Open letter to the developers

Hi duane@flowx.io,

It has been pretty annoying your stand with Ukraine pop up message, and what is more it’s quite embarrassing your limited idea about that Hungary has anything with starting and supporting the war in Ukraine. Please do some fact check and not just read your liberal media at the other side of the world thinking about yourself an expert. It’s so easy to preach from the other side of the globe.

I highly recommend you to stop follow blindly the liberal media. I know the right media is extreme unfortunately - I do not recommend either, but try to use your own brain.

Second, do you really think this kind of annoying pop up message will change anything apart from pouring oil on the fire? Did you just stop taking your medication?

Let me know if you are in Hungary and I am happy to introduce you into some Hungary-Ukraine-Russia politics. It’s not that complicated as the weather forecast (yes, I know, you probably have no idea about the complexity of weather forecast, you just fetch the data…), but not simple either.

Barnabas

1 Like

for those who don’t know what it is about: If you are in Russia, Belarus or Hungary, you gonna get this pop-up message every day (or so)

Hi @barnabas,

It is great you have written this open letter. I’m all for open discussions. This is one of the reasons I decided to add the pop-up instead of just outright disabling Flowx from functioning in these countries.

The main reason this pop-up is in Flowx is to support Oleksii, the maker of RainViewer. I contacted Oleksii a number of years ago asking to put the RainVIewer radar data in Flowx. He kindly allowed us to do this for free. Since then we have kept in contact, comparing notes of app developments, etc… and became friends. When Russia invaded Ukraine Oleksii drove 23 hours non-stop to get his wife and three kids to safety. They were driven from their home. This is the reason the pop-up is in Flowx.

One man’s decision and ego is the cause of this unjustified war. I find it amazing one person can cause so much suffering and death, even for his own people.

At the time I was thinking about adding this pop-up to Flowx, Hungary’s leader Orban was talking about blocking sanctions and appeared to be protecting Russia. This is the reason, rightly or wrongly, I added Hungary to the list. This article outlines Orban’s position on the Ukraine-Russia conflict. Whether Orban’s position has changed today - I don’t know.

So this is less about politics or preaching or being an expert on the other side of the world, rather this is simply about supporting a friend.

Will this make a change? I don’t know. I had a few thoughts on the matter:

  1. Russian’s see different news from us. By seeing this pop-up they may seek more news from outside Russia.
  2. the more Russian’s notice the opposition, sanctions, companies leaving Russia, and a small pop-up, the more Russian’s may question their position in the world, the direction their country is heading and ultimately, their leadership.
  3. is it better than doing nothing??

I understand many people, including Russians, don’t support the Russia’s invasion. This is why I added a secret code to permanently turn of the pop-up (see the Change Log for version 3.364). Only two users have requested it.

But most people shoot from the hip and attack, instead of understanding why the pop-up was added. They make many assumptions and accusations. One of the best I got was “the USA started this war” - wow!!

As I said at the start, I welcome open, honest and respectful discussions but making assumptions about someone (medications, knowledge), attacking their character and being disparaging and disrespectful is not going to help. Further it is the cause of much toxicity on the internet today.

Cheers, Duane.

3 Likes

Hi @duane ,

Thanks for your response. I have to apologize for my language but I was using your app for months clicking on the pop-up message every day without clicking on the “why are you seeing this”. But when finally I saw your reasoning, it really made me upset.

Raising Hungary to the same level with Russia and Belarus is definitely an extreme approach. Just because Orban blocks just one or two of the sanctions? We agreed all of the sanctions without question. We did not agree of simple cutting Hungary down from gas. We are looking for the solution, but our gas dependency is much stronger – historical and geographical reason - and Hungary’s economy would simply collapse without that gas. Also blocking does not mean we don’t agree, it means we don’t accept it in that specific form. But each country can decide by itself individually. All of other sanctions we supported. By this we became the supporter of the war? Really? That’s quite simple and manipulative approach.

What about the refugees from Ukraine? Some countries (as I know 3 of them) already expressed that they don’t want to handle more refugees because it’s already problematic for the society. Hungary has never done that though we accepted more refugees than others compering to the population. Maybe Poland does a better job, they are just awesome. The Hungarian government does everything to help. But you don’t read about it, do you? Yes, Zelenskyy criticizes him (Orban) as he would like more – of course I can understand him, his country is in war – but he uses such a tone, that not acceptable. Ukraine always has used such tone with Hungary. Check back for 10 years why. Anyway, recently he (Zelenskyy) changed his tone anyway. Are you still right about that Hungary is a war supporter?

Many of my friends - and many Hungarian families accepted refugees, some of them for long term. Just our church (it’s a small church) has already collected maybe around 1/2 million (really!) USD from around the world to help Ukraine. And non of them thinks that Orban supports the war. Try to guess why. I’m happy o introduce you to my church fellows if you are willing.

What about your country? I have heard that retailers removed Russian vodka from the shelves. But it was not centrally decided by your government. Does it mean your government supports the bloodshed? Maybe…

And what about other countries that openly or less openly, but definitely support Putin’s aggression. India is happy to buy the oil now. Did you put your message to India either? Did your government cut all ties with India? No? Hmmm… maybe Jacinda Ardern has some Russian interest? So, one more reason to extend your simplified list. Here is my suggestion.

War supporter countries: Russia, Belarus, Hungary and New Zealand.

I think it looks nice.

Yes, you say the government does not have the right and power to influence so directly the economy. It is a healthy democracy. So? Maintaining a healthy democracy is more important than the blood of Ukrainians? * Conclusion again: New Zealand is a bloody supporter of the war.

Or about the weapons. As a Nato member, we fully support every decisions made by Nato. Beyond that it should be the sovereign decision of the individual countries. As it is.

As for articles about Orban. All around the world the liberal media is happy to write down Orban’s smallest questionable decision any time since his opposition of the EU’s migration policy (it was 20% about the refugees, 80% is the migration policy). Now, no one criticizes him on tis manner… you can make a deeper study on this if you are interested.

Coronavirus: Our parliament accepted an emergency power in case of need to act fast (and not arguing in the parliament for weeks whether we should close the borders). With this emergency act Orban’s power was still much less and more limited(!) than for example the French president’s power in normal circumstances. And he never used this power. What could you read in your favorite media? Orban grabbed the power. He became a dictator. Just simply that.

Edit: I found what I wanted to insert here. It’s a nice example about the reliability of the media and speaks for itself.

The CNN reporter (quite a reliable news agency) stated that the parliament is closed down while it was not at all, it was functioning normally. She did not even make a fact check on her own questions? I think we can agree it’s a bad joke. But clearly reflects how the media blows up some things according to their favor and nobody gonna check the reality. Just no one. Later I read similar news from Reuters (that is pretty reliable too… or not).

What about the 2/3 in the parliament? We gave him. Through democratic election. That really hurts some “democratic” leaders in the world, I know. Hungary is more democratic than the US. You say: really? Yes, really. I have no clue about New Zealand, sorry.

And now your conclusion: “Better than doing nothing?” – you draw the conclusion. Placing Hungary to the level of Russia and Belarus? No problem. You can do that, but don’t be surprised if I don’t like it.

So better than nothing? I think the aim does not justify the means.

First I wanted to send around a message to friends and forums (you know, social media is so useful… let’s enjoy) that if someone don’t agree with this categorization, they can downrate your app on Google Play, so you might get maybe a thousand one star rating. But I did not do it because it would be pretty mean. I hate this cancel culture we are living in, and the power of manipulation behind it, I don’t want to be drifted by this stream. Instead of I decided to enjoy your pop-up message daily. It reminds me on the Ukrainian situation and You as well. (Yes, I know about the secret key…)

My apology for the last sentence about the medication. That was rude from me. Gonna remove from the Google play comment. I really would like to give you five star as your app is just awesome, but that five star would not match with the comment and with my indignation.

One more comment on the article you referred: The author is clearly a scholar of the right left side politics (sorry for the correction), some of her schools are private schools founded(!) or supported by George Soros, the enemy of Orban. Soros really would like to smash him as Orban is an obstacle in his economical manipulation made in the name of freedom (He is quite well known about it). But you can argue with this.

Sorry for my long response, but hope you get my point.

Cheers,

Barnabas

*Sidenote:

Wow! This one became quite a deep question. I really would like to open a discussion on this simple question. But not here. Anybody is more familiar with forums where it can be discussed, feel free to use this philosophical sentence (Is it philosophical? Sorry I’m an engineer…).

One more sidenote: you mentioned that just two users requested for the secret code. does it mean everybody else is a war supporter? Quite a bad ratio. Maybe the all world supports the war? Or your idea is not working?

2 Likes

Let me give you a recent interview on CNN. Though it is 2 months old, it kind of reflects the HUngarian approach (that time, some things are changed since than, as with other countries either). You can criticize it, but it’s far not that bad that we deserve to be handled on the same level with Russia and Belarus.

1 Like

Hi @barnabas,

Thanks for the long reply.

To start with, I want to make it quite clear. Hungary is not on the same level as Belarus, and definitely not on the same level as Russia.

As I said, when I was thinking about adding the pop-up Hungary was in the news and it seemed like they were dragging their feet. I also think people on the basic level do not want this suffering and death associated with war. Invading Ukraine is not going to improve the life of the average Russian. They seem to have been taught to think this war and death is necessary. Kind of like the opposite of learned helplessness. At the time, I thought Hungary wasn’t helping much in the light of people dying, hence the pop-up.

Admittedly, Hungary has not been in the news since and as such, I haven’t reflected on the pop-up in Hungary.

Anyway, I emailed Oleksii for his advice and he suggested Hungary should not get the pop-up since Hungary “doesn’t do missile strikes against the Ukrainian people”. So in the next release I’ll remove Hungary.

Again I want to emphasize, the pop-up was to encourage support against this war from the people within those countries. It was not to suggest the people of those countries are all terrible warmonger. I truly believe most people are good on the basic level.

I’m sorry for the pop-ups. It has lead to a good discussion and learning’s. I know you’re suggesting more discussion but be careful what you ask for on the internet.

BTW, you have a well spoken foreign minister.

Cheers, Duane.

2 Likes

Hi,

I’ve just release a version to beta testing without Hungary seeing the pop-ups. It should be live in beta in a few hours and out to everyone else within the week.

Cheers, Duane.

2 Likes

Hi @duane ,
It’s great to hear that this discussion was fruitful, even my tone was harsh. Sorry for that again. I really hope that this war gonna end soon and Ukraine will be sovereign and peaceful country, and for my opinion, part of EU. I wish the best to your friend Oleksii. Keep up with the good work.

Have a nice day.
Barnabas

ps. I don’t suggest more discussion on any political matter at al, God forbid. It’s a very slippery topic. I was just surprised on my own philosophical/ethical question: “Maintaining a healthy democracy is more important than the blood of Ukrainians?”.

1 Like

I just think this could of been handled a better way. but what’s done is done it’s been taken care of.

2 Likes

I don’t even mind if you guys remove this thread from the forum, I don’t think it belongs here anymore.

2 Likes

Hi @barnabas ,

I’m happy we have a good outcome. I apologise for giving the impression you’re the same as Russia - you are certainly not. I too hope all this suffering stops soon.

I won’t delete this thread. I think it does belong here. It’s a good example of open discussion. Just keep discussion civil and respectful.

As I said above, there is a lot of toxicity on the internet - it is my pet hate and one I haven’t managed to fix. Your harsh words weren’t that harsh. I’ve used the same approach in my younger days. I’ve seen worse in the last ten years and this is why I would rather stop the toxicity on the web. It’s interesting that you wouldn’t see the toxicity on the web inside a well functioning company, family, relationship, community, sports team or club - that there a little hint of what we should be doing.

My only ask is to keep discussions on topic, don’t attack people and call out people who do. (and teach other people).

Cheers, Duane.

2 Likes