Speaking at American University in Cairo, Egypt
June 20, 2005
Many renowned Egyptian analysts disappointedly noted that Egypt will not follow the Tunisian model because of the low levels of literacy among its population, the spread of apathy and defeatism among its citizens, and the negative role played by religious groups inside the country.
Aside from the literacy, this describes the United States pretty well.
“Self-labeled progressive Democrats are the kind of people that your mother wanted you to hang out with in high school — short of Canadian exchange students being available. Faced with passionate and unscrupulous enemies, they are confused and uncomprehending. Just as if they accidentally found themselves in the midst of a Saturday night bar room brawl. Such brutal faces; such tortured souls. They wonder how these people became so maladjusted; how sad that their families didn’t get the attention of a really good, caring social worker.
Faced with betrayal, they freeze at pronouncing the word, of thinking the thought, of feeling the emotion. They are easy marks for the upscale con man with the high-minded rhetoric. They see taking offense as itself somehow offensive. They shy away from accusing, from denouncing. So when Mr. Obama spits in their face week after week, they are stunned into denial. Some declare: Our Saviour is also a rainmaker — a thousand blessings be upon him! Others turn the other cheek. A few instinctively reach for a handkerchief. The more imaginative suggest that he was really aiming at the Republicans, but he’s under such great stress that he lost his aim. The truly original believe that it’s all part of a clever strategy so ingenious that we poor mortals can’t conceive of it. Mysterious are the ways of Our Saviour.”
I saw someone ride a unicycle that is larger than any other one I’ve seen on campus up to now.
This is either the same guy I’ve always seen riding around with a new unicycle, or there is now a unicycle war being waged on campus.
For those of you who question such a move, this was my childhood. Sure, I don’t own a Power Macintosh to install it on, but I don’t care.
Also, it’s refreshing to open up an actual box containing over 7 floppy disks and 4 proper manuals. You’re lucky if software comes in a disk image with a PDF manual nowadays.
‘You may well ask: “Why direct action? Why sit-ins, marches and so forth? Isn’t negotiation a better path?” You are quite right in calling for negotiation. Indeed, this is the very purpose of direct action. Nonviolent direct action seeks to create such a crisis and foster such a tension that a community which has constantly refused to negotiate is forced to confront the issue. It seeks to so dramatize the issue that it can no longer be ignored. My citing the creation of tension as part of the work of the nonviolent-resister may sound rather shocking. But I must confess that I am not afraid of the word “tension.” I have earnestly opposed violent tension, but there is a type of constructive, nonviolent tension which is necessary for growth.
Just as Socrates felt that it was necessary to create a tension in the mind so that individuals could rise from the bondage of myths and half-truths to the unfettered realm of creative analysis and objective appraisal, so must we see the need for nonviolent gadflies to create the kind of tension in society that will help men rise from the dark depths of prejudice and racism to the majestic heights of understanding and brotherhood.’
Rather nVidia’s drivers are a result of two things: 1) Getting tired of the Linux situation. Much of the problems with the bullshit in X and the underlying layers nVidia just avoids by bypassing it all with their drivers. They do things their own way and it works. They weren’t interesting in fucking around with all the politics and BS and waiting around for a reasonable standard to get developed, and just made something that works. They shouldn’t have to, and didn’t on Windows which provides a solid graphics infrastructure (which also allows for extension so you can implement other APIs like OpenGL) but they did on Linux.
2) Their drivers use code they’ve licensed that they can’t distribute. Various things are patented or licensed in some way and they can’t just hand it out. So to do an OSS version would mean to rewrite the drives without it, and generally using programmers that had never worked with it to avoid issues of contamination. That is difficult and expensive. Before you claims that can’t be the case note that AMD hasn’t just opened up their binary drivers. The reason is the same.
Basically nVidia did what was best for their business, and best for their customers that want to get work done. They made Linux graphics drivers that work well. They aren’t OSS friendly, but they can accelerate OpenGL well and they have been doing so for years. They weren’t interested in ideological purity or the like, they were interested in having good support, and their strategy delivered and is STILL the only one that does, after all this time. Maybe in a few years you’ll be right, there’ll be an open solution that works as good or better. Maybe at that point nVidia will use it. However right now I have trouble faulting them. Their shit works where the other’s don’t. That is really all that matters.
Anita Frank: Tech cancelled class for tomorrow??? Somehow I feel like I’m going to get an email at 7:58 a.m. that says it is all a joke.