FOSDEM is quite the experience, thousands of geeks running around, dozens of free and open source projects, and plenty of Club-Mate and beer for every attendee to purchase. The weekend is exceptionally busy, and for me, the sleep at night between the chaos is always interesting.
One night, I had a dream which I can remember, where I found myself in conversation about something or another with a colleague. We were sitting at a table not unlike one which could be found in the ULB Cafeteria at FOSDEM. Mid-conversation, my dream-colleague casual took out a small container, scooped a bit out with his fingernail, snorted into his nose what I dream-determined was cocaine, and continued in conversation. In my dream I found myself terribly offended.
Since when was it socially acceptable to be a casual user of cocaine, and so blatantly use it in public!
I do not believe I dream-said anything, but I was dream-offended enough to where I remembered the dream when I awoke.
I started to reflect on how abhorrently hypocritical dream-Tyler had been. The day prior to my dream, Kohsuke handed me a bottle of beer, purchased from the openSUSE folks, no later than 10 in the morning. Overall, FOSDEM is a chaotic two-day conference fueled entirely on caffeine, nicotine, and beer. In fact, I found myself sitting at a table more than once, at all hours of the day, discussing one thing or another with people beer in hand. This casual consumption around technology events is not something I am the first to recognize, but I haven’t ever mentally equated a “casual beer” with something like a “casual bump of cocaine.”
While I don’t expect FOSDEM to change anytime soon, I encourage my fellow hackers to consider what level of casual drug use they believe is socially acceptable at any technology event.