dipankard at gmail dot com
Composed by dd/ts, 2010.
Who What and Why of GLT
1. NETs and NETs
GNU-Linux flowered and fostered through Net. The instruments and apparatus from Richard Stallman's Free-Software-Foundation and the the kernel from Linus Torvalds built on and with these instruments: the Net was the medium of all these flow of bytes to and fro and here and there. Net bred it.
A Net that we do never know. We know another Net, our version of the Net. I am coming to that in a bit.
If there are Net-s and Net-s, there are 'India' and 'india', in fact a lot of 'india'-s thrive around us. Maybe a chosen few, some thoroughbred elites, connectedness no more being a theorem of topology but a living version of (in)human science, working in many ways through the poverty, some poverty to show and sell in public, and some poverty to bleed in private, still some more poverty to get connected and climb, get blissed with that kind of connectedness in Internet that does not break every moment, and does not breed the pernennial fear before you dare to reconnect: will it burn away my not-so-generous supply of oil?
I am the richest member of Madhyamgram GLT (oh God, I am rich too) and I have to spend around one-fifth of my monthly income (around 200 dollars, that too really high by our standards), to get connected in a dial-up connection with a modem for not more than 50 mb traffic a month). And my wife looks in horror to the small red noisy contraption that hangs with a cable from my machine and saps away the last bucks from her family budget.
Downloading the ISO-s from the Net? Getting the freedom to get the free softwares and documents and info and all? Please, get grown up, no fantasy here.
We have to confess to ourselves: unlike Beatles, we are not bigger than Jesus, we are a country that Jesus forgot to tread. Jesus stopped at West. That maybe a very good thing for us: Hegel wrote it: the wisdom belongs to the Slave. He works, has to work, if he decides remaining alive, and he sees the freedom, in its concrete wholeness before his eyes, in the form of a Lord.
The freedom as in free is actually a story of Lord's freedom. The highest thing that we can squeeze out from this is a voyeurs's pleasure in watching what people do when they are free.
Then, what about GNU-Linux? The thing that rose in the face of the monopoly capital, in the most elite of elite of its sectors, in the sector that controls all other sectors, and controls the very controlling. The sector of Knowledge and the technologies of Knowledge. Is it not meant for us? GNU-Linux following the footsteps of Jesus?
If GNU-Linux has to be for us, outside the glittery bookshelves of the Lords of West, or the Local accolytes of the Global Lords, West being the generic name of the whole thing, we have to build an Eastern way-in into this Western Linux. And that has to be a collective.
Here comes the word 'Thek'. Like every colloquial word-of-the-mouth it has many surplus meanings around it, hanging in countless loose threads. One extreme of the meaning horizon of 'thek' embraces the subversive lumpen realities of the word 'joint' in American, the other extreme carries the age-old traditional public place in the foot of The Banyan Tree of the village, where everyone could be at-ease, could be relaxed, and could interact with every other one. During the bad times, the famines, the comings of the kings, they would assemble here, and distribute among themselves what tidlets and bitlets they could still cling on with.
This is GLT. This THEK that lets us reach out towards West's GNU-Linux.
And GLT can only happen in a GLT way. A way that is very different from the ways of the West, the Formulated, the Systematic. GLT is us. I am a little of GLT, and Asesh or Piu or Debashish -- they are all miniscule GLT-s themselves. So, when we are together, we are the GLT.
2. Not Just Money
See: money is not the sole point here. Our Net is very different from their Net. In terms of Language, in terms of the Cultural Ambience, in terms of the mindsets of the people that work up the Net: their Net.
Not just the Net: even the texts that we get from the Nets. So many times i have to help some of my younger friends, less accustomed to jokes and eccentricities of American Language, to get the meaning of the very GLinux how-to-s.
3. Putting Together
I had my quota of expertise: we are not elite in no sense. So we do not know computers in a really well-groomed well-schooled fashion. But still, we continue to carry on with our jobs. So, however microscopic it maybe, i have my quota of expertise, my quota of info about what is happening on the GNU-Linux free world, and, most importantly my quota of downloads.
Some of us maybe attached to an institution that purchases one set of CD-s of one distro. And some of us do have burners. So, let there be that distro in GLT.
One of us purchased a book on GNU-Linux, when he has done with it, let that book belong to GLT.
Some us can afford to get connected to the Net, at least in the email way, everyday. Let them deal with the problems that we cannot solve ourselves, and hence can ask those problems to more learned ones in the LUG-s and Newsgroups.
Some of us have some relations and friends that work abroad. So they get some new versions of the distros for us.
This way the GLT happens.
(From a missive primarily intended to be sent to RMS)