All Hail the Mighty Sovereign! Fear His All-Powerful Backups!



  • Stumbled upon this today:

    This person seems to think that computers were created by some race of malicious Elves, who stubbornly to refuse to back up his files for him and will not allow him to fully exploit his neighbor's surplus hard drives.

    I was particularly put off by his attempt to drag Free Software / Richard Stallman throught the mud. Let's see, some smart and generous people wrote a whole OS, which I'm free to use basically as I please... but I still have to back up my files... grrr! And my 12-year-old nephew still gets no benefit from that 1994 "Caviar" hard drive in my garage!

    What an attitude.



  • Is this a short story? What is this?



  • @bridget99 said:

    Stumbled upon this today:

    This person seems to think that computers were created by some race of malicious Elves, who stubbornly to refuse to back up his files for him and will not allow him to fully exploit his neighbor's surplus hard drives.

    I was particularly put off by his attempt to drag Free Software / Richard Stallman throught the mud. Let's see, some smart and generous people wrote a whole OS, which I'm free to use basically as I please... but I still have to back up my files... grrr! And my 12-year-old nephew still gets no benefit from that 1994 "Caviar" hard drive in my garage!

    What an attitude.

    Hey you do realize this article is from 2004 right? A lot of stuff has changed since then.

    Somehow is like reading SpectateSwamp



  • Ok I've read the article now.

    He's basically saying that you should be able to put your excess computing capacity (storage, CPU power, and bandwidth) on a "market" and lease it out to others in exchange for being able to consume the same amount of resources yourself. So instead of buying a disk and putting your backup on it, you "buy" 3 spaces on this "market" and upload your files to them to get redundant backups. Instead of renting a web server from Dreamhost or whatever, you can "buy" storage, bandwidth, and CPU time from the market and use it as your web server. Computer resources become a type of "currency".

    That simple premise is clouded in pointless rants on how people should be able to assign nicknames to other people and mostly obsolete complaints about annoying stuff on the Internet, circa 2004. And lots of open source butt-licking. (Tell me: if my computer is "Sovereign", I can run Windows on it, yes?) Oh, and of course, as with all proper nutcases, he thinks our monetary system is evil and we should go back to the barter system.

    There's nothing in his proposal that couldn't be built today (or in 2004 when he proposed it), so this is one of those "if your idea is so good, build the fucking thing instead of talking us to death" situations. Since he posted this in 2004, and I've never heard of it until now... uh, yeah. (To be fair, I've heard this idea bandied about before. There is/was a wifi router company that basically used this idea with bandwidth, and of course Amazon Web Services exists.)

    I think the gripe about backups misses the point. But on another note, if he replaced half of his pointless rambling with well-founded, practical examples the essay would have been a lot more convincing.



  • www.advogato.org?

    What is an advogato?  An advo cat? advocate?  Oh I see....

    I would say another instance of idiocy in taking a part of a word and translating it to some foriegn language to try to be "smart"

     



  • @blakeyrat said:

    He's basically saying that you should be able to put your excess computing capacity (storage, CPU power, and bandwidth) on a "market" and lease it out to others in exchange for being able to consume the same amount of resources yourself.

    Actually, he's dreaming of a world in which we've conquered scarcity (e.g., you will no longer pay "arbitrary" fees for web hosting or internet access) and computers are magical, enabling us to communicate, etc, however we wish, whenever we wish, with whomever we wish just by wanting to do it. It's all Unicorns and Rainbows. I'm sure he's a big hit in the grad student lounge.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    Ok I've read the article now.

    He's basically saying that you should be able to put your excess computing capacity (storage, CPU power, and bandwidth) on a "market" and lease it out to others in exchange for being able to consume the same amount of resources yourself. So instead of buying a disk and putting your backup on it, you "buy" 3 spaces on this "market" and upload your files to them to get redundant backups. Instead of renting a web server from Dreamhost or whatever, you can "buy" storage, bandwidth, and CPU time from the market and use it as your web server. Computer resources become a type of "currency".

    The funny thing is, I basically agree with this person, in that I think we surrender way too much control of our computing devices under the assumption that we're incompetent. Collectively, we put on the Windows straitjacket because (again, collectively) we were afraid of DOS and UNIX. We put on the Facebook straitjacket because we were afraid of just hosting our baby pictures in Dropbox. Programmers wear the .NET straitjacket because they don't trust themselves to handle garbage collection, or to write nice-looking reports without a bunch of spoon-fed libraries, etc. The overall result is a very out-of-control feeling for most users... they are just along for the proverbial ride, and I don't like that.

    To me, "sovereignty" is building as much as possible on one's own... buy a CPU and wire it up yourself, write your own OS and compiler, and so forth. Who cares about baby pictures or LinkedIn when there is system programming to do? Should we really consider a computing environment that encourages time-wasting distractions to be superior?

    I do not think that implementing what Mr. Metal Hat down there in Brazil describes will help this problem at all, though. In fact, I believe quite the opposite. How is some sort of cloud computing / file-sharing / auto-backup thingy going to make me more "sovereign" ? To me, it just sounds like more abstraction, more layering, and more standardization.

    The print-your-own-money part of his article is particularly amusing... his grand idea is basically Facebook for counterfeiters. Yeah, we need that.



  • @boomzilla said:

    Actually, he's dreaming of a world in which we've conquered scarcity
    Scarcity?  What scarcity?  There is no "scarcity".  In any civilized country in the world you can have anything you want, in any quantity you want.  You won't get it for free, but having to pay for something does not equal scarcity.



  • @El_Heffe said:

    Scarcity?  What scarcity?  There is no "scarcity".  In any civilized country in the world you can have anything you want, in any quantity you want.  You won't get it for free, but having to pay for something does not equal scarcity.

    WTF are you smoking? lern2econ101.



  • @boomzilla said:

    Actually, he's dreaming of a world in which we've conquered scarcity (e.g., you will no longer pay "arbitrary" fees for web hosting or internet access) and computers are magical, enabling us to communicate, etc, however we wish, whenever we wish, with whomever we wish just by wanting to do it. It's all Unicorns and Rainbows. I'm sure he's a big hit in the grad student lounge.

    So many arguments made by know-it-all computer types exhibit this flaw, in my opnion. Apparently it's a very small leap from Moore's Law to a utopian paradise in which we all live on a commune, write Drupal code, and ponder the Mahabharata.

    Thanks, computers!



  • After requisite legislative reform in their countries, people
    started to buy things and establish credit using electronic currency
    that they issued themselves. Each person became his or her own mint,
    surpassing the liquidity of the monetary system and, at the same time,
    recovering the autonomy of barter, lost thousands of years earlier.

    OMG! He's the inspiration for BitCoin!



  •  He's a bit nutty and completely misses the point behind a lot of things that we consider obvious, but he did compare Verisign to Hitler so he can't be all bad.

     



  • @blakeyrat said:

    ...There is/was a wifi router company that basically used this idea with bandwidth...
     

    IIRC British Telecom did it with home users (as an opt-in scheme, before people start ranting).



  • "people started to buy things and establish credit using electronic currency that they issued themselves." What a fantasy! You can create any currency you want to, but you can't get other people to accept payment in that currency.

    Chose your own name? Never could before - your parents named you. Names are things owned by the world around you; not by you. That name is what I use when I am talking about you to someone else; it is OUR possession, not yours.

    The use of your own nicknames for everything else in the world s quite practical. It means you have your own DNS package on your own computer, translating "My mother" into F008 ac12 0000 0000 5412 3311 9018 3401"

    You can be soveriegn today if you want to write your own software. If you expect someone else to give you sovereignty, well, It never happens in the real world either.

    How can you access your bank's web site if you don't trust anyone? Even to send a postal letter to your mother, you have to trust the mail box and the post office and the mail carriers and the postman.

    You are losing privacy because you expect other people to pay for your fun, and they are using advertising to do this. You don't have to trust Google - just stay off their site. Advertising is how Google pays for all those goodies you love.

    "Being sovereign, you may bid spammers good-bye." Bullshit. If no one knows how to reach you then you get no e-mail from anyone, including spammers. If you post your address to a public place then the spammers will find it and reach you.

    "I could not find a free software app allowing me to ..." Ah, you want it all, and you want me to create it for you, and you want me to do it for free. But how do I feed my son while I'm doing this for you?

    Has this guy ever heard of DynamicDNS? Maybe, back in 2004, no. But I have used it to turn my kid's game computer into a public server on the Internet, and hosted my site myself. If you pay me I'll even tell you how to do it.

    "Software must also be extremely easy, simple to install and to use." But it is extremely difficult and complex to make it this way. That's why we have programmers. Perhaps, someday, AI will create software; but not yet. Why not? Because people don't think like computers, and computers don't think like people. Programmers are the translators between the two realms, and programmers don't work for free. They have children to feed, also.

    The big reason why you can't share your resources is because we have run out of IPv4 addresses. So there is no way that your mother in Cleveland can refer to your computer in Los Angeles. We don't have enough IPv4 address to uniquely identify every computer on earth. That's what IPv6 is for. But since nobody's using it, nobody is using it.



  • @AndyCanfield said:

     programmers  have children to feed, also.

    Lies! Who told you that? Ohh.. you mean... ours... doubtful but carry on

    >.>



  • Yeah - he should have tried abogado.



  • @AndyCanfield said:

    The big reason why you can't share your resources is because we have run out of IPv4 addresses. So there is no way that your mother in Cleveland can refer to your computer in Los Angeles. We don't have enough IPv4 address to uniquely identify every computer on earth. That's what IPv6 is for. But since nobody's using it, nobody is using it.

    His theoretical "exchange" could resolve this at the DNS level, although it would have to use its own dynamic DNS, and would probably have to tweak users' router settings to open up ports for NAT. A really sophisticated system could even do some form of regional DNS redirection, like Akamai, to ensure high speeds...

    Since he didn't bother actually building the software, it's kind of moot.



  • tl;dr



  • Before people achieved real freedom, they created for themselves a palliative illusion of freedom called "Sovereign Computing". People still had to pay arbitrary prices to buy "computers". Of course, they could just buy resources from computer owners, but they had to do it in ad-hoc currency invented by those owners, not in ad-hoc currency invented by themselves.
    Neide was also forced to pay arbitrary fees to the "Internet center" to access her sovereign computing power.

    If people wanted to share photos of cute kittens, they we still forced to pay an arbitrary fee to one of the big companies to buy a "camera".

    Everyone could choose a name for themselves, but people with names like "Joe Smith" fell prey to something called "ambiguity".

    When someone died, their blog wasn't updated any more.

    All that changed with the advent of Sovereign 2.0...



  • @KattMan said:

    www.advogato.org?

    What is an advogato?  An advo cat? advocate?  Oh I see....

    I would say another instance of idiocy in taking a part of a word and translating it to some foriegn language to try to be "smart"

     

    That is actually a portuguese slang, a pun with "lawyer" and "sexy looking man". Is is used mostly by 40+ year old laywers, who think they're sexy because they're laywers (as you can see, they have problems with logic and reasoning). Just for using that term to describe himself, I can picture this guy in my mind looking like either Wally or the PHB, from the Dilbert comic strips.



  • [quote user="Renan "C#" Sousa"]who think they're sexy because they're laywers (as you can see, they have problems with logic and reasoning)[/quote] 

    This actually makes sense. Some females consider money to be very sexy.


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