Brighter Light

Well, a few posts back there I had the pure pleasure of blogging about not being able to return to school next semester due to some clerical issue blah blah blah. Well, I am happy to say that I found a way around this little blunder, and what I took to be cause for major alarm turned out to be nothing but the equivalent of...say, a very minor alarm? Yes, a very minor alarm indeed. One simple form filled out and all wounds were instantly healed. Looks like I'll be back in there in a few weeks, but only 6 credit hours, time to make some money! Do read on...

This little form, yes. So, there were a few fees that the grants and loans, being federally backed, cannot be applied to automatically by the school. The form I had to fill out was nothing more than an authorization form to allow the school to do so, basically me saying that I would do so regardless. My question is, why not make that option apparent at the outset? Sure, it is nice that there is a tool in place to allow one to easily navigate that problem, but the system is set up so that there has to be a fire first, rather than setting up the system to be fireproof, and even then, the information must be hounded out. Brighter light, a nice spotlight on the potential fires that could likely start up, that should not be so difficult.

I really like my college, it's really perfect for me and my needs, but I cannot help but see this (albeit minor issue) as a reflection of the greater system to which it belongs. Why put energy into preventing? Oh, that would take time, maybe MY time! Oh forbid! It seems as if the system in general strives to only exist, and therefore strives to do nothing more than it has to do in order to exist, unless coerced. Is that the world we live in? Is that who we are? Change via coercion, rather than insight; rather than compassion or wisdom?

I promised myself, nominally, that this would be a blog to document my journey back to school, and my project with open source web applications, and not a political/economic/social critique. This may be somewhat of a challenge, since college is certainly immersed in these concepts, and the whole reason I got into open source to begin with is heavily influenced by those three things.

Keep it light, or lite, brighter light. We need a society and set of social systems that reflects the people that actually make it up, that reflects the people that go through these systems, and rely on them. Something that works for the people that the system is created to cater to, and not the people who set the systems up, or are entrusted with the task of maintaining them. But shouldn't those people be one and the same? <> It seems we live in a world where the systems are set up by unreachable giants, modern gods living in a financial Mt. Olympus, that create these systems only to placate the petty masses, and to profit off of them as well. We need a brighter light. One that stems from our need to sustain ourselves; one that stems not from our desire to survive, but our desire to thrive, as a human community, rather than as individuals. We need to realize, to remember that our successes, and our failures, are not ours alone. Is it so strange to see that when you smile the world smiles with you, and that when you suffer, your pain leaks out into the world around you? Sure, you might cry alone, as the saying goes, but everyone who just let you to cry alone has had to harden themselves against their own humanity, has had to distance themselves from their own compassion, from their own ability to feel. That's not pleasure. That's not laughter. Apathy is no cause of joy.

Free and open source is the reverse of the apathetic social disease. It has nothing to do with compassion, sure, it's software, right? But it carries with it the algorithm of a social system that is based on a thriving COMMUNITY, based on free exchange of information. It is not a system that is fireproof, but it is a system that is set up to prevent as many fires as possible. It is a system in which in order to thrive, you must take from, and give back to the community at large. It is transparent exchange of information for the sake of technological and cultural expansion. There is no cost to participate, or to gain from it, and yet it encourages and fosters education, it encourages growth. I may grow, and expand my ability, improve my skills, and better myself in general, but if I do not do so in order to better the community that I have incubated these skills in, then I will never grow any further. I will never become better myself.

It is in our best interest to never act out of blind self interest. Or perhaps, it is in our best interest to always, at every opportunity, commit acts which enrich the environment, the community to which we belong, so that it might raise us up beyond our own expectations. A brighter light.

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