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Bruce Perens Voted off SPI Board

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 7 years ago | from the making-time-for-the-important-things dept.

99

An anonymous reader writes "ComputerWorld is reporting that open source evangelist Bruce Perens has been ousted from the board of Software in the Public Interest. Even though he founded the organization he said it was time to move on, stating that he probably shouldn't have run but just couldn't let it go. It seems that for the time being Perens in content to focus on the truly important things, like watching his son grow and making time for his family. I just hope that he isn't gone for too long."

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99 comments

Miswording (3, Interesting)

dshaw858 (828072) | more than 7 years ago | (#15872216)

It sounds like he was forcefully ejected from his own board, but the story leads me to believe that this is what he wanted- even the slashdot summary states that he had said it was "time to go" and that he wanted more time with his family and son... so why was he 'ousted'? Or perhaps I'm simply reading something wrong...

Re:Miswording (4, Insightful)

retrosteve (77918) | more than 7 years ago | (#15872224)

Could actually be a bit of both. Running for a position when your heart isn't in it can lead to losing that position. Or getting booted off your own board can help you see that you really haven't been prioritizing it.

Re:Miswording (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15872237)

'ousted' is almost certainly the wrong word, it implies he was kicked out, whereas in fact the article shows that essentially he was simply not re-elected at a normal set of elections, and that he understands why, and thinks he probably shouldn't have stood in the first place...

Re:Miswording (3, Informative)

portmapper (991533) | more than 7 years ago | (#15872241)

> It sounds like he was forcefully ejected from his own board, but the story leads me to believe that this is what he wanted-

"forcefully ejected"? He was not re-elected.

Re:Miswording (4, Informative)

lxs (131946) | more than 7 years ago | (#15872242)

Well, looking at the attendance records (which were posted with the election announcement, I can't seem to find them now), you'd see that he was absent from meetings very often, more than anyone else in fact, so I guess this solution is best for all involved.

Re:Miswording (4, Informative)

lxs (131946) | more than 7 years ago | (#15872249)

here it is [spi-inc.org]

Re:Miswording (5, Informative)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 7 years ago | (#15872393)

I missed oh, 8 out of 12 board meetings due to being on airplanes (doing stuff for Open Source) and otherwise being busy. And that really pissed people off. I am working on things like the software patents issue and have prioritized that over stuff like SPI. Although I am spending time on my son and view that as my highest priority, I have not retired and am still working full-time. Half of my paid time for Sourcelabs is to work on Open Source issues of my own choice under my own direction. The other half is to work on Open Source issues for Sourcelabs customers.

I think working full-time on Open Source issues of my own choice may be in my future. I'm not sure when, but am reasonably sure I could get that funded now.

Bruce

Re:Miswording (3, Insightful)

Hope Thelps (322083) | more than 7 years ago | (#15872486)

I missed oh, 8 out of 12 board meetings due to being on airplanes (doing stuff for Open Source) and otherwise being busy. And that really pissed people off.

That shouldn't piss people off but it is a good reason to not re-elect you. It's better that someone with the time to attend the meetings is on the Board (provided that they are also otherwise suited to the position). That in no way denigrates the other things you do with your time.

Re:Miswording (4, Informative)

Russ Nelson (33911) | more than 7 years ago | (#15874433)

The problem wasn't that he missed the meetings. OSI has a policy that if you miss two meetings in a row without excuse, you can be removed from the board. You can MISS all the meetings you want, but you have to say why. SPI has a similar policy, and Bruce didn't follow it.

But more than that, Bruce made his election a referendum on changing SPI's role from organizing other projects to the role of an activist position against software patents. It's understandable that Bruce wants some place to stand to push his (our) agenda, but the SPI membership decided that the SPI board was not that place. I encouraged Bruce to start up a project underneath SPI, which advice he is yet to take.

Re:Miswording (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15872501)

Thanks for the explanation.


I've always wondered if rich organizations (read microsoft) could hijack the boards of groups like the FSF, OSDL, etc.


IMHO it's already happened with the OSI - largely corporate sponsored, and makes decisions like it is -- but by grooming a few trojan-horse-board members it'd be an interesting way to attack open source.


Am I paranoid, or does this actually sound like it could happen?

Re:Miswording (2, Insightful)

Russ Nelson (33911) | more than 7 years ago | (#15874370)

Oh, yes, no question but that I'm a corporate tool. I suck up to Microsoft every day. Heck, I'm even wearing an Open Source Labs at Microsoft T-shirt (they were giving them away at OSCON)! I've taken the pledge, drunk the kool-aid.

Or maybe you're an idiot?

Re:Miswording (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15874431)

God I love it when dipshit moron libertarians talk themselves up as "economists". We might as well take our economic advice from Karl Marx. Join us in the real world, sometime, imbecile.

Re:Miswording (2, Interesting)

Neolith1982 (942696) | more than 7 years ago | (#15878917)

Did you ever read Karl Marx? No, I don't mean "the communistic Manifesto" (Das Kommunistische Manifest) but "the Capital" (Das Kapital).

Do you know what he states there? He says that the worker, who produces something, should own the resources, so that the worker can build up a relationship to the product.

This should seem common to you. Think of source code, which owns everyone, who owns the product. If you believe it or not, open source has a lot to do with Karl Marx. You can see this like a socialist (NO!!! NOT LIKE STALIN! THAT GUY WAS FASCIST!!!), or like a liberal, but a lot of suggestions of Marx are found in modern open source. AND IT WORKS!

Maybe more corps should take economic advisory from Karl Marx :)

I know, this is offtopic, but I've read that much nonesense about Marx, socialism/communism and the relationship between them and OSS on slashdot, that I wanted to say this once!

greets Patrick

Re:Miswording (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15872520)

A mere 1 hour and 20 minutes after first post, the subject of the discussion begins to participate in the conversation. I just think that's really cool. :)

Bruce, thanks for adding your side of the story and thanks for reminding me why I read Slashdot.

Re:Miswording (3, Interesting)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 7 years ago | (#15872716)

It's lucky that I was in the right time zone and not in a meeting where I would not be able to do this or away from good net access. I don't catch stories like this every time. But you are all welcome to email me (bruce at perens dot com) if there's anything you think I should look at. Usually I'm able to write back. Once in a while I miss a message, it's OK to send a repeat to get my attention.

Bruce

Re:Miswording (2, Insightful)

Marcion (876801) | more than 7 years ago | (#15872805)

I think it is really brave that Bruce came on here to discuss a post about himself.

As for the random SPI board, as an old Catholic Priest I used to know said when asked why he did not attend formal meetings, "For God so loved the world, he did not send a committee".

"Slashdot for Grown-Ups"?? Zing! Pow! Wham! (3, Funny)

RobotRunAmok (595286) | more than 7 years ago | (#15872537)

From the site [technocrat.net] linked in Bruce Perens' sig:


Another of our roots is a similar site called Slashdot.org . Slashdot played a formative role as the community voice of Open Source / Free Software during a time of tremendous growth in that community. Unfortunately, Slashdot has more recently abdicated that role to become, in the words of its editors, "a geek culture site". We recognise the lure of the mass-market. As we write this, Slashdot is within the top 300 sites on the web by readership, and we congratulate them. But the serious work is going to need to go on elsewhere. We're taking up that flag.

Another issue with Slashdot is immaturity. It's rife with trolls and other detriments to the signal-to-noise ratio. We start out on a path to improve the level of discussion over that in Slashdot by eschewing the "Anonymous Coward" who is rampant there. If you don't want to take responsibility for your words, they don't belong here. We encourage you to put your full name in your login, and participate in all discussion as a known individual. We will take other measures to maintain the highest possible quality of discussion as they become necessary.


So, whaddya saying, no ACs and if I want to read about Joss Whedon's grocery list I'll have to call his press agent?

I am *SO* there, Bruce! Congratulations!

(But do you kinda sorta think that your new competitive venture against slashdot is why your own dirty laundry got posted here by an AC? I'm just askin'...)

Re:"Slashdot for Grown-Ups"?? Zing! Pow! Wham! (4, Insightful)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 7 years ago | (#15872663)

(But do you kinda sorta think that your new competitive venture against slashdot is why your own dirty laundry got posted here by an AC? I'm just askin'...)

I don't know. Technocrat.net is still very small potatoes next to Slashdot. Makes about $10 a day on google ads, which I pay to Zogger, the only paid editor. I doubt the Slashdot operators would mind a bit. But I do find that stuff I submit is less likely to run than links to stuff I submitted to other sites which are then submitted to Slashdot by third parties. You would think that Slashdot would like to get the news from the horses's mouth rather than some other part of the horse :-) One of the editors explained to me once that they do defensive postings, which means that they get so many people submitting the same article that they post it just to get them to shut up, but they really did not want to run that story at all. Maybe that's what happened this time. Interesting the effect that the internet has on editorial policy.

Bruce

Re:"Slashdot for Grown-Ups"?? Zing! Pow! Wham! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15873728)

Technocrat is such a pretentious name. Good luck rising about the crowds with your superior views, and may it homogenize for you quickly.

Savvy through responding to drawn attention. You know what they say, self-promotion is the sincerest form of flattery.

And yes, this is what AC is for, the most appropriate response to your tack.

Re:"Slashdot for Grown-Ups"?? Zing! Pow! Wham! (1)

p3d0 (42270) | more than 7 years ago | (#15876815)

Makes about $10 a day on google ads
Whoops, so much for the terms of service.

Re:"Slashdot for Grown-Ups"?? Zing! Pow! Wham! (1)

mrraven (129238) | more than 7 years ago | (#15877219)

10 dollars a day from google ads, geez that must pay for electricity for one server. I hope you are making more with the annoying banner ads I filter out using adblock

http://adblock.mozdev.org/ [mozdev.org]

errrr never mind...

Re:Miswording (1)

mjg59 (864833) | more than 7 years ago | (#15872733)

The fact that you were busy for 8 out of 12 board meetings is semi-justifiable if you had more important things to do, but the fact that you didn't send regrets (which you've apologised for elsewhere) was entirely unjustifiable. I think you can reasonably argue that you felt SPI wasn't high on your list of priorities, but some of your behaviour made it seem like it wasn't on your list of priorities at all. The electorate seemed to agree, and I'm glad you seem to agree that it was probably the right choice.

Re:Miswording (1)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 7 years ago | (#15872882)

Yes. I made a mistake. Thank you for acknowledging that I have already apologized.

Bruce

Re:Miswording (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15874244)

one must understand, bruce*bigpimping*perens' priorities depend on the $$$ being put into his accounts.

Had SPI paid him/paid him more he would have done more work for them. The didn't so he worked with his paying clients - not the public image b*bp*p wants to project but it appears to be correct.

Re:Miswording (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 7 years ago | (#15873304)

I think working full-time on Open Source issues of my own choice may be in my future. I'm not sure when, but am reasonably sure I could get that funded now.

Ah, if only the rest of us could get such an opportunity! (Speaking of which, do you have any suggestions for a computer science student/Free Software advocate like myself?)

Re:Miswording (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15875187)

do you have any suggestions for a computer science student/Free Software advocate like myself?

Yes. Show up for board meetings.

Re:Miswording (1)

kimvette (919543) | more than 7 years ago | (#15875714)

What is more important: showing up at meetings to "look busy" to the suits, or actually getting your real work done to make your deliverables ready ON TIME?

Re:Miswording (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15877179)

It was a joke.

Say, did you know there was no year zero?

Biting off more than we can chew... (1)

Russell McOrmond (123550) | more than 7 years ago | (#15879903)

It seems to me that Bruce is trying to take on too much. It's a problem people fall victim to who are self-motivated to solve some of the harder problems.

I see the change as a good thing -- if Bruce can keep the personal finances going well to have party-time Sourcelabs and part-time focused advocacy, then this is great! I've met Bruce in the past, and have seen him present a number of times, and am glad that he is putting a priority on some of the advocacy work. Sometimes organizations will come with you, and sometimes they will not, and that is fine.

TPM's applied to hardware (that disable the rights of owners to choose our own software), the tied selling of digital content to devices with TPMs applied to them (contrary to anti-trust/competition legislation - you can combine these two and call them "DRM" if you must) , and software patents are three policy areas I also have as a personal priority. This year I was asked to become the Policy Coordinator of CLUE: The Canadian Association for Open Source [cluecan.ca] . As we grow our membership I will be finding out if this group wants to fund me to travel across Canada and elsewhere to deal with these problem policy areas, or whether they will want their association to have different priorities. My hope is the former, but otherwise I will be looking for a way to fund my advocacy work in other ways.

Re:Miswording (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15878219)

I used to work with him back in college. Unless he's changed, he's not a very nice person, unless he needs something from you. Nice to see him getting some pay backs, Karma's a bitch.

You're Fired! (0, Flamebait)

Doomedsnowball (921841) | more than 7 years ago | (#15872229)

From TFA:
He also famously made headlines in 2002 when he was "terminated' from his Linux and open source strategist role at Hewlett-Packard.


I wish I got this much press everytime I got fired. One question though... if this guy is most famous (hey, I'm paraphrasing TFA) for getting fired, then what's his next move? What's his next job? And why is this news? So he started the organization. BFD. In TFA he admits that he wasn't that involved or motivated and that it showed. I've been fired for less, and with much less press coverage.

Re:You're Fired! (1, Redundant)

ThePhilips (752041) | more than 7 years ago | (#15872281)

As if it was surprising. Advocating open standards is by no mean safe business... :-(

Not that I was fired for such, but you really had to see that at least once - all "the disadvantages" of using open standards as they are depicted by sales and marketdroids: competitors can "steal" your business!!!

Open source solves half of proprietary software problem. And Perens was one of the first who started working in direction of advertising open standards.

Many products try to establish and distance themselves by implementing "unique" (read: "non-interoperable") features. FLOSS is no exception from the rule. Ego is what starts and drives development and ego is what hinders and kills the development.

Re:You're Fired! (-1, Flamebait)

Doomedsnowball (921841) | more than 7 years ago | (#15872365)

I swear I'm through with /. Look, IT'S NOT NEWS!!! WTF does it mean to anybody?! If an organization can't continue past it's founder for whatever reason (death, voted out, alien abduction), then THE REMAINING MEMBERS ARE IDIOTS!!! Either way, TFA didn't state any consequences FOR THE PUBLIC AT LARGE given this decision. What? Open standards are finished because this one guy got fired? All you /. jerks are sheep. I'm outta here.

Re:You're Fired! (5, Interesting)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 7 years ago | (#15872453)

IT's NOT NEWS (and much other justified ranting)

I guess it's a human-interest story.

I have this self-imposed job of helping to ease the future course of Open Source by attempting to solve problems in its way like the software patent issue. A big part of that is being an "opinion leader", which is writing stuff that other people read and, hopefully, agree with. Getting attention for such stuff means courting the press like Computerworld (which did not create the cited article but is carrying a LinuxWorld Online story) and Slashdot. The press is capricious. They don't cover what I want them to cover. They must be pandered to and babied, cajoled, you get the picture. Being a notable person whom they will recognize and cover - regardless of the content - is something you have to do just to get the real issues covered. That doesn't mean we have to like it.

Thanks

Bruce

TFA explains it (4, Informative)

Morgaine (4316) | more than 7 years ago | (#15872293)

if this guy is most famous (hey, I'm paraphrasing TFA) for getting fired, then what's his next move?
Well if you'd bothered to post the sentence that followed in TF article, it would have explained a lot and destroyed the basis of your argument:

>> Perens disagreed with the direction HP was taking on its Linux platform when it merged with Compaq.

A company that fires you when you disagree with them is most emphatically a company that you no longer want to work for.

Bruce has principles and doesn't toe the company line when it seems wrong. In my book, that's a good thing.

Re:You're Fired! (5, Interesting)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 7 years ago | (#15872411)

if this guy is most famous (hey, I'm paraphrasing TFA) for getting fired, then what's his next move?

Hm. Perhaps I should be deported or something :-) Maybe tried for treason. I'll think of something :-)

It's somewhat frustrating that internal conflict of Open Source always makes more news than the outward-facing work that I'm doing. There have been much more important issues that I was unable to get Slashdot to cover.

Bruce

Re:You're Fired! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15872471)

Well, that happens when your operations are open. Personally it has a humanizing effect, but there is always someone who wants to make a scandal out of things.

Re:You're Fired! (1)

andyr0ck (847274) | more than 7 years ago | (#15872479)

"There have been much more important issues that I was unable to get Slashdot to cover."

more important?! than gossip? here?

Re:You're Fired! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15873323)

I wonder if he meant that you should go on Trump's show :)

Re:You're Fired! (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 7 years ago | (#15873366)

Maybe tried for treason. I'll think of something :-)

What with the DMCA and concerns about "ter'rists" using Free Software encryption programs, I bet you could probably swing that (unfortunately)!

Re:You're Fired! (1)

mdielmann (514750) | more than 7 years ago | (#15874532)

There have been much more important issues that I was unable to get Slashdot to cover.

Now's your chance to do an end-run around the editors. Why don't you post a couple of stories that you would like to draw more attention to below this, or the parent, comment? I know I'd be curious to see what else is on your mind, and I'm sure many other /. readers would be, too. Sure, it's technically off-topic, but when has that really mattered here?

Re:You're Fired! (1)

The Snowman (116231) | more than 7 years ago | (#15874790)

There have been much more important issues that I was unable to get Slashdot to cover.

Then you must infiltrate Slashdot! Become an editor. Hell, if Jon Katz can do it, anyone can!

Next to go, GWB... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15872235)

..."I didn't even want to be president but my dad's oil buddies said I had to run!"

Re:Next to go, GWB... (-1, Offtopic)

megaditto (982598) | more than 7 years ago | (#15872318)

Your joke is not funny, you see. At $77 /bl I can bet the hypothetical oil buddies would be pretty pleased right now, so how can you claim they would want W out?

What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15872266)

Time being Perens in content?

Re:What? (2, Funny)

pcgabe (712924) | more than 7 years ago | (#15872302)

Perens IS content.

See also the previous story: "[...] defining what a mashup really it" = really IS.

Two "is" errors in two consecutive summaries. What's going on here? Are they trying to subliminally tell me that mashups are the new "it" thing? Or that Perens is incontinent? Does it depend on what my definition of "is" is?

Beware spellcheckers, they lead to a false sense of correctness.

The real question (3, Funny)

Error27 (100234) | more than 7 years ago | (#15872286)

Here's a link with election info [spi-inc.org] . Here are the election results [spi-inc.org] .

But for me the real question is whether it is time for a magnetic floating bed? [slashdot.org]

Re:The real question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15872422)

The horror! They have more than 2 candidates. How in the world did they make up their minds?

What is SPI? (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15872336)

Could someone give a short description of SPI? How is it different from other similar organisations? What does it do that these organisations don't?

You're Fired! (an ego problem?) (1)

erc (38443) | more than 7 years ago | (#15872386)

Most of the time, people are not re-elected because of personality clashes with the rest of the board. Perhaps Bruce has an abrasive or forceful personality that didn't sit well with the rest of the board? Perhaps there's an ego problem somewhere here? Ego is what drives this industry, and ego is what gets most people into problems with others, no matter how much they want to cover it up or deny it or not even admit it to themselves.

Re:You're Fired! (an ego problem?) (-1, Troll)

Bastard of Subhumani (827601) | more than 7 years ago | (#15872395)

Most of the time, people are not re-elected because of personality clashes with the rest of the board.
Or for smelling bad. I've never heard of him but according to TFA he's an open source evangelist, so BO's got to be a possibility.

Re:You're Fired! (an ego problem?) (4, Informative)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 7 years ago | (#15872402)

SPI and Debian have always been a home of personalities and strongly-held opinions, and I have no shortage of either :-) . But for me, this was really a matter of where I can and can't put my time. Raising my son is #1. After that, there's the most important issues of Open Source at the moment - and I judge the software patenting problem to be the biggest of those right now. SPI and Debian, unfortunately, are lower on my list. So, no, I should not have run.

Ever hear me on the air? Not much time for ham radio right now, either. I made it to Dayton and turned down a position on the TAPR board. So much to do, so little Bruce. Sigh.

Re:You're Fired! (an ego problem?) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15872523)

So much to do, so little Bruce. Sigh.
Perhaps when your child processes go off to spawn child processes of their own you'll be able to redirect more of your time back to your original passions. Good luck.

Re:You're Fired! (an ego problem?) (1)

WilliamSChips (793741) | more than 7 years ago | (#15874662)

So much to do, so little Bruce. Sigh.
My suggestion is to clone yourself [wikipedia.org] .

Re:You're Fired! (an ego problem?) (1)

erc (38443) | more than 7 years ago | (#15874853)

Ever hear me on the air? Not much time for ham radio right now, either. I made it to Dayton and turned down a position on the TAPR board. So much to do, so little Bruce.

I hear ya. I'm sure I've heard you on the air at some point. I'm fairly active in using packet for tactical disaster comm, but I hadn't heard anything really useful come out of TAPR in some time. I guess now I'm in Sedona, I need to revisit the issue. I've gotten really, really busy with a horse business I got involved in, and most of my time is spent out at the stables with 30+ Gypsy horses! Too little time to get on the radio, let alone write software :(

Re:You're Fired! (an ego problem?) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15877780)

If everybody invested just 99% of the time and effort into raising their kids as you do...

Nothing would ever get done.

No more comments from Bruce, please (5, Funny)

dkone (457398) | more than 7 years ago | (#15872444)

How am I supposed to hear rampant rumor and speculation when the subject of the story is posting the truth? This is Slashdot after all; there is a tradition to uphold here people.

I for one welcome our... ahh never mind that won't work here.

DK

Re:No more comments from Bruce, please (5, Interesting)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 7 years ago | (#15872478)

You're also welcome to call me at 510-375-0820 if you want more truth! I am in Norway at the moment, so watch the time zone. That's a GSM phone, Sourcelabs will pick up the bill.

How the hell can rumours spread when the darned subject PUBLISHES HIS PHONE NUMBER ON THE INTERNET. This is no fun at all! :-)

FYI:

10 times as many people are willing to converse with me on slashdot as to send me an email.
10 times as many people are willing to email me as call on the phone.
So, the phone calls end up being managable. This is a social phenomenon worthy of study. Something about the relative intimacy of various forms of communication and willingness to engage in them.

Thanks

Bruce

Mod parent down! (5, Funny)

capt.Hij (318203) | more than 7 years ago | (#15872533)

Okay, this is obvisouly the worst kind of karma whoring possible. How about we take Bruce's highest moderated replies and we all post our own questions?

Re:Mod parent down! (1)

nytes (231372) | more than 7 years ago | (#15874775)

OK, here's my question for the grandparent post:
Hi Bruce.

What phone number would I call if I wanted some real good phone sex?

How many /.ers do you think would call if you told us a good number? Do you think the phone sex operator could handle all the calls?

Re:No more comments from Bruce, please (1)

PMuse (320639) | more than 7 years ago | (#15872577)

On a phone call, you might figure out that we're dogs.

If I called you on the phone I'd say (4, Insightful)

Progman3K (515744) | more than 7 years ago | (#15872729)

Good luck to you.
You're an inspiration to many.

By the way, I have a buddy who was up until very recently working in Montreal for a fairly big hardware/software firm. His wife got offered a job with Cisco in the US (South Carolina) and they (plus their two children) decided to move.

This meant (for him) abandonning his well-paying, well-established job.
I asked him what he planned to do for a job down in Raleigh, he answered "Take care of the kids"
"What?"
"Yup, that's it, that's all. I've been too busy with a million activities" he went on "I want to take care of my kids"
I thought about for a second, smiled and said "Those kids will be luckier than most"

Re:If I called you on the phone I'd say (5, Insightful)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 7 years ago | (#15872777)

Thanks! Valerie (my wife) and Stanley (my 6-year-old son) are here in Norway with me. I am teaching about Open Source at HiA (Agder University College) in Grimstad, but the main reason for the trip is so that Stanley can live in another country for three weeks and see that the way we do things in the U.S. is not the only way. I am very, very lucky to be able to do this. It's all because I gave away my software and talked about it! Everything that I've given away has come back 10 times over.

Thanks

Bruce

Re:If I called you on the phone I'd say (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15873825)

Nice idea, but I can barely remember anything that happened to me age 6... (I'm 25, but it's been that way since 18 or so).
At that age I suspect that skills are much more likely to persist than memories.

  -Armchair parent

Re:If I called you on the phone I'd say (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15874990)

I'm 49 and I still have plenty of memories from when I was six. Maybe nothing happened to you? ;-)

Re:If I called you on the phone I'd say (1)

endofoctober (660252) | more than 7 years ago | (#15873156)

"His wife got offered a job with Cisco in the US (South Carolina)..." | "I asked him what he planned to do for a job down in Raleigh..."

Raleigh, *NORTH* Carolina -- I know few people care, but those of us from NC are a possessive bunch. :) Either that, or the wife will have *quite* the commute!

I agree with your sentiment wholeheartedly, though, nitpicking aside. Being able to put family and life first is one of the best decisions anyone can make, especially for people like Bruce with such a wide range of interests and passions.

Good luck, Bruce - be a hero to your kid!

Re:If I called you on the phone I'd say (1)

Paradise Pete (33184) | more than 7 years ago | (#15875033)

Raleigh, *NORTH* Carolina -- I know few people care, but those of us from NC are a possessive bunch. :)

How far is that from Mount Pilot?

Re:If I called you on the phone I'd say (1)

endofoctober (660252) | more than 7 years ago | (#15876005)

"How far is that from Mount Pilot?"

Dunno...probably the same distance as "funny" was from your comment?

Re:No more comments from Bruce, please (1)

oPless (63249) | more than 7 years ago | (#15872730)

Now that's balls for you - publishing your mobile# on the net.

Hope you don't get too many weirdoes calling you

(PS mod parent up) :-)

Re:No more comments from Bruce, please (1)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 7 years ago | (#15872813)

Do you want to know where manners still exist? People don't call until they have something really important. It's always been that way.

Bruce

Re:No more comments from Bruce, please (1)

crimperman (225941) | more than 7 years ago | (#15873012)

Do you want to know where manners still exist? People don't call until they have something really important. It's always been that way.


You don't have to endure the sales calls I get. :o)

Then again, now that you've published your mobile number...

Reasons for phone call. (1)

sowth (748135) | more than 7 years ago | (#15893701)

I'm really important and I'm lonely. So if I call you, will you hand the phone to the nearest hot chick? Preferably one who is a Linux freak and video game robot?

More on the subject of the story (or maybe not) yesterday my kidney doctor told me next month she was going to work once a week so she could see more of her kids. What a coincidence.

Anyway, why not make technocrat.net P2P? I know at least The Circle [thecircle.org.au] has a way of filtering out undesireable posts using P2P. There really needs to be a good P2P news system with a good interface (last time I checked, Circle's wasn't that good), filtering system, reasonably popular, and just doesn't suck. At the very least, you could make one really popular, I'm sure.

BTW, I thought you'd have more important things to do than read slashdot.

Re:No more comments from Bruce, please (1)

Mateo_LeFou (859634) | more than 7 years ago | (#15873474)

He's done this before, but I jotted it down then and the number was different. I wonder if this is a habit, and/or if these numbers have expiration dates. Maybe that wasn't his mobile.

Re:No more comments from Bruce, please (1)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 7 years ago | (#15873498)

The office number is 510-526-1165. This is on my web site. The cell phone does not get any signal when I am at the office.

Thanks

Bruce

Re:No more comments from Bruce, please (1)

Junior J. Junior III (192702) | more than 7 years ago | (#15872885)

Holy crap, Mr. Perens, I can't believe you just invited the internet to /. your cell phone, **while you're in Europe**. Wow, you're dedicated. Also quite possibly insane. Or will be once the ACs are through with your digits:)

Best of luck to you with everything.

Bruce is correct - remember Steve Wozniak phone? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15873148)

Bruce is correct - remember Steve Wozniak phone?

In the early 1980's Steve Wozniak still had a published phone #. (actually 2 published #s I believe, one was a polish-joke-of-the-week answering machine, the other was in his den)

But you could still call the two lines. Steve Wozniak did not mind callers, and had a lot more fans and interested parties in 1983 than Bruce typically has.

I think Bruce is a stand up guy and to be RESPECTED.

Re:No more comments from Bruce, please (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 7 years ago | (#15873189)

Jeez, dude, you should have used the LeetKey extension to encode that number as a hex or something :P Would have ensured that only technical folks would call. As is, you will just have to learn to keep that phone off at most times.

Re:No more comments from Bruce, please (1)

Paradise Pete (33184) | more than 7 years ago | (#15875074)

Jeez, dude, you should have used the LeetKey extension to encode that number as a hex or something :P

Then people would call just to demonstrate they'd figured it out. And also some poor old grandma would be bothered by the rest who didn't figure it out properly. ;-)

Re:No more comments from Bruce, please (1)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 7 years ago | (#15875135)

I'd say its a matter of respect for you and your time, more than anything else. Notice that from /. post to phone we get increasingly more intrusive- a /. post takes seconds of your time, and can be easily ignored. An email takes more time, as a response is more likely. A phone is an interruption into your life, when you might have important things to do. So the threshold of importance needed to initiate each level up increases. Take me for example- I respect you, and its always interesting to talk to a famous FOSS advocate (or at least we could bitch about the Compaq merger like all ex-HP people do). But I don't really have anything worthy of taking up your time to talk about so I won't call. I do have an interesting idea on software patents, so I might email the idea might be worth more thought than a passing slashdot post. And this conversation is sort of a tangent to everything else so isn't worth an email, but I'm bored at work and it might entertain someone else similarly bored :)

Re:No more comments from Bruce, please (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15875137)

10 times as many people are willing to converse with me on slashdot as to send me an email.
10 times as many people are willing to email me as call on the phone.
So, the phone calls end up being managable. This is a social phenomenon worthy of study.


Since you just dropped the glove, how's that phone slashdotting going eh?

Re:No more comments from Bruce, please (1)

dodobh (65811) | more than 7 years ago | (#15875474)

It's also a lot more expensive to call a voice line than send an email. Slashdot is the here and now phenomenon, whereas email is more effort.

Re:No more comments from Bruce, please (1)

crawling_chaos (23007) | more than 7 years ago | (#15875795)

And completely traceable most of the time as well. My Dad was a high school teacher as a second career and received more than his share of prank and threatening phone calls. The pranks he ignored, but the threats and obscene calls got tracked and about 95% resolved. That included the kid who called threatening to firebomb the house or somesuch from a public phone. Mall security cameras for the win, Bob. The police evidently take that sort of thing pretty seriously.

Re:No more comments from Bruce, please (1)

Angostura (703910) | more than 7 years ago | (#15875977)

Something about the relative intimacy of various forms of communication and willingness to engage in them.


Something about using the least intrusive means of communication that still has a reasonable chance of success, I think.

People are naturally reticent about wasting others' time or being too intrusive. If they have a reasonable expectation of getting a response on a forum, they will go that route, if not - e-mail, if not - IM, if not-phone, if not - they'll door-step you.

Re:No more comments from Bruce, please (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 7 years ago | (#15876837)

So, the phone calls end up being managable. This is a social phenomenon worthy of study. Something about the relative intimacy of various forms of communication and willingness to engage in them.

I'd say it's more a function of the natures of the different modes of communication, and common courtesy. First, phone calls are different from emails because they're synchronous (both parties have to be communicating at the same time) and emails aren't. Second, emails are different from Slashdot comments because they're "push" (your email client probably automatically notifies you when new messages come in) while Slashdot is "pull" (you have to check your messages manually). In addition, the Slashdot comment is always going to be related to Slashdot, while an email or phone call might actually be something important, leading you to give email a higher priority.

Anyway, what it all boils down to is that the various methods have different levels of urgency and importance, and that -- since they're generally courteous* -- people would realize what they want to tell you is not of particularly high priority, and therefore send it as a Slashdot comment.

*I'm sure someone is going to object to this, but the evidence seems to validate it.

The code, the code! (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15872512)

I'm sorry but the code is more important than watching some bag of meat grow up.

Re:The code, the code! (1)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 7 years ago | (#15874026)

That bag of meat contains about 6 billion bits of data [wikipedia.org] that's probably pretty important to him.

Re:The code, the code! (2, Funny)

chiok (858005) | more than 7 years ago | (#15876229)

RMS, is that you?

Dead (4, Funny)

Richard W.M. Jones (591125) | more than 7 years ago | (#15872544)

I think they just kicked him off the board because he's dead [geekz.co.uk] .

Rich.

Re:Dead (1)

51mon (566265) | more than 7 years ago | (#15874865)

So that is why he is in Norway [wikipedia.org]

As someone who was there (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15872634)

Bruce was removed, because he was an ass. He tried to force an agenda down everyone's throats that nobody agreed with. He also proved to be very arrogant and not very knowledgeable about the current state of the group itself. And yes, he missed a ton of meetings but no, that wasn't why people were angry. People were angry because he didn't even bother to let them know he was going to miss the meetings. He just blew everyone off under the arrogance that he was doing more important things.

Re:As someone who was there (4, Insightful)

budgenator (254554) | more than 7 years ago | (#15873170)

yeah so what's your point, when your out there doing things, there is a tendency to offend people who are out there talking about doing things. If the organisation was founded to push an agenda and the agenda get taken over by a bunch of mamby-pamby soccer-mom types who just want everyone to get along; sometimes the passion gets lost. Linus pisses people off, RMS pisses people off a lot of people pisses people off, I'd rather be around people that piss me off, they're usualy the honest ones.
Parent posts under his name, Parens posts his Email address, Parens post his freaken cellphone number, you post Anonymous Coward.

Re:As someone who was there (2, Interesting)

rk (6314) | more than 7 years ago | (#15874374)

Some of my best friends are people I disagree with on many issues because they are passionate about things and give a damn. They usually want the same things I do, we just see how to get there differently. I can always get along with someone like that even if occasionally they piss me off.

Re:As someone who was there (1)

Russ Nelson (33911) | more than 7 years ago | (#15874302)

The parent depicts an accurate summary of what a number of people were saying.

Re:As someone who was there (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15875011)

Woot Woot - Russ Nelson
Appreciated your work for years, thanks for the Packet Drivers, and those GPS bike maps look cool! Keep up the good work.

Thanks, Bruce (2, Interesting)

osgeek (239988) | more than 7 years ago | (#15873261)

Just answering the /. questions/comments as they're posted beats the heck out of one of those interviews where /. picks the top-rated posts and you get this long carefully-planned monologue-type response two weeks later.

Good luck with the software patents thing. You obviously understand how important it is, and many of us here do too. Thanks for spending your time on it.

priorities (1)

SupahVee (146778) | more than 7 years ago | (#15873986)

A while back, a former boss and I were talking, about moving to new jobs, etc. Came across a cool quote that day:

"No one ever got to the end of their life and looked around and said 'I wish I had spent more time working'"

You go Bruce.

Re:priorities (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15876638)

Inspiring, but quite false. Most of the people I knew who goofed off too much earlier in life (including me!) wish we had worked harder.

Do I remember any of the perceived benefits of blowing off class in college? Of course not. But I'm still paying the price for it, in a way.

Where's Nelson Muntz when you need him? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15882481)

Where's Nelson Muntz [wikipedia.org] (from the Simpsons) when you need him?

"HA ha!"
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