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.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Who killed Christ ?? Newsflash !!

According to the Gospel of Judas, a genuine document of the gospel period--the 2nd Century--Judas did not betray Christ, but was asked by Christ to bring the Romans, perhaps to have a "show down."  (If so, this certainly changes the meaning of the "kiss of death," as an anti-empathic construct.)

Christ was charged with sedition or treachery, which he could not have been guilty of because of his pacifism.  The Roman leader, Pontius Pilate, did not want to kill Christ and may have passed the case to a man named Herod, who likewise did not want to kill Christ.

So who killed Christ?  It seems the mob may have, in the sense of the chaos of the French Revolution--Jeruselum of Christ's time was purely chaotic.  Christ  may have been lynched by the types of moral defectives who did the lynching in our American history.  The Christian Jews seem to say in their documents that Christ may not have died on the cross, and instead was taken down, possibly with the help of Roman Centurions, and brought to a cave to be nursed back to health by Mary Magdalen.  Christ may have been protected by the centurions on his way to Calvary, and then saved by them after the Crucifixion, allowing him to return, and then ascend into Heaven.

Roman Centurions helped Christianity as more Gentiles joined Christ.  James, Christ's brother, liberalized Jewish law on their behalf so that they could more easily be Christian.  For instance, he removed the requirement of circumcision.  This enraged the more orthodox Jewish Christians who then attacked the early Gentile Christians.  The centurions then stepped in to protect the Gentile Christians, often called Paulists.  Perhaps the centurions were rewarding the Christians for Christ's forgiveness of their actions against him: Christ's power of forgiveness.

Centurions were soldiers and not cops.  This is significant to me as I have always had good relations with American soldiers where I have met them, often in party environments, yet my relationships with policemen have nearly always been frightening, especially in party environments.  It may be that the cops of the time were from the local government, which was not Roman but Jewish. During Christ's time, Judaism was still thriving under Roman colonial rule: the period of Hillel, a true empathist.  It was not until much later in the first Century that the Jewish rebellions resulted in their final suppression under Roman rule.  This happened long after the initial Christians had passed on--an interesting us of the term for death, especially considering Christ's eternal status.

All this information is derived from the Wikipedia.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Open letter to L4 developers

Frankly, I am wondering why all of you are working so hard to create virtualization for Linux, when this has been done in so many ways ranging from IBM mainframes to PC emulation, and especially on L4.

Linux suffers from being a monolithic kernel, making it very difficult to support by hardware and peripheral manufacturers, which has kept it from being a mainstream OS allowing it to be a true alternative to Microsoft, and also Apple, of the benefit of the vast majority of humanity.

This fault goes back nearly two decades to the debate Linus had with Andrew Tannenbaum. Time has shown Linus to have been very, very wrong, as every other popular OS is a microkernel OS.

The social implication is that society can determine democratically what kind of intelligent devices it wants in its future. So far, all these decisions have been made by corporate executives, including decisions for Linux: IBM. When we saw the Linux culture drop support for legacy hardware, which especially hurts the third world, we knew that there was a problem in the initial social model, perhaps better defined as a scheme with hindsight. Further inquiry shows fault in Linus' initial thinking, and that the popular support he received leading to the success of the Linux kernel was at best a successful social phenomena, as it failed as a beneficial and purely democratic implementation of technology in our present phase of the Information Society.

What we need in the world with respect to communication is free communication, which implies IP communication, the only free packet transport that is available. All politicians have worked to make IP communication proprietary, claiming that they seek to "stimulate" economies, but in fact have simply been handing over valuable resources to the most selfish people. Al Gore, the supposedly-liberal politician from the United States is the most guilty of this. When he said "I invented the Internet" what he really meant was "I took the Internet away from the people, and gave it to the most greedy, the corporate executives and board members."

These ideas can easily be extended into an extremely well-supported argument showing nearly sociopathic control over technology, and most of the Information Society back to the beginnings of civilization (Mumford: Technics and Civilization), by the operators of our society who are guilty of such much more, such as endless environmental and social exploitation, not to mention a perennial tendency to genocide. (We had hoped that Obama would be an exception, but, again, with hindsight, that was unrealistically hopeful.)

All in all, it is time to dump the corporate-centric paradigm, which if you understand that the capital model that we have inherited nearly intact from Rome (Durant, Mumford, others) comes with a semi-democratic political system actually called Fascism. Sixty years ago we had to defeat Fascism in an exceedingly violent world war, but back then we failed to recognize that our own semi-democracy is built upon the same Roman political, financial, and hence information model. I am not proposing a world war (I never would, I am a pacifist) but something has to be done; there is an extreme need for radical change in the technical aspects of the Information Society (I am a realist.)

I strongly support your efforts to create the "hooks" necessary to start building computation and communication libraries and modules, which can then be absorbed into an independent and unified data manipulation paradigm, available to all devices small and large, to replace the "server centric" model that has only served to increase corporate control. Or as in the case of Linux, some other yet-undefined (and apparently unsuccessful) "open systems control" scheme.