[clug] OT: Interesting Register Article

Scott Ferguson scott.ferguson.clug at gmail.com
Fri Feb 27 03:09:32 MST 2015

On 27/02/15 16:36, Bryan Kilgallin wrote:
> G'day Scott:

G'd Bryan, interesting points.

> I don't share all your pessimism.

I'm a cynic - *not* a pessimist. There's a difference.
One does nothing by despair - and normalizes their inactivity by
pointing to imminent failure. The other recognizes that reality is not
pretty, but having accepted reality, warts and all, is in a better
position to effect positive change.
You can't fix a problem ignored, and you won't fix a problem accepted as
having no alternatives (I think).
E.g. if you accept the ugly reality that leaving the stove on does heat
up the rest of the house, and the surrounds of the house - it's hard to
deny human impact on global climate. If you see a problem with fossil
fuels consumption simply being one of finding an alternative fuel - you
overlook the possibility that actual solution may be - to reduce the
need to consume power (e.g. grow your own food).

>> I can opt out of MS.
> There are lots of other ways to opt-out. So I grow fruit and herbs.

Good for you. Really. You not only reduce the amount of fossil fuels you
use to obtain food - but greatly reduce the amount of fossil fuels used
to produce food you'd buy in the shops (pesticide, herbicide, transport,
refrigeration etc).

>> Other, *important* things I cannot:- Snowden revelations/confirmation
> My PDA is a paper diary!

Do you have a paper mobile phone?

I note you use the internet, and you've previously mentioned owning a

There are two points many miss about the Snowden revelations:-
1. it's a panopticon (note the latest news about IBM and others
developing "predictive" modelling)
2. the information (it's just meta-data is a sophism) is being processed
by private companies. Do you believe those companies won't use that
information to their advantage? Note that I mean to the disadvantage of
Australian business - and whether you are retired or not, you will be

> Perhaps someone might give a talk on how to opt out of some hassle?

OpSec *and* "change control" (if you don't have a compelling reason -
don't do it)


We don't know what we don't know.

We do know that those who profit from power seek always to increase
their power base. There's gold in that thar data has long been the sales
pitch of "big data". What doesn't bring censure now may well bring
censure at a later point - even if the current "meta-data" (key to the
data held by other parties) proposals are watered-down - there are no
guarantees that a later point the archival periods won't be extended.
Darwin has already quietly become a military camp - I suspect that will
become a continuing trend.

How is any of that relevant to Linux?



>> climate change denial
> I drive a full-hybrid Prius.

I'm not start a discussion as to why that is not the panacea you believe
it is. But... the 2nd law of thermodynamics is inescapable,
electric/hybrid cars simply swap one form of non-renewable mining for
another, likewise type of pollution (e.g. nickel).
The logic problem is similar to that of whether replacing your old
computer of a new, more power efficient computer actually reduces
pollution. It 'might', but not nearly as much as appears at a casual glance.


<rant off, you can all return to American Gladiators now> ;p

Kind regards

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