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Reactionary Software

{ The "founder", fschmidt, sent me a link to his website on saidit after I posted about LRS. Here is how I interpret his take on technology -- as always I may misinterpret or distort something, for safety refer to the original website. ~drummyfish }

Reactionary software (reactionary meaning opposing the modern, favoring the old) is a kind of software/technology philosophy opposing modern technology and advocating more simplicity as a basis for better technology (and possibly whole society); it is similar e.g. to suckless and our own less retarded software, though it's not as "hardcore" minimalist (e.g. it's okay with old versions of Java which we still consider kind of bloated and therefore bad). Just as suckless and LRS, reactionary software notices the unbelievably degenerated state of "modern" technology (reflecting the degenerate state of whole society) manifested in bloat, overengineering, overcomplicating, user abuse, ugliness, buzzword hype, DRM, bullshit features, planned obsolescence, fragility etc., and advocates for rejecting it, for taking a step back to when technology was still sane (before 2000s). The website of reactionary software is at http://www.reactionary.software (on top it reads Make software great again!). There is also a nice forum at http://www.mikraite.org/Reactionary-Software-f1999.html (tho requires JS to register? WTF. LOL they even use Discord, that's just lame.). The spirit is good, however the people in the group mostly seem not to be the experts of computer technology (still above average tech savvy but not like "top hackers"), which of course isn't anything bad, it's just that they sometimes propose shitty "solutions" -- at least from the forum posts it seems they are mostly frustrated users rather than frustrated skilled programmers. Again, there is nothing wrong about this, we need to listen to them, it's just that we should probably rather listen to the complaints than to some of the proposed solutions.

The biggest difference compared to suckless/LRS is that reactionary software focuses on the simplicity from user's point of view (as stated on their forums). Of course this is not in conflict with our views, we want the same thing, however if we stay ONLY at the external simplicity, we fall into the trap of pseudominimalim -- we, the LRS, therefore additionally see the simplicity of internals as equally important of a goal.

The founder of reactionary software is fschmidt and he still seems to be the one who mostly defines it (just like drummyfish is at the moment basically solo controlling LRS), though there is a forum of people who follow him. The philosophy can potentially be extended beyond just software, to other fields of endeavor and potentially whole society -- the discussion of reactionary software revolves around wide context, e.g. things like philosophy, religion and collapse of society (fschmidt made a post where he applies Old Testament ideas to programming). This is pretty good, focus on the big picture is something we greatly embrace too.

fschmidt seems to be a lot into religion and also has some related side projects with wider scope, e.g. Arkians which deals with society and eugenics. It seems to be trying to establish a community of "chosen people" (those who pass certain tests) who selective breed to renew good genes in society. { PLEASE DON'T JUMP TO CONCLUSIONS, I just quickly skimmed through it -- people will probably freak out and start calling that guy a Nazi -- please don't, read his site first. I can't really say more about it as I didn't research it well, but he doesn't seem to be proposing violent solutions. Peace. ~drummyfish }

What do we think about reactionary software? To sum up: the vibes are good, it basically seems like "suckless-lite" -- we agree with what they identify as causes of decline of modern technology, we like that they discuss wide context and the big picture and our solutions are often aligned, in the same direction -- theirs are just not as radical, or maybe we just disagree on minor points. We may e.g. disagree on specific cases of software, for example they approve of old Python, Java and lightweight JavaScript used on the web -- we see such software as unacceptable, it's too complex, unnecessary and from ground up designed badly. { As clarified on the forums, reactionary software focuses on the simplicity from user's perspective, not necessarily the simplicity of internals. ~drummyfish } Nevertheless we definitely see it as good this philosophy exists, it fills a certain niche, it's a place for people who aren't necessarily hardcore hackers but still see the value of minimalism, which of course shows they're one of the more intelligent out there. Reactionary software contributes to improving technology at the very least by spreading awareness and taking actual stance, they may help provide alternatives to tech refugees who suffer from modern tech but suckless or LRS is too difficult for them to jump right into. The fact that more and more smaller communities with ideas similar to LRS come to life indicates the ideas themselves are alive and start to flourish, in a decentralized way -- this is good.

Examples of reactionary software include (examples from the site itself):

See Also


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