Blackout ultimatum

Posted 27 Aug 2004 at 16:37 UTC by proclus Share This

GNU-Darwin wishes to reiterate our solidarity with the anti-war demonstrators, and warn the powers that we will go black with an extended list of demands if the NYC demonstrators are ill-treated, harmed, or molested in any substantial way. We will also join the boycott plans against Disney, etc, and we will lend the communicative power of our Distribution to that effort.

Yes! Yes!, posted 27 Aug 2004 at 19:02 UTC by tk » (Observer)

I think the powers that be are very scared right now. They aren't afraid of Osama bin Laden, but they're actually shivering in their knees upon hearing the great name of proclus!

You see, Osama bin Laden probably never buys any Disney stuff, or cares about his online presence -- in the English language, that is. (But come to think of it, I guess the GNU-Darwin developers also don't care much about their online image, and they don't buy Disney stuff either. Oh well.)

Yes indeed, ``raising awareness'' over the NYC demonstrations is the way to go! Witness all the efforts to ``raise awareness'' of various issues such as feminism, racial discrimination, etc. They've all been highly successful: as in, they raised so much awareness that they're starting to irritate people who just want the right to be free from having to plow through heaps of political spam. OK, this ``raising awareness'' thingy doesn't really remove the actual injustice, but it's the spirit that counts, right?

So, people, be sure to fight on proclus' side! Remember, if you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything! Guns are useless against us if our hearts are filled with righteous! (Um, wait, our hearts are filled with blood. But that doesn't sound nice.) If you want freedom, there's only one path you can take!

Cut it out, posted 31 Aug 2004 at 03:50 UTC by glyph » (Master)

The only people you harm by "going black" are gnu-darwin users. Do you seriously think that they are, generally speaking, sympathetic to the police-state? Do you think that there is any possible way your blackout will help "the cause"? By choosing such an obscure and inappropriate place to make a stand, you just look like a self-obsessed control freak, not a serious political activist, and vastly decrease the chances that any serious, high-profile open source project will use their clout to make a stand, in an effort that might actually raise awareness.

In short: you are not raising awareness, you are inconveniencing sympathetic people who are already aware. Stop it.

Re: Cut it out, posted 30 Aug 2004 by glyph ยป, posted 31 Aug 2004 at 18:44 UTC by proclus » (Master)

Our experience has shown us that this type of action is consistently effective, and our users have never been inconvenienced by any of our actions. On the other hand, based on these experiences, we have learned that our actual users would welcome a small inconvenience in order to be associated with a statement against injustice. If you are interested in a formal treatment of these ideas, I'd recommend our third yearly report.

In other words, the chances our "cutting it out", as it were, are small to none, so don't waste your time trying to stop us. In fact, we are far more likely to refine and expand our use of such actions to increasingly greater effect, and to form alliances with other groups that are similarly engaged.


Get the facts, posted 31 Aug 2004 at 21:20 UTC by yeupou » (Master)

"Our experience has shown us that this type of action is consistently effective"

Examples? Evidences?

OK, I'm Convinced, posted 31 Aug 2004 at 21:41 UTC by glyph » (Master)

I read the osnews article: I didn't realize that consistently effective was in italics. You've convinced me.

Evidence, posted 1 Sep 2004 at 04:12 UTC by tk » (Observer)

Looking at the talkbacks to the OSNews article, there isn't a single comment from any user who was previously unaware of the issue, and then became aware. Though the results are preliminary, this mini-experiment indicates that proclus' strategy of inane moralistic wankage has been consistently useless (hey, I can write in italics too!) in raising any sort of awareness.

All the evidence points against proclus' hypothesis, so I wonder what "experience" proclus bases it on? Maybe an experience of constipation. That'd make perfect sense.

Pots and kettles, posted 1 Sep 2004 at 10:42 UTC by chalst » (Master)

I can't say I have much sympathy for the way GNU Darwin is going about its activism, but if a lack of evidence presented of users getting switched onto the project is a valid criticism, then so is the lack of evidence presented of users irritated by what the project leaders are doing.

So far, the wave of criticism of proclus is of armchair free software pundits who have no stake in GNU Darwin. proclus has more authority on the matter than anyone else who has yet chimed in.

Illogical, posted 1 Sep 2004 at 22:25 UTC by yeupou » (Master)

"proclus has more authority on the matter than anyone else who has yet chimed in.", you said.

On what matters? On GNU Darwin users? Yes, Proclus has more authority to talk about GNU Darwin users. Probably there's no "evidence presented of users irritated by what the project leaders are doing".

But Proclus statements are not only about GNU Darwin users. He said "our users have never been inconvenienced by any of our actions" but he also said "our experience has shown us that this type of action is consistently effective".

Whatever authority one could have, it will take more than "it's is effective" to prove effectiveness of the methods followed by GNU Darwin leaders.

Moreover, even we're here a bunch of armchair free software pundits with no stake in GNU Darwin, it's strange that several of us are apparently irritated by the tone and the content of the article posted, while we do not even disagree with Proclus political statements in general.

..., posted 2 Sep 2004 at 07:10 UTC by mslicker » (Journeyer)

First this should be made clear, tk is not an arm-chair pundit but one of the self assigned thought police that tend to inhabit online forums ("Stuff like this[reference to this article] convince me that the best way to deal with stupidity is to crack down heavily on it.").

Expecting the NYPD or New York officials to carry out a set of demands is simply not realistic, few have the required clout. GNU-Darwin can make such demands at their own peril. This should not infringe on the ability of anyone here to make their own form of protest.

Pointless, posted 2 Sep 2004 at 16:03 UTC by slamb » (Journeyer)


ultimatum, n.
1. A final statement of terms made by one party to another.
2. A statement, especially in diplomatic negotiations, that expresses or implies the threat of serious penalties if the terms are not accepted.

Sounds like you're going for definition #2 here. See, ultimatums are only meaningful if the party capable of accepting the terms considers the penalties serious. I doubt that there is any overlap between anyone who would think of harming the NYC demonstrators and your users. And even if they were...they could use a different system or perhaps forego computers for the duration of their protestor-harming spree. You must have an exaggerated impression of your self-importance. There is no one who could not go without GNU Darwin. They would simply use OS X or OpenDarwin. Or LinuxPPC. Or whatever.

What you're really doing is saying to your users "we are unreliable; we pull your support based on factors beyond your control. If you want an OS from people who aren't nuts, go elsewhere."

Ultimatum, posted 2 Sep 2004 at 16:43 UTC by tk » (Observer)

mslicker is trying to police my thoughts. Oh, the irony!

slamb, chalst: Actually, if the GNU-Darwin users are agreeable, I don't care whatever junk proclus does to them, as long as the junk doesn't affect me.

"Stuff like this[reference to this article] convince me that the best way to deal with stupidity is to crack down heavily on it.", posted 2 Sep 2004 at 17:02 UTC by mslicker » (Journeyer)

This is your own confession. How does pointing this out equate to policing thoughts? How does it equate with "cracking down heavily" on other view points?

To avoid polluting this thread..., posted 2 Sep 2004 at 18:01 UTC by tk » (Observer)

...I'll post my response to mslicker here.

The last blackout, posted 2 Sep 2004 at 18:23 UTC by nymia » (Master)

Thanks for bringing up the terminology, Slamb. I thought Proclus was announcing the final last blackout which means no more blackout after that. Or was Proclus announcing the imminence of a blackout in response to certain event, regulation, etc?

tk, posted 3 Sep 2004 at 00:18 UTC by mslicker » (Journeyer)

We are now supposed believe that you are running to your diary out of a new found respect for proclus and his article, more likely it is out of cowardice.

By aggressively "stamping out" (especially by fallacious means) whatever you deem "stupid" you are in effect policing thought, declaring for all which ideas are "right" and which ideas are "wrong" ("stupid"). Letting people think for themselfs, drawing their own conclusions, is apparently too radical an idea for you.

Ultimatum, posted 3 Sep 2004 at 04:00 UTC by tk » (Observer)

nymia: "we will go black with an extended list of demands if the NYC demonstrators are ill-treated, harmed, or molested in any substantial way."

mslicker, read this again.

reply, posted 3 Sep 2004 at 04:35 UTC by nymia » (Master)

tk, would that be considered an ultimatum?

Following the logic of your argument ..., posted 3 Sep 2004 at 05:21 UTC by mslicker » (Journeyer)

Would you also describe Linux users as "retards [who] derive their energy from making sure that the rest of the world don't[sic] buy their beliefs, so they can take perverse pride in being part of the enlightened minority". I haven't seen Linux desktop numbers rise above 3 percent -- a clear minority -- , I've seen Windows cited at 90-96 percent of the desktop share. I don't know about you, but I use Linux+X windows as my desktop because I like it.

I've done some reading on Singapore. In your constitution it says citizens have the right of "free speech", however your government is the sole determiner of what is valid "free speech". In the United States and perhaps a good deal of the Western world, we have very different ideas about free speech. Free speech means what it says. Free speech often comes under attack here and is increasingly under attack, but in past times it has had a good defense -- probably because here it is a first amendment right. I wonder what other aspects of Singaporean society are reflected in your writing.

Ultimatum, posted 3 Sep 2004 at 08:02 UTC by tk » (Observer)

nymia: I guess so.

mslicker, if you insist on spamming this thread with stuff that's not directly relevant to GNU-Darwin, the Iraq war, blackouts, or ultimatums, I'll just ignore you until you move your rants elsewhere. That's all.

Consider Animation Series, posted 3 Sep 2004 at 08:40 UTC by mirwin » (Master)

I think you are neglecting the true potential of a community based collaborative approach. Consider using the freely available or creatable tools, freedom of financial constraints, and joyful creativity of a community in small discrete chunks which people can easily volunteer. Also remember the many forks along the way. Only the successful forks and distributions are widely publicised. Perhaps you need hundreds of director wannabes sorting through contributions from thousands of art component submittals to get a few large successes. Is open source about design or evolution? Must a "movie" or audiovisual art form be designed by a master artist or can it evolve?

Disney makes large use of public domain fairy tales, myths, religious stories etc. that are clearly evolved from the contributions of myriads of people who retold them (and modified them intentionally or unintentionally) over a period of centuries. Some of their worst stuff is newly written by individuals or small teams and untested. Consider a wiki to create the screen play. The film editor (project manager, team, whatever) can pick the best starting version at any time or request rewrites. It might take a few years to generate the script. Encourage participants to use the material as bedtime stories and submit refinements or verbal editing back to the site. Eventually a suitable storyline should emerge that can be modified into a visual screen play for animation. Consider a serial such as the tried and true dynasties (Flintstomes, Jetsons, Transformers, etc.) This way multiple combinations of people could work in parallel on many projects .... might get a success even is most are predestined to failure.

Consistency sufficient for audience acceptance might be arranged by having an community library of GPLed 3D models. These could be used as a starting point, tweaked a bit for new scences and clips and then the tweaks along with new clips or sequences posted. It might also be possible for a project to establish a library of sound files that would allow cut and paste of dialogues. Alternatively a text reader with a variable voice synthesizer could be used to maintain some consistency in future episodes. IIRC magpie (a lip synch animation tool) had some primitive voice generation cabability as did a basic voice synthesizor on the Amiga. Unfortunately I have not found a good open source text to voice synthesizer or even an affordable windows based tool.

After a team has committed to a draft screenplay and a starter set of data objects (models, textures, background stills, palletes, voices, etc.) people could start submitting animation and dialogue snippets. It might be necessary to use the first set of iterations to get a draft product adequate to recruit the final team. Probably better to start with ten minute cartoons such as the Pink Panther cartoon vs. 6 (so lucas no claims) film epics such as Star Wars.

Notice the Pink Panther cartoon series had no voices. This might be a good initial option if the community can not attract voice talent committed enough to complete a large lengthy sound track production right away.

Personally I think the best way to get started would be a community based web site or ring using some of the proven approachs. Advogato for work journals. for stories, scripts, etc. GPLed objects such as sound effects, standard clips (Wiley Coyote impacts and rocks), backgrounds, overlays, etc. tracked and accessible via some kind of version control and down load system ... cvs like I guess.

A set of agreed upon open formats, tools, credits practices, etc would be useful.

Consider this Operational Scenario Potential open source neophyte (newly bankrupt from attempt to produce independent animation product) disavows forever Microsoft, Autodesk, Kinetics, Adobe, et. al. etc. Despairing of ever being able to keep up with bug conflicts in products routinely created, sold, and supported for the benefit of multi billion dollar commercial markets .... archives all data products, fires all employees (animators, analysts, cad designers, book keepers ... all must go to avoid U.S.G. paperwork and payroll taxes) and gets a new real job.

Stumbling upon the open animation web ring a few months later neophyte decides to maintain skills and interest in animation by participating in the newly established open animation web ring community.

Idle dual processor animation workstation is reconfigured and stable version of Debian is installed as per support site recommendation.

The following open source tools are downloaded and installed .... 3D modeler, image tweaker (Gimp?), image/sound clip sequencer/splicer (Premiere Clone? Director?), sound editor, browser, word editor and others as recommended or necessary to create, utilize data objects in standard formats.

A few mailing lists are joined.

Some archived data products belonging to the neophyte are submitted as newly artistically licensed or GPL'ed objects.

A new project with neophyte in charge (self selected, it is lonely at the top) is established.

Neophyte joins an interesting sounding project that looks busy and prestigious. Attempts a few challenging (or non challenging but useful) tasks while waiting for millions of participants to arrive at his newly established wonder project.

Upon losing a few hours work in a buggy open source sequence editor gets irritated and proclaims to artist community that something must be done. Is informed that a translater from standard commercial tools is available to the community standard data format, might be better to work in professional tools then translate data object for site submittal as an open object to the community. Otherwise feel free to learn python or C++ and go help one of the open source projects sort of in progress develop better open artistry tools. Or even better, send someone some money to fix the bug or add the feature of interest.

Sounds a lot like existing communities such as Sourceforge, or Wikipedia to me.

I think there are ... a search at google on keywords free 3dsmax files yields: this site provides links to sites claiming to provide "free" 3ds models. Getting permission to freely republish the models under some kind of community or artist license might be tricky. I was looking for a translater from 3dsmax files to some other open data format.

Anohter search on keywords "open source 3dsmax 3d modeler" is a little more interesting, yielding: A list of available open source tools and projects. Blender is a 3D modeler but AFAIK has a ways to go in the rendering sequences. Probably good for stills and models if other tools have compatible open formats. gmax looked interesting but it is apparently closed source put out by Kinetix (division of autodesk that produces 3dsmax)

Anyway, I dither. I think your idea has some promise. A careful search of online artist communities may discover my proposed adaptation already underway in some form. If you find an open tool oriented community with successful open projects in progress please post the links here.

I would think a key to success in your proposed endeaver is a viable virtual community of enthusiastics amateurs, artists, and software developers. A web community where artistic submittals and edits can be tracked indefinately and somehow credit accrued and accolades given where due might allow one to succeed. Funding is always an issue. I really doubt you can convince a studio or major distributor to finance a competing paradigm. Perhaps a scheme could be developed whereby all micro contributions are tracked such that micro royalties could be accrued from pay for download or cdrom distributions and eventually distributed back to artists and developers. I suspect a better plan near term is to track and provide credits and allow the community an advogato style capability of pointing at and exclaiming over contributions and certifying artistic skills. This might be a useful resume reference for enthusiasts attempting to go pro.

As a starter activity the artist community site might coach neophyte open artists on how to interact productively with open source developers, consider:

1. This software is all screwed up and crashes every other minute requiring me to produce ten second clips and paste them together. How come you twits do not mix these major bugs before making downloads available?

2. I found a bug in the rendering module and submitted the automated bug report but I am wondering if anyone knows any workarounds which can be used until the bug is fixed.

To continue, perhaps a route to your goal is the establishment of an online community where members can easily make small contributions that are automatically licensed to the community or public domain or GPL'ed or whatever and anyone can easily launch projects, use components, and give credit as appropriate. The credits may become larger than the products. They are however essential. Open source developers reuse their software repeatedly so there is a benefit from publishing and getting assistance with development and bug fixing. Movie makers create their product for others and probably need some incentive to give away these efforts. A nice set of credits and derived products which could be referenced for the eddification of potential employers or clients or an ability to sell or benefit from sell of CD collections might be necessary to establish and maintain a thriving open animation community.

BTW This might be a good project for distributed archival, secure reliable identity or public key mechanisms, trust models, etc. Since multimedia is so data intensive and cheating/trolling online is so prevalent, these mechanisms might be necessary to a viable community dedicated to the audiovisual arts. Perhaps the final film cuts are controlled by he who owns/controlls adequate bandwidth, disk space, or organizational skills and distributed assets to get a project completed and submitted. Or perhaps the distributed community storage only provides community approved versions (determined by some trust/polling mechanism) to downloaders. Unworthy data objects and movie versions being deleted after crossing some threshold to make room for more contributions or mutations.

Interesting idea. I look forward to your further thoughts and research results regarding the matter. mirwin

This annoys me, but why?, posted 3 Sep 2004 at 11:24 UTC by Omnifarious » (Journeyer)

This whole blackout thing and the way proclus has been promoting it here on Advogato has really annoyed me. It's made me really wish I disagreed with the political views expressed. It seems many people share my annoyance, and I seriously wonder if that isn't counterproductive to the political goals I would like to see achieved. Which annoys me even more.

I've been trying to decide why it annoys me in the first place. I think it's partly because it seems as if proclus has an exaggerated sense of the importance of the GNU Darwin project. But, in reality, the project is pretty important. Not in the sense that it couldn't be replaced, but more in the sense that they're doing something useful and valued.

I think what it is is this: If you want to change the world, go out and change it. You aren't going to change it by putting up little banners on isolated websites. GNU Darwin does more to change the world by simply existing and doing what it does than it ever will with some silly blackout campaign.

i am totally agree with Omnifarious on this, posted 3 Sep 2004 at 15:15 UTC by badvogato » (Master)

i believe one can carry out anti-war protest by learning a foreign language and marrying a foreign divorcee with a bunch of SOBs. Nothing can bring more sorrow and pain than domestic strife at home. Those standing on a street corner waiving banners are weasels that don't know how to deal with real life as those who always live at the moment and on the edge.

J. Krishinamurti had better ways to say about all this in his book "Commentaries on living". Living is loving and warring is always protesting.

so there. the true color of blackout has been wiped out.

Meds?, posted 4 Sep 2004 at 02:47 UTC by ncm » (Master)

Are you guys all being careful to take your meds on schedule?

OMGOBGYN, posted 5 Sep 2004 at 23:23 UTC by jolan » (Master)


GNU Darwin Disney Boycott, posted 17 Sep 2004 at 09:51 UTC by rossigee » (Journeyer)

I happen to like Mickey Mouse and some of the other great Disney classic films. Does that mean I'm not allowed to use GNU Darwin?

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