Non-discrimination is a core value of open source

Today I learned that something called the Lerna project has added a codicil to its MIT license denying the use of its software to a long list of organizations because it disagrees with a political choice those organizations have made.

Speaking as one of the original co-authors of the Open Source Definition, I state a fact. As amended, the Lerna license is no longer conformant with the OSD. It has specifically broken compliance with clause 5 (“No Discrimination Against Persons or Groups”).

Accordingly, Lerna has defected from the open-source community and should be shunned by anyone who values the health of that community. I will not contribute to their project, and will urge others not to, until and unless this change is rescinded.

We wrote Clause 5 into the OSD for a good reason. Exclusions and carve-outs like Lerna’s, if they became common, would create tremendous uncertainty about the ethics and even the legality of code re-use. Suppose I were to take a snippet from Lerna code and re-use it in a project that (possibly without my knowledge) was deployed by one of the proscribed organizations; what would my ethical and legal exposure be?

It gets worse. Suppose I write code that happened to be identical, or very similar to, portions of Lerna? Could anyone make a case that I was in violation of their license? It is definitely unsafe when a question like that turns on facts of knowledge and intent no one outside a putative violator’s skull can know for certain.

The Lerna project’s choice is, moreover, destructive of one of the deep norms that keeps the open-source community functional – keeping politics separated from our work. If we do not maintain that norm, we risk fractionating into a collection of squabbling tribes arguing particularisms and unable to sustain really large-scale cooperation.

I would consider such a disintegration not merely unpleasant but actually dangerous to civilization, which relies on us for an increasing portion of its critical infrastructure. Accordingly, we need to cooperate more, not less.

That, in turn, means that, even as we may hold strong individual opinions about issues like those motivating Lerna’s proscription list, we need to be more neutral and non-discriminatory in our collective behavior about such issues, not less.

Updare: Less than 24 hours after I posted this, the license change was revoked and its committer expelled from the project. This is how sanity wins – one fightback at a time.

302 thoughts on “Non-discrimination is a core value of open source

  1. “If we do not maintain that norm, we risk fractionating into a collection of squabbling tribes arguing particularisms and unable to sustain really large-scale cooperation.”

    Or worse, descend into saying “lalala” with our fingers in our ears… 15 Hours ago: “lerna locked as too heated and limited conversation to collaborators”

  2. This is an object lesson in How To Be A Turd In Everyones’ Punchbowl.

    So…if this change is approved, why not take the prior version of the software with the old license, and fork it?

  3. Since they are no longer OSD compliant, does this mean they can’t call themselves “open source” any more?

  4. I noticed the people reacting with “thumbs up” and the other positive emoticons.

    It looks like they don’t really understand what is open source, and why it should always keep the freedoms it offers. What worries me, is that it could be a more prevalent problem.

    How many of the young programmers actually understand what *really* is open source? How many of them think is only about “sharing the source code”?

    This is something that really should be stopped from spreading. If young coders don’t understand the point of open source, and think that introducing terms to the license with an SJW agenda (or actually any other agenda) is a positive thing, then a future with a fractured software ecosystem is going to be unavoidable.

    • @chris: If young coders don’t understand the point of open source, and think that introducing terms to the license with an SJW agenda (or actually any other agenda) is a positive thing, then a future with a fractured software ecosystem is going to be unavoidable.

      And we don’t already have one? Consider the number of open source projects that can’t share code because they use incompatible open source licenses.

      This simply adds an explicitly political agenda to an existing problem.

      >Dennis

      • I know what you mean, but is not the same.

        Discovering compatibility among different licenses is actually not difficult. For instance, using something like this tree, http://janelia-flyem.github.io/images/open_licenses.png it can be easier to see the compatibility. However, that tree is useful only with the original, unaltered licenses.

        In the moment licenses start to add special clausules like Lerna, then it could become REALLY difficult to analyze compatibility. If in the future someone (who is not part of the “forbidden list”) uses one function from Lerna into their own project, does that mean this new project is also under that license?

        Contrary to the GPL, MIT does not have the requirement to license derivative projects using the same license. But it has the requirement to include the license text.

        So… that means it effectively is imposing to any derivative project that extra clausule, covering at least whatever function was imported. It becomes REALLY HARD to analyze compatibility at that point. It would have to be done for each individual altered license.

        • Perhaps the people who issue the license should themselves edit the license with a clause that says:

          “if you edit this license in anyway, then the software that is license is no longer open source unless it is compliant with the Open Source goals and aims.”

          That would make the people who edit these licenses stop and think about what they are doing, and the people who read these licenses understand that the edited licenses are not open source.

  5. You’ll notice the supporters of such “progress” are the same set of people who don’t understand the core philosophies of individual liberties from which all successful civilization has blossomed.

    Well now. 11 comments and it was locked for being “too heated”..

  6. @esr: I understand your feelings, but in practical terms, how much should we really care?

    The Lerna folks are making various assumptions:

    1) Other folks are aware of their project
    2) They have code some other project might wish to include in their efforts
    3) That the folks they don’t like will care about their codicil to the MIT license
    4) That they will even be aware that their license has been violated
    5) That they will be able to take effective action if they become aware to stop the usage

    All of those assumptions strike me as questionable.

    Open source is effectively a gentleman’s agreement, and assumes that everyone is a gentleman, does agree, and plays by the unstated rules. If someone chooses not to play by those rules, you have problems. Attempting to enforce the license usually requires going to court, and few open source projects have the needed knowledge, the time, or the funding to pay legal fees and court costs.

    The Lerna folks are making themselves feel good by climbing up on their moral high horses, and saying “Look what good people we are! We’re on the side of the angels! The rest of you aren’t, and we look down on you from our elevated moral heights!”

    The appropriate response from the rest of us is probably point and laugh.

    This is another tempest in a teapot, and open source has weathered worse.

    >Dennis

    • No, one minor project pointlessly immolating itself over someone’s political obsessions isn’t important in itself. But it’s useful to draw attention to it, as an example for those who think you can allow individuals like that into maintainer positions and assume they’ll content themselves with polishing the Code of Conduct. Give them power, and it’s just a matter of time before the purges start. If there’s no pushback against this, eventually it’ll happen to projects that do matter to many people. Yes, open source will weather this, by not shrugging and ignoring it.

  7. Direct application of paradox of tolerance, but skipping second order effects of the same.

    Edit: Your post, not js warriors thingy.

  8. When GitHub issues and pull requests start looking like my racist uncle arguing with my gay nephew’s Hispanic boyfriend on Facebook about whether or not Bush is Hitler, it is time to sign out.

    I think the answer to the “does this really matter” question is “yes”. Not because there will be major fallout from lerna users or because anyone outside of the community of open source developers will even know/care what’s happening. It also isn’t because this is yet another faddish fracture in a community that has historically been more schismatic than western evangelical protestants (or maybe, the People’s Liberation Front of Judea.)

    I think it matters because when others start replicating this nonsense for their own pet social justice causes, it creates a minefield that will scare companies away from open source altogether. Just look at how far Open Source has come in the last 10-20 years, in terms of corporate adoption. Every major vendor uses open source for something. Jeez, just look at Microsoft! When company lawyers now need to read and approve every mucked up version of a license in order to approve the use of some software or other, the cost goes up, and the adoption goes down.

    Right now, my company’s lawyers can just say, “we approve MIT, Apache, GPL, LGPL…” – and we’re golden. If they now have to review the MIT-except-for-companies-doing-business-with-X license, for every single OSS JavaScript library I want to include in my project, we’ll simply go and buy a license for something proprietary instead. This in turn means that I can’t, as a part of my official duties at my company, contribute to projects that have a tweaked/non-standard license, which hurts the community too.

  9. How discriminatory is discriminating against discriminators?

    Depending on your point of view, this clause 5 could even be used to support James’s attitude.

    Nonetheless, I think it’s dangerous that a few people can take control over what a whole community should understand as “Open Source”.

    • Second-level discrimination is not something a software maker can or should try to control. Discrimination against someone you allege discriminates is still discrimination, and is not allowed under clause 5.

      You must not be allowed to force others into your crusade.

    • I don’t think the banned companies are practicing discrimination, they are either providing services to, or cooperating with an agency of the federal government that is charged with executing and enforcing the law.

      Basically this nutbergers are upset at the government for enforcing the law.

      Which is stupid.

      • >Basically this nutbergers are upset at the government for enforcing the law. Which is stupid.

        Well, no. Not if it’s an unjust law.

        • Unjust by who’s standards?

          In this country we have processes in place at all levels to adjudicate and resolve these issues.

          I think it’s *perfectly* just that people who break the law by overstaying their VISAs or sneaking across the border get arrested and locked up. I think it’s perfectly just that they get deported.

          This is called “enforcing the border” and it’s what non-failed states *do*.

          I also think it’s not only just, but a REALLY good idea to separate children from the adults they are traveling with to make sure they aren’t being traffic’d.

          Further more I think it’s *massiveIy* unjust for the progressives to deliberately import people who have no intention in assimlating because the progressives what to change the way the country is run and they *can’t* do it according to the system.

          I think it’s massively unjust for the progressives AND the “business republicans” to import cheap labor putting Americans out of work (https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/washington-secrets/census-there-are-no-jobs-americans-wont-do-poor-citizens-hurt-by-illegal-immigration) and on the dole–basically buying their votes.

          The right way to change unjust laws is to make people see the injustice in them. If you can’t do that, maybe it’s not the law that is unjust.

          • >Unjust by who’s standards?

            Well, that’s the question, isn’t it?

            I wasn’t making an object-level claim about U.S. immigration policy with that remark, but a more general meta-level point. The law is properly an instrument that serves ethics and morality, not their master. “Because it’s the law” is never a sound answer to an ethical challenge, and Americans in particular have a clear duty to push back against unjust laws with means ranging from civil disobedience up to (in the extreme) violent revolution.

            I know you understand this about gun control. The principle doesn’t stop there.

            • > I wasn’t making an object-level claim about
              > U.S. immigration policy with that remark, but
              > a more general meta-level point.

              I was attempting to use the narrow issue of US Immigration policy to bring out a larger point.

              Just because someone can articulate some cockamamie nonsense about a law doesn’t make that law unjust, nor does it excuse poor behavior or flagrant virtue signalling.

              > The law is properly an instrument that serves
              > ethics and morality, not their master.

              The law is properly an instrument that sets general boundaries and codifies acceptable behaviors.

              Muslims ethical norms place the woman as *property* of the husband in every real way.

              Christian ethical norms place a woman subservient position.

              In both of these cases laws based on morals or ethics WOULD be unjust.

              Current law essentially requires (some) employers to consider a persons race as part of the hiring process.

              > “Because it’s the law” is never a sound answer
              > to an ethical challenge,

              No, it’s not.

              But it is not for individual agents of the government to decide which laws are just and unjust *in the performance of their jobs*. If they feel the laws the are asked to enforce are unjust they need to *continue to enforce them* while working to change them.

              If each individual chose for themselves which law to enforce or leave aside you have extremely inconsistent enforcement that is routinely used as a instrument of oppression.

              Like the Florida judge who asserted (many, many decades ago) that the accused was, of course, not guilty because *THAT* law was not written to be applied to white men (some sort of firearms law).

              The law *MUST* be equally applied regardless of it’s justness *because otherwise it will never be changed*.

              > and Americans in particular have a clear duty
              > to push back against unjust laws with means
              > ranging from civil disobedience up to (in the
              > extreme) violent revolution.

              The means do not start at Civil Disobedience. They start with articulating why the current position is bad and at minimum how to start figuring out a fix.

              The means scales through legislative and electoral action.

              Civil Disobedience[1] is only legitimately useful to draw attention to the issue.

              Let’s also be clear here–Civil Disobedience is not rioting in the streets starting fires, looting shops and trashing cities. That is EXTREMELY dis-civil, and should be met–as it was in the past–with grape or canister.

              Civil Disobedience is sitting down at the whites only lunch counter and waiting for the police to arrive, then *politely* going downtown with them.

              It is walking down the street holding hands with your SSP, or your partner of a different race, and then politely going along with the police.

              Thoreau went to jail because he refused to pay his taxes. He did not spit on the police and then insist that he could NOT be arrested because he was engaging in “Civil Disobedience”

              > I know you understand this about gun control.
              > The principle doesn’t stop there.

              I understand it in the general sense as well and have discussed it fairly deeply over the years.

              There is a tension between maintaining the sort of civil order that gives us a commodious living in a moderately stable society and engaging in the rapid change of that society. It is entirely possible for a great injustice to be done while trying to ameliorate a small one.

              [1] I’m not a big fan of Civil Disobedience. To me it smacks of propaganda and virtue signaling. I prefer to just behave–to the reasonably possible extent–as if the laws are the way I wish them to be. This is why I can occasionally be found on the mumble floor of a office in downtown San Francisco with a loaded pistol ready to hand. Yeah, I compromise–it’s a .380 in a deep carry holster, not a Glock 19 carried appendix.

              • >In both of these cases laws based on morals or ethics WOULD be unjust.

                Fair enough. When I refer to “ethics” in a normative sense I am generally thinking of the meta-ethic implied by the Golden Rule, aka Anatol’s tit-for-tat strategy – rules for sustaining voluntary reciprocity. There is really only one such ethic, because its norms are forced by game theory. It is how rational selfish agents behave to maximize payoff over long and unpredictable time horizons.

                When you say “The law is properly an instrument that sets general boundaries” I think you are getting at the same idea. The genius of Anglo-American common law is that, having evolved in an environment when large power disparities among individuals were difficult to sustain, it does a pretty good job of capturing the tit-for-tat meta-ethic.

                • When I refer to “ethics” in a normative sense I am generally thinking of the meta-ethic implied by the Golden Rule, aka Anatol’s tit-for-tat strategy – rules for sustaining voluntary reciprocity.

                  There are at least two formulations of the Golden Rule. The mostly commonly spoken is “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”. Which works really well when you add “in bed” to it as was a popular joke a while back.

                  The second formulation, which is much more common in practice is “He who has the gold makes the rules”.

                  The problem is that there is a significant fraction of humanity who want you to treat them as THEY would like to be treated, but they want to treat you as if they have all the gold.

                  This leads to the proposition of William O. B’Livion’s Leaden Rule:

                  Don’t f*k with me or mine, or I’ll shoot you in the face.

                  This can be thought of as the Alchemists rule because if you treat it just right you get the Golden Rule.

                  As a philosophical Libertarian (sort of), I agree with the Tit-for-Tat mindset. However somewhere between 1 and 5 percent of the population have significant expression of sociopathic traits, and even more have a intensely tribal mindset–which our monkey brains model the world as “My People” and “The Enemy”. “The Enemy” doesn’t get the same moral treatment as “My People”.

                  This (to use your formulation) was the Genius of Western Civ–that Other Peoples were due the same sort of moral treatment as Our People.

                  But we’re tearing that down, and we’re not going to like the results of that.

        • IDK.

          1) “Unjust” should be a high standard if you believe in democratic principles and/or the rule of law. More than “I prefer something different” or even “I think it’s kinda unfair.” And, imho, those doing the obstructing bear the burden of proving any particular situation meets that standard.

          1.1) actually changing the law (how quaint), petitioning the government to change the law, organizing, publicizing etc are, of course different than obstruction.

          1.2) “not enforcing” is the worse way to handle this situation. At best, it means the unjust law only hits law abiding people. More likely, you get Obama-style waiver systems, which sets the table for arbitrary and capricious enforcement, as well as the general problem of conditional waivers.

        • This has been bugging me for a while, because I entirely get what you’re saying. But I still think it’s wrong.

          Consider these cases:
          0) Unjust bill is not enacted into law
          1) Unjust bill is enacted into law,
            1a) but executive branch doesn’t enforce it
            1b) and executive branch enforces it.

          While it’s true that we can be upset at 1b, I maintain that 1 is where we should direct our ire. We should not simply demand that the executive branch not enforce an unjust law; we should demand that the legislature repeal it (and more importantly, we should oppose it being passed in the first place), that juries in cases under it issue nullification not-guilty verdicts. (And that requires admitting that nullification is inherent in the right to trial by jury.) Finally, we make it clear that we retain that right to “alter or abolish” governments that become destructive of our liberties, as specified in our nation’s founding document.

          1a is only something that should be advocated as a stop-gap measure in the context of repeal, because it is an inherently unstable position, subject to the whims of the current occupants of executive-branch offices. Those whims can and will be used for selective enforcement against political enemies of those current occupants. (Call this one 1c?) Even if we can be guaranteed that no future persecutor will try to enforce the law, its very existence in the statute books undermines the rule of law by making other statutes conditional upon the desire of the executive to do its damn job. And it allows other unjust laws to be enacted by legislatures that are too lazy to write good laws, and instead count upon the forbearance of the executive branch to make up for their failures.

  10. The next step on this path is loyalty oaths to one political faction to be allowed to contribute to the codebase.

    It is coming fast down the pike.

    • @J: The next step on this path is loyalty oaths to one political faction to be allowed to contribute to the codebase.

      Likely self-correcting, as any developer you might actually want contributing is likely to say “Nope, ain’t gonna!”, and take their contributions elsewhere.

      The project implodes and becomes moribund and abandoned like so many others that never gained traction, but the folks in charge will not comprehend that their policies were at fault.

      Unless you work for a company that uses open source and pays engineers to hack on what they use, like Google or Facebook, you don’t get paid for writing open source code, so contributing is a spare time voluntary effort. Loyalty oaths won’t exactly encourage participation, and are more likely to be barriers to entry.

      >Dennis

    • If the distinction between factions wasn’t white nationalism we wouldn’t be here. The existing political divide has just come to affect another realm, but this will hardly be the end of it.

      • >If the distinction between factions wasn’t white nationalism

        Stop this bullshit now. Invoking “white nationalism” as a bugaboo is an attempted thought-stopper, the way invoking “racism” was before that card got overplayed – to the point where it had to be replaced as a verbal cudgel by “white nationalism”.

        Do you really want to see people becoming blase about “white nationalism”, or worse adopting it as a form of protest against PC sanctimony? If you do, just keep this up, moron.

        • I’m no expert, but I spend way too much time around stupid people for my own good. From what I’ve seen, it seems like the switch to “white nationalism” as the attack seems to be motivated mostly by that being the typical fig leaf used by modern racists. They call themselves WNs, so WN becomes a dirty word.

          There is definitely a subset of the left that wants to use the nastiest words it can as soon as it can pretend they apply, and another subset that simply doesn’t understand the issue but wants to express their fears(whether rational or not) very loudly. Both damage the conversation. But I don’t think either of them started that particular jump, even if they’re going with it now.

          • The term white nationalist has been around for decades. They’re people who want to put the interests of their own ethic group ahead of others. If you look into the past examples of this you would see white nationalists and black nationalists attending each other’s meetings and working together to form distinct groups who worked in their own interest.

            The modern revisionist history completely warps everything in order to paint white people as the devil and demands they have everything taken off them and handed to non-whites. Of course there is going to be a huge backlash against having what your ancestors built and you helped maintain handed off to people who have zero history with the place and zero desire to even maintain the systems required to keep things running. It’s like a child wanting something someone else has just because they have it.

            The funniest thing in all of this is the people who condemn “racists” and “the left” without realizing their minds are already fueled by communist propaganda. The term racist is a communism term which was used to bully people out of having ethnic interests within the soviet union. Then they planned to get rid of sex as a difference between men and women and finally they planned to get rid of human and just have all animals are equal. When you run around saying people shouldn’t have ethnic interests, which any sane biological entity can understand you’re already an extremely radical leftist promoting a slippery slope that ends in pure hedonism.

            Try replacing your boogie men with some basic logic in the future. Animals have a biological interest in promoting their genes over other groups genes. The only way to be anti-racist is to be anti-evolution in which case your bloodline deserves a Darwin award for your actions.

            • What’s being handed off to whom, sorry? If we’re talking about something like South African land grabs, I’ll agree those are bad(no worse than when the colonial powers grabbed that land in the 19th century, but also no better). But aside from a few examples like that, I can’t think of another valid use here.

              If you’re going to talk about Darwinian incentives, that applies at a level of close blood relations – if my family is British, some Italian dude is nowhere near close enough to my genetics to give me a Darwinian incentive to advance his interests. We’re both “white”, sure, but I’d rather use that effort to help my brother or my cousin if I’m trying to spread my genes. That basically pushes you to clan-level organization, not national-level or continental-level. Anyone talking about “white nationalism” has effectively abandoned genetic spread as a rationale in practice. Many of them are bad enough at science to not realize it, but their ignorance doesn’t change that fact.

              Also, evolution is a descriptive theory, not a prescriptive one. It describes how genes spread over generations, but not how any individual ought to act. It is not an ethical or moral theory. I acknowledge that having fewer children will reduce my genetic material’s chances of spreading, but I still prefer not to have a dozen kids even so.

              Finally, outbreeding tends to be better for the kids in most cases. Fewer harmful recessives, and they’re even prettier on average. So even if if you do want to maximize your genetic material’s chances, you should probably marry someone of a different race.

              Thinking about race in this kind of way is deeply stupid. It’s just another sort of collectivism, because you care about the large group and ignore the individual. I’m an individualist, not a collectivist. Racism and communism are two sides of the same coin – one only sees a man’s race, and the other only sees a man’s class. I’d rather see the man.

              • “(no worse than when the colonial powers grabbed that land in the 19th century, but also no better)”

                Learn some history before you open your mouth on such subjects. From someone who’s learned a bit about this, you sound not merely laughable, but downright morally repugnant.

                • >Learn some history before you open your mouth on such subjects. From someone who’s learned a bit about this, you sound not merely laughable, but downright morally repugnant.

                  Depends on who your conqueror was. Being ruled by the British wasn’t a bad deal; you got sanitation and railroads, there was a strong home lobby for decent behavior so their abuse/atrocity level was quite low, and after the unpleasantness of 1776 they let their mature colonies go without destructive wars. Former British colonies tend to have done quite well after independence.

                  The French weren’t bad either. They had “la mission civilatrice” and took it seriously. Alas, they were not as good at building durable institutions as the British; a much higher percentage of their former colonies degenerated into shitholes.Then there was that Algerian war…

                  The Germans were…Germans. Ruthless but at least competent; occasionally capable of shame. You start seeing real genocides, like the massacre of the Herrero, at this place in the list. The Marxist caricature of imperialism most closely resembles German behavior, not surprising as this was the example Marx was closest to.

                  There was worse. The Russians were a boot stomping on your face forever even before Communism; their malice was, fortunately, somewhat limited by incompetence. Uniquely, however, the Russian Empire actually held on to all its colonial gains until the Communist successor state collapsed.

                  But the worst were the Japanese and the Belgians. Where they conquered became hell on Earth. Indescribably horrible.

                  (Americans? Inherited good habits from the British. Folk memory in the Philippines doesn’t hate us. The territory gained by our only major imperial war, in 1845, got home-country status and is now among the wealthiest on Earth.)

                  • >But the worst were the Japanese and the Belgians. Where they conquered became hell on Earth. Indescribably horrible.

                    Don’t conflate Leopold II with “The Belgians”.
                    Leopold II was a German who was frustrated because he was the only one in the Coburg family without any real power (being “King of the Belgians” means shit). So he got himself a second kingdom.
                    And he ran it just like the previous Kings of the Congo did…

                    Once the Belgians took over things improved massively there.

                  • In this case I wasn’t talking about colonialism in general, but South Africa in specific. Unless I have been badly misinformed, the territory now defined as South Africa was virtually empty when white colonists arrived there. They found ways to build and cultivate on previously unused land, and black Africans joined them in increasing numbers. If this is correct, nothing was stolen from the blacks at all, and they were always basically guests living in what someone else had created without even the poor excuse of long-past slavery to justify their resentment.

                    • >I am afraid you have indeed been badly misinformed.

                      I wouldn’t trust the article you cite too much. The language in the summary is a clue to two defects (a) straitjacketing the facts on the ground to fit a neo-Marxist theory of colonialism, and (b) postmodernist retreat into the metalevel (note the emphasis on historiography rather than history).

                      I have read up on this topic and the settler-centric “empty land” story seems to have a surprising amount of truth to it. It glosses over the fact that early European settlers were greeted on the shoreline by people related to the !Kung San, but gets right the fact that the Bantu migration into what is now South Africa was contemporaneous or slightly postdating white settlement.

                      The reason the land appeared empty to the Europeans is that its carrying capacity for the peoples who lived there at the time – nomadic hunter-gatherers, not agriculturalists – was low and so was the native population density. The indigenes didn’t view themselves as owners of the land and were pushed aside or absorbed so easily that there was comparatively little violence involved.

                      Well, until the Bantu arrived – much more numerous, more territorial, and more warlike. But they did arrive; the wars were fought along the shock-front where two expanding cultures, both recent incomers to the area, collided. It’s probably fair to say the Bantu treated the actual indigenes more brutally and dismissively than the Europeans did.

                    • >its carrying capacity for the peoples who lived there at the time – nomadic hunter-gatherers, not agriculturalists – was low

                      There’s a more general point here. We Europeans think of the kind of dry grasslands that cover most of South Africa as hospitable country because our ancestors got very good at exploiting it with cattle and the plough. One of the lessons of The Horse, the Wheel, and Language, though, is this: if you don’t have pastoralism, like us and the Bantu, dry grasslands are deserts. You can easily starve to death there – there’s nothing to eat but game you may not have the capability to take, and you don’t have the biological machines to turn the grass into food you can eat.

                      Plow agriculture can do it too, but you need high-value cereal crops that can grow in that environment. The pre-Bantu inhabitants didn’t have that, either, not to mention no plows. They were pretty much inevitably fucked whenever a culture with either showed up – couldn’t sustain enough population to resist a walkover even if they had the idea they should. Which they mostly didn’t; nomadic hunter-gatherers don’t think that way, their attachment to any particular bit of earth tends to be weak unless it’s waterholes in a desert.

                    • “There’s a more general point here. We Europeans think of the kind of dry grasslands that cover most of South Africa as hospitable country because our ancestors got very good at exploiting it with cattle and the plough”

                      That is why you have cattle. They process inedible grass into milk and meat. You also need cattle for agriculture. Without dung, you cannot harvest much. Without animals that can pull a plow, agriculture becomes much less efficient. The Amerindians had to go to great lengths to compensate for the lack of animal manure and pulling power.

                      There were indeed clashes between the Bantu and the Dutch settlers. I have no idea who came first, probably the Europeans. But the Bantu had been moving south for some time already (~4000 years). Both parties were colonizing Southern Africa independently of each other.

                      I seriously doubt whether the original Dutch settlers were morally any better or worse than the Bantu. But I am open to reasonable arguments.

                    • >I seriously doubt whether the original Dutch settlers were morally any better or worse than the Bantu. But I am open to reasonable arguments.

                      Better. Cruelties both we and the settlers of that time would consider unspeakable were a normal part of Bantu life. Find some old sources that haven’t been PCified to fit a Noble Brown People narrative; it’s pretty hair raising. Or just look up “bantu infibulation”.

                  • (Americans? Inherited good habits from the British. Folk memory in the Philippines doesn’t hate us. The territory gained by our only major imperial war, in 1845, got home-country status and is now among the wealthiest on Earth.)

                    Wonder how much agreement you’d find on an Indian reservation. Most of the territory now belonging to the USA was acquired through imperial conquest, or by defrauding the natives.

                    It gets worse. Attempts to integrate the native population usually went badly throughout the anglosphere; you find similar high incidences of alcohol abuse and other vices among Native Americans, Native Hawaiians, Aborigines in Australia and the M?ori of New Zealand, and the reasons are usually linked to attempts to extirpate gribal identity and replace it with Westernized identity. By and large we’re smarter than to attempt this now, but the effects of the past afe still felt.

                    The major exception appears to be the British Raj. I don’t know what was different there.

                    • The picts wanted to say high, but said they couldn’t make it since they’re all dead.

                    • >Wonder how much agreement you’d find on an Indian reservation.

                      Right, the ones who chose not to assimilate. Sampling problem; most of the Amerind descendants don’t show on the credit side of the consequences because they did. There are more people with Amerind genes alive in the U.S. now than there were at time of Columbian contact; one of them is me.

                      > you find similar high incidences of alcohol abuse and other vices among Native Americans, Native Hawaiians, Aborigines in Australia and the M?ori of New Zealand, and the reasons are usually linked to attempts to extirpate gribal identity and replace it with Westernized identity.

                      Jeez you are ignorant. Extirpating tribal identity has got nothing to do with it. Lack of co-adaptation time with the alcohol and drugs does. Amerind and Maori have an alcoholism-rate problem for the exact same reason Russians, Scandinavians, and the Irish do. In another 500 years they won’t, because differential selection will have killed off most of the alcoholism-prone gene lines. The least alcoholic populations are those in the Mediterranean, North Africa, and Near East that have had fermentation the longest.

                • This wasn’t as clear in context as I hoped, but I was referring to the morality of land theft, not to the atrocities that may or may not have accompanied it.

                  Also, most of the atrocities were in the administration, not in the conquest. Leopold took the Congo at a conference table in Berlin, but he was still the most brutal colonialist of them all. Given that the conquest is happening now, we’ll need to wait and see if the administration is benign or brutal.

                    • It’s an hour long, and I couldn’t stand her style of speaking after less than a minute. Can you summarize, or send me to a transcript?

                    • What am I? Your fucking net monkey?

                      Quit being a pansy and pay attention for at least 10 mins from the 2:40 mark.

                      Narration-style aside (needs work, but she’s young and building experience), it’s a very nice summary of South Africa to date.

                    • I’m asking you to make your own point. That hardly seems unreasonable.

                    • Bullshit. All I suggested was to watch a 10 min segment of a [pretty damned good] documentary. You would learn something.

                      You’re too lazy to do that, or to use google.

                    • She’s obviously never spoken to an actual Afrikaner. Her pronounciation of Afrikaans words is physically painful to me, a native Afrikaans speaker. And she glosses over quite a bit of history in the 19th century. As a whole it’s not a bad documentary, but it’s not the greatest.
                      Personally, my favourite book for understanding the sheer mess South Africa has got itself into through 24 years of utter misrule and incompetence is RW Johnson’s How Long Will South Africa Last: the 2017 edition. An absolutely fascinating summary of the situation as it stands, what created the situation, and what the outcomes will probably be for South Africa.

      • Wait… what? Are you saying that the Lerna folks are white nationalists, because they’re making distinctions about political factions????? Because they’re the only ones making distinctions based on political views here.

        I think this is SJW refrigerator poetry.

        But if a bot is making this post, then I would assume that it’s got some sort of memory corruption that’s making it output random dictionary entries. I suggest a reboot, and if the symptoms persist, then try updating the OS and reinstalling from source; if that fails to correct the problem, revert your changes and re-run your test suite.

      • Leftist extremist efforts to make their case is so often rooted in condescension, hatred and ignorance that it’s deeply alienating. It is also often so divorced from reality that it is almost hard to believe if you don’t see it with your own eyes. And here it is!

  11. @Gregory Morris: Right now, my company’s lawyers can just say, “we approve MIT, Apache, GPL, LGPL…” – and we’re golden. If they now have to review the MIT-except-for-companies-doing-business-with-X license, for every single OSS JavaScript library I want to include in my project, we’ll simply go and buy a license for something proprietary instead. This in turn means that I can’t, as a part of my official duties at my company, contribute to projects that have a tweaked/non-standard license, which hurts the community too.

    Understood, but how deeply does your company’s legal staff dig into this stuff? “we approve MIT, Apache, GPL, LGPL…” means you can use code from those projects, but since some open source projects have incompatible licenses, you still have to decide whether the license on code you might like to include is compatible with the license used on code you are developing. It’s even possible you’ll need to kick the question over to legal for an opinion. You can’t just say “It’s open source and I can use it.”

    Worst case, your company legal staff can say “we approve MIT, Apache, GPL, LGPL… that use the original, unmodified terms of those licenses. If a project insists on adding special case codicils, we don’t approve, and just don’t go there.”

    >Dennis

    • I was simplifying for the sake of brevity. I understand it is more complex than that, however, it doesn’t affect the validity of my point. The existing complexity of non-compatible licenses makes further complication even more dangerous.

  12. One hundred percent agreed. Also, very well stated; Lerna’s politics are DEFINITELY NOT your politics, and I notice that you have left your own politics completely out of your assessment of Lerna and their license. Well done in all dimensions.

        • FYI, Bill Kristol smirked, grinned, and nodded when an MSNBC two-bit whore gloated about Mollie Tibbets’ death, because she was just a white farm girl from Iowa.

          If that doesn’t make you want to kill Bill Kristol right now, I suggest you take testosterone supplements.

          • I don’t want to kill him.

            Take a page from the Red Army’s playbook and put a .22 short in both of his kneecaps OTOH…

      • Wow. I am not sure what to think when an entire political party, the democrats, support rapists and murderers, support MS-13 gangs, support free entrance of terrorists into the country, and demonize and spew violence and hatred towards law enforcement. I feel like I have been transported into retard world. War is coming a lot sooner than you think.

        • War is coming a lot sooner than you think because you’re an idiot who believes black propaganda. Nobody sane, on either side of the political divide supports MS-13. Nobody sane on either side of the divide supports rape or murder. Nobody sane on either side of the divide supports free entrance of terrorists. The main argument with law enforcement is that they keep shooting unarmed people. (And this isn’t a rumor, we keep seeing video.)

          Your problem is essentially this: if a Democrat says “Current standards for validating that someone is a refugee from political violence rather than a terrorist are already very strict and enforcement based on these standards has kept us from having a major incident since 2001,” some propagandist on the other side says, “Democrats want to allow terrorists in to murder us” because Republicans are advocating a slightly stricter regime (or a ban, which is really stupid if you think about it.)

          You believe the propagandist rather than doing the research necessary to find out which side is correct. You automatically believe the propagandist. Long story short, you’re an idiot.

          Please stop being an idiot.

          In order to help you be less idiotic, I’m going to point something out to you:

          2.5 million Americans die every year. That’s a basic fact and you can look it up. Speaking very concretely, that means 42.5 million Americans have died from 2001 – 2017. (17 x 2.5 million, right?)

          How many of those people were killed by terrorists? Approximately 2800 on 9/11 and no more than 200 since.* Call it 3000 people, and note that I’m rounding up. What’s that on a percentage basis? Your chances of dying by terror are 0.000070588 percent, or about 1/10,000. (3000/42.5 million) Why is this even an issue for you? Why do you ignore statistics and probability and let people dump black propaganda into your mind without the slightest bit of thought? Essentially you’re allowing someone to play to your prejudices and scare you out of your (pitiful excuse for a) mind over a difference in vetting from an already strict regime.

          But if you actually consider the statistics, it become obvious that terrorism is simply not a major problem. More people are killed every year (7500 as opposed to 200) by taking the wrong over the counter pain killer and I don’t see anyone arguing about how to fix the problem. ( We should start a civil war over this. /snark) In short, do your fucking research before believing propaganda. Actual facts are easy to find, and a little high-school math is all that is necessary to discover how they relate to the real world.

          I can’t help but conclude that you’re a pathetic fool. Please try not to be a pathetic fool in the future. And if you own any guns, turn them in – you’re too fucking stupid to carry!

          * Note that 2800 of those killed were killed during a Republican Administration, and 200 killed during a Democratic administration.

          • Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong.

            >Nobody sane, on either side of the political divide supports MS-13. Nobody sane on either side of the divide supports rape or murder. Nobody sane on either side of the divide supports free entrance of terrorists.

            Incorrect. Numerous politicians are on the record as defending MS-13 ( https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/democrats-dishonesty-hands-trump-a-winning-issue/2018/06/01/4e706660-64fe-11e8-a768-ed043e33f1dc_story.html?utm_term=.818b99ead0f5 ), as well as free entrance of terrorists – that’s what “open borders” actually means, and there are plenty of people very straightforwardly asking for exactly that (and at the same time asking for the abolition of immigration and customs enforcement, which quite literally means free entrance of terrorists). Of course, the way you phrased it allows you to get out of this by excluding Nancy Pelosi from the “sane” category, but there are plenty of less prominent people making those claims as well.

            As for the main thrust of your argument, that’s even easier to refute. Terrorism, unlike, say, deaths by lightning, involves an intelligent actor – there are actual terrorists out there, and they adjust their behavior in response to their target’s actions. The rate of terror attacks is low specifically because it is being focused upon, and that intelligent nature makes standard statistical analysis suspect or useless.

            If you don’t believe me, you can perform a simple experiment for yourself – open your doors wide and leave a large sign hanging out front advertising that the contents of your house are completely unguarded. Your chances of being robbed are incredibly small, so according to your own position this behaviour should have zero impact on whether or not you are the target of a robbery. The example problem you provided is qualitatively different from the idea of terrorism, as pain-killers are not intelligent actors who are purposefully trying to murder people, and when we fail to pay attention to the issue, they don’t take advantage of our inattention and attack us with even greater vigour.

            And finally, while it is only incidental to your point, the idea that you’re telling anyone to look out for propaganda is utterly laughable. You can’t see the propaganda that you swim in – greater immigration and loosened restrictions, which the issue of terrorist immigration is largely a proxy for, materially harms the majority of people who actually work for a living, while substantially benefiting the super-wealthy who wish to drive down wages and thereby increase wealth inequality. Please read your own post, and go perform more research.

            • **Gigantic Sigh For People Who Can’t Read**

              The Washington Post article doesn’t say what you think it says. There is literally nothing there about anyone speaking in favor of MS-13. Basic reading comprehension would indicate that the article is about people who misunderstood Trump’s use of the word “animals” to discuss MS-13 as being an attack on all Hispanics. The article is correct (assuming that nobody understands what a “dog whistle” is.) From there Trump went to ”

              Since I’ve gotten to your first paragraph and discovered that you lack basic reading comprehension, I’m going to assume that the rest of what you wrote is probably crap, so I won’t bother replying. To paraphrase Heinlein, “You haven’t yet learned to think, you won’t read, and you rarely listen.”

          • Ah yes, the good old “nobody said that” argument so beloved of SJWs when they’re on the defensive. And how they do love claiming, by contrast, that implication is totally a thing when it comes to dissecting what their opponents say. Also, I believe you are being ableist in your 3 statements beginning with ‘Nobody sane”.

            I’m not particularly au fait with the minutiae of USAian politics but I can recognise a derail when I see one. From what I’ve read people are much more concerned about criminality than terrorism.

            • Sorry, crime rates have been getting lower for decades, probably due to removing lead from paint and gasoline. Look up “U.S. crime rates over time” or something similar, and look up “lead crime rates” or something similar. Some of the research can literally track lead vs. crime rates on a block-by-block basis.

              Studies indicate that immigrants are less likely to commit crimes than citizens:

              “Foreign-born individuals exhibit remarkably low levels of involvement in crime across their life course. Moreover, it appears that by the second generation, immigrants have simply caught up to their native-born counterparts in respect to their offending.”

              https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/07418825.2012.659200

              The idea that immigrants are automatically criminal is one of the lies the right is feeding us.

              • >Sorry, crime rates have been getting lower for decades, probably due to removing lead from paint and gasoline.

                No, it’s not that. I’ve looked into this extensively and the long-term secular decline doesn’t have the local variations you’d expect if lead exposure were a driver.

                >Studies indicate that immigrants are less likely to commit crimes than citizens:

                Legal immigrants, yes. You’ve handing ammunition to your opponents by failing to distinguish between legals and illegals – which have already demonstrated willingness to break the law by jumping the border. The evidence known to me is consistent with legal immigrants having lower propensity to crime but illegals having much higher.

                >The idea that immigrants are automatically criminal is one of the lies the right is feeding us.

                If “the right” is doing this, it’s not anywhere I can see it. The right-wing websites I read point out, correctly, that illegal immigrants are already definitionally criminals. But I’m not seeing animus directed at legal immigrants.

                • Not sure about the US but the legal / illegal difference is rapidly deteriorating in Europe. People arrive without documentation and immediately file an asylum request. They may be from a safe country but lie and say they are from a war zone. Translators have zero loyalty to the country, so they do not rat out that they speak Arabic with the wrong accent. Many lie about other things. Which is illegal but not found out and thus not in crime stats. Such as about their age, because under 18 they cannot be turned off. Or about being gay. If the asylum request is granted, on a lie or not, many immediately bring in their 22 years old cousin and lie and say he is their 17 years old little brother or something. If the asylum request is denied, now from the top of my mind I am not sure if they must leave on their own, or can argue that they have no money to and it is up to the government to deportment. Now our cucked to the seventh hell governments never get around to depart them en masse so staying forever in the “waiting for deportation” limbo is still not illegal. The whole system is ridiculous. Read this:

                  https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-39733952

                  “A German soldier (…) had registered as a Syrian refugee at a shelter in central Germany in December 2015 and later officially requested political asylum in Bavaria, prosecutors said.
                  No concerns were raised at the time, despite the man speaking no Arabic. German media report that he even received monthly payments and accommodation.”

                  • The soldier in question was planning a false flag terrorist attack to implicate immigrants and did not work alone. Warnings of other refugees that he was an imposter were completely ignored by the authorities.

                    • Sure, but my point is with this level of incompetence of the authorities, we have no idea how many folks are legal vs illegal immigrants.

                • Have you read the paper by Jessica Wolpaw Reyes? She found exactly the regional variations you’d expect if lead was the culprit. She did this by tracing the decline in crime rates on a state-by-state basis. Each state outlawed leaded gasoline at a different time, so she was able to trace the in both lead exposure and crime rate on a state-by state basis.

                  http://www.nber.org/papers/w13097.pdf

                  I’ll be very interested to see what you think about this one.

                  • I shouldn’t say they outlawed lead at a different time. This is a gross oversimplification. Different gasoline companies and refineries changed the lead content of their gasoline at different times. This resulted in state-level changes in the amount of lead in gasoline at varying times.

                  • >I’ll be very interested to see what you think about this one.

                    I’ll read it.

                    What I looked at was more the international evidence. Worldwide the correlation between banning tetraethyl lead and falling crime rates seems to be weak or nonexistant. Moreover, in the U.S, it’s often the case that you have black and white populations living cheek-by-jowl with shared lead exposure rates and the crime rate in one is falling while the other is rising. There were particularly notorious instances of this during the crack epidemic of the 1980s.

                    My conclusion is that any effect from lead levels is so weak that it is swamped or confounded by other factors – in particular, the drug trade after criminalization around 1971 and the collapse of the urban black nuclear family in response to perverse welfare incentives after 1964. But I’ll read the paper.

  13. Open source software is NOT the proper place for social justice warriors.

    In fact, the only proper place for social justice warriors is six feet under with bullet holes in their decaying, brainless skulls.

    End of discussion.

    • I too want to murder all of my political enemies. Truly, the unbridled slaughter of everyone who disagrees with you is what makes liberal democracy great.

      • It’s pretty clear that liberal democracy isn’t great. It’s lead to the collapse of the best civilizations of recorded history again and again. When you start saying everyone deserves a say you quickly end up with idiots running things and then it collapses ans has to be rebuild by strong men without any liberal sympathies.

        • I cannot think of a single example of liberal democracy leading to civilizational collapse without a period of centuries between the two. And even then, there’s only the one example(Rome) that comes to mind, and I’d argue that the Republic had a better record overall for quality governance than the Empire.

          What examples were you thinking of?

          (Keep in mind that I’m using “liberal” in the original sense here, not the modern American sense – liberal democracy is a democracy that protects individual liberties. John Locke, not Noam Chomsky)

          • Classical Athens comes to mind. Lost to Sparta in the Peloponnesian war due to compound politically motivated idiocy. Successful politicians aren’t necessarily good statesmen or generals. Solving for almost opposed qualities.

            I wouldn’t run down liberal (original meaning of term) societies though. The bright spots in history are only interesting *because* they are liberal IMO: For some (unfortunately rare) period, men are to some extent their own masters, are not punished for thinking, and civilization blooms. The loss of Athens to Sparta was a tragedy because a far more worthwhile and interesting civilization was wiped out by a totalitarian militarist cult.

            (Then again, classical Athens could turn ugly and violent towards their freethinkers and philosophers at times too.)

      • Just to be pedantic, the USA is definitely NOT a democracy. Our form of government is a constitutional republic. The founding fathers did this on purpose since mob rule usually ends up in tyranny. The constitution is not to protect “society” it is to protect individuals from the stupid masses. But I digress.

        • I’d say the US is a democracy in the loose definition (the people as a whole have ultimate political power), though not in the tight definition (ancient Athens and similar). Republics are not direct democracies, but they are still broadly democratic.

          The US is probably closer to true mob rule than any other modern nation, because the US takes direct democracy to a level nobody else would ever consider with things like electing judges. But the existence of a solid written Constitution is a good bulwark against the worst excesses of mob rule, even so, and the modern US is definitely less democratic than ancient Athens.

          That said, this is embedded in the concept of “liberal democracy”. It’s a democracy(because the people rule), but it’s also liberal(because it protects individual rights). “Two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner” is illiberal democracy, a regime that protects rights but concentrates power away from the people (Singapore might be the closet example here?) is undemocratic liberalism, but liberal democracy requires both individual rights and shared political power.

          It’s quite a successful model, which is why it encompasses basically the whole developed world. And yes, I do include the US in that. “Liberal” and “Democracy” by themselves are terms Americans might shy away from, and reasonably so. But “liberal democracy” is a singular concept, and one that definitely includes the US.

  14. I’m trying to think of a way of saying this that doesn’t sound like a personal attack against you. I interpret your argument as coming from a good place. I also hear your argument as coming from a place of privilege. Keep politics out of work you say? That sounds really easy for someone with a safe tech job (I have no idea if this applies to you). Protesting should inconvenience people. Protesting should make people uncomfortable (not physically, but mentally). Protesting should get in people’s way. Your statement here on open source is a political one, and it sounds like one being made by someone who can afford for things to change slowly. I don’t think the Lerna project issue has been handled well at all on their part. I appreciate the issues the individual was speaking out against, but I think they could have been more effective if they had opened it up for community discussion first.

    This being said, I strongly disagree with your stance that volunteer software makers should leave politics outside of their volunteer work. I strongly agree with your wish for a more collaborative world, but I also think there’s a place for politics in the open source community. Just look at the great discussions that are happening because of that one (three?) Lerna maintainers actions.

    • >Your statement here on open source is a political one, and it sounds like one being made by someone who can afford for things to change slowly.

      That’s not it. My judgment is that any good that might be done by codicils like Lerna’s is far outweighed by the downstream harm – not just to our own community but to civilization in general – that would follow from the balkanization and disruption of open source.

      • ESR you are far too kind in your response to the previous posts “privilege” idiocy.

        Your “privilege” in writing and contributing to Open Source software comes from being one of the best programmers in the world.

        The poster maligning that and attributing it to skin color or any other factor is insulting and despicable.

    • “place of privilege” and “safe tech job”. Lets get our cards on the table then. Who has threatened to break your legs if you don’t excuse the behavior of your compatriots?

      • You’re going to need to explain your thought process on this one. You seem to be implying that because you (?) live in a country that doesn’t allow political protesting, other people who do live in freely democratic countries shouldn’t engage in political protesting?

    • I’m sorry I don’t run an open source project any more, because if I did, I’d preemptively ban you from it. Your attitude will be the death of open source software if it spreads.

      • You’d ban the participation of someone who’s views you disagree with? I think you’re more political than you realize.

        This being said, I wouldn’t ban you from one of my projects because, while we seem to strongly disagree on bringing politics into volunteer work, I think we agree that banning people from using OSS is a net negative and shouldn’t be done. I also suspect that, while the reasons behind our actions may differ, in the end we probably come to the same conclusions more often then not.

        As I said in my original comment, I agree with this poster (and you) that this case of political activism by a maintainer was poorly handled. I just *strongly* oppose a blanket ban on political expression by maintainers acting in their capacity as a maintainer.

        I also think it’s fair to say that, had the lerna project license change gone through (it’s been reverted), the project would have no longer been open source and its maintainers shouldn’t have continued referring to it as such. A clever marketer would probably say its been relicensed as *ethical source software* or something similar. But regardless of what they called it, rebranding it should help protect the OSS community from any negative blowback and would (hopefully?) assuage your concerns.

        • It’s not that I disagree with your views. As long as you don’t drag them into my project, you can hold whatever political views you wish.

          Politics do not belong in open source, period, end of discussion. Any project that declares its political affiliations in this manner does not deserve our support – which was Eric’s exact point, way back when he wrote this post. Anyone who tries to push a project in a political direction should be ejected for the good of the project and of open source in general. My banning you from the project would be nothing more than a preemptive strike in that direction.

          • Jay, you’ve been misleading me. Here you claim to be leaving politics out of the decision making process, yet I see that, in reality, you approve of ICE and you *like* the current political climate. https://twitter.com/tronguy

            Of course you don’t want politics in open source. It could only undermine your political views. You’re not defending open source right now. You’re defending your politics. You’re defending the status quo. Which is…smart politics I suppose.

            • Here you claim to be leaving politics out of the decision making process, yet I see that, in reality, you approve of ICE and you *like* the current political climate.

              Ah, leftists, who can’t conceive of any aspect of life except from the frame of using violence to impose their will on heretics.

            • >You’re not defending open source right now. You’re defending your politics.

              I know Jay well, and you are dead wrong here.

                • >He appears to suffer from the common SJW delusion that there is nothing that is not political.

                  Indeed. Makes him unfit for polite company. The constant virtue signalling is tiresome.

          • Obviously, the fact that your proclaimed “no politics” stance *happens* to support your real life politics could be just a coincidence, but you have to realize that, logically, you’ve lost all credibility from my perspective. We’re not going to be able to have a convo via the internet. You don’t agree with me. I don’t agree with you.

            • I can’t help it if you refuse to understand my position. Regardless, I would argue to keep politics out of open source even if we lived in an SJW paradise. Nor would I attempt to ban anyone from using my software because I dislike their politics, or for that matter ban them from contributing to my project solely based on those politics. Only if they tried to inject those politics into the project would they be gone, and that goes regardless of what those politics turned out to be. Remember that I have rejected code with a political license – and it was one whose politics I supported.

              No, we don’t agree. I am able to have conversations with those with whom I disagree, as long as it’s kept civil and the others respect my right to hold opinions that do not fall in line with the SJW orthodoxy-of-the-week.

              Don’t try to read anything about my motives into what I say. If you want to know why I think as I do, ask me. You’ll get an honest answer. Whether it’s one you’ll like is no concern of mine.

            • How does a “no politics” stance support a right-leaning real life politics more than an “only right-leaning politics” stance would support it?

              An easy hypothetical example would be banning the use of the software for gun-control purposes. If the government would want to track civilian firearms in a PostGres database and the PostGres guys would not allow that, that would be a case of right-leaning politics.

              (It would also be stupid, because the government could find just another database, while they would alienate a lot of their user base. It being stupid is probably why there aren’t really any real life examples of right-leaning people doing so.)

              • The SJW argument is that “no politics” really means “no politics of change”, and since the status quo is raaaacist!!! and eeeeevil!!! and therefore must be changed, if you don’t support the politics of change, you’re supporting the status quo.

      • With an option on saying “fsck you and that SJW hobby horse you rode in on”. I am sick of that “privilege” crap coming from people who have no clue how hard I worked to earn what I have.

    • Stop putting politics in programming. The compiler doesn’t give a rat’s ass about the programmer’s political orientation, code has no ideology and most projects have no political object. To infect an unpolitical area with corrosive ideology is to destroy and shatter it. Therefore I am against the pointless and asinine action of Lema to inject politics where it should not be.

    • By that argument, it should be fine to exclude you from anything and everything based on politics.

      Cool.

      You are hereby notified that you may not, under any circumstances, touch, join, or intrude upon any property, real, tangible or intangible which I own or have any authority over. Doing so will be treated as trespass and prosecuted the fullest extent I care to at the moment.

      Because you are evil.

  15. From the post by jamiebuilds:
    “… what ICE has done to American immigrants …”

    That tells us everything we need to know.

    A comment:
    “Shoving politics into code will not help anyone.”

  16. How bout a license where you must respect 2nd amendment rights?

    And on and on it would go….
    This is bad.

  17. Lerna has defected from the open-source community and should be shunned by anyone who values the health of that community

    I don’t entirely agree. You find multiple slightly different criteria for software licences – the OSI’s Open Source Definition, Debian’s Free Software Guidlines, the FSF’s Free Software Definition, and other less recognised ones – depending on whom you ask. Small details govern when a licence meets one set of criteria but not another, and the different branches of the community generally get along with one another without resorting to “shunning”. Broadly, Lerna’s changes put them more in the circle of Hacktivismo and friends, who would for most purposes be recognised as a branch in the same general community. Absent a wholesale desertion of community ideals (e.g. the devs say, “Now you have to pay for source code access,”) I’d not issue such an interdict.

    There’s tons of projects that, for instance, use trademarked or copyrighted logos under licences that don’t automatically extend to derived works or even a local build of the same code. For a long while, Debian had to rebrand their stock browser from Firefox to Iceweasel for this reason, but I’m not aware of any push to boycott contributing code to Mozilla in retaliation. F-Droid handles similar issues by flagging what they call “Anti-Features” in their otherwise ostensibly free software, but they continue to participate in building and distributing the affected projects. Essentially, these approaches recognise a difference between outright deserting community values and holding them with what would be called a “reservation” in international law.

    Moreover, there are plenty of programmers who hold paid work developing wholly proprietary software but nonetheless contribute to open source projects and can truthfully claim to value the health of the corresponding community. The misconception that participating in the development of software not meeting a set of criteria is incompatible with the values motivating those criteria, or the health of the community holding those values, is the sort of fallacy employed by fundamentalists and amounts to destruction of information. Reducing the question “to what extent does contributing to the development of this software conflict with the health of the open-source community” to “does the licence of this software fully satisfy the <OSI|DFSG|FSF> criteria” necessarily entails the loss of information associated with comparing an analogue value to a threshold and giving the binary result of the comparison. Accordingly, I would dispute that “Project X releases under a licence not meeting criteria-set Y,” necessarily implies, “Project X should be shunned by anyone who values the health of the community whose values motivated criteria-set Y.”

    • >Accordingly, I would dispute that “Project X releases under a licence not meeting criteria-set Y,” necessarily implies, “Project X should be shunned by anyone who values the health of the community whose values motivated criteria-set Y.”

      So would I. That’s not the problem here.

      Lerna should be shunned in order to prevent their behavior from being replicated by others. Their move is dangerous precisely because they’re not far from our community but relatively close to it and, indeed, claiming to be part of it. They could pull the community in a direction that is dangerous to its continued functioning in a way a proprietary project does not threaten to.

      I note also that you are defining the relevant community much more broadly than I would. I don’t give a crap for “hacktivists”, in general – I think they’re mostly poseurs who like running their mouths too much and doing actual work too little. My community ships code.

      My previous reply to Kirk on objective criteria of excellence is relevant.

      • These people have been moving into tech spheres since it became cool to do so. They will destroy open source in exactly the way you say you don’t want them to do it and there’s honestly nothing you can do to prevent it. No matter what way you try to wall them off and keep them away from things they will network their way in and start messing with things until it becomes too toxic for any one else to want to touch.

        It’s been happening across so many industries lately that it’s impossible not to see how this works. They come in and at first lay low, then they network into moderator positions, code of conduct writers, the general populous and start to weasel their ideas into people’s heads. People go “oh yea, that sounds nice” and just go with it because most nerds are frankly push overs who just want to get along and be left alone. Then they introduce very aggressive code of conducts and start to purge undesirables now their power base is secure. The undesirables is ever expanding until everyone functional has been removed and all that’s left is a freak show of people who agree with them and have no skills outside of being political activists and disruptive.

        The whole time this is supported by their buddies in the media who share the same political ideology and have their jobs very much for the same reason the invaders in other places do. Network then purge until everyone agrees with you and is willing to use the “stolen” power to make others bow towards your ideas exclusively.

        It’s a cultural revolution on par with the Chinese one. Don’t be fooled into thinking this is a storm you can let blow over by being neutral. If you’re not actively hostile to these elements and demand they are removed they will over run you and then remove you. It sucks because I’m sure most of us in the tech circles would rather just get on with our hobbies and be left alone but that’s not how the world works. These people win because we don’t act against them while they always act against us, provoked or not.

        • >They will destroy open source in exactly the way you say you don’t want them to do it and there’s honestly nothing you can do to prevent it.

          Oh?

          The Lerna license change was just reverted and its initiator expelled.

          This is how we win. One fightback at a time.

          Despair is defeat of the self.

            • Ironically, the bolt project displays in their project page’s title, the rune that the SS used in their insignia. “?? Super-powered JavaScript project management. Contribute to boltpkg/bolt development by creating an account on GitHub.”

        • Bob, you did a really good job of exposing what is happening. But don’t forget about the fact that freedom loving people are willing to fight to the death to keep their freedom. There is only so far they will be willing to be pushed before all hell breaks loose. I think people would be well advised to go back and read ESR’s blog post about the mathematics and probabilities around gun confiscation.

      • Their move is dangerous precisely because they’re not far from our community but relatively close to it and, indeed, claiming to be part of it.

        We punish heretics for their small errors even as we forgive heathens for their great ones.

        My previous reply to Kirk on objective criteria of excellence is relevant.

        Could I trouble you for a link? I don’t see it on this page, and those keywords got me a couple of results from 2009 and 2012, but neither appears to be what you meant. I note also that you have a publicly visible XML dump with each comment’s author, email address, website, and IP address that comes up on that search which is rather bothersome from a privacy standpoint.

          • Thanks for the link, I’m reading it now.

            Please tell me where it is so I can delete it.

            /wp-content/uploads/2009/09/wordpress.2009-09-08.xml.txt

              • How did something like that ever get exposed?

                One of the reasons I post here pseudonomously is that I fear SJWs will try to dox me. If my email address is exposed, then my identity is pretty much given up right there.

                • Back in Sept. 2009 this blog got hacked.

                  (The following is speculation on my part:) As a part of the repair process, some dumps were created and put in the “wp-content/uploads” directory so that they could be up- or down-loaded, probably so that a wipe-and-reload could occur. (This directory is the standard WordPress location where things like embedded images in blog posts get stored, and it has to be publicly readable so those images show up for all.)

                  Someone didn’t clean up sufficiently, until they were just discovered.

    • >There’s tons of projects that, for instance, use trademarked or copyrighted logos under licences that don’t automatically extend to derived works or even a local build of the same code. For a long while, Debian had to rebrand their stock browser from Firefox to Iceweasel for this reason, but I’m not aware of any push to boycott contributing code to Mozilla in retaliation

      That is explicitly allowed for in the OSI definition (which is about copyrighted code, not about trademarks) because people have the right to control the use of their trademarks (and in fact trademark law requires them to defend their marks or risk losing them), and the right to demand forks use a different name so that they don’t get blame and support calls for someone else’s code. See also: RHEL and its clones like CentOS, which use RHEL source with trademarks stripped out, because CentOS users aren’t paying Red Hat support contracts.

      But those forks are allowed to exist under those other names, which is what this license would have forbidden to certain Bad People™

  18. They should rename it to CSL – Communist Software License. A house divided against itself cannot stand.

  19. Others in this thread have pointed to the “restrictions” of copyleft, or registered trademarks, but those are on how code is to be distributed, not on whether it can be, still less to whom. And you don’t have to accept the OSI’s authority to understand that if restrictions are being placed on who is permitted to use code, then it’s somewhat disingenuous to say that it’s “open”. To the people who have been specifically picked out, it’s completely the opposite.

    When you start saying that particular people, or those who share their opinions on certain matters, are excluded from your licence (and what those matters are is of absolutely no relevance, by the way), then, by definition, what you have there isn’t open, it’s exclusive.

    • I missed this comment first time round but I think you raise a very good point. open source has always operated on the assumption that anyone could have code, it was just a question of how. These people are perverting the very definition of open source.

  20. Well, ya gotta look at the bright side … this is giving me some great ideas for licensing my next project:

    “This software shall not be used by any atheists, agnostics, Satan worshipers or anyone who does not read the KJV Bible. To obtain a license you must have a fish on your website.”

    “The NRA or any other blood-soaked machine-gunning organizations or companies may not use our software.”

    “To license the Home version of our software your organization must publish that there is no god but Allah and Muhammed is his Prophet. To use the Pro version you must toss one homosexual off a tall building.”

    “The U.S. Dept. of Defense or any of it’s contractors or subcontractors are not permitted to use our software. However, the murderous militaries of other countries are entitled to a free year of premium support.”

    “AT&T sucks. AT&T can’t use our software under any circumstances.”

    “Monsanto may not use our software, nor any other producers or consumers of glyphosate or any other eco-poison.”

    “Planned Parenthood may not use our software, unless it is solely for purposes of publishing their entry into chapter 7 bankruptcy.”

    “If, when you think of the best barbecue, your thoughts are anywhere but Texas, you are clearly not smart enough to use our software. We suggest you buy an Apple Newton.”

    (Ok, enough of that. To the pedants, autists and fourteen-year-olds reading this, the above is intended as slapstick, sophomoric, low-brow humor. But I know that won’t stop you from thinking you need to attack my religion, politics, or love of proper bbq, etc.)

    • Apologies for going completely off-topic, but what is ‘barbecue’ in this context? I’m currently trying to read a novel in which the heroine works in a barbecue restaurant and while I’ve gathered it’s hot, smelly and involves whole pigs, I’m still not clear on what barbecue actually is. Disclaimer: where I live, Australia, ‘barbecue’ refers exclusively to grilling meat cuts or sausages outdoors over a heat source, usually flames.

      Back on topic, kudos to esr for fighting the good fight. This was an egregious action even for an SJW.

      • >Apologies for going completely off-topic, but what is ‘barbecue’ in this context?

        Meat cooked “low and slow” over a specialized grille often called a “smoker”, not necessarily outdoors. There are a number of regional folk traditions using different meats and seasonings; the Texas version is mainly beef-based and uses basting in tomato-based sauces to keep the meat moist. Contrast Carolina style, which is mostly shredded (“pulled”) pork with a vinegar- or tomato-based sauce, or Memphis style which is typically pork ribs with a dry spice rub.

        Partisans of each style stoutly maintain that theirs is the best, but nobody takes these displays very seriously and everybody cheerfully eats regional styles other than their native one; many restaurants mix styles. The whole genre is American identity food with associations that are patriotic, Southern, rural, masculine, working-class, and old-timey; the best barbecue joints are often hole-in-the-wall restaurants with all the ambiance of a truck stop that have been run by the same family for generations.

        I love the stuff and am a connoisseur. Memphis dry ribs, Texas brisket, the Kansas City burnt-end sandwich…it’s all food of the gods.

        • You insult truck stops. The best barbecue joints are places the average non-connoisseur wouldn’t enter on a dare. The more dilapidated, the closer the entire excuse for a building looks to falling in on itself, the dingier the license plates covering the walls are, the better the food will be.

          • >The best barbecue joints are places the average non-connoisseur wouldn’t enter on a dare. The more dilapidated, the closer the entire excuse for a building looks to falling in on itself, the dingier the license plates covering the walls are, the better the food will be.

            All true.

          • Some of the best local barbecue can only be found if you have your ear to the ground. Around here, that means learning which patch of dirt a bunch of guys are going to ad-hoc assemble their pit out of cinder blocks and sheet steel…or you can open your car windows, drive around, and follow your nose ;)

            Discovering their pit is like finding El Dorado.

        • I’ll note that “a barbecue” (meaning the meal/event) generally does not involve “barbecue” (the food style), nor is “a barbecue” (meaning a grill) generally used to cook barbecue.

          In general a barbecue (cookout) involves the use of a barbecue (grill) to cook non-barbecue, but nevertheless American-traditional foods like hotdogs and hamburgers.

          • Yeah, our abuse of language between grilling and barbecue is awkward, and must be doubly so for e.g. Austrians.

        • @esr “the Texas version is mainly beef-based and uses basting in tomato-based sauces to keep the meat moist”

          You must have found a different Texas style than I knew.

          I was a member of a local JayCee club for a couple of years. One of our specialties was cooking bbq for various do-gooder projects.

          Anyways, the briskets were rubbed in (mostly) black pepper and salt with maybe a bit of garlic. Then basted every few hours with lard containing the same salt/pepper mix. No tomato substances appeared until the sliced meat was served with a bbq sauce that was, of course, tomato based but not sweet at all.

          All the good commercial places seemed to use a similar cooking style.

          Wish I had had sense enough to write down the exact recipe, as I’d love to duplicate it today.

          • >You must have found a different Texas style than I knew.

            My reference is Rudy’s in Austin. Jay Maynard knows the place and can certify it as Texas ‘cue.

            I would enjoy your recipe.

            • Texas barbecuing methods do vary from cook to cook. The essentials are mesquite smoke (mesquite was made for smoking barbecue, because it damned sure isn’t good for anything else!), primarily beef-based (though pork ribs are all right if you can’t get brisket), and a sauce with some fire to it but not so much heat that that’s all you can taste. The rest is up to each cook.

              • We used pecan wood. Pecan trees were everywhere along the coast where I lived.

                My favorite is Brian’s in Clute, TX.

                • Haven’t been to Clute in long enough that I can’t recall the place. The Houston standard is Goode Company on Kirby Drive just south of the Southwest Freeway, though the one out on the Katy Freeway is an acceptable substitute, especially since it’s right across the parking lot from a humongous gun store.

          • Most of the barbecue around Dallas is like Eric describes, but my dad got ahold off a dry-rub recipe much like you describe. We generally eat it for Thanksgiving/Christmas/Easter on its own, no sauce.

            • >my dad got ahold off a dry-rub recipe much like you describe

              I prefer my pork ribs dry-rubbed in the Memphis style, so I don’t usually eat them in Texas joints. The thing Texas does better than anywhere else, in my opinion, is beef brisket. The best I’ve ever had is at the northwest Rudy’s in Austin right near I-35.

              I have been known to declaim that said Rudy’s is the sacred mountain of barbecue to which all true devotees should make pilgrimage before they die. On no occasion when I said this in the hearing of anyone who has been there has there been objection.

              • Imma let you finish, but you clearly never made it to Harold’s in Abilene before he passed away without anyone willing to take over the business (although they do special cooking for the county fair). We routinely had people drive 2.5 hours one way to come to lunch.

                • Harold’s was very good. I ate there several times back in the 80’s when I still lived in Colorado City and Granbury.

              • Rudy’s is now a chain. I first ate at the one on I35 in Austin when I was at an instrument vendor nearby doing a QC inspection for the instruments we were buying for the Vogtle nuke plants we are building. When we drove back to Texas and stopped for the night in Sherman, there was a Rudy’s next to the motel we stayed at. The BBQ was just as good as the Austin joint. I got several bottles of the sauce, including one Sissy version for the wife…..

              • > I prefer my pork ribs dry-rubbed in the Memphis style, so I don’t usually eat them in Texas joints. The thing Texas does better than anywhere else, in my opinion, is beef brisket.

                My dad’s recipe, specifically, is a brisket dry rub, not pork rib.

        • The only BBQ I won’t eat are styles with vinegar or mustard sauces.

          Because I hate vinegar’s taste, and mustard’s.

          Beyond that, bring it on! Beef ribs, pork ribs – both kinds, pulled pork, brisket, fresh-smoked pastrami [is BBQ!], smoked chicken, sausages, even fish.

          (A place around here – Podnah’s – does lamb shoulder and ribs every Thursday, and it’s glorious.)

        • Thanks, it sounds delicious. Pulled pork has started appearing on menus here the last couple of years but it tends to be too dry. They’re probably roasting it before shredding, instead of doing it properly.

          A Texan friend of mine goes to a chili cooking contest every year, another cuisine where there is much regional rivalry I gather.

        • >You’ve never had barbecue? You poor bastard.

          photondancer, he means that. Good barbecue inspires devotion. It’s not just that it’s an amazingly tasty food, it’s kind of back-to-roots ritual for men that recalls our hominid ancestors’ primal experience of mammoth haunch on the campfire. Grunt. Grows hair on your chest.

          • Words cannot fully express the joy I felt when a guy from Wichita Falls opened up a barbecue place three blocks from my house. We’re in there at least twice a week now. Doesn’t hurt that he does an outstanding chicken fried steak, too.

          • I’m not even particularly devoted to bbq, given the choice between a good pizza and a good bbq, I’m going for the pizza.

            But it’s still something one should have on occasion.

            > Grunt. Grows hair on your chest.

            Nah, that’s just the migration pattern from the top of the head to the top of the feet.

            • So that’s where the burgeoning ear and nose hair are coming from.

              If I shave my head bald, will this slow the process or expedite it? Cuz at this point, I’m using my ear hair as part of my comb-over.

          • That’s not American cooking at all. :-)

            Unfortunately, it is very difficult to get any of the best American cooking overseas. You really do have to come to the U.S, and go to restaurants that are not chains. Many people around the world appear to sneer at American cooking, but that is because they associate it with frozen pizza and McDonald’s. There is much, much more to it, including many regional cuisines.

            • International cuisine has come to the US, including Texas.

              Here in the DFW region, I can get kick-ass barbecue, Southern, Tex-Mex, Mexican, Korean, Chinese, Italian, and hundreds of others, made by the folks steeped in that culture. Fast food and chains are only for emergencies, life is too short to eat cruddy food.

              • I’ve had tex-mex in DFW and would be very happy to have some here. Would love some regional Mexican too. Unfortunately, as cathy says, good american cooking doesn’t export. I should dig out my american cookbook and see if it has barbecue.

                • Barbecue is not a matter of recipe, really. I mean, yes, you can say “cook the brisket for 10 hours over a low smoky fire”, but that doesn’t convey the actual method well. Might work for the sauce, though.

                  What makes barbecue isn’t the ingredients. It’s the tools and techniques.

                  • True, but it would be a start. Then I could hassle american friends for tips to try to make it better ;-)

    • Have you seen the Bip-cot no gov license? It’s a bit hilarious actually, but I had to point out to Micheal Dean that it wan’t an OSI compatible license, and that he shouldn’t use the term “open source” to describe it, which as far as I’m aware, he no longer does.

  21. It seems that the change was reverted. https://github.com/lerna/lerna/pull/1616

    While I’m a JavaScript developer, to be honest, I had never heard of this project before, and neither I’m planning to use it, but even that way, I’m glad that they are using again the original MIT license. (lets hope they don’t change their mind tomorrow)

  22. What would your method, as a libertarian, be to oppose these policies of ICE (or any other thing which you strongly were against)? Would you consider personal boycotts of companies that supported them in any way or do something altogether different?

    • >Would you consider personal boycotts of companies that supported them

      Yes.

      Your next question is bound to be why, if I would boycott as an individual, I advocate that the community I live in and help lead not engage in analogous behavior.

      That’s easy. I judge that the expected harm from de-neutralizing the community greatly exceeds the expected benefit from recruiting for my personal cause, whatever it might be.

      I have strong, absolutist opinions about gun rights. I believe ethical programmers should individually refuse to cooperate with the implementation of computer systems intended to register and track civilian firearms. But I have never advocated community action against gun-control advocates, and will never do so.

      That’a because I judge that splintering, balkanizing, and politicizing the community around this,or any other single issue, would inflict more harm than any good I could collect from the attempt.

      • That’s reasonable. Suppose though, you were a prominent member or “leader” of a project which could be used by people who wanted to conduct surveillance. They contributed suggestions and perhaps even patches or financial support to add the features which they need the most. All open source.

        If you individually resisted these features, you might be holding back the project. Especially if other senior contributors were for the features. In such a case, the line between a personal boycott and a project altering direction based on a political preference of a senior contributor doesn’t seem that clear to me.

        I’m honestly not trying to annoy you with hypotheticals. Rather, I’m trying to figure out where you draw the line and how you can compartmentalise two aspects of your personality.

        • >That’s reasonable. Suppose though, you were a prominent member or “leader” of a project which could be used by people who wanted to conduct surveillance.

          Your question is underspecified. You’d need to pose one or several much more specific thought experiments before I could answer it.

          >I’m honestly not trying to annoy you with hypotheticals. Rather, I’m trying to figure out where you draw the line and how you can compartmentalise two aspects of your personality.

          I believe you. But you’re handwaving a bit too muchh in your questioning, so far.

          • You know, the more I think about this to formulate a cogent thought experiment, the more I stumble at specifics. Your original reply is sufficiently overarching to make sense now.

            Thanks.

      • > That’a because I judge that splintering, balkanizing, and politicizing
        > the community around this,or any other single issue, would inflict
        > more harm than any good I could collect from the attempt.

        The *most* harmful thing you can do to a tribe is to do something to it that splits it into two tribes.

    • What I would do, being in a (at least nominal) democratic *republic* is to build a set of REALLY solid arguments for CHANGING THE LAWS.

      ICE is a *LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY*. They are enforcing the laws that were passed by democratically elected representatives to attain goals and objectives set by officials appointed (at least nominally) by an elected president and following procedures and rules that have had input from all three branches of government.

      Boycotts like this are the flailing about of spoiled little children, defective in intellect, weak in history and steeped in the protest mindset by “progressives” similarly equipped.

      Do you know what they call countries that do not enforce their borders?

      “Failed States”.

      It would be SO FREAKEN COOL if President Trump was to announce “We are going to have ICE follow the practices and rules that Mexico uses on *IT’S* southern border. Minus the corruption and bribery”.

      • ICE is a *LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY*.

        Nope. ICE is an OBEDIENCE enforcement agency. If they were a LAW enforcement agency, they wouldn’t routinely violate our fourth amendment rights.

        • Nope. Searching and seizing from criminals is perfectly legal. It is only unreasonable search and seizure that is unconstitutional.

  23. So, since this is resolved, I figured I’d just point out the deep idiocy of the people acting like ICE is some independent organization of bigots being gratuitously evil rather than a government bureaucracy behaving exactly as anyone knowledgeable would expect a government bureaucracy to behave.

    There is only one way to stop a bureaucracy from carrying out a policy in the way maximally convenient to the bureaucrats and with total indifference to the consequences to the people in its path. And that is to not give the bureaucracy a policy to carry out.

    • Not quite resolved. The instigator still needs to be made to fellate a flamethrower “pour encourge les autres.”

      Seriously, without immediate and painful consequences these sackless boys will continue to pull this crap.

    • So, since this is resolved, I figured I’d just point out the deep idiocy of the people acting like ICE is some independent organization of bigots being gratuitously evil rather than a government bureaucracy behaving exactly as anyone knowledgeable would expect a government bureaucracy to behave.

      No. It’s not deep idiocy to point out that ICE is particularly vicious and xenophobic compared to customs agencies from other countries. As an example, I hear routine reports of how pleasant it is to enter China compared to the United States. European hackers are avoiding tech conferences in the USA entirely, and rerouting transcontinental flights through Canada if one of their layovers just happened to be in the USA.

      Racism, bigotry and general dickishness are deeply encoded in how ICE conducts its business. Not only has this torn families apart here, it has made the USA enemy territory for much of the rest of the civilized world. Thanks, Bush and Trump.

      • You are conflating the way ICE treats people sneaking in across the border to the way Chinese customs officials treat tourists and businessmen bringing money into the country.

      • “European hackers are avoiding tech conferences in the USA entirely, and rerouting transcontinental flights through Canada if one of their layovers just happened to be in the USA.”

        Oh bull. This is just European SJWs doing their political grandstanding and virtue signalling.

      • Twenty years ago I had an American telling me how extremely polite Dutch border controll was compared to her own US compatriots.

        And if you have ever visited, say, Iran on a holiday (popular overhere), or Sudan or any other of a list, you think not twice, but a dozen times before you cross US borders again. And if you do work that competes with US companies, or might cross some US sensitivity, you will also keep clear of the US.

        • The last time I visited the Netherlands – or the rest of the EU, clearing border control at Schiphol – they were indeed quite courteous.

          So was the US border control on the return trip.

          Don’t give them an attitude and they won’t give you one.

          • Don’t give them an attitude and they won’t give you one.

            In my own experience this is patently false. I went to Canada a few years ago; Canadian customs only asked to see my passport and check my suitcase. Coming back across the border I was grilled by the US customs agent about what I was doing in Canada — this despite me bearing a U.S. passport, which is a mandate from the Secretary of State to let me back into the country of my birth. I didn’t give him any lip, I was just quietly going about my business. And he either singled me out, or he was a dick to everyone crossing into the USA, citizen or not.

            This is part of what we need to fix: the presumption of bad faith — among our customs agents, our cops, and anywhere ordinary citizens interact with government authority.

            • This is completely the opposite of my experience. The most annoying customs officers were Canadians. Specifically, they tend to ask increasingly intrusive questions about the conference I’m attending. This isn’t just my personal experience, it got so bad that my company had to start obtaining official documents that we could show Customs telling them not to bother us. Even that doesn’t always work. One of my coworkers managed to get himself banned from Canada.

              • Same here. Only time I’ve ever had a bad Customs experience was in Vancouver. Because I had the temerity to return there to fly home after visiting various cities in North America, they kept me for 2 hours demanding to know why I was coming back and sifting through my luggage over and over again. If they really believed I was a smuggler they’d have brought in the sniffer dogs, so I can only presume they just felt like being nasty. But it does make me laugh at the endless fawning over Canada progressives indulge in.

                • Yes.

                  I flew into Calgary in 2006 from Seattle to attend a sports event. I had to use medications that were imported into the US from Canada which I had to use on a twice daily basis.

                  The Customs guy gave me all sorts of grief about why I was ‘re-importing’ these drugs and why. So I begin giving him a semi-clinical explanation of their use and what would happen if I didn’t adhere to the dosing schedule until he shut me down for TMI. And let me proceed through the checkpoint.

        • There’s a big difference – and rightly should be – between entering a country through proper channels vs. entering illegally and breaking their laws. The border control of every country should treat those two things entirely differently. One is a visitor or returning citizen, the other is a criminal.

          • “There’s a big difference – and rightly should be – between entering a country through proper channels vs. entering illegally and breaking their laws.”

            The woman I talked to worked at Bell Labs and returned from a trip to Europe. I have visited the US several times. Things go well (slowly) if I have all the forms filled in correctly (e.g., stating in writing that I do not have criminal or terrorist intends) and can wait in a very long line for a long time. Anything else will result in harsh words.

            Other countries have less odious forms to fill out after you already obtained a visa and less long problematic lines.

            • ” Things go well (slowly) if I have all the forms filled in correctly “

              Well, you win, Winter. The above proves that the US is just a horrible place. I bow to your anecdote and the obvious superiority of Europe.

              • Why Europe? I am at this very moment sitting in Dubai airport. The people here are polite and friendly too?

                (It was you who started about lawful entrance)

                • “Why Europe?”

                  Oh maybe because of these:
                  … how extremely polite Dutch border controll was compared to her own US compatriots

                  … and returned from a trip to Europe.

                  And the fact that extolling the superiority of Europe (over the US) is a hobby horse that you ride with every post here.

                  But on reconsidering … I’m sure you’d be glad to argue that *every* place is superior to the US.

                  (It was you who started about lawful entrance)
                  No, actually it was William O. B’Livion. His point stands as does mine.

            • Bureaucracy (forms) and poor service (long queues, not building more capacity) sound exactly like the kind of things libertarians (most people you are debating with here) tend to complain about the government, so what exactly are you and them disagreeing about?

              That other countries do it nicer? Of course, in any country where carrying an ID is mandatory and your address is in a government database, entry policy can be easier because even later on people who do not belong there can be thrown out.

              For example here in Austria within 3 days every arrival must record an address with the government (for tourists the hotel does it). One day the police noticed I forgot my car wide open somewhere far on the street wherever I found a parking place, looked up the adress in a minute and visited me to advise it to lock it. This is the level of panopticon we Europeans are used to.

              Now, realize that the US has no ID in our sense, just driving licences, which are not mandatory if you are not driving, working, voting, or opening a bank account. There is no address database. It is very very hard for the police to stop someone at the street and find out and prove if he is an illegal immigrant or not. So it is the place of entry that has to be strict.

              • > which are not mandatory if you are not driving, working, voting, or opening a bank account.

                ID’s aren’t mandatory for voting in many states, and liberals cry “racism” whenever people try to implement voting ID requirements. Yes, this is as ridiculous as it sounds.

              • > It is very very hard for the police to stop someone at the street and find out and prove if he is an illegal immigrant or not.

                So what would the police do if someone they stopped on the street couldn’t produce ID? Would they really arrest him and deport him by putting him on the next plane (to where?)?

        • > Twenty years ago I had an American telling me how extremely
          > polite Dutch border controll was compared to her
          > own US compatriots.

          That’s because Dutch (apparently) culture still emphasizes courtesy.

          The American Left started s*tting all over that in the 1960s, calling it “free speech”.

          Today Americans are a great deal *less* polite than they were when I was a young adult in the 80s.

          This has nothing to do with the complaints against ICE. No one on the left is mad at ICE because they’re grumping at tourists and businessmen coming in off Airplanes (or rarely) boats.

          They’re mad at ICE because the media wing of the Democrat party–CNN, the NY and LA times etc.–are expected to use any means necessary to make Trump look as much like Hitler as possible.

          Almost all of the practices that ICE is engaging in were either SOP under Obama (and some of the complaints being blamed on the Trump administration happened under the previous administration) or *became* SOP under Obama.

          And notice how Jeff blames Bush *and* Trump for it, but not Obama.

          The media is doing it’s job.

          • I have nearly the opposite experience about politeness. Visiting Americans are always asking what they should avoid doing or saying to not offend locals, apparently not wanting to give offense is a high priority, and generally try not to notice and comment on “sensitive” things like noticing someone gained weight.

            Not only Europe is blunter on the average, the Dutch are easily the bluntest people west from the Hajnal line. Asking coworkers or friends how you like my new haircut or clothes (women like to ask things like that) often results in quite directly negative “it’s ugly” answers. No white lies.

            It’s always funny to watch the British and the Dutch get along on a project. “I don’t like your idea” is “could we consider some other options?” in British and “this is just stupid” in Dutch. Fun times.

            Immigration control is a *policy*, not a matter of politeness.

      • No. It’s not deep idiocy to point out that ICE is particularly vicious and xenophobic compared to customs agencies from other countries. As an example, I hear routine reports of how pleasant it is to enter China compared to the United States.

        ICE isn’t the US customs agency at ports of entry; the completely separate U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the US customs agency at ports of entry. Complaints about the behavior of CBP officers have nothing, at all, to do with ICE.

        But that part, of course, is just sheer ignorance, not necessarily idiocy. The idiocy is the assumption that the relative unpleasantness is because the US customs agency is “deeply encoded” with “[r]acism, bigotry, and general dickishness”, rather than given different policy priorities than other countries’ customs agencies due to differences in situation from those agencies. The charge of idiocy would hold even if ICE were the US customs agency.

        (Not that the fundamental attribution error isn’t a popular idiocy, but it’s still an idiocy.)

      • ICE is not a customs agency, and is not responsible for those functions.

        the US has two separate agencies responsible for enforcing its immigration and border control laws. There is Customs & Border Patrol (who are responsible for entry & exit points themselves) and ICE (who is responsible for enforcing said laws within a specific distance, 100 miles IIRC, of any entry point, which covers pretty much the entire settled US as most regional or international airports qualify as an entry point).

        When you have a bad experience at Customs, it’s C&BP responsible. When someone is picked up for a violation inside the US, it’s ICE. Note ICE does no customs enforcement, it’s purview is solely immigration & anti-terrorism law.

        • Then they really need to rename ICE, then, since its name says it does customs enforcement.

          (It doesn’t do at-border customs enforcement, but it does enforce some parts of the customs laws; HSI handles various import, smuggling, counterfeit, and suchlike enforcement.

          So it’s still doing customs enforcement, just not the stuff most of us ever see in normal travel.)

      • FYI, China has one of the most xenophobic policies on immigration and illegal immigration. For example, they offer 100 Yuan rewards to whistleblowers if you turn in someone who is there illegally. They have a wall. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Illegal_immigration_to_China

        They naturalize almost no one — even if you marry a Chinese, learn mandarin, and move to China, you still will not be a citizen, will not be able to own property or open a bank account, etc, even if you lived there for years. Although there is a legal path to citizenship, no one actually gets it.
        https://www.quora.com/How-hard-is-it-to-immigrate-to-China

        Compare that to the U.S., which naturalizes over a million people per year.

        In terms of accepting refugees, China has accepted about 300,000, whereas the U.S. has accepted 3 million. But China only accepts refugees from Vietnam. And mostly Chinese nationals. All but 600 of of those 300,000 are from Vietnam (which China invaded).

        Saying that ICE is worse than Chinese immigration enforcement is crazy. Maybe they are more polite when they arrest and deport you, but your odds of getting citizenship or refugee status are much, much, higher in the U.S. than in China.

  24. The really funny thing about it was that the codicil was almost pure virtue signaling because it was rendered utterly ineffective by the free sublicense provision immediately below it. So all that was needed was a shell, cutout, or strawman, to render it utterly ineffective — and the guy who proudly drafted it up clearly didn’t think about the contract/license structure as a whole.

    Still, glad to see that it was wholly resolved with his expulsion from the project.

  25. Pingback: Open Source Devs Reverse Decision to Block ICE Contractors From Using Software – Fjoddes.Net

  26. I remember you saying something along the lines of:

    You shall judge by the Code alone.

    Seems legit; too bad I’m terrible at coding right now.

    Now, in ten years time, it might be different.

    • One can learn to code well, with time, practice, and reading others’ good code.

      I’m not so sure one can unlearn being an SJW.

      • Ever noticed that the real wacky radical SJWs usually only pick on the easier and more popular languages like JS, Ruby and Python? It’s like they don’t have chops to delve into C, assembly, Lisp or Ada.

        • The popular ones, apart from C and systems programming, is where most of the work is, no?

          (Assembly? Niche stuff, at most.

          Lisp, Ada? You’re kidding me.

          C? Sure, for Unix systems programming and embedded.)

        • Steve “Tech Antifa” Klabnik is a prominent and active member of the Rust community. Despite being the only viable contender for the title of “worthy C successor” (sorry, Eric, Go is an absolute no-go until it loses the GC and gains a halfway decent type system), Rust is neither particularly popular (in the grand scope of things) nor very easy.

          • >(sorry, Eric, Go is an absolute no-go until it loses the GC and gains a halfway decent type system)

            Rust is a no-go until its library API stabilizes to the point where I can rely on it for decadal timescales.

            The Go developers have forward-compatibility promises that are explicit, clear, and credible. I know that barring some out-of-context catastrophe they’ll still be supporting the stuff I need the day the 32-bit timestamps roll over in 2038. Not only do the Rust devs not make such promises, they don’t even understand why not having them is an issue; they don’t think like infrastructure maintainers, like people who have to be concerned about high reliability and reproducibility over long timeframes.

            It would be silly to expect them to, really. They lack the experience. Yes, they have brilliant theoretical ideas, but if you stack a bunch of clever skinny-jeans hipsters against the likes of Ken Thompson in a contest to produce a practical engineering tool, the hipsters are pretty much doomed to lose.

            UPDATE: Go is 16 and rising on the TIOBE ranking. Rust hasn’t even cracked the top 20 yet. Go is also doing better on PYPL. Maybe Rust will do some come-from-behind once its API stabilizes, but it is equally possible that its window to overtake Go in application wins has already closed.

            • I apologize for the following disrespect that may be read, but I believe you are being disingenuous with the stability claims.

              Rust and Go have in common very strong guarantees about the stability of the core language and their respective standard libraries. Anything you write in Rust 1.0 or Go 1.0 will continue to compile and run with future versions of the 1.x lines (Rust 1.28 and Go 1.11 at time of writing).

              Rust and Go, however, do have different ideas of just how large the standard libraries should be. Go’s standard library follows a philosophy like Java and Python before it. It is very large, covering many things that programmers will want to do without having to reinvent the wheel all the time. If you want to manage HTTP connections, perform email functions, pass around JSON or XML, you can do it all without leaving the standard library. This gives a strong advantage for the former point of compatibility, since all these packages fall under the guarantees. Anything you write with them today will continue to compile 20 years from now with the latest/last 1.x version of Go.

              Rust’s standard library is much more constrained. It is barely larger than the Unix libc, containing primitives for building higher-level packages and APIs without including them itself. That task is, by and large, delegated to the Crates package repository, and you define which ones to use via the Cargo.toml file. It’s not completely dissimilar to how one uses go fetch and the import statement in Go, but you are left reaching to it for much more than you do in Go. Cargo understands the rules of the Semantic Versioning specification when defining your dependencies and is able to automatically update your dependencies according to its rules, though you can also pin explicit versions if a package doesn’t follow these same rules. In contrast to Go, that tooling hasn’t even existed until version 1.11 and even, then it’s considered experimental. It has been standard operating procedure to always pull in your dependencies by the HEAD of their repositories. Rust, from very early on, has depended on versioned releases.

              Going back a little further, since I did mention it: C has been able to thrive well for 40 years without any of these advantages. There are edge-cases where putting a compiler into C99 or C11 mode breaks old code. C by itself doesn’t even have a strict standard library. We have a libc on Unix that people expect to exist, but even that is flimsy. Various historic operating systems C has been ported to, such as BeOS, Classic Mac OS, Amiga, and embedded processors didn’t even have a libc that resembled the Unix one much at all. Microsoft provides a standard library that resembles the Unix libc a bit, except it’s a bit like re-inventing the wheel as a square (and some of this weirdness is smoothed over during porting, since the mingw-w64 project enables us to have a genuine port of glibc to Windows). C has managed without all the niceness mentioned above, and the Rust community at least provides a solution to finding external packages to a rather minimal language and standard library, and Go still delegates that task to searching the web, C-style.

              I know you were upset that Rust doesn’t even have select/epoll in its standard library, punted it off to some sub-1.0 crate and it dissuaded you from considering it for NTPsec. Rust also has extremely strict compile-time checks by default that don’t mesh well with how most people write programs, either. All that’s OK. You’ve determined Go’s garbage collector is fast enough for NTP, and it seems that it is a wise choice to implement it in Go.

              Still, Rust is good. Go is good. They don’t solve the same problems. Rust was born from Mozilla wanting a language that can do all the most paranoid checks at compile-time for building a secure web browser. Go was born from Google wanting to replace slow-running Python programs server-side.

              • >Rust and Go, however, do have different ideas of just how large the standard libraries should be.

                And that difference matters extremely to my real-world use cases. Rust’s “standard” doesn’t cover enough for me. Trying to persuade me that I should feel differently about that, or that I’m being “disingenuous” because that’s my judgment, won’t work.

                It’s 2018 and a language without library APIs that are both rich and stable simply is not useful for the work I have to do. You say “C has been able to thrive well for 40 years without any of these advantages,” but even to the extent that claim is true it simply fails to address the tradeoffs I have to face now in choosing a better language to go forward with.

                >I know you were upset that Rust doesn’t even have select/epoll in its standard library, punted it off to some sub-1.0 crate

                Yes, that is pretty much the point where I gave up on Rust. It’s not even that point absence of one feature that’s fatal, its that the Rustacean culture doesn’t understand why it’s fatal and thus will not fix it in a timeframe that allows me to consider Rust a suitable C replacement for the work I have to do.

                Other people can make different choices. That’s fine; I don’t need Rust to die, I just need Rust evangelists to stop trying to persuade me that their language is adequate for my purposes until it actually is. Which might happen someday, but I don’t have the luxury of holding my breath until then. It’s not just their code that has to grow up, it’s their culture as well.

              • “That task is, by and large, delegated to the Crates package repository, and you define which ones to use via the Cargo.toml file.”

                That way lies the crawling eldritch horror that is CPAN. Been there, done that in a non-trivial project. Wound up shipping every library needed with the code, bloating it immensely, because otherwise you’d never, ever get the exact versions you needed, and if you didn’t, things would break, usually in horrible ways that took forever to figure out and fix.

                No thanks. Give me a stabilized library set that bends over backwards to not break backward compatibility. You know, like Python’s.

  27. I’m getting (or rather, have long had) the strong impression that there is a distinction being drawn here between two things, both of which I classify as “politics”.

    I think of them as two layers. One is low level, or object level. It’s rather meaty – it includes most political issues, such as abortion rights, immigration policy, trade policy, school choice, most minority rights, and several others. The second is high level, or meta level, and simpler – it concerns the right to communicate, to trade in ideas and information.

    It’s the right to speech in its purest form – no one’s allowed to deny anyone else’s platform.*

    That second layer is political. I think that’s contributing to some confusion, given what I’m seeing in specific comments. There’s a norm here and in open source to defend that layer, and it looks hypocritical, because we’re saying “keep politics out of open source” while boycotting projects that disagree with that position on that political issue. But what the norm is really saying is “don’t deny projects access to the second layer”.

    It’s justified because that second layer is essential to resolving differences in the first. Otherwise, I could declare you evil and also gag you, so you can’t defend yourself. I might be correct, but that doesn’t follow from my being able to declare and gag, because you could do the same thing to me. All that matters is who snuck over to the gag button first, which has nothing to do with who’s correct.

    So that’s why people who declare “no boycotts” also declare the right to boycott projects that boycott. They don’t get to go any further than that, though. This is even a bit stronger than

    I judge that the expected harm from de-neutralizing the community greatly exceeds the expected benefit from recruiting for my personal cause[.]

    I take from that quote that Eric chooses to do that check every time. I claim that that check is going to run against the principle I describe above, nearly every time, and very quickly and obviously. (It’s interesting to try to imagine a case where it wouldn’t.) “Quickly and obviously” makes that check thankfully practical.

    (If there were to arise a web of intrigue on Github so byzantine that a consortium of project developers with a gun control agenda could somehow use their open source cred to earn enough trust to gather enough resources to implement arms restrictions that threatened the ability to defend the right to one’s own platform for sharing information (in the house that Jack built), while not looking threatening enough in the beginning at casual glance, then it’s possible that some people would have to look like Second Layer Assholes to head that off. But at that point, I’d say all bets were off. That’s chaos land.)

    *If you’re paying for the platform, you can deny it to whomever you feel like, but that’s seen as adjacent to threatening that second layer, if your platform is wide enough. It’s why places like Facebook and Twitter and Reddit and Github will naturally have a hard time with this, unless / until they lose platform share.

  28. A friendly suggestion. Please consider changing “core value” in the title to “core invariant”.

    Employing technically accurate terminology instead of words with politically charged meaning, will further clarify that the point is about open source retaining the technical functionality of the open source paradigm and not a political stance.

    Heck one can even be a racist and still contribute to effectively to open source, so this blog should not be misconstrued as making a political statement.

  29. I followed the pingback to fjoddes.net which has this great line:
    “when IBM lawyers reached out to Crockford asking him to create a special license to use his programming language, he did just that. The license read: “I give permission for IBM, its customers, partners, and minions to use JSLint for evil.””

    That’s the way to do it!

  30. Pingback: You call that a blog comment? This is a blog comment – Hector Drummond

  31. Hopefully, the twat who decided to hijack this project’s license by spooging his SJW wet dream into it has rendered his, her, or itself unemployable in the English-speaking world.

  32. Open source for Evil. Perfect. Thanks Raymond.
    Outrage has always been a matter of perspective.
    However the Holocaust is not a social construct.
    It was a physical event… and ultimately so is your code.

      • “The Holocaust” refers to a specific genocide attempt against – primarily – Jews by the Nazis.

        It does not deny the existence of other attempts to commit genocide, or even successful ones.

        (Remember, it’s about four times the size of the Armenian genocide, and well publicized and known.

        That’s why it’s the go-to.

        It’s okay to use it as an example of a Very Bad Thing without mentioning other Very Bad Things.

        Honest.)

  33. Pingback: Open Source Devs Reverse Decision to Block ICE Contractors From Using Software - Wiki Blog

  34. The speed with which the decision was reversed and corrected is a hint that the fundamentals of OSS, and especially clause 5, are alive and well in 2018. Meanwhile, constant vigilance is needed to ensure that the cause of “liberty” remains a solid plank of our industry. Each of us have been very fortunate to have been born into the beginning of an entire line of work that did give us some short term protection from the neer-do-wells. But no profession, in art or trade, has ever been found to be inoculated from tribalism and influence peddlers, charlatans and snake oil salesmen, the power hungry, the hobby horse proponent or the sacred cow obsessed. And then too, there are those that just want to watch the world burn. So we must remind ourselves, teach our students, and watch each others backs.

    • I got the impression from reading the revert statement that the guy who reverted the licence change (who also approved it in the first place) didn’t understand the issues. He pretty much says so. I suspect someone had to hit him with a clue bat.

      I was also disappointed to see a number of comments, both on the original commit and the revert, supporting the licence change. Whether this is due to people being too lazy to learn what open source means before becoming involved with it, or entryism, it is disquieting.

      • I suspect he still doesn’t get it. Note that the revert statement reads like a standard SJW ritual denunciation/apology for previously associating with someone who has just been retroactively declared a crimethinker. Most anti-SJW-types reading it automatically interpret that as “ha ha, using their rhetoric against them”, but I think he was being sincere. Specifically, he’s an SJW minion who interpreted the pushback as meaning that the changes have just been declared crimethink.

        • It doesn’t matter if the malignant ‘got it’ or not because the host detected the harmful invasion and quickly developed a response and purged itself of the cancer. The host also learned more about what such invasive actors look like and how they behave so the host is better prepared to detect, react and protect itself the next time and the next time after that. When it comes to protecting the host, who cares if the malignant learned a lesson or not? At a human level, I hope the person learns the right lessons and rethinks their principles. But at the practical level, why worry?

            • Sorry, I didn’t explain my analogy sufficiently. The “host” is the free software community as a whole. The “malignancy” is anyone associated with promoting or defending the SJW clause in the software license. In that respect, I don’t really care if the original perp or the correcting agent have the right mind set about the ‘why?’ of it all. I only care that the entire free software community was able to reduce the harm down to an almost imperceptible level.

  35. “And I suspect grandparent loses no sleep at night over Rhodesia and South Africa.”

    I know right! the continuing murder of white farmers in SA by blacks is unconscionable, but it seems to be ignored in the press for some reason.

  36. I note with some amusement that the instigator was expelled from the project not for this stunt, but for violations of the Code of Conduct in discussions around this stunt—and that he was the one to have introduced the Code of Conduct into the project in the first place.

  37. Pingback: Open Source Devs Reverse Decision to Block ICE Contractors From Using Software | Bonafide News Source

    • It took me all of 2 mouse clicks to happen upon this perfect SJW comment on that site:
      “Might want to use terminology of exclude list instead of black list in order to courteous and sensitive to people of color.”

      For crying out loud.

      • If you’re not on the white list, you’re not getting in.

        I can almost smell the yeast-infested manginas from here….

      • This repository for sure reflects Poe’s Law at work. I honestly can’t tell what is and isn’t sincere.

          • We need a list — False Things Programmers Believe About Gender. It can include:

            * There are only two genders.

            * Gender does not change with time.

            * Everyone only has one gender.

            * He/him and she/her are the only acceptable gendered pronoun sets in English.

            * He/him, she/her, and they/them are the only acceptable gendered pronoun sets in English.

            Etc.

            You think I am joking but I am dead serious. I’ve had to perform maintenance on enterprise systems to make them more gender-inclusive. There is considerable liability risk here that no developer wants to be on the receiving end of.

            • Your title betrays your political bias, not that it should come as a surprise to anyone here. As such, it does not belong in open source.

              You and the grievance industry can blackmail large corporations all you want to. Open Source should tell you where to go.

            • Eh, the title is just referencing the similar set of posts about times and names.

              And Read’s right, this time.

              (I mean, I don’t know that most systems need to support multiple-genders-per-person, rather than “genderfluid”, or more likely “just pick the one you want most often because outside of very specific contexts YOUR GENDER IS IRRELEVANT”.

              But he’s still right, at the high level.

              Liability, well, that I’m far less sure of, any more than liability for “not supporting someone’s weird naming construct because of assumptions”.

              What legal basis is that?)

              • From what I heard the main reason to collect gender is so the user interface can be internationalized to foreign languages where gender is grammatically mandatory. Which makes the whole thing even more ridiculous since all the special snowflake genders end up having to be mapped to the standard two anyway.

                  • Depends on the language. But yeah, it would be hilarious to map all the non-standard genders to neuter (in the languages that have it) so all the snowflakes are referred to as “it” by the interface.

                    • So the Bujold solution: Betan hermaphrodites, Cetaganian ba, and any other non-male, non-female, both-or-neither gender takes the pronoun “it.”

            • Wow. What a sad & pointless duty.

              At least you managed to capitalize on the molly-coddling of snowflake mental issues. Kudos.

            • What did you do for the french/spanish/italian/german (frex) code?

              What gibberish are they inventing to placate the blue-hairs?

      • There was a ticket open on the Rust bug tracker to make sure the philosophers in the Dining Philosophers Problem example from the documentation were sufficiently diverse in race, ethnicity, gender, and even era.

        You laugh, but communicating professionally, including communicating so as not to cause offense, is really important to developers now.

        Well, most developers. Linus can’t be arsed to not be a jerk on lkml.

        • Call it a hunch, but I’d wager that’s because Linus has decided that focusing on fixing things and getting shit done is more important than worrying about offending the sensibilities of those who may or may not be fixing things and getting shit done.

          • Also being a “jerk” is a good way to keep the kind of people more concerned with being offended than getting shit done away from your project.

          • You can get shit done and still be considerate and welcoming to the greater community.

            Anyway, Linus himself has acknowledged that he was out of line. and he has also adopted the Contributor Covenant as the code of conduct for the kernel community.

            • >Anyway, Linus himself has acknowledged that he was out of line. and he has also adopted the Contributor Covenant as the code of conduct for the kernel community.

              The former thing I’m OK with; if Linus thinks he needs to change his behavior for the process to work better, that’s his call.

              The latter (adoption of the CoC) worries me a lot. I don’t trust the character or the motives of Coraline Ehmke and her allies at all. Way too easy to imagine the CoC being used as a cudgel to punish wrongthink. We must be watchful.

              • It doesn’t seem to have had much of a negative effect on the open-source projects that have adopted it, which are many, including well-known and high quality ones. Adopting it or a similar code has become the “new normal” for open source, and — as they say — nothing of value was lost.

                • >nothing of value was lost.

                  There’s a things seen vs. things-unseen problem here. The chilling effects of speech and thought control often cinsust of things ppeople constructiely could have said but did not.

              • We must be watchful.

                Isn’t it obvious (or at least quite plausible) that Intel is behind the “post meritocracy” movement that booted him out, ostensibly to institute an ABI to allow for closed source drivers? Linus has always vetoed the ABI and he apparently wasn’t thrilled with Intel’s non-disclosure requirements when working to address the Sprectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities. This posited closed source driver initiative will also have the derivative effect of pummeling BSD. If we don’t stop buying closed source shit and stop working for closed source companies, we (Westerners) are doomed. We’re destroying our own tech sector in a myraid of ways.

            • Linus fucked op the Kernel Maintainer’s Summit. It seems to me that he is heading towards a burn-out.

              https://www.zdnet.com/article/linus-torvalds-takes-a-break-from-linux/

              How he will get out of this is anyone’s guess. I assume he will decide to start being more polite and to delegate handling the assholes to some dedicated people. Whether cursing in private and being polite online will help or harm the development of Linux depends on the implementation of “polite”. Personally, I would go for “ignore” on anything Linus currently curses about. But then I would by far the worst possible choice of a “community leader”, let alone a coder.

              In all this hostility, I have yet to see an example of Linus abusing a woman, verbally or otherwise, or anyone else who might not be in a position to return the favor.

        • What problem does “sufficient diversity in every possible field” solve for an example?

          There’s “don’t offend people by being a jerk”.

          And there’s “don’t offend people who are microparsing looking for something to be offended by“.

          The former is excellent practice.

          The latter can burn in the unquenchable fires of hell.

          • (I mean, “you didn’t include one of the 19th century Germans! I demand Schopenhauer or Kant or Hegel or the like!” …

            No.

            You don’t get to demand that, at least not with anyone required to give a damn.

            Nobody should care about that. Nobody’s getting screwed over by not including your preferred era of philosopher.)

          • What problem does “sufficient diversity in every possible field” solve for an example?

            Probably to reinforce that philosophy is a broad discipline undertaken in different times and different cultural contexts, and stave off the “bearded white men in togas” stereotype.

            Besides, you really don’t see too many women philosophers until the modern era.

            • > Probably to reinforce that philosophy is a broad discipline undertaken in different times and different cultural contexts, and stave off the “bearded white men in togas” stereotype.

              Well the reason the dining philosophers problem is a useful metaphor is that it relies on shared ideas about how philosophers behave. Those shared ideas are based on the traditional western stereotype.

              Specifically, that they like expositing their philosophies and will take any opportunity to do so, don’t really care about what other philosophers have to say (notice its taken as given that multiple philosophers speaking at once is not a problem), and aren’t to concerned about social niceties like that they’re sharing a fork with someone else. If you think this is how all culture stereotype their philosophers as behaving, you probably know nothing about non-western philosophers beyond their names.

          • “What problem does “sufficient diversity in every possible field” solve for an example?”

            The documentation example is a little contrived. But the idea seems to be to signal everyone is welcome.

            In practice, the idea behind maximizing “diversity” is trying to draw your talent from the largest pool possible. We see the result in European soccer. The best soccer teams have the most “foreigners”, whatever the country you look at. The best universities hire from the largest pool of applicants.

            For a project, this means making sure that the world knows that you will accept everyone who qualifies. But I agree with the example, you can just wait for Americans to screw this up.

            • In practice, the idea behind maximizing “diversity” is trying to draw your talent from the largest pool possible.

              Assumes against evidence that the talent is evenly distributed.

              • “Assumes against evidence that the talent is evenly distributed.”

                In my experience, only those who do not want to look for talent outside their comfort zone use this argument (I will not use the vulgar terms for those people).

                Those with an open mind look for talent everywhere they can.

                • >Those with an open mind look for talent everywhere they can.

                  Of course. But they shouldn’t expect it to be evenly distributed, either, and if they do their search pattern will be inefficient and they will badly mispredict their results.

                  • These are all excuses used by people who only look for talents just like themselves.

                    Talent scouts for soccer teams found out that looking for young talents in the slums of Africa and South America was very rewarding indeed. When given an opportunity, I have seen students from disadvantaged backgrounds blossom. In the end, all humans are much more alike than different.

                    But I know the current trend in right wing America is to look in the mirror for the face of talent. Not that the other side is lacking in nut cases.

                    • >These are all excuses used by people who only look for talents just like themselves.

                      That may be true, but I refuse to repeat lies about human uniformity just because the truth is sometimes comforting to bigots.

                      The facts about human variation are what they are. Denying them is insane. If you can’t beat bigots with the truth, they may not actually be bigots at all, and even when they are you deserve to lose.

                    • The distribution of talent does not preclude searching for talent where it is not paving the streets.

                      The fact that, say, math talent might be scarce in a Nigerian slum does not preclude looking for promising candidates from Nigerian slums when the opportunity arises.

                      The fact is, the truism that “Assumes against evidence that the talent is evenly distributed.” is only ever used by people who would not take a slum born Nigerian math talent if it presented itself at their door step.

                    • “The distribution of talent does not preclude searching for talent where it is not paving the streets.”

                      No. It does, however, say that spending large amounts of time on searching there will be a waste of resources.

                      “would not take a slum born Nigerian math talent if it presented itself at their door step.”

                      False. Talent is talent, no matter what form it presents itself in, and I know Eric would not turn down talent he didn’t have to go hunting for.

        • Another example: The Python maintainers are on a full-court press to excise the words “master” and “slave” from their code and documentation.

          You may not think this is important. I know I wouldn’t have, but that’s the thing about us: I’m white, and you probably are too.

          For good or ill, minding how you speak and what words you use is now a core hacker value.

          • >For good or ill, minding how you speak and what words you use is now a core hacker value.

            Anybody who claims that to my face best be prepared to hear “Fuck off and die, you totalitarian thug” from this hacker.

          • > For good or ill, minding how you speak and what words you use is now a core hacker value.

            Since when does that have anything to do with the price of fish when considering the original core hacker values? If you torture and twist the notion of clear and precise communication and then squint at it sideways, I could see “mind your choice of words” fitting with that notion. But I understood core hacker values to include things like taking stuff apart to learn as much as possible about it, and leveraging that deep knowledge to fix things and make cool new things heretofore not imagined or thought possible.

            To the point clear communication enables fixing and building things, I’m all for it. To the degree that it becomes an end unto itself to be weaponized against me by those who are not fixing and building things? Fuck that noise.

          • @Jeff

            And Americans are surprised the rest of the world considers them to be a bunch of incurrable hypocrits?

            • “And Americans are surprised the rest of the world considers them to be a bunch of incurrable hypocrits?”

              Do you speak for the entire world?

          • I will disagree with Eric mildly here, and cite his various descriptions of hackers as rationale.

            Hackers have always minded what they speak and what words they use. It’s just that the criteria used to select their words would be anathema to the kind of SJW trying to infiltrate the hacker community that Jeff proposes: hackers select their words and manner of speaking for maximum accuracy and precision. Words matter in the same sense that the proper use of pointers in C matters. Get them wrong and you don’t convey the meaning you intend.

            By this measure, selecting words to minimize or avoid giving offense is an actively bad thing. It gets in the way of clarity of communication. Feelings matter less than getting it right.

          • “For good or ill, minding how you speak and what words you use is now a core hacker value.”

            I’ll mind my speech and choice of terms carefully here while I’m calling you out for being, at the very best, a misguided and unenlightened human comedic element.

  38. > deployed by one of the prescribed organizations; what would my ethical and legal exposure be?
    I believe you meant to say “proscribed”. It’s counterintuitive, because “proscribed” looks like it should mean “written for” but it’s rather the opposite of that.

    Unrelated, just saw someone cite The New Hacker’s Dictionary for a reference to “monkey up”
    https://twitter.com/Timcast/status/1036358212172296206

  39. ” It’s probably fair to say the Bantu treated the actual indigenes more brutally and dismissively than the Europeans did.”

    And still do.

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