The Computing Thread - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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By Rich
#14861348
As currently we don't seem to be able to sustain even one Computing thread I thought I would start a general purpose one. For me computing has lots and lots of politics in it. Its kind of weird how the main parts of the forum almost completely ignore computers.

Anyway to kick off, I've been hearing more and more about this thing called social media and have been thinking of dipping my toe in the water. The problem is I'm an anti fascist. Its true I'm deeply relaxed (to paraphrase Peter Mandelson) about Julius Caesar, Genghis Khan and Adolph Hitler. I'm not frightened of them at all. But I am deeply concerned about Mark Zuckerberg, so has anyone played around with any alternatives to Facebook.

Death to GPL! Long live Apache 2!
#14863078
@Rich

As someone who does programming and has been apart of hacker culture, yes there is politics but it certainly isn't the type of politics that you say is a part of hacker culture. Your thread seems to not have a coherent focus. You want to both talk about the context surrounding hacker culture and discuss internal politics within it and while that is all fine and dandy, you do not possess the knowledge necessary to contribute to this thread, no one here can.

Hacker culture is still new and has not applied it's values to politics yet. The only thing left you can contribute to is the political context around computers in which case it would just be regular 'ol politics and nothing else.

Facebook as a place to socialize is slowly dying. Facebook was widely popular during it's time because there was nothing like it. However when Twitter and Reddit gained popularity and as Facebook's user base split in two, it became stuck uncomfortable position as a midway between Twitter and Reddit.

Twitter became a place optimized for people who want to quickly keep up with what's going on in/to places, fields, and people they care about. In fact, although this might to a surprise, Twitter is actually the closest thing to the Agoras of old, it is a place in which people exchange information meaningful to them at lightening fast speeds in small pockets of information called "tweets". Twitter took the audience of Facebook that used it as a way to follow not just their family and friends, but people of interest as well, who used it to find out information about the world around them and used it to share that information. For these people, Twitter is an app that suits them perfectly.

Reddit became a place that does not have particularly thoughtful discussion (that would be a hilarious exaggeration) but it certainly has the potential for more in-depth discussion about, well, anything really since there is a sub-reddit for anything. Like Twitter, users would post information, except this time, users would discuss that information rather than simply consume and most of the time, information is user-made rather than taken from others and spread. Furthermore, there are both cultural and administrative incentives to not take information from others and instead create your own. However Reddit is not a news site, information does not travel quickly and only select few types of information even reach public view since visibility is based on points rather than views.

And this brings us to Facebook being the middle-man in all of this. Now you may think, "well Facebook can be a mix of both, a best of both worlds". However if it was a best of both worlds, then why is it that the users left in the first place? I think the reason for Facebook's decline is it's lack of focus, it's clunky interface, and it's inability to keep up with the times. Facebook's original goal was to provide people with a way to connect to one another without even being near each other and so social media, in it's fullest form, was created. However then people wanted something more and thus more concentrated, more focused and specialized versions of Facebook. Facebook, unable to improve itself, began to decline and although billions still continue to use Facebook today, it is slowly declining in user base being replaced by Twitter and Reddit.
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By Rancid
#14863099
Rich wrote:As currently we don't seem to be able to sustain even one Computing thread I thought I would start a general purpose one. For me computing has lots and lots of politics in it. Its kind of weird how the main parts of the forum almost completely ignore computers.

Anyway to kick off, I've been hearing more and more about this thing called social media and have been thinking of dipping my toe in the water. The problem is I'm an anti fascist. Its true I'm deeply relaxed (to paraphrase Peter Mandelson) about Julius Caesar, Genghis Khan and Adolph Hitler. I'm not frightened of them at all. But I am deeply concerned about Mark Zuckerberg, so has anyone played around with any alternatives to Facebook.

Death to GPL! Long live Apache 2!


Why the hate for GPL? I thought the main difference between GPL and Apache is that Apache allows you to keep derived works private?
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By Rancid
#14863101
Saeko wrote:I finally got opengl to work.

I'm trying to make a string theory simulator.


Get off that shit. The future is Vulkan and CUDA.


Anyway, my work is starting to focus a lot on the Linux networking stack, and projects like Open VSwitch.
#14863375
@Saeko

I know that's a joke, but you can make an abstraction or a representation of the string theory even in 3D if you want.

Also:
opengl

Get off that shit. The future is Vulkan and CUDA.


@Rancid

What is your line of work Rancid? I'm genuinely interested.
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By Saeko
#14863379
Oxymandias wrote:@Saeko I know that's a joke, but you can make an abstraction or a representation of the string theory even in 3D if you want.


It's not a joke. :eh:
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By Rancid
#14863503
Oxymandias wrote:@Saeko

I know that's a joke, but you can make an abstraction or a representation of the string theory even in 3D if you want.

Also:



@Rancid

What is your line of work Rancid? I'm genuinely interested.


I'm on my 3rd career at this point.

Started off in touch screens, displays, Android drivers, and app development. Then I moved to GPU and video compression HW validation. These days I focus on datacenter, cloud, and fog computing. Basically, virutalization/containerization, and more importantly, networking, which gets crazy complicated in virtualized environments. There are very few people on the planet that understand the linux networking stack. Very few people that understand smart NIC techonology. Perhaps I will join those ranks soon.

Originally, I focused my undergraduate degree in robotics and computer architecture. In graduate school I focused on Analog and RF chip design. I'm fucking all over the place. However, one thing that has been consistent, is that I've drifted more into SW. Seems like HW engineers have an easier time getting into SW, than SW engineers have getting into HW.

If very uncommon these days to have such breadth in experiences though. This has worked out ot be an advantage for me. It's part of the reason I was hired in my current job. Basically, my boss was like "YOu demonstrated you can become good at anything, and that you're good at learning, so that's what we want."

I agree, I think one of the most important qualities and engineering can have from a technical standpoint, is that they are good/fast learners.

Saeko wrote:Yes that string theory.


Are you a student? researcher?
#14863580
@Saeko

Call me when you get the nobel prize. I'll make sure to buy you a drink.

EDIT: Well that came out wrong. My intention is to offer you a friendly internet gesture that is only intended to encourage banter and good feelings despite being on two opposing sides of the political spectrum.
By Rich
#14863632
Oxymandias wrote:Your thread seems to not have a coherent focus.

That was quite deliberate. As I said we don't seem to sustain one thread on computing so this would be a big step forward. I just wanted to throw out a couple of ideas to get the ball rolling. Thanks to all who have already contributed.

Personally I don't think you can really separate political and technical matters in computing. Hopefully the Mods won't have a problem with that. Obviously if they do have problem I will abide by their wishes. I get the impression there's quite a few professional programmers / developers on the forum, plus there's a few hobbyists with significant computer skills.
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