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I was born in USSR. There were no votes in USSR. I remember Perestroika. When I was just a teen, my parents were seriously discussing going off the grid to sit out the civil war if the 1991 KGB putsch against Gorbachev succeeded. Everybody was surprised when it failed. What followed was very confusing time, people had no idea how democracy is supposed to work, including the people who somehow made it work anyway, for a few years.

"Non CIS people fight two fights in this war" - documentary about ukrainian queers fighting against russian invasion in #Ukraine. #Queer

My last paper at @msrconf this year, co-authored with @ZeinabAbouKha and presented by her on Tuesday, is « The #GeneralIndex of #SoftwareEngineering Papers », inspired by @carlmalamud's General Index. Brief thread below with preprint link at the end. #msr2022

A reminder that Mastodon and the Fediverse do NOT use cryptocurrency, blockchains, NFTs, tokens, coins, mining, web3 or anything like that.

Masto and the Fedi run on traditional servers and use a sustainable network federation model somewhat similar to e-mail (that's why Fediverse addresses look similar to e-mail addresses).

Also a reminder there are no venture capital firms or other investors either. No one owns the network, each server is independent. Masto and Fedi server running costs are paid by their owners, sometimes with donations from users.

No one is getting rich from the Fediverse, it is all volunteers with some getting donations and a few getting modest grants from foundations. Please remember this when you interact with admins or developers.

(There might be some individual users who post about cryptocurrency/blockchain, but the infrastructure this place runs on doesn't use it at all.)

Tl:dr - Decentralisation does NOT mean cryptocurrency/blockchain


Ukraine, Bucha 

Witness testimony and videos obtained by The New York Times show how Russian paratroopers executed at least eight Ukrainian men in a Kyiv suburb on March 4, a potential war crime.

If you don't want to accept the collective blame, don't. But then you've earned no right to feel national pride, either.

Like it or not, red terror and gulags are the national disgrace of the Russian people, and this disgrace isn't lessened by the fact that Russians suffered from it the most. Sweeping all these crimes under the rug, out of the way of national pride and patriotism, has only made Russia relive the worst parts of its history, instead of learning from them.

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Feeling proud of achievements of other representatives of your nation is just as illogical as repenting for their crimes. Declaring people to be guilty of Nazi crimes just because their were born in Germany is a ridiculous injustice. But balancing the many causes for national pride with regular reminders of national disgrace is a good way to teach people to approach patriotism with a healthy doze of skepsis and caution.

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Sadly, treating nations as entities is universal: politicians exploit it to manufacture feelings of national pride, patriotism, and, in its extreme form, xenophobia. Of course, it would have been better if all people on Earth dismissed this idea and felt pride and responsibility for achievements and mistakes of the entire humanity, not just an artificially isolated part of it. Instead, national pride does exist, and, in absence of collective responsibility, creates collective irresponsibility.

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Repentance is an expression of remorse and acknowledgement of guilt. At the individual level, it is a completely natural feeling, an essential part of emotional development.

Generalizing repentance to a whole nation is indeed a stretch, based on two questionable postulates: considering nation as a single entity, and extending collective responsibility for actions of that entity to every person within it.

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It's never a good idea to take something to an extreme, and yet I think that Russians, who never took the bitter medicine of repentance for the crimes of Bolsheviks and Stalinists, and Americans, who still haven't repented for the genocide of the continent's native population, nor for racism and slavery, are missing out on an important part of building national character.

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Collective Irresponsibility

Lately I've seen many calls to stop making Germans repent for Nazi crimes. A recent argument about this made me analyze the reasons I think it is a wrong call to make.

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I first posted this on FB in 2017, when Russian Nazism was already evident to Russia's former colonies, but not yet obvious to the rest of the world. In 2020 I deleted my FB account. May 9, from now on , is a good day to revive this small prescient text. Thread.

Remember the outcry for Microsoft buying GitHub and developers (allegedly) leaving en masse? It didn't happen and GitHub is as a monopoly today as it was back then. Musk/Twitter is analogous. We need to make federated alternatives better than centralized ones. Outcry won't do it.


- Spreading Russian propaganda of the Ukraine war
- Spreading COVID-19 conspiracy theories
- Trump / MAGA propaganda
- Racistic photos
- Untagged nsfw content

> A refreshingly simple data-driven game engine built in Rust
Free and Open Source Forever!

Polish Facebook:

Mike Norrin changed the group name from “We don’t believe in COVID-19 pandemics” to “Stop Ukrainization of Poland”


I'm #hiring a research engineer/data scientist at #TelecomParis to develop methodologies and tools to measure and map geographic diversity in free/#opensource projects at a large scale.

Full info (in French, but the position is open to non-francophones): institutminestelecom.recruitee

Hey, so this is super cool.

Google has been collecting call and messaging data about who you talk to or send text messages to for years. There's no opt-out, no notifcation in their TOS they're doing this, and you can't see the results of that collection in Google Takeout.

Excerpt from a longer RT interview with Medinsky, head of #Russia negotiations team with #Ukraine. Gives an important insight to the alternative reality created by Russian political class for itself by verbatim copying the old Soviet cliches.

He speaks about why he believes Ukraine needs "denazification" and uses a rather convoluted, carefully constructed wording to explain it:

> In Ukraine there are streets named after criminals who fought against countries of the anti-Hitler coalition.

Why such a complex wording when you could probably just enumerate the alleged Nazis after which streets are named in Ukraine? Well, because there aren't any. But of course there are numerous streets named after soldiers and partisans who fought Red Army whom they perceived as invaders, just as they did Wehrmacht. By "countries being part of the coalition" he of course means Soviet Union.

In Soviet times the logic was: we are fighting Third Reich, ergo if you fight Soviet troops, you must be a Nazi, even if you fight Nazis as well.

And there are streets named after anti-Nazi and anti-Soviet fighters in literally every Eastern European country that was once occupied by USSR (likely also in Western countries with significant post-war diasporas from Eastern Europe). Many of these street patrons were tried by Soviet courts and executed as "Nazis", for example Witold Pilecki, a Polish Home Army hero who infiltrated Auschwitz and sent the first report about atrocities happening there. Calling a man who fought Nazis for 5 straight years "a Nazi" was probably the most disgusting manipulation by Soviet propaganda you could ever imagine (and quite typical).

Mstyslav Chernov, AP reporter:

The Russians were hunting us down. They had a list of names, including ours, and they were closing in. (…) Impunity is the second goal. With no information coming out of a city, no pictures of demolished buildings and dying children, the Russian forces could do whatever they wanted. If not for us, there would be nothing.

Today from the messanging app drama hell

British military and Mi6 use Signal and ban WhatsApp because WA backs up messaging in plain text on most phones.

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