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neilk 6 days ago | link | parent | on: Stop The JerkTech

I don't understand your logic. Just because countermeasures could exist, it doesn't mean that the original offenders aren't so bad. Nor does that place any new responsibilities on the restaurant, to piss off their customers who by now might have been going to the same restaurants for decades, with the informal system.

Furthermore, an ID check isn't as painless and easy to implement as you say. Often, other guests arrive before the person who made the reservation. Public figures make reservations under assumed names. And the name on someone's ID may not match the name they typically use (read patio11's brilliant piece http://www.kalzumeus.com/2010/06/17/falsehoods-programmers-b...).

And then there's just the offensiveness of requiring people to carry ID in the first place.


neurobro 6 days ago | link

I'm not saying the app is less bad because countermeasures exist, only that the app is not as bad as the article makes it out to be, and countermeasures exist. Restaurants constantly have to adapt to changing conditions, which is how they end up with reservation policies in the first place.

The point of the ID suggestion (which was only one idea) would be to somehow identify users of the app, let them travel all the way to the restaurant with their date or client, and reject their reservation. This will kill the app faster than begging the developer to be less of a jerk.


You're paralyzed because you now believe that you are 'ahugefool'.

Step one would be to try to find some way out of that pattern of thinking. No wait - step zero is to not give yourself usernames like that.

If you're an ordinary human like the rest of us, your brain goes haywire with low-probability/high-consequence outcomes. You'll want to punish yourself in proportion to what you missed out on. But maybe you should consider evaluating yourself on what knowledge you had at the time?

I think you need to engage in some "accounting" of everything you did, with someone you trust, like a therapist or a person whose business advice you trust.

Maybe you can try cognitive-behavioral therapy, with a trained therapist. You start with your negative thoughts like "I'm a huge fool" and recursively break those down until you arrive at baseline observations and facts. If you're a programmer this highly rational mode of therapy may work well for you. You will almost certainly find that your negative conclusions about yourself aren't warranted.


You know we're in trouble when anyone is giving you stock tips. There is zero evidence that brokers and analysts (in general) can pick stocks better than UPS drivers. Except that they are in a position to profit from others' greed and fear.

I'll agree that the "UPS guy" metric is useful, but only because it shows when a certain kind of madness has infected the rest of society. When even people who aren't paid to promulgate nonsense are blinded by their enthusiasm.




Uncertain why you got downvoted - perhaps "fraud" is a bit too strong but you are mostly correct.

Even if you had a device and protocol that was perfectly secure, if you vote from home, someone else can demand to see you cast it. Or, if it's an app on your phone or a website, there will be an enormous incentive to either monitor your votes or hack them from the rest of the OS.

I've looked into this question a lot and as far as I can tell, there's no way around it. At best, you might be able to distribute relatively secure machines to many places. Maybe every place that has minimal security, like pharmacies or post offices. Or possibly you have some scheme that allows you to repudiate coerced votes later - but that also offers more opportunities for coercion!

That still leaves the problem of verifiability. We might imagine a relaxed standard of verifiability where almost any geeky person can verify the vote is good. I don't have any real ability to verify paper ballots for even a local election, as they are held in a warehouse somewhere. Maybe ubiquity of verification trumps ease of understanding.


neilk 36 days ago | link | parent | on: Gittip, Year Two

> there's a reason that Linux has succeeded

I think you mean GNU/Linux? ;)

You are asserting that the real goal of Gittip is to create a new economy, but that's not Chad's goal. You say that this makes him like Stallman, but it also makes him like Linus.

Linus has made it clear that his primary goal isn't to extract revenue, and in many ways he doesn't care much about traditional success metrics. Instead he wants to maximize values like "fun". Chad wants to maximize other values, like "generosity". Is it up to us to say that's wrong?

Also, Gittip has a model of self-funding. Even funding a team of people with different talents. Linux doesn't; it's organized around a code repo, and depends on enthusiasts and enlightened corporations to keep contributions flowing. If you're a marketer or designer who wants to contribute to Linux, you're going to have a lot more trouble. You only think of Linux's model as pragmatic because it's been around for so long, and you've gotten used to the deficiencies.

And when it comes to openness, in big open source projects like the Linux kernel, it's considered rude to have any significant discussions off the mailing lists. I think Chad's insistence on making everything public just updates the principle to modern tools like video chats. I used to work for the Wikimedia Foundation, and we did similar things, so the community could act as a watchdog. Our "full disclosure agreements" were difficult for partners sometimes, but they didn't preclude alliances with Apple or Facebook, or donations from Google.

Now, from where I sit, Chad might have taken the openness tactic a little too far. Some discretion is appropriate, especially when people are just starting to form a relationship. And contributors need privacy. To their credit, the Gittip community is currently reconsidering some of the rules around openness, and Chad has been admirably open to that -- another way in which he's not a Stallman.


whit537 36 days ago | link

Hadn't heard of Wikimedia's FDAs, sounds awesome! Do you have a link for more info?


neilk 36 days ago | link

After I made this comment this I realized that the best thing might be to connect you with the people who do bizdev at the WMF. ;) I've already sent them an email, I'll be in touch soon.

Also, the 'full disclosure agreement' is just an inside joke. But, a real-world example. Facebook was creating topic pages, and they wanted to seed them with Wikipedia content. While our bizdev person was arranging that, they refused to sign NDAs. So every time they visited Facebook, the people at FB erased every whiteboard they might see coming or going.

I think that might give you a good indication of what you're up against when it comes to openness and corporate partnerships, but also some hope that other arrangements are still possible.


I'm not an anthropologist, but I have a hard time believing that different peoples have significantly different conceptions of time. Americans are a lot heavier than other peoples, but nobody suggests they have a different concept of mass.

They're really talking about culture - mutual rules for deciding when a thing will occur, and when it has ended. Or dominant metaphors for time. A lot of these are dependent on material conditions; what is locally scarce?

In a place where gasoline and vehicles are scarce and people operate on thin margins, people expect long voyages to be infrequent, and the bus is not going to leave unless there are enough passengers. Otherwise the bus driver can't buy dinner that evening.

In a place where human labor is cheap, materials are expensive, and enforcement of contracts is sketchy, keeping people waiting while you assess their character may be preferable to making a hasty commitment.

Maybe not every difference is explainable this way but I think a lot of them are.

If alien anthropologists arrived, they might look at our space programs and conclude that we had a different conception of time. There's a strange obsession with the exact moment of launch, and time is measured as starting from a negative number up to that point. Time can be, and often is, started and stopped relative to that moment. Launches may have a published, scheduled time, but everyone expects it to be deferred until consensus is achieved that conditions are right. We are also careful that each launch be carefully timed to use an auspicious window, dependent on the planets around us and other cyclical conditions.

The alien anthropologist, ignorant of how his powerful ship even works, notes that he takes off whenever he wants to and just goes in a straight line to wherever he likes. He attributes the humans' odd practices to their different conception of time.


chippy 36 days ago | link

>I have a hard time believing that different peoples have significantly different conceptions of time.

Me too. This is why it's so mind blowing to hear that other people perceive the world differently.


I see what you're saying, but the article was not about "cheap and dirty" at all. They describe a precisely tuned system, riding on the controlled application of brute force. Like a rocket to Mars.

It reminds me a lot of the paper that Poul-Henning Kamp wrote about "1975 programming". Few of us really appreciate how to use modern hardware. https://www.varnish-cache.org/trac/wiki/ArchitectNotes


eternalban 63 days ago | link

This approach is precisely what PHK was arguing against. That position paper basically says "Go ahead and do the logically correct thing and let the OS and VM (memory) take care of making it efficient".


It's been 10 years since Upcoming was created, and the site is dead right now, so, obviously one answer is "nothing". However, let's timewarp to 2004-2007 or so.

Upcoming created the model for an events site tied to a social network, and since it was first, you could find almost any kind of event from a personal party to a stadium rock concert there.

Upcoming had very broad capabilities for tagging, geotagging, searching, following, and being notified about public events. It really shone for aficionados of particular music scenes in geographic areas, and for people who liked going to tech conferences. And knowing the events your friends are going to - or even thinking about going to - also helped catalyze attendance.

Lots of other products found niches that had special needs (for instance, Lanyrd or EventBrite), and Facebook completely owns casual events like barbecues and stuff. But nobody's done an events site that had quite the same mix of community and capability. Most of the sites who wanted to grab the Upcoming-esque market were focused on monetizing through profiling users, and then selling ads, or special offers for tickets. Seems like it should work, but it doesn't seem to have panned out. (Also, I know this may shock people, but Ticketmaster is really difficult to work with.)

However, it's not the tech capabilities that people really miss, it's the community. And probably most people are betting on Andy Baio. He is a well-trusted person who is a passionate fan of independent art and culture, and has a history of creating wonderful communities - like Upcoming, KickStarter, and XOXO.


Ex-Upcoming employee here. I have no expertise to suggest that a cooperative model can work on the internet, but I agree.

Personally, the experience of watching Upcoming wither and die is what got me first interested in alternative ways to pay for social networks and other community service websites. Co-operatives are one possible model.



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