Collecting data is only the first step toward knowledge but sharing data is the first step toward community.

May 15, 2008

“I ask your indulgence if I close on a personal, existential note. We live in a time when we are flooded with information in every field of endeavor, a deluge from which Freud scholarship is not exempt. It has has become a veritable industry over which it is difficult to maintain even bibliographical control. The amount of sheer information increases incessantly. I confess that I have reached an age when I am haunted by the question of when information becomes knowledge. What I have presented here is only a special instance of that larger Angst. I am perhaps not yet old enough to seek the further line where knowledge becomes wisdom (Yerushalmi Series Z 1997).”

This Linux Boy commercial, was released in September 2003 as part of IBM’s second wave of its “The Future is Open” campaign which supported the Linux operating system (Van Camp 2004). In the 1:33 minute Linux Boy video, a number of celebrities including “actress/director Penny Marshall, chairman of Harvard’s African American studies program Henry Louis Gates and author Sylvia Nasar”, take turns “imparting wisdom” to a young prodigy, Linux. Linux is white, male, blond, with an intelligent, beautiful face, a ten-year-old with an old soul, who listens intently without blinking and seems to absorb every word.

I feel as though I should recognize all of the speakers, but I don’t.

Henry Louis Gates Jr., told the boy, “Collecting data is only the first step toward wisdom but sharing data is the first step toward community.”

This is the transcript of the 1:33 minute video:

Narrator (male): “I think you should see this.”
Female voice: “It’s just a kid.”
Adult male guitarist in the chair facing Linux boy, says: “This is a G chord.”
Narrator (male): “He’s learning, absorbing… He’s getting smarter every day.”
Adult female seated facing the boy, “Homo habitus was the first to use tools.”
Basketball coaching legend, John Wooden, tells the boy, “A player who makes the team great, is more valuable than a great player. Losing yourself in the group for the good of the group, that’s a team player.”
Narrator (male): “It’s happening fast.”
Another grey-haired man (c. 70 years old) astronomer tells the boy: “We’ve always watched the stars. If you look at the sky, you can see the beginning of time.”
A highly-skilled female soccer player demonstrates some rapid and difficult moves.
Henry Louis Gates Jr. tells the child, “Collecting data is only the first step toward wisdom. But sharing data is the first step toward community.”
A Black bearded man in his 40s tells Linux Boy, “There’s not much glory in poetry. Only achievement. 
Narrator (male) says, “Knowledge amplification. What he learns, we all learn. What he knows, we all benefit from.”

Sylvia Nasar, the author of A Beautiful Mind tells him, “One little thing can solve an incredibly complex problem.”

Penny Marshall, known for her role in  Laverne & Shirley (1976–1983), tells him, “Everything is about timing, kid.”
A white balding man in his fifties, tells him, “This is business. Faster. Better. Cheaper. Constant improvement.”
A Black pilot holding a model airplane tells him, “So you want to fly, eh? Wing speed, thrust… It’s physics.”
A distinguished older white French man tells him, Res Publica non domina tous or Res publica non dominetur [The states is not dominated or owned or the state does not dominate]
A 40-year old white man tells him, “Plumbing… It’s all about the tools.”
Muhammad Ali (?) says, “Speak your mind. Don’t back down.” 
Female voice: “Does he have a name?
Narrator (male): “His name is Linux.”

On Thursday September 4, 2003 Slashdot was abuzz with IBM’s new Linux commercial. The commercial was reported in Economic Times. One user said that, “This could be the first major way to reach out to normal users and explain the benefits of open source and Linux.” The transcript of the commercial at IBM’s official site is here: http://www-3.ibm.com/e-business/doc/content/ondemand/prodigy_transcript.html Here’s the transcript [ibm.com] on IBM’s site. My favorite bit is the Latin teacher: See  https://slashdot.org/story/03/09/04/1821217/ibms-new-linux-advertising

According to Wikipedia, Linus Torvalds is the software engineer who created and who was the “principal developer of the Linux kernel, which is the kernel for Linux operating systems (distributions) and other operating systems such as Android and Chrome OS. He also created the distributed version control system Git and the scuba dive logging and planning software Subsurface.”

Work-in-process: “Collecting data is only the first step toward knowledge but sharing data is the first step toward civilization.”

Shortlink http://wp.me/p1TTs-6s

See also:

Scott Van Camp. January 9, 2004. “Ogilvy Advances IBM’s Linux Campaign.” New York. Adweek. https://www.adweek.com/brand-marketing/ogilvy-advances-ibms-linux-campaign-69536/


NEW YORK IBM has launched the second wave of its “The future is open” campaign supporting the Linux operating system.

The campaign, via Ogilvy & Mather in New York, broke this past weekend with TV spots, supported by print, outdoor and Internet ads. IBM spent $3 million on media behind Linux in September-October 2003, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

The new work features the blond-haired boy from the initial campaign launched in September 2003. The boy, who represents open-source Linux, is depicted in various seats of learning, achievement and power worldwide. The 15- and 30-second TV spots feature celebrity voiceovers, with taglines that include “Growing,” “Everywhere,” “Ready” and “Working.”




One Response to “Collecting data is only the first step toward knowledge but sharing data is the first step toward community.”

  1. An unknown scientist said this to Linux Boy in the YouTube video that was uploaded 8 September 2006 by User dyziekquim and the segment is found at 33-40 in the video.

    “Collecting data is only the first step toward wisdom but sharing data is the first step toward community.” (Linux 2006 33-40).

    When I wrote this 8 years ago, I was also reading about communal memory and the archives which included Derrida’s Archive Fever and Yosef Hayim Yerushalmi’s 1994. “Series Z: An Archival Fantasy” in the Journal of European Psychoanalysis No. 3-4.

    I personalized the Linux phrase to “Collecting data is only the first step toward wisdom but sharing data is the first step toward”… civilization.

    Today the first person I mentored to become a Wikipedia editor successfully submitted his first article!

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