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Re: [K12OSN] Letter to local schools - draft



Your heart is definitely in the right place.  However, experience tells me that this approach won't work.  Here's why.  Government bosses seem to be willing to make changes only when they think that not doing so will IMMEDIATELY and PERSONALLY embarrass them--PUBLICLY.  I emphasized those three words for a reason, and perhaps this example will illustrate why.

I know of one school district which, after being bitten by MSBlast and Nachi, and having to go out and physically touch tens of thousands of machines to patch/clean them, is about to spend millions of dollars every year for a "desktop management system".  This "desktop management system" is a knee-jerk response to a public humiliation, and their way of thinking is, "Hey, we can say we're throwing this much money at the problem in order to fix it.  Thus, if we get caught again, we personally are covered, and we can simply point the finger at the vendor."  Free Software, including LTSP, is totally brushed off by them as a "non-standard, unsupportable, unaccountable, computer-weeb toy" not worthy of even mentioning other than disparagingly.  A big part of that reason is that they don't feel like they can "point the finger at the vendor" with Free Software.  A stupid reason, in my opinion, but real in thei r minds.

The threat of pain is, I remind you, a big part of why Riverdale S.D., and others in Oregon, started using K12LTSP the way they did.  It's why Ernie Ball now uses LTSP (they got slapped with an $80,000+ fine by MS and the BSA, and were humiliated publicly).  In corporate, the pressure is there to reduce costs, or you're fired.  In government, that pressure (the "or you're fired" part) isn't there, so there's little incentive to actually save money and increase productivity.  The "public embarrassment" way is, sadly, the only way to affect these decision-makers.  It's got to hurt the top bosses to keep with business as usual, and only then will there be a change.  The exceptions to this rule are, I've found, to be few and far between.

The ultimate solution is for folks like us to actually get into positions of real power in these organizations, and to become well-connected politically.  Very hard to do...but it is vital, I think.

--TP

On Fri, 2003-10-17 at 02:09, Bill Kendrick wrote:
On Thu, Oct 16, 2003 at 10:34:46PM -0700, Bill Kendrick wrote:
> Open Source provides people with the ability to share ideas and work
> together freely.  It's like the scientific method, which works well
> for physicists, doctors, and researchers.  It's ideal for software
> creation too!

DRAT!  A friend from my LUG pointed out the obvious -- that this is NOT
the scientific method (e.g., change only one variable, then test, then
another, then test) :^)

D'oh! :)

So I've changed this paragraph to read:

...
  Open Source provides people with the ability to share ideas and work
  together freely.  The open sharing of ideas and results works well for
  physicists, doctors, and researchers.  It's ideal for software
  creation too!
...


-bill!


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--TP
Do you GNU!?
The "GNU" Free Software Revolution - With Improved Freedoms for All

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