MDE, KDE, ODE, CDE, DSA, goose, badger, snake

In the olden days, things were a bit simpler. Oh, things were far from perfect; we didn’t all have the same levels of access. We all had access to the machine with the ftp archive master, but Only a few people had access to the mailing list server, and only a few people had root (though not all of them were German). I actually had root on a couple of buildds until some guy named Ryan Murray appeared out of nowhere and disabled my accounts. I remember wondering, at the time, who he was and how he had gotten root on everything.

As the years went by, the disparity grew. Like the lie told by the illuminati of post-9/11 thinking, things need to be kept safe, so access started to be less of an entitlement and more of a needs-only privilege. It just so happens that you don’t need to do anything. However, the people who actually deserve the access can provide alternate services for you in case you want to try something you don’t deserve access to. Of course it won’t be as good, and if it breaks you may be called an impatient ingrate if you complain. Then if you want something else, you are asked to justify it. It is extremely condescending for a power-hungry, power-hoarding person to demand to know why someone should have access to something. The two main factors in gaining power are such a craving and cronyism, and if you remember that power is relative, you can see why a power-hungry person would not wish to participate in an egalitarian society, and why anarchy is unstable and falls easily to syndicalism.

Back on the bus, we now have more layers of access, and thus we end up with more classes of people. As people and machines multiple, there are more opportunities to deny people access to machines, and more instances in which one could inquire why someone needed access to something. In this new Enlightenment, it is not just the power-mad asking the question, but also some hangers-on and other people who do nothing useful. There was some overlap of the two groups.

Like everything else that doesn’t get struck down violently and immediately, these attitudes become the standard, and people insist that any other choice would lead to instantaneous destruction of the universe. Look at how Anthony Towns redefined the meaning of experimental to work around a technical shortcoming. Now, instead of acknowledging the fact that there’s a major deficiency in the release process that makes it inconvenient to upload packages to unstable during a freeze, and trying to fix it, we all mostly misuse experimental.

Now we couldn’t log into ftp-master, and we couldn’t log into half the other machines either, but we could always upload. Even when the release team was giving us the bad advice not to upload, we could still do it. This vexed them, so the privileged ftp-team granted the privileged release team additional privileges. Can you guess what they were? I don’t think I could. It’s practically unfathomable to me. The release team can block a developer’s right to upload. This is the fundamental building block of the whole kit and caboodle. Everything is predicated on this basic action, and their new privilege is the power to take that away from us. Yet this was greeted with very little objection, probably because of the people involved and vague promises of well-meaning and non-misuse.

However, there is a simple axiom which applies to all of this:

If you impede me doing something I want to do, you are an asshole.

So now we can still upload (except when a bribe-loving ftpmaster is being petty or when the release team is expediting a transition) and we can still vote, and we can log into a machine or two. We’re running low on powers to take away. Maybe we could create an even lower class of citizen, some kind of undermaintainer without any voting rights.

Whee. DM was born. Instead of fixing the problems of class inequality, we created another class. Fantastic.

Why stop there? Why not create more? Clearly nobody wants to work toward an egalitarian culture, so we might as well make it like a game where you can hop from level to level. Then you can go to society parties and brag that you are a DVMRP-Q White Belt Green Stripe with a concentration in Taiwanese Bug Reporting, and that after a 6-month wait you can make a lateral move to second-chair cantor of Der Process under the wavy waves.

As always, making the constructive suggestion to take things in the exact opposite direction will be called out as unconstructive.

Posted on 2008-10-23
Tags: ranticore, dm, dme, dc, class, access, anarchy, bullshit, security, freedom, liberty, smegma, scotsgaelic