1x16: Forgotten to be Right

Bryan Lunduke, Jono Bacon, Jeremy Garcia, and Stuart Langridge present Bad Voltage, the greatest podcast in the history of this or any other universe. In this episode:

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I have always been forgotten. Didn’t realize it was a right.

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What happens if someone tries to create a page that has everything taken down from google and people keep distributing the database peer to peer how do you effectively take that down if it is decentralized if it becomes a decrentralized gripe list.

Although something like this would be good agaisnt cenorship if something fabricated gets put on there it could be harmful for people.

I think there’s two things you got absolutely right during your discussion: why just Google and not every search engine? And history happened, move on and so will the Google search results!

Ironically, this guy’s court challenge is only making his original case more relevant. I mean Google could justifiably refuse his request on the basis that his property auction is now relevant to the current situation!

And if they do take down those search results they’ll probably post a notice as they do for other take downs that some results have been scrubbed. Which means people will just try another Google domain or another search engine. So really it just makes Google.es less relevant and Google.com or another search engine more relevant and the cycle begins again.

What I don’t understand is why the decision went the way it did. Either it was activist judges who had already made up their minds before the trial started. Or Google’s attorney sole argument was “No habla espagnol.”

I realise a lot of focus was on the claim that Spanish court has no jurisdiction over Google, but I’m sure that was just the media seizing on the something their audience understood and they could sensationalize (no one but us really cares about the perl script that ranks Google’s results :slight_smile: ).

Mmm I agree with Langridge, its pretty easy to go on about the tapestry of history or w/e if you don’t have some really regrettable things in your life, but there are people who who are effectively condemned until their deathbeds based on things they did a very long time ago when they were an utterly different person. Also just saying if you do good things to counteract it the bad will go away, that seems stupid as media organisations love to proliferate bad news over good news so you will have to do some pretty amazing things to bury that dirt.

I’ve used Balsamiq quite a lot. A few particularly awesome points about it:

  • The “hand-drawn” style of the mockups are great for demoing to non-technical users. It makes them a lot less scared to criticise or suggest something else. Aside from people concentrating on minutiae as discussed in the segment, I’ve found more complete looking stuff can put people off giving their opinion as it looks like you’ve already done a lot of work.
  • The mockups can be linked together to provide a simulated flow through the screens.

Aside from Balsamiq being free for do-gooders, if you want a properly FOSS alternative Pencil is a pretty good tool.

Remember John Profumo? He was a UK Government minister and did something stupid in the early sixties. It was a big scandal and he lost his job.
Now, he spent the rest of his life working for charities and doing lots of good, yet everyone still associated him with the scandal. Hell, they even made a feature film called “Scandal” about him.
John Profumo was very high profile, at least in the UK, but I think we need something that allows ordinary people to re-build their lives after the silly mistakes they make without having constant reminders about it readily available via search engines. However, we don’t want laws that lead to excessive censorship and the re-writing of history.
It’s really hard making good law. Should we even try to make such a law or should we be completely anarchic when it comes to information on the Web? Is there a middle way?

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That sausage picture is obscene.

One interesting view I’ve heard of this (I can’t rememeber who said is) is that because people (and importantly, companies) “get” open source these days, it’s not so important to compel people to contribute back changes. Because it’s become more mainstream, people tend to realise the valuable and importance of contributing changes back, so will do so even if the aren’t legally requried to.

He didn’t speak bolognese?

This issue reminds me of the principle ‘whatever a man is sowing, this he will also reap.’ And sometimes a person reaps results for the rest of his life. An example would be one who is paralyzed from a crash because he was driving drunk. And maybe a stupid thing done in one’s past will come back to bite. But, as @bryanlunduke so well pointed out, what have they been doing lately? Perhaps some will keep pointing back to past stupidity. If that is the case, just how important are the opinions of those people? You will find that those who really care might be aware of past actions, but it doesn’t really matter to them. I have friends that have done things that they are really ashamed of. I am aware of what those things are. However, if they had kept doing those things, they wouldn’t be my friends. But rather, I take pride in them, knowing what they have overcome.

But even if they get it the license is your guarantee as the original author that everyone will do it. And 10 years from now when you’ve moved on to other projects and other people have taken over your original work you can still be certain it won’t be sold for a billion dollars by some guy who added his name to the comments of a header file.

Now I’m hungry!

I’m having trouble seeing when this would be possible with permissively licenced code where it wouldn’t be with GPL code. What do you mean by “sold”? Sale of copyright, sale of a license, or something else?

-ly awesome.

Yes! A thousand times yes!

Overcoming adversity – including moving beyond the mistakes of ones past – is something to be proud of. A badge of honor.

Will there always be other people who criticize, ridicule and dwell on things in the past? To be sure. But those people are lame and should be forced to live together on an isolated commune where the only song is Cher’s “Life after love”.

While I take pride in my friends, it’s hard when it comes to my own failings. I can still be brought to tears when remember the hurt I have caused others and that may be decades in the past. I try to learn from it all though. And not to beat myself up too much over it all. But for me, personally, I just can’t bring myself to view it as a badge of honor for me. A double standard? Perhaps. I certainly don’t feel that others should view themselves as I do myself. I guess I should try more what you said, to ‘move beyond the mistakes of ones past.’

This matter with Google, can someone’s opinion be trusted if they were to form a conclusion of another based on search results? Of webpages? Really, can even official documents that can be found online give an accurate picture of a person? Sure, it might raise questions, but would it not, at best, be a start instead of a finish? It would seem to me that a person forming conclusions based on such little information would be quite shallow and such conclusions are suspect at best.

Others, however, just love to dig up dirt. And, we all have dirt. A wise man once said: ‘if I stop to kick at every dog that barks at me, I won’t walk very far.’ Are the opinions of dirt diggers important? If a person sticks to his principles and acts in a respectable way in order to maintain a healthy self-esteem, then his reputation will follow. Perhaps instead of an isolated commune, they should just wear badges that says “I’m a shallow person. It would be best to ignore me.”

I’m right there with you on that. I think most of us are. We all have our own crosses to bear. That’s part of what makes us who we are. Making mistakes is a critical part of how we learn and grow. As painful as some our mistakes may be… we wouldn’t be ourselves without them.

And, really, this isn’t just about mistakes. It’s about history and people who want to erase history.

A personal example: I was born into a Lutheran family. I was baptized Mormon when I was a teenager. Some time after that I left the LDS church behind and converted to Judaism (where I have stayed for the last… 15 years or so). Just because I’m Jewish doesn’t mean I should sweep my Lutheran and Mormon past under the rug. All of that made me who I am (for better or worse).

Personal-ish example: One of my relatives, from way back, was responsible for the settling of Jamestown, Virginia in the 1600’s. He was in charge (at least partially). Over 80% of the people there died in a very short period of time, likely in part due to decisions he made. Should we erase our knowledge of that event so he can “start over” fresh (or, at least his memory can)? No. That’d be silly. His mistake there (as colossal as it was) is part of what makes him… him. And it shaped many lives for generations to come.

Oh, wouldn’t that be nice? I’d love advance warning when ever someone like that is approaching. :smile:

That sounds like an interesting story to sit down, person to person, and hear. I am always interested in how people got to where they are now, what shaped their views and opinions. (I am making no suggestions here :smile: )

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