OpenStreetMap

The Haircut Change Process

Posted by balrog-kun on 14 June 2011 in English (English)

I don't really want to contribute to the license debates, but this is a funny analogy someone came up with on IRC, slightly coloured. :)

Imagine a village with a big, active group of people caring for a pet together, let's say it's a dog, one of those purebred dogs you see in dog show competitions, who is the village's mascot and who gets its hair cut every now and then. There's a community of villagers who maintain a fund for food and other services for the doggie and they all enjoy it and they enjoy seeing their pet grow bigger and win competitions.

Now the doggie has grown up a lot and the project has come a long way since the dog was a puppy and some people started calling for a change of the dog's haircut. They think the old look is inappropriate for a dog of this size and that it looked a little silly from the start. Some people have the opposite opinion though, but both groups are a minority, most villagers don't really care. However, it happens that the owners of the kennel are pro-new-haircut. A lot of people support them because they have taken good care of the dog's place and they became an authority in the village. A process was outlined whereby once there is enough support for the new haircut, the dog hairdresser will visit the village and give the dog a new look. The process has been taking quite long however and there isn't enough support for the change yet. Many people have accepted the change because they like the new planned haircut better, but even more accepted because they support the kennel owners and some did because the process was dragging on for so long, or because they didn't want to upset others.

Now the pro-change people, including the kennel owners committee said they can't look at the old haircut anymore. Phase 5 of the Haircut Change Process is approaching at which point the committee declared it's either the dog with the new haircut or there's no dog. They decided they're going to shoot or poison the doggie if there isn't enough support and people don't grant them an irrevocable, perpetual, world-wide right to decide on the dog's haircuts in the future, and then they said "Now we wouldn't want to see our pet suffer, would we?". They also said the people can keep their old photographs of the doggie with the old haircut even after phase 5.

A new wave of villagers accepted the change in terror, but there's still the group who won't accept. Some of them like the old haircut better but more than that they don't like the way this is handled. Even those that learnt to like the new planned look can't accept the conditions put before them in a way of an ultimatum. A lot of them think this sort of demand from the kennel owners is unacceptable because the mascot's well being is being used to influence the decision.

Unfortunately there's also a big new wave of outrage towards the people who didn't submit to the ultimatum (sign this or the puppy gets it) and blame for the pet's suffering is put on them rather than on the folks who threaten to hurt to animal.

No one knows how the story will unfold :)

Location: Invercargill, Invercargill City, Southland, New Zealand

Comment from woodpeck on 14 June 2011 at 08:20

The thing I like about this story is that the project is presented as one - a dog cared for by a group of people - and not a collection of individual items (villager one, left eyebrow; villagers two and three, tip of the tail; villagers four and five, right testicle...). The Contributor Terms we're introducing now help us to get to a point where the same can be said of OpenStreetMap.

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Comment from netman55 on 14 June 2011 at 08:27

A new more trendy breed of puppy that doesn't need hair cuts comes to the village, the people go "oooh and ahhh" and lavish it with lots of attention and cuddles and quickly forget about haircuts. Meanwhile the old dog curls up in the corner and looking forlorn wondering why it doesn't get attention anymore.

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Comment from Firefishy on 14 June 2011 at 09:07

Poor doggy. Pity he can only perform with identical dogs at the moment.

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Comment from marscot on 14 June 2011 at 14:23

great stuff :) you forgot to say that the dog is the best dog in the village.

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Comment from chriscf on 14 June 2011 at 21:20

Nice writing, but faulty analogy is faulty. Nobody has threatened to hurt the dog. A more accurate analogy would be that the dog has a mild skin condition. The hair must be kept trimmed back in one particular area to enable treatment, with its old cut, hair is growing there, while the new cut would have shorter hair there, making treatment easier. But the condition is mild - while not life-threatening, it occasionally causes pain for the dog when people try to photograph it, and nobody really knows how to keep it comfortable when a TV news crew shows up.

In such circumstances, I think it's entirely reasonable for those that prolong the dog's suffering to be held at fault, particularly if they're going around trying to scare other people by claiming that the dog isn't suffering any discomfort, or claiming that the cure is worse than the disease.

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Comment from Richard on 14 June 2011 at 22:28

Amusing but complete nonsense, Andrzej.

No-one is going to shoot the doggy. Through the magic of cloning (sometimes known as "forking"), there will be two dogs. One with the old haircut, one with the new. Unfortunately, the people who like the old haircut have never shown any sign of understanding the basics of care and feeding of dogs, so I do rather worry for the future of the old-haircut doggy.

P.S. the OSM lolcat of awsomeness points out that he could have your dog in a fight any day.

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Comment from balrog-kun on 14 June 2011 at 22:41

@Richard: Obviously none of us knows what is going to actually happen. But the fact is that this is what the kennel owners advertise it as. Sign it, or this particular dog, which we all worked on feeding, will suffer.

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Comment from nmixter on 15 June 2011 at 03:23

Even when the dog poops in the yard, we still love it. Just keep it away from the michael vicks who would have the two dogs fight

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