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Staying Free: Contributing to Drupal and the World by Building Our Collaboration Infrastructure

Talk Description: *
[The talk will cover the concepts of the below, but shorter and better and more specific where it matters and the presenter will be better looking than and more articulate than i am in reality, too.]

Our software is free.

We are free.

Both are in part because we are craftspeople who can be compensated quite well. We have remarkable control over our work, and we have time to put into building Free Software and the community around it.

This fortune and freedom is historically crushed out of every trade.

Trying to preserve the trade as it is never works; technology and societies change.

Most of us will be able to ride the technology wave of not having our labor commoditized.

We are fortunate to have guts and passion and willingness to use our brains and to have found a technology and skills to learn and a community, all of which lets us do some good things for good reward while having a good time.

Given our remarkably fortunate position, though, if things aren't flowering roses and unicorns for us 24/7, how in the world are people without as favored circumstances (hint: the answer, in too many cases, is not bloody well)

Is humanity doomed, in the main, to underemployment for many and overwork for many of the rest?

Is it the natural order that only at a rare intersection of climate and season can regular people (if i may be so self-complimentary) grow into lives of self-determination?

And what in tarnation does that have to do with Drupal?

Is riding the thin crest of the technology wave the best, or even a sufficient, way of preserving our privileged place in the global economy?

What if we could use our privilege to work

Power is organization.

Because power is organization, people who have power and seek to gain or maintain an outsize share of control of what other people do (even if it's not that they're evil villains or anything, you know, they just appreciate a large house, and a large boat, and perhaps a well-staffed island) prefer organizing mechanisms that can be monopolized by a relative few, such as gold, a central-bank-created currency, or knowing what God really wants everyone to do.

As massive and eternal and unchanging as all of this seems to be, organization (in this sense, systematized coordination) is all necessarily built on communication, and there are historic shifts that prove this.

We can build tools that help us communicate and collaborate.

The same tools and infrastructure that we need to make our software and our community rock ever harder are some of the same tools and infrastructure people the world over need to win their own lasting freedom.

So working on issue queues and project management and democratic communication and collaborative decisionmaking – the free software and the infrastructure and the community processes that surround everything of importance – is the best way to ensure we stay free.

(especially if you've nothing better to do for the next 250 Sunday afternoons),

Why do you think this is relevant to the Drupal Community?:

Everyone who has been observer, instigator, or participant on any question of #drupalappstore, "why doesn't the Drupal Association do X, Y, Z", "who makes decisions about Drupal Planet and why?", "why isn't administrator action 73 easy to do", "how do we get more resources put toward making the core APIs awesome and the developer experience great?", and "why isn't Drupal more relevant to people fighting for freedom all over the world?" will have something to think about during and after this Ignite talk and perhaps even have an action or two to take.

Also, i will be giving a unicorn pony to every member of the audience.

Past Speaking Experience:
DrupalCon Boston, DrupalCon DC, DrupalCon Paris, multiple Drupal meetups and Drupal camps, 2010 US Social Forum, Online News Association Toronto.

Searched words: 
Drupal freedom justice Staying Free: Chicago DrupalCon Ignite Presentation very rough draft


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