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Re: Sunday afternoon Linux advocacy ramble (longish)

  • Subject: Re: Sunday afternoon Linux advocacy ramble (longish)
  • From: Roy Schestowitz <newsgroups@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 14 May 2006 18:19:18 +0100
  • Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.advocacy
  • Organization: schestowitz.com / MCC / Manchester University
  • References: <pan.2006.> <8MmdnVDYT6KO0PrZnZ2dnUVZ_smdnZ2d@comcast.com> <pan.2006.> <1147625832.882957@sky>
  • Reply-to: newsgroups@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • User-agent: KNode/0.7.2
__/ [ [H]omer ] on Sunday 14 May 2006 17:57 \__

> On 14/05/2006 16:59, Kier spake thusly:
>> On Sun, 14 May 2006 10:30:27 -0500, Linonut wrote:
>>> After takin' a swig o' grog, Kier belched out this bit o' wisdom:
>>>> So why the hostility, the apparent rage against Linux?
> <...>
>>>> Seems like it scares people sometimes. It shouldn't.
>>> It does.  Ask Erik, who "fears" the GPL.
>> Which is strange, when you really think about it? How can it harm
>> him? People are frightened of change.
> The primary source of "fear" is from those who stand to lose money. The
> dent that Linux makes in commercial software sales may not be huge, but
> it nonetheless represents lost sales, and a much greater potential for
> future losses. Microsoft, and other commercial vendors, are painfully
> aware of this, and so expend considerable resources fighting it ...
> often in very underhand ways. Their key approach, other than abusing
> their monopoly position to squeeze out the competition, is to spread
> FUD, and the key to *that* is that for every lie, there is an element of
> truth.

The "GPL is a cancer" and "Linux is cancer" are shining examples. "Are you
going  to trust some guy from China" is another (all from Ballmer).  There
are  clear  attempts  to  associate Open Source  with  negative  ailments.
Connotation is a mysterious yet powerful thing.

As  a  consequence, when I introduce myself as a Linux user,  some  people
(usually  seniors)  raise  a  brow. Unjustifiable, Linux  has  been  badly
reputed,  almost as though it's heavy metal music, owned by anarchists  to
demolish  society  and  ruin status-quo. It reality, it is aimed  to  help
society  by  reducing cost and giving freedom to /own/ technology,  rather
than play these endless power struggles.

> The spread of this disinformation soon filters down to "ordinary" users,
> even the types who never read tech journals and the like, and creates an
> atmosphere of distrust and disapproval, even among those with zero
> knowledge Linux. FUD creates bigots.
> From an end-user perspective, people resist change even in the face of
> adversity. My sister constantly bemoans the fact that her Windows box
> causes her so much grief, but if dare to suggest that she tries
> something different (such as Linux) the air turns *blue* with
> resistance. She's never even seen Linux in action; I've never met anyone
> so blindly bigoted against Linux as she is, but then unfortunately she
> never has been "the sharpest tool in the box".

Same  with  my sister, who is a computer scientist. I know just  what  you

> The commercial software developers will continue their dirty-tricks
> campaign against FOSS, for as long as both parties exist, and the world
> will continue to be populated by anti-FOSS bigots, because there are
> simply far too many simple-minded and impressionable people in the
> world, who seem incapable of thinking for themselves.

Returning  to subject, their presence here is driven by interest. They try
to  defend their job rather than adapt to change, evolve, and prepare  for
the  changing times -- a generation of Open Source and Web-based software.
"Evolve or die", a wise person once said. Don't try to resist as change is

Best wishes,


Roy S. Schestowitz      | "Quote when replying in non-real-time dialogues"
http://Schestowitz.com  |    SuSE Linux     ¦     PGP-Key: 0x74572E8E
  6:05pm  up 17 days  1:02,  11 users,  load average: 0.19, 0.11, 0.12
      http://iuron.com - Open Source knowledge engine project

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