Yes, true. But I'm not a "geek"
I'm too old to normalize a word that was previously used against me.
It's the end of the year, when the tradition is to look back at what just happened. Let's not do that. Let's take a step back and look at the wider picture, because while we've been worrying about data breaches and OS updates, we've rather missed the point. The world is living through an historically great technological …
Which is helping them to increase their riches, with their riches already having been what made them our masters in the first place.
Yes, with our education, training and experience in IT, we're somewhat privileged now that at least in some places there are fewer jobs than applicants, so we have some choice, but after all we still have to work for someone, even if we're self-employed. And there's always only one purpose for any enterprise, which is turning money into more money.
Under these conditions, to believe that we can improve the world as employees or self-employed is pure illusion. This needs something outside the workplace context. Like the FFF movement.
Always multiply your repair estimates by a factor of 4, to maintain your reputation as a miracle worker. ....... Sixtiesplastictrektableware
Do you want to try that out, or is already being tried out on the proposed bill of works for repairs to the crumbling Houses of Parliament, rotting Palace of Westminster? ....... https://www.building.co.uk/news/parliament-refurbishment-will-cost-at-least-12bn-chair-of-spending-watchdog-says/5109926.article ...... with one well known senior Conservative,Leader of the House of Commons Jacob Rees-Mogg suggesting a mouth watering £20bn for repairs to the fairy castle .... https://www.politicshome.com/news/article/jacob-reesmogg-predicts-20-billion-cost-of-parliaments-refurbishment
It is hard enough to imagine it being value for money even at a quarter of those cost, let alone four times the current expanding estimates.
It is not as if Parliamentarians actually need it to do what they are expected by society to do for them, is it, whenever technology so easily enables them to work probably much more effectively from the comfort and convenience of their own homes.
And just think of the money that saves which can be spent better elsewhere other than on an old tumbling down, unfit for future greater virtual purpose ruin.
It's a No-Brainer and Serial Money Saver rather than Bottomless Public Money Pit for the Private Sector are footing no bills nor accepting any expenses, are they? They aint no fools, or they try not to be whenever it comes down to the nitty gritty of throwing good money [their money] after bad money [future tax money] which may never ever be there.
Amanfrommars1, it's amazing how you never cease to amuse me, even though I know you are nothing more than a bucket of statistics about the English language that some twerp scraped from message boards and then had the gall to call it 'intelligence'.
That's fine if your estimate is less than 2 hours.
If it's more, then don't forget to inflate to the next higher time unit. (The multiplier becomes a matter of individual choice.) So "two days" becomes at least "four weeks", and a good deal more if you actually want to beat it by a good margin.
Under these conditions, to believe that we can improve the world as employees or self-employed is pure illusion. This needs something outside the workplace context. Like the FFF movement. ..... demon driver
Hmmm ? There have been those in the past who considered such a dilemma in the present to be worthy of a future provisional leadership, demon driver, and proved it to be surprisingly successfully in its day
Today would such a morph be akin to a Universal Virtual Force of Immaculately Resourced Assets and there be no valid Earthly reason to not expect such to be equally surprisingly successful at least, with others much more enthusiastic and more fully dedicated to the cause even suggesting that be far too modest an outcome and a grossly underestimated result with command and control of leverage with all of these new fangled and entangling technologies which do so much for everyone anonymously and autonomously.
It certainly has the attention of some with more than just worries to seek to redress and coups to avoid ..... https://www.nationaldefensemagazine.org/articles/2021/12/27/quantum-and-the-future-of-cryptography ....... or it certainly should have so that they are not left behind trailing in wakes of debris and detritus/flotsam and jetsam/madness and mayhem/conflict and CHAOS [Clouds Hosting Advanced Operating Systems].
That’s one of the worlds one can easily live large and prosper extraordinarily well and long in today.
The ability to encrypt information is an essential part of military command and control
Yes it is. But I prefer to build / Integrate systems / exploit them instead of writing about it. ..... Clausewitz 4.0
Is the following a
missing link next step to exploit up the stairway to heaven or giant quantum leap for mankind into the deep dark unknown of the future abyss ..... and are they essentially both one and the same, Clausewitz 4.0/El Regers?
Essential military command and control coders experiment to experience builds they have initiated, exhaustively interrogated and comprehensively extended and hardened to the nth failsafe degree in order to provide immaculate cover for secret secure and stealthy services and AWEsome 0day vulnerability type exploits never before expected or even imagined possible and therefore most likely for both themselves and their generously paying customer clients with crumbling traditional and ancient hierarchical which are increasingly prone to random flash crashing systems failures to maintain and sustain/retain and server.
And regarding the question .... Having inherited the Earth, what are you going to do with it? .... keeping it stupidly simple, so that fewer will ever be confused/befuddled and bewildered, what would you prefer? Fix it up or FCUK it up with the myriad tools now freely available to any and all with the necessary wit for the heavenly tasks or diabolical plots ahead?
Which do you imagine being the easier of the two to do quickly and quietly with no effective opposition or competition?
And do you think your views and thoughts and wishes on the matter play any instrumental part in the decisions made in such remote theatres of future virtual operation or
be you is humanity mostly just as a spectator of Greater IntelAIgent Games at ITs AI Work, REST and Play? In deed, a pwnd pawn to some sort of "world ruler" which msobkow thinks unlikely? ...... https://forums.theregister.com/forum/all/2021/12/27/geeks_run_world/#c_4388538
"This needs something outside the workplace context. Like the FFF movement."
One wonders at what age the FFF kiddies plan to report to their local Sleepshop. Will Greta lead the way? Or will she suddenly become "indispensable", despite her great age of 21 (or 30, depending on which cannon you follow ... ).
My fellow geeks, let us enjoy the grandiose lives we have built for ourselves!
Thanks to a collective effort from like-minded peers, we now have music, movies, books and games on tap the same way we have water. The remainder of everyday administration (cooking, cleaning etc.) can be taken care of by investing in machine learning, robotics and bribing otherwise ineffective normies who are happy to serve!
Make THOSE people do all your shopping, cooking, washing and cleaning until they’re ready to be replaced. By the time we are obsolete, there won’t be any value left in human labour!
In my experience direct collaboration between content providers and IT people is impossible in mature companies or institutions. Only in startups will IT people have room for that, and then only in collaboration with like-minded experts from other fields. So far, some really successful startups, no names mentioned, have taken us in the wrong direction. The dark forces are strong.
But fora do exist. Tools exist. And when the pandemic is over, people can meet and have unplugged discussions.
And the end produce reflects the over-inflated egos
Programming something to do a specific job is actually really easy, the problems start when you realise your program does loads of other things your never intended or considered.
At least in the physical world, if you designed a bridge, and someone was trying to blow it up with explosives, they’d get arrested. Nobody is going to blame the engineer for this situation.
Cant say they same for software
Not an article I can agree with.
"… it's impossible to imagine how the global pandemic would have played out without it [the Internet]".
Many of us remember the Asian Flu pandemic of 1957. People either stayed at home or got on with life. The Government did not make a fuss. Pity that was not remembered from 2020 onwards, especially now we have all had our arms pierced. 2020 vision, what a joke!
"… with power comes responsibility …"
Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and others have greatness thrust upon them. The last is especially true in the computer trade, and greatness has been thrust upon many who subside under the challenge.
But when an influenza vaccine became available it was deployed on an annual basis.
People just got on with the plague as well. In the C14th visitation it killed between 30% and 50% of the Western European population depending on whose estimates you use with no estimates that I'm aware of for its effects in other regions. In the C15th outbreaks the parish registers make sobering reading;what are normally mixtures of baptisms, marriages and burials become simply lists of burials or even lists of names with no explanation at all, presumably because the parish clerk thought none was needed. They knew of no precautions or cures that worked.
You may not have thought as far as that but you can bet that it's in the back of every epidemiologist's mind every time a new disease emerges with the potential to become a pandemic. We do have working precautions we can take and some treatments. That's why we see vaccinations, isolation, masks, social distancing and testing. Archaeologists in a thousand years time will be able to pick up the test kit/mask horizon. Let's hope it's a shallow one.
Thanks for the downvotes. Kind of proves my point.
I find it really bizarre that people are being ostracised for simply declining a medicine that seems to be foisted upon all of us. I'm not "disagreeing with science and medicine" - any fair test needs a control group, and I am simply volunteering to be part of that group.
Nobody (except a charlatan) can say for certain that the brand-new concept of mRNA vaccines will not produce any future ill-effects, e.g. reduced immunity to future diseases/variants, or increased susceptibility to autoimmune disorders/allergies. Nor is it clear what effect "mix & match" vaccines have - except that Matt Hancock thought they'd be a great idea.
It's also apparent that at least since Omicron, vaccinated individuals are similarly likely to get the virus and pass it on as unvaccinated. It doesn't stop the spread. So whether or not I have another dose or even my first dose, should be nobody's business but mine. And perhaps my insurance company's.
Will people soon be similarly ostracised for not having their booster? What about the next booster? Will we get to wear digital arm-bands in the form of covid non-passes ? Will Google provide us with a handy app to see if there are any unvaccinated individuals in our railway carriage?
It just whiffs of an "excercise in authoritarianism" to me. How far can the government push arbitrary rules before people get fed up with it? How much public money can they get away with funneling to the big corporations via their mates?
The 1956 pandemic (emergence of H1N2) was relatively mild but it still killed about 4 million people worldwide - and it was notable as the first year that flu vaccines utterly failed (they were all geared towards H1N1 - which went extinct in humans that year). The 1968 pandemic (emergence of H1N3) killed around 2 million
Fusses WERE made. One of the reasons they didn't hit as hard as they could have was that 1918 left a legacy of watchfulness, living memoey and early warning systems which was formalised in the 1970s after Ebola and finally ended up in the USA with its own administration under Obama after many years as a sub department
MERS and SARS should have been pandemics. They were headed off. The Mango Menace destroyed the early warning intelligence gathering system which could have warned that Chinese regional administrators were covering things up from the central medical oversight authority and perhaps resulted in COVID being another footnote in history instead of the worst Pandemic since 1918 (comparable to the 1895 "russian flu" pandemic which it appears closely related to and only slightly less deadly than 1918)
If you don't think fusses were made in 1895 and 1918, then you haven't studied history, and if you're old enough to remember 1956, then you're too young to remember how the experienced adults in the room reacted to it.
The biggest problem with COVID is that a really bad pandemic is beyond living memory and the last one was so bad that most areas of the world suppressed it from folk memory by not talking about it. Those orphans in 1920s movies needed no explanation to 1920s audiences and 1930s kids simply took the meme for granted
"Many of us remember the Asian Flu pandemic of 1957."
Erm, this is not 1957. Compared to 1957, this is fucking paradise. Anyone earning a good enough wage to keep their head above water and save for retirement, which is most people, lives in the promised land. Those of us who appreciate that keep a wary eye on our politicians and establishment for there are those who would happily take it all away.
This is also not the Asian Flu pandemic of 1957. The numbers aren't the same and what gave us a paradise in some ways made us weak (thinking the big, libertarian babies) and yet resilient (home working and rapid scientific advances) at the same time. If there's one thing I've come to appreciate about COVID-19 and it's mutations, it's that it's a disease of numbers. Numerically, and statistically, it is beautiful; a near perfect low lethality virus with the potential to bring everything crashing down. Fucking beautiful!
It's not geeks, but the Techbros who're defining our future at the moment, sadly cheered on by those that want to swallow a garbled version of tech utopianism where buying expensive gadgets will save the planet.
It's a false promise of egalitarianism, sold to a media who largely haven't got the insight to separate out NFTs from nuclear fusion technology.
Worse still, it's enabling a socially maladjusted view of the world, where keeping people in bubbles and chasing approval from cliques is more important than acting like a grown adult.
Yes, it's our responsibility. No, I don't see many people acting responsibly.
They are strongly kept among the metal workers, and when luckier, "trade" ones. Companies when they found their IT grew too large spin it off as a metal workers company (if they don't off source it entirely), while their executives stubbornly refuse to understand their whole business is often run on IT systems.
Why? Because the metal worker contracts are so cheap - thanks to a large automotive company that needed a lot of very cheap workers to stay afloat - even building companies try to use that instead of the carpenters/bricklayers one. They don't want to pay geeks better wages than the typewriter clerks of the past.
When politician and executive here understand what revolution is happening under their feet, it will be too late... they didn't groom their own strong IT sector, and we'll be wiped out by those who did.
Do crack coding and hacking teams or gurus not have their own loose affiliated and loosely affiliating guilds in the forms of that which is conveyed by catch-all descriptors like the Underground and the Dark Web, and into exploring and exploiting joint venturing in partnerships with customer clients with strange and surreal monikers such as the Chaos Computer Club and Unit 61398 streaming ACTive and APT Team Programs for IT members to zealously and stealthily safely and securely engage with ?
The UKGBNI MoD may even be presumed and assumed to have their own version of such a guild in the uniformed guise and disguise of a 77th Brigade, an agent of change; through targeted Information Activity and Outreach we challenge the difficulties of modern warfare using non-lethal engagement and legitimate non-military levers as a means to adapt behaviours of the opposing forces and adversaries.
Here's hoping that
in their training after their training and field deployments, they're not into staring at goats for inspiration, given the carnage on one's mental state front line activity and engagement can so easily deliver in such attractive innocuous packages/sublime instruction sets to the unwary and totally unprepared and fundamentally unsuitable for an agent of change.
We're not the problem here.... blah blah blah the IT world keeps the information spinning around and around.
I tend to think of us geeks as 15th century printers.... someone gives us 15 shillings and 4 pence and we print out 20000 copies of 'death to the king!" (of course we'd work on the words a bit)
In the 21st century , we're the people who come up with the tools to let someone else post "death to the king!" and have 14 000 followers all like the message.
In both cases the king turns up at our front door and has us all executed. then executes as many people as he can catch. (which is why most printers in the 15th century based themselves in another country then printed "death to the english king"
As for inheriting the earth, I rather enjoy my job as dark lord of the robots, partly for the power, but mostly because I'm lazy and would rather not have to do any actual work.
Still in 100 yrs time we'll be back to the old ways due to over population and a carrington class solar flare
"Go look at the harassment cases in tech companies and try to claim that we don't have our own share of psychotics, liars, cheats and the plain irrational."
Having been in this business since (roughly) the 1960s, I'd say that most of the people involved in that kind of thing are not the techies, but rather the Management which grew up around them. Management, almost by definition, has psychopathic/sociopathic tendencies. Read any book on the subject of "How To Be A Good Manager".
Most of the geeks/nerds that I know are irrational about other things, and rarely go out of their way to share them with others, much less inflict others with them.
 See that word, pedants? It's there for a reason. Heed it. Ta.
I suspect that historians in the next millennium may well consider the current era as a new "Dark Age", given that almost every piece of data is now held in digital form, and as such is essentially ephemeral.
I was once asked to write a brief history of a company founded in the late nineteenth century. This was a relatively straightforward task as their cellars were stuffed with ledgers recording the minutes of every board meeting and transaction they had held. The problem was mainly deciding what to leave out.
Today we have systems that retain documents only for the length of time they are needed, in some cases this is even a legal requirement. Very little of day to day life is accidentally saved for posterity. Why backup data you no longer need?
Not all written records survive, of course, but it is easy to delete digital records, while old minute books remain in the storeroom. Just try finding that picture you took with your last phone but three* ...
A thousand years from now, archaeologists will be carefully excavating landfill sites trying to find out what 21st Century life was really like. While popular TV programs will show network technicians in overalls oiling rack after rack of diesel powered servers, in their high concrete towers.
* I remember uploading it, just before the cloud company went bust.
That's why the most important thing in the house is the backup drive, kept in a very thick data-rated fireproof safe. If the house burned down and I still had that drive, life could go on.
Cloud is just a copy. There's nothing there that isn't already on my computer locally.
I've moved houses and I'm now facing the task of tossing my old Creative Computing magazines. It's amazing to read through those and remember stuff.
Remember when object-oriented languages were called "actor languages" and class inheritance and methods were called "message passing"? I mentioned that to a CS PhD at work and had to drag out the old Creative Computing articles to prove it.
"That's why the most important thing in the house is the backup drive, kept in a very thick data-rated fireproof safe. If the house burned down and I still had that drive, life could go on."
Having tested such things (and after seeing first-hand what REALLY happens to "fire proof safes" after the Tubbs fire), I would not trust that as the only solution.
Personally, I send full data backups via "space available mail" to my sister in Burgundy monthly. She returns them the day after reception. I have weekly "full working system" backups physically stored off-site, and daily incremental backups off-site on hardware that I control (none of this cloud shit).
Don't toss those magazines ... someone on fleabay will buy them, and you might even get a couple folks into a bidding war. About a decade ago I sold my complete dead-tree sets of both PC Mag & Byte. The shipping costs alone were astronomical ... I'm not sure who was the biggest twit: Me for keeping 'em for so long, or the dude who bought a ton(ish) of obsolete, almost unrecycleable clay-coated paper, and had it shipped from Palo Alto to Philly ...
It's often said, but you have to consider the duplication of stuff. That company's old records were still in the storeroom, but that only worked because the company made the choice to preserve old records as many other companies did not.
The company still existed. If it had gone bankrupt in the 1960s, those papers wouldn't have been kept around unless the owner was very sentimental. Meanwhile, I can find lots of data on more recent companies even decades after they've stopped existing. I have some code here that was written in the early 80s (not open source stuff) by a company that stopped existing in the 90s. I did not work there. I got this stuff in 2020. Digital data allowed that to happen. If I can get it to run well on modern hardware, which isn't looking promising but it's one of my hobbies, it will stay around on my storage and likely be passed on.
The company didn't throw out their paper. If they even moved buildings, it's relatively likely they'd discard the old paper. I'm guessing that, when you wrote about it, the building was quite old and they'd been there a long time. It's easy to copy a backup tape and to send it elsewhere. Physical storage of a tape is cheap and so is rental of someone else's drives. It is harder to move paper records to another town, storing them can take a lot of space and therefore expense, and for records of purely historical interest, many people won't bother.
Digital records will indeed be a problem for archeologists if we have a global cataclysmic event that creates a gulf of time, but such events are very rare. A lot of records that are currently used did not survive such events to be unearthed, but were discovered in more mundane locations. We need not despair just yet.
I can't find most of the physical photos I took with my last camera but three. Most things don't get kept in a well defined format and dedicated space.
As for my last phone but three, that didn't have any kind of camera.
If this is a dark age, it's not because information is ephemeral. It's always been that. It's because storage and transmission are so undisciplined.
"If this is a dark age, it's not because information is ephemeral."
Data is not ephermeral, though. It lasts forever.
Rather, it is capable of becoming stale. As I've mused elsewhere, what percentage of the combined mass of a company's data can become stale, before that whole mass of data becomes virtually useless?
Searching alpha-goo for information on a few people who I personally know very well shows that data to be staler than last month's bread. In a couple cases, it is heading past the compost stage and into the sludge at the bottom of the septic tank territory. And in many of those cases, it has been intentionally corrupted by the people in question.
At some point, entropy says the data will become completely useless. Gut feeling is that we are getting very close to that point. THAT, my friend, is potentially the beginning of a new Dark Age.
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