Fighting the "War on Ignorance"

I started this blog three and a half years ago with the headline "Amplify the Signal". In general, that sentence has served me well. But recently, I've been thinking if there's a clearer statement I can make to state my intent.

Then on Friday, a close Ubuntu friend asked me, "Why are you so passionate about Ubuntu?"

In a nearly automatic way, it all "clicked" at that moment. I blurted out "I believe the most important battle to fight is the one against ignorance, and Ubuntu is the best way to do it." Let me explain...

People mostly have their attention siphoned to the crappiest and most caustic drivel the web has to offer. I don't need to name sites and content. You know the places. Littered with ads, useless trivia, minutia, stuff that is so far from mattering that it's brutally painful. Meanwhile the world rots.

To quote Lessig, "We need to get to the root of the problem." (He thinks it's political funding, but he's wrong.) The real root of the problem is the world's diet of "junk information". Like junk food, "junk information" is toxic, it causes mental diabetes, and it's everywhere. It is foisted upon people as soon as they fire up their browsers. It's a predetermined path. The second people power on their devices their proprietary systems take them to the "properties" they are supposed to see. You know, the ones that fund the mansions of the predatory 1%. The sociopaths.

So, today, I'm declaring the "War on Ignorance", and I'm adding that tagline to my blog. It is unacceptable to prey on other people through the use of technology that breeds ignorance, and the war is hereby declared.

Enter our weapon: Ubuntu. It's ours. It's free. It's a clear channel that obeys our wishes, and more importantly our Mom's wishes, and takes us to places on the web where *we* want to go. Places that can teach us what's really going on and how to make the world a better place. Places that respect us.

There's only one catch. (Relatively) no one knows about Ubuntu. And this my friends is the first thing we must fix. We can't win the war until Ubuntu is front and foremost in the minds of everyone we know. Ubuntu not only needs to be top of mind, but it needs to be the spotlight that makes it obvious that every proprietary system is predatory and socially unacceptable. In fact let's not even use the term proprietary any more. Let's just call these systems what they are: *predatory*.

Will you help me win the war? Will you help me end the ignorance of Ubuntu and thereby end ignorance. Let's make this our top priority. Let's attack the root of the problem.

> Fighting the "War on Ignorance".

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Image cc-by-nc 2.0 http://www.flickr.com/photos/nataliejohnson/2051377206/

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like this post. It's very important in general and for evangelism. I also recently became clear on how people (espcially the kids I see) are a culture of consumption. They want things to be spoon fed and there is a loss of desire to create quality things. You nailed it with JUNK INFO. *They* feed us junk food for our bodies and now our brains.

 
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I looked at the photo and I kept on looking for a long time and thought that you were saying about the crazy facebook generation.

online pokies real money

 
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I agree with almost all of this, except for the choice of weapon.

“Enter our weapon: Ubuntu. It's ours. It's free. It's a clear channel that obeys our wishes, and more importantly our Mom's wishes, and takes us to places on the web where *we* want to go.”

No, it's Mark's. It's free as in Facebook — the freedom to help shape Ubuntu is quite limited. It's a clear channel that obeys the wishes of Canonical Ltd and its commercial partners, and gives Canonical data about our usage which they may be legally obliged to divulge to a government.

Ubuntu's development is controlled by a for-profit company, and this post elucidates *exactly* why commercial control is harmful.

To paraphrase bug #1:
“Commercially-controlled software leaves users at the mercy of the software maintainer and concentrates control over the technology which powers our society into the hands of a few. Additionally, commercially-controlled software stifles innovation, maintains artificial scarcities, and enables malicious anti-features such as DRM, surveillance, and other monopolistic practices.”

Replace “Ubuntu” with “community-controlled software” and you'd have a winner.

 
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This comment raises a number of questions:

Mark, and all other Canonical humans are also part of the Ubuntu community, no?
Or are we banning them?
And if we are banning them, then why?
Is it because they are employees?
Is profit a bad thing?
Is Canonical profitable?
If Canonical is not profitable, is it better?
How much profit is evil?
Is it because they don't like kittens?
Who else is banned?
And why?

Looking forward to your thoughts...

 
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"Why are you so passionate about Ubuntu", after all?

 
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Ubuntu has completely changed the way I approach technology. In Vancouver here, we have an actual community of real people that I meet and whom have become some of my closest friends and acquaintances. For me Ubuntu has become a kind of core social project. On top of all that it is a great operating system that has never let me down and continues to amaze me with its innovations. Ubuntu is always one step ahead. I can't not be passionate about it. But I get where you are coming from as I used to be there. Approaching Ubuntu as just some other OS is kind of like a 100 level university course: that's just a starting point. Don't worry. One day maybe you can swing by and join us in person and see who is making Ubuntu what it is.

 
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I'll add that Ubuntu is not just about software. At our last meetup we had a new member who didn't come for the "code". In fact, he said he would have felt uncomfortable if that's what the meet up was all about. It goes deeper than that and can reach people in many ways.

 
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Because it's:
Ethical
Inclusive
Awesome
Practical
Polished
Respectful
Widely-deployed, and
Ours.

And as my article explains: Ubuntu represents the world's best chance to end the cycle of "abuse by technology" perpetrated by handful of sociopaths.

 
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I think you mean "foisted".

 
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Thanks Tyler. Sharp eye! ;)

 
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I like this post. It's very important in general and for evangelism. I also recently became clear on how people (espcially the kids I see) are a culture of consumption. They want things to be spoon fed and there is a loss of desire to create quality things. You nailed it with JUNK INFO. *They* feed us junk food for our bodies and now our brains.

Let's stop *them* from turning use into JUNKies.

 
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Thanks! Stories welcome :)

 

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