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[ossig] [bytesforall_readers] RE: Open source community needs a haircut and to dress for success? Should I loose my Kurtas (long asian shirts), Jeans and Sandals

Hi everyone,
This debate is getting pretty heated up and we are hearing from members of
the FOSS community who have been very quiet for sometime. I forwarded this
issue to the various lists with one sole objective that some times we tend
to misunderstand the true essence of movements in comparison to the
commercial corporate world. Did humanity come first or was the corporate
world established without humanity? Did the corporate world establish itself
with selling products to humanity or were they throwing their products out
for free or in blank space without humanity? It may seem a very small
statement but a lot of things evolve with this one small statement in terms
of just saying it and it becomes a very big issue if the people from the
FOSS movement are going portray something that tends to be inhuman in

This happens when people initiate the process of engaging themselves with
the FOSS movement and transition from one set of beliefs towards the other.
It's not easy to just leave one school of thought and transit into the other
school. Suits, ties and haircuts are definitely a symbol of association to
the outlook of the corporate world including white collar jobs, blue collar
jobs etc. The same essence has been seen within government officials etc.
But you will agree to the fact that as we move around the world, we see
people wearing their national or regional dresses in government and
corporate offices, does that hinder their performance or their corporate or
official outlook and progress? I believe it shows association of that
region's people to their roots including their human spirit and the fact
that they are advancing with their true identity. A large number of people
in large corporate organizations like Google, , IBM, Novell etc are dressed
in casuals and even are bald as part of their fashion statements, does that
hinder their global success and innovation, does that de-list them from
NASDAQ, does that cause their shares to fall?

Are university students all over the world always dressed formally in suits
when they carryout research in scientific labs and present innovations
generating benefits for humanity? Are MIT labs filled with researchers in
black/blue suits and jell-back hair? Remember the Dot-Com era, the global
corporate revolution and era of online innovation, what was the essence
during that? Are Indians leading the ITS/BPO markets due to the fact that
they are wearing suits or they are dressed in Kurta/Shalwars and regional
dresses? Is China and Japan falling behind in global progress and dominance
due to their wooden sandals or the regional dresses the ladies wear? 90% of
women in South Asia only wear Saries and Shalwar/Kurties to work,
government, banks, technology companies and academic institutions, is it
stopping South Asia from progressing? Does it mean that women are not
playing their part to contribute to the success of their nations and their
equal role in national economies? Will a lady or a person not dressed in a
suit not get his fundamental human rights?

One more interesting fact you all would confide in is that all major
democratic movements around the world including major country level
government toppling activities were not carried out in suits. Even with the
FOSS movement, the FSF was lead by RM Stallman in casuals; The Cathedral &
The Bazaar was not presented in a suit, Bruce Perens photograph on the OSI
website isn't in a suit, half the people at WSIS weren't in suits, 70% of
the IDLELO participants weren't in suits, 70% or more of the global
population isn't in suits?

Un-professionalism is not judged by suits only, it is judged by lack of
knowledge, lack of experience, fundamentalist attitudes towards accepting
the fact that the FOSS movement is humanity oriented and is an alternative
to Microsoft's global dominance as Microsoft promotes the commercialism
aspect and FOSS promotes the human essence, as a way to reduce the digital
divide. FOSS is about openness in fundamental nature and Microsoft is about
closed-ness in fundamental nature. FOSS shares and gives through all of its
activities and Microsoft only gives when it makes profits or needs to make
profits. A clear difference, humanity is about being humane from the moment
a human takes the decision to add to the essence of humanity by giving,
sharing and contributing. Does that begin from the point that Microsoft
hires an employee? Does Microsoft tell the employee that Mr. XYZ you will
accept the declaration of human rights and contribute to humanity in every
way you can or does he have to accept staff rules in compliance to the
corporate ethics/code of professional conduct of that corporate?

Professionalism in the FOSS movement is the quest for benefiting humanity by
being humane and sharing the freedoms associated with ICT Software, reducing
the digital divide, providing excellence based on knowledge, competence and
skills being exercised within the ethics of the proper exercise of judgment
and discretion based upon accepted values and norms for the benefit of
humanity. How many people will we see dressed in suits wading through swamps
and mud accessing far-off remote indigenous regions and people providing
them connectivity to the world through the use of ICTs and FOSS? How many
people will we see dressed in suits sitting on the ground teaching in South
Asian or African schools without proper roofs and furniture? How many people
will we see dressed in suits sitting in garages in the US creating
innovations that change the way man has perceived technology and its

Come on guys, the essence and impacts of revolutions, the struggle for
democracy and human rights, the basic needs of people and access to food,
water, shelter, education, health and ICTs is not a matter of who is wearing
a suit or not but who is willing to go to the next level in forgetting
themselves and helping the other. The suit is part of the
presentation/fashion/cosmetic era that confines the true identity of a human
associating him to someone else's objectives. You only mentioned suits when
you said corporate world or professionalism, you did not mention suits while
fighting tuberculosis, AIDS, Cancer, Polio, the Tsunami, the Katrina, the
Pakistani Earthquake and various other global disasters or epidemics.

The FOSS Movement has been created and nourished by humanity for the benefit
of humanity, not only by the corporate world, in fact the corporate world
still tries to add FOSS to its corporate benefit and sometimes closes the
open nature of the software as we have seen being done by RedHat, IBM,
Novell and a number of other corporates. 

Philip, try to understand the FOSS movement; you need to learn and share the
true spirit of humanity and FOSS. May God help you to do so! Amen!

Fouad Riaz Bajwa
General Secretary - FOSS Advocate
FOSSFP: Free & Open Source Software Foundation of Pakistan R Secretariat
Cell: 92-333-4661290
Tel: 92-42-8496645
E-Mail: bajwa@fossfp.org
URL: www.fossfp.org ; www.ubuntu-pk.org
This e-mail message is intended for its recipient only. If you have received
this e-mail in error, please discard it. The author of this e- mail or
FOSSFP: Free and Open Source Software Foundation of Pakistan (R) takes no
responsibility for the material, implicit or explicit.
-----Original Message-----
From: philipp [mailto:p@bokaap.net] 
Sent: Thursday, March 30, 2006 1:03 AM
To: bajwa@fossfp.org
Cc: idlelo2@fossfa.net; foss-pdi@mail.apdip.net;
iosn-general@mail.apdip.net; s-asia-it@lists.apnic.net;
digitaldivide@milhouse.edc.org; ossig@mncc.com.my;
Subject: Re: [Idlelo2] Open source community needs a haircut and to dress
for success? Should I loose my Kurtas (long asian shirts), Jeans and Sandals

Some time ago I posted some rough/unedited notes from a presentation  
by Peter Quinn, ex CIO commonwealth of Massachusetts, in which he  
reports on the his state's decision to use an open standard document  
format for office productivity documents and the implications of that  
decision. I remember he did say something similar about ponytails and  
FOSS in the presentation ....

20 January 2006, Cologne City Hall, UNU-MERIT FLOSSPOLS workshop

The full notes are here -- http://bokaap.net/blog/?p=13

On 29 Mar 2006, at 11:42, Fouad Riaz Bajwa wrote:

> I found this interesting article posted by Dan Farber about a  
> statement made
> by Former Massachusetts Chief Information Officer Peter Quinn, who was
> deeply involved of the OpenDocument vs. Microsoft format debate,  
> has some
> advice for the open source community. If you want to get traction in
> commercial environments, lose the sandals and ponytails, Quinn  
> said. "Open
> source has an unprofessional appearance, and the community needs to  
> be more
> business-savvy in order to start to make inroads in areas  
> traditionally
> dominated by commercial software vendors. (Having) a face on a  
> project or
> agenda makes it attractive for politicians (to consider open source),"
> Read this article at: http://blogs.zdnet.com/BTL/? 
> p=2780&tag=nl.e589 and
> forward me your comments :) Should I loose my Kurtas (long asian  
> shirts),
> Jeans and Sandals ;)
> Regards
> -----------------------
> Fouad Riaz Bajwa
> General Secretary - FOSS Advocate
> FOSSFP: Free & Open Source Software Foundation of Pakistan R  

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