While reviewing the volunteer application form for a charity that I’m
thinking of supporting, I grew uncomfortable with the confidentiality
agreement. In particular, I resisted the idea of treating it as “work
for hire” and assigning all my rights to whatever ideas, material, or
processes I might develop while I’m volunteering.
I’ve come to value the ability to come up with ideas, write about my
experiences, and learn from other people. I want to avoid constraining
that freedom. Just as software developers may take special precautions
not to taint their minds with code that they can’t reuse so that they
can avoid questions about the code they produce, I may need to avoid
experiences that add complications to my ability to share and learn.
Private, confidential, or copyrighted material is relatively easy to
delineate, but what about insights and advice? If someone’s question
prompts me to collect advice and to write an article that I’ve been
meaning to do for a while, would I be unable to republish that article
even after removing sensitive information? Maybe that’s the price
other people pay to gain experiences they wouldn’t otherwise have, but
if I can get similar experiences elsewhere…
Random Emacs symbol: pcomplete-command-completion-function – Variable: *Function called for completing the initial command argument.