View Full Version : The Ubuntu ideology

October 20th, 2005, 09:36 AM
This quote directly from Wikipedia:

Ubuntu (IPA: /ùbúntú/) is a South African ethic or ideology focusing on people's allegiances and relations with each other. The word comes from the Zulu and Xhosa languages. Ubuntu is seen as a traditional African concept.

A rough translation in English could be "humanity towards others." Another translation would be: "The belief in a universal bond of sharing that connects all humanity." [1].

An attempt at a longer definition has been made by Archbishop Desmond Tutu:

A person with ubuntu is open and available to others, affirming of others, does not feel threatened that others are able and good, for he or she has a proper self-assurance that comes from knowing that he or she belongs in a greater whole and is diminished when others are humiliated or diminished, when others are tortured or oppressed.

I'd like to see more people take on the spirit of ubuntu, not just the distro. The name Ubuntu emphasizes what I believe makes this community so strong. We're good and able, but not to the point we'd go ahead and advertise ourselves. Not to the point we'd be telling others Ubuntu is the only way to go if you want to be a Linux user. The good word spreads from people having good experiences with the distro (yes, there are always a few zealots too unfortunately).

A lot of people critisize Ubuntu for it's name. I admit the distro names are on the funky side, but that only makes it more likeable.. more human I suppose. Although most people I've told do have trouble keeping a straight face with "the Hoary Hedgehog". :D

I also like how the tagline pokes fun at Linux being too alien for most users to adopt: Linux for human beings

I know that for me settling with a distro as powerfull and easy as Ubuntu was logical, but also very much backed up by the ideology behind the name. How do you guys feel?

October 20th, 2005, 11:07 AM
I have a friend who insists on mispronouncing the name calling it "oo-bahn-tow" .It amazes me how so many seem to have never heard the word before when here, in the US, "ubuntu" has been a pretty common phrase associated with church youth groups since I was a teen. I believe it arrived with the kwanzaa movement and became sort of "gentrified" into the more anglo churches as a symbol of outreach.

I just googled this and it seems I am not alone in this perception... (http://www.bu.edu/wcp/Papers/Afri/AfriLouw.htm) Lots of big words and intellectual doublespeak there, but some good points (and some great warnings as well - even regarding the management of this discussion forum).

"A human being is a human being through (the otherness of) other human beings"... Ubuntu dictates that, if we were to be human, we need to recognise the genuine otherness of our fellow citizens. That is, we need to acknowledge the diversity of languages, histories, values and customs...

October 20th, 2005, 11:54 AM
I did not know the word ubuntu before i came across the distro in Sept. 2004, but it certainly sits well with my views on life and how to live it well.

October 20th, 2005, 01:30 PM
"I'd like to see more people take on the spirit of ubuntu, not just the distro"

I think it strikes a chord with a lot of people. Open source development is building on other's work. You cannot be successful in doing that if you do not regognise the importance of others' contibutions.

I think that traditionanly, distributions focus on the software bits. Ubuntu tend to focus heavily on the community.

Ubuntu's open development strategy is rubbing off on other distributions (Freespire:linspire, OpenSuse:Suse)

What other distribution has a Community Council?

October 20th, 2005, 03:32 PM
Hidden within the community centric idealism of 'Ubuntu' (the word and the distro) is the seed of social revolution... and many of the existing power structures are quite nervous about not just opensource but the internet as well. As an old radical from the 60's and 70's, I had become completely disillusioned with not only the complacency of society, but the draconian measures that the Powers That Be took to ensure such complacency. But then I discovered the Internet in the late 70's (I was tured onto it by an arrogant but lovable 15 year old kid who later was one of the creators of FreeBSD and OSX), and then opensource in the 80's (with Linux 0.8), and I saw that this was the new revolution. But history repeats itself (and humans are very slow learners), and the same mediocritization of the grestest social revolution of the modern age, the remnants of which we can still see in sitcoms, jingles and fashion accessories, has begun with the Internet... with some aggression on strategic fronts to stem the empowerment of the user (fro example, Phil Zimmermans charge of treason by the NSA for creating PGP). The government is scared, the IRS is confused, the press is threatened... all because people have more freedom and privacy then before... OpenSource is as threstening today as moveable type was 600 years ago. The one thing that has the potential to turn this 'threat' into a reality is the critical mass of the community. Hence, Ubuntu... and why I use and promote it. It's my way of continuing the Revolution (without the threat of teargas... i'm getting too old for that :( )

October 20th, 2005, 04:18 PM
I love to anglicize the name.

October 20th, 2005, 06:35 PM
the same mediocritization of the grestest social revolution of the modern age, the remnants of which we can still see in sitcoms, jingles and fashion accessories, has begun with the Internet...

I may not be (quite) as old as you, but I think you're stuck in an old school mindset. It's easy to do - I always used to associate "free" with usenet, for example - but the last couple of years various world governments (most of all Germany, the UK and US) have plugged that hole pretty nicely. However ironically, the net is actually MORE free now than even a few years ago. Not because of P2P or any of that encrypted "groupware" stuff, but because web privacy tools combined with free web page and file transfer hosts now make it easier to post "illicit materials" on the web than to shovel it through those formerly "free" specialty channels. Ten years ago if you wanted to "leak" a story you would post it to usenet - now if you you try that you'll likely be found out. The solution? Blog it on the web!

October 20th, 2005, 07:02 PM
Yeah I like the freedom - in all forms. Ubuntu is the symbol of freedom and humanity to me.

October 20th, 2005, 09:24 PM
i think ubuntu is not a technology , infact others(lets call them technologies) are suppose to be part of that ubuntu which is assimilative and syncretic , a kind of "forgive and forget"(dont read this literally , this is the harder one actually) , and that ubuntu is not that awesome in most part of the world , i mean "no raising eyebrows" , "no big thing" , because they are all the same thing , try thinking dissecting a certain cultural "wisdom" in a logical and anatomical methods to a "host" , either we will find ourselves disrespectfull to them or they will find us rather weird and so funny ...

keep good things simple and enjoyable and be part of that while they would rather giggling away like nobody else business , we are nothing ...


October 20th, 2005, 09:26 PM
Money talks (http://www.shuttleworthfoundation.org/) and bull shinbones walk. In some small part that's why I use the ubudoobie distro.

Great concept too. Social and Individual empowerment through free tools to harvest that knowledge. Hunger is easily satisfied. I can munch all day on sweet juicy earthworms for that. But knowledge? In some ways a greater hunger. And how could I satiate that appetite when I can't even afford a jar of A-1 steak sauce to dip those sweet sweet scrumpilicious earthworms in? mmmm....earthworms...tastes like chicken!


October 21st, 2005, 04:11 AM
heh ... :D ... not that Ubuntu The Linux Distro , is ubuntu that ubuntu ...
that "Money" ?? who are we that individual(s??) ??
that "communual" furnace in the backyard looks more like a mini(not small) pyramid , those baked bricks of padi-field mud and straws firstly mess-up by human blender(the older children legs control by the father) ... and that cement(but bought) ... and their meals ?? (they just put inside their stomach ??) ... romanticism is so funny and disrespectfull , better they go falling on their very own choosen thorns which are the very opposites of ours ...

either type man giggle
or type man nothing ...


October 21st, 2005, 06:03 AM
I like the facts that ubuntu is open & free,the developers' ideology kinda coincides with mine,and I've been supporting since I found out about it.