Distributed Recompense (was Re: Money)

Frank Wales (frank@limitless.co.uk)
Thu, 26 Sep 1996 21:24:22 +0000 (BST)

Linus said...

>I _really_ don't want money.

"I've been rich. I've been poor. Rich is better." (Dorothy Parker?)

>You wouldn't believe how frustrating it is with
>personal cheques from the US - in the best case it costs on the order of
>$10-20 USD just to get them cached (*), and that's after arguing about it
>with the bank tellers for 10 minutes.

Ah, but this seems to be a complaint over the method of delivery, rather
than the principle of being sent dollar bills from mysterious places
at random times. Or is that something that your customs people also
frown upon?

>As to the person who suggested beer - oh Gods. The Finnish customs people are
>all ex-Nazis, and they've gotten a lot grumpier since their austere leader
>shot his brains out. They have a bad day EVERY DAY. Their only joy in life is
>to confiscate alcohol from abroad.

How about chocolate, then? Or stamps? Or floppy disks? Or T-shirts?

Do you knit? How about some wool, then? Apparently, it's cold in
Finland. You could do with some nice sweaters, I'm sure.

Or howabout everyone who runs Linux takes a Polaroid photograph
of the system, and sends that, so you can see where your influence
has reached?

Or each of us sends you a postcard about where we are?
Hmmm, that has a familiar ring to it, he said, rubbing his chin thoughfully.

[wavey special effect shimmers us into the future, where we find a
message wait for us in mod.theyll.never.think.of.posting.spam.here.haha...]

"Linus Torvalds suffers from a rare condition, the need to develop
free world-class operating systems in his spare time. Before he
goes down for the last time, he wants to get into the Guinness
Book of Records as the person who received the most sub-sixty gram
pieces of cruft from other appreciative hacker-types around the world.

While you're reading this message, please take the time to
find a small item within arms reach of you, stuff it into an
envelope and send it to Linus, care of The Most Annoyed Post Office
in the World, Finland. Anything will do, as long as it doesn't
decay too much in transit (so a piece of warm toast with marmalade won't
do, but some paper clips twisted into an artistic rendering of
Mr Spock's left ear would be fine, as long as Paramount don't find out).

If you have nothing else available, your loose change will do, but
please note that Linus has already been sent seventeen million dimes,
and so is keen to receive non-U.S. coinage, especially if it has a
hole in it, or has eleven sides, or has a picture of Buzz Aldrin on it.

Please pass this message on to other people who want to donate to
a worthy cause such as this, and help Linus achieve his wish."

[...just as we start to reach for the wallet of HP-41 magnetic cards,
a reverse wavey special effect shimmers us back to the present]

Of course, your biggest problem would be figuring out how to
divide your booty up amongst all the other people who've contributed.

After figuring out where to store all the AOL disks you'll be sent, of course.

Frank Wales [frank@limitless.co.uk]
"Please state the nature of the Internet emergency."
               --the emergency holographic systems administrator