knocklessmonster's recent activity

  1. Comment on What is the difference between Linux distros? Why do you use the one you use? in ~comp

    knocklessmonster
    Link Parent
    More out of curiosity than anything, but I like that it's a fully functional, drop-in replacement for Jack and Pulseaudio. It's a bit of a fiddly fight getting those two protocols working...

    More out of curiosity than anything, but I like that it's a fully functional, drop-in replacement for Jack and Pulseaudio. It's a bit of a fiddly fight getting those two protocols working together, with installing extra modules for Pulse, configuring Pulse client outputs to switch to the JACK sink when it's active, etc. Pipewire actually manages to fix all of that, not by patching the two together, but by removing the need for them in the first place. With it, I can even route them as if they were all JACK applications, and I think there's better audio latency.

    6 votes
  2. Comment on What is the difference between Linux distros? Why do you use the one you use? in ~comp

    knocklessmonster
    (edited )
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    The package manager and packaging policy are usually the defining features of a distro. Init systems have become another point of definition, but it's more ideological users stumbling into a...

    What is the mechanical difference between using one distribution of Linux and another

    The package manager and packaging policy are usually the defining features of a distro. Init systems have become another point of definition, but it's more ideological users stumbling into a distro than a distro being particularly ideological about it.

    Or are the differences usually not mechanical?

    The differences are both mechanical, and not mechanical.

    Debian packages according to a loose schedule of "it's ready when it's ready" which has translated to roughly releasing every 2 years, on odd years, recently. This leads to them being "out of date" in terms of package versions, but unchanging through a given release support period. They also have to backport security fixes, often by hacking directly on the in-repo version of the package.

    I dual-boot on all my machines and use Windows most of the time. My preferred distro is Arch. I used Mint for a bit recently, but really don't like using Ubuntu. I don't mind the Debian-ness of it, as Debian is my second favorite distro, I just don't like a lot of their smaller decisions like replacing DEB packages with snaps.

    What things are easier or harder for you in your distro of choice?

    Easier: System maintenance. I can modify pacman hooks all day no problem. I can kick an Arch system many different ways without accidentally breaking one of many automated tools that exist in Debian, for example. It all works exactly as specified by upstream, with little to no distro-specific modification. There are things like mkinitcpio that are Arch-specific, but they're frankly few and far between. Debian requires you to understand Debian, whereas Arch requires you to understand your packages.

    Is it mainly day-to-day tasks that are important or more how the OS works underneath?

    A distro is an operating system. An operating system is a tool. Therefore, a distro is a tool. Honestly, it's down to how useful a particular distro is to you.

    I'm interested in a wide range of software beyond what is typically packaged, and use Arch to explore this. I use Arch because it provides the best tools for software compilation and an exceptionally simple packaging system anybody can use if they know shell scripting. Void takes this a step further by their entire package system being these scripts parsed by a CI system to compile their packages automatically for them across architectures.

    How much difference does your preferred distro make?

    Very little, but it's where these differences exist that matters. Arch uses the latest libraries, which tend to be backward-compatible. If I can't build a program on Debian because my library is out of date, and it's not in backports yet, I'm boned. In Arch, I can also go directly to upstream for software issues, as I'm using a current, generally unmodified version of the software, but you'll typically still report the issue to the maintainer who goes upstream.

    A huge example for a difference Arch has made is Pipewire. It's going to take a while to hit Ubuntu LTS next year, but should be useful in Debian Bullseye (I intend to roll it out on my laptops soon, actually). When I use Debian I tend to suffer from Shiny New Stuff Syndrome, so the balance I've found is Arch on my desktop, which I use every day, and Debian on my less-frequently-used laptops. With a good version of pipewire in Debian now, plus XFCE 4.16 in Bullseye, I can actually, more or less, make both distros identical.

    9 votes
  3. Comment on Let's talk about communism and the left in ~humanities

    knocklessmonster
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    Lots of people gave great answers, I'll give this a crack. At risk of going in with the knowledge level of Jordan Peterson (I've literally only read The Communist Manifesto and the first chapter...

    Lots of people gave great answers, I'll give this a crack. At risk of going in with the knowledge level of Jordan Peterson (I've literally only read The Communist Manifesto and the first chapter of "The Conquest of Bread"), I'll attempt to throw my entire single semester of comparative economics at this.

    What exactly is communism in layman terms? Because for me it's all over the place. Everything that seems to care about people is put into the communist basket, but a lot of people call it a dictatorship. ELI5.

    There is no lay definition, which is why it's a boogeyman. The simplest explanation is "workers own the means of production," but in practice that generally tends to be the state owns the means of production as a representation of the people, which is what largely causes the charge of regulation being communist to come up. This may be the issue of relying on a vanguard party, but we're leaving lay discourse here.

    Why almost every average citizen (americans and brazilians at least) says it's bad?

    The Cold War. We had American communists, there was a large party of them, but a lot of the west's response to communism is directly in response to how communism has existed, usually in a totalitarian regime that never shed its authoritarian government to reach Marx's idea of a communist society.

    My best friend is a school teacher and is a marxist. He says Joe Biden is still a terrible choice, but the only alternative to Trump and he is not a communist at all, but i keep hearing people call him a commie. WTF is he? If possible, ELI5 what he is and what he stands for.

    Marx was, by and large, a philosopher. He felt communism was inevitable, and wrote heavily about that (the Communist Manifesto, Das Kaptial I-IV, and most of his body of work that wasn't about sociology or theology, the latter being what he got his doctorate in). He was also something of a "failed" economist, if only in the sense that he was never good at math, and his analysis was based on theory that later Marxian economists later formalized mathematically. There were socialist economists before him, and especially during his time, and he had falling-outs with most of them at one point or another because he felt they weren't radical enough, as they typically called for a socialized free market structure that protected workers from exploitation while protecting their rights as provided by liberal philosophy.

    Back to "Marxist but not Communist." Marx was a philosopher. Even I'm philosophically aligned with Marx, thing some form of socialism is a solid goal and in general agreeing with many of his opinions, but I don't think communism is a good pursuit. My issues are external to Marx's philosophy, largely to do with issues of history and sociology.

    Why there is right x left and no place for something in between? Is there a need to everything be one side or another to work? There is no middle ground in politics? Grabbing aspects from the left and from the right and co-existing in the same government is a problem?

    This happens all the time. In Sweden, even the fascists like the socialized parts of their government, but want to protect these institutions for true Swedes. Nazi Germany was built around a concept sometimes referred to as "Herrenvolk Socialism," basically socialism for the right groups of people. Neither of these are middle-grounds, though, they're still far-right.

    The other issue is socialsim, liberalism (in the Enlightenment/European sense) and conservatism are all at some odds with each other. I think you could leverage socialism for something of a truly liberal society, but conservatism is where liberal philosophy goes to die, either by being taken to an extreme (libertarianism) or simply murder (passing laws to restrict people because you disagree with their right to do the thing). Even the liberal philosophers saw some need for behavioral restriction to protect the rights and sovereignty of others.

    My answer here isn't great, but it's mostly to do with the fact that we aren't all (me, especially) philosophers. We don't give a lot of time to thinking about these issues, so we often parrot what we hear.

    A lot of people really think letting companies run wild and free is good. That the market will regulate itself. I think this is naive, because even now they do some really shady stuff. Just look at Nestle.

    This is a bastardization of early capitalist economic philosophy. Adam Smith wrote about many mechanics of capitalism, and the requirements for it to work properly, which are about as stringent as Marx's rules for true communism. The expectation is that when these rules are all met, it'll work out. The common assumption today is there was a time when this worked out. Even Smith saw value in government regulation for protecting workers.. While I've never read Smith, the general vibe I get is he was attempting to describe the rules as he understood them, not say "this is how it should be." Like any philosophical work, there is a lot of nuance that is very easily stripped away, if not warped to match a conflicting agenda.

    These rules require such specific conditions as full, equal information for a transaction, a completely unrestricted market, and perfect competition. Even in his day this didn't happen, and he was very critical of how capitalists behaved, particularly with regard to how they treated their workers.

    Why people say that and is there some truth to this that i can't see? Is regulating companies a communist thing?

    I'll just summarize what I said for brevity: People don't actually read Smith and pull pithy quotes. Regulation is not communist. Arguably anything short of bloody revolution to precede economic restructuring isn't communist.

    People say that communism didn't work when implemented and the other side says that it was not really communism. What is the truth here? It didn't work? if not, why it didn't? If it was not true communism, what it was and why it was not true communism?

    There is this notion of "state capitalism," that some would charge the Soviet Union of. The state controls the economy, and handles free trade with other nations. Arguably, this is what caused the decades of famine in the SU, when crops were sold off for reinvestment in urban industry, causing mass starvation in rural areas.

    China operates many state-run companies, but is fairly unique in that it opened to private enterprise in its port cities in the 80s IIRC. They're more of approaching a free-market economy with an authoritarian government, however. In terms of full communism, I'd say both of these reflect the failure and corruptibility of a vanguard party, which is also something of a necessity, because you need to have people to organize the new economy.

    Is there a country that is communist today?

    Cuba and Vietnam are as close as you can get to communist states that don't resemble fully authoritarian state capitalist countries. There is some inherent restriction of freedoms, like not speaking out against the government and whatnot, but from what I've heard Vietnam isn't too bad about that, even, being better than many so-called "liberal democracies."

    What books about the left and the right i should read? Nothing too dense.

    Honestly, if I could answer that, I'd have read them. I'd say just go to the source material. Marx lays out his ideas of communism in the Communist Manifesto, which is short. It provides an interesting ideological crash course. I would recommend Comparative Economics in a Transforming World Economy, which was the textbook I used in my comparative economics course. You can find the second revision on libgen. It's well-written and mostly fair (they're not too keen on communism and it shows, just be aware of that, but they tried to be fair). Unfortunately, to really understand this stuff beyond the point of pulling random quotes and platitudes, you've got to read some old or at least very dense stuff.

    7 votes
  4. Comment on Uganda cut its internet off from the rest of the world, one day before the country's general election in ~news

    knocklessmonster
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    This may shed some light as to why for anybody (like me) who doesn't know what's going on in Uganda. That's a bad sign of things to come, especially now combined with the result.

    This may shed some light as to why for anybody (like me) who doesn't know what's going on in Uganda.

    That's a bad sign of things to come, especially now combined with the result.

    3 votes
  5. Comment on Why you should stop reading news in ~life

    knocklessmonster
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    Does the author mean everybody all the time? Or just "Here's why you should stop for now?" I totally get taking a break, I've had to his past year having little to no distraction from the literal...

    Does the author mean everybody all the time? Or just "Here's why you should stop for now?" I totally get taking a break, I've had to his past year having little to no distraction from the literal firehose of news I've been exposing myself to staying at home. I finally managed to reach a point where I can stay up to date without completely losing it, but I had a couple of rough weeks. I'm mostly saying this as an example: Sometimes you've got to step away.

    2 votes
  6. Comment on The Great Deplatforming: An alternate explanation for the Parler, et al, shutdowns in ~tech

    knocklessmonster
    Link Parent
    It's probably one of those things that depends on perspective. I felt they were fair, with a simple ultimatum: "Fix your shit, or we'll remove you." But I also don't run a "free speech" platform...

    It's probably one of those things that depends on perspective. I felt they were fair, with a simple ultimatum: "Fix your shit, or we'll remove you." But I also don't run a "free speech" platform while ignoring the fact it's causing massive problems.

    I didn't see anything out of the ordinary here until Amazon yanked their service, but even that's more or less unrelated (same reasons, different, independent action). As you said, devs get these ultimatums all the time, but even then, can generally get back into the store if they've been kicked out but also put in an honest effort to fix the violation that just came up a little late.

    3 votes
  7. Comment on Report: China CCP to nationalize Jack Ma's Alibaba and Ant Group in ~news

    knocklessmonster
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    I'm curious how this'll work on an international scale. I know China has many foreign-facing nationalized companies an recognize a few with this list, but what happens when it's basically Chinese...

    I'm curious how this'll work on an international scale. I know China has many foreign-facing nationalized companies an recognize a few with this list, but what happens when it's basically Chinese foreign-facing Amazon?

    I'm also curious/concerned about Jack Ma, it would be like Jeff Bezos just disappearing one day.

    4 votes
  8. Comment on What’s something you have an unusually strong fondness for? in ~talk

    knocklessmonster
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    Being somewhere you usually need to be, but really early in the morning. As much as it can suck to be up early, I always appreciate how everything looks, feels, sounds, and even smells different...

    Being somewhere you usually need to be, but really early in the morning. As much as it can suck to be up early, I always appreciate how everything looks, feels, sounds, and even smells different at 5AM instead of 7 AM. One of my big regrets was when I was going to class early, I stopped by my community college's pond, and decided not to chill in the dark overlooking the water for a few minutes, figuring I'd get it next week. It was Daylight Savings that Sunday, and the pond was closed off the next year.

    Hikes, my workplace, school, even just walking to the store when the sun's just rising just feels so good, even if I'm up that early with a substantial lack of sleep. The reason I think it qualifies as an "unusual fondness" is that it seems to feel best when conditions are worst, like I was up all night in a fit of insomnia and decided to take advantage of the extra day that is unfortunately available to me.

    14 votes
  9. Comment on What’s something you have an unusually strong fondness for? in ~talk

    knocklessmonster
    Link Parent
    I used to hate tofu, and started eating it more to try to find a preparation I liked. I found myself actually enjoying the flavor of raw, unseasoned tofu after I ordered fried tofu at a tea shop....

    I used to hate tofu, and started eating it more to try to find a preparation I liked. I found myself actually enjoying the flavor of raw, unseasoned tofu after I ordered fried tofu at a tea shop. It was cooked/heated thoroughly, but it had this light, crispy outer layer and the soft, sweet inner layer. I still can't describe the flavor, it's uniquely "tofu" to me.

    2 votes
  10. Comment on The Great Deplatforming: An alternate explanation for the Parler, et al, shutdowns in ~tech

    knocklessmonster
    Link Parent
    I edited my comment a hair to reflect that.

    I edited my comment a hair to reflect that.

    1 vote
  11. Comment on The Great Deplatforming: An alternate explanation for the Parler, et al, shutdowns in ~tech

    knocklessmonster
    (edited )
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    To answer Greenwald: Because there's not really bad groups to purge from Parler. Parler is the bad group, by and large. On Facebook or Twitter, most people are not calling for violence, even...

    To answer Greenwald:

    Why did Amazon, Google and Apple make a flamboyant showing of removing Parler from the internet while leaving much larger platforms with far more extremism and advocacy of violence flowing on a daily basis?

    Because there's not really bad groups to purge from Parler. Parler is the bad group, by and large. On Facebook or Twitter, most people are not calling for violence, even political extremists, and the vast majority of the violent rhetoric is coming from one political alignment. With Facebook, the majority of discussion is not aiming for violent or racist rhetoric. You can actually purge it and still have a functioning website with a large userbase.

    I think something similar would've happened if there wasn't an oligopoly on cloud services and mobile platforms. Parler maybe could have crawled to a couple of cloud providers to stay online, but eventually nobody would've wanted to take them. It was just faster with fewer companies available.

    Part of what I think happened is no company wanted to be the first to take any action. I think it may go as far back as Trump being banned from Twitter, the first major move in this recent series of events, to sort of "okay" the effective deletion of Parler. Once Twitter crossed that line, everybody else followed, if for no other reason than they knew it could be done. I'm obviously not discussing each company's specific motivations, but to be honest I'm not sure if it's political, economic, or some combination of things preventing them from taking action earlier, or taking action now.

    13 votes
  12. Comment on 70TB of Parler users’ messages, videos, and posts leaked by security researchers in ~tech

    knocklessmonster
    Link Parent
    It's not. This isn't data that was scraped at the time of posting, it was data that was taken from a site with modified access through an iphone app. The fact it was available at all through the...

    It's not. This isn't data that was scraped at the time of posting, it was data that was taken from a site with modified access through an iphone app. The fact it was available at all through the api is a different issue.

    FWIW, I also disagree with web crawlers taking and saving data from public sites being an inherently good thing, because I feel you should reasonably expect your data to only exist where you approve of it being. I think it's okay for historically relevant stuff to be archived (parler does fit into this, both as a case study of wholly unmoderated social media, and because of the capitol attack), but in the day to day operations of most websites, I think this actually tends to be more a violation of people's "right to be forgotten" as protected by many data-protection laws than it benefits most of society. I shouldn't have to track my data across three websites to try to remove it because I posted it to one.

    3 votes
  13. Comment on How much time do you think should pass before articles or discussion about any given event can be tagged as history? in ~tildes

    knocklessmonster
    Link Parent
    Part of that is also law, if I remember correctly. It's illegal to disrupt an archeological site, so you need to confirm that it doesn't hold any historical significance before effectively...

    Part of that is also law, if I remember correctly. It's illegal to disrupt an archeological site, so you need to confirm that it doesn't hold any historical significance before effectively defacing it by, say, putting a house on it.

    2 votes
  14. Comment on 70TB of Parler users’ messages, videos, and posts leaked by security researchers in ~tech

    knocklessmonster
    Link Parent
    I get that, but "this would be worse if it happened to minorities" isn't that. It would be bad if it happened to anybody who opposed the current power structure. My issue with the article is it...

    I get that, but "this would be worse if it happened to minorities" isn't that. It would be bad if it happened to anybody who opposed the current power structure.

    My issue with the article is it was already poorly written, and the bit I mentioned felt like a disingenuous way to score cheap points than an actual point being made. I would probably have read it differently in a better-written article.

    I don't think that's what people are saying

    Honestly, that was my takeaway from the sentiments expressed in the article. Everything I said was in the context of this poorly written article, not "what people are saying."

    3 votes
  15. Comment on 70TB of Parler users’ messages, videos, and posts leaked by security researchers in ~tech

    knocklessmonster
    Link Parent
    Yes. Because my concern isn't "poor bad guy users," but "this would suck if it happened to a cause that wasn't harmful." I can accept that stuff that sucks for the good guys can be done to the bad...

    Yes. Because my concern isn't "poor bad guy users," but "this would suck if it happened to a cause that wasn't harmful." I can accept that stuff that sucks for the good guys can be done to the bad guys, but when doing stuff to bad actors, I think it's important to consider what'll happen if the same thing is carried out against people who aren't bad.

    2 votes
  16. Comment on 70TB of Parler users’ messages, videos, and posts leaked by security researchers in ~tech

    knocklessmonster
    Link Parent
    I'm not "both sides-ing,." but an action like this can have one hell of a backhand. These tactics are apolitical and need to be considered through that lens. If it can be done to Parler, it can be...

    I'm so tired of "both sides-ing" on this issue.

    I'm not "both sides-ing,." but an action like this can have one hell of a backhand. These tactics are apolitical and need to be considered through that lens. If it can be done to Parler, it can be done to activist groups on Facebook. My intent wasn't "poor fascists!" but "holy shit, this would be a nightmare if it happened to the good team!"

    12 votes
  17. Comment on 70TB of Parler users’ messages, videos, and posts leaked by security researchers in ~tech

    knocklessmonster
    Link Parent
    I take issue with the article claiming it's good because Parler is bad. And there is data from deleted, aka not publicly accessible posts, largely because standard operations for social media tend...

    I take issue with the article claiming it's good because Parler is bad.

    The data scrape includes deleted posts, meaning that Parler stored user data after users deleted it. This was not scraped at time of posting, but extracted from a database that should not have been accessible.

    And there is data from deleted, aka not publicly accessible posts, largely because standard operations for social media tend to involve holding on to this data for various reasons. They didn't pull the data from the Wayback Machine, but from a database they should not have had access to. I have a feeling this would be a very different conversation if it was a different platform. I get wanting to dunk on Parler, but again my issue is with the way the article disguised dunking on Parler as a discussion on ethics that was three sentences long.

    “To me, this is a little more like the Ashley Madison debacle, but for white supremacists,” he explained.

    This is the part that is essentially saying "we're hurting the right people." People celebrated the Ashley Madison breach because it was just cheaters, but it was mechanically the same as any other data breach.

    5 votes
  18. Comment on 70TB of Parler users’ messages, videos, and posts leaked by security researchers in ~tech

    knocklessmonster
    Link Parent
    Private and deleted posts aren't publicly available data. I wouldn't have any issues if it was just a scrape, but it's not, and the article is very disingenuous about what happened, and justifying...

    Private and deleted posts aren't publicly available data. I wouldn't have any issues if it was just a scrape, but it's not, and the article is very disingenuous about what happened, and justifying it in a half-assed, politically partisan manner.

    7 votes
  19. Comment on 70TB of Parler users’ messages, videos, and posts leaked by security researchers in ~tech

    knocklessmonster
    (edited )
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    This article is and points out all sorts of bad. My major issue is the "discussion" of ethics. It's not a state-sposnored attack, but it is still a hack. It would still be a data scrape with the...
    • Exemplary

    This article is and points out all sorts of bad.

    My major issue is the "discussion" of ethics.

    “From what I‘m reading, these weren‘t hacking in a sense we think about state-sponsored hacking, involving phishing or active deception, or anything like that. There was a glaring gap in the security of the platform, and @don_enby and a few others noticed it and used it,” Ali Alkhatib, data ethicist and a research fellow at the Center for Applied Data Ethics, explained to CyberNews.

    It's not a state-sposnored attack, but it is still a hack.

    Since @don_enby did not carry out the data scrape secretively, there’s little to worry about from an ethics perspective. However, Alkhatib agrees that if the data scrape was targeted towards minority groups, there’d be a lot more to worry about.

    It would still be a data scrape with the intent of capturing private users' information, enabled by a hack that was made easier by a former contractor loudly announcing the site's vulnerabilities.

    if the data scrape was targeted towards minority groups, there’d be a lot more to worry about.

    With full awareness of where I'm commenting, this is a racially-motivated double standard, and completely unnecessary. I would contend that this is wrong, no matter who it was done against, and the only ethical conversation worth happening, and the article tries to pretend to solve, is the ethics of the behavior with regards to the benefits of the results.

    “To me, this is a little more like the Ashley Madison debacle, but for white supremacists,” he explained.

    You don't get to have a section that says "The ethics of this thing" and give the liberal version of "it's hurting the right people."

    The only pass I'm willing to give here is that it is helpful in identifying domestic terrorists, but this data and any utility it has may still be undermined by the fact that it is useless for any sort of prosecution because it was illegally acquired. I also don't like the tone of "We don't like these guys so it's okay," because this is very much a double-edged sword. If this becomes legal in this instance, it could set a precedent in the next incident. You want to talk about risks to people of color? This is the perfect sort of thing for law enforcement to abuse. Also, two seconds on Google shows that Twilio had another major incident this year anyway.

    In a press release announcing the decision, Twilio revealed which services Parler was using.

    Probably not the best move. Yeah, I get it. "Fuck Parler." I'm there, too, but maybe a company hired to manage security for a site shouldn't be broadcasting that sites vulnerabilities after they're no longer a client.

    16 votes
  20. Comment on Nonfiction writing advice in ~humanities

    knocklessmonster
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    He covered a lot of ground there. It's all all very solid, even the "This is the only time to copy Trump." He managed to be the only man who ran twice as a Democrat to take over the Republican...

    He covered a lot of ground there. It's all all very solid, even the "This is the only time to copy Trump." He managed to be the only man who ran twice as a Democrat to take over the Republican party. I don't know if he knew what he was doing, necessarily, but it worked, probably like when you accidentally cheese a puzzle in a video game and just keep moving forward.

    The part with changing your approach based on your audience was particularly interesting, with how a simple thing like a content warning can change the audience of a post, or leading in with some opposition to a point you're trying to support to get eyes on your discussion. I wouldn't have expected to see it as a targeting tool, but I guess if it works, it works. There's a lot more I found interesting, but don't have much to say about beyond "that makes sense."

    3 votes