Let’s Limit the Effect of Software Patents, Since We Can’t Eliminate Them (Wired)
Posted Nov 6, 2012 15:31 UTC (Tue) by Rudd-O (guest, #61155)
But seriously, mockery, in LWN? C'mon, how about, you know, responding to the argument? Or are you just trying to sabotage a conversation that you weren't even part of? You know, it's optional to participate, right?
Posted Nov 6, 2012 17:07 UTC (Tue) by jpfrancois (subscriber, #65948)
But since you believe (oh no, you don't believe, belief if for all other dumb people) since you have found the root of all evil, I guess in your opinion you are always on topic.
And half (completely made-up subjective number) of the usually interesting lwn comment thread have there software to politics ratio going down. Political discussion can be interesting, but not for me, that is what I am complaining about.
Posted Nov 6, 2012 22:08 UTC (Tue) by Rudd-O (guest, #61155)
Oh, it's the standard "roll eyes" response. I sense some rustled jimmies here...
If you don't want to be in the conversation, just don't be in it. How hard is it to close the browser tab, that you feel the compulsion to manipulate others into not talking about things you fear?
Posted Nov 6, 2012 22:43 UTC (Tue) by jonquark (subscriber, #45554)
Please, please stop.
Posted Nov 6, 2012 23:15 UTC (Tue) by Rudd-O (guest, #61155)
As for my participation here, if someone else addresses my comments, I will respond regardless. You should expect that a topic about political action will inevitably have political comments. The very topic of patents is entirely a political one.
Posted Nov 7, 2012 9:44 UTC (Wed) by farnz (subscriber, #17727)
And you should be aware that as a direct result of your actions, LWN is missing out on subscribers; by keeping the off-topic politics on LWN, rather than asking the people interested in a discussion to join you elsewhere, you have helped reduce the value of LWN to me below the cost of a subscription.
I have no problem with your political views informing your views on the patent system; indeed, I expect that, and I respect people who include an indication of their political leanings with their suggested solution to the software patents problem because it ensures that I read your solution in the right context (an authoritarian solution to the problem has a very different context to an anarchist solution, ).
Where, however, you go off the original topic into political preaching (whatever political persuasion you are - anarchist, corporate statist, hiver, democrat, libertarian, socialist, anything), you create a large comment thread where the majority of it is not on the sorts of topics I wish to learn about when reading LWN; you thus reduce the value of this site, making it less likely that I will give money to LWN in future. If you trigger that reaction in enough people, you destroy the site's funding base, and LWN will close. The same applies whenever a comment thread stops discussing things of direct relevance to Free Software; politics is just the particular variation that you've been involved in.
That may, of course, be your intention; if not, I'd ask you to think hard about whether this is the right venue for the discussion you're having, and to suggest that people join you at other venues to continue off-topic discussions.
Posted Nov 7, 2012 10:25 UTC (Wed) by hummassa (subscriber, #307)
Posted Nov 7, 2012 11:27 UTC (Wed) by farnz (subscriber, #17727)
The trouble is that I want a killfile based on content, not on who's commenting - if Corbet and company have an algorithm that can accurately judge whether a particular comment thread is interesting to me or not, then they've got something genuinely worthy of a software patent (given the state of the art in predictive technology today). I don't want to miss out when someone's saying something topical and interesting, even if most of their output is off-topic spouting; as the expense of filtering through these big comment threads is high, the value of an LWN subscription is reduced.
Posted Nov 7, 2012 12:06 UTC (Wed) by man_ls (guest, #15091)
Actually this long off-topic thread has served to feed my killfile with at least two more usernames, so right now I see only 28 comments, all on-topic. Get trolled once, do not get trolled twice.
Posted Nov 7, 2012 14:31 UTC (Wed) by nix (subscriber, #2304)
(Since Gnus is an Emacs-specific program, and Emacs was originally written by RMS and was the first program ever to be GPLed, this gets a bit less off topic. Not that RMS uses Gnus. No, no, he is one of the three people on the planet to still use rmail, and IIRC still uses a web-by-email robot. Whenever I think I hate change in my workflow to a pathological degree, I just think of RMS and am happy again. If RMS can function with *that* degree of workflow-conservatism, mine is clearly not too bad.)
Posted Nov 7, 2012 16:06 UTC (Wed) by man_ls (guest, #15091)
[Ironically these last two super-off-topic comments take the thread closer to on-topic; I guess we have reached the limits of topicland and went back, it must be a round world.]
Posted Nov 7, 2012 16:03 UTC (Wed) by pboddie (guest, #50784)
if Corbet and company have an algorithm that can accurately judge whether a particular comment thread is interesting to me or not, then they've got something genuinely worthy of a software patent
I imagine that a Bayesian classifier as seen in things like Spambayes would do the trick, one again showing that something appearing patentable to one observer is most likely to be familiar and even mundane to another.
Posted Nov 7, 2012 20:09 UTC (Wed) by farnz (subscriber, #17727)
A Bayesian classifier is not enough - to meet the stated goal, the classifier has to identify cases where due to circumstances outside its knowledge (e.g. me reading LWN while sitting up with a sick child), my interests are broader than normal, and identify cases where my tolerance for off-topic is reduced (e.g. because said sick child has resulted in sleep deprivation). An algorithm that could detect my mood based purely on my reading patterns, and tweak a Bayesian classifier accordingly would be quite impressive.
Posted Nov 6, 2012 23:54 UTC (Tue) by FranTaylor (guest, #80190)
patents ARE politics. They change the power structure. You CANNOT discuss patents in some "technical vacuum" without regard to their political impact, because political impact is what patents are all about!
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