Faith Enquired

Mundane day again, week in and back to gym. Schule has been desessioned long enough for some of the educationalists, most administrative weight bouncers, to have returned. Happily they are not loud, only threatening.

Along which azimuth I noted an article [Link] last week entitled “Testing the Faith of the Linux Masses” that asks whether Linux users will ever abandon the OS. Several people are interviewed, mostly revealing that there is no OS that is absent warts and complaints except for the slime moldest of bogs.

This did however, lead me to reflect on the nature of the question. I started by being a bit put off by the faith casting, as if this is all about irrational emotionalism. No mention is made in the article of loyalty and the distinction is telling of the ferdishness of the author, or at least her editors, for while the piece claims to be blog, it is entirely too journalistic and commercial,

I quickly honed in on the fact that no OS, no distribution, is without aspects that I dislike. Not too long ago I spent a couple of blots lamenting my search for a distribution that actually worked with Broadcom wireless. I ended up finding two, mostly because of the disappointment of finding Fuduntu just days before it went toes up. The distro I found in its stead, Manjaro, is almost good enough in that it works with the wireless, and has a good package manager. It does however lack a software (as opposed to package) management system but it is a rolling release that means I don’t have to have the fight with Canonical’s alternating quality. It is based on Arch which meant I had to learn a lot of new stuff – a mixed bag and it did start off unable to get a lock on repositories and thereby no updates. This latter does not bode well for a smooth road.

I think the question has to be divided into tow parts. Will a user ever dump Linux for Apple OS or Winders? and will a user ever change distributions? The answer to the latter is a resounding yes that is fundamental to the culture that is linux. The answer to the former, neglecting the dictates of work and family organizations, is rarely and then only because the user is temperamentally unsuited to be a Linux person from the get go. In effect, that person may want to be a Linux user but lacks the calling. There is no shame in this. The human species satisfies Sturgeon’s rule. Nine of ten must be bogs, and even those who are not do not always have the constitution to be Linux users.

What this gets to is the evil that Canonical is practicing, trying to attract users to Linux who have no business trying. I do not fault these people for trying. If anything I respect and sympathize them. It is a horrible thing to be unhappy with Winders or Apple OS and lack the capability to use another OS. It is also horrible for Canonical to sell these people the idea that they can when they cannot and will fail miserably. Such behavior is criminal.

Fundamentally, Linux is about being free. We cannot avoid using computers, but we can, if able, assure that we use them as free humans and not serfs or slaves. And Linux should not be used as a coffle.

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