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, October 04, 2006

Thought Linking and Resulting Language Technologies

(Part 1) More than ever, public domain software is needed
Linking will resist natural writing, it may very likely create language that is very mechanical. It seems probable to me that the mechanics of language will be described as algorithms in the very near future; machines will develop speech directly form concepts, in any language. While on one level that would seem to be a tremendous aid to international communication, but then we face democracy issues--who will be able to use this empowering technology? And, who will be left out of the process? Furthermore, multi-national corporations will use this (and every other) technology to shrink their staff size, making themselves more effective (and therefore profitable) while shrinking benefits to the average person from the economic system: neo-economics.

Language and linking technology are coming anyway, either by contract to corporations, or through the public domain. Since the goal of the Information Society is to seek democracy, linking and subsequent language technologies have to be created democratically in the public domain to assure that every person has access to these new tools. The alternative is unthinkable, pure control over language by corporate consortia exercising corporate governance (what they call corporate citizenship), resulting pure resource exploitation without regard for humanity or humane issues.

As corporations shrink in size and their powers expand, they eliminate the weak staff members. By stripping away all that is human and emotional, they increasingly concentrate a condition described as "pure intelligence" by Goleman in his book Emotional Intelligence. This describes pure objectivism with no emotional aspect as a mental disorder resulting in purely sociopathic behavior on the scale of genius.

Obviously, there can be no free enterprise competition when corporate consortia reach the final levels of technical and political control. Corporations have successfully dominated nearly every government they have encountered, Microsoft successfully preventing anti-trust prosecution, making itself the dominating control center of control itself. What is needed is vigorous resistance to the centralized control of information. So far, the way to do this has been to encourage the democratic public domain to develop truly free software. Now, under increasing pressure form corporate consortia, encouragement will have to give way to actual empowering.

Publicly developed technology is supported by the financial numbers: 90% of the cost of development is in the overhead, most of it being absorbed by marketing and sales staff. Free software has been developed for free, yet I now believe that grants should be provided to the scientists who will most likely continue to develop and promote free software.

In other words, society through the government can provide democratically available software for only a small percentage of the cost to corporations for proprietary software. The alternative is the continued support for the wholly illegal Microsoft monopoly, along with continued suffering resulting from damage to the computing industry by the Microsoft. Examples of technologies damaged by Microsoft's control over computer technology include the computer modeling of diseases: the obvious future of medicine. Microsoft, as an authoritarian entity, can only annex technology, they cannot create effective technology of their own. Since they, along with the globalist market, have left a waste land of commercial technical development, they can now only block public domain development. Furthermore, Microsoft's founder, Bill Gates, has inserted himself as a dominant force in the in the policy making of AIDS research: will he allow Linux based supercomputing to cure the disease? Judging from his previous behaviors, that is highly unlikely.

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