[talk] NYC*BUG Tonight: 645 PM EDT

Raul Cuza raulcuza at gmail.com
Wed Jun 14 17:05:33 EDT 2023

On Wed, Jun 14, 2023 at 08:56 George Rosamond <george at ceetonetechnology.com>

> 2 Lightning Talks, R. Cuza and J. Natis
> 2023-06-14 @ 18:45 - Five Mile Stone at 1640 2nd Ave (northeast
> <https://www.google.com/maps/search/1640+2nd+Ave+(northeast?entry=gmail&source=g>
> Corner
> of 2nd Ave and 85th St, 2nd floor). Please note the stairs to the second
> floor are on the north wall as you enter from 2nd Ave.
> Notice: Location Change
> Raúl Talk:
> Probably like you, Raúl didn't get to go to BSDCan '23, but he will make
> time to watch some of the sessions, do a little extra research and
> re-present them more poorly than the original speaker to you. You could
> watch them on your own, but then you won't be in a bar drinking. Or if
> you do watch while drinking in a bar, you will be that person perhaps
> sitting alone looking at their laptop in the bar.
> If you did go to BSDCan '23, maybe Raúl will present on a talk you
> didn't attend. Or if you did attend, you will be able to knowledgeably
> heckle as a way to get over your poutine withdrawal.
> Josh Talk: Down With the Corporate Ethos, Up With the Sunrise: Inspiring
> a New Generation of Hackers
> I. Students
> As a student, it's easy to feel useless in the current state of the
> world's software ecosystem. At times, it seems like everything has been
> invented already. For the most part, we're only able to program "toy"
> projects, and if we do decide to be amicable and share them with the
> world, our code falls upon deaf ears – there is no positive
> reinforcement for our feedback loop, our programs do not seem to help
> anybody. Software forges like GitHub are brimming with programs, why
> should anybody be concerned with ours? Projects we care about are so
> complex that we can hardly grok their code, let alone offer any
> meaningful help. Looking far into the past, the picture seems less
> bleak. Programmers were a scarce resource. There was no Internet, and
> thus no gigantic repository of programs to render yours obsolete. If you
> wrote a program, you were contributing to your community's
> infrastructure, building it up with more and more utilities over time.
> Every program you wrote bettered the system, extending the capabilities
> of whomever you were sharing your system with. Systems themselves were
> simpler, built from primitives one could reasonably wrap their head
> around, so adding an impactful change was possible. This endows
> programming with a sliver of humanity – you are doing a favor to your
> community by doing this work. In modern day, this is often replaced by
> an appeal to capitalism – you are improving your resume by programming
> this, it will help you get a job. This leaves us hollow.
> II. Computing Industry, Western Society
> The world of computer science students is representative of a general
> trend within the computing industry, which itself is a microcosm of
> society as a whole. The pure information overload of the Global Village,
> the wealth and power amassed and deployed by technofeudal corporations,
> the fading away of our warm, caring human nature and trust in one
> another, the slow cancellation of the future as we train our children to
> be automatons. Where have all the hackers gone? I think this is deeply
> connected to the gaping hole left by the departure of myth, spirit, and
> religion from our society, replaced by a cold calculated rationalism and
> commodification of everything, even human nature and identity. The
> Soviet Union tried to fill this hole through "God-building". What should
> we do?
> We will look to the past to once again discover the warm stream of
> computing, the free-flowing camaraderie of the hacker ethic. We'll
> consider the freedom of constraints, the altruistic nature of humans,
> the tradeoffs between the departing software Wild West and the global
> coordination enabled by standards / governing bodies, best practices,
> and a convergence on a shared corpus of open source software. With the
> flame in your heart kindled, we will debate how to improve the state of
> affairs -- should we go bottom up? Become teachers, mentors, poets,
> artists, creators of evocative media, inspiring the new generation of
> hackers? Or should we go top down, using whatever means necessary to
> change the way we live in our society on a macro level -- economic and
> political systems, states.
> Things can be different -- Down With the Corporate Ethos, Up With the
> Sunrise.
> Caveats:
>     I come bearing questions not answers
>     I was wearing a diaper when 9/11 happened so I can't speak
> authoritatively about the past
>     I have a relatively strict time limit so even if I was a crackpot I
> couldn't take up too much of your time :-).
> Offsite Participation: We plan to stream via NYC*BUG Website unless the
> speaker requests otherwise. Q&A will be via IRC on Libera.chat channel
> #nycbug - Please preface your questions with '[Q]'.
> Media
> Speaker Biography
> Raúl Cuza thinks computers are at their best as they load an operating
> system. Before that moment they lack any spark. After that moment they
> are nothing but headaches.
> Josh Natis is a Unix herder searching for unknown unknowns, hopelessly
> stuck in a dialectic between Luddism and technological utopia. Loves
> having a cappuccino at night. Longs for mornings but is never awake for
> them. Happy to be here.
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I have a last minute $w0rk event this evening that I have to attend. I will
not be able to present tonight. I am sorry I won’t be able to see everyone
tonight and, fates willing, I will be there in July.

- r


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