press release critique

Marc Eberhard m.a.eberhard at
Fri May 4 08:31:34 UTC 2001

Hi Jos!

On Thu, May 03, 2001 at 09:50:04PM +0200, josX wrote:
> > There was a mail from Georg a while ago on this question. He expressed the
> > opinion, that a democratic organisation would not be as stable and long
> > lasting as a non-democratic one. 
> I cannot live with this.

Why? What are you afraid of exactly?

> No, you don't get it completely: if we are `action' based, there can be no
> criminals because we are all doing something usefull, so any lazy people
> will simply be noticed immideately because they only eat the pizza, but
> never do anything usefull (giving orders is not usefull IMO).

And then? What do you want to do with them? The problem is not spotting
these people, the problem is, that you cannot do anything against it. So
more and more people will see, that they can get pizza without giving
anything back. This process will slowly subvert the enthusiastics and
convert them into lazy people too. You end up with nobody doing anything

> > otherwise. The core team is mainly to coordinate and the country chapters
> > are there, because of the different legislation among the european
> > countries.
> I see no contradiction: we can appear to the outside as a standard org,
> while actually be completely flat.

You will always need to share the work somehow. Take the FSFE structure just
as technical approach to share the work properly, so that each group can
work with a high efficiency.

> No you don't understand again: there are not going to be deadlocks on
> anything because nobody can tell anybody else what to do or what not to.
> Everybody will just follow their own path, and coordinate it between them
> if need be or if that seems fun.

My experience is, that some people tend to discuss forever. So I doubt, that
this way would really work.

> No, because in your scheme there will be a control entity, and this entity

Please... "coordinate" not "control". I didn't write anything about
controlling something. I'm only talking about coordinating things.

> will not do anything usefull on itself and be a waste of energy therefore.

Usually the people coordinating something (e.g. T-shirts) are also the ones
to do the work. So they do something useful.

> No you don't understand what I meant with `action' see above too...
> All that's needed to coordinate is a usenet group, or a couple of them
> or something and let things organize themselve, everybody is self-motivated
> here so it should be no problem, it should be a thrill even to work together
> with people from other countries on a particular thing, and later with
> others on something else.... will be great!!

Well, that's what it is already. It works fine for writing free software,
but the industry has got that point too and is using it's influence on
politicians to try to push free software off the field. That's why we need
to do political work now. We have to prevent, that laws are passed through
parliaments, that would stop us from working together in this way. It is the
time now, to defend the freedom we have. This is nothing we have granted
forever. We have to become active to keep it this way.

> > Sure, you could do that. But the impact is much stronger, if people
> > demonstrating for free software in Spain would wear exactly the same
> > T-shirts on TV as people in the UK and in France. Don't you think so? It's
> > again this: You're not alone, you're only one of a huge community. This
> > message must come across, because then it is obvious, that you cannot be
> > ignored.
> I disagree totally!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
> It would just seem to be a uniform bunch of sad teenagers wanting to `belong'.
> If everybody has different T-shirt's in different colors and drawings/pictures,
> like some explosion of creativity... THAT will impress the people... not some
> uniform gray mass of nobodies....

Hmmm, would be interesting if we have some psychologist around, who could
answer this question. Would be interesting to know indeed, what would make a
bigger impression.

> I disagree, I think the media will have little to no impact. This might

Unfortunately they do. Most people do not actively discuss these things, but
simply make the opinion expressed in the newspapers their own. Keep in mind,
that we are a rather small minority of extremely concerned and critical
people. We are not representative in any way for joe user or

> seem strange, but these media-types don't give a damn about Linux, and
> on a slow day they are just going to write it all sucks big time because
> they think it is controversial to say.

It might seem strange to you, but I explained in one of my previous mails,
how they decide, what to feature. If we don't supply them constantly with
news, this situation will not change. We need to be aware of this. The press
doesn't look around. They just look at what arrives at their door on its own.


email: marc at
email: m.a.eberhard at, web:

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