1. 8

    I decided to stick with NixOS even though I programmed in Lisp based languages rather than ML ones… I configured the system (really simple i3 /w compton, firefox, emacs and xterm) and it just worked. Backed up /etc/nixos/configuration.nix and I’ve stopped caring about my Linux dev system. Everything works like a charm on my Thinkpad T440p.

    1. 5

      Have you ever tried DEs? I know some people don’t consider it cool, in times like these I see that I need a boring environment, to do interesting stuff. And a functioning DE kind of like functioning water, electricity service and waste management. I’d like to not have to think about it too much.

      1. 5

        Tried KDE like a month ago, while it was pretty pleasant aesthetically it felt like “too much”, kitchen sink kinda thing, despite feeling snappy. It would require a lot of inital tweaking. On the other hand XFCE always felt half-assed even though I liked the lightness and overall design. I think decluttering KDE and making it behave like XFCE would be biggest win for me.

        But now the main reason why I like using tiling WM is space efficiency. On if I were to make jump to 1440p and 4k screens I would go for DE, as of right now on my 14” and 24” 1080p screens I feel like i3 does the job better.

        1.  

          But now the main reason why I like using tiling WM is space efficiency.

          I’ve got a full-screened Emacs for a reason ;^)

        2.  

          I haven’t tried it in Nix or Guix, but my current favourite environment is i3 for window management, with gnome-flashback handling all the desktop-environment things (volume keys, mounting USB drives, brightness, etc.)

          1.  

            And a functioning DE kind of like functioning water,

            I use GNOME on NixOS and I don’t have any problems. Everything works just like it would on e.g. Fedora.

        1. 19

          Hi! I contribute a bit to Guix, and we’re discussing turning some of the things you mentioned into bug reports to help future users :-) Join us at #guix on Freenode if you have IRC!

          Also, what I do for contributing back to Guix is the following, it’s really quite simple!

          git clone https://git.savannah.gnu.org/git/guix.git
          cd guix
          guix environment guix # enter an environment suitable for building guix
          ./bootstrap && ./configure --localstatedir=/var
          make -j$(nproc)
          # make changes (add packages, etc)
          make -j$(nproc)
          ./pre-inst-env guix build mynewpackage # invoking guix as "./pre-inst-env guix" means you're using the guix you just built
          
          1. 5

            I was planning on joining the IRC, but the fact that I have to register with NickServ is a major incontinence inconvenience. I usually don’t join these kinds of channels, so I don’t remember what my username of password is, ergo I have to create a new one, that requires Email as far as I recall – which isn’t working.

            I will see what I can report back, since I would like to see these bugs fixed.

            1.  

              I was planning on joining the IRC, but the fact that I have to register with NickServ is a major incontinence.

              I think you mean “inconvenience”. :-)

              1.  

                Nah, both words work in this context…

                1.  

                  That’s what happens when you rely too much on your spell checker.

            1.  

              It looks like all the complaints have to do with GUI and sound configuration?

              If so, does anyone have experience to share on using Guix or Nix for “server” / CLI stuff?

              One thing I’ve been meaning to try is to try out Oil’s dev dependencies in Guix or Nix – a bunch of shells and re2c, all of which have few dependencies themselves.

              If anyone’s interested in chatting about this, let me know :) I don’t have a totally pressing need right now, but I feel like it would make the lives of contributors easier if there was a single command that worked across distros to pull these dependencies.

              For example, I’m on Ubuntu but other contributors use Arch Linux. From what I understand Guix and Nix are both supposed to be able to work like that.

              As I mentioned on another thread, I think most distros should be split in half. The GUI and sound stuff seems to cause a lot of problems that aren’t present on the server. I guess Alpine Linux started on the server so it’s a little like this. I think they’ve had kernel-less container support for a long time.

              1. 6

                It looks like all the complaints have to do with GUI and sound configuration?

                Also, but that’s not quite my point. What I am experiencing is a lack of packaging quality, unexpected behavior and that kind of stuff.

                1. 5

                  I’ve set up a server with Guix recently. It’s clearly not ready for that, standout issues being

                  • mcron (guile cron replacement) is not reliable (stops running jobs maybe once a week)
                  • system reconfiguration can’t be rolled back without a reboot

                  But there’s also a general impression that the system isn’t robust. There’s a lack of attention for operations things; most of the community seem more interested in desktop issues.

                  1. 5

                    If you want to go the Nix route you can very easily use the upstream Nixpkgs derivations with a small override:

                    In your shell.nix put:

                    { pkgs ? import <nixpkgs> { } }:
                    
                    pkgs.oil.overrideAttrs(old: {
                      patches = [];
                      src = pkgs.lib.cleanSource ./.;
                    })
                    

                    Then from that directory simply invoke nix-shell.

                    This won’t help you all the way though since <nixpkgs> is impurely referencing a local nixpkgs copy. With just a few more lines we can pin nixpkgs project local:

                    let
                      pkgs = import (builtins.fetchTarball {
                        name = "nixos-unstable-2019-10-20";  # Descriptive name
                        url = https://github.com/nixos/nixpkgs-channels/archive/1c40ee6fc44f7eb474c69ea070a43247a1a2c83c.tar.gz;
                        sha256 = "0xvgx4zsz8jk125xriq7jfp59px8aa0c5idbk25ydh2ly7zmb2df";
                      }) {};
                    
                    in pkgs.oil.overrideAttrs(old: {
                      patches = [];
                      src = pkgs.lib.cleanSource ./.;
                    })
                    

                    This will ensure all contributors are working with the same set of dependencies.

                    Beware that I have not tested any of the above specifically for Oil, though it should be enough to get you started. Feel free to ask any questions here or drop me a line on IRC (adisbladis @ freenode).

                    1. 6

                      I decided to actually attempt a build in nix-shell and it seems to work with some more minor changes: https://github.com/oilshell/oil/pull/509

                      1.  

                        Thanks for getting this started! Let’s chat over on Github.

                  1. 10

                    It’s kinda like they rediscover language design problems as they go. Hopefully they will manage to also rediscover the well-known solutions, instead of NIHing their own, too.

                    1. 5

                      I do get a lot of Java 1.4 flashbacks when working in Go. I wonder how long until those become Java 5.0 flashbacks.

                      1. 2

                        I do get a lot of Java 1.4 flashbacks when working in Go.

                        That’s interesting, can you give some examples?

                        1. 4

                          Just some little things like iterating over collections, codegen, and marshalling i/o. I’m coming back to static typing after many years in Ruby so it’s not exactly Go’s fault. Though it’s a bit surprising when a Go binary has a similar file size to a WAR file from back in the day!

                          Overall I think Go is still way ahead of Java 1.4, both as a language and an ecosystem. The stdlib and dependency management are great. I’m very happy to never have to maintain a pile of ant+ivy config again. I know error management is a pain for many in Go but it was a pain back in the day for Java too. So many wars over checked vs unchecked exceptions. The only thing you can be sure of as a language designer is that you can’t please everyone.

                          1. 1

                            In Java 1.4 you had to use an explicit index counter to iterate. Go started out with range-based iteration. So not sure what you meant here.

                            The marshalling does feel similar. I haven’t seen better approaches though. Do you know of any? [I haven’t used Ruby so am not familiar with how it handles marshalling.]

                      2. 8

                        I think that characterization is somewhat unfair. Given the backgrounds of Go’s designers, they were probably aware of most language design problems. They just opted to make Go simple (for some definition of simple).

                        What I find interesting to see is how they will manage to add generics to the language (since apparently they want to add generics now), without breaking backwards compatibility and while simultaneously avoiding making it a bolted-on thing (such as Java generics).

                        1. 1

                          I think that characterization is somewhat unfair. Given the backgrounds of Go’s designers, they were probably aware of most language design problems. They just opted to make Go simple (for some definition of simple).

                          I wonder where this allocation of undeserved credit comes from … why not judge people by their actions, instead of appealing to authority? I think it’s pretty obvious that they are blissfully unaware and uninterested in anything that they didn’t invent themselves at Bell Labs 30 years ago.

                          What I find interesting to see is how they will manage to add generics to the language (since apparently they want to add generics now), without breaking backwards compatibility and while simultaneously avoiding making it a bolted-on thing (such as Java generics).

                          They won’t? :-)

                          1. 17

                            I think it’s pretty obvious that they are blissfully unaware and uninterested in anything that they didn’t invent themselves at Bell Labs 30 years ago.

                            Go language design proposals mention feature-relevant PLT and explain in some detail why various approaches or solutions are or are not relevant. This analysis isn’t hidden from view. Consequently it’s hard to take this kind of grumpy sniping as anything other than blissfully uninformed sour grapes.

                            1. 2

                              I’ve seen public discussions regarding Generics, yes, but not about other topics. Still, it seems to me that most discussions regarding that revolve around “well, we screwed up during language design. How do we fix it now without breaking backwards compability?”

                              But I’m still curious, anyway. Can you point me to a text describing why they decided to standardize on such lackluster error handling approach? Or even why they decided to not implement enums as a language construct and went with iota instead.

                              1. 4

                                Or even why they decided to not implement enums as a language construct and went with iota instead.

                                You might not agree with it, but it’s been in the FAQ for ages: https://golang.org/doc/faq#variant_types

                                If you search gonuts, I recall there being more discussion about it.

                                My take is that they don’t assign a lot of value to exhaustiveness checks, or at least, value other things over it.

                                1. 1

                                  I meant enums as variant types (like in Rust), but as grouped constants (like in C#).

                                  Thanks for the FAQ and gonuts suggestions, though. I’ll see what I can find there.

                            2. 3

                              I wonder where this allocation of undeserved credit comes from … why not judge people by their actions, instead of appealing to authority?

                              Previous languages that they have been involved in designing – Alef, for example– have had generics and exceptions.

                              1. 1

                                Interestingly, genericity was already gone three years later in Limbo. So I guess parameterized ADTs were indeed not seen as a redeeming feature of Alef.

                        1. 1

                          Looks really nice, but from experience, I know that front screen will get a thousand annoying scratches.

                          Also, how is this not going to be sued to death?

                          1. 2

                            Apparently ARM’s ARM7TDMI patents expired a few years ago, so they’re unlikely to be sued by ARM. I don’t think Nintendo had any patents on the GBA either (Nintendo are not exactly known for cutting-edge tech), so as long as they don’t ship an Nintendo-copyrighted data (like the GBA BIOS), they should be in the same category as any other third-party emulator.

                          1. 3

                            I’m one of those people that believe humans are much simpler than we perceive ourselves to be. Datascience, as part of a technocracy, is mostly “unbiased” (in a certain sense, but not all) as it cares about what’s practical, what be be used in real situations, what actually going on. It just so happens that they often end up understanding outselves better than we do. That’s the entire advertisement industry, after all. For them a correlation is a correlation, and it would be a shame not to make some money off it. As such, I’m not that surprised that they have little interest in what appears to them as little more than an minor anomaly or a measurement errors. Sure, it’s not good for these people. No “but” on that front. But I understand why this happens (which doesn’t make it good or innocent).

                            That being said, I still think it’s wrong to say that the science is the threat. That’s just pandering to simple anti-intellectualism. It’s the people who (ab)use the data, who are the problem, and this kind of phrasing just obscures that fact.

                            1. 6

                              You are omitting the common case that the data itself is biased. The classic case is recruitment systems encoding existing racism and sexism, but many others are documented.

                              See Weapons of Math Destruction

                              1. 1

                                How common is this in empirical data tough, the kind that isn’t based on any active input but rather just observing behaviour/patterns? I know of the problem, especially in the context of modern AI, but I don’t think it’s right to say it’s universal.

                                1. 2

                                  I didn’t say it was universal. Astrophysics won’t have this problem often, for example.

                                  I don’t know what you’re trying to communicate with sentence 1. Could you restate it?

                                  1. 2

                                    I’m thinking about situations where Google or some other mass-surveliance company has tons of data on people with interest A, and they know they have a X% change to be interested in B, Y% change to be interested in C, Z% change to be interested in D, etc. They figured these things out because they just crunched the numbers, not of questionnaires or polls, but by cruel, bland and simple tracking. Just as one example.

                                    1. 4

                                      I’d say that kind of data can encode the prejudices in society.

                                      E.g. If you are interested in {venue in poor area} you have a lower chance to be interested in higher education.

                                      The system will learn about the status quo, bigoted, system we have and will make predictions based on that that may help perpetuate the current system.

                                      1. 1

                                        As I mentioned above, it’s not the right thing, but I’m guessing that they’re still right about the chance. And that’s all the people who do this stuff care about, prejudice or not. In other words, they’re taking false-positives over false-negatives.

                                        1. 4

                                          I think this treatment is naive. These systems are not outside of society, they are within it and affect it (sometimes in very strong ways) even as they try to predict it.

                                          Part of being a good scientist is trying to understand the wider picture.

                                          1. 1

                                            I don’t understand how what you say conflicts my statement.

                                            Also, there are (morally, ethically, …) good scientists, and there is the unrelated category of scientists that companies and other institutions of power want.

                            1. 4

                              Can’t we just remove the “data” and say science in general? Any systematic approach to knowledge about our world that is built around categorization or definition is doomed to marginalize those that defy categorization or definition.

                              1. 7

                                Most science done has ethical boundaries they attempt to follow. Some of these boundaries may be more or less compromised. Most scientific studies for example won’t include you without your explicit consent. Data science is more slippery than typical scientific practice because it revolves around data already gathered. Bypassing your consent is MUCH easier. The problem then gets further compromised when we start talking about businesses who may have a profit motive in ignoring scientific norms. Without any of the normal rules, regulations, and protections provided in a normal study they can really go off the rails. Without protection and oversight most businesses will be too tempted by the prospect of profits, and they will always choose what they perceive shareholders will value. Of course, mined data is a toxic asset, especially without consent. It can be illegal, or worse reputation destroying, and I suspect that will only get more so over time. Businesses that “mine data” as their primary way of doing business might lead to a bubble like crash that would be pretty bad for us devs. When that day comes it’s possible we won’t have to worry about this conversation so much, but until then it’s important to talk about specifically where the problems arise.

                                1. 4

                                  Nice strawman argument. But, there’s a large jump between science and Seeing Like a State. See: the vast majority of human history.

                                  To wit, we are not resources for a state to manage in order to maximise GDP growth.

                                  1. 5

                                    I’m not sure what about my argument is strawman. In the article the argument is that data science can be used to subjugate or violate the rights of queer people. To quote the article:

                                    There’s no test that you give someone to determine they’re “actually” trans, unless you’re a doctor, or a neuroscience researcher, or a bigot (but I repeat myself).

                                    If we’re going to argue that data science threatens transexuality because it attempts to understand it or at the very least to categorize it, then we can just throw most natural science efforts out the window too. I don’t think the leap from the scientific method to panopticism is as great as you seem to think it is. The problem is that scientific reasoning can be used for many things, but what it’s best at is systemizing knowledge and define things against other things. That happens to be very useful at building knowledge, and those with knowledge have power, and eventually GDP. I’d love a counter example of a ludite culture that has a thriving GDP and loose definitions around their beliefs.

                                    1. 3

                                      Whether a person is trans or not, isn’t a scientific question. Cool that you’re going to bring that strawman to your grave tho.

                                      1. 3

                                        Whether a person is trans or not, isn’t a scientific question.

                                        As someone totally not in the loop, why isn’t it a scientific question? Somewhat related to that, why wouldn’t everything also be a scientific question?

                                        1. 2

                                          It’s currently what many scientists are studying and debating. There’s knowledge, theory, and practices around the subject. It’s definitely a scientific question. Further, it’s a settled question for some while a debated one for others. All depends on one’s views.

                                          1. 4

                                            Whether a single person or not is trans is - for now - a question of their subjective experience.

                                            There’s definitely science to be done about whether there are commonalities, biological markers, etc.

                                            1. 2

                                              That’s all I’m saying. Especially the subjective experience. That biological gender is objective with objective data, but trans identity is subjective, is exactly why there’s such a strong debate about whether to accept or reject it. Science has been making the situation just a little more objective. That might help in some ways down the road.

                                              Or make it worse. Never know how scientific results will be [ab]used… Just gotta take the chance since the subject is too important to not investigate.

                                              1. 7

                                                It seems a subtle nitpick to the uninitiated, but receiving the suggestion that a scientist could ‘set them straight’ about their subjective, personal experience is a common enough occurrence that you’ll enrage people if they think you’re doing it, which makes reasonable discussion hard.

                                                Rereading “Whether a person is trans or not, isn’t a scientific question” with that context might make more sense of the reaction.

                                                1. 6

                                                  This is the real MVP comment of the conversation. The same way science can’t tell you if you’re “objectively” sad or “objectively” a baseball fan, it makes no sense to ask if someone is “objectively” trans, but that doesn’t mean we get upset at people for crying when their grandparents die or spending hours watching people run around on a field.

                                                  1. 4

                                                    This response has been absolutely boggling my mind since I’ve first read it. Are you actually comparing gender with an interest for a sport? Then are you trivialising the implications of self-id (which is a thing). I mean, the entire discussion has been one of the catalysts of the alt-right, something I hardly think something like “baseball” could have had brought into life. I guess what they share in common, is that there is big money pushing both (after all, there’s a lot of profits one can make off people who depend on permanent medical supervision).

                                                    It’s not a surprise that Gender cannot be scientifically determined (as compared to sex), since it’s social, and has become meaningless in a society that’s relying less and less on gendered division of labour. But how that means that gender becomes individual (an apparent paradox) is foreign to me. People often say self-id is the best solution, because nothing else works. But that doesn’t mean it is good in itself. Nothing works! Because gender is dead!

                                                    To clarify this: None of this is meant as an insult against you or anyone else. None of this can be used an excuse of violence or smears. None of what I say is an attack on gender non-conformance. I don’t know you, and don’t wish to comment on your opinions. Ignore me if that’s what you want, I demand no response or attention. I just had to write this, even if it it were all wrong. This thread has already become so off topic, that there’s little more to care about. This topic has severely dealt damage to my mental well-being over the last few months, and suppressing it hasn’t done me well. I’ve been trying to get over it, but at no avail.

                                                    1. 3

                                                      I agree with you here; I was just using that as an example to help other people see why the specific idea I was referring to was a bit silly. It’s reductio ad not-quite-absurdum to illustrate a point.

                                                      This topic has severely dealt damage to my mental well-being over the last few months, and suppressing it hasn’t done me well.

                                                      I’m very happy to talk about this privately, if you want.

                                                      1. 1

                                                        Very kind, but there’s no point to burden anyone with my issues. The usage of the term “severely” was wrong, and I would edit it out if I could.

                                                2. 6

                                                  If we’re going to talk in scientific terms it is important that we get the terms correct. So please don’t take this as me being pedantic because most people don’t know the precise definitions of these words. Heck even I didn’t before I had a close friend transition. I think it will help disambiguate and dissolve conflict. Gender specifically refers to the cultural construct, and therefore is subjective. You can have a gender even if you were a cybernetic brain in a box, no body required. Sex is the sexual dimorphism we observe, genitalia, hip size, bone structure, muscle mass, hair presentation, etc. As sexual dimorphism is not a binary, so even though yes your chromosomes may be XX or XY you can be XX with several male features. For example if you found out Hugh Jackman had XX chromosomes you wouldn’t more more likely to marry him, so the sexual dimorphism actually matters a great deal. Traits we generally think of as “male” or “female” often end up on people of either sex. In more extreme cases those traits are “fixed” surgically to fit the “birth sex” (what is perceived to be their sex by the parent, or the preferred sex by the parent). So sex as we talk about it in everyday language is not the chromosomes but rather the sexual dimorphism we observe.It’s quite a bit more common than people would like to think when we start to consider the full gamut of possible traits that can be considered sexually dimorphic. A woman at birth can have a “male” jawline, or a mustache, or a beard, or “male” muscles etc.

                                                  Identity itself is a construct, so the only measure we can have is how real it feels to them, the one who is perceiving it. So, the very question of “Is this person’s perceptions about their own identity real” is a vacuous question to answer. It’s akin to debating the tautology ⊤ = ⊤, because you’re debating the reality of a fundamentally immaterial thing. More importantly when a person perceives something about their body, concretely, that doesn’t agree with how their body presents they will go to the ends of the earth resolve that cognitive dissonance. It will cause them great anguish until they fix that. It’s akin to if you woke up one morning with tiny hands coming out of your stomach. Body horror is an entire genre for a reason. There can be an element of body horror for someone like us when we observe someone transitioning, because we are projecting our identity on that person, and imagining how horrible it would be to change our bodies. However this body horror is precisely what many trans people live with when they do not transition. Therefore we should not put our own discomfort above theirs, as what they live with is an order of magnitude more intense than what we experience as an observer.

                                                  The debate that arises around this subject is almost exclusively among lay people like you and me, and not researchers. The debates almost exclusively arise from the kinds of loose wiggly terms and the misconceptions around those terms that lay people use. The scientifically incorrect perception of sexual dimorphism as a binary, the conflation of sexual dimorphism and gender, and the conflation of sexual dimorphism and chromosomes are common contributors to why lay people debate on this until their lungs give out. The scientific consensus isn’t particularly divided on this subject. Some people don’t like the results, maybe some find them a bit disturbing, but that’s not the same thing as having a sound basis to doubt the conclusions. As we start unraveling the strings that hold together our consciousness, I suspect we will soon find things that are a great deal more upsetting than this.

                                                  1. 1

                                                    Very interesting read, thank you.

                                          2. 1

                                            Why is GDP even relevant? Lol, life is not a competition to get rich dude, chill down. Also if you believe that ludites or neoludites are against science and tech, you should maybe spend your fraction of the GDP on some book about the subject.

                                            Science is a tool and as such should be treated. You elevate it to a source of truth, which is not. To each problem its tools. Understanding subjective experiences and the formation of identities is not a problem for natural sciences.

                                            1. 1

                                              I certainly didn’t say anyting about GDP being the alpha and the omega. I was meerly making the point–a point which often lost on many counter-culturalists—that the scientific method has proved itself over the last few hundred years to be VERY effective at stockpiling resources: knowledge, material and spiritual. I am actually pretty left-leaning in my own right and have very pessimistic views about the current trajectory of the application of the scientific method to our world. But this isn’t the right forum for those arguments.

                                              I was just trying to make an intellectual argument based on the claims of the original story that if you’re going to attack data science as hostile to the subjective quality of being human, you can go ahead and throw out biology, physics and chemistry which all attempt to categorize and objectify our gender with just as many horrible effects as data science.

                                              1. 1

                                                I don’t think any of those disciplines ever concerned itself with gender. Sex yes, gender no. Gender, if any, is studied by sociologists, anthropologist and so on. Biology has nothing to say about gender. Also it’s not clear what the scientific method told us about spirituality

                                                1. 1

                                                  Those disciplines should not concern themselves with gender, but they certainly do. The scientific method has certainly been used to attempt to explain our process of belief from a biologically necessary perspective.

                                                  1. 2

                                                    If you’re talking about stuff like evolutionary psychology, it’s still hotly debated if, epistemically, they fall into modern science. Otherwise it’s not clear what you’re talking about. I mean, clearly at some point some scientist that never concerned themselves with humanities for sure tried to apply science where it was inappropriate, but Science as a discipline is something else.

                                        2. 6

                                          Science is essentially the process by which humans seek verifiable knowledge. It is the only tool we have to try to understand the universe we live in without simply taking someone else’s word for it. What would you replace it with?

                                          1. 1

                                            I’m not arguing for replacing science. But in the context of the article, the nature of science is to categorize and define, and to do so with a decent amount of ruthlessness with regards to personal privacy and subjective feelings. It is not data science alone that is threatening to queer people. All of science is positioned against the more fluid and unexplainable aspects of being alive.

                                        1. 2

                                          Hope the sun comes up in Barcelona soon, we’ve got it down to 10% battery!

                                          1. 2

                                            It’s currently 9:36 PM there, so… probably going to go offline tonight.

                                            1. 4

                                              We should link to their infrastructure site instead, right? https://www.lowtechmagazine.com/2015/10/how-to-build-a-low-tech-internet.html

                                            2. 2

                                              The sites is archived, so just use that instead.

                                            1. 3

                                              BTW, Void Linux was created by someone who was originally a very active NetBSD developer. They’ve resigned (of course!), and, at one points, they’ve also completely disappeared from under Void Linux as well. (It seems like they’re back to being active within Void Linux right now.)

                                              1. 4

                                                There was the joke when that happened, that Void was so minimal, it’s developers dissolved into thin air.

                                                1. 3

                                                  Why “of course”? Genuinely curious, as an outsider.

                                                  1. 3

                                                    I’m guessing because being an active NetBSD developer and leader of a linux distribution are both rather time consuming projects.

                                                    1. 1

                                                      Ahh, I didn’t get that he tried to do both the things simultaneously. Thanks!

                                                1. 2

                                                  Maybe I’m just irritated by the Go comment, but I don’t think that a single function

                                                  but giving the programmer the ability to represent complex ideas elegantly and safely

                                                  is enough to prove such a point. I could just as well claim that Brainf**k has greak I/O capabilities, because it just takes a

                                                  ,[.,]
                                                  

                                                  to implement cat. I’ve never properly learned Rust, stopped reading the book halfway through, so I could be wrong.

                                                  1. 8

                                                    but I don’t think that a single function is enough to prove such a point

                                                    drop is a nice trick, but more of a side-effect of the ownership system. It’s pretty much equivalent to saying that foo = nil is brilliant in a GC language because you make an object unreachable. When I was learning Rust, my favorite method/discovery was BinaryHeap’s peek_mut method, since it combines Rusts borrowing semantics with deterministic destruction.

                                                    When coming from another language peek_mut initially looks completely wrong: if I have a mutable reference to the tip of a binary heap, couldn’t I break the heap property by replacing its value with a smaller value? It works, because it combines two features of Rust. First, borrows are single mutable reference xor multiple immutable references, since peek_mut borrows mutably, the heap invariant could be broken temporarily, but no one could observe this, since there cannot be other references at the same time. To restore the heap property, deterministic guaranteed destruction is used. peek_mut does not return a normal mutable reference, but a mutable reference wrapped in PeekMut struct. This struct has a destructor (Drop trait implementation) that restores the heap property.

                                                    1. 5

                                                      Resource management is almost always deeply magical, being interwoven into the language and runtime. Rust pushing this function into userspace is thus exceedingly elegant in the same way that a Lisp evaluator can be specified in Lisp.

                                                    1. 7

                                                      Maybe it’s coincidence by virtue of who I associate with, but I have the feeling that Facebook is far less popular among younger generations (Gen-Z and later) than “older” ones (Millennials and upwards). Sadly it’s mostly not for the valid reasons illustrated here, as seen by the popularity of Instagram and Snapchat, but rather that the model a “universal, personal pinboard” isn’t that attractive. What are you going to do after all, if you’re parents are perhaps more active on the site than you are (certainly is so in my case).

                                                      1. 5

                                                        As an almost 26 year old, Instagram is where most of my Internet socialization happens (as well as iMessage). An Instagram username is usually what you are given before or with a phone number, a lot of group chats happen there as well as general hanging out. Additionally, a lot of organizations and people post events and new work there.

                                                        Quitting Facebook now is easy, unless you’re way older. Quitting Instagram and Snapchat as a young adult is more difficult.

                                                        1. 4

                                                          I’ve had this feeling for a long time - my child was allowed to get a FB account at 13 and didn’t bother. It’s the reason for FB (the company) to keep buying sites that appeal to the core young demographic (16-25) that’s most attractive to advertisers. The older ones are allowed to wither… but the interpersonal connections are still monitored by FB.com.

                                                          The title should be updated to say “don’t use any social network owned or dependent on Facebook”…

                                                          1. 4

                                                            What I saw in my experiences are that… when your parents join whatever social network you use, it’s time to evacuate.

                                                            1. 3

                                                              Don’t a lot of these points apply to Instagram as well?

                                                            1. 2

                                                              I’m not sure if this is intentional, but I somehow fell into the QEMU control prompt by doing some Emacs keybindings I usually do in bash. Is it a bug? Also it seems like the first character is getting swallowed all the time, resulting in me tying “url …” instead of “curl …”.

                                                              1. 1

                                                                Yikes! I fixed the QEMU monitor prompt! Sadly I can’t figure out what is eating the first char of some sessions

                                                                1. 1

                                                                  Just had the QEMU prompt too, but anyway congratulations, that’s an awesome project!

                                                              1. 2

                                                                zge, how are you related to MNT Research (show tag implies some relation)? Just curious.

                                                                1. 2

                                                                  Oops, I’m not related, I added the tag to indicate that this isn’t an article. imo there’s only a relation when the link is “authored” by me, not “via”, but if that’s not how most people see it, I’d gladly remove the tag.

                                                                  1. 3

                                                                    Take a look at the rule on Show HN, where this originated. Looking at recent submissions tagged “show”, I believe most people are using the tag in that sense.

                                                                    1. 3

                                                                      I’ve suggested the removal of the tag… that seems to have triggered its removal.

                                                                  1. 15

                                                                    I’m a bit disappointed that the interviewer didn’t mention a single question regarding addiction or any ethical dimension. It’s kind of been assumed that not liking pornography is just a conservative, right-wing thing, but I don’t think that’s correct. I personally perceive it to be pushing harmful stereotypes (both as in what women should look like, or how intimacy should look like), and then there’s the problem with trafficking, and never knowing what’s actually going on behind the scenes. Chomsky says it well.

                                                                    Setting aside things like these, which should be enough to say something isn’t right, but knowing the digital world (where creating addictions has become a common and often even necessary business model) reading

                                                                    you have to be clever to innovate at the bleeding edge of the web.

                                                                    makes me somewhat uneasy. Especially a front end developer should have to think about these questions. They are the ones tasked with creating “seamless experiences”, ultimately, disregarding the influence it has on people’s daily and personal life’s. I don’t think the interviewer should have just glossed over this. YouTube has hateful or harmful videos, but their raison d’être isn’t hosting them. PornHub will have it a bit harder that hosting and spreading pornography isn’t a big part of what they are.

                                                                    From the technical perspective it’s somewhat interesting, I guess. It’s about the problems of high-demand video streaming, probably above the level of most other video sites, but still way below sites like YouTube. That’s like having an interview with a slaveholder on what kind of whips they have found to have the best quality CIA agent on what the best strategies are to manipulate a foreign election.

                                                                    Edit: Rewrote a few sentences to avoid confusion, and replaced my analogy with a different one.

                                                                    1. 13

                                                                      I’m a bit disappointed that the interviewer didn’t mention a single question regarding addiction or any ethical dimension.

                                                                      Porn has been around a really long time. I’m pretty sure there’s nothing new to be discovered or discussed almost anywhere on earth on the topic, much less here.

                                                                      Like, the human race has brute-forced about every part of that solution space we can. There is not a dirty thought we can have that hasn’t occurred to scores of other people at one point in history or another–of this I’m certain.

                                                                      1. 21

                                                                        Porn has been around a really long time.

                                                                        Not in the way it is now, as an endless torrent on demand. Modern porn has demonstrably changed society in ways that ancient porn did not. For example, women now believe that pubic hair is unclean and as a result of excessive pubic hair removal are getting health problems that pubic hair can prevent.

                                                                        Also, just being around forever does not categorise something as innocuous or beneficial.

                                                                        1. 3

                                                                          Hairstyles have been coming and going in fads ever since we left the trees and discovered hair can be cut and washed. Having this apply also to pubic hair is not exactly a huge change.

                                                                          1. 3

                                                                            As the article notes, gynecologists disagree, but what do they know, I guess.

                                                                        2. 8

                                                                          Like comparing chewing coca leaves to mainlining cocaine.

                                                                          1. 3

                                                                            Quantity acquires a quality of its own, you know. Not to mention that quality is altogether different as well: 4K video isn’t the same as a blurry black and white photo. There’s a strange blindness to this effect in the tech industry, whether it comes to social media, endless tsunami of content on Netflix, or indeed porn. Much like Facebook’s idea that more communication is unconditionally better has backfired spectacularly, maybe it’s the same with porn. And then of course there’s also all the engineered “engagement” in all these areas. Don’t be so quick to say it’s all totally harmless.

                                                                            1. 0

                                                                              Well-put.

                                                                            2. 6

                                                                              I’m a bit disappointed that the interviewer didn’t mention a single question regarding addiction or any ethical dimension.

                                                                              The audience is web developers wanting to read something interesting about web development at a big company. They also want most of them to enjoy the article. Talking about the damage they might be doing doesn’t serve either purpose. Most would’ve just clicked the little X or otherwise moved on.

                                                                              There’s been a lot of good writing on that subject for anyone looking for it. The key words are easy to guess.

                                                                              1. 6

                                                                                You’re kinda circling back to the same point. Yes, talking about ethical implications of our jobs is hard, and uncomfortable, but it’s necessary. Of course nost people don’t want to do it, off course most people don’t want to read about it. But it’s our responsibility to talk and to read about those things. “I don’t like doing it” is not a valid excuse for not doing something it’s your responsibility to do.

                                                                                That said, the comparison with slavery is a bit out of place, imo.

                                                                                1. 10

                                                                                  You’re doing that trick many people do here where it becomes all or nothing in every post, forum, etc. The stress of introspecting on these topics make many people do it at certain times and read relaxing content at other times. They’re fine splitting it up. Dare I’d say most people prefer that based on that simply being most popular way content is done online.

                                                                                  Then, other people think they should be mentally engaged on these topics at all times in all articles, forums, etc due to their importance. They also falsely accuse people of not caring about social responsibilities if they don’t discuss them in every article where they might come into play. You must be in that group. Author of the original post and their audience is not. Hence, the separation of concerns that lets readers relax just focusing about web tech before optionally engaging with hard realities of life at another time in another article.

                                                                                2. 2

                                                                                  This isn’t a “what if my open source library was used by some military”-kind of question, I think that there is a much stronger connection between the two. Front end design is related to user behaviour, and I still consider this relation to be a technical question (UI design, user protection, setting up incentives, …).

                                                                                  If the interviewer had asked these questions, and the interviewee had chosen not to comment, that would have been something, but the article currently just brushes it away affront by saying “ Regardless of your stance on pornography, …”.

                                                                                  1. 3

                                                                                    I’m a bit disappointed that the interviewer didn’t mention a single question regarding addiction or any ethical dimension

                                                                                    A tech-related, Lobsters-worthy discussion of the topic would focus on how they collected user behavior, analyzed it, measured whether they were reaching their goals, strategized for how to achieve them, and specific methods of influence with associated payoffs. It would actually be more Barnacles-like since marketing is behind a lot of that. These technical and marketing techniques are politically-neutral in that they are used by many companies to measure and advance a wide range of goals, including pornography consumption. They could be discussed free-standing with little drama if the focus was really on the technology.

                                                                                    You were doing the opposite. That quote is an ethical question, even says so, where you have political views about pornography consumption, you wanted theirs explored, and you might have had some goal to be achieved with that. The emotional language in the rest of your post further suggested this wasn’t about rational analysis of a technology stack. You also didn’t care what the writer or any of their readers thought about that. So, I countered representing the majority of people who just wanted to read about a web stack. A mix that either doesn’t care about ethics of porn or does with it being a depressing topic they want to handle at another time.

                                                                                    I was on 2nd cup of coffee when you wanted me to be thinking about lives being destroyed instead of reading peaceful and interesting things easier to wake up to. Woke up faster in a different way. Oh well. Now, I’m off this drama to find a Thursday submission in my pile.

                                                                                    1. 2

                                                                                      A tech-related, Lobsters-worthy discussion of the topic would focus on how they collected user behavior, analyzed it, measured whether they were reaching their goals, strategized for how to achieve them, and specific methods of influence with associated payoffs.

                                                                                      I think these kinds of things were missing from the article. I know this isn’t the place to discuss pornography, and I try not to go into it in the comments. What I just brought up was a disappointment in the style and focus of the interview, and it being one-sided.

                                                                                      The emotional language in the rest of your post further suggested this wasn’t about rational analysis of a technology stack.

                                                                                      Well I do think it’s important, so I apologize for being a tad emotional. But other than what I wrote, I don’t have anything else to contribute. I neither run nor plan to run a streaming site, so I end up not having too strong opinions on what is being used in the backend stack ^^.

                                                                                      A mix that either doesn’t care about ethics of porn or does with it being a depressing topic they want to handle at another time.

                                                                                      I understand that, that’s why I prefixed my top comment with what you quoted. I furthermore feel obligated to apologise if anyone had to go through any inconvenience thinking about the “ethics of porn” because of my comment, I guess? No but seriously, bringing up a concern like this, which I explicitly tried to link back to a technical question, should be ok.

                                                                                      1. 1

                                                                                        “I furthermore feel obligated to apologise if anyone had to go through any inconvenience thinking about the “ethics of porn” because of my comment, I guess? No but seriously, bringing up a concern like this, which I explicitly tried to link back to a technical question, should be ok.”

                                                                                        There’s quite a few people here that are OK with it. I’m not deciding that for anyone. I just had to remind you that caring people who want a break in some places exist and that you do more good by addressing the porn problem where it’s at. I appreciate you at least considering the effect on us.

                                                                                        “I neither run nor plan to run a streaming site”

                                                                                        The main problem is consumer side where there’s mass demand following by all types of supply and clever ways to keep people hooked. You can’t beat that since they straight-up want it. What you might do is work on profiles for porn sites with tools such as NoScript that make them usable without the revenue-generating ads. Then, lots of people push for their use. If there’s any uptake, they get a temporary hit in their wallet but maybe an offset with ad-free Premium. I’m not sure the effectiveness. I just know they’re an ad model with tools existing to attack that.

                                                                                        Griping about it on technical sites won’t change anything because… most viewers aren’t on technical sites and those that are rarely changed. So, it’s just noise. Gotta work on porn laws, labor protections for those involved, ethical standards in industry itself, ad blocking, etc.

                                                                                3. 6

                                                                                  If you would like to discuss the ethical aspects go to a different forum. I would rrecommend the community around Thaddeus Russell’s podcast for a critical and reasoned take from people that actually interact with sex workers https://www.thaddeusrussell.com/podcast/2

                                                                                  1. 3

                                                                                    I’ve mentioned it elsewhere, but I’m not here to discuss the ethical aspects, not am I in a position to be able to. My comments are related to the interviewer and his choice of questions.

                                                                                    1. 1

                                                                                      Your gave opinions, stated as scare-hints without support:

                                                                                      “then there’s the problem with trafficking,”

                                                                                      “which should be enough to say something isn’t right,”

                                                                                      … and then based upon the now well-built pretext that porn “isn’t right” (and is therefore ethically ‘wrong’) - you commented on what the interviewer should have done - i.e. they should have had the same opinions and conceptions as yourself - and they should have turned the interview into one about ethics.

                                                                                      The interview was interesting to read, because of the info about the tech. As bsima says, please take ethical discussion elsewhere.

                                                                                      1. 2

                                                                                        As you said, I prefixed the controversial parts by saying that it was my opinion. But I don’t think that the interviewer must have shared my views. The point I was raising was that I thought it wasn’t appropriate for the interview to just ignore a quite relevant topic, since this was about PornHub specifically, not their parent company.

                                                                                        IMO, a just final question like

                                                                                        “What are you doing to enforce age restrictions?”

                                                                                        or

                                                                                        “Due to recent reports, do you think that doing something against pornography addiction among younger generations can be tackled technically or does it need more (social) effort?”

                                                                                        would have been more than enough, as to just show this is being considered. I’m not a journalist, so I don’t know how these questions could be phrased better, but I hope you do get my point.

                                                                                      2. 1

                                                                                        I’m not here to discuss the ethical aspects

                                                                                        …and yet, it’s the ethical aspects that you brought up.

                                                                                        1. 3

                                                                                          Looking at this thread, I didn’t respond to people who started talking about the harmfulness of pornography or the lack thereof. This even though I would like to – yet I understand that it is off topic. In fact most of this sub-thread has been more about the meta-discussion.

                                                                                          All I can say is that I will be more careful not be too provoke these kinds of discussions in the future. I was thinking critically a lot about the topic the last few months, so my comment might not have been as neutral as some might have wished.

                                                                                    2. 5

                                                                                      That’s like asking an interview with a slaveholder on what kind of whips they have found to have the best quality.

                                                                                      This is more than a little hyperbolic.

                                                                                      1. 4

                                                                                        My analogy is that the direct consequences of technical questions are being more or less ignored, which I think is fair in both questions. Of course it’s not identical, but that’s stylistic devices for you.

                                                                                      2. 2

                                                                                        I could come up with quite a few objections to pornography, but the chap in your video link is not only not convincing, he is also hinting that he watches porn even though he denies it. He backs up his statement “porn is degrading to women” by qualifying “just look at it” which implies that he does that enough to have an opinion.

                                                                                      1. 2

                                                                                        I just recently found out about this project, specifically via his YouTube channel. It’s worth checking out, if only to see how other people write code. One though should probably go through chronologically, because when I tried to watch a random video, there was too much API I wasn’t familiar with (on top of C++).

                                                                                        1. 2

                                                                                          That’s so cool and such amazing work!

                                                                                          I really, really wish that it were being done in Lisp rather than Scheme, but that’s an effect of rms’s years-long lack of appreciation for Common Lisp. It’s a crying shame.

                                                                                          1. 11

                                                                                            Why? Scheme, specifically Guile has a much nicer interface for working with the operating system, since it isn’t as constrained by portability-standardisation as CL.

                                                                                            1. 7

                                                                                              I’d really have to write a massive article about why Scheme is IMHI unsuitable for building large systems.

                                                                                              In part it’s the small standard. By the time an implementation adds enough features to be capable of implementing a large system any such system would be importable. Lisp has packages and CLOS, and that alone counts for a lot, but even stuff like LOOP and FORMAT are important.

                                                                                              In part it’s features like call/cc. Brilliant, really smart, amazingly powerful — but it makes certain efficient operations either altogether impossible or a pain to write. And dynamic-wind is broken.

                                                                                              Then there’s stuff like having a single namespace. Makes a lot of sense, very similar to other languages — but ultimately a mistake. A key insight of Lisp is that programmers can add namespaces to the language, and it can all work just fine.

                                                                                              Then there are matters of taste like adding #t and #f to the language, making nil non-false and making (car nil) an error. Those last two, in particular, are simply inexcusable IMHO.

                                                                                              That’s not to ignore the misfeatures of Lisp. Pathnames are woefully under-specified and default up-casing is in almost as poor taste as Scheme’s nil abuse. Almost.

                                                                                              In short, I just cringe any time I see someone use Scheme for real work. For teaching or playing around it’s almost indispensable. It has some great ideas, most of which made it into Common Lisp. But it is not a suitable language for real systems programming. IMHO anyway😀

                                                                                              1. 3

                                                                                                Having used Scheme quite a bit and not really touched CL, I can’t really imagine #f and nil being smooshed into one. They’re distinct values of distinct types with distinct uses. And what does (car nil) give, and what do you gain over an erroring implementation?

                                                                                                I don’t think as bold a claim as “this language is unsuitable for real systems programming” can be guarded with an “IMHO” - if it was just an opinion, you would be more aware of the matter of taste that the choice between these rather similar languages is, and not phrasing it as if you know that this particular language is unsuitable for large systems while commenting on a counter-example by your own admission.

                                                                                                1. 3

                                                                                                  Having used Scheme quite a bit and not really touched CL, I can’t really imagine #f and nil being smooshed into one. They’re distinct values of distinct types with distinct uses.

                                                                                                  Eh, it works out really well. NIL is always false, so comparisons always return it or a true value. Because the uses are distinct, it doesn’t cause the problems you might imagine.

                                                                                                  And what does (car nil) give, and what do you gain over an erroring implementation?

                                                                                                  It returns NIL, which is nice because you can often write more elegant code. I tried to Google an example for you, but my go-to source is down, sorry.

                                                                                                  I don’t think that Guix or any large Scheme system is a counter-example. After all, people write large systems in C and C++! It’s not that it’s impossible, just that it’s suboptimal.

                                                                                                  But hey, Scheme is better than C😀

                                                                                                2. 3

                                                                                                  In part it’s the small standard. By the time an implementation adds enough features to be capable of implementing a large system any such system would be importable. Lisp has packages and CLOS, and that alone counts for a lot, but even stuff like LOOP and FORMAT are important.

                                                                                                  Then again, Guix specifically isn’t meant to be portable across different Schemes, but (afaik) limits itself to Guile. So you do have stuff like GOOPS and format, though not loop (as of now).

                                                                                                  All your other points seem to be ranking Scheme as a Lisp, which it really just isn’t. I guess that’s the problem, if you insist on seeing it that way?

                                                                                                  1. 3

                                                                                                    All your other points seem to be ranking Scheme as a Lisp, which it really just isn’t. I guess that’s the problem, if you insist on seeing it that way?

                                                                                                    Exactly. Lisp is a great programming language in which to implement large, interlocking systems, while Scheme is a great programming language for reasoning about computation. Since Guix is a large system, or perhaps even a large interlocking system of systems, it would IMHO be better implemented in Lisp than in Scheme.

                                                                                                    Hence my original post😀

                                                                                                    I really do believe the world would be better with a Common Lisp GNU Emacs, a Common Lisp Firefox, a Common Lisp st, StumpWM, a Common Lisp X.org or Wayland and a Common Lisp Linux. Maybe instead of isolated processes we would have isolated global environments, such as Robert Strandh has worked on.

                                                                                                    Anyway, reading about the ecosystem that Guix is putting together — which really is neat and cool and impressive and a great step towards a partially-Lisp ecosystem — really made me wish that rms didn’t have such a dislike for Common Lisp. If only Emacs had been rewritten in Common Lisp two decades ago!

                                                                                                    1. 1

                                                                                                      I never worked on either a large CL or Scheme/Guile project, so I really cannot tell. Until now I haven’t seen why one would be more or less fit than the other.

                                                                                                      But that’s not that important. I was wondering if you could give me some pointers on what you mention

                                                                                                      Maybe instead of isolated processes we would have isolated global environments, such as Robert Strandh has worked on.

                                                                                                      here?

                                                                                                      1. 4

                                                                                                        His paper is page 70-something here: https://www.european-lisp-symposium.org/static/proceedings/2015.pdf

                                                                                                        He proposes a protocol for multiple global environments within a single Lisp image; since lookups terminate in the global environment, this means that unless one environment is deliberately exposed to another (say, by a higher-privileged environment) then each environment is isolated from all others.

                                                                                                        It’s related to how one can use a cons cell in Lisp as a non-algebraic pointer. If you imagine a Lisp with no pointers to core memory (where only the implementation itself can access raw RAM), then you could imagine an initial environment which sets up smaller sandboxed subenvironments, each of which is kinda, if you squint right, a bit like a process, able to message other environments only in the ways permitted by the initial environment.

                                                                                                        I really can’t wait until I have the free time to work on this!

                                                                                                        1. 1

                                                                                                          Thanks, sounds very interesting!

                                                                                                3. 3

                                                                                                  interface for working with the operating system, since it isn’t as constrained by portability-standardisation as CL.

                                                                                                  Why are you under the impression that the standard constrains the APIs offered by Lisp implementations? SBCL comes with the sb-posix package which provides a nice interface to the OS APIs like sockets, file attributes (stat) etc.

                                                                                                  I don’t know about the APIs offered by guile so I can’t compare them though.

                                                                                                  1. 1

                                                                                                    Hm, I haven’t used sb-posix, but the reason I’m under that impression is first of all that I was working on a StumpWM extension earlier this year, and so I couldn’t limit myself to any particular implementation. I was re-writing the maildir package, so there was a lot of looking up directories and so on, and it really didn’t seem intuitive at first. Maybe it was just a bad example, or I didn’t read into it as much.

                                                                                                    But this is the Guile package for POSIX, built in by default. I haven’t had the opportunity to properly use all of it yet, but to me it seems very clean.

                                                                                                    1. 1

                                                                                                      I was working on a StumpWM extension earlier this year, and so I couldn’t limit myself to any particular implementation.

                                                                                                      This is tangential to the OP but I help maintain StumpWM, I think I remember your extension. Was yours the one to support multiple maildirs? Anyway you most certainly can limit yourself to a SBCL when working for StumpWM. We dropped support for anything but SBCL a couple of years ago. One of the reasons I was in favor of only supporting SBCL was precisely because we could use stuff in sb-posix to interact with the OS more easily.

                                                                                                      there was a lot of looking up directories and so on, and it really didn’t seem intuitive at first. Maybe it was just a bad example

                                                                                                      I think it is a good example, precisely because the API in the CL standard for manipulating directories sucks, or at least it sucks if you are in UNIX. From reading the documentation to the POSIX API of guile it is similar to the one offered in sb-posix. But it shows what I was getting at: The standard only provides a ‘lower ceiling’ for the APIs offered by different implementations.

                                                                                                      1. 1

                                                                                                        Was yours the one to support multiple maildirs?

                                                                                                        Exactly.

                                                                                                        Anyway you most certainly can limit yourself to a SBCL when working for StumpWM. We dropped support for anything but SBCL a couple of years ago.

                                                                                                        Oh, I thought that I had seen portable code in another extension, making me think that all code should be portable? Either way, even if it is possible, I always consider it a pity to use such extensions, even if it’s pragmatic.

                                                                                                4. 6

                                                                                                  It’s not just RMS’ disdain for CL. There are more people than RMS who prefer non-CL lisps to CL.

                                                                                                  1. 2

                                                                                                    Yes, but I think he was a major force in keeping Emacs Lisp as different from Common Lisp as it is, as well as in deciding on Scheme for the official GNU extension language.

                                                                                                1. 4

                                                                                                  I’ve never quite understood, but aren’t 9front releases mostly just bug-fixes? Or when was the last time a larger new feature was added.

                                                                                                  1. 10

                                                                                                    There are a whole bunch of larger features. The last release added support for the raspberry pi 4, which involved adding support for the arm64 architecture. Recently enough, there was hardware virtualization (http://man.cat-v.org/9front/1/vmx), a new VPN (http://man.cat-v.org/9front/8/tinc), transparent SSH networking (http://man.cat-v.org/9front/4/sshnet), new TTF renderer (http://man.cat-v.org/9front/2/ttf), a clone of dtrace (http://man.cat-v.org/9front/1/dtracy), and much more.

                                                                                                    1. 11

                                                                                                      Plan 9 is already more or less done. 9front just keeps up with the maintenance and provides a place for you to send your driver patch. You shouldn’t expect it to change in fundamental ways.

                                                                                                      1. 2

                                                                                                        So one shouldn’t expect them on creating a new browser or some larger application like that?

                                                                                                        1. 7

                                                                                                          If someone wants to make it, we’ll make it. I recently implemented git, although it’s not part of the base system right now.

                                                                                                          A browser is unlikely: Modern ones are giant. Minimal ones are incomplete. We’ve got 2 crappy ones already, and I’m not aware of anyone willing to sign up to write third, let alone chase the ever-shifting web standards to a degree that will make it more useful than mothra or abaco. My personal opinion is that we’d be better off improving and extending vmx to make running a web browser under an emulated Linux work better.

                                                                                                          1. 3

                                                                                                            but what do you expect? something like systemd, office or an ide like visual code? well plan9’s creators comes from the same team of unix so there inst a “large application” every pieces of software inside plan9 (and now 9front) fits together.

                                                                                                            1. 2

                                                                                                              That’s the thing, since I never used Plan 9 or related applications for extended periods, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Of course the examples you list aren’t probable, but Plan 9 users aren’t aliens – they still have the same problems they wish to solve as regular users.

                                                                                                              1. 2

                                                                                                                this might give you some idea of where things stand, re: applications, and getting work done:

                                                                                                                http://fqa.9front.org/fqa8.html

                                                                                                                1. 1

                                                                                                                  I think you need to give a shot to know what we are talking about

                                                                                                            1. 1

                                                                                                              As for this, I am wondering, does the Plan9 folks feel that modern touch interfaces are inferior to mice? That is are such interfaces in the horizon at some point, or are they relegated as not useful at all?

                                                                                                              1. 2

                                                                                                                given a choice i prefer mice. while the form factor of the desktop computer is no longer universal, the main reasons 9front lacks complex touch support are: the devs hate touchpads; touchscreen devices are multivariate, complex, and less open than their pc-like counterparts; and, most importantly, nobody has yet contributed any code.

                                                                                                                for example, many years ago plan 9 was ported to the ipaq. the base system still ships with an onscreen keyboard designed for use with the ipaq’s stylus.

                                                                                                                in 9front there is also support for serial wacom devices. i drew this in paint(1) on a thinkpad x61 tablet:

                                                                                                                http://plan9.stanleylieber.com/paint/img/nooo.png

                                                                                                          1. -9

                                                                                                            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?

                                                                                                                1. 10

                                                                                                                  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).

                                                                                                                  1. 3

                                                                                                                    For the same reasons a repurposed Jurassic Park screencap might?

                                                                                                                    1. 4

                                                                                                                      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?

                                                                                                                        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.

                                                                                                                  2. 7

                                                                                                                    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.

                                                                                                                    2. 17

                                                                                                                      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.

                                                                                                                      1. 14

                                                                                                                        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?

                                                                                                                        1. 9

                                                                                                                          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.

                                                                                                                          1. 4

                                                                                                                            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.

                                                                                                                            1. 6

                                                                                                                              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?

                                                                                                                              1. 4

                                                                                                                                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.

                                                                                                                                1. 4

                                                                                                                                  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.

                                                                                                                                  1. 3

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

                                                                                                                                  2. 3

                                                                                                                                    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.

                                                                                                                                    1. 4

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

                                                                                                                                      1. 2

                                                                                                                                        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.

                                                                                                                                          1. 4

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

                                                                                                                                            1. 8

                                                                                                                                              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.

                                                                                                                                              1. -2

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

                                                                                                                                                1. 1

                                                                                                                                                  It’s a serious question.

                                                                                                                                                  1. 3

                                                                                                                                                    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.

                                                                                                                                                    1. 5

                                                                                                                                                      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. 2

                                                                                                                                    The new big trend in tech, dark mode

                                                                                                                                    How is this new? Haven’t dark themes been a thing for over 20-30 years?

                                                                                                                                    1. 3

                                                                                                                                      It doesn’t have to be a new thing to be a new trend. Fashion is famously cyclic too.

                                                                                                                                      1. 1

                                                                                                                                        That’s plausible. I don’t see it as a trend, rather something that the tech overlords have permitted their users to enable, but if you re-interpret this as a kind of “fashion”-thing, it kind of makes sense?

                                                                                                                                        1. 2

                                                                                                                                          FWIW I think tech is so trend driven it hurts.

                                                                                                                                      2. 2

                                                                                                                                        Slack and iOS offering it apparently make it “new”

                                                                                                                                        1. 1

                                                                                                                                          Yeah but you used to have to mess around with widget styles or custom CSS overrides. IOS and android now have a switch that changes styling for all system apps.

                                                                                                                                          1. 1

                                                                                                                                            I was just saying that the concept doesn’t seem new. Especially on platforms with themes.

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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.

                                                                                                                                          1. 11

                                                                                                                                            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.

                                                                                                                                            1. 7

                                                                                                                                              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.

                                                                                                                                              1. 16

                                                                                                                                                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.

                                                                                                                                                  1. 16

                                                                                                                                                    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.

                                                                                                                                                    1. 16

                                                                                                                                                      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:

                                                                                                                                                      1. 15

                                                                                                                                                        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”.

                                                                                                                                                            1. 1

                                                                                                                                                              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.

                                                                                                                                                              1. 1

                                                                                                                                                                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.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. 1

                                                                                                                                                                      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.

                                                                                                                                                              1. 5

                                                                                                                                                                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.

                                                                                                                                                                1. 2

                                                                                                                                                                  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.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. 6

                                                                                                                                                                    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.

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                                                                                                                                                                          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.

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                                                                                                                                                                            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.

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                                                                                                                                                                              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.

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                                                                                                                                                                                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.

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                                                                                                                                                                                  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?

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                                                                                                                                                              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

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

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                                                                                                                                                                  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.

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                                                                                                                                                                    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.

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                                                                                                                                                                      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 😄

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                                                                                                                                                              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.

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                                                                                                                                                                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.

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                                                                                                                                                                  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.

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                                                                                                                                                                  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.