Its been a while

Its been a while. In more ways than one.

Firstly, its been a while since I posted here. Whilst I’ve sort of randomly updated my identi.ca account, I’ve been irregularly working on lapwing-web, RPMification of Lapwing-Linux and various other bits n pieces. I’m hoping to rectify that a bit (not the first and definitely not the last time I’ll say that) by using this blog to demonstrate/showcase FOSS I’ve written. Or I could move everything to http://samwwwblack.lapwing.org. I dunno.

Otherwise, its business as usual; looking for a developer/computer support related job in the Midlands in a job market fixated on the south east whilst working in the Argos stockroom offloading lorries. Great return for 5 years of uni ;)

Secondly, its been a while since we had Liberals in power, and hopefully by the end of [STRIKEOUT:today] tomorrow we will again. I have to admit to being really disappointed at the outcome of the election, with the LibDems losing seats even when getting more votes than last time. I spent most of the following day pissed off (5 hour shift at work didn’t help) that the LibDems had done as badly as they did, especially after the hype and hope in the run up (teach me to invest emotionally in hype).

However, I kept coming back to how Dib Lemming put it; the Lib Dems won. Not in terms of seats, votes or forming a LibDem government, but in terms demonstrating the fatal flaw in first past the post voting; how can a party get more votes than last time, but lose seats? Is that a fair representation of the people’s will? Is giving 9% of the seats to a party with 23% of the vote fair?

Viewed in those terms, the case for voting reform is made readily apparent.

I hope the current Tory/LibDem talks end well, although I don’t like the secrecy surrounding them. I can understand the case for keeping the discussions under wraps as both sides could be tearing chunks out of each other whilst publicly proclaiming to be getting along, so as not to worry the people or fuel the anti-coalition sceptics. It just seems, as a FOSS developer (and I use developer in the loosest terms), that this antithesis to public conflict is counter productive. Raging arguments of opposing views happen on a regular basis in the FOSS world, yet those projects around the arguments still exist and release code. It seems that some very good work has come out of these major arguments and disagreements, the GNU Project being the most prominent example.

Open arguments engage more people, allowing them to contribute their view point, their experience and their information. It also allows a greater number of people to fact check “truths” used in an argument, and to provide counter arguments backed with “truths”, and so on. This perpetual proposition and rebuttal process tests an idea to destruction, where it either evolves to fix the flaws or dies. Having this argument in public, recorded for the public, adds the sense of ownership to the idea.

In a time where people are disillusioned in politics and the LibDems especially standing for a “new era” of politics, airing everything in public and inviting public input is the best way to push this change.

Thirdly, its been a while since I started to write this post. I tend to take the best part of a day getting things just so. Thus, everythings probably changed when this post appears ;)