Toxicity around programmer community

See the above picture? That’s what have been annoying many people, specially between programmers. We have been trolling many people into a cult and a fashion to make everybody look like us. We made it to a point that whenever we see a (relatively) weird-looking person, we know he’s a programmer. We even call ourselves nerds.

We constantly are in war for our text editors (while we know Emacs is superior), we constantly talk about our operating systems, we constantly are looking to compute and write small programs, we bang about not having a life or not being able to live a normal day, and we pressure ourselves to show everybody that we’re familiar with computers.

For the last 3 or 4 years, I’ve been avoiding to call myself a programmer and emphasize that I just know how to code. I’ve been avoiding the cult we’re in for a long time now and I hope I succeed.

A programmer should have a life. Instead of banging about how fucked up we are, we should instead show off how our lives are keep becoming better. Instead of joking about how anti-social we are, we should show off what a great family we built.

Few days ago, Kev Quirk shared this picture (of a tweet) and shared his thoughts:

This is what’s wrong with the tech industry. The expectation that one should give their free time *EVERY DAY* or you’re somehow “not passionate”.

My response to that would be fuck you and your shitty fucking culture.

My kids and family are FAR more important to me than your ridiculous expectations.

I fully agree. We should stop participating in this cult and start caring about ourselves. Nothing is wrong about caring about ourselves. Nothing is wrong about having a good night sleep. Nothing is wrong to take our life as serious as our job.

It’s OK to care about politics and environment and other important matters. We’re not robots built to do certain jobs. Just because we have passion, talent, and skills for creating and working with programs, doesn’t mean we should sacrifice everything we have for it.

Freedom to hunger

White America must see that no ethnic group has been slave on American soil. That is one thing that other ethnic groups haven’t had to face. The other thing is that the color became a stigma. American society made the black people’s skin color a stigma.

America freed the slaves in 1863 through the Emancipation Proclamation of Abraham Lincoln but gave the slaves no land, or nothing, in reality, as a matter of fact, to get started on. At the same time, America was giving away million of acres of land in the west and the mid-west which meant that there was a willingness to give the white peasants from Europe an economic base.

And yet it refused to give its black peasants from Africa, who came here involuntarily, in chains, and had worked free for 244 years any kind of economic base and so emancipation for the black person was really freedom to hunger.

It was freedom to the winds and rains. It was freedom without food to eat or land to cultivate and therefore it was freedom to famine at the same time. And when white Americans tell the black person to lift himself by his own bootstraps the don’t look over the legacy of slavery and segregation.

Now, I believe we ought to do all we can and seek to lift ourselves by our own bootstraps but it’s a cruel jest to say to a bootless person that one ought to lift himself by one’s own bootstraps. And many black people by the thousands and millions have been left bootless as a result of all of these years of oppression and as a result of a society that deliberately made its color a stigma and something worthless and degrading.

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What alternative society and culture?

Our identity as anarchists is not just opposing a system. Aside from desire to abolish the system and gain liberty, equity, equality, and other rights we have, we want alternative society and culture.

One that doesn’t make guns and bombs. One that’s not at war with itself constantly. One that doesn’t poison the air, doesn’t poison the land, doesn’t poison the sea. One that has enough respect for each other and the planet we live on and all the other life-forms that share this planet that we live on.

When there is enough respect for all of that to live on a way that’s completely sustainable, that is beneficial to all of life so that mankind becomes a symbiotic life-form that’s supporting the life of this host planet instead of being a parasitic life-form that’s devoting its host planet with its ability to support life.

Can fediverse admins read your DMs?

As the news about Elon Musk buying Twitter reaches more people, Mastodon (and others) face increase in user number and active members. This is good news.

And yes, fediverse admins can read your DMs. That’s not news to anyone. Every person with some knowledge of how internet and web application/services work knows that a sysadmin and those with access to databases control everything and in this example, can read your direct messages.

Even with encrypted services, a sysadmin can disable encryption or do various series of attacks to get your encryption keys/passwords. I posted something on Mastodon the other day about the irony of people using Gmail to sign up for Mastodon (or generally any other social network/online service) and then being worried about the privacy of their DMs.

I’m not saying they don’t have a right for privacy or their concern is baseless. Coming from Middle East I truly understand it. Here’s a scenario as an example: Imagine an authoritarian regime, like Russia, sets and runs thousands of Mastodon instances and operates them to aggregate data about people. People unknowingly will send private messages and all of those messages are now in hand of a regime that suppresses its opposition.

Or even if you trust an instance admin, you can still be in danger as Mastodon is a federated network and the admin of the other instance you’re talking to (through DMs) can too read your messages.

However, trusting a social network for private messaging is wrong at first place. You shouldn’t use a social network of any kind to send important messages or to communicate safely. Mastodon DMs (or any other network’s direct message) is just a post that is shown to people who are mentioned, nothing more.

The best use for DMs is to ask for a private communication method or handle, like XMPP, and then contact them there. It would be nice for Mastodon and other fediverse software to have end-to-end encrypted private messaging implemented in.

The other thing is that Mastodon, and every other fediverse software I now, are free software. Meaning people can run, study, change, and share it as they wish (under the terms of the free licenses they have) and it gives people to freely modify the software and run their own server to please their own needs for communication on the fediverse. I don’t think that can be done by normal everyday users as they probably lack skills, time, and money to do so, but it’s possible.

The other thing is that we should teach people about their privacy rights and how internet and online services work. For a long time, mega corporations mistreated people and misguided them to accept or trust services that violate their basic human right of privacy and it should be our job and obligation to teach them this.

Fediverse is currently the best social network we can have. It’s decentralized, without ads, without trackers, and designed solely for socializing and creating networks/connections. We should help develop it to be more secure and trustworthy and we should keep promoting it to have more people there. Of course, that requires us to be honest, respectful, and welcoming to new people.

Capitalist thinking

Difference between an anarchist and a capitalist? Anarchists accept their failure and try to better their decisions while capitalists just don’t care about mistakes, they care about money.

An anarchist seeks liberty and knows the only way one gets liberty is to give all people liberty but capitalists think financially, trying to make ways to gain more wealth and money and satisfy their class. What they do is to cooperate with other elites for personal gain. They don’t care about other people, they just know they got to satisfy some others to get what they want.

There’s a story about a pirate ship captain who has just enough money for half of the crew. If he splits the treasure with all, all of the pirates will be dissatisfied. So what he does is to split the treasure with only half of the crew and bribe them to kill the rest.

He makes some happy and manages to remain in power by killing half of the ship crew. This is capitalist thinking. A capitalist in this story doesn’t give a hoot about the massacre, they get interested in the method the captain used while an anarchist cares about those lives before anything else.

Many people around the world are thought to think like a capitalist, not as a human. This is why many social activists and many education workers are warning that the education systems around the world and schools and universities are places to strip people out of their individuality and brainwashing them to serve the capitalist system.

We need more anarchist thinking and more individuality. We need libre thinking. Capitalist know they can control our bodies, they may jail, kill, and/or enslave us but it’s hard to control our minds. So now they’re trying to focus on our minds and the way we think and it’s far more dangerous.

Conservatism and fascism

Conservatism is just another shade of liberalism. Both parties are neoliberals vying for control via different institutional methods depending on their specific voter base. Knowing this, fascism is a piece of both of these “parties.”

As Parenti and many other Marxists will tell you, “Fascism is capitalism in decay.” Although this is a good explanation, it kinda glosses over the fact that it is more of a “failsafe” mode to switch to when there is trouble for capitalism.

You can see it when people buy into fears and irrationalities and such in capitalist society. It doesnt just come when capitalism is “dying” it comes to “keep the peace” for the capitalists, albeit when fascists mobilize it is through nationalism and religious zealotry.

Conservatives in America at least are still basically fighting back against the concept and notions of Keynesian economics, which was beat out in favor of neo-liberalism (this concept being “free markets and everything about them should basically dominate society”).

Progressives in America generally want to go back to Keynesian type economics (free healthcare, welfare, social security, etc.) and this is where that specific divide comes from concerning only the modern day parties.

Conservatives are the social fascists that see no need to lift their boot off your neck. Democrats are smart enough to realize that that you need to breath for a sec if they want to keep the boot easily and firmly secure on your neck.

A major theme in monarchies is the divine right of kings, or the mandate from heaven. The State directly using religion to justify their rule. We don’t see that very often with Fascism; the religious aspect appears to take a backseat to the nationalist aspect. However, it should be mentioned that in fascist states, the one in power is in fact the religion the regime imposes and enforces on people.

When liberal capitalist societies fail, nations turn to glory, honor, nobility, and war to legitimate the system.

This is imposed on people in various ways but the feeling imposed is almost always the same. Making people feel noble and special and chosen, with a superhero came to rescue all and free them from their pain.

Today, what we see from conservatives are no different from old school fascists. Labeling some people as illegal, putting the blame on the opposite party (while in fact the system remains the same), populism, nationalism, imposing wars (both with military and financial power), threatening to jail and punish those who are not considered friends, discriminating against people with false excuse of fearing the reverse discrimination.

Conservatives today are seeking for the lost honor. Using everything they have, they just care about rising up from the dust. Stimulating the religious affiliations of the people, triggering them with fake news of tyranny, passing tyrannical laws where they’re in power, limiting people’s power, deceiving people and leading them to their desired path through lies, etc.

When they take the power, then the real propaganda begins. Short-term policies will give people the feeling that the situation is getting better when in long-term it just gets worse. Everything will be blamed on past mistakes, tyrannical laws will be justified by saying it’s the majority who voted for this, and every opposing voice will be shut. It’s easy to guess as it happened in history many times.

What conservatives advocate for is a mass social divide, same as fascists. In those societies there are two group of people: 1. People who seek liberty and are opposed to the system and 2. People who are directed to believe the system is (as it’s become a religion) taking back the pride for people and make them noble.

In American case, which is very important for world right now, conservatives are dividing people using Christianity, freedom (as they describe), financial status, race, sex, and family social status.

Bringing back the nostalgia of 80s showing only the good parts and completely ignoring the rest, they bang on masculinity, hard working, family relations, financial dreams, and only the rich people sight, view, and lifestyle of capitalism.

Conservatives and fascist are willing to sacrifice what they believe in to achieve their goals. They want a limited interference of government for example but we see they are willing to pass very personally interfering laws to satisfy their need to be superior and enforce their belief on others.

To make an example, some elites controlling the economy is one of many horrible results of capitalism but conservatives ignore this completely, just how fascists ignore the result of their actions. Same thing happens in Russia (a fascist state which American conservatives claim is communist) with oligarchs.

Labeling people is another similarity. Conservatives label their opposition as communists, or in Russian and Chinese case (while the system is in fact capitalist) they label their opposition as capitalist, against the opposition’s true nature. This happens to misinform people of what exactly is going on and to be able to paint their opposition in public eye as they wish.

Same goes in fascist states. Labeling opposition as enemy spies, the enemy of people, or anti-christ to trigger people’s feelings and justify their actions. Fascist states impose this feeling of “the leader is always right and its opposition is logically (their own logic of course) evil and bad.

As I said before, conservatives are social fascists but with them in power, it’s not so far from becoming a fascist state. It’s just a matter of time. Fascists and conservatives try to be seen as pro-human compassionate people but we know from history that it’s exactly the opposite.

Do not let history repeat itself in this case. It’ll destroy us all.

The world is obsessed with U.S. politics and it has the right to!

Someone told me “it’s unhealthy to care too deeply about another country’s politics. I think global communications have created that situation…”

In a perfect a world, that would be true but sadly we’re not there yet. But specifically about U.S. politics, it’s impossible to ignore them. The president of the U.S. is one of the most powerful people in world (if not “the most”) and its parliaments (congress and senate) can pass laws that effect every country in the world.

Living in the Middle East, I learned it the hard way that how much United States’ laws and policies can effect a country. Imposing wars and sanctions and taking sides in political debates and conflicts, United States is for sure the most effective country when it comes to international relations.

Every happening in the U.S., every nationwide protest, every law that get passed, every election, every statement released, every major corporation deciding on something, almost everything political in U.S. will affect the rest of the world.

The world is obsessed with U.S. politics because United States is stupidly a major player in people’s lives. United States can effectively destroy a country or improve it using its financial and military power. We’re obsessed with U.S. politics and we have the right to be obsessed because no matter how wrong it is, U.S. has a role in our future.

Continuous passing and going

Once upon a time, there was a Persian king who received a beautiful ring from a famous jeweler. The ring was a special gift for the king and it had a beautiful stone on it which the king loved. One day, the king ordered a prize to be set for a particular sentence. The sentence shall make the king happy when he’s sad and it shall make the king sad when he’s happy.

Many men came and suggested sentences to claim the reward but none was accepted by the king. Until a day that an old man was brought to king for a matter and the old man was asked about the sentence. The old man suggested one that revolutionized the king’s life. The sentence read “this too shall pass.”

Whenever the king was happy, he used to read the sentence and remember that the happiness won’t last and whenever he was sad, he remembered that the sadness won’t last forever as well.

Since I’ve adopted that in my life, passing through the problems and living in general is much easier. Now, when I face a difficulty in my life, I repeat with myself that this too shall pass and when I find myself in a happy situation, I remember to enjoy it all as this too shall pass.

Memories are sweeter too. Sad memories remind me that no pain will last and happy memories just put an smile on me and make me wait for new ones to come as every moment too shall pass. Nothing is permanent and that is a wonderful thing.

I now live in a continuous passing and going. I’m not stuck in any moment or any memory. I live the best of it I can in any moment and I try to make best for everyone. That doesn’t mean I don’t put effort or I don’t get sad or happy, of course I’m not a machine, I just learned to control my emotions and learn from life.

I wish I had that ring, but even without it, when I find myself impatient, I remember that these moments too shall pass. When I find myself too excited or too depressed, I remember that these moments too shall pass. In fact, any moment, any up and down too shall pass.

I imagine myself in the unstoppable train of life which is passing moment and going through no matter it’s snowing or raining or if it’s sunny and clear. No matter of where we’re going, up or down, I know the train may sometimes go slower and sometimes faster, but it won’t stop until it reaches its destination.

This is written with a smile on my lips while listening to my favorite music tracks knowing this happy moment too shall pass in my continuous passing and going.