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Dot Commies of the World, Revolve!

Kirby Urner
5 min readMay 27, 2022


When those fluent in financialese discovered the open source revolution, suddenly the venture capitalists decided to capitalize on Linux. The rivalry with Microsoft, back then, led investors to polarize and place bets, like at the races, which inflated the dot com bubble. Then the bubble burst (the dot com bomb) and many, not as fluent in computerese as financialese, concluded Linux was now over. If it’s not a moneymaker, it’s not worth keeping.

But then it was and is a moneymaker, just not for those hoping to cash in selling expensive operating systems. IBM made sure Linux had a bright future, precisely to put Windows in its place, after a bad experience developing OS/2.

I had a front row seat, at least for a few days, in Greater London, where Mark Shuttleworth, of Canonical fame, the company behind Ubuntu, convened a summit of “educrats” which word I’m using more snobbishly than dismissively, as I was one of them.

Yes, I was there, with Guido van Rossum himself on the Python team, and Alan Kay, of Smalltalk fame, a kind of wizard in residence. We’d been invited from around the world, to discuss the future of education in light of the ongoing computer revolution. What would it all mean?

Seymour Papert, the LOGO guy, had been invited, and had sent his regrets. Alan had recently taught himself JavaScript while recovering from a back procedure, and had discovered “the good parts”, foreshadowing that language’s comeback as a rock star.

Back in my home state of Oregon, I was attempting to learn the ropes vs-a-vs the state legislature. I’d had experience, as an application developer, with Associated Oregon Industries.

Would I be able to parley my incipient understanding of Salem with my agenda as a Digital Mathematics advocate?

Would I have a chance against the Orcs of Calculus Mountain?

I should explain about Calculus Mountain and its protective orcs. I have nothing against Newtonian and/or Leibnizian Delta Calculus, the science of fluxions, later added to and modified by the greatest geniuses of their day. That’s a big treasure pile to sit on, for sure.

But what about Lambda Calculus, broadly recast to include alternative games of logic. Group and Number Theory…



Kirby Urner