Miriam Ruiz
random thoughts on technology and life

{October 29, 2007}   Journalists avoiding writing about Free Software?

Some people around Free Software tend to be too enthusiastic and very critical, both with themselves and with other people. Whenever Linux or Free Software appear in the media, people who wrote the articles are severely and merciless attacked, and the criticism is not always constructive.

It might be hard to properly talk about these topics in a non-technical magazine or newspaper targeted towards the mainstream population, not only because they have to explain it in an understandable way for non-initiated people, but also because they’re usually very limited in space. Thus, many times the articles are inaccurate or incomplete, not always being a journalist’s fault, but also of the conditions in which the article has to be published, as well as the time they have to develop it.

Someone, a journalist, told me this last weekend that she tries to avoid writing stuff about Linux herself due to the harsh attacks she’s subjected to from the Linux and Free Software activists as soon as she publishes anything on that topic. I kind of understand that. It might be the same than when you write a program and release it as Free Software, and then some people get too demanding and aggressive towards you for not having done a perfect program and submitting to their wishes, instead of thinking about the effort invested in what is done.

I seriously think that we might be losing a lot of power and strength if we attack so much the media that support us than they fear us enough to avoid these topics. We’re on the same team, and it wouldn’t be so bad to be a little understanding and supporting of them, and rely on constructive and friendly criticism instead of treating them as if they were the enemy. They also have feelings, you know.

{October 21, 2007}   FOSDEM’08

The Free and Open Source Developers’ European Meeting is a free and non-commercial event for the community and organised by the community. Its goal is to provide Free and Open Source developers and communities a place to meet to get in touch with other developers and projects, get informed about the latest developments in the Free and Open Source world, attend to interesting talks and presentations held in large conference rooms by Free and Open Source project leaders and commiters on various topics and to promote the development and the benefits of Free and Open Source solutions.

Taking place in the city of Brussels (Belgium), FOSDEM meetings are recognized as “The best Free and Open Source events in Europe.”

{October 20, 2007}   Public transport is not reliable

Yesterday night, a taxi driver was killed in Madrid. The rest decided to go on strike. No taxis are available in the whole city. I had to get my plane to Lyon at half past seven, the check-in finished at 07:00. Metro starts at 6:00, and the airport is quite far from here. Thus, I got to the airport some minutes after seven. Only some minutes, 4 or 5 maybe, but enough for the check-in to be closed. Damn computers, when they decide something, it seems that all the humans can do is obbey. who is the tool and who the user then? I couldn’t get my plane. It doesn’t matter who I got to ask for help, no one seemed to be able to do anything. Computers rule. Check-in is already closed. I’m not the oly one who missed the plane anyway. I’d really love to be able to be in Lyon now. Next time, I just won’t trust public transport at all, I won’t try to get a plane that early and I will do the check-in through the Internet. Have a lot of fun all of you joining JDLL.

{October 17, 2007}   OSI approves two Microsoft licenses as Open Source

The Open Source Iniciative (OSI) has approved two Microsoft license submissions: The Microsoft Public License (Ms-PL) and the Microsoft Reciprocal License (Ms-RL). The Open Source Definition was written after Debian Free Software Guidelines, also by Bruce Perens, and they have a lot in common.

What is Hasefroch pretending with this movement? It’s not that I trust them too much, so I just don’t think they won’t have a hidden intention, but then again, they might not have it this time, who knows. It might be just a marketing show, having two OSI approved licenses, but not using them to release any significant code, or maybe they’re discovering that Open Source/Free and Proprietary Software are not exclusive and each of them might have its space. Or maybe… it was “Embrace, extend and extinguish“, wasn’t it?

I’ve had a look at the licenses, and apart from some patent-related provisions, I don’t see anything in them that could make them non-DFSG-free, anyway. The difference between them is that the Microsoft Reciprocal License (Ms-RL) has a clause stating that you should release your modifications under the same license. Lets see what the future provides.

{October 17, 2007}   Weekend in Lyon: JDLL 2007

On 19th and 20th of October 2007 takes place “Les 9èmes Journées Du Logiciel Libre” in Lyon, France, around the topics “Individual freedom and free software” and “Free Software for everyone”, the first of which will be analyzed from different point of views: legal, technical, historical, artistic, and others. The second will be addressed through different talks, covering many different aspects and areas of interests, including games. I’ve never been to Lyon before, I’ve been told it’s a really cute city, and I’m really looking forward to see you all, french guys, again there. :)

{October 17, 2007}   9èmes Journées Du Logiciel Libre

Les 19 et 20 octobre 2007 à CPE Lyon.

Les 9èmes Journées Du Logiciel Libre auront pour axes:
Les libertés individuelles et les logiciels libres.
Les logiciels libres pour tous et toutes.

{October 16, 2007}   DebCamp8

Development teams have the possibility of meeting before the DebConf for undisturbed collaborative work. DebCamp, is a smaller, less formal event that gives an opportunity for group work on Debian projects. After both events, DebianDay takes place.  DebianDay is a short conference aimed at Debian users, and others interested in learning more about free software.

{October 16, 2007}   DebConf8

Debian Conference is the annual Debian developers meeting, an event filled with coding parties, discussions and workshops – all of them highly technical in nature. DebConf8 will be held in Mar del Plata, Argentina, from August 10th to August 16th, 2008.

DebConf is the Debian Project’s developer conference. In addition to a full schedule of technical, social and policy talks, DebConf provides an opportunity for developers, contributors and other interested people to meet in person and work together more closely.  It has taken place annually since 2000 in locations as varied as Canada, Finland, Scotland and Mexico.

Mar del Plata is located about 400km south of Buenos Aires, Argentina. A very popular beach resort during the Summer, the city has about 700,000 residents. The weather in August is generally cold, and although some sunny days are to be expected, rainy days can’t be ruled out.

{October 16, 2007}   GeneraTech

GeneraTech son unas jornadas sobre género en la tecnocultura audiovisual libre organizadas por la asociación cultural “Ningún Lugar”, de Barcelona. El objetivo es la creación de una red de investigadoras y creadoras culturales a partir de la promover y construir puntos de conexión entre diferentes colectivos, especialmente de aquellos que apoyen social o culturalmente temas de género, sexualidad, precariedad o exclusión social.

{October 12, 2007}   Encuentro con la sombra: El gran saco que todos arrastramos

A los dos o tres años de edad todo nuestro psiquismo irradia energía y disponemos de lo que bien podríamos denominar una personalidad de 360°. Un niño corriendo, por ejemplo, es una esfera pletórica de energía. Un buen día, sin embargo, escuchamos a nuestros padres decir cosas tales como: «¿Puedes estarte quieto de una vez?» o «¡Deja de fastidiar a tu hermano!» y descubrimos atónitos que les molestan ciertos aspectos de nuestra personalidad. Entonces, para seguir siendo merecedores de su amor comenzamos a arrojar todas aquellas facetas de nuestra personalidad que les desagradan en un saco invisible que todos llevamos con nosotros. Cuando comenzamos a ir a la escuela ese fardo ya es considerablemente grande. Entonces llegan los maestros y nos dicen: «Los niños buenos no se enfadan por esas pequeñeces» de modo que amordazamos también nuestra ira y la echamos en el saco.

En la escuela secundaria nuestro lastre sigue creciendo. La paranoia que sienten los adolescentes respecto de los adultos es inexacta pues ahora ya no son sólo estos últimos quienes nos oprimen sino también nuestros mismos compañeros.

Somos una esfera de energía que va menguando con el correr del tiempo y al llegar los veinte años no queda de ella más que una magra rebanada. Imaginemos a un hombre de unos veinticuatro años cuya esfera ha enflaquecido hasta el punto de convertirse en una escuálida loncha de energía (el resto está en la bolsa). Ese par de lonchas -que ni siquiera juntas llegan a constituir una persona completa- se unen en una ceremonia denominada matrimonio.

Cada cultura llena su saco con contenidos diferentes. Franz nos advierte del peligro que implica la creencia romántica de que el bulto que arrastran los individuos de culturas primitivas es más ligero que el nuestro. Pero en su opinión esta conclusión es errónea porque los sacos de todos los seres humanos tienen aproximadamente las mismas dimensiones.

Todo lo que echamos en esa bolsa regresa e involuciona hacia estadios previos del desarrollo. Supongamos que un joven cierra el saco a los veinte años de edad y no vuelve a abrirlo hasta quince o veinte años más tarde. ¿Qué es lo que ocurrirá entonces cuando abra nuevamente el saco? Lamentablemente, la sexualidad, la violencia, la agresividad, la ira o la libertad que había arrojado al saco habrán sufrido un proceso de regresión y cuando aparezcan de nuevo no sólo asumirán un aspecto rudimentario sino que también mostrarán una manifiesta hostilidad. Es normal que quien abra el saco a los cuarenta y cinco años de edad se atemorice como lo haría quien vislumbrara la amenazadora sombra de un gorila recortándose contra el muro de un oscuro callejón.

La mayor parte de los hombres de nuestra cultura echan en el saco las facetas femeninas de su personalidad No resulta extraño, pues, que cuando a los treinta y cinco o cuarenta años de edad intentan restablecer el contacto con su mujer interior descubran que ésta se ha tornado hostil. A su vez, ese mismo hombre percibir una gran hostilidad procedente de las mujeres con quienes tropiece en su vida cotidiana. En el dominio de lo psicológico existe una regla fundamental: como adentro es afuera. Si una mujer, por ejemplo, desea ser valorada por su feminidad y arroja al saco los aspectos masculinos de su personalidad es muy posible que con el transcurrir de los años descubra una fuerte aversión hacia los hombres y que sus críticas hacia ellos se tornen ásperas e inflexibles. Así pues, cuando nos negamos a aceptar una parte de nuestra personalidad ésta termina tornándose hostil.

Pero volvamos a nuestro drama. A partir de ese momento nos dedicamos a fabricar una personalidad que resulte más aceptable para nuestros padres. Alice Miller dice que nos hemos traicionado a nosotros mismos pero agrega que «no debemos culparnos por ello ya que tampoco hubiéramos podido hacer otra cosa». Es muy probable que en la antigüedad los niños que se opusieran a sus padres fueran abandonados a su suerte. Dadas las circunstancias hacemos lo único sensato que podemos hacer.

Cuantas más cosas echamos en nuestro saco personal, cuanto más repleto se halla, menor es la energía de la que disponemos. Ciertamente hay personas que tienen más energía que otras pero todos poseemos más energía de que la que normalmente podemos utilizar. Si en la infancia arrojamos la sexualidad en el saco o si una mujer se despoja de su masculinidad y la arroja en el saco desperdicia con ello una gran cantidad de energía.

Extractos del texto “El gran saco que todos arrastramos” (Robert Bly)
“Encuentro con la sombra – El poder del lado oscuro de la naturaleza humana” (Connie Zweig y Jeremiah Abrams)


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