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Democracia sem povo

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Se discute muito 2018. Se Lula (PT) será candidato ou estará preso, se o político de Facebook João Doria (PSDB) vai dar o bote decisivo no padrinho Geraldo Alckmin (PSDB), se Jair Bolsonaro (PSC por enquanto) vai conseguir aumentar seu número de votos com o discurso de extrema-direita, se Marina Silva (Rede), a que não é mais novidade, conseguirá se recuperar. Como o PMDB e o DEM se articularão para continuar no poder. Mas discutimos menos do que deveríamos o que vivemos em 2017, neste exato momento. Agora. Neste momento em que um país inteiro foi transformado em refém. Não como metáfora, não como força de expressão. Refém é o nome do que somos.

Seguir leyendo.





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luizirber
55 minutes ago
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Davis, CA
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sim é isso mesmo é O MAOÍSMO

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sim é isso mesmo é O MAOÍSMO

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luizirber
3 days ago
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Davis, CA
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Department of Justice Uses Search Warrant To Get Data On Visitors to Anti-Trump Site

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I used to have DreamHost as a webhost. We parted ways, but I always admired and appreciated that they reliably stood up for their customers — including me — in the face of bogus legal threats seeking to suppress speech.

This week they're standing up admirably for internet users once again, this time in the face of an overbroad and deeply concerning search warrant issued in connection with Inauguration Day protests. Their blog post about it is here.

Washington D.C. prosecutors have charged and prosecuted inauguration protesters for crimes including riot and destruction of property. And without a doubt there were some crimes committed by some protesters, including assault and destruction of property. But the prosecutors' investigation has taken an alarming turn. They've been focusing on a web site called disruptj20.org, which they allege was used to coordinate illegal behavior. Here's how the site described its goal:

We’re planning a series of massive direct actions that will shut down the Inauguration ceremonies and any related celebrations–the Inaugural parade, the Inaugural balls, you name it. We’re also planning to paralyze the city itself, using blockades and marches to stop traffic and even public transit. And hey, because we like fun, we’re even going to throw some parties.

The site also contains a large about of information about protest and discussions of anti-Trump advocacy.

The Department of Justice initially used subpoenas to DreamHost to seek subscriber information about who ran the site. That's fairly straightforward. But then they doubled down. They obtained a search warrant for an extremely broad array of data related to the site, including all stored records of access to the site or communications with the site. As written, it seems to demand data including the IP addresses of everyone who ever accessed the site and the content of every site visitor's question or comment submitted through the site's comment form, as well as all emails sent to or through the web site. The Department of Justice has filed a motion in the DC court where charges are pending to compel DreamHost to respond, and DreamHost has filed an opposition articulating its objections to the warrant.

DreamHost's brief illuminates the key issues: the search warrant is dangerously overbroad, and implicates protected speech. The Department of Justice isn't just seeking communications by the defendants in its case. It's seeking the records of every single contact with the site — the IP address and other details of every American opposed enough to Trump to visit the site and explore political activism. It seeks the communications with and through the site of everyone who visited and commented, whether or not that communication is part of a crime or just political expression about the President of the United States. The government has made no effort whatsoever to limit the warrant to actual evidence of any particular crime. If you visited the site, if you left a message, they want to know who and where you are — whether or not you did anything but watch TV on inauguration day. This is chilling, particularly when it comes from an administration that has expressed so much overt hostility to protesters, so relentlessly conflated all protesters with those who break the law, and so deliberately framed America as being at war with the administration's domestic enemies.

There's a hearing on the Department of Justice's motion on Friday. I'll keep an eye on the case. You should too, and please spread the word that this is what the government is trying to do.

Edited to add: Please feel free to disregard all my analysis, because someone linked here on Reddit and an engineer says I'm not a lawyer or anything and she can tell that the law is wrong because of the law she knows.

Copyright 2017 by the named Popehat author.
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tingham
6 days ago
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No.
Cary, NC
luizirber
6 days ago
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Davis, CA
acdha
6 days ago
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Washington, DC
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Growing up alongside tech

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IndustrialRobot asks… or, uh, asked last month:

industrialrobot: How has your views on tech changed as you’ve got older?

This is so open-ended that it’s actually stumped me for a solid month. I’ve had a surprisingly hard time figuring out where to even start.


It’s not that my views of tech have changed too much — it’s that they’ve changed very gradually. Teasing out and explaining any one particular change is tricky when it happened invisibly over the course of 10+ years.

I think a better framework for this is to consider how my relationship to tech has changed. It’s gone through three pretty distinct phases, each of which has strongly colored how I feel and talk about technology.

Act I

In which I start from nothing.

Nothing is an interesting starting point. You only really get to start there once.

Learning something on my own as a kid was something of a magical experience, in a way that I don’t think I could replicate as an adult. I liked computers; I liked toying with computers; so I did that.

I don’t know how universal this is, but when I was a kid, I couldn’t even conceive of how incredible things were made. Buildings? Cars? Paintings? Operating systems? Where does any of that come from? Obviously someone made them, but it’s not the sort of philosophical point I lingered on when I was 10, so in the back of my head they basically just appeared fully-formed from the æther.

That meant that when I started trying out programming, I had no aspirations. I couldn’t imagine how far I would go, because all the examples of how far I would go were completely disconnected from any idea of human achievement. I started out with BASIC on a toy computer; how could I possibly envision a connection between that and something like a mainstream video game? Every new thing felt like a new form of magic, so I couldn’t conceive that I was even in the same ballpark as whatever process produced real software. (Even seeing the source code for GORILLAS.BAS, it didn’t quite click. I didn’t think to try reading any of it until years after I’d first encountered the game.)

This isn’t to say I didn’t have goals. I invented goals constantly, as I’ve always done; as soon as I learned about a new thing, I’d imagine some ways to use it, then try to build them. I produced a lot of little weird goofy toys, some of which entertained my tiny friend group for a couple days, some of which never saw the light of day. But none of it felt like steps along the way to some mountain peak of mastery, because I didn’t realize the mountain peak was even a place that could be gone to. It was pure, unadulterated (!) playing.

I contrast this to my art career, which started only a couple years ago. I was already in my late 20s, so I’d already spend decades seeing a very broad spectrum of art: everything from quick sketches up to painted masterpieces. And I’d seen the people who create that art, sometimes seen them create it in real-time. I’m even in a relationship with one of them! And of course I’d already had the experience of advancing through tech stuff and discovering first-hand that even the most amazing software is still just code someone wrote.

So from the very beginning, from the moment I touched pencil to paper, I knew the possibilities. I knew that the goddamn Sistine Chapel was something I could learn to do, if I were willing to put enough time in — and I knew that I’m not, so I’d have to settle somewhere a ways before that. I knew that I’d have to put an awful lot of work in before I’d be producing anything very impressive.

I did it anyway (though perhaps waited longer than necessary to start), but those aren’t things I can un-know, and so I can never truly explore art from a place of pure ignorance. On the other hand, I’ve probably learned to draw much more quickly and efficiently than if I’d done it as a kid, precisely because I know those things. Now I can decide I want to do something far beyond my current abilities, then go figure out how to do it. When I was just playing, that kind of ambition was impossible.


So, I played.

How did this affect my views on tech? Well, I didn’t… have any. Learning by playing tends to teach you things in an outward sprawl without many abrupt jumps to new areas, so you don’t tend to run up against conflicting information. The whole point of opinions is that they’re your own resolution to a conflict; without conflict, I can’t meaningfully say I had any opinions. I just accepted whatever I encountered at face value, because I didn’t even know enough to suspect there could be alternatives yet.

Act II

That started to seriously change around, I suppose, the end of high school and beginning of college. I was becoming aware of this whole “open source” concept. I took classes that used languages I wouldn’t otherwise have given a second thought. (One of them was Python!) I started to contribute to other people’s projects. Eventually I even got a job, where I had to work with other people. It probably also helped that I’d had to maintain my own old code a few times.

Now I was faced with conflicting subjective ideas, and I had to form opinions about them! And so I did. With gusto. Over time, I developed an idea of what was Right based on experience I’d accrued. And then I set out to always do things Right.

That’s served me decently well with some individual problems, but it also led me to inflict a lot of unnecessary pain on myself. Several endeavors languished for no other reason than my dissatisfaction with the architecture, long before the basic functionality was done. I started a number of “pure” projects around this time, generic tools like imaging libraries that I had no direct need for. I built them for the sake of them, I guess because I felt like I was improving some niche… but of course I never finished any. It was always in areas I didn’t know that well in the first place, which is a fine way to learn if you have a specific concrete goal in mind — but it turns out that building a generic library for editing images means you have to know everything about images. Perhaps that ambition went a little haywire.

I’ve said before that this sort of (self-inflicted!) work was unfulfilling, in part because the best outcome would be that a few distant programmers’ lives are slightly easier. I do still think that, but I think there’s a deeper point here too.

In forgetting how to play, I’d stopped putting any of myself in most of the work I was doing. Yes, building an imaging library is kind of a slog that someone has to do, but… I assume the people who work on software like PIL and ImageMagick are actually interested in it. The few domains I tried to enter and revolutionize weren’t passions of mine; I just happened to walk through the neighborhood one day and decided I could obviously do it better.

Not coincidentally, this was the same era of my life that led me to write stuff like that PHP post, which you may notice I am conspicuously not even linking to. I don’t think I would write anything like it nowadays. I could see myself approaching the same subject, but purely from the point of view of language design, with more contrasts and tradeoffs and less going for volume. I certainly wouldn’t lead off with inflammatory puffery like “PHP is a community of amateurs”.

Act III

I think I’ve mellowed out a good bit in the last few years.

It turns out that being Right is much less important than being Not Wrong — i.e., rather than trying to make something perfect that can be adapted to any future case, just avoid as many pitfalls as possible. Code that does something useful has much more practical value than unfinished code with some pristine architecture.

Nowhere is this more apparent than in game development, where all code is doomed to be crap and the best you can hope for is to stem the tide. But there’s also a fixed goal that’s completely unrelated to how the code looks: does the game work, and is it fun to play? Yes? Ship the damn thing and forget about it.

Games are also nice because it’s very easy to pour my own feelings into them and evoke feelings in the people who play them. They’re mine, something with my fingerprints on them — even the games I’ve built with glip have plenty of my own hallmarks, little touches I added on a whim or attention to specific details that I care about.

Maybe a better example is the Doom map parser I started writing. It sounds like a “pure” problem again, except that I actually know an awful lot about the subject already! I also cleverly (accidentally) released some useful results of the work I’ve done thusfar — like statistics about Doom II maps and a few screenshots of flipped stock maps — even though I don’t think the parser itself is far enough along to release yet. The tool has served a purpose, one with my fingerprints on it, even without being released publicly. That keeps it fresh in my mind as something interesting I’d like to keep working on, eventually. (When I run into an architecture question, I step back for a while, or I do other work in the hopes that the solution will reveal itself.)

I also made two simple Pokémon ROM hacks this year, despite knowing nothing about Game Boy internals or assembly when I started. I just decided I wanted to do an open-ended thing beyond my reach, and I went to do it, not worrying about cleanliness and willing to accept a bumpy ride to get there. I played, but in a more experienced way, invoking the stuff I know (and the people I’ve met!) to help me get a running start in completely unfamiliar territory.


This feels like a really fine distinction that I’m not sure I’m doing justice. I don’t know if I could’ve appreciated it three or four years ago. But I missed making toys, and I’m glad I’m doing it again.

In short, I forgot how to have fun with programming for a little while, and I’ve finally started to figure it out again. And that’s far more important than whether you use PHP or not.

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luizirber
6 days ago
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Davis, CA
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It’s not about Google. Our diversity efforts aren’t working

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The sexist “internal memo” from Google has been filling my social media feeds for the last few days. I’m not that excited about it.  Within every organization, there will be some people who disagree with just about any policy.  The enormous screed is so scientifically incorrect that I have a hard time taking it seriously.  

For example, the memo claims that the gap between men and women in CS is due to biology. That can’t be when there are more women than men in CS, especially in the Middle East and Northern Africa.  I saw a great study at NCWIT a few years ago on why programming is seen as women’s work in those parts of the world — it’s detailed work, done inside, sometimes with one other person. It looks like sewing or knitting. When told that programmers were mostly male in the US, the participants reportedly asked, “What’s masculine about programming?”  There’s an interesting take from four scientists who claim that everything that the internal memo says is correct.

The positive outcome from this memo is Ian Bogost’s terrific essay about the lack of diversity in Tech, from industry to higher education. It’s not about Google. It’s that our diversity efforts are having little impact. Ian explains how our problem with diversity is deeply rooted and influences the historical directions of computing. I highly recommend it to you.

These figures track computing talent more broadly, even at the highest levels. According to data from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, for example, less than 3 percent of the doctoral graduates from the top-10 ranked computer science programs came from African American, Hispanic, Native American, and Pacific Islander communities during the decade ending in 2015.

Given these abysmal figures, the idea that diversity at Google (or most other tech firms) is even modestly encroaching on computing’s incumbents is laughable. To object to Google’s diversity efforts is to ignore that they are already feeble to begin with.

Source: A Googler’s Anti-Diversity Screed Reveals Tech’s Rotten Core – The Atlantic


Tagged: BPC, computing for all, computing for everyone, Google, NCWIT

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luizirber
6 days ago
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Porque o Brasil precisa de Pabblo Vittar rebolando na nossa cara

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pabllo Porque o Brasil precisa de Pabblo Vittar rebolando na nossa cara

O cantor Pabllo Vittar em sua participação no Encontro nesta quarta (9)

É uma bicha! Rebola como bicha, se veste como bicha, tem voz de bicha - como é possível que uma bicha dessa faça tanto sucesso com os jovens? Quem, Pabblo Vitar? Não, Ney Matogrosso, mais de quarenta anos atrás. Lembro da primeira vez que vi os Secos & Molhados na tevê, uma bomba nuclear na nossa sala e na minha cabeça, vira homem vira vira lobisomem. Pra família brasileira, rock até então era Jovem Guarda. Eu tinha oito anos e me assustavam as "crianças cegas, telepáticas" da Rosa de Hiroshima.

Hoje Ney é o medalhão da nossa MPB, geração setentão, junto com os tropicalistas, Chico, Roberto Carlos e cia. Longa carreira para trás, segue lúcido, engajado. Seus shows seguem cheios de tiazinhas que acham Ney o máximo e cantam junto "se correr o bicho pega se ficar o bicho come."

Ney explodiu em um dos momentos mais sombrios da nossa história, o segundo recrudescimento da ditadura militar. Que não reprimia só a liberdade de expressão, de organização, de lutar por melhores salários. Era repressora também nos costumes. O ideal militar era cada cidadão ocupando seu devido lugar na sociedade, homem na rua e mulher em casa, Brasil Ame-o ou Deixe-o, e vamos cortar o cabelo aí, seu maconheiro. Ser bicha era ser fraco, e inaceitável no meu Brasil infantil, na minha escola pública onde toda sexta-feira celebrávamos o "Culto À Bandeira".

Mas naquele 1973 os ventos da liberdade já procuravam frestas para se infiltrar. E como sempre, o primeiro sopro vinha da Cultura, e não da política. No caso, da Contracultura. Quando as instituições se mantém imóveis, é necessário mudar a vida.

Em alguns anos a garotada que se espantou e se encantou com Ney teria imaginação e músculos para criar um Brasil diferente. Imperfeito, mas anos-luz à frente do regime militar. Seguimos tentando, alguns da nossa geração. Com cada vez menos empenho, mas essa é a ordem natural: coroas tocam o barco, jovens tocam o terror.

Hoje vivemos em um país muito melhor que o da minha juventude. E as mudanças não vêm como brisas, e sim com a força de um tufão, informação nova, digital, poderosa, provocante.

Uma mudança muito grande do século 21 é na área do discurso. Existe uma patrulha enorme sobre o que se fala e como se fala. Hoje as pessoas ainda usam termos como "bicha" e "viado" na rua, mas ai-ai-ai se você escrever. O problema é que nesse caso, como em muitos outros, essa mudança no palavreado não se reflete em mudança na vida real. A violência contra gays no Brasil continua extrema, e está piorando.

Segundo a Ordem dos Advogados do Brasil, nos primeiros quatro meses de 2017 houve um aumento de 20% nas agressões contra pessoas LGBT. Em 2016 houve 343 mortes violentas nesse grupo e 144 eram travestis e transsexuais. É quase um por dia. Fora os tantos que foram agredidos, que são agredidos, no dia-a-dia, e sobrevivem. Fora o tanto de preconceito que têm que enfrentar.

Há quem veja gente como Pabllo Vittar como parte do problema, porque "provoca". Nada disso. Ele é parte da solução. Pabllo se define como "drag queen". Mas não tem nada a ver com as Robertas Closes de outras épocas, homens que pretendiam passar por mulher. É sexy como homem e sexy como mulher, e não há como negar. Diz que gosta de "afeminada", de"ser o que quiser ser".

Pabllo é andrógino como os melhores popstars. Inimaginável hoje, mas Elvis era considerado muito feminino na sua época. E também os Beatles. E Bowie, Prince, Michael Jackson...

Pabllo Vittar vai ter uma carreira longa e proveitosa como Ney Matogrosso? Não importa. Importa o agora. E nesse momento, é evidente que Pabblo tem o mesmo potencial transformador de Ney.  Como Ney, Pabblo é agressivo nas performances, mas pura simpatia em entrevistas, articulado, engraçado e gente fina. E assim como Ney foi aceito pela família brasileira, Pabllo já começa a ser. Virando garoto-propaganda de cosméticos, cantando nos programas matutinos.

Não é que de repente todo mundo vai passar a aceitar os homossexuais, ou achar normal, ou aceitar tranquilamente se o seu fiho ser gay. "Todo mundo" é muita gente, e "de repente" é muito rápido.

Mas a presença de gente como Pabllo na nossa cena cultural vai fazer, com o tempo, que a gente vá aceitando a presença de gente como Pabllo na rua, no trabalho, na vida. É o caminho para que a gente pare de isolar, agredir, matar pessoas porque elas se relacionam com outras do mesmo sexo, se vestem de maneira estranha, ou têm atitudes das quais discordamos.

Você não precisa aplaudir Pabllo, mas precisa aplaudir um Brasil mais acolhedor e menos violento. Pabllo é importante, porque um perigo para o Brasil que ainda mata e persegue gays, esse Brasil nojento, que precisamos enterrar. Como fez Ney Matogrosso, Pabblo combate nosso atraso - rebolando bem na nossa cara.

http://r7.com/49oB

O post Porque o Brasil precisa de Pabblo Vittar rebolando na nossa cara apareceu primeiro em André Forastieri.

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luizirber
7 days ago
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Davis, CA
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