Sunday, December 21, 2008

Old news

Quite some time ago I was reading an article online that ticked me off. In an effort to express my agrivation, I wrote my own article reporting on it the way that I do.

Palo Alto Daily News
Thursday, December 14, 2006
Page 17

Niggers Trade Genitals for Crack, Scientists' Get Good Laugh

By Lauren Neergard

Associated Press

In a recent dual study on poverty on Africa, scientists offer impoverished natives $5 (a large amount of money in many areas) in return for their genitals. Many of the Jungle Bunnies claimed they had sick and or starving parents, mothers, children and other family members that they would do anything to relieve their suffering. One participant of the study claimed, “Sex isn’t even that great with all the dirt and disease plaguing the area. Without food, water, or medicine there isn’t much of a life. There are more important issues here than temporary physical pleasure that must be considered.” Many other participants had similar responses, among 3,000 from South Africa, 2,784 Kisumu, Kenya, and 4,996 from Rakai, Uganda.

Another doctor from the National Institute of Nap Prevention argued how simple the procedure was, “I doubt many had any idea what was going on… I don’t speak gibberish, but I think quite a few thought they were getting hair cuts or some kind of welfare.” The doctor snickers a bit before giving a hearty laugh before returning to a patient having a Kermit the Frog toy placed in his rectum as a practical joke.

Despite the many testimonies, a concurrent study immediately outside the clinic where scientists posed as drug dealers allowing participants to trade their $5 crack cocaine. “It was the funniest thing, these stupid niggers were essentially selling their genitals for crack” noted Dr. Anthony Fauci Director of the International Ku Klux Klan. On the other hand Dr. Kevin DeCock made the important point “It’s not a magic bullet, but a potentially important intervention against future generations of Coons that are ruining the economy in a time of growing global commerce.”

Studies like this are proving to not just be helpful to the local communities by preventing these animals from breeding, but after the niggers are busted for possession of crack cocaine by our own police department, we loose no money or crack, and have a large storage of large black cock that can be bleached and given to underprivileged white men in America for increasing profits. With growing success, similar studies plan to take place in China to help curb the Chink epidemic. While there were plans to bring this cure to Jerusalem, Jews claim they have been doing this for thousands of years to their poor people claiming Abraham, a popular cultural icon, started the trend to prevent jock itch from sand. "No Jock, No itch", so goes the saying.

In related news, study in America reveals molestation by priests not so bad, but builds character. Church attendance soars as government supports practice with these new findings, and Circumcised girls make better mothers, fewer sluts. Final statistics to be reported later this week.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Year of Linux

I find it hard to believe that you have spent more than a few months with Linux to not find many things radically different. A PART of Linux that tries to make itself compatible with people is give them ways to use their old knowledge to do the same old tasks on Linux that they did on windows. To say that Linux is only playing a catch up game tells me you should probably stick with Windows. IMO, I think Macs take the most common thing people want to do and put it into a one-click application. What you can do is REALLY awsome. Just check out youtube to see what people have done with iMovie. In business, the best thing you can do is take one thing and do it REALLY WELL. Try to expand too much, and you will just be beaten out by a large number of specialists. Linux doesn't NEED to attract or prove anything to anybody. It is awesome that people are starting companies and making big money off of Linux directly or indirectly, but that is not the core of what Linux has ever been about, at least for Linus Torvalds as I understand from a number of interviews I have read.

One thing to love and hate about design principles in Linux / FOSS is that it is based on creating the most productive software, not necessarily the most easy to understand or get started with software. Blender I think is the best example of this. There is a LOT to learn before you can do much of ANYTHING in blender. It is confusing and every button and modifier key does something different. The interface is ... well atrocious in many ways. Until you "get it". Once you painfully climb that seemingly never ending vertical learning curve, you are FREE. Forget the mouse and just imagine what you want to see and type it out in a few bizarre incantations on your keyboard. IF you can remember all the crazy commands, Blender is FAST. If you can't remember, or simple don't like working that way, then Blender is not for you. What will not happen is Blender changing its interface to attract a greater number of people. Take it or leave it.

There is also the issue that at the heart, Linux is Free. Many great Windows apps are developed under Linux, or for Linux, then easily ported to Windows. Write an app for Windows, and it works on Windows. Write an app for Linux, and it will work on anything with a microprocessor with the right simple planning or forethought.

My killer, can not live without, Linux application is BASH. I get strange problems in my head where I want to look something up in a way that a regular search engine simply won't do. or some stat problem I want to double check via brute force (cause why not, it is another way to confirm an answer), a method that can not always be done mentally. This is where I jump on the computer, and in a few strange incantations in a terminal, I have just what I wanted.

Yes, we can do that too will always be a catchup came cause who knows what Microsoft will convince people they need next. That can't ever change unless Microsoft stops being main stream. This will be a cultural change. Linux is about the bringing the power of the computer to the users fingertips. Windows is more about meeting the needs of "Ohh, Internet, I want to do that!". We are just in a time where there are still so many people in that latter category. Linux is just a kernel, but it is also just a tool. There will always be new things added to Linux that people need for themselves that others will join in and contribute to, but gearing itself towards "sacrifice anything and everything to get the maximum number of people to use it" will, I pray, NEVER be the heart of Linux.

Specialist circumstances need specialized software. Web Server, embedded systems, data centers. Linux provides the tweakability to do killer things REALLY well. You just can't do that in Windows, certainly not in the way that a trained Linux specialist can really make things work.

The Year of Linux was 1996.

Just read the Halloween Documents to confirm that BY MICROSOFT! At this point in time Microsoft identified Linux as an undefeatable adversary due to the NATURE of its distributed and community development in addition to the well made tools available for the system. It was an expert system for expert people that Microsoft would never be able to get rid of in any legal or moral way. Linux took over in the above named markets and have never fell.

The one thing that was argued was that Linux could never be a viable Desktop solution. Microsoft has powerful ground here, but OpenSuse introduced a great desktop system that showed that the FOSS community could reach out beyond people that could make contributions. That was in 2004.

So with those milestones long behind us, what do you want? What is this Year of Linux? Mass use? Well, the Internet is built on Linux / BSD, so everyone that uses the Internet is using Linux, strictly speaking. The LAST place for Linux to have a "take over" is on those nodes, the workstations, the home computer, something the complete novice can "do the Internet on". So at LEAST call that the Year of the Linux Desktop.

Microsoft has a plan to stay in business. It is called FUD. Microsoft is in large part successful for the same reason 23% of Texans think Obama is Muslim. In this case, it doesn't matter. I have Linux, and Linux does everything I need. I discourage many people from using Linux because Linux will present their computer to them as a tool to extend their mind and express themselves in new, powerful ways that may have been previously unimaginable. Most people DON'T WANT THAT. I'd argue that it is because most people don't understand that it is a possibility. As I said before, they just want to do the Internet and the email. For them the computer does things (hopefully) that you tell it to do. It is not an extension of their mind, not in the way that an ">expert would harness their computer skills.

People won't change, but society will change as new generations of computer users are born into it. As this takes place, as it obviously has been, the software will be there, and it will be Linux.

By this measure, the Year of Linux will be when general education teachers in public schools assign FOSS development as a part of every regular class. When C (or whatever language of your choice it) will be considered as equally important to teach along side English.

This is realistic, but no less than 30 years away because most teachers over 30 these days hardly know how to turn their computer on. It will take the children born in the last 10 years that grew up in todays technologies to be the majority of teachers in schools and administers on the Board of Education.

So to see that end, all we need to do is keep doing what we are doing now. It will always be transitional. Microsoft will always make Linux out to be insignificant. The only difference in the future will be the number of people still listening.

What do you listen to?

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

If programming languages were religions

According to this, most of them are. I feel privileged to have some familiarity with all of them. I was presently amused that Scheme wasn't significant to even make it on the list.

And I'd argue, reading through the comments:

Assembly is Atheism... followers believe that whatever you do, there is only the reality on the chip. You shouldn't need intermediary or 'fake' rules to deal with the reality right in front of you, but they can be useful for guidance so long as you don't believe them. They believe if you can handle it, you are enlightened, but understand a human need for simplicity. Try to argue with them though, and you'll get an earful.

and responding to / completing an anonymous post:

"JavaScript is the Jedi religion. Those who master it can do anything." But sadly has a poor basis in reality, and it's application seems to create many problems that were never intended or hardly anticipated by its creator. It lives in a box, but for some reason its followers keep putting it in places it never should have gone. There is also create controversy that a sequel would kill the last bit of dignity that might remain.

however, reading further, I think I like this one for Javascript even better
JavaScript is Alcholism - the more you do it, the more it rots your brain as you realize that functions are objects, your prototypes are polluting namespaces, and you just can't seem to get any closure.
And this one for assembly was amusing, as long as I had my own. I'll had his others because they are reasonably clever:
BASIC = Agnosticism. Everyone starts out here, unless firmly indoctrinated in another religion from birth. It isn't very useful, except to say that you believe in something, but it certainly isn't going to claim miracles or such.

FORTRAN = Druidism. It's been around since ancient times, and it's arcane syntax and rituals are confusing to anyone. Few practice it today (except in secret), and only a few locations still hold meaning for those of the sect.

Assembler = Deism. The assembler was created, and has been running ever since. The machine is perfect. We don't know who wrote the machine, but it IS written, and whoever did write it is not paying attention anymore.....but that is okay since the machine is perfect, and can do anything within the constraints of this reality.
The bias in many of the comments is almost as funny as the article.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

FOSS business model for movies and games

tepples writes:

Movies are not FOSS, remembering that the last 'S' means software.

I mentioned movies because video games combine aspects of movies with aspects of non-game software. How does the purpose of free software as you describe it (to be productive) mesh with the purpose of video games?

Movies make more sense under a CC license if you want it to be that type of free, but that is something else entirely.

Can you think of any way that an organization could make money producing CC licensed movies?

This is actually a problem in a way for people that want FOSS to meet all their needs. The product needs to have intrinsic value to the person producing it. If 10 big companies need fancy expensive accounting software and are tired of poorly performing, slowly adapting, or whatever be wrong with some company that provides proprietary accounting software, there is motivation for those companies to work together to produce a FOSS solution. Also, if one company starts an FOSS project alone, there is hope that other people will join in to help improve the product, but it still never becomes the principle of the business. The threat is if the lost efficiency in producing the product in house (in theory big software companies could hire better programmers and are more in the business of hiring programmers) is greater than the total ownership cost of the proprietary solution + business lost from use of a product that does not meet your needs over time.

So this is the problem with Linux Gaming. There is little intrinsic value in producing a game. If, what you want is a great game to play with other people, again, where commercial games are not meeting your needs, then an FOSS product makes sense. Making accounting software to do good accounting makes sense. Making a video game to be able to play a video game doesn't have the same return on investment.

The most common example of an FOSS game as a business looking to make money is game engine and 3d video accelerator cards. Neither company is a "gaming" company, but they are trying to make a product profiting off of the gaming industry. Highly specialized cards having features that are not implemented in games. Look at the recent development in hardware accelerated physics. If you think you have a hardware feature or API that could make games a lot better, you need to demonstrate that to software developers and to customers to get them to produce for your card, and make the product of value to the consumer. So make an FOSS game. This is where proprietary would be VERY BAD. YOU know your product and what it can do, so YOU should be the one making sure that the real value of your card is demonstrated in the game. Are you really going to let some other company do that for you? I hope not! Further, you may only have time to demonstrate how great games made on your system COULD be without really making the game some all time best seller. But remember, that is not your business, your business is the card. Making the game open source gives other people the opportunity, if they like it, to build upon it and make it great. Any improvement, hack, fork, or just sharing of the product IS your objective and can only improve sales... assuming the card is actually worth buying and not vaporware. Your hardware is going to need to perform to be viable long term, but if you can build a community around your products, you will be golden.

Another example, World of Warcraft. They don't sell a piece of software, they sell an entire lifestyle and gaming solution :) Bit torrent drives their updates. Blizzard is invested in making bit torrent better. LUA is probably the best example, it drives the way people interact with the game. It lets you play the game you want to play it so long as it doesn't interfere with Blizzard's ends. Some work was necessary to ensure that the system could not be exploited, but it is perfectly reasonable to believe that one could have an entirely open source client (Like SecondLife, something with an open source client)... but Blizzard wants to protect certain parts of the experience. The server software is not given to the customer, so it is proprietary as much as any changes IBM makes to their own version of Red Hat, but I can assure you Blizzard doesn't host their games on Windows Servers :) However, if the source was leaked, or even given away or sold, Blizzard is successful because it provides an entire gaming experience. New content frequently comes out, the servers are very fast when you consider the number of players per server and such. It would be very expensive and difficult for someone to even grab a fraction of Blizzard's market share even if you had all the same equipment and their software, because there is so much more to WoW then selling a box. The best anyone can do is try to get copies of their content as fast as possible and hope people will want to play on your private server. The benefit is in managing a private server with your own rules and / or friends, but financial gain is unlikely unless you can provide something competitively different from Blizzard, and why should Blizzard care, they got their own thing that seems to work pretty well for them. By all right, the leak of the source code probably helped them cause it got people addicted, and then wanting more of a whole experience, better servers, more players and such.

As far as movies in games, again, is the game your product, or is the movie your product. CC the movies, and you will see people advertising your game everywhere for you as they add their personal touch. Fan art is one of the best things you can have that makes a community. Fans that don't share are not a community.

As for movies all by themselves, I am sure you can think of similar examples as above, but with movies you have boxed information. If we want to sell an experience or a service, what goes with movies that will make money with the distribution of the product without relying on a direct relationship between the number of times the movie is watched, and how much money you make? Well, with an CC-BY-NC-SA license ( I know technically NC isn't a Free Culture approved license, but bear with me ) Movies can be licensed to theaters. In the US, I think this would require much nicer theaters. I hear this is how things work in China. Either a producer pays to get the movie in the theater and gets a cut, or makes money licensing the movie to the theater. However, your movie has to be good enough that after it has been reviewed and watched by people all over the Internet that there is a motivation for people to come and watch it on the big screen, or whatever environment some venue provides. Of course that makes your business reliant in part on theaters providing a quality venue. The same is true for musicians. It is hard to make all your money off of concerts if there is no decent place to play.

Tell me what you think. These are the kinds of things I think of that would make piracy a joke and allow the benefits of information sharing to only empower the entire human race. I have been considering working on a business to provide consulting business on how they can be successful with open source models as part of their company considering if I am as critical as I have expressed of this article, I should really put my money where my mouth is. In such a model, I see free books, and very expensive on site consulting. No matter how good any book might possibly be, competitive edge is all about fine tuning your business to be ahead of the competition. The better the book and the better it works, the more I see such companies wanting to invest in some one on one help. And anyone wanting to steal this idea could only warm up the market place for such a service to be viable. :)

Did that more or less answer the question?

The Obvious Perspective

This is something I think we fail at. We can judge or rationalize peoples arguments, but really knowing someones perspective is tough. I was thinking about this with respect to meta-cognition, thinking about how to think about something. But what about thinking about how another person thinks about how they can think about how they would think about a problem? I think this the most coveted skill in teaching.

So thinking about that this morning, I came up with this problem that is puzzling, but amusing it its simple solution. With any such problem it is about perspective.
Which of these sequences is not like the other?

a) 1243
b) 2314
c) 2341
d) 3421
e) 4132

Hint #0: (The pattern between the four other numbers should be easily describable in one common word that would logically reveal the answer to a reasonably clever person.)

Hint #1: ( Each block is a sequence of digits, not a 4 digit number. )
If nobody comes up with a solution by the end of the day, I will post a hint.

The FOSS business Model

There are many objectives and purposes of FOSS, while boxware has only the purpose of selling units. That is tough to compete with because boxware, from an investor perspective (person investing in the company selling it, not the ones buying it) it is successful when they sell so many units, and fail if they sell too few. Very straight forward.

FOSS in every way is more complicated. Investors of Red Hat want to see subscriptions sold, but that also depends on who you would call an investor. Many people profit from Red Hat's work, and any FOSS progress is perpetual. Red Hat will always live on in a way because of its nature. People can always expand and support Linux no matter what happens, By contrast, whatever way it could happen, if Microsoft one day went belly up, EVERY investor, stock holders and users are totally burned.

So another contrast. The purpose of Windows is for the software to be sold. The purpose of Linux / FOSS is to be productive. FOSS doesn't need to be profitable by the box as much as it needs to be useful, and proprietary software doesn't need to be as useful or productive AS MUCH as it needs to sell box units.

When we are talking about a movie company, there are two routes to go. Movies are not FOSS, remembering that the last 'S' means software. Movies make more sense under a CC license if you want it to be that type of free, but that is something else entirely. FOSS v. proprietary for a movie studio is the argument of whether or not the company is going to use make all their own software (very impractical, they are not a software company), or pay someone to give them the software they need. On a larger scale, individual companies can make their own software (again, makes no sense cause not a software company) or movie studios as a whole can pay one big company to provide for all their needs. In a way this can make a lot of sense, but has certain limitations when it is proprietary.

The FOSS solution says use this open model, build upon it as you need, BUT if you share that code or want to sell it, you need to "share-alike". This means that movie studios can meet their own individual specialized needs, and have the benefits of a community that is 'invested' in having quality software. There is also the motivation and hope that if you choose to share parts / tools that are good for you, others will build upon it and improve upon it making it the best software possible.

So if 100 movie studios work together sharing their best in-house tools for making quality movies, then many things happens. You have great software everyone can use. The software is superior than what any one company could develop. The tools are more flexible than could have been possible by one company, and profitability will come down to the ability for companies to utilize that software to make a good movie. Software engineers got paid for their work, the software is very valuable, but 'worthless' as a stand alone package. So now the questionable investment is whether or not it is going to be worth your money to invest in someone looking to make money contributing to such a project that is not directly involved in the movie production itself. Red Hat is such a company (for another industry, of course), but when such business models 'fail', the ability to quantify the failure financially for that company is 'simple' (sort of) but not for the software as a whole, something MUCH more complicated.

But again, the only thing special here is that when proprietary boxware fails, it fails for EVERYBODY and entirely. FOSS just can't be judged the same way, even if it is something very difficult for people design a business model around.

And I'll just say it now before anyone needs to point it out, I do casually program and use Linux but I am not a software engineer, and certainly not involved in the industry beyond consumer and fan. This is just my observation and opinion as an outsider with a strong belief (even if a naive one) in FOSS.

Note: As usual this was an inspired post as linked above. The original article regarding the subject matter came from here.

Afterthought from reading this post:
What good does FOSS adoption mean if there's no money exchanging hands?
Cause sometimes software is made to be used. One way you could measure FOSS profitability (albeit unfairly) would be to add up the profits of all companies invested in FOSS, like IBM, Sun, Pixar, HP to name a few. These companies don't ONLY use FOSS, and they don't give away all their software secrets, but they ARE big investors in FOSS, and FOSS is a big part of what they use to be profitable while contributing to it.

So maybe FOSS profitability is a lot like the restaurant business; Never trust a skinny chef :)

And why not one more. This post kinda pissed me off.
One thing i think we will see FOSS project's movng away from is giving away the software. if you GPL something, it doesn't mean you have to give it away, it just means who ever you sell it to gets the source code along with the program.I could for example write some software, sell it to others and then give them access to the source where only paid customers could make commits and see the source. source is only required if you distribute something....
I have said this so many places, but I think it needs to be said again given your post. I don't think you GET free software. I know this is separate from the article, but you fail to see the primary goal of free software and why it works. Sharing code makes better software. THAT'S IT! It was never about making profit directly off the software. Profit is made from productive USE of the software. What people want to try to do is take this great, powerful, and successful thing Linux and make profit off of it directly, like business people have tried to do with everything forever! Free software is just really hard because its nature. And as many commented, and my interpretation of what you said, people are not going to turn free software into proprietary software. Hmm... I take that back, noone is going to turn GPL software into proprietary software. DAMNIT, technically, you are right, it is called Mac OSX. Personally, and let people flame me for saying this, exactly the fears you are expressing that will be the death of FOSS are exactly what has happened to BSD. This is why I think the BSD Free model is going out because people are recognizing that for free to stay free comes at the price of making sure it stays that way. That is what GPL is all about. Torvalds disdain for GPLv3 I think reveals some reveals a lot about how the classical belief in free software is dead as people are forced to take harder and harder lines on free v. proprietary, where before it was just about free, and not necessarily what happened to it.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

What makes a President "The Worst"

So as usual, this is a segment of a conversation I wanted to share. I do not frequently share my opinion on slavery because it is not a position I feel any need to push on people, and too often feel it can come across as mere flamebait. However, in the right context, it seems appropriate to share.

Note, the italics here are quotes from one of a number of posts about this issue in a discussion on slashdot linked above.

Boronx writes:

think Lincoln raped our constitution pretty hard with regard to interpretation the voluntary nature of statehood, state sovereignty, 9th & 10th amendments,

Besides the disaster your interpretation would have created, it's not born out in the Constitution, since Amendments 10 and 9 refer to powers not enumerated in the Constitution, but the power to dispose of US territory is given to Congress in Article 4.

I am not trying to justify slavery, just that had there been any other means to that end would have been preferable.

Of course the South should have pursued other options instead of open hostilities, as a democratic people should have, but a people whose economy rests on the back of slaves can't be democratic.

Also, very little of the civil war had to do with slavery, and much more to do with a federal power grab, to over-simplify the issue.

By federal power grab you mean the attempt to limit the growth of slave states, am I right?

My response:

I hope this isn't a complete butcher, but my understanding of the 9th and 10th amendments were to reiterate that the constitution was a contract that created a federal government whose only powers where those that were explicitly stated in the constitution, and nothing else. If it wasn't a right named as such in the constitution, then that means on whatever that issue was, the federal government had no such power. Further, if it was an issue not addressed by the states, the federal government still did not have the power to come in and have their way.
Of course the South should have pursued other options instead of open hostilities, as a democratic people should have, but a people whose economy rests on the back of slaves can't be democratic.
Not sure what you mean with by 'open hostilities', or at least not which in particular, but in this context I think the important issue was that the north invaded the South, not the other way around. I also don't see how this was a democratic thing at all. The north spent drastically more on the war than the south. The south not only had home field advantage, but while many people volunteered in the revolutionary war, the armies of the north were all conscripted. There were terrible morale issues, and Lincoln didn't care how much was lost for the north to win.

And to look at it a completely different way, I think it is difficult to put slavery into perspective these days. We think about slavery as these plantations with many hundreds of slaves that were abused. That was not the only kind of slavery. I will apologize in advance for not having any references, but to my knowledge, abuse of slaves only took place on plantations with 500 or more slaves. This isn't to say that slavery is right, but look at the times: It was work that guaranteed food and housing. Yes, slaves were less than citizens, but at a tool, property, equipment or farm animal, it would be in the best interest of any slave owner to ensure the best health and well being of slaves. People are expensive to take care of, and good slaves are were expensive. Animals that are intended for food are abused a lot more, but what good is a dog or a horse that you abuse all day? And how bad is a farmer burned if a horse or dog dies?

Let us compare that world, to what was going on in the north, and in the west. In the north, you had factories. There were no safety standards, child labor laws, minimum wage laws, overtime pay, 2 day weekends, medical leave, non-discrimination, or anything else. You lost a finger or hand, you were fired and easily replaced. If you died, there was no liability to the employer. A place to eat, sleep, or bathe came out of your pay if you could afford it, and employers could do whatever they want to get the work done. And there were a plenty of people desperate to work. When it is impossible to make a livable wage, there is no freedom. Meanwhile companies were making big money, but market entrance was prohibitively expensive.

In the mid-west to west, we got the rail roads. More out doors than factory work, but not only was there no room or board, but 6 month accounting cycle, and 6 month pay cycles. You had to work your first year before seeing a pay check. Not only were accidents frequent, but there are many stories of railroads across the country being built without ever having to pay a single person (mostly Chinese) because of planned accidents for workers nearing that first anniversary.

This tells me it was a bad time to be a poor immigrant in the US PERIOD. Didn't matter how you got here. Personally, I think the treatment of the Chinese was the worst of any group of people, but it is really on par with factory work. The reality I see? The slaves got the closest thing to a livable wage of any minority group.
By federal power grab you mean the attempt to limit the growth of slave states, am I right?

I mean the right of the federal government to declare war against a state that no longer wants to be a member of a union that wants to force them to subsidize a struggling industrial revolution going on in another part of the country that produces a drastically more expensive and inferior product than what could be bought it Europe. A more appropriate word for Lincoln that could hold some respect, American Patriot. "A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against the government". Maybe give him that. He just said "Fuck the law, this is what we are doing, and really sucks to be you if you disagree with me". If that is why you think you think he was a great president, then fine. If you think that whatever he took, or what else he may have done, if he is responsible for freeing the slaves, then all else is forgiven, then fine. I am just not going to completely agree. for the sake that too many presidents have followed in his footsteps and taken whatever means necessary to do whatever they felt like in their position of power.

Yay for these guys with all these "great ideas", but just as a political theory, it might be really interesting to see a president that worked as hard to be seen as that guy that brought great honor and respect to the Constitution.

I don't think it is a requirement to be a rebel to be a leader, but I wouldn't be surprised to be wrong.

A Revealing Perspective

LakeishaQueen writes:
Reply to your comment on: The Dr. Phil Show - Same Sex Marriage: Right or Wrong?
Reply to your comment on: The Dr. Phil Show - Same Sex Marriage: Right or Wrong?
Please DO NOT COMPARE BLACK PEOPLE TO HOMOSEXUALS! We do not have deviant sex. We dont molest teen boys. We dont mimic real sex by using an anus as a vagina. And we dont form bizarre "marriage" partnerships where we screw up childrens minds becuase they cant grow up with a mommy and a daddy! FUCK YOU!

Dr. Phil hosts a debate on same sex marriage.

After the show taped, the debate kept going and the cameras kept going. Watch as an audience member causes an outburst as she gets involved ...

Wow, a lot of emotion here, and also very insightful.
When I compare gay marriage to the civil rights movement, I am not talking about "black people". Also, when I talk about civil rights, I am not talking about any one person, protest, or legislation. When I say civil rights, I mean the enlightenment philosophy of the past 120+ years that has begun to acknowledge people as human beings. The failure of democracy is the lack of credit given to minor sensibility in favor of a "majority rule". Most people are ignorant about most things, simply because there are so many things in the world to learn about. I know I am a victim of this myself. I would be the last person to ask about car safety standards, how to put a man on the moon. I do have an opinion on a methodology for resolving such problems, but that is not the way democracy works. But an EXAMPLE of the oppression of PEOPLE in this country was the case resolved regarding Loving v. Virginia. The Racial Integrity Act said nothing about black people, just that whites could only marry other whites, and "others" could marry whoever they want, just not whites. So that isn't 'black people', it just includes 'black people'.
We do not have deviant sex. We dont molest teen boys.
*sigh* This makes me really sad. Haven't you noticed a pattern yet AT ALL? Haters don't discriminate. Haters just hate because that is what they do. And while I appreciate the compliment and confession that neither you nor I are child molesters, I get the feeling that was not the "we" you were talking about.

But if that is not what you meant, it actually is difficult to understand what you could have meant. Did you mean that there has never been a black person that has abused a child or engaged in deviant sexual practices, or do you mean that the African American community as a whole isn't an organization for the systematic sexual abuse of children? If you meant the first, that is absolutely wrong. It can not be said about ANY group of people, subject class or otherwise. Child molesters are gay, straight, single, married, black, white, brown, yellow, red, Christian, Jewish, Muslim, male, female, tall, short, old, young, smart, dumb, attractive, ugly, everything. The same is true for victims. We all want to protect our kids, and while it would be very convenient to look at someone and just know, but you can't! But if you want to look at the numbers, and if you talk with victims, child molesters are most always parents, then relatives / siblings, then neighbors. Child molesters outside of this group are really quite rare, but it still happens.

At the same time, systematic molestation has not only never been the habit of those groups. But most of them have been accused of systematic molestation through out history. Did you ever see the movie borat? There are still places in the world where it is taught that Jews systematically round up children, have bizarre sex with them, then kill and eat their victims, and make dradles out of their bones. Some people might think that is funny, but can you imagine a society of people that actually believe that? Part of the reason opium became illegal was because it was said that Chinese would use it to lure innocent white school girls into their dens where they would be gang banged until they committed themselves to a life of satanic worship. I am sure you have heard some of the stereotypes about black men / families. These horror stories all seem to have a very similar theme; the most gruesome possible tale devised to encourage hate against the group. I have actually met people that thought being 'black' was contagous, that if you touched a black person, or hung out with black people, it would make you black, literally changing your skin color. It had even been taught for a long time in the mormon church that people with black skin had been cursed that way by god because their souls has sided with Lucifer in the celestial war.

So what surprise is it that the same old bullshit stories that have been used against every minority in history are being used again against homosexuals. The stories are as true as they have always been. You act as if blacks are the only group of people to ever be discriminated against. The civil rights movement was about people that wanted to be seen by the law as people, and not their culture, skin color, gender, national origin, or veteran status. Why not take the opportunity to actually read the Civil Rights Act.
We don't mimic real sex by using an anus as a vagina.
So would you be ok with homosexuality if there was just laws against anal sex? Wait, I think the law already addressed this. Are you saying men and women don't have anal sex, or just that when man and women have anal sex it isn't deviant? Or when men and women have anal sex it isn't to mimic a vagina? Does a hand mimic a vagina? When women masturbate, do they think about their hand being a penis? Is oral sex gay?

Is exploring the many possibilities that two people can stimulate each other physically and emotionally deviant? Is any sexual gratification without the intent of conception right at that moment deviant? What if a man and a woman are having sex because they are trying to have a baby, but they enjoy it, is that deviant too?

Last I checked, many straight women love their ass hole played with, and many straight women do dot. Some like anal penetration or dual penetration, and others are terrified or disgusted by it. Same applies to lesbians. Some straight men want to fuck a woman in her ass. Others have tried it and don't like it, others have never tried because they are afraid to ask, or are not interested at all. Some straight men like their ass hole played with, some like it penetrated, during sex, during foreplay, whatever. Some men enjoyed being fucked with a strap on, but only by a woman. Every conceivable combination is liked and disliked to varying degrees by all PEOPLE.

I will agree that most guys like to experiment with putting their penis in things. Sometimes just to see what it is like, or what might happen. Woman do the same thing with their vaginas, rubbing things on it, or sticking things in there.

All this has nothing to do with being gay or straight, again, it is the practice of human beings, because we are curious animals that do all kinds of weird things. Deviant means to be different, and as we have discovered about sexuality, deviant today would be NOT to experiment with our bodies, alone, with other people, or just one other person we love and trust very much. Deviance would be shame, and isolating yourself from your own body.

So again, there is no difference between being gay or straight in those respects. It is true that men do not have a vagina, and women do not have a penises. The only thing that makes gay people different is that they want to share, love, experiment, or enjoy someone that is physically like themselves, and depending on how you choose to define it, are more attracted to that prospect or gender then they are to the other.
And we don't form bizarre "marriage" partnerships where we screw up children's minds because they cant grow up with a mommy and a daddy!
So here is that 'we' word again. Are you talking about you and me? Are you saying that if a man and a woman get married that it can't be bizarre because bizarre only means gay, or do you mean that only black people when it is a man and a woman it can not be bizarre? As for the rest of the statement, I am puzzled. "Can't grow up with a mommy and daddy" --causes--> "screw[ed] up children". So are you saying that if there may have been a chance that the kid might have had a mommy and daddy then the kid won't be screwed up? I don't even understand what you are even trying to say here, just by virtue of reality. Well technically, if a baby was conceived at all, then there is a mommy and daddy, and that kid MIGHT have stayed with that 'couple', so until medical science changes, I don't think that is going to change.

Or do you mean that kids that don't stay with those biological parents are going to be screwed up? In that case we should outlaw adoption. But you did say "a mommy and daddy", so does that mean we can still give children to parents that already have biological kids of their own? I guess that might be a possibility, and even legal, but what harm comes to kids that are adopted by adults that are sterile? Would you have a problem with letting gay adults that have biological children of their own, or only those that still live with the other parent? What if the spouse is a widow and remarried, should it be ok for someone with kids, but remarried to someone else, be allowed to adopt?

Should we make it illegal for non-married people or single people to adopt? If a good mother is widowed when her child is young, should we take the kid away unless she remarries, or should the kid be taken away no matter what?

It is wonderful when a child can grow up with many wonderful happy healthy people in their life. We all need heroes and role models to help us guide our way to what we want from life, and to build strong social structures that help sustain the human species. For some people that is very easy, and for some very hard. Some kids are planned, others are not. Plenty of planned kids have difficult lives, and many unplanned kids grow up to be wealthy and successful.

But, what situations do we understand are unhealthy and do harm children? If we must not allow kids to grow up without a mommy and daddy, I see that as very sweeping. I don't think it would be possible, but I also really don't see it as necessary.
Well, you certainly seem to have some very strong feelings about the situation, and if this really is about doing the best we can to help children, and encourage people to have happy and healthy lives, respect the past, the present, and our culture, then not only are you likely doing the best you can as individual to meet that end, but the world is going to be a better place with people like you that will stand up and speak their mind.

Let's just be careful in setting government policy that we are clear as to our intents and purposes, rationalize policy with sound facts, and be careful what stories we share about other people, particularly sweeping generalizations about a person of a particular ethnic background, gender, hair color, sexuality, religion other than to promote communication and dissolve unnecessary, unproductive, or simply untrue stereotypes. As for the true ones, lets try to be practical and keep such generalizations in perspective.

Thank you for taking the time to write, you gave me a lot to think about, and I will rethink my perspective and over generalization that black, poor, and uneducated people voted yes on prop 8 because they are in part the same group. There is obviously more to the issue than that, and I look forward to sharing your perspective with others.

Take care,

Monday, December 01, 2008

What Free Culture means to me

I agree you don't need to pay to be a part of your own culture. There are many free alternatives, but as much as I enjoy embracing free culture, it does feel like a fight in some ways. Embracing free culture hasn't been easy. I do not know a lot of people personally that embrace free culture, so often times it feels like culture is a relationship I have by myself with the computer / Internet.

Something I have tried to do in the last few months is working away from non-free, or what I might call luxury, culture. I have not purchased a CD since the whole Napster thing, but this more recent transition I have been working towards only listening to CC licensed music. The result wasn't what I expected. I find there is a lot more variety, not to mention expression in the work. It started as an anti big media thing, but now I see it as a great way to introduce great new music to friends that have likely not heard it before. The best part is being able to easily contact artists, and when I leave reviews, I frequently get messages back. Those experiences have made it feel much more like a culture than just stuff.

I guess what I have enjoyed has only strengthened my idealism. And to clarify, I don't want everything to be 'free' in a monetary sense, just free in a way that the business model would allow me to do what I want with it as something I paid for. I would ideally like it if an artist would be flattered for me to make copies of their music and give them to my friends to enjoy. I want to listen to a wide variety of music the way it is free in a library or on the radio, but in a way that harnesses digital technology, and pay money to go to concerts where the band is making a good cut of the ticket price, the kind of thing where the supply isn't artificially deflated to ensure optimal revenue at the expense of calling fans pirates. I know this model would not work for all artists, but imho, the artists that would loose in this situation are the ones that completely lack talent. I also think such a model would make record companies obsolete (as if they are not already) or stores that box little units of information and put a sticker on them. It wasn't a bad way to do things, it just seems out dated. Record companies haven't been around for a long time, but music certainly has. I really believe exposure directly relates to opportunity. The issue is that it just isn't the same opportunity of the past.

Also, I think there is an under appreciation / mis representation of what is "other peoples work". All creativity builds on the past and on nature. Nobody today creates anything without the assistance of many other people. People that whittle figurines out of drift wood unlikely smelted the metal for the knife, and who ever did smelt it didn't do so from scratch. I think you know where that can go forever. ALL THINGS build upon and express other things around you. Who gets credit for what is a matter of advertising. People should certainly get paid for their labor and creative expressions of our world, but it is everyone else that as a whole that help provide that world worth expressing. Further, art that is not an expression of our culture, world, or life typically have no worth. Good art, stories, music are those that resonate with people because part of the art is already inside that person that sees it, hears it, or appreciates it in any way.

I just think that to SOME extent, that in the way creators and consumers are all part of the same culture that there bee some shared rights. I further believe Creative Commons, and the voluntary nature of it (maybe even especially its voluntary nature) it a step in the right direction.

People with money have spent money in Washington to help uphold the rights of artists through the digital age. By itself, I think most of it has been good. My issue, with regard to Washington, is that big media has gotten more of an opportunity to share their opinion and 'educated' people about their rights than, say. the historical purpose of public libraries, classical literature, free access to public domain in a fair way, and using the power of the Internet to extend the purpose of the public library in the way it was intended but was physically and technologically limited. I do not believe that public libraries and free radio are simply 'tolerated' because they could never have much influence, and because the control by the reader / public is 'limited' by nature.

I believe a full Library of Alexandria, Library of Congress, and everything else the Internet could strive to offer to the eyes and ears of every human being would make for a GREAT world, not one where "people would no longer be motivated to innovate" as the entertainment industry has lead many people, including law makers, to believe. We have the power; we need to make it a reality.

THAT is the free I fight for.


An over simplification is that fair use is an affirmative defense, not a right. There is a big difference between embracing something and tolerating something. There is a certain irony to 'fair use' considering what natural rights existed before. To paraphrase Lessig, much of what is regulated use and 'fair use' today was not very long ago completely unregulated.>br>
That is how "fair use does not [nor ever intended to] address free culture".

Example of how I see fair use in culture today is similar to regulations at an airport if things got a lot worse. Do away with the list of things you can't do or bring on a plane, and replace it with a very specific list of hypothetically acceptable things. Now, if you actually want to bring something onto the plane that may match something on the list, you need to explain where you got it, why you need it with you, and sign a waiver exempting the item from being covered by insurance in case it gets lost (kudos to anyone that understands the insurance part).

Excuse me, but just how can you call that "Rights".

Oh, and just in case it needs to be said, I did not mean to say that Free Culture does not address Fair Use, just that it is mono-directional understanding.

Fallable brute force '8 Queens' puzzle in C

Yay, so got this to work today. Used bash to make it loop and show how fast it could find solutions. Once it took just under 1.5s. It usually takes longer :) For archival purposes and sharing, this is what I did.
queens.c (gcc queens.c -o queens)
#include <stdio.h>
#include <stdlib.h>
#define SIZE 8

void clear_board( void );
void print_board( void );
int mark_square( int x, int y );

int board[SIZE][SIZE];

int main( void )
srand( time( NULL ) );
int i;

for(i=0; i <= SIZE; i++)
if ( mark_square(rand() % SIZE, rand() % SIZE) == 1 )
return 0;

void clear_board( void )
int row;
int col;

for ( row = 0; row <= SIZE; row++ )
for ( col = 0; col <= SIZE; col++ )
board[row][col] = 0;

int mark_square( int x, int y )
int i;

if ( board[x][y] == 0 )
for ( i = 0; i < SIZE; i++)
board[x][i] = 1;
for ( i = 0; i < SIZE; i++)
board[i][y] = 1;
for ( i = 0; i < SIZE; i++)
if (x-i >= 0)
if (y+i < SIZE)
board[x-i][y+i] = 1;
if (y-i >= 0)
board[x-i][y-i] = 1;
if (x+i < SIZE)
if (y+i < SIZE)
board[x+i][y+i] = 1;
if (y-i >= 0)
board[x+i][y-i] = 1;
board[x][y] = 2;
return 0;
return 1;

void print_board( void )
int row;
int col;

for ( row = 0; row < SIZE; row++ )
for ( col = 0; col < SIZE; col++ )
if ( board[row][col] == 0 ) printf( "." );
if ( board[row][col] == 1 ) printf( "x" );
if ( board[row][col] == 2 ) printf( "Q" );
printf( "\n" );
printf( "\n" );

Some context, this is my solution to problem 6.27(a) Eight Queens: Brute-Force Approaches, p. 264 of C How to Program, 5th edition, by: Deitel and Deitel. Figure if by chance someone is looking up this problem they would be more likely to stumble over this post :)