A Northwest Nobel option?

torvalds

Linus Torvalds

Former Vice President Al Gore’s visit to Portland today and tomorrow has prompted some Nobel Peace Prize thoughts, and in Oregon the idea of nominating a Northwesterner. The prospect shot around the Portland-area Linux circles (drawing some debate as well as approval as it did), starting with this email from Keith Lofstrom:

Since the Nobel Peace Prize is often given to politicians, some disagree with the choices. But it is often given to non-politicians who create international efforts to change the world for the better.

Look at the massive international efforts represented by SC09, and realize that much of it started from the work of a 21[-year-old] Finnish college student named after 1962 Nobel Peace Prize winner Linus Pauling. It would be fitting to honor that international effort by giving a Peace Prize to Linus Torvalds, perhaps in 2011 on the 20th anniversary of the August 1991 Linux announcement, or in 2012 on the 50th anniversary of Pauling’s award.

Linux is one of the largest cooperative international efforts ever undertaken. It inspired Ubuntu, One Laptop Per Child, and many other global projects. Linux conquered the supercomputer space, the server space, the embedded computer space – by peaceful means! Linux helped sequence the human genome, helps protect the world computer infrastructure from viral attack, and is now the pathway for millions to learn computer programming and participate in new international efforts.

The 2007 Nobel Peace Prize recipient (a politician some disagree with, please disagree in a different thread, thanks) is giving the keynote to SC09 as I write this. Meaning that we are all three handshakes away from the people that decide on future Peace Prizes. Perhaps it is time to launch some messages through our connections and see what makes it to the committee meetings in Oslo.

According to the list on Wikipedia, the five people to convince are Thorbjørn Jagland (chair), Kaci Kullmann Five (deputy chair), Sissel Rønbeck, Inger-Marie Ytterhorn, and Ågot Valle. We can start by sending them Norsk language Ubuntu disks.

While I imagine Linus Torvalds would be embarrassed by the attention, it would sure make his parents happy. And it would mean one less Peace Prize for a politician.

That list of Linux-related or -inspired developments is only partial. Here in the Northwest, for example, we could add the Free Geek operations in Portland, which do a lot of good for not only the low-income people and non-profit groups they are specifically aimed to help, but also almost everyone who comes into contact with them. The effects though have been world-wide, and are accelerating. And could grow faster with a little more attention.

Probably not a lot of Northwest people outside the Linux community know about Torvalds, or that he lives in the Portland area, or that this is one of the true open-source centers around the globe.

This would be a dramatic way to find out.

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6 Comments

  1. fortboise said:

    “SC” being the International Conference for High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage and Analysis, and 09 being their 9th get-together? In Portland, for a week, wrapping up tomorrow.

    “Who knew?” (Not me.)

    November 19, 2009
  2. RolandOrre said:

    I have several years though about Richard M Stallman though.

    Linus success with Linux is only possible due to RMS success with GPL, GNU and FSF. It is RMS who changed the world with the free software concept. Linus Torvalds made it famous with a very successful kernel.

    A wise decision could be to let RMS and Linus share the prize.

    November 20, 2009
  3. This should be done! Linux is a community effort and it brings people together along with helping create a safer online experience.

    November 21, 2009
  4. […] A Northwest Nobel option? That list of Linux-related or -inspired developments is only partial. Here in the Northwest, for example, we could add the Free Geek operations in Portland, which do a lot of good for not only the low-income people and non-profit groups they are specifically aimed to help, but also almost everyone who comes into contact with them. The effects though have been world-wide, and are accelerating. And could grow faster with a little more attention. […]

    November 21, 2009
  5. […] Vulnerabilities Nobel Peace Price to Linux Architect? digg_url = 'http://www.taranfx.com/blog/nobel-peace-price-to-linux-architect';digg_title = 'Nobel Peace Price to Linux Architect?';digg_bodytext = 'Nobel Peace Price to Linux Architect?'; Sunday, November 22nd, 2009 | Author: Taranfx Nobel Peace Prize  is given ou tot those contributors who worked for the betterment of the society by bringing more harmony. This year U.S Nobel Peace prize went into the hands of Barack Obama. This year, probability of a new nominee is rising: Linus Torvalds. […]

    November 22, 2009

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