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Freedom: This is what we all strive for. We want to be big strong independent basement dwellers who still live in their parents’ home. Achieving total freedom in one’s use of technology is the greatest accomplishment a Man can attain. There are rumours that when this happens, golden light starts to emanate from your computer screen and Richard Stallman materializes in your room. He has written the GPL to help you reach this state of nirvana.
“Freedom”, according to the installGentoo wiki
Burning Man is to the tech world what the nineteenth-century Protestant church was to the factory. […] At Burning Man, what you’re rehearsing is project-based collaborative labor. Engineers flowing in from the Valley are literally acting out the social structures on which Valley engineering depends. But they can do something at Burning Man that they can’t do in the Valley: they can own the project. They can experience total “flow” with a team of their own choosing. In the desert, in weirdly perfect conditions, they can do what the firm promises them but can’t quite deliver.
Logic Magazine 03: Don’t Be Evil: Fred Turner on Utopias, Frontiers, and Brogrammers

A brief primer on the [US] counterculture: there were actually two countercultures. One, the New Left, did politics to change politics. It was very much focused on institutions, and not really afraid of hierarchy.

The other—and this is where the tech world gets its mojo—is what I’ve called the New Communalists. Between 1966 and 1973, we had the largest wave of commune building in American history. These people were involved in turning away from politics, away from bureaucracy, and toward a world in which they could change their consciousness. They believed small-scale technologies would help them do that. They wanted to change the world by creating new tools for consciousness transformation.

Logic Magazine 03: Don’t Be Evil: Fred Turner on Utopias, Frontiers, and Brogrammers

We’ve won on so many fronts, but we’ve also lost our way. It would have been unthinkable and scandalous even a decade ago for a presenter at a Linux conference to use Powerpoint on Windows, but you only have to count the Macbooks at a modern Linux conferences (even among the presenters!) to see how many in the community have lost the very passion for and principles around Open Source software that drove Linux’s success. A vendor who dared to ship their Linux applications as binaries without source code used to get the wrath of the community but these days everyone’s pockets are full of proprietary apps that we justify because they sit on top of a bit of Open Source software at the bottom of the stack. We used to rail against proprietary protocols and push for open standards but today while Linux dominates the cloud, everyone interacts with it through layers of closed and proprietary APIs.

Linux has become the vegetable we batter in proprietary software and deep fry–sure more people will eat it that way but it’s not nearly as good for you. Over time we’ve all started eating our vegetables that way and it’s made our community unhealthy. In our healthier days we fought and won against proprietary software giants like Microsoft, Sun, and Oracle, but in the meantime our appetites have changed and other giants have taken their place.

Kyle Rankin: So Long, and Thanks for All the Bash
The implication is that the [US] government can use its legal authority to secretly ask a company for technical assistance, such as building an encryption backdoor into a product, but can petition the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) to compel a US-based company if it refuses.In its answers, the government said it has “not to date” needed to ask the FISC to issue an order to compel a company to backdoor or weaken its encryption. The government would not say, however, if it’s ever asked a company to add an encryption backdoor. A spokesperson for the Director of National Intelligence declined to comment.
US says it doesn’t need secret court’s approval to ask for encryption backdoors | ZDNet (4.12.2017)
I divide my officers into four groups. There are clever, diligent, stupid, and lazy officers. Usually two characteristics are combined. Some are clever and diligent — their place is the General Staff. The next lot are stupid and lazy — they make up 90 percent of every army and are suited to routine duties. Anyone who is both clever and lazy is qualified for the highest leadership duties, because he possesses the intellectual clarity and the composure necessary for difficult decisions. One must beware of anyone who is stupid and diligent — he must not be entrusted with any responsibility because he will always cause only mischief.
General Kurt von Hammerstein
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They took saliva samples from the licked envelopes to identify blood
groups which they cross-checked with doctor’s records. They traced
fingerprints on the paper, sourced the ink and collated an extensive
archive of handwriting samples.  It was his handwriting that caught out Borchardt. “It just seemed like an ordinary piece of homework,” he says, when the pupils in his class were asked to write an essay describing themselves and their later goals in life. “The thing is, my father thought I had such terrible handwriting he wanted my sister to write it up for me. He nearly got his way.”
— The German schoolboy jailed for writing to the BBC - BBC News
We don’t drop atomic bombs on flies that land on the dinner table. Everybody gets this except intelligence agencies.
Edward Snowden
I’m clear: if human rights laws get in the way of tackling extremism and terrorism, we will change those laws to keep British people safe.
Theresa May on Twitter (June 6, 2017)
You couldn’t make it up—though given how bizarre the real news has been, why would you even try?
The Trump Presidency Falls Apart: After an extraordinary 10 days, the tenure of the chief executive may have deteriorated beyond his ability to repair it. - The Atlantic (17.5.2017)
On May 15, Politico published a story about Trump’s news consumption that indicated his staffers were routinely passing him fake news stories, both to manipulate him and out of fear that giving him real news might upset him. olitico also said Trump was unable to tell real news from fake, falling for a photoshopped Time cover before his staff intervened to tell him it was forged.
The Trump Presidency Falls Apart: After an extraordinary 10 days, the tenure of the chief executive may have deteriorated beyond his ability to repair it. - The Atlantic (17.5.2017)
People generally don’t like losing things that they have. When a resource is provided to them as a default—even something as trivial as a pen—people tend to be unwilling to part with it. As a consequence, the least amount of money they are willing to accept to give it up is often much greater than the amount that they would be willing to pay to purchase the same item.
Daniel Kahneman (via Recline and fall: Who owns the space between reclining airline seats? | The Economist)
Around 580,000 respondents in 35 countries were asked the question: Would you actively participate in large-scale uprising against the generation in power if it happened in the next days or months? More than half of 18- to 34-year-olds said yes.
Europe’s youth don’t care to vote—but they’re ready to join a mass revolt — Quartz (via fefe)
According to the report, the selling point of this 2017 document is that Facebook’s algorithms can determine, and allow advertisers to pinpoint, “moments when young people need a confidence boost.” If that phrase isn’t clear enough, Facebook’s document offers a litany of teen emotional states that the company claims it can estimate based on how teens use the service, including “worthless,” “insecure,” “defeated,” “anxious,” “silly,” “useless,” “stupid,” “overwhelmed,” “stressed,” and “a failure.”
Report: Facebook helped advertisers target teens who feel “worthless” [Updated] | Ars Technica
Von Treyer ist Fachanwalt für Verkehrsrecht in München und hat das Ehepaar Karbe beraten. Er mache viel Reiserecht, aber so einen Fall habe er noch nie erlebt, sagt er. Weil das Problem im Völkerrecht wurzele, könne man wenig tun. Die Europäer hätten eben, “mit wenig Rückgrat”, das Abkommen unterzeichnet. Er selbst fliege deshalb schon seit Jahren nicht mehr in die USA.
Am Anfang war das Apple-Knuddeln für mich sehr ungewohnt. Aber ich machte mit. Es war ja ein Ritual. Später verstand ich, dass es das einzige Mittel war, um menschliche Nähe in einem unmenschlichen System zu spüren.
«Wir lebten bei Apple wie in einer Legebatterie» - News Wirtschaft: Unternehmen -
We did not ask for this room or this music; we were invited in.
Therefore, because the dark surrounds us,
Let us turn our faces toward the light.
Let us endure hardship to be grateful for plenty.
We have been given pain to be astounded by joy.
We have been given life to deny death.
We did not ask for this room or this music.
But because we are here, let us dance.
11.22.63 TV series
An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made in a very narrow field.
— Niels Bohr
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