ALL BLOG POSTS AND COMMENTS COPYRIGHT (C) 2003-2016 VOX DAY. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. REPRODUCTION WITHOUT WRITTEN PERMISSION IS EXPRESSLY PROHIBITED.

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

How to eject an SJW

See, now, this is how you jettison the officious little creatures from your project:
I've done my best to create a more welcoming environment: I serve on the Scholarship Committee for UseR 2016 Stanford and the R Foundation Task Force on Women, have written a load of things in blog or twitter form about the need for a stronger community and a more representative Foundation, and helped Kara Woo and Gavin Simpson draft the open letter to the R Foundation that mandated a code of conduct for real-world events. With all of that I think it's fair to say that while I'm not a Hadley, I'm at least a moderately-useful member of the community.

Rewind a week, to last Monday: I'm wandering around Twitter seeing what everyone is up to, reading through, and spot a tweet that immediately makes me headdesk. It points to a line in the R source code containing a variable called, with all seriousness...

    iGiveHead

I don't think that this is an intentional sexual reference - far from it, I'm certain it's just due to an absence of familiarity with one particularly crass English idiom, and I have only ever known the developer who wrote the code (whose first language is not English) to be entirely proper, entirely reasonable, and the model of what a productive Core member should be.

But it needs to go anyway: it's exclusionary as all hell to have language like this in the core implementation and we can't expect people to instantly understand intentions.

So I grabbed the latest development version of R, generated a patch that changed the name, and submitted a bug report with the patch that made clear I didn't think this was anyone's fault and I was sure it was unintentional and there were no accusations of sexism or bad intent in play here....

Pretty quickly, two email threads kicked off. One involved a lot of members of core individually asking me to stop tapping people in (apparently every Bugzilla email bothers all of core) and explaining that my suspicion that it was unintentional was in fact correct.

The second - oh, the second.

The second was a set of emails from Duncan Murdoch, President of the R Foundation and an R Core member, in which he dismissed my "bug report" (note the skeptical scare quotes he put on it) "about some variable name that you find offensive is clearly an example of nothing more than shit-disturbing" and stated that myself, and those who had commented in favour of changing it, were no longer welcome to participate in R's bug-tracker.

I independently confirmed that our accounts had been banned and locked - as had the bug, and replied to Duncan explaining my thinking and motivation and asking in what capacity the ban had been made.

The variable name is still there. I never got any reply to my email.

The result

So: unintentionally offensive variable name leads to a patch and the indication that it is much more than one person finding it offensive, leads to the President of the R Foundation dismissing the concerns as "shit-disturbing" and punishing the people who surfaced said concern.

That's not an environment I want to be a part of. That's not an environment I want to contribute to. That's not an environment in which I can have any faith that there is a strong interest in creating a safe and inclusive space for computing.
Don't cut them any slack. Don't give them any second chances. Identify, eject, and ignore.

That's how you treat an SJW. Every single time. Duncan not only handled the situation Like. A. Boss. but he prevented the useless little SJW from wasting dozens of man-hours on pointless SJW-created drama. And he even used the situation to smoke out other would-be thought police.

I don't know if Duncan read SJWAL, but he's definitely going to be featured in SJWADD. The best part is the fact that Duncan not only ejected the initial SJW, but everyone who went along with the SJW's attempt at destructive virtue-signaling. And then refused to explain his action or engage with them. He knows damned well there is no benefit to doing so.

Don't hesitate. Do likewise.

Labels: ,

99 Comments:

Blogger magical vidya kitty February 02, 2016 1:55 PM  

Sadly, that's not where the story ends. The R Foundation backtracked. Thankfully, the SJW shithead isn't returning. http://ironholds.org/blog/an-r-update/

Blogger Thomas Davidsmeier February 02, 2016 1:57 PM  

I can think of at least one situation where that would be a perfectly reasonable variable name to use in code, and I'm not even that experienced a programmer.

Anonymous Roundtine February 02, 2016 1:58 PM  

Finally. Need more of these stories. Remember how the oil traders took to dealing with Greenpeace protesters back in 2005. Kyoto protest beaten back by inflamed petrol traders Sod off, swampy.

Blogger The Gunslinger February 02, 2016 1:58 PM  

Take. No. Prisoners.

Blogger VD February 02, 2016 2:02 PM  

Sadly, that's not where the story ends. The R Foundation backtracked.

That doesn't change the fact that it was a) the right thing to do, and b) the SJW recognizes that it is an Unsafe Space for him.

Always be Unsafe.

Blogger CM February 02, 2016 2:08 PM  

I've been working on a behemoth project solo for a few years and I was researching best practices with coding. One of them is having a consistent and predictable variable naming convention. Even if it's just a counter, don't call a variable m.

So if this non-english speaking, proper man names a variable iGiveHead, laugh at the hilarious repercussions of using variable naming rules.

Anonymous IndecisiveEvidence February 02, 2016 2:08 PM  

This almost makes me want to build something so I can hand out to SJWs using it the same "you are banned" message Goodreads gave me.

Blogger Salt February 02, 2016 2:09 PM  

igivehead

I wonder, was that bait purposefully deposited on the smoker?

Anonymous glenleslie February 02, 2016 2:11 PM  

a bit off topic but it looks like irrationalatheist.com got euthenized? (along with VD's book which was formerly downloadable there)

Anonymous BGKB February 02, 2016 2:13 PM  

iGiveHead... it's exclusionary as all hell to have language like this

After all obese lesbian quadriplegic coders of colour cant give head.

That's not an environment I want to contribute to.

She can rest assured that xer only contribution was "shit-disturbing"

Blogger John Williams February 02, 2016 2:14 PM  

R is awesome. Lots of universities are mirrors for distributing R, but the most current is a cancer research facility on the West Coast. There are modules for R that do things you never thought statistics could do. Some defy belief. One left me knowing that no one can hide in the crowd of meta data.

Now I understand why R is so capable. It has the reincarnation of General George Patton running it.

Anonymous That Would Be Telling February 02, 2016 2:15 PM  

@8 Salt:

igivehead

I wonder, was that bait purposefully deposited on the smoker?


iGiveHead, actually. i for integer in Hungarian notation, there are a number of data structures with a head and a tail, so, no, it wasn't likely bait.

I suspect the problem with R is that it's a very prominent statistics package, so its user base is likely chock full of SJWs.

And SJWAL: would any of us really be surprised if xhe doesn't return?

Blogger Kallmunz February 02, 2016 2:17 PM  

Wonderful! I sent Mr. Murdoch a quick note of thanks and encouragement, he will definitely be hearing from the crybabies, sometimes an encouraging word can go a long way. His email address is: murdoch@stats.uwo.ca

Blogger FALPhil February 02, 2016 2:23 PM  

ALPHA MIKE FOXTROT, Oliver Keyes.

Blogger dh February 02, 2016 2:27 PM  

> But it needs to go anyway: it's exclusionary as all hell to have language like this in the core implementation and we can't expect people to instantly understand intentions.

This is really stupid.

1. It's not even english. It's source code.

2. It's not people. It's programmers.

3. it's not exclusionary.

> and explaining that my suspicion that it was unintentional was in fact correct.

Of course he was shit-disturbing. The pull request could have been as simple as:

> Refactored variable name for clarity. There's nothing else needed.

Blogger Alexander Thompson February 02, 2016 2:28 PM  

"I do a lot for the community... No I don't program, that's for the nerds. I tell the nerds how to act. I'm a people person."

Anonymous Stickwick February 02, 2016 2:28 PM  

I'm wandering around Twitter seeing what everyone is up to, reading through, and spot a tweet that immediately makes me headdesk. It points to a line in the R source code containing a variable called, with all seriousness...

iGiveHead


My first reaction to that was to laugh out loud. The fact that it's unintentional makes it 1000x funnier, and for that reason alone it should stay in the code.

Anonymous Bastion of Insanity February 02, 2016 2:29 PM  

And what about my favorite getter for that property...iGetHead()

Blogger Nate February 02, 2016 2:31 PM  

" That's not an environment I want to contribute to."4

Well.. you don't actually have anything to contribute... so....

Blogger dh February 02, 2016 2:32 PM  

This guy, the SJW involved in R, was clearly working up to this. His blog history suggests a long-stay in SF, a series of posts about SJW topics in computer science, and awareness of Hugo situation and SF pushback, and GamerGate.

This was a co-incidental flare up, the evidence suggests he deliberately targeted the leader of the R project in an effort to force him out.

Blogger Melampus the Seer February 02, 2016 2:32 PM  

Has all the marks of good tactics. A spoiling attack at the exact moment the enemy forces concentrate. Perfect timing.

Blogger David of One February 02, 2016 2:37 PM  

And here I thought the SJW was the one who created the variable name ... until I got to the last line talking to inclusiveness and "safe space".

It is worth mentioning that such a variable name would have been flagged 50 years ago which in the very least would be for clarity ... i.e., iGetHearder. My assumption is that the intention was a variable of a process or function that would retrieve header information of a given set of data.

Anonymous Frank Luke February 02, 2016 2:41 PM  

Seeing as how double entrendres are not politically correct, one of my all-time favorite songs must really burn SJWs. Is that why I love it? No. It's just a great song.

If I Said you had a Beautiful Body

Anonymous A_More_Civilized_Weapon February 02, 2016 2:41 PM  

Meh. The variable name needs to be changed simply because "system" Hungarian needs to be treated like an SJW --- thoroughly useless. See Making Wrong Code Look Wrong.

Variables should have values and values should be typed. Variables should not be typed. Use a real language, for goodness sake.

Blogger Didact February 02, 2016 2:42 PM  

Wow. SJWs even insist on being monumental jackasses when it comes to a *statistical programming language*. Which seems odd, at first, considering that R is hardcore nerd territory- until one remembers how thoroughly SJWs have infested SF/F.

I've been using R on and off for nearly 10 years. I'm a big fan of its power, syntax, and ease of use (well, once you get up a steep learning curve, anyway). It is very good indeed to see that the leaders of the R foundation are curb-stomping SJW stupidity, hard and face-first.

Hell, if that SJW got a heart attack from a simple hilariously misnamed variable, he or she would have an outright brain-bleed looking over some of the VBA code that I've written in the past...

Blogger David of One February 02, 2016 2:42 PM  

Your right Frank Luke.

Anonymous BGKB February 02, 2016 2:45 PM  

OT: Trump would balance budget on day 1. No need to transfer them all to a room with no HVAC like NYC classrooms full of teachers than can't be allowed to touch kids. The SJWS have self identified.

"One in four federal workers would consider leaving their jobs if Trump were elected president, according to a new survey conducted by the Government Business Council, Government"
http://theconservativetreehouse.com/2016/02/01/trump-effect-federal-government-auto-balances-deficit-before-even-first-vote-counted/#more-111800

Blogger Didact February 02, 2016 2:45 PM  

@11,

Yeah. I'm a huge fan. Once you know how to use R properly, it can do things with statistical analysis and mathematical wizardry that boggle the mind. I'm a particularly big fan of the lattice and plotrix packages, which make Excel look like a Sopwith Camel next to an F-15.

MATLAB and its open-source equivalents, SciLab/Octave/FreeMat, arguably have better 3D graphing capabilities, but I personally prefer to use R every time just because of its sheer power.

Anonymous Faceless February 02, 2016 2:55 PM  

@12

It's nice to see people remember that the "i" means one of the basic scalar primitives.

That sure sounds like a language without boolean natives like classic C, where they have an integer to indicate 0|1, and, as you suggest, they're inside a data structure wanting to decide if the head of the linked list or array should be returned.

Absolutely the right action: This shit-stirrer complainer doesn't even understand how and why we code things how we code them.

Blogger tublecane February 02, 2016 3:01 PM  

"exclusionary as hell"

I don't know what this means, and I don't mean that in the usual, rhetorical sense of pretendingbnot to understand that with which we disagree. I literally don't understand it. Crass, offensive, offputting, yes. But "exclusionary?" What?

What isn't exclusionary, if you use the word that way?

Anonymous Thales February 02, 2016 3:02 PM  

"Go and do likewise, gents!"

Anonymous Faceless February 02, 2016 3:02 PM  

@24

"Use a real language, for goodness sake."

R is a language for statistical computing.

In that world, there are two real languages: C and Fortran.

All other languages are toys.

So, what language should they use? Fortran?

If you pay $100 million for Red Storm, and you have your five hours of computing time paid for by the NSF, or if you have some similar computational cluster where you basically get to use JCL to advance reserve your stuff, including the compiler server - you are going to want that running as efficiently as possible. Belt-and-suspenders approaches are good in, say, web coding, where you are getting potentially tainted input - but belt-and-suspenders approaches kill performance. Having to go figure out the memory footprint of a value rather than knowing - it's an 8 word pointer, this is going to occupy 8 words in memory - can mean the difference between being able to afford the calculation or not when you need to do it ten million times per ten thousand experiments.

Anonymous Shorty February 02, 2016 3:04 PM  

This situation is the only real reason I want to see a Trump Presidency. Tread lightly with the threat of a beating by a US Marshal hanging over your head.

Blogger Feather Blade February 02, 2016 3:09 PM  

@27: That would be hilarious, especially if they were declared to be ineligible for rehire in any .gov position.

I suspect, however, they're too lazy to follow through.

Blogger tublecane February 02, 2016 3:09 PM  

By the way, isn't it homophobic of this officious little creature to presume the phrase "give head" is sexist. Both sexes can fellate, hello. For that matter, oral sex on a female can be called "head" as well. So lesbos and hetero men can be offended, too. (Does the fact that hetero men wouldn't think of being offended even if the term was aimed directly at them explain anything about the capacity for offense among women and what ought to be our response to it?)

Blogger Skylark Thibedeau February 02, 2016 3:09 PM  

I'm wandering around Twitter seeing what everyone is up to

I'm spying on my coworkers in Social Media looking for 'WrongThink'. I love SyFy but hate the uninclusive SciFi.

Anonymous 0ddrob February 02, 2016 3:21 PM  

Why do sumo wrestlers shave their legs?
.
.
.
.
So people don't confuse them with feminists.

Blogger James Dixon February 02, 2016 3:35 PM  

> "One in four federal workers would consider leaving their jobs if Trump were elected president, according to a new survey conducted by the Government Business Council, Government"

What part of SJW's always lie are you forgetting. The key word there is "consider".

Anonymous Soga February 02, 2016 3:39 PM  

"One in four federal workers would consider leaving their jobs if Trump were elected president, according to a new survey conducted by the Government Business Council, Government"

In related news to Trump winning the Presidency, DMVs across the country have suddenly experienced a demographic shift toward young white men. Waiting lines have mysteriously vanished.

Anonymous That Would Be Telling February 02, 2016 3:44 PM  

Wow, this guy is a sexist shitlord who's earned himself a (NSWF!) Encyclopedia Dramatica page. While I of course can't vouch for the ED, I did confirm they are one and the same (follow the home link on the page our host linked to).

Anonymous That Would Be Telling February 02, 2016 3:50 PM  

From KiA, the Wikipedia Arbitration page where "For conduct unbecoming an administrator, and for bringing the project into disrepute, Ironholds is desysopped and may regain the tools via a request for adminship." and a lot more.

Anonymous Wilbur Hassenfus February 02, 2016 3:50 PM  

I'd throw a party if one in four federal workers quit their jobs. They're unemployable, but they'd be cheaper and less harmful on welfare than at their desks.

Do these cretins think that's a *threat*?!

Blogger Unknown February 02, 2016 4:12 PM  

It should be noted that this entryist got what he wanted, in an update post he says his "bug report" is fixed.
http://ironholds.org/blog/an-r-update/

Anonymous That Would Be Telling February 02, 2016 4:19 PM  

Again from KiA, a report that he is silently editing the comments of others.

Is Disqus really that broken? Technically possible, since it's a feature for commentators, has SJW convergence hit them?

Blogger Noah B February 02, 2016 4:31 PM  

Statistics are racist anyway, and it was only a question of time before this fragile parasite realized that.

Anonymous Scintan February 02, 2016 4:33 PM  

In the end, the change was made, the person's account was reinstated, and the one who banned him is now in the crosshairs.

This was pretty much a textbook example of how NOT to eject someone.

Blogger Charlie Martel February 02, 2016 4:36 PM  

>R

More like k, amirite?

Anonymous rubberducky February 02, 2016 4:46 PM  

off topic infamous story at work: a fired programmer was so ticked, and saw it coming, that he renamed every variable he had access to in the code base to variation of "a". Like "a", "a1", "a2", etc.

What a horrific nightmare that was.

Anonymous cincinnatus February 02, 2016 4:47 PM  

R? As in, the mathematics program?

Nice.

Blogger Charlie Martel February 02, 2016 4:51 PM  

@13

>Western

My first ever non-UUCP account was on the UWOVAX in 1991. Ask me about Saugeen Knees sometime.

Yeah, London, Ontario is crawling with old money trustararians (not counting Marc Emery, he's a whole other trip), so while there is lip service paid to SJWs it is just that. Lip service.

Anonymous rubberducky February 02, 2016 5:03 PM  

Look at the R source code he's bitching about here, that variable is not out of place at all, it makes total sense and is in fact a great self-descriptor, ironically in an introspective function that allows objects to self-describe themselves. So it's rather artful in that regard, if anything! It's storage for an index to the head of a list named "give".

Blogger Anonymous Robot February 02, 2016 5:06 PM  

What a horrific nightmare that was.

I guess you weren't using SVN, SCCS, git, mercurial or something like that.

Blogger tz February 02, 2016 5:09 PM  

The SJWs started this war, making it unsafe to even allow this sort of thing. Because there are 99 stupid trojan horse entry attacks and one "it might be misinterpreted", the correct thing is to shoot first and ask questions later. And a potential "volatile double entendre;" variable name is NOT a bug. If it is really is something, you might want to go in the background, contact the original non-english-1st developer, and just note the possible "it is actually a bawdy term" and let someone inside fix it. Even in this case AFTER the ban, it was corrected and opened up. The charges were dismissed, but his contribution was arrested on suspicion of being a SJW - and the anti thought police police arrested him, and I think they acted appropriately given the circumstances.

SJWs wanted war. I wonder why the other side is shooting first?

Muslims probably should not spend time checking out power pylons for the same reason.

Blogger tz February 02, 2016 5:10 PM  

@47 and I assume no version control?

Blogger JCclimber February 02, 2016 5:59 PM  

That is truly beautiful. Trolling Twitter for bad think?

this woman should be blackballed. Whether it has male XY DNA or not, she behaves like a woman.

Blogger Doktor Jeep February 02, 2016 6:20 PM  

This was a master stroke. THAT is how you do it. You let it go on long enough for the fellow travelers to signal and then nuke the entire lot of them from orbit.

Let this be a textbook entry on how to do it.

Blogger Zimri February 02, 2016 7:04 PM  

Next universal variable I write - "u_BlowMe". I can use it as a default for stack capacity.

Blogger VD February 02, 2016 7:16 PM  

In the end, the change was made, the person's account was reinstated, and the one who banned him is now in the crosshairs. This was pretty much a textbook example of how NOT to eject someone.

He was fine right up until he backed down. That's the takeaway. You don't back down.

Blogger VFM #0202 February 02, 2016 7:25 PM  

@47 Once long ago, suspecting a client was going to stiff me, I changed all variable names in the software I had created in an impossibly short time to combinations of l10O. The demo worked fine, the haircut was attempted, they saw the source, they paid up. And I converted it back. Good times, good times.

Blogger Dave February 02, 2016 7:45 PM  

SJWADD - game on.

Of course SJWs will think attention deficit disorder

Anonymous JamesD February 02, 2016 7:53 PM  

For SJWADD, you should consider writing a little about Heinrich Pesch. He invented "Social Justice" and "Solidarity". What is interesting, for a Thomist-Aristotelian, is that a literal definition of "social justice" is that those who don't work, die. In strict justice, even the handicapped starve to death. What the economic statists mean to say is "social mercy", but they don't want to admit the mercy part.

Blogger 1337kestrel February 02, 2016 8:32 PM  

So... SJW thinks that reading Twitter is the best way to contribute to the code base.

OpenID sigbouncer February 02, 2016 8:52 PM  

OT but for anyone interested tonite the second episode of:

Outsiders WGN

http://wgnamerica.com/series/outsiders

Anonymous Eric the Red February 02, 2016 9:05 PM  

Of how much value is this SJW to his profession? Realistically, does anyone have an idea how much money this guy makes? His bio and CV are a lot of vague inflated buzzwords. And he obviously has a lot of time to cruise the "community" in an attempt to punish offenders of his safe space.

Blogger John Morris February 02, 2016 9:35 PM  

Seems to me there is a pretty obvious answer to SJW infestation in FS/OSS. Somebody needs to establish an alternate to Github (because they are SJW) and make it click, click, done easy to rolling fork an existing project such that their patches still roll into the fork by default with at most a quick glance to make sure they still apply cleanly. It could be even more in their face in that it should also be possible to even mirror the original project's bugtracker, etc. in a one way fashion so the new clean fork can see all the new bugs reported at the old site and if the new team closes them it only closes on the new one. Assuming one or two major contributors move it wouldn't take long at all to make the new CoC free site the defacto home and be able to jetison the linkages before the projects diverged so much most patches would no longer cleanly apply and bugs were no longer typically common to both.

We have a precedent for how devastating such a one way fork is with OpenOffice/LibreOffice. In that case LibreOffice uses the GPL to achieve the one way gate, the CoC would perform exactly the same function. Remember that an Open Source project is about the code, the rest is only infrastructure. If the CoC side bends policy and starts bringing patches in from the new fork they admit defeat.

Anonymous BGKB February 02, 2016 9:52 PM  

SJWADD - game on. Of course SJWs will think attention deficit disorder

So many gay men don't know how to avoid double dipping with mozzarella sticks & stuff like that.

"exclusionary as hell" I thought that was the easy place to get into, but maybe not compared to between her legs.

Blogger The Other Robot February 02, 2016 9:53 PM  

Somebody needs to establish an alternate to Github

When I find Somebody I will tell him/her/it to get working on this.

Blogger dlw February 02, 2016 10:14 PM  

> changed all variable names in the software I had created in an impossibly short time to combinations of l10O
---
There's an ancient Unix utility called "shroud" that changes all variables and keywords to ones and lowercase Ls...


> iGiveHead

They really, really don't want to go looking into the MULTICS source code and API. Just to start, the main loop was MOTHERFORKER...

Blogger The Other Robot February 02, 2016 10:16 PM  

With respect to a GitHub alternative, there are one or two, I think.

However, for someone to create a new one I think you would have to go with a model that charges for each person.

I could imagine paying $10-20 a month for one to five repositories.

Blogger Phunctor February 02, 2016 11:13 PM  

@68 Burroughs' large-systems Master Control Program had motherforker as well as pilestackofsheet. I understand this came to the attention of corporate and it got bowdlerized.

Blogger Phunctor February 02, 2016 11:13 PM  

@68 Burroughs' large-systems Master Control Program had motherforker as well as pilestackofsheet. I understand this came to the attention of corporate and it got bowdlerized.

Blogger Doom February 02, 2016 11:23 PM  

I've been buying your books and handing them out to individuals who either might be targets (and straight white man, actually) or who might have some influence soon or late. Keep writing them. Are they reading? Not my problem. Though even I am taken seriously enough that a hint is often accepted. Some men say they finally accepted some of my thought simply because of the reaction by the feminists, seculars, and others like those to those ideas when presented as a query.

It's a beautiful thing to see the beginning of a quiet storm, a silent revolution, one that might just turn that corner. It wonderful to see, when given the tools, just how far men are willing to go to fix things. And how truly easy it is.

Anonymous kfg February 03, 2016 12:19 AM  

" . . . it's exclusionary as all hell . . ."

Exactly how many headless coders would be offended enough to feel unwelcome to contribute?

Blogger Shimshon February 03, 2016 1:54 AM  

I am bummed to hear that the final outcome is that he backed down. Even so, it is an inspiring example. My assumption from what I read in the comments is that he personally backed down, and if he didn't, their ejection would still stand? If so, unfortunate.

Blogger rho February 03, 2016 2:49 AM  

@64 Assuming one or two major contributors move it wouldn't take long at all to make the new CoC free site the defacto home and be able to jetison the linkages before the projects diverged so much most patches would no longer cleanly apply and bugs were no longer typically common to both.

It's not a terrible idea, but the type of project that attracts Social Justice Warrior attention is exactly the kind of project that has too many contributors to effectively fork in this way. Even if you peel off the top two or three contributors--unlikely, but let's pretend that's the case--there's still too much momentum on the pre-fork version. You will burn far too much energy just keeping up with the version you're trying to get away from.

Put another way, SJWs don't infiltrate a project with a handful of contributors. SJWs won't target a boutique Node.js module while Node.js presents a target-rich environment.

Contrast that to whatever gimcrack fork VD is working on. He's at least approaching it in the right way. Forking is not a technological problem, it's a people problem. If you know a guy who can program a technological solution to a people problem, Marvin Minsky's ghost will probably want a word with the both of you.

(I would like to meet this real-life Tony Stark myself.)

Blogger weka February 03, 2016 3:02 AM  

It is, again, an issue with people trying to ruin something useful. R itself was written by Gentlemen and Ihaka as a free tool for teaching and over time it has developed into probably the most useful Stats programme there is. I tend to (since I'm lazy) use Rkward as a front end for what I am doing: I know that most of the math I need for the kind of work I do is only available in R and stata.

But I'm a user. Since I don't write packages and don't produce papers on the same (most R packages have been double peer reviewed: by the R community and through publication) I stay the hell out of the community.

This twerp did not. This twerp got crushed. And that should have been the end of the story.

Anonymous Spartacus xxxxx February 03, 2016 3:22 AM  

@74. rho

Marvin Minsky's ghost

Marvin Lee Minsky (August 9, 1927 – January 24, 2016)

Awww. Marvin was quite a man, not always right, not always wrong, but always ready to tell you what's what anyways. We'll miss him.

Blogger rho February 03, 2016 3:37 AM  

@74 Marvin was quite a man, not always right, not always wrong, but always ready to tell you what's what anyways. We'll miss him.

*fist bump*

I don't track the SF community very well, but I'd be interested in who did and who didn't note the passing. Slashdot managed to cover it, albeit late.

Blogger PatrickH February 03, 2016 6:52 AM  

Isn't this a very serious defeat for OSS? Now SJWs can "take a look" at code, identify "offensive" variable names, issue bug fixes, flood the zone, use the chaos to demand a list of offensive strings be enforced on the community, and then relentlessly expand that list to include "trump", "sjw", "dindu", "orc" and on and on. I simply do not know enough about this to make anything but an observation: retraction on this issue will not just cost the R community dearly, it will invite an invasion of all open source communities that will make the Immivasion Flood look like a leaking faucet.

Blogger Shimshon February 03, 2016 7:04 AM  

It's laughable how they continue to refer to this as a bug fix.

Anonymous That Would Be Telling February 03, 2016 7:27 AM  

@79 PatrickH:

Yes, it's a defeat for FOSS, although also useful in showing what not to do for figures that aren't unquestioned BDFL like Linus Torvalds.

I get the impression our host isn't very familiar with this community. He is not a programmer, went to college some time after GNU and the FSF got started and had useful tools for people to use, and has been busy doing lots of other things. Without modification, his advice simply won't work for most FOSS communities.

It would also result, again if unmodified, in a lot of people losing their jobs and careers, which I suspect is one of the many reasons we see figures with some degree of authority in their communities giving SJWs enough rope to hang themselves, even given the damage and opportunity costs. Not sure any BDFL would do so, matz might be an exception that proves the rule since he's Japanese and still living there.

It should also be noted many leading would be BDFLs aren't all that benevolent. Two of the most important products of the GNU project, Gnu Emacs and GCC, got forked by others in the FOSS community, and the latter fork became the official one. And now the OSS LLVM is steadily eating more and more of GCC's lunch, and has 99+% of the academic mindshare (important in this field), due to RMS's architecture decisions and project leadership which favor his vision of software freedom (the F in FOSS) over quality and usability. He's such a character, it would be ... interesting to see him deal with a SJW attack. I'm pretty sure no one would be happy with the process.

As for your greater worries, again I'll advise Don't Panic, there are a zillion different FOSS communities, and the people who actually do the hard work aren't SJWs, pretty much by definition. Worst case is SJW convergence kills the community and project, but there are very few if any with that level of vulnerability (such that they won't get forked) and importance.

It's also a simple fact that "all glory is fleeting", for example, I'm not going to bet Linux will long survive Linus passing from the scene (in part because his architecture for it is subpar, the detail that got him a low grade in the relevant college subject). For that matter, it may already be suffering a Decline and Fall due to Red Hat's systemd. But that's probably OK in the long term, there are other good FOSS OSs like the BSDs in its niche, and moving away from that approach is in general needed for those who care about robustness and security (this is a mid-late 1960's architecture for computers with late '50s/early '60s level of power, hardware and our knowledge about how to use it has advanced a bit since then).

Blogger VD February 03, 2016 7:41 AM  

I get the impression our host isn't very familiar with this community. He is not a programmer, went to college some time after GNU and the FSF got started and had useful tools for people to use, and has been busy doing lots of other things. Without modification, his advice simply won't work for most FOSS communities.

I expect some modification will be necessary. It is the principle that is important, not slavish submission to the recommended application. If there is a better way to kick them out and keep them out, I will happily endorse it.

It would also result, again if unmodified, in a lot of people losing their jobs and careers, which I suspect is one of the many reasons we see figures with some degree of authority in their communities giving SJWs enough rope to hang themselves, even given the damage and opportunity costs.

What do you think is going to happen by going along with the SJWs and permitting them entry and influence? You have a better chance of coming out ahead by embracing the conflict than by attempting to avoid it. But embracing the conflict does not necessarily mean an immediate, all-out, front assault.

Tactics always need to be adjusted according to the current scenario. But the strategic goals remain the same.

Blogger Shimshon February 03, 2016 7:41 AM  

@81 Re RMS' decisions, my understanding is that GCC is much less flexible than it could have been mainly to restrict its ability to interact with other parts of the toolchain? Something about purity of arms, I guess.

Anonymous That Would Be Telling February 03, 2016 8:02 AM  

@83 Shimshon: The strict restriction on interacting with other parts of toolchains is the current pain point that results from the architecture policy that he believes best furthers his vision of Free Software.

Despite it being a multi-pass compiler, he keeps it as a black box that only outputs code and diagnostic messages, and specifically not things like parse trees that are needed by IDEs and other code comprehension tools. He enforces that like Linus does the single thing that keeps his control of Linux, by not guaranteeing a stable interface.

In the case of RMS, if someone started using that internal interface he'd change it just to spite them, in the case of Linux the driver ABI changes all the time for more legitimate reasons ... which unfortunately causes constant driver rot. Which inhibits kernel upgrades and their security fixes. Which incidently, now that I think about it, helps Red Hat. So no one can write their own kernel against the Linux driver set without insane amounts of work to keep it up to date, which is essential in the fast moving Intel world.

Getting back to GCC, this is very different from the robustness principle of modularity, and LLVM benefits from being explicitly designed to be a toolkit. And being OSS, gets serious $$$ support from Apple since they can bundle it with their partly open OS X and closed iOS, which RMS loathes.

Anonymous That Would Be Telling February 03, 2016 8:10 AM  

@82 VD:

I get the impression our host isn't very familiar with this community.... Without modification, his advice simply won't work for most FOSS communities.

I expect some modification will be necessary....


You say that, but when it comes to specifics I don't see any signs in your criticisms of individuals fighting SJWs that you follow it, your condemnations of specific tactical steps are to my memory absolute.

This is not going to help convince FOSS people to follow your general strategic advice, especially since so many of them are left leaning even if not suffering from SJW insanity (again, by definition; for example, lying doesn't work at all in engineering).

Blogger pbuxton February 03, 2016 8:21 AM  

@81:
in part because his architecture for it is subpar, the detail that got him a low grade in the relevant college subject

A low grade? Funny, I don't recall Linus ever taking Tanenbaum's class. Oh, well, "lightning," "lightning bug," close enough, right?

Anonymous That Would Be Telling February 03, 2016 8:29 AM  

@86 pbuxton: You're right, here's the sort of thing Tanenbaum said:

I still maintain the point that designing a monolithic kernel in 1991 is a fundamental error. Be thankful you are not my student. You would not get a high grade for such a design :-)

Blogger Shimshon February 03, 2016 8:56 AM  

@84 That Would Be Telling, thanks for the clarification. That's how I remember it. Seems crazy, but it looks like LLVM is giving it some real competition.

I didn't think about the driver ABI vis a vis Linux, but it makes sense that it's very analogous. I thought there were tools to abstract away much of this problem. I haven't followed the kernel closely in years though.

Blogger PatrickH February 03, 2016 9:47 AM  

Again, thanks TWBT for your (somewhat less) clear but (equally) helpful response. I am troubled by your claim that I should Not Panic because there are thousands of FOSS communities. They just need to pick their targets, destroy them, force their targets to accept a Conduct of Code (forgive me!) committee by whom everything is inspected for "offensive" elements. And that will be it for OSS. Because they will just keep coming, using the very openness of these communities to establish their beachhead, and kill everything they touch. These entryists, these moles and saboteurs, if an open community has to shut down to stop them, why is that not a victory condition for them? If they "win" and get editorial control over EVERYTHING in that community which proceeds to wither and die as always happens when SJWs converge you...isn't that the point? To take over and kill anything outside of their wannabe totalitarian programme?

Blogger PatrickH February 03, 2016 10:00 AM  

Isn't it a huge win if they can insinuate the principle that a perfectly functional line of code should be considered a bug if it offends the SJW? Isn't that a catastrophic defeat for those who say "It's the code that matters"? Have the SJWs not developed an effective counterstroke to that defense?

I am sincerely sorry for my awful pun about Conduct of Code, but since Codes of Conduct are designed to politicize and control everything but the code, aren't Conduct of Code rules the SJW way of getting into the one thing they haven't been able so far to touch? Isn't this their bid for everything? Behavior, speech, even in public, even about non-community issues is brought under their control with Codes of Conduct. And now, code itself, the very heart of the matter, is now the target of entryism via Conduct of Code?

I am still troubled (even if not panicked) by what I see as an attempt at a total victory over open communities. This is standard totalitarian saboteur practice.

So with respect TWBT, I remain Troubled, if not Panicked.

Blogger VD February 03, 2016 10:10 AM  

You say that, but when it comes to specifics I don't see any signs in your criticisms of individuals fighting SJWs that you follow it, your condemnations of specific tactical steps are to my memory absolute.

Do you seriously not grasp that there is no contradiction between a) you should do something more or less like this, and b) Oh sweet Linus, you should do NOT do THAT!

This is not going to help convince FOSS people to follow your general strategic advice, especially since so many of them are left leaning even if not suffering from SJW insanity (again, by definition; for example, lying doesn't work at all in engineering).

You may well be right. I don't give a quantum of a damn if they do or not. If they're dumb enough, or socially retarded enough, to be a) left-leaning and b) fall for SJW entryism at this point in time, I have no doubt that they will reject my general strategic advice.

And then they will fail. It's neither my problem nor my concern if people refuse to listen to me. I don't expect most people to agree; I don't even expect most of them to understand. I've done my part, I have warned them and provided them with at least one solution. There are surely others.

Anonymous Spartacus xxxxx February 03, 2016 10:39 AM  

@78. rho

@74 Marvin was quite a man, not always right, not always wrong, but always ready to tell you what's what anyways. We'll miss him.

*fist bump*

I don't track the SF community very well, but I'd be interested in who did and who didn't note the passing. Slashdot managed to cover it, albeit late.

*fist bump*

I don't track the SF community very well, but I'd be interested in who did and who didn't note the passing. Slashdot managed to cover it, albeit late.


Minsky had a knack for alienating and offending. His theories weren't always well received to boot. So he's a singleplus, semi-unperson.

Marvin, may you wear your airbrush lightly.

Anonymous rubberducky February 03, 2016 10:46 AM  

@52 This was 25 years ago or so, so no. We had RCS, but the rigor you find these days wasn't there.

Anonymous Shut up rabbit February 03, 2016 11:29 AM  

If SJWs are triggered bu double entendres, then this video should be considered a weapon of mass destruction (more pertinent for the UK readers but everyone can have a titter)

Blogger PatrickH February 03, 2016 12:49 PM  

TBWT, I have read over your comments, and I have lost all faith in you. I no longer believe you are a good-faith good-will participant in this discussion. You're very clever, but I think you are neither honest nor well-intentioned. You dropped the mask when you attempted to disqualify VD. You responded to my earnest naive questions with a flood of technical "argument" that openly disregarded my own state of knowledge. In neither case did you truly respond to the points being made.

And throughout your posts runs a set of themes: Don't panic. Don't fight back. There's nothing you can do. Don't do anything. None of your concerns matter. None of your responses will work.

Every comment, the same thing.

I regret that I ever took you seriously, asked you serious questions about my concerns, and foolishly naively thanked you for your non-responses.

I also regret having functioned as a foil, if only a minor one, that facilitated your entryist attack here.

I obviously have a lot to learn.

Anonymous That Would Be Telling February 03, 2016 1:54 PM  

@95 PatrickH:

You dropped the mask when you attempted to disqualify VD.

I saw him making a lot of unforced errors and suggested a reason why. Turns out he doesn't give a damn about the FOSS communities—which does not mean my suggested reason, which he did not deny, is not also true—and that alone is a thousand times more disqualifying than anything I could ever write questioning his background.

If you can point out where I said "Don't fight back.", I'll make corrections. I very much care about fighting back, I just want to do so correctly so we win, since this is my theater of the war, vs. our host, for whom it's just a part of his world war against SJWs.

Anonymous FrankNorman February 03, 2016 2:39 PM  

I thought the story was going to be that when one person wanted to change the unintentionally offensive variable name, an SJW would pop up and demand that the programmer who'd used the name be dismissed from the project, or something.

Blogger John Morris February 03, 2016 4:05 PM  

rho @ 75 said, "You will burn far too much energy just keeping up with the version you're trying to get away from."

That was the point of my suggestion, to minimize the friction of following new development of the original tree while making reverse flow impossible. Examine the detailed case history for the example I cited.

It isn't about the developers, it is the users you target. Users see two versions of basically the same thing, one has everything the other has plus additional features, bugfixes, etc. It works best if the fork is timed to a burst of new development activity by those forking. Unless there is strong SJW pressure applied to the distributions it won't take long for them to switch their upstream source. Once that happens, development activity will quickly follow with the exception of the SJWs who generally don't tend contribute interesting code.

Blogger pbuxton February 04, 2016 12:13 AM  

@87 :
So, this means you're running GNU/HURD?

Post a Comment

Rules of the blog
Please do not comment as "Anonymous". Comments by "Anonymous" will be spammed.

<< Home

Newer Posts Older Posts