Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Why Limit Freedom? Za NZ Reason #2

"The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion." --Albert Camus

Why is ZaReason settling in NZ for our next location?

#2 Geographically imposed limits

I wanted Za's Linux hardware to be surrounded by people who are pissed off about limits to their freedom, hopefully people gutsy enough and awake enough to do something about it. Having a gov't that is, at least in part, pissed off about those limits helps too.

Background: I owe an apology to a few people on Twitter (follow @zareasonNZ for juicy details) when in a moment of complete self-absorption I said: 

NZ is so much better off w/o easy access to Netflix, etc. Seriously. It's a +1 for you that it's not available.

For someone who has had years of, "No" to some fairly basic resources, sees all the movies and shows years behind, has punchlines ruined and spoilers given, this is easily an offensive comment. It says a lot about Kiwi graciousness that no one flogged me for this comment.

It reminds me of the time I was helping a friend, Tony Dunnigan, an ultra marathon runner on a 3-day, 200 mile race. This one:

Healthy Obsession: Long Distance Running

Yes, that's three days of running, both night and day. Run all day; run through the night; keep running. He started Friday and I was his "crew" for Saturday morning. On Friday, the trail hadn't been properly prepared and he was running over wet land inappropriate for marathon running. He had been wet all night, a big no-no for marathon runners. He was running solo at that point. There aren't many ultra marathon runners in the world and he was running alone all night in the sharp, cold rain.

I met him en route Saturday morning. I was a complete IDIOT. I saw the bit of blood on his feet. I saw the water-soaked, raisin-esque body parts and said, "Isn't this rain great?"

The look on his face was utterly indescribable.

I assume that's a look similar to what Kiwis would wear when confronted by clueless Americans who have had cheap access to unlimited data, all the new releases and often pre-releases. I wouldn't blame you if you hated me.

I am sorry for my comment yesterday. Please accept my apologies.

Everyone hears apologies differently. Most of the people I love want to know why I made the mistake, one of the 5 Apology Languages: Accepting responsibility, explaining why.

Here's why I would make such an idiotic comment. Beyond the simple self-centered lack of realization of another's experience, there is a personal reason. It's only a personal reason. Extending the same reasoning to everyone in NZ is a bit silly.

My personal reason -- Willpower is limited. Ask Lifehacker. They know everything. When surrounded by distractions, it's harder to stay focused.

Right now I have a vision for a potential future for ZaReason that could be crazy wonderful. How on earth am I going to make it happen if I'm watching The Daily Show, Castle and seemingly unlimited movies on Netflix Watch Now (more than 300 in my Watch Now list when I left the US).

Cheap food, cheap entertainment, cheap and abundant everything. How's a girl supposed to build a world-renowned computer company with all that distraction?

My reasons for being pro-limitation were fully personal. Being pro-limitation for anyone but my own self is so... not me.

My views about free and open source software are deep, persistent and terribly philosophical, TMI for this blog post. Suffice it to say that the geographical isolation + awareness of the value of free access was a Can't Miss on my list of criteria for where to land ZaReason for the next location.

"There's a real purity in New Zealand that doesn't exist in the states. It's actually not an easy thing to find in our world anymore. It's a unique place because it is so far away from the rest of the world."  --Elijah Wood

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