[oclug] Concerned Amusement
sphex at sympatico.ca
Fri Apr 6 20:43:58 EDT 2007
I did not imagine you could write anything like this.
At the risk of blackening your reputation forever, I say "YES! YES!"
Everybody should read this for understanding, not disputing hooks.
chris h wrote:
> On Thursday 05 April 2007 22:59, The Linux Doctor wrote:
>>A few points for you. Let us begin with the beginning.
> A few more points added for historical clarity. Been here since the early
>>You stated, "Actually, the list was founded to talk about Linux and
>>open-source software. Other things get discussed and it is tolerated.
>>Correction: OCLUG was formed as a community whose common interest was
>>Linxux where we can exchange ideas and benefit as a whole on all sorts
> Yuppers. The original crew and list were high end techies from generally from
> a UNIX background. Some were friendly and some were not. Most did not
> tolerate incompetence at the keyboard with little nubie support to solve
> different configuration problems. You had to learn the language to
> participate as in those early years there were no installers per se and your
> basic system was manually configured. This attitude changed with the earliest
> releases of redhat and SuSE with new folks came on board as these systems
> came with installers but very poor hardware support.
> What was interesting was that folks discussed all matters as they affected
> linux and gpl based software and both the technical business and political
> streams that emerged from this phenom. Some even tried to inject a social
> relevance. All this and more was hotly discussed on the lists.
> The main difference on the lists now reminds me of the differences when I was
> in University during the 70's and 80's. In the 70's education was a dialog
> between student and teacher to ascertain truth and reason in any subject
> matter. Knowledge was pursued for it own merits with passion. Nothing was
> taken for granted and everything was challenged and explored. In the 80's the
> economic situation in the country changed and students were into education to
> get high marks expecting a high paying job upon completion even dressing for
> success at school. Nothing was challenged and I watched in horror as most
> students simply copied everything verbatim that was presented in class.
> Professors watched in horror as students would simply regurgitate what was
> presented showing little intuition or desire to explore. Fast forward to the
> 90-2000 and students came up with the identity of rights and entitlements.
> After all they were purchasing a service. The pleasure of the pursuit of
> knowledge for its own sake and merit has been replaced by personal rights to
> high grades and an exit strategy the demands a high paying job. In the end,
> personal growth, that what it means to be human in all its facets and
> complexities, has been replaced by a singular desire for financial gain.
> Similarly the list has evolved. The desire to explore and challenge linux
> related issues is now seen offensive and as its infringement on personal
> liabilities and arguments and discussions are based on a simplistic viewpoint
> of I'm right your wrong. The art of discussion and debate combined with the
> pursuit of knowledge is mostly disappeared due to the lack of practice and
>>The list was a side effect of that goal.
> Actually the list was the primary means of communication between members. Most
> were remote and the user base spanned several continents.
>>You also stated, "The list didn't have a charter when it started, and
>>the non-Linux and non-open-source discussions (and associated
>>flame-fests) started to overshadow the point of the list. "
> I find this comment interesting as the only way the original poster could come
> up with this conclusion is by means of the archives. This original poster was
> not a member if I recall correctly in the "early years" rather coming on
> board well after OCLUG had matured past the technophile days. In fact none of
> the original OCLUG members based on the current list membership remain. Both
> Francis and I came around well after the formation of OCLUG by at least a
> year or two. If the original poster finds the list without character at that
> time then perhaps the pure technical discussions at the time were of no
> interest. This would be an interesting observation and this is the current
> negative critique of the present list.
>>The presumption that that was a bad thing came from certain corporatist
>>interests intent on taking over OCLUG and therefore legitimising
>>themselves at the same time. We wondered if OCLUG would benefit from
>>those particular corporate interests and, finally, we did not. We
>>fussed over incorporation which, in the end, did us no good.
> You can take this one step further. OCLUG's association with various
> commercial interests were one sided. They needed us to legitimize their
> efforts. To some OCLUG members this resulted in major head swelling as well
> as opportunities for financial gain. To stimulate these associations a board
> was formed and later incorporation. In the end, they all used us, we
> comformed to their value systems and gained nothing in the long run. What
> contributions were ever made to "OCLUG as a community" by those with vested
> financial interests in linux? That is not to say that financial interest in
> linux are a negative value or component. They are only considered negative at
> this end if there is not a collateral contribution towards sustaining and
> building the community of users.
> Taking it one step further. In the "early days" the distro vendors were very
> cognizant of this and went to great efforts to support and nurture the LUG
> system. This was particularly the case in the Silicon Valley, in Europe and
> to a lesser extend in the general realm of the US and Canada. However once
> IPO's were completed, the user base was abandoned as they were no longer
> needed as a revenue base only as a labour pool. The notion of community
> building was replaced by stockholder appeasement. The only entity that has
> remained consistently integrated with the user base is the Debian community
> but unfortunately due to internal issues they have declined both in terms of
> popularity and functionality as witnessed by their release cycles, changes in
> leadership and the rise of Ubuntu.
>>But that is old history.
> But extremely relevant as all these matters tend to by cyclical and the same
> perspectives are discussed over and over again without coming to a practical
> solution. Perhaps its time to assess once again where OCLUG is going, what
> has worked and what has not. Strip off the vestiges of failed efforts by
> learning from them and not be condemned to repeating them. The future remains
> open and unwritten.
>>OCLUG has never been able to free itself of the "old guard" that has
>>been intent of destroying it. And, of course, the membership endorses
>>it. That's democracy for you.
> There is were we diverge in perspective Francis. The old guard does not exit
> anymore. There are those however with vested interested in moving OCLUG in a
> specific direction that I consider poorly motivated and efforts to do so seem
> to come about every few years in the hopes of reforming an apparent
> disfunctional organization. Nothing to do with democracy rather more to do
> with not meeting specific people personal interests. Community building is
> not an exercise in democracy rather an exercise in the pursuit of common
> goals in which democracy plays only a minor role in defining those goals. The
> real work comes from commitment to execution and that is were we all tend to
> fall down and fail to stay the course. Discussion tends to outway
> implementation and building of a future.
> The real question that no one wants to ask is where does OCLUG want to be in
> three years, in what form, and with what objectives accomplished??
> We have a board, we have a charter we are an incorporated entity, we have a
> website and we have lists. But what have we accomplished as a community that
> finds itself a subset of a larger community. Of what value have these
> organizational structures been toward accomplishing specific goals or
> contributions towards moving linux forward in all its aspects or to the
> larger community that we are a part of?
Why, Benedict, did you?
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