Reasons to preseve X on tty7

David G. Mackay mackay_d at
Thu Oct 30 16:27:32 UTC 2008

On Wed, 2008-10-29 at 12:29 -0600, Stephen John Smoogen wrote:
> On Wed, Oct 29, 2008 at 9:24 AM, David G. Mackay <mackay_d at> wrote:
> >
> > On Wed, 2008-10-29 at 08:51 -0400, seth vidal wrote:
> >> There's no one working in computing today ANYWHERE who is doing
> >> revolutionary work. I'd argue there is no such thing as revolutionary
> >> work AT ALL. Stop looking for it where it is not.
> >
> > What about quantum computing?  A fundamental paradigm shift seems like
> > it ought to count.
> >
> quantum computing is more like going back to analog computing from the
> 1940's. In the end, it will be masked by a lot of stuff that makes it
> seem like its digital because cultures are change averse... thats a

Just because we sugar coat the medicine doesn't mean it's the same
old-fashioned snake oil.

> reason why cultures exist.. to help preserve memory over a constantly
> changing universe. When you arbitrarily change something 'fundamental'
> to a culture you get a reaction in the opposite way.. the reaction is
> usually dis appropriately stronger than the original change because
> people are wired to maintain culture for survival.

Shades of Margarette Meade.  Cultures that won't adapt get swallowed by
those that can, usually.  China is an example of one that was able to
just absorb several sets of conquerors.  Most others in recent history,
Inuits, American Indians, etc., weren't so massively grounded in

> The important thing is that individuals usually do not hold the same
> things to be fundamental as other individuals. Changing the TTY
> affects some people who work there a lot more than those who never use
> it.. but it might also affect someone who has it in the root of their
> soul: "If my computer is fucked-up, CNTRL-ALT-F1 to try and get it
> back." Changing a bed-rock principle that is pretty much in every
> chapter 1 linux book is a BIG deal and not something that can be
> washed over with a couple of emails. Most of the wars during the
> Reformation were started over smaller things.

I can see it now, a modern Martin Luther nailing his changelog to the
distro's door.  Ack!

> Does this mean the change can't happen? No it just means that you need
> to be aware that you need to build a cultural consensus.

Change is not only happening, it's accelerating.  Vernor Vinge coined
the term technological singularity to describe what we might be
experiencing soon.  It doesn't seem to be something that we're going to
be able to control all that much.


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