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Things i Hate (Or: Rants by an Old Man)

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# 8  
Google subverted the 1998 rules of website survival: Beg, plead, trick, force your users into clicking ads. Make your downloads not work unless ads are clicked. Generate fake clicks. Clicks, clicks, clicks or die. Google survived without selling our clicks to anyone else. They looked like a beacon of light in a web of 99% pure sleaze.

Looked at in that light, they're as pure-as-snow as they were in 1998. They're still chugging along "for free", and if their search isn't what it's was, it's still on the "good" side of okay. We just finally understand the implications of what they've been selling, and to whom, all along.
# 9  
Originally Posted by Corona688
Looked at in that light, they're as pure-as-snow as they were in 1998. They're still chugging along "for free", and if their search isn't what it's was, it's still on the "good" side of okay. We just finally understand the implications of what they've been selling, and to whom, all along.
Well, this is simply capitalism in action: a capitalist company has one (and only one) purpose and that is generating revenue for its owner(s). Everything else is just a means to that end. A supermarket doesn't want to get fresh vegetables for you, but selling them is their way of getting to your money. The same with Google. They are not a "search-engine", they are a company looking for profit and the search engine is just their means of making it. That means, as long as people use it in large enough quantities they couldn't care less about how successful these people are in finding what they search for.

Google is nothing like "pure-as-snow" at all. It is just that the profit rates in this specific kind of industry was big enough for them to feel no pressure to "optimize" (say: enlarge the amount of revenue per transaction) their business and still make a lot of money. Once that changed and competitors were there they did exactly that and did like any other company. Like the insurance company that advertises "we want you to feel safe" while minimising their expenditures and maximising your rates. After all, the difference between what you pay them and what they pay you back is what they make.

So, bottom line: if you don't like how football is played you cannot ask teams to use suboptimal strategies, you have to change the rules. These rules are responsible for some strategy being optimal and if you change them some other strategy will become optimal. If you don't like how capitalism works you cannot rely on companies discovering their "heart" but you have to change the rules of how production and consumption in our society works.

Be prepared, though, that this will not work peacefully at all. Our society is based on rules which guarantee that with much money also comes much power. To undertake to wrestle power from the hands of those who have it has always been a violent episode in history. The ones with power usually cling to it and don't want to give it to others.

# 10  
Originally Posted by bakunin
Google is nothing like "pure-as-snow" at all.
That was the whole point, sorry if it was unclear.

I just don't think google's changed as much, goals and service wise, as we think it has, we've just wised up to the game.
# 11  
Actually, I had a long conversation with a world famous neuroscientist on this topic last year (or maybe it was the year before) working on my favorite cybersecurity project.

We both agreed that the core problem is the move and continued trend by commercial companies, driven-by-profit motives, to debase humans in favor of machines.

The entire push for "AI" is a debasement of humans in a favor or machines, in fact, because machines are cheaper to employ and easier to manage that humans. Humans require more care than machines. Humans are expensive compared to machines. I'm not talking about robotics assembling products like cars and electronics. That is a job well suited for a machine. I'm talking about tasks which require the human mind and the human experience, like editing news, writing reports, creating content, and all the other arts and sciences humans are so good at doing.

This is why Google, Facebook and most of the high-flying tech giants have such high stock prices and are so wealthy and at the same time push fake news, copyright violations, and offensive content to all of us; because they are using machines to do things that machines cannot do well. They do this to increase profit. They hire engineers to write AI which does not work well because they do not want to hire the legions of humans it would take to do the job correctly.

If these high tech, high flying companies would reduce their dependency on "Bad AI" and train and hire legions humans to view, review, edit and filter the content on their networks (like YouTube and Facebook for example) society would benefit because many more humans would have good jobs in tech who are not engineers and scientists; and users would benefit because the amount of "garbage and misinformation" we see flowing on the social and media networks would go down . However the downside is that the profits of these rich, high-flying high-tech giants would go down because they would have a large expense to pay humans to do the good work that humans do as content editors, content creators, reporters, content reviewers, content approvers, etc.

The core problem is this faux promise that "AI" is going to help. and the debasement of humans relative to machines. This is the false promise that all the high tech companies are trying to sell society.... "more AI will help"... but in fact, this is wrong. More AI will not help. More AI is the core problem and it is debasing to humans for high tech companies to tell us "well, we are not going to hire humans to fix the problems because that costs too much, but don't worry, we will get machines to fix the problem"... meanwhile, the world becomes more destabilized, white-color crime is on the rise, cyber disinformation and cybercrime is on the rise, political turmoil is on the rise, disinformation is on the rise.

The core problem is the debasement of humans in favor of machines, driven by profit.

These tech companies are not "bad" or "evil" per se, but there is no doubt that they are driven by profit (greed) and because they are driven by profit, and therefore greed, we are seeing the unintended consequences of that greed on human civilization, as a whole. It's as simple as "cause and effect" but because companies and people permit themselves to be controlled by greed (money, fame, power, material things, etc), this greed creates strong negative consequences on the planet.

In the past, heavy industry polluted the rivers, ocean, sky and the entire planet because of greed. Now, the new tech industries are polluting the information space, human consciousness, memetic spaces, social spaces and indeed, the very fabric of human society, because of greed.

It's really a sad state of human affairs when you think about it!
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# 12  
After 10 years at Sea I decided on a career switch and in 1979 is started work as an Electronic Engineer, I worked for a number of companies like Ferranti, Olivetti, Norsk Data, Motorola, Phillips, DEC and a number of others over the 40 intervening years.

Floppy drives were 8 inches in diameter, memory was made of ferrite and came in wooden boxes and a steel carrier - it weighed about 2 pounds per Kb. You could fix things, for some of the equipment I worked on you had to write your own diagnostics to do this - but you could fix things. Now systems are not repairable, all these things are just throwaway - and sad to say attitudes have followed. We went through the discrete components, to integrated circuits in Ceramic and Plastic encapsulations, then we went through the low power versions of it all. Now we have integrated circuits that have densities that were undreamt of just fifteen years ago.

But essentially all that has happened is that the skill set has been replaced by a courier, who will take a replacement unit to site and plug it in - possibly transferring a hard drive from one chassis to the other.

As to the commercialisation of the experience - in my opinion one of the worst decisions ever made, there was an earlier reference to "Altavista" - it was brilliant but it did cost a significant amount to run. Forgetting to renew the domain was also a problem in this particular case.

I watch the vendors (usually sales or value added resellers) repeatedly mislead customers, I could give you numerous quotes of things I have heard over the years - lead people into a place that they don't want to be. This isn't done maliciously, it's normally through ignorance - the job of a sales person is to sell and few of them undestand the technology.

It's usually left to some techie to make things work, even things that weren't meant to work together. Which is where the good old Google search really comes into it's own, a generic search for an item of equipment will bring you a couple of pages on how to buy one - followed by in most cases nothing of any use!

Arrrrrrgh!!!!!! Many thumps on the keyboard!
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# 13  
Well i do hate those words today, such as : AI, smart, tenant, stateless, cloud, various 'as a service' <buzzzzz>...
Those words today are prostituted to the extreme everywhere.
Almost everything today is 'smart' but actually annoying privacy invading money sucking lurking monster Smilie

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# 14  
No Windows!

I'm for 25 years on linux now. I began with both Linux/Unix and Windows. I went away from Windows since it was a dependency of some proprietary software vendor's will. I decided, not wanting to surrender to such. The choice was against easy-peasy administration GUIs. Against Click-and-Run Installers. Against unreasonable choices of vendors. If you dig deeper within the windows world, it will get hard too - harder than linux/unix.

Going the hard way

The choice also meant learning it the hard way. Read the documents. Search the web for troubleshooting hints. Various levels of debugging through anything that gets in the way. Mostly it has been a hard time and only little leaning back. Always a lot to learn because there is so much to learn here. Webservers, DNS-Servers, Mailservers, various types of Scripting languages, 1000 other types of servers and services. A little time of programming here and there.

The way keeps rocky

One or two times I got pleased with where I'd got to, but that did not last long. The path goes on and on. Nowadays with Infrastructure Management(Chef), Kubernetes and Docker, Ceph and who the hell knows what there will be coming next. Sometimes I'm frustrated about this crazy complexity everywhere and I'm not sure if everything of that is good.

At the moment I'm quite happy with kubernetes and docker as this seems - despite a whole lot of complexity - to make things easier to manage.

Vendors keep baiting you

And the trap of vendor dependency/lock in lures everywhere. You want a LoadBalancer-Service? Come to us(AWS,GKE,Azure,...). Just come to
us. We do it everything for you with some simple clicks(and a price tag). Oh? Your Disk speed is too low? Just buy an upgrade for more IOPS, you can always do that!

I decide to stay on the path of independence, even if that's harder than the other way round. If I do not, I may end up in the space of "I can do nothing, I'm trapped with the solution or the vendor, I/We bought."

A situation like the one bakunin mentioned with his starting post:

47 resource groups, 20 configured IP addresses, close to 100 dependencies between the different configuration items and start-/stop-scripts that were close to 60k in size each
As often said here: Companies always want to make money. Complexity is good in terms of money-making. The more complexity, the more technical expertise can be sold. Complex products are very good products in terms of profit for the vendor.

At the moment Microsoft baits users into her Cloud(huge email storage for ridiculous prices). I'm curious where this leads to.

Choose your path! Either one won't be free of pain.

What I like about linux is that it's like a car and you are supposed to open the hood and a lot of it is carefully designed(ok - something is really bullshit too) and you get lots of great documentation. That's a lot of help on the hard way.


Last edited by stomp; 02-12-2019 at 11:28 AM..
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