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.

Friday, July 14, 2006

The Katrina Hurricane

About the Care2 Discussion Forum which Experienced it

This is the introduction to my discussion about a forum, that became an action group on the Care2.com site.

This group will evolve into an action community, focused on helping those in immediate need.

Here is the link to the paper (Click)

Here is a link to this introduction as a nice web page (Click)

It wasn't the hurricane that flooded New Orleans. It wasn't broken levees, as you might imagine, that flooded New Orleans. Broken walls along some un-used canals flooded the city. These canals, whose structures failed, inexplicably run through centers of the city, a sea-coast city, below sea-level.

But, then, it wasn't the broken walls that actually destroyed New Orleans. There seems to have been the deliberate neglect of the drowning city, that evolved eventually into a blatant attempt by corrupt officials and developers to utilize the disaster to facilitate a real estate land-grab.

The discussion forum that provided all the information was formed by me in the Care.com activist web community when I heard Michael Chertoff, on TV, say that he was withholding rescue support from New Orleans during its most desperate days. From what he said, during an impromptu interview on a roadside, it appeared to me that he was deliberately holding back life-saving aid as if he were holding reinforcements back during a military offensive.

When I heard Michael Chertoff's military-sounding statement, I knew then that there was trouble. The situation, to me, felt like an a tactic in a military offensive; part of a long held struggle to hurt the remarkable African American culture, a culture brought here from Africa in slavery.

The African American, or the Black American culture, is the dominant musical youth culture in the world today. In this group we created knowledge which describes a deliberate neglect by the capital culture for the tens of thousands of people, overwhelmingly Black, who were stranded in New Orleans in floodwaters after the Katrina landfall.

As it turns out, we have here an amazing history of an equally amazingly thin slice of time. There were so many stories of heroism and villainy, so much sacrifice, that I feel a personal sadness knowing that the struggle is slowly being forgotten by the general public

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