Follow

@Wolf480pl@niu.moe
That was indeed my thinking as well.

@cbowdon

@MatejLach @Wolf480pl @cbowdon

Also why build a state of the art shit whose shape has beed already defined by #Google instead of building something new and better?
Something following a totally different vision?

@Shamar
I think to pull regular users in, we'd have to start with today's web. But once we have sway in the committees, you can begin to redefine what state of the art web should look like.

@Wolf480pl@niu.moe @cbowdon

@MatejLach @Wolf480pl @cbowdon

I think we need a #CERN of #Informatics, but it should start from a simple vision and build what it takes to get there from the ground up.

I have a vision to propose: all people should be able to read, understand and modify each software they use or feed with their data.

Modern Web is not going to survive such vision, so building a browser is wasting money imho.

@Shamar@mastodon social It won't work. Just take some time to, say, explain recursion or graph algorithms, image compression or even cryptography math to a totally untrained user. We will never get to a point of end users to read or understand their software. IMHO, trying to do so is a waste of time that could better be spent on building more ethical solutions that just work for this crowd.
@MatejLach @Wolf480pl @cbowdon

@z428 @MatejLach @Wolf480pl @cbowdon My position is that they should be *able* to (perhaps with a little training), but not obligated to.

@alcinnz @z428 @MatejLach @Wolf480pl @cbowdon

Guys, that's just because we are at the hieroglyphs of #Informatics.

If it's difficult to explain it's because it's primitive. Let's invent the right alphabet and every kid will be able to learn programming at the primary school.

@Shamar No. It's not just the alphabet and language. It's the alphabet and language and a formal approach flexible enough to express *all* the science and knowledge of its age. Actual code is difficult to end users but still the most trivial aspect about writing any piece of usable software.
@alcinnz @MatejLach @Wolf480pl @cbowdon

@z428 @Shamar @alcinnz @MatejLach @Wolf480pl @cbowdon I think the current approach to computing is not sustainable. It is akin to Egyptian priests keeping a secret of solstices. We need to find a way to make this knowledge go mainstream.

@Shamar We're at a point where some adults have issues understanding higher math, some even have real issues learning to master natural language to understand complex texts or express themselves. And we actually did invent an alphabet to help these folks: Icons. Symbols. Easy interactions. So far this works well. Will we be able to do meaningful programming on that level?
@alcinnz @MatejLach @Wolf480pl @cbowdon

@z428 @Shamar @alcinnz @MatejLach @Wolf480pl @cbowdon in simpler systems, the meaning of "meaningful programming" might be a lot different than it is in bloated corporate software. just want to get that noted.

@grainloom @z428 @alcinnz @MatejLach @Wolf480pl @cbowdon

We need to be like Moses.

We can all see how badly broken is current IT.
We can all see how much power we have (which ultimately is much much more we are fooled to think).
We call all see how hard corporations try to lock us in, layer over layer.

Can we think the promised land?
No.
Just like ancient scribes couldn't think of a phonetic alphabet.

@grainloom @z428 @alcinnz @MatejLach @Wolf480pl @cbowdon

But we can try new roads.

We can experiment.

We can teach kids that they can reinvent the future in a different way.

Not just with our lessons but with our code and our example.

It IS possible.
Yes there's a lot of complexity to subdue, we still lack fundamental tools like Egyptians lacked the number zero.
But we need #hope to look for them! ;-)

@Shamar I think we very often fall victim to oversimplification because we have totally lost sight of how incredibly much specialized we already are - and how extremely basic and "trivial" some of the issues users are struggling with actually are. Google, Apple, ... are successful because they do better here, no matter why they do that.
@grainloom @alcinnz @MatejLach @Wolf480pl @cbowdon

@z428 @grainloom @alcinnz @MatejLach @Wolf480pl @cbowdon

Im 6 hour I teached to 22 yo kids what is defined at tesio.it/documents/vademecum.t plus basic networking (IP packets, IP addresses, DHCP, DNS and routing).

We did a simulation of packet routing with paper packets and they understood MitM and DNS poisoning by themselves.

The teacher proposed to add an our to explain one time pad encryption.

1/

@z428 @grainloom @alcinnz @MatejLach @Wolf480pl @cbowdon

We also talked about robots, automata, cyborgs, and thus about the relation between freedom and autonomy.
We talked about surveillance even if I never used this word and about mass conditioning, polarization, hate, market segmentation.
We listed the website they knew and noticing that they were all from US, talked about geopolitics.

It IS possible.

@z428 @grainloom @alcinnz @MatejLach @Wolf480pl @cbowdon

Sorry not "22 yo kids" but "22 ten yo kids".

Just to clarify before someone call me an ageist (if such thing exists).

@Shamar And now, provide those kids with, say, a batch of hardware and the most simple fully featured implementation of something like e-mail. Do you think they will have a chance to understand what happens, let alone fix it? If that was possible, most programmers apparently are pretty dumb, looking at how much time is spent on fixing ...
@grainloom @alcinnz @MatejLach @Wolf480pl @cbowdon

@z428 @Shamar @grainloom @alcinnz @Wolf480pl@niu.moe @cbowdon

My take on that is that most of the required info is already out there, but I am all for simplifying it.

I don't think that would lead to some massive influx of programmers, because some people just have different passions like painting, music and such and some just want to watch TV.

There's a pretty large artist community on the Fediverse, don't think they're much interested in the tech side and that's honestly fine.

@Shamar @z428 @grainloom @alcinnz @Wolf480pl@niu.moe @cbowdon

But why? Is playing an instrument as simple as reading and writing? Is sculpting? I agree that it should be as approachable to these that want to get in. I just don't think the interest is as universal as reading and writing is.

@MatejLach @z428 @grainloom @alcinnz @Wolf480pl @cbowdon

Computers are just convoluted mirrors of our minds.

Programming is a fundamental method of personal expression, and the more pervasive computing will be the more obvious this thing will be to everybody.

"Don't make me think", easy UI that are neither simple nor composable, are the exact opposite of the freedom I want for my daughters.

Who is keen to not make you think, what to think for you and decide what you think.

Google anybody?

@z428 @Shamar @grainloom @alcinnz @Wolf480pl@niu.moe @cbowdon

What is important is that those of us who are technically minded listen to these who create culture and create friendly tools for them to create more of it.

@MatejLach @z428 @Shamar @alcinnz @Wolf480pl @cbowdon idk, you need to know a lot of "engineeringy" stuff to get things done with digital art tools
you need to use logical thinking for setting up complex things in Blender or Krita
we are already forced to learn a large subset of MS Office, why couldn't we learn UNIX(or hopefully Plan 9) instead?

@grainloom @z428 @Shamar @alcinnz @Wolf480pl@niu.moe @cbowdon

Well, am not saying we shouldn't But many people learn a specific tool to achieve a specific tasks. Things like operating systems, programming and such are such open-ended things that unless you're creatively interested in them, there doesn't seem to be as much of a point in doing so.

@MatejLach @z428 @Shamar @alcinnz @Wolf480pl @cbowdon I kinda agree but learning to use shell scripting for getting basic things done (in a good OS with a good shell language) is not much harder than learning Excel. And if all you learn is basic pipes and how to launch things, that can be used for the same things: launching applications, saving and converting files.
You don't need to understand them deeply either.

@grainloom @MatejLach @z428 @Shamar @Wolf480pl @cbowdon Converting between different formats covers a lot of what we programmers do anyways!

@MatejLach @grainloom @z428 @alcinnz @Wolf480pl @cbowdon

Imagine if we didn't have a phonetic alphabet.

Would you be saying: "There are so many things people might desire to say... so many words to learn... and to adapt... that unless you are creatively interested in them, there doesn't seem to be as much of a point in doing so"

Guys we are programmer raised with this shit! Thinking that it's needed is fundamental to our psyche.

You know, I'm crazy like Hell.

That's why I don't care! 🤣

@Shamar ... both conceptual and mere implementation bugs in existing code, even for people who know both the alphabet and the concepts.😉
@grainloom @alcinnz @MatejLach @Wolf480pl @cbowdon

@z428 @grainloom @alcinnz @MatejLach @Wolf480pl @cbowdon

As I said we lack fundamental tools like the zero.

Try to think #math without the zero. Imagine facing a system of differential equations without being able to think that the zero exists.

That's what we do each fucking day with Informatics.

@z428 @grainloom @alcinnz @MatejLach @Wolf480pl @cbowdon
I got 6 hours (extended to 7 because the teacher saw how dad the kid were when they realised the bell was ringing and I hadn't explained the crypto algorithm at the end of the sheet).

Give me 2 hours a week for 3 years starting at 8 yo, and they will be able to use #freedombone like a pro.
Give me 6 h/w and they'll code their own protocol on #Oberon.

@z428

They do 'better' because they, through inordinate market power accrued through tactics at least as shady as anti-competitive hiring practices, get to define what 'better' means.

@Shamar @grainloom @alcinnz @MatejLach @Wolf480pl @cbowdon

@deejoe @z428 @Shamar @alcinnz @MatejLach @Wolf480pl @cbowdon imho there were/are better systems that give users more freedom that were commercial failures because they weren't marketed properly or weren't lucrative enough for developers looking for a quick profit. Linux package managers are better than app stores, but app stores don't require you to share your source.

@deejoe @z428 @Shamar @alcinnz @MatejLach @Wolf480pl @cbowdon or look at DRM. big money and power hungry megacorps looooove DRM, but it's objectively terrible for everyone else.

@grainloom I'm always back to XMPP and WhatsApp as maybe the most crucial example of everything that possibly could have been done wrong: The "tech" and FLOSS elite fully ignoring or laughing at a new piece of technology that doesn't fit their world view. The XMPP crowd that always focussed on a technology but never cared about building a product actually working for users - 1/4

@grainloom @deejoe @Shamar @alcinnz @MatejLach @Wolf480pl @cbowdon And someone (the WhatsApp guys) coming along, ignoring both and starting over with what by today is the predominant messenger on all platforms at least in terms of user base - 2/4

@grainloom @deejoe @Shamar @alcinnz @MatejLach @Wolf480pl @cbowdon Do we care? No. It happened a dozen of times before, it will happen again, and so far we have no way to change that - 3/4

@deejoe No. They *do* better because they made technology available to users in a way "accessible" to these. They do things such as thinking about "target groups" or user personas and actual requirements in term of usability as well. They do that for profit, and of course they use marketing for that, but in the end WhatsApp, Google, Facebook *did* make technology accessible to people who never used a computer before - 1/4

@deejoe @Shamar @grainloom @alcinnz @MatejLach @Wolf480pl @cbowdon We can try to ignore this or argue it away but the amount of people using these channels and tools (both because they are easy and/or because they aren't able to use any other tools) possibly will not care - 2/4

@deejoe @Shamar @grainloom @alcinnz @MatejLach @Wolf480pl @cbowdon "Better", to them, is not what marketing sells them. Better, to them, is what works for them - 3/4

@z428

it's a cycle, of course: They can do usability work with the ill-gotten gains from vertical lock-in & other anti-competitive shenanigans.

@Shamar @grainloom @alcinnz @MatejLach @Wolf480pl @cbowdon

@z428

on the one hand we have people who want to eliminate the 'normal' user by making them all programmers

on the other, those who want to 'fight for the user' on a battlefield of their opponents choosing

@Shamar @grainloom @alcinnz @MatejLach @Wolf480pl @cbowdon

@deejoe @z428 @grainloom @alcinnz @MatejLach @Wolf480pl @cbowdon

Uhm... just to be clear: I don’t want to eliminate users but to free them from the people who use them through the software.

When most people will be programmers, it will much easier to build usable free software for those who aren't because most (all?) software will be free.

The problem is that it's a race.

@deejoe @z428 @grainloom @alcinnz @MatejLach @Wolf480pl @cbowdon

I think it's very evident that we cannot compete with corporations paying thousands of developers (and fooling even more to work for free "because fOSS") on building successful applications because they decide what successful applications must look like.
They WANT us to waste our energy trying!
So they can hire and subdue us.

@deejoe @z428 @grainloom @alcinnz @MatejLach @Wolf480pl @cbowdon

So we need to be smarter and spread what they fear most: #knowledge.

It's not Knowledge that is power but Ignorance that is weakness. By empowering people we subtract them users, data, revenues... we shrink their market and make their product useless or even annoying: "WHAT? why I can't change this code? Refund me now!"

Show newer
Show newer

@Shamar

> When most people will be programmers

if you take the expansive view *most* users are already programmers, just too high up the stack to make much difference in the pile of dependencies on which they continually teeter

@z428 @grainloom @alcinnz @MatejLach @Wolf480pl @cbowdon

@deejoe @z428 @grainloom @alcinnz @MatejLach @Wolf480pl @cbowdon

Indeed I usually say "hackers", not just programmers.

However I don’t care much about the future of Google, if they will go out of business or not.

I care about the people that will be freed from them.

Show newer

@grainloom Amazon Lambda does so, in example - reduce your boilerplate complexity and focus on small functions that contain actual logic. Better? Not sure.
@Shamar @alcinnz @MatejLach @Wolf480pl @cbowdon

@Shamar @z428 @MatejLach @Wolf480pl @cbowdon I *think* I know what the right alphabet is, but I don't know how far that takes us...

Those early computer scientists knew their stuff!

@alcinnz I'm not convinced. Just take an arbitrary user and let him, say, try to understand QuickSort, solving Towers Of Hanoi or the TSP.
@Shamar @MatejLach @Wolf480pl @cbowdon

@z428 @Shamar @MatejLach @Wolf480pl @cbowdon

As I said I don't know how far that takes us. And it'll probably differ for different people.

@Shamar That's a huge breakthrough you're asking for. The Romans couldn't just come up with zero and place values by creating a new institution. Breakthroughs come when they come.

/cc @alcinnz @z428 @MatejLach @Wolf480pl @cbowdon

@akkartik @alcinnz @z428 @MatejLach @Wolf480pl @cbowdon

Yeah, but they can only occurs if people don't settle on... well... JS.

I mean!

Why the hell I need to convince people? It's self-evident! 🤣

Times ago Pike wrote about the end of operating system research.

Later he went to Google to build Go. That's what depression can do to a man.

But I have hope.
I don't care if I fail!
I just want to learn.
But by hacking, I'll inspire others, creating the conditions for such breakthrough.

@Shamar Absolutely, I can totally relate to that: akkartik.name/about

You weren't the one proposing a CERN for browsers, so my response was unfair.

But there seems to be room here to try multiple approaches. We shouldn't stay stuck with Google's browser while we try to come up with the right alphabet that will get everyone wielding computers.

So let's you and me go chasing the right alphabet, and leave the rest with our good wishes 😀

/cc @alcinnz @z428 @MatejLach @Wolf480pl @cbowdon

Sign in to participate in the conversation
Matej Lach's mastodon

The social network of the future: No ads, no corporate surveillance, ethical design, and decentralization! Own your data with Mastodon!