Pat Gunn (dachte) wrote,
Pat Gunn
dachte

Nature is an Indian Giver

Before I start the entry, I find the phrase "indian giver", when I think about it, unbelievably revisionist. In the grand obnoxious "manifest destiny" and the like, it was the amerindians who suffered "indian giving" rather than being the perpetration of it. The Europeans as a whole cheated, stole, and killed their way across the American continents, all the time operating under a guise of religious education and civilisation. If I could have delivered a message to the Amerindians of the time, it'd be to kill every European they see, giving absolutely no mercy. Of course, I'd probably want to leave pretty quickly after explaining...

Anyhow, last night, Lady Gaia decided to take all the warmth away, to mark the beginning of a new season. It's time to bust out the winter coats. I hate this time of year.

On the topic of yesterday's journal entry, jwz contributes his own special brain-damage on the same theme. On his BLOG, he pokes fun at a sysadmin who wants to set system policy using config files, repeating the (stupid) technolibertarian view that anything that a user might be able to coax a system to do should be made as easy as possible for them, and that 'soft' controls to implement policy are wrongheaded and despotic. In that magical world, the only valid way to ask a user not to do something is to tell them not to do it. This reminds me a bit of RMS's early advocacy of passwordless, securityless systems where one could rely on sensibility of people to do the right thing. That works in some circumstances, and is fine when it is, but there are often good reasons to implement technological deterrents, and depending on the strength of the deterrents, they often scale up to be equivalent to what we'd call prevention. Passwords, for example, are deterrents that are effectively prevention, as with some time, a user could either lock another's account with too many tries, or get in.

Tags: tech
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