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LWN.net Weekly Edition for June 13, 2013
A report from pgCon 2013
Little things that matter in language design
Specifically, the vast majority of people tend to believe (incorrectly) that when two groups disagree, the best solution always involves a compromise.
EFF Launches New Patent Reform Project to Defend Innovation
Posted Jun 20, 2012 5:11 UTC (Wed) by scientes (guest, #83068)
In My Humble Opinion, it's just that they when people don't know jack about some issue, they generally want to pick the least controversial opinion. This is why there needs to be community cohesion to encourage people to learn about the issues, and form a coherent position.
Posted Jun 22, 2012 5:33 UTC (Fri) by drag (subscriber, #31333)
Running the world through concession is a fundamentally flawed concept and even if wasn't it is not how the world is run now.
One of the most fundamental evil aspects about democracy is that it fools people into not realizing who their rulers are and what are the motivations behind behavior. In the past pre-democracy eras it was obvious to people that the people in charge of their countries were in it for themselves and they knew who to target their resentment at when those people ran the country badly. In modern times this sort of ability to perceive reality in politics is lost due to most people buying into the deception propaganda around democracy. When the governments are behaving badly, refuse to examine issues, and the politicians kowtow to their higher authorities at the expense of their populations... it is all of a sudden 'our' problem that 'we' need to have 'community cohesion'. Instead of directing our anger, effort, and derision against the people responsible it all of a sudden becomes a educational issue. It becomes everybody's fault that the system is taking huge shits all over individuals.
On top of that what makes it worse is that people believe that if they buy into the system and are able to twist it to their advantage then they can profit massively, even if it is at the expensive of everybody else. All in all it means that either people are not aware of their systems of controls or are generally unwilling to change the system of controls because they think they can manipulate that system to their own personal benefit.
Sorry for the rant, but the whole situation is supremely irritating.
The direction of technology and the success or failure of companies shouldn't be based on who has the largest budget for lawyers, lobbyists and political campaign contributions.
Posted Jun 22, 2012 8:54 UTC (Fri) by nix (subscriber, #2304)
In modern times this sort of ability to perceive reality in politics is lost due to most people buying into the deception propaganda around democracy.
Sure, we probably need more counterpropaganda, but the problems of democracy in advanced nations are hardly unknown... more generally, any society not under severe stress is going to be biased towards not changing systems already in place, because all change is risky: refusal to examine issues is just a consequence of this and of normal human cognitive biases. Sometimes this means that really stupid things persist, or that interest groups manage to extend stupid ideas into areas where they are really stupid (see software patents). In the end, either enough fuss will be kicked up that the thing will be fixed, or technological development will stagnate until it is. That's tough for those of us trying to do that development, but to be honest the average voter never even notices it. And society is, in the end, run in such a way as not to anger the average voter, no matter how much other groups may be profiting from it in the meantime.
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