dredmorbius's recent activity

  1. Comment on How do you keep up with version changes in downloaded software? in ~comp

    dredmorbius Link
    As the others: package manager. For me, apt / apt-get / aptitude on Debian GNU-Linux. The quality, comprehensiveness, ease-of-use, power, flexibility, and lack of bullshit and drama these provide...

    As the others: package manager. For me, apt / apt-get / aptitude on Debian GNU-Linux.

    The quality, comprehensiveness, ease-of-use, power, flexibility, and lack of bullshit and drama these provide is staggering. I deal with a few proprietary systems (mostly MacOS) and the hassle of having to individually track software updates, or have applications randomly interrupt me to tell me that they want to be updated and restart, in the process killing my workflow and state is maddening.

    I haven't touched Windows seriously in decades.

    Even other Linux and Unix systems are often a pale shadow of Debian. Red Hat's RPM/Yum has always been vastly more problematic. I can't speak to Gentoo or several of the newer alternative package managers, though they seem at least more sane than RH.

    The secret sauce for Debian isn't in the tools but the policy and packaging process. That is, yes as a matter of fact packaging software for Debian is slightly more of a pain in the ass than other systems. But administering Debian (or Ubuntu, Mint, or any of the numerous derivative distros) is so much saner, easier, more powerful, and more flexible. Apply a small amount of pain at one side of the process for massive wins at the other.

    3 votes
  2. Comment on What's the real difference between noise and joke? in ~tildes

    dredmorbius Link Parent
    Courtesies are fine. Inanities not so much. Every post and comment carries some cognitive load cost, and as a site grows, even a small percentage of noise starts to drown out, and eventually...

    Courtesies are fine. Inanities not so much.

    Every post and comment carries some cognitive load cost, and as a site grows, even a small percentage of noise starts to drown out, and eventually discourage, signal.

    The best way to counter this is probably to have sub-communities not by topic but by group, for smaller-scale discussion, with substantive content bubbling up. How to structure those groups and how to bubble-up and assess substance are hard problems.

    2 votes
  3. Some of you may have heard that Google+ will be shutting down in August, 2019. Though much criticised (including by me), the site offered some compelling dynamics, and I've reflected a lot on...

    Some of you may have heard that Google+ will be shutting down in August, 2019. Though much criticised (including by me), the site offered some compelling dynamics, and I've reflected a lot on those.

    I'm involved in the effort to find new homes for Plussers and Communities, which has become something of an excuse to explore and redefine what "online" and "social" media are ("PlexodusWiki").

    Part of this involves some frankly embarrassing attempts to try to define what social media is, and what its properties are (both topics reflected heavily in the recent-changes section of the wiki above).

    Tildes is ... among the potential target sites (there are a few Plussers, some of whom I really appreciated knowing and hearing from there), here, though the site dynamics make discovering and following them hard. This site is evolving its own culture and dynamics, parts of which I'm becoming aware of.

    I've been online for well over 30 years, and discovered my first online communities via Unix talk, email, FTP, and Usenet, as well as (no kidding) a computerised university library catalogue system. Unsurprisingly: if you provide a way, especially for bright and precocious minds to interact with one another, they will. I've watched several evolutions of Internet and Web, now increasing App-based platforms. There are differences, but also similarities and patterns emerging. Lessons from previous eras of television, radio, telephony, telegraphy, print, writing, oral traditions, and more, can be applied.

    I've got far more questions than answers and thought I'd put a few out here:

    • What does online or social media mean to you? Is it all user-generated content platforms? Web only? Apps? Email or chat? Wikis? GitHub, GitLab, and StackExchange?

    • Is social networking as exemplified by Facebook or Twitter net good or bad? Why? If bad, how might you fix it? Or is it time to simply retreat?

    • What properties or characteristics would you use to specify, define, or distinguish social or online media?

    • What emergent properties -- site dynamics, if you will -- are positive or negative? What are those based on?

    • What are the positive and negative aspects of scale?

    • What risks would you consider in self-hosting either your own or a group's online presence?

    • What is/was the best online community experience you've had? What characterised it? How did it form? How did it fail (if it did)?

    • What elements would comprise your ideal online experience?

    • What would you nuke from orbit, after takeoff, just to be sure?

    • Are you or your group seeking new options or platforms? What process / considerations do you have?

    I could keep going and will regret not adding other questions, but this is a good start. Feel free to suggest other dimensions, though some focus on what I've prompted with would be appreciated.

    19 votes
  4. Comment on I think Tildes should remain invite-only in ~tildes

    dredmorbius Link
    Invite/referral gets a nod from me, with an eye to financials & growth, comments elsewhere in thread. Quality trumps quantity, and largely denies it.

    Invite/referral gets a nod from me, with an eye to financials & growth, comments elsewhere in thread.

    Quality trumps quantity, and largely denies it.

    2 votes
  5. Comment on I think Tildes should remain invite-only in ~tildes

    dredmorbius Link Parent
    User count? Total subscribed DAU/MAU Submitted > 1 post Submitted > 5 posts/mo (arbitrary cutoff) Submitted > 1 comment Submitted > 20 comments/mo (arbitrary cutoff) Other interactions (votes,...

    User count?

    • Total subscribed
    • DAU/MAU
    • Submitted > 1 post
    • Submitted > 5 posts/mo (arbitrary cutoff)
    • Submitted > 1 comment
    • Submitted > 20 comments/mo (arbitrary cutoff)
    • Other interactions (votes, tags)
    • Rough sense of 90/9/1 activity levels, monthly average
    • Admin actions; deleted comments, posts. User bans.

    Might be a useful ongoing report.

    5 votes
  6. Comment on I think Tildes should remain invite-only in ~tildes

    dredmorbius Link Parent
    What's a per-user or net total viable revenue basis?

    What's a per-user or net total viable revenue basis?

  7. Comment on Senate confirms Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination in ~news

    dredmorbius Link Parent
    Court reform, not (merely) packing. The present court is too small. Expand it. The current court hears too few cases. Multi-track cases. An expanded court, hearing cases in parallel, with smaller...
    • Exemplary

    Court reform, not (merely) packing.

    The present court is too small. Expand it.

    The current court hears too few cases. Multi-track cases. An expanded court, hearing cases in parallel, with smaller banks of justices, could hear far more than the 80 of 8,000 appealled or referred cases annually.

    The current court's balance swings on a single President's appointments, affecting all cases heard, potentially for years, until the next appointment. By expanding the court, dividing the judges into panels, and randomly assigning and reconstituting those panels with time, the sense of a "sure thing" going to court, or even of a house advantage, is greatly reduced. The court may have an overall bias toward liberal or conservative views (or some other categorisation), but any given case might find itself in front of a minority panel.

    The number of critical and closely divided cases is small, as noted below. The significance of those cases, both in terms of their impact on affected persons and businesses, and on increasingly partisan politics within the US, is far larger than the apparently minor occurences of same.

    One of the criticisms of the present court is that it "comforts the comfortable, and afflicts the afflicted." I'd like to take Russell's argument one step further: Have the Supreme Court ride circuit again. Put the justices directly in contact with the people, out in the country, and with the visceral reality of trial court procedure.

    https://plus.google.com/104092656004159577193/posts/9btDjFcNhg1

    4 votes
  8. Comment on The Supreme Court Doesn't Need 9 Justices. It Needs 27 in ~misc

    dredmorbius Link
    There are any number of recommendations floating to expand the US Supreme Court. Jacob Hale Russel goes beyond the focus of most mere size to suggest structural and procedural changes, all within...

    There are any number of recommendations floating to expand the US Supreme Court. Jacob Hale Russel goes beyond the focus of most mere size to suggest structural and procedural changes, all within Congress's legislative remit. The actual Constitutional specification of the court requires little other than that it exist.

    The present court is too small. Expand it.

    The current court hears too few cases. Multi-track cases. An expanded court, hearing cases in parallel, with smaller banks of justices, could hear far more than the 80 of 8,000 appealled or referred cases annually.

    The current court's balance swings on a single President's appointments, affecting all cases heard, potentially for years, until the next appointment. By expanding the court, dividing the judges into panels, and randomly assigning and reconstituting those panels with time, the sense of a "sure thing" going to court, or even of a house advantage, is greatly reduced. The court may have an overall bias toward liberal or conservative views (or some other categorisation), but any given case might find itself in front of a minority panel.

    The number of critical and closely divided cases is small, as noted below. The significance of those cases, both in terms of their impact on affected persons and businesses, and on increasingly partisan politics within the US, is far larger than the apparently minor occurences of same.

    One of the criticisms of the present court is that it "comforts the comfortable, and afflicts the afflicted." I'd like to take Russell's argument one step further: Have the Supreme Court ride circuit again. Put the justices directly in contact with the people, out in the country, and with the visceral reality of trial court procedure.

    In 1898, the viability of a set of judges spreading out through a continent-sized country lacking in high-speed transportation was limited. Even with rail, a transcontinental trip took a week or more, communications remained limited, and prospects were daunting. We no longer live in that world.

    19 votes
  9. Comment on This blog has moved in ~tech

    dredmorbius Link Parent
    Static site generator (Pelican, Hugo, Jekyl, etc.) and ... just about any hosting option, including Gitlab or Github. Search and comments take some thinking, but are possible.

    Static site generator (Pelican, Hugo, Jekyl, etc.) and ... just about any hosting option, including Gitlab or Github.

    Search and comments take some thinking, but are possible.

    3 votes
  10. Comment on Yuval Harari: The most important investment is building a more flexible mind in ~misc

    dredmorbius Link
    The lede and GQ's very regrettable headline suggest "mental flexibility" is required and primary. Harari's actual described practice contradicts this: That is: He jealously guards his attention...
    • Exemplary

    The lede and GQ's very regrettable headline suggest "mental flexibility" is required and primary. Harari's actual described practice contradicts this:

    I don't have a smartphone. My attention is one of the most important resources I have, and the smartphone is constantly trying to grab my attention. There's always something coming in.

    I try to be very careful about how I use technology and really make sure that I'm using it for the purposes that I define instead of allowing it to kind of shape my purposes for me.....

    I rarely follow the kind of day-to-day news cycle. I tend to read long books about subjects that interest me. So instead of reading 100 short stories about the Chinese economy, I prefer to take one long book about the Chinese economy and read it from cover-to-cover.

    That is:

    • He jealously guards his attention and focus.
    • He preemptively discards entire classes of useless information, distraction, and noise.
    • He seeks intensive rather than extensive information. It's ... trivial to be bombarded with trivia today, or with second or third hand treatments of a topic.

    (As in right here: GQ are discussing Harari, I am discussing GQ's discussion of Harari. Just read the fucking book.)

    Going directly to sources, experts or authorities, data rather than opinion, etc., is vastly more informative. Media is intermediate agency -- it gets between and often distorts, attenuates, biases, or confounds the original signal. Where at all possible, disintermediate. You may discover something surprising.

    The number of distracting and unnecessary elements that are part of this GQ Web article itself is all the more ironic.

    We're in a period less of accellerating change than of changing woldviews and mental models. Human information processing ability, including flexibility, is limited. I'd suggest a far more applicable set of skills is:

    • Recognise noise and distortion sources, and eliminate or block them.
    • Identify a world model that is robust in the face of change. This should be one which identifies a set of commonalities across a wide range of phenomena and behaviours, simplifying your assessment of them.

    The result is again trivial, or rather, trivium, a set of basic input parsing, logic, and transmission techniques and tools, or what used to be the base of the seven liberal arts: grammar (input), logic (processing), and rhetoric (output)

    I've been cultivating both myself. The first involves avoiding or blocking most media, including news. The second has been tending strongly toward systems modeling, information theory, and cybernetics, along with a few apparently novel contributions of my own. It's largely informed by reading books and articles or essays, covering a span of thousands of years. Recent discussion (even academic books and articles) is proving almost wholly a distraction, with a few notable exceptions.

    There is an element of flexibility involved, in testing, assessing, and retaining or discarding received wisdom and models. But that itself is not core to my approach.

    8 votes
  11. Comment on <deleted topic> in ~humanities

  12. Comment on Yuval Harari: The most important investment is building a more flexible mind in ~misc

    dredmorbius (edited ) Link
    Submission statement: This was submitted then deleted by another user after I'd criticised GQ's original title. I've reached inside the article for a (slightly edited) quote I find far less...

    Submission statement: This was submitted then deleted by another user after I'd criticised GQ's original title. I've reached inside the article for a (slightly edited) quote I find far less clickbaity. The article is far superior to the original head.

    OP: I do want to thank you for submitting thiss, you deserve the credit, not me.

    Harari is among the more interesting current writers on the human condition. He getss some things right, and wrong here, which I'll discuss separately.

    3 votes
  13. Comment on <deleted topic> in ~humanities

    dredmorbius Link Parent
    Yes. And I'd been writing a long top-level response.... Parking that here for now: The lede suggests "mental flexibility" is required and primary. Harari's actual described practice contradicts...

    Yes. And I'd been writing a long top-level response....

    Parking that here for now:


    The lede suggests "mental flexibility" is required and primary. Harari's actual described practice contradicts this:

    I don't have a smartphone. My attention is one of the most important resources I have, and the smartphone is constantly trying to grab my attention. There's always something coming in.

    I try to be very careful about how I use technology and really make sure that I'm using it for the purposes that I define instead of allowing it to kind of shape my purposes for me.....

    I rarely follow the kind of day-to-day news cycle. I tend to read long books about subjects that interest me. So instead of reading 100 short stories about the Chinese economy, I prefer to take one long book about the Chinese economy and read it from cover-to-cover.

    That is:

    • He jealously guards his attention and focus.
    • He preemptively discards entire classes of useless information, distraction, and noise.
    • He seeks intensive rather than extensive information. It's ... trivial to be bombarded with trivia today, or with second or third hand treatments of a topic.

    (As in right here: GQ are discussing Harari, I am discussing GQ's discussion of Harari. Just read the fucking book.)

    Going directly to sources, experts or authorities, data rather than opinion, etc., is vastly more informative. Media is intermediate agency -- it gets between and often distorts, attenuates, biases, or confounds the original signal. Where at all possible, disintermediate. You may discover something surprising.

    The number of distracting and unnecessary elements that are part of this GQ Web article itself is all the more ironic.

    We're in a period less of accellerating change than of changing woldviews and mental models. Human information processing ability, including flexibility, is limited. I'd suggest a far more applicable set of skills is:

    • Recognise noise and distortion sources, and eliminate or block them.
    • Identify a world model that is robust in the face of change. This should be one which identifies a set of commonalities across a wide range of phenomena and behaviours, simplifying your assessment of them.

    The result is again trivial, or rather, trivium, a set of basic input parsing, logic, and transmission techniques and tools, or what used to be the base of the seven liberal arts: grammar (input), logic (processing), and rhetoric (output)

    I've been cultivating both myself. The first involves avoiding or blocking most media, including news. The second has been tending strongly toward systems modeling, information theory, and cybernetics, along with a few apparently novel contributions of my own. It's largely informed by reading books and articles or essays, covering a span of thousands of years. Recent discussion (even academic books and articles) is proving almost wholly a distraction, with a few notable exceptions.

    There is an element of flexibility involved, in testing, assessing, and retaining or discarding received wisdom and models. But that itself is not core to my approach.

    1 vote
  14. Comment on <deleted topic> in ~humanities

    dredmorbius Link Parent
    I've edited my comment with the DM I'd sent Deimos, including a suggested, shorter, improvement.

    I've edited my comment with the DM I'd sent Deimos, including a suggested, shorter, improvement.

    3 votes
  15. Comment on <deleted topic> in ~humanities

    dredmorbius (edited ) Link
    I'd really like to flag this item as clickbait, on the basis of its title. That despite, or more accurately, because I find Harari's writing inherently interesting. GQ are pulling cheap,...

    I'd really like to flag this item as clickbait, on the basis of its title. That despite, or more accurately, because I find Harari's writing inherently interesting.

    GQ are pulling cheap, manipulative, bullshit.

    • Don't tell me how to feel.
    • Don't presume what I don't (or do) know.
    • Don't spend more words not telling me something than it would take to tell me it in the first place.

    Say:

    "Harari: Emotional flexibility is the most powerful survival skill"
    

    Versus:

    "The Most Important Survival Skill for the Next 50 Years Isn’t What You Think"
    

    https://www.gq.com/story/yuval-noah-harari-tech-future-survival

    9 votes
  16. Comment on How do you deal with stress? in ~life

    dredmorbius Link
    Poorly. I've eliminated most stressors from my life. It is both barely sufficient, and considerably limiting.

    Poorly.

    I've eliminated most stressors from my life. It is both barely sufficient, and considerably limiting.

    27 votes
  17. Comment on No Cash Needed At This Cafe. Students Pay The Tab With Their Personal Data in ~misc

    dredmorbius Link Parent
    The service is tied to your student ID. Of course, nothing is stopping anyone from applying to uni under a fake name, transcripts, test scores, IDs, and paying tuition and achieving grades to...

    The service is tied to your student ID.

    Of course, nothing is stopping anyone from applying to uni under a fake name, transcripts, test scores, IDs, and paying tuition and achieving grades to maintain good standing status, for free coffee.

    6 votes