blogs, longbets.org, and education of sociology

Discussion in 'Python' started by xahlee@gmail.com, May 26, 2008.

  1. Guest

    For about the past 10 years, i have been concerned in the programing
    community's level of education in social issues.

    I have found that recently, a news that would be of interest to
    programers.

    There was a bet at longbets.org (run by Long Now Foundation) regarding
    the importance of blogs. The bet was made in 2002. The prediction has
    a resolution date in 2007.

    In 2008, the bet is resolved. See

    “Decision: Blogs vs. New York Times†(2008-02-01) by Alexander Rose
    http://blog.longnow.org/2008/02/01/decision-blogs-vs-new-york-times/

    I'd like encourage, for many of you, who have lots of opinions on
    technical issues or social issues surrounding software, to make use of
    longbets.org. It can help shape your thoughts from blog fart to
    something more refined. In any case, your money will benefit society.

    here's some examples you could try:

    • I bet that Java will be out of the top 10 programing languages by
    2020.

    • I bet that the top 10 programing languages in 2015 (as determined by
    requirement from job search engine), the majority will be those
    characterized as dynamic languages (e.g. php, perl, python,
    javascript, tcl, lisp. (as opposed to: C, Java, C++, C#, F#,
    Haskell)).

    • You bet that Linux as a desktop system will or will not have a
    market share of such and such by the year xyz.

    (I'm not sure the above “predictions†are candidates on longbets.org,
    since one of their rule is that the “predictions†should be socially
    important. Looking at existing entries on their site, the social
    importance of the above items pale in comparison. (however, many of
    their existing “predictions†are somewhat fringe))

    * * *

    Note, in almost all online forums where tech geekers gather (e.g.
    newsgroups, slashdot, irc, etc), often they are anonymous, each fart
    ignorant cries and gripes and heated arguments, often in a
    irresponsible and carefree way.

    One of the longbets.org's goal is to foster RESPONSIBILITY.

    In recent years, i have often made claims that the Python's
    documentation, it's writing quality and its documentation quality in
    whole, is one of the worst.

    Among all the wild claims in our modern world, from the sciences to
    social or political issues, my claim about Python's technical writing
    quality or its whole quality as a technical documentation, is actualy
    trivial to verify by any standards. When presented to intellectuals of
    the world at large, the claim's verifiability is trivial, almost as a
    matter of fact checking (which are done by interns or newbie grads of
    communinication/journalism/literature majors, working for journalism
    houses). However, when i voiced my opinion on Python doc among
    programing geekers online, it is often met with a bunch of wild cries.
    Some of these beer drinking fuckheads are simply being a asshole,
    which are expected by the nature of online tech geeking communities (a
    significance percentage are bored young males). However, many others,
    many with many years of programing experience as a professional,
    sincerely tried to say something to the effect of “in my opinion it's
    goodâ€, or voice other stupid remarks to the effect of “why don't you
    fix itâ€, and in fact find my claim, and its tone too fantastical, to
    the point thinking i'm a youngling who are bent on to do nothing but
    vandalism. (the tech geekers use in-group slang for this: “trollâ€.)

    The case of the Python doc is just one example. I have also, in the
    past decade, in _appropriate_ online communties (e.g. newsgroups,
    mailing lists), voiced opinions on Perl's doc, emacs's doc, criticism
    on lisp nested syntax, “software engineering†issues (e.g. OOP),
    various issues of jargons and naming (e.g. currying, lisp1 vs lisp2,
    tail recursion, closure), emacs's user interface issues, criticism on
    the phenomenon of Open Source community's fervor for bug reporting,
    criticism on IT industry celebrities such as Larry Wall and Guido von
    Rossum, opinions on cross-posting, ... and others. Some of my claims
    are indeed controversial by nature. By that i mean that there is no
    consensus on the subject among its experts, and the issue is complex,
    and has political implications. However, many trivially verifiable, or
    even simple facts, are wildly debated or raised a ruckus, because the
    programers are utterly ignorant of basic social knowledge, or due to
    their political banding (e.g. a language faction, Open Source) or
    current trends and fashions (e.g. OOP, Java, “Patternsâ€, “eXtreme
    Programingâ€, ... , OpenSource and “Free†software movement, ...).

    I think, the founding of Long Now Foundation with its longbets.org,
    shares a concern i have on the tech geeking communities. In
    particular, tech geekers need to have a broader education on social
    sciences, needs to think in long term, and needs to foster personal
    responsibility, when they act or voice opinions on their love of
    technology. (note: not reading more motherfucking slashdot or
    motherfucking groklaw or more great podcasts on your beatific language
    or your postmodernistic fuckhead idols)

    (One thing you can do, is actually take a course on philosophy,
    history, law, economics, in your local community college.)

    Disclaimer: I have no affiliation with Long Now Foundation.

    * * *

    See also:

    “Responsible Software Licensing†(2003-07) by Xah Lee
    http://xahlee.org/UnixResource_dir/writ/responsible_license.html

    “On Microsoft Hatred†(2002-02-23) Xah Lee
    http://xahlee.org/UnixResource_dir/writ/mshatred155.html

    Xah

    ∑ http://xahlee.org/

    ☄
    , May 26, 2008
    #1
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  2. wrote:
    > For about the past 10 years, i have been concerned in the programing
    > community's level of education in social issues.


    [ Adjusts killfile as necessary. ]

    > I have found that recently, a news that would be of interest to
    > programers.
    >
    > There was a bet at longbets.org (run by Long Now Foundation) regarding
    > the importance of blogs. The bet was made in 2002. The prediction has
    > a resolution date in 2007.
    >
    > In 2008, the bet is resolved. See
    >
    > “Decision: Blogs vs. New York Times†(2008-02-01) by Alexander Rose
    > http://blog.longnow.org/2008/02/01/decision-blogs-vs-new-york-times/

    ^^^^^^^^^^

    Recently? Also, work on that spelling of yours.

    > I'd like encourage, for many of you, who have lots of opinions on
    > technical issues or social issues surrounding software, to make use of
    > longbets.org. It can help shape your thoughts from blog fart to
    > something more refined. In any case, your money will benefit society.


    I am getting this sense that you have some sort of monetary connection
    to said site.

    > • I bet that Java will be out of the top 10 programing languages by
    > 2020.


    FORTRAN was first used in the 1950s. IIRC, it's still in the top 10.
    Languages die hard.

    > • I bet that the top 10 programing languages in 2015 (as determined by
    > requirement from job search engine), the majority will be those
    > characterized as dynamic languages (e.g. php, perl, python,
    > javascript, tcl, lisp. (as opposed to: C, Java, C++, C#, F#,
    > Haskell)).


    Right, once again Java-bashing in a Java forum. There's one (actually
    two, but that's a different story) too many trolls in here!

    I'd also like to point out that determining language use by "job search
    engine" requirements is setting one up to certain biases and is not
    sufficiently representative of the true patterns.

    > Note, in almost all online forums where tech geekers gather (e.g.
    > newsgroups, slashdot, irc, etc), often they are anonymous, each fart
    > ignorant cries and gripes and heated arguments, often in a
    > irresponsible and carefree way.


    Okay, we already know that most /. users tend to act immature, but that
    can hardly be said about newsgroups or IRC. Just read c.l.j.p's postings
    for the last month to disprove your proposition.

    > One of the longbets.org's goal is to foster RESPONSIBILITY.


    How does making a bet make one responsible?

    > In recent years, i have often made claims that the Python's
    > documentation, it's writing quality and its documentation quality in
    > whole, is one of the worst.


    .... Are you trying to be ironic on purpose?

    > Among all the wild claims in our modern world, from the sciences to
    > social or political issues, my claim about Python's technical writing
    > quality or its whole quality as a technical documentation, is actualy
    > trivial to verify by any standards.


    Quality is subjective, so it's not trivial to verify.

    > Some of these beer drinking fuckheads are simply being a asshole,
    > which are expected by the nature of online tech geeking communities (a
    > significance percentage are bored young males). However, many others,
    > many with many years of programing experience as a professional,
    > sincerely tried to say something to the effect of “in my opinion it's
    > goodâ€, or voice other stupid remarks to the effect of “why don't you
    > fix itâ€, and in fact find my claim, and its tone too fantastical, to
    > the point thinking i'm a youngling who are bent on to do nothing but
    > vandalism. (the tech geekers use in-group slang for this: “trollâ€.)


    Right, so in response to your complaints that something is poor, people
    who try to (IMHO validly so) claim otherwise, or suggest that you take
    the initiative to change the status quo makes them blithering idiots.
    Although I'm sure that I have already lost all credibility with you, I
    would like to point out one of the defining features of open source: if
    you don't like it, you can change it. No one is pointing a gun at your
    head and forcing you to use python's documentation.

    Besides, you claim that longbets.org is fostering "responsibility." If
    you want to change the world, take some responsibility and do it yourself.

    > By that i mean that there is no
    > consensus on the subject among its experts, and the issue is complex,
    > and has political implications.


    I think all concerned would agree that crossposting a message to several
    groups (one of your examples) with the intent of criticizing those in
    one group and providing information at best tangential to the charters
    of other groups is of no merit, and is bad form.

    > I think, the founding of Long Now Foundation with its longbets.org,
    > shares a concern i have on the tech geeking communities. In
    > particular, tech geekers need to have a broader education on social
    > sciences, needs to think in long term, and needs to foster personal


    Lesson 1: in public fora, screaming and using the most vulgar language
    at someone is poor social form. In olden times, such language as you
    have presented here might merit punishments like lashings, but in our
    more modern egalitarian society, the worst punishment you will receive
    is a stern glare.

    Besides, I think in the long term. I'm already sorting out my retirement
    funds and I've not received a college diploma yet.

    > (note: not reading more motherfucking slashdot or
    > motherfucking groklaw or more great podcasts on your beatific language
    > or your postmodernistic fuckhead idols)


    I read /. more to amuse myself on the idiots there, I don't read
    groklaw, and I don't listen to podcasts. What I do do is program, read,
    espouse my opinions on the current economic and political conditions,
    read, check my email, read, read the newspaper, read, and pick up
    another of McCullough's wonderful books and read some more.

    > (One thing you can do, is actually take a course on philosophy,
    > history, law, economics, in your local community college.)


    And you should also take a course on Manners 101 at your local community
    college.

    I would finally like to add that you seem to put yourself on the
    pedestal of being the sole person who is righteous in a quagmire of a
    world, while the truth could not be further. Anyone who must resort to
    base name-calling and mere obscenities when criticizing others has
    problems of their own. (In my defense, I do not place myself on such a
    pedestal: I respect the opinions of others in this newsgroup far above
    myself and would also like to add that they are capable of restraining
    themselves when reading provocative banter while I am not).

    --
    Beware of bugs in the above code; I have only proved it correct, not
    tried it. -- Donald E. Knuth
    Joshua Cranmer, May 26, 2008
    #2
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  3. j.oke Guest

    On 26 Mag, 01:25, "" <> wrote:
    > For about the past 10 years, ...


    Q: How many comp.lang.X trolls does it take to change a light bulb?

    A: One, and Superman. One to hold the bulb, and Superman to screw the
    planet.

    -JO
    j.oke, May 26, 2008
    #3
  4. On May 25, 7:25 pm, "" <> wrote:

    > For about the past 10 years, i have been concerned in the programing
    > community's level of education in social issues.


    Yet another great sample of delusional self-importance from the master
    of mental masturbation.
    George Sakkis, May 26, 2008
    #4
  5. szr Guest

    j.oke wrote:
    > On 26 Mag, 01:25, "" <> wrote:
    >> For about the past 10 years, ...

    >
    > Q: How many comp.lang.X trolls does it take to change a light bulb?
    >
    > A: One, and Superman. One to hold the bulb, and Superman to screw the
    > planet.


    Are you saying Superman is harming the planet? :)

    --
    szr
    szr, May 27, 2008
    #5
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