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.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Obama's Environmentalism Embraces Destruction

Obama's "changes"
Obama is bending towards both labor and the environment, but there are "rubs" in his approaches. To many, he is appointing the old guard; his appointments are not symbolic of
change. This article attempts to show that Obama's support for the environment is support for hunting, that hunting is effectively anti-environmental, and hunting is in fundamental ways connected to our present economic disaster. I want to help influence Obama to move his
administration in ways that help him fulfill his promises to make America solid and safe for everyone, and hence improve the world. I hope he will be president for both terms, and perhaps again after a four year wait.

Obama's "changes" to the economy, as an example
Obama promised to eliminate the "trickle down theory" in his final and most important election speech, but he is still attempting a pure capital approach, albeit modified, to restore the economy (which as a resource exploitation system is anti-environmental by definition). What he fails to realize is that the "trickle down theory" is precisely how capital works, and capital is our system, unless he decides to develop alternative ideas. In capital, resources are accumulated in central
locations called capitals, and benefits from this accumulation "trickle down" to the society through the filter of the bank accounts of the very wealthy and their holdings, traditionally called trusts. From what we can see, Obama is very deliberate in his support for bailing out these "trusts" now that they are failing despite their history of terrible effects on both the general population and the environment. If this were actually a free market economy, as Obama's economic advisers say it is, then these losing "trusts" should be allowed to fail to be replaced with economic components that work.

Obama's "changes" for the environment
He is pulling together the environmentalists that support hunting, proven by his appointment to protect the environmental, pro-hunting Sen. Ken Salazar of Colorado as Secretary of the Interior. The Sierra Club endorses Salazar, which brings up the issue that many environmental groups support hunting; these groups are influencing Obama.

Hunters drive bulldozers destroying forests
It is the hunting community that drives the bulldozers that knock down the trees to build subdivisions and malls: the two greatest threats to natural habitat. All bulldozers in this type of construction are driven by men wearing camouflage baseball caps: a symbol of hunting.

Once I when I was driving a concrete truck near Savannah, Georgia, I saw a family of small ground birds in a state of pure panic; they were a group of chicks being led by their mother in circles around a newly constructed house. Their home, or habitat, had been destroyed to build
"McMansions." The scene made me very sad and I wish now that I had photographed their plight. The forest had been their home perhaps for hundreds of years, and was being destroyed by unfeeling Southern contractors, who are most likely hunters.

I had taken this mixer truck driving job while I was finishing my degree. I poured concrete mostly in subdivision construction sites, though I originally expected that I would be working on building factories, and hence creating jobs. The subdivision work was exceedingly hard on my left knee as I was required to work the heavy-duty truck clutch constantly for hours while filling slow-moving curb extruders for subdivision streets. While pouring in these subdivisions I was continually saddened while I saw Latin American illegal labor creating huge bonfires more than fifty feet in height from the beautiful Georgia forests that had been destroyed the hunter-driven bulldozers.

It is this real estate speculation that now fuels endless habitat destruction; and real estate speculation is at the core of our present national economic disaster. In the early 2000's, US technology and manufacturing were ransacked and the money was invested in sub division
and shopping mall development; when the money ran out, credit replaced it. And now we are in a "credit crunch." At the core of the "credit crunch" is a financial instrument called the "credit default swap," or CDS, which is an "equity traded" insurance policy instrument for questionable loans. The institutions that insured the poor loans, including AIG, did not have the liquidity to support the defaulted loans (and hence the term "credit default swap") and went into the
red. The first action by Treasury secretary Henry Paulson's "bail-out" was to shore up the financial institutions who issued the CDSs, especially the very guilty financial insurance company AIG.

In these paragraphs I try to show the relationship between hunting and finances; I try to show that habitat destruction, the destruction of our environment, is closely related to the destruction of the economies of the world, and that Obama's intended changes may not really be changes at all, but a series of corrections to preserve the system that is destroying both the US economy and world's environment. And this despite Obama's best wishes to repair America and positively influence the world.

Hunting is a hateful sport
Hunting is a reactionary, or even "KKK," type of sport--few if any true liberals hunt, urban or rural. And Obama is a Black American. Because of this obvious contradiction, I feel the design behind his environmental strategy is probably not his, and this gives me hope that his environmentalism can be set on a proper, more empathic, track. I believe that this strategy has been architected over may years by insidious insiders occupying key policy making positions in the environmental movement: Pope of the Sierra Club is my primary example. I only learned very recently of environmental support for hunters when I saw Pope's endorsement of Salazar as Interior Secretary, where Pope specifically mentions Salazar as a hunting supporter.

After many experiences meeting hunters in the woods, I personally see any contact with them in isolation as potentially suicidal. Threats by one of them during a hike a decade ago drove me into the arms of animal activists. I have come to know them as people who enjoy killing, and have found that they often align with reactionary causes; If I had been born a Black American, my fears of dealing with hunters would increase by factors.

Instead of supporting hunting as environmentalism, Obama needs to look to great naturalists for advice, especially John Muir who founded the Sierra Club. Muir, along with my favorite writer Lewis Mumford, was disgusted by hunting. Social scientists and film makers who "embed" into tribally native cultures have shown a natural and empathic relationship with the forests by the Natively Tribal: our original human society. Cultural advancement has been away from the "blood model," which is more closely related to the ancient empire builders, and towards our roots. Look at the art in modern art museums, such as the cubists. The music of the world is increasingly tribal and full of love; the only popular hate-based music today comes from Nazis or is influenced by cocaine and crack. Even the hunters' children are all dancing to African strains in Hip-hop--there is much to be hopeful for!

My personal advice for animal activists is that they should encourage empathy in the mainstream, especially within the communities of compassion. Animal activists should go to church, for instance, and celebrate the blessing of the animals on St. Francis day. There they can see that most people are animal lovers, even conservatives. One third of the US goes into forests to appreciate nature peacefully and reverently, whereas the hunting community, which only goes into the forests to kill, is only a very small percentage. Furthermore I have found that most hunters are not actually core hunters, but simply friends of the hunters "along for the ride." They are joining their friends in the hunt mistakenly thinking that hunting is a natural human tradition.

Many environmentalists are confused by this undemocratic gap; Captain Paul Watson of the Sea Shepherd Society wonders how such a small percentage controls the nation, or perhaps even the world. The reason seems obvious to me; core hunters are well-armed and they obviously like to kill; they have unlimited access to ammunition. The general population is scared of them. Hunters, and other killers, are in the military where they have weapons of mass destruction; many are in police departments that allow them "reach out and touch" anybody they want with little, if any, accountability.

Obama needs us to support his promises
What Obama promised (which I believe he had to promise to beat McCain) is unprecedented change, and I believe that this level of change is desired by the vast majority of Americans. I showed that the pro-hunting environmental strategy cannot possibly be his, and I believe that few, if any, of his strategies are original; he is simply building his administration with strong available people and system components that are believed to work. Many of us are wondering where the changes will be. Many here on OpEdNews say "wait and see," while many are already disgusted and want to protest with radical activist strategies.

I think our best approach is to be critical, analytic, and to the point. There is no question in my mind that the necessary components for constructing a solid and safe America, and hence an improved world, are with us right now--we just have to look for them in Science and history. We need to find them, build on them, and refine them through our own peer review, and then submit them as serious work to policy makers--especially the big policy-maker:
President-elect Obama. From experience I suggest that the more radical submissions begin with a conciliatory introduction.

Citations and other supporting information
I very much want to get this kind of information out as quickly as possible while the administration's "concrete is still wet."

Also important to this article is the newly developed research connecting humanity to the
natural environment with empathic neurons, and also the history of hate and killing in hunting documented by Lewis Mumford in Technics and Civilization. I will also use this as the basis for bigger writing (click here).

"Bad guys" that he has appointed include former Iowa governor Tom Vilsack for agriculture and former fed chief Volcker as economic adviser. Vilsack helped build the universally hated confinment factory farms, and is said to be a puppet of Monsanto. Volcker, a former Fed chief, is every bit as stupid as his Fed chief successor, Alan Greenspan.

AFTER NOTE: The above writing above supporting Obama but decrying "false" environmentalism was submitted to OpEdNews.com as an article. Rob Kall, who owns OEN, specifically asked me to bring environmentalism to OEN, and then he, or someone there, rejected the writing. I sent him a response with more information supporting the capital connection to hunting and environmental destruction, but it was sent back to me, well, to be rid of the hunting connection.

The term hunting should bring back to many policitals the image of Cheeny shooting his friend in the face with a shotgun at a "canned" duck hunt. So my question to Rob Kall is "why protect hunters, of all people?"

Below is information supporting the hunting / capital connection coming mostly from my own experience, but supported by the very important late Lewis Mumford, who wrote Technics and Civilization.

My motivation for writing the article is to support OEN by creating a link between OEN and Care2.com, which is at the moment experiencing an exodus. Care2 is populated primarily by people seeking to protect the environment, and who actively support love over hate.

I tried to create relationships between topics that would enjoin the two groups, and I "tarred" a lot of people, including hunters, but most specifically the capital structure.

I am fully willing to remove references to the KKK from the article, but the article attempts to show reactionary support for the present trends of economic destruction, which were supported by Bush.

This is something that Obama clearly needs to eliminate to succeed, even survive, as a Black American president. There are daily arrests for assassination attempts against Obama coming from people who clearly have KKK thinking.

The basis of the present economic destruction is the conversion of the American economy from manufacturing and technology into house construction. The economy failed when many very bad housing loans came due, causing a 50% shortfall in corporate values, which is held
in the equities market.

Mass destruction of environmental habitat occurred as a result of the housing boom as well; that destruction of environment was done by hunters driving bulldozers; that I saw as a concrete mixer driver. If I had not seen it happen, I would have assumed it because I understand the rural relationship with the environment.

You asked for "empathy," and here it is. And you also asked for a connection to Care2; I am trying to build that with this article.

This information is pivotal to making the connection between OEN and Care2.com.

My personal area of study is how the human environment interconnects with the natural environment, and that is the study of empathy from the evolutionary perspective. (http://thinman.com/empathy)

The criticism surprised me. I have never met anyone else, who protects hunters, except hunters themselves. Urban people hate them because they kill for joy, which is viewed as related to hate. And rural people are afraid of them them because they occasionally kill
hikers, walkers, and joggers "accidentally."

I spent most of my life "on the fence" between hunting and anti-hunting, but was forced by a hunter into the anti-hunting camp about a decade ago when he threatened my life, and rationalized it because I was not wearing orange. That event initiated my life as an environmental activist.

The criticism says "Are some hunters borish and stupid? Clearly. All? No way"

I never implied that hunters are stupid, and I don't know what the other word means. If anything I believe that they are cunning, which requires intelligence. I am saying that they are unfeeling with respect to the environment, which is what allows them to destroy habitat without feeling remorse, and hence contribute to the housing glut that caused the liquidity shortfall that is the present recession moving towards a depression.

I know that there is widespread understanding that hunters go into the forest only to kill and this can easily be supported. And from what I have seen, most writers make an assumption that those who kill for sport are unfeeling, especially Liberals.

This makes the criticism appear to come from the Right. Do hunters support war and a high use of the death penalty? That is easily supportable. Do hunters support Bush's and McCain's desires for endless wars? That is also easily supportable.

So why protect hunters?

I have spent a lot of time observing the rural right wing during my two years as a trucker. My co-driver for a year was a former Klansman who, by the way, now drives with an Black American. I don't want to hurt rural conservatives, I want them to change -- and so does
president-elect Obama. Promoting these changes may also help protect Obama from assassination.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Notes from emails from Gernot Heiser about L4 and Education

The importance of investing into school kids cannot be underestimated, although I see them as the future technologist, not a free work force.

Particularly in the present situation where in many industrialised countries kids are losing interest in technology and science. If this trend continues we will create a society with a very strong class structure, where the majority has no understanding of technology and limited access to its benefits, and even less understanding of its dangers. Needless to say, this is also a big threat for the economic competitiveness of those countries.

I have been tangentially involved with outreach activities at UNSW. And the scary thing is that in high school, it is essentially too late. The kids have already decided whether they are interested in science and maths, and those who have decided they don't like it are essentially already a lost cause. Regrettably, this is particularly true with girls, who at this age are very sensitive to peer pressure, and are being told by their peers that maths isn't a girl thing. In Australia, there are also studies showing that high school career advisers are also discouraging girls from science and engineering.

Essentially, the battle is already lost in high school, it has to start earlier. Our experiences with running workshop for year-five pupils (especially girls) are much better, they are still open at this stage. This is the time where the interest needs to be nurtured.

The observation that "systems research is irrelevant" has been made before by Rob Pike (http://herpolhode.com/rob/utah2000.pdf) and indeed, OS research was by many considered dead a few years ago. This isn't the situation at the moment, though. For one, Linux has changed the game by making OS code much more accessible, students can now again do research on real systems. Then virtualisation has created a lot of interest and activity in OS issues. However, Rob's observation that people are still largely using the same 40-year-old technology is still true (and virtualisation is essentially used to hack around the limitations of broken operating systems).

The reality, though, is that some of this is the inevitable result of the commoditisation of PCs, and the resulting huge inertia in the basic architecture, processor as well as OS. I don't think there's much hope in changing the PC world in the foreseeable future.

Embedded systems, however, are a different ball game. The embedded systems industry, in different verticals at different times, is realising that they have reached the use-by date of their RTOS technology. Hence they are forced into a change of OS technology, and this is the chance to put in something that's good. I sure believe that this is L4, and that's the reason we have set up Open Kernel Labs.