[linux-elitists] [thaths@gmail.com: Re: [silk] FOSS.IN]

Eugen Leitl eugen@leitl.org
Sat Dec 24 02:06:13 PST 2005

----- Forwarded message from Thaths <thaths@gmail.com> -----

From: Thaths <thaths@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 23 Dec 2005 23:38:19 -0800
To: silklist@lists.hserus.net
Subject: Re: [silk] FOSS.IN
Reply-To: silklist@lists.hserus.net

On 12/23/05, Chris Kantarjiev <cak@dimebank.com> wrote:
> http://lwn.net/Articles/162669/

#include i-was-not-at-foss.il

My opinions:

1. Hardcore, technical topics (like Cox's or Welte's talks) tend to
draw bigger audiences in India because of the perceived potential
monetary outcome of knowing the skill being talked about. If one of
the lesser known Open Source people were to speak on a non-technical,
but important topic say, copyright term extensions, I would bet that
the talk will draw a significantly lesser crowd.

2. For most attendees, Linux is a skill (not that there is anything in
approaching it as a skill) and not a passion or lifestyle. In other
words, hackerhood is a relatively smaller phenomenon in India at this
stage. This is partially because the schooling system tends to drain
the passion out of students and makes them into automatons who
regurgitate memoried facts to gain higher marks. The pressures of
getting into a good college and getting a well-paid and steady job
drain whatever passion remains. Under these circumstanses, it is
extremely difficult to keep one's inner geek alive. This is one of the
reasons why geeks that are passionate about Open Source have tended to
be from the upper socio-economic strata of Indian society - they were
economically safe enough to afford their pursuing their passions.

3. India is undergoing accelerated social and economic change.
Entirely new careers are opening up for the young people today. I
think with time - I would hazard to guess 5 to 10 years - life would
be less precarious in India to let more young geeks follow their

4. IMO, FOSS.IL nee Linux Bangalore have concentrated more on the
splash they make than the impact they have on young hackers. There is
nothing wrong in this shock-and-awe approach. It just isn't the right
one to foster more Open Source participation, especially in terms of
code, from hackers in India.

"Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything that's even
                       remotely true!"  -- Homer J. Simpson

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Eugen* Leitl <a href="http://leitl.org">leitl</a> http://leitl.org
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