Update: Since I wrote this yesterday I have received insulting and threatening responses, as well as responses that fit the "acceptable" model of how open software operates (which is actually the problem I am attempting to describe).
No critical inquiry of the open software community is complete without a close look at the open software file system genius and entrepreneur, Hans Reiser, a sadist and a murderer, but the text here went on for too long--so complex is the issue. I will probably include my material about Reiser in my next writing, which will probably be book length--and exceedingly difficult to write as no normal person likes to tear others apart, no matter how damaging those others may be.
Despite the obvious US technology suicide of the 2000s, where nearly all systems development was handed-over to wealthy India, much like manufacturing was handed-over to the dominant culture of China, I was able to secure technology work during 2008. I was enthused to attempt to rekindle my technology career, and I still want to, but my enthusiasm was dampened by two encounters on line, one with a Perl developer working on a Perl application server type project, and a Linux evangelist who, as a coincidence, had insulted the memory of the best-known American boat designer on the day he died.
I wrote both these free software evangelists, the Perl writer hoping to show how Perl's insular nature is defeating its efficacy, and the highly insulting and disrespectful Linux evangelist to admonish him for his uncontrolled disrespect, and to explain to him exactly what his problem is, in a very public way.
I am working on a greater piece based on the problem with the world, a lack of empathy by those in control, from a neurological and evolutionary perspective, and these two interchanges give me an opportunity to blend the world's failing empathy with technological issues in the public domain. I think it is important the the truth be finally told, that free software is essentially no different from for-pay proprietary software, and that the free software community, such as it is, is ultimately doing the world a disservice, and must not only change, but change its people.
Driving and aggression on the highways as a parallel example:
Many, if not most drivers seem like aggressive drivers, but are not, because those are the drivers the rest of us be concerned about take up most of our attention while we are driving. The better drivers tend to lay back, to stay off aggressor's radar, and become invisible. Furthermore, good drivers, as good people, try to stay off aggressors' radar by simply staying off the road, further making road systems the domain of the aggressors. Beyond this, the very nature of the automobile prevents us from having "eye to eye" contract, or emotional communication, so we are prevented from physically empathizing with each other. This further makes the roads beneficial for predatory drivers, simply because we feel isolated and cannot rely on the good nature of others for support against the cruel aspects of those who lack empathy; who, as a result, are predatory. To solve this obvious problem, society as a whole relies on police, but all of us who have been involved in police situations know that the police themselves are predatory, and many are lacking natural empathy -- young children today do not buy the idea that "Mr Policeman is your friend," but see the police as bullies, and emulate them much as they might emulate professional wrestlers to deal with the predatory problems they experience in everyday life. We can see how good people get wrapped up in a cycle of predatory aggression initiated by a morally, or emotionally connective defective, minority. This initiating minority is tiny, but has become so successful through predatory cooperation, it has swelled its ranks, I believe to possibly twenty percent of the population by absorbing those who are not necessarily stable enough fight the misconception that humanity is necessarily bad, and that to succeed in the life, people have to be bad themselves: "good guys finish last."
The vast majority of people I know who discuss this topic with me whole-heatedly agree with this example using driving, as we have discussed it often, and would understand that to isolate aggression on the roads from other environmental experiences we have is bias. The scientific method tells us that we live under a single phenomena of nature, and even religion tells us that we are equal under God and live equally with his single creation. Because this environmental description is correct, the conditions caused by isolation aggression can be no different from other environmental experiences we have, though the exact experience will happen with in the scope of the environment. Specific conditions and results vary only based on the physical conditions we experience, but the basic mapping caused by intractable isolation and rampant aggression is the same everywhere. Technology is no exception, and perhaps the technology community environment, has examples of the most abusive control strategies that are effectively preventing technology from growing, except malignantly. The control strategy is so extreme, and has been so successful in marginalizing "normal" people, that democracy has effectively been eliminated from the Information Society since 2000, and there have been no actual social break-throughs or substantial contributions by technology for nearly a decade. The Internet is effectively as broken as Television: 500 channels, and nothing on.
I think it is a mistake to wander off into a cloud of speculation as to exactly what is causing the new Information Society to be so un-benefical, or to even try to define the problem. The problem has been well-discussed from both psychological and technological perspectives without resolution because the persons responsible for the problems, when they condescend to respond, throw out an immense defense of contradictory yet connected rationalizations that don't so much hide the problem, but swamp inquiry in a cesspool of subtle or not so subtle insults that create frustration and deliberately trigger momentary losses of self-respect for inquiring critics. Critics walk away with the sense of diminished self-esteem unable to point a finger specifically at a problem, and probably never return their inquiry. Daniel Goleman, a huge critic of technology, would probably call link this highly intelligent but malicious tendency to "pure intelligence;" I call it "rational disorder" after Heinlein's statement that humans are not rational animals, but rationalizing animals. But let me dilute Heinlein's genius a little: the controlling few are, and it is the democratic responsibility of the majority to directly deal with this problem (I am afraid it will be necessary) by repressing it.
It is also a mistake to take a positive approach, and to try to make the situation look better than it really is hoping that somehow the open software players will be led into a better frame of mind, and will somehow make the situation better. I would call that a Liberal approach--teaching peace--and has been the approach all along, and we keep falling deeper into dead-end technological approaches, faster and faster with improving microchips. What would be better is to provide for society two concrete social and psychological examples. And I feel safer in a social science venue, as nobody is accusing any computer geeks of extreme sanity, especially the Linux guy, in the context we "met," he is viewed as a complete nut and an major asshole. And Perl, I can easily show, has been a psychological cesspool itself, though the Perl writer seems normal, and perhaps because of this confirms my hypothesis that free software is in trouble.
Let me start with Perl.
The scenario is this: I actually used Perl successfully during the heyday of American technology, the 1990s. The code I wrote was practical, useful, and easy to modify by others as it was simply written. But I worked outside the scope of the "Perl community," as Perl software was not simply and practically written, and was often faulty despite a extensive testing and distribution system. I did, however, find others who coded like I did, and together we developed systems independently that we could implement as part of our jobs; we were considered "code beasts." The distribution system I mention is CPAN and gives a framework that inspired my own Thinman model that hopes to create no so much open software, systems whose internals are openly exposed to software; that function effectively and efficiently based purely on sharing. The other interesting Perl concept if the "Parrot Virtual Machine," which utilizes code internals that mimic the language of CPUs, allowing many factors of increased speed and efficiency. I also implemented this idea in the Thinman model along with Perl's effective complex structure model -- far better than the XML complex structure system widely used across the web. The idea that these Perl concepts could be implemented into a model makes me dizzy with optimism, but as I show below, the Perl writer won't even help with the implementation of his own software let alone a project that he does not control. While these problems have been affecting throughout time, they have become most extreme since 2000, and I don't mean social problems as a over-arching phenomena, but specific problems caused by gangs suffering from "rational disorder," make me skeptical that an ideal technological environment for the Information Society and exist without radical action, which I mentioned I am afraid, includes the repression of a problem that Goleman calls "pure intelligence," but what I think of as a rational disorder.
My first email to Sebastian, the Perl writer about his "Mojolicous" project
where I try to show the need to make the project usable for the public as an ongoing developent:
I posted on the Mojo list hoping to find leads to examples of Mojo and Mojolicious, but there was no response from the list membership.
So I am writing you specifically asking for direction so I can develop and contribute to your project. From your writing, I see that you have made significant contributions.
Since the Mojo website advertises "web out of the box," I got a little nervous. When I saw my email unanswered, I momentarily experienced flash-backs to the period in my life a decade ago before the tech collapse, when I worked tirelessly to promote free software in commercial environments yet suffered at the hands of the free software community. As often as not, ignored by the entire community--not just Perl--during critical times leaving me high and dry without support in front of hostile managers. Complaints by me to the community for having been isolated in this way became rationalization for further isolation.
(I can retrieve endless examples of this behavior, and I now understand from studying Aaron Beck that it is an extension of the mechanism of social bias that describes cult behaviors.)
To resolve this problem back then I modified my free software strategy to be completely independent, creating a recursive paradigm from complex structures that was so personal that I never released it. It was, and I suppose, still is, called DepthDB.
It included its own fully secure and searchable dataserver built from frozen complex structures that beat Sybase and MySQL to triggers (but not Oracle) and long preceded XML's structures. And even then, with the migration from Perl 5.6 to 5.8, my software experienced such an extreme level of feature loss that much of it had to remain at a lower level, making integration administration a nightmare.
I am hoping that now, a decade later, I can implement Perl as part of the community, rather than having to do it as a "loner," as I did back then. And this is why I am writing you directly with this request.
First (and evasive) response from Sebastian:
Mojo is a very new project and still in the development phase.
While it is already in use by some bigger web sites, their developers are mostly involved in Mojo's development.
Because of that the currently available examples (mostly in github repos) are quite advanced and not so accessible for newcomers. (This is an example of the self-esteem stategy I mentioned above.)
I'm working on something better, but since i'm not a professional writer it takes it's time.
My second letter to Sebastian,where I try to explain that his (predicted but dreaded) evasion was a mistake:
Actually, I am a "professional" writer. My most recent technology work has been on test case / use case documentation for a derivative called CDS. Now we on the team know what CDS is: the infamous credit default swap.
Going with the use case paradigm, the best way to develop for humanity is to plug the technology directly into peoples' ever day tasks, which defines the use case paradigm. (Test case is simply a dissection of each use case into granular actions for testing.)
This can be explained using another popular adage, "form follows function," extending my previous email. We know that the wiki/cms model combines much of what we do on the web, so directly implementing new mojolicious ideas into a modified wiki (to keep things simple) for
testing fits the philosophy of the use case paradigm.
(This would allow you to pull away from Perl's weakness: abstraction to the point of catharsis. This we see in Perl6, where the only language that compiles under Perl6's virtual machine, Parrot, is named something like "what the fuck." It does not even compile a LISP version, and Perl5 compiling does not seem to be a priority.)
The obvious benefit for all of humanity is that the benefits of the project are adding value to humanity as each project is developed. Creating a simple but usable example would start the ball rolling in many directions, allowing experiential learning (far better than didactic O'Reilly). This would actually start creating markets right now, which is important because present economic increases may reverse.
I have been around this block many times over two decades. Resistance to a humanly supportive development model is not just futile, it is stupid. And it easily explains the successes of Java and PHP that have made Perl insignificant despite its history as the first server language, and its being the probable models for both Java and PHP.
This unfortunate phenomena is not limited to Perl, of course; it is infecting L4 as well. I may or may not be able to wrench these essentially important public projects from the obscurity of self-imposed isolation, but I can effectively document this unfortunate condition so that future programmers can avoid it.
He made no further response
I "met" this Linux writer, Ben, on a Google group mailing list devoted to a radical concept that "drapes" or "folds" steel, or other metal, sheets into the shape of boat. Boats are designed by forming paper in to models by folding them and is hence called "Origami" boat building. (Any one can easily model a strip of paper into a nice canoe design.) The Linux writer, Ben, has no interest in Origami design, but it became evident, is on the list solely to "toot his horn." The very day I joined, the iconic boat designer, Phil Bolger, took is life. The Linux writer used the memorial discussion as an opportunity to trash Bolger's memory, and insult Phil's design style. The Linux writer was condemned by other people on the list but it didn't last long. I brought up a design on the list by another iconic designer, L Francis Herreshoff, for possible "origami" conversion, and the Linux writer used this as a vehicle to attack this iconic designer: two in one day. And he had help: predatory cooperation.
Here is my response to his attacks, and my description of his dysfunction in my own universal terms that are similar to the "aggressors on the highway" description above:
You are the guy who trashed Phil Bolger on his final day.
Now you are using various sneaky strategies to attack Herreshoff'scMarco Polo, and Herreshoff with it.ccYou are what I call an Internet Bozo Clown -- you keep getting knockedcdown, but bounce back up--reinforced.
You believe that we, when we criticize your attacks, are attackingcyou. And this justifies further attacks by you.
You use the typical strategies of the abuser, you mix insult with compliment.
After a few interchanges with you, I assumed that you were the "it" that attacked Phil, but I had to check. Why did I have to check, evencthough the insult strategy was exactly the same? You have acpersonality type which is exactly the same in every person who hascthis type of personality: no personality. You are devoid of thecnatural human collaborative constructs. You cannot work with otherscto create, but you can exploit. You cannot make, but you can take, in
simple terms. You are a "taker not a maker."
From your comments about Phil, most people on this list instantlycidentified you as having some kind of disorder, as many expressed it, and one person suggested that you react to "triggers." Well, I have seen enough--anything to you is a "trigger."
This conversation started as a privately, and I did not have to wonder long why. The person who asked me about the Marco Polo was nervous about abuse, and here it is, in many forms, including an insult for the American iconic boat designer, on the day he died.
Actually, social scientists and psychologists who look this disorder call it narcissism, and in the cases of Saddam Hussein, Bin Laden, Adolph Hitler, and possibly the entire Bush family: it is called malignant narcissism.
I believe there is a greater underlying dysfunction that binds various disorders such as obsessive compulsive disorder, child abuse, "control freakism," and the many other diseases where the sufferers of these diseases actually only cause others to suffer.
These diseases exist in nature, but they are rare. When higher organisms display these symptoms, usually by violently stealing others' resources (its all about resources) they get marginalized. Most higher organisms, mostly mammals but also others such as birds,
are kind in their souls and do not want to hurt, but find it necessary such as in the "hunt." The defective kleptomaniacs are run off, or marginalized, and cannot reproduce, ending the defective gene within a generation.
I usually end this rant by saying that we, as humans, are so damn kind we make the defective into our leaders -- sarcastically of course. Our leaders, or in the case of Ben, wanna-be leaders, take power either through extreme violence such as Hitler and Stalin, or by stealing votes, such as the Bush family, or by really weird strategies such as Ben.
How do I know so much about Ben that I can draft his draft his psychological discharge from humanity? Simple, look at the bottom of his page, he is a Linux editor, and I was a Linux admin from 1992, when it started, until 2002, when all the US tech jobs were shipped to
(Note: here is important writing criticizing the efficacy of Linux for the average person.)
Linux is what is called a monolithic operating system. The other kind, which is nearly every other operating system is a micro-kernel. In short, the difference is that code to operate systems such as printers have to compiled into the a monolithic kernel, and the same
code can be simply installed on micro-kernels. This means that it is nearly impossible to support Linux as a commercial product. In effect it is nearly completely useless to the average person. What is frustrating is that Linux is the only non-commericial open, or public domain, project available for competition to Microsoft. The Mac operating system is superficially similar to Linux as it is based on Unix, but it is a micro-kernel.
This is a tremendous problem for me, because I invested most of my life in Linux expecting the Linux "community" to be able to change just as the other operating system organizations had: Microsoft, Apple.
What is important here is not the technology (as important as it is), but the profound frustration I felt. Just as the US tech economy was given to the wealthy of India with the support of the Linux community (to make them wealthier and the Indian poor poorer as a side-effect of
Indian inflation) a Wahhabi Saudi terrorist attacked downtown Manhattan, literally attacking an important open software meeting center at the Sybase offices in the World Trade Center -- the industry loved us.
Seeing most of our city clinically depressed and suffering from panic disorder, we knew something had to be done, much research was necessary. What could make a person so defective that he would do such an evil thing -- actually directly hurting his "own" people, as
downtown Manhattan was one of the most culturally open societies ever and had many Muslims in-house? Bin Laden, and his fellow Wahhabis rationalize that God will sort them out in the end, just as the American war criminals did in Viet Nam: "Kill 'em all, let God sort them out." There is no point in pointing out problems in Islam! The problem lies elsewhere.
Two years before the attack, scientists had fortunately cracked the "nut of love:" two important neurons, spindle and mirror. These neurons allow us to feel the feelings others have, and to conceptualize the effects we have on others. Ben is defective in that he lacks these neurons, or perhaps neural constructs built from these neurons. Ben's "love" is the weird love that he shows us--that's him being friendly. We do not have to know Ben personally, just people like Ben to see this.
Will Ben kill? Probably not directly, but he may kill himself and his "loved" ones by sailing that barn door out into some really bad weather. The Linux (the same fatalist frustration existed in the Perl community) does not "kill" but the community has selfishly absorbed nearly all the freely available talent into the Linux cultural monolith that occupies a social layer above the system's monolith. No competing operating system can arise because of this depletion. Google's Android you may say is competition that is not Linux. Well, if you dig you will find that it is Linux under the hood, a fact that Google hides. We are now all seriously "foobared" thanks to Ben's community as it has forced into the Microsoft camp by them, despite their derision of Microsoft. The Linux community is ultimately in bed w/ Microsoft, both organizations consist of the same kinds of organisms.
But that is not important. What is important is to understand the strategies of the those who lack personality. When you are in extreme pain or anxiety you know they in action. But
there are "tell-tales:" first you will sense extreme frustration, and when that happens you
know you cannot win, you must back off, unless you are getting paid to "deal." Another is the typical strategy, "a little nice a little nasty," as we see in nearly all of Ben's writing. Ben's obvious lies are also a good indicator; the truth for Ben is simply enough glue to make his lies stick: that is how he absorbs the resources he cannot conceptualize or collaborate to create.
Ben is a bully, but Ben (and other non-personality types) have successfully organized to show that it is the bullies who attack people like Ben, and that people like Ben, because they are intelligent and rational, are justified in causing others pain, especially the people they hurt. With this simply strategy those like Ben have successfully organized against normality by forming a very busy sub-nation nation of smelly nerds, geeks, cosmologists, astrologists, and exceptionally cruel doctors (such as Dr Mengele--just a few examples).
This is just Ben's local community, not the greater community which is far more dangerous that includes the genocidal maniacs, and this greater group has to be diagnosed and hospitalized before they kill us all.
At this point I stop and wonder why Ben has not been deleted from the list. That is a problem because Ben the bully has been abusing lots on this list, including the iconic designer, someone we will all miss dearly. That insult alone should have done it.
I do know this: Yahoo sucks and any group on it suffers because of this. And there is something wrong with this is group, as it tolerates bullyism, and fails to terminate Ben. Do I wish Ben harm? Of course not, though pulling his pants down is sort of fun--something that the bullies like Ben will never grok. We need Ben as research material, as he is harmless, to be able to defeat the real bastards out there.
Plus I am a Christian. We live for love and forgiveness, and believe it can transform even those who cannot love, and even those are who are exceedingly guilty. Proving this principle is important to keep Christianity moving forward, as well as other compassionate religions
such as Buddhism and natural tribally native religions. God loves them all.
And trust me when I guess that Ben is guilty, we just don't have any way of knowing how guilty. I am starting to worry that Ben may attack Colvin.
(Thomas Colvin in another loved traditional American sail designer.)
Ben's response to this was a litany of insults, which I expected, and I received his response before I managed to remove myself from the list, as I really didn't want to see it. But here it is, and it is useful within its scope; Ben uses the Internet phrase of bias by calling me a "Troll." Anyone who is a victim of predatory cooperation on the Internet is called that; the phrase originates in two places. The most important use of the term is for homeless victims who where bashed, and often killed, by right-leaning terrorists in Southern California in the early 1990s. This shows a "Nazi-like" heritage of the Internet, and the bias has a home in the Wikipedia, usually considered right-leaning and libertarian. The other derivation for the term shows "trawl," which is net dragging by fishermen; this referred to enforcers looking to make busts on the Internet with "stings." Another fishing technique is "trolling," which is hook fishing that is similar in a sense to net dragging. So "troll" in the dysfunctional minds of the biased of the Internet, can be thought of as someone who is "fishing for a fight," and hence "trolling." And this, of course, "rationalizes" bashing, which is what Ben does.
> You are the guy who trashed Phil Bolger on his final day.
I'm not responsible for your lack of reading comprehension. If you were actually capable of understanding English, you'd see that I said nothing negative about Bolger; in fact, what I wrote was a tribute.
(Note, he might have, but he would have had to have written it after the fact.)
> Now you are using various sneaky strategies to attack Herreshoff's Marco Polo, and Herreshoff with it.
> You believe that we
You, jerkwad, are not a "we" - except for your multiple-personality disorder. You're a troll.
> You are devoid of the natural human collaborative constructs. You cannot work with others to create, but you can exploit. You cannot make, but you can take, in
> simple terms. You are a "taker not a maker."
>Will Ben kill?
Yes, without a doubt.
(He seems to end with, what I think is, a death threat; I would like to see that!)