Threads for thufie

  1. 2

    I am still using my librebooted Thinkpad x200 with different user environments for personal/work use. It has 8GB of RAM, an SSD, and a usb 3.0 express card expansion. I like the form factor and I/O available, but now that it is 2022 I might start thinking about a device that support HDMI…

    I’m not really in a rush to buy anything new though. If I could afford it I’d definitely be eyeing an MNT Reform laptop. Though I might wait to see more third parties adopt the design and fabricate new boards for it. I want a laptop that can be maintained like a kalishnikov.

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      Opinions on GNU and the Free Software Foundation being listed in the acknowledgements?

      1. 1

        I think it’s fair to acknowledge GNU when using GNU tools/programs in a project like this.

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        If this is trained on copyleft code under CDDL, CC-By-SA, GPL, etc then presumably the code it outputs would be a derived work, as would the code you use it in?

        Most code is licensed to impose some restrictions on use & distribution, from retaining copyright messages to patent indemnification. I wonder how that was overcome here.

        Worst case it’s a really interesting machine learning copyright case study.

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          Would it be reasonable to say that anybody who unknowingly writes code that is similar to copyleft code that they’ve at some point read is producing a derived work? I realize it’s not exactly the same scenario, but presuming the AI consumes and transforms the original work in some fashion and doesn’t just copy it then it seems that it wouldn’t constitute a derived work by the same measure.

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            The FSF told us that when we’re working on Octave, do not read Matlab source code at all, much of which is available for inspection, and do not use Matlab at all either. They in effect told us to do clean-room reverse engineering. Someone else could run code on Matlab and tell us what Matlab did and then we could try to replicate it in Octave, but it had to be a different person, and they had to just tell us what happened. Using Matlab documentation to implement Octave code was also considered safe.

            Yes, copyright cases have been lost over people being told that their derivative work is very similar and was produced with knowledge of the copyrighted work. I’m thinking about musical riffs in particular. Overtly stating you’re reading copyrighted work to produce derivative work seems to put github in weird legal waters, but I assume they have lots of lawyers that told them otherwise, so this is probably going to be okay, or they’re ready to fight off the smalltime free software authors who try to assert their copyleft.

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              IANAL, but there are definitely questions here. There’s a history of questions around clean-room design, when you need it, what it gets you, etc. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clean_room_design

              1. 5

                I was chatting with someone on Twitter about this. If clean room design is “demonstrably uncontaminated by any knowledge of the proprietary techniques” then Copilot being a black box seems to not fit that definition. What comes out of it has no clear provenance, since it could be synthetic or a straight copy from various sources. The Copilot FAQ on Protecting Originality has already demonstrated occasionally (“0.1% of the time”) copying code directly from the copyrighted corpus.

              2. 6

                But in this case the author hasn’t written the code. It wasn’t a creative process that accidentally ended up looking like another work. They’ve taken a copy supplied by the Copilot.

                Copyright laws are centered around creative work, and were written with humans in mind. I don’t think “AI” would count as a creative thinker for the purpose of the law. One could argue that existing AIs are just obfuscated databases with a fancy query language.

                1. 1

                  The original comment was in regards to considering the code being output as a derived work. My comment wasn’t about the consumer of the AI output, it was about whether or not the AI output itself would constitute a derived work. I was making the comparison between the AI output and some unknowingly written copyleft similar work.

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                  I have been warned to keep gpl code off slides because employers have policies about this

                  1. 2

                    Wouldn’t GPL code on slides mean that your slides are now subject to the GPL?

                    Assuming GPLv2, how does clause 2c apply to “power point code”. Power point reads “commands” (space bar) interactively when you “run” (open) it. Are you required to “to print or display an announcement including an appropriate copyright notice and a notice that there is no warranty (or else, saying that you provide a warranty) and that users may redistribute the program under these conditions, and telling the user how to view a copy of this License”?

                    I hate to say it, but the employers policy is paranoid, but probably sensible (especially if you work for them).

                3. 6

                  On HN, the author of the announcement blogpost claims, that “jurisprudence” (whatever that means) and common understanding in the ML community is that “ML training is fair use”. I have my doubts about that, basically along what you wrote below about cleanroom design/rev-eng. But IANAL, and I suspect it will need some lawyering action to sort this out one way or another. Personally, I also suspect that might be one of the reasons they kept it as a limited preview for now.

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                    Copying an idea from someone else: the litmus test is easy: will MS train the model on their wind32 and azure repos? If not, why?

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                      Similarly, if someone else were to train a model on leaked MS code, how quickly would the cease and desists start arriving?

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                      Hmm, that sounds very… dubious to me.

                      Like, what exactly is “machine learning training”? Is building an n-gram model fair use? What if I train my n-gram model on too little data so that it’ll recreate something which has a relatively high level of similarity to the copyrighted training set? Many statistical machine learning models can be viewed as a lossy encoding of the source text.

                      It seems plausible to me that the “copilot” will auto-generate blocks of source code that’s very similar to existing code. Proving that the AI “came up with it on its own” (whatever that even means when we’re talking about a bunch of matrixes transforming into into output) and didn’t “copy it” from something copyrighted seems extremely legally difficult.

                      If machine learning training is “fair use”, and the output generated by the model is owned by the maker of the model, then overfitting ML models becomes automatic copyright stripping machines. I wouldn’t mind, but that sounds very weird.

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                      Even if the code used to train wasn’t copyleft, the attribution/license inclusion requirement still stands. And I am quite sure that GitHub doesn’t include all the licenses from all the code repositories they have used to train the model (they say billions of lines, so that’s at least 10k licenses, good luck with that, and their compatibility).

                      1. 4

                        CNPLv6 has a clause explicitly forbidding this.

                        CNPLv6 - 1b “…In addition, where the Work is designed to output a neural network the output of the neural network will be considered an Adaptation for the purpose of this license.”

                        Are there examples of other licenses, besides mine, which explicitly forbid laundering the work of the commons into something proprietary using machine learning?

                      1. 1

                        skips distro recs because that’s always highly subjective, and the starting point shouldn’t matter that much if the focus is on hardening a general linux distro and other comments here already hyperfocus on this

                        Okay so this is reminiscent in content to old guides like #! paranoid security guide, installgentoo wiki, etc. The style is much more professional, which is appreciated. Lots of odd software preferences that come from weird places related to the politics of particular projects (lots of anti-systemd style recommendations, which need to be properly justified in this context) embedded in a very in-depth page containing security hardening information relevant for threat models from random off the shelf malware to state-level espionage concerns that assume physical access. I think that can be a bad thing since there is a lack of scope, but on the whole there is a lot of useful knowledge in here, especially for kernel hardening.

                        TL;DR : I like guides like these since you can just shop around for security tips that fit your threat model, but I don’t share them around in a broader context because if an inexperienced user took too much of this (especially the occasionally odd software preferences) as fitting their needs they will find themselves with a system that suffers from accessibility issues (install gentoo). They need a corresponding guide to threat modeling.

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                          I love these kinds of environments and recreational computing, but I dearly miss having modern control structures to help make my code more readable (and oh god the line numbers and GOTOs). Something like modern non-networked LISP machines may be excellent for teaching younger programmers in an environment where you can interface with the machine more directly than on a modern OS. Or wouldn’t it be neat if a modern language got a supercharged REPL that was a full environment with direct access to emulated hardware like these old machines? I remember as a kid learning to program, some of the biggest hurdles were just wrestling with reading and using APIs correctly, which can seem very arbitrary and syntactically cumbersome to kids and just get in the way of creating and learning.

                          Wonderful interactive article!

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                            My sentiments exactly!

                            The qualities (and failings) of BASIC have been on my mind a lot recently. We definitely lost something, but just reconstructing that same thing is really just nostalgic indulgence.

                            When I saw the Raspi 400 announcement, it immediately struck me what a perfect “BASIC home computer” it would make, particularly if you could have a BASIC-like (doesn’t have to be BASIC, just have the qualities) that starts up more or-less instantly after you turn the machine on. But I don’t really see any of our current software options as being quite there.

                            And then it struck me that my own Objective-S might actually fit the bill (combined with Raspi fast boot). This was a bit of a surprise as I was really working towards different goals.

                            With Polymorphic Identifiers (user-defined URIs in the language), you can easily add direct ways of interacting with the hardware and other resources without arbitrary and hard to remember API calls:

                            pin:20 ← true.
                            pin:20 ← pin:21 not.
                            pin:20 ← pin:21 not and: pin:22
                            

                            Dataflow constraints / permanent assignment can be used to indicate relationships:

                            pin:20 |= pin:21 not and: pin:22.
                            

                            This updates pin:20 whenever pin:21 or pin:22 change. URIs also provide interaction with the filesystem without strings and complex APIs

                            file:hello.txt := 'Hello world!'.
                            var:hello := file:hello.txt.
                            

                            So the BASIC “SAVE” command could be implemented as follows (rough idea sketch), assuming there is a global workspace object that maintains the current program and its name.

                            extension Workspace {
                               -save { 
                                   file:{programName} := self currentProgramText.
                               }
                            }
                            

                            And of course web interaction is similar. Assuming we have a weather service somewhere that provides a temperature for our location, we could write something like the following:

                             pin:21 |=  http://my.weather.com/berlin/temperature floatValue < 0 
                            

                            So we could have a “frost warning”, as maybe a red LED on pin 21 that lights up whenever the reported temperature drops below zero.

                            1. 1

                              When I saw the Raspi 400 announcement, it immediately struck me what a perfect “BASIC home computer” it would make, particularly if you could have a BASIC-like (doesn’t have to be BASIC, just have the qualities) that starts up more or-less instantly after you turn the machine on.

                              There is/was (it’s been removed from their site) a cut-down version of RISC OS (“Pico”) which boots directly into BBC Basic on the Raspberry Pi.

                            2. 1

                              The Pico-8 is pretty much what you’re wishing for. It’s a software emulator of an imaginary console with about the graphics power of an NES, that you program interactively in Lua. People have made a lot of games for it, and at least one (Celeste) has gone on to mainstream success after being ported to “real” systems.

                              I was tempted to play with it, but the idea of editing code on a 320x200 pixel display already gave me a headache.

                              1. 1

                                There are alternatives, if you care.

                            1. 2

                              Scala is a great language, but this seems to focus more on usage metrics and history than the Scala language itself.

                              I’ll tell you in one sentence a major draw to Scala, more than this whole article: Using the parallel collections library along with functional programming to do concurrent operations on large collections. Parallel programming is made trivial. There are concise examples on the overview page in the standard library documentation.

                              https://docs.scala-lang.org/overviews/parallel-collections/overview.html

                              1. 1

                                IME parallel collections are dangerous. In an interactive application any operation expensive enough that they’d be appealing should probably also be cancellable. They’re actually a good example of one of one of Scala’s ills: a random masters thesis bolted onto the language. They don’t mix well with other Scala defaults, like pervasive use of linked lists, which must be copied into a vector by .par.

                                I’m sure they have their uses, but I think that they belong in a library rather than the core language.

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                                  I’m sure they have their uses, but I think that they belong in a library rather than the core language.

                                  Seems like the parallel collections have indeed been factored out into a library.

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                                I’m surprised this is being received this well, when it should be apparent to anyone that the license is practically unworkable, and quite sloppy in legal terms. Your source is public for the good guys, and you tell the bad guys, “don’t you use this!”. To properly enforce this, you would require user-tracking like actual propitiatory software (not that the license denies this fact), which is not trivial to begin with, and especially so for a non-commercial entity. And that’s assuming you can enforce it in the first place.

                                I think it goes without saying, that this should not be used for any serious project. You isolate yourself from the entirety of human software progress, and just like a revolution surrounded by adversary forces, the chances are slim that you’ll get anywhere.

                                Ultimately, even if you agree with the spirit of the license, you should consider replacing the moralist particularism with an universalism, such as that of the GPL. We don’t live in revolutionary times, and capitalism will (for better or worse) be a reality of our society for the time to come. Copyleft licenses are the only ones that transform “egoism” into “altruism”, that align the private interest with the common interest. In my eyes, that is far more subversive than whatever the indent is of this license.

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                                  I don’t really disagree with your comment, but I think it misses the point a bit: this is activism, not an attempt to build a software ecosystem. Generally speaking, people aren’t too concerned with this kind of pragmatism when it comes activism.

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                                    I get your point, but the activism begins and ends with choosing the license. After that, it would seem to me that you’ve only got the software to use, with it’s limitations.

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                                      I can’t say I personally care much to join in either, for the reasons you mentioned as well as some others. But I’m all for people expressing their beliefs in their own ways as long as it doesn’t unreasonably interfere with other people. Personally I would phrase any criticism as “here are reasons why I wouldn’t use it/join this: [..]” rather than “this is bad”.

                                    2. 1

                                      For activism to be affective it needs to do something right?

                                      This could be used by hobby projects, but the best way to spread word on this license would be to be in a useful project. As currently written it’s almost impossible to be used by any private org since it requires equal share ownership by all “workers” that includes anyone who performs work and really ambiguous. Is a company allowed to use janitorial services without giving their workers equity? Etc etc

                                      This seems very meta until there are projects using it, and the license doesn’t seem like it will be used.

                                      “ 3. If the User is an organization with owners, then all owners are workers and all workers are owners with equal equity and/or equal vote.”

                                    3. 23

                                      Exactly. Capitalists, i.e. “big tech”, avoid the AGPLv3 (and GPLv3) already, so that seems to be quite effective at preventing them from using it…

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                                        The GPL3 licenses don’t forbid any practice or field of endeavour, and yet those organisations self-select out of the field. That makes it a much more principled and subtle tool than a license that says “boo, capital sucks”.

                                      2. 36

                                        To me it’s more than just unworkable, it’s goes against what I believe is valuable and good. To me it is slightly disgusting to be honest. And I would consider such license to be a step towards evil.

                                        But that aside, I think it will only spark purity spirals between some hard-core socialists and communists, and they will start claiming infringements on one another. Which maybe is a good outcome.

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                                          it’s goes against what I believe is valuable and good

                                          What do you mean by that?

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                                            Well, people here hate some of Apple or Microsoft licensing. They pull updates on you, spy on you. You don’t own the software that you bought. The way I interpreted it - this license is worse than that.

                                            Imagine buying some software licensed under this (it allows for commerce). You don’t own that software unless you promise to live a certain way. And what is that way - you cannot make certain kinds of voluntary associations with other people (i.e. offer your services and ask for something you want in return, as that would be capitalism), and you cannot join or help the police (and wtf is that?!). If you do, you must abandon using the software, even thou you gave something in exchange for it.

                                            I do support their right to do anything they want and write any license they want of course. But as for being involved with anything licensed under it - no thank you.

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                                              (i.e. offer your services and ask for something you want in return, as that would be capitalism)

                                              That’s not what Capitalism is. Capitalism is an exploitative relationship wherein a class of people who own the tools and means necessary to produce enter into a forcibly non-equitable relationship with others who use those tools to produce.

                                              What’s described there is a fair exchange between an individual who (ostensibly) owns their means of production, with another person who wants that good or service. It’s about who gets to keep the value of their labor – in Capitalism, you go to work for Charlie Capitalist at Acme Corp, you make software or widgets or whatever for them all day and generate something Charlie Capitalist can have their other employees sell – Charlie Capitalist rarely does anything directly – generating some amount of money. You can think of this as a chain of employees generating X$ of value, in the simplest case that chain is exactly you -> capitalist, but generally it’s fairly long.

                                              So far, so good, if you have a chain of n people and generate X$ of value – what is the proper distribution of that value? There are lots of arguments about proportional amounts of work, but for the moment let’s keep things simple and say you make a widget, and Sally Salesperson sells it for X$, the only two people bringing value to the thing are you and Sally, so the natural expectation would be you get X/2$ and she the same.

                                              But that’s not what happens, instead, you get paid some flat rate Y$ and Sally some flat rate Z$ such that Y + Z < X. Charlie takes the difference.

                                              So in essence, Charlie is not paying you, you are paying him for the privilege of making Widgets for him. Because if you made them for yourself, you would split that difference with Sally and make a little (or more typically, a lot) more.

                                              “But Charlie is taking all the risk!” Perhaps, but let’s look at a real example of a Capitalist at work. Bezos.

                                              If Bezos, tomorrow, wanted to try a new venture, and invested 100 million of his own dollars into it, is Bezos really taking any risk? I mean, he’s got billions of dollars – 100 million barely registers. So there’s no real material risk to Bezos, but, if his venture is successful, he will extract that 100 million and likely more from the people he hires. Is this efficient?

                                              The argument in favor of capitalism is that it is the most efficient means of distributing resources, but I’d argue it’s abysmal at doing exactly that. We generate more than enough food to feed the world, but we don’t because there is no profit in it, poor people can’t pay for that food, so we don’t give it to them. We can generate plenty of power in clean ways via Nuclear and Renewable sources, but we don’t because it’s not profitable[1]. We can provide healthcare and education for absolutely free if we wanted to, but we are artificially limited by people who are resisting the force-of-production for their own gain.

                                              In an anti-capitalist world, you would absolutely be allowed to sell your services to another person for a fair wage – that kind of interaction is exactly what we want. The issue right now is that you (and the majority of other people who actually do shit for a living) are being exploited by a system to artificially inflate the wallets of capitalists, who take no real risk and experience no pain in failure – while you and I suffer their failures immensely.

                                              [1] Nuclear energy is the only viable energy strategy and I will fight to the pain anyone who disagrees.

                                              1. 33

                                                Capitalism is an exploitative relationship…

                                                Well, if we start with definitions like that, then the conclusion is already defined in the assumptions.

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                                                  I didn’t define it that way, I made a claim and then showed why it was true. That’s called a ‘thesis’, the rest of the post is the demonstration of that thesis.

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                                                    Sorry for not engaging you after you wrote your long post. But honestly I do not see anything meaningful coming from this discussion. For one - I do not care about capitalism that much, and your post is a bashing of capitalism from the left. The only difference is that I would bash it from the right.

                                                    I think the only substantive dialog to be had here is about how we interpret this statement:

                                                    1. The User is one of the following: a. An individual person, working for themselves

                                                    I think this excludes me offering contractor services to (say) CocaCola. If it does - my point stands, as the license would not allow certain types of voluntary associations between people. And if it doesn’t forbid that - then I am really unsure what it tries to say there.

                                                    1. 14

                                                      Unfortunately, any discussion of a license that is explicitly anticapitalist (or at least trying to be) is likely to come back to capitalism. So if you’re not interested in engaging on that, I understand and we don’t have to talk about it.

                                                      1. 7

                                                        Sorry again, I hope someone else engages you in the discussion you want to have, as you spent some effort putting that out.

                                                        1. -3

                                                          Lesson learned - sometimes it’s actually better to stay silent here (especially if you’re educated). It’s hard to argue with pseudo-leftist pseudo-intellectualism.

                                                          1. 13

                                                            That’s not the lesson I took from this discussion, if that’s what you’re implying here. I took that KKPMW didn’t want to talk about this, and that’s fine – we don’t have to, I’m not here to like, preach at people. I did enough of that in my youth.

                                                            1. 2

                                                              Wise choice.

                                                            2. 3

                                                              I flagged your comment as unkind. Your comment makes it appear that being educated makes it harder to deal with other people in here, and probably those same people are not of the same point of view due to being uneducated on the issue at stake. Maybe other people are educated as well, but share different point of view than you. Also, why would you imply that people arguing here are fake leftists and intellectuals?

                                                    2. 9

                                                      I think in your Bezos example you are conflating risk with impact. The risk is still the same but the impact of that risk is different. The risk isn’t based on the amount of the investment. It’s based on the viability of the venture. Bezos is able take on riskier ventures because the impact of that risk is lower for him.

                                                      There is a case to be made that having a segment of the population that is capable of taking on a venture with high risk is a good thing. There is also a case to be made that having a segment of the population capable of taking on that risk comes with it’s own set of risks to society. But I’m not particularly persuaded by an argument centered around the relative risks of high wealth in an individual as a moral argument if it ignores the potential upside of that risk.

                                                      Your argument about feeding the world is a much better argument I think. But in order to make the case well it needs examples of non-capitalist approaches that work at scale. Most attempts in the worlds history that were not capitalist in nature have devolved to either massive authoritarianism and/or massive poverty.

                                                      In general I agree that capitalism has failure modes that need mitigation. I’m open to suggestions of replacements to captilisim or modifications to capitalism. Most such suggestions I have seen have failed to address their own failure modes and fall short when deployed at scale.

                                                      1. 12

                                                        Yah, I’m playing a bit loose here – but I do think there is some connection between risk and impact – kind of like a mass/acceleration relationship. Bezos can take bigger risks only because the impact is lessened. I always find this stuff easier to talk through than write though. I would argue that while there may be benefit to having people capable of taking those bigger risks, we should certainly be deciding who gets to do that by means other than the ruthless drive towards personal enrichment – that’s not to claim that syndicalism or any other anarcho-leftist philosophy is the ‘right’ way to do that, but I’m happy to walk away from conversations agreeing there is at least a problem worth solving.

                                                        I definitely concur that the feed-the-world argument is the better of the two (I’ve also found it “works” better in getting people to understand the core complaint I, and those of my persuasion, have with capitalism). I do disagree with:

                                                        Most attempts in the worlds history that were not capitalist in nature have devolved to either massive authoritarianism and/or massive poverty.

                                                        In three ways, first, sure – there are high profile examples of bad Leninist/Stalinist regimes, but there are just as many examples of bad capitalist regimes as well (I gesture here, wildly, towards the United States and the imperialist shitshow that it is and has been for a long time). I think the tendency towards authoritarianism isn’t rooted in economics, but in the nature of big hierarchies to become unjust over time – i.e., it’s a philosophical/social problem that’s influenced by, but not fully controlled by, economics.

                                                        The second way is that Capitalism isn’t immune from massive poverty, indeed, the earliest capitalists were building their system around the Slave trade. It proceeded to maintain that institution for hundreds of years as something ‘too big to fail.’ It echoes today in the way it exploits prison labor, certainly those people should be counted as suffering under authoritarianism and poverty. It’s not even like we can cleanly say “Well they broke the law, so that’s their punishment,” we know the laws are unjustly applied (the data is readily found) and that the laws themselves are not based on ethics or morality, but often purely predicated on creating an underclass to act as slaves. We weren’t even creative enough to define the class differently than before. This doesn’t even get into the issue of housing, healthcare, or any of that.

                                                        So I guess my question is, “Why is it that non-capitalist economic systems have to prove their worth, when Capitalism didn’t and couldn’t even if we asked it to?”

                                                        The third way is that there are functional examples – the Paris Commune wasn’t destroyed from within, but by embargo from without. Cuba has lived under decades of embargo from without and is still, by all accounts, as okay a place to live as anywhere else. It’s not perfect but it’s not a hellscape either. Rojava in the middle east is a great current example of an anarcho-leftist system working pretty alright (and this despite huge outside pressure to fail from Turkey, Syria, and ISIS). Sure, we can argue these are ‘too small’ – but that’s kind of the point of anarchism as a philosophy – governments should be small, and there should be lots of them – high granularity government.

                                                        Again, I don’t think you’re wrong, but I also don’t think you’re right. You have (arguably good) company in this regard as I also don’t think I’m right or wrong, I’m not sure what the right fix is, I only have confidence that whatever we’re doing isn’t working very well and we should probably try to fix it. :)

                                                        1. 3

                                                          Regarding Cuba and the Paris Commune, I think both of those are worth considering as examples in the small and not the large. Part of what I think you need to address is what happens when you scale these models up. That is where I think history shows that they begin to fail.

                                                          I think a key point of nuance that needs to be considered is that all systems have failure modes. It doesn’t matter which one you pick, at the extremes it will have pathologies. A more pragmatic and I think productive discussion would start with the system you have and the failure modes that system exhibits and then propose mitigations for those failure modes.

                                                          So then the discussion doesn’t start at: “Let’s replace capitalism” or “Let’s replace communism” or “Let’s replace socialism”. Instead it becomes what form of Capitalism (or communsim, socialism, …) + X would mitigate the worst elements of the system and be acceptable to society. It turns the conversation away from “Find the perfect replacement system” and toward “What useful changes can we make now to the current system”.

                                                          1. 11

                                                            Regarding Cuba and the Paris Commune, I think both of those are worth considering as examples in the small and not the large. Part of what I think you need to address is what happens when you scale these models up. That is where I think history shows that they begin to fail.

                                                            history shows that they get sabotaged, attacked, and undermined by the powers that they threaten. this is a filter that destroys non-authoritarian anti-capitalism, because to survive they need to put all of their resources into military development, including forcing people off their land and into factories (just like capitalism does).

                                                            before alternative systems can be tested and compared fairly, you would need to dismantle this filter, i.e. huge military and covert resources controlled by a group dedicated to preserving capitalism. short of dismantling it, people around the world who would like to try new things need to be protected from it, even if they are brown or call themselves communists.

                                                            1. 7

                                                              I think where you and I may diverge (and I don’t mean that to imply I think my way is better, we just take different forks somewhere) is that I don’t want to scale things up – rather I prefer to scale them down to the Rojava/Cuba size and let them federate (but not integrate) from there. A large number of small states acting independently is a way to deal with a wide variety of pathologies (and I really like that term for them) that arise when you ‘scale up’ by simply not scaling up.

                                                              I wholeheartedly agree that the right answer isn’t “Let’s replace X” but rather, “How can we modify X” – I think there are a lot of things to try to do that, but I think getting into the hows and whats would be scope-creeping this conversation a lot.

                                                              1. 3

                                                                Fair enough, I’m not backing a particular horse in this necessarily. I just find the topic interesting when you focus on achievable goals rather than pure philosophy.

                                                      2. 3

                                                        From my point of view, it’s less harmful that traditional propitiatory software, because the source code if freely accessible, and I can imagine people using it would want it to be so, they just don’t want certain people to profit from it. You have the practical freedom to do whatever you want with it, but not the legal freedom.

                                                        you cannot make certain kinds of voluntary associations with other people (i.e. offer your services and ask for something you want in return, as that would be capitalism),

                                                        This is actually a good example for the ambiguity of the license. I can guarantee you that the people who wrote this don’t have this understanding in mind, and then again, there are others who would regard their sympathy to coops as the failure to actually overcome capitalism.

                                                        1. 7

                                                          From my point of view, it’s less harmful that traditional propitiatory software, because the source code if freely accessible

                                                          Regarding available source, they do have this in there:

                                                          The Anti-Capitalist Software License is not an open source software license. It does not allow unrestricted use by any group in any field of endeavor, an allowance that further entrenches established powers. It does not release your project to the creative commons or public domain, nor does it require derived source code to be made available. The availability of source code is less important than the organization of software labor.


                                                          You have the practical freedom to do whatever you want with it, but not the legal freedom.

                                                          I got a different impression. They wrote stuff like “The user is such and such”, “The user is not such and such”. Which is practical freedom (?). As opposed to GPL which really is just about legal things as in “if you release further software, do what you want, but include GPL freedom clauses in the license”.

                                                          1. 2

                                                            It seems I didn’t phrase myself clearly enough. By “practical freedom” I was thinking about the brutal, simple ability to do something. You download the tar archive of the source, and it comes with this license – even if you’re working for EvilCorp, you can still compile, change, distribute it, etc. – even if it is “illegal” from the perspective of law. That isn’t usually given with “traditional” propitiatory software.

                                                        2. 1

                                                          (i.e. offer your services and ask for something you want in return, as that would be capitalism)

                                                          i suggest you read the license; it’s not very long

                                                          You don’t own that software unless you promise to live a certain way. And what is that way - you cannot make certain kinds of voluntary associations with other people

                                                          all things that can be said of usual proprietary EULAs. yet you find this license worse?

                                                          do you also have a vendetta against CC-BY-NC?

                                                          1. 8

                                                            I said I didn’t like the license, so now those disguised insults begin. Nice.

                                                            If you want me to respond - you should try to outline what you disagree with and how your interpretation differs; it’s not that hard.

                                                            1. 2

                                                              and i don’t see why any of what i said should be taken as an insult. hardly anyone reads things before they comment on them.

                                                              i mostly just have questions about your position; you don’t have to answer them if you don’t want to.

                                                              1. 10

                                                                Your questions were edit-added later, after the insult, so I didn’t get them when replying.

                                                                Now that I read them, here is the answer:

                                                                all things that can be said of usual proprietary EULAs. yet you find this license worse?

                                                                Usual end user agreement licenses do not force me to live a certain way. i.e. I can be a communist and use the software. The licensing here seems to be different as it wants to control how I choose to relate to other people. So yes.

                                                                do you also have a vendetta against CC-BY-NC?

                                                                There is a big difference between those two licenses. One doesn’t allow me to re-sell a thing I got for free for profit, that’s all. Another tries to control the fields in which I work and the ways I associate with others. While at the same time not being free itself.

                                                                Here is an illustration:

                                                                CC-BY-NC: Here is this book, I am passing it to you for free. Promise me that you will pass it freely from now on as well, and please be sure to mention who is the author. Thanks.

                                                                Anti-Capitalist: Here is a book you can buy from me. Additionally: if you buy it - promise me that you will stop reading it if you ever start working for a company or associate with others in the ways we do not like. Oh and one more thing - you can only use it if you promise not to disclose its contents to the police.

                                                                1. 1

                                                                  Usual end user agreement licenses do not force me to live a certain way. i.e. I can be a communist and use the software. The licensing here seems to be different as it wants to control how I choose to relate to other people. So yes.

                                                                  microsoft’s EULA does not allow you to share your copy of the software with another end user. the source code that microsoft distributes can only be modified by the licensed individual, not shared or distributed:

                                                                  https://download.microsoft.com/documents/useterms/visual%20studio%20.net%20professional_2003_english_be8aa149-b0fd-494d-a902-07fdb2007b90.pdf

                                                                  does this not control how your relate to other people?

                                                                  do you also have a vendetta against CC-BY-NC?

                                                                  There is a big difference between those two licenses. One doesn’t allow me to re-sell a thing I got for free for profit, that’s all. Another tries to control the fields in which I work and the ways I associate with others. While at the same time not being free itself.

                                                                  Here is an illustration:

                                                                  CC-BY-NC: Here is this book, I am passing it to you for free. Promise me that you will pass it freely from now on as well, and please be sure to mention who is the author. Thanks.

                                                                  Anti-Capitalist: Here is a book you can buy from me. Additionally: if you buy it - promise me that you will stop reading it if you ever start working for a company or associate with others in the ways we do not like. Oh and one more thing - you can only use it if you promise not to disclose its contents to the police.

                                                                  this isn’t what the ACSL says. again, reading it would help (again, not meant as an insult). if you are using the software (or reading a book) as an individual, there is no restriction on how you use it (unlike the M$ EULA), regardless of whether you are a cop or work for a for-profit investor-owned company.

                                                                  1. 4

                                                                    I am an individual person, but like many people I primarily make my living by working for a company. Therefore I am not “[a]n individual person, working for themselves” and thus ineligible ever to use any ACSL-licensed software.

                                                                    I’m sure you would read it in a different way which implies that I only would be forbidden to use such software directly in the work I do for that company, but the plain English text of the license does not provide that clarification. And an argument could be made on grounds of that clause that the license simply re-victimizes those whom the authors feel are already victimized by capitalism, which I doubt would qualify as a good under the systems of thought with which they appear to be associating.

                                                                    1. 3

                                                                      no disagreement that it is unclear and poorly written. fwiw, i don’t think “working for themselves” is legally meaningful, so i don’t think it would exclude those who sometimes work for others.

                                                                    2. 3

                                                                      the source code that microsoft distributes can only be modified by the licensed individual

                                                                      No, this is different. It’s the same as Beyonce not allowing someone to modify her songs after you buy them. the Anti-Capitalist license would not allow you to play the song you bought because of things that have nothing to do with the song in the first place.

                                                                      reading it would help (again, not meant as an insult)

                                                                      Fine, let’s read it together, you tell me your interpretation of it. I might be wrong. Willing to learn. Here goes:

                                                                      Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person or organization (the “User”) obtaining a copy of this software and associated documentation files (the “Software”), to deal in the Software for any purpose, including the rights to use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, and/or sell copies of the Software, subject to the following conditions:

                                                                      Note: “rights to use” … “subject fo following conditions”. My reading: you cannot use the software unless you satisfy the conditions. OK what are the conditions. These are conditions relevant to what we discussed:

                                                                      1. The User is one of the following: a. An individual person, working for themselves b. An non-profit organization c. An organization that seeks shared profit for all of its members and allows non-members to set the cost of their labor

                                                                      Here only part “a” applies to individuals. You say any individual can use/modify/etc the software. But in the license it has an additional clause “working for themselves”. Which I interpret as not working for somebody else (as i.e. being employed).

                                                                      Now you write:

                                                                      as an individual, there is no restriction on how you use it, regardless of whether you are a cop or work for a for-profit investor-owned company.

                                                                      Can you elaborate on where you found this interpretation?

                                                                      1. 1

                                                                        i see how you could interpret “working for themselves” to mean “self-employed.” at best it would mean you can’t use it while working for someone else, which would be a restriction on individual use, contrary to what i said before.

                                                                        this part made me think the restrictions only apply to organizations:

                                                                        1. If the User is an organization, then the User is not law enforcement or military, or working under either.

                                                                        why have the clause “if the user is an organization” if individual cops and soldiers are not allowed to use it?

                                                                        needless to say the license is not ready for prime-time. if workers could not use a ACSL-licensed tool to organize for a union during a shift, it would seem to contradict the spirit of the license. if the authors think all workers should quit their jobs and spontaneously form co-ops, that’s pretty idiotic.

                                                                        incidentally it looks like the phrase “working for themselves” was added literally yesterday:

                                                                        https://anticapitalist.software/past_versions/

                                                                      2. 1

                                                                        does this not control how your relate to other people?

                                                                        Given its control is restricted entirely to relations that directly involve the software under licence - not particularly, no.

                                                                        There’s a bit of a difference between “what can I do with my life” and “what can I do with this bit of software”.

                                                                        1. 1

                                                                          whether the license depends on an individual’s employment status depends on how you interpret the phrase “working for themselves,” which was added yesterday. if it means you can’t use it if you work for a for-profit investor-owned company, then i see your point.

                                                                    3. 8

                                                                      and i don’t see why any of what i said should be taken as an insult. hardly anyone reads things before they comment on them.

                                                                      No, that’s an insult.

                                                                      1. -3

                                                                        well now you’re insulting me by implying that not reading things before commenting on them is a charge worthy of taking offense. like saying “that’s so gay”

                                                          2. 12

                                                            We don’t live in revolutionary times, and capitalism will (for better or worse) be a reality of our society for the time to come.

                                                            I don’t view this as an attempt to spark a revolution, but rather to try to deal with a real ethical problem when working on free or open source software. If my software gets used by some government or police department or what have you to hurt people illegitimately, I am – in some sense – ethically liable for it. If I don’t produce that software, then it prevents the harm that it would have otherwise enabled. At the same time, if I don’t produce that software, then it can’t help the people it may have helped.

                                                            For instance, if I build some CMS tool, it may be used by a Police department to track the doings of BIPOCs in their area so they can be more easily tracked, and thus be at greater risk of being shot by police; it may also be used by a non-profit somewhere to track where the unhoused tend to live so that they can be better served by that non-profit. If I make my software available under traditional licenses, I enable both groups to use it to both ends; so instead I try to create a license that denies use to the former but preserves use to the latter. I agree this license is likely not legally viable / hard to enforce, but that doesn’t mean such a license is impossible. Indeed, your average EULA probably includes language accomplishing the same effect.

                                                            I agree that Capitalism will likely be here for a while, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to change our society for the better, that will likely involve lots of missteps (like this license very well may be), but I don’t think the argument of, “It’s always been like this, it’ll always be like this” holds water. It’s always been like this, but only up till it isn’t, and it only changes when people try to do something about it.

                                                            1. 2

                                                              Would you be ok with a private, worker owned organization using your CMS to track BIPOC people in their area and then shooting them? This license allows that.

                                                              Or an individual using your CMS to track BIPOC and then providing that info to police to track them? This license allows that.

                                                              I’m not sure that police are the only groups that track BIPOC and also not sure what that has to do with capitalism.

                                                              The fourth clause is kind of tacked on and irrelevant to the state’s goals.

                                                              It seems a more effective license would be a single clause of “I promise not to be evil and can’t use this for evil actions or evil intents.”

                                                              1. 6

                                                                I wouldn’t, obviously, but the argument you’re making seems to be, “This license doesn’t solve this problem in every single case, so therefore it’s bad.”

                                                                The argument I’m making above isn’t about whether the license itself is good, it’s about whether the attempt and intent of the license is good, and I think trying to solve a problem is better than not, even if the solutions aren’t great at first. It’s pretty common parlance in engineering – fail fast. I’ve taken that message to me, “Try to solve your problem, if you fail, throw it out and try again.” I take the same stance with licenses, is the ACSL a good license? No, likely not. It doesn’t appear to have had input from a lawyer experienced with this sort of thing and has some gnarly loopholes that are self-defeating. Is it a good thing that someone is trying to do something like this? In my opinion, yes, trying to find a way to ensure that the people who use your work are doing so in a way that isn’t exploitative is good, even if you fail in the implementation.

                                                                The police are agents that are primarily tasked with preserving capitalism, which is why they are relevant to the discussion. In particular, the police enforce laws which disproportionately endanger and imprison BIPOC, where the state and cooperating corporations extract from them labor at essentially no pay. The prison-industrial complex is a major engine of the modern capitalist machine and is well documented elsewhere, so I won’t belabor it here. I think that’s why the fourth clause of the ACSL is explicit in denying the apparatus of the state (the police and military) from using the licensed product, they both act as elements of the capitalist machine intent on preserving it. (I’m reading in here to the authors views, and making them match with the most mainstream bit of anarcho-leftism, but I am doing some interpretation here and my own biases might leak through, so take it with a grain or two).

                                                                1. 2

                                                                  The police are not primarily tasked with preserving capitalism.

                                                                  Police existed and exist in non-capitalist countries and communities. They are still proscribed from using this license.

                                                                  My complaint isn’t that it missed every potentiality. My complaint is that it is confusing, sloppy, and ineffective at what it wants to do. I was just pointing out a few specific flaws, but there are countless more.

                                                                  A license that can’t be used by businesses is not very useful for society. So if the purpose is to harm capitalism or to improve humanity, it fails.

                                                                  One of the things I like about open source and free software is its massive benefit to society and benefit to humanity.

                                                            2. 2

                                                              I think a lot of people are missing the fact that there is no requirement to make the source available in this license.

                                                              Not only is it done sloppily and full of obvious loopholes (speaking as someone who works on licenses of my own with somewhat similar aims), but it isn’t even copyleft, which doesn’t exactly seem “anticapitalist” to me.

                                                              1. 1

                                                                I think you overestimate the capabilities of most “bad guys” to hide usage of a library. Especially for web dev.

                                                                It’s very easy to see if someone is using React on their pages, for example.

                                                              1. 1

                                                                This is pretty amazing. Would it be feasible to integrate this into code editing environements, maybe into language servers even? Misuse of floating point values by programmers who don’t understand them is such a huge time-sink for everyone trying to find the source of inaccuracies after the fact.

                                                                1. 22

                                                                  Simply being a woman and having a tech opinion online subjects you to techbros who will willfully misinterpret your words because they assume that you don’t understand terminology, you haven’t tried the obvious in terms of troubleshooting, etc, etc. I get this constantly on the internet (my actual working environment is not as bad, thankfully).

                                                                  Whenever there’s room to interpret, whenever there’s ambiguity, discrimination is what drives your decision in understanding, so we have to prove ourselves even more, constantly, for respect of basic technical knowledge.

                                                                  Try to catch yourself doing this. In moments where something is ambiguous, ask yourself if this is something you would otherwise interpret more generously if you were talking to a cishet white man (one who you like, just based on assumptions).

                                                                  Its get tiring, quick, and then you want to give up. That’s how it happens. I think many give up before even going to an interview, after years of schooling. There is so much lost talent. Talent will increase when the culture is ready to face the problem.

                                                                  1. 6

                                                                    For any men reading this who have doubts about how much worse of an experience the nerdy side of the Internet is for women, here’s an experiment you can try from the comfort of your own home: create a fake profile with an innocuous female name & an ML-generated photo of a woman (or an avatar that presents as feminine). Then use that instead of your normal one for a couple of weeks when posting stuff online & see what the experience is like.

                                                                    1. 11

                                                                      I actually did this a couple of years ago for.. less than honourable reasons honestly.

                                                                      I was convinced that I would be treated better by the tech community on Twitter if I posted as a woman instead of a man, mostly because I was getting berated constantly for being a white guy. (yes, it’s a minority, not real feminists, probably alt-right bots, I didn’t think about that at the time).

                                                                      My findings are actually very much in line with what I believed; my signal gets boosted more, people are less likely to pile on me and overall it’s a lot more pleasant to interact with people even when I reply contrary to the opinion, I’m much more likely to be treated with respect.

                                                                      So I made the switch full time I’m now a woman on Twitter.

                                                                      1. 1

                                                                        I did this ~10 years ago. Back then, it was a disaster in most communities; most people were civil but there was hardly anywhere lacking shitlords who would be openly sexist.

                                                                        Glad to hear that’s changing!

                                                                        1. 0

                                                                          This is actually very heartening to hear!

                                                                          1. 2

                                                                            It’s heartening to hear he has to pretend to be female so he isn’t getting berated for being a white male?

                                                                            1. 2

                                                                              No, not that part. I mean it’s heartening that his experience wasn’t as bleak as it once would have been. Not being a white guy myself, I haven’t experienced what he describes either. I suppose I could do a similar experiment to find out…

                                                                          2. -3

                                                                            Lmao sick dude your experience proves that the tech community treats women better than men. That must be due to the same reason why women hold disproportionately fewer tech jobs in tech than men, and the trend is only worsening over time.

                                                                            1. 4

                                                                              My anecdote is a single data point.

                                                                              I think what you’re trying to say is that despite (at least the western US tech segment of) twitter being openly hostile to men and very welcoming to women, the industry at large still has elements of sexism. Obviously I’d agree with that to some degree. There’s so many people out there that it’s impossible to claim that we’ve ever fixed male on female sexism for good. I would argue strongly that the “trend is getting worse” is incorrect though.

                                                                              But if my information offends you then I invite you to do the same, it’s not particularly hard. I fear we all have deeply held beliefs here and it’s not valuable to talk down to each other about it.

                                                                              1. 1

                                                                                Your story is not a data point; it’s an anecdote. And to be clear, it doesn’t “offend” me at all. Rather, I think that the overwhelming, vastly documented, and ongoing evidence of the hostility of online tech communities towards women and other minorities renders one-off anecdotes such as these not all too interesting in the broader discussion.

                                                                                1. 5

                                                                                  It is indeed an anecdote, it’s not useful in isolation.

                                                                                  anecdotes such as these not all too interesting in the broader discussion.

                                                                                  I am responding directly to the suggestion presented as I have done this myself and it was enlightening and not in a good way for me; it nearly pushed me to the alt-right because I really felt like people were attacking me based on my skin colour and race and I can’t really control those things. However I fundamentally believe in equality so the alt-right is not appealing to me either. Thankfully on the internet nobody knows you’re a dog.

                                                                                  I am not sure what cross you have to bear with my presented experience, I’m definitely not discounting anything regarding male-on-female discrimination.

                                                                                  Actually, to be perfectly honest you’re proving my point slightly. The tech community that I follow is so focused on sexism towards women that they perceive all men, especially white men, as “out to get them” if they engage with them at all, and that pervades all future discussion.

                                                                                  It doesn’t have to be political, even innocuous suggestions, improvements, more information etc; is taken as a hostile act when presented by a white man. in these circles. (“mansplaining” being the common retort when engaging people this way, but when given by a perceived woman are engaged with compassionately.)

                                                                                  Obviously it’s an anecdote though, obviously it’s an anecdote, and your mileage will likely be very different from mine depending on the circles you’re in and how you approach people online.

                                                                                  But, for sure there’s still a lot of horrible shit that people do to each other, I still see the “2 minute hate’ threads on twitter because some absolute twat decided that sending a picture of his dick to a girl or trying to flirt (badly) on linkedin is a good idea.

                                                                                2. 1

                                                                                  I don’t know what you mean when you describe Twitter in that way, but I can assure you, there are plenty of other data points that disagree with your perspective. Do you honestly believe that white men on Twitter (or anywhere, really) suffer from a worse experience?

                                                                                  1. 5

                                                                                    I don’t think that someone’s experience of hostility in online communication has much to do with their ethnic background or gender. It’s fairly easy to find discourse on twitter that talks in disparaging terms about all sorts of demographic groups, including women as a class, men as a class, and white men specifically as a class. Different people will be bothered by the existence of people who vocally disparage their demographic group to different degrees.

                                                                                    I do think that overtly anti-white-male rhetoric has a great deal more mainstream acceptance than anti-female rhetoric, and that this has to do with widespread social attitudes in English-speaking countries that only women can be legitimately harmed in a sexist way or only nonwhites can be legitimately harmed in a racist way. In practice, many of the ways that anti-white-male sentiment manifests itself is in malicious accusations of sexism or racism; that is, authority figures selectively characterizing behaviors as punishably racist (against nonwhites) or punishably sexist (against women) when the person doing that behavior is believed to be a white male, while simultaneously refusing to characterize similar behavior by nonwhites or women as punishably racist or sexist.

                                                                                    1. 1

                                                                                      Oh, I’m not speaking about disparagement. I think we’re discussing different things.

                                                                                      1. -2

                                                                                        I do think that overtly anti-white-male rhetoric has a great deal more mainstream acceptance than anti-female rhetoric, and that this has to do with widespread social attitudes in English-speaking countries that only women can be legitimately harmed in a sexist way or only nonwhites can be legitimately harmed in a racist way.

                                                                                        Let’s be clear: this is not a widespread social attitude; english-speaking white majority countries tend to be, on the whole, still pretty racist and sexist. This social attitude you refer to is actually a fact. In societies with histories of racial and gender-based violence that overwhelmingly do harm to women and people of color, being “racist towards a white” and “racist towards a POC” are categorically not the same. I.e. in the US, slavery, redlining, jim crow, mass incarceration, disproportionate policing of communities of color lead to fundamentally unjust outcomes in the quality of life for someone born black as opposed to born white. So to a person of color in the US, racism means worse education, higher degree of poverty, a shorter life expectancy, a greater chance of being incarcerated, a lower chance of being able to vote, and the list goes on. And in terms of gender in the US, working women are still living with a significant pay gap, harassment in the workplace, and forms of cultural oppression. On the other hand, the magnitude of effect of “anti-white racism” and anti-men rhetoric generally boils down to hurt feelings (which I do not mean to downplay) and the occasional highly-publicized cancelling of high-profile white men which doesn’t come close to the magnitude of effect of centuries of discrimination in the other direction. It is dishonest and ahistorical to equate these forms of prejudice.

                                                                                        1. 4

                                                                                          this is not a widespread social attitude; english-speaking white majority countries tend to be, on the whole, still pretty racist and sexist.

                                                                                          I mean, a less charitable person would definitely say “compared to what”; because “on the whole” the west is a lot more amicable than other countries and cultures, but let’s not go there.

                                                                                          On the other hand, the magnitude of effect of “anti-white racism” and anti-men rhetoric generally boils down to hurt feelings […] and the occasional highly-publicized cancelling of high-profile white men.

                                                                                          Your entire argument boils down to this I feel, that inequity of men is justified because it’s not as bad. But consider for a moment the worst effects of what you’re implying.

                                                                                          If as a sub-culture which is pushing for mainstream acceptance you are to engage in open misandry and racism, not only does that show a blinding hypocrisy, but it also pushes your majority of people (who feel attacked) towards extremism, even if many feel guilt and will take extra caution.

                                                                                          Some of what you’re saying really feels to me like you’ve stopped thinking about society as “a bunch of people” and started thinking of it as a “system” which is made of demographics which can only act in a singular way. This is incredibly harmful because it’s engaging in exactly the kind of stereotyping that feminism is (and has been) trying to destroy for half a century.

                                                                                          When I see things like conferences being shut down due to lack of diversity of speakers and there blind speaker selections which attempt to remove bias and then it “didn’t go the way they liked” I’m reminded of identity politics, again and again, when in reality we should be promoting those who do good and not tearing people down because they happened to be born a certain way.

                                                                                          which doesn’t come close to the magnitude of effect of centuries of discrimination in the other direction. It is dishonest and ahistorical to equate these forms of prejudice.

                                                                                          White guilt based on the sins of the father.

                                                                                          You’ll have to forgive me for not feeling bad about being bad about being birthed with a skin colour. Since, you know, that’s kind of the point of being against racism.


                                                                                          FD:

                                                                                          I grew up, poor, the kind of poor that I don’t think you can actually imagine. The kind of poor where the idea of clothing is a birthday gift exclusively and sometimes you go to bed for dinner instead of eating.

                                                                                          I grew up also, in central England, in a city in major decline, surrounded by people from Pakistan, Bangledesh, India and parts of Subsaharan Africa. Even they didn’t know poverty like mine because there were programs for them to prevent it (not that I’m salty, I’m glad for them). The notion that “I” am to blame for the historical transgressions of white people and men, with my life, of being chased, surrounded by pedophiles, stabbed on the street, mugged and beaten on average once a quarter and surrounded exclusively by crime knowing that if you just broke into someones house you’d eat that day- have it “better” than any other person is just fucking stupid, racist and disgusting and you should be ashamed.

                                                                                          1. 1

                                                                                            Your entire argument boils down to this I feel, that inequity of men is justified because it’s not as bad.

                                                                                            No, I’m sorry, this is not my argument. My argument is that no intellectually honest person willing to engage with history would conclude that “racism against whites” and “racism against people of color” are remotely comparable, nor could they conclude that “sexism towards men” and “sexism towards women” (and LGBTQ) are destructive on remotely the same plane. It simply denies both history and contemporary events. This point was directed at @Hail_Spacecake btw, not yourself.

                                                                                            I grew up, poor

                                                                                            I am genuinely sorry to hear this, and you truly have my sympathy. Poverty is a grotesque failure of wealthy societies, especially in countries such as yours and mine. Nobody should have to go to bed hungry. Thanks for sharing your experience here.

                                                                                            The notion that “I” am to blame for the historical transgressions of white people and men, with my life, of being chased, surrounded by pedophiles, stabbed on the street, mugged and beaten on average once a quarter and surrounded exclusively by crime knowing that if you just broke into someones house you’d eat that day- have it “better” than any other person is just fucking stupid, racist and disgusting and you should be ashamed.

                                                                                            I am not blaming “you” nor arguing that poor whites have it “better” than affluent people of color (they don’t! it’s complicated!). This is elucidated by intersectional theory beginning with the feminist movement. I don’t really have much to say here except to reiterate my point above – I am not attempting to engage in the question of whether anti-white prejudice is justified. I am trying to point out that “anti-black is just as bad as anti-white” is a naive and anti-intellectual reduction of a complicated subject made by folks who are not willing to read history books.

                                                                            2. 2

                                                                              This is a good point, and something I’ve witnessed as well. But the solution can’t be to engage in more discrimination. The “men are bad, so let’s punish men” narrative is nonsense and just as bad as harassing women in the first place.

                                                                              Calling out discrimination, harassment, and so on when you see it something we can all do. I think public shaming and whistleblowing is an under-utilized tool. There’s also a lack of legal protections for whistleblowers.

                                                                              I worked at a startup where there was rampant sexual harassment all the way up into the C-level team, the head of HR knew all about it, and when I quit I was threatened by my former manager who called me to tell me I should keep quiet about it. They also tried to force me to sign a non-disparagement agreement but I refused to do so (they threatened to sue but never followed through because they had no case).

                                                                              1. 0

                                                                                Calling out discrimination, harassment, and so on when you see it something we can all do.

                                                                                I’ve spoken out in defense of RMS and James Damore when they were harassed and discriminated against by ideological feminists in the tech industry, to the point of being successfully driven out of their job in Damore’s case, and his position as head of the FSF in RMS’s.

                                                                            1. 4

                                                                              Or you could, y’know, respect your visitor’s time and privacy, and just skip JavaScript-based tracking altogether. What purpose do client-side analytics serve outside of boosting egos anyway? If you really need to know more about who’s visiting your website, just use something like awk or GoAccess to explore the HTTP logs you already have.

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                                                                                The number one thing on this list ought to be “ask yourself if you really need analytics, and what for”. If you’re an individual running a website, analytics likely serve no functional purpose besides releasing a little dopamine in your head when numbers go up.

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                                                                                The pandemic, and isolation, have drastically reshaped the way I use my free time for the worse. Where I normally would have gone outside, or been productive, I now have nothing to come back from to transition into “free time”. I think this has been very disruptive to my hobbies. Programming, writing, server maintenance tasks, etc are hard to scope into my time when time no longer has any meaning and my work is asynchronous with only a deadline once a week, as everything feels like free time, but I don’t have an appropriate feel for when I should be working on what. Depression makes it difficult to get out of bed some days, and this by extension has created a troublesome social media compulsion I’ve never had before. My brain has been tricked into interacting with content on the web that is unworthy of my attention out of sheer boredom, and I’ve found that for once I’m actually starting fights on the internet (non-productive ones, at least). I decided today that I would cut myself off from Mastodon for a week in an attempt to break this habit and try to return to my normal usage of social media after a break. Sure enough right after I first uninstalled my app for it (I use Tusky) my muscle-memory tried to reopen the app to check my notifications.

                                                                                Its been about a month since I’ve written any actual code for any project (not just a scriptlet to get around a personal issue, or a minor patch for a bug report). I’ve got to say that I previously thought that life with remote work and studying would be fairly simple, and for a while when I had synchronous remote work to do, interacting with others regularly, it was. However I have a newfound respect for those who can not only keep up with asynchronous remote work, but those who can do it and also keep up a healthy array of hobbies and habits (we can often joke about being the most prepared for this whole isolation thing, but usually we really aren’t). Anyways I hope you are all doing well, and stay safe if you have to go outside.