You can’t wake a person who is pretending to be asleep**


Lots of what we take for granted found expression in the thoughts and writings of John Perry Barlow. He crafted “A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace” back in 1996. It held lots of truths that I found critical for all of us, regardless of where we find ourselves.

John passed away on 7 February 2018. I was privileged to have met him in Singapore on 28th March 1995 (update: thanks to Marv for the date) and what an honour it was. Singapore was in the midst of her “IT 2000 Master Plan” crafted by the National Computer Board (the earliest I can find of ncb.gov.sg is from 13 October 1997).

He had spoken at an event at the NCB and we then proceed to have lunch a chinese restaurant at Clementi Woods park. Among the many things we chatted about was about the future and what it means to be connected. Mind you, those were days when we had dial up modems, perhaps 56k baud, but what a thrill it was to hear about his visions.

I was fortunate to have been able to keep in contact with him in the early 2010s via twitter and email and I was very glad that he did remember that trip and that he found some of the things Singapore was doing then to be intriguing but challenging for the future and that digital rights would be something that we need to be fighting for because if the people don’t own it, governments and big corporations will occupy that space.

He was the founder of the Electronic Freedom Foundation and on 7th April 2018, the EFF held a “John Perry Barlow Symposium” hosted by the Internet Archive. Do watch the recording to how critical John was to lots of what we take for granted today.

Read his writings at the EFF which is hosting the John Perry Barlow Library.

Thank you John.

* John’s photo by Mohamed Nanabhay from Qatar,  CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=66227217

**https://www.quotes.net/quote/4718

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Being part of Community Architecture


It is time to tell the world that I have the distinct pleasure to become part of the Community Architecture team within Red Hat. This is indeed both an exciting as well as a deeply challenging opportunity.  Exciting because it means I get to continue to engage with some of the brightest minds within Red Hat who are chartered to think about how the FOSS community has to be kept alive and well. A thriving FOSS community will help continue the amazingly rapid innovation that happens which Red Hat can then bring to enterprises.  Red Hat bringing the innovations from the community to enterprises ensures that everyone wins by added engineering and QA/QE that is added so that deploying FOSS in mission critical systems become a no-brainer. Equally important, the investments by Red Hat on the additional QA/QE flows back out to the FOSS community.  All of this is the core of what has come to be termed, The Open Source Way.

I have a lot of ideas as does the team. We need to build a thriving community of FOSS contributors in Asia Pacific (APAC in short).  For too long, APAC has been a net consumer of FOSS and contributors are few and far between.  I am hoping that with the added focus I now can bring to this space on a full-time basis, that the number of people contributing code, documentation, testing, new ideas etc from APAC countries will see an increase. It has always been my belief that smart people are evenly distributed around the world.  Why we see pockets of contributors is largely a function of connectivity and opportunity.  With the connectivity equation becoming moot, we need to foster opportunity.  For that, I am gung ho and ready to make the plunge.
My initial target group will be the Fedora, JBoss and DeltaCloud communities. Onward ho!