Friday, February 22, 2008

Why I wrote the open letter to rector

My Open Letter to UTP Rector generated a lot of response from UTP, especially from the students.

Some people asked me why I am doing this and why does it matters. So, here is my answer.

I am quite a believer of Free Culture (read the manifesto: http://freeculture.org/manifesto/). I believe that technology must not be held back. I believe that through good utilization of technology, we can improve ourselves to a better community. I believe that information should be freely available for those who want it. I believe in an open medium for people to express their thoughts and without the fear of being attacked because of their opinion. While I am not a supporter of censorship, I neither protest it. I know certain things should be censored, but the rest, it should not be limited.

Current situation in UTP, showing that the lost of the culture that I saw we once had during my early years in UTP. The lost of people who do things because of they believe its right. The lost of people who express and debate what they believe on in public. The lost of people with Free Thinkers (No, I dont mean atheist). UTPchat and Grapevine was once the place where these people were born, and with the death of GV and the dying breath of UTPchat, these people slowly reducing in number. Whats left are people who are afraid to stand up, people who are being too comfort with UTP environment, people who does not bother to fight for that they believe on. Whatever the management says is good, they take it as good, whatever the management says is bad, they take it as bad. Are these the future leaders of Malaysia? If yes, I doubt we will get anywhere past other countries in the future. We will remain followers, following what others do, and start shouting the nonsense of "Malaysia Boleh".

I just watched a video by Larry Lessig (the person behind Creative Commons) about "Change" (watch it here : http://lessig08.org/). While the video is about "Change Congress", I believe a lot of the points he presented in the video are also valid for us. Change come from bottom, to up. For us to change what UTP management think about technology, the students must change what they think about themselves and the technologies we use. So, I am asking you, are you satisfied with what UTP have done through limiting our access to technology?. Think about it. While other people who have a similar intellect like all of you, outside, are exposed to more real opportunities and real involvement of community, do you want to remain in the limited world of UTP network where even legal protocols, legal sites, are being blocked from access?. Is that how you want to live?.

ICT and BIS students, take note, this issue affects you more than the others. The current ICT market is not like what you might expect. People who have skills which they can prove through showing that they able to do it, are more desirable than students who have 4.0 CGPA, but what they know are just what they learn from books and classes. ICT market is tougher because of that reason. The abundance of unemployed ICT graduates are not because there are no jobs for them. But it is because they are not fit enough for the jobs. I have heard from several of my contacts that companies are having a tough time to hire because graduates does not have the skills needed for the job. Being in an environment where technology access is limited to you, how sure are you that you will have the required skills for your future career?. Think about it.

This ends my rant for today. Comments are welcomed

Update: Another video worth watching : How creativity is being strangled by the law
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