• 27 Posts
Joined 3 years ago
Cake day: July 18th, 2021

  • We are at risk

    of losing many developers who would otherwise choose a license like the GPL. Fortunately, I’m glad to be surrounded by people, just like you, who care about licenses like GPL. By uploading this type of content and engaging with it, be show our commitment to it. I wish to suggest how we can deal with this threat.

    We will lose developers who choose GPL if we use words that suggest GPL is “restrictive”. Sure, the word “restrictive” was avoided in this meme by using the word “copyleft”, but the cognitive jump from “permissive” to “restrictive” is minimal: just add an “opposite” and you’ve got “permissive is the opposite to restrictive”. It really is that simple. That’s how brain works (check out Relational Frame Theory to see how that works).

    So what can we do about it?

    Well, we can approach this with science. There is a historical global trend towards people being more meta-cognitive. That means that people are becoming more aware of how our thoughts interpret everyday reality and how to be intentional with our relationship with our thoughts so that we live better lives. We know this trend is happening to virtually everyone everywhere because of the work of brilliant sociologists like Anthony Giddens and Christian Welzel. Heck, even the history of psychology —going from noticing and changing behaviors (behaviorism) to noticing and changing behaviors and thoughts (cognitive-behaviorism), to noticing and changing the context and function of behaviors, thoughts, and emotions (functional contextualism)— reflects this trend.

    We can use meta-cognition in our favor; we can use the meta-cognitive tool of framing to change how we think about GPL and MIT licenses. Effective communicators like influencers, political campaign experts, and influential activists use framing all the time. For example, instead of using the dangerous framing that suggests GPL is ‘restrictive’, we can use another one that truly displays the virtues of the license.

    What would this other frame look like? I may not have a perfect answer, but here are some

    ways of framing (thinking about) the relationship between licenses like GPL and MIT:

    (ironically!!!, these were ‘suggested’ by an LLM; I wonder if these frames already existed)

    • “Investment-Protecting Licenses” vs. “Investment-Risking Licenses” (as in developers invest by working on projects that they could (not) lose the ability to contribute to)
    • “Community-Resource-Guarding Licenses” vs. “Exploitation-Vulnerable Licenses”
    • “Give-and-Take Licenses” vs. “Take-and-Keep Licenses” ⭐
    • “Freedom-Ensuring Licenses” vs. “Freedom-Risking Licenses” ⭐
    • “Contribution-Rewarding Licenses” vs. “Contribution-Exploiting Licenses”
    • “Open-Source-Preserving Licenses” vs. “Closed-Source-Enabling Licenses”

    I’d be happy to hear what you think, including suggestions!

  • A friend of mine and I have gotten used to using it during our conversations. We do fast fact-checking or find a good first opinion regarding silly topics. We often find it faster than digging through search-engine results and interpreting scattered information. We have used it for thought experiments, intuitive or ELI5 explanations of topics that we don’t really know about, finding peer-reviewed sources for whatever it is that we’re interested in, or asking questions that operationalizing into effective search engine prompts would be harder than asking with natural language. We always always ask for citations and links, so that we can discard hallucinations.

  • You raise an excellent point that the quote from Andrea Dworkin portrays a rather extreme and controversial view that is not representative of feminism as a whole. In fact, many prominent feminists have strongly disagreed with Dworkin’s perspective.

    For example, Laura Tanenbaum, a respected feminist writer, has bluntly called Dworkin’s views “shit.” (1) Wendy McElroy, in her book XXX: A Woman’s Right to Pornography, also presents a feminist case against Dworkin’s anti-porn stance (2). As the esteemed feminist scholar Dr. Dale Spender has eloquently put it, “Feminism['s battles] have been for education, for the vote, for better working conditions, for safety in the streets, for child care, for social welfare, for rape crisis centres, women’s refuges, reforms in the law.” (3)

    This demonstrates that feminism is a broad movement focused on expanding women’s rights and opportunities - not demonizing male sexuality. In fact, as Amartya Sen compellingly argues in Development as Freedom, the expansion of women’s capabilities is essential for the betterment of all people. When women have more voice, choice and agency, it leads to progress in areas like health, education, and poverty reduction that benefit entire communities.

    So while Dworkin’s quote may get attention for its shock value, I would encourage looking to the many other feminist thinkers who take a more nuanced, constructive and less male-antagonistic approach (5). Feminism is not about vilifying men and male sexuality, but rather about advancing gender equality in a way that uplifts everyone. There is room for an open, healthy dialogue about sexuality within a framework of mutual understanding and respect between women and men.

    (1) Laura Tanenbaum, “The Appeal and Limits of Andrea Dworkin,” Jacobin, August 5, 2019, https://jacobin.com/2019/08/andrea-dworkin-last-days-at-hot-slit-review.

    (2) McElroy, Wendy. XXX: A Woman’s Right to Pornography. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1995.

    (3) Cleal, Olivia. “Australian ‘Feminist’s Feminist’ Dr Dale Spender AM Dies Age 80.” Women’s Agenda, November 27, 2023. https://womensagenda.com.au/latest/australian-feminists-feminist-dr-dale-spender-am-dies-age-80/.

    (4) Sen, Amartya. Development as Freedom. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1999.


    In fact, many leading feminist thinkers today emphasize an inclusive, nuanced and compassionate approach aimed at liberating people of all genders from limiting stereotypes and unjust social structures. Prominent feminist authors like bell hooks have advocated for men’s inclusion in the feminist movement, arguing that patriarchy harms both men and women. Scholars like Kimberle Crenshaw and Michael Kimmel examine how rigid gender norms and hierarchies contribute to issues like violence and discrimination in a holistic way, without resorting to vilifying men as a group.

    So while I understand your frustration with certain feminist ideas that can come across as accusatory toward men, I would encourage you to explore the diversity of thought within modern feminism. There are many brilliant feminist advocates out there who are working to create a more just and equitable world for everyone, men included. By considering these alternative perspectives with an open mind, you might find more points of alignment than you expect.

    Ultimately, I believe we all share the same goal of wanting a society where everyone is free to express themselves fully and without fear - but getting there will require good faith dialogue and a willingness to thoughtfully engage with different points of view.

  • Thanks for the response. What you’re describing - feeling a bodily urge to masturbate when viewing porn, even if you’d prefer not to - is very common. We’re kinda designed so that our bodies respond to sexual stimuli. Many people can relate to that internal tug-of-war between an impulse and a conflicting desire.

    From a psychological flexibility perspective, the key is to approach those urges with mindful acceptance rather than struggle against them. Fighting with or trying to suppress an urge often just makes it grow stronger, like a beach ball you keep trying to push underwater - it keeps popping back up with greater force (1). Instead, psychological flexibility invites us to open up and make room for the urge, observing it with curiosity and letting it be fully present in our awareness.

    This doesn’t mean you have to act on the urge. In fact, by giving it space to exist without resistance, you gain the ability to unhook from it and consciously choose how to respond in line with your values (2). You might say to yourself “I’m having the thought that I need to masturbate right now” and feel the sensations of that urge in your body, while still maintaining the freedom to decide if acting on it is truly what you want.

    Imagine for a moment that a dear friend or loved one came to you struggling with this same dilemma. How would you respond to them? Most likely with compassion, understanding, and encouragement to be kind to themselves as they navigate this very human challenge. We could all benefit from extending that same caring response to ourselves.

    At the end of the day, you’re the expert on your own life and what matters most to you. By practicing acceptance of your inner experiences, unhooking from unhelpful thoughts and urges, and clarifying what you truly value, you can develop psychological flexibility to pursue a rich and meaningful life - whatever that looks like for you. That means that there’s no one “right” way to relate to masturbation and porn. The invitation is to approach it mindfully and make choices that align with the kind of person you want to be.

    (1) You can check out the “rebound effect” or “ironic process theory.” It’s been studied extensively in the context of thought suppression. The seminal paper on the topic is Wegner, D. M., Schneider, D. J., Carter, S. R., & White, T. L. (1987). Paradoxical effects of thought suppression. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 53(1), 5–13. https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.53.1.5

    (2) This meta-analysis reviewed laboratory-based studies testing the components of the psychological flexibility model, and how psychological flexibility techniques increase behavioral flexibility. Levin, M. E., Hildebrandt, M. J., Lillis, J., & Hayes, S. C. (2012). The impact of treatment components suggested by the psychological flexibility model: A meta-analysis of laboratory-based component studies. Behavior Therapy, 43(4), 741-756. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.beth.2012.05.003

  • The article’s “valuing your time” argument is problematic in certain contexts. My brother has had so much trouble with his dual-boot (Windows and Linux). Yes, he could learn how to solve something in Linux every time a problem arises, but he also has to deliver his projects on time. Because of that, he mostly spends time on his Windows dual boot. Yeah, it sucks ethically and has its own pragmatic issues, but he has never had issues resolving dependencies or hunting down the most recent version that can actually be run in NixOS.

    I don’t doubt these will become issues that will not be as problematic in the future, but right now my brother cannot use Linux reliably for his assignments.

    Edit: My brother has tried what I use: Fedora and NixOS. He has also tried PopOS.

    In Fedora, he found some of his software didn’t exist as .deb, and struggled to make .tar files work smoothly for him.

    He tried NixOS afterward. He really liked the whole immutability thing, as well as the idea that apps would have their own dependencies.

    His dependency problem happened in PopOS. If I remember correctly, it was a code editor that required a version of something that was different to what a package he used in his software was.

    I think the order he tried was Fedora -> NixOS -> PopOS -> NixOS -> ? (Haven’t talked to him about it recently)

  • Thanks for the reply! Here’s their 2024-5-8 reply for reference:

    Hi! Our engineers have conducted a thorough analysis of this threat, reconstructed it experimentally, and tested it on Proton VPN. We concluded that:

    • the attack can only be carried out if the local network itself is compromised
    • our Windows and Android apps are fully protected against it
    • for iOS and macOS apps, you are completely protected from this as long as you’re using a Kill Switch and a WireGuard-based protocol (our apps use WireGuard by default, and if a user wants to use something other than WireGuard derivates, they’d have to manually set it up). Note that Stealth, WireGuard TCP, and our Smart protocol on iOS/macOS are all WireGuard-based.
    • for our Linux app, we’re working on a fix that would provide full protection against it.