April 29, 2010
Many people ask me over the years; “What are you doing exactly?”. Answer for that is really complicated, and to make it even more complicated I’ve become involved in environmental action. “Huh, what? From Open Source to Environment?”. That is right. I became Open Source activist in 2003, and since 2005 it’s eating my full time. So how I end up here today?
Few years ago, when I just started to explore my open source activities I realized “How deep is the rabbit hole?”, and believe me, deep enough. You might never reach the bottom, if there is any in Information Technologies. The point being, I’m involved with Information Technologies from my early childhood, which means I am a geek. In certain phases of my life I was making money from what I know, from Unix to Security, to global Internet Providers such as TELENOR or at the end teaching advanced UNIX techniques for IBM. All this made my knowledge prepared to deal with policy issues like open standards, software patents or advising the government about information society. Without the hardcore technology knowledge I bet I wouldn’t make it anywhere, but I did. Makes you realize, no matter what kind of policy issues you are going to deal with, you need to understand the technical aspects of it, no matter if it’s Software or Environment. And of course you cannot forget one of the main objective of activism, because you care.
As I travel the world, visit places from California to Kosovo you can clearly see the human impact on environment, you don’t need to read about it in newspapers, it’s clearly there, in front of your eyes. Suddenly, you find yourself wandering about these things, and realize the problems are bigger than Free Software, but the question remains the same: “What are you going to do about it?”. For several years I’m obssesed with doing what I think matters, the first step was to get as much knowledge as I can about the problems and how to solve them.
Since I was little and came in first contact with the sea, man I became so curious about the underwater world. I clearly remember and most likely always will how my parents try to drive me away from snorkeling. I was snorkeling so much that I had burned circle from snorkeling mask into my face for like a month, if not even more. Now I’m a lot older, but the passion for oceans and wildlife grow every single day. Logical step here was to find some studies about oceanography and marine biology, which in fact was kinda hard, especially when you are based between Brussels – Bratislava, or flying all over the place. My first marine study started in University of Exeter in UK. After the first year I come close with one of the profesors there who in fact lives in Australia and is one of the most influental people I met. He, and only he invited me into studying Marine Biology on a test-drive project of EU between several European Universities like Oxford, Exeter, Malaga, Plymouth etc. So I made it to Oxford. I never even thought I could be stuyding on those like Cambridge, Berkeley or Oxford. If it haven’t been for the EU funded project, I most likely will not able to afford it, the fees on these Universities are simply astronomical for one guy from Eastern Europe, for international human rights law college in Oxford it goes like 17.000 pounds per year. I must say thank you Jeff from Exeter for everything you done for me.
Now you can clearly see how complicated is my life, and why I cannot answer a simple question like “What are you doing?”. Many things.
I’m still involved with Free/Libre and Open Source Software, consulting the government and fighting the windmills in Slovakia, still I’m involved in European Parliament, Commission and Council. Still I’m involved in Intellectual Policy Rights in Brussels. Helping to setup Free Software communities in Kosovo and Albania. Making living from producing EU funded projects, especially oriented on egovernement, pre-accession funding, human rights and environmental issues. Organizing biggest international congres in Slovakia focused on egovernment. And a new one, studying biodiversity in the mediterranean Sea, cleaning beaches in Croatia and Lakes in Slovakia.
Here I wish to thank to people who influenced my life the most, some of them are dead, some of them I met, and some are my close friends.
Hunter S. Thompson, Rob Stewart, Benjamin Henrion, Captain Paul Watson, Joe Romeiro, Timothy Leary, Bob Marley, My Family, William Trubridge, Filip Molcan, Anthony D. Williams, Linus Torvalds.
There are many more, these guys came into my mind when I think a bit about it.Author : janhusar