Techno-Evangelism Failure

Seven Day. Nasty rain last evening; piddly rain this morning. Lower temperatures which I shall not criticize. I am ill inclined to embrace the heat of Alibam summer. 

Still in the mode of hawgin’ tabs and a rather odious one came to my attention yesterday [Link] entitled “A Window Into the Linux Desktop.” The title is at once a come-on and a nasty disappointment. It demonstrates at once the inherent independence of the Linux community and the stupidity that Linux advocates can exercise in promoting the OS.

The fellow that wrote this is patently a dinosaur of the DOS days of MegaHard, back when the only OS choices for a desk box were DOS and CPM (and whatever Amiga had.) His answer to the needs of a new convert to Linux is in essence a screen filling terminal. 

If that is what he wants, I do not gainsay his choice but I consider his offering this to potential adopters and “neubs” as evidence of mental defect. In both mine and the general experience the chief speed bump to such folk is not the GUI desktop but the command line. We are now into a second (third?) generation of Winders “users” (serfs?) and so the command line is as alien to them as thought is to a brick wall. Heck, I know Winders IT guys who use command line no more often than once a week and their achieved goal is usually that their users never use it. 

So offering potential adopters what amounts to nothing but an full screen command line is repellent and probably nauseating. Making people sick is not going to make then adopt the cause. 

There is a stubborn streak of insecurity in the Linux community that manifests itself in rabid evangelism of the OS. I succumb to it occasionally when my brain is engaged on real things but as soon as I can consider my actions the nonsense becomes recognized.

On a quantified basis of measurables there is no question that Linux is superior to Winders. Boot time, through put, internet utilization, … all show Linux superior to Winders. 

But people do not adopt an OS – at least among the Bogs – on rational grounds. They will only change when they are forced to or think the change their own. And evangelistic efforts are neither. 

A more effective path would be to recognize that people do not define their computer usage by the OS but by what they do. For nerds and many geeks, this is activity oriented; for bogs it is client oriented. So if one wants to espouse one OS over the other, one needs to demonstrate that it does activities or clients better. 

And let the user decide on his/her own adoption. It works for intelligent churches, why not for techno-religion?

I have said before that I still depend on Winders for one program. Linux has nothing to equal it. But for every other activity, I use Linux. Simply put the clients are equal or superior to those of Winders and my activity is improved thereby. 

We can’t expect Winders users to be this sentient and rational but we also can’t herd them like cats. 

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