Archive for December, 2006

I’m blogging this…

…because a Christmas cracker told me to. “This” being the WolvesLUG Christmas Bash, which was seriously good fun. There was curry, there was beer, there were bad jokes and there was generally a lot of smiling and laughing. I wore a rediculously green t-shirt and a matching rediculously green hat (other people may have photos, assuming their cameras didn’t break) for which I was insulted lots. I ate scicilian jelfrezi, thus proving that cheese really does go with everything. We sang happy birthday to… somebody. We ate cake, and it was decided that the correct answer to “chocolate or lemon” is “yes please.” Then I drove home in fog. Which was nice.


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I’ve been thinking

I know, it’s a dangerous thing to do, but sometimes I can’t help it. Several things have triggered this particular spasm of thought, including Kat’s blog post about Women in IT, Aq’s blog post about compromise and a discussion on the LUGRadio forum about ethics beyond software. They’re all about the same basic principle: making the world a better place.I’m a big believer in ideals. I don’t believe we’re ever likely to reach them (not least because people will never agree on what they should be), but I do believe in working towards them. So I’ve been thinking, what do I do to help the world move towards my ideals, and is it enough?

I use Linux at home and have done for a couple of years now because, among other things, I like the fact it’s Free. But is my install Free enough? Maybe Aq is right, and I should purge my system of all non-Free packages.

I believe that women can be just as capable as men at technical stuff, so I help people around me with technical stuff so they get used to the idea – I’m becoming the one people turn to in the office when things like the projector break. But should I be more proactive, rather than just taking the opportunities that arise?

I like to do my bit for the environment, so I reduce/reuse/recycle waste and have energy saving lightbulbs. But should I be doing more?

I could do everything in my power to forward these aims, but firstly I’m not convinced zealatory helps and secondly I like being able to do stuff like drive to Wolverhampton for curry with a small corner of the Linux community – and community is another ideal I hold in high regard – even though I know the exhaust fumes are Bad and Wrong. I like the convenience of microwave meals occasionally because I can spend my time doing something other than cooking, but they use a lot of packaging and I’m not convinced about their content. Too many of the things I like have negative consequences somewhere along the line, so it looks like I’m not going to be living the ideal life any time soon. I’m not sure I’ve come to any conclusions, but I think I’ve decided that the question isn’t “am I doing enough?” but “have I got the balance right?”

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Early Day Motion 179, “Software In Schools”, now has 64 signatures, and counting. That’s approximately 10% of those eligible to sign it. I’m very pleased to note that my local MP, Joan Walley, has put her name on the list. And here’s a nice little quote from her:

“I believe that this software is highly beneficial and one of the most valuable developments of recent years.”

Even allowing for a certain degree of telling us what we want to hear, that statement’s pretty black and white and I am pretty chuffed.

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