My thoughts on KDE

Some weeks ago, I was criticized on KDE Cafe group on Telegram because, when I see that after months of inputs some people still have a very enormous misconception of EU, I insisted on informing them.
It happened the same to Jonathan Riddell’s post about EU: some people have repeated endlessly that it was not the place to talk about it. Let me explain why I disagree.

Free Software is a political movement.
KDE, FSF, Mozilla and many others aren’t groups of simply geeky people. They are made by people that do a political choice: it’s named Free Software. When you use, develop and promote Free Software you are doing a real political choice, stronger than voting.

Politics is about choices, not institutions
You do politics when you decide to buy a product instead of another. When you decide to boycott a corporation. Because of ethics, social impact, Environment, for workers, for humans, for non-human animals. It doesn’t matter the reason: that choice is the real politics, not the debates about candidates.

In KDE we are friends first of all
Sometimes, some KDE members (I consider members also users of KDE software that simply express thoughts on the web) seems to think that KDE contributors are hired by them: they pretend contributors work without express thoughts on topics different from KDE software. This would be OK as relationship between workers and who hire them, but not for a community like KDE, where we are friends first of all. It seems that when a contributor has contributions to do he’s appreciated, when not he is left alone, like in the worst corporation: “talk about that out of the office” or “talk about that out of Cafe channel or KDE Planet” sound too much similar to me.

Compartmentation is one of the worse problems of our present society.
Reality is not made by compartments: politics, ethics, economy, research, health, education, Environment are not isolated topics, they continually intersect. The same for Free Software, freedom, culture, privacy, ethics, education etc. I know you are bored by politicians and you think politics is a totally different thing, but this is how they prevent you from getting interested in real politics. They make you hate politics, make you thought you can’t do political choice every day. They want movements like the free culture, Environmental ones and many others don’t collaborate, they them isolated, not exchanging thoughts. Compartmentation is not only this. It’s also about distinguish history and geography in education, and many other subjects because we shouldn’t make the connections. Connections mean awareness and awareness is what save people from dictatorships. In sociology the compartmentation is also what makes mass crimes possible, like extermination of the Jews and atomic bomb: everyone do his/her job without caring about the other links in the chain, because if they do, they will see the entire crime. This is also what let people eating meat: they delegate some workers to make grow animals, torture them, kill them and bring them to their tables. If people had to do it by their-selves, including kill animals, the number of meat eaters will strongly decrease.

There is an emergency in Europe.
Someone think that EU is an institution made by people from different countries. It isn’t. It’s based on an idea: the free trade or neo-liberism or anarcho-capitalism is freedom, it will make social equality, it will distribute resources equally. Because of this idea, people are suffering, people commit suicide, live in poverty. This is not collaboration between countries, this is a dictatorship by corporations made legal thanks to EU treaties.

Luckily KDE is made by people with great variety of thoughts.
I left the Cafe on Telegram because of comments like “I don’t know how public debt is made, I know how commits are made”. I don’t pretend you do a revolution. I don’t pretend you study the entire history of EU year by year. But I pretend respect: I pretend respect for those people that committed suicide and the ones are currently suffering. Me, my friends, my family, as a lot of Italians, in the last 5 years talked continuously with people, we organized conferences, in some case we convinced desperate people to resist, explaining how this crisis is made, how fight against it. Why and how to evade taxes, to survive. So it’s important that people with an Internet connection informed themselves how the public debts are artificially made and all the other mechanisms of neo-liberism, to save people don’t understand why they bankrupted, explaining why it’s not their fault.
I wanted to totally leave KDE because I thought it was mostly made by geeky people without empathy. Luckily some KDE members contacted me privately. Some of them are friends, but also others I didn’t knew and they contacted me just to say I was right about EU and that KDE is full of people with the same thoughts.

I don’t want to start a blogpost series on KDE Planet about EU. Instead I’m planning some Plasma Tricks posts, because I have tricks I can’t keep to myself, I have to share them. But I encourage you to understand me, Jonathan and many others that don’t care about compartmentation and do what they think it’s better.
Thanks to people that care about politics, ethics, society and friends. And thanks also to who commented against Jonathan’s post, you expressed your thought and it’s always appreciated.

That’s all, thanks for attention.

Comments (Markdown supported):

  1. Kjetil Kilhavn

    Well said. Friendly debate is useful, it may open ones eyes to other viewpoints. Even if it doesn’t make us change our view, we may get a better understanding of both our own view and the views of those we disagree with.
    If you can’t debate politics with your friends (including the KDE community), then who should you debate politics with?

  2. tosky

    It was totally your decision to left the KDE Cafè after it was told you to not repeat the same over and over in few minutes, and answers like the one you quoted were simply meaning “please stop it, no need to continue here” (considering also that most of the people involved where quite far away from the EU). It does not mean that people are not interested on the topic (even if disagreeing with you), but it was interesting in the way it was aggressively pushed in that specific context.
    This is just to inform the casual reader that things are not exactly as you described them from the point of view of other people.

    This is totally different from a blog post, which is a one shot on your blog (we can then discuss whether it is appropriate or not for the aggregator).

    1. > considering also that most of the people involved where quite far away from the EU
      So, the USA didn’t have to care about extermination of Jews in Europe? Please, notice that we are living that extermination right now, and targets are people from all the world. Someone started a group to discuss about that? Or suggested an other channel? No. I didn’t start the discussion. The discussion started because some people said very false things about EU. When I said the truth some people don’t want to hear and they didn’t ask to stop: they pretend I have to stop because it was KDE Cafe and for some reason I can’t ask there to get informed, for respect for people who committed suicide. I asked them to inform themselves, nothing more.

      1. tosky

        About the interconnection of political events of different countries: there are connection, which does not mean I start bitching about US politics more than one or two jokes only with people I perfectly know, only from time to time, and most of the time just not saying anything.

        I was on KDE Cafè for many months, even if I didn’t contribute too much. I hope we don’t need to go with logs, but really, the discussion started from some US things (which you contributed too, with strong personal opinions). Then it was you that move the discussion to EU saying (quoting) “Sure? In Europe the European Union created more hate between Italians, Germans etc”. There were already people asking to stop (for the previous points), of course people started asking about that opinion on EU (as a Italian living abroad I would find it questionable at least), so facts says that the discussion didn’t start as you pictured it in the previous comment.

        1. I never said the previous discussions were on KDE Cafe. They were on WikiToLearn Cafe, if you want to know it. And they asked to stop every time I mention politics. If you don’t want to read, don’t do it. If you want to discuss of something else, start to do it. The others wrote all the stupid things about politicians they want on WikiToLearn Cafe. If I said a political thing, everyone came to ask to stop talking. Why? Can you explain me why people don’t want to talk about the holocaust that is currently happening in Europe thanks to EU and USA? In 10 years from now probably those people will be tagged as negationists. The holocaust is happening now, in Italy, in Germany, in Syria, in USA, stop ignoring it, please.

          1. tosky

            I’m not on WikiToLearn Cafe, but the discussion was happening on KDE Cafe and I’m sure that some people who where complaining were not on WikiToLearn Cafe. Different channels, we are talking about the discussion there was on KDE Cafe.
            And again, the points you brought up were really opinionated. Everyone who wants to read the log can do it.

      2. Randomguy

        The US didn’t care for jews in the first place. Hitler declared them war, and they just more or less figured out the actual state of things much later. Member?

        I don’t know what the heck holocaust you are talking about then. Which is also really, pretty, a lot, disrespecting of the real one.

        Not even literal war in Syria would count as one, leave alone the EU.
        Also, please notice inequalities were rising before it and are rising without it.
        And please notice the MOST EQUAL (as measured by gini index) countries in the world are all there. Plus canada. Oh, look they even seem to have a liberal [scare] trade agreement now.
        Maybe you should try to improve the rigorousness of your correlations and of your definitions [more or less regulations, liberal or (what would be its contrary?), doesn’t mean or qualify anything by itself if you don’t consider what’s their content]
        Have a nice day.

        1. The alternative to neoliberism are just Social States with democracy and sovereignty that belongs to people. Currently sovereignty belongs to the market.
          At the moment the rules are designed for big corporations.
          Socially, the rich people are becoming richer and poor people poorer, the middle class is disappearing.
          EU is a neo-liberist institution and neo-liberism caused the social issues that had as reply the nationalisms, fascism and nazism and consequently the two World Wars. We can’t repeat that mistake again.
          Humanity can do better than this, a better world for everyone is possible.

    2. I have to inform you that the people who want to stop me talking about EU did it for months. That’s why I wrote: “when I see that after months of inputs”. “Inputs” means that I mentioned that topic many times but I stopped immediately when they asked for it. I was respectful of their decision to don’t talk about it there in those moments. Many times. In the end, when I hear really horrible sentences like “I don’t know how public debt is made, I know how commits are made” I cannot treat those people with the same respect I had in the past, sorry.

  3. user1

    Thanks for pointing out that “Free Software is a political movement.” Because: If politics in related areas (e.g. copyright laws or Inter-state trade agreements with benefits for large corporations) goes wrong there could be a situation where Free Software is legally forbidden (with security as pretense). Nobody should take Free Software for granted. It is good to have people who regularly stand up for it. The more the better.

  4. user1

    “Compartmentation is one of the worse problems of our present society.” – I think this paragraph is a really good insight of the current situation. It is the basis where to place the lever to effectively make changes (instead of actionless complaining about politicians and corporate leaders who do nothing to improve the situation). Thanks for putting it into those concise words!

  5. Oli

    I’m just a KDE Enthusiast reading the planet KDE and I agree one hundred percent with you in every subsection you wrote.
    And as a KDE User I’m glad to see that some members of KDE are thinking, politically, the way I do.

  6. tosky

    Don’t you think that sentence was another way to say “please stop it”?

    1. How can I? It means “I don’t care about it now/here nor in other circumstances”. It means “I’m a developer, I have my daily pasta, while should I care about people that commit suicide?”.
      I’m not understanding why I was judge so aggressive if I didn’t insult someone. I asked to get informed instead of ignoring the topic. Just this. How could it be an aggressive act? We were talking about real violence, real dead, real suicides. Is it so aggressive to ask to inform your self about it?

  7. Tomaz Canabrava

    Ii can understand you as I’m vocal about what’s happening in Brazil right now (I even got shot, by a real bullet, not a rubber one). But none of my vocalizations are on kde mostly because I know it wouldn’t do good.

    1. I think that an occasional post will be appreciated, at least by me. Especially from a country from which I’m far like Brazil.

  8. john

    I so 100% agree with you!!!
    EU is 100% pure fascism from some rich influential circles against all normal and poor people!
    Cudos to your text!
    80% of my free time I care, I read, I talk, I discuss about politics.
    Because it’s too important, and because it’s everywhere!
    But I still think PlanetKDE is not the right place to talk about this!!!!!

    And I have to criticize you, because people have a right to not care about politics. And to have less respect about this people is not right.

    I always say, it’s better to have no opinion when you don care about something, than to deal superficially with something and listen to bullshit propaganda!
    Put some thought and effort in something or let it be.

    1. That’s why I didn’t start to write posts about politics nor I want to see Planet KDE full of every kind of post. When I saw Jonathan post, since I strongly disagree with his opinion on EU, I wasn’t so happy, I have to admit it. But then I saw all those comments against his decision to post in on Planet KDE. For me most of those comments are exaggerated. Jonathan is doing a great job in KDE, it’s absurd that for one single post he’s so criticized. It seems like until a friend come to your home with a present you are happy, but if he come to you home just a single time to share with you his thoughts you criticize him. It’s not fair. I’m sure that Jonathan will not exaggerate with posts like that. We should have confidence in him, at least until is not starting to post a lot.

      1. john

        Nobody has special rights, it doesn’t matter how much somebody did.
        If you do good things you should get a thank you or more!
        If you do bad things you should get a no or reproval or a fine.
        It is and should be like that.

        And it was the first post on planetKDE which looked really totally offtopic for this kind of blog.
        If you care for something, and it’s good, so try to preserve it.

        So I really hope that was an Exception.
        And maybe the best thing is to make a community poll about such things.
        If the community want politics on PlanetKDE like this or not.

        And sorry in my opinion this text from Jonathan was totally Propaganda!

        1. john

          And I have no doubt that Jonathan did his posting in a good intention! But too often the opposite of good is good intentions!

  9. tosky

    Aggressive is not just when you insult someone. After going to that topic (also because it was brought and ignited also with your contribution) you reiterated the same thing over and over with people clearly saying that the discussion was over at that point. And some of the points were highly opinionated.
    And yes, an answer like that is like “ok, enough of this discussion, I could be interested but not now”.

    I invite everyone who wants to know more to join the Telegram chat and set the client to get a lot of history and read what happened.

    1. You know half of the story, because you were only on KDE Cafe. Are you aware of this?

      1. tosky

        It does not change a iota of what I wrote.

        1. Your opinion is that I was aggressive, I respect your opinion, though you are judging knowing half of the facts. In my post I didn’t accuse somebody for kick me out nor anything else. My intention was just to introduce the fact some people create compartments like the politics one. When a guy said to others, not to me, to be “politically correct” also on cafe groups, I replied that it’s impossible to separate politics from Free Software and free culture. So they knew I will not stop just because it isn’t the right place (though I did it until the KDE Cafe time). In this post, I argument why.

  10. john

    The EU in Brussels is nest of corrupt parasites!
    Watch this:
    It’s a pity it’s in german.

  11. Tuukka

    Of course it would be artificial to separate things like free software and politics. On the other hand, subjects like the EU are very complicated and the can be approached from very many perspectives, and a meaningful discussion would need time and room to develop. What easily happens is that the discussion takes too much of the bandwidth of a discussion channel that is meant for something else. Or people with opposing opinions just get annoyed by the political remarks but restrain from responding because they know the argument might go on for days once it really gets started.

    Strong opinions about political subjects not directly related to KDE might be better expressed on personal blogs than public Telegram groups. That way it’s easier for people to ignore it if they want. I would also keep the majority of posts focused on KDE here on the Planet.

    1. It doesn’t matter but as far as I know KDE Cafe is a private Telegram group, not a public one. You can join in only if a member invite you.

  12. Uramekus

    used to respect you a lot, you dont know me and may dont give a fuck
    but since i saw you talking about free trade in a VERY, VERY, VERY WRONG way like its the truth i dont think you are a nice guy anymore (still see you as an nice developer)

    but i really recommend you to read some libertarian economics
    neo liberalism doesn’t exist as this, its pretty much a fancy name only (there isnt a neo liberalist economy school of some sort)
    most of libertarians are against EU because it raises the debt highly and still promotes an centralized coin

    1. Uramekus/Lucas Francesco

      sorry if i was rude
      but after all you talked something that dont make sense and you pretty much just put the blame on the free-market-stereotype

      free maket/anarcho-capitalism was never ment to give more equality

      but that doesnt mean that the fact that the poverty is rising in EU is fault of it
      its not even fault of the libertarians and people that want free market

      there is a whole mises institute post about it talking, and talking on that context of the vote @jun28

      and i dont see a thing talking good about EU
      even Rothbard thought of this idea as degenerate when he was alive

      1. So please explain what you mean with “free market”, since I specified what I meant. Without this starting point, we can’t continue the discussion.

    2. Neo-liberism is neo-liberism. It’s a word born in Italy as neo-liberismo and transliterated to English as neo-liberism. A quick search on Google can confirm this.

  13. laoguy

    Thank you and the other KDE planet contributers who have come out and restated the purpose of free (libre) software. Your position is more important now than ever before. Kudos.

  14. Michael

    Grateful to hear a thoughtful reply, *and* to throw in the comparison of blindly eating animals, well done. Keep posting in the KDE family, we need to hear this.

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  16. Burak

    I’m not a KDE user and don’t attend or read any KDE forum, but is it foolish to suggest to create a “Politics” section in those forums if the community votes for it?

    1. It’s a good idea, but it needs to be elaborated in the right way and discussed in mailing list. I will try to find the time to start the discussion. Thank you for the suggestion.

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  18. indiolinux

    Ha sido una sorpresa leer esta entrada en un blog que ocasionalmente visito redirigido por alguna búsqueda sobre plasma o kde. Comparto su argumentación de fondo. Son decisiones políticas cualquier decisión que incida en el ambiente político de una manera apreciable. Inclusive la decisión de no fomar parte del ambiente político. Esto usted ya lo sabe, según se lee en su artículo.
    La negación a formar parte de la política es una decisión política bastante nociva: es la decisión que conlleva hacia una actitud política muy pasiva. Sobre esa pasividad se asientan otras ideas políticas más dinámicas.

    Cuando la gran mayoría decide apartarse de las discusiones políticas se queda sin recursos para hacer frente al dinamismo del sistema político imperante, impulsado por una minoría que suple su escaso número con recursos que se antojan ilimitados.

    En mi opinión, el sistema político que impera lo hace gracias al subjetivismo con que la mayoría de seres humanos afronta su vida: aquellos que creen que una cosa puede existir sin tener relación con otra y que pueden tranquilamente separar cualquier actividad (como participar en el tal Cafe) de la realidad política. Unas minorías, con incontables recursos, se aprovechan de esa pasividad y crean ‘cosas’ como la UE etc etc etc

    1. Thank you very much for your comment!

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