Some questions :)


  • Community Rep

    Something that I think should be mentioned, is that there is a standard pattern for discrediting free software where someone uses the expression that "free isn't free" or something like that. And then alludes to TCO being higher for a free product than some paid product, without any substantiation. And because it feels natural that a gift would cost more to operate than something that you paid for, people tend to accept it without attempting to validate if the statement is true. It's part of a greater marketing psychological tricks set of patterns. You lead people to where they assume you mean to take them and they will lie to themselves the rest of the way.

    Here is how it is often done....

    End User: "Wow, Ubuntu is free."
    Salesman: "Well now, you know free isn't free. You have to consider the total cost of operating and supporting the product. When you consider the total cost, can you really afford Ubuntu?"
    End User: "Oh wow, that sounds scary, you, the expert, just told me it's too expensive for me to use!"

    It's a great pattern because the salesman didn't have to lie. They pointed out that operating cost is the real cost and not the cost of acquisition (which is almost always true.) They then asked a question and didn't even imply an answer. But they said it in such a way that nearly all end users will assume that they meant to imply that Windows would be cheaper to operate (hint, it isn't) and so the up front cost of Windows must be offset by a lower cost to operate.

    This exact use of the pattern is used over and over again; even though support companies will tell you that supporting Linux is way, way cheaper than supporting Windows at any scale. The fact that it is free to acquire is really irrelevant because that isn't the real savings. But because it is free to acquire, it's easy to use the high cost of Windows as a way to confuse end users because people assume that other people are honest and rational.

    And if other people are honest and rational then... why would Windows cost more than Linux if it isn't dramatically better? And why would the salesman warn me about the total cost if I was about to do the less costly thing?

    And somehow the obvious... Windows does it to make money and its value to you has no bearing on their pricing; and the salesman's job is to sell you something you wouldn't purchase via logic and only if someone talks you into it... facts never cross their minds.

    It's a powerful pattern.


  • Community Rep

    @oplik0 said in Some questions 🙂:

    I now feel really weird because I feel like this discussion is now literally an argument where all sides agree

    I think that's called an expoundtion.


  • Community Rep

    @oplik0 said in Some questions 🙂:

    At some point the word "free" just stops existing because everything has some cost attached to it - so nothing can be free.

    Exactly. And it's an important concept that we don't want to lose. I mean, we can always just state that the cost is zero, but zero/free has a special value - where were acquisition has no friction.

    The reality is, from a purely utilitarian perspective, TCO is what we all work with in our heads, but TCO is so individualized and unique that no one can start to calculate it for us individually. So we need the accurate costs of things on their own, so that in our minds we can put together the TCO to make decisions. If we start applying other peoples' TCOs for other use cases as assumptions to our own, our entire mental processes around calculating value stop working.


  • GNU/Linux

    On the other hand, to have a service that is NEARLY free, there is always the possibility of having someone else pay for it for you. The best known are advertising, or patronage or volunteering. There's stealing, which is pretty good, too ^^


  • GNU/Linux Admin

    @Per0x you're talking about breaking even... I'm afraid that's just called running a business 😉


  • GNU/Linux

    @julian In this capitalist world, life is a business. 😄


  • Community Rep

    @scottalanmiller They still playing this old saw? I mean, most of them "embraced" Linux and make at least token effort to be "FOSS Friendly" these days so as to leverage the marketing. Even M$, who now owns GitHub, runs all kinds of Linux in their cloud, which they built with a ton of FreeBSD code.

    So, be all that as it may, I'm a bit surprised this gambit is still played?

    Anyways, although years since I've heard this tired argument, it is good that you illuminated it here for those who may have missed that bit of history.

    Party on, Wayne! 😉


  • Community Rep

    @gotwf said in Some questions 🙂:

    @scottalanmiller They still playing this old saw? I mean, most of them "embraced" Linux and make at least token effort to be "FOSS Friendly" these days so as to leverage the marketing. Even M$, who now owns GitHub, runs all kinds of Linux in their cloud, which they built with a ton of FreeBSD code.

    So, be all that as it may, I'm a bit surprised this gambit is still played?

    Anyways, although years since I've heard this tired argument, it is good that you illuminated it here for those who may have missed that bit of history.

    Party on, Wayne! 😉

    Yeah, it's still commonly used, and commonly works. It'll keep getting used as long as businesses don't educate themselves on simple marketing and sales tactics or understanding buyers/seller's agents.



  • @cregox said in Some questions 🙂:

    but i'll bite. my masochistic self, that is. below is my last play on this topic for the foreseeable future.

    i did not foresee this...

    @oplik0 said in Some questions 🙂:

    I now feel really weird because I feel like this discussion is now literally an argument where all sides agree 😄

    what i read was "all sides except me, @oplik0" although i think you meant you 3 reps were now agreeing at something. i'm really not sure, because...

    @oplik0 said in Some questions 🙂:

    Did you read my full post?

    nope. i didn't. and i'm positive nobody is really understanding each other here (myself above all, of course), although we are all trying to spell every word on our mind while silently reading through, at some level.

    in my level, i stopped reading full posts at my previous one.

    just wanted to say, in case my first gut had any point to it (about you also feeling misunderstood, the story of my life), that i'm not agreeing with anything here from what i could read and understand so far.

    and that i actually read most full posts at the email. not so much in here, with the full context, and not so much trying to understand all details, because the redundancy here is too high for me. +

    • (i'm actually trying to improve my own level of writing more redundancy, but i'm still too conditioned by my 20+ years of deep programming perfectionist attempts of removing all redundancy (and failing miserably at following the pace of the job/money most of the time). my fault.)

    @oplik0 said in Some questions 🙂:

    And I'm actually net positive when it comes to spending money on hosting NodeBB, since the one bug bounty I got is still higher than what I spent on hosting NodeBB in total 😄

    no idea what you meant here, for instance.

    but, probably by chance, you did win my curiosity. perhaps we're a little bit better aligned and i could learn something from you... reason why i'm moving backwards to...

    @oplik0 said in Some questions 🙂:

    I, for one, will agree with @cregox that one could argue that NodeBB isn't free, because you're paying for hosting it.
    However, in the same vein, none of the service he mentioned are. On Facebook you're paying with your privacy, by viewing ads AND you're paying for a device capable of running a web browser or a facebook app!

    that's not the same vein at all!

    [privacy is way overated] (cregox.net/privacy), and so is our monetary value when it comes to "selling it" trough ads or whatever. i actually won 200 eur from a facebook jury case in portugal, and that's money owned in average since facebook inception, decades ago. i still haven't even seen the money, though. and brave, for one instance of paying for users for seeing ads, have only paid me 1 usd in the past year. granted, i don't really use brave. but i do click on every ad it shows me. all very annoying and repeated. i never clicked in more than 5 ads in my lifetime, on facebook. zero on gmail. because they don't interest me (brave one did interest the first time, coincidentally).

    the paying for a device is deviously wrong. i got the device to communicate with the world in many different ways. it's not a dedicated device for any free tool. and it will never be.

    see? i didn't mention windows, because that's locked down to the price of the device, indeed. it doesn't apply for the rest.

    my point is just about the direct money. that's also what most people mean by free when talking about products, tools and services. anything more is too philosophical. and i do go there, but not in a forum. such philosophy is like religion, and we all have our own.

    still hoping nodebb could become the first fully free forum somehow. forget hosting. try merging it with scuttlebutt for a true change! now THAT would be awesome!! most of what nodebb is is an interface, the ux. and that's also what scuttlebutt lacks the most.

    fantasizing...

    sunglasses

    if you look at this for long enough, the glasses get removed forever! 🤣


  • Community Rep

    @cregox said in Some questions 🙂:

    still hoping nodebb could become the first fully free forum somehow

    And there we go, back on track to lies to defame the community. I think we are way, way beyond any acceptable repetition of this blatant untruth.

    This is a pretty extreme backhanded compliment. You act like you want NodeBB to be this special thing, that it already is, and act like it has potential - but you use that potential to claim it isn't what it is.


  • Community Rep

    @cregox said in Some questions 🙂:

    see? i didn't mention windows, because that's locked down to the price of the device, indeed. it doesn't apply for the rest.

    ....confused.... working in IT, Windows is a separate cost. Windows Server is software you buy and apply like any other, it's not part of the cost of a device unless you really screw up because you get screwed on software value if you get it tied to the device. It's an option, but when IT departments work with Windows, it's just software like any other. Not sure what you are meaning to say about it, since all software has to run on a device equally. So Windows and NodeBB would be exactly the same here, just one is free (all senses) and one is not (no senses).


  • Community Rep

    @cregox said in Some questions 🙂:

    but i'll bite. my masochistic self, that is. below is my last play on this topic for the foreseeable future.

    .... big snippage ....

    nope. i didn't. and i'm positive nobody is really understanding each other here (myself above all, of course), although we are all trying to spell every word on our mind while silently reading through, at some level.

    Perhaps you may want to invest some energies in reading comprehension. Being able to decode and understand the symbols of a second language does not necessarily equate to comprehending and it seems there may be an issue here.

    in my level, i stopped reading full posts at my previous one.

    How then, may one reply intelligently? Just cherry picking out bits here and there? Context can be everything when it comes to comprehension.

    When I read your posts, I actually read them. You seem to have a pretty decent vocabulary but I find myself confused as to what seems to be "word play". I do not speak anything other than US English. I am aware that other languages conjugate things differently, but I still find a significant bit of what you write challenging to grok. Hence, I find myself actually reading many of them twice.


  • Community Rep

    @gotwf said in Some questions 🙂:

    but I find myself confused as to what seems to be "word play".

    He's at least openly admitted that he's using words, like "free", to be subjective and not to mean what the word means in English. The problem is, doing so, is called lying when you say one thing and mean another. He's been open to that that is how he uses his words, but doesn't seem to want to take ownership for what that means.



  • @gotwf said in Some questions 🙂:

    Perhaps you may want to invest some energies in reading comprehension. Being able to decode and understand the symbols of a second language does not necessarily equate to comprehending and it seems there may be an issue here.

    what do you mean by symbols there?

    How then, may one reply intelligently? Just cherry picking out bits here and there? Context can be everything when it comes to comprehension.

    When I read your posts, I actually read them. You seem to have a pretty decent vocabulary but I find myself confused as to what seems to be "word play". I do not speak anything other than US English. I am aware that other languages conjugate things differently, but I still find a significant bit of what you write challenging to grok. Hence, I find myself actually reading many of them twice.

    funny how you literally accused me of cherry picking, as if it was the most terrible thing to do, and then just did it, while losing my context...

    or perhaps my braindump there was too much, but still in the same post i did mention that i actually read most of it. more than twice, some times... and i went ahead to further explain what i meant in my next post, in another thread: my brain is completely tired of too much @scottalanmiller redundancy, and so i have to ignore him. it's just too much. for me.

    my english vocabulary is rather poor, or perhaps a bit above some averages, but since i do know words from more than 1 language perspective i even surprise myself with getting deeper meaning right, even after 2 natives thought i got it wrong. i did get it wrong for the common sense (about patronizing, in this instance)... which doesn't help me at all to write more clearly, evidently. freaking ego is too easy to inflate.

    in fact, even my childhood friend, close relatives and wife have problems to understand the portuguese words that come out of my mouth, almost always when i get philosophical.

    so i'm really not blaming anyone but myself here.

    still...

    some few people now and then (in both languages) just get me. because they come from similar perspectives and life experience. "context", in this context, is everything! in the sense of synchronicity.

    and my hope, as the portuguese saying goes, is the last one to perish (pretty positive there's an english one as well, that slips my mind). i always hope to be understood without needing further future efforts, today. they'll keep coming (my efforts), i'll keep trying to get better to communicate with people, as that is a goal in everyone's life. i just can't jump over there in so fast, for some reason.

    anyway...


    although most of my own writing in the last posts here in this topic are about our misunderstandings, i still wonder above all why nobody said a word about scuttlebutt!

    here, i'll even give a video i still haven't fullywatched myself, but first 11 minutes give a nice intro into it https://youtu.be/JSWWkzsHhjk


  • Community Rep

    @cregox said in Some questions 🙂:

    i still wonder above all why nobody said a word about scuttlebutt!

    I'm unclear what you want to be said about it.


  • Community Rep

    Ah wait, Scuttlebutt, is a protocol! So not to be picky, but this is why capitalization is SO important. Because being a non-native speaker, which we try to allow for as much as is possible, the way that you were using "scuttlebutt", the word, seemed to play into your speech pattern. I literally had no idea until you posted the video that it is a protocol. And because it wasn't capitalized, it was just another part of the conversation. Awkward in how it was used, but it worked.

    But Scuttlebutt, capitalized, identifies it as a proper name rather than a word in the sentence. So, for me at least, I was totally confused and unclear why you wanted us to comment on gossip. But considering the protocol, that might be worth a response.


  • Community Rep

    So I'm going to go back and read the use of it to figure out what the context was. But a quick look at Secure Scuttlebutt / SSB... it's a peer to peer gossip protocol meant for distributed, unreliable posting. Seems like a fine technology with digital signing. But I'm unclear where it would really play a role in the forum world.


  • Community Rep

    @cregox said in Some questions 🙂:

    try merging it with scuttlebutt for a true change! now THAT would be awesome!! most of what nodebb is is an interface, the ux. and that's also what scuttlebutt lacks the most.

    So you are thinking that a NodeBB based, or NodeBB style interface for Secure Scuttlebutt would be useful? That makes sense. Would be nice. I guess the question becomes, "What is the value of SSB as the backend?" As opposed to centralized databases like we have today. Feels like it would add a lot of complexity and I'm sure that there is some value in there in a real world use case, I'm just not sure where it would be, outside of maybe some really complex or fringe cases.


  • Community Rep

    SSB is really focused on "social" like Facebook. Which is very different than forum software, IMHO. SSB in that space I can see making a lot of sense, potentially. But for a forum, I'm not seeing any value.

    Now, that doesn't mean that a forum "face" to SSB wouldn't be useful or the way to go. But fundamentally this feels more like window dressing. The core functionality of how forums work vs. gossip pages is a bit different. Not entirely, of course.

    But for example, forums are essentially public places where all posts matter and discussions must be centralized to make sense. The responses to a post are generally the value, not the post itself. In a social platform like Facebook it is the opposite, the post matters and not the responses (mostly), and you select who you want to see and who you don't.

    The underlying datastore could be similar. But the basic functionality is different. So SSB is designed around that, around posting personal things for a select group to see. Rather than designed around posting public things for everyone to debate.


  • Community Rep

    @scottalanmiller Moreover, many forums are used as knowledge bases, tech support, etc. and hence do not tolerate "social media gossip", striving instead to diligently cultivate a very high signal to noise ratio to save end users/customers from having to sift thru a buttload of drivel.

    So, while Scuttlebutt, the protocol, at least upon cursory glance, piques my interest on the geek front, I also do not see how it would replace current backend db's.


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