The fire and the fury? Wait…

Lately someone wrote a book with that title. It’s about a sad (and bad) joke figure playing a president of a whole nation. But “the fire and the fury” reminds me of the devil in Tom Waits’ “Way down in the hole” (which is where we should keep him). Listen:

Funny that “The Wire”, where this is played as the title melody, is the favourite TV series of some former president named Barack Obama…

“The Lord is a very very busy man…”

Thanks for listening.

Why “community” is mostly a buzzword these days

I found an interesting two-part article on LWN, about buying and selling “communities”:

LWN link
article on Opensource.com, part 1
article on Opensource.com, part 2

At my employers’, “community” is one of the most overused buzzwords of these times. And it’s also incorrectly used, since a “community” in its stronger sense is a conglomerate of people with some kind of free will, with choices, and with power – each of which is taken away from them more or less as soon as they’re paid to do certian things (like work for instance). Dance to the tune which the piper (the employer) plays, right? So in this stronger sense, the word “community” is rightly misused and out of place – this place you’re at ain’t no university; this is the pond with the big (and dangerous) fish. So I always throw up a little when I get one of those in-corporation spam mails talking about “community”, and how cool and new and hip we all are. Nothing smells worse and undermines your own credibility more than all these self-ads in fake hipster dresses…

As the example above shows – and no, I haven’t visited sites like /. or SourceForge since years – as soon as any money is involved, you can give up the thought of and about communities. If something can be bought and sold it’s not a place where I would want to be.

If you might be curious about where to find real communities, you might look at the Usenet, if you still remember what that is. Or look at non-profits like Debian, PostgreSQL, or any other of the projects which are associated with the – also non-profit – SPI Inc. I know some members of their board of directors, and have met them personally on events like FOSDEM, and I can guarantee that these people are volunteers, and that there’s no money involved.

Or forget about all these virtual worlds, and go and serve your own community, in the kampung (Malaysian for: village) where you might live. Or the district of your town.

But stop misusing (and robbing the rest of us of) words like “community”, if you don’t even know what that means.

Thanks for reading.