Wednesday, June 05, 2019

Free speech doesn't include monetization.

YouTube says it has 'suspended' the ability of a star with millions of fans to make money from his videos, following a huge backlash.

Even though I identify as a conservative - it drives me crazy when conservatives get all crazy about being demonetized.  It's sort of like saying - not only do you have to bake a cake for someone you don't agree with, YOU ALSO HAVE TO PAY that person with whom you don't agree.

THIS IS NOT FREE SPEACH. Someone doesn't have to pay you for a view in which they do not agree with. You are still allowed to say them. But they shouldn't be forced to pay you. I don't agree with YouTube at all or facebook. But it is their right to pay anyone they effing want and it doesn't infringe on your free speech.

This blog doesn't take money from anyone. It of course suffers as a result. Google down revs me all the time. But you know what? I can say anything I effing want.


  1. I disagree.

    Online sites can either be "Platforms" or "Publishers".

    "Platforms" are neutral, and b/c of that, you can't sue them for something that a customer/user says. But they cannot censor based on politics, or religion, etc.

    "Publishers" are not neutral, and can limit the viewpoint of their customer/users. But b/c of that, they can be sued for libel/slander on what is published there.

    The big social media companies are trying to have it both ways.

  2. I respect your opinion. But Republicans can't have it both ways either. I personally think you should be able to refuse service to anyone. If you don't want to bake a cake for someone - that should be your right. There used to be signs EVERYWHERE in businesses. No shoes? no Service. The market will sort this out.

    Companies also should not be forced to pay for opinions they don't agree with. That is not free speech. Why would you even want to let youtube make money off of you if you don't agree with their policy?

  3. Capital of Texas RefugeeThursday, June 06, 2019 9:26:00 PM

    Ultimately it's about contracts, including social contracts.

    People enter into contracts all the time with people they don't like -- do you honestly think you'd give PG&E any money if it were solely up to their magical charm and wisdom?

    Original content is property, and the creators of that property deserve to get paid for it whether any one viewer of the content or any particular noisy group of people happens to like that or not.

    But it's interesting that this is happening right when I need to make yet another round of changes ...

    A little bit over 11% of our income comes from the United States.

    I needed to know what the current numbers are, and so I actually had our accounting firm produce some numbers that I could use in an investor call.

    But it's over 90% of total legal liability in terms of percentage of torts filed against companies.

    We've never had an injury claim, let alone an accidental death claim, and that's because the CEO (me) does not tolerate sloppy design ... but it could still happen, even without management abdicating responsibility like what appears to have happened with the Boeing 737 MAX.

    In essence, we're always one stupid end-user away from being mired down in a stupid lawsuit that we might not win, despite doing everything we can to keep a stupid end-user from fucking himself up with one of our products.

    We design stuff where the #1 goal with any catastrophic failure mode is to keep people in the immediate vicinity from getting hurt, and we solve the problem of sloppy design by firing sloppy designers and reviewing everything they've ever touched.

    So what would you do?

    Sometimes it takes other people to tell you that your gut feeling that you'd been resisting has been right all along.

    I eventually had to agree with an investor over something he'd been claiming, which reads like this: the investors are being deprived of earnings related to income that we'd be able to book and retain if we didn't just hand it over in the form of US taxes.

    He wanted to know what our current US sales percentages are just to prove the point, and he's succeeded in proving it to me.

    There's no negotiating with another state to help improve this.

    But we can restructure the companies so we eventually have a single holding company, something like ARM Holdings, with all of the other production-focused companies being spun off, possibly to current employees who want to put up the stakes to purchase them.

    That wasn't the whole deal though ...

    "You're right, but there's something else I want to bring up."

    "Go on."

    "There's a situation in the US involving people thinking it's acceptable to weasel out of long-term contracts -- Salesforce just did this to every gun manufacturer and retailer in the US, despite the fact that the products these companies sell are legal in every jurisdiction where they do business."

    "I think I see this as well -- you're now worried that it's not just about shareholder earnings and corporate residence, which you now agree with me about."


    "It could also be about whether the company's contracts are going to be honored in the future."


    So that's why I want to get current employees to consider buying what we've already built -- they're vetted, they know the business, and they'll probably continue to provide good value and stability in the new companies.

    Just in case, however, we want what Neo in "The Matrix" would call "an exit".

    And just like that, I'm going to be a lot busier and I'm going to be flying a lot more.

    Right now we don't have people picketing our offices for some possibly vile thing one of us might have said thirty-five years ago or some other kind of bullshit like that ...


  4. I agree with what you are saying, but I'm not sure you are entering a social contract or any other contract when you put stuff up on youtube. At the very least it's a one sided contract. I don't know for sure because I don't get money from youtube, but I assume you just click a button that allows Ads on your video. I agree people should get paid for their content or labor, but usually that is a very specific contact that outlines the rules of the game for both parties. Youtube gets away with all the stuff it does specifically because money only changes hands one way. And just as a sidenote - if youtube were to ever go out of business, there are going to be a ton of people that are just screwed. It isn't like youtube star creates many avenues for other gainful employment.

    The thing you make - is it bigger than a breadbox? I know you aren't going to tell me what it is and shouldn't. But I can pick around the edges.

    Eh.... Salesforce. When you've got all the money in the world - the only thing left to raise your status is virtue signaling. That guy is a piece of shit. And one of those socialist billionaire I was talking about earlier.

  5. Capital of Texas RefugeeSaturday, June 08, 2019 10:11:00 PM

    It is larger than a breadbox ...

    ... but not for all values of size of breadbox. :-)

    Some values of size of breadbox include "breadboxes" for "breadboards", which are sometimes not even as big as a pager.

    Other values of size of breadbox include the warehouses where commercial bread makers produce and store their bread, and those breadboxes may be the size of several city blocks.


    Didn't you already know that engineers can answer these questions by applying the entire domain of possible values to the questions?

    If you think that's bad, I have some "for all values of light bulb" answers for some groups of people you'd probably find hilarious.

    But while we're on that subject ...

    "How many Java software developers does it take to change a light bulb?"

    "One, because he just writes a 'super' class around it and changes the light bulb into a marigold, not because it's useful, but because he can. In reality, the original light bulb never gets changed, but now it shines with a smugly marigold-like hue."

    "How many Haskell software developers does it take to change a light bulb?"

    "This will never be completed, because the software developers will debate whether to use pure Haskell lambda functions, monads, transformers, and so forth to such a point that the original light bulb decides it should try to shine again, just to shut them all up."

    "How many C software developers does it take to change a light bulb?"

    "A team of at least thirty, because they believe they will need to build all of the software scaffolding needed to represent the light bulb as a memory mapped device with SMBus and ACPI handlers so that it can be changed by operating system policies."

    "How many Lisp software developers does it take to change a light bulb?"

    "Two, one to attempt to change the light bulb into a list structure, and the other to unscrew the bulb and replace it physically while admonishing his colleague that not everything is a software problem."

    And that's just what I have for software developers.

    You should see the shit I put electrical, mechanical, and civil engineers through with these jokes. :-)

    This isn't really for you, BTW, this is entertainment for Mister S. :-)

  6. Capital of Texas RefugeeSaturday, June 08, 2019 11:10:00 PM

    OK, one last one for Mister S ...

    "How many Perl software developers does it take to change a light bulb?"

    "Did you not read the Perldoc for Perl Tie? This is a design problem, Perl can change that light bulb for you!"

    Yes, Mister S, we're guilty of this.

    We over-provision our embedded hardware to such an extent that we can shove a full commercial Linux install into it, complete with X.Org libraries and all of the other crap that implies, and as a result most of the code gets written in Perl because it's a supported option.

    Hardware is cheap compared to the cost of putting a support engineer on a plane at a moment's notice to deal with Stuff's Happening, It's Terrible eight time zones away.

    "But why use Perl?! That lets the customer change the code easier!"

    Not so, and here's where you might appreciate how you can make Perl a lot like Lisp in a very useful way ...

    The Perl code runs in a C framework that lets us load and run stored Perl bytecode in addition to dynamically loaded libraries, and there's a dynamic library loader built into the framework as well.

    This lets us run a compiled version of the source code without distributing most of the source code itself, and it also lets us do neat stuff like JIT compiling and loading of modules as needed.

    Redundant copies of the C framework on multiple system boards mean that there's never an instance where the installed product is ever truly offline, and a threaded proprietary IPC system that uses IPv4 transports takes care of the inter-copy messaging.

    Best of all (yeah, Snarkie, listen up) ... the product really is the size of a breadbox, but not for all values of size of breadbox.

    Except that the product actually resembles a squid, because it has lots of tentacles, and that I also have to work with EE people for all of the "gadgets" that get stuck on the squid, so your breadbox actually is a squid.

    So there's an answer to an earlier question: we use Lisp as a model, but since Lisp programmers are pricey and hard to find, we use an embedded Perl environment that lets us hire better-than-average Perl programmers who we help to become even better.

    Because of excess hardware provisioning, we can shove whatever crazy crap any customer of ours wants into a separate virtual machine that stays connected to its host system. They can even prototype on a commercial VPS if they want because that's generally the memory footprint, single disk, and single network interface setup we're going to give them.

    This means that we can in fact integrate absurdist Java infrastructures that turn light bulbs into marigolds.

    I would like to say that this is a theoretical use of Java, BTW ...

    ... but I can't. :-)

  7. Oh. I see your style. Distract us into not even caring what you make anymore. Said in the most affectionate way. I thought I made an art of cutting through Silicon Valley Bullshit to get to the core sale - but you take this to a whole nether level. If I encountered you at a booth I'd be like - nope.... too many words. Don't care anymore.

    Well done. Your stories are funny. But you are a distraction machine. Just know - I will eventually get it. Over time people always give themselves away. So far I've got that you make something that you store in large warehouses. Could be a power squid or something in networking like a VPN. But none of those will really get you a tort suit so.. I will keep working on it.

    How many EE's does it take to screw in a lightbulb? None. They will just spend all of their time designing a new lightbulb that doesn't need to be screwed in.

  8. Capital of Texas RefugeeMonday, June 10, 2019 6:06:00 PM

    Snarkie: "If I encountered you at a booth I'd be like - nope.... too many words. Don't care anymore."

    Me: "This isn't really for you, BTW, this is entertainment for Mister S ..."

    Yes, but you were not the target audience! :-)

    Also, are you really an engineer?

    Engineers care how sausage is made, so much in fact that many other people find them boring because they appear to care too much about how sausage is made.

    They read ingredient labels so they know the product specifications.

    Hell, some of them might want MSDS data sheets for their food. :-)

    "Radiation warning: this product contains potentially dangerous levels of 39K (potassium 39) and 40K (potassium 40) if consumed in large quantities."

    "Genetically modified product warning: this product consists of a hybrid cloned cultivar of a single organism that does not vary between units."

    Hey, don't blame me, that's what they'd have to put on the MSDS data sheets for bananas. :-)

    But since Mister S asked some questions about software a while back, it seemed like an amusing time to share how sausage gets made here.

    What you didn't realize is that most products today are squids.

    Let's take a nearly omnipresent bit of today's technology then: what's a mobile phone like inside?

    There's the CPU and the GPU in the main body along with a bunch of tendrils that form various buses to the sensors, storage, and other components within the phone.

    Nearly every phone these days has two eyes (cameras), and sometimes more than that. Then there's the power tendril, which is usually some kind of USB power connection, although there are still assholes out there that design stuff with proprietary power connectors.

    Most of the technology people use actually involves squids ...

    ... so my answer was even less helpful than you'd originally appreciated.

    But let's have some more lightbulb jokes!

    "How many electrical engineers does it take to screw in a light bulb?"

    EE 1: "Does the light bulb act as a completely passive RF element? Should we model the light bulb based on conductor theory or circulator theory, or both?"

    EE 2: "If there are more than the standard number of ports within the light bulb circulator model, should we design against RF leakage to the other ports? Would there be a need to incorporate advanced TEMPEST RF blocking techniques into the light bulb design?"

    EE 3: "Can we assume that the light bulb might be used as a target for ELINT exfiltration if it's installed in a secured location? Must we also make sure that the light bulb presents a consistent, non-varying load even when switched off because of the potential for using the load data to monitor use of the installation location?"

    EE Management: "You can assume the worst-case situation for every question, and in fact you may also assume that this room has already been bugged."

    EE 1: "Fuck."

    EE 2: "But why?"

    EE 3: "Because the Chinese want to steal our special sausage!"

    Several years later, the electrical engineers design a completely secure light bulb for installation within Supremely Clandestine Information Fantasies (SCIFs) that meets with the complete approval of the NSA.

    As a gesture of appreciation, as well as for requirements of national security, the NSA sends an agent down to change the light bulbs for the electrical engineers.

    In the end, the electrical engineers conclude during the post-project meeting that the best way to change a light bulb within a secure government facility is to make other government workers want to change the light bulb for you.