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

EU 'Chat Control' Law is Already Discrediting the Stated Goals of GDPR
Equip kids with always-on always-connected microphones and double-sided cameras, just to be safe...
Jean-Pierre Giraud, Possible Forgeries & Debian: elections, judgments, trademark already canceled, archaeologist
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Justices Jeremy Johnson and Victoria Sharp to Decide the Fate of Julian Assange in About Three Weeks
Will he be back home in Australia by year's end?
Treating Them as Teammates, Not as Political Props, Trophies, or Objects
Most of the world's people are women
 
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, June 19, 2024
IRC logs for Wednesday, June 19, 2024
Morocco: GNU/Linux Surges From 0.1% to 4.21%
Microsoft has mass layoffs in Africa these days
[Meme] EU Chat Control II
Stuff like "Chat Control" means that GDPR will lose credibility and the true motives be rightly scrutinised/questioned
You're Only Proving Our Point, Sir
clearly obsessed with what we write
Just Because It Happened Over 20 Years Ago Doesn't Mean It's "Old News" or Stopped Happening
This strategy merely evolved
Thanking Solderpunk for 5 Years of Gemini Protocol
Long live Gemini Protocol and long live Solderpunk!
[Meme] He Who Controls the Boot
And licks the Microsoft boot
[Meme] systemd-recovery
Imagine "Linux" (Poetterix) becoming so unreliable that it needs factory resets
Almost Every Day This Month the GNU/Linux "Market Share" Grows in statCounter
Advocates like to see progress
Dawg, I Herd You Like Freedom
In the context of Software Freedom, little is ever said about free speech
Links 19/06/2024: Microsoft Faces Big Backlash, Bytedance Referred to US Department of Justice
Links for the day
Gemini Protocol Turns 5 in 15 Hours
Geminispace is still very much alive
OSI's Blog is Still 100% "AI" Nonsense Sponsored by Microsoft (the Authors Are Also Salaried by Microsoft)
The founder of the OSI no longer supports the OSI
Poland is Another Country Where Bing Lost a Lot of Market Share Since the LLM Gimmicks
down from 3.24% to 2.4%
It Took Microsoft More Than 3 Years to Get a Quarter of Windows Users to 'Upgrade' to Vista 11 (3 Out of 4 Windows Users Still Reject It)
That is exactly what's happening right now
[Meme] The Empire
Don't be like Putin
They Want 'Transparency' Only for the General Public (Every Bit of Communication Available to the Government, Usually Via Corporations)
The EU might decide to effectively ban SSH
Free Software Won't Fix Equality, But It Helps
Let's examine Free software in the context of: 1) money. 2) justice.
Links 19/06/2024: SFTP and Gopher Milestone
Links for the day
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, June 18, 2024
IRC logs for Tuesday, June 18, 2024
US Surgeon General's Advice on Social Control Media (and "Smart" Phones) Seems Reasonable
People forget what the real world is about
Quiet at Planet Debian
planet.debian.org has not had any updates since 5 days ago
Belarus: Bing Fell From 1.1% to 0.6% Since Microsoft Started the LLM Hype (Yandex is 50 Times Bigger Than Bing)
Now enter Belarus
Morale at Microsoft Sinks to New Lows
The annual 'Employee Signals' survey showed a drop from 69% to 62% in positive responses
Microsoft Windows is Being Abandoned in the UK, Relative to Other Platforms (New All-Time Lows)
Windows at new lows
Links 18/06/2024: More Executives Leave Microsoft, Attacks on the Press in Russia and 'Exile'
Links for the day
[Meme] Always Livecasting
Wait Till Systemd-Recall
Australia: Bing Lost Market Share Since the LLM Hype ("Bing Chat")
Google rose, Bing went down
Gemini Links 18/06/2024: Unconscious Consumption and Firewall Autoban
Links for the day
[Meme] Canonical Has Basically Become Novell II
Today's Canonical...
While Everyone is Furious at Vista 11 (Over TPM, Recall and Other Malicious 'Features') Canonical is Selling It to People
So the only thing Canonical says about Windows is that you should give it a try?
Links 18/06/2024: Adobe and Internet Archive in Trouble
Links for the day
Peter Duffy Explains SystemD
Ein Volk, Ein Reich, Ein Führer!
[Meme] The Doyen and the Colonel
EPO continues to prioritise lawbreaking over knowledge
EPO Union Action: Next Week SUEPO The Hague and SUEPO Munich Talk About New Pension Scheme (NPS) and Salary Savings Plan (SSP)
So there are basically 32 days left for more people to intervene
[Meme] Wait Till Systemd-Recall
The only thing Linux still needs is a forensics backdoor
GNU/Linux Up This Month in India (or Why Famous Criminal Bill Gates Keeps Visiting Modi)
truth tends to catch up with people
Microsoft Poetterix is Work in Progress
Linux's New DRM Panic 'Blue Screen of Death' In Action
24/7 Work Discipline
it's not so much about how much (or how long) one works, it's about how one works and whether one feels comfortable doing it
Adamant Conformism is an Enemy of Science
"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man"
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Monday, June 17, 2024
IRC logs for Monday, June 17, 2024
Links 18/06/2024: Further Mass Layoffs and Gemini Leftovers
Links for the day
At IBM, "Brownnosing is the Norm."
Many of these comments are from IBM insiders
Myanmar/Burma: Google Gains One Percent, Microsoft Loses One Percent Since the LLM Hype ('Bing Chat')
it's not hard to understand LLMs didn't replace real search and didn't replace Google, either
[Meme] KISS, not SAAS
Gemini Protocol turns 5 in exactly 2 days
Hostageware: The Threat of Clown Computing (or 'SaaS', Another Misnomer or Buzzword) to Computer Users Everywhere
This problem isn't limited to Free software adopters