1x24: Bunch of Sockpuppets

Jeremy Garcia, Bryan "the Cheater" Lunduke, Jono Bacon, and Stuart Langridge present Bad Voltage, in which we discuss operating systems, magnanimity in defeat, cheating, mendacious donations to charity, fingerprints being rubbish, how to kiss a Red Hat engineer, and:

  • The "reverso" debate: Jeremy and Jono debate whether projects should have a publicly visible figurehead or if that does harm to the project, but (and this is the key point) argue for the position opposite to what they actually believe. You can (and should) vote for who you think was the winner, by going to the poll topic and choosing in the poll! (2.48)
  • We review the Samsung Galaxy S5 phone running Android, and diverge into the nature of phones and way to choose (20.56)
  • Karsten Wade, CentOS engineering manager at Red Hat, talks about the recent partnership between Red Hat and CentOS and why it happened (36.25)
  • Is it possible to create a political party which runs like an open source project? Run as a meritocracy? (54.12)
  • Lots of stuff going on in the Bad Voltage community: we have a round-up (61.12)

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I can’t find the poll

I was listening to the Samsung Galaxy S5 review. It sounds like it is full of crap hardware as well as software I (and most people) would never need. My work phone is a Galaxy S2 running Cyanogenmod 11 and I haven’t had a compelling reason to replace that yet (no LTE here and that would probably be the only reason). My personal phone is an iPhone 5S which is actually about the right size for me, and the fingerprint reader actually works / is useful.

Having been a Cyanogenmod user for a couple of years I can say that stock Android isn’t too bad (and this coming from someone who hates Java), they just completely break the experience with the way application permissions work. It is much easier to deny Facebook access to my camera on the iPhone for example.

Oops. The poll is at Closed Poll: Reverso Debate, Jono vs Jeremy: Figureheads – I forgot to create it! Thank you. Fixing the main post now.

I am properly astounded at how many people think I’m stupid for wanting a phone which isn’t the size of a dinner plate. Myself and @popey seemed to be the only people who think that the Moto G is the right size and the Nexus 5 is too big; it’s cool to welcome another member to the club, @LinuxJedi!


FWIW The Nexus 5 is at the very upper bounds for a phone I’d carry. Slightly smaller would be ideal.



As for the typing argument. I have a tablet and a laptop if I need to type any more than a few words, I never need to write long stuff for the hour or two I’m usually away from those devices. I’m a short person small hands though so even typing on the iPhone screen isn’t hard for me. I seriously considered the Moto G when I bought the iPhone, but my boss and some of the guys who used to work for me seem to have converted me into an Apple lover (something I never considered I would ever be). Although all my dev work is still on Linux.

The “Phablet” size phones… WTF?! Why would I want to talk into a phone that is bigger than my bloody head?! This isn’t the 80s any more.


Another great show guys, I wanted to say thanks for the plug on my story, but I’m really not that bad ass. I know many others who deserve that title much more than I. But I appreciate the appreciation if that makes sense.

As far as phones…I have an S5 and like it also. I think it’s a good size. I had a note3 and it was way to huge. The S5 i think is just right.

As far as an open source government or meritocracy check out the Baha’i faith. (Note I’m not pushing my religion. Just look at it’s administrative structure, it’s quite uniqe) Here are some links.


Seconded, it was a great show as usual @jonobacon is the promised interview going to be part of the next show?

2014-09-05 14:52:46

(pardon the long text and my English, especially where political terms are concerned)

I liked the discussion about political parties being organised as open source-like communities. I am from the Netherlands, so our system is quite different than the UK or the US and I think most of our parties already are quite similar to open source communities. Now, I’m not an politically-active citizen, but I like to think I have somewhat more of a clue what’s going on than the average Jan Klaas over in the Netherlands.

Crash course Dutch politics: Our system is based on cooperation and finding common ground between parties. During election times we can vote for some 25 different parties. There is a bar, so we generally end up with 7-10 different parties in our versions of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The winner of the election gets to name the prime minister and tries to find a number of parties to collaborate with in the government and they generally try to find collaboration that gets then a majority in both Houses. They agree on their policy for the next four years and this policy is a mix of the ideologies and plans the different parties had during election time. Basically the same system is in place in the lower levels of government: provinces, municipalities and something called “waterschappen”, an ancient (some say outdated) level of government tasked with water management, protection against floods and such.

Anyway, I feel like much of the community sense is already in place in our system. Everyone can become an active member of a party. You generally start at the municipality level of your party and once you do you get invited to join party discussions, voice your opinion about policies and ideologies, vote for representatives and even nominate yourself for a position in the party. Of course, to be elected within your party you need some history within the party, a vision people can get behind and be able to communicate. In that, things are very alike an open source project in my opinion: everyone can contribute and if you do a good job you can opt for a more official, central position (project leader as opposed to party leader or member of Parliament) in the community, but there are other (less visible) positions people can go for as well (QA engineer vs Writer/guardian of part principles).

This system is of course more direct in the lower levels of government. Local parties are small, so the influence of one person is relatively big. likewise, in small open source project one person can more easily push the rest of the community towards a certain direction. Interestingly though, the system is also in place on the national level. People who do well in local government may find their way to national politics (though that probably happens everywhere), but more importantly the average party member (and once again: everyone can become a party member. Heck, you can even join several parties) still has influence on policy and decision making. When new party policy is developed, all members can vote on it and even submit amendments (patches, if you like) to alter policy. But party member not only influence their party, they can also influence the government. I explained how the party winning the election forms a government by making an agreement with several other parties. this agreement is then votes upon by the party members of each of the parties and this can lead to patches to the original Government Agreement. With mayor decisions by the government, like for instance the purchase of new jet fighters, the governing parties may also seek approval from their party members before making a decision.

Don’t get me wrong, there is still quite a lot wrong with the system and it is nowhere near as open source-like as Jono envisioned, but compared to what I know from the US and UK systems, it is much more alike. The big national parties are subject to internal politics and tend to lose their connection to the voters or even the members, but you could say the same thing from some big open source companies/projects. Also, you can make a strong case for the average Joe not having the power to alter national government, just like it’s probably for the best that I’m not allowed to make some direct changes to the Linux Kernel.

Lastly (as I already typed enough and won’t bore you with details on one party that doesn’t follow this traditional members-based party governance and is slowly falling apart as a result): because the only recruitment to participate in elections is a couple of thousand signatures (the number depends on the level of government you’re enlisting your party for) I think we may be a suitable country for an experiment on a truly open source based political party.

Edit: I forgot to add. @sil had the idea to vote for MPs directly, in his example an MP for birdwatchers. Because in our system it is very easy to get a party in the elections, you can basically do that. As a result we now have an “Animal Party” (I kid you not.). Their policy focusses on protection of animals and the environment and stuff like that, though they also have ideas on foreign policy and what not.

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I’m 100% with you. I’m not sure I want a phone sitting at 5" or so … doesn’t really sit well in my hand. I like the continuum of phone -> tablet -> laptop -> desktop. I’m going to stick my neck out, but I’m quite fond of the 4" iPhone 5 screen, the 9.7" iPad Air screen, the 12" screen of my ThinkPad X220, and the two 24" monitors I have in front of me right now.

The 5"+ screens aren’t appealing at the moment. However, my tastes have been known to change.

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I dunno, you seem like a bad ass to me. Thus…flair. :slight_smile:

Have any of you read Homeland by Cory Doctorow? One of the characters is an independant politician who tries to crowdsource his policies. For each issue, he asks the public what his position should be, and the most popular position is the one he takes.

The book also discusses the idea of “Liquid Democracy”, where rather than voting themselves, each person can delegate their vote to a person they trust to represent their interesests. That person can then delegate their vote and all the votes delegated to them to someone they trust and so on. At any time (before the vote itself) you can decide that you’re going to vote directly instead of counting towards your delegate’s votes. As well as providing a balance between direct and representative democracy, it has the potential to increase voter “turnout”.

How this would all work in national-level politics isn’t clear, since it would require an electronic system to track who’s votes are delegated to whom (thus allowing you to change right up to the vote), and as we dont have the confidence to use electronic systems for our current voting, it’s not likely to be feasible any time soon.

Still a happy user of an old Nokia 3310, dam solid phone :smiley:


Jono mentioned that there would be a poll for what charity money would be donated at the end of the debate poll in two weeks.

If I may, I would like to plug the Friends of Children fund through the American Academy of Pediatrics (http://www.aap.org/en-us/about-the-aap/donate-now/Pages/Friends-of-Children.aspx).

This foundation provides grants that support community pediatric efforts all over the place. From the site, "Contributions to the Friends of Children Fund enable the AAP to support high priority activities, respond to emerging child health issues and continually generate new knowledge about the best way to care for children."

Whilst I think donating to charity is a great idea, why not donate to a non-profit Open Source org?

If you give me the votes, we will figure it out. :slight_smile:

That depends on the charity for example the NRA and CAAT both have charitable status. I doubt there are many people here who would want to give money to both of them. It would not be fair to expect anyone to have to donate to a charity who’s aims you don’t agree with :wink:

The presenters involved @jonobacon and @jeremy should start a poll listing, and providing links to a few they do support.

@jonobacon, @jeremy If you need help choosing a charity start a new topic asking for suggestions. I’d be happy to suggest a few and I’m sure others would too.

We can then vote to decide which one gets the money. This also has side benefit of promoting all the charities mentioned and may convince a few others here to put their own hand in their pocket.

It was actually I who suggested that. To wit: Closed Poll: Which Charity Should Jeremy Give $100 to?


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