s authors wanted. If the authors of Onivim were to, say, donate 10% or something of their proceeds to those children, I would be 100% on board with this…but it at least appears as though they are taking a project designed to help charity and making a profit from it.

                                                                                                                  (Note that I’m playing Devil’s Advocate here. I’m not particularly invested in either side of the debate.)

                                                                                                                  1. 3

                                                                                                                    Vim was used to write Google, and they make billions and billions off that. Is that not worse than spending a few bucks for someone’s time?

                                                                                                                    I don’t understand this argument.

                                                                                                                    1. 3

                                                                                                                      I don’t think Vim is created for the Uganda charity, it just so happens that Bram does and cares about both. But you’ll have to ask Bram to be sure.

                                                                                                                      I’m also not so sure if Omivim would really take out a significant chunk of the donations. It’s not that they get that many donations anyway (I did a detailed summary a while ago)

                                                                                                                      Either way, the linked post doesn’t make any of these arguments; it merely asserts that profit==bad.

                                                                                                                      1. 2

                                                                                                                        Either way, the linked post doesn’t make any of these arguments; it merely asserts that profit==bad.

                                                                                                                        Profit is bad. The only way people get rich is off the unpaid wages of the workers.

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                                                                                                                          Whever my wife asks what I want to do today I always say “help realize class consciousness and establish a dictatorship of the proletariat.”

                                                                                                                          We’re still married after 11 years so I’m assuming she either agrees with me or has given up.

                                                                                                                      2. 1

                                                                                                                        In many ways, then, Vim is a charity project before it is an open source project.

                                                                                                                        Before I read this, I had never seen Vim as “a project designed to help charity” and I hadn’t even heard of the Uganda thing. And I’ve used Vim for … many years. (So, arguably, the existence of Onivim brings more attention to this charity.)

                                                                                                                        There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be paid for your software if that’s what you want, but that’s not what Vim’s authors wanted.

                                                                                                                        Is this actually in Vim’s license? To me, it just seems as though Vim’s authors don’t want to be paid themselves for their work; there’s no indication that they think this should apply to everyone else.

                                                                                                                      3. 3

                                                                                                                        I think you misunderstand me. By not supporting Onivim, I mean, not making contributions in the form of issues or pull requests. I never mentioned anything about the profit they make from distributing Onivim because you can make your own free (as in price) builds.

                                                                                                                        What you are suggesting is, “Open source software doesn’t make money, go proprietary instead!”. This is simply not the way to go, there is no sense of community here. Devs should try to sell the service and not the product. This is a tried and tested model, followed by the likes of RedHat and IBM. Please do look at business models of open source projects, they exist.

                                                                                                                        I also want readers to realize that, Onivim was born out of free (as in freedom) and open source projects like neovim (oni1 was a gui for neovim) and vim.

                                                                                                                        A couple of other popular misconceptions in your post:

                                                                                                                        1. There is nothing stopping devs from earning from free (as in freedom) software. Donations aren’t the only source of income.
                                                                                                                        2. Their proprietary license prevents other devs from contributing, and goes against the spirit of open source. If my pull request doesn’t get merged for some reason, there is no way for me to share my version with others!
                                                                                                                        3. The bread analogy does not work. Software is different from bread, you can make copies of software. So the supermarket would say, “here are the ingredients (source code), make it yourself, or purchase one for $2, feel free to add new ingredients and share it with others!”

                                                                                                                        I didn’t quite understand this:

                                                                                                                        Vim was used to write Google, and they make billions and billions off that.

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                                                                                                                          Devs should try to sell the service and not the product. This is a tried and tested model,

                                                                                                                          Let’s say I write a super-secure PNG decoder library. It is faster than libpng, is a drop-in replacement for libpng, and has zero security flaws. How do I sell that as a service? There is a real funding problem for software infrastructure that cannot easily be made into a service.

                                                                                                                          As someone interested in bootstrapping (e.g. making a product and selling it on the side), I’ve gradually realized that programmers in general are an awful target market. They’re averse to change, don’t understand the value of their money WRT time, don’t always have purchasing power, and heavily favor low-quality/free solutions (e.g. OSS).

                                                                                                                          FWIW I’d pay for a copy of Vim that I didn’t have to screw around with for hours in order for it to be pleasant. This is coming from someone who has used Vim for a long time. With each passing year I detest the “infinite configurability as long as your time is free!” idea, because my time is never free, and I’d rather be actually making things instead of configuring software to help me write software.

                                                                                                                          1. 1

                                                                                                                            heavily favor low-quality/free solutions (e.g. OSS).

                                                                                                                            If you think that an FOSS project and a closed source program are comparable goods in any meaningful way then you are failing to understand the products in question. Perhaps before you blame your consumers, you should evaluate what their incentives are, and what the product provides differently other than “free as in money”. You can’t meaningfully break into any market with the attitude of “The consumers are wrong”, instead you need to actually evaluate why they hold the opinions they do and what shapes their preferences.

                                                                                                                            1. 1

                                                                                                                              That’s why I’m not actually a bootstrapper.

                                                                                                                              But I do see these threads and there’s a crab like mentality where people get all weird at the idea that they’d have to pay for things, esp around dev tools.

                                                                                                                              1. 1

                                                                                                                                I think the fear of selling the product isn’t rooted in having to pay for something, but rather that the product and the code that gets run on your machine becomes a trade secret. The other aspect is that when code is locked down, if the business owner goes away or sells the company, I cannot rely on that tool anymore. If the tool were instead open , theoretically I could get many many more years out of it. Emacs is 43 years old and I would not be surprised if 43 years later it will still have a bustling community.

                                                                                                                                1. 1

                                                                                                                                  That’s fair. How do I sell dev tools that aren’t cloud based, then?

                                                                                                                                  1. 2

                                                                                                                                    Service does not mean “cloud”. Service can be support. Service can be a tailored solution. There are a lot of ways you can go. Red Hat for example is not strictly speaking cloud based.

                                                                                                                                    1. 1

                                                                                                                                      There’s a few successful (that is, making money) products in this category which have a ‘source available’ pro edition (react on rails, sidekiq).

                                                                                                                              2. 1

                                                                                                                                You lost it at drop-in replacement. It needs to require or at least warrant some service, and be good enough to be worth it.

                                                                                                                                1. 3

                                                                                                                                  I’m sure imgur.com might appreciate it, as their business relies on accepting potentially malicious input.

                                                                                                                                  Why wouldn’t we pay money for good software components? What’s the difference between charging money for access to an API and integrating a paid-for component into a larger system?

                                                                                                                                  1. 1

                                                                                                                                    Ok, sure, if your lib is closed-source, works well and is api-compatible. Then you sell licenses, not a service.

                                                                                                                                    And I’m ok with paying money for good things :)

                                                                                                                                  2. 1

                                                                                                                                    Offer a support contract. I think many businesses would go for a PNG decoder with paid support over an otherwise-identical PNG decoder with a license fee.

                                                                                                                                2. 1

                                                                                                                                  Devs should try to sell the service and not the product. This is a tried and tested model, followed by the likes of RedHat and IBM. Please do look at business models of open source projects, they exist.

                                                                                                                                  Super profitable model for big corporations.

                                                                                                                                3. 1

                                                                                                                                  Heh. Using bread for your example is quite pertinent.

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                                                                                                                                    I can’t see how it’s unfair. There’s a difference between releasing a buggy product that everyone can contribute to and benefit from, and selling a buggy proprietary product. If it’s not usable, why are you even selling it to begin with?

                                                                                                                                    1. 1

                                                                                                                                      Well, using an open source tool in the way it’s supposed to be used is something else than extending it and selling it. That being said, if Bram wanted to avoid this, he should have used the GNU license or something similar (which basically states that you’re free to use, modify, and distribute if you publish your code under the same license).

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                                                                                                                                      If the basic critique is, “I want Emacs/Vim/Atom/… to work like Sublime”, then yes, Sublime will do a better job. Maybe if you try real hard and use the best elisp-fu you’ve got, you could get somewhere close, but honestly, I think that’s just as much the telos of Emacs (specifically) as an NES Emulator.

                                                                                                                                      Nevertheless, I’ll attempt a defence of Emacs:

                                                                                                                                      Another problem with this pile-of-hacks design is that nothing was consistent or discoverable.

                                                                                                                                      While hacks usually have a negative connotation, as in not well designed, I think of Emacs being more like a miracle hack (as in the fact that Emacs is usable contradicts all known laws of computer science). It has some good fundamental abstractions that if employed will reward the user. Take for instance discoverability. This is true, if you haven’t engaged with the Emacs help system. You can easily see what key is bound to what command, open the command documentation, find out about options through it’s hypertext system, etc. Enter a prefix key (such as C-x, M-s, …) and then C-h (for help) to generate a listing of command with (for the most part) telling names.

                                                                                                                                      I will admit that consistency is a different issue. AucTeX, markdown-mode and Org all use different key bindings to generate markup. But on the flip side, all modes deriving from special-mode have a lot of keys and customisation in common. So this is a active design issue, not a problem of the “pile-of-hacks design”. Other examples might be that by defining the forward-sexp-function or turning on subword-mode, basic text-concepts can be modified, while keeping the keybindings for quite a few commands (since for example kill-sexp is based on forward-sexp that in turn uses the value of forward-sexp-function).

                                                                                                                                      Also, regarding “pile-of-hacks design” – I have the feeling that the more transparent a system is, the more one is inclined to critique it. Think of a friend trying to explain a philosophical idea of his, as compared to him trying to explain an “established” concept. Same with people disregarding Linux/Free Software, because it wasn’t developed by a serious company. Just by obfuscating the source, the idea might seem more credible, without changing the idea. So too, will Emacs “open door” policy let you see some of the rough edges and elegant “hacks”. From my knowledge of Sublime, you are shielded from the internals, invited rather to enjoy the possible illusion of order and cleanness – essentially promoting a “consumer” rather than a “user” attitude towards ones own tools.

                                                                                                                                      I tried to do this in Emacs once, and had to spend a ton of Googling and investigating M-x listings:

                                                                                                                                      • Look up how to search in project without regex (I’ve never figured out a way to do this)
                                                                                                                                      • Look up the shortcut for pasting into the minibuffer (I use Evil so I can’t use p like usual).
                                                                                                                                      • Hope that the command is Helm-based so I can edit my query, otherwise re-type everything to narrow it down.
                                                                                                                                      • Look up how to replace in project without regex, oops it’s an entirely different command from searching.
                                                                                                                                      • Re-enter everything into the new command and run it.

                                                                                                                                      My suggestion, use find-grep and add the -F flag (for “fixed strings”). A buffer should pop up with all the matches, you can navigate these by jumping to the exact matches with C-c <right>/<left>. Pasting should just be C-y, unless Evil/Spacem. unbinds this (which is why knowing the platform your higher-order-platform is based on is helpful – just like with grep earlier).

                                                                                                                                      Replacing could ether be done with a conditional macro (see kbd-macro-query) or with an extension like wgrep.

                                                                                                                                      Also, re-entering/editing commands doesn’t require Helm. Usually M-n/M-p do what you mean.

                                                                                                                                      The main point is again, know the mindset of the tool you’re using. I tried VSCode a while back and disturbed that I couldn’t use it like Emacs – it then occurred to me that this is the same complaint I hear from Emacs-newcomers, and I had to laugh.

                                                                                                                                      There’s three main ways for working with files in Emacs: buffers, files and windows.

                                                                                                                                      Uhh, not quite. It’s more like you have buffers that might refer to files that might be displayed in windows. It’s all the same thing.

                                                                                                                                      I tried using buffers but the problem is that buffer switching is slow and difficult.

                                                                                                                                      If you enter anything, anywhere, you’re using a buffer. Other than that, C-x b for a specific switch, C-x C-b for a list and C-x <right>/<left> make buffer actually quite comfortable, imo. Especially with an enhanced completing-read frontend such as Ivy or Helm that might even integrate “virtual buffers” (eg. recently closed buffers) with flexible regular expressions, and quick filtering.

                                                                                                                                      Navigating using normal find-file and helm mechanics has a similar problem: switching is just slow. It takes a lot of key strokes, and those strokes sometimes involve waiting for a list to appear that you can read.

                                                                                                                                      This has been an annoyance for me too, but recently I’ve started using counsel-find-jump to select any file below the current file system hierarchy. But generally this can be annoying.

                                                                                                                                      With Sublime Text I use tabs, which are amazing. I can switch quickly and directly between files with cmd+1 to cmd+9, see all the files I’m working with at a glance, and navigate with the mouse if I want to.

                                                                                                                                      Emacs is actually mouse friendly – maybe even more so since it can distinct between a quite wide range of different mouse events. But if the main point is that you can quickly switch between a set number of buffers, this is just an example of a “consumer attitude” I mentioned before (which surprises me since this guy has participated quite a lot to Spacemacs). There are many ways you could go about this issue in fact. Write a elisp function that uses something like (nth n (buffer-list)), use registers/bookmarks, … If tabs are “amazing”, then this really only speaks of a rather inefficient usage of the default facilities that Emacs has to offer.

                                                                                                                                      Yes, Emacs has plugins to add tabs but they are hacks. They’re ugly, slow, break when used with other plugins, don’t have good keyboard shortcuts, and display tons of useless buffers I don’t care about.

                                                                                                                                      Here just the bold part (my emphasis): You’re ideal keybindings are always two steps away:

                                                                                                                                      1. a good keybinding
                                                                                                                                      2. a define key

                                                                                                                                      you might guess that the real art is in the first step.

                                                                                                                                      They look super efficient since they’re furiously typing things or navigating directories, but often the file they are opening is one that they looked at just a minute ago and would have taken me a single keystroke to switch to.

                                                                                                                                      I would want to claim that most text editing doesn’t consist of “switching between directories and files”. Then again, narrowing by typing the name really doesn’t that that much time compared to a “single keystroke” (that’s still limited to only 8 buffers and requires a possibly diagonal keystroke from control to 7 for example). Especially with extensions/external tools like counsel-rg, jumping anywhere in a project is really easy.


                                                                                                                                      Anyway, this had gone on for too long – it’s more of a blog post in it’s own right actually. I didn’t even realize how long this became, since I didn’t write in all in one go, but to not just appear as a Emacs maniac, I want to clarify that my main issue is the stance towards software that the author seems to have, especially towards free software as a practical software philosophy, that disturbed me. But in the end, my main point was said in the first sentence: Don’t expect the best when you force one paradigms over another tool.

                                                                                                                                      1. 6

                                                                                                                                        I’m a power Emacs user (no Spacemacs for me like the author though), and I found myself agreeing with many of his points, but most of all two that are there, but not explicitly spelled out: (1) defaults matter, (2) optimize the common case.

                                                                                                                                        Regarding defaults, the best Emacs packages I’ve installed in the past few years is Ivy and its Counsel companions. The reason why I love these packages so is that I have just two configurations for them; otherwise, the out-of-the-box experience is exactly what I want. I’ve put a few of my favorite commands (e.g., counsel-rg, counsel-git, counsel-recentf, swiper, etc.) on easy-to-access shortcuts and that’s the extent of my effort configuring Ivy. In contrast, I tried Helm a few years ago (back when I used Ido), but I quickly gave up because, like the author, I found myself putting in too much effort to get the behaviour that I wanted, and the result was just crappy.

                                                                                                                                        Ivy and Counsel are also great examples of optimizing the common case. When I use counsel-rg, it’s smart enough to find the root of my Git project and start the search from there. I didn’t need to configure this and it’s exactly what I want.

                                                                                                                                        I agree with your point that you need to use an editor the way it’s meant to be used; but maybe Emacs needs to evolve a bit. I was encouraged by the addition of line-number-mode in Emacs 26: many users requested that feature, some of the old hands pushed back, but in the end it was added to provide a faster and more solid experience for all. There’s currently discussion of a built-in indentation highlighting feature for Emacs 27. I find that this is the kind of work that Emacs needs to do to remain relevant: listen to users, provide the common functionality out of the box, and make the defaults so good that most people don’t need to modify them.

                                                                                                                                        1. 1

                                                                                                                                          I agree with your point that you need to use an editor the way it’s meant to be used; but maybe Emacs needs to evolve a bit.

                                                                                                                                          I don’t see why there should be a contradiction between these two goals. Using Emacs as Emacs is exactly improving on it. But yes, I too think that the defaults are suboptimal, and should be reconsidered – thought I don’t think that this means that the users shouldn’t be invited to modify them.

                                                                                                                                        2. 4

                                                                                                                                          Don’t expect the best when you force one paradigms over another tool.

                                                                                                                                          I think the article is a response to the countless people who think that editors other than Vim and Emacs aren’t as good or efficient, when clearly, Sublime Text is better for the overwhelming majority of people – even including power users. I have used and loved Emacs extensively, and it’s a wonderful Lisp machine, but not a very polished editor. It’s hard to describe; everything just feels a bit clunky.

                                                                                                                                          There are plenty of people who give unfair criticism to Emacs, and I don’t like that, but this article is fair.

                                                                                                                                          1. 1

                                                                                                                                            That argument would make sense, and I would agree, but it was sections like

                                                                                                                                            They look super efficient since they’re furiously typing things or navigating directories, but often the file they are opening is one that they looked at just a minute ago and would have taken me a single keystroke to switch to.

                                                                                                                                            that (in my eyes) try to imply that Emacs/Vim/etc. are all just editors with a lot of typing overhead, where I had to disagree.

                                                                                                                                            1. 1

                                                                                                                                              Sure, I agree that’s more of a matter of preference. But the fact that Emacs doesn’t support tabs (in any non-clunky, non-hacky way) is a good example of how limited it is by its historical baggage.

                                                                                                                                              1. 1

                                                                                                                                                Yeah, there’s a lot of historical baggage, where tabs are the least-bad example. What I think is more annoying is that the point always has to be visible in the current buffer. There’s something about the cursor and the point being connected on older terminal frontends, maybe even with the current curses interface. Or that C-i/C-m/… can’t be rebound without changing tab, enter, etc. does.

                                                                                                                                                The only qualification I would like to add to that would be to keep the architecture/concept of Emacs (as a lisp interpreter with text-editing side effects) mentally distinct from it’s particular implementations – with all it’s achievements and faults on both sides.

                                                                                                                                        1. 4

                                                                                                                                          Great post. Sublime Text is really the best cross-platform editor, hands down. Clean design, fast, feels lightweight…

                                                                                                                                          nearly everything I contributed was fixing a bug or annoyance I encountered while trying to get something done, often writing the elisp to fix an earlier problem.

                                                                                                                                          Yes, this is the problem with Emacs… it’s too fun to configure the editor that you don’t do any actual work.

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                                                                                                                                            There are two main types of emails on the internet: plaintext and HTML.

                                                                                                                                            What about MIME? You can just send both as multipart/alternative, which is what many clients actually do.

                                                                                                                                            The former is strongly preferred, but often isn’t set up by default.

                                                                                                                                            There is a reason for that: even the most basic typography such as bold text isn’t supported. In addition many clients render with proportional fonts by default, and stuff like aligned tables are essentially impossible in plain text email.

                                                                                                                                            Look, I’m not a huge fan of HTML email either, I send plain text emails, but it does exist for a reason, and “always use plain text” without addressing the reasons it exists doesn’t strike me as very constructive.

                                                                                                                                            I remember a “text/rtf” MIME type being proposed at some point (IIRC in some RFC, not related to Microsoft’s RTF format) which is essentially a stripped down version of HTML for email. That never really went anywhere though. Something like markdown rendering might also work.

                                                                                                                                            1. 6

                                                                                                                                              Interestingly enough Gnus will highlight text as bold in a markdown-esqe way, just like it makes links clickable. After all, Markdown’s syntax was just a (kind-of) formalisation of the style that was commonly used for email exchange.

                                                                                                                                              1. 4

                                                                                                                                                It does /italics/ and _underlining_ too. It also has a whole bunch of other cool features, like linkifying/buttonizing things like C-h v gnus-button-alist RET or (info "(elisp) Integer Basics"). Highly recommend anyone using Gnus to skim through gnus-art.el at some point.

                                                                                                                                              2. 4

                                                                                                                                                text/enriched, RFC 1563. I’m pretty sure Apple Mail used to use it before they switched to HTML.

                                                                                                                                                1. 1

                                                                                                                                                  Ah yes, this is what I meant. Thanks. I don’t know why I remembered it as text/rtf.

                                                                                                                                                2. 2

                                                                                                                                                  Sometimes I wish that basic formatting, like bold/italic/underlined, were part of Unicode, in the form of characters similar to ANSI escape codes, and you’d be able to use bold text everywhere.

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                                                                                                                                                    𝔜𝔬𝔲 𝔠𝔞𝔫.

                                                                                                                                                    1. 4

                                                                                                                                                      Please don’t do this, it badly breaks screen readers.

                                                                                                                                                      1. 4

                                                                                                                                                        It could say mathimatical fraktur “you can” end mathematical fractur or something. I mean honestly this also makes screen readers a pain for reading mathematical texts as well so I don’t think that it’s completely reasonable to call this “working as intended”. It’s really working in the laziest and simplest possible interpretation. The goal shouldn’t be to only use characters that screen readers currently support, it should be to fund and sponsor screen reader development such that they can be used. If each character over and entire word or sentence uses a character modifier, it’s really stupid for it to repeat it over and over. Additionally, you don’t need to say “Mathematical Fraktur” because there’s only one Fraktur, kinda hinting at how this screenreader is busted. NVDA has a thing where you can flip on to normalize the characters, which is a perfectly sensible solution.

                                                                                                                                                        It is important to point out that it does badly break voiceover though, and probably JAWS so good catch. This is coming from someone who uses screenreaders at times. Yes it sucks to have a busted screenreader, no the solution is not to avoid using anything that breaks the busted screenreader.

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                                                                                                                                                          Yes it sucks to have a busted screenreader, no the solution is not to avoid using anything that breaks the busted screenreader.

                                                                                                                                                          Totally – but also we have a really well-supported near-universal markup language that works for making text bold/italic/underlined right now and not just for latin letters and it also works well with all sorts of existing display and indexing systems and MUAs and MTAs and it’s called HTML.

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                                                                                                                                                            fair. When I don’t have it I’ll probably resume abusing unicode.

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                                                                                                                                                      you can encode underlined and bold text with overstriking. for example a bold a would be a^Ha and an underlined b would be b^H_ . i wouldn’t do it in email though.

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                                                                                                                                                      Microsoft Outlook actually supports “Rich Text”

                                                                                                                                                      https://support.office.com/en-us/article/change-the-message-format-to-html-rich-text-format-or-plain-text-338a389d-11da-47fe-b693-cf41f792fefa

                                                                                                                                                      Which they claim is supported only by:

                                                                                                                                                      Microsoft Exchange Client versions 4.0 and 5.0

                                                                                                                                                      All versions of Outlook

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                                                                                                                                                        Yes, that’s the RTF-based format Exchange used to use.

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                                                                                                                                                      …and following Betteridge’s law of headlines, even the author says the answer is no (albeit in the footnote at the end of the article, behind a door with a sign saying “beware of the leopard”).

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                                                                                                                                                        Well that is the Headline Answer Department.

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                                                                                                                                                          Is this really an example of Betteridge’s law? The author paints a picture for us, one that might or might not be true. It’s not a simple “no” answer.

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                                                                                                                                                            😈 I don’t actually believe it was a false flag…

                                                                                                                                                            Yes.

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                                                                                                                                                              But my point is that the article doesn’t conclude that the answer is no, unlike typical Betteridge’s law examples. Rather, it presents a good argument for the opposite (even if the author admits that he doesn’t believe it).

                                                                                                                                                              You can’t summarize the article with “no”, and you can’t change the title to “Go’s Try Proposal Wasn’t a False Flag”, making this not an example of Betteridge’s law, in my eyes.

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                                                                                                                                                                You’re right, this is all reverse psychology. The author is actually playing 10 dimensional chess with our minds. Betteridge’s law doesn’t apply in the cases where you thought that think that you thought but you didn’t think that you thought but instead was made to think that you had thought that you think so. It all makes sense now.

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                                                                                                                                                                  the cases where you thought that think that you think

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                                                                                                                                                          except… that’s not what a false flag is…

                                                                                                                                                          A false flag operation is flying/painting/wearing someone else’s flag with intent to deceive an adversary about who is engaging in the operation for some strategic purpose. (Usually to keep the enemy off their guard or avoid political blame.) The who is important. The Go team neither raised nor withdrew the propsal while pretending to be someone else.

                                                                                                                                                          What TFA describes is merely ulterior motive.

                                                                                                                                                          Further, and I have zero horses in this game since I don’t know Go, the propsal review committee dude stated pretty well why the proposal was being declined: communication and collaboration around the proposal sucked and it was either solving a problem that a lot of people didn’t believe was actually a real problem, or it didn’t solve the problem well enough, I can’t tell. Hard to see how that’s a bad thing. First rule of language improvements should always be, first do no harm. Far better to miss a potentially useful feature than to have to deal with the consequences of a poorly executed one for decades after.

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                                                                                                                                                            At this point, I think the meaning of “false flag” has faded so much that almost no one bat an eye when reading the article.

                                                                                                                                                            Further, it’s not just a proposal with an ulterior motive; the proposal in itself was false and untruthful (if we accept the theory).

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                                                                                                                                                            On OpenBSD, I usually edit man pages with vi, convert it to text (with ANSI escape sequences) and view it in my modified version of less that reloads the file in-place upon receiving SIGHUP.

                                                                                                                                                            Via watch, the last two steps are performed whenever I save the man page.

                                                                                                                                                            But if I had a Mac, I think I’d use this program.

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                                                                                                                                                              1. “ets” or “et cetera”
                                                                                                                                                              2. “libb”
                                                                                                                                                              3. “char” (as in charcoal)
                                                                                                                                                              4. “eff-sick”
                                                                                                                                                              5. “skeema” / ”skeemas” probably
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                                                                                                                                                                Here is a version I did in C: https://github.com/jocap/repl.c

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                                                                                                                                                                  Nice and clean. :)