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rivers of babylon
July 24, 2006 6:14 PM   Subscribe


 
I think the last one rather contradicts the other 94.
posted by matthewr at 6:44 PM on July 24, 2006


Meh. Vaguely good ideas, poorly written.
posted by beerbajay at 6:51 PM on July 24, 2006


93. You have the right to anonymity on the internet.

What-what-what??
posted by muddgirl at 6:52 PM on July 24, 2006


It's hard to take this list seriously after #1 - "Reclaim the term ‘hacker’". That word is long gone, and everyone should just move on - as Brad Templeton pointed out in 1989.
posted by robla at 6:53 PM on July 24, 2006


This list sort of typifies what I love and hate about geeks. On one hand, they're (mostly) a bunch of smart people who have this neat liberal/libertarian ethic involving liberating information, spurring global creativity, and all that wonderful stuff. And then on the other hand there's asisine crap like The Cathedral and the Bazaar.

And some of my favorite people in the world are huge computer geeks, but then there are times when they'll disappear for months playing WoW or EVE, or they'll practically blow a gasket 'cause someone prefers Ruby to PHP or OSX to Linux or what have you.
posted by spiderwire at 6:54 PM on July 24, 2006


It's hard to take this list seriously after #1 - "Reclaim the term ‘hacker’".

It seems to me that the obsolescence of the term is all the more reason to reclaim it. The popularity of people like Paul Graham attests to that.

In fact, it's arguable that we're well on our way to doing this. I might just be too close to the issue, though :)
posted by spiderwire at 6:59 PM on July 24, 2006


BURN HIM! BURN HIM!
posted by washburn at 7:24 PM on July 24, 2006 [1 favorite]


Republicans may seem to be the enemy, but that is only because they are in power now. The true enemy is a lack of accountability.

Best statement of the lot, I think.

I wonder sometimes, though, if the problem is really strictly fixable. Mechanisms for accountability are built into our formal system, but culturally, it seems like we don't place a value on paying close attention, let alone participating.
posted by weston at 7:26 PM on July 24, 2006


weston, I think that value has been re-assigned to Idol and other things that are not nearly as important to pay attention to. Look at a poll in which people are asked to name Supreme Court justices, and look at one where they are to name menu items at McDonald's. I know people who can tell me every Survivor contestant in the history of the show or give me stats for eveyone on the New England Patriots football team, etc.

Our ability to pay close attention has not waned, we just need to reaffirm for ourselves and encourage in others the importance of paying attention to the most important mechanisms of our democracy on a local, state, and federal level.

...Not that it will be that easy, but...
posted by rollbiz at 7:36 PM on July 24, 2006


re: hacker.

I've noticed that the term hacker is making a comeback these days, and in the good way. Am I the only one?
posted by WetherMan at 7:40 PM on July 24, 2006


2. Violating a license agreement is not theft.
True. But it is a breach of contract.

As for "hacker", there are some places that have never lost the true spirit of the word.
posted by Joe Invisible at 7:40 PM on July 24, 2006


the use of hacker i object to is in gaming....if someone is cheating, it should be called a cheat--not a hack. If you code it yourself, call it a hack.

also on my list of bad word use...specifically insults that shouldn't be used is cocksucker, because i'm opposed to anything that directs negative connotations at that pastime. Its bad for everyone. but that is a whole other askmefi thread.
posted by th3ph17 at 8:05 PM on July 24, 2006


If you tinker with electronics, you are a hacker. If you use things in more ways than intended by the manufacturer, you are a hacker. If you build things out of strange, unexpected parts, you are a hacker. Reclaim the term.

Hang on, are they endorsing the horrible MAKE-led dilution of the term? And blindly listing the fucking EFF corporation as a force for good? It's like a rote guide on how to be a whiney wannabe internet dweeb just like the millions of others.
posted by cillit bang at 8:43 PM on July 24, 2006


All corporations are not on your side.

Ummmm... no shit sherlock?

Who's the mong who thought they were?

Oh, and for number 6, I think we need to add "...but don't hold your breath".
posted by pompomtom at 9:31 PM on July 24, 2006


"#1 - "Reclaim the term ‘hacker’""

If you type pulp detective novels on a manual typewriter, you are a hacker.
Oh, wait, you didn't mean really reclaim it...
posted by klangklangston at 9:40 PM on July 24, 2006


Seriously, cillit bang, I'm with you. Fuck "Make:" magazine. Fuck it right in it's "wholly-owned by an enormous publishing/hype/conference company" asshole. The same goddamn company whose CEO started calling shit "Web 2.0".
posted by blasdelf at 10:14 PM on July 24, 2006


If you type pulp detective novels on a manual typewriter, you are a hacker. Oh, wait, you didn't mean really reclaim it...

Precisely. The affection that many nerds have for this word baffles me, and that it shows up on the top of a list of socio-political things that we're allegedly supposed to care about just demonstrates why nerds get ignored. I say this as a nerd myself.

To spell it out for the slow ones, look up "hack" in the dictionary.
posted by robla at 10:16 PM on July 24, 2006



#96: The most important of all human rights is the right to sovereignty over your gadgets. Prioritize accordingly.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 10:18 PM on July 24, 2006


Question, not criticism: is this of any real value?
posted by converge at 10:18 PM on July 24, 2006


No, it is worthless.

It is tailor-written, and badly at that, to appeal to the duggalos, especially the boingboing crowd (he mentions cory by name as a leading 'geek philosopher').
posted by blasdelf at 10:36 PM on July 24, 2006


the digg post – at least he didn't post it there himself, which is pretty damn rare, as nearly all posts on digg are self-links.
posted by blasdelf at 10:47 PM on July 24, 2006


2. Violating a license agreement is not theft.
[...]
32. The GPL is not gospel, but it comes close.


Uh, ok. but you can't really have it both ways. saying "it's not theft" implies that there's nothing wrong with it (though it does provide a weaselly backdoor so you can say "oh, i didn't say it was OK, just that it's not theft" later).

The GPL is, at its core, a licensing agreement. If you think it's OK to violate license agreements, why should anyone respect the limitations the GPL sets? The real answer is to not accept bullshit licensing agreements in the first place, even if you really want to play with that new piece of commercial software or listen to that new DRM'ed band. Just don't do it. Instead, pick software or music that respects you in the way that it is licensed.
posted by dkg at 10:47 PM on July 24, 2006


dkg:

I don't think it is at all suggesting it's ok, there is nothing weasely about it, it's recognising that this whole "infringement = theft" propaganda almost certainly has to be broken or reined in or a major battle for rights is already lost, and the future will be bleaker for it.

It's about leveling the field of an important debate, not about saying geeks are allowed to break the law.
posted by -harlequin- at 11:39 PM on July 24, 2006


All corporations are not on your side.

I wondered about this too.

Is the meaning here "Not every corp is on your side"
or "every corp is not on your side"?
posted by telstar at 11:47 PM on July 24, 2006


"it's not theft" implies that there's nothing wrong with it

False dichotomy.

Murder isn't theft either.
posted by pompomtom at 11:58 PM on July 24, 2006


dkg is making a great point:

Anytime somebody decides not to abide by the terms of the GPL, a licensing agreement, the duggalos scream bloody murder, calling it theft and generally freaking the fuck out, all while patting each other on the back for not abiding by other onerous licenses.

It's fine for them to sample corporate crap in their crappy mash-ups, but if some marketing guy used a snippet of their crappy youtube video, they'd stir up mob-justice.

Idiots.
posted by blasdelf at 12:39 AM on July 25, 2006


blasdelf:

No, the point that there are idiots on the net is not at all related to the misconception that the 95 contradicts it's support of GPL by allegedly insinuating that infringement ceases to be a crime if it is recognised as infringement, instead of something it's not.
posted by -harlequin- at 1:53 AM on July 25, 2006


2. Violating a license agreement is not theft.
[...]
32. The GPL is not gospel, but it comes close.
Well, it's not that easy to actually violate the GPL, because it doesn't create many (any?) restrictions on the licensee (except the disclaimer part). It just grants a conditional exemption from some of the restrictions already existing under copyright law. Most things which may look like GPL violation are actually copyright infringement.

I think 2 is referring to things like shrink-wrap/click-through licences which go further than copyright. Or am I being too charitable?
posted by A Thousand Baited Hooks at 4:05 AM on July 25, 2006


Way too charitable. It's not creative commons or the BSD license. The GPL, like all other software licenses, grants you permission to use the software but only if you stick to the publisher's terms, which require you to release anything you create using GPL'ed code under the GPL and to include the source code.

(Though if it weren't completely joyless there'd be something a bit punk rock about using a commercial-style license to undermine commercial software)
posted by cillit bang at 5:46 AM on July 25, 2006


spiderwire writes "they'll practically blow a gasket 'cause someone prefers Ruby to PHP or OSX to Linux or what have you"

Everyone is a geek about something.

th3ph17 writes "specifically insults that shouldn't be used is cocksucker, because i'm opposed to anything that directs negative connotations at that pastime. Its bad for everyone. but that is a whole other askmefi thread"

I never noticed the universality of that insult, interesting.

dkg writes "Uh, ok. but you can't really have it both ways. saying 'it's not theft' implies that there's nothing wrong with it (though it does provide a weaselly backdoor so you can say 'oh, i didn't say it was OK, just that it's not theft' later).

"The GPL is, at its core, a licensing agreement. If you think it's OK to violate license agreements, why should anyone respect the limitations the GPL sets? The real answer is to not accept bullshit licensing agreements in the first place, even if you really want to play with that new piece of commercial software or listen to that new DRM'ed band. "


These statements aren't saying licenses are worthless go nuts. They are saying that the punishments being handed out for infringement are only exceeded in their ridiculousnesses by those handed out to drug users. Those people being shaken down by the RIAA to the tune of $10,000 aren't costing the RIAA anywhere even close to that amount. It's legalized extortion, the Mafia never had it so good. And part justifying it is the attempted association of infringement with theft. Its bogus and irrational.
posted by Mitheral at 7:07 AM on July 25, 2006


Some advocates of the GPL consider it a stop-gap measure. Copyleft clauses shouldn't be necessary, but until some revolution in IP law comes about, they don't object to using copyright and license law to enforce copyleft.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 7:25 AM on July 25, 2006




These statements aren't saying licenses are worthless go nuts. They are saying that the punishments being handed out for infringement are only exceeded in their ridiculousnesses by those handed out to drug users.

Um, downloading music is not breaching a license. No one is licensed to put music owned by an RIAA member on the internet for download. Downloading music IS theft.

And if you think the RIAA is bad, you should note that there are actually criminal penalities for copyright infringement, including prison time.
posted by Pastabagel at 9:59 AM on July 25, 2006


Pastabagel writes "Downloading music IS theft"

No, it's not. When one downloads a piece of music it doesn't magically disappear from the source at the same time (minus whatever a whack DRM scheme is doing). You are making a copy infringing on the copyright of the owner. Assuming of course the work hasn't fallen into the public domain. Which used to happen on a fairly regularilly basis until The Mouse et.al. extended copyright terms to 6+ generations.

Pastabagel writes "And if you think the RIAA is bad, you should note that there are actually criminal penalities for copyright infringement, including prison time."

I know. As I said it is a level of batshitinsane only superseded by locking someone up (for life in some cases) for ingesting a naturally occurring herb.
posted by Mitheral at 10:47 AM on July 25, 2006


Scrolling down the "my comments" view without reading everything is dangerous. I was just about to say nearly the exact same thing as Mitheral, only I was gonna be all dickish about it. Thank God for Mitheral, mitigating the opportunities for me to be a dick on the internet!
posted by klangklangston at 11:33 AM on July 25, 2006


Loved this post, Thanks. YAYY geek activists! woo hoo! Right on!
posted by nickyskye at 11:54 AM on July 25, 2006


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