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.

Thursday, October 09, 2014

What about Aaron Schwartz?

If you study Snowden, searches invariably lead you to cyber-related Aaron Schwartz who killed himself after two years of prosecution for attempting to “liberate” J-Store material and is viewed as a cyber-martyr.

Unfortunately from my perspective, Schwartz put himself on the oligarchic side of technology; he worked to help eliminate newlines for the forced paragraph format in word processing by helping
MarkDown (see “typewriter lives” here), he was in support of internet control of the people (who are increasingly becoming proletariat) through app-centric architecture over liberating data-centric systems logic (thinman.com).  He was highly-aligned with both Harvard (which supplies all our current oligarchs along w/ Yale), and MIT, which turn Schwartz into the Secret Service for "liberating" J-Store empricial information.  He was so poorly aligned that he ultimately killed himself as a martyr to the very things he opposed.  As J-Store is a storage for empirical data, I ask myself, how stupid can a person be? He wasn't stupid, he was seduced: Western Civilization's Socratic Method.

Seriously, this travesty is purely academic/oligarchic, and, as we see, empiricist – the very "think" that genuine constructivists are attempting to reverse. Progress is NOT what is needed; what we need is human, natural restoration, with the preservation, of course, of current benefits such as medical technologies.

Perhaps Schwartz was so well (behaviorally) rewarded for his early work as a teenager that he could never have known that he would kill himself as a socratic puppet attempting to help preserve Western Civilization by fixing it by freeing its empiricist documents from J-Store.  His deception lives on with Rep. Zoe Lofgren whose bill called Aaron’s Law was framed with Harvard's chief ethicist, Lawrence Lessig, who together with Lofgren, continue the deception as world-class dialecticians with Schwartz's family by attempting to push the blame on to law-bound prosecutors!

Purely socratic, non-platonic Harvard chief ethicist: 
Lessig''s non-verbal communication says it all as he
seduces young Aaron Schwartz at a computer expo

Socrates at it again: I feel safe in hypothesizing that what we see in this picture is evidence of a highly-unethical platonic relationship between Lessig and Aaron Schwartz that led to Schwartz’s becoming an information criminal and ultimately his suicide when Schwartz found himself unprepared to handle the pressures of the federal prosecution he brought upon himself.