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[OS:N:] Re: Linus in schools (cont'd)

Someone remarked (off list) that competition and cooperation are not
mutually exclusive. If the words are used with their traditional meanings,
cooperative-competition is an oxymoron. Two people, the smallest group, can
either contribute to a common goal or one can attempt to prove himself
better than the other at whatever it is they are doing.

I am reluctant to lay on utopian theory because we are so down on humanity
we think utopia impossible for a number of reasons, but it is relevant to
the discussion. Presently we create as many jobs as possible because we need
jobs to live. In utopia we maintain the community standard of living with as
few jobs as possible so that the majority can do what they please which
includes nothing if they are so inclined. This necessarily impacts choice.
Most choices  involve status and jobs, the more choices, the more jobs. This
is not to say an individual can't have designer clothes. It means he or she
has to design and make the clothes hirself. Money is no longer available to
coerce someone to do it for you.

Take automobiles, for example. In utopia we build one model car (there can
be trucks buses etc but those models would be similarly limited). The
advantages are they use the same parts and repairs are easily accomplished
by lots of people. We make so many cars no one owns one. They are parked all
over the place. When you want one you get in, drive to where you want to go
and leave it there. No registration or insurance is required. In this
scenerio cars are transportation, not status symbol. This is not attractive
to people into status symbols of one sort or another.

Do we choose to emphasize "I" and "Me" or "We" and "Us"? Translating this
argument into Linux for Schools, do we attempt to create a Linux that is
easily installed and configured and more importantly the same so that system
administrators don't face the problem of having made the wrong choice or do
we see Linux as an exercise in computer code with various programmers
showing off their skills? Is Linux to be a vehicle for individual
recognitions or is it to be a player in the mass individual desktop market?
Do we want to supplant M$ or not?

A single distro does not confront the real problems (i.e. the French teacher
with neither the time nor inclination to learn how to put homework
assignments on line) but it is an essential beginning. Who is Linux in
schools for? the individual programmer or the people in the schools
including the many system administrators who don't know as much as they
should. If it's for schools, we have to take the schools as they are and
accomodate them, otherwise it's mutual masturbation.

Ed Kunin

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