rms, a defense of free software
Mastodon folks might be particularly interested in my response in this MetaFilter thread -- someone basically asked whether they should give up on Linux entirely, and I replied.
potentially controversial, rms
I’ve been watching people get pressured out of spaces, online and offline, for everything from Stallman’s long record of unpalatable takes to literally just being in the wrong place at the wrong time. The ousting of Stallman was a good call, IMO, but why did he wait to resign until the mobs came for him? Proper discernment is all I wish, and mobs are known to deter that.
I've really come around on object-oriented design patterns.
At first, I dismissed design patterns as cruft being shoved down our throats by the corporate types. Code design doesn't always fit into these neat little labelled boxes that managers like, and anyway if you're spending your days writing patterned boilerplate, the language that you're using is probably the problem.
Well, a lot of that criticism is still true, but I've come to embrace design patterns as a wonderful teaching tool. The very first time I taught object-oriented design, I taught the mechanism of it and the motivation for it in broad terms, but I left it up to students' creativity to decide how to apply it to real problems.
It works for some students, but not all. Newbie coders sometimes benefit from studying patterns. I'm seeing a lot of benefit from new students who can use design patterns as something to hold onto when they feel like they're drowning.
I'm studying in Seoul, South Korea https://angristan.xyz/i-am-studying-in-seoul-south-korea/
Wired, 1993: Rebels with a Cause - Your Privacy. "On the cover were Eric Hughes, Tim May, John Gilmore, holding up an American flag, faces hidden behind white mask, their PGP fingerprints written on the foreheads. Gilmore even sporting an newly-founded EFF T-shirt. (from Thomas Rid, CS Monitor)"
Wired, 2019: YOU'RE IN PRIVATE MODE. To continue using a private window, sign in or subscribe. The title of the article being denied reads "It's Time to Switch to a Privacy Browser. Ad trackers are out of control".
I think the biggest thing I'm bringing back from Korea to Canada is how dumb clothes dryers are. They've got to be one of the dumbest inventions we've ever had. Let's make a machine which DESTROYS your clothes, wrinkles them, dries them unevenly, causes global warming, costs on arm and a leg. All for the benefit of...very slightly reducing how long it takes your clothes to dry.
One of the first thing I did when I got here was buy drying racks. It seems to weird to me that I used to put up with the nonsense that was electric clothes dryers.
Ramblings about having a mixed-race kid, part 4
Don't get me wrong. I think multiracial people probably do lubricate a bit of friction here and there. Here in Korea, there is a very clear and black-and-white meaning behind the word "foreigner" (외국인) and my kid and others like her will probably help to make that word a little more grey in people's minds. It's a positive thing, if very small.
I don't believe mixed-race people will put an end to racism in the world, though.
If there's one thing in this world that will put an end to racism (and I am an optimistic person by nature), it's education. Teaching people about the world and about humanity and about logic and fairness will do a lot more than hordes of beige people ever will, I surmise.
Hope she has a good life, anyway.
Ramblings about having a mixed-race kid, part 3
But I'm really not convinced having everyone mixed together will accomplish that. Imagine a new race of multiracial beige people comes to fruition: won't beige people just become the new privileged race? And everyone who's not beige ends up marginalized much like people of colour today?
Even if we somehow got to point where everyone is somehow exactly the same shade, surely we'd still have people looking eyes or different looking mouths or different looking whatevers, or originating from one part of the world or another, and ancestry-based and appearance-based discrimination continue on exactly as they have.
Ramblings about having a mixed-race kid, part 2
I never really understood the dream of having everyone look the same. Personally I think it's kind of fun that everybody looks different. Some people are dark, some people are light, some people are tall, some people are short, etc. It adds a bit of variety to your day seeing a variety of people I guess, haha.
I understand that historically this has caused a lot of problems, though. People have excluded and discriminated and done all sorts of terrible things to people who look different, so I can understand that if we could end racism by making everyone look the same, it would be worthy tradeoff.
Ramblings about having a mixed-race kid, part 1
My daughter is mixed. I'm white (Northern European ancestry) and my wife is Korean. One thing that's surprised me is a few friends/family have told us how "great" it is to have a mixed baby. They go on about how they hope that the human race all gets mixed together and how it will end racism and that. There are a couple things that bother me about this.
First I find it kind of funny because neither my wife nor I put that much thought into it. In spite of my profile picture and my wife, I'm not really "into" Asian women. Not that there's anything wrong with Asian women, but they're not particularly my type and I'd never dated any before. Similarly, my wife has never really been into white guys. She'd only ever dated Korean guys before and generally finds them more attractive.
But, you know, life happens, love happens. We're happy together, so went with it and got married and had a kid. Continued....
You know that saying that the definition of "insanity" is doing the same thing and expecting a different result? Isn't that also the definition of "practice"?
I had this thought watching my 3 month-old. Every day she tries to crawl, roll over, sit up, etc. Every day she fails miserably, gets frustrated and starts crying. We (adults) all know that one day she'll stumble upon success, but she doesn't know that. She just really wants to crawl, and the only thing she can do is try the same thing over and over again and hope for a better result miraculously. Is she insane? (Maybe)
Obviously sometimes the best response to failure is trying a different tack, which is what the original quotation is getting at. Sometimes, though, the best thing is to just do the same thing again, fail again, and become more practised.
Researchers: Anonymized data does little to protect user privacy - https://thenextweb.com/insider/2019/07/30/anonymized-data-does-little-to-protect-privacy/
fread.ink is a free as in freedom alternate operating system for electronic paper ebook readers
Canadian living in Korea
Embedded programming, operating systems, compilers, free software, kpop girls