The previous posting that I noticed most in the past few days was the
"Windows, Linux, and Cult Followings" thread.
The things some people fail to realize, when they get upset at the
"Stark-raving mad [LW]invocates" who frequent CO(LA|MNA) is that they are
filling a place that is apparent in every movement or organization... the
It was once said that when Martin Luther protested the Catholic church, it
was not so much a miracle that he was able to survive her wrath, but that he
was able to rise above all the fanaticism that surrounded his movement.
I think the same could be said of the Linux/OSS movement and MS. (Pardon
this I do not mean to offend any Catholics) Try now to substitute the
Catholic church with MS and Luther with Linux/OSS (I don't want to offend
any Lutherans either :)
There's a few parallels in the two situations, such as how Linux is able to
nail its own theses to the door of the HQ in Redmond and not yet be embraced
and extended. But that's not the point of this document.
The main parallel I want to bring out is the lunatics that were in both
movements. Sure, you had your level-headed protestants who just wanted to
worship as they felt led to. And you probably had quite a few Catholics who
were willing to let them be. But sometimes the loons get in control. This
brought about things like the Inquisition (about the biggest black mark in
the history of Christendom). But it wasn't just the Catholics who had their
nuts, it was protestants too. Depending on what faith the leader of a
nation was (protestant or Catholic), ususally the other people in that
nation would be persecuted. This didn't help anything at all and is quite
possibly the biggest stain on the name of Jesus Christ.
(Enough history for now) The same thing can be said of [LW]invocacy.
Remember that the ones with the loudest, most obnoxious voices quite often
don't represent the opinions of the whole. Not every Linvocate wants to see
Linux on every desktop, every server, every embeddable device. Same goes
for some Winvocates. Most see both Linux and NT as tools for their jobs,
and put them in their respectful places.
The Linux loons claim things like"KDE/GNOME/Enlghtenment is ready to kick
out the NT GUI and take over the desktop." Please, gentlemen.
And then, there's NT loons who proclaim that NT is:
(more stable || faster || more scalable || lower in TCO) than Linux across
the board. Please gentlemen.
In other words, advocating your favorite product is good. But don't berate
someone just because their product doesn't have a penguin somewhere near it,
or because BIll Gates doesn't get royalties from it. Allow them to use the
tool they feel is appropriate for their job. You will have an easier time
persuading a questioning sysadmin to use either Linux or NT better from your
uptime-testimonials than you will from frothing-at-the-mouth USENET posts.
So just remember, next time you see posts like "Linux Owns Ya Bill!" or
"Linux is a Toy OS", remember that those who do not learn from history are
doomed to repeat it (and cause people to use their kill files, maybe for the
Just some things to think about. Don't persecute me for thinking different
-- Thomas B. Holdren
RMS Fan (GO RMS-LINUX!)
"If you can't beat 'em, emulate 'em!"