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09.22.20

Minimalism for Maximisation of Productivity and Clutter Mitigation

Posted in Deception, GNU/Linux at 4:05 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

When corporations become so intolerant that they conspire to harm users (generalising and stigmatising them), then add insult to injury

Selection screenshot
Dictating to everyone what they want and need in order to replace old with new (better serving the corporations, not users)

Summary: Unfortunately, GNU/Linux (especially the latter, Linux) embraces bloat and anti-features in pursuit of sales (appeasing large corporations, not users’ needs), reducing the modularity, reliability and productivity of computer systems in the name of helping “dumb” users (they keep telling us people are very dumb and those who disagree are “elitist” and “extremist” or even “neckbeards” — in effect insulting every person out there)

THERE are two old sayings that I particularly like. One is “less is more” (not the GNU/Linux programs/commands) and the other is, “newer is not always better” (the motto of some sites). When companies say “better” they typically mean, “buy something new already!” Then there are acronyms like K.I.S.S. and a bunch of other nice tidbits. It’s very much applicable to today’s Whole Wide Bloat (more frequently referred to as the World Wide Web, or “Web” and “WWW” for short).

Earlier this year, for the first time ever in my life, I got a machine with more than 2 gigabytes of RAM. I thought 8 gigabytes should be enough for everything in 2020. But I was wrong. I recently reached memory limits without even doing all that much. As I type this, my music player eats up 293 MB of RAM, Falkon uses 196 MB, and by contrast X-Chat (an old IRC client) takes up no more than 10 MB. Why this massive disparity? Why does a computer need to allocate half a CD-ROM’s worth of RAM to just play a low-quality audio track? I’m looking at you, VLC…

Increasingly, over time, I move more of my activities to the command line as I find it more productive. Why can we not keep the lightweight yet expressive GUIs we had a decade or two ago? I’m looking at you, GNOME…

“As I type this, my music played eats up 293 MB of RAM, Falkon uses 196 MB, and by contrast X-Chat (an old IRC client) takes up no more than 10 MB.”This is apparently considered ‘normal’ now. Programmers and OS assemblers aren’t expected to take into consideration people who use older hardware. Or have slower/expensive/bandwidth-capped connections (and reject so-called ‘telemetry’). The same is true for Web developers. Should a single browser tab ever require more than 100 MB of RAM? Why do some take up more than a gigabyte? This in insane and this kind of insanity is now presumed normal because “everybody else is doing it” and “get a new PC already!”

Tools For ConstrucionOne might jokingly point out that what we have here is “broken windows”; the software makers ensure things get more and more bloated over time to help drive hardware sales; hardware companies, reciprocating for this bloat, add a bunch of undesirable anti-features, such as slowing down clocks, preventing boot using keys (that the computer owner does not have and does not control), and leaving many defects in tact, ensuring planned obsolescence. Cheap components (diodes for instance) and dependence on soldered in components like hardware clocks can “seal the deal…”

The sad thing is, GNU/Linux companies have played along and have voluntarily mimicked many of these really bad things. From keeping things minimal (see yesterday’s video, Unix Philosophy Is More Than Just A Simple Slogan) we’ve moved to so-called ‘UX’ (User eXperience) or “user-friendly” — codename for stripping away useful features, replacing them with bloated but “modern” substitutes that nobody ever asked for.

“Yesterday Phoronix reported that “Intel Platform Monitoring Telemetry Appears Destined For Linux 5.10″. Oh, cool, spying inside the kernel. What’s in it for the user? Absolutely nothing.”What will future generations with so-called ‘phones’ that have 16 gigabytes on RAM on them (not storage, RAM) think when they learn people could get work done just fine with just 2 gigabytes of RAM — on multi-head desktops and laptops? Are we getting better technically or just getting better at driving (forced) sales? Whose agenda is served here? Certainly not users’. Remember that at the Linux Foundation not many people even use Linux. They use Windows, macOS and iOS (never with Linux in them). They’re all about money, not users (or users’ experience), not people but corporations. Intel does not make money from making good products but from shipping as many products as possible. Yesterday Phoronix reported that “Intel Platform Monitoring Telemetry Appears Destined For Linux 5.10″. Oh, cool, spying inside the kernel. What’s in it for the user? Absolutely nothing. See the comments too. There’s a performance toll, obviously. In terms of human rights, “latest” often means worst.

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