BeOS is a good example why if you're already big you can be proprietary but if you're small it's better to release as open source (when there are big players in the market.)
If BeOS had simply released its source early on it might still be very much alive and healthy today. Given that it achieved on the desktop what Linux still has not, it might have bested Linux in at least the desktop arena. It's main mistake was trying to make it in the proprietary OS market, up against both Microsoft and Apple. Certainly after Apple had failed to buy BeOS, their next best bet was transform BeOS into a GPL or BSD-licensed project.
Now, we have Haiku OS, but it is a bit late, and can only ever be an approximation of the original experience / API.
The example given by the NYU neuroscientist seems to be betray some misunderstanding/lack of vision:
"Would you try to understand the universe by simulating every molecule? What would you have achieved? It’s going to be just as complicated as the real thing and you won’t understand it any better."
At the very least you would have achieved the ability to rewind and play the universe forward again, which is something that we most certainly can't do with our real universe. You would also have achieved the ability to experiment with and measure the universe with potentially greater precision than we can in the physical world.
Simulation is a tool to help you understand, not understanding itself. I don't think Markram ever said anything to the contrary.
Despite the inflexibility of RMS' arguments (they grate on me as much as anyone) I feel like his position on continuing to develop GCC without modern features like a fully exposed AST is necessary to keep the "moderate" position where it is.
In other words, RMS' radical position is necessary for 'moderate' LLVM to exist. Otherwise we'd still be living in the Borland/Metrowerks/Microsoft world of the 90s - proprietary toolsets developed by private companies with absolutely no intention or incentive to share their code.
In polisci there is a concept called the "Overton window." If a once-extremely radical position is held and promoted by any significant number of people, it shifts the entire conversation in that direction so that the formerly radical position seems more moderate.
That's why RMS is very necessary. He shifts the Overton Window towards what most of us consider the "reasonable" position.
that's in response to the offer llvm made to give hand the copyright over to the FSF and integrate llvm to gcc. I had long been wondering why there was a llvm-gcc on apple machines a couple revisions back.
basically he claims he didn't see the original llvm offer:
>> "If people are seriously in favor of LLVM being a long-term part of GCC,
>> I personally believe that the LLVM community would agree to assign the
>> copyright of LLVM itself to the FSF and we can work through these
> I am stunned to see that we had this offer.
> Now, based on hindsight, I wish we had accepted it.
>If I had seen it back then, I would not have had the benefit of
> hindsight, but it would clearly have been a real possibility. Nothing
> would have ruled it out.
> I wish I had known about the offer.
This is false--people are just as likely to respond to opposing arguments with rejection and ideological hardening. This is replicated in psychological studies.
In my personal experience, the less the opposing position acknowledges the values of its opponents, the more likely it is to be rejected. Most people reason by mood affiliation and use argumentation as a social tool, so this should not be a surprise.
I think the "Overton window" is confusing cause and effect; it's the nature of reasonable positions to generate unreasonable fanatics at the tail ends. But if you pay attention to the loud fanatics at a given point of time, you find most of them do not shift any window but instead fall into irrelevance. I think that as RMS's software becomes less important, people will care less about what he has to say.
Sure - "The loud fanatics" who have no following certainly drop into irrelevance. I think if what you say were completely true we would not have had any movement forward on positions that were considered radical just 10 - 20 years ago - like same-sex marriage. It is only because certain people with large followings - Andrew Sullivan and others - began making a vocal argument for gay marriage, which wasn't even considered a mainstream position until very recently, that it is now the law of the land in so many states.
Radicals have to be able to articulate their position in a way that is compelling and reasonable to a significant number of people in order for there to be a shift. But I think political progress is largely explained by this phenomenon.
It very much was and is contrary to plenty of people's beliefs, it's just that the number of people who hold those beliefs has changed. For example in the very recent Alabama decision the people publicly opposing it explicitly say it's against their beliefs.
"I'll say nothing against him. At one time the whites in the United States called him a racialist, and extremist, and a Communist. Then the Black Muslims came along and the whites thanked the Lord for Martin Luther King."
I do not understand why this post is downvoted. That there is a very large difference between "an opinion which is not aligned with mainstream" and the type of fanatical opinion here called "radical"--this should not be a controversial opinion.
Some people label all undesired opinions "radical" but that is obviously not what this poster is talking about.
> Arguments virtually never convince anyone, so this is all a moot point.
I would tend to agree with you that when two people are arguing, there is very little chance that one will convince the other. However, one of the things I like to do on HN is read arguments between two informed people on a topic in which I myself an uninformed and unopinionated. So for my personal benefit I would urge the people of HN to keep arguing. And to cite your sources.
One should be skeptical of anything that says "exactly what you would most love to do is the best choice."
In-groups love nothing more than making fun of the out-group. When they can wrap themselves in the reasoning of "I'm just moving the Overton window!", they are avoiding the difficult and often painful steps of wondering whether their course of action is the correct one.
But they only see the technical benefits of Open Source, not the ethical benefits of Free Software. This means that we'll continue to see the spread of the "Open Source almost everything" methodology, which leads to a world where libraries are free, but the applications built from them are not. The developer gets freedom, but the user doesn't.
This conflation of "anti-Islam" and "criticizing Islam" is what's holding us up. Those in the West should reserve the right to criticize the tenets of Islam (of which there is plenty to criticize) without being slandered as anti-Islam.
Similarly with Judaism. There is a distinction between 'criticizing Judaism' and being 'anti-Semitic.' Let's figure this out.
In both cases we should be making these distinctions without resorting to slurs and violence.
This conflation of "anti-Islam" and "criticizing Islam" is what's holding us up.
You will find this conflation in just about any widely distributed group of people you can imagine. It extends from Islamists, to Jews, to feminists, and that's just off the top of my head. There are certainly more.
People who parrot the "criticizing X means harassing members of group X" angle shouldn't be given the time of day, and yet, they are. It's a surprisingly effective tactic for shutting down debate, since apparently being called "anti-X" has become a worse thing than actually taking concrete action against X.
Just like criticising my government here in Australia doesn't make me a Communist. It's the same debate tactics that have been used since the 50's, just applied more widely. It makes me sad, but emotional manipulation is difficult to fight without sinking to their level.
This one was easy. Just drop Turkey on Facebook. The fact that they didn't was weak - Turkey does not represent a huge slice of their userbase, they could easily afford to lose it in support of free speech. At one point Google dropped China - a much larger potential market - because of China's demands for Google to become complicit in their censorship.
Isn't that pretty insensitive the large number of Turks (at least 20 million) who identify more with Western values than the conservative Islamic values being imposed on them by the current leadership? Not to mention, FB is very popular over there...especially amongst that demographic.
West-Aligned Turks are engaged in an active debate and protests . But like you said, they're a minority (a large minority) so they cannot succeed in electing a political party that can restore their Western, Secular values
It is still an open question as to whether progressive interests would be better served by having Facebook blocked. Certainly some percentage of conservative Turks use Facebook; blocking Facebook is a decision to forego something they may value. Right now they get to have their pie and eat it too. I'm not sure that is healthy.
What you've posted is idealist but unrealistic and poorly considered imo, especially if you have been following Turkish politics lately. facebook in the West is a lot of people posting funny cat pictures but in a place like Turkey it can be one of the few methods for the Western-leaning Turks to organize and communicate.
I would suggest you read up on the Iranian revolution against the Shah. Your suggestion is exactly what the Shah did on behest of the UK and USA: he came down real hard on the pro-democracy cosmopolitan youth breaking up their meetings and demonstrations. Meanwhile the hardline religious zealots could still go to mosque and organize themselves there. End result: the sort of people we might like to support in Iran were marginalized and the Ayatollah seized power. You're suggesting a similar course of action and I would predict a similar outcome.
you told elon musk we should have Space data storage. even charitably taking the premise that this is the same thing as "space internet" (it isn't) is it possible that you are the not the first person to ever think about this rather obvious next-logical-step? I mean it's certainly not possible the Elon Musk was inspired in this case by Vint Cerf, the father of TCP/IP who has been advocating for some time for a latency-tolerant interplanetary Internet. (source: http://archive.wired.com/wired/archive/8.01/solar.html. Year? 2000.)