When I have to explain how real hackers differ from various ignorant media stereotypes about us, I’ve found that one of the easiest differences to explain is transparency vs. anonymity. Non-techies readily grasp the difference between showing pride in your work by attaching your real name to it versus hiding behind a concealing handle. They… Continue reading Hackers and anonymity: some evidence
Blogging has been light lately because I’ve been up to my ears in reposurgeon’s most serious challenge ever. Read on for a description of the ugliest heap of version-control rubble you are ever likely to encounter, what I’m doing to fix it, and why you do in fact care – because I’m rescuing the history… Continue reading Ugliest…repository…conversion…ever
I just shipped version 1.10 of cvs-fast-export with a new feature: it now emits fast-import files that contain CVS’s default ignore patterns. This is a request for help from people who know CVS better than I do.
Sometimes art imitates life. Sometimes life imitates art. So, for your dubious biographical pleasure, here is my life in tropes. Warning: the TV Tropes site is addictive; beware of chasing links lest it eat the rest of your day. Or several days. First, a trope disclaimer: I am not the Eric Raymond from Jem. As… Continue reading All the Tropes That Are My Life
There’s a documentary, The Hedgehog and the Hare, being made about the prosecution of Andrew Auernheimer (aka “the weev”). The filmmaker wants to interview me for background and context on the hacker culture. The following is a lightly edited version of the backgrounder I sent him so he could better prepare for the interview.
A few months back I had to do a two-hour road trip with A&D regular Susan Sons, aka HedgeMage, who is an interesting and estimable person in almost all ways except that she actually … likes … country music. I tried to be stoic when stupid syrupy goo began pouring out of the car radio,… Continue reading Country-music hell and fake accents
So, here you are in your starship, happily settling into orbit around an Earthlike world you intend to survey for colonization. You start mapping, and are immediately presented with a small but vexing question: which rotational pole should you designate as ‘North’? There are a surprisingly large number of ways one could answer this question.… Continue reading Which way is north on your new planet?
That is the title of a paper attempting to explain (away) the 17-year nothing that happened while CAGW models were predicting warming driven by increasing CO2. CO2 increased. Measured GAT did not. Here’s the money quote: “The most recent climate model simulations used in the AR5 indicate that the warming stagnation since 1998 is no… Continue reading Causes and implications of the pause
The responses to my previous post, on the myth of the fall, brought out a lot of half-forgotten lore about pre-open-source cultures of software sharing. Some of these remain historically interesting, but hackers talking about them display the same tendency to back-project present-day conditions I was talking about in that post. As an example, one… Continue reading Sharecroppers, nomads, and early open source
I was a historian before I was an activist, and I’ve been reminded recently that a lot of younger hackers have a simplified and somewhat mythologized view of how our culture evolved, one which tends to back-project today’s conditions onto the past. In particular, many of us never knew – or are in the process… Continue reading The myth of the fall