[R] Open source community help-desks

(Ted Harding) ted.harding at nessie.mcc.ac.uk
Mon Apr 23 01:38:27 CEST 2007

On 22-Apr-07 20:51:09, Jeffrey Miller wrote:
> I read the reply earlier in which Nima was "naughty-naughty"'d
> for calling us a Help Desk. And, I have to admit that I agree.

Well, we're not a Help Desk of the kind that puts you on hold,
listening to the Free Software Song[1] round and round ... but ...

> But then, an open-source listserv is, in essence, a help desk
> ....well, maybe not a desk, but we do help each other.

... well, exactly! And I can accept "help desk" as a metaphor.

> My conflicting feelings about this are better left for a therapist
> but, in the meanwhile, perhaps we need a revision of Ayn Rand's
> "Virtue of Selfishness" and how it may or may not extend to the
> open-source community.

Ayn Rand's concept of "selfishness" is of course not the standard
one (gratifying oneself in disregard for others), and can (if I
have it right) well embrace ensuring that the self is well looked
after while extending one's resulting strength, vigour and
survival to the benefit of others. And I think this may be a good
analogy of the way the Open Source community works.

> All in fun,

Hmmm, slightly serious fun ... ?? !!

Best wishes to all,

[1] http://www.gnu.org/music/free-software-song.au

or other variants which may be found at


E-Mail: (Ted Harding) <ted.harding at nessie.mcc.ac.uk>
Fax-to-email: +44 (0)870 094 0861
Date: 23-Apr-07                                       Time: 00:38:23
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