Bonum Certa Men Certa

Red tape: farmer concerns eerily similar to Debian suicide cluster deaths

posted by Roy Schestowitz on May 25, 2024

Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock.

Early in 2024, farmers across Europe blockaded freeways and expressed strong concerns about a number of issues facing their industry.

One of those concerns is the growing problem of bureaucracy and red tape. Red tape is not unique to farming.

Red tape is a problem in every type of small business throughout Ireland, throughout Europe and the rest of the world today.

Some of the problems come from the tech industry. For example, many banks and utility companies are demanding that customers receive online bills. Yet the IT systems in these companies are extremely bad. They can't even send a copy of the bill by email and they expect customers to stay up at night, logging into web sites, downloading the bills and saving them to our computers. Companies avoid the cost of postage. For many people, the time and effort of another ten minutes we cut out of our time for leisure and rest is more and more expensive as we burn the midnight oil. Ten minutes on your bank's web site is much greater than the effort of opening an envelope.

It would be so much easier if the companies simply sent bills by email. Nonetheless, companies are obsessed with tracking their customers. If they send you the bill by email then they don't get any information about you at all. They don't even know if you open the email. Each time the customer visits the web site, the company can gather information about the customer's IP address, their whereabouts and their working hours. The cumulative effort of downloading bills and statements from every company web site is becoming unbearable for people.

All these unnecessary hassles are compounded by paperwork that small businesses must complete for the Government.

Any one of these demands, on its own, may seem trivial. When they are all summed together, the burden takes a toll.

In theory, some of the paperwork for businesses in the agricultural sector could be automated using apps and automated monitoring technology. Yet a shift to this type of technology changes the relationship between the farmer and the state. If the farmer's daily duties are planned by the state and the business is fully monitored by the state, in real-time, then the farmer has a lot less autonomy. Being a farmer under such conditions becomes more like an employee of the state, with all the obligations but none of the benefits.

These efforts to micromanage our time, whatever type of business we are in, come in the form of text messages, mobile phone calls, pop-up notifications on our computers and social media.

When companies insist on having our mobile phone numbers, when their online forms refuse to accept the phone number of our reception desk for example, they are telling us that they want to be able to come into our work day, barge past the reception, ignore the sign that says "staff only beyond this point", take the shortest route into the office of the director, ignore anybody else we may be meeting with and put their concerns in front of us at a moment that is convenient for them and not for us.

Yet if we can no longer manage our own time and the order in which we respond to different demands, are we still business owners or have we been reduced to the status of employees or even slaves?

The end result, whether it is in farming or in high tech industries, is very similar.

Farmers have complained that the excessive hours, interruptions and deadlines are leading to a mental health crisis and suicides.

My analysis of the Debian suicide cluster and other non-suicide deaths in the world of free, open source software have a strong resemblence to the high-pressure environment where the farmers find themselves.

One of the most prominent cases, the Debian Day volunteer suicide, correlates with a huge volume of emails, the DEP-5 red tape and the increased pressure of Continuously Usable Testing (CUT).

We have seen cases where people died in road traffic accidents, for example, Chris Rutter at Cambridge University and the 666km journey that ended in a car crash. It is not hard to imagine overworked farmers, working alone in a remote location, having similar accidents with vehicles and machinery.

If people like Mark Shuttleworth and companies like Google and IBM expect independent developers to do this extra work, they are expecting us to behave like their employees but without any contract or salary, without vacations and without a pension plan.

It seems perfectly reasonable that both farmers and independent developers can speak up and refuse to accept a workload that has pushed other people into suicide.

I would encourage farmers and other small business owners to read through the coroner's report into the death of Richard Rothwell in the UK and tell me if they can see the similarities.

Here is that picture of Adrian von Bidder's tombstone. This particular volunteer died on the wedding day. How would you feel with a memory like that on your wedding anniversary each year? Thanks Debian.

If you are concerned with the impact of excessive bureaucracy on our way of life, whether it is in small business, farming or volunteering, please give your most vigorous support to my campaign for European parliament.

von bidder

farmer, tractor

If you are concerned with the impact of excessive bureaucracy on our way of life, whether it is in small business, farming or volunteering, please give your most vigorous support to my campaign for European parliament.

More news and policy statements regarding my campaign for European Parliament:

Please print my brochure if you want Ireland to change

Other Recent Techrights' Posts

Patriotism is OK, But We Need Facts and Reason, Not Blind Obedience to Authority
Very seldom in the history of human civilisation has groupthink proven to be of real merit
Gemini Links 16/06/2024: Hand Held Maneuvering Unit and Hugo Static Files
Links for the day
Removing the Tumour From IRC
looking back
Windows Sinking Below 13% Market Share in the Island of Jamaica
Microsoft's decline continues and will mostly likely continue indefinitely in Jamaica and its neighbours
 
Letting Microsoft systemd Manage /home Was a Terrible Idea All Along
systemd-tmpfiles, deleting /home
When You Touch One of Us You Touch All of Us
We have a principled, uncompromising stance on this matter
Links 16/06/2024: New Sanctions Against Russia, Fentanylware (TikTok) Causing More Problems
Links for the day
Social Control Media in Japan: Twitter (X) Has Collapsed, YouTube Rising (Apparently)
What a genius Mr. Musk is!
Windows Cleansed in South Africa (Already Hovering Around 10% Market Share)
Plus Microsoft's mass layoffs in Africa
[Meme] Satya Nadella's Windows PC RECALLS Not What He Did
Satya got lucky
Usage of Let's Encrypt in Geminispace Has Collapsed (That's a Good Thing!)
Ideally, or eventually, all capsules will sign their own certificates or have their own CA
North Macedonia: Windows Down From 99.2% to 28.5%
Last year it was even measured at 26%
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Saturday, June 15, 2024
IRC logs for Saturday, June 15, 2024
[Meme] The Free(dom) Software Engineer in European Elections
“When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser.”
Vista 11 Was 'Leaked' Exactly 3 Years Ago and This One Picture Says It All
how 'well' Vista 11 has done
A Smokescreen for Brad Smith
Maybe the key point was to say "Linux is not secure either" or "Windows and Linux are equally vulnerable", so don't bother dumping Microsoft
Links 15/06/2024: Microsoft's Intellectual Ventures Attacks Kubernetes With Software Patents, More Layoff Waves
Links for the day
Gemini Links 15/06/2024: On Lagrange and on YouTube Getting Worse
Links for the day
Edward Brocklesby: hacker received advance notice of zero-day vulnerabilities in MH and NMH email software
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
[Meme] Code Liberates Kids
Matthias Kirschner: I can't code, but I can write a book
In Armenia, Bing is Measured at 0.6%, About Ten Times Less Than Yandex
Bing will probably get mothballed in the coming years
[Meme] A Pack and Pact (Collusion Against Computer Users)
They never really cared about users, no more than drug dealers care about drug users...
GNU/Linux in Azerbaijan: From ~0.1% to 7%
Azerbaijan is around the same size as Portugal
Women in Free Software (FOSS) Need Action, Not Mere Words
the men who are loudest about women's rights are some of the very worst offenders
Embrace, Extend, Extinguish Minecraft
These folks should check out Minetest
Techrights Statement on Men Who Viciously Attack Women in Free Software
history shows women will win
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Friday, June 14, 2024
IRC logs for Friday, June 14, 2024
[Meme] People Who Cannot Find Gainful Employment Because of Their Poor Behaviour Online (Not the People Who Merely Call Them Out on It)
Imagine trying to become a lecturer while talking like this in public
You Too Would Get Nervous
countries where Windows is down to 2%
[Meme] The Two Phases (and Faces) of Microsofters
Microsofters: stalk IRC, then troll IRC
The 'Nobody Reads Techrights Anyway' Crowd
Send In the Clowns
Books in the Making
I intend to spend a considerable amount of time explaining what my family and I were subjected to for the 'crime' of promoting/covering Free software
Microsoft is Still Losing Malta
And GNU/Linux is doing well on laptops and desktops
Tux Machines: Third Party Impending
There will be more next week
Links 14/06/2024: Microsoft Layoffs in the News Again, East-West Conflict/Tensions Update
Links for the day
Links 14/06/2024: Comments on the Death of Email and Lagrange Commentary
Links for the day
Dutch Government Appoints Microsofters to Combat "OSS Fetishism"
What corruption looks like
Microsoft's Collapse in Africa and Shutdown of Entire 'Development Centre'
Unlike what Microsoft claimed in face-saving statements
[Meme] Not Your Typical IRC Troll and Harasser
I say, let's punch nazis...
GNU/Linux's Journey in Qatar: From 0.1% to Over 3%
Windows is no longer an important contender there
Secret Contracts and Corpses
The media pretends it's just some generic "IT" issue, but it is not
Bing Has Run Out of Time and Microsoft Might Dismantle It (Save a Financial Miracle)
How much more of investors' money is Microsoft willing to throw in the trash?
Statement on Antisemitism in Our IRC Network and in Social Control Media
In an ideal world nobody would have to be banned from IRC
Gemini Links 14/06/2024: Ads vs. Content, Why Aliases Are Har
Links for the day
Vista 11 Has Fallen in Switzerland, a Country That is More Microsoft Friendly Than Most of Europe
GNU/Linux rose to its highest level there in almost half a decade
Microsoft is Dying in Africa
Based on the Central African Republic, which "is around the same size as France"
[Meme] Microsoft in Africa
Are you telling me Windows is now down to 1% 'market share' in some countries?
Management of the European Patent Office Misleads Staff on Views of the Office's Staff Committee
The EPO as a workplace very rapidly deteriorates
[Meme] Newer is Worse
"They say those are New Ways of Working (NWoW); New does not mean better, it is worse"
Microsoft Needs to be Banned From Contracts, Including Government Contracts, Not Just for Security Failings But for Criminal Negligence, Corruption, and Fatal Cover-ups
How many deaths will it take for Microsoft to face real, effective scrutiny rather than kid gloves treatment?
Links 14/06/2024: Violence, Famines, and Montana Has More Cows Than People
Links for the day
Microsoft Telecom Layoffs, Facebook Layoffs in Africa: A Month After Microsoft's Mass Layoffs in Lagos (Nigeria) Facebook/Meta Does the Same and Microsoft is Now Retreating and Quitting an Entire Sector! (Affirmed Networks and Metaswitch)
Disasters in the making for GAFAM. Money down the drain.
Papua New Guinea: GNU/Linux Growing, Windows Down Below 15%
it seems indisputable there's headway and momentum
"Planets" Cannot Replace Social Control Media, They're Very Much Akin to It (Censorship Hubs, Gatekeepers)
Don't be subjected to gaslighting; make your own OPML file
Topics That Truly Irritate and Consistently Infuriate the Microsofters (Whenever We Cover These)
Censoring uncomfortable information is a difficult activity that has its limits, even in Reddit
Honduras: Vista 11 Down, GNU/Linux Up
Valve sees GNU/Linux as bigger than Apple's MacOS
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Thursday, June 13, 2024
IRC logs for Thursday, June 13, 2024
LibrePlanet 2024 and the Lost Video/Audio of Talks
After the event was over someone informed us that due to technical issues they had lost (or failed to acquire) recordings of the talks
Choosing Between Options to Outsource to Evades the Best Solution (Self-Hosting)
Most users don't need this sort of complexity
IBM Layoffs at Kyndryl
This can soon spill over to Red Hat
Turkmenistan: GNU/Linux Leaps Past 5% This Month?
This is how statCounter sees it
Watch This Space
what matters most is not the volume or quantity of publications but their underlying depth and quality