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.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Defective dominance, a phrase I use often (but never wrote about) to describe the ugliness we see in "our" human society is "defective dominance." This is to say that, because it is easy to profit using cruelty, and difficult to prevent cruelty through kindness (or profit from generosity), cruelty, and especially cruelty-causing genes, win out in "our" synthetic world.

In the political context, psych-types would describe this defective dominance in terms of personality disorders, the most dangerous of which is malignant narcissism, what Adolf Hitler had. I assume Dawkins would agree; I believe he speaks from experience, as he, as academic oligarch, probably self-describes in his best-selling books about "selfish genes."

Surprisingly to me, I found "defective dominance" to be important evolutionary and genetic term, though not necessarily widespread. (I was expecting to find more paranoid conspiracy-type stuff.)

Like most genuine genetic-evolutionary material, references to defective dominance are exceedingly difficult to fathom, but very easy to observe in everyday life. By adding up all the "ugliness" that we see, and then adding to it all the "ugliness" elsewhere that we don't see (which requires multiplication), and then "factoring in growth" which means raising it to an exponential (such as "squaring" it), any of us can comprehend that we, as a Human race and a planet Earth, are in deep trouble. The result will be mega-genocidal disaster in coming decades.

The question is "how will we reverse the control of the defective dominant?"

The humanitarian approach is to attempt to create awareness of the problem, but I believe that effort will be ineffectual; I use the Vietnam war as an example: it was the military action by Vietnam that ended the war, not the active opposition to the war by the US population.

Blocking possibilities of a popular "information-based" solutions is the academic use empiricist science--which is very much what it sounds like. Empiricism has, for 23-2500 years, focused on developing empire-building technologies for the economic growth of the aristocracy (with a short communist experiment): roads, weapons, ships, towers, medicine. Academia, for its educational effort, has been rewarded with its own "ivory" tower in it has metacognitive control over nearly every one of us for big parts of our lives as students.

Economics as a symptom of defective dominance
Most importantly, economics is not constructive nor a whole systems model. It is a connected sequence of causal conclusions designed to resemble a model.

This should be a major concern to every one of us, because it is an alternative to the system that we evolved in (or God granted us); it is a synthesis -- a fiction. The terminology and math used are complicated lies designed to show that as a market-based synthetic system it benefits all through growth. In reality, it declines financially because of inflation, erodes the meanings of our lives, and will ultimately consume all the planet's resources --as a result of uncontrolled growth.

Specific fictions within the terminology and math of economics could be, for instance, the use of retail consumption as a positive asset (or growth) when in actual business, it is a debit (or decline). House building, as a product is an asset, but in its present context it is consumption, not production, as retail is.

Production has, of course, been largely shipped to other countries, and market values --the actual measurement of a market-based economy-- are out-paced by inflation.

Economists see growth in empiricist math, but the wealthy can only grow by absorbing the resources of others and undercutting their salaries. Even the wealth of the wealthy is eroded by inflation necessitating increasing "greed" to maintain lifestyles.

Technical Reference

Crutchfield, J. P. and Schuster, P. (2003). Evolutionary dynamics: Exploring the interplay of selection, accident, neutrality, and function. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.