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Re: Re: [tlug] TLUG Funding (was: Feisty stuff, etc.

Shannon Jacobs writes:

 > I think it would be even better to attract more regular people, and
 > especially regular Japanese people. Nor am I especially worried about
 > missing the company of the people who are that scared of a donation
 > can, even if they're free to ignore it.

Japanese are not free to ignore a request for a "donation".  As a
gaijin, you may intend them to be so, but as Japanese, they are not,
not if they continue to participate.  (Consider the NHK tax-that-is-
not-a-tax.)  So if you want to attract and keep Japanese, you need to
be careful about soliciting donations.

 > There's a lot of confusion about "free" here. Free meetings and free
 > beer and free Linux installations and free love and free lunch and
 > free this and free that.

I don't see any confusion.  I also don't see anything useful to do
with more money.  I for one have no time to help spend it well, nor
does anyone I'd trust with the money.

 > However, I do think there are some basic business principles that
 > might be applicable here, and I'm not fond of depending on charity.

It's not charity.  It's that we have plenty for our needs.  Open
source is a potlatch community (cf ESR's apocrypha).  Most of us are
way richer than the average, at least in terms of the IT sides of our
lives.  Take what you want and can use; nobody will feel poorer.

 > However, I obviously think TLUG could be doing more to support the
 > spread of Linux in opposition to the cancer of Microsoft.

Like what?  As you point out, there's an important sense of "free",
but that kind of freedom comes only with experience and effort.  Free
software is like "Martian thinking" (Heinlein, _Stranger in a Strange
Land_).  It's quasi-religious, but it's not saccharine, it's real
power, and it definitely doesn't come simply for saying "I believe".
The stuff we can buy with money is not going to help people to be
free.  Except maybe enough beer to keep them listening (about 400 yen

There are groups that can use money to advance open source.  The
various conferences and things like that.  I don't see why TLUG should
contribute money as a group at this point; the groups that sponsor
conferences are generally open, and we should suggest that people send
their contributions there.  If, for example, there is significant
dissatisfaction with the way the conferences are organized, then TLUG
might want to provide a focus for a movement to improve things, and
offering a chunk of money is an easy way to get organizer attention.
But I don't see such a need at this time.

 > If it brings a lot of new people into the Linux community, I might
 > be willing to vote for it.

Quality before quantity, please!

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