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#off-topic
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2018-04-11
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orestis10:04:26

I wonder, does having a self-hosted Clojurescript compiler open the way to adding new runtimes to Clojure?

orestis10:04:46

In the sense that a large chunk of the compiler is already written in Clojure?

sveri10:04:36

I just dont understand why everybody is so upset about facebook. Selling every user data they can get is their whole business model, just like google / twitter and everyone else that can sell data.

sveri10:04:40

And I found it so ironic when Elon Musk tweeted that he deleted his facebook pages. I mean, he is intelligent, he must see the irony or am I missing something?

danielstockton10:04:45

@sveri I think it's more that everyone disliked the business model, but for various reasons ended up using it because everyone else did. Now they have the opportunity to express it and hope that it might change something.

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danielstockton10:04:45

I feel like I'm one of those people - I have a Facebook account and understand their business model. At the same time, I wish it didn't exist.

danielstockton10:04:41

There is a certain FOMO and also lazyness, meaning I don't have the discipline to stop using it completely. There is also the fact that even if I did stop using it, most of my data would be on there anyway via proxy.

danielstockton10:04:12

Perhaps people were not complaining before because they thought that everyone just accepted it.

danielstockton10:04:28

Also, it isn't always at the forefront of your mind. You can understand the business model without being totally aware of all the implications.

danm10:04:29

A big part of it, as I understand it, was that this data was not being sold by Facebook through 'legitimate' paths

danm10:04:41

There were these quizzes and such, which were scraping the data of not only the people who ran them, but all those people's friends. And a big part of the issue is that they should never have been allowed to scrape from friends

danm10:04:16

Because then said friends have not opted in/accepted that

sveri10:04:33

I think we live in a post privacy time and it is just hard to accept that. I myself dont use facebook, but google / android extensively. And as much as I dislike it, they can only provide all these services because they sell my data.

3Jane10:04:48

Facebook, Google, Twitter and so on are the equivalent of agoras, places where people meet and discuss things

3Jane10:04:40

They’re vital infrastructure of modern society, but they’re privately owned. Imagine what would happen if most public spaces, parks, roads, etc in your city were owned by private corporations.

3Jane10:04:01

We’re dependent on using the thing with the most users, where our community resides. Providing a service at this scale costs a lot, so it’s only affordable if you can monetise it, or if you can somehow extract money for it from the community. So the only realistic alternative for Facebook, Twitter etc is tax-funded social media.

sveri10:04:48

@lady3janepl That would be one solution. I am a fan of giving institutions into public hands. But I am not sure if it has to be social media. In germany you have a fundamental right to have access to TV. Its so fundamental, that if you live on social services they also pay you access to the public channels that we have here. I think this is the same with internet access. Would be interesting to see if access to social media becomes a fundamental right too some day. But then, I would not want to pay for a service where people can post pictures of their cats.

sveri11:04:57

I'd rather hope all these social media platforms burn into their ground, metaphorically speaking.

3Jane11:04:12

see, that’s why I think it should be tax-funded, because then anti-censorship rights would kick in

3Jane11:04:51

otherwise we’ll get public space where who can enter and what they can say is controlled by people with the largest amount of money anyway

3Jane11:04:54

If I don’t want to pay for parks where people get drunk or roads which aren’t in my city or healthcare, education or retirement for people who aren’t related to me, I don’t get a say in any of this. Taxes exist because we recognise that people make decisions that are individually most beneficial but are not most beneficial collectively (and need to prevent this natural tendency via obligatory taxes).

sveri12:04:58

I thought taxes exist for the exact opposite reason, being most beneficial collectively?

danielstockton12:04:18

I believe that's what she meant. Individuals otherwise only spend money on things which benefit themselves..

3Jane12:04:24

Yep, that’s what I meant - @danielstockton thank you 🙂

3Jane12:04:13

(Disclaimer: I mean “benefit oneself” in a wide sense, for example I donate money for poor people but stipulate that it’s to be used only for those who take on my faith. Do I benefit directly? No. Indirectly? Yes. This is similar to not wanting to spend money on people posting their cats.)

sveri13:04:29

Ok, that makes sense. On the other hand you have to draw the line somewhere. Communication and networking is important, but sharing videos of "stupid" stuff? I dont think so, others may think different. A tax based email provider would be awesome. E-Mail is invaluable today and should be public property. Just like DNS servers. A secure chat client would be great too. But following others to see what they ate last lunch or watch their holiday vids? Not so much. Thats where I would draw my line.

3Jane13:04:40

That’s what community is built from. “Stupid” stuff.

3Jane13:04:08

People sharing ordinary things with each other. People making each other smile.

3Jane13:04:00

Smalltalk.

3Jane13:04:14

People share things to demonstrate something about themselves. It’s no different to hanging a flag in their backyard, or a poster in their window. Some people hang a political poster, others stick “baby in car”, others hang artificial testicles off their vans. I’d argue for providing a guaranteed priority access to things like government services, and limited rate access to “whatever” community things.

tbaldridge13:04:47

@sveri, you have to be really careful with the public funded communication though. Often funding = control. Awhile back someone did a study that showed that just via "meta-data" of social network relationships it was possible to predict who the main leaders of the American revolution were. In other words, track who quoted whom, who was in what cities at what times, and you can very easily predict a lot about people.

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3Jane13:04:01

(Of course you get into things like, participating in culture costs money - it’s easy to get excluded from your friend group when you can’t afford to frequent the same places, don’t have time/money to watch the same Netflix series, and whatnot)

3Jane13:04:56

@tbaldridge honestly I’m more comfortable with government funding communication than private companies. At least government officials I get to vote for 🙂 But I don’t have a vote in what Facebook does with my data.

tbaldridge13:04:09

That's the problem with "meta-data" it can tell you a lot. If all you know is that someone called phone number X at time Y. And you know that X is the office of a divorce lawyer during business hours, and you know the call lasted for an hour, you can deduce that that person is looking for a divorce.

3Jane13:04:21

(also visible in how much diversity there is among government employees vs private company employees.)

3Jane13:04:12

(also who’d you prefer to have your health data, government health service, or Facebook who is looking for information on how to monetise it and is therfore liable to selling it off?)

tbaldridge13:04:52

I'm saying both are bad.

sveri13:04:30

Well, if Trump was my president, I'd say the same 😄 (sry, couldnt resist)

tbaldridge13:04:52

The optimal approach IMO, is government regulated businesses. Who safe-guards in place that apply to the government as well. If I say "don't share this outside of Facebook" that also should apply to government requests. .

tbaldridge13:04:05

But to be fair, this is all pointless in the face of Prism anyways.

sveri13:04:29

Why would you trust a regulated company more than your government? I just cannot see that that makes sense?

sveri13:04:22

Given my government is not corrupt. But even if it is corrupt, it is corrupted by the "regulated" companies, which means, the government is still more trustworthy than the company, in my eyes.

tbaldridge13:04:26

There is no oversight of a government. "Who watches the watchers" is the saying.

tbaldridge13:04:15

If the companies own the data, and the government provides oversight. When the company goes bad, the government steps in. When the government goes bad, the company will fight them in court.

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tbaldridge13:04:30

What makes no sense is to put all the power in one group of people.

tbaldridge13:04:29

One of the biggest breaches of personal security here in the US is Prism, and it exists expressly because there is no oversight.

tbaldridge13:04:40

Read up on that to see why I don't trust governments ^^. Especially when they demand data from corporations and threaten them with jail-time if they fail to comply.

sveri13:04:40

In germany every resident has the right to file a suit against its own governments rules. So for us the courts step in. It actually works ok-ish I would say. On the other hand we have similar surveillance programs in europe. But that is a different problem and I think you are mixing them both right now.

sveri13:04:04

Is it the government or an agency that threatens them with jail time? This is a honest question as I dont know much about US government system.

tbaldridge13:04:39

It's the NSA, and it's completely under the table. They say "provide us access to the contents of gmail, your internal routers, etc. If you fail to comply, or talk to anyone about this request we'll treat you as a terrorist"

tbaldridge14:04:40

The problem is then that data is also used in a unregulated manner. The question of if warrants were filed and the like was on a team-by-team basis. If someone didn't say "do we have a warrant for this?" searches were performed without proper process. The data was right there, and any agent could use it to look up whatever they wanted. So the US constitution (that protects against searches without a warrant) was/is regularly violated.

tbaldridge14:04:29

So at the end of the day, Facebook having my data annoys me, but they can't arrest me or charge me with terrorism if some fluke in the system tags me as a threat.

sveri14:04:09

So in essence you would think a governmental Social Media platform would be used as a tool for more surveillance, right?

3Jane14:04:40

If the government does something you don’t like, you can (in theory) vote against it.

3Jane14:04:52

If a company does something you don’t like, you have no influence over their bottom line.

tbaldridge14:04:16

Heh, sure you do.

tbaldridge14:04:23

Vote with your vote or vote with your money

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3Jane14:04:23

For a government to do something to a company, the government has to be notified, and/or has to put in money into monitoring them

3Jane14:04:03

government is more efficient and zealous about monitoring internally than monitoring other companies, because internal monitoring is about one branch fighting another branch for the money. they have a vested interest in it.

3Jane14:04:20

For context, I was born on the Eastern side of the iron curtain (at the time when the curtain was still up), and now the country is governed by a very Trump-like president. I know what corrupt government and political suppression looks like (ish, I was too young to participate). I went to school in clouds of tear gas.

tbaldridge14:04:33

heh, that's not how it works in the US at all. Maybe it's a huge vs large government size thing.

3Jane14:04:44

maybe. or maybe it’s the lobbying.

3Jane14:04:50

but yeah, tldr someone needs to pay for the servers and government is easier to sue / shame publicly

sveri14:04:48

Our government knows no shame -.-

3Jane14:04:52

Funnily enough, yesterday I read an essay about exactly this problem, which I found because the same guy wrote about the Lisp curse

jsa-aerial14:04:40

That's a pretty neat, funny and accurate article. Yep - in the words of another savant - "it's deja vu all over again"...

sveri14:04:31

There is a pattern in certain areas where reinventing leads to the same result. I think the reason for this is that it is a human with a human, grown up in a human society that tries to reinvent. And with the same experiences and circumstances it will just happen to reinvent the same solution as before, because of our limited imagination / foresight. Its the same with development. It is impossible to write a larger programm without errors, because it is intrinsic to humans to make errors, therefor everything they build, will have errors.

sveri14:04:09

That error thing is just an example, there are other properties at work too. Curiosity, the will to win, beat others. The will to cooperate, the will to make sure your own children will survive, etc.

3Jane14:04:31

Bad title/description I think. It’s really about data centralisation. That is, who pays for the server 🙂

sveri14:04:07

I just read through it, I am talking about the same thing. > Otherwise, we will — yet again — find ourselves back where we started. Thats exactly what I mean. There are characteristics in the human that will lead to the same results again and again, unless the characteristics change. So we will have lobbyism, corruption, threatening and so on, unless we all change. Evolution is not done yet.

chris_johnson14:04:07

IMHO the really important thing about the current Facebook dustup is that it’s pointing out that the “oh well, we live in a post-privacy world, get used to it” attitude has failed to account for all the possible use cases of all your data that lie beyond putting an ad for the refrigerator you just looked at in your browser in all your social media streams

chris_johnson14:04:39

what Cambridge Analytica did with the social graph, using only the crude ML tools available to us today, should be a huge wake-up call to get in front of regulating how data is aggregated and used. It’s not about whether Facebook fell asleep at the switch in 2014; it’s more like finding out that letting someone shoplift food from a convenience store actually allows them to poison all the food of that type, everywhere

chris_johnson14:04:48

suddenly shoplifting becomes a bigger deal

3Jane14:04:35

> There are characteristics in the human that will lead to the same results again and again, unless the characteristics change. ah, right then yes

3Jane14:04:07

> should be a huge wake-up call to get in front of regulating how data is aggregated and used Problem is, the government is going to be always behind on this - just as it is behind with fixing the tax holes.

sveri14:04:24

You are comparing apples to oranges here. Eating poisoned food will kill you. Cambridge Analytica spying on your data will do you no harm. Yes, we know its bad because of the implications and influencing elections and stuff. So, dont do that again! To which CA will answer, we wont, we promise. And already its forgotten over the next Trump fart.

3Jane14:04:56

(and just as anti-virus/bot/etc companies are going to be behind the attackers)

john14:04:27

Facebook seems too happy to call for this regulation over themselves. My first question: will this new regulation make it easier for companies to compete with Facebook - after they've implemented the regulations that they are going to suggest to congress - or will these new regulations make it harder for competitors to compete with Facebook?

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Alex Miller (Clojure team)14:04:36

obviously the latter. far easier for FB to amortize the costs of regulation over a vastly larger set of people and money.

jsa-aerial14:04:40

That's a pretty neat, funny and accurate article. Yep - in the words of another savant - "it's deja vu all over again"...

john14:04:35

That's what I would think

3Jane14:04:49

that’s not always a bad thing. it’s hard to get into business of importing food, but I’d rather have well regulated food on the market than a lot of cheap alternatives with poisons in them.

john14:04:40

But bits are just easier to block... I just don't think we can use the same criteria to judge the regulation of hard goods and services, vs purely informational services.

john14:04:41

Like, I would never have to worry about "importing" a virus, if I'd just let FB and the FBI manage my identity from the moment I got on the internet to the moment I got off. Then I'd never have to worry about bad bits...

john14:04:18

But today, freedom requires that we take personal responsibility and control our own gateways of information. I think the good parts of the internet are largely a product of that freedom.

john14:04:28

But yeah, information privacy is a hairy problem. I just worry that the wrong people are framing the problem for us, just to push the wrong solution.

3Jane15:04:38

> I just worry that the wrong people are framing the problem for us, just to push the wrong solution. That’s true. And that also is a question of who has the money to finance movements. For example, a lot of the noise for internet freedom (my mind blanked the correct term) was generated due to companies who’d lose out on it, and thus prodded their customers into protesting

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john15:04:55

aye, net neutrality

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donaldball15:04:13

A central problem is that there can be no meaningful informed consent about what these companies do with our data and our attention, if only we because we simply don’t really know what can be done with them, individually or in aggregate. And without meaningful informed consent by participants, there simply is no ethical way to operate in this space. A specific problem is that Facebook likes to style itself a community, but provides absolutely no facility for said community to exercise any democratic control over its governance. This may be among the reasons why it was caught so flat-footed by the right-wing brouhaha over their conspiracy sites being downranked in the new feed early in 2016 (thus arguably paving the way for their feed being hijacked by agents provocateur writ large in the election). Absent real democratic control mechanisms, it found itself vulnerable to manipulation by powerful external actors with axes to grind.

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andy.fingerhut19:04:07

@donaldball You believe that there is no way that contract law / release forms / etc. can possibly lead to meaningful informed consent?

andy.fingerhut19:04:44

If not, what do you consider meaningful informed consent to consist of anywhere, in any situation in life (or perhaps you consider it impossible to achieve regardless of the situation?)

seancorfield19:04:39

Release forms etc tend to be very specific about what can/can't be done with specific information/data -- and thus don't cover a lot of future possibilities.

seancorfield19:04:21

Besides, no one actually reads the "This app wants access to ..." when they blindly click "OK" (get out of my way, I just want to play a game / do a quiz).

donaldball20:04:14

What I’m inartfully trying to get at is that one might not reasonably expect to be sharing uneasily accurate assessments of e.g. household income, income volatility, sexual orientation, mental health, physical health, political preferences, etc. by agreeing to e.g. use a social media platform - or even to have friends use a social media platform - but here we are.

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donaldball20:04:42

It’s not so much that contracts and regulations can’t cover these, it’s that the effects of these broadly shared data are so ill-understood at the moment that there really is no actual “informed” to the consent; what we think we’ve agreed to isn’t necessarily what we’ve effectively agreed to. And that’s setting aside the whole question of data being shared about us absent any consent whatsoever.

fellshard20:04:35

Most people entered platforms when this all began with a feeling that they were only providing what they voluntarily handed to the platform

fellshard20:04:08

As integrations crept in, more and more data was drawn and collated from other sources, leading to a 'silent scope creep' of additional data being added to the roster.

fellshard20:04:51

Each individual app may have used that data well, but the end result is the same: FB had more centralized data to accumulate

fellshard20:04:15

Simply by being the middle-man, the identity provider in many of these scenarios, it got to handle data when all a user wanted was to hand the data to a particular non-FB application.

seancorfield21:04:47

Yeah, @donaldball’s point was what I was thinking about: where the platform makes assumptions about you based on your behavior -- there's almost no way to formulate that under a specific release/consent because it's so open-ended. And a lot of that behavior is "public" to some degree (even if only your "friends" see it -- any of your friends could run analysis on observed behavior and create assumed information).

seancorfield21:04:29

It'll be interesting to see how far into that sort of (potentially aggregated) derived data the GDPR can reach.

andy.fingerhut21:04:36

Recently passed European Union law (I think now in effect, or soon to be?) that creates lots of rules to learn and follow for people keeping data about other people.

seancorfield22:04:00

The GDPR affects every company globally that holds or interacts with data from EU members.