Political Tendencies

Free Software, Jonathan, Politics, Project Mayhem 12 Comments »

The Stereotype

Recently, Jordan Mantha blogged about being excited about Palin joining McCain’s campaign. Some of the comments were quite harsh, some even suggesting that it’s wrong to support the Republicans, being a free software developer and affiated with the Ubuntu project. I will admit that I was quite surprised to see his support for the McCain myself- from the vast majority of posts I’ve seen on Planet Ubuntu, Planet Debian and Planet Gnome so far, most free software supporters seem to support Obama and the Democratic party. Being a supporter of free software (or Ubuntu) shouldn’t imply what kind of political tendencies you have. Statistics might show that most free software supporters might choose something, that doesn’t mean that everyone has to.

The Political Compass

In CLUG, many of the people in our IRC channel participated in the Political Compass test. It asks you a series of questions and then gives you co-ordinates on where you stand politically. Michael Gorven put together a Python script that takes the results from Spinach (our channel bot) and plots it on a graph using Gnuplot:

In the graph above, it’s clear that everyone in our LUG that participated landed in the Libertarian quadrants, and not a single person in the Authoritarian quadrants. Most people are in the Left-wing Libertarian quadrant, with quite a few in the Right-wing Libertarian quadrant. In this case, the graph supports the stereotype that free software supporters may be more inclined to be left-wing libertarians. There are other things that this graph doesn’t bring into account though. Everyone in our IRC channel are also South Africans. Could that perhaps have an effect on our choices and tendencies? We also discuss *everything* on our IRC channel, and we mostly read each other’s blogs. Could it also be that we shape each other’s political views, if only we sway it by the tiniest bit on a continuous basis?

I think it’s natural of humans to make assumptions about other people and the world around them. I think it’s wrong of people to take offence when these assumptions and generalisations do not fit into their little view of the world. While we’re not all unique little snowflakes, we are all different, and tolerance and acceptance goes a long, long way.

See also:

Other Cluggers who have blogged on the political compass:

IkamvaYouth Telkom Protest - October 12

Politics, Project Mayhem 2 Comments »

On Friday the 12th of October, my favourite non-profit organisation will be protesting against Telkom’s appalling service. The protest takes place on 12 October 2007, from parliament in Plein street, to Telkom’s offices in St George’s mall. I’m incredibly unhappy that I won’t be able to attend it (see update below), since I’ll still be in Joburg for business purposes.

I do urge everyone who reads this to give their support to IkamvaYouth for this cause, or even better, attend the protest.

Telkom’s incredibly poor service is doing damage to our country, and it seems to be getting worse with every passing year. This is a good opportunity to make your voice heard, make use of the opportunity.


I will be able to attend the Toyi-toyi after all. I will be flying down to Cape Town next Thursday, and will leave for Joburg again at the end of the weekend.

Patricia De Lille wants to restrict your freedom

Free Software, Politics, Project Mayhem 2 Comments »


Patricia De Lille wants to limit your freedom of speech, read this link for the full story. What it comes down to, is that she is calling on government to somehow regulate blogs and electronic communication to prevent anonymous defamatory comments. I’m quite disappointed, I honestly thought that De Lille was a bit more intelligent than that. I would’ve even voted for her before.

In this country, countless people have fought a long and hard struggle for the freedom of our people. Many have even died for the cause. And now, De Lille, who really should know better, wants to take some of our freedoms away from us again. Government regulating on-line communication will only result in bad things. No matter what they implement, there will still be ways to anonymously post content, while the legislation will just hurt the people who want to be heard. We already have a situation in the country where rape victims hardly report the incidents, since they are afraid of how their family/police/etc would respond. South Africans need to learn to speak up more, and fight more for their rights, NOT the other way around.

Patricia, you’re a big public figure, and lots of people have huge amounts of respect for you. Please, stop trying to take people’s rights away from them. It’s not the right thing to do.

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