Trolling Requires Quality

I’ve found “Things that BSD owes GNU/Linux | BSD, the truth” http://aboutthebsds.wordpress.com/ a most amusing read. Most of the write ups have the ring and weight of truth, but it is unfortunate that:

a.) The author enjoys personal attacks and character assassination; too much. It is immature and destroys whatever real arguments he/she may present in his/her rants.

b.) The author’s first language is not English and the command is poor. I suspect poor knowledge of his native language as well. Hey! Not all of us have a sound literary education; much less literacy. Unfortunately it shows in the incoherent expression of ideas. It removes credence; a lot.

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On the Difference Between Being Opinionated and Being a Fool

We all are entitled to our opinions but there is a huge difference between a private opinion and a public opinion.

Private opinions are based on cultural bias, ignorance, hubris and vanity. Yes. you are entitled to believe in the tooth fairy despite all facts denying its existence. But when you start shouting it to the four winds and to deceptively convince people you not only know what you are talking about but that they should believe in everything you say, you have crossed the boundary into that realm where madness lives. And in the process, those who are not weak of mind nor heart will know for certain that you are a fool.

Thus, here is my little piece of free advice to all self-appointed pundits out there: Check your facts and make sure you are not an ignorant sod.

Las redes sociales y la pontificación sociológica

Mi amigo Zamuro dió una charla sobre redes sociales en el FLISOL de Caracas el sábado 24 de abril que acaba de pasar. Y como es muy aplicado ha puesto las diapositivas de su charla en su blog.

En los comentarios Mariangela Petrizzo escribe algo con lo que no puedo estar completamente de acuerdo.

Mi posición en el asunto es que las redes sociales no son un fenómeno simplemente sociológico o sociopolítico (que son cosas diferentes); eso es reductio ad absurdum, algo a lo que se han acostumbrado las ciencias sociales debido a) a la gran influencia de la física teórica en la ciencia del siglo pasado; no es más que observar el empobrecimiento intelectual al que ha llegado la biología a través de la “molecularidad del ser” dejando atrás todo el conocimiento acumulado por el naturalismo y por la bilogía organísmica, de poblaciones y ecosistemas. Ahora si quieres ser un naturalista exitoso te toca ser presentador de National Geographic o de Animal Planet. b) Las ciencias sociales como ejercicio reduccionista no son mas que la aceptación implicita por el status quo academico, de que las ciencias sociales en general son arte y no ciencia. Es por eso que se le dió tanto énfasis al uso de técnicas de análisis estadístico en la sicología, la sociología y la politología de los 50s, lo que al contrario del uso de la estadística en las ciencias naturales, es pura y física especulación.

En cambio, es apropiado ver a las redes sociales con ojos y mente de antropólogo. Las redes sociales son flujos de cultura que se tribalizan y por tanto deben ser estudiadas con las técnicas de los etnografos, quienes son los naturalistas que estudian a otros humanoides de la misma especie biológica usualmente… Desde este último punto de partida, es perfectamente válido hacer una diferenciación y un paragón entre academia y otros grupos subculturales, pues los academicos (que lo soy aunque no ejerza), hablamos y pensamos de maneras muy diferentes a los otros grupos culturales dentro de la sociedad y lo mismo se aplica a otras subculturas. Yo, por ejemplo, nunca pondría mis pies virtuales en 4chan ni muerto, pero conozco quien lo hace y lo disfruta.

Bye, bye The Inq

I’ve been a fan of Mad Mike Magee for a long time and always followed his site The Inquirer with a knack to keep in touch with technology and have a good laugh at the same time. But in the last months (since the “relaunch” on 1st of January this year) the site has become more and more drooling to the point of being intellectually unsavory. I was wondering why until last night while keeping up with two weeks of unread cruft in my RSS aggregator, a piece of news caught my eye: one of the old-time hacks, Paul Hales, retired. Off I went and discovered several things:

  • Mad Mike sold The Inq two years ago and I didn’t notice. Jeez, my brains have been on vacation for too long!
  • Mad Mike is a fan of Inspector Morse. (I’m a fan of Inspector Lewis too, FWIW).
  • Mad Mike is writing at TG Daily.
  • Charlie Demerjian is writing at SemiAccurate.

And last but not least, I agree with Mad Mike: He sold a house and the new owners have turned it into a brothel.

On being a businessman and all that

Wandering across Planet Fedora I ran into a blog post from a fellow national that talks a bit about cosaslibres.com. As far as I know through the grapevine, cosaslibres.com is a one-man show that’s been running since the last century or turnabout.

It is meritorious that the guy had the guts to start a dotcom business in Colombia of all places at a time when most high-end internet users in the country believed that 28K modems were teh kool (wish I had done it). The business has grown but apparently not enough for him to grow as a business person yet; he has spread too thin to give attention to the basics of his business. That’s the failure of many small businesses where the owner can’t let go to become first the general manager and later the main stock holder and president of the board. There ain’t that many people out there as hungry as Bill Gates, Mr. Duh-velopers, Carlos Slim or Julio Mario Santodomingo…

BTW, that blog should allow OpenID logins. I much rather have people identify with an OpenID that’s traceable than allow open commenting to all with hand-hold moderation as I have set this blog now. Let’s hope wordpress.com becomes an OpenID consumer soon.

The conceptual definition of fanboy

Being adult is to stop hiding from others with masks and lies. Reaching enlightenment is to stop hiding from ourselves and to be able to see reality as is. Both are difficult tasks and many people live all their lives trapped in their own delusional fantasies.

The anonimity lent by the intarweb seems to be a letter of marque to many people who evidently have a murky perception of reality, yet thanks to their insecurity and mental confusion (I won’t talk about intellect because you need a clear mind to start using your intellect), try to impose their cockamamie ideas on others. As well as their incredibly poor use of syntax and ignorance of semantics. And this takes us to trying to distill the concept of the fanboy.

The fanboy is what I say above and worse. Usually male in the early or the late stages of his life. The young ones are ignorant and emotionally confused, therefore arrogant. The old ones are ignorant, thus arrogant but compounded with ill-founded pride due to their self-aggrandizement “my years of experience give me the right to pontificate about life, death and all in-between”. People who think that typing python -c "print 'Hello World!'" makes you an authority. On what, I don’t have the foggiest.

And this brings me to the motivation of this post. Have you been reading lots of blog comments saying the author that he should use PCLinuxOS because it is the best next thing after the discovery of fire? Today the DistroWatch Newsletter comes with a very interesting statistic and a conclusion: the average number of users in an IRC support channel is a realistic numerical measure of the actual user base. Ready to have a reality check?