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[P]
Proposed New Section: MPD

By wiredog in Meta
Fri Oct 19, 2001 at 05:14:45 AM EST
Tags: Humour (all tags)
Humour

Because of the stuff that's been showing up in the queue lately, I hereby propose a new section, the Mindless Political Drivel section which will be for stories like this one.


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...because it's waiting for your ad. So why are you still reading this? Come on, get going. Read the story, and then get an ad. Alright stop it. I'm not going to say anything else. Now you're just being silly. STOP LOOKING AT ME! I'm done!
comments (24)
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Idea blatantly stolen from pwhysall.

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Poll
MPD
o Miles per day? 8%
o Great Idea! 15%
o Rusty's gonna hurl! 12%
o K5 is already MPD 61%
o DemonicDriph 2%

Votes: 83
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o Mindless
o Political
o Drivel
o this one
o stolen
o Also by wiredog


Display: Sort:
Proposed New Section: MPD | 41 comments (40 topical, 1 editorial, 0 hidden)
To be serious... (3.50 / 6) (#1)
by TheophileEscargot on Thu Oct 18, 2001 at 09:28:46 AM EST

...we do have an issue that some people are completely bored of the terrorism / Afghanistan thing; but others still want to debate it.

Maybe Rusty or someone should issue a recommendation that it should all be put under "News" or something. That way it would be easier for those people to ignore it, or seek it out.

The stuff does seem to be sprawling over the sections a bit.
----
Support the nascent Mad Open Science movement... when we talk about "hundreds of eyeballs," we really mean it. Lagged2Death

And if you follow the links... (4.00 / 2) (#2)
by wiredog on Thu Oct 18, 2001 at 09:36:18 AM EST

You see that one of the MPD stories is by me. I'm of two minds about it. I am a bit bored with the whole thing. But it's important. It's certainly ripe for humor.

If there's a choice between performance and ease of use, Linux will go for performance every time. -- Jerry Pournelle
[ Parent ]
Repetition repetition repetition repetition... (4.42 / 7) (#3)
by TheophileEscargot on Thu Oct 18, 2001 at 09:43:56 AM EST

...is what bugs me: the same arguments over and over again. I'm happy to vote up any new takes on the subject.

Well, that and the "Anyone who disagrees with me on any aspect of the motivation, efficiency, strategy or tactics of the bombing is a [pacifist anti-American / fascist warmonger]" line of conversation.
----
Support the nascent Mad Open Science movement... when we talk about "hundreds of eyeballs," we really mean it. Lagged2Death
[ Parent ]

The site reflects what people want to talk about. (4.75 / 4) (#7)
by emc2 on Thu Oct 18, 2001 at 10:33:11 AM EST

Even if that means to repeat oneself constantly... It will pass when it is no longer relevant, but with crazy people mailing anthrax spores and bombs hitting by mistake Red Corss's warehouses and civilians in Afghanistan, this topic will last for a bit longer.

The way to change the tide is posting about other stuff....

E=m*c*m*c
Honest.

[ Parent ]
regarding your .sig (3.00 / 3) (#6)
by streetlawyer on Thu Oct 18, 2001 at 10:29:57 AM EST

When is there a choice between performance and ease of use at the level of the operating system? The only sense I can give to your quote is that command-line interfaces have less processing overhead than GUIs. But who cares? On a modern computer, for all but the most recherche applications, the difference between a command line and a GUI is unlikely to make any practical difference to meaningful "performance", as opposed to artificial benchmarks.

In any case, it's not true. If Linux went for "performance over ease of use, every time", it would still have cryptic mnemonic commands, like the early Unix systems, designed in the days when the tradeoff between ease of use and performance really meant something.

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]

Aaaargh! Someone call an ambulance! (4.25 / 4) (#8)
by TheophileEscargot on Thu Oct 18, 2001 at 10:46:32 AM EST

Someone used "Linux" instead of "Linux distribution"! Heart... failing... pills... urrrgh...
----
Support the nascent Mad Open Science movement... when we talk about "hundreds of eyeballs," we really mean it. Lagged2Death
[ Parent ]
Well... (4.50 / 2) (#9)
by wiredog on Thu Oct 18, 2001 at 10:49:32 AM EST

If you can get both, that's great. Other systems have gone for ease of use over performance. But Linux, and open source in general, chooses performance first, then ease of use. That's because they are put together by programmers, for fun. This is changing, with KDE and GNOME, but even so the performance comes first. And performance means more than speed. It also means robustness, as a system that crashes frequently has worse performance than one that crashes infrequently.

cryptic mnemonic commands. Lets see, I use ls, mv, cp, rm, (and, on win, copy, move, del, dir) and others all the time. It's quicker to type them in than it is to mouse around clicking on links.

When I did industrial machinery programming priority one was functionality. The machine had to do what it was supposed to without crashing. Putting a pretty user interface on it was secondary. That's why so many automated machines have text mode interfaces, if they don't just have a bunch of pushbuttons and dials, controlling them. Our customers would tell us specifically not to use windows, or X, because of the robustness issue. When there's $1E6 of product in the line you do not want the computer, or program, to fall over.

If there's a choice between performance and ease of use, Linux will go for performance every time. -- Jerry Pournelle
[ Parent ]

I just don't recognise this (4.00 / 4) (#10)
by streetlawyer on Thu Oct 18, 2001 at 11:25:16 AM EST

But Linux, and open source in general, chooses performance first, then ease of use. That's because they are put together by programmers, for fun.

This just isn't true. The "ease of use" characteristics of Linux are those of Unix. None of the "open source" gang behind Linux were involved in making any of these choices. And it's not true in any case. If all that these "programmers" cared about was performance, they'd do their programming in hand-optimised assembly language. There are always tradeoffs, and given that "performance" is a problem which can always be solved by increasing processor power, while an unusable system is usually unusable by design, I would guess that it is very rare that "performance every time" is a sensible rule. Which is why the Linux developers don't follow it.

Lets see, I use ls, mv, cp, rm, (and, on win, copy, move, del, dir) and others all the time. It's quicker to type them in than it is to mouse around clicking on links

I'm sorry, but no. Apple did the definitive ergonomic study on this and you're wrong. Typing seems faster but is slower.

When I did industrial machinery programming priority one was functionality. The machine had to do what it was supposed to without crashing. Putting a pretty user interface on it was secondary. That's why so many automated machines have text mode interfaces, if they don't just have a bunch of pushbuttons and dials, controlling them. Our customers would tell us specifically not to use windows, or X, because of the robustness issue. When there's $1E6 of product in the line you do not want the computer, or program, to fall over.

Bully beef. But Linux is not first and foremost an industrial machinery operating system, and in the vast majority of its applications, ease of use matters.

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]

No longer true (4.66 / 3) (#11)
by FredBloggs on Thu Oct 18, 2001 at 12:12:33 PM EST

"If all that these "programmers" cared about was performance, they'd do their programming in hand-optimised assembly language"

Used to be true, when the rules were simple (just get a book on how many cycles a given instruction takes, and apply during assembly coding).

Now the water is muddied with modern processors having dual pipelines, on chip caches, level 1,2,3 caches etc... sure you can run Vtune or whatever, but its better to just click on `optimize for speed` and have the compiler do the hard work. It`ll out perform a human any day.


[ Parent ]
Actually it's still true (3.50 / 2) (#24)
by simon farnz on Thu Oct 18, 2001 at 06:18:46 PM EST

Even on a beastie like IA-64 with bundles, speculative execution, predication, SMT and all the other fancy tricks, hand-optimized code will match or outperform compiled code; a compiler may not see a way to cut a few clock cycles out of a major execution path, or to prevent a pipeline stall

Two things have changed since the 80s though:

  1. Compilers have improved to the point where the difference between their output and "perfect" code is insignificant
  2. Chips have increased in complexity to the point where it is hard to hand optimize

In practice of course no-one writes pure hand-optimized code any more, not because you can't improve performance, but because it is a bad ROI; if I take 5 times as long to write code that is 10 times as faster, the time spent was worthwhile (as in the 80s). If I take 10 times longer for a 1% speedup, it wasn't worth the effort.

This is not to say that people don't write raw assembler; sometimes it is the only way to get things to work properly.
--
If guns are outlawed, only outlaws have guns
[ Parent ]

It is Occasionally true (none / 0) (#39)
by rasilon on Sun Oct 21, 2001 at 06:18:25 AM EST

When modern compilers optimise for speed, they don't just bum a few cycles here and here, you get algorithmic changes as well. gcc -O3 doesn't even vaguely respect sequence points and the compiler can hold a lot more state than you or I. Whilst a small tight loop can often be faster done by hand any large code block is too complex to do properly by hand and the compiler can see both the wood and the trees at the same time.

[ Parent ]
nope, your sig makes no sense (5.00 / 1) (#25)
by eLuddite on Thu Oct 18, 2001 at 06:56:00 PM EST

But Linux, and open source in general, chooses performance first, then ease of use.

Ease of use is a UI issue, computational performance is an algorithm issue. The two are mutually exclusive; there is no shortage of intuitive, easy to use software which outruns its Linux competition, it is the norm. On the other hand, if hacker code sacrifices clarity for bit fiddling, it is pooly engineered, not hard to use. Finally, the real reason your sig is an meaningless, untrue slogan is because Linux in fact does not outperform other OSes despite doing less than those other OSes.

---
God hates human rights.
[ Parent ]

Whatever... (none / 0) (#35)
by eightball on Fri Oct 19, 2001 at 08:26:38 AM EST

You can very easily have to make choices between:

"Do I spend my time making foo() system call 10% faster? Or, do I spend my time trying to make this interface more user friendly so somebody who has never used linux can pick it up as fast as a mac?"

[ Parent ]
There is no "Linux" (4.00 / 1) (#16)
by pwhysall on Thu Oct 18, 2001 at 02:24:07 PM EST

Sure, you could probably level that accusation at a particular distribution, but to say that "Linux does this" or "Linux does that" if you're discussing anything other than the kernel is just plain inaccurate. But then, it *is* a quote from Jerry Pournelle, who I've read on and off for nearly 12 years now and he /still/ doesn't know how to operate a computer properly.

Of course, such a quote is a massive slap in the face of the people behind GNOME and KDE which are trying (with varying degrees of success, but undoubted expenditure of effort) to achieve that mystical goal of "user-friendliness". And going by recent versions of both, performance is quite secondary to ease-of-use.

FWIW, I rather like Ximian's distribution of GNOME. The seductive combination of a relatively ninja PC, tons of memory, a fast graphics card and disk system make it a pleasure to use.

OK. I have to confess. I put lots of little icons on my desktop and added cute emblems to them :-)

Minor nit - is a command cryptic, if it's mnemonic? My initial reaction to that phrase is "contradiction in terms".
--
Peter
K5 Editors
I'm going to wager that the story keeps getting dumped because it is a steaming pile of badly formatted fool-meme.
CheeseBurgerBrown
[ Parent ]

Cryptic Mnemonic Commands (4.00 / 2) (#17)
by ucblockhead on Thu Oct 18, 2001 at 02:30:22 PM EST

It does still have cryptic mnemonic commands, actually, and those determined to get every cycle of performance would ditch X and do everything on the command line. (Or is this meant as a troll?)

(Otherwise, you are pretty much correct. Nearly nobody would need the slight performance improvement.)

Though those "cryptic mnemonic commands" have an ease of use advantage for experts. An expert using those commands can generally beat anyone using a GUI at similar tasks. But only an expert, and the learning curve is a nasty one.

The reason for this is fairly straightforward, and it is that a give command-line command is generally more complex, so a given command-line action can take more potential paths than a given GUI command. This means that any complex task requires more GUI actions than command line actions. But this complexity also means that they are harder to learn and understand.

In that since, "command line" vs. "GUI" is not a performance trade-off but an "ease of use for normal people" vs. "ease of use for experts" trade-off. Unfortunately, there's this myth that "ease of use" is the same for everyone.

(Besides, Pournelle is a well known blowhard. Why take him seriously in any context?)
-----------------------
This is k5. We're all tools - duxup
[ Parent ]

One word (4.50 / 2) (#18)
by DesiredUsername on Thu Oct 18, 2001 at 02:31:46 PM EST

Modules.

Play 囲碁
[ Parent ]
huh? (none / 0) (#27)
by samth on Thu Oct 18, 2001 at 09:20:09 PM EST

In what way do modules benifit either performance or ease of use? They're convenient for some things, but not useful by the criteria under discussion.

Given a choice between Libertarianism and ravenous martian spores, I ask you, do I look good in this Bernaise sauce? -- eLuddite
[ Parent ]
Not that we're bored . . . (4.00 / 4) (#13)
by regeya on Thu Oct 18, 2001 at 12:39:32 PM EST

. . .it's just that, after the 100th rewrite of the same story, it gets a little tiresome.

[ yokelpunk | kuro5hin diary ]
[ Parent ]

ahem. (3.66 / 3) (#14)
by quartz on Thu Oct 18, 2001 at 12:51:46 PM EST

What, you actually believe that confining WTC stories to a section of their own will stop the k5 professional whiners from whining about them? How naive...

--
Fuck 'em if they can't take a joke, and fuck 'em even if they can.
[ Parent ]
I hope this doesnt fail... (3.14 / 7) (#4)
by FredBloggs on Thu Oct 18, 2001 at 09:45:57 AM EST

...just because of the name. Maybe WTC or something? Just...keep it away from me! I`ve had enough! This could go on for years!

Bush has said it. (4.75 / 4) (#5)
by emc2 on Thu Oct 18, 2001 at 10:02:17 AM EST

This will go on for years ....

E=m*c*m*c
Honest.

[ Parent ]
I Endorse this wholeheartedly! (3.14 / 7) (#12)
by Shadow Knight on Thu Oct 18, 2001 at 12:36:41 PM EST

Yes! This is an excellent idea. Maybe then we could actually have debate instead of just pontification. Or maybe not...

later,
Shadow Knight


Supreme Lord High Commander of the Interstellar Task Force for the Eradication of Stupidity
MPD? Whassat? (2.33 / 6) (#15)
by bobsquatch on Thu Oct 18, 2001 at 01:45:18 PM EST

Member of Parliament, Deceased?

Mighty Pissy Democrat?

My Poor Dog?

I'm all for a new section for the glut of political stories, but how about naming it, say, "Politics"? That way people will know what the hell it is.

Oops, I see we already have one. Well, then, let's split "Freedom" and "Politics" into two groups.

Look again (3.66 / 3) (#19)
by wiredog on Thu Oct 18, 2001 at 02:56:20 PM EST

The links highlight the section.

Mindless Political Drivel

If there's a choice between performance and ease of use, Linux will go for performance every time. -- Jerry Pournelle
[ Parent ]

missed it completely, you did, yes.... (none / 0) (#23)
by bobsquatch on Thu Oct 18, 2001 at 06:10:26 PM EST

You missed the point. I know what it's supposed to stand for. The point is, newbies won't.

You might as well give it an obvious name, like "Politics," to avoid newbies mis-categorizing their articles because they didn't see an obvious political section.

Furthermore, it seems that you want to name it "Political Drivel" because you're trying to comment on the percieved quality of the current batch of political stories. That's not something that should be codified into a permanent section name, IMHO.

The secondary point is that we already have a "Freedom and Politics" section. If WTC/Afghanastan/anthrax/terrorism/politics stories shouldn't go there (I kinda think they should, again IMHO), then we should split it into "Freedom" and "Politics" sections. What you call "MPD" would be "Politics".

Please do me (and anyone else) the favor of not immediately assuming that I'm an idiot. Or not, I don't care.

[ Parent ]

and another thing... (none / 0) (#29)
by bobsquatch on Fri Oct 19, 2001 at 12:12:47 AM EST

I'd just like to point out that if you set your display preferences to not show topic images, there's no indication anywhere on the page that this story was supposed to be "humor." Or even humorous. I only noticed the topic a couple of minutes ago, while looking at the modsub page for another story.

As long as we're meta, I suggest that scoop add some story topic indicator in text for folk who don't load images. (Loading images isn't a big deal for us DSL-endowed folk, but it was a big deal back when I was on a modem.) Maybe later on I'll look into doing it myself.

If MPD is seriously intended to fly, it should be "Politics." If this story is wholly intended to be a joke and a space to bitch about bitching about politics, I'm sorry I voted it to section.



[ Parent ]

It makes as much sense ... (none / 0) (#36)
by eightball on Fri Oct 19, 2001 at 08:30:09 AM EST

As MLP. There is a faq that explains what that is. Still occasionally the question will be asked. If you give people the means to figure the answer out (help/FAQ links are everywhere), are you responsible when they don't take the initiative to find out?

[ Parent ]
PMRS (3.40 / 5) (#20)
by thecabinet on Thu Oct 18, 2001 at 03:13:18 PM EST

Although I voted +1FP, I would rather see the topic named PMRD for Pointless Morally-Relativistic Sermon.

Ultimately, all this WTC-related hogwash (no offense intended) comes down to picking a side that is "right." Few people, even here, are arrogant enough to declare absolutely that they are correct, all others are wrong, and those who disagree will be First Against The WallTM. Thus we end up with tracts of comments wherein someone attempts to counter someone else's point using evidence that others find completely void of substance.

The first post to PMRD could be about which religion is superior, Christianity or Islam, and the only sources of evidence allowed are the Bible and Koran. It'd fit right in...

Endorsed, one problem (3.60 / 5) (#21)
by kmself on Thu Oct 18, 2001 at 03:55:19 PM EST

Without the ability to resection stories based on queue indications, this has relatively little effect. The K5 submission queue is rather badly broken. It's been this way for a long time. Rusty's well aware of my issues with the queue. Among them is the issue of article categorization -- the current classifications are in cases arbitrary and nonsensical. And the ability to resection an artcle is limited.

--
Karsten M. Self
SCO -- backgrounder on Caldera/SCO vs IBM
Support the EFF!!
There is no K5 cabal.

What a brilliant idea! (3.40 / 10) (#22)
by WombatControl on Thu Oct 18, 2001 at 04:44:39 PM EST

Yes, let us ignore issues of pressing worldwide importance! Let's entirely forget that there's an entire big world out there! Let's talk about nothing but trivial crap like like another site I could mention! That's a bloody brilliant idea!

In all seriousness, if you don't want political discussions, then don't read them. In case you haven't noticed, we're on the cusp of what could be World War III, and that bears a ton of discussion.

And thus concludes this sarcastic little rant...



yeah, but... (none / 0) (#32)
by FredBloggs on Fri Oct 19, 2001 at 07:02:16 AM EST

"we're on the cusp of what could be World War III, and that bears a ton of discussion."

...the topic isnt boring, but seeing so much uninteresting `typing` is. What was the first casualty of war again?

[ Parent ]
get a grip (none / 0) (#40)
by xdroop on Tue Oct 23, 2001 at 08:44:10 PM EST

[...] we're on the cusp of what could be World War III [...]

Korea, Cuba, Vietnam, Fauklands, Iraq, Somailia, Kosovo... we've been "on the cusp" of WW3 since the end of WW2.
---
xhost +
[ Parent ]

How about this... (2.80 / 5) (#26)
by Sven on Thu Oct 18, 2001 at 07:15:13 PM EST

Why don't we have a section that differentiates American politics from politics in general? Then we could use it for:
  • Stories that are too US-centric.
  • Stories that talk about American politicians that the rest of the world has never heard of while assuming that everyone knows who they are.
  • Stories containing the "word" USian.
I think we could still call this new section Mindless Political Drivel.

S

--
harshbutfair - you know it makes sense

Out of sight, out of mind. (3.00 / 7) (#28)
by driptray on Thu Oct 18, 2001 at 09:45:35 PM EST

Lately there are a lot of stories on K5 that have been critical of the US. There have been a lot of comments that are also critical of the US. Some insulated, and rather thin-skinned Americans have taken offense at this. When they attempt to argue back their comments are seen for the transparent war hysteria that they are, and are typically rated low.

And now these losers are proposing a new section for all the stories that disturb their world view. Out of sight equals out of mind. We mustn't disturb the war effort and let our brave boys down, eh?

If this war looks like continuing for much longer, I can see the logic of having a special "War" section. But "MPD"? No way.

I know your story is marked as "humour", but that just makes it all the more offensive. -1, for the obvious reasons.


--
We brought the disasters. The alcohol. We committed the murders. - Paul Keating
Who's going to call their own post 'drivel'? (none / 0) (#30)
by anansi on Fri Oct 19, 2001 at 12:34:31 AM EST

Maybe I'm being thick here, but why would anyone put their own post in a catagory to be lumped in with everyone else's political posturing? Creating another catagory because you don't want to read it, is like building a light rail system so other people will use it and free up the road for your SUV.

Besides, just because your 'MPD' idea gets posted to the front page, doesn't mean the powers-that-be will take you up on it. At least, I hope this place isn't a democracy!

Don't call it Fascism. Use Musollini's term: "Corporatism"

The same people who have no problem (none / 0) (#33)
by FredBloggs on Fri Oct 19, 2001 at 07:10:05 AM EST

calling their links `mindless` :)

[ Parent ]
Some people need a humor implant (5.00 / 1) (#34)
by wiredog on Fri Oct 19, 2001 at 08:25:24 AM EST

STAT! Good God! Looking through the comments attached to this piece it's clear that some people on this site, and the net, are severely lacking in the sense of humor department. (Not that I haven't known that since I discovered usenet in 85.) Not just this piece, either. Rusty was in a trollish mood yesterday and, my oh my, were people biting. Lots of fun to read, but, lighten up people!

Possibly I'm able to see a bit of humor in this because I grew up in the DC area during the cold war. Nothing like living within a few miles of five primary targets to make you appreciate the wackiness.

If there's a choice between performance and ease of use, Linux will go for performance every time. -- Jerry Pournelle

Guilty as charged (none / 0) (#37)
by anansi on Fri Oct 19, 2001 at 07:36:31 PM EST

Nothing like living in a military town, and having sore eyes from all the red, white and blue, to diminish one's capacity for satire.

My problem here on K5, is when people want to discount a topic because it appears to be 9/11 related. Are the recent outbreaks of Anthrax in any way related to the WTC demolishon? There is no evidence that tney are, so any discussion that connects the two must, by definition, be a conspiracy theory.

I'm even more sick of conspiracy theories than I am of having the flag waved in my face. So although I may seem humor-impaired, I think I can give good reason.

Don't call it Fascism. Use Musollini's term: "Corporatism"
[ Parent ]

Oh yeah, and... (1.00 / 1) (#38)
by WWWWolf on Sat Oct 20, 2001 at 06:19:31 PM EST

That sort of stuff is definitely needed. Of course you didn't mention that we also need a "Mindless US Political Drivel" section so that we feelthy foreigners don't need to read The Sort of Ranting that Happens only in America... =)

-- Weyfour WWWWolf, a lupine technomancer from the cold north...


How did this article get voted up? (1.00 / 1) (#41)
by Inden on Sun Nov 11, 2001 at 07:59:56 PM EST

This just seems to be based on dissing other people's concerns in which you aren't interested. Where's the merit in that. Who voted this thing up online? Is it the young boys' network?
----------
Libertarianism is Anarchism for the Rich
Proposed New Section: MPD | 41 comments (40 topical, 1 editorial, 0 hidden)
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