4903 posts • joined 31 May 2010
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Re: the war on rudeness
"Do you think that would be OK, or is your position that anyone should be able to say anything to anyone online and they should just suck it up because freedom of speech?"
Nope, I'm not an absolutist; but there are extant laws to deal with threats. Even restrictions on their implementation, such as "a rational person would have to believe the threat was genuine, and not some jerk talking out their arse."
Legitimately threaten to rape/kill someone and you should get slapped. The other side of that is that hyperbole such as "I am going to deorbit a series of tungsten rods on top of Microsoft licensing" is not a credible threat and should be ignored.
No matter how "grotesque" the "abuse", nobody has a right not to be offended. I am all down for finding the people who make legitimate - or concerning enough that a reasonable person would believe was legitimate - threats and punishing them.
By the same token, let's say you are Dude A from Westboro Baptist Church and spend your life saying "gays should go to hell". If I respond to every tweet you sent with "your god doesn't exist" or "you're going to hell, not gays", and otherwise express a counter opinion that isn't legally an offense.
Where it gets murky is persistence and resourcing behind the message. At some point non threatening speech becomes coercion. But we lived in a fucked up society where certain forms of coercion - namely religious indoctrination - are largely protected by law. If I used the same resources, tactics and techniques to attempt to counter the message of a given religious evangelist I would be thrown in jail for it.
The laws and their application around freedom of speech and/or "trolling" are not applied consistently, or even rationally.
Yes, there must be limits to speech. Freedom of speech is about your right not to be suppressed by the government. It doesn't mean you get to walk into a gay nightclub and scream "fags are all going to go to hell" over and over at the top of your lungs.
But there's the key: Freedom of speech is about your right not to be suppressed by the government.
Twitter, as a private entity can implement any censorship on it's service that it likes...but the government should not. It should not step in unless there is an actual threat made.
Then the free market will decide which platforms are best: those that suppress "unwanted" speech of various types, those that are completely open, or those that deal with the issues on a case-by-case basis.
Personally, I believe that if you are going to make censorship of any kind mandatory - at the level of a private entity censoring their physical or virtual establishment, or at the level of a government making laws - then you absolutely must make that censorship apply to all individuals and topics equally.
If it is horrible to troll someone in the name of chauvanism it should be equally horrible to troll someone in the name of feminism. "I am going to rape you" should be treated the same as threats to cut of someone's penis. Telling a woman that they should get back into the kitchen should be treated the same as telling a man he shouldn't be allowed to have the job he has, or attend the school he attends.
if you are going to censor people for championing critical thought and telling people not to believe in religion you should also censor people who evangelize religion and attempt to convert others.
But the law is not applied equally. Nor is it written in a manner that allows equal application. Therein lies the problem, and therein lies the curse of our generation: an apathy that enables those with an agenda to shape the behavior, culture and legally acceptable thought processes of the generations to come.
So I don't find this debate so simple. And I think it is wrapped up in what we want our culture to be. One of morality predefined by tradition, conservatism and a shaping of the very thoughts that will keep established groups in power? Or are we to make a nation of critical thinkers who will learn, and judge and explore for themselves?
Political correctness has a dark side. Be wary of it.
Re: the war on rudeness
"I’m more saying that if you say racist things, people will conclude you’re a racist and thus also at best an irksome buffoon, and the fact that you yourself didn’t see anything wrong with what you said isn’t really much of a defence."
And that's fine, so long as "you say something stupid and then people ostracize you" is where it ends. But here we're talking about "you say something stupid and then you go to jail." That's what's being proposed by UK.gov.
Laws against trolling amount to a combination of an attempt at a "right to not be offended" and "carte blanche to suppress dissent".
The concept that you could say anything you want and not have people think you're a dick is the other extreme of "freedom of speech", frequently referred to as "the right not to be criticized". Both the right not to be offended and the right to not be criticized don't exist and both are equally idiotic concepts. Any attempt to seal either in law needs to be resisted.
Re: the war on rudeness
"You can be racist without meaning to; you can give offence when you think you're only having a laugh."
And people who think that there should exist a "right to not be offended" will be the downfall of our civilization.
People say things you don't like. For $deity's sake, man, sack up.
Re: obviously using your logic
"There are levels and limits."
And who determines these, hmm? I would say online and in person that I believe anyone who attempts to convert another person to their religion should be sent to jail for a very long time.
I believe that most of what is wrong with mankind is that we allow people to attempt to coerce others, with tactics ranging from subtly (and sometimes no subtle implied threats of social ostracization, job loss, marital interference, "taking away their kids" or more direct applications of force. The worst offenders among us are religions and brand tribalists. Both groups desperately need something larger than themselves to believe in. Both need others to join their cult in order to feel validated. Historically, their quest to force others to do so has been the source of a truly unholy (pardon the pun) amount of angst and suffering.
Ah...but were I to express this view in today's Britain, would I not be labelled a "troll"? This view goes against the current "official view" and thus would run me a decent chance of getting banged up in prison on any of a dozen different trumped yup charges. Simply for believing that your right to believe ends the moment you try to force me to believe something.
Thoughtcrime? It depends. I can think it all I want - until they have the tech to scan my thoughts - but I'm not in shit until I give voice - or text - to that opinion. At that point, I've moved from being merely someone whose thought process is "poisonous" to being a dissident. And, ultimately, that's what this is about.
The goal here is not to go after people who talk about hate crimes. It is to suppress anyone and anything who says something that threatens to rally people against those in power. You cannot exercise freedom of assembly if talking about the reasons you might want to assemble - or posting information about where to assemble - is made illegal.
Some of it will fall under "terrorism" legislation. Some under "trolling" laws. Some of it will come under various other laws but the goal is quite clear: Britain leaders will not be challenged, and there will never be a popular revolution for the hoi polloi of the sceptered isles.
Call me tinfoil behatted if you must, but please take the time to look at the resultant set of policy from the laws suggested - and ultimately passed - over the past decade. There is an inevitable march towards restricting freedom of assembly, freedom to speak out against established power blocs and even freedom of movement within the nation.
What matters isn't what you say. It is about whom you say it.
Re: the war on rudeness
And rudeness is so arbitrary. I consider someone trying to convert me to their religion or indoctrinate me into their particular form of brand tribalism to be far more rude than someone insulting me outright. So will I be able to get them tossed in the clink for "trolling"?
Or is rudeness to be outlawed except when practiced by religions and other "approved entities" that champion the current views of the state? After all, how do you browbeat, chastise and guilt a population into submission if you outlaw rudeness for everyone equally?
Change is always "coming". But there's a hell of a difference between "change is coming" circa 2001, where the only interesting developments of substance in the storage world for the next 10 years were flash (it goes faster than disks. OoooooooooooOOOooo.) and deduplication (EMC lost a fraction of some market share to NetApp. OooooooooOOOooo.)
It's completely different today. The changes coming are not vague, nebulous and in some distant future. They are occurring all around us right now, and there is a veritable explosion of new storage companies out there actively changing the industry. The storage industry hasn't seen this kind of innovation since centralized storage for first introduced.
That is what makes this different.
I could wave my hands and say "change is coming to the operating system market" and try to sound all doom and gloom too. Lots of people do it. The truth is, however, there's fuck all happening there beyond slow, incremental evolution. Even Docker's popularization of containers is not a paradigmatic change. It will be dealt with using existing bureaucratic processes and no major powers will be harmed by that event.
What's happening now in the storage world is totally different. Everything is in flux and even the mightiest can fall. This is the point where empires are won...or lost. It is not a vague element of "change is coming" but, instead, "real change is upon us now...adapt or die."
Re: Not sure about VMWare
Screw MS; Openstack is coming along. For the SMB space, at least, it's really worth looking at. Scale Computing does good work. PistonCloud is okay, and Metacloud is amaze.
VMware may be the best of the best...but the reality is that most businesses can do just fine using any of the rest.
Re: why compete against yourself?
EMC only owns 80% of VMware...and it under increasing pressure to reduce that. Time will likely come in the not-to-distant future where EMC must be ready to stand on it's own, even against VMware.
Now, if they can hold the wolves at bay and keep hold of VMware, that's awesome. I honestly think they're stronger together than apart...with one caveat: they must clearly define the areas of competition and cooperation between the companies. If the EMC federation is going to stay as a single entity, and behave as a single entity, they need to eliminate overlap between the companies and start working (and selling) more as a single cohesive unit.
Right now, they're half friend, half foe with a political landscape between the companies that is peppered with nuclear landmines and subject to periodic orbital bombardment. All signs are that both companies are headed for a split, as much because of internecine pissing contests within the federation as from any external interference.
Please do understand that I don't believe EMC to be fatally wounded or fundamentally unable to compete. I think they're one of the only companies out there that has a chance. But if they are to have that chance they need to either clear the air with VMware once and for all (and that means internally to both companies, with partners, investors and customers,) or they need to kick the offspring loose to fend for itself and gird their loins for war.
Either/or, but the time for dalliances with coopetition is over. War is coming, and if both EMC and VMware don't get their heads out of their politically compromised asses they don't stand a chance of surviving it.
Re: you can only virtualise OS X on Mac hardware
Bingo. We run ESXi on Mac Pros in order to run OSX instances, because it's the only way they can be legally licensed. (Well, you could use Mac Minis, but you won't get much in the way of density.) It may sound sub optimal...but Microsoft's VDI licensing is appalling to the point of offensive. And quite frankly the continued move away from Windows as a desktop OS necessitates setups such as this to meet the growing demand for remotely accessed OSX setups for an increasingly mobile (or teleworking) workforce.
Re: One big fail waiting to happen.
If you'd like to discuss some of my thoughts on the incorporation of security, I'd be happy to have a sit down with you. As for why I didn't go into the details on the "how", it is because there are multiple possible approaches, and which approaches vendors take will differentiate them one from another.
It should also be noted that privacy should be baked in from the start...something not all vendors will do. (See: Microsoft.)
Re: From my post in the original article
No, but when you consider that Microsoft has a stack ranking system - and has for bloody ever - then the comments about "trust the system" make a lot more sense. In the case of Microsoft, it probably is true! I would be absolutely shocked if Women at Microsoft got less pay for the same work.
Now, the idea that they may - for whatever reason - not get the same opportunities to get into the higher paying positions, this I have no visibility on.
But when you understand that in Nadella's world "not rocking the boat" and "trusting the system" made him the CEO of Microsoft, I think that his comments start to make a lot more sense.
Aye. Affirmative action is merely a way to discriminate against a group you don't like - typically white males - legally. If two people are up for the same job you pick the one best qualified, period. If two people are up for the same job and appear to be equally qualified to within the error bars of the position, you flip a fucking coin.
If you want to make hiring "fair" you do double blind interviews and selection, where the age/gender/race/real name/etc of the person applying is never revealed to the interviewer. We have technology that can arrange this.
The problem is that this would ensure equality, but actual equality isn't what oh, so many people are after.
Re: From my post in the original article
I'm pretty well known for being critical of Microsoft around these parts. Especially Microsoft's management. But I honestly do not think Nadella is a bad guy. Having met him, he seemed to be pretty good people, with a genuine passion for technology...if possessing the typical lack of social skills that is common amongst engineers.
I am on record as saying that Microsoft as a company is out of chances and that they should not be given the benefit of the doubt any longer. That said, I do honestly believe that Nadella made an honest mistake, that he doesn't view women as "inferior", and that he simply expressed himself poorly.
It may be the unpopular view - and frankly, what else is new around here? - but in this instance, I cannot leap to the conclusion that Nadella = bad person.
What bothers me is the concept that we should be bound by - let alone strive for - popularity. The truth exists regardless of our preference for - or even acceptance of - it. Reality flat out doesn't give a fuck what we do, what we like or what we desire.
I personally believe in a quest for truth. What is "popular" and what makes other people happy is just...not relevant. Not to me, anyways. A lot of people view that as being a troll.
I refuse to speak - or even entertain - the "comforting lie". In any religion, that makes me a heathen. On the internet, it seems that for many the term of general disparagement used for this concept is "troll".
That's why the question about nomenclature.
On a side note: I do find it interesting that the statistics about likes/hates caught your eye. I don't think I've ever done the math about what my "ratio" is, let alone how it changes over time. It's interesting to me that you have, and that you've had discussions about it here before.
Personally, I'm down with being unpopular, or with having whatever ratio of votes flows my way. What bothers me isn't what other people think of me.
Brand tribalists and Anti-brand tribalists are what get my Irish up. The idea that a person associates their self worth with what other people think - or don't - of some third party company. To the point that they'll lie to defend (or attack) said company.
For reasons I haven't been able to articulate, that bothers me. More than it should. Truth matters. Objectivity. Not faith, not religion, and not a marketing message.
What's the difference between having unquestioning faith in a faceless deity who lives in the sky and unquestioning faith in a faceless corporation that sells you a cloud? Ah well, I guess I'm just a cynical old git from the era when trust was earned and technologists actually did proof of concept testing instead of believing any crap marketing shoveled their way...
"There's the kind of people who are actively trying to get down-votes and negative responses as some sort of weird validation of their existence. I suppose you could argue that's low self-esteem, but I think in a lot of cases it is because they feel that they've successfully pushed people's buttons and got their sadistic pleasure out of pissing them off. It's not a notion I can really understand. I also get the imporession it makes some of them feel that they're showing their superior intelect, and the sheeple's failure to agree with them is yet more proof of their stupidity."
I don't know. I've been trying to get to 2500 global downvotes on El Reg for like 8 months. It's harder than you'd think. Currently, it's a race to see what milestone is fit first: 15K upvotes, or 2.5K downvotes. In total, your posts have been upvoted 14547 times and downvoted 2430 times.
But for me, "trolling" has little to do with sadism. Curiosity, yes. Understanding people. Seeing what makes them tick. Finding that sensitive nerve that says "investigate here".
There are trolls that troll in order to hurt. And there are trolls that troll because they're bored. There are even trolls that troll as a defense mechanism because their sense of self-esteem is so low that they need to lash out preemptively. I think I've been in one of those positions in at least one thread in my life, but I can't say that any of them really sum up my motivations, and I've been described by more than one person as "a professional troll".
Quite frankly, it's a label I'm okay with. Mostly because I view trolling as "shit disturbing". Motivations differ, but the results are always "saying the things you're not supposed to say" usually after "asking questions you're not supposed to ask".
But I think that the questions you're not supposed to ask produce the best answers. They are the questions that need to be asked. Thus, in truth, I think every good investigative journalist is - at heart - something of a troll. Not because we enjoy the pain or angst of others, but because we do throw shit against the wall to get a reaction...and the reactions we get give us clues on where to dig deeper.
Thus, I think you're very right: definitions and nomenclature matter. Like "hacker", the term "troll" has become diluted. Who is one? What are the qualifications? And what then do we call people who engage in troll-like behaviors, but without the motivations described in the research in the article?
Re: rant-like journalism
Traits don't have to be beneficial to stick around. Even detrimental traits will stick around, so long as they are not so detrimental they are selected against with extreme prejudice.
In addition, selective pressures were completely different at one point. ADHD is a detriment to humans in almost all ways except one: hyperfocus. There is a case to be made that hyperfocus could have allowed the first development of tools, even though it would be a massive detriment to a hunter.
An ADHD individual could gleefully spend almost all day, every day hyperfocused on a task with a clear reward circuit. Knapping arrowheads, for example. When you think about it, this is an activity with a clearly defined - and relatively short to achieve - goal. The more effort you put in, the more reward (completion) you get out. It's very similar to "grinding" in MMOs, which is something that we have a lot of evidence triggers hyperfocus in ADHD people.
It would also lead to these ADHD people becoming experts in their chosen feild of work, achieving a mastery few others could, and advancing the techniques slowly with each generation.
But put those same people on a hunting party and they'll be a liability. The requirement to control yourself in concealment for long periods of time before striking - or while dodging an angry predator - would be too much for most ADHD individuals.
So the evolution of ADHD, it's utility to the individual (and to society) is complicated. And it makes your statement ("you speak of ADD as if it were a genetic defect that has no evolutionary advantage. If that were true, it would have been cleansed from the gene pool long ago") seem like an attempt to paint a very black-and-white view of this complicated subject.
In today's society there is little advantage to ADHD. In all honesty, there probably hasn't been since the introduction of agriculture. It was then that social evolution mattered more than anything, and we began having to cope with multiple things occurring at the same time, more and more often.
Now, right up until about the 1950s it was reasonable for the minority of us that still had ADHD to find jobs that allowed for a short reward circuit one-thing-at-a-time approach to a profession. This is where ADHD people have always thrived: where they can engage in hyperfocus.
But as we began to build more and more devices of convenience even "single tasks" became a chain of smaller tasks, each requiring a mental shift into a slightly different mindset to accomplish, and with an ever more deferred reward.
Today's world is one of ever decreasing obvious rewards. We are part of a larger machine and knowing whether or not we've done something right is hard. We don't get that feedback immediately. And we need to know so many things about so many things that it is becoming difficult even for normal people to concentrate.
But ADHD people aren't normal. We - like many others on the Autism spectrum - are more extreme in their ability to cope with stimulus. We either hold 1000 threads in our mind and sift through the madness for a single sound, or thought, or smell...or we focus in on the narrowest of concepts and collapse our very consciousness down like a laser to see that something gets done, and done right.
ADHD people can't hold the modern world in our mind. There are too many threads, even for us. Too many sights, and sounds and smells...and we physically can't filter it. It overwhelms us; that part of our abilities is useless today.
And hyperfocus? The skill that traditionally would have been valuable? it's hard to find something - anything, really today - that allows us to use it consistently. Normal people have the advantage.
So..is ADHD "genetic defect that has no evolutionary advantage"? The answer is...yes and no. In all truth, what we consider to be "normal" cognition today is likely the mutation. ADHD is probably much closer to how non-human animals think. But ADHD has become a disadvantage as our society has evolved. It had a place. It may again, one day. For right now, today...it is likely to be selected against for generations to come.
That's evolution for you. Complicated. Messy. Anything but black and white. Past utility - or possible utility - is not evidence of continued or future utility. That's the key thing to bear in mind.
Re: Many of us are forced to ... HOLY SHIT!
Well, if we're being serious, in all the things I've tried to write, it is "writing dialogue" which I find the hardest. It makes me sad, as - ultimately - the thing I want to do with my life is write a sci fi trilogy I've been working on for some time. Sadly, that's hard if you suck at dialogue.
Re: rant-like journalism
"Some would say that ADD and ADHD are also examples of natural selection, but I fail to see what the selection process is that chooses what seems to be a deliterious mental state as 'better'... "
ADHD is not new. Molecular DNA estimates on the few genes we know are involved (and we probably haven't found more than 25% of those involved yet) suggest it's been there for a very long time.
There's a theory amongst a certain class of ADHD researcher that basically states that ADHD is more like the "natural" state of man when we first evolved, and far closer to how non-human animals think. The rationale being that individuals with ADHD, having a much lower decision threshold, are run on instinct a majority of the time.
The ability to move beyond this - to exert willpower and make decisions more consistently throughout the course of the day - is part of what makes humans so novel. In other words: the ability to force ourselves to reason, to concentrate and to suppress our instincts and make decisions based on logic rather than desire is what separates us most animals. Or, at least, the ability to do so consistently throughout the day without requiring to sleep in order to regain the ability.
"Or are we just better at observing and naming (and possibly over-treating?) a trait that has been around forever?"
Both of these are true. We're way better at diagnosing now, but many - especially those who haven't updated their knowledge since the 1980s - overtreat. See above, where we have a commenter who cannot separate the drugs used from the condition...and believes (at least partially) the condition is something that doesn't really exist, or can be "willed away".
It is a real condition with a real physiological basis, and individuals with ADHD demonstrate demonstrably different mental responses to various stimuli and thought processes. We can see this on an MRI. We've even begun to unravel the genetic basis for it.
"When I was a young'n, there was no such thing as ADD or ADHD. So, (obviously) there was no treatment for these non-existing conditions."
Ignorance doesn't shape reality; reality exists regardless of your perception of it. The condition existed, you simply didn't know about it. That lack of knowledge didn't make it any less real...just untreated. Ultimately, that meant that those individuals experienced a lower quality of life than they would have had they been able to obtain treatment. Sad, but now we can start to change that for future generations.
Re: @ Trevor
"If you chose it, then it's not rape."
Actually, that's not true. The new standard is "enthusiastic participation", not mere acceptance, specifically because of situations where choosing to be violated is the least horrible of a bunch of very horrible offerings. Look to the new laws in California, specifically regarding coitus on campuses.
Re: what's the point
Well, I, for one, am using it as my primary OS specifically so that Microsoft can get real world information back from my usage. Many of us are choosing to do this for just that reason. It is our chance to have a voice - however small - in how this all turns out.
Re: rant-like journalism
"People with ADD have a much greater ability to identify and avoid pitfalls and come up with creative solutions to problems."
Some of us do. Not all.
"You speak of ADD as if it were a genetic defect that has no evolutionary advantage. If that were true, it would have been cleansed from the gene pool long ago."
You do not understand how evolution works.
Re: Many of us are forced to use MS Software
"Just the idea of trying to support and maintain a small product with two completely different, incompatible UIs brings me out in a cold sweat, let alone something the size of Office."
So Ubitmenu are significantly superior to Microsoft in skill? http://www.ubit.ch/ I don't understand how that could be.
Re: @ Trevor
"If you had the choice of losing your job or being raped what would you choose?"
Honestly? I'd chose the rape, though only by the narrowest of margins and only if the job loss was "career loss" class as exemplified by the "a job without computers" portion of the comment. I don't remotely expect that everyone will feel the same, and I think the specific circumstances matter a hell of a lot in making that call.
To be honest, I feel that just by asking that question is such a blatantly black-and-white fashion you are trivializing both rape and career loss without giving any real consideration to the effects of either.
Both are traumatic events that are horrible, but I will heal from the rape. Lose my job and I might never be able to return to a position where you make a similar income, have the same opportunities for advancement, etc. I might lose your house, I might lose everything.
"Rape and losing your job are in two very different categories that cannot be compared to each other."
Oh no? Why not? Rape comes in two parts: violence - or the threat thereof - enacted against the individual is the first part, and the easiest to overcome.
The second part - the damning and damaging part - is a lifelong feeling of a loss of control. You feel like you don't have value. That you don't have worth. You feel that maybe you deserved it, that something about is fundamentally wrong. Some days are better than others, granted...but it never leaves you. It haunts you. It underpins your personality and serves as a subconscious, silent reminder that - underneath it all - you're just an object, a toy, a disposable thing.
There is nothing trivial about rape; not because of the violence of the event - and remember many rapes aren't violent in any way - but because of the legacy it leaves, imprinted on the mind of the victim...often for a lifetime.
Losing one's job comes in two parts. The initial loss of income and it's immediate fallout, and the long term effects, should this result in a major quantitative negative change in quality of life.
Loosing one's job - especially in cases where an individual cannot return to the level of income or possibility of career advancement they had previously - can lead to feelings of loss of control, powerlessness and hopelessness. The fewer your options for new employment, the more you feel like a worthless "thing". A toy, to be discarded. There can be massively negative social implications; humiliation, ostracisation, even the disintegration of that individual's family.
The loss of a job - especially one that is of such a dramatic change that one is "working without computers" - can be hugely traumatic. Going from $100,000+ a year to digging ditches has absolutely proven to make people suicidal, amongst other things.
Being perfectly honest, I fear the concept of that level of job loss - especially against my will and over something so trivial as expressing a preference for a given UI! - even more than I do rape. At least people understand rape. There are trauma centers and counseling and an entire constellation of support mechanisms to help people cope with the psychological trauma that comes form that.
But the long term psychological trauma of having one's life turned upside down due to career-ending-class job loss? As a society, we won't even touch it. We will cheerfully let people kill themselves off rather than face up to the fact that this is problem.
When I think about the sort of job loss discussed here - massive career change to the point of "not working with computers - I picture the issues of reintegration of soldiers, or the problems faced by an aging population who lose their jobs but can't get a new one. I've seen instances of that being every bit as horrible - and as frightening to me - as rape.
But there are pitifully few social institutions to help those who have lost their job. There is a massive amount of social animosity towards them - "get a job, ya bum!" - and fuck all in terms of sympathy if they've gotten a job, (or two, or three or four) but so far below what they were making previously that they sink into a massively long term clinical depression...or commit suicide.
We mock, disparage, disrespect and discourage those who lose their jobs, especially if the individuals "falls so low" as to go from a well paying job to "one without computers involved."
I can see in both cases a loss of power. I can see in both cases feeling like an object, a "disposable person". I can see in both cases feeling as though I had no value, and never could have value in the eyes of others.
But only in one case do I see that society would be ready and willing to try and help me fight my way back to feeling human again.
Before you fly off the handle of political correctness, I strongly encourage you to spend some time with people who have honestly tried to rebuild their lives after losing a good paying job, but failed. Those who have put years into it, who have worked the minimum wage jobs, lost their houses, or been told time and time again they're "too old".
Please try to take the time to understand that rape isn't alone in being a life-changing negative event. Trivializing job loss - especially career loss - is every bit as asinine as trivializing rape.
There are those who feel that in this thread I have trivialized rape. I honestly don't believe I have. I believe, instead, that the people who decry my comparison are trivializing the long term emotional damage that forced career loss can - and does - have on many people in our society.
I also believe that such comparisons must be made, if we are ever to force ourselves - and our society as a whole - to confront the problem and find solutions that preserve the dignity of those affected. Hate me if you want to; that is what - to me - this thread has been about.
Re: Many of us are forced to use MS Software
Man, I miss those little plastic "cheet sheets" we used to stick on the keyboard above the function keys that had all the commands for Word Perfect 5.1. Took a few days, but you got 99.9% of the commands you'd actually use memorized cold. Then, when you had to hunt for one, it was right there, on your keyboard.
I can't remember, did those come with word perfect, or were they made by a third party?
Re: rant-like journalism
The thing is, ADHD isn't something that you "might have, but we can't prove". We absolutely can prove whether or not you have it. Putting someone on Dexedrine for a week will make a proper doctor 95% certain. If - for whatever reason - they were less than certain, 1/2 hr in an MRI would tell you beyond any reasonable doubt.
We've come a long way since the 1980s.
I submit, sir, that you may be laboring under prejudices about ADHD that are not valid in proper clinical practice. Your prejudice may be understandable - as it is a natural human impulse to link abuse of the drugs used in the treatment of a disease with the disease itself - but I honestly believe that sort of prejudice is as much a part of the problem as the past tendency towards overdiagnosis.
Neither mental illness nor pharmacology should not be taboo. Instead, education and open discussion should be the norm, so that we can all better understand the conditions, the treatments, the ramifications...and the abuses.
I'm sorry we're at odds on that belief, but I hope, in time, society catches up to the point that such debates are no longer necessary.
Re: Many of us are forced to use MS Software
"The rape analogy would get many people fired, most commentards on hand moderation and is plain ridiculous. The asshole remark surely would..."
I'm sorry you feel that way, and I genuinely apologize if I've offended. That said, I do feel that in this case the comparison is, in fact, valid.
This isn't like an employer setting a rule and the employee having to obey. It's so much bigger than that. The employer doesn't even have a choice here. It absolutely is an individual (well, a company) in an unapproachably powerful position simply forcing their will on others.
Now, in and of itself, there's no way that's like rape. There are a number of avenues available to the individual in any rational society to address this. Starting with "asking the developer to provide choice", through to "getting lots of others to raise their voices in unison" and so forth.
But that gets very different when we talk about "submit or find a different career". If those are the only two choices allowed then I very much so believe that has parallels with any number of traumatic events you could name.
To be clear: I am very specifically comparing the idea that an individual should have no choice but to choose between dramatic career change and accepting a UI they don't like as putting that individual in a massively negative place where they would feel helpless, hopeless, without power or recourse and for the stupidest and most unbelievably fucked up of trivial reasons. So fucked up that - to me at least - is absolutely is as crazy as saying depriving someone of their power via rape is okay "because they wore the wrong thing".
Any rational society would allow for an entire universe of possible alternative actions and outcomes. "A third party is going to impose a change you don't like. If you don't like it, quit and/or change careers" is completely disproportionate. Somewhere in there should be the ability to ask why this change is occurring. To seek alternatives to this change.
Nobody should have the right to tell you should be made to change careers because you don't like a UI.
I accept the possibility that this just means my outlook on life is horribly skewed and that I, in fact, am the bad person. Hell, I'd be barking mad not to believe that could be the case.
...but I see in both cases an overwhelming and unstoppable force saying that something massively negative should occur to an individual for the most trivial and outright insane of reasons. If you believe that makes me a bad person, I accept that. Maybe I am.
In the meantime, however, I will continue to believe that the guy who suggests changing careers is the appropriate response to an enforced UI change is the bad person.
Re: Many of us are forced to use MS Software
"people are quite able to ask Microsoft to give them the choice, and Microsoft are quite able to go "no, that will cost us too much to develop and make the software more complicated"."
And that's between the end user (or the business owner) and Microsoft. There's no call to tell someone "if you don't like what's there, go get a job that doesn't use computers." That's not okay at all.
"Besides, even if there was an implemented choice on whether to use the ribbon or not, the vast majority of users wouldn't get to make it - it'd be the IT hell desk deciding on their behalf, just like they do with a huge number of settings on corporate desktops."
And that's where it becomes between the business and the employee. I agree that some - but by no means all - businesses would remove choice from the end user. In most instances, I find that defaults are applied as part of policy, but with a level of customizability being allowed. (The level varying between organizations).
"It's not about choice - there's very good reasons for offering choice, and there's very good reasons for denying them - it's about people getting upset that things have changed."
Wrong. It's about choice. The choice I have as a business owner, for example. There are plenty of industry-specific applications for which no alternative exists that must run on Windows. Now the Ribbon Bar is part of the most fundamental parts of windows - such as Windows Explorer - and can't be avoided. Why shouldn't I be able to ask Microsoft to retain the option for traditional menus? Why shouldn't I encourage others who would like the same choice to also ask Microsoft for that choice?
Microsoft can say no - in which case my opinion of Microsoft as a supplier will diminish - but what business is it of yours (or anyone else's) that I ask Microsoft for that choice? What business is it of yours if I feel that Microsoft are less worthy as a supplier for not offering the choice, even as a paid option?
"If you don't like how things change in a job - be that equipment provided, management style or even staff room perks, sometimes it becomes necessary to move on, be that to a new company or career. It happens to people daily, with a lot less negative effects than being raped for "wearing the wrong clothes"."
But this isn't just about a decision made by management. Management never had a choice to make. That choice was removed from them; and from everyone. And the discussion wasn't left at "if you don't like change in a company, leave that company". Very specifically the suggestion was made to even go so far as to change careers to the point that one worked in a career without computers at all.
At this point, in 2014, that is recommending that someone make a change in career with massive qualitative - and income - implications.
I absolutely do not get how a potentially massive quality of life change is a rational or acceptable expected response to a desire for choice in a software UI?
We're not talking about a minor change like "how the tables are laid out in the break room". This is closer to the world's overwhelmingly dominant semi truck manufacturer changing all the displays on their semi trucks to Klingon, and embedding them in the roof instead of on the dash. In response to drivers wanting the option of buying semi trucks with the displays in English and on the dash you say "if a driver doesn't like the change he should quit, potentially seeking employment where driving isn't involved."
It is a preposterously disproportionate response.
Re: rant-like journalism
You'll note I did advise looking into Dexedrine. Ritalin is far worse than the alternatives.
That said, Caffeine absolutely does have similar - albeit far less powerful - effects to both Ritalin an Dexedrine on individuals with ADHD. As a matter of fact, you are generally advised against combining them - especially during the initial dose-adjustment phase - for exactly that reason. It's hard to know what the right dose is for you if you are pounding back the caffeine as well.
Also: "having a low attention span" does not necessarily mean you have ADHD, though it is often a good indicator. ADHD is a very real - and serious - condition that has demonstrable physiological effects. You can place a person under an MRI and see differences in how their brain responds under certain conditions than a normal person.
ADHD is typically over-diagnosed in children. That said, it is often under-diagnosed in adults. Many doctors - to say nothing of lay practitioners - still labour under the belief that you can be "cured" of ADHD simply by wishing it away, or as a condition of "growing into adulthood. This is false.
As I stated in my comment above:everyone can - and does - suffer from decision fatigue. (Though "willpower fatigue" is a lot rarer.) ADHD people can vary from individuals with decision fatigue resistance and willpower close to that of a normal person - and thus an attention span close to that of a normal person - to those who are overwhelmed by choices before they even leave the front door for work.
If someone is honestly easily distractable then it absolutely is worth their while to investigate whether or not they have adult ADHD. From there, they can look at different treatment modalities.
The quickest way to tell if you have ADHD is honestly to take a mild dose of Dexidrine for a week. If you have ADHD, you'll know. It will change your life.
However, once you have been identified as having adult ADHD there is nothing that says you are restricted to pharmacological treatment modalities, and I would strongly encourage people to look at the alternatives.
Meditative techniques worked (mostly) for me. They get me to the point that I can deal with my ADHD using just caffiene, and I don't have to rely on Dexedrine except on my worst days. There is also neurofeedback. This is basically a means of gamifying the same sorts of neural patterns you learn through meditation. Neither of these work on everyone with ADHD.
Make no mistake: meditative or neurofeedback techniques for resolving ADHD will not cure it. They do not allow you to just "will yourself better". What they do is provide you a coping mechanism that allows you to become more functional than you would otherwise be, and they offer a tradeoff point between the capabilities provided by stimulants like Dexedrine and Ritalin and the fog of not treating ADHD at all.
In addition to the above:
Ritalin and Dexedrine are amphetamines. They absolutely will have massively deleterious side effects on individuals without ADHD. They should only ever be taken with the consent - and ongoing support and monitoring - of a qualified physician. They absolutely will affect individuals with ADHD completely differently than they will affect individuals without ADHD. (Just as Caffeine will, incidentally, but the effect of Caffeine is so much lower that it's hard to judge in many people.)
It is for this reason that these drugs are prescription, and why monitoring and support by a qualified physician is so important. They will - or should, if they are any good at their job - look for the signs that verify that individual indeed has ADHD (and thus can benefit from the drug in question) and will absolutely not allow a non-ADHD individual to continue use.
All of that said, don't dismiss ADHD as some myth. It's not...and identifying and treating it will make for a huge positive quality of life improvement in anyone unfortunate enough to have it. If I seem passionate about it, well...it's because I am.
I've known about my ADHD my whole life, but my wife was only diagnosed (and began treatment) about a year ago. It absolutely changed her life. Getting her ADHD under control allowed her the ability to start doing tasks she otherwise found overwhelming, and this massively changed her self confidence and self image. It ultimately led to notable change in the lows and the frequency what had been episodes of clinical depression.
So yeah...why not talk about these sorts of things? Why the social taboo around mental illness? It is the fact that we choose to laugh uncomfortably about these things and mock those who discuss them that makes them so much harder to deal with.
If there's evidence that attention span may be a problem, I say take the time and effort out to see if it might be indicative of something more serious. If so, it could be that some fairly small changes could lead to a happier, more productive you.
Re: Many of us are forced to use MS Software
"Anybody who has "massive and traumatic change" forced on them by the presence of the ribbon is not somebody I'd want to share an office with. How would they react when we run out of digestives in the staff room?"
Where did I say that the presence of the ribbon was "massive and traumatic change"? I very specifically</I. called out an anonymous coward's comment that said people who didn't want to deal with the ribbon should change jobs - or careers - even to the point of ones without computers involved.
"PS - loving the strawman you've erected - changing career isn't the alternative to offering a choice of UI. "
That is <i>exactly</i> the choice that that suggested be made by the anonymous coward to whom I was responding, you pompous, arrogant gasbag.
"Changing career is an option for those who are unable / unwilling to continue to use certain software."
So is "asking the developer to offer a choice of UIs." In fact, "asking the developer to offer a choice of UIs" is <i>far more rational than "changing careers". It's even an option that doesn't negatively affect others. Holy pants, batman, what a fucking concept.
"There are many other less extreme options available too, such as moving to another department, recommending against using the new version which contains the hated feature, or even developing a solution to patch the offensive software so that it becomes usable again."
All of which are still dramatically more extreme than "asking the developer to offer a choice of UIs". The developer could even charge for the functionality.
Yet in your world, asking the developer for choice is anathema. Those who do so are deserving of denigration and disrespect, but telling them to go work in a job without computers is a perfectly rational thing to do?
What the metric fnord is wrong with you?
Re: Many of us are forced to use MS Software
"I, too, get downvoted or flamed if I admit that I like some of the tricks that Access and One Note can do. But not as badly as the time I criticised St Snowden."
You folks do realise that the world isn't black and white, right? Liking something the Microsoft has to offer doesn't mean you like everything Microsoft does, or says, or sells. Similarly, liking something non-Microsoft - or even hating something Microsoft - doesn't mean a dislike for all things Microsoft.
What's even more shocking, is that you can like something Microsoft offers, but still believe that they should offer a choice of options to others.
I, for example, like most Microsoft technologies. I think Windows is a great operating system...and Windows 10, even in the technical preview stage, is easily the best yet.
I love Windows Server 2012 R2, but I'm less of a fan of Windows Server 10. I also love CentOS 6...but think that systemd - and thus CentOS 7 - can go straight to hell.
I think that how Microsoft treats customers, partners and end users is appalling, but I cannot deny the strength and capability of technologies like SQL server, Exchange or Microsoft Dynamics.
I think you'll find that it isn't a like or dislike something that sets the internet hate machine upon you. It is either A) stating that your anecdotal experience has been X and thus nobody else should have a problem or B) taking an extremist point of view that says other people shouldn't be allowed choice.
Which keeps coming back to the concept of "invalidating the preferences of others" as being that which attracts the internet hate machine. Believe whatever you want, in your own church. Just don't start demanding that the rights of others be curtailed because of your religion.
A group of people saying "Microsoft, please give us a choice of UIs" is a group of people asking that Microsoft respect the preferences of others, while at the same time respecting their preferences. It's is about living together in harmony.
A group of people saying "Microsoft, only have the UI I like and never allow choice for those others who have different preferences" is about a notable lack of respect for others. It is about forcing one's belief system on others; it is about arrogance and a sense of haughty superiority.
I've seen plenty of discussions on these forums about the positive aspects of Microsoft technologies, features and services where people in no way get viciously downvoted for talking openly about liking them. I thus submit that demonstrating respect for the preferences of others (or a lack thereof) is in most cases going to be the deciding factor in the number of downvotes you attract.
There absolutely are some real Microsoft haters here who loathe all Microsoft technologies and services...but they are emphatically in the minority. We all have to live with these technologies...and most of us respect them. Respecting the individuals, departments or even entire corporations who make asinine decisions that demonstrate huge disrespect for preferences - or requirements - of others can be and often is separate from respect for the technology produced by those people/departments/companies.
And for the record, OneNote is awesome. I really like the Android version; it's pretty much the only thing that makes the pen on my Note 2 worth a damn.
Re: Many of us are forced to use MS Software
Telling someone that should not have the right to ask a developer to include a choice of UIs, but should instead quit their job and change careers in order to change UIs is absolutely, 100% as arrogant and horrible as justifying rape by saying that the clothing someone worse justified the action.
Both cases are attempting to say that the desire of an individual to exercise a fairly minor amount of choice - asking a developer to offer a choice of UIs or choosing to wear $clothing_style - somehow justifies forcing massive and traumatic change on a person.
"Go find a job that doesn't use computers" is the equivalent of telling someone "give up your current upper middle class job and go get a job that is minimum wage" because....they want to ask the developer of an application to provide a choice of UIs?!?
Yeah, you know what? That's pretty goddamned fucked up. That is fucked right the hell up. That is easily as fucked up as saying anything justifies rape.
And the inevitable argument "well you wouldn't have to change careers if you'd just learn to like the new UI " is exactly as fucked up as saying to someone "well, you wouldn't have been raped if you'd just worn different clothes."
The loss of a job - let alone the requirement to change careers to something so dramatic as "does not use computers" if fucking traumatic. It absolutely can impart the very same feelings of loss of control, worthlessness and so forth as rape.
Now, admittedly, rape tends to have a higher instance of PTSD after the event, but the effects for people who have be forced from a job - especially in situations where they cannot hope to return to a job as lucrative as the one they were forced from - absolutely have been known to have massively long term effects on individuals, including PTSD. In many places - Japan, for example - job related stresses, mostly related to difficulties in retention, competitiveness and downwards wage pressures - have led to an epidemic of suicides.
So yeah, casually suggesting that people just go our an change careersbecause they shouldn't have the right to ask a developer to offer a choice of user interface options is just as fucked up as making fun of rape. That individual is completely trivializing the very real world - and very traumatic to a great many people - impacts of career loss.
Comparing that to rape is not trivializing rape at all, but hopefully will serve to help you understand the very real importance and seriousness of the implications in what that individual has suggested.
Re: Many of us are forced to use MS Software
"There are many many jobs out there that don't involve using Microsoft software, or even computers."
In essence, you are saying that individuals who find a given user interface onerous, unintuitive and detrimental to productivity should change careers instead of telling the developer "give us the choice of your old UI or the new one".
That level of arrogance is, in my mind, equal to:
:"Your honour, if you'd seen what she was wearing, you's know that she was asking for it".
...and I have for you the same level of contempt as I would the asshole who would use such an argument. You're a bad person.
Re: rant-like journalism
That's why I recommended Dextroamphetamine. Honestly, as someone with some hardcore adult ADD - my wife has ADHD as well, as do several of our friends and family - it's worth considering. The two biggest symptoms of adult ADD/ADHD are "decreased willpower" and "decreased ability to focus."
Everyone has something called "decision exhaustion", where we find it harder to make decisions as the day goes on. Little decisions eat into our ability. Do we have toast, or a bagel? The blue pants, or the red?
But ADHD individuals have a dramatically increased susceptibility to decision fatigue, and this gets coupled with "willpower fatigue" to leave us unable to force ourself to focus. And we must - it is an exercise of will for us to focus - because our brains are structurally different from normal people.
Stimulants - Ritalin, Dexedrine, Caffeine, etc - basically chemically provide us with a boost to our willpower and decision-making capabilities. It varies based ont eh chemical and individual, but it's why it works for us. (I could go into a lot more scientific depth, bu you do have Google right there.)
If you have trouble reading through a three-page article then the chances are really good that you have adult ADHD. And it isn't an attempt at insult to suggest that trying standard therapies could lead to increased quality of life. From one person who struggles with ADHD: don't knock it until you've tried it. If you do have the same neural structural issues that the make ADHD people what we are, then you might be shocked at just how big a difference it can honestly make.
P.S. also Google "hyperfocus". It's a skill - and a curse - unique to people with true ADD/ADHD. It is worth some time and research into it's capabilities...and it's downsides.
I never had a problem with being tracked in the technical preview. I had - and have - problems with the inability to turn this stuff off, or even to know what is tracking me and why. And for all the reasons that were explained in the article...and in the subsequent posts to the very thread you linked.
I do, however, find it curious you left out the conversation that starts here, however, as it is closely related and relevant as a progression of the dialogue.
I strongly encourage anyone interested to read both threads in their totality. Good points were raised by a number of people.
No mention of licensing. I have a fear regarding what that will look like...
Re: Minor bump
Welp, today I learned something about other people's issues with the platform. Learning == good.
Re: Minor bump
Honest curiosity: were you running up against the 1GB limit on your existing iPad? So far, I've been able to do everything I can think of on my Mini Retina. My Galaxy Note 2, OTOH, runs up against it's RAM limits every few months. (Probably have more background services on the Note 2).
Curious if that's just Apple's different design, or if my experience is uncommon.
Re: Yeah But
"You mean Microsoft Actually Gives a Rats Arse?"
I rather doubt it, but they Must Be Seen To Be Doing Something. Which is just as important, honestly, as the current issue is as much perception as product.
Re: 1 million less 1...
"I tried it for a week, and have gone back to Win 7 - too half baked for me, with poorly implemented and totally not thought out functionality, and zero response to feedback, there was no way I'd waste any more time on it at this point at least."
Really? I've found a few issues - most notably notifications - but overall it's a solid OS. If they get the UI issues sorted, it would be a worthy successor to Windows 7.
Re: continuing the trend
Downvoted for Microsucks. Even I wouldn't use that one, dude.
Re: Those in glass houses, Sir Jony...
@SuccessCase I absolutely do take offense to a broad generalization whose very clear aim was to paint techies as "generally non creative" and to indicate that those with creative skills were rare. That's a bunch of bullshit and you know it.
The number of techies lacking creative capacity is miniscule. In my experience the non-creative techies could be easily outweighed by the number of arrogant twunts that inhabit the average forum. I seem to be able to find techies with creative capacity all around the world. Pretty much wherever I look, as a matter of fact. A very minor amount of training and they're able to do exercise that creative talent professionally.
Quite the opposite is something I find true. People who trained to be "creative" first seem really bloody hard to train to be techies. Not impossible - I've trained a few myself over the years - but a lot harder than helping a techie unleash their creative capability.
What saddens me is when the only creative capacity that some individuals have is rabid fanboyism tied to misplaced brand tribalism. Those people are just wastes of carbon.
Re: "Flat" design
$deity I hope skeumorphism stays a dead fashion. What an 80s-class trainwreck that was. "Creativity" my chrome-plated ASCII!
Happy for them both. Nice to see good things still happen in this world.
Re: Craving Attention
Neil deGrasse Tyson > you
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