The goal of the Linux-Society (LS, dating back to the mid-90s as a professional club and tech-mentoring group) has been a purely-democratic Information Society; many of the articles are sociological in nature. The LS was merged with Perl/Unix of NY to form multi-layered group that included advocacy, project-oriented learning by talented high school students: textbook constructivism. Linux has severe limitations such that it is useless for any computer that will, say, print or scan. It is primarily used for webservers and embedded devices such as the Android. (Google is high-invested in it).

Technology is problematic. During the heyday of technology (1990s), it seemed it had the democratic direction Lewis Mumford said it should have in his seminal
Technics and Civilization.

Today, we are effectively stuck with Windows as Linux is poor on the desktop and has cultured a maladaptive following. Apple is prohibitive, and all other operating systems lack drivers, including Google's Android, an offshoot of linux.

In the late 90s there was hope for new kernels such as LibOS and ExoOS that would bare their hardware to programs, some of which would be virtual machines such as Java uses. Another important player was the L4 system that is a minor relation to the code underlying the Apple's systems. It was highly scientific but fell into the wrong hangs, apparently, and has suffered from having no progress on the desktop. There is a version, "SE" that is apparently running in many cell phones as specialized telecom chips, but is proprietary. SE's closed nature was only recently revealed, which is important because it is apparently built from publicly-owned code as it is not a "clean room" design it may violate public domain protections, and most certainly violates the widely-accepted social contract.

Recent attempts to enjoin into L4 development as an advocate for "the people" have been as frustrating (and demeaning) as previous attempts with the usual attacks to self-esteem by maladaptive "hacks" being reinforced by "leadership" (now mostly university professors).

In short, this leaves us with Windows, which is quite a reversal if you have read earlier posts here. But, upon Windows, we have free and open software development systems in the forms of GTK+ (the windows usually used on Linux) and the Minimal GNU Windows (MinGW and MSYS) systems. It is very likely this direction that development should go (that is, on Windows) such that s/w can then be ported to a currently-valid microkernel system that includes a driver system that can be adapted by hardware developers to reuse of their windows and apple drivers.

From a brief survey of L4, it appears that the last clean copy was the DROPS system of the early 2010s, was a German effort that used the Unix-like "OS kit" from an American University.

If we are going to be stuck on Windows, then it seems that a high level approach to free and open systems integration, such as creating fully transparent mouse communication between apps so that they can seamlessly work together as a single desktop (rather than deliberately conflicting). This would be very helpful for GIMP and Inkscape, both leading graphics programs that are strong in the special ways, but suffer from an inability to easily interrelate.

Another important issue is the nature, if you can call it that, of the "geek" or "hack." Technology is formed democratically but "harvested" authoritarian-ly --if I can coin a term that Mumford might use. Authority is plutarchy: a combination of aristocracy and oligarchy that is kept alive after all these millennia by using, or maligning, the information society as a part of the civilizing (or law-giving) process that embraces the dialectic as its method. Democratic restoration, that is to put humanity back on an evolutionary (and not de-evolutionary) track, I think, will require the exclusion of the "geek" from decision-making. As is, the free/open s/w culture attempts to give leadership to those who write the most lines of code --irrespective of their comprehension of the real world or relationship with normal users. We need normal people to somehow organize around common sense (rather than oligarchic rationalism) to bring to life useful and cohesive software and communications systems.

Interestingly, the most popular page on this site is about Carl Rogers' humanistic psychology, and has nothing to do with technology.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

FB will delete 10s to 100s of millions of users for "over-friending"

Help end FB's "anti-friending" crisis (though I am at a loss as to how):
  • Facebook has and will delete a sizable percentages of its user-base:
    • at least 10's of millions, perhaps 100's of millions from a user-base of a billion
  • I may be in the "next round" of "deletions"

Facebook (FB) is deleting, or disabling, accounts to the tune of 100 million accounts, and is, apparently ramping-up, so the numbers banned from FB will reach into the 100's of millions.  FB has about a billion members, though it can be assumed that many, if not most, members use it infrequently, perhaps half or more barely long in at all, judging from my personal observations and experiences on other social sites.

That suggests that FB wants to eliminate a sizable percentage of its actual active "resident population," perhaps 20% to a third; maybe even as much as 50%.  A good question is "why would they do that as it makes no sense?"  FB profits are high, and its tax burden is apparently negligible (thanks to US government generosity to huge corporations), the per-user maintenance cost is negligible, and if it actually figures out how to attract beneficial sellers and link them wifh valid customers, there is no reason "non-clickers" such as me, will not buy into its commercialism.  Seriously, makes no sense from the business standpoint, and is dangerous to the world psychology.

UpdateI definitely have FB’s attention: I am being “followed” by an FB employee presumably because of this material, so it seems my effort is working--at least as an individual. 

Typical current "friending" experience
I put my workplace as “please friend me as I can’t because I am blocked” and a gallery-owner just “friended” me, probably as a result. When I confirmed, FB asked me if I knew this person, so I responded “yes,” of course. Also, I get continual requests for more personal information, such as “where did I go to school,” or “where did I work.” Frankly, as an early promoter of a social internet (in the late 80s), I think you would have to be very trusting or stupid to use your real name on the Internet, let alone make personal information available everywhere.

General anger with FB and Zuckerman
There are many people angry enough with FB (to organize boycotts) for many, many reasons, whcih makes FB's founder, Zuckerburg, a seriously-hated person.  Many express serious ill-will towards Zuckerberg, which may even go to homicidal desires (but not from me). 

No "happy ending"
I don't see a happy ending to situation that I think is extremely damaging to the World's psychology for many reasons, including maladatpive behaviors express in FB's film biography, Social Network, as well as the intents of its controlling "angel investors."

Reversing original intent of the social Internet's founders (such as me)
My complaint is that FB is reversing the meaning of the Internet, which is to make create world communication as a form of digital empathy.  In retrospect, the concept of "digital empathy" seems like seriously wishful-thinking because it is contradictory (digital personalities are non-empathic) and the capital structures that funded the Interment's "tech boom" of the 1990s have since shown a clear desire to destroy the planet for quick profit.  Nonetheless, I have a good many long-term friends (hundreds) from the Internet whom I only know from the Internet and with whom I have excellent relationships, perhaps because of the Internet's digital nature. 

The only way to get kicked-off FaceBook is "friending" people whom you don't know in real life
Important to me is the method of "weeding" undesirable members: the method is described "anti-friending" campaign being implemented as part of the "terms of service" agreement that everybody clicks "yes" to but no one comprehends.  Because of the way computer-related laws are written, website "terms of service" are actually law, though you have to break actual law to get prosecuted, as Aaron Schwartz was.  Still, no matter what, FB's terms of service are the final word, and, contact with actual, potentially feeling humans at FB is nearly impossible.  The intractable nature of FB is described in psychological personality order of "concrete thinking," which is a serious problem.  After watching the movie about him, Social Network, I think I am within my rights by wondering if he was/is using.

The "rationale" for new-friend-blocking that FB gives to me is that I am somehow abusing people who don't know me by asking to be their friends.  In real life, normal people talk to strangers and potentially spark up a friendship.  Normal people who are rebuffed by others who think that they are being abused by an extension of friendship invariably think to themselves something like "what an asshole!" 

Patronizing "assholes"
It would appear that FB is specifically patronizing this kind of unusually hostile and perhaps paranoid person.  (This is not to say such hostility makes a person "bad" as many people are simply extending negative worldviews of others--are are necessarily bad--and can recover through therapy.)  Nonetheless, given FB's size of a billion users, FB's promotion of this maladaptive approach to life significantly adds to the "contagion effect"

Does, or did,  Zuckerberg use cocaine?
Further cause for concern is that I sense from photographs of Zuckerberg at work and play is that he is some kind of user, and the movie about him, Social Network, emphatically stresses cocaine use during its "start up" --cocaine is highly addiction.  My concern here is not Zuckerberg's well-being, but the personality-disorder effects of cocaine, it causes concrete thinking (which halts possible change) and narcissism, which can only compound the situation.  But then, if he is the way he is portrayed in the movie, which seems accurate, doe he really run FB, or is it run by the "angel investors" that hold controlling stock (and attempted to rob its other founders).

A Dialectical explanation of my concern
A different dialectical issue to personally affect me is constant threat to block my account for using it to do what the Internet, and before it, the Information Society, was meant to do: make friends with the World. This is, of course, is the ultimate extension of Empathy, as everyone knows, but it is just about the only way to get kicked-off FaceBook--why? There is no doubt in my mind that a major reason is FaceBook’s “business model,” that focuses on family and community (as consumers), but I “sense” there is something more. I think of it in terms of “divide and conquer,” rational reduction to the family/work level where incompetent matriarchs/patriarchs prevent any talent from evolving to higher level incompetence to threaten the incompetents of the “power elite” (Bush/Obama). This inquiry into FaceBook (followed, I hope, by empathic action) is (in my opinion) the best critical direction for information society studies because it seems obvious to most what is going on with it: information control society. The scope and depth of the problem affects all information (like bacterium) making comprehension of it difficult for most which is why we need abstraction skills, abstraction being antithetical to the thesis/anti-thesis/synthesis of the current dialectic, but the way serious information science is accomplished, such as with the Internet Protocol communication stack (and the Empathy Model).

Dehumanization by FB and other dangerous "tech effects"This looks like an ongoing-process, and is important for the dual reasons that FB has such a big audience that it will continue the process of metacognitive de-humanization through human isolation, and that the purely “unfeeling types” will continue their seamless bond with computer networks to bring implement metacognitive control, such as BF Skinner modeled it in Walden II. Sad truth is that all community websites have similar controlling business models as the “angel investors” dictated the commercial nature of the Internet early on (in the mid-90s), and even open source and non-commercial sites such as Wikipedia and supporting components such as Wikipedia and Ubuntu openly support intellectual property protection either by narrowly defining or controlling free information so as to make “their own.” Ubuntu, for instance, will force users to unload file sharing tools such as Handbrake during upgrades, and Wikipedia forces all material to confirm to its particular “free” approach so as to actually confound society’s generous laws allowing “fair use.”

How does one fight this?
Seriously, how do you fight this? Government supports “business freedom” giving “terms of service” as a weapon for rabid prosecutors (Aaron Schwartz), the average person seeks to “stay off the radar” for safety’s sake, and the Internet “media” is purely positivist, that is to say that it metacognitively paints a pretty picture of everything often by suggesting (Socratic) alternatives--so as not to impact the “buying mania” of its advertised products (by family). When it offers alternatives to FB, they go in the direction of private interconnections between people who can just as easily talk on the phone (or text) or, preferably, meet in person.

Not good, it makes "cyber thuggery” (hacking) the only available option to “save the world,” which actually serves the oligarchic “meme’s” (or selfish-gene’s) maladaptive purpose by thwarting democracy’s evolution of freedom of speech through the information society. Democracy is what the Internet is meant to enhance, and why it has a free and open nature --not to create a information control society.

Reintroducing (wiki-style) anonymity
In the end, internet anonymity (as practiced by the Wikipedia) is not to protect one form the individual predator (as originally conceived) but from the information collector:

FaceBook defines, more than the others--even the NSA, the Information Society predator