[kde-community] finding a clear vision for KDE - second draft for discussion

Valorie Zimmerman valorie.zimmerman at gmail.com
Wed Feb 24 00:50:16 UTC 2016


Oooo, Steve! Thank you for capping off an excellent discussion.

On Tue, Feb 23, 2016 at 1:46 PM, Stephen Kelly <steveire at gmail.com> wrote:
> Ingo Klöcker wrote:
>
>> I had very similar thoughts when I read the above. I immediately thought
>> "No, I don't want only all users of _our_ technology to enjoys freedom,
>> etc." I want all 7+ billion human beings living on this planet
>> (including the ISS) to enjoy freedom, privacy and control.
>
> Thanks Ingo for your contributions in these threads! You've really helped
> me to realize what this discussion is all about. In particular, in
>
>  http://article.gmane.org/gmane.comp.kde.devel.community/2422
>
> you made the point that a vision statement can be something which is not
> achievable by that organization alone (or even at all!).
>
> It also doesn't make a reference to the organization itself (that would be
> a self reference).
>
>> "a world in which everyone has freedom, privacy and control over their
>> digital life"
>
> I think the form
>
>  "A world in which everyone has <foo> their digital life"
>
> is fantastic!
>
> The exact expression and placement of commas in the <foo> part needs to be
> considered to make it as universally understandable as possible and easily
> remembered as possible.
>
> Things I like about this:
>
> 1) It is 'non-exclusive'
>
> It doesn't mention KDE. It doesn't have a 'subject' at all.
>
> It's 'the vision from nowhere', so it is easy to attach to without feeling
> like subscribing to some organizations entire agenda.
>
> It doesn't even have an action verb like 'working towards' or such, so it's
> 'something to keep in mind as a guiding principle' that you can just
> meditate on instead of 'doing something about this problem in the world'.
>
> Because there is no 'action', there is no method prescribed to achieve the
> vision. That's good, because the method is the realm of the mission.
>
> 'KDE envisions' is redundant because it 'KDE envisions KDEs vision'.
>
> Notice that almost none of the examples at
>
>  https://topnonprofits.com/examples/vision-statements/
>
> use a self reference.
>
> A vision isn't a place to put a brand.
>
> 2) It is easily shared
>
> A vision seems to be something that could be mistakenly for the vision of
> any number of organizations. Without checking the list, you can read these
> and guess any of about 5 organizations that could have it as their vision:
>
>  * A just world without poverty
>  * To become a world leader at connecting people to wildlife and
> conservation.
>  * A world where everyone has a decent place to live.
>  * Equality for everyone
>  * For every child, life in all its fullness; Our prayer for every heart,
> the will to make it so
>
> 3) It has a very-inclusive object: 'everyone'
>
> Compare with:
>
>  * ... *everyone* has a decent place to live ...
>  * ... connecting *people* to wildlife ...
>  * Equality for *everyone* ...
>  * For *every child* ...
>  * *all animals*
>  * *future generations*
>  * *Every person* has the opportunity ...
>  * *every child* attains the right ...
>  * *all people* – even in the most remote areas of the globe ...
>
> The counter examples are for organizations which are inherently exclusive,
> describing the subset of 'all' people who they address:
>
>  * A hunger-free America
>  * people with intellectual disabilities
>  * eligible youth in America
>  * veterans
>
> KDE is not inherently exclusive, so those don't seem to be good examples
> for
> KDE to follow.
>
> 4) It relates to a universally relateable aspect of being a human in 2016
>
> That is, 'digital life'.
>
> Compare with other aspects of 'being a human' that appear in the list:
>
>  * poverty - even if you don't know it, you can't avoid it, and you know
> what you do to keep yourself out of it.
>  * hunger-free
>  * Equality
>  * a decent place to live
>  * the power of a wish
>  * life in all its fullness
>  * the opportunity to achieve his/her fullest potential
>  * the power to create opportunity for themselves and others
>
> 5) It has a recognizable, idealistic, completely unachievable goal
>
> Something along the lines of
>
>  * control - over digitally 'social' presence, absence etc
>  * control - over availability of digital services
>  * privacy - choosing what to share, knowingly
>  * freedom - to be forgotten
>  * freedom - to have, share, learn, modify, teach
>
> Though I'm not sure 'freedom' should be in the vision - I think that's the
> means/prerequisite to achieve personal control and choice of privacy.
> Having
> freedom in the vision makes it overlap with the 4 freedoms.
>
> But what are the 4 freedoms attempting to achieve? Something like the
> answer
> to that could be the vision.
>
> Compare:
>
>  * A just world without poverty
>  * everyone has a decent place to live
>  * a sustainable world
>  * save a planet
>  * survival, protection, development and participation
>
> 7) It is hard to disagree with the content of it
>
> Who would counter it with a claim that everyone shouldn't have
> control/privacy/freedom by default?
>
> 8) It is vague and non-specific
>
> This is good! If it's specific it's divisive!
>
> 9) It is completely un-dangerous
>
> It won't help us make difficult decisions. It's not useful in that sense at
> all.
>
> And that's a good thing! That would be like a CEO micromanaging an some
> workers' tools. The vision is 'several steps away from' any kind of day-to-
> day issues or organizational issues we face. The 'direct report' may be a
> mission, or something derived from that.
>
> No one will win an argument by saying something like:
>
> * Our vision says '... digital life', so project X should be in KDE!
> * Our vision says '...', so we need to put resources into Y!
> * Our vision says '...', so we need to get rid of Z to leave resource for W!
>
> Because the vision doesn't prescribe a method by which it can be achieved
> at
> all. From the point of view of the ideal universe, any things you try to do
> to achieve it is arbitrary, so there are no arguments in favor of doing the
> things embedded in the vision.
>
> I don't think a vision needs 'usefulness'. It only needs to be a trigger
> for
> inspiration. That's what motivates sharing it.
>
> 10) It is inspirational
>
> The vision only asks you to want the thing it describes, it doesn't ask you
> to do anything for it. When you want it, at that point you figure out
> something it inspires you to do or a change you make.
>
> Compare:
>
>  * Equality for everyone? WANT!
>  * Ok, so what am I going to do about it?
>  * Erm, let's see what I can do for the UN
>  * Note: Example chosen because 'Equality for everyone' is not the UN vision
>
> No one is going to go (logically at least) from an unbranded piece of paper
> with the words "A world in which everyone has <foo> their digital life"
> written on it to KDE. It works the other way around: someone new arrives at
> a conference and asks what KDE is about and you share the vision.
>
> 11) It is comparable to the other concise visions
>
>
>
> This is just my understanding that I've encountered as a result of reading
> what Ingo wrote and comparing with the website list. I know others have
> different understandings, but I wanted to be specific about what insights
> I'm thanking Ingo for! I like the direction.
>
> I hope a vision can be found which is agreeable enough that we can bring it
> to conclusion and get thinking about the mission instead!
>
> Thanks,
>
> Steve.

After reading all of the above, which put into words my inchaote
thoughts, I would like to offer the following version:

KDE: control your digital life

Freedom, technology, software, privacy, all of that is IN there.

Valorie



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