Linkliste vom 2015-01-18


On Tone Policing Linus Torvalds, or Linus Torvalds is a Shit-Eating Pig (via)

Linus Torvalds is a shit-eating pig. The man’s default mode of interacting with his own community is to crash into discussions like the Kool-Aid Man and harangue and insult people for having technical opinions different from his own, regardless of whether he’s right or wrong. This is moronic […]

Did I do that right? Did my use of strongly-worded invective demonstrate my enthusiasm for the subject I’m discussing, as well as my mastery of the facts? Linus Torvalds seems to think so.

Verwandt: there’s no merit in meritocracy – bezieht sich auch auf Torvalds, laesst sich aber auf beliebige Hacker-/Nerd-Culture-Gruppen anwenden. Beispielsweise CCC-Erfa-Kreise.

The problem is that in practise, the ones who define merit are those already in power, and in both these communities as well as society at large, the ones in power are white, cisgendered, heterosexual men, and as long as these people get to define what merit is, meritocracy will merely reinforce existing power structures. It’s nothing radical, really. It’s the exact opposite, a reactionary, conservative rhetoric that’s used to subdue criticism.

Opt-Out Citizenship: End-to-End Encryption and Constitutional Governance

Let’s suppose for the moment that perfect end-to-end encryption is possible—that it becomes possible for individuals to hide everything they say and everything they write and every document they create and every transaction they perform from any surveillance, ever. This is clearly the goal advocates aim toward, without hesitation. This is to some extent what a service like Tor already provides.

On what legal or ethical basis do advocates assert that they have the right to do this?

Unter demselben Gesichtspunkt beleuchtet tante die aktuelle Kryptodiskussion in GB.

The NY Police vs. the Mayor

After Officer Ramos’s funeral, I asked a group of cops who had gathered in one of the neighborhood bars why they aimed their anger so exclusively at Mayor de Blasio. […]

Drinks flowed. A retired detective from Yonkers reminisced in great detail about the various suspects—or “mutts”—he’d clobbered and left for dead. When he saw me listening and obviously suspected I wasn’t “one of us,” he said, with an unconvincing smile, “None of those stories are true, understand?”

Contempt in the bar expanded from de Blasio to politicians in general. There was the sense that, as police, they believed themselves to hold an unquantifiable power over elected officials. The idea seemed to be that there was a pact between law enforcement and politicians. Cops did the dirty work, they waded in the muck, keeping the poor and violent in check and monitoring the human detritus that is the result of inequities they’d had no hand in creating. In return, politicians turned a blind eye to the excessive use of force. On the beat, cops could have their way.


Paper der Woche

An Efficiency Comparison of Document Preparation Systems Used in Academic Research and Development

To assist the research community, we report a software usability study in which 40 researchers across different disciplines prepared scholarly texts with either Microsoft Word or LaTeX. The probe texts included simple continuous text, text with tables and subheadings, and complex text with several mathematical equations. We show that LaTeX users were slower than Word users, wrote less text in the same amount of time, and produced more typesetting, orthographical, grammatical, and formatting errors. On most measures, expert LaTeX users performed even worse than novice Word users. LaTeX users, however, more often report enjoying using their respective software. We conclude that even experienced LaTeX users may suffer a loss in productivity when LaTeX is used, relative to other document preparation systems.

Open Data, Open Transit

Wie nachhaltig ist eigentlich Open Data? – Ernesto Ruge stellt diese wichtige Frage angesichts verwaister Projekte, die nach einigen Jahren nicht mehr weiter gepflegt werden (koennen). Diskussionsbeteiligung in den Kommentaren gerne gesehen!

Developing a Prepared Mindset – Transit sketch planning – Wie geht eigentlich Nahverkehrsplanung? Schoenes Format, von CfA

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