Ubuntu community (in the broadest sense of the word) friends,
I have been reading the recent posts on Ubuntu Planet with mixed feelings of disappointment but mostly with excitement, and always with keen interest in searching for a pattern that would assist us in understanding change.
Rather than analyse or critique individual posts, I would like to present a visual model of what I think just happened, as an engineer(1) and a manager.
This just happened.
Is this a bad thing? No. If we (the Ubuntu project and its contributors) are to get to orbit and do something epic, the we need different rocketry at different stages of our journey. Physics. Deny it at your peril.
Let's all ask ourselves these important questions:
1) Look back to the "early days" of Ubuntu. What was needed then? Is it still needed in that exact form now? More of the same?
2) If you are on the rocket ship (one of the manned sections, not a booster rocket), but not in the capsule, do you want to argue or debate with those who are? Or, by extension do you want to disrupt mission control? Throw a little sand in their faces? Those who built the rocket, who made deep investments, and decided the flight plan, and who are monitoring systems have our best interests in mind. We all need to get to orbit. Let's help.
3) Do you have children? Do you know children? Do you intend on having children? Do you want them to suffer another twenty five years at the hand of rent-seeking monopolists who build mansions in Los Altos Hills and Redmond whilst the young struggle to eek out a living? Do you think that innovation at a snail's pace will free them in your lifetime? We have been at this for over 25 years now. Want another 25?
4) Have you ever met a billionaire face-to-face and talked to them? Have you wondered why they don't try to change the world? I've met two. One of them cares and is doing something tangible with both his mouth and his money. The other pontificates from his mansion in Palo Alto. Can you guess who's who?
5) What if there was no "them"? What if we ignored a lifetime of propaganda saying there is always a them? What if there were no "Canonical Conspiracy"(2)? What if we all embraced the philosophy of Ubuntu?
6) Can you guess where I stand yet?
Where there is change, there is opportunity. In this case there is a massive opportunity. This is going to be big. When I (officially) joined the Ubuntu project four years ago I felt it: a feeling I hadn't felt since the early beginnings of the World-Wide-Web. "Spidey sense is tingling." I still feel it, but more intensely.
Ubuntu is still true to its roots: To bring software freedom to everyone in the world, without prejudice. Everyone.
Be a part of "the next big thing". Help change the world. Ubuntu is not just software, it's also human, and it's about to go viral.
1. Yes, I am a degreed electrical engineer. Need voltage?
2. No, I do not work for Canonical. I work for community, and I happily include and embrace Canonical as part of my community.
Image CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 by NASA's Marshall Space Flight Centre http://www.flickr.com/photos/nasamarshall/