[Noisebridge-discuss] Sigh -- I'm not helping with Maker Faires this year.

Matt Joyce matt at nycresistor.com
Thu Apr 5 16:02:15 PDT 2012


For the record, I do believe in a democratically elected
representative nation working.  I also believe that what we have in
the US today is not a democracy by any definition of the word.
Electoral reform is absolutely something I believe is necessary for
the continued success of our nation.

But I also believe that is outside the scope of the concerns here.

-Matt

On Thu, Apr 5, 2012 at 3:43 PM, rachel lyra hospodar
<rachelyra at gmail.com> wrote:
> Matt,
>
> Thanks for this response, it makes some things about your opinions clearer
> to me. I have cc'd the list because my goal in making a public stand on this
> issue is to have a public conversation about it.
>
> I certainly agree with you that many people within the military have the
> best of intentions. I believe the people within the military who make
> decisions are a sub-group that is far more likely than the average member of
> the military to have motivations that are suspect. Additionally, the general
> strategic approach of that body towards conflict is, in my opinion,
> fundamentally flawed. Therefore, everything they are interested in doing is
> also suspect.
>
> One final point of fundamental disagreement between us - about having all
> that explodey stuff under ultimate command of elected representatives. This
> doesn't give me the same kind of warm fuzzy that you seem to get. I don't
> trust our elected officials, and do not find their morals or decisions seem
> to really align with my own.
>
> So, the bigger picture discussion is where we need to stay for the moment.
>
> Martin has listed a bunch of government agencies that I would be comfortable
> working under. Everyone is entitled to their own set of compromises, and I
> don't judge where the line 'should' be drawn.  I personally believe that
> framing is very important, and specifically would not work on a project with
> people whose goals I did not like *even if* most other variables were ideal.
> Lots of people optimize for different variables in choosing their work - job
> location, pay rate, benefits, what kind of video game system is in the break
> room...  I choose to live the change I would like to see in the world, and
> often take a more difficult path because I think it is more appropriate.  It
> is because of this that I believe projects should be framed and executed in
> a manner consistent with their goals. You know, authenticity?
>
> If you want to keep discussing this with me that is great but please keep it
> on-list, and please try to frame your opinions as facts a little less often.
> It makes me twitch, and obscures some actual facts - like, you are ok with
> the war machine, and I am not. You view it as a necessary evil compromise
> solution that we are stuck with, yes? I view it as a symbiosis gone horribly
> malignant that we open-source hackers, breaking ground on the true forefront
> of technology development systems, can exert an incredible amount of
> influence over.
>
> I certainly intend to fucking try.
>
> R.
>
> On Apr 4, 2012 4:03 PM, "Matt Joyce" <matt at nycresistor.com> wrote:
>>
>> Taking this off list to avoid flooding.
>>
>> To a point I do believe that.  Let me explain.
>>
>> I believe that ultimately decisions of choosing how to use the
>> military resides in the hands of elected leaders.  This is the case on
>> paper by the way.  DARPA simply provides more and better options.
>> General Sherman believed in total war, and his methods have cut a
>> bloody swathe through history solely because of the efficacy of his
>> methodology in ending conflict.  But all of his actions were approved
>> by a chain of command ultimately signed off by the Commander in Chief
>> who was at the time Abraham Lincoln.  The south was defeated and never
>> rose again.  As with any statement of work the military needs to be
>> able to actually achieve their goals which means sometimes you need to
>> leave them some room to maneuver.   And yes that can result in some
>> very creative loopholes which one can fly some seriously nasty stuff
>> through.  But no system is perfect.  It's just a question of does it
>> work enough?
>>
>> If congress declares a state of war.  The military will focus entirely
>> on ending that state of war in the most efficient way they can think
>> of.  There is no morality in that equation.  No ethics.  That is set
>> and governed by elected leadership.  And I don't hate that.  There is
>> a certain simple functionality in it.  I am not sure a better system
>> exists.  I would argue most of the complaints that people have
>> regarding the military stem from the basic misunderstanding that they
>> see themselves as a means to an end defined by well ... our elected
>> leaders.  And their conscience is congress.  As the old saying goes...
>> "Ours is not to reason why, ours is to do or die."  That mentality is
>> a fundamental mechanism of the US military.  And detachment from
>> morality and ethics is a necessity of anyone whose job includes
>> shooting other people.
>>
>> Is that whole system a fundamental evil?  It's certainly not a good
>> thing.  I don't like that it exists.  But I am pretty sure for now at
>> least it has to through no fault of our own.  And that does make me
>> very sad.
>>
>> Is any of this a moral justification?  Or is it just a way to shirk
>> responsibility?  I don't think so.  Each person in the military still
>> has to live with the consequences of their own actions.  And no doubt
>> that is very difficult for them in each their own way.
>>
>> I don't know if that answers the question.  But yes that is my
>> understanding of the mechanisms in place.  Obviously war is an
>> unhealthy thing for anyone, and when someones job consists of
>> suspending their ethics even a code of conduct becomes easy to
>> rationalize away.  I think it's important we do take that stuff into
>> account.  But at the end of the day the buck does stop with elected
>> leadership.  Most folks in the military don't want to be shot.  Or to
>> shoot other people.  It is my firm opinion that the vast majority of
>> people even in the military do not wake up thinking about how terrific
>> it would be to kill someone today.  And everything I do follows from
>> that.
>>
>> Regards,
>>    matt
>>
>>
>> On Wed, Apr 4, 2012 at 3:35 PM, rachel lyra hospodar
>> <rachelyra at gmail.com> wrote:
>> > Matt, your earlier message included the following text. You may wish to
>> > steer this conversation towards the specific (individual questions or
>> > concerns about tactics), but I believe that the broader questions are
>> > important. Tell me, do you truly believe what is stated below? If so, I
>> > cannot have a nitty gritty discussion with you about tactics...because
>> > our
>> > base level assumptions do not match.
>> >
>> > R.
>> >
>> > You wrote:
>> >>>
>> > And I want to remind you. DARPA isn't in the business of killing people.
>> > It's in the business of engineering peace where there is none. War and
>> > chaos
>> > do not achieve the objectives of DARPA or the US military. Their goal is
>> > to
>> > END conflict.
>> >>>
>> >
>> > On Apr 4, 2012 3:20 PM, "Matt Joyce" <matt at nycresistor.com> wrote:
>> >>
>> >> We are hackers.... so I am going to model this posting in the way of
>> >> psuedo python.
>> >>
>> >> Developers of Make have decided to introduce a new module called DARPA.
>> >>
>> >> try:
>> >>    import DARPA from USGOV
>> >> fail:
>> >>    import DIYClassic
>> >>
>> >> Fair enough.
>> >>
>> >> Open Source Community Leader Mitch Altman has concerns about how DARPA
>> >> as a module operates and whether or not we should be using it in our
>> >> software.  He has decided that he no longer wishes to collaborate with
>> >> Make as a result.  He needed to let the community know this for a
>> >> variety of reasons.  This of courses starts a firestorm of debate.
>> >>
>> >> So lets look at DARPA as a module.
>> >>
>> >> We know it has a collection of methods... some of which are really
>> >> sweet.  It has several methods for calling get_money from grants.
>> >> However many of these are as GNU would say tainted.  However in spite
>> >> of these several methods have been used to great success in the past.
>> >>
>> >> Project Internet, Grand Challenge, and a few others have been raised
>> >> as examples.
>> >>
>> >> So I guess the question I have is.. can we build either a default deny
>> >> or default allow list of methods that DARPA provides that work for our
>> >> open source projects?  Are they portable?  Is there a friendly
>> >> community contact involved in a two way discussion about future
>> >> development and participation.
>> >>
>> >> These are just my questions.  I think there are probably many more to
>> >> ask.  It seems to me what is at question here is whether we can set a
>> >> community standard for interfacing with DARPA?  If we can, do we
>> >> benefit from it?  Is there a better alternative?  Can we write a
>> >> hackerspace enhancement proposal for this.  And do we want to adopt it
>> >> if we can?
>> >>
>> >> I mean lets not lose our heads here.  This is an important discussion
>> >> with some serious stakes.  We need to focus on defining what the
>> >> issues are we want addressed.  Figuring out how and if we can get
>> >> answers on addressing them.  Then deciding if we should.
>> >>
>> >> In short lets line up our issues and knock them down.  If at the end
>> >> of that there's an issue that remains then so be it.
>> >>
>> >> This discussion is turning unproductive.
>> >>
>> >> -Matt
>> >>
>> >>
>> >>
>> >> On Wed, Apr 4, 2012 at 3:02 PM, Corey McGuire <coreyfro at coreyfro.com>
>> >> wrote:
>> >> > Noone is saying this doesn't happen.
>> >> >
>> >> > What we are saying is, here is a chance to take the positive aspects
>> >> > of
>> >> > all
>> >> > of humanity and roll them in to one event.
>> >> >
>> >> > For example.
>> >> >
>> >> > I am a Co-Parent.  I have an active role in my child's life.  So does
>> >> > his
>> >> > mother.  We may not approve of each other's methods for raising our,
>> >> > and
>> >> > indeed, we may have, each, committed wrongs (I am only using this as
>> >> > illustration, likenesses to people living or dead is purely
>> >> > coincidental).
>> >> >  To use these wrongs as a reason for pushing the other parent out of
>> >> > the
>> >> > child's life, however, is a GREATER wrong...
>> >> >
>> >> > ...because, regardless of a few wrongs, there is no shortage of good
>> >> > that,
>> >> > in our case, each parent provides.  Were we separate our child from
>> >> > one
>> >> > parent over a few wrongs, the child would not be exposed to the good
>> >> > of
>> >> > that
>> >> > parent...
>> >> >
>> >> > ...BUT NOT ONLY THAT...
>> >> >
>> >> > ...because these children are intelligent beings, each with the
>> >> > ability
>> >> > to
>> >> > measure right and wrong...to not have both parents represented, then
>> >> > the
>> >> > child only has ONE model to base their entire world view from.
>> >> >
>> >> > Do you, Rachel Lyra Hospodar and Mitch Rodrick (just a guess)
>> >> > Altman, want
>> >> > to be dead beat parents and under represent yourselves in the
>> >> > cultural
>> >> > exchange that is maker fair just because you don't like that the
>> >> > other
>> >> > parents *cough*DARPA*cough* have let the other kid watch a "Nightmare
>> >> > on
>> >> > Elm
>> >> > street" marathon?
>> >> >
>> >> > Then...guess who wins?
>> >> >
>> >> > On Wed, Apr 4, 2012 at 11:38 AM, rachel lyra hospodar
>> >> > <rachelyra at gmail.com>
>> >> > wrote:
>> >> >>
>> >> >> If you think our government only indulges its hobby of killing brown
>> >> >> people in other countries, you are mistaken. If you think it only
>> >> >> kills
>> >> >> brown people who are on the wrong side of the military, you are
>> >> >> mistaken.
>> >> >>
>> >> >> If you think there is no difference between using existing
>> >> >> technology,
>> >> >> and
>> >> >> seeking to steer the way new technology is produced, I think that
>> >> >> you
>> >> >> are
>> >> >> very mistaken.
>> >> >>
>> >> >> If you think I'm obligated to volunteer for a large and already
>> >> >> successful
>> >> >> project regardless of how it is run, you are sadly mistaken.
>> >> >>
>> >> >> I do think that maker faire is a valuable source of hacker lifeblood
>> >> >> for
>> >> >> our community. I hope those of you that feel comfortable with the
>> >> >> direction
>> >> >> that things are headed are willing to step up to the plate and
>> >> >> contribute to
>> >> >> a noisebridge presence. I have helped a lot in years past with the
>> >> >> noisebridge offerings but am glad to have a little more energy to
>> >> >> focus
>> >> >> elsewhere.
>> >> >>
>> >> >> R.
>> >> >>
>> >> >> On Apr 4, 2012 11:22 AM, "VonGuard" <vonguard at gmail.com> wrote:
>> >> >>>
>> >> >>> I agree Martin.
>> >> >>>
>> >> >>> I think it's rather silly to stay out of Maker Faire for the
>> >> >>> reasons
>> >> >>> stated. Anyone boycotting because of this funding should really
>> >> >>> stop
>> >> >>> using
>> >> >>> computers, and never use any technology out of MIT or CMU. ARPANET,
>> >> >>> which
>> >> >>> became the Internet, was a military funded project. And MIT and CMU
>> >> >>> both
>> >> >>> take huge amounts of DARPA money. Remember the self-driving car
>> >> >>> challenge?
>> >> >>>
>> >> >>> Frankly, I'm happy our tax dollars are coming back to us in some
>> >> >>> way,
>> >> >>> no
>> >> >>> matter how they get there. It's better than the government spending
>> >> >>> it
>> >> >>> on
>> >> >>> its favorite overseas pass-time: killing brown people.
>> >> >>>
>> >> >>> On Wed, Apr 4, 2012 at 9:23 AM, Martin Bogomolni
>> >> >>> <martinbogo at gmail.com>
>> >> >>> wrote:
>> >> >>>>
>> >> >>>> The -message- is important though.
>> >> >>>>
>> >> >>>> A recruiter is legally bound, by the contract they have signed
>> >> >>>> with
>> >> >>>> the US armed forces, to identify and attempt to recruit as many
>> >> >>>> qualified people as they can through a number of enticements into
>> >> >>>> the
>> >> >>>> US armed forces.  This is their primary job.
>> >> >>>>
>> >> >>>> A DARPA STEM grant comes with a couple strings attached (it must
>> >> >>>> be
>> >> >>>> spent for the purpose the grant was applied for, namely
>> >> >>>> Science/Tech/Engineering/Math education) but it does not commit
>> >> >>>> anyone
>> >> >>>> who accepts that grant to the purpose of recruiting, or to perform
>> >> >>>> a
>> >> >>>> research task for the US armed forces.
>> >> >>>>
>> >> >>>> The thinking that goes into a Military Recruiter is: "Send out our
>> >> >>>> most charismatic, and experienced soldiers to go find people who
>> >> >>>> will
>> >> >>>> be useful to the military and recruit them."
>> >> >>>>
>> >> >>>> The thinking that goes into the STEM education fund is : "Support
>> >> >>>> science, technology, engineering and math in schools and get
>> >> >>>> people
>> >> >>>> interested in science.  The more people get interested in these
>> >> >>>> subjects, the higher quality pool of people we will have in the US
>> >> >>>> in
>> >> >>>> the future to draw on."
>> >> >>>>
>> >> >>>> I'm not going to scoff at DARPA money, especially since it doesn't
>> >> >>>> require or _directly_ encourage people to join the military.   I
>> >> >>>> would
>> >> >>>> honestly be more delighted if this money came from an education
>> >> >>>> initiative outside of the military, but because it doesn't tie the
>> >> >>>> carrot on the stick directly to military service, I also don't
>> >> >>>> have a
>> >> >>>> problem with it.
>> >> >>>>
>> >> >>>> IMHOI it's taking millions of dollars away from projects that
>> >> >>>> might
>> >> >>>> directly be used to hurt people, and beating it into plowshares
>> >> >>>> through education.   I feel this kind of thing should be
>> >> >>>> ///encouraged///.    If it comes down to it, I'd rather that every
>> >> >>>> agency in the government that could spend money on education and
>> >> >>>> making participation in science and technology do so.   Certainly,
>> >> >>>> many do (from the CDC in disease prevention and education to the
>> >> >>>> FDA,
>> >> >>>> from Welfare offering job training to the NSF directly funding
>> >> >>>> science).
>>
>> >> >>>> _______________________________________________
>> >> >>>> Noisebridge-discuss mailing list
>> >> >>>> Noisebridge-discuss at lists.noisebridge.net
>> >> >>>> https://www.noisebridge.net/mailman/listinfo/noisebridge-discuss
>> >> >>>
>> >> >>>
>> >> >>>
>> >> >>> _______________________________________________
>> >> >>> Noisebridge-discuss mailing list
>> >> >>> Noisebridge-discuss at lists.noisebridge.net
>> >> >>> https://www.noisebridge.net/mailman/listinfo/noisebridge-discuss
>> >> >>>
>> >> >>
>> >> >> _______________________________________________
>> >> >> Noisebridge-discuss mailing list
>> >> >> Noisebridge-discuss at lists.noisebridge.net
>> >> >> https://www.noisebridge.net/mailman/listinfo/noisebridge-discuss
>> >> >>
>> >> >
>> >> >
>> >> >
>> >> > --
>> >> > Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler -
>> >> > Albert
>> >> > Einstein
>> >> > Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication - Leonardo Da Vinci
>> >> > Perfection is reached not when there is nothing left to add, but when
>> >> > there
>> >> > is nothing left to take away - Antoine de Saint Exupéry
>> >> > Keep It Simple Stupid - Kelly Johnson
>>
>> >> >
>> >> > _______________________________________________
>> >> > Noisebridge-discuss mailing list
>> >> > Noisebridge-discuss at lists.noisebridge.net
>> >> > https://www.noisebridge.net/mailman/listinfo/noisebridge-discuss
>> >> >


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