Oxygen redux: Can do Vs. Should do
September 12, 2007
The always wise and sagacious Chris Rock once tackled my favorite topic of Can Do vs. Should Do as tersely as possible: “Sh*t, you could drive a car with your feet if you want to. That don’t make it a good f*cking idea.”
DeCSS. Abortion. Cloning. Iraqi occupation. Nuclear power plants. Almost every interesting debate is Can Do vs. Should Do. Why? Because it’s the freaking 21st century and we can do a hell of a lot. Until recently, people weren’t asking “Should we pay millions of taxpayer dollars to land on the moon?” or “Should I hide a webcam in my bathroom so I can watch my family take showers?” Debates get even more complex when people can’t even agree on Can Do vs. Should Do. Homosexuality? Being a carnivore? Good grief. People can’t even agree if there’s choice involved; but I digress. You should be used to that by now.
Over time, and especially in the Information Age ™ we still have the old Can Do vs. Should Do dilemmas on a daily basis (should I shoot my nemesis with a musket in his sleep and stab him with a sabre when he isn’t looking) but we keep getting new ones. Philosophy and morality are struggling to keep up with technology and provide guidance. Fortunately we have things called Social Contracts which are frankly just extensions of the Golden Rule or as Jesus so eloquently put it, “Behave and quit bothering each other.” But I digress.
The point: can you pull Oxygen icons from SVN and plaster them all over? The licensing permits quite a lot. Should you? I don’t know about you, but to me it’s like yelling Surprise! before everyone else at a birthday party. Or telling people that a friend of yours is pregnant before they do. A simple daily case of Can Do vs. Should Do. Would you want someone to tell your parents you’re engaged before you do? Would you want someone to show off your last two years’ of work before you do? “Sh*t, you can airdrop propaganda fliers over Prague saying Wade has a Rubik’s Cube lodged in his colon. That don’t make it a good f*cking idea.”
The good news is: At least we have the choice with KDE community work. When did Wade switch from being a KDE enthusiast to KDE contributor? When I didn’t have that choice involving an abonimation called Windows ME. Plenty of software doesn’t give use the Choice ™. They’ve made it for us. We’re an open community with an open source code repository. And these new options are novel to many. You put 10 pounds of candy in a kindergarten class every morning and kids will eat ungodly amounts..hopefully their gluttony will taper off over time as they learn their limits. The same with Oxygen eye candy. See how I did that? Candy and eye candy?