Thursday, January 25, 2007

Free Software Bootcamp

I've been encouraging friends in the civil society movement to switch to free software for a while now. I believe that the philosophy of free software mesh with the pricnciples and philosophy of the civil society movement in the Philippines. I've always thought that I am not alone in this thinking. Bayan Muna's advocacy of Free software use in government convinced me that civil society is moving in this direction.

Now the Computer Professional's Union is organizing a Free Software Boot Camp for grassroots organization. They aim to familiarize/introduce free software that will help grassroots organizations in fulfilling their visions/missions.

To end this post, I want to quote the CPU
"Free software development is much like the advocacy work of most people’s organizations in their encouragement of community involvement in its development. While technical persons are recruited as volunteers for the core development, end users are encourage to send feedbacks on the usability, functions and other aspects of the said free software. As a result, the whole software is acknowledge to be owned not by a single person but by the community that contributed to it.

Free software and people's organizations are both born with the aims for freedom. Free software upholds the freedom from monopoly restrictions by allowing users to run, copy, study, and modify its implementation. People's organizations, on the other hand, are advocates of genuine freedom from monopoly interests, and all types of repression and exploitation.

The Free Software bootcamp aims primarily to introduce the various free software/programs that may be of practical use for people’s organizations in their advocacy and other tasks . If properly implemented, this can greatly help these organizations with their different tasks. Morever, the inherent stability and security of free software programs can reduce the risk of viruses, malicious programs and other intrusions.

The bootcamp is designed with an overview on the use of the Internet and its possibilities for grassroots work. Hands-on demonstrations of computer operating systems and website development software will be the main activity of the Free Software bootcamp. It may also be a venue for geeks, computer techies and hobbyists to get to know of people’s organizations and their work."

Friday, January 12, 2007

Global Integrity Index

A friend alerted me to the website of Global Integrity. The organization measured the effectiveness of anti-corruption mechanism in different countries. I looked at the country report of the Philippines.

My impression is that the overall score the Philippines garnered (73 - Moderate) is fair, based on the criteria they measured.

Of the 6 categories measured, the Philippines got the highest score in the Oversight and Regulation and Anti-Corruption and the Rule of Law categories. We got high scores in this categories because we have national agencies that deal with corruption (the Ombudsman and the COA) and we have laws against corruption. I urge people to visit the site and see for themselves, I found myself generally agreeing (with a few quibbles) to the scores given.

1. Civil Society, Public Information and Media - 72
2. Elections - 60
3. Government Accountability - 71
4. Administration and Civil Service - 73
5. Oversight and Regulation - 85
6. Anti-Corruption and Rule of Law -78

From a Filipino's viewpoint, the anti-corruption measures are poor, but this is why a comparative survey can be useful, it forces us to think differently about corruption in our country. This survey tells us that though we may view our country and government officials as hopelessly corrupt, from a worldwide perspective, we're not that bad, our plight is not hopeless.

From the specific findings in the survey, we can conclude that we already have the institutional mechanisms necessary to combat endemic corruption , we even have a vigorous civil society sector to help us, but we need, (1) Electoral Reform, the category that we scored the lowest, (2) An effective whistle-blowing process of the country (we may have the laws but as long as we cannot find credible witnesses against the perpetrators of corruption, we cannot effectively go after them) (3) Accountability, specifically, budget and legislative accountability.

Which is why it is imperative that we elect people with known probity. It is imperative that we elect people who will implement the laws against corruption to the fullest.

Monday, January 08, 2007


Additional clips from Pooh, the original infamous clip is here

Pooh sings magic sing jingle (medyo nakakhilo lang kasi magalaw yung kamera)

As Money Poohkiaw (November 25, 2006)

Pooh (January 11, 2007)

in Sharon

Saturday, January 06, 2007


from Dispatches from the Culture Wars
"...if God didn't want us to masturbate he would have given us shorter arms."