I was quite shocked and saddened to notice via Ugo Cei that Robert Anton Wilson is in a bit of a bad way. I can’t say I’m a fanatical devotee but certainly he’s someone whose work I’ve read and appreciated and it’s hard to reconcile that he is terminally ill and potentially going to spend his last days destitute, unable to keep a roof over his head.
I’m at the Hampshire Linux User Group Extraordinary General Meeting in Southampton today. It’s an EGM because the “proper” annual general meeting a month or two ago didn’t get enough people to be quorate.
I don’t usually physically attend Hants LUG meetings given they take place (naturally) in Hampshire and I live in Feltham, near Heathrow! This time though there was an item on the agenda to be voted on which I felt rather strongly about, so I thought I should make the effort to help reach quorum and get the amendment passed.
The amendment in question was regarding opening the mailing list archives. Traditionally, Hants LUG has had a “closed” list archive in that only members of the mailing list can view the archive. This meant that no archiving by major search engines could take place, and therefore none of the pearls of wisdom posted to the list were being published outside the confines of the LUG. When this topic was brought up on the list it was rather contentious with a clear divide of opinion — some people just didn’t like the idea of their posts to the LUG’s mailing list being publically visible and archived.
Graham Bleach had stepped forward to propose an amendment to the LUG’s constitution that would see the mailing list archives opened up, and it’s one I was eager to support. Happily the amendment was passed something like 23 to 3.
Tony Whitmore had also taken the time to write up several other amendments related to who can vote, when meetings will take place, etc., which were all sound ideas I was happy to support. I am rather concerned that this will pave the way to Internet voting for Hants LUG which is something I am vehemently opposed to; I can quite easily see the LUG dominated by people like myself — keyboard heroes who are quite happy to pontificate digitally but rarely get off their arse to actually do anything in the local Linux community. These sort of movers and shakers are exactly what the LUG depends on, they’re the people in shortest supply, and they are the people who will be disenfranchised by an indifferent voting population. Time will tell.
While here we’ve also had a very productive chat about what we’re going to do about the hardware for lug.org.uk and I hope we’ll see some movement on that front in the very near future.
An election took place for the officers of the LUG, the main news being that Adrian Bridgett is the new chairman. It’s certainly not a role I envy but I’m sure he’ll take it in his stride!
I think we’re going for a curry later. \o/