Now when you know some of the things I hate (1, 2), it’s time for you to know about the things I like. And get ready because this time they’re much more controversial and also sorted in a descending order.
Content moderation on social media
Yes, I’m making a comment on an actual political issue despite being far from an expert in it. I know it may not turn too well, but I’d rather be transparent to you.
First, let’s clear up a couple of things:
- I do support free speech, but I acknowledge that it’s not free of consequences and doesn’t mean a guarantee of a certain way of it to be presented.
- I do still support decentralization despite it making harder to moderate things as it’s highly beneficial for the democracy and resisting monopolization.
- I think content moderation only makes sense on social media and not things like cloud providers and DNS registrars as that’s too excessive.
- I think the world would be better if social media didn’t exist at all and everyone had their own websites instead as that’d make this problem much less prevalent and limit the scope of platforms where content moderation is needed.
- While I think offending posts shouldn’t be shown, I don’t think they should be deleted forever. Instead, they should be just hidden in a way that makes it possible to preserve them for future generations so the history is not lost.
So the basic idea of content moderation is that companies employ their ability to restrict their platform and remove the content they deem inappropriate. This is allowed to happen because free speech doesn’t apply to private companies, and the people who don’t support it are arguing that it should so the companies are not able to censor any ideas. I, however, don’t support this idea for one simple reason: it’ll do much more harm than benefit us. Aside from being necessary to limit the conversation from offtopic content, moderation is extremely useful for eliminating toxicity on the platforms. Even when done poorly, moderation prevents everything going completely apeshit because of overflowing by loud hateful vocal minorities. Should you remove the ability of private companies to do it, every platform will turn extremely toxic. There would be just no place for a normal conversation, which will affect the crime rate and will further propel the spreading of extremist ideologies. This should not be allowed to happen.
One argument that I’ve heard against it is “I would rather accept hateful groups on the platform and let their ideas be challenged by facts and logic,” however it wouldn’t work. No one will give a shit about facts and logic when they have an advantage of being popular. There’s no other way to get rid of them other than isolate them to their own platforms, where their ideas slowly decade and die in peace.
Note: if you don’t like systemd, I have nothing against either you or your choice. Just please don’t blame me for a choice different from yours more than I blame you.
In my opinion, systemd is a prime example of a software controversy made for little to no reason, and it’s pretty funny. Here are some of the common arguments that are used against systemd and why I think they’re wrong:
- It’s monolithic? I have no idea why some people believe it, but basically they think that systemd is one big fat binary that encompasses all the features. It’s not. The project consists of several dozen of standalone services that, by the most part, work independently of each other and can easily be disabled or replaced. It’s quite far away from “all or nothing” and is similar in this aspect to the Linux kernel.
- It’s bloated? I’d say that’s pretty far from the truth, which can be proven by looking at the systemd services and the features they provide. For example, take a look at timesyncd or networkd. That, in my opinion, is quite minimalist and even feature lacking in some aspects. Projects like chrony and NetworkManager are much more feature complete, but no one has any complaints to them. And here I’m not even talking about services like localed or hostnamed that barely even count as services because they’re like 3 lines of code that don’t even sit in the background.
- It’s complex? Yes, it is technically more complex than previous projects, but its complexity is justified by its helpful features, just like for many other software. That’s how the modern world works.
- It doesn’t follow the Unix way? It uses plain text for configuration and consists of many small programs that can be used together to do the job. Sounds pretty Unix to me. But even if it didn’t follow it, let’s just admit to ourselves that Unix is dead for good. What we have now is Linux and we should make the best out of it and not just blindly follow the principles from a prehistoric operating system.
- It’s a feature creep? systemd promises to provide a set of low-level basic building blocks for a Linux system that allows it to run and be administered. As you can see, it does what it promises and nothing more. Just because all those tools are under a single name doesn’t mean it’s a feature creep. BSD does the same thing, but no one complains there.
- It forces people to use it? It does but by using the fair technique of being so useful that people actually use it. No one is technically holding a gun near your head and forces you to use it, and you’re free to make a systemd-free distro. Just, please, don’t complain when people don’t want to support you because they have no obligation to do so for you.
And here are the reasons why I really like it:
- It’s so much more convenient. systemd makes it much easier to do many things like, for example, reading logs of everything and analyzing your system. Every instrument is systemd’s toolbox has a uniform well-documented interface that’s not that big of a pain to use.
- It’s more robust. systemd employs a declarative system for its configuration, which is more resistant to errors than executing arbitrary shell commands.
- It allows for more clever techniques. One of them, for example, is socket activation, which allows to launch services on demand instead just letting them sit in the background forever. Another one is containerization, which allows you to limit the capabilities of the services, making them less vulnerable.
- It unifies the ecosystem. Now when almost every distro uses systemd you don’t have to worry about making a certain thing just work across all the systems, because it now just does.
Not wiping your ass
Yes, I am not kidding. Just bear with me.
Wiping your ass with toilet paper is basically the worst thing you can do to it. Instead of actually getting rid of the feces, you just smear them while irritating your skin. Considering how people usually wipe, in the end you’re just left with a barely cleaned ass. What’s the solution to this, you might ask? Well, it’s obvious - washing it instead. I’ve been doing it since I was a child, and I’ve had absolutely no problems so far. My ass is about as clean as it can get and my anal hygiene is incredibly simple while yielding great results.
Disclaimer: I’ve only ever flown cheap Russian airlines, so I have no idea about the situation in the rest of the world, but it’s probably even better.
This one is kind of hard to explain because tastes are personal, but basically I think airplane food is not only good but also superior to regular food you can get in a restaurant or cook at home. Here are my extremely subjective reasons:
- It has a unique taste you can’t get anywhere else. Apparently, because of the high altitude, and dry air the food doesn’t taste as prominent as regular food. You may not like it, but I absolutely love it. It makes the food taste just so much better for me, and I would be incredibly happy if there was a way to recreate it at home.
- It’s given to you in a small portion that’s just enough to make you feel satisfied. You have to make the best out of little things you have and enjoy them.
- It’s presented at the best time possible. After you’ve gone through all of the nightmare that is modern airport and waited through a portion of the flight, you get hungry and sad, but then you’re given a little nice present in form of some interesting food. Isn’t that nice?
By modern UIs, which I like, I mean the current state of app and web design, where minimalism rules, and by old UIs, which I dislike, I mean 90s utilitarian WIMP design. The best examples I can give of them is GNOME and Windows 95 respectively. In my opinion the principles of modern UI design do a much better job in the following aspects:
- Being eye candy. In contrast to old UIs, where everything is composed of ugly static gray uniform blocks, modern UIs greatly emphasize looking epic. One of the ways this is being done is by using animations. To me personally, they make using the apps more smooth and comfortable and create an illusion of the app being something more than just a couple of pixel surfaces on your screen.
- Reduced complexity. In contrast to old UIs, where you can have as many features as possible, making your menus grow arbitrarily long, in modern UIs you have to think about making everything fit on the phone screen. As a result, the designs have to be pretty minimalist with features abstracted in logical ways. This makes the already simple apps even less complex and hides the complexity of complex ones in a clever way.
- User friendliness. The days of needing to read a manual to use software are long gone. Professional software still requires you to learn it, but it’s at least not so bad. Making software accessible by being obvious is a great thing, and we shouldn’t go back.
- Less clutter. Modern UIs put a much greater emphasis on whitespace while old UIs tried to make the interface as compact as possible. In my opinion, this is a great thing because it makes it much easier to visually scan the information and makes everything look even nicer.
First of all, let’s get one thing out of the way: I don’t think there is such a thing as “bad music.” Any music has an audience, and as long as it satisfies someone, it’s good. You may not personally like modern music, but that doesn’t make it bad. Yes, even if the music is getting less complex, you can’t call it “objectively bad” because it still serves its purpose of being listened to.
Second, I think we truly live in a wonderful time in terms of music. We still have all of the nice genres from the past but we also have people making new stuff, including in those old genres. The new stuff does a great favor to the music by exploring the boundaries of what’s possible to do with sounds. So in the end, I think if try hard enough you’ll be able to enjoy some modern music too. For example, I’m a big jazz fan, but I also like dubstep.
Star Wars prequels
It’s widely known that the Star Wars prequels turned out to be not what was expected from the franchise, but in my opinion, it’s not necessarily a bad thing. First, let’s be honest, the quality of the movies wasn’t that bad. Yes, the Episode 1 was a kind of rough start, but it gets much better in the end, and overall the quality of the film isn’t low. Relatively speaking, you can’t call the trilogy “bad.” It surely isn’t as classical as the original trilogy but still is interesting to watch. Second, this trilogy has a very nice thing that it shares with the original trilogy - originality. It introduced so many different characters, places, and concepts, but it still felt like a Star Wars movie series. The same can’t be said about the sequels though. They lack absolutely any originality and basically copy the original trilogy in a quite shitty way. For this reason, I can say that the prequels are not that bad, especially compared to the sequels.