Luis Iván Cuende helps us open our eyes in this interview

Luis Ivan Cuende

Luis Iván Cuende does not need too many presentations Now, but for those who are not very introduced to this world, say that this Asturian began in the world of software at the age of 12, the age at which he discovered free software and began to experiment with it. Asturix is ​​one of his projects, a GNU / Linux distribution based on Ubuntu that everyone will know.

Also, Cuende rose to fame when he won the award for the best young programmer in Europe in 2011. In Berlin he was awarded for his career, achieving the recognition of the best European hacker under 18 years of age. After this, other projects would come, some with less success such as the Holalabs company, but others like Stampery, which he tells us about in the interview that they will talk about.

Linux Addicts: It is a question that always tends to incite interest in readers. What distribution are you currently using?

Luis Ivan Cuende: I use Arch Linux, I just love the rolling release.

LxW: Asturix, Holalabs, advisor to the Vice President of the European Commission (Neelie Kroes), Cardwee, Asturix On, Asturix People, Asturix Incubator… Now what?

LiC .: Now I'm with Stampery! It is a new way of certifying data, using the technology behind Bitcoin, the blockchain.

LxW: Any open project (software or otherwise) and current that especially surprises you?

LIC: Bitcoin, Augur, Ethereum ...

LxW: Making your way in such a competitive world is a bit tricky, especially for those without funding. From your experience, any advice for entrepreneurs who read us?

LIC: Develop a clear vision of what the world should be like in a decade or more.

LxW: In relation to the above, what do you think of crowdfunding?

LIC: I find it very interesting! Projects like Pebble have come forward thanks to them. There are real innovations. But there are also many people profiting, selling smoke.

LxW: The cloud is an issue that worries Stallman. But there are very interesting projects and it seems that it will have a promising future (and a present). Pros and cons?

LIC: Pros: better user experience on most products. Con: loss of control and privacy. I am very interested in database projects that allow the search for encrypted information, it can open many doors and eliminate the cons of the cloud.

LxW: Do you think that cryptocurrencies can be a solution for the current situation? And tell us a little about Stampery.

LIC: Undoubtedly! Not only for the crisis, but in general to return freedom to those who deserve it. Stampery eliminates the need for trust, using the blockchain, which is decentralized, to provide a better way to certify data.

LxW: When we interviewed Richard Stallman, he seemed concerned about the "blobs" that include some kernels like Linux and FreeBSD. What is your opinion on this?

LIC: It is a problem, without a doubt, and not for purism, but because every time we see that intelligence agencies include more and more backdoors everywhere.

LxW: What do you think of the movement Canonical is making with the Snappy packs?

LIC: I remember the days I used to pack. It was quite cumbersome. It seems to me a good movement that will end up being a step forward for the entire community.

LxW: Do you have time for digital entertainment? I don't know ... Do you like video games? What do you think of Steam OS and Steam Machine, of the momentum of this sector in the Linux world?

LIC: I don't have much time, but what I have I try not to spend too much time in front of more screens. I've never been a fan of games in general either. Anyway, I am aware that many people do, and the step that Steam has taken seems great to me.

LxW: Free software and education, two terms that can be great allies. In your book "I am 18 years old and neither study nor work: I start companies and lived doing what I like!" You dedicate a high percentage of pages to talking about the educational system or rather about its defects and possible solutions. Some people do not understand that education is the foundation and should be the priority in the electronic programs of politicians. On the other hand, in Spain the only thing that politicians do is replace the law every time there is a change of government and which worse… (I think that with Wert's there are already 13th educational reforms).

LIC: Never better said, many people do not realize it but certainly, education today indoctrinates. Free software is a step forward in reducing indoctrination, leading to neutral solutions and stimulating, rather than dictating, students.

LxW: Uniforms, bells, hierarchies, isolated classrooms, closed centers, numbered lists, recess (when the students can go out to the patio to exercise, stretch their legs or have a little sun ...), rules, obedience, discipline , parts of sanction, punishments, periodic examinations, obligations and duties, ... By listing these words they could refer to both a prison and an educational center. This is a problem, don't you think?

LIC: It is a big problem, and it is the main culprit that we experience a traumatic situation in Spain. The problem is that education takes decades since it was changed until its fruits are seen, so we are already about 20 years behind that we will never recover.

LxW: But it is also that, in many private schools, they are now forcing their students to buy a series of Apple products (it cannot be another brand), such as the iPad, and they believe that they are at the forefront of education for this. And what happens if a student wants a tablet from another brand and me with another operating system? And if you already have an Android tablet, do you have to buy an iPad for…? When I studied, most of the computers in the center had Microsoft Windows installed (only some of the technology classroom had a Red Hat distro, until the Junta de Andalucía “brought” the Guadalinex to public centers), but at least no one it directly imposed on you which software or system to use. Now we take steps backwards… What do you think?

LIC: That joke. In addition to being owners, they are very expensive. You have to realize that many people cannot afford it. Education must be inclusive, I think that is common sense.

LxW: Stallman said that proprietary software is like drugs, first they give you free trials and when you get hooked they make you pay. Microsoft and Apple, to name a few companies, deliberately pursue this. If students are trained with these tools, they will demand these tools in their work in the future. It is something like what happened with UNIX, used in the academic field and later with great repercussion in the business field since the graduates were used to working with this system and they also implemented it in their companies, right?

LIC: I agree, but I do not consider it very important either because we are facing the death of the sale of software. And especially from OS. For me, the concern is more the fact that all ecosystems continue to be closed, so as soon as you enter one you do not leave.

HTx: Continuing with education, my namesake Asimov was of the opinion that, and I quote his words, "Self-taught education is, I firmly believe, the only kind of education that exists." And he pointed to the Internet as a potential source of learning. Do you agree?

LIC: Undoubtedly. Being self-taught develops a lot of self-judgment. It also develops the ability to filter content. Both are qualities that make you a better person and professional. A self-taught human has more possibilities than one who does not have this ability, just as a human with Internet access can go much further than one without that access.

LxW: In your book you quote a phrase from Albert Einstein: "Why memorize what is already written in books." If it were updated or extended with the word "Internet", instead of books, it could be valid for the new era in which we live. And this leads me to remember a conference by Javier Martínez entitled “You are smarter than the company you work for”. Javier closes the conference claiming that we need intelligent systems that send us necessary information at the exact moment we need it and without having to go looking for it. And sadly I ask you, do you think that if the invention of the printing press has not been able to change our educational system (neither has the Internet, at least radically), this new technology that Javier talks about could change it?

LIC: I believe that the educational system will be fixed when: a) trainers who are worth paying more are paid, and those who are not are fired. b) A large number of inept people who have not updated in their profession for decades begin to retire.

LxW: Any educational reference? For example, Finland has a good education system and the Nordic countries are generally in good health in this regard.

LIC: I really like what they are doing with Draper University. It is something very specialized in entrepreneurs but the program seems brutal to me.

LxW: Not long ago I read an article about the importance of STEM education, or as STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) is called here, for the development of a country, both competitively and economically. What do you think?

LIC: It is clear that a country without technology has a problem. However, I believe that nothing in particular should be given importance, but that each student learns what the body asks of him.

I hope you liked it the modest interview to this great character. Do not forget to leave your comments and reflections.

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  1.   wfpaisa said

    good interview!