[tweetmeme source=”mikerigsby” only_single=false http://mikerigsby.wordpress.com]
Actually, my name is Mike and, no, I’m not part of Anonymous.
Anonymous may toss around the catchphrase “We are Anonymous. We are Legion.” but no, the community I’m a proud member of dwarfs those guys.
Me, I’m an IT Geek, a technology enthusiast, a member of a community that has no borders, no boundaries, and WE ARE MANY.
I live in the USA. Oregon to be specific and I have friends online in the tech community from a dozen different states in the US.
I have friends in Canada, in England, Ireland, Scotland, Australia, New Zealand, Haiti, South Africa, in the United Arab Emirates, Asia, Germany, probably a half dozen other areas of the world. This community numbers in the hundreds, even thousands.
“I have friends online”.
That’s a statement I’m not sure the average person fully understands. Here we are, a ‘community of strangers’, living in different parts of the world. These are people whom I have never even technically met, however, we are a community. Some of the countries my friends live in have governments that are enemies with each other yet this doesn’t stop them from being a community. We view ourselves as citizens of the Earth, not just something so narrow minded and small as a particular country.
While we may differ in time zone, in nationality, in skin color, in native language, in social status, in economic position we share far more important things in common. We share a love for technology. We share a thirst for knowledge. We share a curiosity about understanding how things work. We share a willingness to help our fellow community member and average person with tech problems should they have any.
Hell, we even share a love for good beer, good pizza, and good music.
While our respective countries and governments bicker and squabble over daily life and petty concerns, this community watches each others backs. If I were to ever find myself in their area and in need of a place to stay, these are ‘strangers’ who would openly help me out with anything they were able to without hesitation and I would do the same for them. If I have a tech related issue all I ever have to do is send a request for help out onto the internet via Twitter, Google+, or other social networking means and I am likely to get dozens of friends offering fixes for whatever issue I am having.
I would like to see a Government raise such diversified support without question, without petty racial or national bias, without concern of borders. While our governments fight over land, over religious beliefs, over oil rights, we share knowledge. We share a proud membership of a single global community.
Now here’s the kicker. As tech geeks we support each other but we also need support in order to do this. We need the support of software and hardware manufacturers to provide us the tools we need to perform our jobs and to do it with the same global, “we’re all in this together” attitude that we support each other with. We need equal availability to software regardless of what country we are in. We need devices that are not limited to releases only in certain countries. We need internet services that are available globally since we are a community on a global scale.
Sadly, we are not getting any of this. While we support each other without governmental bias or pointless regulations we do not get the same treatment from the industries that are supposed to support us. Software that is licensed to only an individual country. Computer technology that is restricted from certain countries because of some ridiculous patent lawsuit. Technology vendors that will only ship to specific countries. Internet based services that, even though the internet is world wide, limit their services to only certain countries.
These petty, narrow minded limitations and regulations are ridiculous. In this 21st century where citizens of different countries can work together, where communication is instantaneous, where someone can remotely connect to their home computer from an airplane flight a continent away it is truly pathetic that these governments and support industries cannot also think globally.
I wish governments and support industries would think the same way we do. We are not that different. We all have the same needs and wants in life. The things our governments fight over are small and pointless in the grander scheme of things. The regulations that manufacturers enforce to limit their services to specific countries only hurt their own success.
As IT Geeks we view ourselves as one huge global community. As a proud member of an open-minded, global community I lift a drink in salutation to all my fellow members and suggest that everyone get involved in online communities such as AUTechHeads (http://www.autechheads.com/), The SysAdmin Network (http://www.sysadmin-network.com/), or any of hundreds of other community sites on the internet.
Maybe someday our respective governments and industries will learn from our example.