[nycbug-talk] Student Discounts

Miles Nordin carton at Ivy.NET
Mon Oct 9 19:06:41 EDT 2006

>>>>> "m" == michael  <lists at genoverly.net> writes:

     m> First.. it is a shame that you decided to publicly post to
     m> talk@ rather than post an email to the organization
     m> committee... which may have been more appropriate.

I don't think NYCBUG is ripping people off or see the student prices
as any kind of problem issue---just thought some people were talking
about making some tweaks each from their own reasonable perspectives.

but I will say: trying to shame people into non-transparent behavior,
and attacking those who make criticisms in public while simultaneously
offering to have listened to hypothetical ``discrete'' private
criticism, is a behavior I've seen all too many times in various
hobbyist users-group-type things, and I fidn it ugly and hope it won't
catch on here.

I've participated in a conference with multiple secret mailinglists
where ``shoulder surfing'' was considered a serious incident, great
effort was put into tracking down information leaks and ``unauthorized
forwards'' from the secret lists, and people were constantly getting
kicked off lists silently or even banned from the conference for
embarassing well-connected people.  loyalty over competence.  trust is
discipline.  Avoiding shame in front of some imagined peanut gallery
can slowly start to take root as a legitimate decision-making factor.
I don't really think NYCBUG is going to help me find a job or teach me
anything I don't know already---I'm interested in NYCBUG mostly as a
way of meeting/doing/seeing while escaping this petty, insecure,
wordy-back-stabbing-beaurocrat environment.

Based on what very little I know, I think you guys are doing a good
job and have no reason to feel insecure or defensive.  Nobody's
running for congress or needs an airtight answer ready to every

I've seen that sort of thing eat these groups up from the inside, and
make everyone miserable along the way.  IMHO you're always going to
get criticized by people with ideas of varying quality and varying
levels of personal stake in your enterprise all the way down to zero.
Some of them may be right while you're wrong yet your plans go ahead
anyway--fine.  Others may be spies, sabateurs, or even Linux users,
and yet you adopt their broken ideas to hilarious results.  fine.
From my perspective, the only thing I know to do is to listen and
respond cheerfully as time permits.

BTW, if you want my completely uninformed speculation on that whole
NetBSD thing, I bet it was about the four-clause license.


It's kind of a scumbag move for me to speculate like this when I
haven't even bothered to _ask_ the people involved why they didn't
sign.  but I'm too scared to write privately these guys who are
practically comic book superheroes sounding like a slashdot kiddie,
any anyway everyone else is doing it, so...

Many developers have BSD license copyrights on NetBSD code in their
own name rather than the name of the Regents or of TNF.  You can see
all these developers mentioned, like a hundred of them, in the
Installation Notes.  When UC and TNF went from the four-clause license
to the three-clause license, removing the ``advertising clause,'' the
change did NOT affect all these files with copyrights held by
individual authors.  while future device drivers should hopefully be
all 'cvs add' commits and thus three-clause and GPL-compatible, BSD as
a whole probably will never be.

The agreement TNF wanted committers to sign may have retroactively
transferred authorship rights for those files to TNF.  I think
committer's agreements are generally transfers of author's rights.
Some people, myself included, don't agree yet that removing the
advertising clause is a good idea, so some of the people who refused
to sign might have felt that an illegitimate political entity was
trying to impose a decision about how to best leverage the copyright
held by said developers on their work---they simply chose their rather
substantial authorship rights over their commit privileges.  

IMHO, BSD doesn't really have any organization to whom developers feel
safe assigning their authorship to the same extent as they do
assigning to FSF.  Those individual copyrights in the NetBSD tree are
a nasty stumbling block in the way of TNF doing anything drastic with
the licensing of the BSD codebase, which could be a very good thing or
a very bad thing depending on your personal opinions/priorities.  At
the very least, I can see how this could be important enough to be a
valid reason to leave a project you love.

It's just a conspiracy theory, but even if it's totally false at least
it points out something interesting about BSD's history.
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