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Re: Sunday afternoon Linux advocacy ramble (longish)

  • Subject: Re: Sunday afternoon Linux advocacy ramble (longish)
  • From: Mark Kent <mark.kent@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 15 May 2006 15:25:29 +0100
  • Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.advocacy
  • References: <pan.2006.> <8MmdnVDYT6KO0PrZnZ2dnUVZ_smdnZ2d@comcast.com> <pan.2006.> <1147625832.882957@sky> <10958106.n1kcXLuDyz@schestowitz.com>
  • User-agent: slrn/ (Linux)
  • Xref: news.mcc.ac.uk comp.os.linux.advocacy:1109332
begin  oe_protect.scr 
Roy Schestowitz <newsgroups@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> espoused:
> 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.

There is a fundamental difficulty here, though, which should be
understood by all.  A lot of people have made a lot of money out of the
creation and long-term maintenance of these power struggles.  Open
source is particularly scary for these people because it makes much of
their approach and their individual "value add" valueless.  The smarter
ones have surely recognised this, and are fighting back, but doing so in
the method they understand best - the politics of fear and doubt.  Fear
of the unknown plagues many people, even in areas which might seem
surprising at first blush - many people might detest their current
politicians, but have even /more/ fear of ones that they do not know.
There's even a cliche about this: "better the devil you know". 

Unfortunately, as is often the case with such cliches, they imply a
wisdom which is not necessarily present, but leave the less sophisticated
amongst us with a lingering doubt which is very very difficult to erase.
To use another cliche, "shoot the messenger" is actually a surprisingly
effective method of fighting back, along with ad hominem attacks.  These
are all methods in constant use by the survivors of the constant battle.  

Some of us are a little more fortunate - we understand the economics
/and/ the technology... we are engineers, and we're /very/ dangerous to
such people, because we can describe what's happening from a position of
knowledge, not cliches.

I expect to see the fight-back become ever more aggressive, but in doing
so, it will lose all pretense of any intellectual debate, but will
become increasingly overt political sound biting.

| Mark Kent   --   mark at ellandroad dot demon dot co dot uk  |
<Kethryvis> Gruuk: UFies are above and beyond the human race :)

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