Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Why I Have No Hope for Justice and Equality In The USA

Today is a great day to be a white supremacist in America.  At least, I assume it is.  I have never been one of them and really can't identify.

Last night our government affirmed, again, that shooting down young black men in the street is good and right.  For white supremacists these validations of their contempt and blood-lust must fill their breasts with pride, the sky with a larger sun and the air with a preternatural freshness.  I can only assume that the demons who gnaw what little remains of their shriveled souls also draw just a little more nourishment from their labors.

The rest of us can respond in any number of ways.  We can be disappointed, but only if we went into yesterday with hope for justice in our nation.  For people like me, people who know that empires built on violence generate ever more unmanageable violence on their way to imploding, there is only anger.  We have anger that another black man has been gunned down by a smug white supremacist and the ruling class is patting him on the back for a job well done.  We are not surprised, disappointed, dismayed or taken aback.  We are just angry.

Not only will the revolution not be on television, there will be no revolution.  The good people who would choose an egalitarian society are outnumbered and out-gunned.  Even if we weren't, using violence against fascists is a huge gamble for one simple reason: they like it!  It validates everything they believe and justifies their violence.

There is, quite literally, no hope for the forces of justice and equality in the USA's political system.  There will be no meaningful reform.  Our only hope is to create tiny communities, out of the way, beneath our enemy's notice and, whenever possible, beyond their influence.

I would like to say, with a sigh of resignation, that the battle for the soul of America has been lost, but the situation is far worse.  There was no battle for the soul of America.  America was born in slaughter and genocide.  America has no soul.  It has the rattle of the dead, the cries of the bereaved, and the ever dimmer inner lights of the killers.  No soul wishing to thrive can abide here.  If America ever had a collective, living, loving soul (which I doubt) it died at Wounded Knee or with its wrists tied to a whipping post in Virginia.

Let those who rejoice in the death of Michael Brown and the freedom of Darren Wilson enjoy their bright, sunny day.  There is nothing of America, neither the sun nor the air, that I want.

Monday, November 24, 2014

The Onion Does Privilege

http://www.theonion.com/articles/man-going-to-trust-societys-determination-that-he,37486/

If he does, for some reason, get shot by a cop the cop will at least get a reprimand.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

New Track: Question Meritocracy (Feat. Free As In Freedom Episode 0x5A)



You can also get the track here...

http://s390945957.onlinehome.us/QuestionMeritocracy.ogg

...and here.

http://s390945957.onlinehome.us/QuestionMeritocracy.mp3

This track is licensed CC By-SA.  That means you can do almost anything you like with this recording so long as you provide attribution and license the product in the same way.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Who Are "Anybody" and "Everybody?" Diverse Inclusive Open Source 2014 Talk

Here are some notes and examples for Who Are "Anybody" and "Everybody?" my mini-talk for the Diverse Inclusive Open Source workshop at Ohio Linux Fest next week.


I. Intro: Human language is full of imprecisions and generalizations. Some words
I think that we use incorrectly when talking about people are those that start
with "any" an "every." That's true of lots of superlatives and absolutes, but I
think these have a special significance to technology and Free Software.

They communicate something we want to believe about technology and technology
communities. We want to believe everybody benefits and everybody is included.

II. Examples
A. FSF1
1. "any user can study the source code of a free program, modify it, and share it."
...later in the same essay...
2. "...free software tools that everyone can use to make the NSA's job harder."



3. Very well intended, but the literal truth of these statements is debatable. The
sense in which these statements are true is that no one is legally or financially prohibited by a software license from doing these things.  What about all of the people who are prevented from doing these things for other reasons?

4. As users
money, geography, other circumstances prevent access to technology
education

B. Developers, Contributors
        1. http://www.linux.org/threads/%EF%BB%BFthe-linux-kernel-introduction.4203/
"This permits the kernel to become very popular because anyone may download it for free. Now that anyone can make their own kernel, it may be helpful to know how to obtain, edit, configure, compile, and install the Linux kernel."
        2.  http://www.trelby.org/  "Trelby is free software, that you can contribute to."



    3.  Anyone Can Play Guitar Or Hack The Linux Kernel
          http://www.cnet.com/news/anyone-can-play-guitar-or-hack-the-linux-kernel/
     

    4. OReilly:  Who?  Everyone.



    5.  Ardour     You need to know C++ and use IRC
        Meyer and Cukier, 2006:  Female sounding IRC IDs attacked 25X.