Hacker News, Xahlee.Org, and What is Politics?

Discussion in 'Python' started by Xah Lee, Mar 15, 2010.

  1. Xah Lee

    Xah Lee Guest

    A essay related to the recent discussion of banning, and lisp
    associated group at ycombinator.com .

    ---------------------------------------------
    Hacker News, Xahlee.Org, and What is Politics?

    Xah Lee, 2010-03-14

    Today, i noticed that someone posted one of my article “Why Emacs is
    still so useful today†on my blogger site (xahlee.blogspot.com) to
    Hacker News site here: Source.

    Note that my site XahLee.org was unceremoniously banned around 2009-02
    by the admin geekers there. (see bottom of: Ban Xah Lee). But,
    apparantly, someone found my article useful. Now, in order to submit
    my articles, you'll have to use my article mirror at
    blogger.blogspot.com instead of xahlee.org.

    --------------------
    Tech Geeker's Ignorance Of Politics

    The human nature of power struggle never ends. Many of these tech
    geekers think they are apolitical, that they are peace loving, they
    ride bikes not driving machines that pollute, they don't have interest
    in business, they embrace the Free of “freedom†Software or Open
    Source of “openness†software. The problem of human animals is that,
    we all think that, yet, power struggle or the formation of politics
    isn't something you consciously decide to do. Rather, it is something
    that you unconsciously do whenever you have interaction with peers
    when resources are not infinite. At the basic level, you have quarrels
    with ya brothers about toys, in high school about seats, girls. Going
    up a bit, you have all these teens, gamers, tech geekers, shouting,
    kicking, banning, in all sort of internet forums, irc chat rooms,
    mailing lists, in-world gaming channels. Going up, you have managers
    fighting in corporations, politicians pissing at each other, leaders
    warring among nation states. Note the word PEER here, because, you are
    out of the game with those who are much more powerful than you, and
    similarly, you can't be bothered by those far beneath you.

    Of course, the tech geekers all think they are fair, just, maintaining
    peace. But you can almost see the smug on their faces whenever any of
    these “adminsâ€, “group ownersâ€, “sysopsâ€, “operatorsâ€, exercise their
    power. It is a basic human pleasure to force onto uncooperative
    others. (See: What Desires Are Politically Important?)

    Serious fairness and open policies never actually come up unless the
    community becomes large, larger then the original special interest
    clique. Before the group becomes large, typically their political
    structure is academically called oligarchy. i.e. basically whoever
    started the group, his cronies, rule.

    We all understand conscious power struggle. However, it is when we
    think that we are not doing politics when exercising our power, is
    when it is likely most damaging, with respect to human progress. (the
    subject of human progress, its ideal direction, goal, is itself is
    quite not agreed upon among historical figures (big philosophers,
    politicians, leaders, etc.).)

    Part of the problem is ignorance. Most tech geekers, those coders,
    engineers, type of folks, typically don't have much education or
    interest in social sciences. Few years ago on irc channel, i was
    ranting on the subject of politics, due to some difference of opinion
    on tech stuff, and learned, rather not surprisingly, that one of the
    guy don't understand that politics essentially means power struggle.
    Most tech geekers think that Politics is what politicians do, that it
    is something about rulers, about bad ass evil lords, ambitious guys,
    Napolean, or about controversial subjects, back stabbing, cloak and
    dagger, and isn't about, say, admins or policies in some online forum.

    --------------------
    What Is Politics?

    Here's some Wikipedia quotes from Politics:

    Politics is a process by which groups of people make collective
    decisions. The term is generally applied to behavior within civil
    governments, but politics has been observed in other group
    interactions, including corporate, academic, and religious
    institutions. It consists of "social relations involving authority or
    power"[1] and refers to the regulation of a political unit,[2] and to
    the methods and tactics used to formulate and apply policy.[3]

    ...

    Political science, the study of politics, examines the acquisition
    and application of power and "power corrupts".

    It quotes this juicy quote:

    “Politics: A strife of interests masquerading as a contest of
    principles. The conduct of public affairs for private advantage.†—
    Ambrose Bierce[15]

    I much prefer older edits of Wikipedia's opening paragraph. Here's few
    excerpts

    Politics consists of "social relations involving authority or
    power"[1] and refers to the regulation of a political unit,[2] and to
    the methods and tactics used to formulate and apply policy.[3]

    ...

    In a broader sense, any situation involving power, or any
    maneouvring in order to enhance one's power or status within a group,
    may be described as politics (e.g. office politics).[3] This form of
    politics "is most associated with a struggle for ascendancy among
    groups having different priorities and power relations."[4]

    And here's a point-blank shot:

    Politics is who gets what, when, and how. — Harold Lasswell

    -------------------

    the url for this essay can be found on my website or blog.

    Xah
    ∑ http://xahlee.org/

    ☄
    Xah Lee, Mar 15, 2010
    #1
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  2. Xah Lee

    rantingrick Guest

    Bravo!, Bravo!

    A wonderful post xah, thanks for sharing and i hope it sinks in with
    the people around here who need a lesson in humility. I was just a few
    days ago feeling quite passionate about this subject and creating my
    own draft but than i lost interest because i knew nobody would even
    care and probably just accuse me of trolling. Anyhow thanks for this!
    rantingrick, Mar 15, 2010
    #2
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