mftrhu's recent activity

  1. Comment on Linux Distro for an old PC in ~comp

    mftrhu Link Parent
    Yeah, it's a cool project. I still have an old netbook (eight years by now) hanging around, and NetSurf/Dillo help in making it still useable - documentation usually doesn't need fancy JS - when...

    Yeah, it's a cool project. I still have an old netbook (eight years by now) hanging around, and NetSurf/Dillo help in making it still useable - documentation usually doesn't need fancy JS - when coupled with a couple of tools like rtv and translate-shell.

    It's not as underpowered as OP's machine - it has a full GB of RAM - and of course today they won't work with many webpages, but they can give old machines new life. IIRC Dillo used to be the default web browser for Puppy Linux, too.

    1 vote
  2. Comment on Linux Distro for an old PC in ~comp

    mftrhu Link Parent
    Dillo or NetSurf would probably work. Dillo can stay under 100 MB even with a few open tabs. You'd have to give up JS and conformity to modern web standards, but you wouldn't have much luck these...

    Dillo or NetSurf would probably work. Dillo can stay under 100 MB even with a few open tabs.

    You'd have to give up JS and conformity to modern web standards, but you wouldn't have much luck these days, with "proper" browsers, on 256 MB of RAM.

    2 votes
  3. Comment on The global gag on free speech is tightening in ~news

    mftrhu Link Parent
    Yes. So did I. It took hundreds of discussions over the span of a few years, but I never said that convincing people that they are wrong is impossible, just not worth the effort. Which makes this...

    I've successfully won over dozens of people arguing politics, vaccines and similar topics.

    Yes. So did I. It took hundreds of discussions over the span of a few years, but I never said that convincing people that they are wrong is impossible, just not worth the effort.

    But I see you fervently arguing for/against these things, this takes energy as well.

    Which makes this "gotcha" quite irritating. I have enough energy to argue. I refuse to allocate any more energy towards specific arguments and discussions, and I said as much: in this thread, on Tildes, and on other platforms.

    I will still step in and correct people, as I can't really afford not to, but that's not the same thing as debating or arguing with them: I am not trying to sway them, I am trying to show everyone else that they are wrong. If I also happen to convince them, good, but that's not my objective.

    Again, I don't care about them or their reasons, and I'm not about to start caring. I am not irritated by their belief, it's irrelevant. I am irritated by the fact that they are spreading dangerous misinformation, and I want to cut that down.

    They can keep on believing that vaccines cause autism, provided that they shut up about it. They won't do that, as they think they are right, and that's why I try to make that as costly as possible.

    2 votes
  4. Comment on The global gag on free speech is tightening in ~news

    mftrhu Link Parent
    Yes. That is part of the cost I was talking about. And it's not a cost I think people should pay, even if it's not literally putting one's life on the line but "just" one's mental health. I don't...

    This is someone who quite literally put their life on the line to convert people who "have very strong opinions" and most certainly live in echo chambers.

    Yes. That is part of the cost I was talking about. And it's not a cost I think people should pay, even if it's not literally putting one's life on the line but "just" one's mental health.

    Now that's not to say "do this or shut up", but there is a point to converting people and it absolutely is terrifically effective when it does work.

    I don't believe this. I believe that "converting" some people, and bringing them out of their echo chamber, is possible. I don't believe that the cost you have to pay to do it is worth it, not at any sort of scale.

    Or worse: People who would be on your side, but who feel put off by how radical your arguments are. And they're right to be, and this is not just theoretical -- Just yesterday I mentioned tildes on a tiny Ask-HN post and someone immediately mentioned this very comment chain as it was their first impression of the site. Understand that your words do have an effect on people.

    I know my words have an effect on people. That's exactly why I use them.

    And HN is far, far from the best example you could have used. "Psychology is not just fluff" is a "radical opinion" on there, and likewise "y'know, maybe capitalism is kinda shit".

    don't start thinking your parents, friends, neighbours, even yourself or the people you trust the most are immune to it.

    lmfao

    No, they are not immune. Every time I bring the topic of my transition up to my father, he shuts the discussion down by telling me I'll get cancer.

    Every time my uncle gets some attention, he starts ranting about how medicine is dangerous, how vaccines make people autistic, and how "they" are pushing them on us only to make money.

    Every time my aunt gets that, she brings up some sort of MLM scheme involving "natural" products, and she keeps on telling me that microwaved food is dangerous.

    Family friends? Apparently at least one of them thinks we should sink the boats migrants come in on.

    That's why I start from "what the fuck is your damage" and progress from there.

    I spent years having this sort of debates. I used to take people seriously, and I used to think that people are ultimately rational, that you can sway them if you can show them that you are right, if you take the time to explain things to them. It's not particularly effective online, and it's not effective IRL.

    Saying "they can do some research by themselves" ignores the filter bubble effect. If you think people on the right simply haven't done their research, you're fooling yourself. Antivaxxers have done their research. Flat earthers have done their research. They did it wrong, but they don't feel like they haven't. How would they even know, without the tools to know so?

    Ok. Wonderful. So they don't belong to the group who is just spouting bullshit without having even bothered to google what they are talking about, and who endlessly demands that other people explain trivial concepts to them, before going "you were rude to me, it just goes to show that feminists/gay people/trans people are all rude".

    They just belong to the group who thinks they are right.

    Are they open to discussion? If I point out to them that the paper they used to conclude that vaccines are bad is flawed, that all those scary ingredient in vaccines are not actually dangerous, that the complication rate is very low, are they going to fall back to "but it's unnatural, Big Pharma lies"? Will they move the goalposts, or actually listen to what people tell to them?

    How many such confrontations will it take to ultimately sway them, if they can even be swayed?

    Because until that time, they'll still keep on spouting off "vaccines are dangerous" - reinforcing that belief in those who agree with them, and exposing the fencesitters to it.

    Likewise I understand where you yourself are coming from. How could you possibly show any understanding towards people who, as you said, would deny your very existence? Only you can answer that.

    I wouldn't. I don't care why they do what they do, nor I care how they got to that point. It just does not matter to me. A rabid dog is arguably innocent, just a carrier for its disease, but it remains dangerous, and most of the people who we are talking about are not "innocent carriers" for their hateful memes.

    What I'm writing here to you, I wrote a thousand times before to others who simply would dismiss people by the millions for their association with the right.

    For their association with the right? That's a word with a pretty big scope.

    In any case, again, it doesn't really matter to me how someone got to the point of saying "gays are deviants and will go to hell". Religion? Radicalization on 4chan, Reddit, or the YouTube comments section? Are they just fucking assholes, or are they using homophobia to cope with the fact that they feel marginalized?

    The fact remains that they are still saying it. You might argue that I'm not "treating the disease" by mocking them into silence, and maybe that I'm making things worse.

    I would reply with a "yes, and?" to the former, and with a sidelong stare to the latter, because if you don't treat the symptoms of your metaphorical patient and just focus on "treating the root problem", you will mostly end up without a patient to treat.

    I don't have enough compassion for the foulest vilest of people. I don't have enough energy for their endless, petty debates. I don't think they deserve it more than people who are not the foulest and vilest, and I will keep on asking people to put their own energy and compassion towards other efforts.

    6 votes
  5. Comment on All Tridactyl installations might get removed by Firefox on Aug 21 in ~tech

    mftrhu Link Parent
    At the very least, PaleMoon was forked from Firefox 38 ESR, and it maintains its own fork of Gecko, Goanna. Waterfox seems to be moving more closely behind Firefox, as their codebase is newer (I...

    At the very least, PaleMoon was forked from Firefox 38 ESR, and it maintains its own fork of Gecko, Goanna. Waterfox seems to be moving more closely behind Firefox, as their codebase is newer (I think they forked it from FF 56?)

    2 votes
  6. Comment on The global gag on free speech is tightening in ~news

    mftrhu Link Parent
    My point is that my strategy is not trying to convert anybody who actually disagrees in the first place. I don't see the value in it. The people who make up the group "who actually disagree" tend...

    My point is that my strategy is not trying to convert anybody who actually disagrees in the first place.

    I don't see the value in it. The people who make up the group "who actually disagree" tend to have very strong opinions, and to live in echo chambers. Some of those strong opinions include things like "the left is supporting degenerates", which makes them disinclined to talk with - not at - someone like me.

    Even when they do, it's a lot of effort for very little payoff. I'd rather put my energy into outreach to people who won't just go "but the left is doing X, too!", and I'd rather see people attack their platform rather than their arguments.

    Putting aside "nazis don't deserve a platform" - because some things people want to argue about are flat-out nonsensical and dangerous - I don't see much value in explaining the same concept for the thousandth time to one person who might or might not stop spreading misinformation about it.

    It's a cost we are forced to pay. I'd rather turn the tables, impose a cost on misinformation and lies - by, say, mocking those who spread it - and reduce the cost to oppose it by not targeting their apparent argument (e.g., in this case "the left does not care about free speech").

    If they are willing to learn - if they are not willfully ignorant or malicious - they can do some research by themselves, and/or ask someone in good faith instead of blasting FUD and waiting for someone to correct them. If they are not willing to learn, I wrote them off already.

    5 votes
  7. Comment on The global gag on free speech is tightening in ~news

    mftrhu Link Parent
    "Speech-acceptance issue"? What speech is the US left not accepting, and why would it be an issue? Because, from my experience - speaking as an European leftist - we tend to be mostly upset with...

    The US left has a serious speech-acceptance issue, which it doesn't acknowledge, and that directly feeds into the right-wing propaganda machine.

    "Speech-acceptance issue"? What speech is the US left not accepting, and why would it be an issue?

    Because, from my experience - speaking as an European leftist - we tend to be mostly upset with little things like racism, xenophobia, misogyny, homophobia, and transphobia. No-one should accept that. It deserves to be shouted down.

    I think bringing up "free speech" is a red herring.

    Yes, and that's why I don't trust the people who brings it up. It's never about free speech, it's about a specific brand of speech; a specific brand of speech that has a chilling effect on vulnerable minorities.

    Even today, you learn pretty quickly to avoid mentioning certain things - like your gender or sexuality - outside of safe spaces if you don't want to be targeted by random assholes.

    Remember that most people on the right aren't "literal nazis", they're often enough people who ended up distrusting the left because they saw unacknowledged issues and finger-pointing.

    Ok. And?

    They don't need to be literal nazis, they just need to tolerate them.

    They don't need to be fascists, they just need to be more concerned with antifa and some broken windows than with the impact of the fascists themselves.

    They don't need to be okay with what the right is doing, they just need to say "well, I'm less okay with what the left is doing" and throw their support behind the right. They might just be in it because they want small government and like their guns, but with that they are also supporting opposition to abortion and LGBT+ rights.

    Is it hypocritical in light of the shit the US Right does? Yes. But pointing out the hypocrisy doesn't help, because they'll just see hypocrisy in the other direction as well, therefore just stick to their guns.

    Ok. And?

    I know I don't care much about convincing people that yes, I should be able to exist without submitting to their whims.

    14 votes
  8. Comment on The global gag on free speech is tightening in ~news

    mftrhu Link
    This article showcases nicely why I am suspicious of people who claim to be concerned about "free speech". It starts out well, by talking about Internet blackouts in Ethiopia and Kashmir. Sudan,...

    This article showcases nicely why I am suspicious of people who claim to be concerned about "free speech".

    It starts out well, by talking about Internet blackouts in Ethiopia and Kashmir. Sudan, Congo, and Chad also joined them in the list of 25 governments that imposed Internet blackouts on their population, to suppress protests or opposition to the current regimes.

    It continues by bringing up Trump's trumpery - he is, after all, the one who brought "fake news!" to the masses - and then segues into "the left is doing it, too!"

    The notion that certain views should be silenced is popular on the left, too. In Britain and America students shout down speakers they deem racist or transphobic, and Twitter mobs demand the sacking of anyone who violates an expanding list of taboos. Many western radicals contend that if they think something is offensive, no one should be allowed to say it.

    "Authoritarians elsewhere agree", it says. "Kazakhstan recently arrested a journalist, 13 journalists were killed in Afghanistan, and Saudi Arabia was blatant in its murder of one of its critics."

    The article talks about how journalists are imprisoned in Turkey, China, Egypt and Eritrea, and how Pakistan and Russia use intimidation instead.

    Maybe that aside about "Twitter mobs" and "students shouting down speakers they deem racist or transphobic" was just carelessly thrown in.

    "Twitter mobs" are not comparable to murder, after all, or imprisonment, or to being picked up outside your home by government goons. "Students shouting down speakers" are not comparable to having a government entity move against you, and, in any case, this seems like a strange thing to talk about when discussing the suppression of free speech: are those students not just exercising their own free speech?

    Nowhere is this more striking than in universities in the United States.

    I would like to point out that, in their own infographic, the situation of free speech in the United States doesn't seem to have worsened over the last decade. Its neighbor, Canada, which concerns a lot of right-thinking people because of Bill C-16, actually went up on whatever scale has been used.

    In a Gallup poll published last year, 61% of American students said that their campus climate prevented people from saying what they believe, up from 54% the previous year. Other data from the same poll may explain why. Fully 37% said it was “acceptable” to shout down speakers they disapproved of to prevent them from being heard, and an incredible 10% approved of using violence to silence them.

    This seems concerning. A whole person in ten approves of using violence? But against who?

    [...] Heather MacDonald [...]

    In Portland, Oregon, this weekend, far-right extremists are planning to rally, their “antifa” (anti-fascist) opponents are expected to try to stop them, and both sides are spoiling for a fight.

    [...] a conservative journalist, Andy Ngo, was so badly beaten that he was hospitalised with a brain haemorrhage.

    “If some students now think it’s OK to punch a fascist or white supremacist, and if anyone who disagrees with them can be labelled a fascist or a white supremacist, well, you can see how this rhetorical move might make people hesitant to voice dissenting views on campus.”

    In Britain any discussion of transgender issues is explosive. In September, for example, Leeds City Council barred Woman’s Place UK, a feminist group, from holding a meeting because activists had accused them of “transphobia”

    Well, ok.

    The author of the article fails to mention that the so-called "feminist" group which has been "accused" of transphobia is a group of TERfs, whose feminism consists of setting up billboards with transphobic dogwhistles, trying to defund trans-supporting organizations, and dogpiling on LGBT+ people and "handmaidens".

    I might be more worried about their being silenced, if not for the fact that major UK newspapers are more than happy to publish articles in their support.

    I might be more worried about their being silenced without cause, if not for the fact that they have blood on their hands.

    I might be more worried about suppression of free speech in developed nations, if not for the fact that the author of the article seems to only be concerned with racists, transphobes, white nationalists, and nazis.

    I might be more inclined to believe their "I am worried for free speech", if not for the fact that they put student protests on the same level as blatant government censorship.

    As it stands, I don't believe them, and I am not very concerned about conservative thinkers being shown the door.

    I am irritated, though, by how they are polluting the discussion with these articles, because actual suppression of speech - actual government overreach - is something we should be worried about. The monopoly that Google, Facebook, Twitter have on the Internet is something we should be worried about.

    "Alleged" nazis getting punched, or - heavens forbid! - getting egged or showered in milkshakes? Not so much.

    30 votes
  9. Comment on 8chan goes dark after hardware provider discontinues service in ~tech

    mftrhu Link Parent
    Yes, they would, because they are not talking about parks and other public venues. They are talking about roads, the power grid, phone lines, water outlets and sewer access, and access to those...

    Public utilities wouldn't be required to respect these nutjob's rights though

    Yes, they would, because they are not talking about parks and other public venues. They are talking about roads, the power grid, phone lines, water outlets and sewer access, and access to those can't be denied - not even to Nazis or other hardened criminals.

    Of course, while Internet access is very important - almost necessary to participate to society - that's not the same thing as unregulated usage, and unregulated access to third-party systems. That is, even if we decide that everyone should have an Internet connection, that would still not give them the right to have their speech be hosted wherever they please.

    In any case, it's not a good argument, just slightly better than no argument - than "censorship bad! fatpeoplehate did nothing wrong!" - and, above all, a distraction. Free speech absolutism is indefensible, and I think they know it. They are just throwing shit at the wall to see what sticks.

    12 votes
  10. Comment on What are you doing this week? in ~talk

    mftrhu Link
    Studying, mostly. I'm still slogging through integrals, aiming at getting to differential equations, but I think I should backtrack and tackle trigonometry. It is not one of my strong points. I'm...

    Studying, mostly. I'm still slogging through integrals, aiming at getting to differential equations, but I think I should backtrack and tackle trigonometry. It is not one of my strong points. I'm making some decent - and consistent - progress, otherwise.

    Otherwise... more studying, trying to increase my German vocabulary - I should work on my grammar but really, what I'm aiming at right now is understanding German texts - and generally shoving stuff into my brain.

    I'm irritated because I just killed a flea today, and I don't know if they got inside the house - inside my bedroom - or if the one I caught was just a solitary hitchhiker, picked up just outside the door thanks to the wild cats who live near our house. In both cases, I foresee a lot of laundry and swearing and strange powders in the near future.

    I hate living near nature.

    I don't otherwise have a lot planned for this week.

    2 votes
  11. Comment on 8chan goes dark after hardware provider discontinues service in ~tech

    mftrhu Link Parent
    HackerNews and Reddit are cesspits when it comes to issues touching their so-called "free speech". They will rant and rave about "compelled speech" when it involves cakes* or Jordan Peterson†, but...

    HackerNews and Reddit are cesspits when it comes to issues touching their so-called "free speech". They will rant and rave about "compelled speech" when it involves cakes* or Jordan Peterson, but scream about censorship as soon as a subreddit is quarantined.

    Some of them do have a slightly better argument. They believe that internet providers, and presumably companies like Reddit & co, provide a service that should be considered a public utility.

    Whatever their arguments, though, they always fall back to "censorship", unjust because over "just a difference of opinions", and then start thinking heavy thoughts, trying to solve problems like "who decides what's bad?" and "isn't badness relative?", before shaking themselves out of their stupor to go "first they came..."

    Whether because they are reactionaries, or just contrarians, they don't like being told that there are lines that they should not step over, and they are not shy about letting others know.


    * One or more bakeries refused service to gay people on religious grounds. They defended themselves against discrimination by claiming that their cakes are a work of art - a way for the artist to express themselves - and that thus refusing service falls under freedom of speech.
    † Jordan Peterson famously used the term "compelled speech" to refer to Canadian bill C16, which only expanded the already existing protections to include gender identity and expression. Neither he nor his lobsters like that idea, so they gather under the banner of "compelled speech!" to avoid using the right names and pronouns for trans people.

    26 votes
  12. Comment on What is your least favourite window manager or desktop environment and why? in ~comp

    mftrhu Link
    I'll have to add another voice to the i3 contingent. I tried a few other DEs - XFCE, MATE, Cinnamon - but i3 just... gets out of the way. It took a bit to configure it to my liking - to get things...

    I'll have to add another voice to the i3 contingent. I tried a few other DEs - XFCE, MATE, Cinnamon - but i3 just... gets out of the way. It took a bit to configure it to my liking - to get things like a notification demon and applets and whatnot - but I did it more than a year ago, and I learned quite a bit in the process.

    I have tried exwm, too - it's still running on my netbook, in fact - but I'm not used to it, and common chords tend to collide with the ones expected by Emacs, and it's a bit of an hassle. For that one, though, I didn't even bother with setting up the network applet, I just call wpa_supplicant from a terminal.

    1 vote
  13. Comment on How do you handle your different online identities versus your real life identity? in ~talk

    mftrhu Link
    It depends on what you mean by "identity compartmentalization" - by "identity", actually. Who we are known as, or how we act? In the second case, I do not compartmentalize my identity. What I...

    It depends on what you mean by "identity compartmentalization" - by "identity", actually. Who we are known as, or how we act?

    In the second case, I do not compartmentalize my identity. What I would say online I would also say offline, and vice-versa, no matter what the place or account. If I said it, I will stand by it, be it a rant or a bad pun, and be proud of it*.

    I'm not very concerned with, say, people who I know IRL stumbling across my accounts and connecting them to me. I might be irritated at being outed, but even that mostly because I don't want to be bothered by people asking me inane questions for the nth time.

    In the first case... I do not use my real name anywhere on the Internet. Hell, I don't even use it in meatspace - people know me by my necronym, and not many people know me in the first place. As such, my cyberspace and meatspace identities are completely separate, and even knowing my legal name you would struggle to find anything about me.

    And while I do have multiple, different Reddit accounts, a few of which originally made to compartmentalize my usage - to keep the posts made to my country's sub separate from those made to the LGBT+ subs, thanks to some unpleasantness I experienced - I couldn't be bothered to keep it up, and just moved all my posting to the new account.


    * Minus the inevitable "ugh, I used the wrong expression there", "I repeated myself, dammit", and "how many typos did I make yesterday‽" that crop up when going through my old writing.

  14. Comment on What are you doing this weekend? in ~talk

    mftrhu Link
    HOPEFULLY, SLEEPING. The last few days have been exhausting, despite the fact that I mostly hid in the kitchen, and I got nothing done. There were too many people around. They started making noise...

    HOPEFULLY, SLEEPING.

    The last few days have been exhausting, despite the fact that I mostly hid in the kitchen, and I got nothing done. There were too many people around. They started making noise early, too, and they kept on making noise 'till late. I hate funerals. I have no idea how they are supposed to help anyone, and I refuse to participate to them. I won't even be present for mine, if I can swing it.

    Also, at least one of my relatives got hit, hard, by the anti-vaxx bug - that, and the "I have no idea how vaccines work but I'll still give out my uninformed opinion to anyone in earshot" bug. The last part was, if possible, even more infuriating - how can you shit-talk vaccines if you don't even know what their mechanism of action is? Why do you even ask how many people fell victim to measles, if you are just going to ignore the answer?

    2 votes
  15. Comment on Budget smartphones - apparently there are good options. Opinions and recommendations? in ~tech

    mftrhu Link
    Xiaomi phones give a lot of bang for their buck - I got a Redmi Note 5 last year for €180 (~$200?, the 64 GB/4 GB version), and it's a very nice phone, if a bit too big for my hands. The rest of...

    Xiaomi phones give a lot of bang for their buck - I got a Redmi Note 5 last year for €180 (~$200?, the 64 GB/4 GB version), and it's a very nice phone, if a bit too big for my hands. The rest of my family got Xiaomi phones in the last few months, too, and the price of the Note 5 must have dropped since.

    4 votes
  16. Comment on Opinions on “grammar nazis”? in ~talk

    mftrhu Link
    Unless the meaning of what they wrote would be completely changed by their mistake, I only correct other people's grammar or typos when I want to tell them "there was nothing of value in your...

    Unless the meaning of what they wrote would be completely changed by their mistake, I only correct other people's grammar or typos when I want to tell them "there was nothing of value in your post". That is, I put comments that consist only of *your on the same level as ur mom fat or idiot - insulting and/or noise, because of just how low effort they are.

    1 vote
  17. Comment on What are you doing this week? in ~talk

    mftrhu Link
    Dodging a funeral - my grandmother died yesterday night - and bracing for the drama that might follow, as her children, and their families, come back to pay their last homages. I'm curious what...

    Dodging a funeral - my grandmother died yesterday night - and bracing for the drama that might follow, as her children, and their families, come back to pay their last homages.

    I'm curious what some of them might say when seeing me - last time it was in 2014, and things have certainly changed since - but still, I'll probably hide away with a book. Maybe Malazan, as I just finished the Mistborn trilogy. The ending was not very satisfactory, though.

    1 vote
  18. Comment on How Pornhub and Girls Do Porn are enabling doxing and harassment in ~tech

    mftrhu Link Parent
    Bold assertion, considering that "almost every world religion" with such hang-ups around sex and sexuality mostly consists of the Abrahamic ones, which are to blame for our current state of "sex...

    Because it goes against the values that humanity evolved around, which have been adopted by almost every world religion.

    Bold assertion, considering that "almost every world religion" with such hang-ups around sex and sexuality mostly consists of the Abrahamic ones, which are to blame for our current state of "sex bad, unless it's hetero sex in the missionary position for the exclusive purpose of reproduction".

    A lot of people find promiscuity disgusting and consider sex work to be a form of degeneracy, and that is a view that I increasingly hold,

    Which is an incredibly silly view to hold, considering that there is not enough pressure anywhere on this planet to support any form of degeneracy. Have you considered putting it down?

    9 votes
  19. Comment on How would trade and economics work in a space opera setting with FTL travel but no FTL communication? in ~hobbies

    mftrhu Link
    NaraVara already mentioned it, but you just have to look at the not-so-distant past to see how this would work out. In any case, I can't see interstellar commerce being very big, in any setting,...

    But what if your setting has no centralized government? Do people revert to using gold? Are there fleets of merchant ships schlepping precious metals around the cosmos, as if the American Old West has been transplanted into space?

    NaraVara already mentioned it, but you just have to look at the not-so-distant past to see how this would work out. In any case, I can't see interstellar commerce being very big, in any setting, not unless that FTL is a lot faster than light and/or the various planets not very spread out (e.g. early colonies): the various systems would pretty much have to be self-sufficient, so you'd mostly see shipments of luxury goods, that for some reason can't be reproduced on site.

    Not precious metals, though. They would be very easy to obtain at that level of technology, especially because you can just strip mine uninhabited planets without worrying about pesky things like environmental protections or workers safety - you wouldn't drop organics to mine that stuff.

    I'm not actually sure what people would ship. Cutting-edge tech? Pharmaceuticals? But those can be reverse engineered and copied, and I don't know how patents and intellectual property would fare here. Information packets would probably be more important - monthly, weekly, maybe even daily updates from the galaxy net would be worth quite a bit. One GB would not cost a lot to ship, but a week of output from a network of planets would be a fair bit more than that.

    The net would feel more like Usenet than the modern Internet. You can communicate instantly with the people on your BBS planet, but you'd have to wait - and pay - for anything else.

    Would they come up with a cryptographic solution?

    Cryptography would hopefully be so commonplace that people don't even think about it - even if, to be fair, it would be less useful for interstellar communications than for planetside ones. Try doing a man-in-the-middle with an FTL ship!

    Without an inside man you can't even know what they are carrying - neither data nor metadata, minus "someone on this planet got mail" - let alone intercept it (to modify it, or to stop it from being transmitted). You can't make FTL ships wait at your border, they would just drop out of hyperlight right outside it and then point their antenna at your planet.

    As far as the economy is concerned... I don't think it'd be cash-only. The opposite, maybe. I think you'd have a network of banks which communicate regularly via courier, possibly a dedicated one. They would probably only allow you to withdraw a set amount of money, for which their local branch is good for, or otherwise require authorization from the other branches.

    Spend everything and then run to a backwater system? They'll know it. Maybe not immediately - maybe you would be able to spend all your allotted credits before running, which would still be a fraction of the total they think you own - but they'll broadcast your fraud to every nearby system, and then you won't be able to buy anything anymore.

    Could something like a blockchain work without instantaneous communication cross the entire network that accepts the cryptocurrency?

    I don't think it would have any advantages over a different system.

    2 votes
  20. Comment on Which technical/technological issues or needs do you think should have been sorted out by now? in ~comp

    mftrhu Link
    Where do I start? Bookmarks. Tabs. They are more often than not used as a "read later" list, but the former can break at any time, while the latter use memory and CPU time. A better browser...

    Where do I start?

    Bookmarks. Tabs. They are more often than not used as a "read later" list, but the former can break at any time, while the latter use memory and CPU time. A better browser history could help here, saving not just the time of the last visit, but also a snapshot of the page and the text it contains.

    The snapshots could be limited to the most recent ${N-100}, while saving the text would allow for full-text search over one's browsing history - why not allow bookmarking of searches, at that point?

    Then, a lot of the ideas from OLPC are very interesting - the Journal, for example, which makes the activity the basic unit of information, instead of the file. An activity can be a photo, a document, a browsing session, a note, but it's not just a blob of bytes - it contains the state of the app where it was left, it can be assigned a name, a note, and tags. Activities rise up in the journal when you open them again, or slowly fall to the bottom otherwise, which makes deciding which ones to prune or archive easier.

    I don't think I would work better with this model, but I can see it working pretty well on phones and similar devices and nope. Hierarchical file systems pretty much everywhere.

    Why is there no real unified interface, even just for the command line? Everyone parses things like command line options in a different manner. Short options can be collated (-ax) or not (-a -x), and some programs (tar, for example) don't even require an hyphen in front of them. Long options can be there or not, sometimes they require a double hyphen and sometimes only a single one. Some programs use subcommands, some just split their executables.

    Sure, every decent programming language will have an argument parser in its stdlib, but their implementations will usually behave differently, and why do they even need to provide an argument parser in the first place?

    10 votes