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Re: [tlug] Re: Why the shirts? Why TLUG?

On Fri, 20 Apr 2007 06:02:52 +0900
"Shannon Jacobs" <> wrote:

> And a special tip of the hat to Attila in Switzerland (unless you've
> wandered elsewhere).

No tip of the hat from my side. You know, hats don't fit to
t-shirt and jeans :-)
But yes, i'm still in the country of high mountains, chocolate
and good cheese (but with very little and overly expensive sushi).
> Yes, there are a few rosy statements on the website about the
> objectives, but I've been assessing TLUG mostly by the members'
> behavior. Mostly the beer-drinking behavior?

Hey! TLUG is one of the more active LUG i know. The LUGS
became more or less a "Fress- und Saufverein" (german for
drinking and eating association). From the 300 _paying_ members,
you see only 10-20 people at the bi-weekly meetings and those
go there just to meet and eat (as everything that needs to be
said was already said on the mailinglist).
> The comment about 'quality over quantity' actually came from one of
> the earlier responses in this mailing list to a comment I made about
> involving more people in Linux. Some people like to feel they are
> special and elite. 

Uh.. you missunderstood here something. It's not about being elite.
This was not a comment based on onesselves position in the pecking
order, but rather on the amount of work newbies create.
Every newby creates some work to be thought the zen of unix,
to get him to a level where he can solve his problems himself
without asking the friendly linux guru next door for each and
every mouse click. I hardy ever have met a unix guy who is averse
to help newbies. Most are very friendly and understanding of the
problems a newby has. But (and now comes a very big "but") the
newby has to be ready to work on his knowledge, on his understanding
of unix and on his social skills (interacting with unix guys is
different from interacting with people in your town). If a newby
does not show the effort needed to gain this new knowledge and
understanding, then he will be soon put off as not worth teaching
anything. Unfortunately, the majority of people out there don't see
any need to learn anything and are very resistend to learn anything
new at all, even if pointed to directly. These people are then the
ones who tell the world how unfriendly unix (and linux) guys are,
that they don't help at all, even when everyone advertises them
as very helpfull. 
Thus, we like qualitative newbies a lot better than a quantity of
newbies (quality as in "is able to learn something, to grasp new
concepts and has an interest in what he is doing with the computer").
And this is a feeling that i've seen with nearly everyone involved
with unix for a longer time. World wide.

There is also a second dimension to this, which very few people
seem to understand because they hardly experienced it. Every group
or community has a certain culture. This culture is defined by
its members and thus subject to change whith the currend state
of mind of the said members. New people to this group have to first
learn this culture to understand what is good behaviour and what not.
Now, if a lot of newbies join the group within a short period of time,
then the culture will also change because the group cannot absorb them
fast enough and teach them the culture. Thus, the culture will change
to the one the newbies had before joining the group. This in most cases
results in a rift between the old members and the new members with
very little interaction between those subgroups and over time to
the leaving of the old members, because they don't get the benefits
(what ever they were) they got before from the group anymore.

> I don't, but rather I prefer to focus on our
> essential similarities. However, as it applies more concretely to
> Linux, I think it's a critical mass question. I think Ubuntu Linux is
> *NOW* ready for the computer needs of a large number of people. If
> such a large number of people started using Linux, I think that it
> would be a good thing, and perhaps even disrupt Microsoft's
> anti-freedom, anti-democracy, and anti-competition policies,
> Microsoft's obscene profits notwithstanding. In the long run I believe
> it doesn't matter, but I am living here in the short run, and I want
> to do what I can to make the world a better place.

Well, here you hit another point. Most unix guys are not political.
They are technical. They do something because they believe it's
technically better. They only join political discussions if they
get hit directly, but that's so seldom that for quite a big portion
it never happens.
There are a few groups that are politicaly active (fsf, groklaw, etc)
but that's the minority of the unix world.

Here again comes in what i've written in my previous mail:
do whatever you want, but never assume that the people around
you want to do the same. If you want something to be done, do
it first yourself. Maybe other people will join you, if your
efforts seem worthwile to them. And for sure, there will be
a lot who will not join you.
The OSS community works this way. It's always a single man
who fights for something, who gets the ball rolling. Others
just join in to help out when they think it's a good idea.
They then share the work load, help out with knowledge etc.
But it all depends on the single man who drives the whole thing.

> I'll probably attend the next technical meeting, but I'm increasingly
> averse to saying much in public. I'm even more averse to the idea of
> running for any office in any political sense. Yes, I do have a number
> of opinions and beliefs, and many of them are strongly held. There are
> times when it is necessary to fight for one's beliefs, but I much
> prefer to seek the smooth and easy path.

Same for most people i know.

> ("Is this the path to Tao?"
> "Sorry, but you can't get there from here." Abstracted from a longer
> philosophic joke.)

You have to explain that one to people who are as illiterate as i am.

				Attila Kinali
Praised are the Fountains of Shelieth, the silver harp of the waters,
But blest in my name forever this stream that stanched my thirst!
                         -- Deed of Morred

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