I have made no bones, positive nor negative, of being a Linuxian. Once I retired from the civil service of the Yankee Republic, I was able to lay aside Winders along with my organizationally demanded loyalty and support to/for it. Nowadays, the only time I deal with Winders is when I have to bash FD SCP’s boxes or deal with a friend or colleague who continues to practice this aged and creaky “religion.”
That’s not quite accurate. I do still keep a few Winders boxes about, almost solely dedicated to running Scientific Word since there is no equivalent in Linux. The manufacturer of SW, who promised Linux support with the latest version, proved themselves to be a “true” Amerikan Capitalist by prvaricating and not producing a Linux client. Sic Transit…
But I still need SW, which I run in a aged version on an WXP box or two, to write Nerd papers, Linux lacking any equally useful alternative.
Anyway, I was reading an article [Link] entitled “A tour of elementary OS, perhaps the Linux world’s best hope for the mainstream” and it provoked some cogitation. For those who do not know, which is the majority, Elementary OS is a Linux distribution, and it is billed as the Linux Messiah that will instantiate the “year of the Linux desktop.”
After years of stentorian announcements of the “year of the Linux desktop,” I have become cynical, or, at least, more cynical of the claims. But lately I have come to focus a different view of this.
If we go back to the period before Thucydides invented history, when the Greeks told fantasy tales of heroes, we find that heroes were not always nice people but they were few in number.
In a similar vein, in the centuries just prior to the quantum/relativity revolution, “civilized” nations have Explorers’ Clubs, dedicated to people who went in harms way to find new places, people, things, and ideas. These Explorers were not always nice people, despite the propaganda of King and Country and Media, but they were few in number.
Heroes and Explorers were not majority human beings. They were driven to activities alien to the rest of humanity, and by so doing, enriched that majority.
I will argue that (at least one of) the modern equivalent of Heroes and Explorers are the folks who deliberately, without coercion, adopt Linux. Because doing so enriches the majority who remain Winders serfs and Apple slaves.
We should not therefore try to entice great numbers to embrace Linux, for such power is inherently unstable and would damage the mundanity of society too much.
There is no year of the Linux desktop any more than next year there will be fulfillment in Jerusalem.
Alternately, the year of the Linux desktop is every year that these few, these explorer/heroes improve the lot of humanity. And suffer as much from the apathy and hatred of that majority as they do from privation and opposition.
Those who seek the Grail are opposed by all, good and evil alike.