"cards2sQú°eDÕ 3[BúÎj¤}b¿ø·Èattach" at yahoo.com.au
Sun Mar 16 19:32:36 EST 2003
Firstly, I must confess this is not a "regular"
announcement. I hope you like it anyway.
I am writing to tell Linuxchix about an idea which I
think is worth sharing. I was going to post it to the
issues and jobs lists, but I thought this one might
be better. I want to remain anonymous, so _please_
respect that and forgive this unsigned email. I am
an active member of Linuxchix.
The idea is simple - let's have a go at helping one
another without using money (or anything similar)
and without getting exploited. If we can do this
successfully, we can reduce our dependence on money,
and boring jobs, and maybe even persuade certain
corporations and governments to start being nice
Enough idealistic claptrap! Here's an example:
Alice makes a "card", like a business card, with a
of what she might be willing to do for other people
on it. Alice puts down occasional child care,
repairs and setup, lawn mowing and walking dogs.
She gives her email address, suburb and telephone
number, and prints lots of copies. Now Alice gives
card to some friends and relatives, and her
She's a techno-nut, so she signs the text with GPG,
and emails the LaTeX source to her geeky friends.
She explains to the person who receive her card what
People (hopefully!) like the idea, and they make more
copies of Alice's card (together with other cards)
and give them to people they know. Alice's card even
gets indexed in an online database. This is a Good
Now, Bob somehow gets a copy of Alice's card.
Bob needs someone to walk his dog Cuthbert, as he has
a bag-biting job at a certain telco which overworks
its sysadmins. He lives in Alice's suburb. So he
calls her and asks what's the deal with the card.
Alice says I'm happy to walk your dog - but there's
one condition, you have to give me your own card
Fine says Bob - he snarfs Alice's handy typesetting
commands and whips up a card. Bob can teach the
he's an experienced sysadmin, and reckons he'd like
to work on a farm sometimes to get away from the CRTs
and fluoro tubes. He emails his card to Alice, and
they arrange to meet in the local pub.
Alice and Bob get along okay, and Alice starts walking
Bob's dog every second morning. Alice is unemployed,
with no dependents, and has no trouble taking time to
do this. She enjoys the excuse to take some exercise
in the fresh air!
Now, Alice isn't too keen on learning the flute, but
not to worry, she passes Bob's card onto her friends,
and in no time Claire calls Bob - her son wants to
learn the flute. Bob's feeling grateful because his
dog is much happier now-days, and he likes teaching
music, so he says sure, is half-an-hour every week
okay for a start? That sounds good to Claire!
Of course Claire now needs to prepare a card. She
includes fruit and vegetables, because she has quite a
handy home-garden which is producing well in spite of
the drought. Her card spreads through the network.
Alice finds it by accident when she's searching an
online card-database one day. Now it so happens that,
not being employed, Alice is not over-fed. So she
jumps at the opportunity to get some free grub!
Claire puts a lot of work into her garden, but she's
happy to give generously as she has too much for
her family to eat, she's not short of money, and
she's still feeling good about the flute lessons.
The cycle is complete!
Claire and Bob both have full-time jobs, but they find
it doesn't take much time to participate in this game.
And they think it's fun! It's not necessary to do
much, there's no obligation.
Now, along comes Heidi, who's been corrupted by
her corporate lifestyle, and decides to try and rip
people off. Able-bodied Heidi hands out her cards,
they've got nothing on them! Fine, people say, Heidi
just signed a piece of paper which declares that she
is selfish and greedy. But we'll still help her out,
for a while, maybe she has her reasons. In a week,
Heidi is acutely embarrassed and has changed her ways.
That's a sketch of the idea. If you think it's worth
try, please pass this message on. Please add your own
ideas on the top, or better still, send a completely
new letter of your own about the idea (because this
one is addressed to computer geeks). You can use some
of my text and mangle it if you want.
Then, why not take the time to write or print up some
cards, and give it a go. I haven't included my card
here, because I want to remain anonymous, but I do
have one, and am going to start giving it to people
Please let me know what you think of all this. Even
you think it's a load of bent-headed pipe-dream spam,
or "it's already been done", I'd like to hear what
you've got to say. If this idea is broken, I'd like
to know how/why. I'll be checking this email address
for a while.
Thanks for your time.
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