Ubuntu – a modern short fairytale

There was a time on earth when most people chose to follow one leader. They did that voluntarily, but most of them were not even aware that there were other options. This leader had gained his power by giving everyone a house, when they bought a piece of land. All houses were basically the same and people were not allowed to make any changes to them. They were not even allowed to share their house with their friends or give it away..

All houses had a big basement, but it was sealed and no one knew what was in there, because this was secret. Everywhere in the house there were camera’s monitoring peoples lives. The leader took care of maintenance of the houses but only for a short period. After that he stopped and people were not allowed to make repairs on their own. So after a while the paint started to set loose, holes showed up in the roof, the locks broke, water and burglars came in. So people were forced to move in to a new house and the leader told them that their new house would be a lot better, more fancy and secure and with many more modern facilities. Of course he also raised the rent.

As said, most people were trapped into this situation and did not know that there was an alternative; only some people managed to stay out of this trap. Then one day a man stood up. This man had been on a space trip from where he’d seen the earth from a whole different perspective.

He realized the trap most people were in and he was one of the people who knew that it was possible to stay out of this situation of lock-in and control and that most tools already had been made available, free to all.  Actually he even had been able to make a fortune that way. So he set himself a goal to liberate as many people as possible from their locked-in position.

He started handing out tools and materials to people, so they could build there own house on the land they bought and he spread the word on it. Soon people started noticing this initiative and joined this new leader. Also they started cooperating and helping one another, because some were good carpenters, while others were doing painting, creating manuals, raising awareness and so on. People were free to do whatever they want to their new house house, sell it, share it with friends, give it away, paint it pink, or rent it out and of course the basement was open and there was no camera control.

The new ruler called himself Sabdfl (Self appointed benevolent dictator of life). In this new land, which he called Ubuntu, the central philosophy was: “I am what I am because of who we all are”. There were only a few rules that applied mainly to peoples behavior towards each other. This was called the Code of Conduct and it basically says:

  • Be considerate
  • Be respectful
  • Be collaborative
  • When you disagree, consult others.
  • When you are unsure, ask for help.
  • Step down considerately.

When more people became aware of this alternative life style, more and more escaped from the first ruler and started moving into the land of Ubuntu.

So the land grew bigger and bigger and after a while,  automatically regions where formed within the growing community. In these regions other people stood up to be the Sabdfl of this part of the community. But these new leaders never had seen the earth from space. Needless to say their ruling was not always benovelent and also the rules of behavior were not always respected in these regions.

In some regions people began to notice this and they became more and more unhappy and dissatisfied. In some of these regions even uproars started and people began to argue, mistrust one another and resist their leaders. This is what happened in small region with about 15.000 citizens. There, a small group of people decided that something had to be done and they started to work out a plan on how to restore the values of the land of Ubuntu.

This group made a brave,  but also difficult start, because mistrust and disrespect had spread already far into this community. Even in this small group some people did not want to cooperate with some others and because of that some left this group already in an early stage. So I can’t tell you yet, if this fairytale will come to a happy end, but I am confident that if people return  to the basic values of the land of Ubuntu, they will earn their new benevolent leaders and live happy ever after.. well at least that is what I hope for and I am sure many others , because we love to stay in the land of Ubuntu.

Oh yes and no need to set off all to space first…

19 februari 2009     Ubuntu, Vrij en Open     Trackback-URL     reageer

7 reakties

  1. 1 Willem:

    Met muziek van Pink Floyd heb je mij bij voorbaat gewonnen,
    met goede niet oppervalkkige betekenisvolle filmpjes ook.

    Maar zeker met dit verhaal.

  2. 2 Catharina:

    Toevallig is het ook nog mijn favoriete Pink Floyd nummer en verders: dank je wel Willem 🙂

  3. 3 Werner:

    Wauw, helemaal te gek, die trip. Ik krijg gelijk weer zin om die film te zien. Maar mag dat eigenlijk wel, zoiets op het net zetten, het is namelijk wel proprietair materiaal? Het zal dus wel niet.
    En hoewel ik het artikel goed vind, vooral de vergelijking met een huis, mis ik toch Richard Stallman. Hij was toch degene die de vrije software-beweging in gang zette, en niet Mark Shuttleworth?

  4. 4 Catharina:

    Hoi Werner,

    Mag vast niet, maar ik heb het niet op het web gezet.. het stond er al op. En ja, daar heb je gelijk in Stallman is natuurlijk begonnen met vrije software en over hem heb ik het hier ook al vaak gehad.

    Maar Shuttleworth is de man die vooral de stap heeft gemaakt om Gnu/Linux voor de massa toegankelijk te maken.

    Niet voor niks heet hij dit als bug nr. 1 bij Ubuntu ingebracht:

    Microsoft has a majority market share in the new desktop PC marketplace.
    This is a bug, which Ubuntu is designed to fix.

    Non-free software is holding back innovation in the IT industry, restricting access to IT to a small part of the world’s population and limiting the ability of software developers to reach their full potential, globally. This bug is widely evident in the PC industry.

    Steps to repeat:

    1. Visit a local PC store.

    What happens:
    2. Observe that a majority of PCs for sale have non-free software pre-installed.
    3. Observe very few PCs with Ubuntu and free software pre-installed.

    What should happen:
    1. A majority of the PCs for sale should include only free software like Ubuntu.
    2. Ubuntu should be marketed in a way such that its amazing features and benefits would be apparent and known by all.
    3. The system shall become more and more user friendly as time passes.

    Ubuntu: https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+bug/1

  5. 5 David Westerink:

    Echt een geweldig stuk om te lezen. Mischien een bronvermelding weergeven? Dan zijn die mensen ook weer blij 🙂
    Maar echt een geweldig mooi verhaal, waarmee ik hoop dat de Ubuntu-NL groep wat kan, en van leert…

  6. 6 Catharina:

    Dank, maar het stuk heb ik zelf geschreven.

  7. 7 David Westerink:

    *shame* In dat geval… -.-‘
    Zoals ik al zei; een geweldig stuk 😀

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