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

Re: "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?"

This is probably a reflection of the reality of being foreign guests
in the country.  Since the yen became strong and it's just an ordinary
thing for citizens of this country to travel out of the country now,
things are considerably more international than they used to be, but
still it's a quite a different culture here from that in western
countries, and so one (unspoken and undeclared) function of the
get-togethers is to let down the defenses and talk with people from
similar backgrounds.  It's a good life most of us have here in Japan,
but some things need to be kept inside out of respect for local
feelings.  Blowing off steam is an important factor of life here.
(Come to think of it - that's the way it is for nearly everyone in
Tokyo!  You don't get on well in this country by speaking your mind in
all situations!  Drinking is an accepted way of blowing off steam
before going back to being careful again.)

Re: [snip] "..... involving more people in Linux. Some people like to
feel they are special and elite. I don't, but rather I prefer to focus
on our essential similarities."

Well, yes, but there's another factor to being guests in the country
(some with "permanent residency", but still guests, not nationals).
Fundamentally, most of us were hired for positions for which there is
a shortage of local people to fill the slots.  Training more people in
these special skills undermines the monetary value of our labor and
increases the possibility of being replaced by younger/cheaper
competition.  Keeping this in mind, it's not surprising that many on
the list are perfectly happy to have Linux remain a mysterious black
magic, for then they are more likely to be able to pay the rent and
buy food!

Re: [snip] "..... 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."

Thank you for saying that!  My feelings exactly!  When I brought up
something similar at a nomikai several years ago, I was derided with
the comment "You're a crusader...".  No, I'm not a crusader, I just
would like to support Linux and open-source computing.  And yes, I
have been burned many times by brand-W, so I don't like that

This brings up another aspect to reality for many on the list.  Many
are working as network administrators (or something similar), and they
are pragmatic.  Since their paychecks are tied in with brand-W, they
don't like to see brand-W criticized and will attack people on the
list who say negative things about brand-W, generally prefacing their
support of brand-W with something like "I'm no fan of brand-W myself,
but..." and then they leap to brand-W's defense and ask the person who
criticized them to calm down and not be radical.  I speak from
experience on this topic!  For example, when I mentioned the
overpricing issue several years ago, one member of the group commented
"You might as well say they are underpricing their product" and went
on to "explain" why the world really is flat.

Re: "I'll probably attend the next technical meeting, but I'm
increasingly averse to saying much in public. [snip] 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."

And the smooth and easy path is viewed as walking quietly through the
valley of the dragon and being careful not to complain about it, lest
it breathe fire in one's direction....

And from another letter (from another person):

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 don't know about all of that. I think it simply comes down to "brand" and perhaps something in the way of "brand management" or perhaps worse the attempt to control external perceptions of others internalized relationship of brand."

Groan!  Not the "perception is reality" line of thinking!  You have a
point, but I would say that reality is reality, functionality is
functionality, and when something bad is viewed as something good, and
something good is seen as something bad, this is not reality - it's
neanderthalism!  It's misunderstanding the world.  Still, marketing is
not to be ignored....


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