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when you see someone criticizing open source through reference to the free software movement, or vice versa, consider that they are conflating two aspects of computing that, on each side, have taken significant and long-standing pains to distinguish each from the other

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Warren Lyford Delano, in memoriam mh(-) 

Anyway, Warren suffered some sort of mental health breakdown and killed himself 9 years ago come November. I didn't know him in person, but his work changed my life, and very possibly yours, given how widespread it has been used in the biological sciences.

I remember vividly where I was and what I was doing when I learned, some months after the fact, that he'd died. I heard it in a podcast.

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"I've already told you my name, and it meant nothing to you. Or rather, it meant the wrong thing.

Names are tricky that way. The best way to know someone is to have a conversation with them."

--Enoch Root to Randy Waterhouse in Neal Stephenson's Cryptonomicon.

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The point at which I begin to question anyone's rights of free association (which includes the right to pick whom *not* to associate with) is *very* close to the point at which that someone has sufficient heft to need being regulated (eg, de facto public utility w/ monopoly or monopsony power)

Computers & networks are not simply neutral conduits for our desire & ease. That they sometimes *can* be is often more marketing hype than experienced reality, our UX grasp exceeding our reach at best, but all too often manipulative malevolence also.

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I don't have to have a reason not to interact with someone, let alone interact with a serverful of people they suddenly decided to associate themselves with.

If you insist I need a reason, let alone a good one, then you don't respect my autonomy. This goes beyond questions of convenience or preference: This makes you a threat.

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followers aren't yours such that you can redirect their attention at will. I mean, maybe functionally it's *possible* but it has a similar ethical valence as subscribing someone else to an email list.

it's a mutual albeit asymmetric relationship initiated by the follower, made in the context of a specific instance. to move that relationship to a new instance imposes a new context.

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yes, with the proviso that one needn't even pay it forward! so long as one doesn't try to ensnare anyone, it's all good.

this reveals two things:

room for privacy in the software one uses, either imported from an upstream, or written for one's own use.

it gives the lie to 'virality' claims. If one isn't trying to ensnare a downstream victim with binary-only distribution, where's the infection? There is none.

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@deejoe Did you see the post on how @webmink promotes the use of "viral" to describe proprietary software?

You add some free software to your software? You're still free to give it to anyone you like[0].

Add some proprietary software? Now your whole thing is contaminated and you need to sanitize it before you can give anyone the source.…
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Very much this. I think the connection between cheap and supported is pretty weak and that the most premium devices are vulnerable to loss of support due to closed hardware and firmware.

The challenges in supporting consumer devices are often created rather than inherent. If they were designed to be more openly accessible than community support would be able to better fill the gaps left by vendors in the long term.

@dazinism @mdm @poindexter

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at this point I've taken to calling Debian "Frank's RedHot OS" because I put that s#!t on everything now

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Finally got a Big Switch from Novel Keys This thing is rad. They need to release a whole keyboard now.

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I'd appreciate some time chatting with someone who thinks that licenses inspired by open source licenses, but with restrictions on use (e.g do no evil licenses) are the best and most effective way to handle people doing evil things with software.

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@joeyh @strypey

Possibly interesting angle, we are starting to see people who were educated as designers volunteering to work on open source projects. This is new to me.

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Oh, I forgot:

* Villifying Glimpse for forking GIMP.
I believe a right to fork is pivital to software freedom (though ideally it shouldn't come to it), and I can't count you amongst our movement if you have beef with this. Especially if you're defending slurs in the process.

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musing about society and stuff 

@deejoe @urusan @natecull @Azure @vfrmedia

It is a wonderful way of seeing the world to describe "life" not as an intangible, undefinable idea that must rely upon some degree of spirituality to not entirely unravel into nothingness, the end of a rainbow that can never be caught... but to rather define it as a property of patterns in space. It becomes an analog rather than binary concept and it naturally connects to the good parts of anarchism and art.

deejoe boosted here's the part where "i'd really need to be there". yes this is safe and yes that's the right pin but another 1st step is to unplug it from everything but the mobo. sometimes a DVD drive or whatever can die in just the right way. likewise, a dead video card can pull too much power so just pull that from the system is a good 1st debugging step, too.

i usually start with the video card, then unplugging everything else, THEN i start stuffing wires in connectors
πŸ˜‰ just a matter of doing what's easiest first, with a bit of luck in what is often the problem. PSUs tend to be reliable compared to the rest.

This version of the Jargon File/Hacker's Dictionary took me longer than I'd like to dig up again so I'm posting it here to boost its signal whatever little bit it might get from the effort


it's that time of the year when a dog walk involves muttering dark things under the breath about making it past the first marker

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@neil I like the idea of co-ops where you have agency as part of the org which manages your data.

Not sure if theres any real good examples of this, where most/many user-owners are somewhat actively involved in the running and/or governance of the service.

#socialcoop has been an interesting project. Lots of engagement/excitement early on. Then 'the crisis', following which there was a massive disengagement & many people left. Nice to see ever more efforts to get people more involved.

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Mastodon @ SDF

"I appreciate SDF but it's a general-purpose server and the name doesn't make it obvious that it's about art." - Eugen Rochko