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Historical Discussions: Supreme Court Overturns Roe vs. Wade (June 24, 2022: 1740 points)
Supreme Court overturns Roe vs. Wade; states can ban abortion (June 24, 2022: 18 points)

(1743) Supreme Court Overturns Roe vs. Wade

1743 points 3 days ago by uptown in 10000th position

apnews.com | Estimated reading time – 8 minutes | comments | anchor

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court on Friday stripped away women's constitutional protections for abortion, a fundamental and deeply personal change for Americans' lives after nearly a half-century under Roe v. Wade. The court's overturning of the landmark court ruling is likely to lead to abortion bans in roughly half the states.

The ruling, unthinkable just a few years ago, was the culmination of decades of efforts by abortion opponents, made possible by an emboldened right side of the court fortified by three appointees of former President Donald Trump.

Both sides predicted the fight over abortion would continue, in state capitals, in Washington and at the ballot box. Justice Clarence Thomas, part of Friday's majority, urged colleagues to overturn other high court rulings protecting same-sex marriage, gay sex and the use of contraceptives.

Pregnant women considering abortions already had been dealing with a near-complete ban in Oklahoma and a prohibition after roughly six weeks in Texas. Clinics in at least eight other states — Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Kentucky, Missouri, South Dakota, Wisconsin and West Virginia — stopped performing abortions after Friday's decision.

In Ohio, a ban on most abortions at the first detectable fetal heartbeat became the law when a federal judge dissolved an injunction that had kept the measure on hold for nearly three years. And Utah's law was triggered by the ruling, going into effect with narrow exceptions.

Abortion foes cheered the ruling, but abortion-rights supporters, including President Joe Biden, expressed dismay and pledged to fight to restore the rights.

Protests built into the evening in a number of cities, including thousands demonstrating against the decision outside the barricaded Supreme Court. Thousands more chanted "We will rise up!" in New York's Washington Square.

At the White House, Biden said, "It's a sad day for the court and for the country." He urged voters to make it a defining issue in the November elections, declaring, "This decision must not be the final word."

Outside the White House, Ansley Cole, a college student from Atlanta, said she was "scared because what are they going to come after next? ... The next election cycle is going to be brutal, like it's terrifying. And if they're going to do this, again, what's next?"

Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of SBA Pro-Life America, agreed about the political stakes.

"We are ready to go on offense for life in every single one of those legislative bodies, in each statehouse and the White House," Dannenfelser said in a statement.

Trump praised the ruling, telling Fox News that it "will work out for everybody."

The decision is expected to disproportionately affect minority women who already face limited access to health care, according to statistics analyzed by The Associated Press.

It also puts the court at odds with a majority of Americans who favored preserving Roe, according to opinion polls.

Surveys conducted by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research and others have shown a majority in favor of abortion being legal in all or most circumstances. But many also support restrictions especially later in pregnancy. Surveys consistently show that about 1 in 10 Americans want abortion to be illegal in all cases.

The ruling came more than a month after the stunning leak of a draft opinion by Justice Samuel Alito indicating the court was prepared to take this momentous step.

Alito, in the final opinion issued Friday, wrote that Roe and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the 1992 decision that reaffirmed the right to abortion, were wrong had and to be be overturned.

"We therefore hold that the Constitution does not confer a right to abortion. Roe and Casey must be overruled, and the authority to regulate abortion must be returned to the people and their elected representatives," Alito wrote, in an opinion that was very similar to the leaked draft.

Joining Alito were Thomas and Justices Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, Amy Coney Barrett. The last three justices are Trump appointees. Thomas first voted to overrule Roe 30 years ago.

Four justices would have left Roe and Casey in place.

The vote was 6-3 to uphold Mississippi's law banning most abortions after 15 weeks, but Chief Justice John Roberts didn't join his conservative colleagues in overturning Roe. He wrote that there was no need to overturn the broad precedents to rule in Mississippi's favor.

Justices Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan — the diminished liberal wing of the court — were in dissent.

"With sorrow — for this Court, but more, for the many millions of American women who have today lost a fundamental constitutional protection — we dissent," they wrote, warning that abortion opponents now could pursue a nationwide ban "from the moment of conception and without exceptions for rape or incest."

Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a statement that the Justice Department will protect providers and those seeking abortions in states where it is legal and "work with other arms of the federal government that seek to use their lawful authorities to protect and preserve access to reproductive care."

In particular, Garland said the federal Food and Drug Administration has approved the use of Mifepristone for medication abortions.

More than 90% of abortions take place in the first 13 weeks of pregnancy, and more than half are now done with pills, not surgery, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a research group that supports abortion rights.

Mississippi's only abortion clinic, which was at the center of Friday's case, continued to see patients Friday. Outside, men used a bullhorn to tell people inside that they would burn in hell. Clinic escorts wearing colorful vests used large speakers to blast Tom Petty's "I Won't Back Down" at the protesters.

Mississippi, Alabama, Kentucky and Missouri are among 13 states, mainly in the South and Midwest, that already have laws on the books to ban abortion in the event Roe was overturned. Another half-dozen states have near-total bans or prohibitions after 6 weeks of pregnancy, before many women know they are pregnant.

In roughly a half-dozen other states, including West Virginia and Wisconsin, the fight will be over dormant abortion bans that were enacted before Roe was decided in 1973 or new proposals to sharply limit when abortions can be performed, according to Guttmacher.

Outside the barricaded Supreme Court, a crowd of mostly young women grew into the hundreds within hours of the decision. Some shouted, "The Supreme Court is illegitimate," while waves of others, wearing red shirts with "The Pro-Life Generation Votes," celebrated, danced and thrust their arms into the air.

The Biden administration and other defenders of abortion rights have warned that a decision overturning Roe also would threaten other high court decisions in favor of gay rights and even potentially contraception.

The liberal justices made the same point in their joint dissent: The majority "eliminates a 50-year-old constitutional right that safeguards women's freedom and equal station. It breaches a core rule-of-law principle, designed to promote constancy in the law. In doing all of that, it places in jeopardy other rights, from contraception to same-sex intimacy and marriage. And finally, it undermines the Court's legitimacy."

And Thomas, the member of the court most open to jettisoning prior decisions, wrote a separate opinion in which he explicitly called on his colleagues to put the Supreme Court's same-sex marriage, gay sex and contraception cases on the table.

But Alito contended that his analysis addresses abortion only. "Nothing in this opinion should be understood to cast doubt on precedents that do not concern abortion," he wrote.

Whatever the intentions of the person who leaked Alito's draft opinion, the conservatives held firm in overturning Roe and Casey.

In his opinion, Alito dismissed the arguments in favor of retaining the two decisions, including that multiple generations of American women have partly relied on the right to abortion to gain economic and political power.

Changing the makeup of the court has been central to the anti-abortion side's strategy, as the dissenters archly noted. "The Court reverses course today for one reason and one reason only: because the composition of this Court has changed," the liberal justices wrote.

Mississippi and its allies made increasingly aggressive arguments as the case developed, and two high-court defenders of abortion rights retired or died. The state initially argued that its law could be upheld without overruling the court's abortion precedents.

Justice Anthony Kennedy retired shortly after the Mississippi law took effect in 2018 and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died in September 2020. Both had been members of a five-justice majority that was mainly protective of abortion rights.

In their Senate hearings, Trump's three high-court picks carefully skirted questions about how they would vote in any cases, including about abortion.


Associated Press writers Jessica Gresko, Fatima Hussein, photographer Jacquelyn Martin and video journalist Nathan Ellgren in Washington, Alanna Durkin Richer in Boston, Emily Wagster Pettus in Jackson, Mississippi, Scott Bauer in Madison, Wisconsin, Leah Willingham in Charleston, West Virginia, Michael Hill in New York and Kantele Franko in Columbus, Ohio, contributed to this report.

For AP's full coverage of the Supreme Court ruling on abortion, go to https://apnews.com/hub/abortion

All Comments: [-] | anchor

ausbah(10000) 3 days ago [-]

saying 'SCOTUS didn't ban abortion' is at best useless semantic formality and at worst plain incorrect

a number of state have laws that the automatically make abortion illegal as soon as Roe was overturned, those are now enacted. furthermore, the case behind this ruling was dealing with a state law the effectively outlawed abortions, despite previous precedent ruling against it. this rule is simply enabling such behavior indirectly. this allows gives the green light for abortion to be targeted at the federal level, something which Republicans will be happy to do ASAP

to ignore the context of the surrounding case, and political motivations / backgrounds of the ruling justices is just ignorant. something like half of all states have now effectively illegal abortion

teakettle42(10000) 3 days ago [-]

It's neither a semantic formality nor incorrect.

The Supreme Court returned the question to the legislative branch. That's it.

I happen to think abortion should be legal.

I also think it's pretty clear that, when one side believes abortion to be a totally unrestricted right despite never appearing in the constitution, while simultaneously arguing for severely restricting and even eliminating a specifically enumerated right to bear arms, that they're operating in complete bad faith, and don't really care about the constitution except when convenient.

Change needs to be secured by convincing others of its necessity, not by appealing to authority to force others to behave or believe what you think they should.

The courts have been abused as an end-run around democratic change for too long now. I'm glad to see a serious bit of legislation from the bench rolled back.

This will force people to talk to each other. To convince each other. To work together. That's ultimately a healthier outcome, even if things are a little worse while we figure things out.

softcactus(10000) 3 days ago [-]

The HN crowd never fails to surprise me. For all of the great discussions about software on here, threads like this one reek of ignorance of civics and history. The de facto outcome of this ruling is abortion banned in red states. It's clearly partisan hackery when we have: 1. A court full of Federalist Society members 2. A court full of Catholics (staunchly pro-life) 3. Who are using the old argument of 'states rights' Three has historically been how the conservative minority defends its regressive legislation. They use the filibuster to prevent Federal legislation, then impose their will on minority groups within their state which has no filibuster. Anyone who has read about the history of the US should know this.

fulvioterzapi(10000) 3 days ago [-]

To be honest I am pretty fine with it. For a few reasons:

1) Abortion (in my opinion) should not be a constitutional right. I can't name a country that has abortion as a constitutional right. More generally: the constitution should care about super-general, universally-agreed values, let's leave everything else to the legislative branch!

2) Roe v. Wade was a bad decision. Before you downvote me, read the 14th Amendment: how the judges could infer from it at the time a right to abortion is beyond me! I can squint my eyes a lot, but the right is simply not there!

Edit: downvoters, go read the 14th Amendment, and tell me if you can honestly read a right to abortion in there.

darknavi(10000) 3 days ago [-]

> More generally: the constitution should care about super-general, universally-agreed values, let's leave everything else to the legislative branch!

See: The 2nd amendment.

lawn(10000) 3 days ago [-]

There's this belief that society always moves in a 'forward/upward' directory, where we become more advanced, more enlightened and more moral.

But this is not the case and sometimes we regress.

cato_the_elder(10000) 3 days ago [-]

> There's this belief that society always moves in a 'forward/upward' directory

That's the central fallacy of Whig historiography [1]. It is in part facilitated by the fact that recent history is often written by the victors.

MLK repeated the same fallacy: 'The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.' Is that the same arc that included two world wars?

[1]: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whig_history

overrun11(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Different people have different sets of principles by which they measure progress and sometimes those principles run in opposition to one another.

tomjen3(10000) 3 days ago [-]

I don't disagree with you in this case, but there are a lot of people who would say this is one such example.

typeofhuman(10000) 3 days ago [-]

A contrarian argument would say that protecting life - especially young life - is a more enlightened and moral direction.

francisofascii(10000) 3 days ago [-]

It is interesting to note that while American's attitudes on many social issues like gay marriage or racial injustice have moved in a progressive direction, American's attitudes on abortion haven't budged since the 1970s.

blindmute(10000) 3 days ago [-]

So true. Glad to see the regression has been reversed, a bit, today.

umvi(10000) 3 days ago [-]

This assumes there is a universally agreed upon definition of 'upward' and 'forward'. Religious people would argue things like abortion rights and pride celebrations are the opposite of upward and forward progress since they enable and encourage what they believe to be sin.

mythrwy(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Ya that's a really good point and I think about it often.

Look at Iraq, the cradle of civilization, the seat of Babylon. And Egypt. And even Greece to an extent. Former glories of the world but they aren't the most glorious places in the world now.

ipnon(10000) 3 days ago [-]

'The arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice.'

kzrdude(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Your comment is quite mild given that from the outside the last years it really looks like the US is sliding slowly towards autocracy. The tendencies are there. I've asked myself if it's not the case that the largest threat to peace and progress & good quality of life for the western world long term does not lie in the balance of how it goes in the US and what I can do about this - just to ensure the best for my life and those I care for.

karl11(10000) 3 days ago [-]

The thing about abortion that most people seem not to understand is that the debate is fundamentally about answering 'when does human life start?'. One side believes it starts at conception, which equates any abortion with murder. The other side believes it starts at some point after that, which makes abortion up to that point a women's health / rights issue. Irreconcilable, but also toxic when the two sides never talk about what they actually disagree on, but instead call each other murderers or anti-women's rights or whatever.

Splendor(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Nope. You completely misunderstand the pro-choice argument. You can believe life begins at conception and still believe it's wrong to force a woman to carry a fetus to term.

koonsolo(10000) 3 days ago [-]

For me it's not about when life begins, but more about how to prevent most of the suffering.

erikpukinskis(10000) 3 days ago [-]

> the debate is fundamentally about answering 'when does human life start?'

I disagree.

I think the more important question is, who should have the power of imprisoning people, on the basis of their interpretations of when life starts.

I don't think the criminal justice system is equipped to make that determination, and therefore I think all abortion should be blanket legalized.

The law needs plainly interoperable rules, and I don't see a rule that works other than "you are a person at birth".

AlexandrB(10000) 3 days ago [-]

I don't think this is the right question. The better question is one of bodily autonomy: whether someone should be compelled to keep another human being alive at the cost of their own health and safety. This avoids the whole 'when does life start' debate, which has been a moving goalpost for the history of abortion related law.

softcactus(10000) 3 days ago [-]

There is no answer of 'when life begins'. It's a game of semantics. Like Diogenes bringing a chicken to Plato, any set of traits you can give me to define life, I can find an exception that destroys your definition.

Therefore the question should be 'when is it ethical to terminate a fetus'. Pro-choice voters have different answers for this question. The problem is pro-life hardliners who refuse to play ball whatsoever. They believe life begins at conception with no basis other than religion.

analog31(10000) 3 days ago [-]

An interesting aside is that when sperm were discovered, it was hypothesized that each sperm carried a complete, miniature person, a 'homunculus.' The person became a fully formed human life when God attached a pre-existing Soul. The Soul contained those things which separated us from the animals, such as moral and reasoning capacity if male. It was God's intervention that marked the start of life.

'Every sperm is sacred.'

DesiLurker(10000) 3 days ago [-]

thats the thing, we dont even know what sentient life means. we arbitrarily define it as human and nothing else (hence we are okay with killing billions of animals for food yearly, not debating that just making a point). so if we are not sure when the life begins indeed we should be more considerate of other factors/right that we may be impacting like womens right to bodily autonomy or even just safety.

None of that matters to these zealots. taking a step back, if you look at it with your real world glasses (i.e.. not lawyer ones) you'll realize this is just a bunch of religious crowd trying to backdoor their religion into law. I mean realistically how much of self doubt and introspection Trump crowd you think has had about this issue? How many of them do you think would even be participating in these debates except to 'trigger the libs'?

bern4444(10000) 3 days ago [-]

The difference is, there is no universal answer, everyone has their own beliefs and answers. Making the right to an abortion an individual decision allows everyone to decide for themselves.

Banning that ability is the government deciding for you.

This is a loss of individuality for everyone regardless if you can or ever have an abortion.

This is how individual rights begin to erode.

cupofpython(10000) 3 days ago [-]

the supreme court did not ban abortion. It removed abortion as a legal right. It means people cannot use the power of the federal government to overrule their own state legislature on the topic of abortion.

If you understand how the US Government works, then you understand that the Supreme Court cannot establish ANYTHING by removing laws. (ie overturning previous decisions).

What the Supreme court did was allow for the POSSIBILITY of a fully Catholic US State to practice Catholic religion with respect to abortion. It ALSO allows a fully Jewish state to practice Jewish religion however they want with respect to abortion.

They actual problem caused by overturning Roe v Wade is that some states who's laws are already catholic will regain the power to stop abortions in their state. That's it. California, New York, etc, are absolutely and completely unaffected by this decision, for example.

bombcar(10000) 3 days ago [-]

> If you understand how the US Government works, then you understand that the Supreme Court cannot establish ANYTHING by removing laws. (ie overturning previous decisions).

This was actually part of the issue:

> After cataloging a wealth of other information having no bearing on the meaning of the Constitution, the opinion concluded with a numbered set of rules much like those that might be found in a statute enacted by a legislature.

For way too long the entire political argument in the US on way too many things has been punted to the Supremes to let the elected officials get out of any responsibility whatsoever.

timbit42(10000) 3 days ago [-]

So theocracies? Huge doubt there are any states where every citizen is of the same religion.

areoform(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Scientists have shirked their responsibility around abortion. The vacuum and silence around this topic helped push towards this day.

The 'viability' debate, or the re-branded 'when does this ball of cells become a person' debate, has been monopolized by philosophers and religious people. And as a result many women will die due to botched abortions https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gerri_Santoro or the inability to get one in the case of complications (which are fairly common) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_of_Savita_Halappanavar .

We can absolutely arrive, with a reasonable degree of certainty, when the ball of cells is capable of executing the processes we associate with consciousness. We can track the development of the neocortex, and monitor its activity to derive an answer to the consciousness question. We can do so via careful observation, and comparison with equivalent brain damaged patients, including those that we otherwise pull the plug on.

For what is the moral difference (from a consequentialist, utilitarian standpoint) between taking previously conscious humans with minimal brain function off of life support and an abortion of a non-sentient and non-conscious fetus? There is none, except for the fact that, in the case of a uterus, a human being is forced to act as life support.

Science can answer these questions. And do so with greater precision and accuracy over time. We can draw a map and arrive at a more enlightened conclusion. But the act of doing so, of so clearly putting a line down in the sand, makes most scientists uncomfortable. So they don't. And now many people will die because we created the vacuum that irrational belief filled.

We stopped engaging. They never stopped fighting.

dahfizz(10000) 3 days ago [-]

> For what is the moral difference (from a consequentialist, utilitarian standpoint) between taking previously conscious humans with minimal brain function off of life support and an abortion of a non-sentient and non-conscious fetus? There is non, except for the fact that in the latter, a human being is forced to act as life support.

There is one obvious difference: in one case, the person's consciousness has been irreversibly destroyed. In the other case, the person's consciousness is imminent.

From a utilitarian standpoint, the fetus has a considerable upside while the brain dead patient does not.

Utilitarianism is largely unconvincing anyway, IMO. A much more convincing pro-abortion argument is how the unwanted fetus infringes on the rights of the mother.

mike00632(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Women aren't just 'life support'; that is an inaccurate view as well.

When a fetus is growing it takes from the womans body. For example, a woman's bones are dissolved so they can be repurposed to to fetal skeleton. The woman is literally giving up her body. The fetus is the woman's body in a literal way. She is not a passive incubator to something like an egg that has all it needs.

onychomys(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Sure, blame the biologists instead of the religious goofballs who think that something becomes human at the instant of gametic fusion.

enragedcacti(10000) 3 days ago [-]

None of this matters because the majority (probably overwhelming majority) of pro-life people also don't believe settled science like evolution or that the earth is more than 6000 years old. If we can't reach consensus on those things, how is telling someone that believes a zygote has a human soul that its okay because it isn't conscious?

Keep in mind that the protections provided by Roe and PP v. Casey only extended to 24 weeks. If scientists gave an answer to the question anywhere past 24 weeks then I don't see how it would move the debate even the tiniest smidge.



luckystarr(10000) 3 days ago [-]

The mid 2030s and 2040s will be the years of crime. That's when all the unwanted kids will 'grow up' without affection.

missedthecue(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Is this line of thinking materially different from being pro-death penalty?

mythrwy(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Don't worry, we will have full pre-crime surveillance by then and you won't be able even think about farting without it being noted.

caracustard(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Bad generalization and prejudice right there. While whether someone is brought up in an environment that encourages care absolutely influences the choices people make down the road, whether the person in question was 'wanted' does not matter. I can't exactly back that up with some solid data but i think that many people know someone who is far from being an 'unwanted' person but still made some bad choices in life.

andrewclunn(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Looks at racial break-down of abortions. Rereads parent comment.

jimbob45(10000) 3 days ago [-]

The study you're speaking of (abortion lowering crime rates by preventing unwanted children from terrorizing the streets) remains unproven at best, despite oft being cited as settled research[0]

[0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legalized_abortion_and_crime_e...

shagmin(10000) 3 days ago [-]

For anyone interested, the book Freakonomics had a chapter devoted to studying this as a factor that lead crime to drop from its peak in the early 90s US, approximately 20 years after Roe v Wade.

Kind of a provocative study and you could make a similar case for leaded gasoline and other factors but nevertheless interesting.

lweber(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Move to Europe. If you work and/or live in the US your taxes are supporting this system.

laverya(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Most of the USA will still have more permissive abortion laws than Europe even after the removal of Roe v. Wade. [0] Most of the EU restricts abortion after 12 weeks - which is what the law at issue in this case does.

0: https://hwfo.substack.com/p/us-europe-abortion-law-compariso...

bambax(10000) 3 days ago [-]

If you're American your taxes are supporting this, wherever you go. For it to be different, you need to renounce citizenship.

fhkatari(10000) 3 days ago [-]

I work for a company, headquartered in the Mid West, that has been very public in their support of LGBTQ rights, among other things. Do you think corporations should take a public stance in support of abortion rights? Will tech companies continue to flock to Texas, in what will become a very difficult environment for abortion?

lp0_on_fire(10000) 3 days ago [-]

>Do you think corporations should take a public stance in support of abortion rights?

No. We already have enough corporate influence in the political sphere.

Hermitian909(10000) 3 days ago [-]

> Will tech companies continue to flock to Texas, in what will become a very difficult environment for abortion?

Recruiting for tech in Texas has already taken a hit due fear around abortion (getting employees to move down there can be quite difficult).

More broadly, I think this is likely to put a big damper on high-end knowledge work in conservative states. Educated people are overwhelmingly liberal. While you could certainly find a subset of knowledge workers who don't have an issue working in a state banning abortion, the difficulties with hiring and transfers probably won't pass a cost benefit analysis (again, we already see this in Texas).

bitcurious(10000) 3 days ago [-]

After reading a bit about Austin this morning (but before this news) I was browsing zillow + google maps, trying to get a feel for the city. Basically I'm tired of winter. It's a total non-starter now though.

major505(10000) 3 days ago [-]

They will if they have some kind of tax relief.

theandrewbailey(10000) 3 days ago [-]

> Do you think corporations should take a public stance in support of abortion rights?

Some companies have even gone so far as paying for abortions. That's disgusting. It reveals that The Man doesn't want women's productivity to go down and would rather work them to the bone instead. Out of the kitchen and into the office? That might be a bad deal.

lesstyzing(10000) 3 days ago [-]

While I am pro-legalised abortion I think this is a separate kind of issue to LGBT rights, racial equality etc. LGBT rights/racial equality is about treating everybody equally. Almost no 'good' people are opposed to those things. There are plenty of good people who literally believe abortion is the murder of a baby. I disagree but I don't agree that it's an unreasonable opinion. Given that, I think companies taking a stance on it would cause a lot more division than when they take a stance on more clear cut social issues.

deviantbit(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Everyone is acting like this banned abortion, which it didn't. It is up to the state you live in. If you don't like the state's laws, then move.

If you don't want to move, then when you get pregnant, go to a state where it is legal.

American's cannot be inconvenienced. These 1st world problems are terrible.

mywittyname(10000) 3 days ago [-]

> go to a state where it is legal.

Except there are laws that allow one state to prosecute abortions in another. And SCOTUS will absolutely uphold these laws. They've already upheld the right for private citizens to sue people that they believe have had one.

Miner49er(10000) 3 days ago [-]

That's the whole problem though, many Americans can't afford to move or even travel to another state for an abortion.

And there's nothing stopping states from criminalizing traveling out of state for an abortion.

beeboop(10000) 3 days ago [-]

A 2020 study showed that nearly 70% of Americans have less than $1,000 stashed away in their bank accounts. 40% have less than $300. How are these people supposed to afford to take time off work, drive to another state, have an invasive medical procedure performed, and then drive back home and potentially miss another day of work for recovery? If they have difficulty doing that, imagine how much more difficult it'd be to literally move to another state, lose all your friends and family connections, displace your kids from their school and friends, lose your support network, and have to find new employment? All for the sake of something that should be a protected right. Your perspective is really lacking compassion.

manuelabeledo(10000) 3 days ago [-]

This is a good occasion to remember that most people in the US thinks that abortion should be legal [0], thus this decision purely appeals the white evangelical minority.

[0] https://www.pewresearch.org/religion/fact-sheet/public-opini...

laverya(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Do you have stats on views of abortion by trimester? Here's [0] one from last year, which finds that 54% of people think third trimester abortions should be illegal in all cases - (EDIT: presumably) including health of the mother - and 65% think most or all abortions should be illegal in the second trimester.

0: https://apnews.com/article/only-on-ap-us-supreme-court-abort...

uptown(10000) 3 days ago [-]

'In a solo concurring opinion, Thomas says the court should reconsider rulings that protect contraception, same-sex relationships, and same-sex marriage.'


pastor_bob(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Holy sh*t. Lawrence v Texas? Literally banning gay sex on the mind of American Conservatives

echelon(10000) 3 days ago [-]

The Supreme Court positions to be elected positions.

None of this is the will of the people.

aftbit(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Note though that the majority opinion itself specifically calls out these cases several times as different from abortion because they do not result in the termination of a potential life. Here is one specific quote:

Unable to show concrete reliance on Roe and Casey them- selves, the Solicitor General suggests that overruling those decisions would "threaten the Court's precedents holding that the Due Process Clause protects other rights." Brief for United States 26 (citing Obergefell, 576 U. S. 644; Law- rence, 539 U. S. 558; Griswold, 381 U. S. 479). That is not correct for reasons we have already discussed. As even the Casey plurality recognized, "[a]bortion is a unique act" be- cause it terminates "life or potential life." 505 U. S., at 852; see also Roe, 410 U. S., at 159 (abortion is "inherently dif- ferent from marital intimacy," "marriage," or "procrea- tion"). And to ensure that our decision is not misunderstood or mischaracterized, we emphasize that our decision con- cerns the constitutional right to abortion and no other right. Nothing in this opinion should be understood to cast doubt on precedents that do not concern abortion


zeroonetwothree(10000) 3 days ago [-]

No one was surprised.

jquery(10000) 3 days ago [-]

These are next up on the chopping block and the same logic used to overturn Roe v Wade can be used to overturn those. Thomas is merely voicing that reality instead of playing coy like other reactionary justices.

giarc(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Rich given he is a black man married to a white women. Cherry picks cases for same-sex marriage but not cases allowing inter-racial marriage.

Vvector(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Thomas - '...in future cases, we should reconsider all of this Court's substantive due process precedents, including Griswold, Lawrence, and Obergefell. ... we have a duty to "correct the error" established in those precedents'

Griswold - contraceptives

Lawrence - same-sex sexual relations

Obergefell - same-sex marriage

voisin(10000) 3 days ago [-]

So doesn't this simply create two Americas, those with regressive laws and those with progressive laws, and people can choose between them and the market will show which laws attract people that create economic value?

I see half of the US becoming economically fallow as a result of this decline into dystopia.

matthewfelgate(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Sorry but the USA is mental.

Why have a unelected supreme court making political decisions?

remarkEon(10000) 3 days ago [-]

I'm assuming you're not from here. I know the Opinion is >200 pages, but it's pretty clear that SCOTUS is doing exactly what you want: abortion regulations are returned to the State legislatures, where the people's elected representatives get to make them - not the Court.

timbit42(10000) 3 days ago [-]

If it were elected it would be more political. Perhaps a better way would be to allow each party to prioritize a list of potential judges and appoint the one closest to the middle of each list.

rory(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Agreed, the legislative branch should push through a right to abortion matching the European standard (12-14wks). If our politicians were less cynical and self-serving, this would have already happened in redundancy to Roe.

dimator(10000) 3 days ago [-]

The real question is, what kind of draconian laws will they start hatching to make abortion tourism (flying to a state where it's legal, then coming back) illegal. How do you legislate that? Are people still free to go to another state if they want? Are they getting arrested as soon as they come back?

The next case they'll hear is about Mississippi v Some Nonprofit That Pays For Abortion Flights.

kgwxd(10000) 3 days ago [-]

My guess is they'll try to outlaw home pregnancy test and start requiring doctors to report any positives. Wouldn't be surprised if someone already tried to pass such a bill somewhere.

curiousllama(10000) 3 days ago [-]

This is a good point - it's how the Texas law was written.

And not just travel - self managed abortions are cheap, safe, and the most common of all abortions nowadays. They can just mail you the pills, and its literally safer than ibuprofen.

You're going to see a lot of cases about 'Can [provider, citizen, org] in [Legal_State, Legal Country] provide [medical care, advice, money, other_help] to [person, organization] in [Illegal_State]'

windows2020(10000) 3 days ago [-]

You don't legislate that. That's the point of states.

iancmceachern(10000) 3 days ago [-]

I'm curious to ask some pro xhoice folks, respectfully, how they reconsile the fact that they believe abortion is murder, and also at the same time are seemingly pro military, war, and pro militarization of thr police.

I'm genuinely curious how those two world views can coexist in the same mind.

So a soldier who kills in the name of their country, even in a conflict that we can all agree was at best morally debatable, like the first Iraq war, or Vietnam. How is that different than a person getting an abortion to avoid a known bad outcome?

sirbutters(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Because they are hypocrites (it's a fact, not a judgement). And it's interesting because hypocrites is one of the things that Jesus specifically calls out in the Gospel and seem to have much disdain for them. As a Catholic, I practice my faith with as much common sense as I can, to not judge, and forgive, as Jesus wanted us to.

As such, I am against the death penalty, against 'preemptive' wars (of course defending your territory being invaded is justified), against 2nd amendment, and support women's right for abortion. To me, this is common sense that aligns with Jesus' message.

I cannot picture the loving Christ looking at a 13 year old child pregnant because of rape/incest and go 'this new life is a miracle and it was my will'. I reject this notion of 'every conception was God's will and is sacred'.

dpbriggs(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Are they all like that?

It's easy to want to paint with a wide brush, especially in times of crisis. One of my teachers was pro-life and anti-war. There's no need for such a conundrum.

Otherwise, frankly, they probably haven't thought about it deeply or support the military for cultural or economic factors.

flaviojuvenal(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Plenty of discussion about that on contemporary philosophy. You should just search a bit: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Defense_of_Abortion

pastor_bob(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Heh, I know so many suburban Republicans who claimed this day would never come.

giarc(10000) 3 days ago [-]

I don't know... they voted for a person who spoke about this in their campaign. Hard to say it wasn't going to happen.

krnlpnc(10000) 3 days ago [-]

It's depressing to watch the USA continually fail to keep up with the progress of other first world countries. Often times even taking steps backwards like this.

There are so many actual issues deserving of this attention. In what universe is removing rights a priority?

ceilingcorner(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Most other first world nations have more restrictive laws on abortion. Yes, even Western Europe.

Mindless2112(10000) 3 days ago [-]

> Only seven of the 59 countries allow elective abortions after 20 weeks, the group found: Canada, China, Netherlands, North Korea, Singapore, the United States and Vietnam.


InTheArena(10000) 3 days ago [-]

You are aware that the US position was maximalist and far in excess of all but 4 European states?

Or that this doesn't actually make abortion illegal?

qalmakka(10000) 3 days ago [-]

This is the final chapter of a decade-long saga which basically boils down to the Republicans obtaining votes from Evangelicals and other Christian denominations in order to give them what they wanted. In exchange for that, they would use their power to cut taxes, regulations and let the riches become richer and richer at the expense of everyone else.

I hope that whomever supported this ruling is happy right now, and I'd like to remind them that, while Jesus Christ never gave to abortion the slightest mention, he was quite vocal about the fact that greed was not compatible with salvation. I'd like to see Evangelicals and other Christians being as vocal for social justice as they were for abortions and same sex marriage, but I guess they do care about putting woman back in the kitchen as indentured servants more than they do about social justice.

d23(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Christianity's true face has been shown. I've rarely seen it to have anything to do with the teachings of Christ.

tablespoon(10000) 3 days ago [-]

> I hope that whomever supported this ruling is happy right now, and I'd like to remind them that, while Jesus Christ never gave to abortion the slightest mention, he was quite vocal about the fact that greed was not compatible with salvation.

Maybe so, but apparently it's been condemned from the earliest times in Christianity: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Christian_thought_o....

I don't really know the Bible, but I'm guessing Jesus probably didn't spend a lot of time condemning literal murder either, so it's probably not safe to assume that means he thought preventing greed is more important than preventing murder.

mostertoaster(10000) 3 days ago [-]

In 2016, Republicans who went to church weekly were far less likely to vote for Trump, than those who rarely or never went.

That means the lower taxes and less regulations were likely desired for their own sake not as a trade off.

Christians crazily believe Christ was conceived by the Holy Spirit and was God incarnate within the womb. As crazy as that may be, it logically follows they would adamantly be against ending human lives before they're born.

jimt1234(10000) 3 days ago [-]

The fascinating thing about all this is the power of human manipulation. I grew up in a deeply religions area of the Midwest, the Bible Belt. Everyone was a hardcore Christian. However, as a youngster, I don't recall anyone talking about abortion. No mention of it. Back then churches would organize to help feed poor people and spread the word. That was it. Then, sometime around the mid-80s, everyone started talking about abortion. It seemed like that's all anyone talked about. And the tone changed, too. It went from, 'Let me show you the way' to 'You're going to rot in hell!'

dragonwriter(10000) 3 days ago [-]

> This is the final chapter

No, its not.

The use of state power to exterminate trans people is the next chapter, and its already well under way. More broadly, much of the next series of chapters is using selective application of "religious liberty" to establish unique and particular entitlement for favored Christian groups across the board, by dismissing the sincerity of other beliefs and/or judging the burdens imposed on them by a different subjective standard in applying the "substantial burden" test than is applied on favored Christian beliefs.

Viewed even more broadly, the focus is on dismantling substantive anti-discrimination protections for non-favored groups extending beyond religion by similar means (as is the case for the above trends, we've already seen some elements of this, such as the judicial dismantling of much of the Voting Rights Act; but that is just the beginning, there is much more to come.)

EDIT: Heck, this isn't even the end of this chapter, if one considers the way this is part of the integrated campaign against sexual and reproductive freedom and the right of privacy established in the line of cases running (through Roe) back to Griswold v. Connecticut, which are all under attack, and span issues beyond abortion to include contraception, same sex marriage, sodomy laws, etc.

ben7799(10000) 3 days ago [-]

I would be curious if this decision hurts the Republicans going forward.

Religious Americans essentially held their noses to vote for Republicans just to get this issue rammed in.

Now that they have gotten what they wanted, are they still going to vote for Republicans with the same transactional decision process? Or are they now going to say the Republicans can no longer offer them anything additional and now the problems with Republicans being immoral and unchristian become too large?

Once Christians have an abortion ban do they become focused on helping the poor and other issues which were pushed by Jesus and whose teachings more closely align with progressive agendas? Or are they hypocrites and will vote for the Republicans to give the Pharisees & Rich of the world more power?

GekkePrutser(10000) 3 days ago [-]

I think the system is broken if the personal affiliations of supreme court judges plays such a big part in the outcome of cases.

It should be about the law, not about politics. They're supposed to put that stuff aside when they take a legal office. Trias politica and all.

RHSeeger(10000) 3 days ago [-]

> Jesus Christ never gave to abortion the slightest mention

That is misrepresenting the argument. There's a lot of people that believe that abortion is the killing of a human being. And killing another human being is, most definitely, on the list of 'bad things' for every flavor of Christianity. For a lot of them, killing one human being (not in self defense) to save another is still on that list; because only God is allowed to end life.

You may not agree that an unborn child is a human life, but the people that are against abortion for actual Catholic religious reasons do believe it. And do believe it is against their religion, and against any reasonable set of morals.

pmoriarty(10000) 3 days ago [-]

'I guess they do care about putting woman back in the kitchen as indentured servants more than they do about social justice'

Just poor women. Rich women will still be able to travel out of state (and out of country, if need be) to get an abortion.

They'll also be able to hire a maid, cook, and nurse to do all their household chores for them.

It's the poor who will be most screwed, as usual.

voisin(10000) 3 days ago [-]

> I hope that whomever supported this ruling is happy right now, and I'd like to remind them that, while Jesus Christ never gave to abortion the slightest mention, he was quite vocal about the fact that greed was not compatible with salvation. I'd like to see Evangelicals and other Christians being as vocal for social justice as they were for abortions and same sex marriage, but I guess they do care more about putting woman back in the kitchen as indentured servants more than they do about social justice.

It isn't about religion. It's about power and control. We need to stop pretending it has anything to do with Jesus and everything to do with power over others. Nietzsche is more relevant here than Jesus.

AlexandrB(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Obligatory Tim Kreider comic on this point: https://i.redd.it/u9c8patjifb51.jpg

toyg(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Not disagreeing, but this comes from further back than a decade. It goes all the way at the very least to Gingrich, when Republicans locked on the religious vote by attacking the 'immoral conduct' of Bill Clinton. It worked so well that they've made it a structural element of their strategies. You can see the traces of this even in the political allegory of clintonism that is The West Wing - this episode was filmed in year 2000: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f3VHK1NXIBw

dfxm12(10000) 3 days ago [-]

I don't think it's right to place blame totally on evangelicals and other Christians. The Republican platform is reactionary top to bottom. This is further reflected in Republican politician's votes.

What I'm saying is, this happens even without fervent support from the religious right.

This also likely isn't the final chapter, as the opinion also gives thoughts to overturning rulings related to contraception and same sex marriage.

jawns(10000) 3 days ago [-]

> while Jesus Christ never gave to abortion the slightest mention

Did the U.S. Constitution give abortion the slightest mention?

No, the right to abortion was inferred from a right to privacy, which was inferred from several amendments that did not explicitly mention abortion or privacy. The Ninth Amendment does makes allowance for rights that aren't explicitly enumerated, but it doesn't really give any guidance on how to know what those are.

Similarly, many Christian denominations recognize that Jesus didn't need to explicitly mention every single moral issue for the Church to develop doctrine around them. Heck, even the doctrine of the Trinity, a core doctrine of mainstream Christianity, requires some level of inference from Scripture.

So if your argument is that Jesus needed to explicitly mention abortion for there to be any justifiable Christian doctrine about it, you're applying a different standard than the standard that was used to define a constitutional right to abortion in the first place.

SkyMarshal(10000) 3 days ago [-]

To be fair, we'll never know all the things Jesus said since it's not like he wrote an autobiography or anything. All records of him were selected and written by other people, who may or may not have been comprehensive.

1123581321(10000) 3 days ago [-]

My understanding is that abortion is a major social justice issue for Christians. So you would want to engage with them on their social justice priorities and strategies, finding overlap, and so forth. At least that's how I approach these dialogues regarding policies of lower levels of government.

gjsman-1000(10000) 3 days ago [-]

> while Jesus Christ never gave to abortion the slightest mention

In his defense, Jesus came to fulfill the old law and not abolish it, as directly stated by himself. The old law has the 5th commandment, 'Thou shalt not kill,' which in the times of Jesus was unanimously interpreted to cover abortion (Psalm 139 being one reason why) and Jesus, by not speaking against this interpretation (unlike other interpretations), left that view unchanged.

YPPH(10000) 3 days ago [-]

As an Australian, a few things about the SCOTUS absolutely shock me, aside from the obvious issue of politicisation.

I've only skimmed the judgment, but Roberts CJ convincingly points out that there was no need for the court to completely overturn Roe. It would suffice to jettison the viability standard. Going further was completely unnecessary to decide the case.

On the other hand, Thomas J took the occasion, without having heard complete argument on the respective issues, to opine that other substantive due process rights should be reconsidered. Including Griswold (no banning controceptives), Lawrence (no banning sodomy), and Obergefell (no banning gay marriage). This is simply astounding.

The second is the sheer hypocrisy of the members of the court who decry judicial activism while, in the next breath, engaging in the same.

I wish you luck for the future, Americans.

throw_m239339(10000) 3 days ago [-]

In my opinion, It's up to the federal government to make federal laws, not the supreme court. Democrats had _plenty_ of time to put the right for abortion into a law and pass it. Now, they have a platform on which to run for the next election, convenient...

Politicians delegate too many decisions to the SCOTUS because they don't want to govern, well the SCOTUS isn't supposed to govern in their place.

If nothing can get done at Washington, then the problem is at Washington itself, not the supreme court.

zeroonetwothree(10000) 3 days ago [-]

"Judicial activism" refers to striking down state laws. In this case they upheld a law.

ascagnel_(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Roe stood for years because the decision directly tied it to the right to privacy (via the 9th and 14th amendments), because that right 'is broad enough to encompass a woman's decision whether to terminate her pregnancy'. The Supreme Court reverses itself in this Dobbs decision; skimming the final decision, it attempts to tear down the original justification, but I'm not seeing an argument beyond 'we think they were wrong', which is a pretty awful rationale for the Supreme Court.

katabasis(10000) 3 days ago [-]

If Republicans take back congress and the presidency in the next election cycles, a national abortion ban becomes a serious possibility. This is not just a 'red states' issue.


wilsonnb3(10000) 3 days ago [-]

A federal abortion ban (or legalization) may be unconstitutional.

Depends on how effectively they can link it to interstate commerce or one of the other powers given to the federal government in the constitution.

Also depends on how the current supreme court feels about the commerce clause. I am not sure if they have ruled on anything involving that recently.

zeroonetwothree(10000) 3 days ago [-]

They would have to get rid of the filibuster, which seems unlikely.

bshoemaker(10000) 3 days ago [-]

I have grown to hate edgy comments that are like 'Well actually now it is just a state's issue and Roe v Wade was poorly decided!'.

You're not edgy & insightful. The impact of this decision isn't just pushing pieces around a chess board. It's scared women & girls around the country, it's women dying who wouldn't have otherwise.

ThrowawayTestr(10000) 3 days ago [-]

There was 40 years for abortion to be codified in law. Blame the legislators, not the court.

dpbriggs(10000) 3 days ago [-]

How exactly is discussing how this came to be some edgy and hateful thing? People want to understand and discuss the current crisis.

If you want to discuss the human impact make that comment, or frankly, you're visiting the wrong sort of forum.

krnlpnc(10000) 3 days ago [-]

'My body my choice' a favorite phrase of conservative anti-vaxxers and anti-maskers.

How hypocritical that this belief doesn't apply to someone else's right to choose.

npteljes(10000) 3 days ago [-]

It becomes less hypocritical if you consider that they think that the fetus is another's body. It then becomes an issue of deciding upon someone else's life - which would be murder of course.

One thing I think they don't get, or care about, is the personal and societal consequences of having to keep unwanted pregnancies - mainly how much it makes life more difficult for everyone involved. And that with the difficulty, it comes degraded social relationships, unhappiness, substance abuse and crime.

Another thing I think they miss is that lots of people will have abortions regardless. Affluent people will have the safe abortions, and the less fortunate will have risky, potentially life-threatening, horrible abortions. Where there's a will, there's a way, so again, crime increases, and the desperate women's health will be in danger, becase the procedure has to go unchecked.

Jason_Protell(10000) 3 days ago [-]

For those who say this is the logically correct decision, how exactly did you conclude that?


USA Constitution

14th Amendment

Section 1

...no State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws...


The constitution clearly says that states cannot enforce laws that deprive citizens of their lives and liberties.

Now, states have renewed authority to deprive at-risk women their right to life-saving medical procedures. Please explain to me how this doesn't violate 14A.

andonisus(10000) 3 days ago [-]

You do not have a right to life saving medical procedures. You do not have a right to an abortion. There is no law or constitutional amendment that grants this. This is the flaw in your reasoning.

That being said, I believe women SHOULD have a right to get an abortion enshrined in law. It is up to our re-elected representatives to achieve this, not for the courts to invent rights thereof.

InTheArena(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Roe v Wade didn't argue that. You can argue that independently if you wish - but it was not a justification for it.

Also, people who oppose Abortion believe that this is the government _taking away_ a life. Which would also be at odds with the constitution.

SkyPuncher(10000) 3 days ago [-]

I'm not taking a stance for or against your argument. I'm simply point out a logical gap that doesn't make this as simple as your suggesting.

The root of the issue is not the rights provided by the 14th amendment, but when, exactly, those rights apply during the process of conception, gestation, and birth. This is further complicated by the fact that scientific advances enable situations that our founders could have never predicted.

I see two facts that are very clear:

* A person cannot exist without conception.

* At some point during pregnancy, a baby can survive as an independent living human. The youngest living baby was born on day 132 of pregnancy.

Unfortunately, that leaves a massive grey area and your opinion on those is likely highly personal - including religion and living situation.

Ekaros(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Now, which is more important life or liberty and property of owner of the host body in pregnancy. And if life is is more important should we force organ transplants? After all at least there is lot of spare kidneys around... Maybe half a lung is also workable.

batmansmom1(10000) 3 days ago [-]

If you believe that life begins at conception you could say that abortion deprives that 'unborn person' of their right to life, as long as carrying the fetus to term would not put the life of the mother at risk.

2OEH8eoCRo0(10000) 3 days ago [-]

I'm pro-choice but I still believe that this is the right move.

> "My criticism of Roe is that it seemed to have stopped the momentum on the side of change," Ginsburg said. She would've preferred that abortion rights be secured more gradually, in a process that included state legislatures and the courts, she added. Ginsburg also was troubled that the focus on Roe was on a right to privacy, rather than women's rights.


lghh(10000) 3 days ago [-]

So you believe that doing the wrong thing for the right reason is better than doing the right thing for the wrong reason? That intent matters more than outcome? And that laws being structured in a way you specifically find compelling matters more than the morality of a law?

standardUser(10000) 3 days ago [-]

You believe it is right on a technicality, but don't care to factor in the women who are guaranteed an early, unnecessary death because of this ruling?

mgfist(10000) 3 days ago [-]

And my criticism on RBG is she should've stepped down when Obama was in office instead of dying and giving Trump an appointee.

roflyear(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Ginsburg was an idealist.

gsibble(10000) 3 days ago [-]

I'm pro-choice as well and think this was the right decision. Roe created a Constitutional right that didn't exist. All this does today is correct that mistake.

As a big believer in states' rights, I'm glad to see more rights returned to their voters and legislatures. As was frequently told to me, 'If you don't like it, you can move to another state.' And I did.

Furthermore, this decision gets rid of the viability precedent so more extreme liberals states are now free to pass all the 3rd tri-mester up-until-the-moment-of-birth abortion laws they want, free of any potential legal challenges.

This gives states and their voters, the citizens, the people the right to choose. And I'm all for that.

dryanau(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Could you explain this a bit more please? (I'm not from the US so I'm possibly missing something but your comment is surprising at a broad strokes level)

Edit: I see you've edited your post already with a quote which is helpful.

mvts(10000) 3 days ago [-]

do you think the supreme court did this because they share the same opinion as rbg? I think this Case was maybe a wonky solution for the Problem but it was the only one you Americans Had.

AlexandrB(10000) 3 days ago [-]

The problem is that even if abortion rights are re-established on stronger footing in the future, a whole lot of people are going to get hurt in the meantime.

smm11(10000) 3 days ago [-]

I'm just glad it's down to the states to decide what's right for their state.


Spivak(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Really good point, but why stop there? Why not individual counties, or individual townships, or individual neighborhoods, or gasp individual people?

kryogen1c(10000) 3 days ago [-]

What a disappointing showing from HN. 120 comments and so little substantive discussion or truth-searching. Everyone rushing to share their feelings and no one trying listen.

I have thoughts I'd like to discuss, but apparently this isn't the place to do it.

rvz(10000) 3 days ago [-]

> Everyone rushing to share their feelings and no one trying listen.

There you go.

It is also quite clear that the Supreme Court of the United States doesn't care about their feelings. All you get here is reactionary takes, outrage, screeching and a mixture of trillions of emotions on display.

ceilingcorner(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Yes frankly this website is not capable of entertaining certain contrarian ideas. Which of course are only contrarian in the narrow societal bubbles they occupy.

I blame the downvote mechanism for rewarding echo chambers and punishing outlier opinions.


fullshark(10000) 3 days ago [-]

The only place you might see substantial discussion is a message board for legal scholars/students. The next week minimum online in almost all americancentric forums is going to be about primal screaming from one side, and arrogant gloating from the other.

criddell(10000) 3 days ago [-]

> The sad part of democracy is that it aims to represent the views of the voting majority.

That's warped by the fact that rural votes count more than urban votes thanks to the electoral college.

dang(10000) 3 days ago [-]

We detached this subthread from https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=31864204.

troyvit(10000) 3 days ago [-]

And the Senate. But another question I don't see answered much is, why are rural blocs so different in their moral stance from urban ones, and what can we learn from it?

InTheArena(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Separate abortion from Roe v. Wade. The big challenge has been that Roe v. Wade was horribly decided. Even RBG thought so. Roe v wade gave the Supreme Court the right to make law without reference to any text in the constitution. Casey tried to change the justification but it still was a disaster. Sadly it is far from the only time the Supreme Court has made things up out of whole cloth that has had massive societal implications - see separate but equal, Dredd Scott, etc, bush v gore. Citizens United.

Getting rid of roe v wade kicks the issues to legislatures.

I may be the only hopeful one - but removing this from unelected, lifetime judges who seem to forget that a democracy is no place for kings and queens may ultimately result in abortion returning to the path it was on before roe v wade - a non-controversial issue decided by elected officials.

lanstin(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Pence just asked for federal legislation banning all abortions. So I think you are wrong to say the Republicans are trying to return it to the states, thy are trying to ban it.

Note that a man is not required to donate blood to save an adult human, even if there is no risk to him. The equal protection clause extends that right to your own body to women, and that is fairly sound constitutional reasoning.

The constitution doesn't mention a million specific things, but it protects our freedoms anyways.

A democracy is a place to gradually expand equal protection of the laws to all people. Each change seems radical to the people accustomed to undemocractic flaws, but the outcome has been very successful these last few hundred years.

noelsusman(10000) 3 days ago [-]

RBG had her criticisms of Roe, but a quick reading of her critiques would clearly show she would be with the dissent today, not the majority.

Reproductive rights are essential to women's liberty and equality, which is guaranteed by the 14th Amendment. The unborn child has a competing right to life that is also guaranteed by the 14th Amendment. Roe/Casey balanced these competing interests well, and today's decision blows that up and eliminates any notion of reproductive rights for women.

Rights are not supposed to be subject to the whims of political majorities.

cryptonector(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Yes. In fact, this ruling might well lead to an end of Republican majorities in red States, and to multi-decadal Democrat rule. Certainly that is likely if: a) public opinion is strongly in favor of some legal abortion, and b) Republicans ignore that and move to ban all abortions.

In 1992 Republicans ran on abortion and lost badly. In 1994 they ran on everything-but-abortion and won big. So there is precedent for them to lose badly if they overplay their hand now.

bmitc(10000) 3 days ago [-]

> Getting rid of roe v wade kicks the issues to legislatures.

The problem with this sentiment is that the issue was kicked to the legislatures decades ago. Congress has had decades to take care of this, and they haven't. So now all of the sudden it's a whole 'but the Supreme Court overstepped'. Well yea, because Congress refused and still refuses to do their damn job. It's easy: pass a law that gives people their appropriate rights and move on.

pclmulqdq(10000) 3 days ago [-]

From 2008-2010, the Democratic party had the chance to enshrine abortion into the law of the land. They even had a perfect vehicle, the ACA, in which to do it, since it already dealt with healthcare rules. They declined.

vitruvian_man(10000) 3 days ago [-]

While I'm a strong supporter of abortion rights, I agree with this logic.

If anything, this will force conservatives to solidify and clarify their views on abortion which will allow voters to decide where they land on the spectrum of abortion rights. Whereas before, conservatives just deferred to 'abortion bad. look at supreme court decision'.

Also, is it not the case that most Americans support some abortion rights? Thus, this could force conservatives to move center on the abortion spectrum in order to appease their constituents.

thathndude(10000) 3 days ago [-]

This is a good point. In some ways, Roe v Wade gives pro-life movement an easy layup. It's poorly decided law with no solid foundation in the Constitution. Nine white men jumped into a raging battle, and killed any debate through the Democratic process. And they did this during a time when the democratic process was trending in favor of abortion rights. Don't take my word for it. This was Justice Ginsburg's take on it too.

The smart move for the pro-choice movement, would be to get some state constitutional amendments on the books.

juve1996(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Roe V. Wade has decades of precedent. Even if the ruling was 'horribly decided,' this is not a good look for the legitimacy of the court.

Especially at a time when the country is more polarized than ever. This is just horribly timed and will further split this country apart. This will be our century's dredd scott - the court 'thought' this would settle the issue. But it won't:

'Although Taney and several other justices hoped the decision would permanently settle the slavery controversy, which was increasingly dividing the American public, the decision's effect was the opposite.'

thriftwy(10000) 3 days ago [-]

(edited) It's not like you had any more urgent issues than this?

That move greatly reinforces Galkovsky's position that USA is now a Latin American country not unlike Brazil; and indeed, Latin American countries also deeply care about this (non)issue and have abortion laws inappropriate to their general level of economical and human development.

The problem being, at least Brazil recognizes that it is Brazil and knows how to run Brazil.

rg111(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Religious issues are how you get votes. And that is how you can be in power to help your crony capitalist friends.

lom888(10000) 3 days ago [-]

I wish we saw more comparison between the US and Latin America in online discourse. There is an excess of references and analogies made to the emotionally salient topics of the US Civil War, the Civil rights period and Europe from 1918 to 1945 when discussing the current American situation and a dearth of comparison to Latin America. The frequent comparison of Trump to a dictator instead of to a populist president in the Latin American mold is an example.

qalmakka(10000) 3 days ago [-]

It's a simple vote exchange, you know. People got triggered badly by Roe and 'liberal' rulings that actually enshrined the right of women to have a sexual life and control their own life, so they made a pact with the Republicans to overturn it. In exchange for that, the Republicans had a free hand to cut taxes to rich people and ensure that poor people stayed poor.

insickness(10000) 3 days ago [-]

It's a shame the abortion debate is overtaken by radicals on both sides when the majority of Americans would prefer laws similar to most European nations: legal abortion within the first trimester.

ausbah(10000) 3 days ago [-]

its not really 'both sides' when only one side is having a say in how the ruling is handed down

joshstrange(10000) 3 days ago [-]

> radicals on both sides

Spare me...

> legal abortion within the first trimester

And one party is pushing to make it 6 weeks (or less) or no abortions at all. Tell me more about 'both sides'.

londgine(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Regardless of my opinion on whether states should be able to restrict abortions, I really didn't like Roe vs. Wade. This should be a law that congress votes for/against and be held responsible for by their voters.

I wonder how such a legal framework would work if the court could go to their respective law makers and say that the law is unclear in this case and require them to vote on it. Then, rather than Roe vs. Wade being passed in the first place, the supreme court would order congress to vote for/against a new law forbidding states from being able to restrict abortions.

generj(10000) 3 days ago [-]

I like this proposed mechanism.

Unfortunately it would require a constitutional amendment and so is unlikely to happen. But the benefits are obvious: No mucking around trying to interpret legislative intent, just get new legislative intent! If the executive steps into grey areas of the law, force Congress to clarify things.

I do worry it would solidify the judiciary as a proto -legislature arguing the law back and forth with Congress. I'd also worry about other unforeseen consequences which would somehow cause worse problems then are existing system.

NonNefarious(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Gee, no shit. It dominates the mainstream news. Why post it on a tech-news site?

NonNefarious(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Yes, mod facts down, Redditors.

mikewarot(10000) 3 days ago [-]

I almost lost my wife due to the Catholic Hospital's policy against D&C procedures. Had the OBGYN not put his career on the line, and over-riding the prohibition on the procedure, she would have died. Now that same hurdle can become risking prison.

A few years later, we were blessed with a child who is doing well. I would have neither if not for Roe v. Wade.

This isn't about abortion, it's about denying healthcare!

seydor(10000) 3 days ago [-]

i m very happy for you but this is about abortion, a right that every civilized person should enjoy. i m not even american but this is bad

kokanator(10000) 3 days ago [-]

It is important to note the position was that of the Hospital and not a legal position. All laws in place or being contemplated allow for abortive procedures in medical emergencies such as when the mothers life is in danger.

For instance, the Mississippi law which was the impetus of the recent SCOTUS ruling has the following language:

"[e]xcept in a medical emergency or in the case of a severe fetal abnormality, a person shall not intentionally or knowingly perform . . . or induce an abortion'

There are issues with the ICD10 codes related to D&C procedures as they reference or include the word 'abortion'. This should be resolved by the AMA.

major505(10000) 3 days ago [-]

I`m not american, but lets be honest. Is not a constitution right because is not in the constitution. States can now do their onw diligence about the subject. So it`s not the end of the word for pro-choise people.

showerst(10000) 3 days ago [-]

The problem is that it just exacerbates an already major problem in America: access to healthcare is based on where you live and how wealthy your parents are.

Wealthy republicans can just fly their teenage daughters to a blue state, while poor people will inevitably end up getting back-alley abortions.

curiousllama(10000) 3 days ago [-]

>Is not a constitution right because is not in the constitution.

'The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.' - 9th Amendment, in its entirety.

In other words: there is an entire Amendment specifically dedicated to refuting this argument. People have rights, even if they're not specifically written in the Constitution.

foodforthots(10000) 3 days ago [-]

This is an accurate viewpoint. The overwhelming majority of states permit abortion and are not going to backtrack. The federal government has not banned abortion, and their legal ability to do so would be Constitutionally sketchy at best. There is a clear democratic path to settling the abortion issue in the states.

The news here isn't a Supreme Court overriding voters, but devolving the decision of abortion rights to voters in the states and their elected representatives.

AlexandrB(10000) 3 days ago [-]

See you in ~2.5 years when the Republican president signs a federal abortion ban.

invokestatic(10000) 3 days ago [-]

It's actually written in the Constitution that we as Americans enjoy many rights that aren't explicitly written in the text. It's in the 9th amendment and 14th amendment due process clause.

The 14th, to me, encompasses everything that it means to be American: self-autonomy. The right to marry outside our race, the right to choose our sexual partner, the right to birth control are established in the due process clause.

2OEH8eoCRo0(10000) 3 days ago [-]

It's not the end of pro-choice nor is it the right-wing victory that people think it is.

bigmattystyles(10000) 3 days ago [-]

I'm surprised there's been no call for a general strike. I think we would have seen one had Trump successfully illegally seized power and when the draft opinion leaked I was expecting rumblings of the idea of a general strike to start.

ncallaway(10000) 3 days ago [-]

I would thoroughly support a general strike.

I would both participate, and donate to strike support funds.

michaelsbradley(10000) 3 days ago [-]

On the feast day of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in the Year of Our Lord 2022, a small but important victory in defense of the sanctity of human life and the dignity of every human person.

Much of the good fight remains to be fought!

Let us work diligently to greatly support and treasure – as individuals, local communities, and nations – every woman carrying an unborn child, and continue supporting them and their families as they raise those children to join us as mature brothers and sisters in human society.

shamiln(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Then surely you support universal healthcare and right for that pregnancy to be terminated by cause if it harms another's life.

mmaunder(10000) 3 days ago [-]

I strongly recommend reading Ruth Bader Ginsberg's thoughts on Roe v Wade in 1992 - expressed about a year before she became a Supreme Court justice.

She describes Roe as a "breathtaking" decision and as interrupting a process already underway. Her discussion starts on page 1198 in this PDF which is a rewarding read if you have the time.

I'm not advocating either way - I merely hope to present Justice Ginsbergs eloquent views (in 1992) on the matter for further discussion here.


incomplete(10000) 3 days ago [-]

yeah, thanks for the link and i recall (from years ago) reading about her thoughts on the subject. roe v wade was a sweeping judgement that (depending on how you looked at it) guaranteed women's rights at the expense of state autonomy WRT laws.

because of the states' rights issue, plus moral 'conservatism', roe V wade was an easy target and i'm not surprised it was reversed.

fwiw, i'm a lefty and think that this is a terrible decision w/consequences that won't take long to be felt around the country

permo-w(10000) 3 days ago [-]

this may come across as emotional, and I suspect it is, so feel free to downvote me. but that person, dead or alive, is completely non-grata to me. she is a big part to blame for allowing the court to become so heavily conservative. if she had stood down in Obama's early years, when she was asked to, it would be a 5-4 split, and a good chance that they wouldn't have had the balls to follow through with this

unsui(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Reading the various discussions on HN, it is obvious that HN skews male.

The vast majority of threads are either regarding the interpretation of legal frameworks and their implications, or asserting a-priori values on start of life and following the rational implications thereof.

No-where do I see any discussions, or even caring about, how this affects women directly: the ability to govern their own bodies, their reproductive (and civil) rights. Or just the fact that they are de-jure 2nd-class citizens.

AlimJaffer(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Well said. Too much of the debate on here is around logical fallacies rather than the direct impact this will have on women - particularly those who are poor and unable to travel for safe abortions in other states.

Banning abortion only makes access to safe abortions harder - if the right wing want to reduce abortions, making contraceptives freely available has been proven to dramatically reduce the abortion rate as evidenced in Colorado[1].

[1] - https://www.yesmagazine.org/social-justice/2019/06/05/aborti...

pyronik19(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Shouldn't the legal analysis of a legal opinion be the norm? Facts don't care about your feelings.

eric_cc(10000) 3 days ago [-]

I think it's totally fair to respond to this in multiple ways. Legal and economic repercussions are important discussions. So is the practical impact to women. There is no reason to belittle people for considering various aspects of this ruling.

lr4444lr(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Maybe because it's just unanswerable? We're not talking about the right to pierce their ears or vote. We're talking about the termination of a living organism. I am pro-choice, but an intelligent mostly pro-life friend of mine tasked me to ask the most ardent activists on their side to answer, 'when does human life begin?' It's a simple question to state, and yet many on the pro choice side absolutely refuse to grapple with it. It's become a great shibboleth question to find who is beyond reasoned debate on this issue. Yes, we are male. Yes, we acknowledge their is a thorny rights issue. There's also the question of rights of the organism being aborted. And the science of what a 'viable' fetus is has progressed greatly since the 1970s. This is an uncomfortable conversation to have, but no one has a right of gender to say it can't be had.

DoreenMichele(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Yes, HN skews male.

I'm a woman and extremely poor. I've been a member for nearly thirteen years.

It's possible but challenging to present a female point of view here. Reproductive issues and what I generally think of as human sexual morality are always hard to talk about anywhere.

I think for a lot of women, this is a very threatening turn of events. That's going to make it challenging to discuss it in the rational style required by HN guidelines even before accounting for the gender ratio here.

I'm quite fond of HN and have come to see a lot of the practices here as not male per se but as best practices for public discourse and I have come to believe that women tend to be raised to engage in a fashion more appropriate for private discourse.

So I think there's a somewhat steep learning curve involved for most women that gets conflated with sexism and complicates attempts by women to give voice to a female point of view here.

If you can express yourself in accordance with best practices for public discourse, you can be heard here. Trying to figure out how to do that while not spazzing about sexism ...well, it's challenging and I think most women lack sufficient reason to keep at it, so they tend not to.

coward123(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Consider this a bit of code switching. Many of us absolutely are concerned about what this means for women, but we also know that this forum skews male and a particular kind of male. So we are making the argument here that resonates with this forum.

You are right though that more people overall - even those who skew conservative and pro-individual rights, should realize that if you take away rights from women, and then homosexuals, and then people who want to be married to someone of a different race... where does it end in terms of stripping away individual rights? I'd argue that if you view women's health care as a matter of individual freedom and rights, then is that not the same argument being made in interpreting the 2nd amendment as not about militias (IE: a standing army) but the rights of the individual? If I can tell women they can't have a set of health care services, what's stopping the government from telling men that they can't have a different set of health care services?

armitron(10000) 3 days ago [-]

> the ability to govern their own bodies

I see this frequently repeated, but it's clearly sophistry, similar to the language trick in a comment below where 'It's not a baby, it's a fetus' is used to subvert reality.

Women can very well govern their own bodies, but a 6 month old baby is definitely not 'their own body' and one can very well understand why large portions of society would want to see it protected against abuse.

swayvil(10000) 3 days ago [-]

HN is full of coders. It's for coders, run by coders. Coders are 99% male.

belorn(10000) 3 days ago [-]

This would then be an excellent time to introduce universal human rights. Reproduction should only occur through consent, and no one should be forced to be a parent against their will. Any action done to our own bodies or action people ask that we perform with our bodies should require continuously consent. Any negative outcome to society of people not providing consent should be address by the government in the form of social support.

It is also about time that we abolish all laws that makes distinctions based on gender and sex. That way there won't be any 2nd-class citizens encoded in law that is based on gender.

human_person(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Not only that but once half of the population has lost bodily autonomy why would anyone believe that their rights are safe?

Today a woman can be compelled to use an organ in her body to keep another person alive.

What's to stop the court from ruling that if you have 2 kidneys you can be compelled to donate one to keep someone else alive?

What happens when a deadbeat dad is the only match for a child with organ failure? Why shouldn't they be compelled to give up an organ to keep their offspring alive?

Libertarians should be in the streets protesting the loss of bodily autonomy. And all of us should be afraid.

f38zf5vdt(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Voted up. Reading comments here I feel like I'm watching Robert McNamara describe the hundreds of thousands of casualties that were required to win the second world war as if they were just figures on paper. Lives are going to be destroyed by this and women will be going to prison for what many civilized countries consider a fundamental right.

xwdv(10000) 3 days ago [-]

HN is about technical, objective things and those other points you mentioned are mostly emotional subjective topics. It would be strange to see them discussed here at any significant length.

AlexTWithBeard(10000) 3 days ago [-]

I often hear about 'my body - my choice'.

But after spending nine months in woman's body the child becomes the part of her life for twenty next years. Should it rather be 'my life - my choice'?

spacemadness(10000) 3 days ago [-]

It skews male and generally consists of a very well paid group of people that have never had to struggle economically. This is the wrong place to find lots of empathy toward disempowered groups of people.

endisneigh(10000) 3 days ago [-]

I'm curious (since you mention things skewing male), do you believe that a man who gets a woman pregnant should have to support the child? Why or why not?

As for the reproductive rights, as long as contraception is legal (and who knows what will happen next) isn't the choice at conception? Contraceptives should be untaxed and widely available.

People talk about Roe v Wade as if women spontaneously get pregnant against their will and are forced to care for the baby.

That being said women who are raped should be able to get an abortion imo

screye(10000) 3 days ago [-]

I'll be the begrudging devils advocate for a decision that is sure to have devastating consequences for poor women in red states.

It is good for unelected bodies like the Supreme Court to allow such dividing issues be figured out democratically. The US house has bled power to the other 3 institutions and of them, the judiciary is the least democratic. Ofc, my support for this change assumes that this Supreme Court will show restraint towards political activism (in either direction) in general. Call it naive, but I'll wait and see.

States rights has always been a double edged sword. You can't have your cake and eat it too. The same state rights that allow gun control and homosexuality to be locally legalized before national concensus; also now lead to abortion legislation being a state issue.

The sad part of democracy is that it aims to represent the views of the voting majority. If the voting majority truly cares about access to abortion then we will hopefully see enough democratic traction to give them the mandate needed. Now, the rural republican votes counting for more in the senate is a huge issue and threat to democracy that the US needs to figure out if it ever wants to represent the views of the people. But, the Supreme Court should not be responsible for managing dysfunction in other branches of govt.

My personal opinion is that polarization has pushed both sides to be completely antagonistic towards each other. 'Own the libs, fuck the deplorables', no compromise. The jaded side of me says: vote in more moderates that are willing to strike compromises. Crazed jesus Republicans and hyperprogressive activists are terrible people to put into national office. They gain power by antagonizing and being unhelpful roadblocks for change, all while asking for the most stubbornly impossible outcomes.

In the long run, history will have a dim view of this era of global polarization with all political sides to blame.

osigurdson(10000) 3 days ago [-]

I see the courts as more of a low pass filter for a democracy. If you elect right or left wing governments for a sufficient number of terms, you will end up with a left or right leaning court.

evrydayhustling(10000) 3 days ago [-]

> But, the Supreme Court should not be responsible for managing dysfunction in other branches of govt.

This is the only statement in your take that I disagree with. In the checks and balances system, the supreme court is exactly supposed to protect the balance between federal, state, and individual rights.

One consistent court might have protected gun rights and abortion rights this week. Another might have permitted restrictions on both. Instead we got gun rights and body control. The apolitical ship has sailed.

cortesoft(10000) 3 days ago [-]

So much of our constitution is designed to protect us from the abuse of the majority. The idea that the majority should be able to dictate everything is NOT what democracy means. Mob rule is scary, and the framers knew that a government that is solely dictated by the will of the majority is ripe for abuse of the minority. So we have all sorts of restrictions on what the majority is allowed to do.

I feel like people have this view today that whatever the majority says is how things should be. That is not justice.

dragonwriter(10000) 3 days ago [-]

> States rights has always been a double edged sword

No, "states rights", in the US, has only ever been invoked for state-sanctioned repression. There is no other edge.

(Both sides of the tighter/looser federalism argument can be viewed as double-edged, but "states rights" has a very particular history.)

rvz(10000) 3 days ago [-]

It looks like either we will have a January 6th like raid on the SCOTUS or a total collapse of the United States at this point and end up with a civil war with a second republic.

Hopefully that won't possibly happen. But we'll see in 2024.

andrewclunn(10000) 3 days ago [-]

And the top comment goes to... a progressive pretending he can represent 'the other side' while constantly taking side shots at them and stating that and why he doesn't agree with them... all with empty rhetorical gestures towards 'moderates' and 'compromise.' Yep that sounds like hacker news to me: as little information and as much inoffensive pandering as possible.

jackmott42(10000) 3 days ago [-]

I miss the crazed jesus Republicans. There is no Jesus anymore.

ineedasername(10000) 3 days ago [-]

>The same state rights that allow gun control and homosexuality to be locally legalized before national concensus; also now lead to abortion legislation being a state issue.

There is some irony to this statement as the Supreme Court just the other day released a ruling that denied a state this ability with regards to gun control laws.

Salgat(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Gerrymandering, the electoral college, and the senate ensures that it isn't a majority whose views are represented, but rather the distribution of voters in states/districts (disproportionate voting power) that influences who becomes our representatives. This is compounded with how flawed First past the post voting is.

systemvoltage(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Yes. I couldn't imagine if a party had all 3 branches in control. So leaving more rights to states and not forcing them on the entire nation is going to be better.

You can vote in your state for reps that support your cause. Don't like it? Move elsewhere.

People are doing exactly the same. Florida being one of the top states with influx of people from other states, specifically California.

glogla(10000) 3 days ago [-]

> I'll be the begrudging devils advocate

I'm reading this comment, and many others, and I am in awe, just how utterly heartless and soulless people are on Hacker News.

focusedone(10000) 3 days ago [-]

I don't even know if you and I agree on political issues, but I'd vote for you.

vkou(10000) 3 days ago [-]

This ruling will also let us democratically figure out whether sodomites should be jailed, whether interracial marriage should be banned, and whether contraception is legal. All of the prior court rulings on these topics stem from the principles that were overturned in this one.

And then, two years later, after we democratically figure those questions out, we can flip-flop on them, because we voted in a new legislature.

btilly(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Your argument is an excellent argument against the Supreme Court having originally decided Roe v. Wade the way that they did. It is not an argument for overturning it now.

Our country is based on rule of law. And a lot of that body of law is established by a body of past precedent. These precedents extend back nearly 1000 years, and are part of a web of what is called Common Law. The Supreme Court's unique authority and main job is continuing to add to and clarify that precedent.

What the Supreme Court is doing now is overturning long-established precedent. Originalism can be used to overturn virtually any past precedent you don't like. It is hard to overstate how much. Let me quote one of the current supreme court justices on the topic (see https://scholarship.law.upenn.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi for the full context):

Adherence to originalism arguably requires, for example, the dismantling of the administrative state, the invalidation of paper money, and the reversal of Brown v. Board of Education. Originalists have been pressed to either acknowledge that their theory could generate major disruption or identify a principled exception to their insistence that judges are bound to enforce the Constitution's original public meaning.

Her solution to this is:

No one is likely to ask the Supreme Court to rethink arguably nonoriginalist decisions like the constitutionality of the Social Security Administration, paper money, or segregated public schools—and if anyone did ask, the Court would deny certiorari.

In other words, the limit on how much of the fabric of current law the current court can dismantle is to be found in the restraint of the justices in being willing to avoid hard questions, and not in the reasoning process that they apply to their decisions. But these things tend to be a slippery slope. The more of our rule of law that they undermine, the more that they will come to see it as reasonable to undermine more rule of law. And the more chaos that they create, the less willing everyone else will be to go along with what they said.

chiefalchemist(10000) 3 days ago [-]

> But, the Supreme Court should not be responsible for managing dysfunction in other branches of govt.

And it's not. The underlying problem is most of voting public doesn't understand how the system works, and why.

Repeated the language has been 'The SC is making abortion illegal.' That simply is not true. But with that falsely dumbed down 'fact' ppl judge, form opinions, make noise, etc.

ErrantX(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Ultimately, I don't feel this is really about reproductive rights.

It's part of a long term disenfranchisement of groups of individuals in a way which secures GOP electoral college votes. As you say, the power of rural Republican votes is significant and depopulating those areas of democratic votes is a significant part of the GOP strategy.

xxEightyxx(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Their decision may be right through the lens of the initial ruling some 50 years ago, and perhaps through the acknowledgement of this being a divisive issue. However, it is at best hypocrisy of the court itself, and at worst, a devastating blow to one of the worlds worst healthcare systems.

This ruling in particular has be viewed through a wider scope, and not just the narrow lens of 'people are divisive'.

Their recent ruling interfering with New York states own policy on concealed carries best represents the courts hypocrisy - if a state makes a ruling and has a certain level of autonomy and power to do so, why is the SC overruling them here when its nearly just as divisive as abortion?

Additionally - the ruling is made within a very narrow scope, against common scientific and healthcare advice. It's also likely the ruling was made with strong bias and in bad favor as many of the justices themselves are not duly qualified to sit on the bench which they sit, and the ruling subsequently falls in line with a serious of previously strongly conservative rulings that defy prior precedent and the SC's own interpretation of autonomy, law, and previous rulings.

There is really no way to justify their ruling.

Polarization is a bit of mysterious character because we see a very strong, radical right wing forcing changes down to the county level in terms of gerrymandering, up to the level of presidential cabinet where federal crimes were committed without any consequence.

We don't hear of Democrats who, after losing a race complain of fraud and refuse to accept the results. That's a very Republican thing to do.

So, polarization is mysterious because there is a fast growing anti-intellectual, religious radicalism spirit and a fairly unchanged 'populist' left wing. I.e. the left is mostly unchanged from 20 years ago, whereas the right has gone through a sharp and dramatic change in the same period.

president(10000) 3 days ago [-]

> My personal opinion is that polarization has pushed both sides to be completely antagonistic towards each other.

Nobody in power is trying to put an end to it. In fact, media and institutions are trying to push the anger and divide further. I think most people realize this and this is why there are so many conspiracies out there as to why things have gotten this bad.

In my opinion, it's too late. Corruption of society of this level CANNOT be fixed. In a perfect world, everyone would chill out and realize they are fighting over what is essentially first world problems. But people have become trained to the point of abandoning reasoning, common sense, and good faith to prop up their tribes. We now have an entire generation that thinks this is all normal. It won't end well and this is exactly what our enemies wanted.

lasc4r(10000) 3 days ago [-]

>But, the Supreme Court should not be responsible for managing dysfunction in other branches of govt.

In a better system it shouldn't be, in the system we have really should be but isn't.

I have little doubt Clarence is only a little less crazy than his wife. Republicans put these people into positions of immense power. They might not have known how much power at the time, but they put shitty people in power for shitty reasons and they can now totally own that failure.

>Crazed jesus Republicans and hyperprogressive activists are terrible people to put into national office.

Got some enlightened centrism at work here. I'm willing to entertain that the left is way too woke, but they aren't sending crazy people to congress my dude.

zht(10000) 3 days ago [-]

'both sides'...


one side is calling the other side pedophile child groomers sex trafficking children in the basement of pizza parlours....

deeviant(10000) 3 days ago [-]

You'll have to forgive me if I'm not feeling the 'begrudging' nature of your statement.

> Ofc, my support for this change assumes that this Supreme Court will show restraint towards political activism (in either direction) in general. Call it naive, but I'll wait and see.

Your comment seems naive. It should be pretty obvious the us Supreme (Being) court is not going to show restraint towards political activism, they literally destroyed 50 years of American bodily freedom and struck up a massive victory for the gun lobby in a day.

> The sad part of democracy is that it aims to represent the views of the voting majority. If the voting majority truly cares about access to abortion then we will hopefully see enough democratic traction to give them the mandate needed.

American democracy doesn't represent the majority as gerrymandering has stolen the voice of our people, and guess what issue this court absolutely won't be addressing: voters rights. Because it should be absolutely clear right now that this court wants only one thing: to execute their political agenda without care or thought to the consequence of their actions. And the consequence will be dire indeed, American is already divided and this will be the final push to forever sever the left from the right, affecting creating two separate countries, not in law perhaps (yet) but certainly in spirit. In one stroke, the court has done more damage to our country than our enemies ever could.

mattnewton(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Where you see delegating to the states, I see a minority (less than 30% of Americans agree with this) enforcing social views on the majority- and it will not stop here. Other things the Supreme Court has blocked state law using the same logic as roe v Wade (due process of the 14th amendment[0]) on are blocking contraception bans (grisewald), overturning anti-sodomy laws (lawrence), and giving equal protection to gay marriage (obergafel). Several states still have laws on the books banning those things and there could easily be a situation in 4 years where gay couples, legally married in California, are arrested for sodomy after the border to Texas when traveling. There are already laws on the books seeking to do this for abortion providers or people seeking abortions.

This is a small minority that just needs 51% of voter turnout in a particular state (or not even that in a heavily gerrymandered one), and they can control the lives of anyone living in or even traveling through an entire region of the US with apparently very little federal protection (and certainly no representation for the travelers)

This ruling is disastrous and shows the capriciousness of the current court in interpreting precedent to mean whatever is popular with their party. The 14th can amendment be limited but the second cannot, the first can mean infinite money in politics but the 5th does not mean Miranda warnings are required anymore.

Edit -[0] this link is not hypothetical, Thomas's solo concurring opinion calls these cases out by name to be reconsidered by the court in light of this recent decision, and shows members of the court are absolutely interested in returning these to the realm of the states.

runarberg(10000) 3 days ago [-]

The elected representatives of the Democratic party is overwhelmingly moderate. There are a handful of conservative democrats and equally many progressive democrats. Progressive democrats have been loosing as many primaries as they win, but overwhelmingly they are not up for election, instead a moderate democrat is the default choice.

The same can not be said about the Republican Party. This is not a both sides issue. Polarization is happening on the right wing in the American Party system, and the right wing alone.

klyrs(10000) 3 days ago [-]

> The sad part of democracy is that it aims to represent the views of the voting majority.

No, not this 'democracy.' The supermajority of supreme court justices were mostly seated by presidents who lost the popular vote. This ruling is incredibly unpopular among citizens of the US, but the court is also pro-gerrymandering, so the unpopularity is unlikely to have any real impact on elections. The country is rapidly hurtling towards religious authoritarianism, and the checks and balances to prevent that have largely been dismantled.

jmyeet(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Nothing that happened today has anything to do with democracy.

The Republicans have successfully infiltrated state legislatures, gerrymandered and some states now are effectively under one-party rule. Take Wisconsin [1] as an example:

> Back in 2018, Republicans lost the popular vote in the state Senate races by 52.3 percent to 46.9 percent, yet gained two seats for a 19-14 majority. In the state Assembly, they lost the popular vote 53.0 to 44.8, yet lost only one seat to retain a 63-36 supermajority

This gerymandering also affects Congressional maps. And the Senate [2]?

> ... the Senate will be split 50-50, but the Democratic half will represent 41,549,808 more people than the Republican half.

In the wake of 2020, red states have passed laws like Arizona [3] that will allow the legislature or appointed officgials to overturn election results.

And on top of all that one side conspired to 'steal' the Supreme Court by sitting on Obama's nomination for almost a year and then later rushing their own replacement in the last month before an election.

And every Supreme Court justice appointed in the last 10 years has said on the record that Roe v. Wade was a super-precedent. And today they voted to overturn. They lied. They all lied.

This isn't a 'both sides' issue. This is the rise of white Christian fascism vs the feckless controlled opposition party. 'Bothsidesing' is both a logical fallacy and intellectually lazy (if not outright dishonest). It's like looking at Kristallnacht and saying 'well both sides are at fault'.

There is no 'both sides' here. The myth of the 'far left' just shows how normalized right-wing propaganda has become. There are lilke maybe 4 progressive members of Congress while on the other side Nazi propaganda is openly pushed [4] and QAnon conspiracies are rampant in the Republican party, which may go as far as including Clarence Thomas and his wife who may well have conspired to overthrow the government.

When people say 'far left' or 'hyperprogressive' they really means 'trans rights'. Not wanting to murder trans people doesn't make you a radical leftist.

Please open your eyes and stop this nonsense about bothsidesing and polarization.

[1]: https://theweek.com/republicans/1008820/wisconsins-1-party-r...

[2]: https://www.vox.com/2020/11/6/21550979/senate-malapportionme...

[3]: https://thehill.com/homenews/state-watch/591597-arizona-bill...

[4]: https://www.nytimes.com/2022/04/30/us/tucker-carlson-gop-rep...

saghm(10000) 3 days ago [-]

> States rights has always been a double edged sword. You can't have your cake and eat it too. The same state rights that allow gun control and homosexuality to be locally legalized before national concensus; also now lead to abortion legislation being a state issue.

Except when the same court in the same week strikes down a state law that makes it marginally more effort to carry a concealed weapon in public.

SubiculumCode(10000) 3 days ago [-]

in general I think state rights lowers division, as a federal system is winner-take-all while a State system can be live or let live. of course the issue is when States violate Constitutional rights and hide behind State rights. however, diminishing States rights in favor of Federal rights ultimately has the same risks, i.e. let the lesson of Trump scare the hell out of us.

wollsmoth(10000) 3 days ago [-]

I do hope that this will motivate us to get some amendments passed to codify some of the rights that we've gained from court rulings. I hope this turns into blowback against the Republicans but I think there's a long road. I guess people just don't believe things will get 'that bad' and now we'll see.

notacoward(10000) 2 days ago [-]

> The same state rights that allow gun control and homosexuality to be locally legalized

This is the same court that, just a few days ago, also denied New York's right to decide their own gun laws. Devolution might be great in theory if done consistently. What we actually have is a supreme court that will step in when it suits one minority faction and step out likewise, in both cases ignoring sound (often their own earlier selves') legal reasoning. That's not healthy.

You also seem to be ignoring the fact that 'leave it to the states' is a bit of a sham when states that want to ban abortion seek to punish those who travel out of state for it. (Much like the way that states with lax gun laws undermine the efforts of neighboring states that have voted and legislated otherwise.) The actual availability of abortion services to women in Texas, for example, is practically zero for many. Like it or not, the US is supposed to be one nation, but 'full faith and credit' has - like supreme court decisions - become a one-way street favoring the minority. Wyoming ideology is affecting Colorado much more than vice versa, contrary to what the majority position is across the two, and that's starkly un-democratic.

dukeofdoom(10000) 3 days ago [-]

There are non religious, anti abortion arguments. I've read some version of these before. They have shifted public opinion I believe more than religious arguments. I've read some version of these before, but there are probably others I'm skipping.

To summarize:

- We need those babies to offset huge demographic changes in the US population. Not enough babies are being born to offset the aging population.

- Women having abortions earlier in life, and having babies later, is negatively affecting the health of the next generation. Autism, Downs and other diseases are all linked to the age of the mother.

- Abortion advocates do themselves no favours by advocating for abortion almost up to the moment of brith. Its about public opinion, and the opinion on when a baby becomes viable has shift due to science. Babies can survive outside the womb much earlier.

-Abortion takes out about 600,000+ babies per year in the US. About 40% of all US abortions are from African American communities. Whether you think this is good or bad, depends if you view abortion to be a good or bad thing. A lot of racists eugenists are hating this decision. So they're not happy with this either. So abortion can be viewed as racist policy because its end effect is killing so many black babies.

unethical_ban(10000) 3 days ago [-]

FIRST: If SCOTUS should stay out of big, divisive cultural decisions, then they should do it point-forward and not by hopping right back in the fray.

SECOND: Abortion is seen as a fundamental right for womens' health, and there are many documented reasons for getting abortion that are not merely 'convenience'. There are things which should not be prohibited by the democratic process, since they are human rights.

THIRD: There is no scientific basis for restricting abortion; I would place a large bet that more than 95% of people who are against abortion rights base their opinion on faith-based teachings.

FOURTH: We need to abolish the two party system via *ballot reform* and move to Ranked-Choice or approval voting. This will weaken the two parties, allow citizens to vote /for/ someone rather than against, and will be a more accurate gauge of popular sentiment.

anigbrowl(10000) 3 days ago [-]

The jaded side of me says: vote in more moderates that are willing to strike compromises

Suppose I come along and assault you, you defend yourself, and then someone comes along and tells you that you are as much to blame as the person who assaulted you. Are they accurate, or just squeamish?

Moderates generally lack any firm convictions or anchoring principles beyond maintaining equanimity, and so contribute mightily to shifting of overton windows and ethical drift, where increasingly flawed outcomes are excused in the name of avoiding controversy. Consider the the atrocities perpetrated pursuant to the Iraq war, for which nobody but the very lowest ranks (and only a few of them) have ever been held accountable.

I respect my ideological enemies more than this panglossian excuse-making. At least those people stand for something.

akhmatova(10000) 3 days ago [-]

If the voting majority truly cares about access to abortion then we will hopefully see enough democratic traction to give them the mandate needed.

The problem with this reasoning is that the democratic process has been successfully gerrymandered in many states to a point where 'the voting majority ' is longer in a position to truly decide.

I get the foundational point you're trying to make (about states' rights having value), at least as a concept. But if you're of the belief that 'if the voting majority truly cares' then over time the situation will mostly right itself -- and millions of women of all income levels (not just the poor) will not have to suffer the direst of consequences, while you sit back and wait for your prediction to come true -- you are very tragically mistaken.

But, the Supreme Court should not be responsible for managing dysfunction in other branches of govt.

Simply put, you are imputing a motive to the 1973 Court that wasn't there. The 1973 decision was made on foundational grounds (having to do with a certain constitutional amendment which, something tells me, you also believe very strongly in the value of), and in view of competing interests.

You can question the wisdom of the decision all you like, but the idea that it was handed down to 'manage the dysfunction of other branches of govt' is supported neither by the factual history of the case -- nor by the Court's own writings at the time the decision was made.

49531(10000) 3 days ago [-]

> My personal opinion is that polarization has pushed both sides to be completely antagonistic towards each other.

This opinion is about as uninformed as it can be. Currently the US is run by 'moderate' Democrats, and extremist Republicans; the Right cries wolf every time the moderates do anything, and the moderates capitulate. If we look at American politics through your lens it makes zero sense.

We no longer live in a democracy and haven't really since 1978 with Buckley v. Valeo; increased by the recent supreme court decision in favor of Senator Cruz. There's a strong disconnect between what voters want and what happens in the halls of power, and it is increasing. The reality is that if you can donate to a senator enough you get 'democracy'.

Not to be too hyperbolic, but for the average person we really do live in a plutocracy.

causi(10000) 3 days ago [-]

This fight is not going to be over until the legislature formally defines what is and is not a person. I doubt that's going to happen because nobody wants to have that discussion.

fossuser(10000) 3 days ago [-]

While I personally have strong pro-choice views I think this was correctly decided for the reasons you state.

Abortion is a case where there is genuine disagreement among the public and at its core exists a genuine moral question. Most partisans talk past each other, but the core of it is about the rights of the unborn and at which point that becomes relevant.

It's different because of this from gay rights and contraception which don't have this other element in question (for contraception specifically those against abortion because of rights of the fetus should be in favor of easier access). It's also why European laws around this are more strict, Denmark allows abortion without cause up to 12 weeks and with cause after.[0]

It's better for these questions to be decided by states and democratic process than SCOTUS - the latter which we've seen cause extreme polarization. If you hold the view that the fetus at some point is a life with rights than the political activism here is consistent. Where this occurs I think is a legitimate question (big difference between zygote and day before birth).

There is a lot of bad faith, sloppy reasoning, and motivated reasoning arguing here from partisans across the board.

There are also real tradeoffs and young women will be the most harmed in states with bans because they have the least autonomy, but I can at least understand the strongest arguments from the other side [1]. Something like the laws in Denmark being passed at the congressional level is probably the desirable compromise outcome. At the moment at least SCOTUS thinks states cannot ban the ability to travel to a different state for abortions, the ability to exit is important.

[0]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_in_Denmark

[1]: https://www.lesswrong.com/s/3ELrPerFTSo75WnrH/p/PeSzc9JTBxha...

jhaenchen(10000) 3 days ago [-]

The Supreme Court has allowed gerrymandering and dark money, both of which serve to make the American government completely unbeholden to their constituents. There is no recourse in the legislative branch as long as elections are decided by who writes the map and who pays for the ads.

And I'm not sure you don't know that. I'm not sure that this ain't a ploy. "States rights!" You say. "Solve it in the legislative!" You say. And when those efforts fail because the systems for choosing those representatives is rigged, what will you say? You will blame the voters. And all the whole more and more goes away and all the while you blame the voters.

bsder(10000) 3 days ago [-]

> In the long run, history will have a dim view of this era of global polarization with all political sides to blame.

Actually, in the long run, history takes a dim view of the people in the center.

People on one 'extreme' side are vindicated. And everybody else gets flagged as supporting the wrong position.

As I put it to one friend: 'When the issue was Catholics marrying Lutherans, your church and everybody in the 'middle' were on the wrong side of the decision. When the issue was racial intermarriage, your church and everybody in the 'middle' were on the wrong side of the decision. Now that the issue is gay marriage, why do you believe your church and everybody in the middle are on the correct side of the decision this time?'

The truth lies in the middle is, in fact, generally wrong.

ausbah(10000) 3 days ago [-]

you can't say 'figure it out democratically' with the Senate and electoral college

saying 'its the other branches problem' doesn't work either as SCOTUS is appointed by the undemocratic president and Senate

scotty79(10000) 3 days ago [-]

> But, the Supreme Court should not be responsible for managing dysfunction in other branches of govt.

Isn't it the whole purpose of its existence?

Friedduck(10000) 1 day ago [-]

Democratically? I hope you're kidding. This court doesn't have the thinnest of veneers to hide behind. They have a pretty obvious agenda (e.g., Thomas's concurring opinion) and show no deference to either precedent or the Constitution.

We're in uncharted waters here. I can't think of a parallel in our short history where SCOTUS has shown such complete disregard for anything but their own political and religious beliefs. I think what's getting lost in this is that Roe doesn't just apply to abortion but the broader right to privacy. Others have pointed out the logical implications of what the government can and will do with these powers.

mise_en_place(10000) 3 days ago [-]

The Constitution is a negative rights document, meaning that it enumerates all the actions that the federal government cannot do to you. The Supreme Court should not be in the business of legislating, as you mention it should be the Congress that legislates. The Constitution is clear on what the judiciary is meant to do, review if an existing law or executive action is in violation of the Constitution. Anything else is a gross overreach of power.

tpoacher(10000) 2 days ago [-]

I read a nice quote on linux fortunes the other day:

'Democracy is the wishful notion that more then half of the population supports better than average opinions more than half of the time.'

jmull(10000) 3 days ago [-]

> It is good for...such dividing issues be figured out democratically.

By that logic it would be good to get rid of the bill of rights, the other constitutional amendments, and most of the rest of the constitution.

Still sound good to you?

iandanforth(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Democracy is great but hundreds of thousands of the impacted can't vote.

fisherjeff(10000) 3 days ago [-]

> You can't have your cake and eat it too

Actually I'm not sure this is 100% true. One option is to, say, only appoint SCOTUS judges that have an extremely broad reading of the Constitution on things you like, and a very narrow, textual reading on things you don't.

Hypothetically, of course.

davidcbc(10000) 3 days ago [-]

> I'll be the begrudging devils advocate for a decision that is sure to have devastating consequences for poor women in red states.

The devil already has 6 seats on the supreme court, he doesn't need you to advocate for him

colinmhayes(10000) 3 days ago [-]

> If the voting majority truly cares about access to abortion then we will hopefully see enough democratic traction to give them the mandate needed

The problem is we have an electoral system that forces us into a two party system. One of those parties is beholden to religious ideologies. If any republican votes for abortion protection they will get primaried. So we end up in a situation where a healthy majority of the country wants some level of abortion rights, but because we need 60 senate votes it's impossible to implement.

dfxm12(10000) 3 days ago [-]

If the voting majority truly cares about access to abortion then we will hopefully see enough democratic traction to give them the mandate needed.

They do [0]. We haven't.

'Own the libs, fuck the deplorables', no compromise.

I'm tired of this false equivalence.

Let's not forget that each of the recently appointed justices that voted down Roe V Wade lied to congress before they were approved for the supreme court, saying that they wouldn't. How can one truly compromise with people who aren't honest in the first place? What is even the compromise here? Abortions for some, miniature American flags for others? The vast majority of Dems are the moderates and have acted in good faith, as you're suggesting, for decades and have nothing to show for it. The Overton window has been moving right for what seems like my entire lifetime.

0 - https://news.gallup.com/poll/393275/steady-americans-not-roe...

newfonewhodis(10000) 3 days ago [-]

I won't make ad hominem attacks here but it's clear that you're privileged enough to not be impacted by this SC decision if you:

1. Resolve to both-sideism

2. Think we need more moderates (lol)

3. Think progress is the default if you just give it enough time

libraryatnight(10000) 3 days ago [-]

You're the problem. Seriously. I mean no disrespect. But people like you are thought-experimenting our rights away. The women in my country are less free than they were yesterday. You're playing rhetorical games and sympathizing. One party tried to over turn a free and fair election. You probably say 'both sides' to that, too. One party is trying to ban teaching any sort of realistic depiction of slavery in our history. One party presses their way of life on the nation. Roe was decided based on a right to privacy. That benefited us all. We're all less free. You go ahead and wait and see. This luke warm, middling, 'devils advocate' nonsense is the problem. It's why we'll gradually lose everything.

altcognito(10000) 3 days ago [-]

> The sad part of democracy is that it aims to represent the views of the voting majority.

As you said, the Judiciary is the least democratic, the nominations came from Presidents whom were elected by a minority of voters and confirmed by the Senate, using a minority of the voting populace of the country (because, slavery essentially)

It's awful all around.

kdtsh(10000) 3 days ago [-]

> I'll be the begrudging devils advocate

There are plenty of devils out there, they can advocate for themselves. This ruling can be as technically correct as anyone likes, but it is disastrous in every conceivable way. All this ultimately demonstrates is how feeble rights - real, natural rights - are under the American conception of federal constitutional rights.

Edit: there are a lot of people who are clearly very clever advocating for the devil. The devils have the best lawyers money can buy; all I can really suggest, as someone who is not American and not a woman, is that you advocate for human beings for a change.

Der_Einzige(10000) 3 days ago [-]

History will NOT have a dim view of the left.

Thomas Paine, an example of a radical leftists in his own time by the standards of his day, is extremely well regarded today despite dying in relative obscurity and relative poverty.

It's the radical right wing that history will take a dim view on. The left can be secure in their control of posterity.

throwaway23234(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Set up a website that lets you buy these people a round-trip plane ticket to CA. That gets around both issues. If the doctor says there's no baby, then no money.

swayvil(10000) 3 days ago [-]

In a world where marketing/propaganda is a thing, created by whoever owns the medium, etc. Does democracy really exist?

stefan_(10000) 3 days ago [-]

In every other democracy, voting laws and systems that mean individual votes are unequal (and even more absurd, the popular vote keeps losing) are of course unconstitutional and dealt with by the Supreme Court. How else could it be; guaranteeing one person one vote is the basis of democracy.

That's before we get to other design flaws like 'winner takes all', which of course neither possible winner out of a guaranteed 2 is ever going to change.

barfingclouds(10000) 2 days ago [-]

This sounds all diplomatic and intellectual, but when a 16 year old gets a pregnancy from incest or rape, she's totally screwed. I don't think going towards the dark ages deserves this kind of "both sides" talk

bastawhiz(10000) 3 days ago [-]

> The jaded side of me says: vote in more moderates that are willing to strike compromises

How do you compromise on issues like same sex marriage? It's pretty binary: gay people have the same rights as straight people, or they don't. With Justice Thomas's suggestion to relitigate Obergefell, this is exactly where we stand.

dragonwriter(10000) 3 days ago [-]

> I'll be the begrudging devils advocate

Did the Devil somehow run out of enthusiastic advocates?

Because it doesn't seem that way, on this issue or more generally.

mlazos(10000) 3 days ago [-]

At face value, all sides are not to blame. A president who lost the popular vote got to appoint THREE justices to this court and literally got a list of candidates from the religious right. This is the minority imposing their will on the majority, plain and simple.

themitigating(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Why shouldn't slavery be up to the states?

tikiman163(10000) 3 days ago [-]

The Supreme Court Justice who wrote the court's opinion on this issue just publicly stated he believes the Supreme Court should reconsider all of its prior procedural decisions, including Gay Mairage, legalized gay relationships, contraception and privacy in sexual or relationship matters.

You don't get to claim you're potentially naive, you're outright ignoring what they've publicly declared they intend to do. This isn't a group of well reasoned individuals removing power from the court, they're just doing whatever they hell they want to make the laws reflect their own religious beliefs.

Fuck this country, the only thing we're the best at is pretending we're the best.

greyhair(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Amen. I posted similar in a shorter form. The ineffectual legislative branch has ceded power to both the Executive and the Judicial over the last fifty to sixty years. Until the legislative branch stands up, this won't be resolved.

kelnos(10000) 3 days ago [-]

> my support for this change assumes that this Supreme Court will show restraint towards political activism (in either direction) in general. Call it naive, but I'll wait and see.

That is naive, given that we've already seen over the past several years that this has already been shown to be true. When the GOP is in power, new justices are appointed solely based on political appointment. Their qualifications as judges seem to be irrelevant, as long as they support the party platform. When the GOP controls the Senate, they invent 'rules' around which president gets to earn confirmation, and then break their own 'rules' when it suits them.

> The same state rights that allow gun control [...] to be locally legalized before national concensus

Look again: SCOTUS is getting more brazen in overturning state gun control laws. This is just a consequence of what I've said above: the politically-appointed justices loudly cry 'states' rights!' when it suits their platform, and quietly ignore state sovereignty when it suits them. Consider also that the GOP has been even more loudly talking about legislation for a nationwide abortion ban. Same playbook: claim the removal of a federal law is a victory for states' rights, but then turn around and try to enact the opposite law at the federal level in order to block the states from making their own choice.

> Now, the rural republican votes counting for more in the senate is a huge issue and threat to democracy that the US needs to figure out if it ever wants to represent the views of the people.

This is the key issue. The US government will never reflect the will of the people as long as the Senate is composed as it is. Procedural garbage like the filibuster make the body even more ineffective and useless. My prediction here is that as soon as the GOP regains control of the Senate, once they get another taste of obstruction, they'll hypocritically kill the filibuster, despite all their current rhetoric around how it's essential to the Senate.

> The jaded side of me says: vote in more moderates that are willing to strike compromises.

The issue here is that what you are calling 'hyperprogressive activists' are not really all that 'hyper' anything when you consider the rest of the democratic world. A US 'moderate' would be considered fairly conservative in many other Western democracies. When I talk to friends who are members of various minority groups about this, they dismiss more 'center-left' candidates immediately: none of these candidates have the courage (or desire) to work on civil rights and equality.

I absolutely agree with you that political polarization is at an all-time high, and most far-left/right politicians seem to be more interested in stoking outrage and provoking their opponents than in actually creating positive outcomes.

I don't really know what the solution is. It's hard to just tell everyone, en masse, to just calm the fuck down and stop assuming anyone on the other side of the aisle is an evil demon who wants to destroy the others' way of life. I'm guilty of this sometimes myself, but I'm really trying to understand where some of these people are coming from. It's hard. It's really hard.

> In the long run, history will have a dim view of this era of global polarization with all political sides to blame.

I understand the sentiment here, and what drives it, but I think it's bad to ignore that there are differences between how the two sides act. They're both terrible, and have many terrible policy platforms, but I think it's worth considering that one party seems more interested in taking people's rights and equal treatment away (or denying 'new' rights that should have been rights all along) than the other.

jquery(10000) 3 days ago [-]

> the Supreme Court should not be responsible for managing dysfunction in other branches of govt.

Hard disagree here. The Supreme Court acting as a vehicle for rights the majority of the population thinks should be enshrined, but can't due to Senate dysfunction, is what is preventing the USA from sliding into another civil war. The Constitution is an extremely buggy first draft and originalism is a sick joke. Abortion isn't in the Constition? Of course not, it was written by men in the 1700s. Judicial review isn't in the Constitution either.

lumost(10000) 3 days ago [-]

The game theory of this situation is bleak. If one side chooses hardliners, then the hardliners can pull the center closer to the hardline. In the past this worked out as most hardliners were hardlined on different topics. Now, the right has unified into a solid voting block that increasingly picks up all or nothing stances on most issues.

If democrats elect moderates into such an environment, the center is hopelessly pulled to the right. If Republicans vote in a moderate, they still get pulled into voting with the majority. If you are a democrat, increasingly your only option is to vote in your own set of hardliners who will take all or nothing stances - as getting nothing done is better than the alternative.

The anger in this decision is partially a sign of what's to come. The Supreme court is now vastly out of sync with the national population center - or their own precedent for the last ~70 years. Barring court reform, I'd expect that we're on the way to a constitutional crises where a state decides to overrule the supreme court's decision.

afavour(10000) 3 days ago [-]

> If the voting majority truly cares about access to abortion then we will hopefully see enough democratic traction to give them the mandate needed.

I'm sorry but this feels entirely divorced from reality. The nature of the senate, the continued erosion of voting rights... we're not going to see democratic traction in a system that actively opposes it.

chimprich(10000) 3 days ago [-]

> It is good for unelected bodies like the Supreme Court to allow such dividing issues be figured out democratically.

Speaking as an outsider on American politics, it seems to me that it won't be figured out democratically. If it was done democratically, on a nationwide vote, abortion would easily stay legal.

What will actually happen is that the decision will be referred to states, where government is elected on small turnouts, in gerrymandered divisions, heavily influenced by untrue TV propaganda funded by billionaires, and in many cases elected based on supposed economic reasons, not any moral ones.

The effective result is that vulnerable young women will be forced to carry unwanted babies to term at the cost of great suffering to themselves and the resultant children.

> with all political sides to blame.

I can only see one side to blame here.

lumost(10000) 3 days ago [-]

It's not tenable to hang your fundamental rights as an individual on a political process. While it only takes one decision to remove a right, preserving the right becomes a constant, grueling battle. These legal protections are the sin-qua non of a functional democracy.

underyx(10000) 3 days ago [-]

> Ofc, my support for this change assumes that this Supreme Court will show restraint towards political activism (in either direction) in general. Call it naive, but I'll wait and see.

> States rights has always been a double edged sword. You can't have your cake and eat it too. The same state rights that allow gun control and homosexuality to be locally legalized before national concensus; also now lead to abortion legislation being a state issue.

You're a day too late to hold this position, the supreme court struck down New York's attempt to regulate open carry yesterday.


ecommerceguy(10000) 3 days ago [-]

>>Now, the rural republican votes counting for more in the senate is a huge issue and threat to democracy that the US needs to figure out if it ever wants to represent the views of the people

The United States is a Republic not a democracy.

workshirt(10000) 3 days ago [-]

> My personal opinion is that polarization has pushed both sides to be completely antagonistic towards each other. 'Own the libs, fuck the deplorables', no compromise. The jaded side of me says: vote in more moderates that are willing to strike compromises. Crazed jesus Republicans and hyperprogressive activists are terrible people to put into national office. They gain power by antagonizing and being unhelpful roadblocks for change, all while asking for the most stubbornly impossible outcomes.

This take is completely divorced from reality. 'Moderates' are the roadblocks. 'Moderates' already have the system they want and love re-litigating culture war issues like this, because it makes it easier to continue roadblocking. Give me one example of a 'hyperprogressive activists' blocking something that needed to get done, and I will give you a laundry list of 'moderates' actors blocking ensuring no progress gets made in this country. Progressives don't even say 'deplorables' that came from 'moderate' HRC. 'Crazed jesus Republicans' I would say this classification bisects several groups with in the republicans, however they seems to be affective at driving change given the post we are commenting on.

somewhereoutth(10000) 3 days ago [-]

However only one side is hellbent on wrecking peoples' lives.

standardUser(10000) 3 days ago [-]

The court's view on the 2nd amendment is so wildly, outrageously out of line with the Founder's intentions, and the actual text of the law, that any hope of 'restraint towards political activism' is beyond futile.

usrn(10000) 3 days ago [-]

This doesn't ban abortion, it leaves it up to the states. IMO that's the best since people simply aren't going to agree on it.

EDIT: Abortion is not in the Constitution in any way, it's not a right.

erellsworth(10000) 3 days ago [-]

No, best would be to leave it up to the individual.

pastor_bob(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Pro Life groups said they're going after residents who go out of state next, then a national ban.

monocasa(10000) 3 days ago [-]

It leaves it up to the states now because there is no meaningful federal code on the matter. The underpinnings of the decision allow for a federal ban since it's just saying that there's no inherent constitutional protection.

showerst(10000) 3 days ago [-]

It effectively bans safe abortion for poor people in red states.

_ph_(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Do get states to decide on slavery again too? I think such fundamental, health and freedom-related questions should be decided on a national level.

jl6(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Yes. As I understand it, Roe vs Wade argued that a right to abortion was implied by the constitution, and thus such a right was created implicitly, rather than by the explicit passing of legislation.

The next step is clearly to advocate for explicit legislation.

avs733(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Exactly how our constitution is supposed to work - your rights are left up to the states to accept or reject/s

typeofhuman(10000) 3 days ago [-]

I don't know why you're being downvoted. What you're saying is exactly correct. That's what this ruling affirms: it is a state issue. Abortion is not in the US Constitution and many - even left-leaning - legal scholars have said Roe v Wade was ruled incorrectly.

justinzollars(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Lots of anti-Catholic comments and anti-Christian comments here.

To blame this on Christians/Catholics is singling out a religion, a protected group similar to blaming Blacks or Jews. In fact its exactly the same - its literally a protected class.

bettysdiagnose(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Why shouldn't they be blamed? Christianity in the USA is nothing like being black or Jewish in the USA.

GekkePrutser(10000) 3 days ago [-]

So this raises some interesting questions.

What if an American person wishing to have an abortion just travels to another country where it's legal to get it done? Can they be arrested upon return?

If so, does that mean that all Europeans that had an abortion could be liable to prosecution in the US if they choose to visit?

Not that I expect a huge impact to tourism etc. I've seen gay football fans willing to go to Qatar to watch their matches. Visiting a country that thinks they should die didn't seem to bother them :/

urmish(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Why would those women go to a different country instead of a different state?

jandrese(10000) 3 days ago [-]

What I find interesting is how for many many years people thought Roe would be safe because it was mostly useful as a political tool. A wedge to drive into voting blocks to make sure they stay Republican despite everything else they are doing. It was in nobody's interest to actually repeal it. What nobody expected was for decades of indoctrination to produce true believers that would actually be elected to the Supreme Court.

So now we are in a situation where the dog has caught the car and it's not sure what happens now.

superdisk(10000) 3 days ago [-]

What? Clarence Thomas is an old man.

cryptonector(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Arguably Roe distorted national politics. This ruling might now distort local politics. It's going to be interesting. We might well see a multi-decade swing to the Democrats!

jmull(10000) 3 days ago [-]

I've never heard of this. As far as I'm aware, the vast majority of "pro life" and "pro choice" proponents are serious.

It has been used (built, really) as a political tool as you say, but the victors here are quite happy to have won.

And they know what happens now. (It's gay marriage and trans rights.)

It's not like there's a shortage of political wedge issues. And since this is about power, not principle, they will always find more.

askin4it(10000) 3 days ago [-]

erections have consequences

askin4it(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Dang, I thought it was funny.

anonu(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Interestingly: The NYT link was written 4 hours ago (~6AM EST) - but the decision seems to have been released around ~10AM EST. I suppose everyone expected this post the leak.

Without taking any side on this issue: this is a tough day in America, when a 50-year precedent is overturned.

threeseed(10000) 3 days ago [-]

They could have pre-written this but also the NYT is the world's most well connected news organisation.

Wouldn't surprise me in the slightest if they had found out earlier just like previous decisions have been leaked.

thatguy0900(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Id imagine for important news it would be easy enough to just write two articles and release the correct one, especially if your main concern is being first to publish

YurgenJurgensen(10000) 3 days ago [-]

I believe that pre-writing articles for both sides of major binary decisions and only releasing the one that turns out to be correct is standard practice at large news organisations, where the value of being first to publish is far higher than the cost of writing two articles.

blinkingled(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Biggest thing to me is the message this sends - that there is no settled law really - I think the notion that nothing is legally set in stone and change is only a relatively easy matter of installing supreme court justices siding with your beliefs - that's gotta have some chilling consequences down the line for the country as a whole.

Greater progress requires building upon smaller progress, a settled foundation. If the foundation is constantly under churn you can reasonably expect constant regression.

bambax(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Yes, I think that's true. The Justices should stop imvoking the constitution in long legal ramblings and just say: 'Our predecessors thought one way. We're different people and we think another way. Also, if you don't like it you can fuck off.'

It would be so much more honest.

cryptonector(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Plessy v. Ferguson was settled law. Until it wasn't. And it was rightly overturned after decades of injustice. I bet there were many in the 50s who cried about settled law. Basically, the stare decisis argument is very limited, and the best anyone can hope for is that stare decisis is time-limited. Plessy lasted 64 years, while Roe lasted 50. So stare decisis seems to mean 'for a few decades', which I think is fair.

Stare decisis is neutral as to the content of court decisions. It can be used to sustain rightly and badly decided rulings for decades. And the court can ultimately overturn its past decisions rightly and wrongly. They can fail in the past, they can fail in the present, and they can fail in the future.

Chris2048(10000) about 13 hours ago [-]

The same could be said of RvW - inventing new laws was simply the case of installing new justices - the constitution has existed much longer than RvW, so removing it isn't as much a problem for 'settled law' than creating it in the first place.

And I think the point here was that RvW was not on strong settled foundations.

charwalker(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Constant regression is the point, for some 35% of the population.

yesdocs(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Welcome to the 50's

the_only_law(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Without the economy

stuckinhell(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Damn, I knew the forced vaccinations would came back to haunt us. Republicans keep throwing 'my body, my choice' as meaningless because of it. I guarantee the hypocrisy around that radicalized millions of them.

ausbah(10000) 3 days ago [-]

the US never had forced vaccinations

lesstyzing(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Looking at this ruling and the one a few days ago on arms - could someone explain to me why they're wrong legally? FYI I'm not American and personally am in favour of legalised abortion + severe gun restrictions.

My understanding is these rulings are both based on the constitution. The one on guns seems really straightforward:

'A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.'

I know this can be interpreted differently but to me it reads that nobody should be restricted from arming themselves.

Regarding abortion, what aspect of the constitution would cover it?

I'm asking in good faith here btw.

Edit: separately, it is insane to me that these big decisions can be completely split along political lines. A 'supreme court' should be apolitical. There are so many issues with the way the US Supreme Court works. It needs total reform. You should be able to trust a court to make a decision based on the law, not their personal preferences.

seanicus(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Re: guns, if the militia is well regulated then the militia needs to explain guns getting into the hands of people that kill kids as well as insanely high per capita murder rates (primarily in red states, it should be mentioned). Maybe time to disband a militia that can't regulate itself?

This is aside from the founders not being presented with a firearm that can put 6' holes into a kindergartner's body at the rate of 45 rounds per minute.

We're never going to fix the gun issue in this country but the reading of 2a has always been absolutely absurd.

RE: SCOTUS the powerful will always protect the powerful. Sotomayor just went on the record the other day to call Clarence Thomas 'a man who cares deeply about the court as an institution.' Clarence Thomas, whose wife was supporting and funding the January 6th insurrection and effort to overturn a legal election.

Every now and then I ctrl-f the constitution to find the words 'supreme court' and somehow come up blank every time.

curiousllama(10000) 3 days ago [-]

So it's bad law for 3 reasons:

(1) Stare Decisis and Reliance: two legal standards that had restrained even right-wing courts for years. It's legal, but 'bad', for the Court to overturn a long-standing law that people organize their lives around (as they did post sexual-revolution). So the standard isn't 'is it wrong,' it's 'is it egregiously wrong.' And the court has found multiple times that Roe is fine.

(2) The decision doesn't take aim at _just_ abortion. It takes aim at the right to privacy. This right is pretty strong, overall: the 9th Amendment says 'just bc a right is not explicit, that doesn't mean it isn't real'; the 3rd, 4th and others say 'the gov't can't just meddle in your affairs without real justification;' the 14th says 'this right is universal.' Implying this right is weak is iffy at best, and DEFINITELY doesn't meet the 'egregiously wrong' standard.

(3) The new tests are, uh, speculative.

(3a)They rely on historical analysis that is contextually-driven at best. Are we talking abortion, reproductive healthcare, or women's rights? That's a matter of framing, not law, and will lead to dif conclusions, which makes it a bad test. [Note: more on this when Obergefell is inevitably challenged...]

(3b) The tests lead to dif conclusions than Alito reached. Abortion has been legal in the US for longer than it's been illegal; it wasn't banned nationwide until the 20th century, because it was explicitly legal under british common law. Even 19th century regulations were effectively just regulations of methods (poison control), not abortion itself. I'd argue 'a cultural practice referenced in Shakespeare, explicitly addressed in 400 years of british common law, and that we kept for 100+ years in the US, including when the Constitution was written' is pretty deep. Besides, it's applied differently in different cases (how far back is 'deeply rooted,' anyway?). TLDR: arbitrary = bad test.

All this to say: I'm pissed bc it's bad policy, but I'm ALSO annoyed at the bad legal analysis. Like - there are better arguments! It feels like an F U.

ghostoftiber(10000) 3 days ago [-]

> I know this can be interpreted differently but to me it reads that nobody should be restricted from arming themselves.

If you followed the absolute letter of the law in the current US legal code, females should be disqualified from owning guns: https://uscode.house.gov/view.xhtml?path=/[email protected]/sub...

George Mason, coauthor of the second amendment, was asked 'Who is the militia?' He's been asked this several times and at one point said it was everyone except our politicians. He typically responds: 'I ask, sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people, except for few public officials.' (George Mason, 3 Elliot, Debates at 425-426) - https://www.madisonbrigade.com/g_mason.htm

The scope of the second amendment is the same scope as all other amendments which is to say it's an unlimited, and natural right. Anything else is just playing stupid games with lawyers.

jimbob45(10000) 3 days ago [-]

I heavily recommend that you read the gun ruling for yourself. It's a very fun run through history. How often do you get to read about the 1328 Statute of Northampton, launcegays, and the Black Death in modern legal analysis?


ceilingcorner(10000) 3 days ago [-]

It isn't wrong legally and if anything, had the constitution been followed correctly, this decision is how it should have played out in the first place. It is only controversial because some people think their personal opinions on controversial issues should override democratic mechanisms.

indymike(10000) 3 days ago [-]

> Regarding abortion, what aspect of the constitution would cover it?

The US Constitution does not contain the word abortion, and so decisions by the Court on abortion either way are only indirectly guided by applying other parts of the Constitution.

JumpCrisscross(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Nothing in this opinion bars the Congress from crafting a compromise. One might hope it prompts just such deliberation, though within the confines of present politics I find that unlikely.

colinmhayes(10000) 3 days ago [-]

The US has a common law system, which means supreme court precedent is binding. Once a case is decided courts aren't supposed to decide the same case in the other direction. The supreme court has decided many cases showing that Americans have the right to abortion until viability. Undoing that precedent is a largely unprecedented move.

The New York carry case seems like it was probably decided correctly, what's interesting to me is that the courts gun law doctrine relies on deciding whether the law is 'consistent with the nations historical tradition of firearm control.' The court decided this law was not, even though it is over a century old and 7 states have had similar laws for decades. At what point does it become part of our historical tradition?

synergy20(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Yes I agree the legal system should be apolitical, they should be elected instead of appointed, and there should be an age limit, plus it's just odd those judges never retires, congress is 4-years, senate is 6, what about a 8-year-term for supreme court just like everybody else(longer term for 'stability', life long term is ridiculous to me).

LatteLazy(10000) 3 days ago [-]

People hate to admit it but the court is just another political entity and always has been. The basis for Roe was weak (bodily autonomy, privacy). So is the basis for literally all gun control:

>> 'A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.'

So anyone, including children, the insane, felons etc has a right to bear 'arms'. And there is no clear limit to say that a gun is 'arms' but a kilo of C4 or a ground-air missile launcher or a fully armed attack helicopter is not. In fact, in 2022 any militia that could be even slightly useful will need at least some air support. Yet SCOTUS has routinely banned these items from personal procession.

I say this not because I am some crazy gun nut or I think that those an actual right to bear arms would be a good idea.

I say it to point out that the courts job was always to rule what people wanted and what was practical was also legal. Just like a politicians job is.

Actually arguing actual constitutionality is a red herring. A lawyer's job is to find a loophole and all judges start as lawyers...

jcranberry(10000) 3 days ago [-]

That line is simply fallacious in the modern context. A well regulated militia is 'not necessary to the security of a free state'.

madeofpalk(10000) 3 days ago [-]

> You should be able to trust a court to make a decision based on the law, not their personal preferences.

The role of a court is to interpret law. While not preference, but 'opinion' is entirely the point of a court.

tomschlick(10000) 3 days ago [-]

> Regarding abortion, what aspect of the constitution would cover it?

The Roe case hinged on abortion being a right under privacy right. It was a very weak argument and even Ruth Bader Ginsberg (a very left leaning justice who died recently) didnt like that reasoning and thought it was weak: https://www.washingtonpost.com/history/2022/05/06/ruth-bader...

mdavis6890(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Article the twelfth (AKA the 10th amendment) of the Bill of Rights from the US Constitution: 'The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."

So the current argument might be that since the constitution does not give the federal government the power to regular abortions (or to prevent states from regulating them), then that power to regulate them or not is reserved for the states to do as they please.

The prior argument (from Roe vs Wade) is that the US Constitution provides a right to privacy and that prohibiting or otherwise restricting abortions violates that right to privacy.

While there's no explicit right to privacy in the constitution, it could be implied by the 14th amendment: '... nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law ...'

From the original Roe vs Wade opinion: 'A person may choose to have an abortion until a fetus becomes viable, based on the right to privacy contained in the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Viability means the ability to live outside the womb, which usually happens between 24 and 28 weeks after conception.' https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/410/113/

vbtemp(10000) 3 days ago [-]

> ''A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.'

I think was this was meant to mean was: Any citizen has the right to join their local/state militia, and keep their service rifle and uniform with them at home.

ncallaway(10000) 3 days ago [-]

> Regarding abortion, what aspect of the constitution would cover it?

The 9th amendment of the United States reads:

> The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

This was added as an Amendment, because many founders were deeply concerned that the introduction of a bill of rights would create the impression that if they enumerated some rights, people would consider that list to be complete.

That is, they recognized that there were many rights not explicitly enumerated by the constitution that were still important rights. Nearly everyone agreed that the enumeration of rights was not intended to capture every right.

So, relying on 'what rights are explicitly mentioned in the constitution' is antithetical to the entire concept of the bill of rights. It's an incorrect place to start reading the constitution.

908B64B197(10000) 3 days ago [-]

> 'A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.'

> I know this can be interpreted differently but to me it reads that nobody should be restricted from arming themselves.

Sure was interpreted differently when black people started carrying in public! [0].

[0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mulford_Act

nabla9(10000) 3 days ago [-]

There is a legal principle that once the court bedsides something and it becomes established law, you don't overturn the previous decision lightly.

Roe & Wade is based on the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution. Roe vs Wade did not happen in vacuum, it's part of a larger understanding of the Constitution that recognizes a right to privacy and recognizes that there are unwritten rights.

This decision overturns this whole 50-year old framework. Decisions based on 14th Amendment's Due Process clause are now open for banning contraception, banning interracial relationships, family relationships, right to intimacy (sodomy laws), the right to personal control of medical treatment. It will even have data collection limit consequences.

How Dismantling Roe Puts Interracial Marriage at Risk https://www.aclu.org/podcast/how-dismantling-roe-puts-interr...

_dain_(10000) 3 days ago [-]

>Regarding abortion, what aspect of the constitution would cover it?

None. Roe was based on pure vapor, constitutionally speaking.

>You should be able to trust a court to make a decision based on the law, not their personal preferences.

That is in fact what the Supreme Court has just done, by overturning Roe.

motive(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Regarding guns, the dissent argues that "well-regulated" and "militia" are key components of the text. The applicants for concealed carry were not part of a militia, and the current court doesn't seem to acknowledge the "well-regulated" piece exists at all.

With regard to abortion, the constitution guarantees us a right to privacy, which is closely linked to bodily autonomy. The argument being that there is constitutionally no legal way for the government to involve itself in your personal health decisions. There is an interesting ideological reversal here with regard to the recent vaccine debate with liberals arguing the government should be able to compel vaccination, and the conservatives against.

InTheArena(10000) 3 days ago [-]

This is exactly the point for me. Roe V Wade embraced a court that decided that judges could/should legislate (that is, make new laws) rather then enforce the text of existing laws. This is not new from the court - separate but equal, Bush v. Gore, Citizens United, Dredd Scott - all basically where examples of the court taking matters into their own hands.

This simply says 'Abortion is a legislative matter - the constitution does not say that abortion must be legal until the moment of delivery'.

mirceal(10000) 3 days ago [-]

> I know this can be interpreted differently

You answered your own question. It's the interpretation that matters. The Supreme Court is a joke.

Political debates have not been done in good faith in the US for decades. It's no longer about the people - it's about fooling the people into getting amped up about things and voting one way or the other. It's like a wrestling match. Does it really matter who wins if it's all fake? Actually I take this back: being a wrestler actually needs some sort of prep and physical conditioning. Wrestling is better than politics.

mc32(10000) 3 days ago [-]

It should be up to the Congress (or state legislatures) to make abortion legal and write the laws that protect the right such as they did for example in France.

The Constitution is or was a band-aid and it's reached its EOL.

The Congress has abrogated their duty here and we're seeing the consequence of this.

cmollis(10000) 3 days ago [-]

When I was a child in the Catholic Church (70s and 80s) there was NEVER any political discussion that entered into the service ("..render unto caesar what is caesar's.." or 'separation of church and state'. Or, more probable, perhaps it was felt that it simply was not the forum for present-day politics. I don't know). Since lapsed, A few years ago I was encouraged by a priest, as he enjoyed his fourth old fashioned, to attend a Mass. He noted that I might find it more 'enlightening' than I had in the past so I agreed (albeit reluctantly). What I witnessed was no less than a 45 minute diatribe on the dangers of abortion, casting various aspersions (ad hominem) on any political leader not on board with new political agenda of the Catholic Church. Frankly very little else. I hypocritically thought to myself 'would Jesus be proud of this? Perhaps. But I certainly wasn't. The addtional twisted irony was that the person I was with actually had an abortion. She sat quietly listening to this without seemingly the slightest bit of concern. She said that's how all services are now.

It occurred to me that all of this must have been carefully planned at the highest levels of both the church and political/financial benefactors that support it. A long and patient process put in motion years ago. I realize This is somewhat anecdotal but speaks to perhaps the planning that culminated in todays decision. This is about power and control operating under the auspices of religion. SCOTUS are just run-of-the-mill sycophants playing along.

MengerSponge(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Me when Catholicism incorporates local pagan rituals: Haha fuck yeah!!! Yes!!!

Me when Catholicism incorporates local facist evangelicalism: Well this fucking sucks. What the fuck.

snarf21(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Like most things, follow the money. How do you get people to care about the same sermon on the same verse year after year? Want to get people involved with their time and money? You just have to convince them of whatever evils they already believe. Be their echo chamber, talk about all the people who are trying to do such terrible things. Be a fear-monger. The same thing that works for Fox News and CNN also works in a church. Get them addicted to the rhetoric and watch the money flow in. Look at people like Joel Osteen who only care about money.

I grew up going to church multiple times per week. Today's church is a cult and it is a cult about hate. I learned in Sunday School that God is love and that we should help each other. Today the message is righteous indignation. They don't believe in the Bible or follow Jesus' teachings but they are very very adamant that the 'sinners' must be converted to their way of thinking. It is nothing but hypocrisy and if pointed out, Christians have decided that they and they alone have the right to decide what parts of the Bible matter and what doesn't.

raincom(10000) 3 days ago [-]

'There shouldn't be intermediaries between God and human beings'--is a Protestant doctrine. This doctrine has gone secular: separation of church and state. In other words, protestant Christian ideas have become the foundation of many modern political theories.

For a Catholic, the Catholic Church is the intermediary between him/her and God.

lesstyzing(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Why is it a surprise that the Catholic Church is against abortion? This list of religions that are ok with abolition is short. It would be quite a big thing for a catholic to turn a blind eye to and not consider when voting.

fulvioterzapi(10000) 3 days ago [-]

> What I witnessed was no less than a 45 minute diatribe on the dangers of abortion, casting various aspersions (ad hominem) on any political leader not on board with new political agenda of the Catholic Church.

A typical Catholic Mass lasts less than one hour. Most of the Mass follows a fixed, prescribed set of prayers and readings, that have nothing to do with politics. In the middle there's a sermon, that usually lasts about 15 minutes, that might include references to news or to politics.

Either you ended up at a very atypical mass, and by very atypical I'd say borderline heretic, or you don't remember well.

> with new political agenda of the Catholic Church.

New? Like it or not, the position of the Catholic Church on abortion has been extraordinarily consistent through the centuries.

sterlind(10000) 3 days ago [-]

this was masterminded in large part by Leonard Leo of the Federalist Society. he's Catholic, and the upper echelons of the organization are virtually all Catholic, and has enjoyed tremendous influence - even providing Bush and Trump with shortlists of Justices to pick from.

unsurprisingly, the majority of Justices are now Catholic - Roberts, Thomas, Alito, Sotomayor (liberal, not a FedSoc pick), Gorsuch, Kavanaugh and Barrett.

twright(10000) 3 days ago [-]

One major change that spurred specifically the Catholic church into politics was the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) which permitted priests and bishops to participate in politics.

dpbriggs(10000) 3 days ago [-]

I never experienced long political diatribes when I attended Catholic mass a few years ago. There wasn't much time for speaking as the mass itself is quite involved.

> It occurred to me that all of this must have been carefully planned at the highest levels of both the church and political/financial benefactors that support it.

I'm curious if we'll see leaks confirming this. Otherwise this might be an anecdote stretched a little too far. It's far more likely you've experienced some bad pastors.

bko(10000) 3 days ago [-]

The framing of this debate is often religious, but it doesn't have to be. The fact is that at some point between inception and time of delivery, the fetus becomes a person and has some rights. Most people agree that it's probably not inception and it's probably not the moment before birth. So the question is when does this happen?

In that way, the pro-life crowd has at least a closer framing of the issue. The pro-choice crowd is talking about religion, privacy, social safety nets, etc. But that's all beside the point. If the fetus is a life, none of this stuff matters. We should all try and at least agree upon the framing of the issue and argue from there or we'll never get anywhere.

starkd(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Except that the court relinquished its power to decide on these matters. It may not seem like it now to you, but it actually gains credibility by the courts, because they are not put in the middle of such a consequential decision. It allows the legislature to act. This isn't a power grab, but a relinquishing of power.

alistairSH(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Also possibly illegal. 501c3, including churches, are prohibited from campaign activity. That includes advocating for any particular candidates.

'Biden, the sitting POTUS, is a jackass' is probably ok.

'Don't vote for Biden in 2024' is absolutely not ok.

xxEightyxx(10000) 3 days ago [-]

I'm not as old as you (born in the late 80's) but my family left the church (protestant) for this exact reason. There was more discussion of social/political issues than of scripture. To be fair, I think it's OK to some extent, but the elders had made it a priority to denigrate liberal ideas and beliefs.

Look up the Koch brothers. They're largely responsible for much of the chaos we see in our country today.

nickd2001(10000) about 13 hours ago [-]

IMHO this is profoundly tragic, and bad, and Jesus would not be proud of that. The church should be helping people to be caring for one another, and looking after the downtrodden and vulnerable. Protecting the rights of unborn children should not involve being nasty to other people, it should involve making clear arguments and being willing to provide decent support for people with unplanned pregnancies. It feels to me like the church, particulary in USA, got hijacked by a bunch of people who don't have any real faith but just use it for their political agenda. Pope Francis wouldn't agree with their stance I'm sure, but then he believes in devolving power away from Rome which, while that is for good reason, allows things like this to go unchecked. Whole lot of complex issues.....

LudwigNagasena(10000) 3 days ago [-]

The Supreme Court neither banned abortion nor prohibited the legislature from protecting the right to abortion. It merely decided that it is not currently protected by constitution, which to me seems completely correct.

If most people agree that it should be a constitutional right, no one stops the legislature from adding the required amendment. And if most people can't agree on that, well, adding that wouldn't be democratic.

colinmhayes(10000) 3 days ago [-]

> If most people agree that it should be a constitutional right, no one stops the legislature from adding the required amendment

The issue is that we're forced into a two party system. If someone thinks 'I want abortion rights, but the culture wars are more important to me' they vote republican. A large block of the republican base is single issue religious voters, so even if a majority of the republican voters want abortion rights they will never pass because the religious voters will primary anyone who supports abortion.

scythe(10000) 3 days ago [-]

It's true that most people agreed that Roe v. Wade should not be overturned. But a quick look at the polling will also show you that Roe v. Wade was more popular than abortion itself.

I think there is a simple way to interpret that: a lot of people thought that Roe v. Wade meant that they didn't have to think about abortion. And they liked that, even if they didn't think it was the ideal way to resolve the issue. They simply cared more about other issues, like the PPACA subsidy gaps, environmental sustainability, gun rights, taxes, drugs, et cetera, ad nauseam. Even during the Barrett and Kavanaugh nominations, there were plenty of people, including the nominally pro-choice (e.g. a certain Senator from Maine), who argued that Roe v. Wade was not in danger, which was most likely wishful thinking.

So your idea doesn't work, and in fact nothing works. The era when a voter or politician can (effectively) ignore abortion as a substantive political issue is over, and it isn't coming back.

portpecos(10000) 3 days ago [-]

> The Supreme Court neither banned abortion nor prohibited the legislature from protecting the right to abortion.

Which means that New York, California, Massachusetts will retain abortion access. And Texas, Indiana, will remove abortion access.

This sounds like States rights is actually working.

But the media is distorting the overturning of Roe vs Wade with the sensational claim that "Abortion is banned in the US".

No, it's not banned. This just means Texas and New York have differing policies with regards to abortion access. Yes, 46 million women living in conservative states will lose access to abortion, but not all of those women are liberal quite frankly. Moreover, those states are exactly that: conservative. And the Conservative Majority of that state isn't required to accommodate the views of the Liberal minority of that state.

Just like the Liberal Majority of California isn't required to accommodate their Conservative Minorities.

That's the nature of how US Democratic institutions were built.

Sounds fair to me and the Supreme Court made the correct decision by returning that authority back to the states.

darth_avocado(10000) 3 days ago [-]

63% of Americans support Roe v Wade and 80% support abortions in some cases.

People agree on that. Adding it to the constitution hasn't happened because politics.

mattnewton(10000) 3 days ago [-]

> The Supreme Court neither banned abortion nor prohibited the legislature from protecting the right to abortion. It merely decided that it is not currently protected by constitution, which to me seems completely correct.

The Supreme Court includes multiple justices put there in no small part due to lobbying by conservative faith groups, and as part of their lobbying plan, several states have trigger laws on the books that immediately make abortion legal in many states. The Supreme Court's decision is the immediate cause of these "trigger laws" going into effect. It's a part of a larger concerted effort, so this is a distinction with little difference for anyone living in these states or who may find themselves sued in Texas for providing abortions to a Texan who crossed into their state.

ausbah(10000) 3 days ago [-]

most people do think that abortion should be law in some form, but since the US doesn't have a democratic basis in 5/6 of the federal government - 'leaving jit to the legislature' is just as bad as letting SCOTUS decide the law. that doesn't even touch upon how constitutional amendments aren't even on the table with how hard they are to pass

and no matter what, you're dealing with laws regarding the bodily autonomy of 50% of the populace. if that can't be considered a fundamental right, what really can?

rt4mn(10000) 3 days ago [-]

> It merely decided that it is not currently protected by constitution, which to me seems completely correct.

First off, It was a momentous decision. It did not 'merely' decide anything.

Second, a right does not need to be explicitly spelled out in the constitution to be a constitutionally protected right. The right to an abortion is a clear and rational outgrowth of the constitutional protections of privacy and bodily autonomy (IE, the right to not have the government mess with our shit for no good reason).

notch656a(10000) 3 days ago [-]

What's perplexing is why they don't apply this to the rest of the federal powers. Overturn Wickard v Filburn and cut it at the root. The federal government has no legitimacy to regulate intrastate trade, most gun laws, most of the civil rights act, the controlled substance act, etc. The fact that they picked abortion but not the root of anti-constitutional federal expansionism is truly baffling.

TameAntelope(10000) 3 days ago [-]

The problem with this legal OCD is that in the meantime, people suffer.

This isn't a codebase refactor, this is people's lives. Pulling this ruling before you have 'what the people want' in place is like deleting a feature you plan on rebuilding later before you actually rebuild it.

Nobody in their right mind thinks that's a good idea in any other context, so why would it make sense here?

analog31(10000) 3 days ago [-]

The amendment is at best quasi-democratic, since amendments that would have broad public support are almost prohibitively difficult to carry out, and requires the cooperation of states that are themselves quasi-democratic.

FpUser(10000) 3 days ago [-]

>'If most people agree that it should be a constitutional right, no one stops the legislature from adding the required amendment. '

Meanwhile bunch of states will make abortions illegal. I think Texas already has with some technicalities but correct me if I am wrong.

sophacles(10000) 3 days ago [-]

How is it completely correct? The 9th amendment acknowledges that rights not enumerated in the constitution exist. It's perfectly reasonable to say that bodily autonomy is in fact one of those rights, as the concept is required for other rights to even exist.

mirceal(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Cute take but I'm going to ask the question: why did something that was in place for 50 years needs to be revisited? Is it maybe needed for the nutjobs that do want to ban abortion to do their thing?

Also, you need to ask yourself: is this about abortion? Or is it really about literally keeping the people poor, stupid and uneducated?

Think about it: if you're not poor this is not an issue. If you have 5 kids instead of 1, good luck getting them the proper education. But it's cool...we can use all that almost free labor to drive our corporate empires forward.

andsoitis(10000) 3 days ago [-]

It is worth considering the larger shape of things.

Do you imagine, if the Republicans control all three branches of government, that they would not create a federal law that bans abortions everywhere?

All signals point to that, and the overturning of Roe vs. Wade is there to remove friction to get there.

standardUser(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Protecting the rights of marginalized groups is the only thing that makes democracy a workable system. What you are supporting is called mob rule.

rich_sasha(10000) 3 days ago [-]

I'm asking in good faith, and ask for answers in the same: in a pro-choice framework, why do in-womb Homo Sapiens Sapiens have no rights to be considered, vis a vis the rights of the mother?

In this context, I'm not implying that an unborn human's rights override those of its mother, nor imply what the right balance should be (50:50? 20:80? 80:20?). But pro-choice arguments tend to assume that the in-womb human has no rights, since mother has the right to terminate the pregnancy basically without any good reason at all. I'd argue that where welfare of two beings is affected, you need to consider the rights of both. Is it clear that an unborn human has no rights?

Perhaps this can be straightforwardly spelled out, or is obvious - in which case I'm curious to know what that argument is. If not, doesn't some kind of cautionary approach require that err on the side of caution in considering the rights of the unborn human? For example, if a healthy woman is pregnant with a healthy human, but decides to terminate the pregnancy for no extreme reason (health reasons I guess), what is the argument that says 'the unborn human's right to mature and be born and live is non-existent or trumped by the mother's preferences'?

There is a myriad of difficult scenarios that life can write, and for now I'm moving away from those. Not every pregnancy is terminated for life-threatening reasons, for example.

erikpukinskis(10000) 3 days ago [-]

An important related question is: why don't animals have rights?

I think something special happens to humans on the journey from embryo to child. Something like an awareness of their relationship to the world, that makes death more tragic.

As an aside, I think the same transition happens in many animals and their deaths can be just as tragic, although obviously nothing in U.S. law acknowledges that.

In fetuses, I don't know when this "relationship to the world" begins, if it has really begun in earnest in the womb, or if it even has begun in earnest as a newborn.

But the problem with law is that such things must be codified.

I know "at conception" is too early, since we destroy similar creatures by accident every day. And even a sparrow has a richer concept of their relationship to the world than an embryo.

I'll also add that "on their first day of kindergarten" is certainly far too late. By that time many of us have a very rich self concept.

"At first breath" is a clear middle ground, easy to interpret legally. It certainly seems that the "understanding of one's relationship to the world" is greatly enriched at that moment of birth, and quite actively thereafter. And importantly, "at first breath" happens to be a moment where the child is no longer a danger to the mother. People have a right to self defense that clearly ends for the mother at that point.

All of that said, I think it's possible some form of person is "murdered" in some abortions. Just like some people are "murdered" in war. But there are simply limits to what can be fairly decided through the legal system.

At some point, other forms of justice take over. For me, not trying to push this on anyone, but that's God's justice. Many evils are punished not by the courts but by something greater, and that's OK with me.

uniqueuid(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Why should you first put on your own oxygen mask on a plane in the event of decompressing, before helping others?

Because the damage is much greater otherwise. A child brought into this world under duress, to an unprepared mother and/or unprepared parents will have all the odds against him/her. There's a greater risk of dying. Of poverty. Of sickness. Of crime.

It's not that the unborn has no rights. It's rather that these rights cannot be realized partially. It's either the full package or none.

So just like the US electoral system, some people are in favor of abortion even if they are 49% in favor of the embryo.

menomatter(10000) 3 days ago [-]

I'm undecided on abortion when it's not early (X weeks) and/or for medical reasons. As for the rights: Do we have the right to not carry another humanbeing even if it meant their 'death'?

mercutio2(10000) 3 days ago [-]

A fetus clearly is a collection of human cells. It is an example of living Homo sapiens.

The question abortion ethicists ask is whether a fetus or embryo is a person.

If, in fact, all embryos are persons, then the logical ethical reasoning would be that taking steps to minimize miscarriages should be one of our highest priorities. This doesn't appear to match most people's moral intuitions, however.

It is not obvious that a newborn baby is a person, either. But defining a being as receiving the rights of a person at birth is a schelling point that many people are more comfortable with than spots earlier or later in development.

ausbah(10000) 3 days ago [-]

>I'd argue that where welfare of two beings is affected, you need to consider the rights of both.

if you consider the welfare of the whole population then, you'd be ok if we took some people without asking and 'donated' all their organs and other useful body parts to those who could use them

mherdeg(10000) 3 days ago [-]

> I'd argue that where welfare of two beings is affected, you need to consider the rights of both.

About 5,000 people die in the US annually while waitlisted for a kidney transplant; they are deemed medically eligible and a donation would give them more quality adjusted life years, but there is not a willing donor available.

Consider, pairwise, the rights of two particular people: a person on the waitlist who will die unless they receive a kidney but who is below the cutoff line; and a healthy adult who lives next door to the sick person, who has two kidneys, and who could relatively safely donate one of them.

The law currently forbids the sick person from paying the healthy person money in exchange for their kidney. This prevents coercion[1] which could endanger the health of the healthy person.

In other words, the law prioritizes the healthy person infinitely and does not prioritize the welfare of the sick person.

Do you think this setup is correct? Or should we make legal changes that would balance the rights of sick people against those of healthy people? Under your proposed framework, should we sometimes allow sick people who have money to pay healthy people for their organs, buying a chance to live?

[1] Some discussion here: https://www.npr.org/transcripts/698563807

jsmith45(10000) 3 days ago [-]

My view has always been that it does not even matter if the fetus has full rights.

People do not have the right to physically attach themselves to another person, and leach blood, oxygen, nutrients, etc off the other person. Period. Fetuses would not be an exception. This is not a rights balancing issue. A woman has the complete and absolute right to stop another person from parasitically draining her of resources.

I feel that a person who wakes up with another person surgically attached to them by some sort of mad-scientist doctor could have surgery to have the second person removed, even if this means certain death for the second person. I don't view abortion as any different.

I could support a ban on abortion methods that directly kill the fetus, but as long as the method is primarily about severing the connection to the mother and removing it from the body, I see nothing wrong with that, even if removal means certain death for the fetus.

If people feel fetuses have human rights, I could also support laws or medical ethics requiring doctors to attempt to save the fetus after it is expelled (if the condition was such that saving them might be possible) just like they would try to save any other person.

stocknoob(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Your phrasing begs the question. Would you run into a burning IVF clinic to save the embryos?

purplerabbit(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Pro choice frames the question differently. To put it in an overly reductionist way: it's not a human, it's a fetus.

This framing does create a problem of defining when exactly it becomes a human, which I haven't heard a good answer to.

koonsolo(10000) 3 days ago [-]

For me it's pretty simple: what causes the least suffering. Don't act that an unwanted child will have a great life.

Most sane countries have sane rules related to abortions. But I guess some people still hang on to an imaginary superpower that will make them live forever, if they follow certain rules.

I also find it funny that most pro-life zealots are also pro death penalty. Completely bonkers.

With retarded shit like this I'm very happy to live in Europe, where we already figured these things out generation(s) ago.

bambax(10000) 3 days ago [-]

The fact that the same institution (SCOTUS), reading the same text (US Constitution) could conclude that abortion is a right, then isn't, tells us much of what we need to know about said institution, text... and certainly 'historicism' as well.

It's all arbitrary; clever and well-read people spending a lot of time justifying and rationalizing their predjudice.

InTheArena(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Which is why I think that making this decision should be done via a legislative branch instead, rather then unelected partisan, unaccountable, lifetime appointed judges.

cryptonector(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Yeah, it's a bunch of humans with opinions.

absolutelymild(10000) 2 days ago [-]

Well said. This reversal really exposes the court as a political entity imo.

The Supreme Court just ruled that abortion is a question for the states, but concealed weapons laws aren't. What's more likely, that this all fits into some complex theory of states rights, or that it's republican majority siding with the republican party?

fassssst(10000) 3 days ago [-]

It's about power over women and always was.

noasaservice(10000) 3 days ago [-]

There's some really ugly things now opened up - now there are no more protections for states to force an abortion or sterilization. A lot of 'undesirables' were sterilized in the early 20th century America, to the point that even Hitler in his Mein Kamph wrote highly about the US program of mass sterilization. https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2004/feb/06/race.usa . This reversal re-allows this possibility.

In fact, according to what ICE was/is doing, is already happening to non-citizens at our borders https://forward.com/culture/454663/ice-hysterectomies-eugeni...

But next up is attacking Obergefell... So, if that's deemed unconstitutional, what happens to the gay and lesbian people who are married to same-sex partners? Are their marriages nullified? What of the legal issues in unwinding a marriage of X years?

And people who are trans - will they then have to 'marry in line with respect to their listed gender'? Can their gender be changed legally? Will this pathway be available for gay and lesbian same-sex partners so they can 'legally become opposite of their gender' to then re-marry their partners?

malauxyeux(10000) 3 days ago [-]

> What of the legal issues in unwinding a marriage of X years?

In the case of a binational couple, does the non-citizen (now-former?) spouse get to keep living in the US? Or is the situation going to go back to how it was previously, with no federal recognition, even if legally married in 'gay marriage' state?

Married same-sex binational couples are minorities in a minority. They don't exist on the political radar unless a larger group takes up their cause. I fully expect them to get rolled here (again).

coliveira(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Supreme Court has shoot itself in the foot. It they can overturn their own decisions based on political schemes, then we can overturn EVERYTHING they do, including this decision itself.

InTheArena(10000) 3 days ago [-]

One can argue that the original Roe V. Wade had exactly this problem, and this is them fixing it.

thehappypm(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Overturning isn't some new thing. And sometimes it's hugely beneficial. Overturning precedent is how we got rid of separate-but-equal!

hotpotamus(10000) 3 days ago [-]

I'm surprised this is news to anyone. Why do you think Republicans fought so hard to own the courts?

metadat(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Actually now SCOTUS just doesn't really mean anything, and no longer stands for anything consistent.

They've undermined their own position.

voisin(10000) 3 days ago [-]

So why doesn't Biden change the size of the court to stack it with liberals?

LanceH(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Could such an effort be challenged and go through the courts? Would the decision of whether it could be challenged go through the courts?

jfk13(10000) 3 days ago [-]

And then what will the next president from the other side do...?

stuckinhell(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Because its a huge balancing act, if 25% of population (no matter political beliefs) views the government as illegitimate it leads to chaos.

Our current technological civilization is EXTREMELY fragile. 5 attackers in 2014 took down a CA power grid and caused millions in damages. They were never caught.


jjgreen(10000) 3 days ago [-]

The day that the coat-hanger became a medical instrument (again).

myvoiceismypass(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Pennyroyal is not hard to grow at home!

ncallaway(10000) 3 days ago [-]

We very thankfully have more options for women that are much safer than coat hangers.

There are drugs that will allow women to have illegal abortions that are much much safer than a coat hanger. The important factor will be finding ways to get such drugs to women in states where they cannot be legally used, and ensuring that such a delivery mechanism delivers safe, and authentic drugs.

duped(10000) 3 days ago [-]

I'm tired of having the minority religious and bigoted views dominate politics and starve us of progress. Regardless of what the 'right' ruling is on the law, or the roles of the different branches of government, the practical impact of this ruling is millions of Americans denied the right to healthcare while simultaneously being denied free access to any democratic process to secure it.

ceilingcorner(10000) 3 days ago [-]

It's not a minority view, both in the United States and in the world at large.

I don't quite understand why American progressives think they represent the world at large. Neo-colonialism, I suppose.

lesstyzing(10000) 3 days ago [-]

>> I'm tired of having the minority religious and bigoted views dominate politics and starve us of progress.

Is it minority views? Surely, when it comes down to states legislating this, people can make their opinion heard at the ballet box. And if a majority of people in a state vote conservative and abortion is restricted then we are legislating based on the wants of the majority. It will be interesting to see if this is an important enough issue for some conservative voters to swing them (and states) to the democrats.

nus07(10000) 3 days ago [-]

I fail to see what moderates can do in a two party system where gerrymandering is so heavily done that often Democrats have to win 3-1 to control any majority. At this point I see it as a fight between rich landowners+business owners+religion vs all the rest of the people . For a country where political lobbying and donations to effect legal decisions is common , I do not expect judgements to ever be fair. The battle between union and state rights only muddies the waters for legal speak.

noslenwerdna(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Where is gerrymandering so bad that Democrats have to win 3-1? This doesn't represent the experience of the median voter.

achenet(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Change to proportional representatin or runoff elections. [0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duverger%27s_law

dang(10000) 3 days ago [-]

We detached this subthread from https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=31864204.

i5Aj7PXGjUPy(10000) 3 days ago [-]

> At this point I see it as a fight between rich landowners+business owners+religion vs all the rest of the people

Based off of the responses itt, it's clearly not 'all the rest of the people'. But you know, maybe if you keep insisting that the political coalition in favor of Roe represents 'all the rest of the people' it might magically become true

> I fail to see what moderates can do in a two party system where gerrymandering is so heavily done that often Democrats have to win 3-1 to control any majority.

Ofc democrats don't gerrymander. The Illinois redistricting wasn't a gerrymander, it was a fair process. Wherever the democrats have a hard time winning it's always because there was a gerrymander, and not because the people don't want them in office. /s

vlunkr(10000) 3 days ago [-]

If you look at the popular vote then this is clearly wrong in two ways. Rich land and business owners don't make up half the population. And if you're implying that most religious people vote republican, then they should be absolutely destroying the popular vote. This is just the worldview that's been sold to you by social media.

silisili(10000) 3 days ago [-]

It's important to remember gerrymandering cuts both ways. In my state, the D's just redistricted into a crazy looking map that will effectively give them a clean sweep.

kolanos(10000) 3 days ago [-]

> In New York Democrats want to add four new seats through gerrymandering, to try to retain control of the U.S. House. One district is designed to guarantee the reelection of Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.), the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, which has held hearings on the evil of — you guessed it — gerrymandering. [0]

[0]: https://thehill.com/opinion/campaign/592968-dismantling-demo...

bloomingeek(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Now let's see if far right leaning adults start lining up in droves for foster/adoption care classes. This will let them put their time/money where their mouths are. Cause and affect: you don't want abortion, you now have to take care of those who are not wanted.

abvdasker(10000) 3 days ago [-]

They obviously won't. The Republican Party is explicitly opposed to expansion of the social safety net which would support the children from unwanted pregnancies. Outlawing abortion has nothing to do with protecting children. It's about exerting religious control over women and that's it.

jetsnoc(10000) 3 days ago [-]

My great grandmother Julianna died in 1935 aborting herself with a coat hanger in Southern Idaho. She was born in 1915 and died in 1935. Twenty years old. I'm a fifth-generation Idahoan, my family moved to Idaho during the great Mormon exodus of Illinois.

They were extremely impoverished. It was the Great Depression and in one of her letters, she writes about not even having the luxury of bone broth They were barely able to take care of their two children and she writes that it was better to save two children than let three starve. In her letters, she describes her guilt and the emotional pain she endured watching her two children be hungry. One of those children was my grandmother. She describes her concerns of being malnourished, she had been opting not to eat as much to let her two children eat, and how that would affect her unborn child.

She wrote that her pregnancy was early enough that she could reconcile her faith in allowing her two other children to survive and that not giving birth to a malnourished child would also be the right thing to do for that child as well. In college ethics classes, I became enamored with her situation and had a dozen or more conversations with my grandmother, I read my great-grandmother's letters and heard the story as passed through the generations. I will always cherish those conversations with my grandmother.

This of course ultimately developed my personal beliefs. I am thinking of her and my grandmother today.

I'm in a same-sex marriage and my stomach dropped reading Clarence Thomas's opinion and his reference to Obergefell. It wasn't that long ago I wasn't able to see my now-husband in the hospital — the emergency room - here in conservative Idaho. I do understand his opinion and context but even if legally sound, it affects me.

We the people of the United States of America know how to edit our living constitution and make the rights that we want a constitutional guarantee. It seems impossible at the moment with the divisiveness, polarization and in-fighting but we know that religion is on the decline and you will see that represented in elections in the coming decades. It is possible, we just don't know the path today. It can be done, but it won't be easy.

I'm sorry, this isn't all that related to Hacker News. To relate it back, I guess I am saying that we're hackers, we can hack society, we can hack belief systems, we can take unrelated ideas and bring them together to create something new just like we do inventing new categories of products. We can disrupt things through big ideas and through execution. If we want change, it will be a lot of hacking and hard work. After all, I think it was social / political hacking by the creators of this movement that got us here to today.

mariojv(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Thank you for writing this. I am a married gay man in Texas feeling all sorts of things similar to you are right now. The story about your great grandmother and your note about Thomas's opinion and your husband's visit to the ER hit hard.

Please keep telling people about your story and how these decisions affect you.

rs_rs_rs_rs_rs(10000) 3 days ago [-]

How is this seen like it's the end of the world?

Just vote with the people that won't ban abortion.

noveltyaccount(10000) 3 days ago [-]

'Just vote with the people that won't ban abortion' in insufficient in a system with an undemocratic Senate. The Senate controls who gets on the Supreme Court, and it requires 60 votes to advance legislation.

SamuelAdams(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Personally I think this is a good thing. My hope is that SCOTUS passing rulings down from the federal level to the states will encourage more (young) people to vote in their city and state elections. The voter turnout for presidential elections is always decent, however for local and state issues there's a clear difference in number of voters. Additionally, younger people don't vote as often in local and state elections. I wish it was not true but there's no arguing the statistics.



monocasa(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Because in contrary to the states' rights argument being touted, the legal theory underpinning the decision opens the door to a federal ban. You might not get the chance to vote for the people that ban abortion for you.

tzs(10000) 3 days ago [-]

In many states that has no effect whatsoever because district boundaries have been gerrymandered to ensure that the party that favors banning abortion will not lose control of the legislature.

JacobThreeThree(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Because the media is making it out to be the end of the world. This ruling does not ban abortion, it lets the states have jurisdiction over the issue.

hylaride(10000) 3 days ago [-]

The US senate is 2 senators per state. The smaller states are mostly rural conservative issues. The senators that confirmed the three trump justices represent 43% of the population.

It's not that easy.

Fauntleroy(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Rule by minority is probably the 'end of the world' feeling you're getting from all this.

gnicholas(10000) 3 days ago [-]

As expected, the 5 justices on the leaked Alito opinion constitute the majority, Chief Justice Roberts filed a concurring opinion (in which he argues that the principle of judicial restraint requires merely upholding the law in question, not overturning Roe), and the 3 liberal justices dissented.

In total, the opinions are 217 pages long.

Anyone able to quickly run a diff on the leaked majority opinion and the official one?

jonathanjaeger(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Don't have that for you, but I found one difference cited on Twitter: https://twitter.com/notjessewalker/status/154034207000234803...

cm277(10000) 3 days ago [-]

It hurts me to say this, but American democracy is broken. Checks and balances have been twisted to subvert true democratic rule. We should stop worshipping the Founders and their intent, and aim for a Second American Republic, built around the tested and true practices of mature European republics (that have done a lot more revisions than our 1.0.33 release...):

- Parliamentary democracy, two chambered if need be, with slowly changing electoral maps (drawn from the Census and controlled by judges, not politicians)

- Ban on non-government funding of political parties. Money raised comes from the government or small donations.

- Parliament/senate majority is enough. Enough of that 19th century filibuster nonsense.

- Faster constitutional amendment cycles that don't require supermajorities

- No assinine lifetime appointments to anything. A 10- or 12-year term and a healthy pension are controls enough

Law is code: it needs to be easy to change when it's not working and it needs good change processes when it does change. But we cant be running a modern economy and society on 250 year old COBOL...

pluc(10000) 3 days ago [-]

No abortion rights and a shooting every other day. Good luck attracting talent if you keep this up. You're gonna run yourselves right out of the game.

dogman144(10000) 3 days ago [-]

All those red states that courted tech employees the last two years are about to get a challenging political period from that new donor base.

Alabama has Huntsville, Texas has Austin, TN has chatt and Nashville, NC has Charlotte and Raleigh-Durham, Florida has Miami/Tampa, AZ has Phoenix, CO has Denver (CO isn't super red but it's somewhere). This will get more interested and remote workers go deeper into small towns.

rrrrrrrrrrrryan(10000) 3 days ago [-]

A large part of why the right has disproportionate political power is because left-leaning folks tend to cluster together geographically and dilute their votes. Now that they're beginning to spread out, this may change a bit.

Historical Discussions: The Grug Brained Developer (June 22, 2022: 1030 points)
The Grug Brained Developer (June 22, 2022: 3 points)

(1031) The Grug Brained Developer

1031 points 5 days ago by huimang in 10000th position

grugbrain.dev | Estimated reading time – 27 minutes | comments | anchor

The Grug Brained Developer A layman's guide to thinking like the self-aware smol brained


this collection of thoughts on software development gathered by grug brain developer

grug brain developer not very smart, but grug brain developer program many long year and learn some things although mostly still confused

grug brain developer try collect learns into small, easily digestible and funny page, not only for you, the young grug, but also for him because as grug brain developer get older he forget important things, like what had for breakfast or if put pants on

big brained developers are many, and some not expected to like this, make sour face

THINK they are big brained developers many, many more, and many more even definitely probably not like this

(grug once think big brained but learn hard way)

is fine!

is free country sort of and end of day not really matter too much, but grug hope you fun reading and maybe learn from many, many mistake grug make over long program life

apex predator of grug is complexity

complexity bad

say again:

complexity very bad

you say now:

complexity very, very bad

given choice between complexity or one on one against t-rex, grug take t-rex: at least grug see t-rex

complexity is spirit demon that enter codebase through well-meaning but ultimately very clubbable non grug-brain developers and project managers who not fear complexity spirit demon or even know about sometime

one day code base understandable and grug can get work done, everything good!

next day impossible: complexity demon spirit has entered code and very dangerous situation!

grug no able see complexity demon, but grug sense its presence in code base

demon complexity spirit mocking him make change here break unrelated thing there what!?! mock mock mock ha ha so funny grug love programming and not becoming shiney rock speculator like grug senior advise

club not work on demon spirit complexity and bad idea actually hit developer who let spirit in with club: sometimes grug himself!

sadly, often grug himself

so grug say again and say often: complexity very, very bad

best weapon against complexity spirit demon is magic word: 'no'

'no, grug not build that feature'

'no, grug not build that abstraction'

'no, grug not put water on body every day or drink less black think juice you stop repeat ask now'

note, this good engineering advice but bad career advice: 'yes' is magic word for more shiney rock and put in charge of large tribe of developer

sad but true: learn 'yes' then learn blame other grugs when fail, ideal career advice

but grug must to grug be true, and 'no' is magic grug word. Hard say at first, especially if you nice grug and don't like disappoint people (many such grugs!) but easier over time even though shiney rock pile not as high as might otherwise be

is ok: how many shiney rock grug really need anyway?

sometimes compromise necessary or no shiney rock, mean no dinosaur meat, not good, wife firmly remind grug about young grugs at home need roof, food, and so forth, no interest in complexity demon spirit rant by grug for fiftieth time

in this situation, grug recommend 'ok'

'ok, grug build that feature'

then grug spend time think of 80/20 solution to problem and build that instead. 80/20 solution say '80 want with 20 code' solution maybe not have all bell-whistle that project manager want, maybe a little ugly, but work and deliver most value, and keep demon complexity spirit at bay for most part to extent

sometimes probably best just not tell project manager and do it 80/20 way. easier forgive than permission, project managers mind like butterfly at times overworked and dealing with many grugs. often forget what even feature supposed to do or move on or quit or get fired grug see many such cases

anyway is in project managers best interest anyway so grug not to feel too bad for this approach usually

next strategy very harder: break code base up properly (fancy word: 'factor your code properly') here is hard give general advice because each system so different. however, one thing grug come to believe: not factor your application too early!

early on in project everything very abstract and like water: very little solid holds for grug's struggling brain to hang on to. take time to develop 'shape' of system and learn what even doing. grug try not to factor in early part of project and then, at some point, good cut-points emerge from code base

good cut point has narrow interface with rest of system: small number of functions or abstractions that hide complexity demon internally, like trapped in crystal

grug quite satisfied when complexity demon trapped properly in crystal, is best feeling to trap mortal enemy!

grug try watch patiently as cut points emerge from code and slowly refactor, with code base taking shape over time along with experience. no hard/ fast rule for this: grug know cut point when grug see cut point, just take time to build skill in seeing, patience

sometimes grug go too early and get abstractions wrong, so grug bias towards waiting

big brain developers often not like this at all and invent many abstractions start of project

grug tempted to reach for club and yell 'big brain no maintain code! big brain move on next architecture committee leave code for grug deal with!'

but grug learn control passions, major difference between grug and animal

instead grug try to limit damage of big brain developer early in project by giving them thing like UML diagram (not hurt code, probably throw away anyway) or by demanding working demo tomorrow

working demo especially good trick: force big brain make something to actually work to talk about and code to look at that do thing, will help big brain see reality on ground more quickly

remember! big brain have big brain! need only be harness for good and not in service of spirit complexity demon on accident, many times seen

(best grug brain able to herd multiple big brain in right direction and produce many complexity demon trap crystals, large shiney rock pile awaits such grug!)

also sometimes call demo approach 'prototype', sound fancier to project manager

grug say prototype early in software making, especially if many big brains

grug have love/hate relationship with test: test save grug many, many uncountable time and grug love and respect test

unfortunately also many test shamans exist. some test shaman make test idol, demand things like 'first test' before grug even write code or have any idea what grug doing domain!

how grug test what grug not even understand domain yet!?

'Oh, don't worry: the tests will show you what you need to do.'

grug once again catch grug slowly reaching for club, but grug stay calm

grug instead prefer write most tests after prototype phase, when code has begun firm up

but, note well: grug must here be very disciplined!

easy grug to move on and not write tests because 'work on grugs machine'!

this very, very bad: no guarantee work on other machine and no guarantee work on grug machine in future, many times

test shaman have good point on importance of test, even if test shaman often sometimes not complete useful feature in life and talk only about test all time, deserve of club but heart in right place

also, test shaman often talk unit test very much, but grug not find so useful. grug experience that ideal tests are not unit test or either end-to-end test, but in-between test

unit tests fine, ok, but break as implementation change (much compared api!) and make refactor hard and, frankly, many bugs anyway often due interactions other code. often throw away when code change.

grug write unit test mostly at start of project, help get things going but not get too attached or expect value long time

end to end tests good, show whole system work, but! hard to understand when break and drive grug crazy very often, sometimes grugs just end up ignoring because 'oh, that break all time' very bad!

in-between tests, grug hear shaman call 'integration tests' sometime often with sour look on face. but grug say integration test sweet spot according to grug: high level enough test correctness of system, low level enough, with good debugger, easy to see what break

grug prefer some unit tests especially at start but not 100% all code test and definitely not 'first test'. 'test along the way' work pretty well for grug, especially as grug figure things out

grug focus much ferocious integration test effort as cut point emerge and system stabilize! cut point api hopefully stable compared implementation and integration test remain valuable many long time, and easy debug

also small, well curated end-to-end test suite is created to be kept working religiously on pain of clubbing. focus of important end-to-end test on most common UI features and few most important edge cases, but not too many or become impossible maintain and then ignored

this ideal set of test to grug

you may not like, but this peak grug testing

also, grug dislike mocking in test, prefer only when absolute necessary to (rare/never) and coarse grain mocking (cut points/systems) only at that

one exception 'first test' dislike by grug: when bug found. grug always try first reproduce bug with regression test then fix bug, this case only for some reason work better

grug think agile not terrible, not good

end of day, not worst way to organize development, maybe better than others grug supposes is fine

danger, however, is agile shaman! many, many shiney rock lost to agile shaman!

whenever agile project fail, agile shaman say 'you didn't do agile right!' grug note this awfully convenient for agile shaman, ask more shiney rock better agile train young grugs on agile, danger!

grug tempted reach for club when too much agile talk happen but always stay calm

prototyping, tools and hiring good grugs better key to success software: agile process ok and help some but sometimes hurt taken too seriously, never silver club no matter what agile shaman say (danger!)

refactoring fine activity and often good idea, especially later in project when code firmed up

however, grug note that many times in career 'refactors' go horribly off rails and end up causing more harm than good

grug not sure exactly why some refactors work well, some fail, but grug notice that larger refactor, more likely failure appear to be

so grug try to keep refactors relatively small and not be 'too far out from shore' during refactor. ideally system work entire time and each step of finish before other begin.

end-to-end tests are life saver here, but often very hard understand why broke... such is refactor life.

also grug notice that introducing too much abstraction often lead to refactor failure and system failure. good example was J2EE introduce, many big brain sit around thinking too much abstraction, nothing good came of it many project hurt

another good example when company grug work for introduce OSGi to help manage/trap spriit complexity demon in code base. not only OSGi not help, but make complexity demon much more powerful! took multiple man year of best developers to rework as well to boot! more complex spirit and now features impossible implement! very bad!

wise grug shaman chesterton once say

here exists in such a case a certain institution or law; let us say, for the sake of simplicity, a fence or gate erected across a road. The more modern type of reformer goes gaily up to it and says, "I don't see the use of this; let us clear it away." To which the more intelligent type of reformer will do well to answer: "If you don't see the use of it, I certainly won't let you clear it away. Go away and think. Then, when you can come back and tell me that you do see the use of it, I may allow you to destroy it."

many older grug learn this lesson well not start tearing code out willy nilly, no matter how ugly look

grug understand all programmer platonists at some level wish music of spheres perfection in code. but danger is here, world is ugly and gronky many times and so also must code be

humility not often come big brained or think big brained easily or grug even, but grug often find 'oh, grug no like look of this, grug fix' lead many hours pain grug and no better or system worse even

grug early on in career often charge into code base waving club wildly and smash up everything, learn not good

grug not say no improve system ever, quite foolish, but recommend take time understand system first especially bigger system is and is respect code working today even if not perfect

here tests often good hint for why fence not to be smashed!

grug wonder why big brain take hardest problem, factoring system correctly, and introduce network call too

seem very confusing to grug

grug love tool. tool and control passion what separate grug from dinosaurs! tool allow grug brain to create code that not possible otherwise by doing thinking for grug, always good relief! grug always spend time in new place learning tools around him to maximize productivity: learn tools for two weeks make development often twice faster and often have dig around ask other developers help, no docs

code completion in IDE allow grug not have remembered all API very important!

java programming nearly impossible without it for grug!

really make grug think some time

good debugger worth weight in shiney rocks, in fact also more: when faced with bug grug would often trade all shiney rock and perhaps few children for good debugger and anyway debugger no weigh anything far as grug can tell

grug always recommend new programmer learn available debugger very deeply, features like conditional break points, expression evaluation, etc

grug say never be not improving tooling

grug very like type systems make programming easier. for grug, type systems most value when grug hit dot on keyboard and list of things grug can do pop up magic. this 90% of value of type system or more to grug

but beware big brains here!

some type big brain think in type systems and talk in lemmas, can be very dangerous!

big brain type system shaman often say type correctness main point type system, but grug note some big brain type system shaman not often ship code. grug suppose code never shipped is correct, in some sense, but not really what grug mean when say correct

grug say tool magic pop up what can do and complete of code major benefit of type system, correctness also good but not so much as tool helper or much as big brain think

also beware: danger abstraction too high, and big brain type code become astral projection of platonic generic turing model of computation into code base. grug confused and agree some level very elegant but also very hard do anything like record number of club inventory for Grug Inc. task at hand

generics especially dangerous here, grug try limit generics to container classes for most part where most value add

temptation generics very large is trick! spirit demon complex love this one trick! beware!

always most value type system come: hit dot see what grug can do, never forget!

grug once like to minimize lines of code much as possible. write code like this:

  if(contact && !contact.isActive() && (contact.inGroup(FAMILY) || contact.inGroup(FRIENDS))) {
    // ...

over time grug learn this hard debug, learn prefer write like so:

  if(contact) {
    var contactIsInactive = !contact.isActive();
    var contactIsFamilyOrFriends = contact.inGroup(FAMILY) || contact.inGroup(FRIENDS);
    if(contactIsInactive && contactIsFamilyOrFriends) {
        // ...

grug hear screams from young grugs at horror of many line of code and pointless variable and grug prepare defend self with club

club fight start with other developers attack and grug yell: 'easier debug! see result of each expression more clearly and good name! easier understand conditional expression! EASIER DEBUG!'

definitely easier debug and once club fight end calm down and young grug think a bit, they realize grug right

grug still catch grug writing code like first example and often regret, so grug not judge young grug

grug like closures for right job and that job usually abstracting operation over collection of objects

grug warn closures like salt, type systems and generics: small amount go long way, but easy spoil things too much use give heart attack

javascript developers call very special complexity demon spirit in javascript 'callback hell' because too much closure used by javascript libraries very sad but also javascript developer get what deserved let grug be frank

grug huge fan of logging and encourage lots of it, especially in cloud deployed. some non-grugs say logging expensive and not important. grug used think this way no more

funny story: grug learn idol rob pike working on logging at google and decide: 'if rob pike working on logging, what grug do there?!?' so not pursue. turn out logging very important to google so of course best programmer work on it, grug!

don't be such grug brain, grug, much less shiney rock now!

oh well, grug end up at good company anyway and rob pike dress habit increasingly erratic, so all work out in end, but point stand: logging very important!

grug tips on logging are:

  • log all major logical branches within code (if/for)
  • if 'request' span multiple machine in cloud infrastructure, include request ID in all so logs can be grouped
  • if possible make log level dynamically controlled, so grug can turn on/off when need debug issue (many!)
  • if possible make log level per user, so can debug specific user issue

last two points are especially handy club when fighting bugs in production systems very often

unfortunately log libraries often very complex (java, why you do?) but worth investing time in getting logging infrastructure 'just right' pay off big later in grug experience

logging need taught more in schools, grug think

grug, like all sane developer, fear concurrency

as much as possible, grug try to rely on simple concurrency models like stateless web request handlers and simple remote job worker queues where jobs no interdepend and simple api

optimistic concurrency seem work well for web stuff

occasionally grug reach for thread local variable, usually when writing framework code

some language have good concurrent data structure, like java ConcurrentHashMap but still need careful grug work to get right

grug has never used erlang, hear good things, but language look wierd to grug sorry

grug love good apis. good apis not make grug think too much

unfortunately, many apis very bad, make grug think quite a bit. this happen many reasons, here two:

  • API creators think in terms of implementation or domain of API, rather than in terms of use of API
  • API creators think too abstract and big brained

usually grug not care too deeply about detail of api: want write file or sort list or whatever, just want to call write() or sort() or whatever

but big brain api developers say:

'not so fast, grug! is that file open for write? did you define a Comparator for that sort?'

grug find self restraining hand reaching for club again

not care about that stuff right now, just want sort and write file mr big brain!

grug recognize that big brain api designer have point and that sometime these things matter, but often do not. big brain api developers better if design for simple cases with simple api, make complex cases possible with more complex api

grug call this 'layering' apis: two or three different apis at different level complexity for various grug needs

also, if object oriented, put api on thing instead of elsewhere. java worst at this!

grug want filter list in java

'Did you convert it to a stream?'

fine, grug convert to stream

'OK, now you can filter.'

OK, but now need return list! have stream!

'Well, did you collect your stream into a list?'


'Define a Collector<? super T, A, R> to collect your stream into a list'

grug now swear on ancestor grave he club every single person in room, but count two instead and remain calm

put common thing like filter() on list and make return list, listen well big brain java api developer!

nobody care about 'stream' or even hear of 'stream' before, is not networking api, all java grugs use list mr big brain!

grug love make programming language drop of hat and say recursive descent most fun and beautiful way create parser

unfortunately many big brain school teach only parser generator tool. here grug usual love of tool is not: generate code of awful snakes nest, impossible understand, bottom up, what? hide recursive nature of grammar from student and debug impossible, very bad according grug!

grug think this because while complexity demon bad for code base and understand, complexity demon good for generation of much academic papers, sad but true

most production parser recursive descent/top down, despite ignore by schools, grug furious when learn how simple parse is when working on industry, parsing not big brain only magic so can you!

grug very elated find big brain developer Bob Nystrom write excellent book on recursive descent:

Crafting Interpreters

book available online free, but grug highly recommend all interested grugs purchase book on general principle, provide much big brain advice and grug love book very much except visitor pattern (trap!)

some non-grugs, when faced with web development say:

'I know, I'll split my front end and back end codebase up and use a hot new SPA library talking to a GraphQL JSON API back end over HTTP (which is funny because I'm not transferring hypertext)'

now you have two complexity demon spirit lairs

and, what is worse, front end complexity demon spirit even more powerful and have deep spiritual hold on entire front end industry as far as grug can tell

back end developers try keep things simple and can work ok, but front end developers make very complex very quickly and introduce lots of code, demon complex spirit

even when website just need put form into database or simple brochure site!

everyone do this now!

grug not sure why except maybe facebook and google say so, but that not seem very good reason to grug

grug not like big complex front end libraries everyone use

grug make htmx and hyperscript to avoid

keep complexity low, simple HTML, avoid lots javascript, the natural ether of spirit complexity demon

maybe they work for you, but no job post, sorry

react better for job and also some type application, but also you become alcolyte of complexity demon whether you like or no, sorry such is front end life

ultra biggest brain developer once say:

premature optimization is the root of all evil

this everyone mostly know and grug here agree with much violence and all humility with ultra big brain

recommend always to have concrete, real world profile showing specific perf issue before begin optimizing, never know what actual issue might be, grug often surprise. beware only cpu burn of focus: easy to see and much big o notation thinking having been done in school but often not root of all slowness, surprise to many

hitting network equivalent of many, many millions cpu cycle and always to be minimized if possible, note well big brain microservice developer!

inexperienced big brain developer often see nested loop and say 'O(n^2)? Not on my watch!'

complexity demon spirit smile

DRY mean Don't Repeat Self (grug not sure about Y, why not DRS, anyway) and powerful maxim over mind of most developers

grug respect DRY and good advice, but recommend balance in all things as gruggest of big brains aristotle recommend

grug note humourous graph by Lea Verou correspond with grug passion not repeat:

over time past ten snows grug not as concerned repeat code so long as repeat code simple enough and obvious enough, and grug begin feel repeat/copy paste code with small variation better than many callback/closures or elaborate object model encapsulate difference: too hard complex for too little benefit at times

always hard balance here, and repeat code always make grug stare and say 'mmm' often, but experience show repeat code not always worse than potential solution

also grug encourage over literal developer not take does work line too serious, is joke

Separation of Concern (SoC) another powerful idea over many developer mind, idea to separate different aspects of system into distinct sections code

canonical example from web development is separation of style (css file), markup (html file) and logic (javascript file)

here grug much more sour faced than DRY and in fact attempt write big brained essay on alternative design principle locality of behavior (LoB) fight against SoC

grug prefer put code on the thing that do the thing so when grug look at the thing grug know what the thing do!

when separate grug must all over tarnation many file look understand what button do, much confuse and time waste: how this button do!?!

grug note lots of fads in development, especially front end development today

back end better more boring because all bad ideas have tried at this point maybe (still retry some!)

still trying all bad ideas in front end development so still much change and hard to know

grug recommend taking all revolutionary new approach with grain salt: big brains have working for long time on computers now, most ideas have tried at least once

grug not saying can't learn new tricks or no good new ideas, but also much of time wasted on recycled bad ideas, lots of spirit complexity demon power come from putting new idea willy nilly into code base

note! very good if senior grug willing to say publicly: 'hmmm, this too complex for grug'!

many developers Fear Of Looking Dumb (FOLD), grug also at one time FOLD, but grug learn get over: very important senior grug say 'this too complicated and confuse to me'

this make it ok for junior grugs to admit too complex and not understand as well, often such case! FOLD major source of complexity demon power over developer, especially young grugs!

take FOLD power away, very good of senior grug!

note: important to make thinking face and look big brained when saying though. be prepare for big brain or, worse and much more common, thinks is big brain to make snide remark of grug

be strong! no FOLD!

club sometimes useful here, but more often sense of humor and especially last failed project by big brain very useful, so collect and be calm

grug note many such impostor feels in development

always grug one of two states: grug is ruler of all survey, wield code club like thor OR grug have no idea what doing

grug is mostly latter state most times, hide it pretty well though

now, grug make softwares of much work and moderate open source success , and yet grug himself often feel not any idea what doing! very often! grug still fear make mistake break everyone code and disappoint other grugs, imposter!

is maybe nature of programming for most grug to feel impostor and be ok with is best: nobody imposter if everybody imposter

any young grug read this far probably do fine in program career even if frustrations and worry is always to be there, sorry

grug like these:

you say: complexity very, very bad

All Comments: [-] | anchor

maxfurman(10000) 5 days ago [-]

This might be the best text on programming I've read since Why's Poignant Guide

recursivedoubts(10000) 5 days ago [-]

this might be the highest complement ever received in the history of hacker news, thank you

twhitmore(10000) 5 days ago [-]


grug wonder why big brain take hardest problem, factoring system correctly, and introduce network call too

That made me laugh. The microservices madness of the past decade is now starting to settle down to more mature understandings, but there are still a lot people biting off large testing, operational, and data transactionality/ reporting costs.

People often don't recognise beforehand the magnitude of extra complexity & associated productivity costs.

I've seen companies architecting 50 microservices with 50 separate datastores when they actually needed 5 midi services.. Then lose half their productivity trying to work with all this.

strix_varius(10000) 5 days ago [-]

I don't know if this is universal, but in my circles 'microfrontends' are now all the rage.

How do you bring up concerns with that in good faith? It's so obviously terrible that I've no idea where to begin.

BlargMcLarg(10000) 5 days ago [-]

>The microservices madness of the past decade is now starting to settle down

Meanwhile, I feel it has just started outside SV. Is the remainder of the world just perpetually 5-10 years behind?

greatpostman(10000) 5 days ago [-]

I actually disagree. I think people disparaging micro services are working at companies or on problems that are too small for that solution

geekbird(10000) 5 days ago [-]

This. Premature and excessive fragmenting into unmaintainable and operationally microse5rvices is the bane of my existence. It's often done by zealots, who see microservice architecture as a matter of religious faith, not operability convenience.

Sure, some monoliths are harder to debug if there are multiple distinct packages that need to operate together if they are all in the same container. But fragmenting a simple set of services into a dozen microservices each in their own disconnected container is excessive too. If any of those fragments depend too closely on other fragments to operate (like, say, a timer service and a session renewal service that depends on the timer) it will easily fall over and be nearly impossible to tell why.

If you are going to shard up your application into microservices, be sure to split out your functions conservatively, so that like goes with like. It's easier to split stuff out more later than to try to split every little jot and tittle into its own dinky container. That way you don't end up with little containers of nothing wasting processor and I/O just for the sake of dogma.

Tabular-Iceberg(10000) 4 days ago [-]

Also my biggest worry when a client wants to transition to microservices what the state of their current monolith is. An out-of-control monolith doesn't inspire confidence that they will be much better at building a distributed system.

whiddershins(10000) 5 days ago [-]

> Microservices

grug wonder why big brain take hardest problem, factoring system correctly, and introduce network call too

seem very confusing to grug



tharax(10000) 5 days ago [-]

This is perhaps the most succinct way I've ever seen this expressed. Agree 100%.

tines(10000) 5 days ago [-]

As a grug-brained developer, I love the spirit of this, but it's kinda hard to read. Maybe the author can publish an English translation? :)

crooked-v(10000) 5 days ago [-]

On the other hand, I'd be interested in seeing a 'ten hundred most common words' version of it that dumps those complicated words like 'refactor'.

bitwize(10000) 5 days ago [-]

This reminds me rather of a cross between 'Code Monkey' (Jonathan Coulton song) and Film Crit Hulk Smash.

andrepd(10000) 5 days ago [-]

grug think grugposting is part of the charm

raphlinus(10000) 5 days ago [-]

I might be willing to give this a shot. I appreciated the charm and humor in the original, but especially for readers who don't have English as a first language it probably gets in the way of the message.

jstanley(10000) 5 days ago [-]

> grug no able see complexity demon, but grug sense its presence in code base

This is the key problem with complexity.

Complexity is fine if you understand it! It's when you're aware that something is complex, but you start to get these mental force-fields pushing you aware from the scary parts, that it becomes a problem.

> demon complexity spirit mocking him make change here break unrelated thing there what!?!

That's the happy case! The sad case is when you make a change and don't observe any obvious breakage, but then 3 years later you realise something you somewhat care about has been silently broken for a very long time.

nisegami(10000) 4 days ago [-]

>but then 3 years later you realise something you somewhat care about has been silently broken for a very long time

The trick is to never stay somewhere long enough to feel the consequences of your bad decisions

LawnGnome(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Australians of a certain age might have a different (yet not that different) take on the Grug brain: https://www.simonandschuster.ca/books/Grug/Ted-Prior/9780731...

ammojamo(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Hah! I read the whole thing thinking that of that grug. Which gave it a really odd but lovable vibe in my head. TIL there is more than one Grug.

bpicolo(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Grug and I have essentially identical software development philosophies. I appreciate you Grug. This, especially, was where I felt kindred spirits colliding.

> type systems most value when grug hit dot on keyboard and list of things grug can do pop up magic

strix_varius(10000) 5 days ago [-]

For me, that's 50% of it. The other 50% would be:

> type systems other most value when grug make wrong, but no user see because big red arrow point to first.

kazinator(10000) 5 days ago [-]

This reads a lot like like commit comments, status reports, e-mails and tickets in a company in which everyone is from a different country from around the globe.

If you can't read grug English, you will find it hard to navigate in the global workforce.

rafetefe(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Thankfully this is not totally correct. I personally found grug English to be harder to understand/read as a non-native English reader.

girvo(10000) 5 days ago [-]

I have accidentally introduced "dope" as a thankful affirmative into our international developers lexicon at work. There's another even more amusing one too but I can't remember what it is. Working with global teams is fun!

whiskeytuesday(10000) 5 days ago [-]

> grug understand all programmer platonists at some level wish music of spheres perfection in code. but danger is here, world is ugly and gronky many times and code so also must. humility not often come big brained or think big brained easily or grug even, but grug often find 'oh, grug no like look of this, grug fix' lead many hours pain grug and no better or system worse even. grug early on often charge into code base waving club wildly and smash up everything, learn not good

> grug not say no improve system ever, quite foolish, but recommend take time understand system first especially bigger system is and respected code working today even if not perfect

grug read this and grok spirit, grug enlightened. master not club grug so much.

Rantenki(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Grug state Chesterton's fence very easy understand way.

arthurcolle(10000) 5 days ago [-]

> test shaman have good point on importance of test, even if test shaman often sometimes not complete useful feature in life and talk only about test all time, deserve of club but heart in right place

> also, test shaman often talk unit test very much, but grug not find so useful. grug experience that ideal tests are not unit test or either end-to-end test, but in-between test


arthurcolle(10000) 5 days ago [-]

These literally just get better and better.

> big brain type system shaman often say type correctness main point type system, but grug note big brain type system shaman not often ship code. grug suppose code never shipped is correct, in some sense, but not really what grug mean when say correct!

grug need start shiney rock deposit ritual for grug similar program shaman so grug has more club. maybe some club have spike or some club have more big size. me no idea what grug need but me know grug need more.

me is mere artoo not big brain like grug but me has big sympathy for grug. like grug test shaman make artoo skeptical. like grug artoo wish spread word of grug. grug too is shaman. artoo most good disciple grug.

bfung(10000) 5 days ago [-]

this grug read article, but author grug big brain, article too long. If article was smaller with less complexity, easier for regular grug to read and remember.


SonOfLilit(10000) 5 days ago [-]

grug read one sentence, grug feel smarter already. grug read next sentence, grug feel smart on different subject. grug hope have one sentence in inbox every day. or maybe little bird chirp sentence at grug. but no complex, just many subject.

TranquilMarmot(10000) 5 days ago [-]

I think this nicely captures everything I've learned about programming over the past n years that I wish other people would realize too.

eurasiantiger(10000) 5 days ago [-]

What have been the most complex business requirements for a project you have worked on, and what made them complex? Was the resulting system less complex than the requirements?

resters(10000) 5 days ago [-]

I can't tell who this article is making fun of.

SonOfLilit(10000) 5 days ago [-]

not who, what. grug make fun spirit of complexity, but many time grug git blame who summon spirit, see grug summon spirit. grug humility. everyone complexity sometime. grug make fun frontend, put grug write frontend sometime.

bauble(10000) 5 days ago [-]

People who think simple, easy-to-understand systems are beneath them.

maest(10000) 5 days ago [-]

> sometimes probably best just not tell project manager and do it 80/20 way. easier forgive than permission, project managers mind like butterfly at times overworked and dealing with many grugs.

In my experience, I have to fight to keep my devs from over engineering their solutions and just get something going.

I'd love to work with a dev who's happy to think about how to most quickly deliver value and who's willing to help with the cost-benefit analysis for each suggested feature.

Problem is, for that, you need a developer who cares about and deeply understands the use case/the product. Many of the devs I've had to work with were more interested in building pristine codebases with clever abstractions and ability to scale to unnecessary numbers of users or bytes.

pif(10000) 5 days ago [-]

> I'd love to work with a dev who's happy to think about how to most quickly deliver value

I'd love to work with a PM who has the courage to engage over a detailed specification document.

bigiain(10000) 5 days ago [-]

> Many of the devs I've had to work with were more interested in building pristine codebases with clever abstractions and ability to scale to unnecessary numbers of users or bytes.

I've worked with my share of them, but I've also worked with my share orders who'll hack together the quickest possible kludge that meets enough of the requirements to seem to work on the surface.

Interestingly, given the choice, I'd have some of both those types on my team. I really like having the 'architecture astronauts' being involved in the very early stage of greenfield projects. Their desire to push the boundaries can help ensure you start off on a great foundation. I also really like having 'that guy' who can hack minified javascript and manually deploy it on prod servers to fix a critical bug _right now_ while someone else goes through the 'proper process' to get it into the repo and through the CICD...

But you really really need a majority of your dev team who'll take the proper pragmatic approach, or at least who can be cajoled into doing so.

IshKebab(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Obviously it's a scale but I hope you aren't falling into the trap of only seeing the features. The developers actually have to work in the code so it might not make a difference to you if the feature is implemented cleanly or not (in the short term anyway) but it obviously does to them.

TideAd(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Do you understand the basic reasons why?

Developers are on the hook for bad code and complexity. Rushed code makes feature work take longer, it makes working more irritating, and creates operational work. Everyone is burned by a team that does these things poorly at some point in their career and it drains the life out of you.

They need to trust that you'll schedule time to go back and do things correctly. Clean up technical debt, nail down all the requirements, etc.; you don't want to be jumping from MVP to MVP. Maybe you do this well, I don't know. But you need to understand the motivations and incentives of the devs you work with better or you're going to be fighting them constantly.

majormajor(10000) 5 days ago [-]

How are you hiring your devs?

The more abstract-problem/algorithmic the hiring process, the more I see this.

Ask practical coding problems instead, screen for practical devs who can find 80/20 style shortcuts.

(You probably still want some of the abstract folks too, though, to round things out.)

riazrizvi(10000) 5 days ago [-]

The difference is mostly a result of perspective, that could be fixed. The PM has the use cases and product gestalt, if this was shared and made the environment in which the devs work, their prioritizing shifts to product, and engineering concerns would be limited to more obvious ones that make sense.

But it's human nature to protect one's job and decision making autonomy. PMs being no exception, often underweight their roles in communication transfer and overweight them in decision taking.

BobbyJo(10000) 5 days ago [-]

PMs represent the customer. That being the case, they push hard for features and leave it to engineers to keep features coming out at predictable speed.

Engineers represent themselves. They are accountable for feature delivery speed and product stability. That being the case they push hard for hardening, automating, and maintaining.

The two have to balance each other out. PMs need to push to keep Eng focused on growing business value, otherwise the company will never make money. Eng needs to push PMs to focus on long term product delivery, otherwise customers will leave as quickly as they come, and new one's will stop showing up, no matter how pretty the UI looks.

If you had a team of engineers like you describe it would only be heaven for about 6 months in my experience. I've seen two separate teams of engineers run this way. Everything was kick-ass until it was suddenly horrible and engineers started bailing.

Trasmatta(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Do you have enough of an understanding of the codebase to know what is over engineering and what isn't? If not, that's the problem I have with a lot of project managers. If you can't understand the codebase, how can you make judgment calls like that? It can be very hard to make the right call between over and under engineered, even if you're intimately familiar with the codebase.

goodoldneon(10000) 5 days ago [-]

It's a balance. As an engineer, I'm constantly dealing with the consequences of a 'the feature worked so we shipped' mindset. Churning out features without thinking about architecture creates increasing amounts of code 'tangle' that gradually slows down feature dev. On the flip side, thinking too much about architecture slows down feature dev

galaxyLogic(10000) 5 days ago [-]

You have the right insight I think. The thing about putting lots of effort into 'refactoring' is that the code you refactor may actually not end up in the product at all.

I think 'prototyping' is better than 'refactoring'. Prototyping basically means that you write your app more than once. On the 2nd round you know what needs to be there and what not. You may have come up with a much better much simpler design for the whole system when you know what needs to be there and what it needs to do.

Code-quality is important no doubt, but it is not important for code that doesn't end up in the final product.

lmarcos(10000) 5 days ago [-]

That's because such developers know that they won't have to maintain such code. They will probably be gone (switch to another company) in 1 or 2 years.

jeffparsons(10000) 5 days ago [-]

I think I have a near-pathological experience of coding these days that just so happens to make me the exact kind of developer you want:

1. I still want to produce excellent code that will deliver value, work predictably, be fast, and be robust against future grugs. I am driven to do this by forces I don't understand myself.

2. I also feel a deep dread of being stuck with a piece of code for any longer than absolutely necessary lest I end up trapped in it forever, so I want to be rid of this code and be rid of it now, which means I need to find a way to get it done and ship it so I can move on to the next urgent thing.

The result is that you will get a steady stream of good code from me with pragmatic and well-documented compromises, for the low, low cost of my sanity.

randompi(10000) 5 days ago [-]

> In my experience, I have to fight to keep my devs from over engineering their solutions and just get something going.

In practice tho, the grass is always greener on the other side. You either wish the developer had just hacked something to get it going, when the feature failed, or you wished they had put more effort to make it more abstract and scalable, when the feature set for scaling.

Everyone's a genius on hindsight. Getting it right is more of a mix of experience, gut feel and luck imo.

jbreckmckye(10000) 5 days ago [-]

It's a question of incentives and accountability.

PMs aren't usually accountable when their shortcuts come and bite the team further down the line. Developers feel the pain instead.

PMs won't be honest with the business that they sold an undercooked product. Need to suddenly scale up that 'pragmatically' designed database? I know in my heart that too many PMs will _never_ manage expectations with their superiors if they can harangue developers into overtime, out-of-hours alerts or death marches. It's asymmetric risk.

Don't take that personally. I'm sure you, individually, do the right thing. But my experience is that PMs / POs / team leads as a group can be bad actors. It's just the way incentives are structured for middle managers. By the time the problems of your 'pragmatic' architecture have emerged, your typical PM / EM / team lead will either be working on another team, doing another job, or talking about 'tech debt' as 'just one of these things', a mysterious natural force, visiting your team stochastically like a freak summer snowstorm or an outbreak of measles.

_That_ is why developers are cautious. Do you _seriously_ think that you are the only person in your team who understands 'commercials' or 'cost benefit analyses'?

Experienced developers do, which is why we've learned the best strategy in the long run is to avoid offering too many concessions to people without skin in the game.

xupybd(10000) 5 days ago [-]

I've been there, so far away from the business use of the product that my solutions focused on the tech.

I'm sorry.

Now I'm right on the front lines of the business and it's eye opening. I think we need to take time to tech the domain to devs first. It's expensive and won't pay off unless the dev stays on the project for a while but it's the only way to allow the dev to understand what they're trying to do for the business.

In reflection I'm wondering if the problem is more that an external consultant is often not aligned with the business. Being directly employed helps with alignment.

galaxyLogic(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Nice article but a bit tedious to read improper English. It is fun for paragraph or two but wears out rather quickly. If you got something important to say why not just say it as clearly as possible?

jbreckmckye(10000) 5 days ago [-]

grugspeak imply that message self-evident and that complexity is not really in world but invented by badspeakpeople

but world is complex, and babytalk is denial

going_ham(10000) 5 days ago [-]

> good debugger worth weight in shiney rocks, in fact also more: when faced with bug grug would often trade all shiney rock and perhaps few children for good debugger and anyway debugger no weigh anything far as grug can tell

grug know debugger good but grug often realize grug no need debugger on smaller cases and only run it when grug need it, grug try simple code like print and log first, if grug sad and no understand grug go for debugger

collyw(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Really depends on what you are coding. I have my debugger set up, it's easier then trying top spot the new print statement in amongst all the other log statements being spat out.

dmix(10000) 5 days ago [-]

On the frontend I have a sweet debugger setup with neovim and chrome but there's definitely a time investment setting it up. The overhead exists almost entirely because of how the code goes through a Typescript, Vue/Vite transpiler and needs to sync with the source map... so breakpoints aren't a 1-to-1 connection.

So yeah console.logs are still quite common even if you have a great debugger because it's the most accessible and laziest option.

But there's something very rewarding about getting really good with a debugger and figuring things out quickly.

mattmanser(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Relying on log and print statements is like giving up. I would claim that's not simplicity, that's inexperience, but I have no idea what language you're referring to. Sometimes I do it with JavaScript when I didn't setup the project, it's using a framework I don't know and I'm not willing to spend the time figuring out how to get real debugging working so there are caveats.

But you definitely should not be doing that if you have a good debugger as It's faster to click the line to add a break point and press play. You can SEE the state. And you can view other variables at the same time if something's looking whiffy, usually by just hovering your mouse. Plus see the entire call stack.

The thing that's boggling my mind about this is that if you know the line to add a log statement on, you know the line to add a breakpoint on. It's so much easier to just add a breakpoint.

In some languages if I saw someone adding a log statement while debugging I would immediately classify them as a junior programmer and start teaching them how to debug properly.

Either you are using a shitty language with a crap debugger or you need to learn how to use your IDE.

nerdponx(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Printf bad, log good. Grug already have logging in app. Grug use logging, Grug no reinvent logging with printf.

skykooler(10000) 5 days ago [-]

This is like if Code Monkey[1] wrote a whole manifesto.

[1] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v4Wy7gRGgeA

lxe(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Start calling bad abstraction 'indirection'. If I'm debugging something, I don't want to be chasing a rabbit through figuring out what calls what, and what constant is stored where, what pattern created what instance, etc...

crooked-v(10000) 5 days ago [-]

I hated dependency injection until I escaped Javaland and discovered that you could do it with direct interface references instead of four layers of indirection.

csours(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Even big brain developer is grug brain when read code later.

pixelrevision(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Big brain no read later code. Big brain go to conference.

euroderf(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Grug brain see grug code later. Grug brain say to grug: this code not grug code. Grug scratch head, kill favorite flea. Grug must grok old grug code but get no shiny rock for grok own old grug code. Grug sad, say to grug, next time make grug code more good. Grug boss say: no time, grug do as grug boss say. Grug lift rock, want tell grug boss stuff it. Grug not tell. Grug frustrated. Grug ask more snacks in work cave. Grug ask Aeron butt hammock.

weeeeelp(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Big brain developer go to new tribe to paint new cave for shiny rock, leave old cave with grug

sdfhdhjdw3(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Too difficult to read, can't be bothered.

Does this style really appeal to anyone at all?

bigbillheck(10000) 5 days ago [-]

I didn't think reading it was very hard at all.

JetAlone(10000) 5 days ago [-]

It appeals to me, absolutely, because I am familiar with and have a positive impression of the Grug character.

mcbishop(10000) 5 days ago [-]

that grug say many variables good. make this grug many happy.

layer8(10000) 5 days ago [-]

put explicit type on variable even more good for read code

Tade0(10000) 5 days ago [-]

> grug brain developer try collect learns into small, easily digestible and funny page, not only for you, the young grug, but also for him because as grug brain developer get older he forget important things, like what had for breakfast or if put pants on

grug relate. other day grug forget Angular have pipes even though grug use async pipe in same PR.

This is particularly concerning for me because not being too strong in the klaka klaka klaka 600LoC daily department I always relied heavily on my knowledge. Is it a coincidence that this started happening after exactly ten years of commercial experience?

TremendousJudge(10000) 4 days ago [-]

grug brain like pokemon brain: have to forget thing to learn new thing. sometimes old thing useless, sometime old thing very important like bank password

wly_cdgr(10000) 5 days ago [-]

This bats 0.950+

Who is this person? They must be a very senior Jedi

palotasb(10000) 5 days ago [-]

> grug not like big complex front end libraries everyone use

> grug make htmx and hyperscript to avoid



ntoskrnl(10000) 5 days ago [-]

His name is grug.

rukuu001(10000) 5 days ago [-]

How long until you see the first 'grug-brain' t-shirt at your workplace?

pvillano(10000) 4 days ago [-]

small (optionally 3d printed) caveman on desk, with removable club for small bonks

shmde(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Never maybe. People will identify its a modified version of 4chan wojak and cancel Grug.

smm11(10000) 5 days ago [-]

I sense a certain age-range here.

recursive(10000) 5 days ago [-]

grug sense a certain age range in comment

trwhite(10000) 5 days ago [-]

I have been thinking about the complexity bias that affects our perception of quality. I think as programmers it is our natural assumption that if something is complex, lots of thought must have gone into it beyond our understanding. This is especially true when starting a new job. But this is slightly ironic because often more code makes something slow, which isn't a good thing at all.

pvillano(10000) 4 days ago [-]

code can be thought of explaining to a computer what do you want it to do.

In general, explaining without managing complexity is easy and makes you look smart. However, explaining so anyone can understand is very hard. Grug author good at this

nathias(10000) 5 days ago [-]

complexity isn't bad, redundant complexity is

thealistra(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Yes, people often confuse inherent problem complexity (maybe domain complexity) with unneeded complexity introduced by code architecture.

You can reduce the latter, but often you can't reduce the former. That's why it is best to keep abstraction for code architecture at bay.

dack(10000) 5 days ago [-]

As funny as this post is to read, I don't want to see yet another developer say 'complexity bad'. I want to see a company deliver high-quality products with very few bugs at a fast cadence, and continue to make major changes long into the future without slowing down.

_THEN_ I want developers from that company to share their opinions about how they do it. Do such companies/products even exist? Software is so bad these days that maybe no existing software lives up to our ideals.

danuker(10000) 5 days ago [-]

> _THEN_ I want developers from that company to share their opinions about how they do it.

Beware of survivorship bias.

For every successful company using a technique, there might be 10 others using the same technique but running into the ground.

And not sharing the embarassing failure.

Microservices strike me as a pertinent example. It might fit huge companies very well, but not if your customer base might as well be served by a cheap Raspberry Pi.

cwoolfe(10000) 4 days ago [-]

Doesn't Apple 'deliver high-quality products with very few bugs at a fast cadence, and continue to make major changes long into the future without slowing down' ? I'm not sure how they do it; but I like their products. It seems like they do it by saying no to a lot of complexity; while embracing necessary complexity.

dgb23(10000) 5 days ago [-]

You mean in the form of books, tech talks, articles and so on? There's plenty of that. But it is usually very technical or about abstract problem solving, sometimes also historical/anecdotal. Things like that.

Methodology stuff sometimes comes from people who don't seem to code much at all, or haven't for a long time. I don't really read those things often and when I do I tend to skim them out of boredom.

Software design, architecture and paradigms are a mixed bag. There is plenty of distracting stuff there, and much is from people who again, don't code. But there are a bunch of rare gems in this area, even coming from academics/teachers or veterans who haven't been in the trenches for quite a while, but have plenty of useful things to say.

throwaway892238(10000) 5 days ago [-]

> I don't want to see yet another developer say 'complexity bad'.

> I want to see a company deliver high-quality products with very few bugs at a fast cadence, and continue to make major changes long into the future without slowing down.

you want eat cake and have cake.

jesse__(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Yes, it's called RAD game tools, recently aqui-hired by Epic. If you're not familiar with RAD, they're some of the best programmers in the game tools industry.

Jeff Robers and Casey Muratory used to do a podcast called the Jeff and Casey show where they'd occationally discuss software products shipped by RAD.

One such episode details the maintenance of a garbage collector RAD shipped, which Jeff denounces as way too complicated and (IIRC) not worth the developer time or CPU cycles.

Complexity bad.

l5ymep(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Complexity doesn't necessarily slow down feature development. In my experience it reduces the project longevity. At some point it will be too big and complex to rewrite all the while more glaring problems emerge and cannot be dealt with.

recursive(10000) 5 days ago [-]

> I want to see a company deliver high-quality products with very few bugs at a fast cadence, and continue to make major changes long into the future without slowing down.

I think maybe Reaper fits the bill. http://reaper.fm/

As far as I can tell, it's two people.

deltarholamda(10000) 5 days ago [-]

I wonder if the key word in there is 'company.' Modern companies tend to be VC funded monstrosities that onboard a lot of programmers to do things to make VC firms find more seed capital.

This selects for complexity, not finished product.

We've seen a lot of one-man or small-team companies do some pretty amazing stuff, because usually they are solving a problem that they have. If you're high on VC cash (or are trying to get high on VC cash), the problems you are trying to solve is more marketing than technical.

agentultra(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Ah, the ample club of wishful thinking.

There are two general ways of approaching software design (and I'm paraphrasing Tony Hoare here):

1. You can write software so simple there are obviously no errors

2. You can write software so complex there are no obvious errors

One thing that escapes 'grug' is that achieving 1. often requires more sophistication than their magical club allows. Most well-intentioned 'grug' developers will write software so simple that it becomes it's own form of complexity: a giant mud-ball of for-loops, while-loops, variable assignments, and other wonderful side effects. Instead of addressing complexity head-on with abstraction, 'grug' will beat 'galaxy brain' over the head.

What grug fails to understand is that simplicity isn't easy or familiar. It doesn't mean 'sticking to what you know.' If often requires being able to reason about programs and to verify that reasoning!

But go ahead grug... keep beating people over the head with the club and hope that the complexity will go away.

keerthiko(10000) 5 days ago [-]

> a giant mud-ball of for-loops, while-loops, variable assignments, and other wonderful side effects.

Woah woah. This is literally the kind of complexity grug wants to avoid. Simple doesn't mean using the fewest language features or keywords, it means simple to read, follow along, reason about, and debug. Abstractions can aid in that (like using a third party library!), until they are imported/implemented aspirationally and thus often unnecessarily, and sometimes resulting in abstractions for abstractions, selective application of the abstractions vs fresh implementation, etc (...and thus AWS)

At no point does grug argue that you should stick to what you know, he just says you should trap your complexity in crystals ie literally suggesting to use the Good Abstractions, When They Make Sense.

kazinator(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Software in category (1) and (2) can be of any relative size.

1 could be 50,000 lines, 2 could be 500.

coldtea(10000) 5 days ago [-]

>There are two general ways of approaching software design (and I'm paraphrasing Tony Hoare here): 1. You can write software so simple there are obviously no errors 2. You can write software so complex there are no obvious errors

And both are neither here, nor there, regarding what the article talks about, which is basic advice that always holds: avoid complexity, say no whenever possible, opt for 80/20 solutions.

>One thing that escapes 'grug' is that achieving 1. often requires more sophistication than their magical club allows.

Which is irrelevant to grug's point, as he doesn't pretend to advocate achieving 1.

nonethewiser(10000) 5 days ago [-]

You're focusing on coding style but it sounds more like hes talking about business requirement.

If we are talking about coding style, then the things you have identified as actually not simple are by definition not what the article favors.

Barrin92(10000) 5 days ago [-]

> Instead of addressing complexity head-on with abstraction, 'grug' will beat 'galaxy brain' over the head.

the argument made in the piece is more nuanced than that. The author points out that you often cannot address complexity head on (in particular not with abstraction), because you don't even know what your complexity looks like, as the author says, complexity isn't trivial to see.

This was the old problem of inheritance as a paradigm which tried to anticipate structure of programs and code when often you can't anticipate what shape your program is going to take, often leaving you in dead ends and wrong hierarchies or taxonomies.

The author isn't saying to not abstract at all but to not do it early. Casey from Handmade Hero had a similar style he called, IIRC 'compression' based programming, implying that you write your code, and as you go over it again and again you see where duplication pops up and only then you factor it out into some higher abstraction.

ImprobableTruth(10000) 5 days ago [-]

I think the post actually touches on this? It doesn't say that you shouldn't abstract, just don't abstract too early.

shams93(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Then there's the Super Mario developer, I putta all 50,000,000 lines of code into one a fantastic pasta bowl file just for a you!

Too(10000) 2 days ago [-]

As the idiom goes: Can't see the forest for all the trees.

Sadly it's often difficult to argue with someone using the complex=bad-club, because everybody knows complexity must be avoided - at all cost!!

What one should understand is the essential complexity of the problem, then design your solution around that, to control where the complexity goes and to not introduce accidental complexity. Blindly going complexity=bad will result in it popping up elsewhere later.

Many people as you say don't even know what it means and use complex=bad for all kind of things they disagree with, including choice of tools or libraries. Using a library you don't know is not complex, it is difficult, also something that should be avoided but that doesn't make it the same thing. (Adding libraries and mixing competences can of course add complexity also, but let's not get pedantic...)

frostwarrior(10000) 5 days ago [-]

That's the classic 'only coder' mindset. Instead of being uncomfortable learning about software architecture, side effects or even pure functions, tries to solve every problem with for and while loops.

recursivedoubts(10000) 5 days ago [-]

^ sound convince and probably very big brain right at times


beware apply advice put form data from web page into database with many layers abstraction not needed! grug see many time!

fear of looking dumb (FOLD) great danger in such conversations and beware!

titzer(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Undoing someone's copy-pasted for-loops and while-loops is called 'factoring' and undoing someone's bad abstractions is called 're-factoring' and is about 10x as slow. At this point in my career I have seen way more crappy abstractions and needlessly abstracted code than grug-brain code.

And, to be brutally honest, as much as I love those functional combinators, first-class functions, streams, etc, they suck to reason about.

Sometimes loops are better!

jjoonathan(10000) 5 days ago [-]

It will go away -- to other devs, who will awkwardly and painfully route around grug, adding loads of complexity. Not grug's complexity, though!

lijogdfljk(10000) 5 days ago [-]

> Most well-intentioned 'grug' developers will write software so simple that it becomes it's own form of complexity: a giant mud-ball of for-loops, while-loops, variable assignments, and other wonderful side effects. Instead of addressing complexity head-on with abstraction, 'grug' will beat 'galaxy brain' over the head.

Hah. Related, i became disgruntled with my previous favorite language for this reason. It promoted this style of development. Surface level simplicity built into the language, with minimal tools to actually manage the complexity that is inherent to the problem space you're working in.

dahdum(10000) 5 days ago [-]

As usual the truth is somewhere in the middle. I've seen nearly $1m in development cost and a year of time lost to the complexity demon due to big brains playing AWS Service Bingo while a competitor hired a single grug to do the same task.

That single grug got it done in ~1 month for basically nothing, and without the multiple AWS service overhead it ran much faster, fewer resources, and dead simple to maintain. Bigger company bought the smaller one, then proceeded to toss the grug code and continue the big brained approach, as far as I know never reaching parity.

But there were cool network diagrams, data diagrams, and all sorts of new, interesting, and complex technology developers enjoy playing with.

I'm more inclined to side with grug now.

pkulak(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Whoa now, I was with you until you seemed to imply that 'simple' software means shitty code. Simple in this context means a solution with as little complexity as possible. Hopefully written elegantly and carefully, with lots of thought for future maintenance and readability.

Maybe you use a 10-year-old, constantly maintained and thoroughly tested library to do 90% of the work instead of writing everything yourself.

Would it be faster to compute some end state without intermediate calculations? Probably. But how about we just spin a loop forward instead if it's more accurate that way and easier to understand.

What if we cached values, then made sure the caches are always in sync? That should speed things up. Well, maybe we'll write it without caching and see how that goes first.

How about an intricate system of locks and serializable transactions so that multiple requests can run at the same time? Or maybe we just queue things up and run them one at a time.

Nothing to do with nested for loops.

femiagbabiaka(10000) 5 days ago [-]

I think of it as being more of a spectrum where abstractions get introduced as they're needed. The case where one has thousands of lines of imperative code that is terrible to debug and probably not unit tested is one where the correct abstractions were never introduced at the place and time they were appropriate. Getting this right is almost impossible, that's why we have refactoring practices.

rubinelli(10000) 5 days ago [-]

There is a lot of wishful thinking that goes into galaxy brain code. It assumes you know with almost complete certainty what rules are bound to change and where extension will be needed, that the next developer will be able to understand and respect the beautiful elegance of the design instead of hacking at it to achieve the desired result, and that the code will be long-lived enough to justify the initial investment. Grug coders aren't always inexperienced; many are actually repented architecture astronauts.

jfoutz(10000) 5 days ago [-]

could you give an example of (1)?

Only because i have run into weirdness with printf calling malloc, back in the day. Even hello world makes me a little nervous about those claims.

But I'd love to see a sample with explicit assertions about the environment, so I could be sure there are obviously no errors.

emilsedgh(10000) 5 days ago [-]

> a giant mud-ball of for-loops, while-loops, variable assignments, and other wonderful side effects. Instead of addressing complexity head-on with abstraction

I very much prefer to work in a codebase of poorly written loops and variable assignments rather than one with poor abstractions.

Poor abstractions can harm way, way more than spaghetti code. Their harm usually spreads out through system.

Imagine this:

* 1 single poorly written function which takes a number of inputs and has an output, but internally it's long and messy.

* A bunch of abstracted entities, which interact throughout the system, but are poorly designed.

The complexity of 1 is isolated to the implementation. There's a nice encapsulation. Removing/Rewriting is easy.

But 2 becomes a complete mess which is not isolated. You'd have to skin it layer by layer. Thats way more scary to me.

armatav(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Now this is a good post. Especially the part about the frontend Complexity Demon having a grip on the entire industry, and the Fear Of Looking Dumb. It goes hand in hand.

49531(10000) 5 days ago [-]

> frontend Complexity Demon having a grip on the entire industry

Is frontend web development more complex than it needs to be? If so, how?

MrPatan(10000) 5 days ago [-]

This is true and excellent, and I'd put it next to Hickey's 'Simple made easy' and Metz' 'The Wrong Abstraction' as something I wish every developer would grok.

TheOtherHobbes(10000) 5 days ago [-]

In 'Simple Made Easy' he's recommending XML, JSON and even SQL for data. So I'm going to have go to with 'No.'

All that does is move somewhat messy language constructs into somewhat messy data constructs.

The data is static-ish, which is nice. But the associated code has exploded in complexity and with XML particularly you can't even be sure if it's truly compliant - especially if it's coming from an outside source.

So I think that whole talk is spectacularly missing the point. The idea is good but functional/read-only doesn't solve the problem.

Because some problems are just hard, and no amount of functional twiddling makes the hardness go away.

Names are hard. International localisation is hard. Dates and calendars are hard. International holidays and special dates are hard. Addresses are hard. Timezones and time systems are hard. Phone numbers are hard.

There is no trivial solution to any of these problems.

The most effective solution would be an international standard collection of algorithms and APIs baked into identical standard libraries for each mainstream language.

What you get instead is a lot of people wasting time and energy solving these problems over and over - badly.

And in fact XML, JSON, SQL, etc are similar. There are countless libraries and frameworks for managing these, and they're all slightly different and likely to fail in different ways - not just in different languages, but in multiple competing frameworks for the same language.

The problem isn't the code, it's the culture around it. Instead of solving a problem completely and standardising, the industry is addicted to nearly-but-not-quite solving the same problems over and over.

That's where a lot of unnecessary complexity comes from.

vlunkr(10000) 5 days ago [-]

I would recommend those to anyone here that hasn't seen them.

I think this requires a big shift in community thinking. Programmers are trained in universities to throw OOP principles at every problem, and the DRY principle has deeply taken hold. Obviously both have their place, but they often used overzealously and come at the expense of readable and maintainable code.

Historical Discussions: Italian watchdog bans use of Google Analytics (June 23, 2022: 933 points)

(933) Italian watchdog bans use of Google Analytics

933 points 4 days ago by giuliomagnifico in 10000th position

www.gpdp.it | Estimated reading time – 5 minutes | comments | anchor

- English version

Google: Garante privacy stop all'uso degli Analytics Dati trasferiti negli Usa senza adeguate garanzie

Il sito web che utilizza il servizio Google Analytics (GA), senza le garanzie previste dal Regolamento Ue, viola la normativa sulla protezione dei dati perché trasferisce negli Stati Uniti, Paese privo di un adeguato livello di protezione, i dati degli utenti.

Lo ha affermato il Garante per la privacy a conclusione di una complessa istruttoria avviata sulla base di una serie di reclami e in coordinamento con altre autorità privacy europee. Dall'indagine del Garante è emerso che i gestori dei siti web che utilizzano GA raccolgono, mediante cookie, informazioni sulle interazioni degli utenti con i predetti siti, le singole pagine visitate e i servizi proposti. Tra i molteplici dati raccolti, indirizzo IP del dispositivo dell'utente e informazioni relative al browser, al sistema operativo, alla risoluzione dello schermo, alla lingua selezionata, nonché data e ora della visita al sito web. Tali informazioni sono risultate oggetto di trasferimento verso gli Stati Uniti. Nel dichiarare l'illiceità del trattamento è stato ribadito che l'indirizzo IP costituisce un dato personale e anche nel caso fosse troncato non diverrebbe un dato anonimo, considerata la capacità di Google di arricchirlo con altri dati di cui è in possesso.

All'esito di tali accertamenti il Garante ha adottato il primo di una serie di provvedimenti con cui ha ammonito Caffeina Media S.r.l. che gestisce un sito web, ingiungendo alla stessa di conformarsi al Regolamento europeo entro novanta giorni. Il tempo indicato è stato ritenuto congruo per consentire al gestore di adottare misure adeguate per il trasferimento, pena la sospensione dei flussi di dati effettuati, per il tramite di GA, verso gli Stati Uniti.

Il Garante ha evidenziato, in particolare, la possibilità, per le Autorità governative e le agenzie di intelligence statunitensi, di accedere ai dati personali trasferiti senza le dovute garanzie, rilevando al riguardo che, alla luce delle indicazioni fornite dall'EDPB (Raccomandazione n. 1/2020 del 18 giugno 2021), le misure che integrano gli strumenti di trasferimento adottate da Google non garantiscono, allo stato, un livello adeguato di protezione dei dati personali degli utenti.

Con l'occasione l'Autorità richiama all'attenzione di tutti i gestori italiani di siti web, pubblici e privati, l'illiceità dei trasferimenti effettuati verso gli Stati Uniti attraverso GA, anche in considerazione delle numerose segnalazioni e quesiti che stanno pervenendo all'Ufficio. E invita tutti i titolari del trattamento a verificare la conformità delle modalità di utilizzo di cookie e altri strumenti di tracciamento utilizzati sui propri siti web, con particolare attenzione a Google Analytics e ad altri servizi analoghi, con la normativa in materia di protezione dei dati personali.

Allo scadere del termine di 90 giorni assegnato alla società destinataria del provvedimento, il Garante procederà, anche sulla base di specifiche attività ispettive, a verificare la conformità al Regolamento Ue dei trasferimenti di dati effettuati dai titolari.

Roma, 23 giugno 2022


Italian SA bans use of Google Analytics No adequate safeguards for data transfers to the USA

A website using Google Analytics (GA) without the safeguards set out in the EU GDPR violates data protection law because it transfers users' data to the USA, which is a country without an adequate level of data protection.

The Italian SA came to this conclusion after a complex fact-finding exercise it had started in close coordination with other EU data protection authorities following complaints it had received. The Italian SA found that the website operators using GA collected, via cookies, information on user interactions with the respective websites, visited pages and services on offer. The multifarious set of data collected in this connection included the user device IP address along with information on browser, operating system, screen resolution, selected language, date and time of page viewing. This information was found to be transferred to the USA. In determining that the processing was unlawful, the Italian SA reiterated that an IP address is a personal data and would not be anonymised even if it were truncated – given Google's capabilities to enrich such data through additional information it holds.

Based on the above findings, the Italian SA adopted a decision, to be followed by additional ones, reprimanding Caffeina Media S.r.l. – a website operator – and ordering it to bring the processing into compliance with the GDPR by ninety days. This deadline was considered to be appropriate in order to allow the operator to implement adequate measures in connection with the data transfer; if this is found not to be the case, suspension of the GA-related data flows to the USA will be ordered.

The Italian SA highlighted, in particular, that US-based governmental and intelligence agencies may access the personal data being transferred without the required safeguards; it pointed out in this regard that the measures adopted by Google to supplement the data transfer instruments did not ensure an adequate level of protection for users' personal data in the light of the guidance provided by the EDPB through its Recommendations No 1/2020 of 18 June 2021.

The Italian SA wishes to draw the attention of all the Italian website operators, both public and private, to the unlawfulness of the data transfers to the USA as resulting from the use of GA – partly on account of the many alerts and queries received so far. The Italian SA calls upon all controllers to verify that the use of cookies and other tracking tools on their websites is compliant with data protection law; this applies in particular to Google Analytics and similar services.

Upon expiry of the 90-day deadline set out in its decision, the Italian SA will check that the data transfers at issue are compliant with the EU GDPR, including by way of ad-hoc inspections.

Rome, 23 June 2022

All Comments: [-] | anchor

current_thing(10000) 4 days ago [-]

ottime notizie. vietare google e monetizzare le bellissime spiagge, e mangiare pasta autentica.

nonsapreiche(10000) 4 days ago [-]

e w la fica

ciarcode(10000) 4 days ago [-]

I don't think you're really Italian ahahah

sfifs(10000) 4 days ago [-]

So reading the English text it is not clear what exactly is the unlawful part. Is the fact that data is flowing to US based servers (which I assume is trivially managed by changing GA server location to Europe) or the fact it is flowing to an American Headquartered company, regardless of where the data is flowing to?

Can someone comment if the Italian language text is clearer? Or ehat is in the judgement?

makeitdouble(10000) 4 days ago [-]

There's a bunch of steps, but jumping to the extreme, a foreign gov having access to the data is the awful part.

Data flowing to the US violates that, assuming Google US cannot refuse US gov requests, the headquarter having access to the data is also not accepted.

bradgessler(10000) 4 days ago [-]

I've slowly started ripping Google Analytics out of my Rails projects and replacing it with https://github.com/ankane/ahoy.

It's so much better! I can just use SQL to see what's going in and not get overwhelmed with 100's of visualizations and complicated dashboards.

nathan_f77(10000) 4 days ago [-]

I use Ahoy too, but I don't have very good visibility into the data. I should spend more time building queries and creating charts. I should probably set up blazer as well: https://github.com/ankane/blazer It would be really nice if Ahoy came with a web UI that covered all the basics.

dclusin(10000) 4 days ago [-]

Suppose I run a website in the us and a user in Italy connects to it. Does this mean I'm now breaking the law serving them the website? My connection logs now have pii.

What if I use a cdn that has points of presence in Italy and still pings my server with a head request and the end user ip?

Am I also now breaking Italian law by using google analytics?

kmlx(10000) 4 days ago [-]


> After introduction of the GDPR in EEA it became common practice for websites located outside EEA to serve HTTP 451 errors to EEA visitors instead of trying to comply with this new privacy law. For instance, many regional U.S. news sites no longer serve web browsers from the EU.

peoplefromibiza(10000) 4 days ago [-]

> Does this mean I'm now breaking the law serving them the website?

As the article specifically states:

The Italian SA found that the website operators using GA collected, via cookies, information on user interactions with the respective websites, visited pages and services on offer. The multifarious set of data collected in this connection included the user device IP address along with information on browser, operating system, screen resolution, selected language, date and time of page viewing. This information was found to be transferred to the USA. In determining that the processing was unlawful, the Italian SA reiterated that an IP address is a personal data and would not be anonymised even if it were truncated – given Google's capabilities to enrich such data through additional information it holds.

So, unless you are collecting EU citizens user data, transferring it to US and have the capabilities to enrich such data through additional information you hold, no.

curiousllama(10000) 4 days ago [-]

IIRC, it basically only applies if you're actively doing business in the EU, or courting future business.

So, if you have a personal blog that grabs IPs? Not illegal. If you start a merch shop for your blog (or put in ads/sponsored content, etc.), then the whole site needs to be GDPR compliant.

encoderer(10000) 4 days ago [-]

There is really no reason to use Google Analytics anymore. There are many great alternatives now, mine is PanelBear.com. Other people love Fathom and Plausible. It's great to see some unbundling happen.

sixothree(10000) 4 days ago [-]

Yeah, it was another one of those trojan horse programs. Offer something incredibly useful to website owners; something so compelling that they literally can't say no. An oh, it just happens to track the activity of every web user anywhere in the world.

The alternative offerings at the time were fairly awful compared to what google released.

quickthrower2(10000) 4 days ago [-]

I also believe (no proof though!) that you don't need all that micro detail about your users and it is a distraction for a business.

A rough "how many came" is useful. At least to diagnose if the site had problems. Just talk to people and make your thing good!

scale8(10000) 4 days ago [-]

The reason we built Scale8.com - Time to replace Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager :)

dx034(10000) 4 days ago [-]

I'm still a fan of Matomo. Very powerful, easy to self-host and you get full control over your data. Never tried their managed services though.

tin7in(10000) 4 days ago [-]

We are based in Europe and self-host our analytics exactly for this reason. I feel this is just the beginning.

V__(10000) 4 days ago [-]

Are you using a custom sotware or something like plausible.io?

closewith(10000) 4 days ago [-]

Unfortunately, you can't self-host the integration with Google Ads or Search Console, which locks anyone who relies on Google (or Facebook, Microsoft, etc) Ads into the use of Google Analytics/Ads tracking.

rambambram(10000) 4 days ago [-]

Congrats. We also chose to do the analytics ourselves. No tracking, no cookie banners, and probably better stats as well. One thing that Google did very cleverly was to only give GA users the search terms that visitors used to end up on their site.

joshyi(10000) 4 days ago [-]

Same here. We've been using goaccess for years on a 300M hits a month. Self-host is the way to go for us.

Rygian(10000) 4 days ago [-]

Self-hosting does not automatically make your analytics legal, on the other hand.

Processing of your users' personal data is legal only in the few exceptional scenarios outlined in Article 6.


leephillips(10000) 4 days ago [-]

Good. US citizens should be, at least, disappointed that their government is so bad at protecting their privacy, that US law is so far behind the times.

To those companies and people who find these EU decisions baffling or inconvenient: tough. If you had had respect for your users this would not be an issue. You would already not be spying on them.

To website visitors: if you see a cookie banner, the site is asking permission to spy on you. If that concerns you, close the tab.

judge2020(10000) 4 days ago [-]

> You would already not be spying on them.

Can you point me to the part of the ban that says it's about protecting users from 'spying in general' and not 'protecting users from spying by US companies instead of EU companies that EU member states can obtain PII from at any time'?

dmix(10000) 4 days ago [-]

> To website visitors: if you see a cookie banner, the site is asking permission to spy on you. If that concerns you, close the tab.

I'd love to see how often people do anything besides click okay anyway (I'd be very surprised if it wasn't 99%+).

tick_tock_tick(10000) 4 days ago [-]

If I thought the EU was doing this to protect privacy I'd be all for it. They really don't give a fuck as seen by ever bit of legislation they are pushing for. Yes I also do understand that the EU in general view privacy from the government as illegal rather then a right.

whimsicalism(10000) 4 days ago [-]

An equivalent regulation to the one banning GA in the US would not ban GA because the data centers are in the US.

scarface74(10000) 4 days ago [-]

Yes "we care about privacy. But we also want a back door to all encrypted communications".


2OEH8eoCRo0(10000) 4 days ago [-]

America is the LTS branch of Democracy.

googlryas(10000) 4 days ago [-]

Pragmatically, to what extent do you believe the European laws have protected Europeans above and beyond how American laws have protected Americans?

Basically, what class of badness are Americans subjected to due to behind-the-times data protection laws, that Europeans are protected from?

aliasxneo(10000) 4 days ago [-]

> To website visitors: if you see a cookie banner, the site is asking permission to spy on you. If that concerns you, close the tab.

There was a recent ACM article on this. They found there was a large number of sites that don't actually ask permission for anything, they are simply informing you of the spying. Not surprisingly, the ones that did allow modifying cookies were all setup in a predatory fashion which discouraged the disabling of tracking.

The whole system is broke at the moment.

drstewart(10000) 4 days ago [-]

What about Australian citizens?

BolexNOLA(10000) 4 days ago [-]

My buddy is a manager at a chemical plant, and your comment reminds me of a very astute statement he made recently.

"I don't generally like unions. I've worked at both union and non-union plants. But anytime someone else complains about unions, I remind them that if they have a union at their plant, they earned it."

mattmcknight(10000) 4 days ago [-]

> To website visitors: if you see a cookie banner, the site is asking permission to spy on you.

Or you know...count how many unique visitors they have and how to make the site more useful. Do you avoid using cookies on this site but still manage to log in?

tensor(10000) 4 days ago [-]

If you feel this way I hope you do research before visiting any website at all, because you might accidentally connect to a server in the US and your IP address will be in the TCIP stack of that server and probably the logs too. US servers that are intended to serve US customers have no obligations to you.

encoderer(10000) 4 days ago [-]

Well I'm not an expert but I think the main issue is that American citizens have protections that non-Americans do not. The government cannot spy on Americans without a court order.

NaturalPhallacy(10000) 4 days ago [-]

I'm not disappointed I'm infuriated. Because the US uses technology companies to get around the 4th amendment all the time: https://www.salon.com/2013/04/24/government_giving_att_other...

The US isn't 'behind' it simply has no intention of moving in that direction, despite the 4th amendment making it really clear they're not allowed:

>The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

sylware(10000) 4 days ago [-]

I don't understand.

They can host locally the data and remotely query it.

What's important is the 'intelligence' the data does provide: giving critical and unfair advantage for those who have the whole data.

For instance, microsoft has an unfair advantage almost anywhere because they have access to the whole linkedin database.

jeroenhd(10000) 4 days ago [-]

European companies are not allowed to share PII with American companies. That goes for companies with a headquarters in the USA or subsidiaries that may be forced to share data thanks to laws like the US Cloud Act.

Previously, the EU exempted the USA through an 'adequacy decision'. That was later deemed illegal under EU law as American laws could not guarantee the privacy of EU citizens to the extend the GDPR prescribes. Then the EU tried again, and again such a decision was also overturned in court. The EU is working on another attempt at letting the USA track PII of EU users, but until they do that again (probably for another few years) it's illegal to share PII with American companies in almost all situations.

This is the third time a data processing agency has declared the use of Google Analytics illegal so it shouldn't really come as a surprise to those following tech news.

What's important is that the data is PII and that it's going to a place that can't guarantee privacy to an acceptable standard. Business advantage is irrelevant. The intelligence the data provides is also irrelevant. European privacy laws serve people, not businesses.

naet(10000) 4 days ago [-]

As more and more country specific legal regulations are raised, I wonder who will be the ultimate gatekeepers of the general internet when certain actors behave against the 'rules'. The current landscape is a complex system of seeming contradictions straddling different levels of public and private, centralized and decentralized, anarchical and moderated, etc.

Will ISPs be forced to cut off traffic from certain areas? Will centralized companies like Google and Reddit be forced to comply with regulations or cut off services in certain areas? Will governments set up firewalls? Will the buck of responsibility be passed upwards to service providers like GA, or downwards to individual site administrators?

UncleEntity(10000) 4 days ago [-]

Nah, they'll just slap them with a fine now again as a substitute for direct taxation and let them do what they do basically unchanged.

Once the Europeans have to use a foreign proxy to see the regular internet, like the Chinese, then we will have a real discussion on online privacy.

AdriaanvRossum(10000) 4 days ago [-]

Regarding forbidden countries, it's not forbidden in the Netherlands, yet. They will announce a verdict in a form of a report by the end of 2022 [1].

To give people an option and pink something else over Google Analytics, I have built an alternative, Simple Analytics [2].

It doesn't use cookies or any form of tracking and you get still the useful data that 80% of the website owners need.

[1] https://autoriteitpersoonsgegevens.nl/nl/onderwerpen/interne... (in Dutch)

[2] https://simpleanalytics.com

jeroenhd(10000) 4 days ago [-]

Worth mentioning that DPAs tend to work together to prevent conflicting laws across the EU. Following Austrian, French, and now Italian rulings, it's almost guaranteed that the Dutch authority will come to the same conclusion.

apd_(10000) 4 days ago [-]

How do you track 'visitors'?

aliswe(10000) 4 days ago [-]

What is a watchdog in this case, isn't it a non-governmental organization?

in that case how can they ban anything and what does that mean?

gruturo(10000) 4 days ago [-]

This is an English translation from 'Garante' which is actually a stronger word - more like Guarantor. It is an official authority with teeth.

x0x0(10000) 4 days ago [-]

It's likely a bad translation.

The Italian SA is the Italian Data Protection Agency (DPA), one of the per-country European regulators https://ec.europa.eu/justice/article-29/structure/data-prote... . Which acts under the GDPR and predecessor data protection laws, and is very explicitly a governmental regulator.

noneeeed(10000) 4 days ago [-]

Certainly in UK English we use watchdog to mean any organisation that has an oversight role, frequently government ones. For example the Financial Services Authority might be described as "the banking watchdog", it is very much a government agency.

chrisseaton(10000) 4 days ago [-]

Why do you think watchdogs have to be non-governmental?

For example:


ryanmcbride(10000) 4 days ago [-]

I've been using clicky on a few of my sites and even though they _assure_ me that it's totally compliant with gdpr I don't really believe them, does anyone have a decent alternative for analytics that respects people's privacy? I just want to see when I get new vs returning visitors on a page. Cloudflare's analytics are okay but I like how granular clicky can get, but if there's no good way to do that I think I'm just gonna ditch clicky and make do with the cdn analytics. Hell, I bet the cdn already does everything I need and I just don't know how to use it right, or I'm not paying for the right tier or something.

ClumsyPilot(10000) 4 days ago [-]

matomo is something you can self host

onphonenow(10000) 4 days ago [-]

At what point do operators just start blocking access from EU countries. It's hard to imagine its worth jumping through all the complexities here at some point.

phatfish(10000) 4 days ago [-]

Bring it on. Anything that disconnects people from the American tech industry and encourages domestic competition is a good thing.

panzerboiler(10000) 4 days ago [-]

Sure. Block access to 450 millions people because it is inconvenient to respect their privacy.

amitparikh(10000) 4 days ago [-]
reaperducer(10000) 4 days ago [-]

The last time I checked, the Google Analytics' Terms of Service explicitly prohibited its use on web sites involving healthcare companies.

That gives you an indication of how invasive it is — that even Google doesn't want to handle the personal information, because it can't be made HIPAA-safe.

Naturally, the majority of healthcare web sites use Google Analytics, because nobody ever reads the Terms of Service.

paulcole(10000) 4 days ago [-]

> The last time I checked, the Google Analytics' Terms of Service explicitly prohibited its use on web sites involving healthcare companies.

You're missing a key part of the sentence you're remembering:

> If you are (or become) a Covered Entity or Business Associate under HIPAA, you may not use Google Analytics for any purpose or in any manner involving Protected Health Information unless you have received prior written consent to such use from Google.

Healthcare companies can absolutely use GA on their websites as long as the website isn't involving PHI or ePHI.

zugi(10000) 4 days ago [-]

I use NoScript and block Google analytics, facebook, etc. It's nice that they use a domain separate from google.com, making it easy to block.

leephillips(10000) 4 days ago [-]

Yes. I have all their analytics and ad network domains blocked in my hosts file.

iLoveOncall(10000) 4 days ago [-]

Those decisions are good in theory, but in practice they will kill the free web.

The only people that have the work power to put equivalent alternatives in place are the big corporations, that will anyway find a loophole.

I run my small blog, and I can't spend days or even weeks to setup a subpar analytics solution. I won't even start talking about self-hosting an analytics solution which would probably double my monthly server cost for a website on which I earn 0€.

In 2030, if we continue on that trend, websites will be in two categories: belonging to huge companies, or running illegally. It's baffling that people are applauding the end of the free web.

Nextgrid(10000) 4 days ago [-]

Honestly, at this stage the 'free web' can fuck right off. The 'free web' you speak of generates a lot of negative externalities everyone else has to put up with. If your 'free' web needs to attack everyone with spyware for it to exist then it's not really 'free'.

> I run my small blog, and I can't spend days or even weeks to setup a subpar analytics solution.

tail -f /var/log/nginx/access.log

freeone3000(10000) 4 days ago [-]

Why does your small blog need an 'analytics solution' in the first place, if you earn $0?

cardosof(10000) 4 days ago [-]

Hindsight is 20/20 but wasn't it clear that the company selling ads shouldn't be in charge of metrics for traffic and ads? Just like the TV channels had to rely on media rating firms.

youngtaff(10000) 4 days ago [-]

Not sure an ad company should he in charge of a browser either

openplatypus(10000) 4 days ago [-]

While I should be happy with narrative (I run https://wideangle.co, GA alternative), let's be honest. It not banned. Nor is it illegal.

It is illegal to use it in such a way that results in Personal Data being siphoned to the US.

Is it hard? Yes. Outright illegal? Nah.

stevoski(10000) 4 days ago [-]

It is good to see a GA competitor not resort to FUD as a marketing tool.

dx034(10000) 4 days ago [-]

But it's enough of a hurdle that many website owners may just decide to go with a EU-based competitor. Certainly a good ruling for the EU tech scene.

nwellnhof(10000) 4 days ago [-]

What's really puzzling is that Google Analytics never got banned because of antitrust laws. It's the most obvious example of predatory pricing I've ever seen. How is a smaller company supposed to compete against a free product?

dudus(10000) 4 days ago [-]

Google Analytics has an enterprise paid version and it starts at 6 figures, Adobe has a very competitive product in the same space. So there's definitively room for a paid product in the market.

adrr(10000) 4 days ago [-]

How many companies use GA as their only analytics system? It isn't free. It has a free tier.

Wowfunhappy(10000) 4 days ago [-]

Doesn't predatory pricing mean "we dropped our pricing below profitability in order to kill competitors (and presumably raise our own prices once they're dead)"?

I think you'd have a very good case against Amazon, and probably Uber/Lyft, and I've long wondered why no one sued them over it. But in Google's case, Analytics is profitable for the same reason Youtube is profitable—Google makes money off the data they gather.

vkou(10000) 4 days ago [-]

One broad view is that anti-trust is supposed to protect consumers, not competitors.

If a competitor can't produce a quality product that people will pay for, consumers aren't being harmed by the prevalence of a free good-enough product.

In a consumer-protection world where a free and open source Linux had 98% market share in the OS market, Microsoft or Apple would have no leg to stand on to sue its developers over anti-trust. In a competitor-protection world, they would.

The US views anti-trust through a very consumer-focused lens[1], the EU sometimes views it through a more competitor-focused one.

[1] This doesn't mean I agree with it, and there are obvious problems with trying to prove harm in a court of law, if no alternative exists.

scarface74(10000) 4 days ago [-]

If we enforced a law that said no product can be sold at a loss, we would get rid of almost every single startup and many recently IPOd former unicorns,

tantalor(10000) 4 days ago [-]

Lots of ways? Better features, better support, better performance.

If you can't beat the free offering, then go home.

raviparikh(10000) 4 days ago [-]

I co-founded a company called Heap that competed against Google Analytics and we were quite successful. Amplitude, Mixpanel, and others have also done so. GA's free pricing was not really a big issue for us and customers were very willing to pay 6- and 7-figures for a differentiated quality product.

plandis(10000) 4 days ago [-]

The US should economically retaliate.

GDPR and these other regulations in the EU exist because EU cannot stomach the fact that they got beat on tech and instead of innovating they are regulating to try and even the playing field.

Nextgrid(10000) 4 days ago [-]

> the fact that they got beat on tech

What tech is the EU missing out on?

All the recent 'tech' I see from the US is all about novel ways to screw & exploit people for profit, at the expense of turning society into a dangerous wasteland full of outrage and saturated by advertising.

No thanks.

gnuj3(10000) 4 days ago [-]

Hmmm, or maybe they exist because EU has a little bit more respect for privacy of its citizens than US?

freyr(10000) 4 days ago [-]

I'm supporting of privacy, but it's amazing how heavy-handed European regulation can be, and how difficult it can make understanding even basic metrics about our business and how those metrics have shifted over time. I suppose their intentions are good though.

realusername(10000) 4 days ago [-]

All of that is because of the cloud act, non american companies won't have as much issues. The obvious solution is to remove this spying law breaching EU laws and common sense.

makeitdouble(10000) 4 days ago [-]

Suppose you had an internal tracking library, aggragating data fetch from your own site and mobile clients, all data saved in a data center managed by your country's most reliable provider. EU directives would be a no-brainer.

That scenario has always been an option, and would be the most common case if Google didn't provide their own service for free or at cost. What's happening with the EU feels disruptive only because Google had such an unatural position in the market.

calibas(10000) 4 days ago [-]

If I understand this correctly, the issue isn't Google Analytics specifically, but 'because it transfers users' data to the USA, which is a country without an adequate level of data protection'.

So this could also apply to any company that sends PII to the USA?

solar-ice(10000) 4 days ago [-]

At present, there is no legal basis for a company covered by the GDPR to send personal data to the US or a US-owned company. The US needs to repeal the CLOUD Act, and maybe one or two other things, in order to make this situation work again.

clairity(10000) 4 days ago [-]

i'd support any legislation that booted google, fb, ms, adobe, salesforce, and a whole host of other surveillance tech companies from any and all levels of government. it's literally as important as the separation of church and state. in fact, i'd love to see a constitutional amendment explicitly separating corporate interests from governmental ones, in all facets of civic life (e.g., campaign finance).

hulitu(10000) 4 days ago [-]

They tried with the church and did not succeed. Why do you think they can succeed with SW.

saiya-jin(10000) 4 days ago [-]

Not only state... I see absolutely 0 reason for my swiss ebanking in the secured web interface to se google analytics and similar trackers. I can clearly see them being blocked by the likes of ublock origin and ghostery in my firefox. Why the f*k should google know where I go in such private matters (and there are tons more, ie if you are lgbtq+ in one of the many restrictive locations, have some less mainstream political preferences etc.). The data once acquired have no reason to be deleted, ever. Too juicy info, and 7 billion humans is not that large group to aspire to track.

I get why google et al want it for their growth/sales, but they are a private entity not owning internet in any way, extremely foreign to Europe with no clear friendly intentions. One of few times I can say I am proud to be living on old continent.

strawhatguy(10000) 4 days ago [-]

I understand the feeling, but that's not possible, and moreover, after reflection, why should it be so?

If government can literally fine/shutdown your business arbitrarily (as they do for lockdowns, permits, etc.), then they should have a voice in the government that could treat them so terribly.

Unless you mean to say that government should be so much smaller that it doesn't impose separate business taxes, import/export controls, require permitting and licensing and follow arbitrary regulations on those businesses, which I could get behind. Ideally, if there's no advantage or penalty to avoid by petitioning government, won't everyone stop paying attention to government? No gaming the game can happen then!

The problem is that we can't have it both ways, can't restrict a group from petitioning and then pose rules they MUST follow, without a say. That's not democracy at all.

Companies are just groups of individuals after all, and should have just as much voice as an activist group does, like ACLU or Americans for Tax Reform or whatever.

adamrezich(10000) 4 days ago [-]

> in fact, i'd love to see a constitutional amendment explicitly separating corporate interests from governmental ones

I don't think you comprehend the scope of what you're suggesting.

I work for a school district and I'm currently migrating our system from using one commercial bus routing service to another... using Windows, SQL Server, Teams, etc. from Microsoft... using a laptop, dock, three monitors, keyboard, and mouse from HP... and today the elevator was broken so we called a repair company to come fix it... oh, and some company makes the school buses, and the networked phone on my desk, and the printer around the corner, and all of the paper in it... the fluorescent bulbs above me don't grow on trees...

you can't just expect governments, even at the national level, to roll their own everything without interfacing with corporations in any way—this is a hopelessly naïve view of the world. I am just as uncomfortable as you are with data being shared with corporations, but you're going to have to figure out a more realistic set of political goals than what you've outlined here.

dragonwriter(10000) 4 days ago [-]

> i'd love to see a constitutional amendment explicitly separating corporate interests from governmental ones

How is that possible, since corporations are, by definition, creations of government through law?

throwntoday(10000) 4 days ago [-]

I agree 100%. I have nearly all google domains blocked in my hosts file and was frustrated to find out google captcha was required on a few government websites. I understand rolling your own can be difficult or expensive but it's the government we're talking about here. They're no strangers to spending.

skrebbel(10000) 4 days ago [-]

FWIW I think the 'church and state' analogy is genius, it totally resonated with me. I'm going to steal that!

abarwick(10000) 4 days ago [-]

This is just naive. Government offices/agencies are so tightly coupled with packages like office 365 that forcefully separating them would require home built solutions which would always be terrible, less secure, and more expensive to the tax payer. There's a lot of good these products can provide, granted they are properly audited and have high security requirements.

majormajor(10000) 4 days ago [-]

How far does 'separating corporate interests from governmental ones' go?

Can the government purchase a car? Hire a private corporation to build a road? Hire a consulting company to check the security of their (now-free-and-without-a-support-contract FOSS?) computer setup?

lmkg(10000) 4 days ago [-]

This is consistent with decisions from the Austrian and French data protection authorities (DPAs). Note that Google is a Processor (for this product), meaning that Google itself does not violate GDPR, but only the websites that use it.

Following the Schrems II case, the 'threat model' used by EU courts on these matters is 'American law enforcement can serve a warrant to American companies.' Long story short, any processing that Google does after collection is not considered to offer any protection, because American law enforcement can just tell them not to do that and they won't. Hence, the 'Anonymize IP Address' setting in Google Analytics is not considered to have value for GA.

It might theoretically be possible to use GA compliantly by proxying data through an EU-owned service which obfuscates anything considered personal data, at minimum the IP address and various cookie values. This scenario hasn't been confirmed by anyone as compliant, but the regulators seem to always go out of their way to dance around it rather than just saying 'GA is non-compliant, always, forever.' Still, for the trouble to set up such a service you might as well just stand up a self-hosted first-party analytics solution.

This particular decision on GA is purely about the cross-border transfers, and doesn't seem to touch on whether using cookies for analytics requires consent. That's a separate issue (technically about a separate law).

V__(10000) 4 days ago [-]

> meaning that Google itself does not violate GDPR, but only the websites that use it.

This is so baffling to me. Google has subsidiaries in the EU. The fact that it's ok to give a product to a EU client which can't be used in accordance with the law, and the client is responsible, is just idiotic.

cm2012(10000) 4 days ago [-]

Another decision in a long stream that will make it much harder for EU start-ups companies to catch up to American ones. With absolutely no improvements to actual EU citizen well being.

realusername(10000) 4 days ago [-]

That decision is on the US, once the cloud act will be removed, those services will be legal again

peoplefromibiza(10000) 4 days ago [-]

or maybe EU is starring to rely on their own startups.

If I had to chose an analytics software for a customer's website, I'd chose someone in EU for the sole reason that it would be compliant in both EU and the rest of the World.

andiareso(10000) 4 days ago [-]

Yikes... Have you ever heard of some of the alternatives?

I self-host Plausible which is GDPR compliant and gives me all of the features that Google Analytics is actually good for. There is so much bloat in GA that provides absolutely no extra value.

I'm skeptical that this is a bad deal for EU citizens.

[EDIT] missing and

redleather(10000) 4 days ago [-]

That's assuming a European GDPR-compliant alternative to Google analytics wouldn't arise. But of course it will. It's not even a very difficult product to build. If anything this is both sticking it to Google and creating opportunities for European startups to fill the void.

arendtio(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Actually, the cookie layers of Google have become a lot better in recent months. I doubt that is was Googles initiative, so I think that all this legal stuff is making a difference. Yes, it is a very slow process, but what would be an alternative?

Yes it doesn't solve the startup problem, but honestly there also also a ton of other laws and regulations outside of data protection which make it hard for startups to prosper. Web Analytics seems a relatively minor problem.

baq(10000) 4 days ago [-]

take data of your USA customers and sell it to the highest bidder without their consent or even knowledge as you please. don't complain that I have the right to know you do that and disagree to you doing that.

nathanaldensr(10000) 4 days ago [-]

Maybe a race where the finish line is maximum exploitation of the digital population isn't a race worth running.

DisjointedHunt(10000) 4 days ago [-]

The EU hasn't shaken off their roots in monarchy. Using the power of the state to go after a single private entity since they have a blood feud with said entity and are now finding all sorts of excuses to hit them economically.

I've been following the cases with regard to privacy in the EU and it's a complete joke. You have all these onerous rules against any web technology making it near impossible for startups to function without an army of lawyers. Think I'm exaggerating? Look up the provisions under GDPR for any business, big or small, to set up a website and then process a single user request for their data even without sign in.

The UK is sick and tired of this and has recently begun moving to ignore these onerous rules. All power to them.

makeitdouble(10000) 4 days ago [-]

Setting up something like Matomo instead of GA doesn't looks to me like a huge penalizing factor for a startup.

If anything, EU startups could benefit from better control over the tools they use. One interesting halo effect of Google seeing that much data is also that US startup from ex-googlers get a head start on many insights.

herbst(10000) 4 days ago [-]

I am no EU citizen, however live in Europe and do tech startups. I welcome GDPR as well as this ruling.

It's unethical IMO to send personal data to countries that have weak privacy laws without making it absolutely clear to the user. Which is rarely the case with GA right now.

I switched most my projects to shynet, for me personally that's more than enough information and I have zero worries about tracking and know that some users appreciate my approach.

Edit:// even before GDPR became a thing I worked with several companies who had strict rules about hosting in Europe or even more explicit not hosting in the US.

hnbad(10000) 4 days ago [-]

Nah. The problem here is Google, not analytics in general. You can still use analytics as long as you do it in a privacy-first approach.

These laws also apply to US companies offering their services to in the EU. Frankly, it's about time American companies get reigned in on their privacy abuses. US startup culture has been playing fast and loose with people's data for far too long to disastrous effects.

t6jvcereio(10000) 4 days ago [-]

That's ok, that's our decision.

jimnotgym(10000) 4 days ago [-]

Isn't this an opportunity for EU startups? By choosing to enforce the law on US companies that EU companies are already generally very compliant with, surely the EU has levelled the playing field for EU companies?

suction(10000) 4 days ago [-]

As an EU citizen, I find it to be a huge improvement to detangle my data from US-American entities. Especially with the election of Trump and January 6th. Maybe Americans haven't fully realized what that meant for US-EU relations for the next hundreds of years. The US is just not a politically stable country until further notice.

denton-scratch(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Perhaps those are start-ups that we don't need in the EU.

xnickb(10000) 4 days ago [-]

Let me guess, you're from the US and user surveillance is beneficial to your business so naturally everyone with non-capitalist (read not $$$-centric) ideology is plain wrong. EU startups don't have to 'catch up' or even compete with US start ups.

louhike(10000) 4 days ago [-]

The CNIL in France is really pushing companies to not use Google Analytics, and you better listen to them here. It seems US companies should really make changes to how they host/manage data to be able to able to work in EU in the near future. (It isn't a criticism, simply an assesment).

f1refly(10000) 4 days ago [-]

There's nothing US companies can do to make themselfes legal to use here. The legal framework in the US allows dragnet spying on every non-american and american companies are forced to participate in that effort.

la64710(10000) 4 days ago [-]

This kind of ridiculous laws do not understand the boundless nature of internet. If you want to protect privacy of netizens simply make a universal law instead of having different laws in different countries.

adfm(10000) 4 days ago [-]

Since the Internet is not a fiefdom, universal law is moot. Nation states will draft tracking laws that are only only enforceable through tracking in an attempt to gain their slice of authoritarian pie. Pointing to the Google or US is typical strawman BS and gives people a false sense of security because they should assume everyone, not just the Google, is tracking them. Getting people to own their data is an uphill climb, but is ultimately what will curb the negative behavior we're witnessing.

pessimizer(10000) 4 days ago [-]

Other countries may not want to protect privacy at all. Italians are making rules to protect Italians.

IncRnd(10000) 4 days ago [-]

How does one 'simply make a universal law'?

tgv(10000) 4 days ago [-]

I'm afraid it does understand the boundless nature of the internet, and it wants the owner of the server to do something about it.

corywatilo(10000) 4 days ago [-]

Italy is the 4th in a string of recent decisions across the EU.

(We're tracking these cases on isgoogleanalyticsillegal.com along with details for each.)

Note that it's not illegal to use GA entirely, just illegal to use in its default state which transmits PII to the US.

remram(10000) 3 days ago [-]

I understand that this is primarily an advertisement for Posthog, but if you're going to keep posting it you might want to keep it up to date. There are only 4 countries on your map and one of them is:

> The Dutch Data Protection Authority warns that the use of Google Analytics 'may soon no longer be allowed', after a ruling by the Austrian privacy regulator. A definitive conclusion is said to come at the beginning of 2022.

At least you removed 'the only open source product analytics platform' and the Google fonts since the last time a Posthog employee posted it https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=29994183

stingraycharles(10000) 4 days ago [-]

That is an extremely important nuance which is not obvious from the title.

minsc_and_boo(10000) 4 days ago [-]

Isn't it already against Google Analytics' policy to put PII in the platform to begin with?


lmkg(10000) 4 days ago [-]

> just illegal to use in its default state which transmits PII to the US

As I mentioned in a sibling comment, this is technically true but complying with GDPR takes more than unchecking a few boxes. I've never seen any GA set-up that would remotely approach compliance. At minimum, you need to mask IP's before they reach Google, which means standing up a non-Google server to proxy all the hits. That is more complexity than 99+% of GA installations.

1vuio0pswjnm7(10000) 4 days ago [-]

Here are the URLs for those who disable Javascript (from https://github.com/PostHog/isgoogleanalyticsillegal.com)





NOYB is the primary source tracking these cases and generally was also responsible for filing the complaints that led to them. All the details are available from NOYB's GDPRhub wiki, https://gdprhub.eu. GDPRhub attempts to provide information on all the European DPAs including how to file complaints. At the least it provides contact info for all the DPAs and English translations of DPA decisions.

As stated in 13 Jan 2022 announcement on noyb.eu, these decisions are generally the result of the 'Max Schrems II' decision. After that decision, Schrems filed 101 complaints to DPAs, and now the chickens are coming home to roost.

Note that the 'legality' of Google Fonts, under the default configuration, is also in question. Arguably use of Google Fonts is even more widespread than use of Google Analytics.

digitalengineer(10000) 4 days ago [-]

Some time ago Google gave EU admins the option to select a local regional (EU) server. This means the data is not send to the US. But! It's still nog fully legal as the Google HQ (and thus the US government( can still access all the data.

ricardobayes(10000) 4 days ago [-]

Forget anonimized GA, I wonder what regulators would say to the likes of Hotjar which even records your screen and can be played back.

mro_name(10000) 4 days ago [-]

yeah, like 'swimming pools only bear a danger of drowning when wet'.

stickfigure(10000) 4 days ago [-]

Is it illegal to use my website from Italy? I store PII (and everything else) in the US.

tick_tock_tick(10000) 4 days ago [-]

I'd be terrified if I was a EU company at this point. There is not logically way these same rules don't apply to using AWS, GCP, and Azure. There isn't enough other cloud hosting with nearly the same capabilities in Europe to handle that day.

makeitdouble(10000) 4 days ago [-]

GCP and Azure have options to keep all data within the EU, I'm sure AWS has something to at this point. In France GCP is approved for public business, so it seems to be working fine.

On your general point, we're way past the point where a company is allowed to blindly use any random SaaS without caring about what it does with the data or where it goes. The pendulum is clearly swinging back.

hef19898(10000) 4 days ago [-]

There seems to be a difference between 'B2C' stuff like ad tech and tracking and 'B2B' like AWS. The latter seems to be more eager to be compliant, I assume only to prevent local / regional competitors to fill a gap but still. Plus all the nice public contracts to be had.

tannhaeuser(10000) 4 days ago [-]

Well HN, how about a badge for links indicating whether it uses ga? We have to start somewhere don't we? Or we'll continue to see the web decline. Actually, from my PoV, it might be too late already. Maybe it's just me or people in EU being harassed with banner popups, but I hardly go to any link anymore, and so do many other people I know. It's just not worth it.

ronsor(10000) 4 days ago [-]

I'm an American, but I occasionally use an EU VPN. I don't understand how EU residents can tolerate the number of cookie/privacy/GDPR/whatever popups every site has, even on the sites of EU companies.

aembleton(10000) 4 days ago [-]

> how about a badge for links indicating whether it uses ga?

Sounds like a browser plugin would be best for this, then all links across the web could show it. Or you could just block it in uBO and not think about it again.

butterNaN(10000) 4 days ago [-]

A bit individualist solution but you can block it with NoScript on your browser

olalonde(10000) 4 days ago [-]

I wish GDPR compliance would have been opt-in. For example, a GDPR compliant website could have sent a custom header indicating compliance, which the browser could have displayed in the address bar (a bit like HTTPS). Consumers would then have been free make the decision to not use websites which aren't GDPR compliant. Consumers who are more concerned about privacy could have set their browser to automatically block any non GDPR compliant website.

eropple(10000) 4 days ago [-]

> Consumers who are more concerned about privacy could have set their browser to automatically block any non GDPR compliant website.

It may not be your intent, but defaults matter and what you're wishing for here is de-facto scuttling of the GDPR.

closewith(10000) 4 days ago [-]

Bizarre idea. Should websites be allowed to opt out of anti-fraud legislation? Anti-money laundering? Human rights protections?

eulenteufel(10000) 4 days ago [-]

The Venn diagramm of the websites that have a Cookie-Popup right now and the websites that would choose to not be GDPR-compliant is a circle.

This change would mean most website couldn't be used by privacy concious people anymore and that the websites in turn are free to track the sh*t out of everyone else. From my perspective that sounds a lot worse.

The web is a mandatory part of public live for most people by now and it's good and healthy that corporations get push back for not respecting privacy.

Historical Discussions: GitHub Copilot is generally available (June 21, 2022: 861 points)

(861) GitHub Copilot is generally available

861 points 6 days ago by sammorrowdrums in 10000th position

github.blog | Estimated reading time – 4 minutes | comments | anchor

At GitHub, it's part of our mission to build technology that makes developers happy. Since the launch of GitHub Copilot technical preview last year, it's become abundantly clear that AI is one of the best tools to empower the next generation of developers.

Already, AI is acting as a copilot in our daily lives. It's helping us write emails and essays, automatically generate photo albums of our loved ones, and even acts as a digital assistant to help us order groceries. But until now, AI has stopped short of improving code, leaving the process of developing software almost completely manual.

That's changing now. Today, I am thrilled to announce that we are making GitHub Copilot generally available to individual developers. Your AI pair programmer is here.

With GitHub Copilot, for the first time in the history of software, AI can be broadly harnessed by developers to write and complete code. Just like the rise of compilers and open source, we believe AI-assisted coding will fundamentally change the nature of software development, giving developers a new tool to write code easier and faster so they can be happier in their lives.

Do you want to start using GitHub Copilot today? Get started with a 60-day free trial, and check out our pricing plans. It's free to use for verified students and maintainers of popular open source software.

The wait is over

We specifically designed GitHub Copilot as an editor extension to make sure nothing gets in the way of what you're doing. GitHub Copilot distills the collective knowledge of the world's developers into an editor extension that suggests code in real time, to help you stay focused on what matters most: building great software.

When you type code or comments, GitHub Copilot suggests the next line of code. But it's not only a single word or line of code. GitHub Copilot can suggest complete methods, boilerplate code, whole unit tests, and even complex algorithms.

GitHub Copilot enables developers toGet AI-based coding suggestions: Get code suggestions that match a project's context and style conventions, and cycle through different options to decide what to accept, reject, or edit. Use your preferred environment: Integrate GitHub Copilot with popular editors, including Neovim, JetBrains IDEs, Visual Studio, and Visual Studio Code as an unobtrusive extension. Code confidently in unfamiliar territory: Code in new languages or try something new, and let GitHub Copilot suggest syntax and code in dozens of languages—so you can spend more time learning by doing.

With more than 1.2 million developers in our technical preview over the last 12 months, people who started using GitHub Copilot quickly told us it became an indispensable part of their daily workflows. In files where it's enabled, nearly 40% of code is being written by GitHub Copilot in popular coding languages, like Python—and we expect that to increase. That's creating more time and space for developers to focus on solving bigger problems and building even better software.

And now, you can put the power of GitHub Copilot to work in your preferred environment with a free 60-day trial.

Free for verified students and maintainers of popular open source projects

GitHub Copilot wouldn't be possible without GitHub's vibrant community of students and creators. To support and give back to those communities, we're making GitHub Copilot available for free to verified students and maintainers of popular open source projects.

If you're a student and want to participate in the program, apply for the GitHub Student Pack to get started. And if you're an open source maintainer, check out our FAQ to see if you qualify to start using GitHub Copilot at no cost.

Coming to companies later this year

GitHub Copilot is our first step toward empowering developers with AI. Starting today, it's now available to all developers, and we'll begin offering it to companies later this year.

All Comments: [-] | anchor

andrewallbright(10000) 6 days ago [-]

This has probably been talked about but...

If most code is 'bad' code (any definition works) and this AI was trained on all/most code on GitHub, does that mean that this AI mostly helps to produces bad code?

exyi(10000) 6 days ago [-]

I have been using copilot for some time... I'd say yes and no. It helps you a lot when you are writing repetitive code, so in a way it encourages you to write the repetitive BS instead of making a function for that or something. But it's also helpful for writing tests and nice error message. You just type

     if (x.length < 10) throw
And it figures out the rest. So while sometimes it encourages bad code, when you know how to use it well, it helps you write the good things I'd normally be too lazy to write
speedgoose(10000) 6 days ago [-]

It depends. I have not collected data to prove my observations, but I find the rust suggestions better quality on average than the python suggestions. Some people do terrible things in Python.

BrandonJung(10000) 6 days ago [-]

one way to minimize this is to train on your own trusted code. You do need a reasonable amount of good code (ideally with good comments too) this is one of the options that we have here at Tabnine. Train on your GitLab, Bitbucket or GitHub repos.

ridiculous_fish(10000) 6 days ago [-]

It definitely can. Here it suggests a plausible looking but incorrect function for averaging integers: https://twitter.com/ridiculous_fish/status/14527512360594513...

chadlavi(10000) 6 days ago [-]

I got like two weeks of the beta before they took it away from me today. I guess my small open-source project isn't prestigious enough to merit free access. Thanks I guess GitHub?

BrandonJung(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Come try Tabnine and if you need a custom model for your small OSS project please let me know.

lmarcos(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Reminds me of the scene in Fight Club where Tyler explains how he makes money (he sells rich women their own fat asses in the form of luxury soap). In this case the fat is open source code hosted in GitHub, the soap is Copilot, and the rich women are us, the developers.

734129837261(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Well, true. But that's the point, it saves you from having to do all the work.

Copilot saves me from leaving my IDE for a large amount of situations. It saves me from opening a new tab (tab #1003) and Googling my problem, finding a solution on StackOverflow, scrolling down to the answers, curating the best answers, picking the one I like, copy/pasting it, then tailoring it to my liking (JS to TS, naming conventions, etc.) and testing it.

moffkalast(10000) 6 days ago [-]

'With enough open source snippets one could code up just about anything.'

k0k0r0(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Underrated comment.

nonethewiser(10000) 6 days ago [-]

I have the student developer pack. I should have access to Copilot, but it prompts to pay. Does any other verified student currently have access?

vlan121(10000) 6 days ago [-]

I do, but I did the beta before.

curo(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Copilot is a steal at $10/m.

HN can set itself apart from Twitter and Reddit by celebrating great achievements rather than tearing them down.

Copilot stands on the shoulders of open source, yes. So do many of our personal and commercial projects. Copilot benefitted from having beta users. That relationship went both ways.

A big thanks to the Copilot team for letting us be a part of the beta. I will happily pay $10/m for this.

mistrial9(10000) 6 days ago [-]

> Copilot is a steal at $10/m.

  agree !!!   as any burgler-thief-attorney will tell you, it is *totally worth it*
svnpenn(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Steal is a good word, considering that in some cases Copilot violates some open source licenses.

BrandonJung(10000) 6 days ago [-]

to be clear they actually took much of what Tabnine was doing and declined to let us use GPT3 (MSFT closed Open AI). It turned out to be good because there are lots of other great models out there from T5 (SFDC), Meta, Google, etc that will continue to move forward faster.

acdanger(10000) 6 days ago [-]

When I try and sign up for it, I am presented with a 'Confirm Payment Details' screen with no way to proceed.

natefinch(10000) 6 days ago [-]

You have to give a credit card or other payment details to enter the free trial.

marcodiego(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Did they fixed the licensing dangers?

xaedes(10000) 6 days ago [-]

As they don't mention it I doubt it.

Tabnine, a similar competitor, explicitly mentions this on their website:

' Tabnine only uses open-source code with permissive licenses for our Public Code trained AI model (MIT, Apache 2.0, BSD-2-Clause, BSD-3-Clause). '

Other commenters here say the completion quality is worse than Copilot. I use Tabnine for local short completions only and am quite happy with it. Didn't try Copilot yet.

BrandonJung(10000) 6 days ago [-]

No they did not. You have to train on only fully permissive code to ensure that is not a problem

CryZe(10000) 6 days ago [-]

You apparently can 'opt out of public code' now. I didn't find an explanation for whether that properly limits it to permissive licenses though.

Update: It seems like they check whether the code it emits matches the training set and if it does it won't suggest it.

mcluck(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Like many people I thought Copilot was neat but ended up uninstalling it because it caused more problems than it solved. Reading the comments here, it seems that most of the people who get value out of it would be better served creating a set of snippets. If all you need is to fill in boilerplate all the time or repeat general test structures but with different arguments, just make a snippet. Every major code editor supports this and they're really easy to setup and use.

tamrix(10000) 6 days ago [-]

In my experience, most of the code snippets weren't useful and testing the less useful code snippets costs more time than it saves.

xtracto(10000) 6 days ago [-]

I haven't used Copilot but found this comment interesting. Back in the 1990s when I started programming (BASIC and C) I did maintain collections of code snippets that I used in different programs here and there. I used to cherish those snippets and dedicated a good amount of time to maintain them available through my computers.

Then the Internet and Google came around. I found that instead of me maintaining those code snippets, I could search in Excite/Altavista for how to do something, and it will be stored there for me. Later came sites like StackOverflow (expertssexchange before it) which concentrated much of that information which before was scattered in PHPBBs and Geocities pages.

Now I see this Copilot app like the evolution of that; Instead of having to manually go searching for a snippet, I imagine I can 'pull it' almost automatically while I am writing code, with an AI helping me search for the right snippet with the current code context.

That doesn't sound bad at all.

Nevertheless, I haven't used it because I DON'T want my code to be sent to Microsoft or any other company. And I don't believe in adding random code for which I don't know the license! What if there is some code which was AGPL that Copilot happens to use? that's pretty bad.

danuker(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Or better yet, save the snippet as a function/procedure in the code, and avoid needless duplication (DRY/Occam's razor).

metadat(10000) 6 days ago [-]

I tried GHCP but found it overall unhelpful and kind of stressful to use, because of potential bugs I might overlook and 'import' into my project.

Definitely does not seem worth paying for me to end up more stressed out, haha.

exyi(10000) 6 days ago [-]

So it depends if you prefer writing or doing code review :) You'd maybe need another tool which converts review work to writing work

yubozhao(10000) 6 days ago [-]

If copilot saves more than 30 mins of your time per month, then it is totally worth it.

swah(10000) 6 days ago [-]

I think it does: it is, at least, an 'always up-to-date' snippet machine..

emacdona(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Has anyone been able to sign up since this announcement?

I get to a 'Confirm your payment details' screen, but there is no further action I can take (ie: no button to press or link to click to 'confirm'). It does say 'You will be billed $100/year starting August 20, 2022' -- but when I view my 'settings', it tells me I haven't signed up for copilot.

I tried various browsers, including Edge on Windows 10 sans plugins (the combination I would expect to be the most supported for MS owned github.com).

darknavi(10000) 6 days ago [-]

I don't even see that. I see a 'Start my free trial' button and it just takes me to the generic billing screen. How do I even purchase this? Is it its own subscription?

natefinch(10000) 6 days ago [-]

There are some GitHub problems that are getting addressed right now.

low_tech_punk(10000) 6 days ago [-]

IMHO, it's still far from GA quality/usability. A must-have feature that's missing is a toggle switch that lets you temporarily turn it off. Without a feature, it can get really noisy.

baby(10000) 6 days ago [-]

There is a button you can click in VSCode to toggle it, so not sure what's the problem.

giobox(10000) 6 days ago [-]

This may vary in the IDEs they support, but theres an 'Activate Copilot' toggle button right in the status bar in VSCode to toggle on and off instantly that appears on every editor window if the extension is installed.

the_duke(10000) 6 days ago [-]

In Neovim it's just ':Copilot disable', ':Copilot enable'.

rictic(10000) 6 days ago [-]

The VSCode extension has one. There's a button in the bottom right with the logo that you can click to enable/disable, or you could add a keybind for the 'github.copilot.toggleCopilot' command

jwpapi(10000) 6 days ago [-]

I'm honestly shook at all the comments here. I don't make any money coding and I'm probably in the lower 25% of HN readers in terms of skills, but I'm more than happy to pay $10/m. I would pay Github $10/m for what they already give me.

What is your time worth? You should easily get $60/hr, so you need to save 12 minutes per month to make it worth. I would pay that for all my employees.

CoPilot is not a replacement for writing code, but it's incredible useful when you are stuck and or / write simple logic.

Often I don't have the right method, function or logic on mind. Before I google, I write a comment of what I want and 8/10 CoPilot generates the right code.

Typing the comment, checking the solution, reformatting it is <<< less time than without it.

To me Github CoPilot is a standard part of my IDE and I wouldn't want to miss it anymore. It saves me at least an hour a day of coding. Some stuff is really crazy. I invite you all to try to be open-minded. You have to experience it.

// You have to code for yourself

I don't really like this argument, because if that argument would be true, we would also need to now how our codes translates to 1 and 0s and how the electronics build our application than. AutoComplete is part of our life on our phone and it can be with developing. Don't make it harder as it needs to be.

jlelse(10000) 6 days ago [-]

$60/hr? Maybe in the US, but really uncommon even in western countries like Germany.

matsemann(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Could it perhaps be you not coding for a living (and being lower in skill as you say) that make you think it's worth it?

For me the bottleneck is seldom typing. And while Copilot can sometimes dish out some more advanced stuff, I still have to verify it and understand it. Since I can basically solve every problem I encounter day-to-day, Copilot's contribution is not that useful.

albertzeyer(10000) 6 days ago [-]

I don't really get this argument why it should be a problem that it is being trained on other public code.

Every human was just trained in the same way. Why isn't this a problem for every human?

I really don't see the difference. One is an artificial neural network while the other is a biological neural network?

tkiolp4(10000) 6 days ago [-]

It's not about the learning part, it's about the copyright and money part. If you learn how to play song X by The Rolling Stones, you cannot just make money playing song X in a concert. Sure thing you can play song X in your father's birthday.

Here GitHub (Microsoft) is charging for a product that in certain circumstances violates copyright.

Snild(10000) 6 days ago [-]

I guess it's a bit of a philosophical disagreement.

In my view: I don't believe a machine (at least not any we're capable of creating) can truly learn.

Copilot is a machine working on its inputs. Humans think and create. Maybe it can be argued that humans are just more complicated machines, but I don't think most people would agree with such an equivalency.

Copilot is constructed almost entirely from others' code. There's a tiny fraction of original 'ai glue' in there, but the end product is arguably a derivative work of all that code it was trained on. As is its output.

It can also be argued that the AI part is really just an obfuscating copy machine. One that was created specifically for that task.

And of course, the real killing blow: if/when it reproduces training code verbatim, and you don't notice... will 'copilot did it' be a valid defense in court? There are different opinions on that I guess, but no one knows for sure -- and I wouldn't take that risk.

MarquesMa(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Thank you, GitHub, this is one of the best things!

No, it cannot make me write code I couldn't write before. It does not autopilot and does all the coding by itself. But it still boosts my productivity greatly, making me relaxed while coding and focusing on the important part rather than errands.

w4ffl35(10000) 6 days ago [-]

I've been using it for a while now. When I forget some syntax occasionally I'll switch this on instead of searching documentation or google, but more often than not my IDE can get me unstuck with less overhead.

Also if there are some repetitive sections of code I need to bang out quickly this will auto fill that repetitive pattern (although I'd argue this is usually a sign that the code should be cleaned up)

I avoid letting it fill in large swaths of code though. I have no idea where that code is coming from (license infringement?) and it tends to go way off the rails.

Additionally I feel that it makes me a worse programmer if I allow it to take over too much.

I've been programming for 20 years (more if you count my time as a kid) and have a certain flow. Part of that flow is the natural pause between thinking of solutions and typing. When the computer is beating me to the typing portion (and often times making mistakes) I would find myself doing more code review than code writing. Sometimes a few bugs popped up and it was thanks to copilot (or was it me failing to correct copilot's mistakes?).

I found my brain sort of switching into a different mode. Rather than thinking about my next steps I was thinking about the steps the computer just took and how I needed to clean them up.

Rather than the AI being my reviewer during a paired programming session, I was the computer's reviewer.

So now, like I said I use it very sparingly.

baby(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Insta buy for me (expense hopefully). I am just continuously mind blown by it, and I quickly notice and get frustrated when it's not enabled. It really is giving coders superpowers.

EDIT: looks like I'm getting it for free because of my contributions to open source o.o dope!

sarsway(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Yeah can't live without it anymore. It's already muscle memory to intuitively pausing typing, just waiting for Copilot to complete my line. Pretty good sense on what it should get right too. Knew this was gonna be a $10/month thing. oh well.

Hope though, when AI is becoming increasingly useful and seamlessly integrated, they not gonna take an arm and leg for it. It's just gonna be way too good to pass, people won't really have a choice but pay.

ahnick(10000) 6 days ago [-]

What's the criteria for being considered 'a maintainer of a popular open source project'? They never actually publish the criteria anywhere from what I can tell. They just say visit the subscription page and if you are eligible it should be available to you and if you see a charge then you are not eligible. I think though they should still be transparent about what their metric is for determining popular projects on GitHub; otherwise, the code that determines eligibility might be broken and no one would be able to tell. Or worse they could just be lying about it entirely.

andrewmcwatters(10000) 6 days ago [-]

A sample of the first 25k repositories and their stargazers on GitHub shows that the top 1% have over 600 stars, and the top 0.1% have nearly 5,000 stars. That's a very small sample, however.

[1]: https://github.com/andrewmcwattersandco/github-statistics

[2]: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1HBSwxr0jkUoMulQxyVTC...

kevincox(10000) 6 days ago [-]

> People who maintain popular open source projects receive a credit to have 12 months of GitHub Copilot access for free. A maintainer of a popular open source project is defined as someone who has write or admin access to one or more of the most popular open source projects on GitHub


I like how 'open source project' == 'on github'. Can't say that I am surprised though.

kootenpv(10000) 5 days ago [-]

I have 2 popular python projects, one with 4.9k and one with 2.3k stars and I don't qualify :/


If anyone knows why pls let me know

samth(10000) 6 days ago [-]

At a minimum, 4.3k stars is not enough, because I don't qualify.

notamy(10000) 6 days ago [-]

> What's the criteria for being considered 'a maintainer of a popular open source project'?

The FAQ [0] says

> A maintainer of a popular open source project is defined as someone who has write or admin access to one or more of the *most popular open source projects* on GitHub

(emphasis added)

[0] https://github.com/pricing#i-work-on-open-source-projects-ca...

plondon514(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Are there any plans for GitHub Copilot to ship an API? I think it would be interesting to set it up w/ my side project https://codeamigo.dev

haskellandchill(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Hey, fun side project!

lelag(10000) 6 days ago [-]

The API version of copilot exists.

It's called OpenAI Codex. https://openai.com/blog/openai-codex/

jpomykala(10000) 6 days ago [-]

It's not worth $10/mo. I wouldn't even pay $5/mo. Usually, it generates code with incorrect logic what is sometimes hard to notice.

It's also awful that they took free code (open-source), and now they want money for it. Make it open-source and free to use...

Some say it's great for repetitive tasks, but if you write repetitive code (tests also) maybe you should look for other solutions than "auto-generating" unmaintainable code.

BrandonJung(10000) 6 days ago [-]

they used all the code in GitHub regardless of license. hope they avoided the Oracle code ;-)

CapsAdmin(10000) 6 days ago [-]

I really like copilot, but my outside of the content being generated it still feels a bit slow and somewhat hacked into vscode. It sometimes interferes with regular 'intellisense suggestions' as well.

I've been in the beta since almost the beginning I have not really seen much improvement on the frontend side. Since its release, the changelog only mentions 10 small (or so it seems) improvements


On the backend side, I feel like I've started to 'figure out' copilot a little bit. One thing I'd like to see is inline completion which I think gpt3 can do now but copilot which I believe it's based on cannot.

I think I will pay to continue, but I'd like to see some frontend improvements and maybe some backend alternatives. Ideally I'd love this to be open source but compute power doesn't seem feasible (?) unless we start magically crowd sourcing our computers to run a model somehow.

calum-bird(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Copilot does inline completion right now - they implemented it into copilot as a pilot program[0] before OAI went live with that new model IIRC.

[0]: https://openai.com/blog/gpt-3-edit-insert/

jbaczuk(10000) 6 days ago [-]

I guess I will have to start actually working now... I have been a user since the beta started, so no thanks to us who have been contributing to the model? People forget that by using it, you are training it too.

CryZe(10000) 6 days ago [-]

You can opt out of that.

amelius(10000) 6 days ago [-]

What I really want is a one-shot learning tool, which I teach once how to apply some code-transformation, and then the tool can apply it everywhere in my code.

Otek(10000) 6 days ago [-]

I don't know what language do you work with but do you mean something like a ESLint for JS/TS?

nikeee(10000) 6 days ago [-]

The main page [0] shows you awesome demos, but also its weaknesses in the very first example. It doesn't encode the url encoded body properly:

> body: `text=${text}`,

So it breaks if the text contains a '&' and even allows parameter injection to the call of the 3rd party service. Isn't that critical on a sentiment analysis API, but could result in actual security holes.

I hope the users won't blindly use the generated code without review. These mistakes can be so subtle, nobody even noticed them when they put them on the front page of the product.

[0]: https://github.com/features/copilot/

realharo(10000) 6 days ago [-]

There are issues with many of the other demos too, especially in the second group of examples (e.g. `const months = days / 30`, the prime number test function not testing any `false` cases, etc.).

obert(10000) 6 days ago [-]

that's why it's called copilot and not autopilot

quickthrower2(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Yep. Copilot is going to be good for "pick up the pieces" devs

Hamcha(10000) 6 days ago [-]

I've been using Copilot non-stop on every hobby project I have ever since they've let me in (2021/07/13) and I am honestly flabbergasted they think it's worth 10$/mo. My experience using it till this day is the following:

- It's an amazing all-rounder autocomplete for most boilerplate code. Generally anything that someone who's spent 5 minutes reading the code can do, Copilot can do just as well.

- It's terrible if you let it write too much. The biggest problem I've had is not that it doesn't write correctly, it's that it think it knows how and then produce good looking code at a glance but with wrong logic.

- Relying on its outside-code knowledge is also generally a recipe for disaster: e.g. I'm building a Riichi Mahjong engine and while it knows all the terms and how to put a sentence together describing the rules, it absolutely doesn't actually understand how 'Chii' melds work

- Due to the licensing concerns I did not use CoPilot at all in work projects and I haven't felt like I was missing that much. A friend of mine also said he wouldn't be allowed to use it.

You can treat it as a pair programming session where you're the observer and write an outline while the AI does all the bulk work (but be wary), but at what point does it become such a better experience to justify 10$/mo? I don't understand if I've been using it wrong or what.

rexreed(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Of course GPT-3 doesn't 'understand' what you are doing. All it's doing is generating high probability text based on a huge training corpus. It's guessing what text will come next. That doesn't mean it understands jack squat. It's basically a parrot with a huge database. Polly want a program?

naniwaduni(10000) 6 days ago [-]

> - It's terrible if you let it write too much. The biggest problem I've had is not that it doesn't write correctly, it's that it think it knows how and then produce good looking code at a glance but with wrong logic.

So the same problem ML has in every endeavor where we have a good metric of 'correctness' that's distinct from plausibility, like OCR or natural language translation: very good at spitting out stuff that superficially resembles training data, and whether that happens to be right is totally accidental. Surprisingly good odds if you're working on something boring within the 'bounds' of the model, sure, but also pretty likely to think that 'now on sale' is a zillion times more likely to be announced on an advert than 'a decision has been made to release this product (at an unspecified future date).'

hn_throwaway_99(10000) 6 days ago [-]

I think your response highlights why individual developers are the worst target market and why you want to sell to businesses if you're in the tool space.

Let's say the average developer in the US costs 10k a month (I think that's pretty close to the real average of around 120k a year). So copilot would cost .1% of that developer's salary. I realize calculating things around 'improvements in developer productivity' involve lots of fuzzy math, but it would be stupid for any company NOT to pay this if it improves developer productivity by just 1%.

Another way to think about it that I think may be more 'real world': Let's say I'm CTO of a big company with 1000 software developers. Do I think it's going to be a better investment to hire another developer so I have 1001 developers, or instead use that other developer's salary to buy all the devs at my company a Copilot license?

But for some reason individual developers think that anything over $1-2 dollars a month is an exhorbitant cost.

austenallred(10000) 6 days ago [-]

I'm genuinely curious: How do you value your time?

If you're an engineer who is paid $150/hour and Copilot saves you 5 minutes/month it just paid for itself.

wiremine(10000) 6 days ago [-]

I'm the CTO for a small(ish) software consultancy. $10/month is a no-brainer price for just the 'amazing all-rounder autocomplete'. Spending $10/month/dev to help maximize highly billable engineers? It's well worth the price.

mceachen(10000) 6 days ago [-]

> licensing concerns

I dismissed these concerns before I had early access.

Then, _literally the first characters I typed_ after enabling the extension were `//`, and it autosuggested:

    // Copyright 2018 Google LLC
I immediately uninstalled it.


yosito(10000) 6 days ago [-]

> Due to the licensing concerns I did not use CoPilot at all in work projects

I've rarely found that CoPilot produces more than a line or two of accurate code. How likely is it that one would run into licensing issues with a single line of code that looks similar to something from another codebase?

While I understand the problem in principle, I am really skeptical that significant licensing issues would really come up with using CoPilot as an individual.

blue0bird(10000) 6 days ago [-]

I've been using Copilot for almost 10 months, useful when learning new code but after a while become a bit more advanced auto complete.

I think it is good for short lines, repeating tasks; for example when writing tests and want to assert different fields, assert string, int, etc; for these sort of lines was really good and fast.

my main problems: 1. sometimes make a horrible mistake, takes couple of minutes to understand 2. repeat the same mistake over and over 3. adding a single tab take a bit of time, had to copy & paste tab to avoid copilot suggestion!

keithnz(10000) 6 days ago [-]

working out what it is worth is tricky, I just look at what I'm paying for at the moment, like Jetbrains All product suite costs me $150 yearly.... so Copilot at $100 a year seems insanely out of proportion. In fact all of the SAAS type products that are around $10 a month per dev offer far more significant functionality. For me copilot mainly fills in boiler plate code, which is useful, from time to time it generates a function that's great, but it would have been trivial for me to write it too, I like it, but comparatively compared to other tools, its pricing seems out of whack. Some are trying to use time = money as justification, but it rarely works as a direct translation like that when coding, in fact I doubt it has that much impact on time, it just makes some things less mundane to do. I have other plugins that are free that probably save me way more time, if all the plugins that help started charging at the same rate based on time savings, it'd be a nightmare.

staticassertion(10000) 6 days ago [-]

To me it's easily worth twice that, so I'm happy to pay 100/year.

matthewmacleod(10000) 6 days ago [-]

A developer easily costs $100 an hour. This means that if Copilot saves you more than 360 seconds in a month it's paid for itself.

I'm honestly flabbergasted that anybody would think it isn't worth $10 a month, despite its many serious flaws.

euos(10000) 6 days ago [-]

I've been using it as well. As annoying as it is, I am sure I would miss it enough to pay $100/year. Luckily, I somehow qualified for free access...

gideon_b(10000) 6 days ago [-]

  it thinks it knows how and then produce good looking code at a glance but with wrong logic.
This is so accurate. I still like copilot and I might even pay for it, but I will never trust the logic. It always wrong in a way that _almost_ looks right.
culi(10000) 6 days ago [-]

I've used it only slightly longer and had pretty much the same experience. I find it hard to believe anyone is really letting copilot write more than 2 lines of code for them at a time.

It's an AI powered autocomplete. And honestly it's excellent at that. All I really want is an AI powered autocomplete and if a FLOSS project took up the challenge I'd happily donate $10/month to see it succeed. Especially if it meant none of the licensing concerns that come with GH Copilot

baby(10000) 5 days ago [-]

I'd be willing to pay more than 10$/month for it personally. It has a greater impact than Netflix on my day-to-day. Also, I would expect my work to expense it.

BrandonJung(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Licensing is a critical question that is often not considered. Code trained on non-permissive code (think Oracle API's) has very significant risk, ask Google. We took a different tact three years ago in building Tabnine BUT went with only fully permissive code for training, ability to train on your own code base, and zero sharing of your completions. Also we give the developer the flexibility to adjust the length of completions if you want faster shorter suggestions.

SmellTheGlove(10000) 6 days ago [-]

+1. I've also been using it for hobby projects and have largely the same conclusions. I really do like that it spits out boilerplate for me, but when doing more than that, I still have to double-check all of it because as you said it does create incorrect, good looking output.

I can't justify $10 a month for it. Maybe as it improves.

EDIT: To clarify, $10 a month for personal use. We can't use it at work due to licensing, or it'd be worth that just to emit boilerplate.

w4ffl35(10000) 6 days ago [-]

I've also been using this for months, and would not pay for it. I think i might be getting it for free actually as I haven't been asked to pay yet.

I came to the same conclusion as you, you can see comments I made elsewhere in this thread. I'm not thrilled with it.

datastack(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Interesting to hear your experience. I've been using it for over a year, and I've come to appreciate the (modest) productivity boost that it's given me, to the point that I feel $10 per month is probably worth it.

The completions are often trivial, but they save me from typing them by hand. Sometimes they are trivial yet still wrong so I need to make corrections, wasting some of the gained speed. In total these probably won't save me much time on a day.

However, every couple of days there is one of these cases, where it can do tedious work that really saves time and headaches.

Example: - After writing a Mapper that converts objects of type A to B, I needed the reverse. Co-Pilot generated it almost perfectly in an instant. This can easily save a minute or two, plus the thinking required. - For a scraper, I needed to add cookies from my browser into the request object. Basically, I pasted the cookie in a string, and typed `// add cookies`, and it generated the code to split the string, iterate over each cookie value and add it to the correct request field.

So if a few of these cases can save 10 minutes in a month, I feel it's objectively worth it. Then subjectively, not having the headaches of 'dumb stuff'/boilerplate feels great, and I am glad to spend my energy on the actual hard stuff. I will sign up as soon as their sign up page lets me.

jmkni(10000) 6 days ago [-]

> I've been using Copilot non-stop

> I am honestly flabbergasted they think it's worth 10$/mo

These two statments seem contradictory to me. Why are you using it 'non-stop' if it isn't even worth $10/month?

qualudeheart(10000) 6 days ago [-]

As a productivity booster I think it's worth more than $10.

The licensing problems make it impossible to use at work so I won't use it for that.

People need to be aware of the security risks of letting microsoft read all your code as it's sent to the servers copilot runs on. By my lights that's almost as big of a problem as licensing.

jerf(10000) 6 days ago [-]

'how to put a sentence together describing the rules, it absolutely doesn't actually understand how 'Chii' melds work'

The more experience I get with GPT-3 type technologies, the more I would never let them near my code. It wasn't an intent of the technology per se, but it has proved to be very good at producing superficially appealing output that can stand up not only to a quick scan, but to a moderately deep reading, but still falls apart on a more careful reading. At least when that's in my prose it isn't cheerfully and plausibly charging the wrong customer or cheerfully and plausibly dereferencing a null pointer.

Or to put it another way, it's an uncanny valley type effect. All props and kudos to the technologists who developed it, it's a legitimate step forward in technology, but at the same time it's almost the most dangerous possible iteration of it, where it's good enough to fool a human functioning at anything other than the highest level of attentiveness but not good enough to be correct all the time. See also, the dangers of almost self-driving cars; either be self-driving or don't but don't expect halfway in between to work well.

Gigachad(10000) 6 days ago [-]

I turned off copilot a week ago for the same reason. The code it generates _looks_ right but is usually wrong in really difficult to spot ways but things you'd never write yourself.

cjauvin(10000) 6 days ago [-]

It's interesting to draw parallels between the way you describe it and the way more general large language models (LLMs, of which Copilot is in a sense, a specialized instance, applied to code, instead of general language) operate: they also always 'know' how to answer any specific question, or how to complete any prompt, without any exception. A model which would be able to 'show restraint', and 'know when it doesn't know', would be a really impressive improvement to this technology in my opinion.

threatofrain(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Github Copilot is on the fence for me between yes/no at $100 per year. I agree that you should rarely if ever allow Copilot to write multiple lines, as your double-checking or debugging time is going to exceed your time savings — the probability of good-looking but bad code is just that high right now. In order to experience a net time-win you'll likely want to be an intermediate at whatever you're doing.

If it were $60 yearly it'd be an auto-yes for me.

netr0ute(10000) 6 days ago [-]

I can't tell if I can get it for free or not other than that vague statement about subscriptions.

gabagool(10000) 6 days ago [-]

> We're making GitHub Copilot, an AI pair programmer that suggests code in your editor, generally available to all developers for $10 USD/month or $100 USD/year. It will also be free to use for verified students and maintainers of popular open source projects.

> Do you want to start using GitHub Copilot today? Get started with a 60-day free trial, and check out our pricing plans. It's free to use for verified students and maintainers of popular open source software.

Seems pretty clear. If you're willing to do your own research (aka going to the CoPilot site): https://github.com/github-copilot/tp_signup, you'll see that pricing reflected here as well as the date when the free period ends, which is August 22nd.

freedomben(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Does copilot learn from and suggest patterns in the same codebase that you're working, or does it just pull from the huge pool of projects on GH?

How well does copilot help with languages like Elixir that are less common? WIth TypeScript it's been remarkable, but that's one of the most popular and surely very familiar to devs and GH, so I would expect less popular like Elixir to not perform as well.

Does copilot work for shell scripts?

I'm a vim person and don't want to use VS code. Is copilot worth the hassle to get installed into vim?

TaylorPhebillo(10000) 6 days ago [-]

I've played with it a little bit:

Copilot did pretty poorly when I tried using it with Julia- it kept suggesting Python code. I suspect it would do something similar in Elixir.

I'm also a vim person who doesn't want to use VS code, but I've gotten more than enough value to get into my first IDE (with vim keybindings). A lot of tedious C++ code is getting correctly auto-generated.

corrral(10000) 6 days ago [-]

> Does copilot work for shell scripts?

Oh wow—a language where there are: 20 ways to do something, three of them are common, but only three others actually behave, by any standard, correctly, while being among the least-common in public code, seems like exactly the wrong kind of thing to use this for.

Shell doesn't need machine-learning autocomplete trained on existing shell scripts, it needs a hand-built aggressive linter.

Kiro(10000) 6 days ago [-]

It doesn't learn from your codebase but it uses the context of your code so any pattern will be picked up.

bil7(10000) 6 days ago [-]

> suggest patterns in the same codebase that you're working

Sometimes, with variable results. I think I've only observed it guess patterns from the current directory

> Does copilot work for shell scripts?

Yes, it gave me this earlier today while editing my .zshrc:

  # kill a process on a given port
  killport() {
    lsof -i :$1 | awk 'NR!=1 {print $2}' | xargs kill
mholm(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Copilot seems to learn from elsewhere in my codebase, and is able to utilize patterns I've used elsewhere in the codebase when prompted in a different file. Isn't perfect, but it saves a ton of time.

My primary usage is shell scripts, as it seems to struggle on complex code, while shell scripts are typically a lot of simple code.

fartcannon(10000) 6 days ago [-]

It would be nice if people stopped giving Microsoft all their code to use to then sell back to them.

Since this is derived from code Microsoft did not write, or ask permission to use, it should be at the very least free to use.

Otek(10000) 6 days ago [-]

People can do whatever they want with their code, and give it to whoever they want

zelphirkalt(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Does Copilot already display the licenses of the code it might insert/suggest, or assure the developer, that the inserted/suggested code is not a verbatim copy of existing code? How can developers be sure, that they are not violating licenses by using Copilot?

lelandfe(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Previously discussed at length here: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=27773157

> or assure the developer, that the inserted/suggested code is not a verbatim copy of existing code

No, it does not do that.

> How can developers be sure, that they are not violating licenses by using Copilot

There are no clear answers.

AdmiralAsshat(10000) 6 days ago [-]

The fact that GitHub is now charging for this feature smells like a lawsuit waiting to happen. They're now literally profiting from potentially stolen GPL code.

anon2020dot00(10000) 6 days ago [-]

My sincere question is what if a developer looks at some GPL code, and then that developer encounters a situation in a corporate project where-in he uses the GPL code from memory, is that already a violation?

So to avoid a violation a developer needs to perform a mind-wipe?

duxup(10000) 6 days ago [-]

From my experience with it the suggestions are so generic it's hard to imagine anyone has a legit license to 'formatDateISO....() {code here}'.

Maybe I'm using it wrong but I've hardly seen it pump out a mass volume of code.

injidup(10000) 6 days ago [-]

From the FAQ

''' We built a filter to help detect and suppress the rare instances where a GitHub Copilot suggestion contains code that matches public code on GitHub. You have the choice to turn that filter on or off during setup. With the filter on, GitHub Copilot checks code suggestions with its surrounding code for matches or near matches (ignoring whitespace) against public code on GitHub of about 150 characters. If there is a match, the suggestion will not be shown to you. We plan on continuing to evolve this approach and welcome feedback and comment. '''

bladegash(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Others may have a different experience, but I have never seen Copilot offer suggestions anywhere near complicated/unique enough for it to matter.

That's not a knock on Copilot, I think it's a great product and I happily subscribed today after using it the last few months!

hoosieree(10000) 6 days ago [-]

So... is there a watermark like on Dall-E so I can easily tell Copilot did my students' work for them?

tgv(10000) 6 days ago [-]

The same as always: give an exam on paper, and forbid the use of devices. Because I can tell you (with high probability) that many of your students already have their homework done by somebody else.

suyash(10000) 6 days ago [-]

It is just a matter of time before IDE's will have this capability built in for free.

Otek(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Possibly but I think we're talking years if not decades.

lsh123(10000) 6 days ago [-]

I assume that Copilot uses open source projects on GitHub to "learn" what to suggest. Some of these projects might be under, say, GPL v3. A developer uses Copilot for a commercial project and Copilot insert a complete function from a GPL v3 code into this project. Someone notices this and sues the commercial project for breaking GPL v3. Will GitHub pickup the tab?

LrnByTeach(10000) 6 days ago [-]

a person bought a hammer/knife from a shop and used it to hurt another person. When the victim sues the attacker, can the manufacturer of hammer/knife pick up the tab?

blip54321(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Damages. This question will come back to damages.

If you steal 10 lines of code from me, the damages will be the greater of:

- The benefit to you (10 minutes programmer time)

- The cost to me ($0)

- Statutory damages (probably $200)

In other words, it's very unlikely to be worth a lawsuit. The most likely outcome is:

- A legal letter is sent

- Infringing code is removed

- As good bedside manner, some nominal amount of money is transferred, mostly in some gesture designed to make the violated party feel good about themselves (e.g. a nice gift).

runeks(10000) 6 days ago [-]

> A developer uses Copilot for a commercial project and Copilot insert a complete function from a GPL v3 code into this project.

Honest question: can a function have a license? Ie. can a function be copyrighted?

If an MIT library and a GPL library use the same function with some minor variation and I use the function from the GPL code in my commercial project, have I infringed on someone's copyright/license? Or would be argument be that the function in question is not copyrightable as almost the same version exists licensed under MIT?

baby(10000) 5 days ago [-]

This is why we can't have nice things

dahart(10000) 6 days ago [-]

> Someone notices this and sues the commercial project for breaking GPL v3.

I know what you mean, but silly nit pick since you mentioned "commercial" twice - GPL v3 does not prevent commercial use, it only requires copies to be open source. For someone to notice the project has copied code and not be inside the company, the code would (probably) have to be open source. So, this hypothetical is less likely to happen than your comment makes it sound.

A little further off topic, but amusing to me, is that the US government defines "commercial" software to be any software that has a license other than public domain. Free and open source software, such as GPL v3, is still "commercial" because it is licensed to the public https://www.acquisition.gov/far/part-2#FAR_2_101

More on-topic now, a small single function accidentally copied from an open source project by automated software might be considered fair use by US copyright law. https://www.copyright.gov/fair-use/more-info.html

(Edit) Oh yeah, and I just remembered that GitHub's Terms already carve a necessary exception to whatever license you use in your project, to allow Github to host & display your code. I assume those terms already include some CoPilot coverage...? If not, and if they aren't legally covered already (which I bet they are), then they could change the terms to stipulate that hosting code on GitHub bars people from suing over incidental amounts of automated copying. Main point here being that the GPLv3 license on your project is neither the only nor the primary license governing GitHub's relationship with your code.

2600(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Under it's settings, there's an option for GitHub Copilot to 'allow or block suggestions matching public code.'

msoad(10000) 6 days ago [-]

I've been using Copilot for a while now. I'm lucky that I don't have to pay moving forward but I would totally pay $10/mo for this. When writing tests, this thing works so well that it saves me 10-20% time writing code so $10 is nothing.

nonethewiser(10000) 6 days ago [-]

> I'm lucky that I don't have to pay moving forward but I would totally pay $10/mo for this.

How? I was in beta but looks like I'm kicked out. I also verified my student status but get prompted to pay. Are you a maintainer? Have you verified that you have access?

phendrenad2(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Copilot has been fun, but I don't think it's really increased my productivity. To me it seems like it's not quite ready, but I'm excited to see what it's like in 5 years.

swah(10000) 6 days ago [-]

I even let it write some comments in portuguese...

lancesells(10000) 6 days ago [-]

I'll be honest I love the technology involved in this product but I hate that it's another aspect of monetizing the efforts and humanity of millions of people.

It's incredible that we're able to do these things but awful at the same time since this data was / is not theirs. Same as something like Dall-E.

eezurr(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Im sure from Microsoft's POV is that they are charging you for maintaining and operating co-pilot (servers, admin, etc), not charging you for the tool itself.

cube00(10000) 6 days ago [-]

> monetizing the efforts

...and not compensating (or even attributing as required by the licenses) the authors for it.

cube2222(10000) 6 days ago [-]

I've been using Copilot for a few months and...

Yeah, it makes mistakes, sometimes it shows you i.e. the most common way to do something, even if that way has a bug in it.

Yes, sometimes it writes a complete blunder.

And yes again, sometimes there are very subtle logical mistakes in the code it proposes.

But overall? It's been *great*! Definitely worth the 10 bucks a month (especially with a developer salary). :insert shut up and take my money gif:

It's excellent for quickly writing slightly repetitive test cases; it's great as an autocomplete on steroids that completes entire lines + fills in all arguments, instead of just a single identifier; it's great for quickly writing nice contextual error messages (especially useful for Go developers and the constant errors.Wrap, Copilot is really good at writing meaningful error messages there); and it's also great for technical documentation, as it's able to autocomplete markdown (and it does it surprisingly well).

Overall, I definitely wouldn't want to go back to writing code without it. It just takes care of most of the mundane and obvious code for you, so you can take care of the interesting bits. It's like having the stereotypical 'intern' as an associate built-in to your editor.

And sometimes, fairly rarely, but it happens, it's just surprising how good of a suggestion it can make.

It's also ridiculously flexible. When I start writing graphs in ASCII (cause I'm just quickly writing something down in a scratch file) it'll actually understand what I'm doing and start autocompleting textual nodes in that ASCII graph.

keyle(10000) 6 days ago [-]

As a polyglot who works in 4-5 different languages every 3-6 months, it's been very valuable.

I forget a lot of things, simple dumb stuff like type conversions or specific keywords spelling. Copilot takes care of 99% of that so I can focus on my higher level spec.

If anything sometimes it's too agressive. I start typing a word and it's already building up the rest of the application in a different direction...

TruthWillHurt(10000) 6 days ago [-]

I really don't like it.

I find I spend my time reviewing Copilot suggestions (which are mostly wrong) rather than thinking about code and actually doing the work.

moffkalast(10000) 6 days ago [-]

> And sometimes, fairly rarely, but it happens, it's just surprising how good of a suggestion it can make.

I've had this experience too. Usually it's meh, but at one point it wrote an ENTIRE function by itself and it was correct. IT WAS CORRECT! And it wasn't some dumb boilerplate initialization either, it was actual logic with some loops. The context awareness with it is off the charts sometimes.

Regardless I find that while it's good for the generic python stuff I do in my free time, for the stuff I'm actually paid for? Basically useless since it's too niche. So not exactly worth the investment for me.

culi(10000) 6 days ago [-]

I really like it too but I can't help but feel like all the same people panicked about Microsoft acquiring GitHub are suddenly quiet about the fact that Microsoft has found the ultimate way to profit off of open-source

There's a ton of developer effort that went into Copilot and those devs should be paid fairly. But the majority of what fuels Copilot is the millions of lines of open source code submitted every day.

I think I'd feel a lot better about it if they committed a good chunk of that money back into the same open source communities they depend on. Otherwise its a parasitic (or at least not fully consensual) relationship

scifibestfi(10000) 6 days ago [-]

What would be your estimate for how much time it saves?

alana314(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Copilot has been amazing for me too. It's gotten to the point where I want similar smart autocomplete features in other software, such as spreadsheets or doing music in my DAW. I think those will come too eventually.

armchairhacker(10000) 6 days ago [-]

$10/mo is fine. I pay at least $10/mo for JetBrains products.

However I wish there was more competition. Github could rescind access to Copilot or charge $40/mo or it could slow down because their cloud is overloaded with new users, and I would be out of luck.

Tabnine and Kite are alternatives but I've heard they don't work nearly as well. I wish there were similarly-effective alternatives which charge similar rates for cloud hosting / profit, but open-source their datasets and algorithms, and just generally provide a fallback if Copilot's quality ever goes down.

BrandonJung(10000) 6 days ago [-]

copilot actually pushed Kite out of business but I am here at Tabnine and we have been doing great. MSFT is always tough to compete with but I did it at GitLab before and I think with our strong take on personalized models, ability to run anywhere (local, cloud or even you VPC), all while respecting code and licensing.


d4rkp4ttern(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Waiting for a pycharm plugin

d4rkp4ttern(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Never mind there is a pyCharm plugin. And I am impressed. Example —

  # use numba to speed up the accumulation of the moving average
  @numba.jit('float64[:](float64[:], float64[:])', nopython=True, nogil=True)
  def moving_average(x, a):
      n = len(x)
      y = np.empty(n, dtype=np.float64)
      y[0] = x[0]
      for i in range(1, n):
          y[i] = y[i-1]*a[i-1] + x[i]*a[i]
      return y
I would have found it with a stack overflow search but it gave me this after I just typed :

  # use numba to ...
ilikehurdles(10000) 6 days ago [-]

I hope I never again have to work on a codebase/language where copilot would be worth subscribing to.

Invictus0(10000) 6 days ago [-]

It's quite hilarious to see both the wide-eyed futurists and unabashed Luddites in this thread.

WithinReason(10000) 6 days ago [-]

You must only work with languages that you just invented.

baby(10000) 6 days ago [-]

What does that even mean? It's like saying, 'I would hate working on a codebase where autocomplete would help me'. It's such a general statement.

lloydatkinson(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Unnecessary hate. I used it a while ago while writing some complex aggregation and grouping of data. It was pretty painful to write until I tried with Copilot and the result is both accurate and easy to read. I wrote unit tests and it's been fine ever since. This is but one example of the value of it.

I am sure some of the typical cynicism here will turn this into a protracted argument of 'well maybe you shouldn't be a shit developer and you would be able to fit all the complexity in your head' but whatever.

Micoloth(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Yes this is the the whole point of this

Unfortunately, there is no way I can hope for that much...

So yes, please, take my money and do All my boilerplate lol

xcskier56(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Nonsense. I've been using it to write tests, and it does a phenomenal job. If I write out the positive case, it will suggest the negative case and help me through the various permutations. This has by-far been the most useful part of co-pilot so far.

It's nothing I couldn't do myself, but just makes my job that much easier and quicker

anonymouse008(10000) 6 days ago [-]

I was wondering what languages they support. With Swift being a protocol first language, most of the 'boiler plate' ends up being handled. I guess it goes to show that Swift is beyond your normal power tool. Here's an example of something that just blew my mind recently, on the front page of CoPilot: Memoization.

HackingWithSwift shows how this process gets rocket wings with Swift[0] (skip to the end for the mind melter)

[0] https://www.hackingwithswift.com/plus/high-performance-apps/...

onelovetwo(10000) 6 days ago [-]

It doesnt seem like hes using copilot...

bluelightning2k(10000) 6 days ago [-]

My unpopular take: most comments here are super entitled.

To paraphrase: 'sure it's minblowing and the biggest productivity gain in years, but I want it FREE'.

Yes. You got used to it being free. And now it's not. But $10/mo is a steal. It's more than fair and far, far less than they could get.

And no. They don't owe you anything.

In fact, they probably host your code (often free), and less directly provide your IDE (for free). So this idea that they owe you something needs to be reassessed.

CoPilot is easily worth it and I think this is fair. I actually welcome it because I was nervous it might be like 80.

CryptoBanker(10000) 6 days ago [-]

They provide VSCode as a free IDE because if they didn't, someone else would have, and in turn received all of the data that comes along with it. Let's not pretend Microsoft created VSCode out of the kindness of its heart

candiddevmike(10000) 6 days ago [-]

That money isn't going to the folks who wrote the code to begin with though. I think that's where 'it should be free' has merit, GitHub is making money on the backs of others.

time_to_smile(10000) 6 days ago [-]

> To paraphrase: 'sure it's minblowing and the biggest productivity gain in years, but I want it FREE'.

That's not how I would paraphrase most of the comments here. At least the ones I'm seeing are closer to: 'it's really neat as far as free demos go, but ultimately is not that useful and not worth paying for.'

My current prediction is that this coming recession and the increasing cost of money is going to lead directly to a new AI winter. This almost goes without saying for the mountains of useless ML projects being churned out by DS teams in companies big and small. However, even for this very expensive well staffed projects, there's still a gap between amazing demo and game changing product that none of the recent AI projects have been able to close. After billions poured into these demos, in the past 10 years very little of daily life has been impacted by AI and in 10 more years even less will since companies will stop forcing useless AI projects on customers.

As someone with a lot of experience in ML/DS, I would recommend everyone in this field start thinking about how to reimagine your resume for something else. There's going to be a massive contraction in this space once the cheap money starts flowing.

stagas(10000) 6 days ago [-]

I only use it a couple of times a week maybe to autocomplete some tedious repetitive elements, and perhaps when I'm too lazy to find a lib for a very well known function, like converting Celsius to Fahrenheit. Those it does well and it works. But 10$ a month is too much, I'd sign up for a usage-based plan, if there was one, so that I can pay only for the times I use it. But not for a fixed subscription where it sits most of the time.

qorrect(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Completely agree, $10 a month is a steal.

I have loved using it, I've had several moments where I had to stop typing to lookup a formula for something, and a few seconds later it provides the correct formula. Gives me those warm fuzzy feelings emacs used to give me.

lampe3(10000) 6 days ago [-]

For me learning vim or at least all the vim code editing features was a bigger boost in productivity then using copilot.

I use the vim extension for vscode which is great.

In general learning the tools we already have I would say has for now a greater impact on productivity then Copilot.

andrewallbright(10000) 6 days ago [-]

I do think they should pay the folks whose code they used to train the AI. Something like how Spotify pays artists based on how much their music/content is listened to.

colechristensen(10000) 6 days ago [-]

copilot also got its training sets for free and not really with any kind of consent from the owners of that code, and it's really quite ambiguous as to if what it's doing violates many different open source licenses of its training data

Microsoft is selling AI services based on training data they don't own and didn't acquire rights to, nobody writing the licenses of the code it's using had the opportunity to address this kind of code use without license, attribution, or consent. (and the training data is a huge part of the value of an AI product)

ploxiln(10000) 6 days ago [-]

I don't like the idea of CoPilot ... and I'm happy it's not free :)

I'm enjoying reading some comments where people consider how much it's actually worth for their usage. Dollars brings some sober analysis. I'm sure the development and compute have a significant cost, and should be paid for.

mrits(10000) 6 days ago [-]

mind blowing? I'd pay $10/month to disable it

feet(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Ah yes because they provide some things for free they must be entitled to use the code everyone else wrote to train their models and profit from

2fast4you(10000) 6 days ago [-]

> ...it's minblowing and the biggest productivity gain in years...

I wouldn't go that far. It's a pretty big help in repetitive/boiler plate code and it's pretty good at intelligently transforming data, but I've found it gets in the way more often than it helps for every other case.

duxup(10000) 6 days ago [-]

> But $10/mo is a steal.

Isn't that up for us to decide?

For work yeah sure I have no problem.

But I've been using it at work and home and my hobbyist projects are hardly worth paying $10 a month to use it. So in that context it's pricey. That's not 'entitlement' that's just the value of the product to me.

hyperzhi(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Nice. Not even halfway through my CS degree and my would've been future job has already been automated. Thanks GitHub!

colechristensen(10000) 6 days ago [-]

No more than the suggestions on your phone for the next word replaces you as a friend to talk to. It is sometimes right as to the next word to use and sometimes can make comprehensible sentences, but it is still very incapable of doing anything all that useful.

stepri(10000) 6 days ago [-]

How does it compare with TabNine, now Copilot is not free anymore?

do_anh_tu(10000) 6 days ago [-]

I've used TabNine for a year, then changed to Copilot.

Copilot is far better.

It understands what I'm trying to do, and do it for me.

BrandonJung(10000) 6 days ago [-]

please take a look and also note that Tabnine while being more secure has also continued to evolve. We also have a free option that we have stood behind for 3+ years. https://www.tabnine.com/tabnine-vs-github-copilot

X-Istence(10000) 6 days ago [-]

As the maintainer of some Python libraries, how do I get my part of that $10/month because Github Copilot was trained using my code...

happyopossum(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Where did you learn to write your code, and which open source devs did you compensate for that?

az226(10000) 6 days ago [-]

This feels like Linus Torvalds asking for a royalty check for every server out there powered by Linux.

dagw(10000) 6 days ago [-]

This is the price you pay for getting to use GitHub for free.

lveillard(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Guys you're getting a lot of bad comments for one simple reason. You failed your delivery.

1) You should have managed the expectations of the users in a better way. Tell them it will become a paid feature from the begining, so nobody gets surprised 2) The way everyone unsderstood this today was too aggresive. An infinite warning in visual studio saying 'hey, i've stop working, please sign up and pay or uninstall me'. Too violent.

A 'Hey, we are happy you're using Copilot. We want to inform you that in 2 weeks we will close the beta and we will need you to sign up. But don't worry, it will be free for 60 days'

I'm sure 99% of people here would just be happy to pay those 10usd/month

skohan(10000) 6 days ago [-]

This is exactly why I don't like using MS tools. Relentless use of dark patterns and user-hostile behavior.

I don't want my code editor to try to up-sell me, ever.

capableweb(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Also, the neovim simply stopped working, without any notice what so ever. Wasn't until I checked HN I figured out why it suddenly stopped working.

natefinch(10000) 6 days ago [-]

It's still free with no payment for existing (beta/technical preview) customers. There was a github bug with some auth token nonsense that was causing problems, but all technical preview users should still be free for 60 days.

baby(10000) 5 days ago [-]

your comment badly aged

robswc(10000) 6 days ago [-]

I think a great rule of thumb is to never take away things that were previously free (maybe more for features of a service/startup).

Copilot is such a marvel though. I think they could have gotten away with it if they did like you say and give more of an advanced warning.

attentive(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Worse yet, it's not available for the Orgs.

So now each individual developer using it for work suddenly has to either pony up $10/month or figure out how to expense it.

thdxr(10000) 6 days ago [-]

This has been the biggest productivity improvement to my workflow in years

No it doesn't 'understand what I'm doing' or 'get everything right' but that's hardly the point

It's often reducing the amount of labor I'm doing by hitting the keyboard by guessing 90% correctly what I was going to type

It also often saves me from having to google how to do something, it's effectively serving me a search result right along my code

I'm lucky to be getting it for free but would have immediately paid $10. It needs to only save you minutes a month for that to be worth it

Also the comments about it being 'unfair their monetizing other people's work' are missing the point.

Github has created a product that many people use and through that effort created a large repository of code.

They are now releasing a product that is going to create a large amount of of value in time saved and are maybe capturing 2% of that. This is a great outcome for everyone

dotnet00(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Agreed, copilot has been especially useful for boilerplate code or somewhat repetitive code like chess move enumeration, where the code for different pieces is similar but not the same.

It also saves a ton of time having to look up small pieces of syntax, I've taken to writing a lot of quick one-off scripts because copilot does a fairly decent job of generating code for the relatively simple individual steps.

theobr(10000) 6 days ago [-]

100% agree. Thought I'd hate it and it's been a huge productivity win

jklpt(10000) 5 days ago [-]

A wrongthink reply has been deleted. I though HN had a policy of allowing criticism of Ycombinator (and hopefully ex-Ycombinator led) companies.

The OpenAI threads are the exact opposite: The do not seem organic at all. Of course users probably do all the flagging, but it still gives a bad impression.

cdiamand(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Same here. This has absolutely helped improve the speed at which I code and reduced the cognitive burden significantly.

It's definitely not perfect, but it's worth the price to me and if I can pay and help the product improve, it's a no-brainer.

glouwbug(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Shouldn't Copilot technically be FOSS since it trains on open source?

lelag(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Even if the model was FOSS, the infrastructure needed to run it would be costly.

Given the cost of single GPT-3 codex query, it's very likely that Microsoft/Github is still taking a huge operating loss at 10USD per month.

zgway(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Yes, it is a derived work and should be GPL if it was trained on GPL code.

macksd(10000) 6 days ago [-]

If it should, it's a lot more complicated than that. 'Open source' isn't a boolean where as long as you share your source you're compliant. Licenses usually require that a copyright notice be redistributed along with any source code and / or attribution in other ways, sometimes they require details of any modifications, etc. They're not doing that.

ilikehurdles(10000) 6 days ago [-]

I'm especially curious about this if it trains on GPLv3 and AGPL licensed code.

londons_explore(10000) 6 days ago [-]

I suspect they'd have more revenue if they priced it at $100/user/month.

Right now, there is no competition, and an amateur developer will really benefit from copilot - certainly they will be more productive than a developer that demands just $1000 more annual salary.

BrandonJung(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Tabnine is a competitor! We have been doing this for 5+ years with more developers than Copilot. Please take a look at the posts and if curious visit https://www.tabnine.com/tabnine-vs-github-copilot

dannytatom(10000) 6 days ago [-]

I've enjoyed using it for free, but not sure it's worth the $10/mo yet. When it works great, it's a nice-to-have for speeding up development but has yet to give me anything I wouldn't be able to just write myself. And when I wish it would give me the answer to something I don't know how to do, it spits out something very wrong.

Also feels kind of icky to train on open source projects and then charge for the output.

MrBoomixer(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Technically anyone could use those same open source projects and provide an open source solution, or paid solution as well. I do feel how you feel though it's a little off-putting.

w0m(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Matches my experience. I legitimately like it for quick boiler plates; it's like a better snippet engine. But Paying for it...

snihalani(10000) 6 days ago [-]

+1 on ickyness

josephcsible(10000) 6 days ago [-]

> Also feels kind of icky to train on open source projects and then charge for the output.

Yeah, this feels like the same nonsense that scientific journal publishers pull. If your product only has value because of what we made, it's completely unfair to not pay us for our work and then to turn around and charge us to use the output.

lelag(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Given the cost of the infrastructure needed to run those large language models, it's very likely that Microsoft is still operating copilot at a loss. I don't see an issue with it being a paid service as it is a costly service to provide.

What I pity however is that there's no free tier for hobbyists as paying a 10 usd monthly subscription wont make sense when you only code occasionally. For professionals using it everyday, 10 usd / month is inconsequential.

I don't think that would have costed them much more to offer a free allowance to cover say an average coding session of 8 hours per month.

DustinBrett(10000) 6 days ago [-]

I went to see the pay URL and it said I was eligible to get it for free. Not sure if that works for some people who contrib to other OSS repo's, but I was about to give up on it when I saw I didn't have to pay, so might be worth checking.

Spartan-S63(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Agreed. At the very least, I was hoping they'd bundle it with the GitHub Pro subscription for individuals rather than as a separate product.

baby(10000) 6 days ago [-]

> Also feels kind of icky to train on open source projects and then charge for the output.

'open source is great, except when it's used in a way I don't like'

uwuemu(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Depends on your budget of course, but I don't think it's worth $10/month. I pay just a little bit more than that for an entire IDE. The problem with Copilot is that it's USEFUL for boilerplate code and when you need a lot of copypaste 'coding' (think APIs, controllers, etc... basically shifting data around the place), but any time you need to actually code something with some actual algorithmic logic behind it, it's little more than a distraction, and often even a really problematic one, because if you let it, it will happily suggest things that look OK on the surface, but are almost always (and I really mean most of the time) wrong, buggy or otherwise incomplete. You can't realy on it. It's like a kid (I wanted to say a 'junior programmer', but it's not anywhere near that level) you can offload some chores to, but you always have to check on it and what it actually does. Fine if all you need is to wash the dishes... more than that and you're asking for trouble.

When I'm in the flow, trying to solve some algorithmic problem, I always turn it off because the BS suggestions coming from its little 'mind' actually slow me down and mess with my focus. Which all makes sense when you realize what it ultimately is - a philosopher, as opposed to a mathematician.

FinalBriefing(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Yea...does this mean it will stop working until I pay?

It's been really nice for autofilling console logs and boilerplate code...but $10? It's a novelty that is nice when it works, but that's a steep price point for what it is, and I don't see that changing any time soon.

amelius(10000) 6 days ago [-]

> Also feels kind of icky to train on open source projects and then charge for the output.

How would you feel if they just provided the software without the model, assuming you could train it yourself on open-source code in an instant?

jstummbillig(10000) 6 days ago [-]

> has yet to give me anything I wouldn't be able to just write myself

Sure it has: Time.

In terms of economics it's really simple: Does Copilot free up more than 10$ worth of your time per month? If the product works at all as I understand it (I haven't tried), the answer should be a resounding 'yes, and then some' for pretty much any SE, given the current market rates. If the answer is no (for example because it produces too many bad suggestions which break your flow), the product simply doesn't work.

There might be other reasons for you not to use it. Ego could be one. Your call.

> Also feels kind of icky to train on open source projects and then charge for the output.

I don't know why it would feel any more icky than making money off of open source in other ways.

api(10000) 6 days ago [-]

> Also feels kind of icky to train on open source projects and then charge for the output.

The business model for most of the Internet is to bait people into using things for free and then monetize them without compensation in some roundabout way.

mikesabbagh(10000) 6 days ago [-]

I already have it in my visual studio code. I do like it. Will it stop working for me now?

password4321(10000) 6 days ago [-]

> train on open source projects

To be specific, the FAQ states: 'It has been trained on natural language text and source code from publicly available sources, including code in public repositories on GitHub.'

Some have raised concerns that Copilot violates at least the spirit of many open source licenses, laundering otherwise unusable code by sprinkling magic AI dust... most likely leaving the Copilot user responsible for copyright infringement.

jsharf(10000) 6 days ago [-]

They still have to pay for servers and maintain the model itself. A neural network isn't just the data -- training and commercializing it (testing, QA, etc) is a lot of work.

You wouldn't have an issue with someone making money by using open source software (like a website that is hosted on a server running linux).

tmalsburg2(10000) 6 days ago [-]

How can it help you to speed up development but not be worth 10$/month. Your hourly rate can't be that low.

ascorbic(10000) 6 days ago [-]

I've been using the beta since last year and I love it. I think most of the people complaining about it either haven't used it, or are judging it on its most verbose guesses. That's not what I use it for mostly. For me, it's just a really, really good autocomplete. It's best for things with common patterns and APIs. But hey, they're common so I write them a lot. Boring stuff like creating a Response object, adding the right headers and response code. And look, it's worked out that I need a case for a 404 next, and has suggested the code for that to, and a 500 in my catch block. Sure, that's not much typing or cognitive load, but added up over many, many times then it's easily worth it.

And no, I'm not a beginner. I'm a principal with over 20 years experience. I don't really use it for the Stack Overflow-type stuff, but even as an autocomplete it's worth the money. As it happens I'm apparently eligible for free access as an open source maintainer, but I'd pay $100/year in a heartbeat for it. I'd pay for Intellisense if that was $100 too.

runeks(10000) 6 days ago [-]

How much time would you say it saves you per day? Ie. how much more productive does it make you?

I'm curious whether we're talking 5% or 30%.

Historical Discussions: Life is not short (June 26, 2022: 754 points)
Life Is Not Short (June 22, 2022: 3 points)

(763) Life is not short

763 points 1 day ago by dbrereton in 10000th position

dkb.show | Estimated reading time – 8 minutes | comments | anchor

The most surprising thing is that you wouldn't let anyone steal your property, but you consistently let people steal your time, which is infinitely more valuable.

If you want to learn how to live a good life, there are few sources better than Seneca. He's one of the most popular Stoic philosophers, alongside Marcus Aurelius and Epictetus.

His life was filled with crazy highs and lows. He was born into a noble family, wrote some influential plays, got exiled to an island for eight years, became the chief advisor to the Roman emperor, then got sentenced to death by forced suicide.

In between all of that, he did a ton of philosophy.

In this interview, I talk to Seneca about the shortness of life, and how we can best spend our limited time.

(This is a fictional but realistic interview with Seneca based on his essay 'On The Shortness Of Life'. His responses are either direct quotes, or based on his writings. Citations are included so you can see the original context for each response.)

DKB: What do you think is the biggest mistake people make with their lives? What do we consistently get wrong?

Seneca: Everyone complains about how short life is, but that perspective is broken. Life is not short. The real issue is that we waste so much of it.

Life is long enough for you to achieve your wildest dreams. You're just so busy wasting it that you get to the end without living much of it.1

The most surprising thing is that you wouldn't let anyone steal your property, but you consistently let people steal your time, which is infinitely more valuable.2

No one is willing to hand out their money randomly, but that's exactly what you do with your time. You're very frugal with your physical possessions, but when it comes to your time, you're wasteful of the only thing in the world that you should actually be frugal with.3

Even if you had a thousand years to live, it would feel short to you, because all the distractions and random things that pop up would swallow any time that you have.4

DKB: It's true that we all waste a lot of our time. Why do you think this happens? We all know that our time is limited, but many of us continue to make this basic mistake.

Seneca: In your mind, you genuinely think you're going to live forever. You think you have an infinite supply of time, and you keep spending it on the first thing that pops up without giving it much thought.

You act like a mortal in all that you fear, and an immortal in all that you desire.5

You can't touch or feel time, so it's hard for you to really grasp it. If your doctor told you that you had a deadly illness, you'd spend every cent you have to try to stay alive. That's how much your time is actually worth to you. But on a day to day basis, you treat it like it's completely worthless, just because you can't see it. 6

It's even worse when people come up with deferred life plans. They'll say something like "When I'm forty, I'm going to retire and write a book" or "I'll do this thing I hate right now so I can make money, then in ten years I'll do what I really love".

Seriously? You think that the universe is going to let your life proceed the way you want it to? What guarantee do you have of making it to that age?

Putting things off for the future is the biggest waste of a life. You deny yourself the present by promising the future. You're relying on the future, which is outside of your control, and abandoning the present, which is the only thing you can control.

The whole future lies in uncertainty – live immediately.7

DKB: To be fair, depending on your circumstances, you might legitimately need a deferred life plan. You might need to delay following your dreams because you have to deal with challenging financial circumstances.

Seneca: That's a fair point, but you still have to recognize that your time is finite, and you're spending it on a path where you only care about the end point and not the journey.

The real failure mode to avoid is intentionally pursuing a path that doesn't bring you any joy. Let's take the great emperor Augustus as an example. He was the most powerful man in the world. He had all the social status, all the money, and he could do anything he wanted.

Even with all that, he was looking forward to the day that he could step down and retire from it all. The man with all the power in the world was happiest when he thought about the day he could let go of all the power.8

How foolish is it to spend your life chasing fame, riches, and power, while being unhappy the entire time, even after you achieve it? What is the point of it all? To impress other people? Is that really worth it in the end?

At the same time, people who get caught up in power and status games are at least somewhat excusable. They're facing a lot of social pressure to do it, and being deceived into thinking these goals are worthy.

On the other hand, people who waste their time pursuing empty pleasures and escapism are dishonorable and depressing. There's nothing good to say about them.9

DKB: So what would constitute a good life for you? You're saying we shouldn't pursue status and power, but we also shouldn't pursue empty pleasures.

Should we just lay down on the beach and do nothing?

Seneca: I'm not saying you should lay down on the beach all day. I'm saying you should find something that's enjoyable to you, and valuable for the world.10

You should live your life intentionally, instead of having your time stolen from you little by little. You should organize each day as if it were your last, so that you neither need to long for nor fear the next day. You should avoid spending time on people and things that don't really matter to you.

You should be very thrifty with your time, because you know there's nothing for which it is worth exchanging.11

What I was trying to say before was just because someone's always busy, and lives to an old age, doesn't mean they've lived long. They've just existed long.

Imagine if you left for a voyage, got caught in a raging storm as you left the harbor, and got tossed around in circles until you came back. You haven't had a long voyage, just a long tossing about.12

You should stop spending your time on things that don't matter, and focus on the few things that do.

On top of that, there's one thing you can do to extend your life. By studying the philosophies of those who came before you, you absorb their experiences. Every philosophy book you read, you're adding the author's lifespan to yours. There's no better way to spend your time than studying philosophy.13

You can argue with Socrates, express doubt with Carneades, cultivate retirement with Epicurus, overcome human nature with the Stoics, and exceed its limits with the Cynics. You can give yourself wholeheartedly to the past, which is limitless and eternal.14

People from the past also make great friends. Pythagoras, Aristotle, and all the others, will never be too busy to see you. They will always leave you better than they found you. None of them will force you to die, but all of them will teach you how to die. None of them will waste your years, but each will add their years to yours. You can consult with them daily, and they'll always tell you the truth.15

This is the only way to extend your life. Buildings and monuments in your honor are all soon destroyed. The passage of time demolishes everything except the great works of philosophy. No age will wipe them out or diminish them. They will only become more respected with time.16

DKB: Do you have any last words of wisdom?

Seneca: The part of life we really live is small.

All the rest is not life, but merely time.

I extract timeless insights from old books.

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All Comments: [-] | anchor

giantg2(10000) 1 day ago [-]

Yeah, there's not a lot of real choices in life once you hit a certain age/condition.

Once you get married and have a family, it's basically just grinding away at work, with chores, etc. Stuff that just has to get done, or the consequences are catastrophic (divorce, medical bill bankruptcy, losing the house, etc).

throwaway98797(10000) 1 day ago [-]

if your kids / wife aren't making you happy maybe you should reconsider the choices you don't think you have

onlyrealcuzzo(10000) 1 day ago [-]

This is the bleakest picture of family life I have ever seen.

Certainly you have more choices/options if you have more money, right?

b3lvedere(10000) about 17 hours ago [-]

As i advance the more i realize time is not my friend nor my enemy. Maybe it is just a big dance between energy and matter. Until the end it is what i had. I have no ambition to be remembered for a very long time, but even that is ultimately beyond my control.

My time is mine. I will keep using it however i can and see fit. Should that create unexpected results in this universe, i hope they were fun or helpful ones.

bwest87(10000) 1 day ago [-]

> You should organize each day as if it were your last, so that you neither need to long for nor fear the next day.

I've come to find this 'live each day like it's your last' advice to be pretty unhelpful. My favorite quote about it is, 'all that goes to show you is some people would spend their last day giving you stupid advice'.

The problem is that if it actually was your last day, most people would give the finger to all of their responsibilities and go party, eat cake, see friends, familiy, lovers, etc. Which is simply not an actual way to live your life. It's a way to exit your life.

An alternative framing that I've come to find more helpful is to take your life expectancy, and cut it by 2/3. Now what do you do? For example, if you're 20 years old and your life expectancy is 80 (ie. 60 more years), pretend that you only have 20 more, so you'll only live until you're 40. It's nice cause it naturally adjusts as you get older. You'll have smaller windows to work with.

This approach strikes a nice balance. It gives you enough time to be able to really do something and change directions if you want. But not so much time that you can really waste any. It forces you to ask the hard questions about whether your day to day is truly connecting with your dreams, and whether you're on a path to get there.

Of course, Seneca didn't have life expectancy tables to work with. But I think he would have approved. :)

silverdrake11(10000) about 3 hours ago [-]

'long for nor fear the next day' can be interpreted as to fulfill your responsibilities so that you don't fear the next day.

Arubis(10000) about 9 hours ago [-]

> 'all that goes to show you is some people would spend their last day giving you stupid advice'.

That is brilliant. I'm stealing it immediately. Thank you for a bright moment early in the day!

stackbutterflow(10000) about 18 hours ago [-]

If you read Seneca that's not what he's saying. He says that you should live your life in such a way that if before sleeping someone told you that it had been your last day, you would feel content with what you did today.

He says that you have to remind yourself that you can die at any time. So before doing something ask yourself whether you'd be proud of you if what you were about to do would be the last thing you'd do.

He also says that you should strive for that life, to use this advice as a compass. Not to literally start each day and do what you'd do if you were going to die tonight.

Also a good life according to Seneca is not a life full of instant gratifications like drugs, party, food. It's a simple, ascetic life.

taberiand(10000) about 22 hours ago [-]

I think it's good advice, when placed in the correct context.

Live every day as if it could be your last - to me it's about ensuring you always strive towards being your best self, in the context of the virtues (wisdom, temperance, courage and justice) and the Stoic duty towards society.

Giving the finger to the world and living a hedonistic lifestyle is decidedly not Stoic.

Putting aside the distraction of past and future and focusing on the present is a Stoic ideal though:

'I have to die. If it is now, well then I die now; if later, then now I will take my lunch, since the hour for lunch has arrived - and dying I will tend to later.' ~ Epictetus

YoniMessing88(10000) 1 day ago [-]

You could live your entire life right. Save money, build a family, find the love of your life, and have it all come crashing down in a single instant for any number of reasons. That terrifies me for some reason.

EUV071STR48(10000) about 13 hours ago [-]

Why do you think there is a 'right way' to live life?

'right' needs to be 'inherent'. There is no 'inherently right' in life. So where does that come from that you think there is a 'right' in life?

claylimo(10000) 1 day ago [-]

I talked with a financial advisor. He said for some of his higher end clients who have 25 million dollars that are simply sitting around in investments. The money is doing nothing for them except accumulate. He advises them to at least spend some of it.

TimPC(10000) 1 day ago [-]

It's interesting how the amount of money involved can change your perspective. For me the single most important thing to do with money is save it. Nothing I can buy will give me as much happiness as being able to help make the lives of important people in my life easier. We have a broken housing system that screws over almost everyone who doesn't get help so I want to save a sizeable contribution to my son's downpayment. I want to help pay for his wedding. I want to pay for his education. I want him to have a better start to life than I did and I want him to have more opportunities than me. I guess once you accumulate enough money you can do all that and still easily have more left over for the nice to haves.

paulpauper(10000) 1 day ago [-]

don't worry. the market decline will take care of that

mjreacher(10000) 1 day ago [-]

I would like to add a comment for a perspective that's a little different to some of the others here. I'm sure many of you here are familiar with John von Neumann. He died in 1957 at the age of 53. Throughout his life he was a busy man, and many times he deferred doing things saying that he would do them at some later unspecified date. For example he once said he would write a big treatise on von Neumann algebras, a technical mathematical subject of his own creation. However once WW2 started his interests changed and he became very involved not just in applied mathematics related to the war, but in consulting and advising too. By the 1950s the majority of his time was not spent on academic work, but rather on this latter subject, advising big important agencies of the US military on various matters.

Some of his colleagues at the Institute of Advanced Study and in other places resented this. They said he was wasting his time, wasting his talent, on this work that could be done by other people, while his mathematical brain could be doing academic research that others could not do. Just shortly after being appointed commissioner of the US Atomic Energy Commission (AEC), the pinnacle of his non-academic career, he was diagnosed with cancer. Within 2 years he would be dead. At the time of his first diagnosis the main academic subject he was dealing with was his theory of automata, however at first he was optimistic about his cancer and continued working heavily on things to do with the AEC. After some time the doctors made it clear to him that he was going to die soon, and he should wrap up any affairs that he wanted to complete quickly before he died.

Now he panicked, after living his life and having so many incomplete things he wanted to do he was going to die and he was running out of the one thing he could not escape from - time. He tried to finish the topic he was currently working on, the theory of automata, however cancer affected him quicker and quicker and he could not. He wouldn't even finish a lecture he was asked to give - Yale's Silliman lecture, although the lecture he didn't finish would be cobbled together and published as a book, The Computer and the Brain, as would his work on automata, which was edited by Arthur Burks. He had grand aspirations for his theory of automata, it would be his greatest work, something he created entirely on his own, combining mathematical logic, information theory and biology. However, he put other things first, and he never got to finish it, indeed it seemed like he wanted to write far more, the book edited by Burks covered only 2 or 3 of the planned set of 5 lectures, and this was only the first set of five.

After he died several of his colleagues again made comments when interviewed that they felt that his talents were wasted. Considering his working life was only about 30 years they felt much of the last 10 years of his life, primarily spent consulting and working with the government, would be better spent on things that only von Neumann could do, his treatise on von Neumann algebras, his work on automata (incidentally, his theory of automata hasn't really made much progress since he died, especially in comparison to other fields), many other things that he worked on for a bit, got interested in other things, and said he would come back to later.

I am not sure what conclusion I should make of this, but I hope this little story is interesting to others too.

keiferski(10000) about 19 hours ago [-]

I found this interesting, thank you. I am familiar with Von Neumann's reputation as a genius but haven't read much about his life. A few biographies of him are on my to-read list. Do you know which ones have more detail on this portion of his life and his thoughts on time?

From studying other historical figures, this phenomenon of 'dying before the Great Work is done' seems to be a common theme. Alexander, Caesar, and Nietzsche come to mind.

I'm not sure what to make of it. On the one hand, most such figures still end up being influential, so if your goal is to be remembered by others, you mostly just need to do something important, at some point in your life.

On the other hand, if you feel that the most important part of your work is continually being pushed to 'some point in the future', then it would be fruitful to take a step back and figure out how to minimize the 'not really important work' (running government agencies in Von Neumann's case.)

On a society-wide scale, I think there are quite a few adjustments that I wish would be implemented to minimize this 'wasted administrative time.' Things like waiting in traffic and cities oriented toward cars, software that is designed to be addictive, and so on.

netr0ute(10000) 1 day ago [-]

I like the article's perspective, but there's a rub. The Juanes song 'La Vida Es Un Ratico' seems to say that despite the best efforts to not waste time, life is still short (the 'ratico' part). And that was in 2007!

Unfortunately, I don't think there's much overlap between those on HN and those listening to Colombian rock.

hebrox(10000) 1 day ago [-]

They used this song in Spanish class I took in Medellin. I think I'm not the only one who spent some time there and spends some time here on HN. Don't underestimate that Venn diagram :) (Does early Shakira count?)

almokhtar(10000) 1 day ago [-]

الوقت كالسيف إن لم تقطعه قطعك

Tabular-Iceberg(10000) 1 day ago [-]

Would it have killed you to provide an English translation and maybe a few lines of context? It's especially poor form not to include an attribution.

keiferski(10000) about 19 hours ago [-]

From Google Translate:

'Time is like sword: if you do not cut it, it will cut you.'

It appears to be an Arabic proverb.

marban(10000) 1 day ago [-]

Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life's change agent

— SJ

endorphine(10000) 1 day ago [-]

I watched this speech some 10 years ago and that quote has stuck with me. And particularly the subsequent sentence: 'It (death) clears out the old, to make way for the new.'

This is from Steve Jobs' Stanford 2005 commencement address - https://youtu.be/UF8uR6Z6KLc (at 12:03)

th2398423984(10000) 1 day ago [-]

Any advice for someone who has not done anything other than work in the last 15 years (weekends and vacations spent home indoors etc.)? I spend my free time obsessing how I'm pissing away my time on this planet and at the same time terrified of doing something else.

rhexs(10000) 1 day ago [-]

Sure, see a therapist, find out why that is.

heavenlyblue(10000) 1 day ago [-]

Start small and spend your weekend and vacation not indoors? :) if you are really afraid of getting away from a job then just bringing some reading material for the job outside could go a long way

adamwong246(10000) 1 day ago [-]

Time spent happily is the best possible way of spending it. Were you happy doing nothing? If so, perhaps it time was well spent.

pcurve(10000) about 22 hours ago [-]

I sort of feel similarly. I do wonder if it would be more meaningful to engage in a dialog with someone on HN beyond just one off replies.

Just small talks on Discord for example. I'm pcurve#3558

In a way, HN is a forum with built in common interest.

justsomehnguy(10000) 1 day ago [-]

Looks like you know what there are some problems (at least in your POV) with your current life.

Take a sabbatical[0] and try to understand what do you need to be a happier person.

[0] in my case it was a sessions of a late night and beer talk with a people who doesnt't know me, but was greatly supportive of my situation (beer hleped there). YMMV.

chaps(10000) 1 day ago [-]

Hm. I dunno about others, but whenever I hear someone say that, what I hear is that sections of our life are short. Childhood is short, teenage years are short, early twenties are short, etc etc. Cumulatively it's 'long', but that misses a lot of the core point.

czbond(10000) 1 day ago [-]

Fair point - the sections we have to adjust to an be short, relative to how we figure them out.

For example, one has to figure out how to be a man in some period of 15-23yro. Then live that. Then if one has kids, how to wholly be responsible for others in that 20's-30's range. Then wholly how to let them go, and then potentially to help one's parents after that. All while balancing self, identity, aspirations, dreams, adulting, and placing food on the table.

Each period is short, in a long overarching 'cumulative years'

BLKNSLVR(10000) about 24 hours ago [-]

The shortest period I've experienced is pre-10-years old kids, when they're in that beautiful unsuppressed-by-societal-norms personality discovery mode. I took lots of home video footage of my two 'in their natural habitat' and goddam I miss being in the midst of it, and goddam they had a great time being free to be themselves.

Everything is short when it's over. Even pain.

ryandrake(10000) 1 day ago [-]

> It's even worse when people come up with deferred life plans. They'll say something like "When I'm forty, I'm going to retire and write a book" or "I'll do this thing I hate right now so I can make money, then in ten years I'll do what I really love". Seriously? You think that the universe is going to let your life proceed the way you want it to? What guarantee do you have of making it to that age?

This is often used as a reason not to save when you're young, and to generally dunk on the the traditional idea of retirement. Believe this and in a few decades we're going to have a large number of people aged 80-120 seriously struggling. Apart from a recent dip, average life expectancy in the US has been going up pretty much forever. Life is not necessarily long, but it can be. Yes, you might drop dead of a heart attack the day before you retire, so all that saving was a waste. You also might make it past 100. Who among us has enough savings to last until they are 100? You won't if you're spending every penny you have when you're young.

Thanks to compounding interest, the best time to save and invest is when you are young. A dollar earned and invested when you're 20 is many times more valuable than that dollar earned when you're 60.

keybored(10000) about 19 hours ago [-]

My retirement was just pushed up three years and the future is very uncertain due to climate change. I'll feel privileged if I'm able to rearch retirement at all in a stable and functional society, even if I have to live off a small pension.

moonchrome(10000) 1 day ago [-]

>Thanks to compounding interest, the best time to save and invest is when you are young. A dollar earned and invested when you're 20 is many times more valuable than that dollar earned when you're 60.

And money spent on experiences in 20s can't be made up with experiences in 60s - plus the kind of experiences you have in 20s will define the person you'll be in 60s. Hell even in 30s you can't get your 20s back. There's a biological peak - saving money for your twilight years might make you safer in the far future but it's guaranteed to make you miss out on your prime.

I'm willing to bet investing in yourself early will outperform the compounding interest you make on income you have at the start of your career.

5e92cb50239222b(10000) 1 day ago [-]

JFYI you're writing from a very privileged perspective. I live in former USSR. My parents were robbed by the state of their life savings twice in their life (one day you have enough to buy a car — a luxurious item indeed, next day you have nothing), and thrice their saving were depreciated by 30-60% in a single day due to shock devaluation of the currency. I think this is pretty typical for 'developing' countries.

Most of my Russian friends have been working unofficially and haven't been paying anything to the retirement fund even before the war started (which just seems to have proven them right).

jewayne(10000) 1 day ago [-]

> Apart from a recent dip, average life expectancy in the US has been going up pretty much forever.

I see no reason why life expectancy in the US will not continue to drop. At some level, we have made a conscious decision to rebuild our society with a greater emphasis on hierarchy and hereditary wealth. We should expect life expectancy for bottom 90% of Americans to continue to deteriorate, while those in the top 10% will continue to improve.

josephcsible(10000) 1 day ago [-]

> Apart from a recent dip, average life expectancy in the US has been going up pretty much forever.

I'm worried that the 'healthy at every size' movement means this is the beginning of a large drop, not just a little dip.

dangus(10000) 1 day ago [-]

The article is extremely dismissive toward the real reason most people waste time. The vast majority of the world is working for basic subsistence.

60% of the world's population does not have a flushing toilet at home. Hopefully the author's magic wand is a hella good one.

ozim(10000) 1 day ago [-]

Is that article target audience 'whole of humanity'?

That 60% of population is probably not going to read that article. They will be busy with more important things like living till next day.

WJW(10000) 1 day ago [-]

Interestingly, Seneca himself most likely did not have a flushing toilet at home.

beebmam(10000) 1 day ago [-]

Fundamentally I think you missed the point of Ecclesiastes. It is: anything you do is meaningless compared to God, and you should fear him and therefore do what He has commanded of you.

Excuse my French, but this God is a real asshole, and I think it's best that people ignored these threats.

jdsnape(10000) 1 day ago [-]

God is an asshole if you read a random bit of the Bible in isolation of the theology/tradition that sits around and explains it. The way I've heard it explained by people who have lived this for a long time is a slightly different angle; which is that the way humans were created means that the way to be truely happy is to be aligned with God's will. At the start you don't really know what that is, which is why we have 'commandments'/instruction, but as you deepen that relationship it becomes more and more fulfilling.

sireat(10000) 1 day ago [-]

You probably know that the ending to Ecclesiastes is a bit controversial in that it might not have been in the original treatise.

It is possible that it was added by an later editor to make Ecclesiastes suitable for inclusion in the canon.


barrkel(10000) about 14 hours ago [-]

IMO it's a useful lens to think of religion as an operating system for a society, and the Bible as the source code for an OS specifically for an agrarian society.

Agriculture only works if a lot of people do a lot of work which has mostly future payoffs, if they stick around in one place, form stable relationships, and so on. Individual selfish desires must be suppressed to some degree for the greater good of the society.

xhevahir(10000) 1 day ago [-]

I don't believe Ecclesiastes presents one central and unambiguous argument. Like a lot of books in the Bible, it may well have more than one author, too.

dang(10000) about 6 hours ago [-]

Please don't take HN threads into religious flamewar. We don't want flamewar here generally and the religious sort is particularly pernicious and also particularly avoidable.


We detached this subthread from https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=31885625.

wwilim(10000) 1 day ago [-]

I think you might be taking it a little too literally

ziroshima(10000) 1 day ago [-]

I think there have been a series of misinterpretations that unfortunately result in a lot of confusion and (in my opinion) completely miss the point of these stories.

I don't think 'God' is an 'entity' per se, I interpret 'God' as the reality one lives in. 'God is an asshole', and 'Life is a bitch' then become equivalent statements. Whether or not 'ignoring the threats' posed by 'God' according to this interpretation is wise is left as an exercise for the reader.

czbond(10000) 1 day ago [-]

>but this God is a real asshole

From His/Its/Her perspective, if I had Billions of life forms I was responsible for on each of millions(?) of inhabitable planets throughout just this Universe - I'd be crabby as $hit too. All of them needing constant resources, continually consuming energy to be used on everything from pissing it away, to working for money, or in the rare lot - improving the future of ones species. All while they're bitter and unhappy.

And since I was infinite - I had to do that forever for some odd reason... I'd be bitter.

SnowHill9902(10000) 1 day ago [-]

Fundamentally I think you missed the point of Ecclesiastes.

lins1909(10000) 1 day ago [-]

Why do you have this level of vitriol? Surely if there is a 'one true God', this instruction will not seem out of place coming from them? Like it would make sense that this God will say this?

And given that we don't know for sure whether or not there is a one true God, why exactly are you so angry about Ecclesiastes?

Al-Khwarizmi(10000) about 16 hours ago [-]

'No one is willing to hand out their money randomly, but that's exactly what you do with your time. You're very frugal with your physical possessions, but when it comes to your time, you're wasteful of the only thing in the world that you should actually be frugal with.'

This is something where I frequently have arguments with my wife (mild and civilized, not that it's a real problem or anything). For example, suppose that we buy something online that is, say, $20, and it isn't up to our (or her) expectations. She will want to return it, and ask for my help. But my position is: returning it takes time (going to the website and finding out how to make a return, preparing the package, possibly waiting in a line in the post office), and for me that time is worth more than $20, so I'd rather lose the $20 and not do it (time has grown increasingly valuable in the last few years because we have a kid, so while we have decent savings, our amount of free time for ourselves -not kid-related- is close to zero).

I'm pretty sure my position makes sense, but it's difficult to convey it in a way that doesn't seem like I'm just 'not caring' (I think part of the issue might be that for me, devoting time to things like doing a return, taking more time for a purchase to find a discount, etc. is just a chore, and she somewhat likes it) so we end up in a middle ground where each gives in a little.

PS: I am fully conscious that I'm writing this from a privileged position as there are people for whom those $20 would be a godsend, and it does make me feel somewhat guilty to take positions like this sometimes, but it's inevitable that one judges with respect to the scarcity of each resource in their own circumstances... and in my case it's free time which I consider to be very, very scarce. The fact that the $20 could be highly valuable to other people doesn't make it more senseful for me to spend some of my scarce free time on them if I need the time more.

pozol(10000) about 3 hours ago [-]

Just throwing out as a thought, but as an alternative you could spend a minute putting it for sale online where someone would come pick it up, or even just put it up for free so someone that may need it more can get it. It can be a very quick process, especially with smaller things like that. You might even be able to just throw it on the porch when they say they're coming.

jdthedisciple(10000) about 14 hours ago [-]

This is making me want to quit my CS program: I asked about that here recently... https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=31284802

> It's even worse when people come up with deferred life plans. They'll say something like "When I'm forty, I'm going to retire and write a book" or "I'll do this thing I hate right now so I can make money, then in ten years I'll do what I really love". Seriously? You think that the universe is going to let your life proceed the way you want it to? What guarantee do you have of making it to that age?

This makes me want to quit University RIGHT NOW...

cheschire(10000) about 13 hours ago [-]

In 2 years what will your perspective on your decision be either way? Assuming all other things are equal...

Drop out: You most likely won't have wild success 2 years from now. Building marketable experience is a long uphill battle and if success were easy, then it wouldn't be considered so valuable.

Or don't drop out: You'll have a better marketable baseline. School and certifications make it easier to cold-apply to places. The more relevant they are, the more they help you avoid relying too much on social networks to move up.

The interviewee is talking about people who make a 10 or 20 year plan and then act surprised when life changes and they look back and feel regret over missed opportunities. They're not saying to forego building safety nets.

If you have concrete opportunities that you are giving up in order to complete school, then that's a different position than simply wanting to be available for opportunities that have not yet been offered.

mettamage(10000) about 13 hours ago [-]

> This makes me want to quit University RIGHT NOW...

I remember that feeling. If I could give advice to my younger self, it'd be: fast track uni as fast as possible. Bachelor + master takes 5 years? Do your best to do it in 3. Try to keep some room for social stuff. Yep, it's going to be a busy 3 years, but when else do you get to try to bring out your A-game? It won't happen during work as an employee, since you won't be rewarded for it. For uni, the payoff is clear: you go faster through the bitter pill that you don't want to swallow, and by going faster it's actually more interesting and therefore less bitter.

nnoitra(10000) 1 day ago [-]

Yes it is despite what seneca says.

People obsessed about not wasting their lives are actually the ones that waste it.

simmerup(10000) 1 day ago [-]

I suspect the only way to guarantee you've wasted a moment is to spend it in some unneeded state of distress.

The more moments you spend worrying about whether you're spending the moment well, the more waste accumulates

dinobones(10000) 1 day ago [-]

The good health/good energy/good looking period of life is like 30 years maximum. I would consider that pretty short.

dangus(10000) 1 day ago [-]

You don't know any good looking 48 year olds? (18+30)

If you stay thin and keep active, you could probably double that estimate to 60 years if not longer.

ozim(10000) 1 day ago [-]

Well I am 35 and have good health/energy could drop some belly fat but I don't care.

Look at the Hollywood stars 60 year olds looking still good.

wwilim(10000) 1 day ago [-]

A few weeks ago I saw my parents, aged 60 and 61, dance at my wedding and I would like to disagree with your statement.

yieldcrv(10000) 1 day ago [-]

> Everyone complains about how short life is, but that perspective is broken. Life is not short. The real issue is that we waste so much of it.

> Life is long enough for you to achieve your wildest dreams. You're just so busy wasting it that you get to the end without living much of it.

Hey guys, what kind of fallacy is this? This observation presented is saying its not too short to live your wildest dreams, but isn't refuting the idea that it is short, which is a common view of relative time that is shared amongst people.

My observation is that we can spend too much of it chasing our wildest dreams, while their observation is that people spent too much time wasting it (as if that is exclusive from not chasing their wildest dreams).

Kind of all points to the idea that it is short, and doesn't bother refuting the supposition.

ClumsyPilot(10000) 1 day ago [-]

indeed, you could do one or the other, and you could fail at both.

in fact for some having a decent place to live is a dream out of reach.

Trasmatta(10000) 1 day ago [-]

Anyone else been increasingly dissatisfied by Stoicism lately? It's been super in vogue for about a decade now in tech for some reason. I've read several books on it, and apply some of the practices, but there's something that doesn't sit quite right that I haven't fully been able to put my finger on it yet.

ketanhwr(10000) 1 day ago [-]

Maybe you'll agree with this (really good) argument against stoicism: https://simonsarris.substack.com/p/stoicism-is-not-enough

trgn(10000) about 23 hours ago [-]

Maybe you're just a contrarian. Anything that's fashionable, especially when it's corpo-speak, rubs you the wrong way.

I'll hazard another guess why you may feel this way. The current discourse around stoicism is essentially aspirational. We no longer recognize the internal fortitude stoicism requires, neither in ourselves nor our peers, so we desperately cling to its ideals. Much like toddlers repeating they're not afraid in the dark when going into the basement.

See similar motivations around how all corpo-speak is now all about empathy, kindness, tolerance, and other traits we are really bad at putting into practice, but feel compelled to reiterate.

HL33tibCe7(10000) 1 day ago [-]

Life is infinitesimally short regardless of what anyone says

sambapa(10000) 1 day ago [-]

Life is the longest thing in life

chasd00(10000) 1 day ago [-]

"On a long enough timeline, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero" - Fight Club

sh4rks(10000) 1 day ago [-]

> You should organize each day as if it were your last

I never understood this. If you live every day as your last, surely you would only engage in short term pleasures instead of pursuing longer term hobbies/goals?

ignoramous(10000) about 15 hours ago [-]

A famous saying in my culture goes, work for a better life as if you live forever; work for a better end as if you die tomorrow.

leobg(10000) 1 day ago [-]

Perhaps you'll find Nietzsche's „eternal recurrence" to be a better approach to the same question. Which is basically to ask:

„If I took this minute / this day / this month / this year of my life... and somebody were to tell me that I had to live it over and over again, ad infinitum, with everything exactly as it was, and nothing changed at all... would I be screaming Hell Yes, or would I be screaming Hell No?"

To me, it's an appeal not to recklessness or consumption of short-term pleasures, but to living in integrity with oneself. Not to take shortcuts which you think you'll somehow be able to compartmentalizations out of your life. And I think he meant it also to be applied in retrospect: Whatver you did, and whatever happened in your life... can you „own" it, with all its apparent flaws, and pains and errors? Are you able to see yourself, and see your own life, beyond the categories of of good and bad? Can you, like a good author, take the good, the bad and the ugly from your past and create something of truth and beauty from it?

Ekaros(10000) 1 day ago [-]

Either you are dying. Or you know you will be killed, so why not waste all the money and other property you have when you still have a chance... Seems like not really advise you should follow exactly.

Scarblac(10000) 1 day ago [-]

I see it as, don't postpone the things you really want to do until some later day, that day may never come. Start on them now.

jstummbillig(10000) 1 day ago [-]

Nothing to understand. It's poorly worded at best.

How do you feel about 'You should organize each day to be the best possible prototype for all following days?'

__s(10000) 1 day ago [-]

I recently reread Ecclesiastes & on the second reading came across what people tend to be trying to get at with that advice. I'll try give it from the Ecclesiastes perspective

Whatever you go out & gather, is ultimately worthless. So if you're in a shit mood & thinking that some day this work will pay off, you'll find that your days are spent in a shit mood & thinking some day this work will pay off. & then you die & everything you did doesn't really matter, & you spent your time in a shit mood. So if instead you find enjoyment in the simple daily toll, that your work today is essentially paying for the food you'll enjoy today, then you'll find your days are spent in a good mood. & then you die & everything you did doesn't really matter, but at least you enjoyed your time while it lasted

So 'live it like your last' is a bit hyperbolic, but at least don't justify your suffering on the idea that life gets better

To try make sense of 'live it like your last', it might be better said as 'go to sleep at peace with your life even if you were to die in the night'

Frost1x(10000) 1 day ago [-]

As with most things in life, I think finding a balance between the two is most enjoyable. If you only focus on the long term and plan, unless you have a continuous set of long term plans set to culminate and actually do, you'll have gaps in your living experience. You'll always be saving and investing for that one golden day that you may never see for some reason or another.

Meanwhile as you point out, if you focus on living in the moment only, you'll live on cheap small rewards in life.

I think a lot of good long term strategy with allotments for little impulse to pepper life is the best mix, at least for me, so that's how I live. Every now and then I'll splurge and do something unplanned a little extravagant but that's because I already budgeted for that sort of stuff -- my little fun pocket change time and money. Meanwhile I have nice set long term goals that improve my overall life experience as I get older. Some may never happen and that's fine because I'm not living my life wailing for that special time.

bwest87(10000) 1 day ago [-]

Ok, echoing my top level comment... An alternative framing that I've come to find more helpful is to take your life expectancy, and cut it by 2/3. For example, if you're 20 years old and your life expectancy is 80 (ie. 60 more years), pretend that you only have 20 more, so you'll only live until you're 40. It's nice cause it naturally adjusts as you get older. You'll have smaller windows to work with.

This approach strikes a nice balance. It gives you enough time to be able to really do something and change directions if you want. But not so much time that you can really waste any. It forces you to ask the hard questions about whether your day to day is truly connecting with your dreams, and whether you're on a path to get there.

Of course, Seneca didn't have life expectancy tables to work with. But I think he would have approved. :)

majani(10000) 1 day ago [-]

exactly. If I live till old age, I fully intend on living out my last days as a drug addict rather than some futile, painful attempts at curing a terminal illness

gunfighthacksaw(10000) 1 day ago [-]

I imagine my last day is going to be spent hooked up to a life support machine in a climate controlled environment as various close people trickle in to say farewell.

I'd prefer to spend the close of my 20s doing something else like raving on a warm beach with a bunch of people who don't know me and won't miss me tomorrow, and hopefully finding one or two fellow travellers who I can keep in touch with until my dying days :)

exploration vs exploitation

hh3k0(10000) 1 day ago [-]

Whenever I hear/read that phrase, I always picture myself lying in a hospice bed, hooked up to all sorts of medical equipment.

beefield(10000) 1 day ago [-]

> I never understood this

Me neither. I think there are two distinct possibilities you should consider when you think what to do today. First one is that you may die today. Second is that you may not die today.

xwdv(10000) 1 day ago [-]

It's a dumb statement. Better advice is to live a life worth reliving exactly the same way an infinite amount of times.

itsoktocry(10000) about 12 hours ago [-]

>If you live every day as your last, surely you would only engage in short term pleasures instead of pursuing longer term hobbies/goals?

Isn't that the entire point of the exercise? Is there necessarily any better payoff, either way?

dheerajvs(10000) about 17 hours ago [-]

> You should organize each day as if it were your last

We all do. Even if we choose to rearrange the deck chairs on the Titanic.

adventured(10000) 1 day ago [-]

> I never understood this.

You're definitely understanding it correctly. It's atrociously dangerous advice for any manner of long-term well-being. Humans can reasonably live to 80-100 years of age. Trying to live even 18,000 days as your last is psychotic and impossible, it's both not worth attempting that and harmful to attempt it. Being healthy requires thinking and acting longer term; building savings over a lifetime requires long-term thinking; raising children successfully requires long-term thinking.

Try raising children one day to the next with the guiding parental premise being: this is our last day on earth, what shall we do? It's a recipe for disaster to try to live in short-term thinking day to day.

One of our greatest attributes is the capacity to think, plan and act for the long-term, as many of the things we want require such. Notice I didn't say everyone thinks long-term consistently; notice I didn't pretend all of our institutions think long-term all the time; both are standard issue sarcastic criticisms against long-term thinking, neither of which invalidate the value of long-term thinking.

The correct answer is that some things benefit from (and or require) short-term thinking (particularly immediate focus), some things benefit from (and or require) medium-term thinking, some things benefit from (and or require) long-term thinking. Where thinking implies the comprehensive (thinking, planning, acting, etc).

guerrilla(10000) 1 day ago [-]

I think what it means is that you shouldn't procrastinate anything or think that you can make up for things later. There may be no later, so just do your best here and now. That of course includes resting when needed, so it doesn't mean always be doing something.

fbn79(10000) about 17 hours ago [-]

'Today is the first day of the rest of your life' much more inspiring

bricemo(10000) about 21 hours ago [-]

Same. If today is my last day, I am sure as hell not going to work (even though I love my career). I am driving to have a huge party and spend every minute with my family.

My conclusion has been to not take the time scale literally. I find it useful to act as though I only have 3 years left. That's a good timescale to have life operate properly, but also realize you need to make hard choices sooner rather than later.

waingake(10000) 1 day ago [-]

Read Martin Hagland for a much more applicable take on this. The primary way we waste time is via waged employment. For this reason most people have very little control over how they are spending their limited time alive https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2019/05/20/if-god-is-dead...

mettamage(10000) about 13 hours ago [-]

Why is waged employment a time waste? It allows me to browse Hacker News, and take a coffee at some fun new bistro in the city center of Lisbon! ;-)

Jokes aside, I'm asking this question sincerely.

xchip(10000) 1 day ago [-]

Seneca already said all this 2070 years ago


nostromo95(10000) 1 day ago [-]

Literally that's the point of the article.

woopwoop(10000) 1 day ago [-]

I like this quote from an otherwise terrible Chris rock movie:

'Some people say life is short and that you could get hit by a bus at any moment and that you have to live each day like it's your last. Bullshit. Life is long. You're probably not gonna get hit by a bus. And you're gonna have to live with the choices you make for the next fifty years.'

javajosh(10000) about 23 hours ago [-]

Oh, I was thinking of Chris Rock too, but his stand up album 'Roll with the New', and his spiel about commitment vs 'new women' (not the word he uses, obvs). https://youtu.be/VJpKAk4E5_k?t=130

Mortiffer(10000) 1 day ago [-]

I think it's worth talking to a few people who have master or phds in Philosophie. From my sample the general rule is that staying philosophy results in your have a huge set of new questions but no answers. So i am very skeptical of spending time on reading more philosophy than i have.

Just a comment on that second to last paragraph. Rest is good imo

hybridtupel(10000) about 4 hours ago [-]

That paragraph is strange to me, too. First he says you should not waste time or let others steal your time. But then he goes on that you definitely should spend time on philosophy. And when philosophy raises more questions than it answers, isn't it the also a waste of time?

throwaway23234(10000) 1 day ago [-]

At 35 I decided to fuck the 'normal life' and just go RVing with my wife. We saw the country (US). Fast forward 7 years and we are now building our own house paycheck to paycheck. It's a beautiful property. I know there are people on here that have much, much more and could afford to buy an already existing house. But my dreams are to have a different kind of life, so in that sense I am definitely living that. Yes there are mornings I wish I can wake up and NOT want to install my own well pump, install mini splits in 105 degree weather, install siding, dig foundations, run 40 80-pound bags of cement in a mixer, 2 at a time. etc etc etc...

But my alternative life would have been spending the last 7 years playing new versions of Call of Duty and kinda pissing time away.

foobiekr(10000) 1 day ago [-]

two of my uncles did this - plumbers until 50, then RV life for 20 years, then built houses. as a kid they were my heroes. older, I am not so sure it worked out, but they had a good time for a while.

rdudek(10000) 1 day ago [-]

Is it really pissing time away if you're enjoying your time spent playing video games? While it's great that you found an opportunity to go RVing with your wife. Because such a feat is not really possible for everyone to do, less people do it so less congestion and you can make it enjoyable. Imagine if 100 million people in the US decided to all at once go RVing around the country. All the areas would be full of RVs and I bet it would not be as enjoyable anymore.

ricardobayes(10000) about 9 hours ago [-]

I don't subscribe to the idea of being always productive either. Humans need 'play time', whether that's a video game, bingo, or playing the lottery. I saw people in my circle ignore this and pretty much all of them became depressed.

incompatible(10000) about 19 hours ago [-]

I think you are supposed to be writing philosophy, not wasting time building a house that will be destroyed some day (footnote 16).

caymanjim(10000) 1 day ago [-]

I live my life in a similar way, at least at times. I decided decades ago that I didn't want to work five days a week taking two vacations a year for 20-30 years and then retire comfortably.

Every few years, I take a lot of time off. Months, sometimes over a year. If I plan well, I have money saved and I travel. Every time I do this, it sets me back financially; sometimes I'm completely broke before I start working again. I'd be well-served to balance it a little better, and only blow half my savings before going back to the grind. It's not easy for me to find that balance, and sometimes it's a real struggle.

I have a knack for poor timing (left a job right before the 2001 dotcom crash, left a job right before the 2008 recession, and left my latest job just now, when there appears to be a recession looming). I'm about to set off on a months-long RV trip, and for once I expect to have a decent amount of savings left at the end, and plan on buying a house some time next year. While I like my itinerant lifestyle, it's time to secure a base of operations, too. Something modest, so that it won't prevent me from doing another trip like this in a few years.

It's not for everyone; I get that. I don't think it's a better lifestyle than working hard and retiring in comfort. It's better for me, though.

You're only your current age once. If you wait until you're old, you won't have the same experiences. I'm not willing to deny myself these moments along the way in return for a potential future payoff. So many people die before they get to enjoy the fruits of their labor. It's possible to work full-time and simultaneously live a fulfilling life; I see plenty of people do it. I don't know where they get the energy, though; all I can manage while working is TV, video games, and infrequent weekend activities. Most of the time I feel like all I do is work. Big breaks are what keep me sane.

foobarian(10000) 1 day ago [-]

I'd love to read the exit interview of your kids when they get to 30. Did anyone else go through this with their parents? Would you/are you changing anything as a result?

saiya-jin(10000) 1 day ago [-]

2 words for the path in the middle (sort of, at least for me) - adrenaline sports. I don't say which exactly should work for likes of others, that's kind of unique to each of us. For me its climbing, paragliding, skiing/ski touring, a bit of alpinism. Plus diving when near corals, also serious hiking.

Apart from making me properly happy (and some of those are easily post-work ones if you don't have kids, like climbing or paraglide depending on your place), they keep me amazingly fit, which is source of long lasting content from oneself. Vacations spent backpacking in crazy exotics (mostly south east asia) help too.

I can do boring and uninspiring software dev office job that pays the bills and some more (seldom intertwined with nice creative part when actually solving interesting problems, rather than drowning in processes and politics). It doesn't dent the content/happiness part a slightest bit.

Also numerous side effects - one starts eating healthier. Any kind of gaming addiction I had before was cured too, now its just waste of life that repulses me (not making critique - if that's your real kick I guess go for it, but I can't anymore).

There is one slight problem with this, although it otherwise worked me 100% for past 10 years - if you get kids and are not utter sellfish a-hole, you will lose most of this, at least for some (long) time. Positive side is, one day you will be one hell of inspiration for them. Other source of issues is accident - time off everything, for longer, can be depressive.

Talking as proud parent of two small kiddos who exhausted me during WFH to max, and who after 4 month recovery of messed up wrist broke his foot in kindergarten and is on crutches at least for next 6 weeks of amazing summer. I think right now the lowest point in my whole life so far due to all above. But that means it will only go up, eventually. Life is funny.

whiplash451(10000) 1 day ago [-]

Kudos for living this kind of life. Inspiring for all of us.

nnoitra(10000) 1 day ago [-]

are you happy?

sizzle(10000) about 23 hours ago [-]

Kinda impossible to do this with kids on the way, please blog your journey I will live vicariously through you. Also will donate coffee money often.

xialvjun(10000) about 18 hours ago [-]

Marx has said: 'Creative labor has become the primary need of life'. I don't know if it's the original words, I translated it from Chinese. You think spending 7 years to build your own house is better than to play video games. But what if to create a video game? Creating a video game is too hard? How about to just write game reviews and walkthroughs in detail and combine them into a book. It's not that you think building a house is more meaningful than playing video games. It's that you want to create, but your job didn't give you a chance to create or what you create doesn't belong to you.

ok_coo(10000) about 23 hours ago [-]

It's a funny thing. I thought that I would have regrets playing World of Warcraft for years of my life, but looking back, I really enjoyed my time playing it even when it felt a little monotonous. I played from 2005-2007 pretty hardcore. No regrets.

I think you would have enjoyed either path you took. I've second-guessed some of my past choices and I'm not sure I would be happier than I am now, or a better person.

ramraj07(10000) about 20 hours ago [-]

It is interesting how much everyone thinks these are the only two alternatives though. You can live an extremely fulfilling life out of the most boring Phoenix suburb, and you could (probably very easily) live a life with no meaning out of the most rustic cabin you can imagine.

FollowingTheDao(10000) 1 day ago [-]

You are just living your own meme. You got into RVing when the whole meme was taking off, #Vanlife! You were told you want a different kind of life. All the people not living your 'different life' are working at the jobs you left and are supplying you with the things you need to live a 'different life'.

And you all talk about 'wasting life' like at the end when you die you get to do something with it all with all the time you did not waste. You are still pissing time away, all you did was give your self meaning and that makes it feel like you are not.

"True happiness is to enjoy the present, without anxious dependence upon the future, not to amuse ourselves with either hopes or fears but to rest satisfied with what we have, which is sufficient, for he that is so wants nothing. The greatest blessings of mankind are within us and within our reach. A wise man is content with his lot, whatever it may be, without wishing for what he has not." ― Seneca

tima101(10000) 1 day ago [-]

Similar story here. We traveled with my wife for 3.5 years. Then we built homestead on 30 acres of forest land in rural WA. Now I am 36 and we bought land in HI to build our second homestead. And it is from scratch again! Most of our income comes from freelance gigs. The last time I visited big city was over 10 years ago. No regrets here.

I think the best framework is to not compare yourself to others. And fear of change is a normal, ordinary feeling. Comparing to others makes no sense, just try to do things that YOU will not regret and things that make you happy in long term.

tomcam(10000) 1 day ago [-]

Fantastic, and congratulations! We did roughly what you're doing but backwards, and still had a lot of fun doing it.

However, I'm deeply envious that you can just drill a well. I live in Seattle, where drilling the well requires that you blow the mayor, bribe an inspector or two, buy what they call "mitigating" land someplace else in the state, and sacrifice a goat. And after you found a suitable plot for the well, a $1 million drill has to be towed onto the property to make sure ground is preserved.

Where are you living this beautiful life of you're?

hexo(10000) about 12 hours ago [-]

what is RVing?

isolli(10000) about 17 hours ago [-]

Related: it strikes me as a paradox that we are envious of people in their 20s because they have their whole life ahead of them, and feel sorry for people in their 80s who have their life behind them. Does it mean we value the potential more than the realized? Is a potential life worth more, perhaps because it still contains all the promises of potential futures, while a life lived has been whittled down to a single path, with all the mistakes and regrets that it entails?

californical(10000) about 17 hours ago [-]

I think it might even just be that living life is awesome in general (overall, though there are obvious ups and downs). So the more you have left to live, the better

schappim(10000) about 3 hours ago [-]

> Does it mean we value the potential more than the realized?

Yup, just like a pitch to a VC is easier with magical future potential numbers, rather than realised numbers.

Potential is only limited by imagination, and realised numbers can't be changed!

zandjager(10000) 1 day ago [-]

This is giving me a bit of a Zizek-ian 'wisdom' feeling. E.g. in 'Putting things off for the future is the biggest waste of a life. You deny yourself the present by promising the future.' one can make the counter-argument of the entire marshmallow experiment with children where the whole point is to actually put things off for the future!

adamwong246(10000) 1 day ago [-]

I've found you have to balance the 2 sides- saving for the future while enjoying the present. Doing both at once is not impossible.

scottLobster(10000) 1 day ago [-]

Yeah, those who refuse to bargain with the future end up the same as those who refuse to bargain at car dealerships. They pay the worst prices.

Even hunter gatherers sacrifice for the future. I haven't read much Seneca, but this article strikes me as a shallow interpretation of him just from its Instagram-quote-ey notes that are thrown in every now and then

mettamage(10000) about 13 hours ago [-]

My perspective:

No, take things now if you can. And I can, with a very small amount of creativity involved. I realized recently I don't need to be rich/financially independent at all.

I work 4 days per week, I'm living the dream as I've realized that I want to work for 3 days per week. I want to crack my brain on something for 3 days per week that I'm not necessarily passionate about, but that feels as 'good brain exercise' (aka programming).

So I only have to put up with 1 day per week, but I also want a bit of that I need to 'put up with something', so 4 days per week is my jam, apparently. Programming allows me to stay mentally sharp, so it's a health thing as well.

My free day is on a Wednesday, so my rhythm literally is along the lines of:

work, work, rest, work, work, rest, bonus rest*

* Aka go nuts/crazy since I'm already rested.

You can have your cake and eat it too. Provided if you're Dutch, because a 4 day work week is easy to fix there.

4 days means you make about 85 to 90% of your 5 day net salary anyway, so you're not losing too much cash. It's easily doable if you spent 70% of your income anyway, which is what I was doing (and that is me being wasteful).

Life is beautiful :)

sethammons(10000) 1 day ago [-]

I've always liked the marshmallow experiment, but it turns out less clear than we may have thought.

If a child trusts the adult will be back shortly with marshmallow in tow, they may wait. But if adults in their lives are less predictable, they may reasonably choose to eat the marshmallow before the adult returns.

The marshmallow experiment may show that kids that can trust adults do better in life.

adamnemecek(10000) 1 day ago [-]

Life is short because society takes so much of it. School wastes so much of your time, employment likewise. Some sort of drastic change is needed.oog

randomsearch(10000) 1 day ago [-]

Yes, looking back I cannot believe I did not just walk out of high school each day. I could have headed to a library and learnt a lot more in a fraction of the time. I could have become incredibly physically fit with the remaining time, or improved my guitar playing.

I guess I just didn't have the confidence to think - well, actually, this is stupid and walking out is a smart thing to do.

derbOac(10000) 1 day ago [-]

Yes these kind of discussions are often useless to me because they ignore the things in life we don't choose. They're written as if someone has complete agency and is just choosing between easier and less reward versus harder and more reward. For me at least the real difficulty is dealing with broken systems and all that's needed of you from them, when rejecting the system can mean complete failure of the worst kind.

People don't let others steal their time because they're weak, it's because the system is so broken.

It's not so much 'do I put this effort into building a ship and charting new territory' it's 'do I chart this ship into pirate-infested waters when then outcome could mean death, and shipbuilders are defrauding people about the safety of materials?' The correct analogy in contemporary society often isnt builders or explorers, it's refugees.

Yes I'm cynical. I wish I weren't.

Dudeman112(10000) 1 day ago [-]

Life is short because of senescence

If only as a society we could put some effort into that instead of pretty much everything else for a little while. If we solved anti-senescence we'd have all the time in the world to fix everything else

andi999(10000) 1 day ago [-]

Society can only give what it takes (from you and others).

ozim(10000) 1 day ago [-]

I really like how society provides libraries/internet - well you still have to spend some time on banal things like learning reading or filling in forms in writing to have access.

School is also useful to learn about mistakes or shitty things people did in the past so you don't do the same in your life. Without society you would not have access to great minds of the past which might be even more useful.

Unless you know you are kind of prodigy that without learning reading or writing you could build modern washing machine from raw materials available in your area.

My point is that school is just a baseline for living in a modern society.

If you by any chance live in a first world country maybe you should be ashamed of yourself. Maybe you should watch some documentary about how barely literate people struggle in 3rd world countries and how much of their life is wasted on meeting basic needs and they did not have time to attend the school or there was no school available at all.

groffee(10000) 1 day ago [-]

692,040 hours. That's short.

glouwbug(10000) 1 day ago [-]

Not when you're constantly assigned backlogged busy work JIRA tickets

charlie0(10000) about 22 hours ago [-]

Lots of comments here about tradeoffs between having fun and working hard. I'd say work hard, but take a year off every decade or so and just enjoy it.

Personally, I find it hard to get away from work, because getting away means changing mindsets and changing mindset takes longer than 48 hours or even a week of vacation. If you've ever quit your job voluntarily and lived in another country for a bit, you'll know what I'm talking about.

leetrout(10000) about 22 hours ago [-]

I was just complaining to my wife about this.

A vacation is never a vacation. I need at least 3 months off based on how the past chances for a few weeks off has went.

throwawayarnty(10000) 1 day ago [-]

The days are long but the years are short.

It's all about time scales.

jodrellblank(10000) 1 day ago [-]

'People overestimate what they can do in a day and underestimate what they can do in a year'

Historical Discussions: Tailscale SSH (June 22, 2022: 756 points)

(756) Tailscale SSH

756 points 5 days ago by ignoramous in 10000th position

tailscale.com | Estimated reading time – 11 minutes | comments | anchor

Today we're delighted to introduce Tailscale SSH, to more easily manage SSH connections in your tailnet. Tailscale SSH allows you to establish SSH connections between devices in your Tailscale network, as authorized by your access controls, without managing SSH keys, and authenticates your SSH connection using WireGuard®.

Many organizations already use Tailscale to protect their SSH sessions — for example, to allow users to connect from their work laptop to their work desktop. Since Tailscale allows you to connect your devices in a virtual private network, and use access controls to restrict communications between them, we thought, "Why do we need SSH keys? Let's just make SSH use your Tailscale identity." And so we did.

For sensitive high-risk connections, such as those connecting as root, you can also enable check mode. Check mode requires a user to re-authenticate with your SSO (or to have recently re-authenticated) before being able to establish a Tailscale SSH connection.

When using check mode, if you haven't recently authenticated, you need to re-authenticate before establishing a Tailscale SSH connection.

Read on to learn more about what Tailscale SSH is, how it compares to other SSH solutions, and how to start using it in your tailnet.

SSH, but make it Tailscale

Recall how Tailscale works: Connections between your devices in your private tailnet are already automatically authenticated and encrypted using WireGuard. Tailscale's coordination server distributes the public node key of your device to the peers in your network that it's allowed to communicate with. This node key is your device's identity: It's what's used to authenticate your device and encrypt connections to or from the device. In addition, your tailnet's ACLs are used to determine whether a given connection is authorized. Tailscale compiles ACLs into a set of packet filters that are distributed to all the devices in your network, and each device locally enforces what traffic is authorized.

What makes Tailscale SSH different? When you enable Tailscale SSH on a device, Tailscale claims port 22 for any traffic incoming to that device to its Tailscale IP address — that is, only for traffic coming over Tailscale. This traffic is rerouted to an SSH service inside the Tailscale daemon instead of to your standard SSH server. When you create a new SSH connection from a client to this server over the Tailscale network, the server already knows who the remote party is and takes over, and does not require the SSH client to provide further proof.

Managing your personal or your organization's SSH keys can be kind of painful. Sure, SSH keys are better than passwords because they identify the user, but they're still only secure until they're accidentally live-streamed. (SSH certificates are better, but have you tried running your own enterprise CA?) If you're managing these keys correctly, it's time-consuming — you might spend hours distributing SSH keys when provisioning new servers or removing SSH keys when a colleague leaves. Some organizations use bastions to force SSH connections through a single point for authentication and authorization — but it adds unnecessary latency if you're not operating a bastion near all of your infrastructure, and it's yet another server (or service) to manage.

Tailscale SSH connections leverage the same control mechanism as other Tailscale connections, using Tailscale's node keys and ACLs to ensure a connection is authenticated, authorized, and encrypted:

  • Your Tailscale SSH connection is authenticated based on your source device's Tailscale identity. Tailscale also distributes public SSH host keys to your client when possible, so that the SSH client recognizes the host it is connecting to — meaning you won't see an "unknown host" warning message.
  • Your Tailscale SSH connection is authorized based on the access rules you define in your tailnet's ACLs.
  • Your Tailscale SSH connection is encrypted using WireGuard (in addition to regular SSH encryption), using your source and destination devices' public node keys.

With Tailscale SSH, you no longer need to generate, distribute, and manage SSH keys. (You can develop remotely without having to figure out how to get your private SSH key onto your iPad!) Tailscale SSH lets you manage your permissions as code, so access is authorized based on your ACLs. If someone leaves, you can revoke access almost instantaneously, without touching every server. And unlike bastion hosts, you don't need to funnel all your traffic through a single, demarcated network entry point.

Tailscale works with your existing identity provider, so it's clear which key corresponds to which individual and device. Since Tailscale distributes the keys, you can easily rotate and redistribute keys. Node keys can be rotated by re-authenticating the device, as often as every day.

If you're already familiar with WireGuard, this makes sense — WireGuard is a lot like SSH in that each side needs a private key to establish its own identity and uses its peer's public key to identify it. Either side can initiate a connection. In both cases, what Tailscale helps with is the network configuration, key distribution, and mapping of public keys back to user identities. Tailscale already extends your SSO identity into your network identity; with Tailscale SSH, we take it one more step.

Use SSH access rules to define allowed connections

Tailscale SSH introduces a new section to Tailscale's ACLs: SSH access rules. Like Tailscale's other access rules, which let you define what a particular user or device is permitted to access on your Tailscale network, these let you restrict which users or devices can use Tailscale SSH, and as which SSH users.

So, you could allow Alice to access the production server as root using Tailscale SSH:

  'ssh': [
      'action': 'accept',
      'src': ['[email protected]'],
      'dst': ['tag:prod'],
      'users': ['root']

To be able to use Tailscale SSH, you need both a rule that allows access to from the source device to the destination device over port 22 (where the Tailscale SSH server is run), and an SSH access rule that allows Tailscale SSH access to the destination device and SSH user.

Use check mode to verify high-risk connections

Normally, Tailscale connections are based on your node key's expiration — so that you re-authenticate to the tailnet regularly, but not as part of every interaction. (You can also disable node key expiry for servers.) For some more sensitive operations, you really do want to verify that a human is on the other end of the connection. (On the internet, nobody knows you're a dog, and it really is harder to type your password with paws.)

Tailscale SSH check mode requires the user to have recently re-authenticated to Tailscale before establishing the connection. By default, this is a 12-hour check period — so if you're connecting to various log servers to debug an outage, you can keep working throughout your day, uninterrupted. If you're dealing with a particularly sensitive application or set of permissions, then you can set a much shorter check period — you might only need 15 minutes to access your database and identify which customers are affected by a bug.

You can require a check on any Tailscale SSH connection and set the desired check period as part of your SSH access rules. For example, what if you only wanted Alice to be able to connect as root on the production server, as long as she authenticated in the last hour?

  'ssh': [
      'action': 'check', // instead of 'accept'
      'src': ['[email protected]'],
      'dst': ['tag:prod'],
      'users': ['root'],
      'checkPeriod': '1h'

Set up Tailscale SSH

Let's see how (easy it is) to set Tailscale SSH up. You'll need to: opt in the destination device to Tailscale SSH and ensure ACLs exist which allow Tailscale SSH access.

To enable Tailscale SSH on a destination device, run

Right now, this is only supported on Linux devices. This doesn't affect your existing SSH configuration, so you can use Tailscale SSH concurrently with other SSH tools you have, or gradually roll out Tailscale SSH across your fleet.

Next, make sure your ACLs have both an access rule that allows the source to connect to the destination on port 22, and an SSH access rule that allows the source to connect to the destination using Tailscale SSH. If you haven't modified your ACLs, you'll have a default policy which allows all users to connect to their own devices in check mode, as both root and non-root:

  'ssh': [
      'action': 'check',
      'src': ['autogroup:members'],
      'dst': ['autogroup:self'],
      'users': ['autogroup:nonroot', 'root']

If you have modified your ACLs, you'll need to add this or whatever SSH access rules you'd like to apply. You can modify your ACLs in the admin console.

Then, connect from the source device as normal:

$ ssh [email protected] 

Or, if you have MagicDNS enabled:

(We were going to include a gif of using Tailscale SSH in this blog post, but it just looks like regular SSH, so there's no point. Worst demo ever.)

Get started

So: Say hello to Tailscale SSH — and say goodbye to managing SSH keys, setting up bastion jump boxes, and unnecessarily exposing your private production devices to the open internet.

Maya demonstrates how to use Tailscale SSH.

To get started, see our documentation on Tailscale SSH or watch a demo on setting it up. Watch our discussion with Maisem Ali and Brad Fitzpatrick on building Tailscale SSH to learn more.

Tailscale SSH is available in beta today, and included in all plans. Tailscale SSH access rules with unique users are counted as part of the unique users in ACLs that are limited in some paid plans.

We're building this for you, so let us know what you think @Tailscale on Twitter, and file a GitHub issue or contact support if Tailscale SSH isn't working as expected.

All Comments: [-] | anchor

jgeralnik(10000) 5 days ago [-]

So @bradfitz when are you releasing https://tailscale.com/connect/ for real? :)

Context for the uninitiated - as a crazy idea on the podcast Security Cryptography Whatever (hosted by tptacek and others less well known on HN) Avery and Brad of tailscale imagined an ssh client in the browser with QR code authentication to SSO to allow you to connect to your tailscale network (over tailscale SSH) from untrusted computers such as internet cafes. (Or mostly untrusted - safe from keyloggers but maybe not from a dedicated active malware that injects into your browser and tries to inject secret commands into your ssh session).

I created a silly PoC here (video instead of link because don't try it for real) https://twitter.com/jgeralnik/status/1487913797155233798 back when tailscale ssh was a secret binary in the tailscale github repo

bradfitz(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Actually pretty soon, probably.

It's working. It needs some UI love first and some docs so people know how it works and don't immediately freak out. :)

bradfitz(10000) 5 days ago [-]

> when tailscale ssh was a secret binary in the tailscale github repo

That makes it sound like we put a binary in our git repo :) It was its own Go package main that people could run.

It was never a secret. We just didn't advertise it a ton! :)

jasonlotito(10000) 5 days ago [-]

If I have to use a browser to make use of this (which the demo shows), I never want to use it. It's like the abomination of Okta and Luminate. Absolutely horrible UX.

Nope. Will fight very hard to avoid ever having to use this.

Antagonistic toward developers at best.

raggi(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Tailscalar here, you can also fetch, validate and edit your ACL's using the API https://github.com/tailscale/tailscale/blob/main/api.md#acl

ngcc_hk(10000) 5 days ago [-]

There is a reason why in a corp you need to install certain kind of ai network sniffer to get this underlying network traffic to surface. Be worked on network security and it is just hard to work in a network which you cannot see I think. The bypass is a success and it is not even free (price wise it seems). Crazy.

tptacek(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Tailscale is the network infrastructure for this feature. This is like being concerned that Cisco can see your ICMP headers in iOS.

sandstrom(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Good! Boundary (https://www.boundaryproject.io/) by Hashicorp needs some healthy competition.

Teleport is also a tool in this space, for those looking for alternatives.

sandstrom(10000) 5 days ago [-]

And for anyone looking at Tailscale, I should also mention ZeroTier (https://www.zerotier.com/).

In my opinion they have better tech, but they are pretty bad at packaging it, and bad at making it work for actual use-cases.

Tailscale seems to be much more clever around building out stuff (like this one, SSH) that actually goes all the way for a particular use-case. ZeroTier feels more like a building block, where you need to bring more stuff yourself.

Either way, both are awesome pieces of technology, and really useful!

bradfitz(10000) 5 days ago [-]

I'm one of the authors of this. Happy to answer any questions.

One of the fun technical details is that, when enabled on a machine (tailscale up --ssh), the userspace tailscaled process takes over all TCP port 22 packets after the WireGuard decryption and doesn't even feed them into the kernel over TUN. We use gVisor's netstack to handle the TCP connections in-process.

So it doesn't matter whether you have other processes (or iptables rules, etc) that would prevent the Tailscale SSH server from binding to port 22. This lets people gradually use Tailscale SSH over time without messing with their system one.

The Tailscale SSH server currently only runs on Linux but there's support in git main for macOS too but it's not super well tested yet and not included in the sandboxed GUI builds currently.

lolsoftware(10000) 5 days ago [-]

This looks great, and I'd love to replace AWS SSM (at least for the purposes of instance access) with this! One question I have is have is around device limits.

With SSM, I can easily run an agent on every instance. Tailscale has pretty tight device limits on the Team and Business plans. I have no idea what the custom pricing looks like, but I'm guessing it would exceed my budget. What's the intended way to use this with a large number of servers? A small team can easily have more devices than 5x or 10x the number of users. Should we just set up some 'gateway'/'bastion' instances to access via Tailscale SSH and then use regular ssh from there? Some sort of more limited device mode that doesn't count against the device limit (for ssh only, perhaps?) would be great.

linsomniac(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Hey bradfitz, guy who previously had 32150 here. :-) This looks insanely cool, a couple questions:

I know it says it's linux-only right now, but is that client side or server only? Can my Windows users TailSSH into linux boxes?

Would be cool if somehow it could wedge into sudo auth so you could login as a a user and sudo without password if allowed by ACLs, especally if I could add 'check' to the ssh. agent pam module?

One thing that has prevented me from trying Tailscale, despite the great word on the street, is I can't figure out pricing, despite contacting sales. I'd like to run it on ~120 dev+stg+prod VMs, with 10 people (devs, testers, ops). I'd like every box to talk over tailscale directly, as an overlay network, but servers I hope aren't users, that'd get expensive fast. But I need more devices than 10/user. I presume 'custom' would help with that but I got no reply from sales. We are probably too small fry. Now that I'm typing this, I realize I guess we could just buy ~15-20 users despite needing only 10.

I think I've resolved myself to setting up Nebula for the server overlay network, and using Tailscale for physical users, with a traditional firewall bridging them.

Again, Tailscale SSH looks very nice, job well done!

atonse(10000) 5 days ago [-]

What would we need to have open in our security groups for this to work?

I think ingress wouldn't be necessary since tailscaled creates a tunnel right?

But how about egress traffic? UDP for WireGuard or something else?

e12e(10000) 5 days ago [-]

> (...) the userspace tailscaled process takes over all TCP port 22 packets after the WireGuard decryption and doesn't even feed them into the kernel over TUN. We use gVisor's netstack to handle the TCP connections in-process.

> So it doesn't matter whether you have other processes (or iptables rules, etc) that would prevent the Tailscale SSH server from binding to port 22.

This sounds like a great feature when exploiting buggy WordPress/php apps! /s

I realize this is a feature - but it's a bit sad that the standard package handling isn't up to the task; leaving (I expect) the tailscale daemon as a 'magic' netcitizen - not featuring in neither 'ss' or 'iptables' output (why can't I login to opensshd?).

zachallaun(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Just want to say thanks: This is insanely cool/easy. Combined with the VSCode Remote SSH extension and MagicDNS, it's now insanely easy to work on a project in a remote environment. I was recently reading through a relatively long post on setting up SSH through Tailscale to access a WSL2 environment, and now it's literally as easy as popping open VSCode in any environment that I have Tailscale installed on and accessing `[email protected]`. Great work!

woleium(10000) 5 days ago [-]

What are the failure modes? Openssh is a well understood risk, this seems... unquantifiable?

structural(10000) 5 days ago [-]

I've been using Tailscale for years but will likely not use this feature, even though I would like to.

The fundamental problem with the approach really is that connections are different over the tailnet and over the local network. Here is a specific use case that is painful:

1. There exists a cluster of machines, each with large amounts of locally attached storage. They are all on the same local network and connected with 10Gb (and likely soon 40Gb ethernet interfaces).

2. Each machine is individually on the same tailnet so they can be accessed remotely.

3. Remote users frequently need to move large amounts of data between machines. A user copying a few hundred gigabytes of data with 'scp' is normal.

4. For performance reasons, it's preferred to avoid the Tailscale/wireguard overhead when copying data between adjacent machines in a rack.

At this point, if I enable tailscale ssh for remote login, it appears that the problem of key management for connections between local machines (using ssh over the normal interface, not the tailnet) still remains, and in fact, the overall authentication configuration is more complex than it was before.

What I would love to exist, and would make me instantly use this feature, is if the tailnet issued SSH certificates (probably injected into its own ssh-agent?), the existing tailscale SSH implemention worked just like it currently does (it's great!), AND I could manually configure servers to accept certificates issued by the tailnet. Then SSH paths like 'laptop --> (over tailnet) --> server 1 --> (over local network) --> server 2' could be made to work transparently, for those machines that need it, and for regular users, it still 'just works'.

bhawks(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Any interest in adding mosh like features (https://mosh.org/)?

Low latency typing, session resumption etc

infocollector(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Hi Brad: Thanks for helping out with this feature! I've been one of the early users of tailscale. My network is around 50 machines. I've recently started having issues with ssh on some of my machines, especially from mac m1 -> some ubuntu boxes. Could this be related to this new feature? Any suggestions/pointers on how to debug these issues?

aidos(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Just a quick thank you to the team working on Tailscale. It's hands down the most seamless dev experience I've ever seen. Every time I think "such and such would be nice", I search the docs, and it's already implemented better than I could have expected (eg the stateless mode for ephemeral servers).

I tinkered with cloudflare before that but just couldn't get on with the interface of the admin tooling.

With Tailscale I have a lot more confidence that I've set up the access rules as I need them. It's all just a lot more obvious.

dstaley(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Could you share some details about the embedded SSH server? I'm curious if this would work to add SSH capabilities to devices that run Tailscale but don't include a built-in SSH server. Previously I've used dropbear, so it'd be really nice to be able to drop that requirement!

ludsan(10000) 5 days ago [-]

quick question. Does this do user (de)provisioning like Jumpcloud? I.e. if the target machine doesn't have a /home/someuser but someuser is in my tailnet ACL, will it create the account?

mike_d(10000) 5 days ago [-]

How was the decision made to roll this functionality out before announcing it to customers (we found it during a previous security audit)?

While it might seem logical in your mind to bolt on extra features and add value, your customers evaluate risk based on functionality of the software they are approving. Customer buys a VPN solution, magically gets remote access that bypasses firewalls. Can we trust Tailscale to not roll out a remote file backup feature and start silently exfiltrating data (as an extreme example)?

dimitar(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Can you do ssh tunnelling?

rastignack(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Were golang's ssh and crypto packages independently audited ?

YarickR2(10000) 5 days ago [-]

So we have no way to secure this besides disabling wireguard ?

jdadj(10000) 5 days ago [-]

This is neat. I've used Cloudflare's Zero-Trust SSH, but I've been frustrated that it interacts poorly with sftp and scp because of the client-side changes that they make to ~/.ssh/config

Does tailscale have the same issue?

CaptainJustin(10000) 5 days ago [-]

> This lets people gradually use Tailscale SSH over time without messing with their system one.

That is something I have really appreciated about Tailscale. It seems to consistently not mess with the existing environment. Considering it does networking witchcraft and it works on a variety of architectures and OSs this is quite an accomplishment.

I suspect Tailscale's customers have found the same.

tucif(10000) 5 days ago [-]

A nice next step would be tailscale managing an ssh key that's allowed to do interact with a git(hub) repository. So that I wouldn't have to create multiple keys or setup the same key on different machines and still be able to interact with a repo from all of them.

It'd be really nice just using git transparently and having tailscale take over the git ssh connection and authenticate using taliscale access controls.

At least for personal projects or small teams that'd be quite convenient.

dataangel(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Do you build tailscale with redo? and if not why not? :)

JayCuthrell(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Thank you to the Tailscale team for altering my belief that VPN could only stand for Vexing Productivity Neutralizer.

Features like Tailscale SSH represent the ruthless removal of annoyances.

edit: grammar

Syzygies(10000) 5 days ago [-]

I have Tailscale on all my Macs. I use MacOS default SSH between my machines, but only via the Tailscale interface.

Nevertheless, I had to open SSH on each machine, and it's a nightmare to close up the firewall so only Tailscale gets through. You'd think this was the whole point of Tailscale; there should be a one click lock to restrict to Tailscale. But the Tailscale documentation is wanting. I actually paid for a candidate for the best firewall front end, it came with 'Let us know if we can help!' and radio silence once I explained the problem. Likely, restricting to Tailscale requires a granularity one can only hand-code.

I can write a firewall, I've written plenty in the past, I just couldn't find the several hours to do this as a one-off for me when it should be easy, but I was missing needed information.

Tailscale is justly proud of how it connects machines through uncooperative routers and such. Tailscale SSH should do the same. The idiot's guide to securing a machine so only Tailscale SSH gets through should be to find SSH in the preferences and turn the fucker off.

KRuchan(10000) 4 days ago [-]

I attempted this on a VM inside a Linux host and got a lower privileged user from inside the guest VM to ssh to a root-privileged user outside on the host. Both were authenticated to Tailscale with the same gmail account, so from an OAuth perspective, this is valid. From the OS perspective though, the host SSH port is blocked, and a guest should never get full root access to the host or see the host's resources.

I am not sure if I am confused about something, or maybe there are prod use-cases where the same IDP identity should have different roles/privileges depending on the machine, and Tailscale SSH breaks that?

867-5309(10000) 5 days ago [-]

hello, is sftp supported? thanks

newfonewhodis(10000) 5 days ago [-]

What happens if I use Tailscale SSH and Google (or whatever IDP) decides to ban my account? Is there a break-glass or something that would let me either change IDPs or re-enable openssh-based access without losing my servers?

bluehatbrit(10000) 5 days ago [-]

This bothers me as well as a personal user. I'd love to go all-in on tailscale but having companies like Google running the identity is really off-putting.

For now I think I'll be leaving the tailscale SSH functionality and keeping my own setup. I also have a static IP at home which is allowed access to my remote dedicated box. If they enabled some other identity provider that I could either self-host, or use their own with an email + password then I could close off that extra hole but for now it feels too risky for me.

On a corporate side I don't mind so much, SSO is so standard and I'd feel perfectly comfortable using Okta or Google SSO because there seem to be far fewer stories of an entire GSuite being banned with no recourse.

Tailscale is great and has solved a bunch of problems for me, but the idea of having a seperate IDP that have so many horror stories around them freaks me out enough to slightly lower my security to account for it. Thankfully there are fewer stories like that about GitHub so I'm using them for now.

leohonexus(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Totally, I'm a happy customer, but completely relying on Tailscale for out-of-band SSH doesn't sit right with me, especially for personal machines. One ban and poof, you can't access your own servers.

And to be honest, I understand the appeal of not having to muck around with the system, but SSH isn't that cumbersome once you've set up your /etc/hosts, and encrypt your id_rsa files. Couldn't get any easier than `ssh <machine>`.

atonse(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Another question, can this be used to create SSO-enabled SFTP? Isn't SFTP just ftp over SSH?

dave_universetf(10000) 5 days ago [-]

SFTP is a sub-protocol of SSH (technically a 'subsystem' in the RFC-speak), which implements features similar to 'legacy' FTP.

Anyway, our ssh server knows about sftp, so `sftp <host>` should just work.

mfincham(10000) 5 days ago [-]

SFTP isn't really FTP over SSH, it's just a collision of naming.

rollcat(10000) 5 days ago [-]

> Isn't SFTP just ftp over SSH?

FTP is a wholly different protocol, that has aged rather poorly. You might be thinking of FTPS, which is FTP with TLS. SFTP is its own thing and is actually decent/sane.

> can this be used to create SSO-enabled SFTP?

From another reply somewhere else in the comments, apparently yes.

RL_Quine(10000) 5 days ago [-]

I'm not entirely convinced I want a feature that adds even more exposure to the sort of goofy login flow Tailscale has.

api(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Totally meta to this discussion: I am disturbed by the SSO/IAM trend because it gives root on the entire universe to a small collection of companies.

We are looking at a future where a security breach or misbehavior by one of a handful of companies could mass-compromise millions of businesses and critical infrastructure and possibly hundreds of millions to billions of devices. Even worse this permission is clandestine. It could be exercised against individual targets with no obvious audit trail, since auditing tends to also be delegated to the IAM provider (and nobody looks at local logs in most cases).

I guess we've been handing vendors a lot of power for a while with OS vendors that have 'push' software update capability, but this is adding not only even more carte blanche permission to a small number of companies but extending it across systems running different OSes and even open source platforms like Linux and BSD.

Software update capability is also fairly coarse grained. Apple or Microsoft could push a compromised or malicious update, but it would be harder for them to specifically target a single user reliably and without being noticed. (Wait... why did I get a macOS update and none of my friends did?) SSO/IAM providers could easily do this. Imagine a subpoena that targets your SSO/IAM provider that gives the government (and maybe not even your government!) silent unlimited remote access to everything you have.

I can also imagine 'cancellation' scenarios where a company doesn't like what you say so they dump your account and lock you out of all your infrastructure, requiring you to manually go around and 'root' all your stuff. (If you think this would only ever be deployed against Nazis, study history a bit. Political winds shift.)

It's just a monstrous amount of power to give out, and I feel like people aren't thinking this through or maybe are not even aware of the power they are delegating.

I feel like people should at least understand what they are doing when they choose to delegate all their authentication to Google.

tlrobinson(10000) 5 days ago [-]

> goofy login flow

Can you be more specific about your complaints?

tptacek(10000) 5 days ago [-]

It's helpful for people to know, from context later in the thread, that one of the core concerns behind this comment is the idea of using SSO at all, and thus giving 'the keys to the kingdom' to Google.

Of course, it's also worth knowing that SSO is basically a universal best-practice for security teams, and while it's not de jure required by SOC2, it's almost de facto required. For once, I think the best-practices and compliance people have this one right: you are extraordinarily unlikely to get burnt for trusting Google in this instance, and the security track record of ad-hoc authentication is worse than abysmal (ad-hoc authentication is probably implicated in a plurality of all major incidents).

infogulch(10000) 5 days ago [-]

I'm very interested in Tailscale for both personal and business use-cases, but I'm rather put off by the stark centralization of offered identity providers: Microsoft, Github (Microsoft), Google, okta (?). What are the chances that Tailscale would offer authentication using decentralized/self-hosted identity providers like Ory ( https://www.ory.sh/ )?

doublepg23(10000) 5 days ago [-]

There is also the self-hostable Headscale implementation.

mdeeks(10000) 5 days ago [-]

They offer custom SSO providers using SAML or OIDC https://tailscale.com/kb/1119/sso-saml-oidc/

Unfortunately they are locked behind Enterprise pricing because of the extra help and debugging needed to get them working. Maybe at some point this will be offered standard though.

mountainriver(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Tailscale is my absolute dream networking solution, I would go as far as to say it will ultimately change how we develop applications in the future

birdyrooster(10000) 5 days ago [-]

If the auth flow was as good as Touch ID and no window switching, yeah it would be acceptable but this flow would give me a headache with all the flashing.

pilif(10000) 5 days ago [-]

I don't understand Tailscale's pricing structure: On one end, the features they are adding make the most sense if every machine that should be accessible is running tailscale.

Both the fine-grained ACL support and now this SSH thing don't make sense with shared subnets.

However, their pricing ties number of servers to number of users. In our case, we have potentially 3 admins who would administer about 50 machines, plus some ephemeral ones.

Assuming that each admin has two Macs and an iPhone just on their client side, I don't see how this can ever work within the limits in their pricing plans (except if I'd use subnet sharing, but that would cause me to miss out on many additional features that only make sense if Tailscale is running on each machine).

Is there no way to buy additional devices?

And my other gripe is with their API: The fine grained ACL support is perfect to, say, issue temporary access to some machines for some users and the API does allow that.

But why the hell are API keys only valid for 60 days? I don't want to build a solution on top of a piece of infrastructure that requires me to manually log into a site every 60 days.

ithkuil(10000) 5 days ago [-]

1. api keys != auth keys

2. you can disable key expiry for devices where it makes sense, see https://tailscale.com/kb/1028/key-expiry/#disabling-key-expi...

quartzic(10000) 5 days ago [-]

But you still can't have multiple tailnets. The strategy of 'have hobbyists try out the software themselves, like it, then implement it at their work' seems incompatible with this fact.

titanomachy(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Do you use the same Google/Github/Microsoft/whatever account for both work and personal stuff?

mdeeks(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Agreed this is a big limitation.

The only way to do it is if you have secondary email address domains. Say [email protected] and [email protected] You can create a separate tailnet for company.team but you also have to roll out additional subnet routers (if you use them) that are authed on that second tailnet. Also you wont be able to easily write rules that interact with things that are not authed onto the second tailnet.

They need a first class concept of 'canary' or 'beta' that applies to ACLs, DNS configs, client versions, and all sorts of other toggles in the UI. It's a hard product problem and I'm not even sure how some of it should work.

I just know I need a way to test changes before I roll it out to everyone at the company. Right now there aren't good options for that.

ithkuil(10000) 5 days ago [-]

I work around this issue by running multiple tailscaled daemons on different state directories and sockets.

E.g. I have the Tailscale macos application configured for the work network and then I run another tailscale daemon to connect to other home stuff:

    $ alias tailscaled
    tailscaled='sudo tailscaled --socket /Users/mkm/tmp/tailscale-mkm.socket'
    $ alias tailscale
tailscale='tailscale --socket /Users/mkm/tmp/tailscale-mkm.socket'

I installed the tailscale binaries from sources with 'go install tailscale.com/cmd/tailscale{,d}@main'

aspyct(10000) 5 days ago [-]

I started using tailscale a few days ago, and I absolutely love it.

However, one thing is still nagging me: technically, they can add devices to my network without telling me, right? Or is there something I'm missing?

samb1729(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Are you asking whether the owners and operators of the Tailscale control plane can theoretically add devices to your network without your authorisation? If so then yes, definitely.

Perhaps a terrible analogy, but to me the question reads like 'can the bank just spend my savings?'

How might you expect a fresh node to join your existing Tailnet without Tailscale having a means to add a node?

dimitar(10000) 5 days ago [-]

How Tailscale different from other VPN solutions?

matthewmacleod(10000) 5 days ago [-]

They have a relatively detailed series of comparisons with other solutions in their documentation: https://tailscale.com/kb/comparisons/vpns/

edf13(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Never login as root... even over secured links!

alerighi(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Why? To me it doesn't make sense not to do so. What kind of security gives you logging it as non root user and then using sudo (maybe even without a password) to become root?

Root makes everything more easier, for example to copy a file on a server with scp if you don't have root login you first has to copy it to /tmp and the copy it in the right directory by logging in as normal user and elevating with su/sudo.

Also you have to remember which username was chosen when the server was installed, was it user, admin, or pi, or some default?

I get not using root for everyday usage on a desktop, but for a server having a non root user is not that useful.

Of course you have to know what you are doing, but sudo doesn't protect you from stupid mistakes anyway (especially if configured with NOPASSWD as I always see doing because having to continuously type the password is annoying and password tends to be forgotten)

dx034(10000) 5 days ago [-]

I've always heard that and adhered to that, but what's the advantage of me logging in with a user account to then use sudo for every command? It's not like I could break less than being logged in as root.

8organicbits(10000) 5 days ago [-]

I think in this context, I'd worry about attributing any actions taken on the root account back to a named user. I suppose tailscale keeps an auth log (anyone know details?) so you likely could determine 'root'='alice' by looking across different log files. Attributing privileged commands to an employee is critical for security.

In other contexts you want to avoid shared root accounts, as you'd want to block access for former employees, but you don't want to rotate credentials every time. SSO for tailscale makes that easier.

e12e(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Indeed, 'root' is not a person - only persons should have authorization (to log in, to elevate via su/sudo).

Ed: although in this case the binding between a system user and a person happens at the tailscale level.

alex_dev(10000) 5 days ago [-]

I've been having trouble adopting Tailscale. As so many others say, relying on another identity provider is unfortunate - I, too, worry what happens when Google decides to lock me out because some algorithm decided my account is fishy.

The biggest blocker has been the issues with the Android client. I'm either hitting https://github.com/tailscale/tailscale/issues/915 or https://github.com/tailscale/tailscale/issues/4611, but neither issue appears to have a fix coming soon. Whenever I am on my carrier's network, my phone's internet stops until I disable Tailscale - that's just a show stopper from using TailScale.

So instead of developing this SSH feature, I would have preferred to seen them work on their bug backlog.

In the meantime, I'm experimenting with ZeroTier. While it doesn't have the ease and cool magicDNS+LetsEncrypt feature, I think I'll survive with something more reliable.

viraptor(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Are you after the LE part specifically? If not, I'm quite happy with mdns and the seems to be a unicast version available too:


For public domains, I've got a quick script which mirrors what appears in avahi to route53, so that's one way to deal with certs.

ratg13(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Is anyone using tailscale on an organizational level?

I'm curious to hear about some of the use cases, and whether some companies and organizations are attempting to adopt this instead of traditional VPN.

mdeeks(10000) 5 days ago [-]

We just adopted it to consolidate multiple different OpenVPN installations.


* The Tailscale clients are dead simple and good quality (but not perfect). OpenVPN clients for mac and iOS are pretty bad. Onboarding OpenVPN users was a large document that generated a lot of questions and support issues. Tailscale onboarding is about two minutes for most users and we had nearly no support requests rolling it out widely to our company.

* Tying OpenVPN to Okta is a truly terrible experience. Users would login with their Okta creds and a push would silently go to their devices. If they didn't know to check their phone it would just fail to login. Alternatively you can paste your TOTP code after your password. Yes, really.

* We don't have to manage or debug anything related to LDAP.

* Maintenance on our side is extremely minimal. Just install subnet routers (<10 lines of bash) and put our ACLs in source control.

* We no longer have to tell users to logout and login to another VPN to get to certain resources. We just grant them access and suddenly they can reach what they need. ACLs are amazing and super easy to script, audit, and test.

* Split DNS that actually works on all operating systems. For private domain A, query this resolver (over the wireguard link), for private domain B, query this other resolver.

* I rolled it out as a PoC to all of our major VPCs in a day.

The bad? It's still a young product and is missing features and has some warts.

* Notifications on macOS that you need to relogin are just plain broken (they know and are working on it).

* We're currently battling issues with network resets due to what looks like a client bug when you have lots of users.

* No access to audit logs yet

* You can't restrict people from using exit nodes

* No good way to canary changes to your user population. Any mistake in the UI instantly breaks everyone.

RL_Quine(10000) 5 days ago [-]

I would have loved this at a company a couple of years ago which was massively all in on Google Auth for literally everything. If you're fine with that being your concrete level of authentication for everything; internal tools, external tools, etc, then tailscale sort of just slots right in, and SSH makes it even more so.

I would be very hesitant to build around this personally, hijacking Google accounts is already something pretty high value to a companies adversary, and using Tailscale and SSH like this turns it from a compromise of accounts indirectly through password resets into access to unlimited production machines, internal services, etc. It feels almost layer violating to have a soft social login through Google, that gets persisted in every Chrome browser and logged into on every employees phones also directly control SSH, but maybe that's just me.

soSadm4n(10000) 5 days ago [-]

One of my clients, an industrial/commercial property realtor (to contextualize the environment; we're not talking military secrets here), uses it.

Day to day I interact with it like any other VPN client except I auth via the Google workspace account they gave me.

It's Tailscale, or hosted OpenVPN and cross your fingers they're not snooping, or DIY Wireguard or OpenVPN and all the usual ups and downs of DIY.

Software based infra is out of the unknown unknowns era these days and years of rising usability expectations means Oracle level nightmares to deal with do not gain enough momentum to survive anymore. Tailscale is plenty easy to deal with. The only consideration is do you believe your traffic is really secure? Otherwise "it just works" like anything else these days.

That said, my project for them is deprecating the infra accessed via Tailscale (24/7 EC2 running web dashboards). The already Dockerized dashboards will run locally now and use an API to retrieve the data. Real people directly in your infra is probably best avoided.

Sytten(10000) 5 days ago [-]

This seems like the perfect complement to replace the SSM Agent / bastion instance currently used to access AWS VPC (it is super clunky to use). This should allow an easier time to do reverse tunnelling to databases without having to manage SSH keys.

dimitar(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Hmm AFAIK you don't need a bastion to use SSM agent - it even allows you access through the browser. I think you meant EC2 Instance Connect which manages temporary SSH keys.

andymac4182(10000) 5 days ago [-]

That feature was recently added to SSM https://aws.amazon.com/about-aws/whats-new/2022/05/aws-syste...

Using something like gossm which I just put a PR in for this feature also makes this easier https://github.com/gjbae1212/gossm/pull/54

ryanisnan(10000) 5 days ago [-]

I'm curious, what's really clunky about SSM?

Other than ensuring the pre-requisites are met, and knowing the instance-id, SSM works pretty flawlessly. You can easily write a wrapper that looks up the instance-id from the hostname, if you prefer to use it that way.

NoraCodes(10000) 5 days ago [-]

I know this opinion comes up every time Tailscale is mentioned, but requiring SSO _and_ only supporting companies like Google and Microsoft on the free tier means a lot of people can't use it without being exposed to a ton of risk in the form of automated moderation/deletion decisions. I want to be excited about this stuff, but it just won't fit into my risk profile until that changes.

Hell, I'd be happy to pay $5/mo or whatever if that meant I could roll my own SSO, or even just use a cheap-per-user, low-volume provider.

skybrian(10000) 5 days ago [-]

This is a workaround, but could you minimize that risk by signing up for both Microsoft and Google? It should help for any policy / moderation / 'computer says no' decisions that are vendor-specific.

(On the other hand, for security risks, it means that a security hole in either one would be a problem.)

cstejerean(10000) 5 days ago [-]

I can see some risk with say Google as the surface area is much larger (maybe they don't like some play store activity or some ads activity or YouTube activity, etc). But I use my GitHub account and I'm really not worried about automated moderation locking me out of my account.

pphysch(10000) 5 days ago [-]

> (SSH certificates are better, but have you tried running your own enterprise CA?)

For a small business, what is so hard about keeping a file (CA private key) secure and changing it when required?

lloeki(10000) 5 days ago [-]

> For a small business, what is so hard about keeping a file (CA private key) secure and changing it when required?

For a small business? Well, keeping a file secure and changing it when required ^^'

I mean, it's not out of this world hard to generate your private CA but there are a thousand footguns, the experience isn't exactly friendly, and it's Yet Another Thing To Do And Keep Track Off, i.e even if there's someone who has the technical chops, they may not have the bandwidth, and also, lottery factor. Let alone keeping it properly secure. There's a whole framework/procedure to create to set that up properly.

(been there done that, I was exactly in the situation above)

loriverkutya(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Changing it when it is required.

danousna(10000) 5 days ago [-]

What would be the advantages of this compared to say Teleport ?

Teleport is working fine for us, but I wonder if the network based approach (+ wireguard) of Tailscale would be better in terms of network redundancy ?

swozey(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Well, how long did it take you to set up Teleport?

tptacek(10000) 5 days ago [-]

The big thing you get with Teleport that you don't yet get with Tailscale --- apart from entirely owning the source of truth for SSH authentication on your own infra, which is a very minor issue for almost everyone but is a major issue for some people --- is that Teleport gives you transcript-level audit logs of your SSH sessions.

Teleport also has that web-based SSH console (it's one of the better web-based consoles) and the ability to do joint SSH connections. But the audit log is the big one.

Obviously, the flip side of this is that Tailscale's SSH is built in; if you're already using Tailscale, and you're not already using Teleport, you should enable Tailscale's SSH right away; it is hugely better than managing your own SSH service ad-hoc.

riobard(10000) 5 days ago [-]

I'll have to ask this since it's bothering me for quite a while...

If I connect to a server via WireGuard, would it make more sense to run simpler & unencrypted `rsh` instead of `ssh`? It's kinda pointless to double encrypt.

bradfitz(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Yeah, but e.g. no rsh (or telnet!) on macOS.

It's likewise a bit silly that we had to add TLS support to Tailscale: https://tailscale.com/blog/tls-certs/

But we want to interoperate well with the clients people already have (browsers, their system ssh client, etc...)

Spooky23(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Not really. Who knows what you're connecting to once you connect to the tailscale endpoint.

It's more likely that you're gonna screw up and end up doing something you don't intend to do for very little gain. SSH overhead in 2022 is really low.

Helitico(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Stay secure by default.

CPU overhead for encryption is basically non existend.

dsr_(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Yes and no. You shouldn't have rsh on your system at all -- there's a case for telnet to test connections (though netcat is better), but there's no case for rsh.

ssh used to allow setting cipher=none, but that's not available anymore.

Think of it this way: you're paying the small overhead of double encryption, but you're gaining not fatfingering your way to a password compromise.

ben174(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Double encryption is twice as effective. I use double ROT-13 for double the security.

runjake(10000) 5 days ago [-]

    > would it make more sense to run simpler & unencrypted `rsh` instead of `ssh`?
No, because ssh has evolved to be so much more than 'rsh with encryption'.
soraminazuki(10000) 5 days ago [-]

In this case, double encryption is a good idea though. Tailscale is a great way to reduce exposure of your infrastructure from the public internet, but it's not without flaws. In theory, it should be possible for Tailscale and your SSO provider to add new nodes to your Tailnet. Though I don't believe this is something that they're actually willing to do, it's definitely something to keep in mind if you're planning on delegating SSH/sudo authentication to Tailscale.

fragmede(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Is it pointless? SSH doesn't send the password out over the wire but instead uses a challenge-response cryptographic system so even if one of the interim machines is compromised, they don't have access to the clear text password. You shouldn't be raising passwords (or even passwords in the first place with ssh) but practice defense in depth.

Unless you're transferring large files the overhead of double encryption on ssh is totally blown away by waiting for human input.

IIRC There's a fork of SSH that supports not encrypting things if you are trying to transfer large files.

Historical Discussions: One-liner for running queries against CSV files with SQLite (June 21, 2022: 744 points)
One-liner for running queries against CSV files with SQLite (June 21, 2022: 6 points)

(744) One-liner for running queries against CSV files with SQLite

744 points 6 days ago by jdblair in 10000th position

til.simonwillison.net | Estimated reading time – 4 minutes | comments | anchor

One-liner for running queries against CSV files with SQLite

I figured out how to run a SQL query directly against a CSV file using the sqlite3 command-line utility:

sqlite3 :memory: -cmd '.mode csv' -cmd '.import taxi.csv taxi' \
  'SELECT passenger_count, COUNT(*), AVG(total_amount) FROM taxi GROUP BY passenger_count'

This uses the special :memory: filename to open an in-memory database. Then it uses two -cmd options to turn on CSV mode and import the taxi.csv file into a table called taxi. Then it runs the SQL query.

Instead of setting the mode with .mode you can use .import -csv like this (thanks, Mark Lawrence):

sqlite3 :memory: -cmd '.import -csv taxi.csv taxi' \
  'SELECT passenger_count, COUNT(*), AVG(total_amount) FROM taxi GROUP BY passenger_count'

You can get taxi.csv by downloading the compressed file from here and running:

7z e -aos taxi.csv.7z

I figured this out while commenting on this issue.

The output looks like this:


Add -cmd '.mode column' to output in columns instead:

$ sqlite3 :memory: -cmd '.mode csv' -cmd '.import taxi.csv taxi' -cmd '.mode column' \
    'SELECT passenger_count, COUNT(*), AVG(total_amount) FROM taxi GROUP BY passenger_count'
passenger_count  COUNT(*)  AVG(total_amount)
---------------  --------  -----------------
                 128020    32.2371511482553 
0                42228     17.0214016766151 
1                1533197   17.6418833067999 
2                286461    18.0975870711456 
3                72852     17.9153958710923 
4                25510     18.452774990196  
5                50291     17.2709248175672 
6                32623     17.6002964166367 
7                2         87.17            
8                2         95.705           
9                1         113.6            

Or use -cmd '.mode markdown' to get a Markdown table:

passenger_count COUNT(*) AVG(total_amount)
128020 32.2371511482553
0 42228 17.0214016766151
1 1533197 17.6418833067999
2 286461 18.0975870711456
3 72852 17.9153958710923
4 25510 18.452774990196
5 50291 17.2709248175672
6 32623 17.6002964166367
7 2 87.17
8 2 95.705
9 1 113.6

A full list of output modes can be seen like this:

% sqlite3 -cmd '.help mode'
.mode MODE ?TABLE?       Set output mode
   MODE is one of:
     ascii     Columns/rows delimited by 0x1F and 0x1E
     box       Tables using unicode box-drawing characters
     csv       Comma-separated values
     column    Output in columns.  (See .width)
     html      HTML <table> code
     insert    SQL insert statements for TABLE
     json      Results in a JSON array
     line      One value per line
     list      Values delimited by '|'
     markdown  Markdown table format
     quote     Escape answers as for SQL
     table     ASCII-art table
     tabs      Tab-separated values
     tcl       TCL list elements

Other options

There are a whole bunch of other tools that can be used for this kind of thing!

My own sqlite-utils memory command can load data from JSON, CSV or TSV into an in-memory database and run a query against it. It's a LOT slower than using sqlite3 directly though.

dsq is a tool that does this kind of thing (and a lot more). Author Phil Eaton compiled a collection of benchmarks of other similar tools, and his benchmarking script demonstrates how to use each one of them.

Created 2022-06-20T16:00:51-07:00, updated 2022-06-22T09:32:00-07:00 · History · Edit

All Comments: [-] | anchor

throwaway892238(10000) 6 days ago [-]

  sqlite3 :memory: -cmd '.mode csv' ...
It should be a war crime for programs in 2022 to use non-UNIX/non-GNU style command line options. Add it to the Rome Statute's Article 7 list of crimes against humanity. Full blown tribunal at The Hague presided over by the international criminal court. Punishable by having to use Visual Basic 3.0 for all programming for the rest of their life.
DarmokJalad1701(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Let me introduce you to bazel ...

bazel build //:--foobar --//::\\

_joel(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Would :memory: even parse in some shells?

chasil(10000) 6 days ago [-]

My VMS users say the same thing. Wow, do I not want that to happen. I am not a fan of DCL.

svnpenn(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Go has been doing same thing for a decade now:


Personally I'm fine with it. The whole, 'let's combine 5 letter options into one string', always smacked of excess code golf to me.

remram(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Those -cmd are actually unnecessary, you can do

    sqlite3 :memory: '.mode csv' '.import taxi.csv taxi' \
    'SELECT passenger_count, COUNT(*), AVG(total_amount) FROM taxi GROUP BY passenger_count'
zrail(10000) 6 days ago [-]

The initial release of sqlite was in 2000. Yes, well after GNU-style command line options existed but not by much.

alana314(10000) 6 days ago [-]

I like using q for querying CSVs on the command line: https://github.com/harelba/q

AdrenalinMd(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Same. And I believe q uses sqlite under hood, so you can use the same SQL syntax as the one supported by sqlite. Joining multiple csv files is also possible without too much setup. http://harelba.github.io/q/

valw(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Btw, am I alone in thinking that DataFrame abstractions in OOP languages (like Pandas in Python) are oftentimes simply inferior to relational algebra? I'm not sure that many Data Scientists are aware of the expressive power of SQL.

lenwood(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Agree. I've completed data pipelines for several projects and have found that the cleanest, and often fastest solution is to use SQL to structure the data as needed. This is anecdotal and I'm not an expert with SQL, but I haven't come across a situation where R or Pandas dataframes worked better than a well written query for data manipulation. This has the benefit of simplifying collaboration across teams because within my company not everyone uses the same toolset for analysis, but we all have access to the same database. Other tools are better suited to analysis or expansion of the data with input from other sources, but within our own data SQL wins.

deepsun(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Often -- yes. Always -- no.

For example let's try changing/fixing sampling rate of a dataset (.resample() in Pandas).

Or something like .cumsum() -- easy with SQL windowing functions, but man they are cumbersome.

Or quickly store the result in .parquet.

But all the above doesn't matter, because I feel like 99% of Pandas work involves quickly drawing charts on the data look at it or show to teammates.

wenc(10000) 6 days ago [-]

SQL does not exactly implement relational algebra in its pure form.

SQL implements a kind of set theory with relational elements and a bunch of practical features like pivots, window functions etc.

Pandas does the same. Most data frame libraries like dplyr etc. implement a common set of useful constructs. There's not much difference in expressiveness. LINQ Is another language around manipulating sets that was designed with the help of category theory, and it arrives at the same constructs.

However SQL is declarative, which provides a path for query optimizers to parse and create optimized plans. Whereas with chained methods, unless one implements lazy evaluation one misses out on look aheads and opportunities to do rewrites.

devin-petersohn(10000) 6 days ago [-]

There are loads of things that are not possible or are very cumbersome to write in SQL, but that pandas and many other dataframe systems allow. Examples are dropping null values based on some threshold, one-hot encoding, covariance, and certain data cleaning operations. These are possible in SQL but very cumbersome to write. There are also things that are outright impossible in a relational database related to metadata manipulation.

SQL is super expressive, but I think pandas gets a bad rap. At it's core the data model and language can be more expressive than relational databases (see [1]).

I co-authored a paper that explained these differences with a theoretical foundation[1].

[1] https://arxiv.org/abs/2001.00888

ArchD(10000) 6 days ago [-]

If you need to query against multiple CSVs, e.g. using joins, you could use QHS: https://github.com/itchyny/qhs

gpvos(10000) 6 days ago [-]

csvsql from csvkit[0] can do that too.

[0] https://csvkit.readthedocs.io/en/latest/scripts/csvsql.html

tgtweak(10000) 6 days ago [-]

This is far more useful for SQL users than chaining several sed/awk/sort commands on pipe (although a bit against nix principles).

chrisweekly(10000) 6 days ago [-]

For a *nixy approach, try lnav (https://lnav.org)

mrfusion(10000) 6 days ago [-]

How smart is SQLite at detecting column types from Csv data?

I once wrote a Python script to load csv files into SQLite. It had a whole hierarchy of rules to determine the data type of each column.

mattewong(10000) 6 days ago [-]

It doesn't detect column types automatically-- they are imported as text. You can, however, use math functions on them and sqlite3 will dynamically convert where possible (e.g. 'select number_1_stored_as_text + 1 from mytable' will output 2)

rgovostes(10000) 6 days ago [-]

SQLite's virtual table API (https://www.sqlite.org/vtab.html) makes it possible to access other data structures through the query engine. You don't need to know much if anything about how the database engine executes queries, you only need to implement the callbacks it needs to do its job. A few years ago I wrote an extension to let me search through serialized Protobufs which were stored as blobs in a regular database.


pstuart(10000) 6 days ago [-]

And in fact there is a CSV virtual table available from SQLite but it's not built in the normal client: https://www.sqlite.org/csv.html

It really should be, as the code is tiny and this functionality is not overly exotic.

electroly(10000) 6 days ago [-]

I like the virtual table API a lot but it has some serious drawbacks. You don't need to know much and indeed, you can't know much about the execution engine, even if that knowledge would help you. Many parts of the query are not pushed down into the virtual table.

For instance, if the user query is:


... the query your virtual table will effectively see is:

SELECT * FROM my_vtab;

SQLite does the counting. That's great, unless you already know the count and could have reported it directly rather than actually returning every row in the table. You're forced to retrieve and return every row because you have no idea that it was actually just a count.

As another example, if the user query includes a join, you won't see the join. Instead, you will receive a series of N queries for individual IDs, even if you could have more efficiently retrieved them in a batch.

The join one is particularly nasty. If you're writing a virtual table that accesses a remote resource with some latency, any join will absolutely ruin your performance as you pay a full network roundtrip for each of those N queries.

I wrote a module that exposes remote SQL Server/PostgreSQL/MySQL servers as SQLite virtual tables, and joins basically don't work at all if your server is not on your local network. There's nothing I can do about it (other than heuristically guessing what IDs might be coming and request them ahead of time) because SQLite doesn't provide enough information to the virtual table layer. It's my understanding that PostgreSQL's foreign data wrappers (a similar feature to SQLite's virtual tables) push much more information about the query down to the wrapper layer, but I haven't used it myself.

westurner(10000) 6 days ago [-]

## /? sqlite arrow

- 'Comparing SQLite, DuckDB and Arrow with UN trade data' (2021) https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=29010103 ; partial benchmarks of query time and RAM requirements [relative to data size] would be

- 'Introducing Apache Arrow Flight SQL: Accelerating Database Access' (2022) https://arrow.apache.org/blog/2022/02/16/introducing-arrow-f... :

> Motivation: While standards like JDBC and ODBC have served users well for decades, they fall short for databases and clients which wish to use Apache Arrow or columnar data in general. Row-based APIs like JDBC or PEP 249 require transposing data in this case, and for a database which is itself columnar, this means that data has to be transposed twice—once to present it in rows for the API, and once to get it back into columns for the consumer. Meanwhile, while APIs like ODBC do provide bulk access to result buffers, this data must still be copied into Arrow arrays for use with the broader Arrow ecosystem, as implemented by projects like Turbodbc. Flight SQL aims to get rid of these intermediate steps.

## 'The Virtual Table Mechanism Of SQLite' https://sqlite.org/vtab.html :

> - One cannot create a trigger on a virtual table.

Just posted about eBPF a few days ago; opcodes have costs that are or are not costed: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=31688180

> - One cannot create additional indices on a virtual table. (Virtual tables can have indices but that must be built into the virtual table implementation. Indices cannot be added separately using CREATE INDEX statements.)

It looks like e.g. sqlite-parquet-vtable implements shadow tables to memoize row group filters. How does JOIN performance vary amongst sqlite virtual table implementations?

> - One cannot run ALTER TABLE ... ADD COLUMN commands against a virtual table.

Are there URIs in the schema? Mustn't there thus be a meta-schema that does e.g. nested structs with portable types [with URIs], (and jsonschema, [and W3C SHACL])? #nbmeta #linkedresearch

## /? sqlite arrow virtual table

- sqlite-parquet-vtable reads parquet with arrow for SQLite virtual tables https://github.com/cldellow/sqlite-parquet-vtable :

  $ sqlite/sqlite3
  sqlite> .eqp on
  sqlite> .load build/linux/libparquet
  sqlite> CREATE VIRTUAL TABLE demo USING parquet('parquet-generator/99-rows-1.parquet');
  sqlite> SELECT * FROM demo;
  sqlite> SELECT * FROM demo WHERE foo = 123;
  sqlite> SELECT * FROM demo WHERE foo = '123'; // incurs a severe query plan performance regression without immediate feedback
## Sqlite query optimization

`EXPLAIN QUERY PLAN` https://www.sqlite.org/eqp.html :

> The EXPLAIN QUERY PLAN SQL command is used to obtain a high-level description of the strategy or plan that SQLite uses to implement a specific SQL query. Most significantly, EXPLAIN QUERY PLAN reports on the way in which the query uses database indices. This document is a guide to understanding and interpreting the EXPLAIN QUERY PLAN output. [...] Table and Index Scans [...] Temporary Sorting B-Trees (when there's not an `INDEX` for those columns) ... `.eqp on`

The SQLite 'Query Planner' docs https://www.sqlite.org/queryplanner.html list Big-O computational complexity bound estimates for queries with and without prexisting indices.

## database / csv benchmarks

- https://h2oai.github.io/db-benchmark/

kitd(10000) 6 days ago [-]

I had to do something very similar for analysing CVE information recently, but I don't remember having to use the :memory: option. I suspect it defaults to that if no .db file is specified.

Slightly tangentially, when doing aggregated queries, SQLite has a very useful group_concat(..., ',') function that will concatenate the expression in the first arg for each row in the group, separated by the separator in the 2nd arg.

In many situations SQLite is a suitable alternative to jq for simple tabular JSON.

simonw(10000) 6 days ago [-]

I just tried it without :memory: and it dropped me into the SQLite shell without executing the query:

    % sqlite3 -cmd '.mode csv' -cmd '.import taxi.csv taxi' \
      'SELECT passenger_count, COUNT(*), AVG(total_amount) FROM taxi GROUP BY passenger_count'
    SQLite version 3.36.0 2021-06-18 18:58:49
    Enter '.help' for usage hints.
gigatexal(10000) 6 days ago [-]

I've been doing this. But I hate it. CSVs need to die. They're terrible data formats. But here we are. And SQLlite makes things amazing.

krylon(10000) 6 days ago [-]

CSV sucks, yes, but for moving/exchanging/aggregating data between various independent sources, it's the least terrible option everyone can process easily.

gpvos(10000) 6 days ago [-]

I'm willing to bet CSV will still be around in 200 years. It's ugly, but exceedingly effective.

adamgordonbell(10000) 6 days ago [-]

I've become a fan of using SQLite-utils to work with CSV or JSON files.

It's a two step process though. One to create and insert into a DB and a second to select from and return.


simonw(10000) 6 days ago [-]

I added a feature last year that lets you do this as a one-step process - 'sqlite-utils memory': https://simonwillison.net/2021/Jun/19/sqlite-utils-memory/

spapas82(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Can somebody post the equivalent in Windows cmd?

gpvos(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Just replace the ' with ' and lose the \ . For some SQL queries you may have to use more exotic quoting (generally, in cmd you can always quote the next character with ^ ).

dotancohen(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Lately I've been using Visidata for any text file that looks like a table or other squarish data source, including JSON.


dymk(10000) 6 days ago [-]

This looks like my new best friend

wenc(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Visidata is wonderful.

Also for querying large CSV and Parquet files, I use DuckDB. It has a vectorized engine and is super fast. It can also query SQLite files directly. The SQL support is outstanding.


Just have start the DuckDB REPL and start querying e.g.

    Select * from 'bob.CSV' a
    Join 'Mary.parquet' b
    On a.Id = b.Id
Zips through multi GB files in a few seconds.
jwilk(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Beware that visidata phones home by default:


chrisweekly(10000) 6 days ago [-]

One of my all-time favorite (and somehow still-obscure / relatively unknown) tools is called `lnav` ^1. It's a mini-ETL powertool with embedded SQLite, perfect for wrangling log files or other semi-structured data (a few millions of rows are no problem), it's intuitive and flexible...

1. https://lnav.org

minusf(10000) 6 days ago [-]

lnav is super cool, but as its name says: log navigator, it's more of a less/tail/etc supercharged with sqlite under the hood.

of course because it has a flexible format definition it can deal with csv files as well, but it's true power is getting sql queries out of nginx log files and the like without the intermediate step of exporting them to csv.

flusteredBias(10000) 6 days ago [-]

I am a data scientists. I have used a lot of tools/libraries to interact with data. SQLite is my favorite. It is hard to beat the syntax/grammar.

Also, when I use SQLite I do not output using column mode. I pipe to `tv` (tidy-viewer) to get a pretty output.


transparency: I am the dev of this utility

ramraj07(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Just want to add that snowflake (imo) is better. You don't have to suffer SQLite's lack of data types and honestly snowflake is the best tool to work with messy data.

Just fyi you can set up a snowflake account with a minimum monthly fee of 25 bucks. It'll be very hard to actually use 25 bucks if your data isn't in 100s of GBs and you literally use as little compute as is needed so it's perfect.

flusteredBias(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Here is an example of how I would pipe with headers to `tv`.

sqlite3 :memory: -csv -header -cmd '.import taxi.csv taxi' 'SELECT passenger_count, COUNT(*), AVG(total_amount) FROM taxi GROUP BY passenger_count' | tv

queuebert(10000) 6 days ago [-]

What a nice tool. I love how Rust has reinvigorated command line utilities.

corytheboyd(10000) 6 days ago [-]

piping to jq (using json mode of course) also works well for this

mytherin(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Using DuckDB [1]:

  duckdb -c 'SELECT passenger_count, COUNT(*), AVG(total_amount) FROM taxi.csv GROUP BY ALL'
DuckDB will automatically infer you are reading a CSV file from the extension, then automatically infer column names from the header, together with various CSV properties (data types, delimiter, quote type, etc). You don't even need to quote the table name as long as the file is in your current directory and the file name contains no special characters.

DuckDB uses the SQLite shell, so all of the commands that are mentioned in the article with SQLite will also work for DuckDB.

[1] https://github.com/duckdb/duckdb

Disclaimer: Developer of DuckDB

snidane(10000) 6 days ago [-]

A bit clunky, but works.

   ps | awk '$1=$1' OFS=, | duckdb :memory: 'select PID,TTY,TIME from read_csv_auto('/dev/stdin')'
simonw(10000) 6 days ago [-]

How does the column data type inference work? I've run into that challenge myself in the past.

avogar(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Using ClickHouse you can also process local files in one line using clickhouse-local command tool. And it will look a lot easier:

clickhouse local -q 'SELECT passenger_count, COUNT(*), AVG(total_amount) FROM file(taxi.csv, 'CSVWithNames') GROUP BY passenger_count'

And ClickHouse supports a lot of different file formats both for import and export (you can see all of them here https://clickhouse.com/docs/en/interfaces/formats/).

There is an example of using clickhouse-local with taxi dataset mentioned in the post: https://colab.research.google.com/drive/1tiOUCjTnwUIFRxovpRX...

eatonphil(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Clickhouse-local is incredible. It does the best of any similar tool I've benchmarked. But the reason I took it out of the linked benchmarks in OP's post is because it's 2+GB. That's a massive binary. It's the whole server. I'm not sure you want to be distributing this all over the place in general. It's just not in the same category IMO. Disclaimer: I build another tool that does similar things.

Uptrenda(10000) 6 days ago [-]

I'm looking through this guys website for 'today I learned' and at first I'm impressed by how many of them there are. But then I start thinking: when you're trying to solve a problem you search for a lot of data. None of his posts are attributed. He's getting all his information from somewhere and then he goes and posts these articles just ripping off other sources.

I can understand when its based on your original work but this website reads more like basic questions posted on Stackoverflow. E.g. 'how to connect to a website with IPv6.' Tell me he didn't just Google that and post the result. 0/10

antipaul(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Remember what this is.

This is the author's notebook, which happens to be public. It's okay.

actionfromafar(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Hm, I guess most half-assed techy blogs are 0/10 then.

Honestly I don't see a problem with the few posts I looked at. It's like recipes. You can't copyright recipes. At least it's not AI-generated blogspam, but a modicum of at least curating went in here.

droopyEyelids(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Thats actually allowed, if you run your own personal website.

simonw(10000) 6 days ago [-]

You should look harder! I attribute in plenty of these pieces, where appropriate.

Here's a query showing the 23 posts that link to StackOverflow, for example: https://til.simonwillison.net/tils?sql=select+*+from+til+whe...

And 41 where I credit someone on Twitter: https://til.simonwillison.net/tils?sql=select+*+from+til+whe...

More commonly I'll include a link from the TIL back to a GitHub Issue thread where I figured something out - those issue threads often link back to other sources.

For that IPv6 one: https://til.simonwillison.net/networking/http-ipv6

I had tried and failed to figure this out using Google searches in the past. I wrote that up after someone told me the answer in a private Slack conversation - saying who told me didn't feel appropriate there.

My goal with that page was to ensure that future people (including myself) who tried to find this with Google would get a better result!

(I'm a bit upset about this comment to be honest, because attributing people is something of a core value for me - the bookmarks on my blog have a 'via' mechanism for exactly that reason: https://simonwillison.net/search/?type=blogmark )

cube2222(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Since many people are sharing one-liners with various tools...


  octosql 'SELECT passenger_count, COUNT(*), AVG(total_amount) FROM taxi.csv GROUP BY passenger_count'
It also infers everything automatically and typechecks your query for errors. You can use it with csv, json, parquet but also Postgres, MySQL, etc. All in a single query!


Disclaimer: author of OctoSQL

elmomle(10000) 6 days ago [-]

I love the simplicity. Is there support for joins / use of multiple tables?

aargh_aargh(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Hi cube2222!

Just today I tried octosql for the first time when I wanted to correlate a handful of CSV files based on identifiers present in roughly equal form. Great idea but I immediately ran into many rough edges in what I think was a simple use case. Here are my random observations.

Missing FULL JOIN (this was a dealbreaker for me). LEFT/RIGHT join gave me 'panic: implement me'.

It took me a while to figure out how to quote CSV column names with non-ASCII characters and spaces. It's not documented as far as I've seen (please document quoting rules). This worked:

  octosql 'SELECT `tablename.Mötley Crüe` FROM tablename.csv'
replace() is documented [1] as replace(old, new, text) but actually is replace(text, old, new) just like in postgres and mysql.

index() is documented [1] as index(substring, text)

  (postgresql equivalent: position ( substring text IN string text ) → integer)
  octosql 'SELECT index('y', 'Mötley Crüe')'
  Error: couldn't parse query: invalid argument syntax error at position 13 near 'index'
  octosql 'SELECT index('Mötley Crüe', 'y')'
  Error: couldn't parse query: invalid argument syntax error at position 13 near 'index'
Hope this helps and I wish you all the best.

[1] https://github.com/cube2222/octosql/wiki/Function-Documentat...

eatonphil(10000) 6 days ago [-]

Heads up: cube2222 is the original author of this benchmark. :) I copied it and Simon copied my copy of it.

eli(10000) 6 days ago [-]

the .import command used for actually loading the CSV is kinda picky about your CSVs being well-formatted. I don't think it supports embedded newlines at all.

simonw(10000) 6 days ago [-]

I just tested it against a CSV file with newlines that were wrapped in double quotes and it worked correctly. I used this CSV file: https://til.simonwillison.net/tils/til.csv?_stream=on&_size=...

And this query:

    sqlite3 :memory: -cmd '.mode csv' -cmd '.import til.csv til' \
      -cmd '.mode json' 'select * from til limit 1' | jq

Historical Discussions: Goodbye Zachtronics (June 24, 2022: 739 points)
Goodbye Zachtronics, Developers of Cool Video Games (June 24, 2022: 17 points)

(739) Goodbye Zachtronics

739 points 3 days ago by danso in 10000th position

kotaku.com | Estimated reading time – 6 minutes | comments | anchor

On July 5, Zachtronics will be releasing Last Call BBS, a collection of stylish little puzzle games wrapped up in a retro PC gaming vibe. After 11 years in business (and even longer outside of commercial releases), a time which has seen the studio develop a cult following almost unrivalled in indie gaming, it will be the last new game Zachtronics will ever release. We spoke to founder Zach Barth to find out why.

Named for founder Zach Barth, Zachtronics has spent most of those 11 years specialising in puzzle games (or variations on the theme). And pretty much every single one of them has been great (or at least interesting). Comb through our own archives looking for Zachtronics games and you'll find:

Despite this repeated excellence, and a deeply loyal fanbase, Zachtronics never became what we'd call even in this enthusiast space a "household name." Which is fine, and even by design. Barth, Matthew Burns, and their small team (usually around just five people in total depending on the scale of the project), have simply been very good at doing what they loved, regardless of how popular it was, and so have just kept on doing it.

The result has been a succession of games that may not have been to everyone's tastes, but for those with whom they resonated, it was their shit. It's not hard seeing why: most of Zachtronics' games involved challenging puzzles, but also a deeply cool and interesting presentation surrounding them, such as the grimy hacker aesthetic of Exapunks, or the Advance Wars-like Mobius Front 83. Given those initial and superficial differences, it can sometimes be hard pinpointing exactly what makes a game so clearly a Zachtronics joint, but like love and art, when you see it you just know it.

So it's sad, but also awesome in its own way, that 2022 will see the end of Zachtronics. Not because their publisher shuttered them, or because their venture capital funding ran out, or because Activision made them work on Call of Duty, or any other number of reasons (bankruptcy! scandal!) game developers usually close their doors.

No, Zachtronics is closing because...they want to.

"We're wrapping things up!" Barth tells me, way more enthusiastically than you would normally expect under these circumstances. "Zachtronics will release Last Call BBS next month. We're also working on a long-awaited solitaire collection that we're hoping to have out by the end of the year. After that, the team will disband. We all have different ideas, interests, tolerances for risk, and so on, so we're still figuring out what we want to do next."

I ask him how it feels to be in such a privileged position, where they get to make this decision on their own terms, and Barth says, "It feels pretty good, to be honest!" Emphasising that knowing when to quit is its own kind of skill, something the team have a little experience with already, he tells me, "We actually shut down Zachtronics once before, back in 2015, when I went to work at Valve for what ended up being 10 months. It gave us an opportunity to cash out some of our equity, re-engage with the rest of the games industry, and rebuild from scratch."

"I'm not saying the same thing is going to happen here, because we really are shutting down Zachtronics, but when you make these decisions for yourself deliberately, instead of letting circumstances dictate them, it's easier to get the results you want in the long run."

But why? Why now, why like this? "We felt it was time for a change. This might sound weird, but while we got very good at making 'Zachtronics games' over the last twelve years, it was hard for us to make anything else. We were fortunate enough to carve out a special niche, and I'm thankful that we've been able to occupy it and survive in it, but it also kept us locked into doing something we didn't feel like doing forever."

The studio's final game, the appropriately-titled Last Call BBS, was recently announced. If you had been scanning the reaction to its debut trailer online, you'd have seen that alongside the usual excitement, there was also a great deal of sadness, something that the team have been in the rare position of being able to acknowledge ahead of their closure.

"Since we announced that Last Call BBS is going to be our last game I've gotten countless emails from fans thanking us for the games we've made," Barth says. "Many of them point to the games as one of the reasons they've become professional programmers or engineers. It's hard to say anything back other than 'thank you,' but that's really all I want to say. A game without someone to play it is hardly a game, and it's only because of our players that our games have meaning and a life of their own. All of us really appreciate that!"

With the decision made and announced, then, what comes next? For Barth, he's hoping to work on something else, while other members of the team are likewise looking to try their hands at new challenges. "My original plan was to wrap things up at Zachtronics and then find a new job teaching high school computer science, but the timing was off," he says. "I just finished my first year of teaching and Last Call BBS hasn't even been released yet! I was hoping that I'd really like teaching and stay with that for a few years, but I learned that's definitely not the case and I'm having a hard time imagining anything other than games in my future, in some shape or form."

"What we do next as individuals or collaborators is a question we are very actively discussing right now. I'm particularly interested in freelancing and weird side projects, while other members of the team are drawn to the idea of a stable job with more growth potential than a small indie studio that makes what's essentially the same game every year."

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Take Kotaku with you wherever you go.

Last Call BBS will be out on July 5 on Steam, and will be the studio's last new game. You can check out its very cool trailer below. Their official final release, however, will be a bundle collecting their various Solitaire games into a single pack, and as mentioned above that'll be out later this year.

Last Call BBS, by Zachtronics

All Comments: [-] | anchor

iterati(10000) 3 days ago [-]

I still have TIS-100 under the Languages skill section of my resume as an Easter Egg. I haven't played many of Zach's recent games, but SpaceChem, Opus Magnum, and TIS-100 were some of the best puzzle games ever made to me.

lufte(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Oh I'm definitely copying this idea!

anta40(10000) 3 days ago [-]

As as assembly language enthusiast, TIS-100 is easily my #1 Zachtronics game. The closet contender would be... CoreWar. Seems like their implementations are rarely updated these days.

Robocode is also cool, but you code in Java instead of assembly, anyway.

krallja(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Oh that's a hilarious great idea.

sumtechguy(10000) 3 days ago [-]

TIS-100 and Shenzen had that fun little bit of hacking using the docs. Or just fiddling with it and finding that one instruction that had enough of a side effect where it could let you shave off two other instructions. Where you could get that really fun rush of removing 1 cycle from something. It is a skill I do not get to use much anymore as most things are fairly cookie cutter.

blakebreeder(10000) 3 days ago [-]

if you all like TIS-1000, play Exa Punks.

schnevets(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Before anyone writes a eulogy based on the headline, note the following:

So it's sad, but also awesome in its own way, that 2022 will see the end of Zachtronics. Not because their publisher shuttered them, or because their venture capital funding ran out, or because Activision made them work on Call of Duty, or any other number of reasons (bankruptcy! scandal!) game developers usually close their doors.

No, Zachtronics is closing because...they want to.

"We're wrapping things up!" Barth tells me, way more enthusiastically than you would normally expect under these circumstances. "Zachtronics will release Last Call BBS next month. We're also working on a long-awaited solitaire collection that we're hoping to have out by the end of the year. After that, the team will disband. We all have different ideas, interests, tolerances for risk, and so on, so we're still figuring out what we want to do next."

I play games too infrequently to invest the necessary bandwidth into a Zachtronic game, but I read some of ZACH-LIKE and always respected the philosophy. As long as no one is getting the rug pulled, this sounds like an awesome way to go and an awesome thing for the gaming industry. Hopefully this means more smart indie gems in the future.

mysterydip(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Assuming the games are still for sale after they disband, who gets the money? Just the publisher?

isk517(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Yeah, reads more like a band splitting up than a company closing.

ehsankia(10000) 3 days ago [-]

It definitely seemed like they had done most variations of the idea, and they wanted to try something new. It is interesting that they don't want to try the new things under the Zachtronics names, but it also kinda makes sense, since their fan maybe has certain expectations from that brand? I definitely can relate to how making the same kind of game for 10 year can become tiring. The article also hints that some of them maybe want to try opportunities that has more room for growth than a small indie studio.

Definitely interested to see what they do in the future, the fact that it'll be under a different name doesn't really matter to me.

madrox(10000) 3 days ago [-]

I think my favorite line of the article was knowing when to quit is its own kind of skill.

Shuttering my startup last year, I felt this one. I think I quit six months later than I should have. Knowing when to quit is difficult...especially when you think others are depending on you. I applaud this team for leaning into that instinct.

noduerme(10000) 3 days ago [-]

For anyone who hasn't read Matthew Burns's short fiction, it's as much of a treat as his writing for Eliza. I think he used to have more work online, but he's still got some short stories and interactive stuff here... https://matthewseiji.com

Full disclosure, I'm an old friend and glad to see him mentioned. I'm lucky enough to be reading an early draft of a novel he's been working on as we speak.

modeless(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Wow, I just downloaded Eliza and man, it's like it was written specifically for me. So many parallels to my own life and interests, it's actually weird. I'd like to have a beer with that guy. I'll have to check out his other stuff.

eswat(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Although it was never promised, I enjoyed Eliza and was hopeful of another visual novel through Zachtronics + Burns. Hopefully something in a similar spirit comes out in the future.

toma_caliente(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Zachtronics leaving game development is such a blow to the industry. Zach is directly and indirectly responsible for a lot of games we see today. His game Infiniminer was a major inspiration for Minecraft, he published a game that was also a book explaining his philosophy on puzzle design, and his games were genuinely fun with no BS.

202206241203(10000) 3 days ago [-]

I dislike the games, since they are too close to work/programming to be fun for me (just like Factorio). However, the success of Zachtronics - both business and creative, is undeniable. I wish they were the ones to gain success with the original 3D cube digging gameplay and not the massively popular Minecraft clone.

bricemo(10000) 3 days ago [-]

I always wondered how Zach felt about missing what's arguably the biggest game industry boat of all time: his ideas in Infiniminer being the basis for Minecraft. In the early days the games looked almost identical. But one never became a household name and the other literally the top selling game of all time.

It sounds like he's found peace with it and had fun and is on to something else. Good for him. That would be hard for me.

Centigonal(10000) 3 days ago [-]

a whole article about Zachtronics, and not a single mention of Infiniminer?


Released in 2009, and a direct inspiration to one Markus Persson to create a game called Minecraft.

ycta20220624(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Wait, I thought development of Minecraft started in 2007? Wouldn't that put it before Infiniminer?

mathstuf(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Oh. I remember when Zach presented that to a club we both were in at college (I feel like it was a very early demo). I never linked that directly with Minecraft...

I remember Sauerbraten from before that (released in 2004 according to Wikipedia) and had assumed it was more in the inspiration line.

bstar77(10000) 3 days ago [-]

I'm still in shock since the initial announcement. These guys are so good at game design, I thought they would be doing it forever. I guess you can't confine very special devs to one thing for most of their career. I hope the teaching thing goes well, but I equally hope Zachtronics makes a return at some point in the future.

ehsankia(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Looks like he's already considering it

> I was hoping that I'd really like teaching and stay with that for a few years, but I learned that's definitely not the case and I'm having a hard time imagining anything other than games in my future, in some shape or form.

They will likely be doing it forever, they just want to try something else than a small 5-member indie team maybe?

convexfunction(10000) 3 days ago [-]

I've found it difficult after starting to work full-time to fully enjoy Zachtronics games, since they use much of the same parts of my brain as my day job, but the sheer joy I got out of Zach's earlier games (SpaceChem, KOHCTPYKTOP, Codex of Alchemical Engineering) contributed a lot to my decision to work in software. I've experienced little else that scratches the 'design itch' in such a pure and thoughtful way, whether games from other developers or actual software development.

FredPret(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Same here. I was playing TIS-100 one day when I thought - why not just do Leetcode?

mikepurvis(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Completely agree. I was completely sucked in by Opus Magnum, but other than that, I've bounced off all of them.

But I know understimulated teenage-me would have been all over that stuff, so there's definitely a market for it.

Hammershaft(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Same here. I loved Spacechem, was told that if I enjoyed spacechem I would enjoy programming, and that was what kickstarted my journey.

I miss the particular challenge of the older games like Spacechem.

jameshart(10000) 3 days ago [-]

If you work somewhere where

- the requirements for each piece of work are expressed completely clearly

- you get immediate feedback on whether your solution works

- you are given, without having to build it yourself, accurate metrics for how your solution measures up in terms of costs, speed and so on

- you get to revisit problems as many times you like at your leisure and reoptimize your solutions to make them more elegant or to prioritize different properties

then I definitely envy you. For me, those things being part of the zachtronics experience turn playing the games into a shortcut to the dopamine-producing parts I love about coding.

blueblimp(10000) 3 days ago [-]

I liked Infinifactory the most because being in 3D space maximizes the difference from normal programming.

jszymborski(10000) 3 days ago [-]

I've started to feel this way about Factorio... I only can play it if I've felt I've been productive or that I've e.g.: a model training or code compiling in the background.

The reason being that I stop and think: 'This is scratching an itch that something _actually_ productive would as well'. So whenever I feel like playing Factorio, I pick up a side-project instead if one's been neglected.

dixego(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Opus Magnum is very fun and doesn't use too much of the Programming parts of the brain!

throwawayhnacc(10000) 3 days ago [-]

I don't want to be tinfoil about this, but I suspect there is maybe some more corporate politic stuff happening here than Zach lets on (and rightfully so). Zachtronics is wholly owned by Alliance Media Holdings. Alliance is run primarily by two people Jay Gelman (CEO) and Nathan Gelman (Director of Publishing + Stuido Operations). Last year, Nathan Gelman expressed some real crazy zionist opinions on Twitter during the most recent wave of the Israel-Palestine conflict. I didn't screenshot it, but you can sort of see some of the wake of it by searching his account name on twitter and seeing the replies to the now deleted tweet:


Nathan also pretty consistently likes orthodox jewish content on Twitter, which, to be clear, isn't bad on its own, but with that plus the deleted tweet during the latest I-P conflict, thing I think it's maybe safe to say that Nathan, likely Zach's direct report as he is the 'Director of Publishing and Studio Operations', has got some STRONG political beliefs. What I SUSPECT is that Zach probably just got tired of dealing with that and, given the ownership structure, has to 'end' Zachtronics to step away from them.

It's tenuous evidence and maybe doesn't mean anything, but the only other point that makes me think Alliance is a not-great-company to be under, is that on the episode of Eggplant show where they interview Bravery Network Online creators (other studio/game Alliance published), The BNO people said that 'the legal issues that came up on the game were some of the worst things our lawyer said they ever encountered'. (Don't have the exact timestamp but here's the episode)


Again, maybe nothing, but maybe something. idk.

leoc(10000) 3 days ago [-]

It seems like one possibility. Reading between the lines of the comments about different risk tolerances and so on, another possibility is that the team reached an impasse in trying to agree what their next game project or projects should be.

Night_Thastus(10000) 3 days ago [-]

I loved TIS-100 and Shenzhen-IO. I'm wishing all of them the best on whatever they endeavor to do next. :)

Delfino(10000) 3 days ago [-]

He said he's going to teach high school computer science. As someone who made the same leap, it's cool to hear! He was really awesome about giving his games to teachers to use in their classrooms for free.

eterm(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Ten years is long enough to inspire the next generation to make zach-like games.

Games like Signal State or Turing Complete.

But it's a sad goodbye to Zachtronics. They have a certain style of layering story to take you out of the raw mechanics which most their rivals don't. I think Shenzhen I/O was their peak but TIS100 is also a must-play and I certainly enjoyed most their other games.

xbar(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Well said.

I wish I could have convinced more people to play TIS100. I will have to try some more.

systemvoltage(10000) 3 days ago [-]

I think Zach has a certain level of finesse and polish that is hard to find elsewhere. The further you look into the details, the more impressed you get.

For instance, just browse through some of the datasheets of Shenzhen I/O. It mimics reality all too well (mistakes in datasheets, chinese-only text, various fonts and layouts, handwritten notes, etc.).

PainfullyNormal(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Wait, so he's not teaching anymore? That was fast. In this interview 2 months ago, he implied that he was shutting down Zachtronics so he could go teach. Maybe I misunderstood.


mdaniel(10000) 3 days ago [-]

It's addressed toward the bottom of TFA:

> "My original plan was to wrap things up at Zachtronics and then find a new job teaching high school computer science, but the timing was off," he says. "I just finished my first year of teaching and Last Call BBS hasn't even been released yet! I was hoping that I'd really like teaching and stay with that for a few years, but I learned that's definitely not the case and I'm having a hard time imagining anything other than games in my future, in some shape or form."

jna_sh(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Thanks for sharing the interview! Check back in on the end of the show, around 2 hours 10 minutes. I asked him if he intended to keep teaching, and he hedged a little bit but essentially said no.

munificent(10000) 3 days ago [-]

I can't imagine becoming a teacher right now. My kids are in public schools and the teacher attrition rate is off the charts because the past couple of years have been a horrific experience for many of them. Getting into teaching right now while the pandemic is still lingering and the education administration is a burned out husk is unlikely to go well, though I certainly admire Zach for trying.

OnionBlender(10000) 3 days ago [-]

During the interview he talks about his experience teaching. I got the impression that a lot of the job of a teacher is having to babysit kids (take away their phones) and that many kids just don't care about the subject being taught.

pmoriarty(10000) 3 days ago [-]

I didn't like Zachtronics games, because from reviews I read, I expected them to be like programming, but instead they were merely puzzle games with programming window dressing on them.

shadowofneptune(10000) 3 days ago [-]

That's why I like them, they have more in common with the thought experiments you see in textbooks. TIS-100 teaches the principles of concurrency by presenting you with a computer architecture small enough to fit onto a single screen.

It helps that there are multiple solutions, and you can try to optimize in a certain area like speed or size.

OnionBlender(10000) 3 days ago [-]

I find TIS-100 and shenzhen io frustrating because of how limiting they are. There is a max line count per chip and the circuit board is very cramped. I actually finished Exapunks because I felt the language was expressive enough to not be as frustrating and the line limit is a lot higher than needed.

TrickardRixx(10000) 3 days ago [-]

This is a funny thing for me to read. The reason I enjoy programming is because the act of programming feels to me much like playing a puzzle game.

defaultcompany(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Which games did you play? TIS-100 and Schenzen IO and Exapunks definitely felt more like programming games than puzzle games to me.

synu(10000) 3 days ago [-]

I really loved Shenzhen I/O, it even got me into electronics. I started watching Ben Eater's series on breadboard computers and built some similar devices to what I was making in the game around a 6502. It's pretty cool that a game can trigger something like that.

The game had a leaderboard, and at one point an old programmer colleague reached out to me to ask if I was cheating - that's something I'm still very proud of to this day!

krallja(10000) 3 days ago [-]

The same thing happened to me! I had just finished the main campaign of Shenzhen I/O and saw Ben Eater's "Hello World on a Breadboard" video... now I have thousands of dollars in retro electronics, parts, and lab equipment

contingencies(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Started playing Shenzhen I/O in 2016 after moving to real Shenzhen, enjoyed it and wrote a guide for the game on Steam,[0] having never designed a PCB in my life. Now own a 1000m2 robotics factory with a decent electronics lab and personally push out 3 boards some days. Control boards for a custom four axis system with additional peripherals and three daughterboards today, seven axes system Sunday when machining is completed (we also have a mill and lasers to cut and weld our own metal). [0] https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=78036...

robertheadley(10000) 3 days ago [-]

I own most of their games. I am not sure I have played any. I have a big backlog, but I supported the idea and presentation so I picked them up.

Aeolun(10000) 3 days ago [-]

I play most of them about halfway through because I spend too much time optimizing the initial levels, then get bored of it after a little bit.

moritonal(10000) 3 days ago [-]

SpaceChem is still my primary tool in testing kid's (and adults) general aptitude for coding before trying to teach them.

ByThyGrace(10000) 3 days ago [-]

That's insightful, having played the game.

Do you believe there's perhaps a kind of student that would be proficient in coding while not showing particular skill (or engagement) in solving those kinds of puzzles?

Historical Discussions: YaLM-100B: Pretrained language model with 100B parameters (June 23, 2022: 730 points)

(730) YaLM-100B: Pretrained language model with 100B parameters

730 points 5 days ago by f311a in 10000th position

github.com | Estimated reading time – 5 minutes | comments | anchor

YaLM 100B

YaLM 100B is a GPT-like neural network for generating and processing text. It can be used freely by developers and researchers from all over the world.

The model leverages 100 billion parameters. It took 65 days to train the model on a cluster of 800 A100 graphics cards and 1.7 TB of online texts, books, and countless other sources in both English and Russian.

Training details and best practices on acceleration and stabilizations can be found on Medium (English) and Habr (Russian) articles.

We used DeepSpeed to train the model and drew inspiration from Megatron-LM example. However, the code in this repo is not the same code that was used to train the model. Rather it is stock example from DeepSpeed repo with minimal changes needed to infer our model.


Make sure to have 200GB of free disk space before downloading weights. The model (code is based on microsoft/DeepSpeedExamples/Megatron-LM-v1.1.5-ZeRO3) is supposed to run on multiple GPUs with tensor parallelism. It was tested on 4 (A100 80g) and 8 (V100 32g) GPUs, but is able to work with different configurations with ≈200GB of GPU memory in total which divide weight dimensions correctly (e.g. 16, 64, 128).

Downloading checkpoint

  • Run bash download/download.sh to download model weights and vocabulary.
  • By default, weights will be downloaded to ./yalm100b_checkpoint/weights/, and vocabulary will be downloaded to ./yalm100b_checkpoint/vocab/.
  • As another option, you can clone our HF repo and pull the checkpoint.


  • We published image on Docker Hub, it can be pulled with docker/pull.sh. It is compatible with A100 and V100.
  • Alternatively, you can build docker image from source using docker/build.sh (which will just build docker image from docker/Dockerfile).
  • To run container, use docker/run.sh (volumes, name and other parameters can be changed).


You can start with the following scripts:

  • examples/generate_interactive.sh: interactive generation from command line, the simplest way to try the model.
  • examples/generate_conditional_sampling.sh: conditional generation with sampling strategy. Top-p is used by default, feel free to change temperature or use top-k. Input is jsonlines (example: examples/example_cond_input.json), output will be the same jsonlines with generated text field added to each line.
  • examples/generate_conditional_greedy.sh: same as previous, but generation is greedy. Suitable for solving problems with few-shot.
  • examples/generate_unconditional.sh: unconditional generation. No input is used, output will be jsonlines.


The model is published under the Apache 2.0 license that permits both research and commercial use, Megatron-LM is licensed under the Megatron-LM license.

Training details

Dataset composition

Dataset used for the training of YaLM-100B is comprised of the following parts (rough percentages are measured in tokens seen by the model):

  • 25% The Pile — open English dataset by Eleuther AI team

  • 75% Texts in Russian collected by our team (percentages of the whole dataset are given)

    • 49% Russian web pages from Yandex Search index filtered from ~100Tb to ~1Tb by the following heuristics:

      1. LSH Deduplication — clusters of similar texts were truncated to just one text each
      2. Length filtration — too short or too long texts or texts with too few natural sentences were discarded.
      3. Entropy filtration — texts with too high or too low entropy were discarded
      4. Domain filtration — domains with repetitive texts (like online retail) were discarded
      5. Classifier filtration — dataset of good texts was collected in a manner similar to WebText from pages linked in tweets in Russian that have at least one reply. Then a classifier was trained to distinguish those good texts from random pages from the dataset. Texts from the original crawled dataset with low classifier scores were then discarded
    • 12% News from various sources from Yandex Search index

    • 10% Books from the dataset used in Russian Distributional Thesarus

    • 3% Misc texts from the Taiga Dataset

    • 1.5% Dialogues from social media preprocessed in a manner similar to how Reddit is proccessed in The Pile

    • 0.5% Russian portion of Wikipedia

Some subsets were traversed up to 3 times during the training.

Training process

Model was trained on a cluster of 800 A100 for ~65 days. In that time it consumed 300B tokens. You can see TensorBoard with LR and ramp up schedule, training metrics and our 'thermometers' on the HF page.

All Comments: [-] | anchor

londons_explore(10000) 5 days ago [-]

For those of us without 200GB of GPU RAM available... How possible is it to do inference loading it from SSD?

Would you have to scan through all 200GB of data once per character generated? That doesn't actually sound too painful - 1 minute per character seems kinda okay.

And I guess you can easily do lots of data parallelism, so you can get 1 minute per character on lots of inputs and outputs at the same time.

julienfr112(10000) 5 days ago [-]

What about 250gb of ram and use a cpu ?

toxik(10000) 5 days ago [-]

These models are not character-based, but token-based. The problem with CPU inference is the need for random access to 250 GiB of parameters, meaning immense paging and orders of magnitude slower than normal CPU operation.

I wonder how bad it comes out with something like Optane?

egorfine(10000) 5 days ago [-]

I have huge respect for developers at Yandex. It's kind of sad that achievements like these are tainted by the fact that they come from Russia (and I speak as a Ukrainian). I wonder if the permissive license is able to mitigate that.

f6v(10000) 5 days ago [-]

The achievements aren't in any way tainted by their nationality, citizenship, sex, sexual orientation, age, etc.

danuker(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Coming from Russia doesn't mean you agree with government policy. If you saw people get arrested as soon as they start protesting, what would you do?

2Gkashmiri(10000) 5 days ago [-]


apache license

>The model is published under the Apache 2.0 license that permits both research and commercial use

you should be fine

pfortuny(10000) 5 days ago [-]

The achievements cannot be tainted.

Kolmogorov complexity is (I hope) untainted.

Also, Hilbert's problems are not untainted (and he never flew Nazi Germany!).

puranjay(10000) 5 days ago [-]

What percentage of American inventions and scientific developments post WW2 were led or influenced by former Nazi scientists?

niek_pas(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Are American developers' achievement tainted by the fact they come from the United States?

throwaway4good(10000) 5 days ago [-]

What sort of machine can run this model?

f311a(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Nvidia DGX

SXX(10000) 5 days ago [-]

First of all regardless for political situation this is great step in making ML research actually open. So huge thanks for those developers who pushed to make it public. Still...

Yandex is in fact share responsibility for Russian government actions. While it impossible to fight censorship they could certainly shut down their News service completely.

Yandex could also certainly move more of their company and staff out of country. It was their deliberate choice stay in Russia and getting advantages on local market by using their political weight.

vbezhenar(10000) 4 days ago [-]

If that would make you happier, Yandex is selling its News service to Mail.ru.

tomp(10000) 4 days ago [-]

How much responsibility does Google share for US wrecking Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria?

idealmedtech(10000) 4 days ago [-]

In the download script, it skips parts of the model (02 and 83); any ML people have ideas why you'd do that?

hansonw(10000) 4 days ago [-]

It appears the indexing for the model parts is deliberately not contiguous; the 03-82 range represents the main 80 transformer layers. https://github.com/yandex/YaLM-100B/blob/main/megatron_lm/me...

alexb_(10000) 5 days ago [-]

I have to wonder if 10 years down the line, everyone will be able to run models like this on their own computers. Have to wonder what the knock-on effects of that will be, especially if the models improve drastically. With so much of our social lives being moved online, if we have the easy ability to create fake lives of fake people one has to wonder what's real and what isn't.

Maybe the dead internet theory will really come true; at least, in some sense of it. https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2021/08/dead-...

Jimmy(10000) 4 days ago [-]

There's a very simple solution, of course: turn off the computer and physically interact with real people.

espadrine(10000) 5 days ago [-]

> I have to wonder if 10 years down the line, everyone will be able to run models like this on their own computers.

Isn't that already the case? Sure, it costs $60K, but that is accessible to a surprisingly large minority, considering the potency of this software.

arathore(10000) 5 days ago [-]

If by running models you mean just the inference phase, then even today you can run large family of ML models on commodity hardware (with some elbow grease, of course). The training phase is generally the one not easily replicated by non-corporations.

pgt(10000) 5 days ago [-]

The Move to the Edge is one of the strongest trends in technology. So, yes. I would never best against it.

(applies to computing and other technologies like power production and agriculture)

Comevius(10000) 5 days ago [-]

That's definitely the future, personalized entertainment and social interactions will be big. I could watch a movie made for me, and discuss it with a bunch of chat bots. The future will be bubbly as hell, people will be decaying in their safe places as the hellscape rages on outside.

unixhero(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Yes, the vision is that everyone has an AI cube in their house.

psychoslave(10000) 5 days ago [-]

I don't know for you, but most of my online interactions are text based. Context of interpretation matter far much than the form of the content. If you know it's easy to fake text exchanges, you might be more careful about text origin, and other contextual hints. Even it's the syntax imitate your children verbal oddities, you may not necessarily run to comply thoughtlessly to an unusual demand you just receive by SMS from their phone number. Trust and check.

Byamarro(10000) 5 days ago [-]

It could be possible with analog chips. I.e. ones that Mythic works on.

dav_Oz(10000) 5 days ago [-]

The bots/machine vs human reminds me of that famous experiment from the 30s in which Winthrop Kellogg[0], a comparative psychologist, and his wife decided to raise their human baby (Donald) simultaneously with a chimpanzee baby (Gua) in an effort to 'humanize the ape'. It was set out to last 5 years but was relatively quickly abrupted after only 9 months. The explicit reason wasn't stated only that it successfully proved the hereditary limits within the 'nature vs nurture' debate of a chimpanzee, the reticent statement reads as follows:

>Gua, treated as a human child, behaved like a human child except when the structure of her body and brain prevented her. This being shown, the experiment was discontinued

There have been a lot of speculation as to other reasons of ending the experiment so prematurely. Maybe exhaustion. One thing which seemed to dawn on the parents - if one reads carefully - is that a human baby is far superior at imitating than the chimpanzee baby, frighteningly so, that they decided to abort the experiment early on in order to prevent any irreversible damage in the development to their human child which at that point had become far more similar to the chimpanzee than the chimpanzee to the human.

So, I would rephrase 'the internet is dead' into 'the internet becomes increasingly undead' because humans condition themselves in a far more accelerated way to behave like bots than bots are potentially able to do. From the wrong side this could be seen as progress when in fact it's opposite progress. It sure feels like that way for a lot of of people and is a crucial reciprocal element often overlooked/underplayed (mostly in a benign effort to reduce unnecessary complexities) when analyzing human behaviour in interactions with the environment.


time_to_smile(10000) 4 days ago [-]

Comments like this make me feel like I'm losing my mind.

I think it's far more likely that in 10 years we'll all become more used to rolling blackouts, and fondly remember we all used to be able to afford to eat out, and laugh over a glass of cheap gin about how wild things were back in the old days before things got really bad.

10 years ago was a much more exciting and hopeful time than today. I remember watching Hinton show off what deep learning was just starting to do. It was frankly more interesting that high parameter language models. Startups were all working on some cool problems rather than just trying to screw over customers.

That's just technology. Economically, socially and ecologically things looks far brighter in 2012 than they do now, and in 2032 I suspect we'll feel the same about today, but far more dramatically.

We've already pass the peak of 'things are getting better all the time!' but people are just in denial about this.

zackmorris(10000) 4 days ago [-]

Unpopular opinion: something will stop egalitarian power for the masses. I had high hopes for multicore computing in the late 90s and early 2000s but it got blocked every step of the way by everyone doubling down on DSP (glorified vertex buffer) approaches on video cards, leaving us with the contrived dichotomy we see today between CPU and GPU.

Whatever we think will happen will not happen. A less-inspired known-good state will take its place, creating another status quo. Which will funnel us into dystopian futures. I'm just going off my own observations and life experience of the last 20 years, and the way that people in leadership positions keep letting the rest of us down after they make it.

ggktk(10000) 5 days ago [-]

I'm predicting that the upcoming Mac Pro will be very popular among ML developers, thanks to unified memory. It should be able to fit the entire model in memory.

Combine that with the fact that PyTorch recently added support for Apple silicon GPUs.

TuringNYC(10000) 4 days ago [-]

>> I have to wonder if 10 years down the line, everyone will be able to run models like this on their own computers.

Do you mean train or run? My assumption was all these models could be run on most computers, probably with a simple docker container, as long as there is sufficient RAM to hold the network, which should be most laptops > 16gb ram.

Speaking of which, anyone have recommendations on pre-trained docker containers with weights included?

tiborsaas(10000) 5 days ago [-]

I think there will be a trend where model's size will shrink due to better optimization / compression while hardware specs keep increasing.

You can already see this with Chinchilla:


natly(10000) 5 days ago [-]

I know it's a sort of exaggerated paranoid thought. But like these things do all come down to scale and some areas of the world definitely could have the amount of compute available to make dall-e level quality full scale videos which we might be consuming right now. It really does make you start to wonder at what point we will rationally be able to have zero trust that not everything we watch online is fabricated.

lostmsu(10000) 4 days ago [-]

Running the models like this on own computer is already possible with DeepSpeed. I think it even supports training albeit it would be extremely slow.


nonrandomstring(10000) 5 days ago [-]

> one has to wonder what's real and what isn't.

And whether it really matters. That's the bigger question.

I think, for most of us, it does matter. But we're not sure why and what a loss of human reality would really mean.

For a few who wholeheartedly embrace it there's some resonance with the psychedelic/60s creed that sees this as some kind of 'liberation'.

simonh(10000) 4 days ago [-]

It's more likely, if not inevitable that these things will become ubiquitously available remotely, like Siri and Alexa. It's access that's important, not hosting.

htrp(10000) 5 days ago [-]

> It was tested on 4 (A100 80g) and 8 (V100 32g) GPUs, but is able to work with different configurations with ≈200GB of GPU memory in total which divide weight dimensions correctly (e.g. 16, 64, 128).

so we looking at crazy prices just for inference. RIP to the first guy's cloud billing account who makes this public

chrisMyzel(10000) 3 days ago [-]

With DeepSpeed an SSD and lots of RAM you should be able to run inference with a 8GB card. There's a thread somewhere on https://discuss.huggingface.co/ doing the math around this

jhoelzel(10000) 4 days ago [-]

so err the cheapest A100 i could find was EUR 10.579,79 .

Suddenly that 3090 i wanted to get, does not seem so expensive....

ketzu(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Seeing those gigantic models it makes me sad that even the 4090 is supposed to stay at 24GB of RAM max. I really would like to be able to run/experiment on larger models at home.

EugeneOZ(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Can Apple Silicone's unified memory be an answer?

josu(10000) 4 days ago [-]

For the people that didn't click on the link:

>but is able to work with different configurations with ≈200GB of GPU memory in total which divide weight dimensions correctly (e.g. 16, 64, 128).

MrBuddyCasino(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Wondering if Apple Silicon will bring arge amounts of unified main memory with high bandwidth to the masses?

The Mac Studio maxes out at 128GB currently for around $5K, so 256GB isn't that far out and might work with the ~200GB Yandex says is required.

out_of_protocol(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Take a look at Apple's M1 Max, a lot of fast unified memory. No idea how useful though

perryizgr8(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Nvidia deliberately keeps their consumer/gamer cards limited in memory. If you have a use for more RAM, they want you to buy their workstation offerings like RTX A6000 which has 48G DDR6 RAM or A100 which has 80G.

Voloskaya(10000) 4 days ago [-]

If you don't care about inference speed being in the 1-5sec range, then that should be doable with CPU offloading, with e.g. DeepSpeed.

thejosh(10000) 5 days ago [-]

It's also a power issue. The 4090 sounds like you're going to need a much, MUCH higher PSU than you currently use.. or it'll suddenly turn off as it uses 2-3x the power.

You'll need your own wiring to run your PC soon :-)

braingenious(10000) 4 days ago [-]

This is one of the funniest threads I've ever seen on this website. People are yelling at eachother about the CIA and the legitimacy of Israel and Assange and the definition of fascism and... anything that pisses anybody off about international politics in general. In a thread about a piece of software that's (to me and likely many others) prohibitively expensive to play around with.

Anyway I hope somebody creates a playground with this so I can make a computer write a fan fiction about Kirby and Solid Snake trying to raise a human baby on a yacht in the Caspian Sea or whatever other thing people will actually use this for.

braingenious(10000) 4 days ago [-]

What if Street Sharks were mormon missionaries? How would Emily Dickinson describe Angie Dickinson in a poem? How would Ramses II have used Bitcoin?

THESE are the important things to talk about when it comes to this topic.

option(10000) 4 days ago [-]

Did they bias it toward ru propaganda talking points?

Edit: I would like to see more details in addition to size and languages (en, ru) about training data. For example, did they use their own Yandex.news (a cesspool of propoganda)?

dang(10000) 4 days ago [-]

You've made a version of this comment 3 times in this thread now. It's shallow and flamebaity, and the repetition just adds noise and does no good, so please don't keep doing that. I understand the strong feelings, but the rules still apply—in fact that's when they apply most.


obituary_latte(10000) 4 days ago [-]

What are some use cases for something like this? I understand it says 'generating and processing text', but is it a replacement for OCR? Or something else?

vbezhenar(10000) 4 days ago [-]

Chat bots I guess. Or with voice engines - phone bots.

jorgemf(10000) 4 days ago [-]

No, it is more like generating a conversations, translating text, summarization texts, writing code, etc.

londons_explore(10000) 5 days ago [-]

The download fails because the vocab file link returns HTTP 403... :-(


EDIT: It seems fine if you download with a browser useragent not CURL... I guess I just got hit by some anti-bot thing they have accidentally have turned on.

uniqueuid(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Try opening the inspector in firefox, selecting the download request and using 'copy as CURL'. That gives you a working curl command.

sandGorgon(10000) 4 days ago [-]

is this the first GPT-like models which is fully opensource ? none of the others are right ?

littlestymaar(10000) 4 days ago [-]

Aren't eleutherai's model so?

manishsharan(10000) 4 days ago [-]

Is there a way for developers, who do not have AI/ML background, to get started using this ? I have been curious about GPT-3 but I do not have any AI/ML experience or knowledge. Is there a 'approachable' course on Coursera or Udemy that could help me get started with technologies like GPT ?

rripken(10000) 4 days ago [-]

I would not start with this model. Its impractically large.

Start here: https://www.vennify.ai/gpt-neo-made-easy/

amai(10000) 4 days ago [-]

Is that the model used by the russian government to generate fake news?

Destiner(10000) 4 days ago [-]

You don't need ai for that, tons of ppl here in russia will do it for pennies.

edf13(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Wonder what the split is between Russian and English in the model?

londons_explore(10000) 4 days ago [-]

Open the vocab file (from the script in the download directory) and you can get a pretty good idea.

Looks to be approximately 50/50 from my random scrolling through the list.

ma2rten(10000) 4 days ago [-]

I am one of the people who worked on Google's PaLM model.

Having skimmed the GitHub readme and medium article, this announcement seems to be very focused on the number of parameters and engineering challenges scaling the model, but it does not contain any details about the model, training (learning rate schedules, etc.), or data composition.

It is great that more models are getting released publicly, but I would not get excited about it before some evaluations have been published. Having a lot of parameters should not be a goal in and of itself. For all we know this model is not well trained and worse than Eleuther AI's 20B parameter model, while also being inconveniently large.

rllearneratwork(10000) 4 days ago [-]

Given that Yandex is a crucial part of Russian propaganda arm, we should consider the whole range of possibilities from:

* Good. This is great researchers helping community by sharing great work. (which is what I'd like to assume before I have any proof of the contrary)

* Bad. This very expensive training has been approved by Ya leadership (which is under Western personal sanctions) because they've secretly built in RU's propaganda talking points into the model. Such as 'war in Ukraine is not a war but special operation' etc.

javajosh(10000) 4 days ago [-]

> this announcement seems to very focused on number of parameters

And yet your own project headline is 'Pathways Language Model (PaLM): Scaling to 540 Billion Parameters for Breakthrough Performance'[0].


fswd(10000) 4 days ago [-]

it's in there look for this sentence. And they did some top dog stuff: Training details and best practices on acceleration and stabilizations can be found on Medium (English)

MichaelRazum(10000) 4 days ago [-]

It's just crazy how much it costs to train such models. As I undestand 800 A100 cards would cost about 25.000.000 without considering the energy costs for 61 days of training.

semitones(10000) 4 days ago [-]

https://coreweave.com/ offers some of the cheapest GPU compute out there

refulgentis(10000) 4 days ago [-]

16,000,000 at MSRP

StevenWaterman(10000) 4 days ago [-]

Lambda labs will rent you an 8xA100 instance for 3 months for $21,900. That would put it at around $2m

narrator(10000) 4 days ago [-]

I love Yandex. They are the best search engine by far for politically controversial topics. They also release a language model to benefit everyone even if it says politically incorrect stuff. They also name their projects 'cocaine' probably to perhaps to prevent western competitors from using them.

You look at OpenAI and how they don't release their models mainly because they fear 'bad people' will use them for 'bad stuff.' This is the trend in the west. Technology is too powerful, we must control it! Russia is like... Hey, we are the bad guys you're talking about so who are we keeping this technology from? The west has bigger language models than we do, so who cares. Also their attitude to copyright and patents, etc. They don't care because that's not how their economy makes money. Cory Doctorow's end of general purpose computing[1] and locked down everything is very fast approaching. I'm glad the Russians are around and aren't very interested in that project.


throwaway_1928(10000) 4 days ago [-]

> Hey, we are the bad guys you're talking about so who are we keeping this technology from?

Laughed out loud!

winddude(10000) 3 days ago [-]

I feel like you could be paid, or coerced by some country...

make3(10000) 4 days ago [-]

It's widely accepted that OpenAi doesn't release its models to make money from them, not because they really think they would be harmful

risyachka(10000) 4 days ago [-]

>> They are the best search engine by far for politically controversial topics

FYI, they are Russian subject that follows ALL their censorship laws (and oh boy do they have a lot of it).

>> probably to perhaps to prevent western competitors from using them The irony here. All yandex products are exact copies of western, adjusted to local market.

abra0(10000) 4 days ago [-]

>They are the best search engine by far for politically controversial topics.

This is an interesting take given the political censorship in Russia (for some ineffable reason much harsher now than it used to be 4 months ago) and cases like https://twitter.com/kevinrothrock/status/1510944781492531208.

chinathrow(10000) 4 days ago [-]

Is this sarcasm?

jhgb(10000) 4 days ago [-]

> This is the trend in the west. Technology is too powerful, we must control it!

I take it that you're either too young or too untraveled to be aware of the level of state control of technology in 'the east'. Xerographic machines, mimeographs, and other similar reprographic devices used to be highly controlled machinery behind the Iron Curtain. This is absolutely not something exclusive or even peculiar to 'the west'.

Moldoteck(10000) 2 days ago [-]

They literally have blocklist of sites that kremlin doesnt like and it acts somehow similar to yandex news in this part. The difference here is more that google filters stuff for usa and yandex for russia

lumost(10000) 4 days ago [-]

To add a voice of skepticism. The recent rush to open source these models may be indicative that the tens of millions that's spent training these things has relatively poor roi. There may be a hope that someone else figures out how to make these commercially useful.

MivLives(10000) 4 days ago [-]

We're using these at where I work (large retail site) to help make filler text on generated articles. Think the summary blurb no one reads at the top. As for why we're writing these articles (we have a paid team that writes them too), the answer is SEO. This is probably the only thing I've seen done with a text model in production usage. I'm not 100% sure what model they're using.

lostmsu(10000) 4 days ago [-]

They did not publish benchmarks about quality of the models, which is very suspicious.

I personally squinted hard when they said removing dropout improves training speed (which is in iterations per second), but said nothing about how it affects the performance (rate of mistakes in inference) of the trained model.

HeavyStorm(10000) 4 days ago [-]

Maybe training it is not that expensive?

I know from practice that it takes a really really long time to train even a small nn (thousands of params) , so you'll need a lot more hardware to train one with billions... But, it's expensive to buy the hardware, not necessarily to use it. If you, for some reason, have a few hundred GPU lying around, it might be 'cheap' to do the necessary training.

Now, that's not your point - cost != price. But, still...

t_mann(10000) 4 days ago [-]

Only half-joking use case: active communities like this one on HN make sites attractive to human visitors. A new site could use bots to fake activity. Not sure it would work in the long run though.

vgel(10000) 4 days ago [-]

My guess is they're mostly vanity projects for large tech companies. While the models have some value, they also serve as interesting research projects and help them attract ML talent to work on more profitable models like ad-targeting.

gfodor(10000) 4 days ago [-]

An equally plausible frame is that once a technology becomes replicated across several companies, it makes sense to open source it since the marginal competitive advantage are the possible resultant external network effects.

I don't know if that's the right way to think about the open sourcing of large language models. I just think we really can't read too much into such releases regarding their motivation.

dandiep(10000) 4 days ago [-]

There are tons of commercial uses for these models. I've been experimenting with an app targeted toward language learners [1]. We use large language models to:

- Generate vocabulary - e.g. for biking: handlebars, pedals, shifters, etc

- Generate translation exercises for given topic a learner wants to learn about - e.g. I raised the seat on my bike

- Generate questions for the user - e.g. What are the different types of biking?

- Provide more fluent ways to say things - I went on my bike to the store -> I rode my bike to the store

- Provide explanations of the difference in meaning between two words

And we have fine tuned smaller models to do other thing like grammar correction, exercise grading, and embedded search.

These models are going to completely change the field of education in my opinion.

1) https://squidgies.app - be kind it's still a bit alpha

mumblemumble(10000) 4 days ago [-]

From what I've seen, using these huge models for inference at any kind of scale is expensive enough that it's difficult to find a business case that justifies the compute cost.

MasterScrat(10000) 4 days ago [-]

HuggingFace will soon release their BigScience model: https://twitter.com/BigScienceLLM/status/1539941348656168961

'a 176 billion parameter transformer model that will be trained on roughly 300 billion words in 46 languages'

So anything smaller than that will become worthless. May be a factor, companies have a last chance to make a PR splash before it happens.

Read more about it: https://bigscience.huggingface.co/blog/model-training-launch...

pembrook(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Side note: Yandex search is awesome, and I really hope they stay alive forever. It's the only functional image search nowadays, after our Google overlords neutered their own product out of fear over lawyers/regulation and a disdain for power users.

You can't even search for images 'before:date' in Google anymore.

whywhywhywhy(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Yandex Image Search is today is what Google Image Search should have been.

End of the day I'll use what actually gets the job done.

Same goes for OpenAI and Google AI. If you don't actually ever release and let others use your stuff and end paralyzed in fear at what your models may do then someone else is gonna release the same tech, and at this rate it seems like that'll be Chinese or Russian companies who don't share your sensibilities at all, and their models will be the ones that end up productized.

hdjjhhvvhga(10000) 5 days ago [-]

> Google overlords neutered their own product out of fear over lawyers/regulation

What kind of lawyers/regulation do you have in mind? If anything, I'd find the opposite: lawyers and copyright holders should be grateful for such a tool that - when it was still working - allowed you to trace websites using your images illegally.

Now they all use Yandex for this purpose, with relatively good results.

psyc(10000) 4 days ago [-]

I regularly use it for a sample of what Google and Bing are intentionally omitting.

whoami_nr(10000) 4 days ago [-]

FWIW, https://same.energy/ seems to work fine for me

memorable(10000) 4 days ago [-]

I agree with this. When I am still addicted to porn, Yandex Image is the only one that seems to find relevant and useful links.

upupandup(10000) 4 days ago [-]

Does anybody want to crowd fund the training?

qwertywert_(10000) 4 days ago [-]

Already trained, but still need some ~200GB GPU mem to run the model.

schizo89(10000) 5 days ago [-]

I hope one day it will be possible to run this kind of models at home.

lannisterstark(10000) 5 days ago [-]

I was about to comment exactly the same thing. Stuff like this makes me feel so much behind because there's no way I can run this lol.

irthomasthomas(10000) 5 days ago [-]

I think that unlikely. Barring some breakthrough that takes us beyond the limits of silicon.

Akronymus(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Well, it used to be impossible to render on anything not a mainframe in a reasonable time.

The day will come when we will be able to.

rocgf(10000) 5 days ago [-]

When it will be possible to run this at home, the big companies will have models way bigger than this...

albertzeyer(10000) 5 days ago [-]

If your disk has enough space to store the model, I think in theory you could run them, using the disk to store states. But it will be slow. I'm not sure how slow though, and also if anyone has implemented this. It actually should not be too difficult.

cal85(10000) 4 days ago [-]

Speaking of which... I built a gaming PC a few years ago but I never use it these days. I want to install Linux on it and start playing around with machine learning.

Can anyone recommend any open source machine learning project that would be a good starting point? I want one that does something interesting (whether using text, images, whatever), but simple/efficient enough to run on a gaming PC and see some kind of results in hours, not months. I'm not sure what I want to do with ML yet, I just know I'm interested, and getting something up and running is likely to enthuse me to start playing and researching further.

My spec is: GeForce RTX 2080 Ti (11GB), a 24-core AMD Ryzen Threadripper, and 128GB RAM. I'd be willing to spend on a new graphics card if it would make all the difference. I am a competent coder and familiar with Python but my experience with ML is limited to fawning over things on HN. Any recommendations gratefully received!

Hendrikto(10000) 5 days ago [-]

If you live in a datacenter, it already is!

kome(10000) 5 days ago [-]

I agree, yandex is a great search engine

lotusmars(10000) 5 days ago [-]

Well you can have it in the West. We'd prefer something separate from Kremlin.

dang(10000) 4 days ago [-]

We detached this subthread from https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=31847666 since it turned into a tedious generic flamewar.

bgandrew(10000) 5 days ago [-]

no it's not. they straight up serve kremlin, promoting kremlin fake news and silencing russian opposition (not much to silence but still). they can have whatever functionality they like, I still won't use it in billion years.

Historical Discussions: What happened to the lab-leak hypothesis? (June 24, 2022: 708 points)

(710) What happened to the lab-leak hypothesis?

710 points 3 days ago by summoned in 10000th position

unherd.com | Estimated reading time – 10 minutes | comments | anchor

Covid cases are rising again. In the UK, they have broken through the 200,000 infections-a-day threshold for the first time since April. In America, the sixth wave is well under way. In countries that kept the disease at bay for years, such as Taiwan and New Zealand, numbers are shooting up, driven by milder but highly infectious versions of the Omicron variant. The virus has not gone away, even if its death toll is much lower. But what has disappeared is any real or urgent interest from the media and the scientific establishment in finding out how it started.

Imagine if the accidental launch of a nuclear missile had killed 21 million people. It's hard to believe the world would shrug and say: let's not bother finding out how it happened. The Covid pandemic has killed around that number and disrupted the lives of billions. Nothing like it has happened in more than a century; it is the greatest cause of global suffering since the Forties. Yet we still do not know how it started, and much of the world seems to be increasingly incurious to find out.

We co-authored a book, Viral: The Search for the Origin of Covid-19, on this topic in 2021 and it proved to be an odd experience. Eschewing speculation and sticking to what we could prove, we delved deep into the evidence and wove together the threads that linked bat viruses from southern China or Southeast Asia with an outbreak in Wuhan in late 2019. We concluded that it was impossible to be sure yet, but two theories were plausible: spillover from an animal to a person at a market, or an accident in a laboratory or during a research field trip.

In this we are in line with the US government, the G7, the World Health Organisation and the general public, all of whom are on record as saying that they think a leak from a Wuhan virology lab is a strong possibility that deserves to be investigated. The latest WHO report two weeks ago confirms this, saying that it is important "to evaluate the possibility of the introduction of SARS-CoV-2 into the human population through a laboratory incident". That is huge news. It means that an accident caused by human error may have happened on the same scale as a nuclear missile destroying New York.

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Our book received praise from readers: we received letters and emails from senior scientists, politicians, businessmen, journalists, and others commending it as a non-fiction whodunnit.

All that was gratifying. But it stood in marked contrast to the reaction in much of the media. CNN invited us on to discuss the book then cancelled at the last minute — at the behest of their health editor. The BBC simply ignored the book altogether, as did the other mainstream US and UK networks. The topic remains taboo in much of the mainstream media. Reviews were mostly bad — in both senses of the word. That is to say, they were highly critical and inaccurate. In some cases, the authors said things that made clear they had not read the book but had made up their minds to dislike it. Not one but two virologists told us on Twitter that the book was full of lies — and that they had not read it. An odd thing for anybody to admit to, especially a scientist.

The Smithsonian Institution in Washington invited us to give a presentation on the book, then cancelled the invitation. We asked the Royal Society if they had considered a debate on the topic of the origin of the Covid pandemic: no, they said, it's not a proper topic for scientific discussion. What? We tried a couple of other learned societies: no, sorry, too controversial. Seriously.

Opinion polls show that the public generally thinks the virus began with a lab leak. So virologists who think it did not ought to be keen to have an opportunity to make their case, rather than avoid debate.

We think we know why people feel so threatened by Viral. After all we are not lab-leak extremists and we have also been attacked by those who are. But by taking down credible moderate voices, our critics within the scientific establishment are polarising the issue and casting the lab origin hypothesis as one that is only championed by anti-science or uninformed groups. As Professor Jonathan Haidt of New York University has pointed out, on social media these days it is common for activists to spend a lot of time criticising moderates on their own side of an argument.

The Chinese authorities have made it clear that any discussion of a possible lab leak is — in their view — xenophobic bullying. "The lab leak theory is totally a lie concocted by anti-China forces for political purposes, which has nothing to do with science," said China's Foreign Ministry spokesman on 10 June. (Although they also argue that a lab leak of Covid from US laboratories should be investigated.) This stance from the Chinese government puts universities and scientific journals in a tough spot because of their increasing dependency on Chinese funding and patronage.

Science funders are embarrassed to note that, as Jeffrey Sachs of Columbia University has recently documented, some of the funding that went into collecting and manipulating bat viruses in Wuhan came from the West, so better to let that sleeping dog lie. Virologists are worried that fingering a lab leak will affect their flow of grant money or result in more oversight and regulation of virology research. One scientist told us that: "If we investigate and expose an error on the part of scientists, then the public will no longer trust science." As if choosing to deliberately not uncover a possible error would make people trust science more.

Science journalists generally see their job as cheerleading for scientists, not investigating them, so have largely refused to engage with the evidence for a lab leak. Some environmentalists would prefer the episode to be a cautionary tale about the destruction of rainforests. The issue has rapidly become partisan with Republicans largely driving the calls for an investigation. Bipartisan efforts and proposals to investigate the origin of Covid — a pandemic that has taken the lives of more than a million Americans — have proceeded at a glacial pace. Many younger commentators see blaming a Chinese lab as more racist than blaming Chinese eating habits for some reason (despite the fact that no bats or pangolins were found to be sold in Wuhan markets in the years leading up to the pandemic). And so on.

In short, there is a confluence of vested interest that results in a lot of motivated reasoning. It is hard to find anybody, with the exception of a few fringe media outfits, who is being paid as part of their day job to investigate the possibility of a lab leak without fear or favour. The people who have persisted in keeping the lab-leak hypothesis alive, against staunch opposition by some virologists and the media, are doing it in their spare time and at their own expense — as are we.

One of the commonest criticisms we have received from scientists is that by writing a book we are profiteering from a pandemic, an odd charge to come from people also earning salaries and grants to investigate the virus and its effects. Anyway, we took an early decision before the book was published, which we made public, to give away half of the proceeds from the book to charity.

Perhaps the oddest reaction we get from scientists, politicians and even journalists is this: why does it matter? The pandemic has happened, it cannot be undone and we may never know how it started, so why rake over the coals and stir up animosities? We find this astounding as an argument. If we don't know how this pandemic started, how can we inform strategies to stop the next one? If we don't investigate, what signal does that send to bioterrorists? If we shrug our shoulders, what respect does that show to the memory of the dead? The risk of lab-based outbreaks does not disappear if we pretend they are unlikely.

Another excuse we hear for the refusal to engage in the debate is that the Chinese government is secretive and authoritarian, so it will never share the vital information that we need to determine the origin of the virus. This seems to us defeatist, as is the often-expressed view that we cannot know how this pandemic started unless we get cooperation from the Chinese authorities. Like Dr Sachs, we think it is possible that a diligent investigation of the kind that has not yet been launched may yet solve the mystery even without Chinese cooperation. A steady trickle of revelations from within Western institutions has confirmed our view.

The World Health Organisation did in 2020 launch an inquiry into the source of the virus, which unfortunately gave Western governments the excuse to do nothing. It proved to be an embarrassing farce: months of dilatory negotiations over terms of reference, followed by the appointment of experts with conflicts of interest, then a brief chaperoned visit to a few spots in Wuhan, culminating in a press conference at which the WHO meekly endorsed an evidence-free Chinese theory that the virus had been imported to Wuhan on frozen food possibly from overseas. More than a year later, the WHO has now published a preliminary report from its scientific advisory group for the origins of novel pathogens (SAGO), which admits that the lab leak needs to be investigated — 30 months after the pandemic began.

That this pandemic flared up in a powerful and influential country with no free press, little freedom for scientists to speak out and centralised control of information by a totalitarian dictator certainly makes it uniquely difficult to investigate. Had it occurred in almost any other country in the world — the US, India, Brazil, even Russia — we think it would have been impossible to prevent the truth emerging.

But China's refusal to be transparent has been matched by a determined effort on the part of many Western scientists to prevent a proper investigation getting under way. Despite thinking privately that a lab leak was most definitely possible — as shown by emails revealed through freedom of information requests — these scientists now appear even more keen than the Chinese authorities to tell the media that the matter is settled and they are sure the first infection happened in Wuhan's seafood market.

Yet no infected animal on sale in the market or elsewhere in China has been found, and there is no evidence of exposure to SARS-like viruses among Wuhan market traders prior to the Covid outbreak. The amount of evidence for a wildlife trade origin of the virus is comparable to that for a research-related origin — both are plausible ways for a bat coronavirus from southern China or Southeast Asia to have made its way to Wuhan in central China, but both pathways remain poorly investigated. As we say to those who claim it definitely came via wild animals in the market, we don't think you are certainly wrong, but we do think you are wrongly certain.

Viral: The Search for the Origin of Covid-19 is now out in paperback.

All Comments: [-] | anchor

NovaVeles(10000) 3 days ago [-]

There is only one reason I would hope it is a lab leak. A lab leak is a mistake that theoretical can be controlled via more stringent systems. It is something that has a limited footprint in terms of initial infection vector.

If something like this did arise from zoonotic sources via a market - this will be the 1st of many such cases that we will endure going forwards. Controlling something like that is nearing impossible.

99_00(10000) 3 days ago [-]

>Controlling something like that is nearing impossible.

Why is preventing or reducing the probability nearing impossible?

Aeolun(10000) 3 days ago [-]

The whole world is tired of COVID. We all just want to move on.

Besides, what are we going to do when we do confirm it was a lab leak? We can hardly make these lvl 3/4 facilities any more secure than they already are, and it's not as if China will ever actually take any form of blame (nor would the US, if it leaked there).

adeelk93(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Not have those labs? That's one solution. Is the study of virology worth all the loss and suffering caused by a pandemic?

csours(10000) 3 days ago [-]

There are two sources that most people talk about:

1. The Wuhan Institute of Virology

2. A particular market in Wuhan.

However, all we really know is that Wuhan is the first city with a lot of cases. It is entirely possible that the virus, or a virus precursor was active in a small population somewhere else. Also, there are a lot of labs in Wuhan besides the WIV.

chrisco255(10000) 3 days ago [-]

I suppose it's possible, but is it likely? Given the virality of Covid if it was present in another city before hand that city would have been the first to get a lot of cases.

VoodooJuJu(10000) 3 days ago [-]

The lab-leak hypothesis has been suppressed because it is a politically unauthorized thought.

If the hypothesis is investigated and proven true, powerful people stand to face justice, which is of course unacceptable to these very people, and so the idea has been banned by way of media silence and by way of association with other unauthorized politics, i.e. with those who are right of center.

notananthem(10000) 3 days ago [-]

lol jet fuel melt zoonotic origin beams right

booleandilemma(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Not to mention you'd see a rise in anti-Asian hate crime as disturbed people take out their frustrations.

peyton(10000) 3 days ago [-]

If I don't see health authorities taking lab safety seriously by thoroughly and publicly investigating, why should I believe they take vaccine safety seriously? The framing damages credibility.

bastawhiz(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Why should you believe they take food safety seriously? Why should you believe they take water quality and treatment seriously? Or the authorities who oversee the safety of aerospace or airbags or what your bank is allowed to do with your savings? Vaccine safety is an awfully specific thing to double down on considering the overwhelmingly broad set of things that you rely on public servants for (specifically ones who regulate health), the very small number of times you need to get a vaccine in your life, and the sheer numbers and public nature of trials around vaccine testing.

jahewson(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Because Western authorities have no power to investigate the Chinese?

nomoreusernames(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Well, I for one am a firm believer in the Labrador-Leak hypothesis. Anyone who disagrees surely is not a TRUE scientist. Just look at the numbers. More labradors than ever before. Statistics never lie. Everybody knows that Labradors are dogs.

dpbriggs(10000) 3 days ago [-]

What are attempting to communicate with this comment?

WithinReason(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Just a reminder that the predecessor of COVID-19, SARS-CoV-1 leaked from the lab 4 (yes, four) times. The Wikipedia page lists 3 of them:


Biosecurity incidents are shockingly common.

mikeyouse(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Just a reminder that the predecessor of Covid-19 was a pandemic of zoonotic origin that had multiple spillovers from animal hosts into humans. That virus was eventually studied and some lab workers were indeed infected but the origin was unquestionably natural.

theptip(10000) 3 days ago [-]

I think the important point is not whether this outbreak was in fact a lab leak, but that it is entirely plausible due to gain-of-function research.

Even if this one wasn't a lab leak, the next one very well could be. The risk/reward profile of that sort of research is insanely unfavorable.

bayesian_horse(10000) 3 days ago [-]

There's no proof of 'gain of function' experiments at all or specifically linked to Sars-Cov-2. It is heavily unlikely that such an experiment would switch a virus from un-pandemic-able to pandemic-able. The mechanisms to do that are entirely theoretical.

So it's not clear at all that gain of function would have been able to create a Virus like Sars-Cov-2 out of a hypothetical bat virus. And there is no evidence any such research has been going on. Nor is there any evidence the virus has passed through the Wuhan lab in question at all.

azekai(10000) 3 days ago [-]

This is the conversation we need to have, on an international level.

qbasic_forever(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Whatever toy gain of function research someone is doing in a lab vastly pales in comparison to the enormous gain of function 'experiment' we are right now performing worldwide with the continued high transmission rate of COVID-19.

Look at what variants like Omicron BA.5 and BA.4 have evolved into, they are quite possibly the most infectious and dangerous air spread pathogens known to man. These didn't come from a lab, we cooked them up by dropping all mitigations and pretending the pandemic was over instead of quashing this virus for good.

andai(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Fun fact, Covid did leak from a Chinese lab, but it was in December 2021:

>A lab worker was bitten and infected by a mouse infected with the SARS-CoV-2 Delta Variant at a high-biosecurity facility in Taipei.


dehrmann(10000) 3 days ago [-]

As someone in tech, what bothers me is all the attention AI gets for possible ethical problems, while biologists are doing some pretty scary experiments with potentially large-scale negative consequences, and they've gotten relatively little attention.

bayesian_horse(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Discussion of the 'lab leak hypothesis' isn't helpful and has on the contrary done a lot of harm. The problem is that a 'lab leak' is understood as something evil, intentional or reckless. The research into bat viruses however is vital. There is also no evidence that Sars-Cov-2 even originated in a bat, much less passed through a laboratory.

robonerd(10000) 3 days ago [-]

> intentional or reckless.

Yes, that would cover all lab leak possibilities, wouldn't it? If we assume the premise of a lab leak, then logically they either they did it on purpose or it was an accident. The union of intentional and reckless gives 100% coverage. You might as well say 'the grain silo blew up intentionally or due to recklessness.' No shit.

> The research into bat viruses however is vital.

Grain silos are vital to society, but if one blows up accidentally then wouldn't you say it's important to recognize the accident and enact measures to make similar accidents less likely in the future? The importance of grain silos to society is not an argument against investigating the role of negligence in grain silo accidents. If this research killed millions of people by accident, then figuring that out matters so new security measures can be enacted.

mr_gibbins(10000) 3 days ago [-]

If the lab leak hypothesis is proven beyond all doubt, then it embarrasses China.

Embarrassing one of the world's superpowers is broadly seen as an undesirable thing to do.

Ergo, scientists producing findings backing up the hypothesis will find plenty of opponents whose first and only job is to discredit them in any way possible, from denying their papers publication (looking at you, ResearchGate) to publicly attacking them on social media (Dr. Malone).

YeBanKo(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Lab leak theory is never going to be proven beyond reasonable doubt. For that to happen, Chinese government would need to cooperate. And it is almost an axiom that they won't, if it has a slight chance of making them look bad.

1024core(10000) 3 days ago [-]

9/11 cost us ~ 3000 lives? And we spent 20 years fighting wars, killing 100s of 1000s of people, bombing the shit out of entire countries, and trillions of dollars in trying to exact revenge.

COVID kills 1,000,000 people (and counting...), which is 333X the death toll from 9/11; and we just shrug and do nothing?

Just doesn't compute.

jahewson(10000) 3 days ago [-]

One is an intentional act by a group of people. The other is, at worst, an accident where the main actor is a molecule.

rory(10000) 3 days ago [-]

The bigger problem there is the response to 9/11, not the response to Covid.

stetrain(10000) 3 days ago [-]

I think understanding the origin is important, but I also understand why it wasn't a media fixation during the pandemic itself.

1) Understanding the origin doesn't change the consequences or response to the pandemic

2) Unlike the nuclear analogy in the article, pandemic virus outbreaks happen naturally, and fairly frequently. Combined with the huge increase in global travel, when one does happen it can be around the world in every airport before anyone has even identified it.

So in the big picture this type of outbreak seems inevitable, not anomalous or inherently preventable.

Understanding the origin, either by cross-species origination or a laboratory containment breach, is indeed important and significant and should be pursued, but I also understand why the search for that answer isn't at the top of the 24-hour news cycle.

ShannonLimiter(10000) 3 days ago [-]

> 1) Understanding the origin doesn't change the consequences or response to the pandemic

I have the opposite opinion.

If there was a lab leak and a coverup, this meant that the Chinese government likely knew earlier and had more information about the nature of the virus and how it spread. That could have saved millions of lives.

We spent the first several months of the pandemic under the belief that it wasn't airborne. This ended up being false.

If this was a lab leak, it means that this kind of research is far more dangerous than we've been lead to believe and continuing without appropriate safeguards puts us at great risk.

remflight(10000) 3 days ago [-]

> 1) Understanding the origin doesn't change the consequences or response to the pandemic

What??? I honestly expect more from HN readers than blatant china-apologists.

OF COURSE it changes the consequences! We tell China to hand over all research and distribute it to scientists around the world so that research doesn't start from ground 0. If it could have accelerated understanding of the virus by several months, imagine how many lives could have been saved!

Instead China deleted all their files and kept quiet. They literally don't care about millions of deaths.

fleddr(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Your 'no priority' stance doesn't hold ground if the article is to be believed. The lab leak theory wasn't just low on the agenda, it was actively avoid altogether.

Trufa(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Concerning number 1) that is doesn't change the Consequence I agree, but the response I thoroughly disagree unless you means strictly short term.

Came or not from a lab, SynBio and gain of functions experiments have the potential of re-doing this of way worse.

So basically the only truly important response that is not damage containment is to prevent this from happening (or happen again).

Honestly beside fringe groups I don't see any initiatives happening, if it was up to me I'd kick gain of function experiments into the same realm as chemical weapons.

daxfohl(10000) 3 days ago [-]

I don't even think it's that different from nuclear. The fact that Iraq had no WMDs (and I have doubts that anybody in the intelligence community really thought they did) got swept under the rug too, after a ton of civilian deaths there and military deaths on both sides. People just make stuff up and then it's too late.

dpbriggs(10000) 3 days ago [-]

We already had intense media speculation about the source of the virus at the start of the pandemic because _people wanted to know_. It would have been nice to have a proper investigation at the start of the pandemic as they may have caught evidence before it could have been destroyed.

user3939382(10000) 3 days ago [-]

I guess I'm more cynical, maybe even conspiratorial. My theory is that NIH was possibly, even if indirectly, contributing funding to the research that caused the outbreak, and that the major corporate media networks are there to shill for the establishment forces in the government and hushed this story as not to humiliate Fauci and the NIH.

I've seen Rand Paul credibly grilling Fauci on this issue a number of times and each time, the propaganda machine on reddit came out to damage control for Fauci.

The larger problem, beyond whether we funded this or not, whether or not it was a bat, is that the media and leaders in the government have repeatedly shown themselves to be completely undeserving of trust and so you're left guessing what the truth is with whatever limited information you have access to.

hammock(10000) 3 days ago [-]

> I also understand why it wasn't a media fixation during the pandemic itself.

You list some reasons, and I have in my mind a different reason.

There was a media blackout on the lab leak hypothesis because China put the kibosh on it, and since the US is dependent on Chinese exports for healthcare, PPE, defense and other critical supply lines, we did not want to piss them off.

Direction to the media for this blackout came from the US State Dept, and Mike Pompeo confirmed as much in semi-public comments that I will link if I ever find them again.

edit: this isn't the source I was thinking of, and it fingers the IC not State. I will keep looking https://www.newsweek.com/mike-pompeo-intel-officials-wuhan-l...

johndfsgdgdfg(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Thank you for posting this. We know that COVID couldn't have come from China. It came to China through frozen meat packages. WHO-China report already stated that fact. Dr. Fauci also believes that.

The only reason we can't find evidence because other countries wouldn't collaborate, for obvious reasons. Racists are trying to blame China because of lack of competence of their leaders.

127(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Wasn't SARS-1 stopped largely with contact tracing? You're saying that understanding the origin of the virus does not help the production of a vaccine in any way?

malikNF(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Wait the article says there's 200k cases in the U.K everyday now? Why is google reporting way lower? [1]


peteradio(10000) 3 days ago [-]

You are misquoting, its estimated infections not cases. Not everyone who has an active infection gets a test and reports it, in fact its a small fraction.

__alexs(10000) 3 days ago [-]

Presumably it's based on the ONS estimates.

abainbridge(10000) 3 days ago [-]

I guess it is because the UK stopped doing as much testing. Presumably Google is reporting the number of positive tests (or something) and many people with covid don't bother getting tested any more.

The ONS is still doing random sampling and extrapolating to say how many people in the country are infected. 'Around 1.7m people in the UK had coronavirus in the week ending 18 June' -