@docskrzyk I saw Empire at the drive-in. It was the first movie I remember seeing.

@binder I read it almost 20 years ago. I still remember some of it!

@mdhughes @lordbowlich @TechnicolorRainbow I wasn't sure how serious this comment was until I looked at the follow-up books. Wow!

@mpjgregoire I've only finished the first story (The Sword in the Stone). It was more charming than I thought.

@lordbowlich @TechnicolorRainbow The first edition hardcover is 918 pages. My paperback version is 1152. Not short, but I remember it being something that didn't feel like it was so big.

@sudoneuron In this case it's actual quarantine because of a close contact (due to work) testing positive. Awaiting test results.

@sudoneuron @TechnicolorRainbow Yeah, the whole thing at once. I'm hoping it's not too much to handle.

Mildly stressful day here. Looks like we're in quarantine for a couple of weeks.

@TechnicolorRainbow Well, the results are in and Cryptonomicon takes it, with 38% of the votes! Snow Crash was close behind, at 31%.

There were 32 votes, so hopefully some of those who voted will be able to make it for the discussion. If you are aiming to show up, please let the group know.

Since it's a big book, we'll meet in a little over four weeks from now.

The time is negotiable, but keep in mind coordination is pretty tough.

(Also: we'll be getting to the other books in the poll eventually so if you wanted Snow Crash, don't worry, it'll happen.)

When: 2021-04-01 2000 EDT (UTC-4)

Where: On jitsi


What if we made a system of money where we trusted absolutely nobody? No institution and no person!

Then, what if we made it completely out of human control, so it can never be modified to meet anyone's needs!

And what if it was deflationary, so it always seemed to go up and rewarded early adopters.

And what if it had a lottery system within it that randomly rewarded people who spent time paying attention to it.

And what if it had an enormous, incomprehensibly huge carbon footprint.

And what if it's value was based entirely on people convincing each other that it must be valuable because group identity and sunk cost fallacy.

Who would be drawn to this sort of thing? How would it encourage people to change their political view? Who's interests and ideologies would this serve? What kind of politics are embedded in the tool? How would this radicalise people? What material effects would it's popularity cause?

@amiloradovsky "If it's open standard, there should be no interoperability issues. If there are, more standardization needed."

Again, the past does not show this to be the case. The quip on this has always been, "the great thing about standards is that there are so many of them".

C has a standard and has had one for many years. Interoperability is still a mess because of the interpretation of that standard. Granted, it's better with a standard than without, but the problem does not go away.

@amiloradovsky @djsundog The past evidence isn't good for this happen. It's not even good for large congolmerates taking a stab at it. It could happen, sure. But it probably won't. Point being I wouldn't bet on it.

@amiloradovsky @djsundog I'm all for people being able to design and make their own chips, but let's not kid ourselves: the chances of a hobbyist system taking off and capturing the computer market is next to zero, regardless of how good it is.

If the open hardware advocates don't care about that, then that's fine. But i always get the impression they want everyone to use an open system. I seriously doubt that will happen, and fragmentation/specialization of the market could make it worse.

@amiloradovsky "Bucket of buzzwords"? Really? It seems very well argued to me. I did not get the impression it was lamenting the death of Intel and Nvidia.

I took away: "be careful what you wish for". It seemed to me that the danger here is in great diversification you will get bigger variations in platforms, making interoperability more difficult. (This theme comes up frequently in open source stuff I have seen over the past 25 years: XMPP and Linux distros are two notable examples.)

There may be a larger hobby community for personal use, but the vast majority of computer users may end up being siloed more and more, even with open standards.

@djsundog This one seems much more rooted in fact than the hopeful kind of thinking I've been reading from the 70s. Also, the article is kind of pushing for the industry to think of ways to avoid the fragmentation.

I suspect specialization will fragment things a lot. Apple's M1 system is a push in this direction.

RISC-V's biggest benefit is to hardware manufacturers because it means they won't have to pay royalties to Arm and MIPS, and won't have to develop their own toolchains. The idea that home users can get a design and fab their own chip is entering the realm of fantasy. You likely won't be able to fab at home, and it will be very expensive to get a plant to print your designs for you.

Because the most serious consequences of the data-driven economy are collective, your individual choices over your own data have at best a marginal impact.


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A bunch of technomancers in the fediverse. Keep it fairly clean please. This arcology is for all who wash up upon it's digital shore.