Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

cancel ×

169 comments

People should be free, but only on your terms? (5, Insightful)

crazyjj (2598719) | more than 2 years ago | (#39562741)

That's the problem with most activists. They're all for freedom, just as long as people only use that freedom to agree with them. He wants Maker Faire to accept sponsors, of course, but only those that fit into *his* ideals.

And I bet this guy would go ballistic if someone dared try to tell him what he can and can't build or invent. But now that he's confronted with the possibility of people using *their* freedom to build stuff that *he* doesn't like (for a sponsor that doesn't fit in with *his* vision), suddenly he wants to take his ball and go home.

Also, last time I checked, Maker Faire wasn't forcing anyone to build anything. If you don't want to build stuff with military applications, then you know what--JUST DON'T!

Re:People should be free, but only on your terms? (5, Insightful)

Beelzebud (1361137) | more than 2 years ago | (#39562805)

Stupid activists. It's almost like this guy thinks he's also free to do what he chooses. How dare he leave based on his principles!

Re:People should be free, but only on your terms? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39562909)

Did you know that I fucked your dad last night while your mom gave me a rimjob?

Re:People should be free, but only on your terms? (1)

Beelzebud (1361137) | more than 2 years ago | (#39564119)

Of course I know, who do you think was operating the camera? Duh!!!

Re:People should be free, but only on your terms? (5, Insightful)

El_Che (161286) | more than 2 years ago | (#39562809)

If you don't want to build stuff with military applications, then you know what--JUST DON'T! Er, isn't that exactly what Mitch Altman has decided to do?

Re:People should be free, but only on your terms? (3, Insightful)

crazyjj (2598719) | more than 2 years ago | (#39562985)

isn't that exactly what Mitch Altman has decided to do?

Well, that and throw a public hissy-fit and abandon the organization that's doing more to encourage invention and hackerspaces than any other group out there. It's not like anyone was stopping him from speaking his mind and encouraging people to build stuff more inline with his ideals. Instead, he elected to storm off like a petulant Eric Cartman crying "If you're not going to do it *MY* way, then screw you guys!"

Re:People should be free, but only on your terms? (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39563071)

What a pathetic analysis.

"His way" is to not help support an organization who's sole purpose is the destruction of life. An organization who is controlled by sociopaths bent on economic domination.

I wish Smedley Butler rose from his grave to kick your sycophantic ass.

Re:People should be free, but only on your terms? (5, Insightful)

crazyjj (2598719) | more than 2 years ago | (#39563243)

an organization who's sole purpose is the destruction of life.

That is not, and has never been, even a *primary* purpose of DARPA, much less its sole purpose.

See, it's that kind of hyperbole and silly absolutism that seems to ruin every decent goddamned movement. The Occupy movement was a great example. Started out as a perfectly reasonable movement with legitimate complaints with potentially broad appeal. But five minutes later, here come the assholes in Che Guevara t-shirts calling for the overthrow of capitalism, and BAM--it turns into yet another go-nowhere fringe movement almost overnight. And that's a real shame.

Re:People should be free, but only on your terms? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39563657)

Way to focus on the pedantic details. You damn well know the technology is meant to facilitate military activities primarily.

Then you throw a red herring with occupy and che guevara.

You are still a disgusting sycophant. You don't deserve Butler's knuckle against your teeth. You deserve an aneurysm for your distortions.

Re:People should be free, but only on your terms? (1)

Gilmoure (18428) | more than 2 years ago | (#39563755)

You damn well know the technology is meant to facilitate military activities primarily.

I did not know that.

We should all go back to before we picked up and threw rocks.

Re:People should be free, but only on your terms? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39564155)

We should all go back to before we picked up and threw rocks.

But rocks have OBVIOUS military applications! Ever sees what a half ton boulder lobbed from a trebuchet can do? :)

Re:People should be free, but only on your terms? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39563269)

Says the AC on the DARPA created internet...

Re:People should be free, but only on your terms? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39564289)

...whose IP address and post are actually tracked by the government in case he says something too brash... ...and who would have posted the same thing on BBS over a phone line without DARPA's involvement.

Re:People should be free, but only on your terms? (4, Insightful)

darronb (217897) | more than 2 years ago | (#39563571)

"His way" is to not help support an organization who's sole purpose is the destruction of life. An organization who is controlled by sociopaths bent on economic domination.

I think the pathetic thing here is the level of paranoia and mistrust towards DARPA, the military, and the government in general.

After all, "sole purpose is the destruction of life" != "The overarching objective of MENTOR is to develop and motivate a next generation cadre of system designers and manufacturing innovators by exposing them to the principles of foundry-style digital manufacturing through modern prize-based design challenges."

DARPA sponsors some great stuff. They're supplying a big chunk of much needed research funding in these difficult years. A lot of it, like this specific grant, is NOT specifically tailored towards a military application. They're trying to encourage young people to become interested in engineering... justifying it as in our national interest (which it undoubtedly is).

I don't see the military going off and doing crap on their own for their own purposes. They're still quite controlled by civilian authority. It was Bush's biases and prejudgements that led us into Iraq. While I'm sure there's a significant level of defense industry lobbying on our government leaders, they're hardly controlled by it.

The vast majority of the people that make up the military are really good people. Step outside your echo chamber sometime, it's not quite as dark outside as you think it is.

Re:People should be free, but only on your terms? (4, Insightful)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 2 years ago | (#39563945)

*cough*ARPANET*cough*

Re:People should be free, but only on your terms? (1)

PerfectionLost (1004287) | more than 2 years ago | (#39564425)

Oh where are the mod points today...

Re:People should be free, but only on your terms? (2)

luis_a_espinal (1810296) | more than 2 years ago | (#39564161)

What a pathetic analysis.

"His way" is to not help support an organization who's sole purpose is the destruction of life. An organization who is controlled by sociopaths bent on economic domination.

I wish Smedley Butler rose from his grave to kick your sycophantic ass.

And yet, you seem quite happy to use the Internet. Please make sure stop using GPS to show your displeasure for DARPA's missions and all outcomes thereof.

Re:People should be free, but only on your terms? (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 2 years ago | (#39563351)

Further, to throw his public hissy-fit over the internet, which was the first invented and funded by DARPA [wikipedia.org] seems rather ironic. Why didn't he take out an ad in the New York Times.

An amazing number of DARPA projects [wikipedia.org] end up as a wash for the military, but have wide applicability to civilian use, from TOR, to Driverless cars.

Re:People should be free, but only on your terms? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39563465)

It's almost like he has, what's it called? Principals which he won't violate?

What you call a 'hissy-fit' and public abandonment of a leading grass-roots tech group, Maker Faire, I call bringing light to a subject worth discussing. Especially when more and more tech. is being used against everyday citizens rather than those who mean to destroy parts of society. As I didn't know Maker Faire had accepted a grant from DARPA, mea culpa. I will now be looking at Maker Faire in a different light than I did yesterday.

Thank you Mitch Altman, for being brave at a time when everyone seems you to be completely wrong at this moment!

Re:People should be free, but only on your terms? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39563585)

It's almost like he has, what's it called? Principals which he won't violate?

Except when those Principals become inconvenient. Like boycotting the Internet or not using GPS.

Re:People should be free, but only on your terms? (2)

ntk (974) | more than 2 years ago | (#39564021)

What form of expression would be acceptable to tell people that you're not working with somebody, and for what reason? Or is it important to keep this information confidential?

Or in other words, he has done pretty much exactly what you have done: expressed an opinion online. Why is what you are saying now not some sort of "hissy fit" about how somebody you don't even know disagrees with what you think? You certainly seem to be using stronger, more strongly opinonated language than Mitch Altman.

Re:People should be free, but only on your terms? (3, Insightful)

Eponymous Coward (6097) | more than 2 years ago | (#39563191)

He should also boycott the internet because of its association with DARPA project.

Re:People should be free, but only on your terms? (1)

randomencounter (653994) | more than 2 years ago | (#39562907)

If he wants to maintain his distance from the military to the point where he can't be involved with an organization that the military is also involved with, then he is doing what is right for him.

It doesn't raise any questions that haven't been asked and answered a million times before, however.

Re:People should be free, but only on your terms? (1)

Dishevel (1105119) | more than 2 years ago | (#39564223)

So tell him to get off the Internet, stop using GPS, Microwave ovens, and just about everything else that makes life easy.
He is not standing up for his principals At least not in most other areas of his life. He is really just throwing a fit and going home.
So he can have fun sitting at home and bitching about DARPA while using tons of stuff that we only have because of them..

Re:People should be free, but only on your terms? (4, Insightful)

Zerth (26112) | more than 2 years ago | (#39562919)

If the government offers you money to do what you were going to do anyway, you should take it.

If you don't, they'll surely spend it on something you really are opposed to.

Re:People should be free, but only on your terms? (2)

elsurexiste (1758620) | more than 2 years ago | (#39562947)

Yeah, it's crazy for them to dislike something they find unacceptable. They even have the nerve to leave institutions that do stuff they don't like!

Re:People should be free, but only on your terms? (1)

sneakyimp (1161443) | more than 2 years ago | (#39563215)

Yeah! He should also boycott the Internet which is based on research by DARPA! Nothing good comes from defense research!

Re:People should be free, but only on your terms? (1)

elsurexiste (1758620) | more than 2 years ago | (#39564287)

The point is that OP doesn't find acceptable that he left because they allowed a sponsor linked to Defense and the Military. I said it's hardly reprehensible that he exercises his good conscience and choose to step aside if he doesn't agree with the money source. You said that they are not so bad because DARPA kickstarted the Internet, but it's irrelevant since they still do research with military applications. After all, DARPA had Project AGILE [wikipedia.org] .

Re:People should be free, but only on your terms? (1)

sneakyimp (1161443) | more than 2 years ago | (#39564647)

It's true that the Altman deserves props for sticking to his principles. And technically speaking, I did not say that 'DARPA is not so bad'. What I did mean to do is point out that Altman and you and I all benefit from the fruits of defense research and must own and live with this fact -- or boycott the Internet (and all those other goodies) too. Why stop at the maker faire? Why not boycott everything that has come from war spending? As long as we are stick to principles, we might as well go whole-hog!

I'm only taking a piss here. I know that nobody lives their life completely ethically or without compromise. One has to start somewhere I guess. Personally, I don't think DARPA is where to start. To me, this seems a bit like Altman throwing the baby out with the bath water.

Recommended reading: The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas [wikipedia.org] .

Re:People should be free, but only on your terms? (2)

luis_a_espinal (1810296) | more than 2 years ago | (#39564701)

The point is that OP doesn't find acceptable that he left because they allowed a sponsor linked to Defense and the Military. I said it's hardly reprehensible that he exercises his good conscience and choose to step aside if he doesn't agree with the money source. You said that they are not so bad because DARPA kickstarted the Internet, but it's irrelevant since they still do research with military applications. After all, DARPA had Project AGILE [wikipedia.org] .

It is also reprehensible to walk away from a project that has the potential to kindle kids's interest in science simply because DARPA chose to fund it. Is he also going to stop having any relationship with breast cancer research (should he had one) because DARPA funds said research (which it does)? Furthermore, where is the moral moral objection of using the Internet and GPS, DARPA inventions that facilitates military operations as well as civilian ones? If DARPA decides to fund research for a new Malaria vaccine (originally for military uses, but also with civilian applications), would he (or you) walk away from it, too?

You can't draw a line in the sand for a) such a benign and positive program like Maker Faire while at the same time turning a blind eye to b) the convenience of DARPA's contributions. If the former has the potential to be a poisoned apple, so should the later be treated as well. That is the price to pay for using guilt-by-association to formulate one's moral compass.

Yes, it is Altman's right to do what he pleases. Yes, it is his opinion and his legal right to have one. But opinions, like a-holes, are a dime a dozen, and their mere existence does not grant them the attribute of being right or logical, even under the most lax of reasonable interpretations.

This is not an argument against Altman's right to exercise his opinion. It is an argument against the soundness (and morality) of said opinion.

Two. Different. Things.

Re:People should be free, but only on your terms? (1)

tsalaroth (798327) | more than 2 years ago | (#39563335)

I pretty much came here to say something along these lines. I think it's a GOOD thing to see the government wanting to leverage life hackers and Maker Faire specifically.

Sure, DARPA is mainly about weapons, but this would have been a great opportunity for Mitch to suggest and perhaps even influence the development of non-violent weapons and other defense-related research.

After all, DARPA used to be ARPA, and we wouldn't have the Internet, and by extrapolation, Maker Faire, without it.

Re:People should be free, but only on your terms? (2)

sempir (1916194) | more than 2 years ago | (#39563745)

Sure, DARPA is mainly about weapons, but this would have been a great opportunity for Mitch to suggest and perhaps even influence the development of non-violent weapons and other defense-related research.

Sorry...but I'm a bit confused about "non-violent weapons" bit. Could you point me in the right direction here, Taa.

Re:People should be free, but only on your terms? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39563369)

Would you want to participate in Maker Faire if one of the sponsors was...oh... Koch Industries, or one of the Koch brothers? Or how about Corzine (MF Global), Phillip Falcone or his hedge funds, etc.?

We all have our comfort levels of who we associate with and who we don't. Some of us make a big deal out of it, and some of us don't.

There's nothing to see here.

Re:People should be free, but only on your terms? (0)

Dishevel (1105119) | more than 2 years ago | (#39564239)

It is though a little hypocritical to not want to associate with DARPA and letting everyone know about it using DARPA tech.

Re:People should be free, but only on your terms? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39563849)

There is nothing insightful about the parent post - I would rate it as -1, Troll

Just as DARPA chooses where to place its support, Mr. Altman is free to take his support, resources and opinions wherever he pleases and he is not obligated in any way to meet your requirements. If Maker Faire no longer meets his standards then he should do what his principles dictate. You sound like a petulant FOX Noise viewer.

Re:People should be free, but only on your terms? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39564077)

Tim O'Reilly recently responded directly to Mitch's post on Facebook. He said it better than I could have:

Yes, DARPA wants to see more scientists and engineers in our society, but that's the extent of the military aspect of this project.

I think it's great that DARPA wants to fund science education. I'd much rather have them doing that than funding weapons research.

Your notion that this is a secret recruiting scheme for weapons research is ... well, indication of a lack of critical thinking. By your reasoning, you should also stop any association with any science or technology university, because (gasp), they too receive DARPA funding (or other military funding) for some of their research.

I hope you're also stopping using GPS-enabled maps and directions - or for that matter, the Internet. These too were funded by the military, as were many of the other innovations that you doubtless use every day. The military is also the largest funder of breast cancer research - do you think they have nefarious purposes in mind for this as well?

I'm sorry to see you go from Maker Faire and your association with Make, but I'm even more disappointed to see someone like you who is willing to mischaracterize the program (which has absolutely NO military overtones).

Re:People should be free, but only on your terms? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39564105)

WOW! the slashdot moderators are clueless when it comes to scoring posts. 5? For what? Hissy-fitting right wingers? Is this some sort of self esteem rating for intellectually challenged posters? Egads!

Where do you Think the Internet CAME FROM! (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39562763)

The internet was originally called ARPANET! Arpa was the precursor to Darpa. With out government backing the internet would not exist as we know it!

Move on Nothing to see here!

Re:Where do you Think the Internet CAME FROM! (3, Funny)

Nyder (754090) | more than 2 years ago | (#39562911)

The internet was originally called ARPANET! Arpa was the precursor to Darpa. With out government backing the internet would not exist as we know it!

Move on Nothing to see here!

No, I'm pretty sure Al Gore invented it.

Re:Where do you Think the Internet CAME FROM! (1)

Darth Snowshoe (1434515) | more than 2 years ago | (#39563079)

Yes but don't ignore the fact that the Al Gore robot program was originally funded by DARPA.

Hey, talk about a drone! That guy practically invented the concept! (Thank you, I'll be here all week! Try the veal!)

Re:Where do you Think the Internet CAME FROM! (1)

jabberw0k (62554) | more than 2 years ago | (#39563171)

Exactly -- how can he protest DARPA's involvement without boycotting the entire Internet? Clearly the RFC process is poisoned, as is TCP/IP, and... and... well, everything. Aircraft, submarines, jet engines, and even TANG breakfast drink would not exist without the military. Send this gentleman a bucket of sand in which to hide his head, please.

Re:Where do you Think the Internet CAME FROM! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39563659)

TANG, ugh... how about just sticking with ARPANET as a great achievement

Re:Where do you Think the Internet CAME FROM! (1)

brit74 (831798) | more than 2 years ago | (#39563217)

And don't forget that the self-driving cars project was a DARPA project. Google's current self-driving car project was done by hiring a bunch of guys involved in the DARPA project ("Google hired several veterans of DARPA challenge teams." - http://www.smartplanet.com/blog/thinking-tech/googles-self-driving-car/5445 [smartplanet.com] )

Take their self righteous ass off the internet too (4, Insightful)

onyxruby (118189) | more than 2 years ago | (#39562773)

They should take their self righteous ass off of the the Internet too. Darpa has funded many, many things that have gone on to serve the public good.

Re:Take their self righteous ass off the internet (2)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 2 years ago | (#39562847)

Or to put it another way, instead of being self-righteous about DARPA, maybe he should be glad they're joining up with hackers instead of finding new ways to kill impoverished people in 3rd world nations?

Re:Take their self righteous ass off the internet (3, Insightful)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#39562891)

What do you think DARPA is interested in all this stuff for? Shits and giggles?

Re:Take their self righteous ass off the internet (3, Informative)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 2 years ago | (#39563363)

It's DARPA, quite probably the one sub-branch of the US military which has actually improved the human condition. I could list all the research that DARPA has supported over the years, but I suspect I'd be wasting my breath (or fingers as the case may be).

Re:Take their self righteous ass off the internet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39563655)

And ... unless you can find some projects that DARPA invested resources in even with the explicit understanding that there weren't any military applications, you won't have anything to disprove the GP's point. DARPA looks for improved military tech. The fact that a lot of military tech has peaceful applications as well doesn't mean that DARPA's projects are benign.

Yeah. The internet has done a lot for peaceful communication. But it also carried useful lessons in how to keep military information flowing even when parts of the military network were being actively disrupted by enemy action. And yeah, GPS has done a lot for civilian navigation. It also did a lot for military tracking and ordnance delivery.

Re:Take their self righteous ass off the internet (1)

Dishevel (1105119) | more than 2 years ago | (#39564339)

The point is he is not shunning those things. Just this one. It is hypocritical.

Re:Take their self righteous ass off the internet (0)

randomencounter (653994) | more than 2 years ago | (#39564057)

Everything has military applications.

Re:Take their self righteous ass off the internet (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#39564605)

Well then why doesn't DARPA sponsor chilli cook-offs or drag racing? Seems to be mostly this hacking stuff with a big emphasis on object recognition and autonomous/unmanned vehicles...

Re:Take their self righteous ass off the internet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39562921)

You say that like it is mutually exclusive.

Lots of military circle jerking in these comments, I can already tell.

Fact: The military's job is to support the interests of the rulers of the country.

Fact: The rulers of our country give zero fucks about you and your well-being. They care only for their own benefit.

Masturbate all you want to fantasies of a noble DARPA where the clever scientists use their smarts to beat the Bad Guys. But the bottom line is that DARPA is controlled by the very same people who would prefer you and your family are wage slaves for your entire lives and will annihilate local populations for their pursuit of natural resources.

Re:Take their self righteous ass off the internet (1)

tsalaroth (798327) | more than 2 years ago | (#39563401)

The military's job is to uphold and defend the constitution from threats foreign and domestic. I highlight that part, because yes, it's kind of forgotten by the military lately.

Your second fact, I have no issues with. Carry on, AC. Carry on.

Ridiculous (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39562827)

"This public parting of ways raises the question of what role government, especially the military, should play in working alongside hackers and educators"

Not a particularly good question, however. The government should play whatever role it can, so long as it's not a hindrance. After all, without DARPA where would we be today?

Re:Ridiculous (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39563213)

it's unfortunate that research funding for CS in the US is only politically justifiable if its attached to a potential military
application.

but thats just the way it is here. moral issues aside I just wish it wasn't so silly to rephrase all your problem statements
in terms of the 'warfighter' and express things in cheesy quad charts with weapons platform clip art on them

Re:Ridiculous (1)

preaction (1526109) | more than 2 years ago | (#39563603)

After all, without DARPA where would we be today?

Arguing in the editorials page of the local newspaper?

Re:Ridiculous (1)

Gilmoure (18428) | more than 2 years ago | (#39563829)

'zines man. Millions and millions of 'zines!

Fairly obvious... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39562973)

Since the Hackers (or Hacktivists) and Makers are the only serious threat, with the tools and means to challenge established order in case of mass uprising against our society surrendering everything to the Banker-Kings, it is only natural for the military to take "interest" in these communities...

I'm wondering why (1)

Improv (2467) | more than 2 years ago | (#39562979)

I can imagine there might be good and bad reasons to part ways, and I'm wondering if he's explained himself somewhere.

If the DARPA involvement is just to encourage cleverness and the sciences, I don't think he has a leg to stand on (or his principles are WAY different than mine), but if DARPA is having the kids build specific technologies being used for military applications, it might be worth parting ways over it.

Re:I'm wondering why (2)

crazyjj (2598719) | more than 2 years ago | (#39563113)

From what I gather, it was one of those generic DARPA "We want to encourage the engineers of the future!" grants that they hand out for PR more than anything.

Re:I'm wondering why (3, Insightful)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#39563119)

If the DARPA involvement is just to encourage cleverness and the sciences, I don't think he has a leg to stand on (or his principles are WAY different than mine), but if DARPA is having the kids build specific technologies being used for military applications, it might be worth parting ways over it.

At best they want to encourage science education so that maybe they'll have more scientists to choose from to build the weapons of tomorrow. At worst they're staging robotics competitions with obvious and only thinly-veiled combat applications. If you watch videos of these things it's not too unusual to see military brass walking among the competitors in full dress uniform, so the competitors obviously don't give a shit what they're contributing to.

Re:I'm wondering why (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39564229)

I don't know what DARPA might be doing in other projects, but there is NO military connection or part of this program (other than that the funding is coming from DARPA.)

And nothing of value was lost. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39562981)

So one guy doesn't show up. That's fine. DARPA will get his ideas anyways if they go global.

Meanwhile, by funding science, unlike the rest of the government (hi Congress), DARPA might make technology more accessible for kids that might otherwise not see it.

Re:And nothing of value was lost. (1)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 2 years ago | (#39563709)

Just curious, who do you think allocates funds to DARPA? I'll give you a hint, you just said hi to them.

Oblig. (1)

Billy the Mountain (225541) | more than 2 years ago | (#39563001)

One thing is for certain: there is no stopping them; DARPA will soon be here. And I for one welcome our new military overlords. I’d like to remind them that as a trusted geek, I can be helpful in rounding up others to toil in their hackerspaces.

Oh, the Irony (5, Insightful)

Mr 44 (180750) | more than 2 years ago | (#39563027)

And in a move of supreme irony, he is glady leaving to support Chinese Hackerspaces:

Here's a clue, kiddo - try to find anything of significance in China that doesnt have involvement from the People's Liberation Army. But you got no problem supporting that?

Re:Oh, the Irony (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39563663)

Wow, that's amazing. Absolutely amazing.

Re:Oh, the Irony (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39563821)

It is reasonable to hold ones own country to a higher-standard then someone eases.

Re:Oh, the Irony (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39564047)

It is? Should you not hold them all to the standard?

Or maybe make the visit in the hopes they can expose the gov't? (of course, that's not why he said he's going)

Re:Oh, the Irony (2)

Deano252 (2555908) | more than 2 years ago | (#39563895)

Where do you think his TV B Gones are made.

Re:Oh, the Irony (1)

Zadaz (950521) | more than 2 years ago | (#39564637)

I thought it was ironic that he used the Internet to announce it. And even cited the Internet as one of the things that (D)ARPA perpetrated for its evil goals.

Taking a look at the project that raised his hackles it looks like it's diverting funding from the military to education. Not sure I can find too much fault with that.

Well that's fine then, boycott the internet (3, Interesting)

gelfling (6534) | more than 2 years ago | (#39563033)

Please by all means boycott all civilian technology every developed out of the military such as THE INTERNET.

Re:Well that's fine then, boycott the internet (4, Insightful)

sneakyimp (1161443) | more than 2 years ago | (#39563317)

People just don't realize that the path of technology is almost ALWAYS military -> business -> consumer. Wars have resulted in tremendous advances in techology. The bigger the war, the greater the advances. Some examples of military technology now used for consumer applications:
* computers
* computer networking
* cellular phone technology
* jet airplanes (even prop planes too - the Wright brothers worked for the military in WWI)
* rockets, space travel (perhaps not consumer-level yet but SOON)
* nuclear technology

Nothing -- and I mean NOTHING -- quite gets the mind racing to invent like contemplation of one's one mortality or enslavement.

I support the guy's right to boycott anything he likes over principles and sort of admire it too, but I kind of hold it against him at the same time.

Re:Well that's fine then, boycott the internet (1)

Gilmoure (18428) | more than 2 years ago | (#39563841)

You forget trauma medicine.

Re:Well that's fine then, boycott the internet (1)

sneakyimp (1161443) | more than 2 years ago | (#39564175)

Totally. I hadn't forgotten, we just unsure how to phrase it amid all the peevish typing I was doing. Couldn't think of any specific examples.

Re:Well that's fine then, boycott the internet (1)

Gilmoure (18428) | more than 2 years ago | (#39564249)

Red Cross is always a good example. And Florence Nightengale in the Crimean war.

Vietnam and Korea brought us air med evac as well.

Re:Well that's fine then, boycott the internet (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39563609)

This is silly.

You act like the only way it _could_ be is for all research funding to come via the military.

Imagine what amazing advances we might have today, if every research project in order to get money didn't have to pass the litmus test of how effective it is at killing people / managing the data and interchange of data on that killing.

Darpa isn't interested in curing cancers, it is interested in weaponizing viruses. Hmmmmm. I think we could have a lot better than the Internet coming out of all those _zillions_ of dollars if it were better directed.

When I attended University of California, fully 1/3 of our research funding was via the military. It had a terrible effect on what research was done (hint, biological warfare, nuclear warfare, etc.).

So yeah, Internet good, but saying it could only come about as a military project is just accepting the broken system we have in this country-- where even our universities are funded via the military-- as the only way things can be.

Re:Well that's fine then, boycott the internet (1)

Gilmoure (18428) | more than 2 years ago | (#39563853)

Exactly! The world is black or it's write. There's no middle ground. If there's the slightest taint of... um... taint, then it's all tainted and as we all know, no one wants to be hanging around tainted taint.

Re:Well that's fine then, boycott the internet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39563885)

1) I'm pretty sure DARPA, and the larger military, is in fact interested in curing cancer and other illnesses - even if just to get a soldier back on the field. You don't have to look very long or hard to see all the grants they've handed out over the last 5 years.

2) The technology used to alter viruses trying to make a weapon most likely will be exactly what makes a cancer cure possible.

Re:Well that's fine then, boycott the internet (1)

jklovanc (1603149) | more than 2 years ago | (#39563893)

You can add jet aircraft, computer, GPS, radio networks, the US Interstates, etc.

As to interstates being alternate airfields that has been debunked but many were designed to transport troops from bases across the US.

Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer. (3, Informative)

MrQuacker (1938262) | more than 2 years ago | (#39563037)

Seriously, if anything they should have been more cooperative and helpful. DARPA has all the cool toys. Not to mention they can help you do cool things you cant do otherwise. Rockets, lasers, etc.

And if it doesn't work out, hey, you're in. You now are in a position to affect change and make it run your way, or do max damage (if you so choose).

what a ficking tool (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39563055)

All these peeps hating on the military need to go get themselves about a dozen fucking clues.

Is he also parting ways with the Internet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39563157)

Because it was developed by Darpa.

its the Libertarian thang again... (3, Insightful)

Genda (560240) | more than 2 years ago | (#39563245)

Government Bad... Private Enterprise Good....

Its maybe time to put the failed beliefs aside. Private Enterprise has dug us all into a very neat hole, and separating it from Government is probably one of the few answers that holds any hope of saving this smoking hole that is the remains of our economy. On the other hand DARPA is one of the few things our government has gotten right. The list of truly cool things that DARPA has invested in is nothing less than impressive. We all enjoy the benefits of those things brought into existence as a function of DARPA investments.

Let's say DARPA invests in perfecting the Hammer, because a hammer can bang your enemy up real good. By the way those hammers are great at building houses, mining mineral, shaping metal and forgings, wood working, and sculpting artwork. So that one investment has huge social implications and tremendous collateral value. I worked with a company in 1997, that was lead by a small team of engineers fresh out of MIT. They had developed a processor with a hundred processing units on a three level network, which could be reconfigured to perform a vast variety of task (our use at the time however was signal processing, many simultaneous signal processors and CPUs existing in software operating on a single chip.) DARPA invested several million to help get the technology off the ground, and ultimately Broadcom bought the technology (Cisco had their fingers in it too.) Today's VOIP takeover is the result of that technology, and it would never have happened without DARPA seeing that this made many new interesting things possible (including a single chip synthetic aperture processor for high resolution imaging from directed radar emissions.)

I don't know if there is a Karmic debt for taking money from warriors. I'd prefer to look at the fruit the tree bears and judge it from what it contributes. In this case, DARPA has served us well, and is one of the few government organizations that I would welcome to any group of creators and inventors. This is a fine use of our tax dollars and is one area where government serves us well.

Re:its the Libertarian thang again... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39563701)

You don't think the government has had anything to do with "this smoking hole"? You don't think the same people you're looking to for answers hasn't profited from the same industries you're shouting down? You don't think some of the problems are from those same people bending industry to their will, damn the people?
 
You've been asleep, I see.

Re:its the Libertarian thang again... (1)

Actually, I do RTFA (1058596) | more than 2 years ago | (#39564079)

I don't know if there is a Karmic debt for taking money from warriors.

Other than a patriotic goal that my country win all wars it gets involved in, there's a great reason to develop better warfare technology: As technological asymmetry increases, the total number of deaths before surrender decreases.

Re:its the Libertarian thang again... (1)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 2 years ago | (#39564147)

Our current economic mess has equal blame in both the private and public sectors. For example, the ridiculous loan investment products tanked because financial institutions got lost in their own shiny mathematics, and a lot of the loans chopped into the mix were bad thanks to happy unicorn and ainbow government initiatives. This shit is so widely reported and readily available that it's one of the biggest mysteries of the human race why otherwise intelligent people cling to these binary points of view, and continue to advocate for one team or the other.

WOW!! (0)

the_pace (1319317) | more than 2 years ago | (#39563819)

It seems Mitch Altman's decision to part ways seems to have really touched a nerve here at Slashdot. I wonder why?!!

Many people here give example of the Internet and GPS to justify DARPA. Below is a comment by Jeff Putney on Mitch Altman's Facebook page with which I tend to agree.

In the spirit suggested of talking about this. I don't think it's about not accepting DARPA work, lets be clear, the internet would have, in another form, existed without DARPA. To say otherwise would be like arguing physics wouldn't exist without a bunch of old overprivileged white guys.
We also have no idea what technology we have missed out on by pouring billions into things we simply blow up or use to kill people instead of focusing that work somewhere else(space exploration lets say).
For me I think it is also about not teaching kids that I am ok with participating in a system of power that can outwardly reflect values gravely different my own just because there are sufficient layers of encapsulation to make it possible for me to rationalize my participation.
I do think in one way or another we all participate in the military industrial complex in ways that are unavoidable(taxes) or in ways that are almost impossible to notice, but when there are things I can notice and change, I want to, and I want to make some noise about. So thank you Mitch for being awesome about this.
--You can't be neutral on a moving train--

Just because something happened does not mean that was the only probable outcome. Lets keep our minds open to every possible course of action the past could have taken and the present can take.

Re:WOW!! (1)

Actually, I do RTFA (1058596) | more than 2 years ago | (#39563997)

To say otherwise would be like arguing physics wouldn't exist without a bunch of old overprivileged white guys.

Huh? Physics obviously would continue to exist. Our understanding of physics would probably be close to the ancient greeks if you eliminated the contributions of over-privileged white* guys.

*I read " over-privileged white" as privileged male members of the dominant ethnic group of whatever region you are in.

So would the internet eventually exist: Possibly. Would it exist now: No.

Or is the "in another form" supposed to cover the fact that before the APDAnet research went big there were hierarchies of BBSes. I think that quote substantially underestimates the feedback loops and capital investments that made the internet possible. And, incidentally, the scaling up of the internet is what makes it easier to do things in a one-off fashion now. That is, the internet facilitates experimentation and development so much that, given the internet as a black-box, it's easy to see how something as fundamental as the internet could get created. But it's a privileged point-of-view that ignores how difficult communication and collaboration was before.

Re:WOW!! (1)

the_pace (1319317) | more than 2 years ago | (#39564395)

What made the Internet that it is right now is not the network itself, rather the PCs and small devices. So, to give DARPA all the credit to the success of the Internet is misguided. Without PCs and the WWW, I don't know where the Internet would be even now. Both of them were results of the works independent of DARPA. I would add public key cryptography to the list of technologies that propelled the Internet to the mainstream which was not sanctioned by the government.

Re:WOW!! (2)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 2 years ago | (#39564225)

I think a lot of people see it as misplaced self righteousness, maybe?

I'm reminded of a story in recent years about a family who was trying to live some sort of "sustainable" lifestyle or something, and they were all smug about it. They only bought locally grown food and rode bikes and the usual stuff. Meanwhile, they live in a nice home in a major city, and the parents were well paid professionals. The only reason their little experiment works is because everyone *else* is still doing the regular things in the regular manner. The family is riding on the back of a massive support system and claiming to be independent and self sustaining. Not a good analogy, but there it is.

Re:WOW!! (1)

the_pace (1319317) | more than 2 years ago | (#39564305)

I failed to see what living sustainable has anything to do with not participating in a fair associated with DARPA.

Re:WOW!! (1)

space_jake (687452) | more than 2 years ago | (#39564431)

I'm pretty sure the internet would be as free and open as ours still if it was made in an alternate reality by private enterprises.

Re:WOW!! (1)

the_pace (1319317) | more than 2 years ago | (#39564615)

I am sure you are being sarcastic. But just look at the PCs. Are they not open architecture? Here, it is not about private enterprise, rather about hackers.

its his choice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39563875)

The general gist of most of the comments that are modded up seem to be denouncing this guy. Maybe it's just that the pro military darpa types are more organized. Ok, the internet came out of DARPA. This guy doesn't want to work with DARPA, and that's his choice. Pro-military slashdot nerds aren't real slashdotters, or nerds. They gather at FPS contests to gleefully pretend to shoot things.

Re:its his choice (1)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 2 years ago | (#39564233)

I hear they aren't real Scotsmen, either.

What a drama (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39564181)

queen.

How can someone so smart, be so dumb? (1)

HycoWhit (833923) | more than 2 years ago | (#39564417)

Mitch I'm sure realizes the greatest feat man has accomplished--sending men to the moon--was a military exercise, right? We sent a clear message to the USSR--if we can land men on the moon, we can certainly drop a nuke in the middle of Red Square. And there are all the other major breakthroughs: The Manhattan Project may have been evil--but from that research we have a cleaner source of energy and lots of medical breakthroughs.

But Mitch doesn't want to work with Darpa? Forget that without the internet and VOIP, Mitch wouldn't even have a company. The push now is in robotics and who in this country is doing more than any other organization to inspire our youth than Darpa? Now he tweets that he is heading to China to organize a hacker space? So instead of working with the youths of this country to educate and stimulate, Mitch would rather take his talents to China?

How can I guy that is as smart as he is not see the big picture. Rather than help his country succeed, he would rather give comfort and aid to Communist China? There has got to be something at play that folks aren't seeing--typically that would be money. Something tells me Darpa was willing to sponsor the event, but not pad Mitch's pockets. China on the other is more than happy to pay Mitch what ever he wants to help the Chinese military/industrial complex. Makes much more sense.

Say it ain't so, but there has to be some cash driving Mitch's decision.

Maker Faire is a flea market (1)

Animats (122034) | more than 2 years ago | (#39564597)

I had an exhibit at Maker Faire once. I realized I was being used as free entertainment for a flea market. Haven't been there since. Maker Faire is a for-profit operation run by O'Reilly Media, whose main business is running overpriced conferences.

China != DARPA? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39564657)

But what about supporting the "Maker Festival" in China? That's OK? Really Mitch? Try using your TV-B-Gone while you vist, and you may not come back.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...