Whining diatribe

Story: Lindependence 2008 - In the Books and Out of The BlocksTotal Replies: 141
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caitlyn

Jul 27, 2008
12:40 PM EST
I see Helios is complaining that some Linux publications don't think his Lindependence thing is worth covering. LXer.com is among those being blamed for his lack of publicity. Did it ever occur to him that his style of promotion (or perhaps self-promotion) rubs some people the wrong way?

At least he's removed some of the over-the-top zealotry (i.e.: depicting Microsoft as a ball and chain) from his blog. That's a positive start. Still, when I wrote back to him and refused to blog about his project my complaint was his writing style, his zealotry (as it appeared on his website and blog at the time), and the overall tone. I felt then, and still feel, that trying to compel an entire town to change OS isn't the right approach. Now he claims people are asking him to convert the entire city of Miami! Good luck with that!
rijelkentaurus

Jul 27, 2008
12:45 PM EST
How is depicting Microsoft as a ball and chain zealotry? :-) Truth is more like it. At least h is trying to spread FOSS...you can't please everyone.
caitlyn

Jul 27, 2008
12:51 PM EST
Most Windows users I know are perfectly happy with it. Trying to convince them that something they like and are comfortable with is a "ball and chain" isn't going to work. Most people use Windows because they see no compelling reason to use anything else. They don't feel like they are being forced to use Windows and certainly wouldn't want to be forced to switch.

To communicate effectively you have to understand your target audience. Using over-the-top imagery that they can't relate to won't be effective.
azerthoth

Jul 27, 2008
1:10 PM EST
Quoting:LXer.com is among those being blamed for his lack of publicity


reading comprehension a skill still in development? read again, LXer is one of the two he lists as supporting/covering the project all the way to the end.
rijelkentaurus

Jul 27, 2008
1:15 PM EST
Quoting: Most Windows users I know are perfectly happy with it.


Most I know are clueless and have no idea they have a choice, beyond a blasted Mac. And happiness isn't a word to describe it, "resigned" is...they are resigned to the fact that their computers suck and that they're just going to have to live with it. The $400 PC they got from Best Buy just doesn't have the necessary specs to run the software it was sold with (now with Vistar, earlier with XP, 2000, ME, 95, 98), and they have no idea that they were swindled by buying it...they think that's just the way it is. It's like they think that all cars are Yugos. Most people use Windows because it came preinstalled, to say "they see no compelling reason to use anything else" is almost laughably naive, or blind, or disingenuous. And while they may not want to be forced to switch (and who among us is calling for them to be forced...certainly not h!), if they don't feel like they are being forced to use Windows it comes back to not knowing they have a choice.

h is trying to bring the knowledge of Linux to the masses. I don't always agree with him, either, but if we only work with people we agree with 100% of time, we'll just spend a lot of time stroking ourselves in front of a mirror. I was and am behind h and Larry in what they were doing, and I agree with him that "leaders" of the Linux "community" not supporting him is quite disgraceful.
tracyanne

Jul 27, 2008
1:55 PM EST
Quoting:Most Windows users I know are perfectly happy with it. Trying to convince them that something they like and are comfortable with is a "ball and chain" isn't going to work.


Assuming for one moment that, that is true, my experience tells me something quite different, namely that most windows users use windows because they are unaware there is any other real choice (yes ther is mac, but it's considerably more expensive, and it's no more available where I am than Linux is), but happy with it not as many as you think, and usually less so when they perceive that there are other viable choices, then the imagery of MS as a ball and chain won't resonate emotionally with those people.

The people the ball and chain imagery will resonate with are those who are fed up with the gotchas that are a part of owning windows, it will resonate, because they currently feel trapped - because they are not aware there is a viable choice - in a situation where they must either use shoddy, insecure, technology, or nothing at all. Those are the people who will readily change, who have demonstrated, in fact, that the ball and chain imagery is exactly the way they perceive their relationship with Microsoft.

In other words caitlyn, Ken is marketing to a market that currently exists, it might not be all Windows users, but in my experience it could easily be 20% of them, and you are simply being predantic (because yes it's true Microsoft isn't really a ball and chain, they a merely a company that has a near monopoly) and obstructive (because imagery in advertising that keys into people's perceptions is valid and used all the time, and your refusal to allow such, where you have the power to do so, obstructs the message, that there really is a vaiable and valid other choice).

tracyanne

Jul 27, 2008
2:32 PM EST
Quoting:Now he claims people are asking him to convert the entire city of Miami! Good luck with that!


No he doesn't.

He claims to have received emails from people in various towns and cities, asking how to do the same in their town or city. Miami City was one such place. No where does he make any claims about doing anything in Miami.

Quoting:I felt then, and still feel, that trying to compel an entire town to change OS isn't the right approach.


Where did he attempt to compel? what means did he use to compel, did he hold a gun to anyone's head, did he threaten anyone?

No, he did what any marketer does, he pushed his product. He demonstrated, he advertised, as best he could given the obstructionism from the Linux Press, the very people who should have been at his back, the very people who stand to gain from new readers, new customers. Or does the Linux Press prefer to be it's niche market?

His stated aim was to convert a whole town, so what, every marketer has the aim of getting everyone to use their product, some succeed to a very large extent: Microsoft, for example. In some cases they manage to key into a set of imagery that is congruent with the general market's perception, sometimes they do it by locking the competition out at some basic level.

What Ken has attempted to do is market Linux, in his attempt to do this has found several images that key directly into people's perception of their relationship with the competition, and images of what moving to his product can do for them. He is doing what marketers are supposed to do for their product, create a stark (cartoonish) contrast between the competition and theirs.

You caitlyn should be ashamed of yourself for obstructing Ken in this. You should be even more ashamed for attempting to justify your petty obstructionism, by making the outrageous claims you did regarding statements made in Ken's latest blog.
gus3

Jul 27, 2008
4:04 PM EST
Quoting:trying to compel an entire town to change OS isn't the right approach.
First of all, no private citizens were compelled to do anything but learn that Windows isn't the be-all, do-all, end-all of personal computing. Or are you claiming Helios went out there to put a gun to people's heads and order them to "make the switch, like it or not"?

Second, once the word gets out, the town's residents may compel their municipal government to quit paying the Microsoft tax and start using an OS and its compatible programs that will continue to run on today's hardware, for many years to come. That's a much better value for tax dollars, n'est-ce pas?

Over the top? Only on your part, caitlyn.
dumper4311

Jul 27, 2008
4:19 PM EST
>"Over the top? Only on your part, caitlyn."

Interesting to see this subject come up; funny how the things that bother us about others are frequently qualities others would apply to us, isn't it? I've occasionally found helios to be stubborn and intense in his approach, but that's a part of what drives him and makes him such an effective advocate.

I should mention, helios has also been (in my experience) humble and honest enough to intelligently accept criticism, and even occasionally modify his position and approach based on input he receives. The same can't be said for many other 'advocates' of F/OSS.
jdixon

Jul 27, 2008
4:20 PM EST
> To communicate effectively you have to understand your target audience.

You're the one who isn't understanding his target audience, Caitlyn. Ken isn't after the Windows user who is "perfectly happy with it". He's after the Windows user who is frustrated, fed up, and desperately wanting something else, but doesn't know Linux is out there.

Catching up with the thread, I see Tracyanne has already made this point, but it bears repeating.

If he were after all Windows users, you would be correct, but he isn't.
lcafiero

Jul 27, 2008
4:41 PM EST
A few (well, several) points:

-- LXer has been very good about coverage of this event. Anyone who read Ken's blog knows that LXer does not fall into his line of fire when he criticizes some of the Linux press about its lack of coverage of Lindependence so far (thanks for pointing that out, azertoth). Further, I would like to thank LXer for linking to the various submitted stories that have been published about Lindependence to date.

-- There is no secret to the following: Ken and I have always disagreed on the relevance of the Linux press to this project. I would prefer, and have worked pretty hard, to cultivate stories in the mainstream media moreso than the Linux press. Potential new GNU/Linux and FOSS users are not reading the Linux press, but they are paying attention to the mainstream media. So the message of Lindependence and the story of what it entails serve the promotion of GNU/Linux and FOSS more in the mainstream press, rather than "preaching to the choir" in the Linux press. So I'm not as concerned with what runs or doesn't run in the Linux press because, frankly, those people we are trying to reach and convert to GNU/Linux and FOSS aren't reading the Linux press.

-- There will be a point, however, when these people we reach actually will be Linux press readers, and smart editors, writers and bloggers realize this.

-- Let me also emphasize that I appreciate the coverage those in Linux press who have done so has given Lindependence. I thank those editors, writers and bloggers with the objectivity and news sense to give the event and the phenomenon its due, either with ink or with pixels. I also welcome those editors and writers who have "been on the fence" so far, so to speak, to cover the upcoming events, whenever and wherever they happen.

-- "Most Windows users I know are perfectly happy with it." That is interesting, because probably the most amazing thing that happened at the first Lindependence event was that five people within the first 30 minutes of the event came in with their laptops and desktops and, in so many words (and some with a direct quote), booted up Windows on their machines and said "Get this s**t off my computer." I think rijelkentaurus is correct when he says that people are more resigned than "happy" to be using Windows.

-- Having said this, the point of Lindependence moreso than anything is to inform people that they have a choice, and what those choices are. If they try a distro or FOSS program and still want to use a Microsoft or Apple product, well, we've done what we can to promote GNU/Linux and FOSS. You can lead a horse to water . . . .

-- We didn't convert the entire town of Felton to GNU/Linux and FOSS. Those who have contacted us to do Lindependence-type events in their town will not convert their whole towns simply with a Lindependence event. No one I know who is involved with Lindependence is under the impression that whole towns will turn away from Microsoft with one simple event. But I can tell you with some authority what could happen -- because it's happening here in Felton -- is that there will be a significant number of conversions off the bat, a GNU/Linux and FOSS presence will spring up in those places, a LUG will more than likely be formed, a new type of installfest -- not one dominated by a gaggle of geeks with its own language and secret handshake, but attended by a wider cross-section of the community with a wide range of experience -- will be regularly scheduled and held, and GNU/Linux and FOSS will take root.

-- Many folks have gotten this project started -- too many to mention here -- and we need more to continue the momentum Lindependence has generated. There's room for all to participate, and the door is always open.

Larry Cafiero Lindependence 2008 Felton, California
tuxchick

Jul 27, 2008
4:59 PM EST
Caitlyn, your comments sound more like personal dislike than any kind of honest criticism- his style isn't yours, so what? It works for Ken. His criticism of the tech news media for ignoring Lindependence08 is spot-on- whether reporters agree with what he's doing isn't the point, which it never should be- Lindependence08 is newsworthy, and shame on the so-called professional journalists who ignored it. It's certainly more newsworthy than all the miles of column inches given to Linus' latest insults. Whoop de doo, 'masturbating monkeys'- it's funny if you like that kind of humor, but newsworthy only because Linus said it. Lindependence08 is newsworthy on its own merits.
garymax

Jul 27, 2008
10:38 PM EST
tuxchick,

Very well said!

thenixedreport

Jul 27, 2008
11:27 PM EST
To the person who posted this thread.

There are plenty of people here who are concerned. They are raising questions and points of value. I am pleading with you now to listen to them. Hear them out. Consider what they are saying. Please. I beg of you. Don't blow them off. Don't brush them off. We are supposed to be on the same team here. The ones who believe in freedom of choice concerning computing everyday. The same team. Of course we do not agree 100% on everything. If we did, then would that not make us sheep? Intellect involves the appreciation of varying points of view. Please hear everyone else out. That is all that I ask.
caitlyn

Jul 28, 2008
6:58 AM EST
I'm not blowing anyone off. I read the post that Helios made and it reads like "poor, poor pitiful me" and a complaint about how the Linux press mistreats him that sounds like whining to me. It's not a post that is likely to help his project or the Linux community as a whole. That was my point. That was my only point.

Helios wrote me asking that I give him coverage on the O'Reilly Linux Dev Center blog (since replaced by O'Reilly News). He gave me links to his website and blog. His request was incredibly long, incredibly wordy, and very difficult to follow. I found his website and blog were almost unreadable as well. While that does not reflect on whether or not his project is worthwhile (which is a separate issue) it does reflect on whether or not he can succeed. He wasn't communicating effectively then and he isn't communicating effectively now.

Speaking of poor communication, this time on my part, the choice of the word "compelled" without explanation in a short post was a bad one. In order to convert an entire town everyone in that town has to be willing to make the change otherwise you'd have to use some form of coercion. I don't know how big Felton is but unless it's minuscule it is unlikely that you are going to have 100% agreement on much of anything. When he starts talking about larger cities (Miami, Portland) where folks have written him and asked about a similar program the implication is converting whole cities. Maybe I'm reading that wrong but you can't convert a whole city to anything.

I'm sorry, I know this isn't PC in the Linux world, but I know people who really and truly like Windows, even Vista. I even know a couple of people who gave Linux a serious try and went back to Windows by choice. That part, about comparing Windows to a ball and chain being over the top, is something I stand by.

I believe Helios heart is almost certainly in the right place. I'm clearly someone who was put off repeatedly by his communication style and when it comes to Linux I am, as thenixedreport correctly states, on the same side. I can only imagine how people who are on the other side might react.
jdixon

Jul 28, 2008
8:15 AM EST
> and it reads like "poor, poor pitiful me" and a complaint about how the Linux press mistreats him that sounds like whining to me.

It's a complaint alright. It's a complaint that the "Linux press" is shooting themselves in the foot by missing their opportunities to advance the adoption of Linux. The fact that Helios is involved is beside the point.

> It's not a post that is likely to help his project or the Linux community as a whole.

Probably not, but that's because the folks who need to listen won't.

> His request was incredibly long, incredibly wordy, and very difficult to follow.

He isn't a professional writer.

> ...but I know people who really and truly like Windows, even Vista.

Good for them. They're not the people he's trying to reach.
Libervis

Jul 28, 2008
10:17 AM EST
I kinda understand where caitlyn is coming from when she talks about his communication style, and I've been overreacting to one of his previous posts a while ago myself, so I'm kind of on the line about this.

Perhaps best way to state this is that I support what he is doing and I also think that the Lindependence project is an excellent idea, but the way he approaches the Linux users and other Linux advocates for help is.. well.. IMHO not too effective (obviously) and not always too "friendly", probably not because he is trying to be unfriendly, but it's just the way he comes across to some people.

So ultimately I can't really blame helios nor the Linux users who, despite loving what he does get a little put off by the communication style. And so here we are, and it's not too surprising that things are the way they are.

Dare I suggest the guy needs PR manager of some sort. ;)

But then again, this style is what creates controversy and controversy generates attention on its own. If a PR manager was to cool that one down he'd have to come up with a sufficient replacement.

Anyway, I admit I could've given Lindependence some more coverage on Nuxified, but to be honest I'm in a rather weird place when it comes to Freedomware advocacy lately, and more distracted with a larger issue I'm getting involved with. I might compile an article of some sort covering what has happened on Lindependence and what may be coming, as a sort of a summary, at least to contribute to the blogosphere buzz. :)

Cheers
NoDough

Jul 28, 2008
10:30 AM EST
Quoting:While that does not reflect on whether or not his project is worthwhile (which is a separate issue) it does reflect on whether or not he can succeed. He wasn't communicating effectively then and he isn't communicating effectively now.
You clearly misunderstand what drives success. Good communication and/or organizational skills have very little to do with it. I would be shocked if a study of successful entrepreneurs didn't show that far and away the majority of them are inferior in that regard.

Yes, I know. He's not trying to start a business. But the spirit required to start a business and the spirit required to accomplish Helios' goals are much the same. It's that spirit that will make him successful.

P.S.: What are Helios' goals? Are you for them or against them?
tracyanne

Jul 28, 2008
12:41 PM EST
I've read caitlyn's blog and I've read Ken's. I have no trouble reading and understanding both. Caitlyns style somewhat technical and dry, Ken's emotional and and non technical, more like a short story.

caitlyn, all that was necessary was that you report on Lindependence day, you didn't have to agree with Ken's writing style, or even use it. All that was necessary was that you take advantage of the information and write your own blog about Lindependence day. A few questions to Ken or Larry to collect information is all that you really needed to do, or have you become so lazy that the best you can do is regurgitate other people's blog and write you own commentary about their blog, so that all we get is 3rd and 4th hand commentary on commentary (that's why I rarely read blogs, they aren't news and they rarely cover the original story)

You threw away a chance to 1) report on something new, 2) support a new initiative in the GNU/Linux community 3) support the spread of Linux.

You justify that by telling us that the majority of Windows users like Windows. So what. that means a minority don't like windows. What about them, are to to for ever remain in the dark? Based on my experience over the last 5 years and the results Ken gave me of their Linux conversions, I would say the market for Linux could easily reach 20% , with the proper marketing.

caitlyn you blew it.
r_a_trip

Jul 28, 2008
12:44 PM EST
P.S.: What are Helios' goals? Are you for them or against them?

Isn't this the core of the problem? The polarization people forge on this issue? For or against? Deserving or not? Digital handouts? Part of the problem?

Lindependence08 might be a watershed event, but the way it was presented by playing the guilt card, by wording it like everybody owed something to this project, it really made me think: Why bother. I'm not about to be talked into something by wording it like I am an indifferent bum, who is morally obligated to step up.

The intent is good (benefit of the doubt here), but the message really sucks.
dinotrac

Jul 28, 2008
12:52 PM EST
> Good communication and/or organizational skills have very little to do with it.

Very interesting. Where did you manage to come up with that?

Would Apple, for instance, have succeeded if Steve meant only Wozniak, and not Jobs?

Howsabout Amazon, where Jeff Bezos is a pretty darned good communicator/salesman, but not so hot at business? Fortunately, he was able to sell his way into a position to hire business brains who were finally able to turn a profit.

Good communications skills -- not great, but good -- are important to anybody whose success involves the interest of others.

Ken's are better than folks here are giving him credit for. Caitlyn gets into a snit because she doesn't like his approach, and sniffs at his blog because it isn't, well, professional.

She would do well to read a little Kant with regard to professionalism.

Ken is not a PR guy, but he is passionate and energetic and he does stuff. He also communicates pretty well for what he is, and that's somebody who has managed to accomplish more for Linux than I have, and probably more than anybody else in this thread.





jdixon

Jul 28, 2008
1:12 PM EST
> ...and probably more than anybody else in this thread.

I'm not sure I'd give him the nod over TC, but otherwise, probably so. And definitely more than me.
caitlyn

Jul 28, 2008
1:32 PM EST
I don't think I blew anything. What are Helios' goals? You know, having read what he had to say I'm honestly not 100% sure. If his goal is to increase Linux acceptance, yes I support that. I still think his methods do more harm than good, largely due to the way he communicates.

I am under no obligation to report on any given issue in my blog. I didn't use my ability to post over at O'Reilly to report on something I'm not at all sure I support. I also didn't use that forum to speak out against his project. I seriously thought about it because I do think, based only on Ken's writings, that Lindependence is probably ill conceived. However, I decided against it because I do believe, as I said before, that his heart is probably in the right place.

The only thing I have against Ken is that he took part of a private e-mail conversation between us, overreacted to it, and posted in his blog. That was poor netiquette at best. I held my virtual tongue and didn't respond at the time. However, it reinforced my belief that I, as a member of the Linux community, don't want Ken representing me or speaking for me in any way.

r a trip pretty much sums up my feelings well. Whining about a lack of coverage just rubbed me the wrong way and I voiced my feelings about that. Perhaps it would be better if I hadn't. Perhaps not.
tracyanne

Jul 28, 2008
1:39 PM EST
Quoting:If his goal is to increase Linux acceptance, yes I support that. I still think his methods do more harm than good, largely due to the way he communicates.


Assuming you are correct about the way he communicates, you blew a chance to communicate it properly. Instead you sat on your hands, and justified that with excuses.

Helio communicates the message badly therefore I won't help.

Most Windows users actually like windows, therefore I won't help.

Then you attempted to spin Ken's complaint, legitimate complaint, about lack of help from the likes of yourself, into a whine. It was anything but, the only whiner I see is you.

Caitlyn, you blew it.
jdixon

Jul 28, 2008
2:01 PM EST
> I still think his methods do more harm than good,

Because they alienate those who are happy with Windows? Even if that were true (which it isn't. You ignore the fact that most people can spot hyperbole when they see it, as they've been exposed to advertising for years). they're not going to be interested in Linux anyway, so what's lost by alienating them?

> I am under no obligation to report on any given issue in my blog...

Yep. And no one is under any obligation to read your blog. Not carrying news items of interest to your readers is one sure way to accomplish that.

> The only thing I have against Ken is that he took part of a private e-mail conversation between us, overreacted to it, and posted in his blog.

And deliberately not naming names in doing so. I didn't even think it was you until you posted the response here using the same language.

> However, it reinforced my belief that I, as a member of the Linux community, don't want Ken representing me or speaking for me in any way.

Well, I'd say the feeling is mutual. Not to worry. There's room for both of you. However, if you think you're doing more to advance Linux usage than Ken, I suspect you're mistaken.
lucky13

Jul 28, 2008
2:18 PM EST
@tracyanne: What obligation does any writer have to give fifteen minutes to everyone (anyone) clamoring for it? Why begrudge someone whose assessment is that someone else's actions are either inconsequential or even detrimental in the whole scheme of things? ----

One of the posts on my blog earlier today is about how the worst enemies of open source aren't companies like Microsoft, but certain kinds of open source advocates. I was writing about the chowderheads who attack hardware vendors with conspiracy theories about "anti-Linux BIOS" and the like, but I'll also include those engaged in self-promotion with stunts like converting a small town to a different operating system.

The world isn't going to be won over with lunatics foaming about "Winblows" or making enemies of companies like Foxconn (especially when they appear to be bending over backwards to resolve the issue even when they were stupidly reported to the FTC as being complicit in Microsoft's anti-trust activities). Most people are already resistant to Linux. Do you think juvenile tactics are going to change that?

When open source supporters take things a bit more seriously so these aren't the faces of open source, the rest of the world will take open source seriously. No gimmicks. No hysteria. No deceit. No hyperbole.

Do you want open source to be taken seriously or is promoting gimmicks more important? Do you want hardware vendors to cooperate with open source projects or are you willing to let emotive crackpots spoil any possible goodwill by making irrational black helicopter claims against them?
caitlyn

Jul 28, 2008
2:24 PM EST
I just posted something in a different thread about this that I'd like to repeat here:

I hope I am completely wrong in my judgment about Ken/Helios. I hope he is entirely successful in promoting Linux. That would certainly be best. I certainly don't have anything against him personally.

lucky13 used far stronger language than I did but I hate to say it, his feelings about this pretty much match mine. That's what I meant by Ken doing more harm than good with his communications style.

jdixon: I don't claim to speak for anyone but myself. I report things as I see them and offer opinions which are clearly labeled as such, no more and no less. However I don't think I harm the Linux community. I actually think Ken/Helios does. Again, I hope I am wrong about that.
tracyanne

Jul 28, 2008
2:58 PM EST
@lucky
Quoting:What obligation does any writer have to give fifteen minutes to everyone (anyone) clamoring for it?


None.

Quoting:Why begrudge someone whose assessment is that someone else's actions are either inconsequential or even detrimental in the whole scheme of things?


quoting caitlyn, again

"If his goal is to increase Linux acceptance, yes I support that. I still think his methods do more harm than good, largely due to the way he communicates."

For someone who claims she fully supports, she did nothing of the sort. I reiterate my comments.:

Quoting:Assuming you are correct about the way he communicates, you blew a chance to communicate it properly. Instead you sat on your hands, and justified that with excuses.

Helio communicates the message badly therefore I won't help.

Most Windows users actually like windows, therefore I won't help.

Then you attempted to spin Ken's complaint, legitimate complaint, about lack of help from the likes of yourself, into a whine. It was anything but, the only whiner I see is you.

Caitlyn, you blew it.


Perhaps she meant she supports Ken's goals in principle, had she used those weasle words, no one would have had any opportunity to call shame on her.

I have news for you, not even Ken's supporters necessarily agree with everything he says or does, the point is we do what we can to get the message out there. So once again, for someone who fully supports, who apparently has a better writing style (on her own assessment) caitlyn blew it, because she offered nothing constructive. Instead she makes excuses, for herself, and attempts to spin a legitimate complaint into something other than what it is, that in my book is self serving dishonesty.
caitlyn

Jul 28, 2008
3:11 PM EST
@tracyanne: Let me put things as bluntly and directly as possible so that there is no doubt where I am coming from.

I think Ken/Helios does more harm than good. I think his approach is more likely to drive people away from Linux than to get them to try Linux. If his goal is to support greater Linux acceptance, yes, I support that in principle. I do NOT support the way he goes about it.

I am not going to promote someone whom I think is doing harm. If I report on someone whom I think is doing harm that report would be a negative one. Rather than write a negative report about Lindependence I chose not to write at all.

Honest enough? Straightforward enough?

If disagreeing with your view is "blowing it" then so be it.
tracyanne

Jul 28, 2008
3:16 PM EST
Quoting:If his goal is to support greater Linux acceptance, yes, I support that in principle.


Those were the weasel words I was looking for caitlyn, thank you.

As for driving people away, maybe, but then Ken does have the sense to gather good people around him, it was those good people who made the success that Lin08 was, You could have been one of them.
caitlyn

Jul 28, 2008
3:22 PM EST
What success? What, if anything, was achieved? Sorry, I don't see it.

My words weren't weasel words. They were the one caveat that prevents me from dismissing Ken entirely. I admit that he might have good intentions.

Look, we're never going to agree. You see Ken's efforts as a success. I see them as somewhere between useless and seriously harmful. I'm just not 100% sure where on the scale between those two points Lindependence falls, but I suspect it's closer to seriously harmful.

lucky13

Jul 28, 2008
3:24 PM EST
tracyanne > None.

QED. Depart in peace. Oops, you can't do that when you have so many axes to grind.

tracyanne> For someone who claims she fully supports, she did nothing of the sort... (etc.)

Yet you admit she had no obligation to do anything anyway. One doesn't have to give a certain amount of space in columns or time in a podcast to support something.

There are plenty of messages to "get out there," as you put it. Those messages needn't be monolithic, nor should they encourage more of the kinds of things that someone (such as Caitlyn) thinks aren't the kinds of messages that are best for open source. Why would you or anyone else insist that she get off her own message and own style and pay homage to a method she doesn't necessarily agree with, like, etc.?

What I find more disconcerting is the way people take sides over things like this gimmick. Is your commitment only measured in the amount of space you devote to coverage even when others are already doing it? Does your commitment have anything to do with having your own voice and expressing your own opinions for or against things in your own style? How is it dishonest to say "I hope it works even though I think it's over the top"?

How does attacking your own voices for exercising their own discretion give your movement more credibility rather than less?

You repeated yourself, so I'll repeat myself: the world will take open source only as seriously as you do. In the process of peddling stunts, go ahead and shoot your own for not joining the circus. That way you can ruin the movement from within as well as without, only quicker.

(edited)
Libervis

Jul 28, 2008
3:54 PM EST
I have to say, r_a_trip nailed it.

Quoting:Isn't this the core of the problem? The polarization people forge on this issue? For or against? Deserving or not? Digital handouts? Part of the problem?

Lindependence08 might be a watershed event, but the way it was presented by playing the guilt card, by wording it like everybody owed something to this project, it really made me think: Why bother. I'm not about to be talked into something by wording it like I am an indifferent bum, who is morally obligated to step up.


Exactly. It's not a "here's what we're doing, if you like it please join". Instead we see "here's what we're doing, at least we're doing something and they're doing nothing so are you gonna be with them or with us". Immediately everyone who is not involved is implicitly and sometimes even explicitely called the enemy, the problem, the freeloaders and whatnot. It's as if someone is supposed to pay a price of some sort for software that is voluntarily offered by programmers themselves for free. Are those programmers asking for anything? No. Helios on the other hand appears to be.

I don't know if this is intentional or just comes out that way through all of the "war story" style drama often visible in Helios' posts, but obviously not everyone gets over it and not everyone wants to associate with such an attitude.

That said, again, I think Lindependence is a pretty cool idea in itself, but the way it's being sold is not so good. You don't sell people on something by implying they are bad people for not buying it..

Also, I have nothing against Helios personally. To conclude this for anyone who doesn't support what he is doing 100% and without any critique would be peddling exactly the kind of divisiveness we are talking about here. It's not an anti-helios vs. pro-helios thing! It's actually pretty sad that I feel compelled to explicitely state that I am a friend and not an enemy despite my critiques, so that I don't end up getting bracketed into the "them, the detractors" square.

tracyanne:
Quoting: I have news for you, not even Ken's supporters necessarily agree with everything he says or does,


What does it mean to be a "Ken's supporter" anyway? Isn't it about supporting a particular goal or a particular method rather than the man himself? I guess, for some, he has become a perceived authority on the whole Linux Marketing thing. In one sense this may be deserved, but on the other it might be something to worry about. Besides, are Helios and company the only ones doing great stuff to market Linux?

The answer is a resounding NO! So why is everyone always talking about them? Because he is controversial. This thread proves it. And what does that do for the cause ultimately? Well... I don't really know. But these are the things worth thinking about.

As for who else is doing Linux marketing, well, how about Olivier Cleynen and Gustavo Narea from the GNU/Linux Matters which created getgnulinux.org, are traveling around giving pretty compelling speeches about effective Linux marketing, holding stands on faires, printing flyers and organizing translations of getgnulinux.org, linuxpreloaded.com etc. into many other languages.

But they aren't going around making anyone feel guilty if they don't contribute this or that way to their efforts.

Cheers
tuxchick

Jul 28, 2008
4:24 PM EST
Quoting: But they aren't going around making anyone feel guilty if they don't contribute this or that way to their efforts.


A lot of so-called FOSS and Linux advocates should feel guilty, because they'd rather sit on their bums and wait for other people to do the hard work than to ever lift a finger or donate a dollar themselves, or even worse, spend their days complaining and criticizing the people like Ken who are really trying to accomplish something. True, no one is obligated, but I'm sure you're all familiar with the old saying "Lead, follow, or get out of the way."
caitlyn

Jul 28, 2008
4:31 PM EST
Do you know what I am doing that best promotes Linux? No, it isn't anything I write. It isn't anything I say. I don't actually put that much stock in advocacy. Sure, it helps some when it's done well.

I just accepted a government contract. For the next two years I'll be a Senior Systems Engineer deploying Linux servers. I am, on a daily basis, going to be replacing Windows with Linux in the government sector and making sure that the Linux based applications and the servers they run on are secure and do the job they are designed to do well. If I do my job properly I think it's safe to say that taxpayer dollars will be saved and data important to citizens will be more secure. My work will be well documented so that someone else can maintain it. If I make sure that things work as they should then Linux will have proven itself a superior solution to Windows in a large array of server roles within the organization I'll be working at.

What I will be doing isn't exciting; it's ordinary day to day work. I'm a senior part of a team, possibly a lead, not a decision maker. Nobody will write articles about what I do. Nobody outside of my office will know my name or care. Nobody will sing my praises in the Linux media. I won't get rich and I won't be famous for my work even within the Linux community.

Nothing promotes the success of Linux like success. The more people who do things like I am doing and do it well the more Linux successes there will be and the more companies, organizations, and government agencies will consider and ultimately deploy Linux.

If you think what Ken does is more valuable then more power to you. It is certainly more visible. I think there are tons of programmers, systems administrators, engineers, technical writers, and consultants who do more to promote Linux than almost any advocate out there. We don't know their names but they are the true Linux advocates, the ones who do the most to garner acceptance for Linux. I'm happy to be one of that multitude.

My writing? A nice hobby that brings me some extra income now and again. The extra income is really nice when it comes.
NoDough

Jul 28, 2008
4:32 PM EST
r_a_trip
Quoting:>>P.S.: What are Helios' goals? Are you for them or against them?

Isn't this the core of the problem? The polarization people forge on this issue? For or against? Deserving or not? Digital handouts? Part of the problem?

Lindependence08 might be a watershed event, but the way it was presented by playing the guilt card, by wording it like everybody owed something to this project, it really made me think: Why bother. I'm not about to be talked into something by wording it like I am an indifferent bum, who is morally obligated to step up.
You read quite a bit between the lines. Problem is, it was only one line.

I wasn't assigning guilt, or blame, or labels. I was merely attempting to provoke thought.

dinotrac
Quoting:> Good communication and/or organizational skills have very little to do with it.

Very interesting. Where did you manage to come up with that?
I've had the distinct pleasure of knowing several successful entrepreneurs in my lifetime. Some were excellent communicators, most were not. All were in possession of the same spirit I recognize in Helios.

Interestingly, by the end of your post, you make exactly that point.

caitlyn
Quoting:I am under no obligation to report on any given issue in my blog.
I am in absolutely, positively, 100% agreement. Several here seem to believe there is some moral requirement that you report on Lindependence. While I would prefer it get more publicity, I don't believe anyone is obliged to report on it.

FWIW, I can count on two hands the number of Linux converts I am directly responsible for. Perhaps I and those like me shouldn't be judging those who need a room full of friends to do the counting.
NoDough

Jul 28, 2008
4:38 PM EST
caitlyn,

Congratulations on your contract. You may not think it exciting, but it sounds exciting to me.
tuxchick

Jul 28, 2008
4:48 PM EST
Quoting: If you think what Ken does is more valuable then more power to you.


Caitlyn, you're reading all kinds of things that are not there. It isn't a contest. What I object to is your claiming that Ken's efforts are doing harm. What do you base this on, other than your personal biases? Were you at Felton? Have you watched any of the videos? Have you spoken to any of the participants, or any of the people in other cities who want to host similar events, or any of the people that Ken and Larry et al have personally helped? If you're going to claim harm, you need to have something to back it up. Who cares if you actively support Lindependence or not- I don't. What I don't care for is your dissing of the entire project with no basis. Opinions based on nothing don't persuade me.
tracyanne

Jul 28, 2008
5:25 PM EST
Quoting:My words weren't weasel words. They were the one caveat that prevents me from dismissing Ken entirely.


Oh but they are caitlyn. They are also the words that mean your excuses:

Helio communicates the message badly.

Most Windows users actually like windows.

are spurious and self serving. And so too was the attempt to spin Ken's legitimate complaint about lack of help from the Linux media community. There was simply no need for you to respond to his complaint as you did.

Good luck to you on your Contract to deploy Linux servers, I wish you all the best in that, I really do. However those servers are not, and will never be, Linux desktop systems, which is precisely what Ken and Larry and a lot of other people, are promoting. It is, in fact, also, what I am promoting, 1) because I believe in Desktop Linux 2) because I'm not a Linux/Unix sys admin like yourself, so I'll never be involved in a Linux server deployment, in fact I can't even get a job working with Linux and FOSS, no one will even consider me for employment in that area, because my CV is full of Microsoft development work, and the vicious circle dictates that if I want to eat, that's where I have to look for work, and the only way out is for me to create a means of generating income based on Linux and FOSS, on my own.

So yes the success of Linux in the server room will undeniably lead to more Linux boxes in the server room, but it is unlikely to lead to even a slight increase in Desktop Linux boxes among those Windows users who don't fall into the category of most.
lucky13

Jul 28, 2008
5:37 PM EST
@tuxchick: Who's sitting on whose bum?

Nobody needs to go to California or watch videos to form an opinion about different methods and what they mean to a movement. The very fact that gimmicks are employed attests to the disinterest in the general population. Stunts generate only a little interest for a brief news cycle. After that, interest again wanes. You're left holding the same bag, only now people equate your "product" with "publicity whores." That doesn't result in people taking you more seriously, they consider you -- and your product -- a joke.

I have another feeling of unease with this particular event. Personally, I'm not impressed when "missionaries" go town to town trying to convert others to think and do exactly as they do, especially when their message is laced with FUD (I hear more FUD from anti-Windows people than I hear from Microsoft anymore) -- whether it's about where the audience is going to spend eternity for having some impure thoughts or even if their audience has issues with using Windows. In my experience, people who have problems with Windows don't fare much better with other operating systems -- all switching does is put them on yet another learning curve when they've not proven adept with the one they were already on.

Who's going to do the follow ups to see how the "converts" are faring in a few weeks or months? And if there's nobody around to get them back up and running, are they going to feel and say the same kinds of things about Linux they've been taught to say about Windows?

Linux isn't a gimmick. It has merits, and it doesn't need PR stunts to gain acceptance. I refuse to embrace or encourage those who surround it with gimmickry and use stunts as "signs and wonders." If that makes me a heathen or infidel, so be it. I refuse to sip your Kool-Aid.
Libervis

Jul 28, 2008
5:42 PM EST
tuxchick:
Quoting:A lot of so-called FOSS and Linux advocates should feel guilty, because they'd rather sit on their bums and wait for other people to do the hard work than to ever lift a finger or donate a dollar themselves, or even worse, spend their days complaining and criticizing the people like Ken who are really trying to accomplish something. True, no one is obligated, but I'm sure you're all familiar with the old saying "Lead, follow, or get out of the way."


Why should anyone feel guilty of no one is obliged?

Yes I'm familiar with the saying. The point that some seem to be missing though is that there are more of those who lead than some people would like to think. It's just that their path is a little different or they just aren't getting as much attention. The problem comes when one of those leaders starts calling everyone who isn't following their own path as "lazy" or whatnot and implying they should feel guilty.

That's a part that simply isn't necessary and only creates division. To lead it is enough to say where you want to go and call everyone who wants to follow. It is, however, NOT necessary to call everyone who does not follow a problem or an enemy.

I mean, sure you can do it, but don't then expect people to reward you for that.

And helios unfortunately does that sort of thing and it does cost him people and supporters. I say unfortunately because at the same time as he shoots himself in the foot by such a strategy he actually does a great job in what he actually does. This is a reason why I both support his work and criticize him.

Cheers
vainrveenr

Jul 28, 2008
6:15 PM EST
Quoting:Nobody needs to go to California or watch videos to form an opinion about different methods and what they mean to a movement. The very fact that gimmicks are employed attests to the disinterest in the general population. Stunts generate only a little interest for a brief news cycle. After that, interest again wanes. You're left holding the same bag, only now people equate your "product" with "publicity whores." That doesn't result in people taking you more seriously, they consider you -- and your product -- a joke.
... and the Linsux.org site at http://linsux.org/index.php is an optimal example of a rabidly anti-Linux "joke/stunt" movement. Just by way of example of this particular site's gimmickiness, the News and Announcements has forum categories of: - Latest news about Linux suckieness 438 Posts - General Flames This is a place for us to shout out and flame the [****] out of lame sites. 68 Posts - News About Linsux.org 79 Posts - Child Boards: Archive - Threat Board A place for us to address any threats we receive from people, as we prefer not to post on their sites. 25 Posts

Also a forum section at this site called 'Linsux Friends - Promoting Linux' which serves exactly the opposite purpose.

Ouch!

Even the beloved PenguinPete quotes this site as an extreme within last month's blogpiece 'The Six Kinds of Anti-FOSS Trolls', found at his http://penguinpetes.com/b2evo/index.php?title=the_six_kinds_...
theboomboomcars

Jul 28, 2008
6:23 PM EST
Lucky I don't think I understand your post. How is going to a town to show them linux, and help them install it if they want a PR stunt or being a media whore?

How does showing people linux, damage linux's reputation?

I must be slow or something.
dinotrac

Jul 28, 2008
6:48 PM EST
Libervis -

>Immediately everyone who is not involved is implicitly and sometimes even explicitely called the enemy, the problem, the freeloaders and whatnot.

Whatever you're, you need to switch, because you are getting paranoid.

The truth is this:

People who actually go out and do things don't have to make any effort to make you feel bad. It is human nature to get defensive and resentful when you see somebody charging ahead while you lay back and do nothing.

We project our own inadequacies and anger (at being forced to face our inadequacies) onto those ambitious souls.

Nothing to be done but, perhaps, grow up a bit and get over it. Better yet, find your own contributions so you need never feel a strong desire to avert your gaze.





tracyanne

Jul 28, 2008
6:51 PM EST
Quoting:How does showing people linux, damage linux's reputation?

I must be slow or something.


That makes two of us
tracyanne

Jul 28, 2008
7:08 PM EST
Quoting:The very fact that gimmicks are employed attests to the disinterest in the general population.


What Gimmicks? Please details them.

Quoting:Linux isn't a gimmick.


It certainly isn't

Quoting:It has merits, and it doesn't need PR stunts to gain acceptance.


Stunts? what stunts? please detail them.

Linux certainly needs PR. That's what makes Apple's product succeed in spite of it's over price, in spite of the fact that almost every desktop computer comes with Microsoft's product, in spite of the fact that it's not readily available in retail shops everywhere. Desktop Linux needs to be marketed. If it is not, it will remain a very minor, inconsequential, bit player on the desktop.

If you don't like the way Ken is going about it, get off your arse and do something about it, because right or wrong, he is doing it. If you aren't willing to do something constructive, or help Ken do it right, as defined by you (he's easy enough to contact, and in my experience he's willing to listen other people's input), then stop obstructing. Stop whining.
Libervis

Jul 28, 2008
7:15 PM EST
dinotrac:

Quoting:People who actually go out and do things don't have to make any effort to make you feel bad. It is human nature to get defensive and resentful when you see somebody charging ahead while you lay back and do nothing.


While I agree that sort of thing does happen it is not at all what I feel nor is it what I meant. What I mean is that when someone is charging ahead in one direction and at the same time calling out those who are not following because they pursue other directions or just choose not to participate, which is everyone's right. In a sense, this kind of charging ahead is charging ahead and then every once in a while stopping and looking back and shouting at everyone you supposedly left behind because they didn't follow you. Why do that? It isn't gonna make them any less likely to join you and it IS gonna make people more likely to even more decidedly choose not to participate.

I'm not saying that is ultimately my choice. I'm just trying to convey what I see as a problem here.

Albeit, in the end, the whole discussion does seem a little childish. Everyone is a little too concerned with who is on whose side instead of realizing that we are all individuals with choices of our own and the best way to get along is not to create brackets and sides to classify each other into, but respect each other for what we are and then build on that by joining in where our choices match up.

And again, belittleing others for not choosing the same path you are obviously doesn't fit that picture and is counter productive. Of course, something similar could be said about what I'm doing here, criticizing Helios for his choice of words, but I am criticizing his criticizing of what is counter productive to criticize. :P

Cheers
caitlyn

Jul 28, 2008
7:33 PM EST
I have another feeling of unease with this particular event. Personally, I'm not impressed when "missionaries" go town to town trying to convert others to think and do exactly as they do,

You know I hadn't thought about this aspect of it. I come from a cultural and religious tradition that discourages conversion. In addition, when someone proselytizes and tries to convert us to their religion we consider it highly offensive. I have to wonder if, in the back of my mind, I somehow equated this with missionary proselytizing, something I have a major cultural bias against. Some of Ken's writing does come across the same way and I wonder if, without realizing it, my reaction, my genuine dislike and distaste for Ken's methodology, has something to do with that bias. I honestly don't know.

Oh, and tracyanne, I think this answers your last question as well. People don't like things shoved down their throats. They don't like to be told they have to be converted to something or else. Or else could mean they are treated like ignorant children (what I get from some of Ken's writings) or that they are going to hell (some religious fundamentalists). No, Ken doesn't actually say anything like that and I am not accusing him of it. You do get that feeling from some of his writing, or at least I do.

To answer your previous posts, the statements you see as self-serving are an honest assessment of how I see things. You can disagree all you like but that doesn't make me disingenuous.

I have a friend, one I'll actually be carpooling into town with since we'll now work within walking distance of each other, who works for a different government office. When he went there it was an all Windows shop. They were really unhappy with Windows on some of their servers and he proposed Linux solutions which were accepted. Now, a year or two later, they are doing an evaluation of Linux on the desktop. A couple of decision makers have even had their laptops setup for dual boot. The success of Linux in the server room is directly leading to it being considered on the desktop. I've seen that happen in the corporate world as well. Like I said, success breeds more success and it does cross over from server to desktop. I accept that you haven't seen it happen yourself but don't dismiss the possibilty.

The consumer desktop is another matter entirely. I've written about that extensively. The typical consumer can't and doesn't install their own OS. They take what comes on the machine and use it. If they do make a change it's because they already know and like the alternative and that's usually because they used the alternative at work. I saw it when I did contract work for IBM years ago. OS/2 was the required OS for the desktop and many IBMers, including administrative assistants and other non-technical staff, ended up asking for help installing OS/2 at home because they got used to it and liked it so well.

No amount of even the best advocacy is going to make major inroads on the consumer desktop. It doesn't matter if it's what lucky13 calls a gimmick (and I agree with him or her) or a well written piece accurately describing the advantages of Linux. There are still the issues of installation, of learning curve, and of overcoming inertia. If it works and people are used to something they don't want a change. Calling Windows users "clueless" as someone else did earlier may be accurate but it's still insulting and decidedly unhelpful.

The two things that will get Linux into the home consumer market are, first and foremost, getting preloaded Linux systems into stores. If a product is compelling, priced well, and runs Linux people may very well buy it and find out that Linux serves their needs well. The Asus EeePC is a great example of this being done successfully. We need more laptops and desktops of all sorts that run Linus in stores and we need the products to be innovative and attractively priced. This is issue number one in terms of getting Linux into the home.

The second thing that will help is getting Linux on the corporate desktop. It's like those IBMers who ran OS/2 way back when. If people are forced to try it at work the learning curve, the inertia, and the fear of change no longer matter. Once they try it a significant number will like it if that corporate desktop is well configured and easy to use.

Now... if I believe the best advocacy is ultimately doomed to minimal success, what chance does ill conceived or poorly communicated advocacy have?
gus3

Jul 28, 2008
8:05 PM EST
Quoting:People don't like things shoved down their throats. They don't like to be told they have to be converted to something or else.
If helios tried to shove anything down anyone's throat, I expect someone would have called the cops and had him run out of town. That nobody did so, and in fact his support base seems to be growing, testifies to the opposite: he didn't try to shove anything down anyone's throat.

It does your case no good to reiterate this bogus accusation.

Quoting:Or else could mean they are treated like ignorant children (what I get from some of Ken's writings) or that they are going to hell (some religious fundamentalists). No, Ken doesn't actually say anything like that and I am not accusing him of it. You do get that feeling from some of his writing, or at least I do.
By your own admission, he doesn't say it. So what evidence do you have for the accusations you make? Your feelings? If the only accusation you can make is that he makes you feel bad, then maybe you're the one with the issues.

If his efforts, rash as they may be, aren't good enough for you, then I can only say I'm glad it isn't you that he, and I, have to satisfy.
Sander_Marechal

Jul 28, 2008
9:35 PM EST
Quoting:How does showing people linux, damage linux's reputation?

I must be slow or something.


Easy. Bad marketing. If you tell people that Linux is something that it's not, there's a good chance that they try it, find out that it's not what they want at all and then head back to Windows. The only thing that will have happened is that said person is now fully convinced that Linux is bad. He tried it himself so he can know. And he'll tell his friends. It'll be years before such a person ever tries Linux again.
dinotrac

Jul 29, 2008
1:46 AM EST
>The consumer desktop is another matter entirely. I've written about that extensively. The typical consumer can't and doesn't install their own OS.

Wow. You must know a lot of typical consumers who are different from the ones I know -- and I know quite a few. Some users can't install an OS, most can, but don't want to.

The problem on the desktop is not installation. The problem is having the same -- not similar -- apps ready to use. The range of consumer apps is amazing, especially when you consider all of the niche products.

People want what they want. They'll try new stuff if it seems interesting enough. Trying new stuff because somebody wants you to stop using your old stuff isn't very interesting unless you have bought into the reason to stop using the old stuff.
lucky13

Jul 29, 2008
3:04 AM EST
@boomboom and tracyanne: It's detrimental to the reputation of Linux and open source when others treat it as a joke, wrapping it up in publicity stunts and other gimmicks. I'm not the only one calling it or describing it as a stunt:

'As for the motivation behind such a publicity stunt, Starks says, "We need to follow the lead of Christian Einfeldt and market this ... thing. It's time for a bit of glitz, glamour and hype."' http://www.linux.com/feature/140575

Your witness.

I don't like hype and BS. You may feel quite comfortable with Linux being surrounded with all that to generate short-term media attention. I just think it can stand up on its own merits.

A few months ago, I blogged about something Caitlyn had written about desktop Linux. I disagreed that devices like eee that come with Linux have much promise in increasing Linux desktop adoption, mainly because (a) those devices are popular with existing Linux users and (b) the sale of the Linux version will decrease as soon as Windows is offered. Asus agrees pretty much with that assessment. They see sales of Windows-eee outpacing cheaper Linux-eee.

Stunts and gimmicks won't change that. People are very resistant to change.

Where I think Linux has a greater chance of succeeding is more round-about. People are using it comfortably and seamlessly in many ways already: cell phones, DVRs, etc. They tend to like the way those devices work. If you can get them to form enough of a relationship, they may be more willing to make the transition from Windows to Linux on the desktop (on on other devices -- I'm not sure desktop adoption is where we should be concentrating the fight anymore because I don't think as many of us will be using desktops in five years).

But who's paying attention to attention whores any more? Whatever message that was supposed to be made in Felton was lost in the rest of the culture of self-promotion and publicity stunts. And even within its own circus. When the dust settles, who's going to stop MS or Apple from going back in and "straightening up the mess" and showing happy "ex-Linux users" in their ads? They have the resources to publicize it without the media, buying their own ads. You're lucky there's not enough Linux desktop market share for ads like those, else you'd probably see some; instead, you just get Mac-PC from Apple and the upcoming campaign from MS.

@gus3: see same link above --

"Who are we to let someone struggle with the absolute nightmare of Microsoft Windows when all we have to do is spend a bit of time in showing them an easier way of doing things?" Starks says, explaining the motivation for the event. "We have a moral obligation to help those who do not know there is an easier way to make their computers do what they need them to do."

Substitute "hell" for Microsoft/Windows and "souls" for computers.

"Moral obligations" cause people to do all kinds of things, sometimes not for the best.

Don't trivialize or minimize the kind of zeal at work here, nor its parallels in other arenas like religion. I think it's very synonymous -- the same spirit, if you will, at work. It ultimately turns off more people than it attracts. If you're only concerned that a message is getting out at all than it's actually the right message, you'll have to accept the consequences even if that means more people want nothing to do with Linux rather than more.
NoDough

Jul 29, 2008
4:31 AM EST
lucky,

I think we all get it. You are against hyperbole and over-the-top attention getters.

Now, with that in mind, here are some selections from your posts.

Quoting:"I was writing about the chowderheads who attack hardware vendors with conspiracy theories about "anti-Linux BIOS" and the like..."

"The world isn't going to be won over with lunatics foaming about "Winblows"..."

"...are you willing to let emotive crackpots spoil any possible goodwill by making irrational black helicopter claims against them?"

"...go ahead and shoot your own for not joining the circus. That way you can ruin the movement from within as well as without, only quicker."

"...now people equate your "product" with "publicity whores." That doesn't result in people taking you more seriously, they consider you -- and your product -- a joke."

"Personally, I'm not impressed when "missionaries" go town to town trying to convert others to think and do exactly as they do..."

"I refuse to embrace or encourage those who surround it with gimmickry and use stunts as "signs and wonders." If that makes me a heathen or infidel, so be it. I refuse to sip your Kool-Aid."

"But who's paying attention to attention whores any more?"

"Substitute "hell" for Microsoft/Windows and "souls" for computers."

"Don't trivialize or minimize the kind of zeal at work here, nor its parallels in other arenas like religion. I think it's very synonymous -- the same spirit, if you will, at work."
And finally

Quoting:"I don't like hype and BS."
Umm, right. We can see that.
Sander_Marechal

Jul 29, 2008
4:38 AM EST
Quoting:I disagreed that devices like eee that come with Linux have much promise in increasing Linux desktop adoption, mainly because (a) those devices are popular with existing Linux users and (b) the sale of the Linux version will decrease as soon as Windows is offered. Asus agrees pretty much with that assessment. They see sales of Windows-eee outpacing cheaper Linux-eee.


It does not. If that were true, the XP version of the Eee would outsell the Linux version about 100 to 1. In reality it only outsells the Linux version about 6 to 4. So the Eee is definitely grabbing market share for Desktop Linux.

Speaking of absolutes instead of market share it's even more obvious: Every Eee sale with Linux is one more Linux Desktop out there.
bigg

Jul 29, 2008
4:52 AM EST
On the Eee, I posted this story a few weeks ago:

http://lxer.com/module/newswire/ext_link.php?rid=105050

According to that article, it is only the technical users that want XP. Those who just want a computing appliance are choosing the Linux version.
jdixon

Jul 29, 2008
5:50 AM EST
> However I don't think I harm the Linux community. I actually think Ken/Helios does. Again, I hope I am wrong about that.

OK, you're wrong about that.

> What success? What, if anything, was achieved?

Several hundred people, most of whom had never heard of Linux before the event, now have working Linux machines where before they had Windows paperweights. Not all of them will keep using Linux, but a significant fraction of them will.

> If you think what Ken does is more valuable then more power to you.

Neither is more valuable. Everyone does what they can. More effective, possibly. We'll have to see.

> No amount of even the best advocacy is going to make major inroads on the consumer desktop.

Obviously Ken, and a number of people here, disagree. As does Asus, apparently, as Sander has already noted.

> People don't like things shoved down their throats.

I see gus3 has already covered this, so there's no need to repeat his comment.
lucky13

Jul 29, 2008
5:58 AM EST
@nodough: That's not hyperbole. How is open source helped by people who openly accuse hardware vendors of engaging in conspiracies to cripple non-Windows operating systems? How do repeated, immature posts that mock the name of another OS lend credibility to open source? How do publicity stunts increase credibility -- do you mean like the way Britney made sure the paparazzi could get a shot of her without her panties? Yes, publicity is real good. That makes others take you very seriously.

Not.

I don't think you get it. You may think you do but you really don't.

@Sander: Do the math. 6:4 against you doesn't gain you much ground -- it means you're losing ground. You have to invert that to gain ground. And that's compounded by the fact that the Linux version had a head start. Is math really so difficult?

Sheesh.
NoDough

Jul 29, 2008
6:07 AM EST
lucky
Quoting:I don't think you get it. You may think you do but you really don't.
How ironic.
lucky13

Jul 29, 2008
6:10 AM EST
@nodough: You dodged my questions. Maybe you're smarter than I thought. Heh.
NoDough

Jul 29, 2008
6:17 AM EST
lucky, Here's some questions for you.
Quoting:How is open source helped by people who openly accuse hardware vendors of engaging in conspiracies to cripple non-Windows operating systems?
Where did I say that it is?

Quoting:How do repeated, immature posts that mock the name of another OS lend credibility to open source?
Where did I say that they do?

Quoting:How do publicity stunts increase credibility...?
Where did I say that they do?

Quoting:I don't think you get it. You may think you do but you really don't.
Pot, meet kettle.
bigg

Jul 29, 2008
6:23 AM EST
> Is math really so difficult?

Everything is discussed in terms of 'market share' meaning some vague idea of percentages of something.

Anyway, if you have 99 Windows machines in use and 1 Linux machine, Linux has a 1% market share. Then you add 60 Windows machines and 40 Linux machines, and the Linux market share climbs to 20.5%.

In terms of numbers of Linux machines in use, there is no question that the number is growing.

You're referring only to the number of Windows machines minus the number of Linux machines, which is not very interesting.
Sander_Marechal

Jul 29, 2008
6:43 AM EST
Quoting:@Sander: Do the math. 6:4 against you doesn't gain you much ground -- it means you're losing ground. You have to invert that to gain ground. And that's compounded by the fact that the Linux version had a head start. Is math really so difficult?


Apparently it is, because you don't understand it.

Say there are 1 billion computers and Linux owns 1%, or 10 million. Now ASUS comes along and sells 10 million Eee PC's this year. That's 4 million extra Linux desktops, making our market share about 1.4%. That's a 40% rise in market share. That's massive, even when you're little.
lucky13

Jul 29, 2008
7:40 AM EST
@Sander and bigg: I do understand it. A 40% increase remains trivial when your starting point is so trivial.

I had a good chuckle at bigg's 1:99 --> 41:159 joy-fest. I'm surprised you didn't gloat about "4000% more Linux desktops" than the _status quo ante_ and make it seem like some kind of bandwagon. The eee is a niche product. The Linux version of it and other UMPCs constitute a tiny fraction among all non-server units sold.

And that's where the math bites you in your butts. There are more units than eees being sold. A few million eees (majority being Windows units) is a drop in the bucket among laptops and desktops. What's on the overwhelming majority of all units? Vista. XP. Not Linux.

OSX has made superficial inroads on Windows' marketshare, especially when you weigh the number of Mac users who also run Windows and/or other operating systems. Linux is a blip in the desktop arena even among the UMPC offerings. A blip. That's all.

No publicity stunt is going to change that. In the long run, publicity stunts are counter-productive.

@nodough: Ahh, you wanna be a time-waster and continue dodging questions. Have a nice day. :-)
jdixon

Jul 29, 2008
7:50 AM EST
> A 40% increase remains trivial when your starting point is so trivial.

And a 0% increase is better?

> In the long run, publicity stunts are counter-productive.

Would you care to offer some reasonable proof of that assertion? The history of advertising seems to indicate otherwise.
NoDough

Jul 29, 2008
7:52 AM EST
lucky,

I still have hope for you, that one day you will learn to view discussions from multiple perspectives. However, apparently not today.
bigg

Jul 29, 2008
7:58 AM EST
> A 40% increase remains trivial when your starting point is so trivial. > I had a good chuckle at bigg's 1:99 --> 41:159 joy-fest.

What does that have to do with my statement that you are doing the math wrong?
azerthoth

Jul 29, 2008
8:31 AM EST
Personally, supportive or not, and people's personal opinions of "gimmicks" all of them are valid points of view, and each is entitled to their own. There does come a point where one finds zealots of any camp, and we have seen some from several opposing viewpoints so far in this thread, where constructive dialog becomes impossible.

Personally, I support Helios in all his projects to date. I donate semi regularly to K4K and did also for Tux500. There is a reason for that, other than Ken being one of the most active educators, yes educator, in that he exposes people who were not aware of their options to choices.

If you wish to assign a quantifiable number to it then use the number that I do. One. One more person who is aware that there is another way of doing things. One more person who might discover that they own their computer. One more person who finds that they might be somewhat safer from internet predation. One more person who just might help another discover these same things.

It's not about us against them, Linux vs Microsoft vs Apple. It's about education and awareness. If someone doesnt like the message then they dont have to listen, however if the message is never given at all because someone labels it a "gimmick" or "harmful" then the message will be heard by no one, thats not a gimmick, thats the honest truth.

Only after one becomes aware can they make an informed decision. Helios does a good job of stamping out ignorance where he finds it, and leaves behind someone who may atleast think. On that thought they can then make that informed decision. Whether its the one the people here would hope for or not, it is a better decision as they have more information than they did before.

Caitlyn, lucky13, you are justified in your opinions as you have not formed them in the vacuum of ignorance. I may not agree with them, but I can not fault you for them. I do however ask you to contemplate the number one.

Regards, Az
Sander_Marechal

Jul 29, 2008
8:46 AM EST
Quoting:@Sander and bigg: I do understand it. A 40% increase remains trivial when your starting point is so trivial.


Don't twist the subject :-) You said that I didn't understand the math and that ASUS needed to sell at least as many Linux Eee PC's as XP Eee PC's in order for Desktop Linux not to loose ground. We've proven you wrong :-)
tuxchick

Jul 29, 2008
9:55 AM EST
Ye gods, rarely in my life have I seen so many words, so few of which make sense, expended in vain efforts to prove that Ken and Larry et al are wrong, and you (Libervis, lucky13, caitlyn) are right. I especially love lucky13's assertion that gathering actual information is a waste of time. That sure would interfere with forming silly prejudices, wouldn't it.

The bottom line is you can maybe fool yourselves, but you're not fooling anyone else. You don't like Ken or his style of advocacy, because you find him icky. Period. That's all it amounts to. All your claims of harm and ineffectiveness and all the other blather doesn't amount to anything but a waste of electrons, and my time for trying to make sense of them.
lucky13

Jul 29, 2008
10:26 AM EST
@azerthoth: Thanks, but I have considered "1." One is when I pick up unwanted hardware that would be destined for our landfill, sometimes use it to help with a little development for a distro I use and/or clean it off and do a fresh clean install (yes, Linux) and give it to a family without a computer. Usually those are much better computers than I have for my own use -- my primary is a 400mhz box I've had for over a decade and my laptop is also sub-ghz, and I have a couple old P2s I keep around as servers when their ancient hard drives aren't crapping out on me. Not complaining a bit; I'm very content with what I have. And with what I give away. Last week I gave away a couple really nice boxes. There's another number for you: two. As in, two families got very nice computers so their kids don't have to go to the library to use one for their homework.

Back to your number. One is when I take our old servers, install Linux (or OpenBSD where it's legal for me to do so), and pay out of my own pocket to ship them to an NGO or to a university in a developing nation lacking its own computer infrastructure. I've done that twice. Should I have alerted the media and sought out adulation from the "community" so they could keep score?

One is offering time to local non-profits to help maintain their computers, network security, etc. Yes, I installed Linux (CentOS) on their desktops and servers. I didn't issue any press releases. Didn't know I was supposed to.

How many computers have I given away or installed Linux on for others now? I don't know. I've been using it for over a decade and installing it for others who'd let me. I've helped out in forums, IRC, etc., to help others understand Linux and get it working correctly. I don't keep score because I didn't realize I needed to in order to be considered as someone making a difference by people like you.

In fact, I resent having to declare my allegiance to Linux and enumerate my own activities just because someone else chose a gimmick like trying to convert a whole town to use Linux. I didn't realize this was some kind of d*ck measuring contest, or where commitment was a function of how much publicity you could get.

I also resent it when people like Caitlyn aren't cut any slack when they do at least as many Linux installs as anyone else -- if not more. Her writing and advocacy isn't a publicity stunt, but it does make a difference.

Just because our activities occur without the great fanfare of media whoredom doesn't mean they pale in comparison. Maybe in your eyes.

@Sander: Really not much I can say if 0.4% is something that gets you so excited. ;-)
bigg

Jul 29, 2008
10:33 AM EST
Hey lucky, still waiting for an answer. I pointed out that your math is wrong and you tried to change the subject.

Here's my above post in case you missed it:

> A 40% increase remains trivial when your starting point is so trivial. > I had a good chuckle at bigg's 1:99 --> 41:159 joy-fest.

What does that have to do with my statement that you are doing the math wrong?

You sure seem to be happy to post pages and pages of enlightenment for those of us lacking even an elementary school level of reasoning skill, trying your best to be insulting, but can't even address a question about simple arithmetic.

So go ahead, tell me how my math is wrong. Show the error in my example.
lucky13

Jul 29, 2008
10:35 AM EST
@tuxchick: Eh? Where did I say gathering info is a waste of time?

You asked how it was a publicity stunt and I showed you *who* said it was -- not I, but your own guy. Heh.

'As for the motivation behind such a publicity stunt, Starks says, "We need to follow the lead of Christian Einfeldt and market this ... thing. It's time for a bit of glitz, glamour and hype."'

QED.
Sander_Marechal

Jul 29, 2008
10:56 AM EST
Quoting:@Sander: Really not much I can say if 0.4% is something that gets you so excited. ;-)


Again, besides the point. You said:

Quoting:6:4 against you doesn't gain you much ground -- it means you're losing ground. You have to invert that to gain ground. And that's compounded by the fact that the Linux version had a head start. Is math really so difficult?


And that's wrong, WinXP:Linux at 6:4 does gain us ground. Maybe not as much as we'd like, but still gaining and not loosing.
jdixon

Jul 29, 2008
11:00 AM EST
> You asked how it was a publicity stunt...

Of course, you still have to offer any evidence whatsoever that such a "publicity stunt" does any harm. The stated opinion by you and Caitlyn that it does is entirely that, an opinion. One against which stands the entire history of the advertising industry.
tracyanne

Jul 29, 2008
12:00 PM EST
Quoting:You don't like Ken or his style of advocacy, because you find him icky. Period.


As usual Carla, you manage to distil it down to the essential oil.
dinotrac

Jul 29, 2008
3:48 PM EST
>As usual Carla, you manage to distil it down to the essential oil.

Actually, tracyanne, I think she's conserved oil and distilled it down into something else. Unfortunately, from what I can tell, the distilled essence is too toxic for fertilizer, thus robbing it of any mitigating utility.
tracyanne

Jul 29, 2008
5:08 PM EST
Quoting:from what I can tell, the distilled essence is too toxic for fertilizer


Considering what it was she was distilling, that was the danger she faced.
Penguin_Pete

Jul 29, 2008
6:37 PM EST
My heart goes out to the caitlyn's of this world. It's so rough being a sensible voice of reason in the face of a maniacal cult of scammers. I know. I've been through that fire. My allegiance to any who are brave enough to do the same.
edtimar

Jul 29, 2008
6:56 PM EST
My name is Ed Timar and I am a linux user of less than a year. Ken Starks built my computer when my old one gave out and I've known him for quite a while now. Maybe a year and a half. I noted the passing of my 84th birthday yesterday so I believe I may have some insight into human behavior and habit. To the young lady who started this whole thing, let me first say that no matter how you might have tried to lessen your harshness in your many comments concerning Ken Starks, the fact of the matter is your first two words were 'Whining Diatribe."

Being a retired English Professor, it takes no Ph.D. to understand that the title of this discourse was hostile and pointed. Now as I said, I've known Ken for less than two years but in my 84 years, I don't think I've met a stronger, more determined man. To say that Ken "whined" during any part of his essay indicates that you either don't know the exact meaning of the word or you did indeed strive to be hurtful in your wording; and grossly inaccurate if you will allow me the observation.

I believe if Ken is to be judged by his advocacy methods, then yes, I can see where he could stand some polishing. As far as his love and determination for what he does, both his efforts and his motives are beyond reproach. I saw Ken go through some terrible illness a while back and through it all, he has stayed his course. He has built, with the help of some, over 200 hundred computers with his bare hands for children in this area. I have the pleasure of sending him along his way to rebuild a computer lab that was destroyed by Hurricane Dolly. He asked no one for help, he simply prepared and left to do what someone asked him to do.

You may consider that when you judge the whole person. Kenneth is a kind, empathetic and giving man. Given the remarks of some of you, I can see that you may consider those traits more of a weakness than an attribute.

Edward Timar
rijelkentaurus

Jul 29, 2008
7:18 PM EST
Well said, Mr. Timar.
gus3

Jul 29, 2008
9:34 PM EST
Ken should print that out and put it up on his wall, or carry it in his wallet. Then, when someone asks him "is it worth it?", he can point to this and say, "yes."
dinotrac

Jul 30, 2008
12:06 AM EST
Dear Mr. Timar --

You may think that you know Ken Starks better than some snotty blogger, but you have been fooled by a simple display of competence, passion, compassion, courage and strength. Well, not a simple display: multiple simple displays.

You have let the facts, your personal experience, and an obvious appreciation for unbridled decency get the better of you.

Shame, shame, shame on you. None of those things have any place in the blogosphere.

On the other hand, you'd be more than welcome to move into my neighborhood.

Cheers.
dinotrac

Jul 30, 2008
12:07 AM EST
Oh my goodness!!!

What is this, old home week?

Good ol' Pigeon Pete is back to poop all over everything!!
jdixon

Jul 30, 2008
1:40 AM EST
Everyone reading this thread might want to keep things in perspective by taking a gander at todays xkcd:

http://xkcd.com/456/

Oh, hi Pete. I thought you gave up on LXer as a lost cause. Oh, but this is about Ken Starks, so I guess that's enough to make you put in your $0.02. Well, have fun while you're here.
Libervis

Jul 30, 2008
10:48 AM EST
This is still going on? ;)

I actually agree with Mr. Timar as well. What criticism I had for Ken is not criticism of himself as a person nor a put down of his work, but rather pointing out what I personally believe to be a flaw in his approach to the so called "Linux community", which again, he himself (and I agree) says doesn't actually exist, which adds a bit of irony to the whole thing.

I think, wittingly or not, people here have took sides between "pro-helios" and "anti-helios" or "pro-lindependence" and "anti-lindependence" as if things can really be so simple. So if you criticize one particular kind of action by Helios you are "anti-helios" or if you express disagreement with the lindependence strategy, you are branded "anti-lindependence". And all that is further packaged up into such labels as "detractors", "lazy people" etc. Sloppy thinking at its best.

And then those so called detractors fire back with characterizations of their own, like accusing the project of being nothing more than a publicity stunt, calling Helios a whiner, a scammer or whatever.

I think you're all wrong. And at the same time you're all right. This is because there is no such thing as universal right and universal wrong. You make up your own mind about that.

Bottom line is that it doesn't fraking matter. Does it really help your cause to bitch about someone not believing in it too? No. This is not a campaign of drafting new political party members. This is not an election campaign. This is a bunch of individuals who happen to love Linux and Free Software or Open Source, but for quite different reasons and with different ideas on how to promote it.

You will NEVER agree 100% on what are the right reasons and what are the right ways to do this, so why even bother trying to convert anyone to your way? Just do it, show the results and then let everyone decide for themselves.

And the only little critique I have for Helios is that in addition to showing the results he calls out those who didn't participate in creating them. While this is his right, in my opinion it is simply unnecessary. It is, however, just as unnecessary for everyone else to develop this whole flame war over who's on whose side or whose strategy is the right one.

All sides will lose. You win only if you count on yourself and yourself only. Everything else is a bet.

jdixon

Jul 30, 2008
2:40 PM EST
> This is because there is no such thing as universal right and universal wrong.

OK. Try telling that to an officer the next time you get pulled over for a speeding ticket. There are other even more accurate examples, but that will do.

Simply put, we're not all right. Ken is either helping spread desktop Linux, hurting the spread of desktop Linux, or some of both but more one than the other. It's extremely unlikely he splits the matter right down the middle. Lucky, Caitlyn, and I assume Pete, think he's hurting it. Most of the rest of us think he's helping. A few appear to be undecided.

Even those of us who think he's helping will admit that he alienates some people with his approach. Hopefully even those who think he's hurting recognize that he helps some people. So the real question is how many people he helps versus how many he alienates. The helps side is easy to show. The alienates side is also fairly easy, but slightly more complicated as you have to eliminate those who would have been lost causes anyway.

Neither side has the numbers to demonstrate their position is correct. All either side has is anecdotal evidence. So there's not going to be any determination of who's correct here, but one of the two sides is almost certainly right and the other wrong.
Libervis

Jul 30, 2008
3:21 PM EST
To really know what is right and wrong you have to define every variable you're dealing with that may affect that value judgment. For instance, how do you define "hurting" Linux and how do you define "helping" it. The thing is, not everyone may have the same definition of those and it may be exactly that difference of definitions that leads up to different people having different ideas on what is the right or wrong way.

So you can deal with "right" and "wrong", not universally, but only within an agreed upon context, a basic premise of the discussion. If five people are discussing what is the right way to help promote Linux, then the first thing they all need to do is agree on is a definition of "helping" Linux promotion. What constitutes helping Linux spread?

Only then can you begin talking about right and wrong, but only within that context. I have a feeling that many people here (and this often happens in discussions actually) pretty much skip that step. If you don't agree on the fundamental premise you will never agree on the less fundamental conclusions, obviously.

Now, try doing that and see how many people actually agree with the premise in the first place and you might see just how relative "right" and "wrong" really are. Someone who doesn't even care about Linux or free software will find it utterly irrelevant. Neither method is right or wrong for him, or all of them are wrong.

About that speeding ticket, unless I actually agreed to follow his premise and rules he in fact doesn't have the right to interfere with my driving. But that's getting into a topic which is off topic both in this thread and on LXer (and we tried to discuss it before anyway).

Cheers
dinotrac

Jul 30, 2008
3:50 PM EST
>To really know what is right and wrong you have to define every variable

Good grief. It's a lot easier than that. You're wrong.
azerthoth

Jul 30, 2008
4:04 PM EST
@Libervis, most of the time I agree with your "new" way of thinking. In the U.S. you would wear the same monicker that I and several others proudly accept, libertarian. However in warning there is an addage that comes to mind about being so open minded that your brain falls out.

@Dino, your right. *grin*

@the rest of you knuckleheads, everyone has opinions. yours are as valid as theirs and as deserving of respect as many of you seem to be demanding of yours. Give it a rest already, this is taking on aspects of an equine, a bullwhip, and a mortician.
Libervis

Jul 30, 2008
4:18 PM EST
Haha dinotrac.. that's very easy to say indeed. :P

@azerthoth

> In the U.S. you would wear the same monicker that I and several others proudly accept, libertarian.

Yep, I'm quite familiar with that, though I live in Croatia. I call myself a voluntaryist though, which is I believe a subset of libertarianism.

> However in warning there is an addage that comes to mind about being so open minded that your brain falls out.

I actually had such concerns myself. :P That's because having such a relativist stance on things like defining right and wrong may initially seem like a way to end up standing for nothing and caring about nothing.

But after a while I find that it is in fact a way to "cut through the crap", through all of the illusions, myths and fallacies, right down to the reality of matter itself. Instead of making me uncaring and aimless it actually makes me stronger than ever, knowing more about who I am, what I want and how to accomplish it while more easily resisting defeatist concepts and artificial obstacles which seem to be planted everywhere. It is a very empowering way of thinking.

Cheers
dinotrac

Jul 30, 2008
4:50 PM EST
Libervis --

Philosophically, you are correct, but, as a practical matter, it is almost always meaningless.

The biggest problem is that you never know all of the facts, and yet must act anyway.,

Sometimes you must make a judgment before you really even have sufficient facts.

Right and wrong are important. We must strive to do right, but are stuck with doing the best we can.

That's true of Ken, too.
Libervis

Jul 30, 2008
5:03 PM EST
In a sense I agree with you.

You don't need to know all the facts, you just need to consider the ones you already know and be willing to look for more. And that much just about everyone can do.

Right and wrong are important to me or you as an individual, but you define your own right and wrong and I define my own. Only in agreement with each other can we share them as in common.

Outside of ourselves as individuals, however, such thing does not exist. You can take a look at a rock and see a shape that makes you sad and then take a look at a differently shaped rock that reminds you of a happy moment and feel happy, but in both of those instances the rock was just a rock, absolutely and totally incapable of caring. What you feel or think about reality you perceive and even what you call it is all inside your own head. Reality just doesn't care. It just is such as it is and works such as it does.

Doing the best we can is all that is necessary, or not.. it's something everyone decides for themselves just as everyone defines for themselves what "best" is. So long as it is only yourself who you lead and control, and seek not to control another, you are free.

tracyanne

Jul 30, 2008
5:10 PM EST
That's very Zen, lib.
dinotrac

Jul 30, 2008
5:23 PM EST
>Outside of ourselves as individuals, however, such thing does not exist

Kind of odd that you would say that, as I seem to recall great long discussions of four freedoms, etc., from you.

If there is no right or wrong outside of one's individual judgment, those freedoms are meaningless because you have no right to them, only your belief in a right. Unfortunately, your freedoms would require cooperation with others who need not share your view.

As freedom is meaningless in the absence of right (as opposed to privilege) there can be no freedom.
Libervis

Jul 30, 2008
7:46 PM EST
Everything sooner or later creates a full circle into a paradox. The point at which the opposites meet is where you can find the balance and the truth.

Every human being, because (s)he is human, wants to be free of harm therefore every human being should seek to do no harm. Violate the freedom of another and expect your own freedom to be violated.

So yes, everyone needs to agree to that. But I wont force them to. Nobody should force them to agree even to an idea which contains their own freedom within it, but if they want to be of harms way they should agree. If not then they will be in harms way. History proves this repeatedly.

And history is just a cylce of actions and reactions. Make one choice and face its consequences. Make another and face those other consequences. Choose to harm the freedom of another and expect the other to defend from your own self. Choosing to violate another is choosing to violate self.

Now, you decide if that is meaningless to you, if that idea has any value to you. You decide on that as you decide on everything else that matters to you. It is not my freedom that is at stake in that decision. It is yours.



gus3

Jul 30, 2008
8:31 PM EST
Quoting:The point at which the opposites meet
is where I met the woman who later became my ex-wife. So, if I don't meet you there, please understand. ;-)
Libervis

Jul 30, 2008
8:40 PM EST
Bleh, LXer spoiled my drawing.

Anyway.. the point at which the opposite ends of the circle being drawn meet.. of course...

Opposites denoting a paradox. I learned so far that pretty much everything, when you explore it to its depths ends up in some sort of a paradox. But when you get to that point instead of giving up you might actually find that there is a message in the paradox itself, that it is at the same time actually the point of balance.

Wow we went offtopic there.. but you know, better this than that pointless bickering from before.

Geez.. A voluntaryist plus a "V for Vendetta" movie is a powerful combination. But if I go to explain it I'll have to go even more offtopic and sound even more crazy.
dumper4311

Jul 30, 2008
9:58 PM EST
>"I learned so far that pretty much everything, when you explore it to its depths ends up in some sort of a paradox"

only if perceived through the paralysis of relativism.
Libervis

Jul 30, 2008
10:27 PM EST
I don't see having a mind open to change, diversity and the unknown as well as respect for other people's opinions and beliefs as "paralysing". It seems just the opposite.

This "relativism" does not deny that there is absolute reality out there. It just recognizes that we never absolutely know what it is which enables rather than paralyses us to explore further. Conversely, belief in absolute rights, wrongs, truths tends to shut off this inquisitiveness and therefore prevent one from evolving his or her understanding.
tracyanne

Jul 30, 2008
11:22 PM EST
Quoting:I don't see having a mind open to change, diversity and the unknown as well as respect for other people's opinions and beliefs as "paralysing". It seems just the opposite.


The problem with that is that some, many, opinions and beliefs, are simply wrong, and as such don't deserve respect.
dinotrac

Jul 30, 2008
11:23 PM EST
>I don't see having a mind open to change, diversity and the unknown as well as respect for other people's opinions and beliefs as "paralysing". It seems just the opposite.

An open mind, no. A cowardly mind, one afraid to choose and to characterize, yes.
Libervis

Jul 31, 2008
4:38 AM EST
> The problem with that is that some, many, opinions and beliefs, are simply wrong, and as such don't deserve respect.

You crack me up. Who decides they are wrong? You? Sure, they may be "wrong" relative to you, but to call them absolutely wrong is a disaster waiting to happen, and it indeed happens all the time. You just have to look at our government and.. well, this thread.

You might benefit from this: http://www.buildfreedom.com/content/other/brain_software.htm...

Read about the Plato Truth Virus.

> An open mind, no. A cowardly mind, one afraid to choose and to characterize, yes.

Oh it's all too easy to characterize. It seems much harder not to. So I'd say it's cowardly not to try and be a little less judgmental of other people and a little more judgmental of your own self, don't you think?

The biggest enemy of yourself is yourself, not the people who are "wrong". :P

Cheers
DiBosco

Jul 31, 2008
4:58 AM EST
For someone who doesn't know Ken, who is on the periphery of Lxer and only knows of what he [Ken] is doing from reading links from this site, I wouldn't criticise him for what he's trying to do. However, purely as an observation, the Lindependence day *does* come across as the whole town having been coerced into running Linux for a period of time. I have been silently wondering how on earth that was achieved and that there would surely have to be Windows die-hard fans who would simply refuse to run Linux.

Now, it's interesting hearing some of the personal accounts in this thread about Ken, his acheievements and kidness, but *maybe* there could be a little more thought put into how the ideas are put across. It *is* very hard to not get dismissive of Windows (I am guilty of it, for sure), but if Ken's approach can turn off some Linux people, I am sure they will really put up the backs of non-Linux folk.

Please note: I am *not* criticising what Ken is trying to achieve, more that from a neutral person's point of view, some of the criticisms cited above about *how* he markets the projects are probably worth looking at. It would be a real shame for the work he has done to be dismissed by some because of how it is (partly self) reported.
jdixon

Jul 31, 2008
5:07 AM EST
> Who decides they are wrong? You?

By your own analysis, no one else can. :)

We are fallible human beings. While we have to make judgments it's always wise to remember that we could be, and often are, wrong. That simple realization goes a long way in correcting a lot of the problems you perceive.

Not to make too fine a point of it Libervis, but several of us are quite a bit older than you are and have already been through this process. Your current journey is not a new one, pretty much everyone goes through it.
NoDough

Jul 31, 2008
5:23 AM EST
Just a thought.

The prisons are chock full of murderers and rapists who believe they had a right to their actions and were in the right taking them.

There must, of a necessity, be some greater measure of right and wrong than our own feeble minds.
jdixon

Jul 31, 2008
5:29 AM EST
> There must, of a necessity, be some greater measure of right and wrong than our own feeble minds.

Yes. The question is how to determine that measure. Historically, the two most common methods are divine guidance and group consensus. The resulting range of options leaves something to be desired. :(
dumper4311

Jul 31, 2008
5:56 AM EST
This is an argument that can't be won, or even intelligently discussed. Libervis has framed the discussion in terms that support his worldview. It's completely circular - thus his focus on paradox and relativist thinking. It can not be argued or valued outside of such a framework.

>"And history is just a cylce of actions and reactions. Make one choice and face its consequences. Make another and face those other consequences. Choose to harm the freedom of another and expect the other to defend from your own self."

The really funny part is that he doesn't seem to grasp the harm history itself demonstrates this postmodern, quasi-nihilistic, neo-existentialist thinking leads to. Anyone here read Allan Blooms 'Closing of the American Mind'?
dinotrac

Jul 31, 2008
6:13 AM EST
>The biggest enemy of yourself is yourself, not the people who are "wrong"

A statement that you are in no position to make, except about yourself,because, by your own admission, you don't believe you can be right making statements with reference to others.
rijelkentaurus

Jul 31, 2008
7:11 AM EST
I hope we're outside the TOS and that this thread can be staked like an unfortunate vampire........

Unless I'm wrong.

Which apparently I might be...if I decide I am...or if someone else decides that I can think that I am...or something...OY......
dinotrac

Jul 31, 2008
7:24 AM EST
rijel -

There are no TOS, which should be obvious to anybody who has ever come around these parts ;0)

There are some suppositions of service, or SOS, but we don't mention those because they seem to get people alarmed.
jdixon

Jul 31, 2008
7:26 AM EST
> hope we're outside the TOS...

Since it's neither religion nor politics, I don't think so. Philosophy as a general category isn't outside the TOS AFAIK. One of the moderators could give specific guidance. Off topic? Definitely.
gus3

Jul 31, 2008
7:28 AM EST
Yeah, yeah, f[l]ake dino.

Libertarianism! Individualist anarchy! Bob_Robertson! ;-)

(Just doing my part to push this thread towards the great blue yonder.)
jdixon

Jul 31, 2008
7:38 AM EST
> Just doing my part to push this thread towards the great blue yonder.

Hey, I'd rather have a philosophical discussion any day than a p*****g contest over who does more to help (or hurt) Linux.
NoDough

Jul 31, 2008
8:00 AM EST
Who does more to help (or hurt) Linux; Plato, or Ghandi?
rijelkentaurus

Jul 31, 2008
8:16 AM EST
Quoting: Since it's neither religion nor politics, I don't think so. Philosophy as a general category isn't outside the TOS AFAIK


Although some of us consider religion and philosophy the same thing....

Quoting: There are some suppositions of service, or SOS


True...and this thread really makes me want to throw out an SOS, so.......

;p
dumper4311

Jul 31, 2008
8:20 AM EST
>"Since it's neither religion nor politics, I don't think so."

Pfft. Philosophy is both religion and politics - as a general category. :)

Back to the topic for a moment, I really think who does more to help or hurt Linux is irrelevant. The only measure that matters is whether the actions of the various parties help or hurt users.

Are individual users more productive and self reliant as a result of the efforts of people like helios? I'd say yes, measurably so. Are the people who don't like his methodology directly harmed or hindered by his actions? I'd say not in any measurable way, as they've lost nothing - they remain free to choose whatever solution works for them and their data. Dang, will you look at that: we've just given a measurable, non relativistic, basic definition of right and wrong.
jdixon

Jul 31, 2008
8:21 AM EST
> Although some of us consider religion and philosophy the same thing....

I believe religion is properly considered a subset of philosophy, by generally accepted definitions.

Whoops. Now we've done it. We're discussing religion. Now the thread will get nuked for sure. :)
NoDough

Jul 31, 2008
10:25 AM EST
>> Although some of us consider religion and philosophy the same thing....

Well, some consider religion and Linux the same thing. So where does that leave us? :-)
tracyanne

Jul 31, 2008
12:03 PM EST
Quoting:You crack me up. Who decides they are wrong? You? Sure, they may be "wrong" relative to you, but to call them absolutely wrong is a disaster waiting to happen,


No, not relative to me. Depending on the opinion or belief: Wrong as in not based on reality, Wrong as in not based on factual input, wrong as in not based on valid verifiable evidence, wrong as in contrary to the facts, wrong as in contrary to valid verifiable evidence, wrong as in based on fantasy. Wrong because when followed to their absurd conclusion they prove to be self referential.

Quoting:This is an argument that can't be won, or even intelligently discussed. Libervis has framed the discussion in terms that support his worldview. It's completely circular - thus his focus on paradox and relativist thinking. It can not be argued or valued outside of such a framework.


That's why, as an opinion or belief, it has no value, and can't be respected. It's merely noise, psycho babble.
dumper4311

Jul 31, 2008
12:51 PM EST
@NoDough:

>Well, some consider religion and Linux the same thing.

I think maybe you mean 'religion and GNU/Linux'. :)
Libervis

Jul 31, 2008
3:47 PM EST
@ jdixon:

Quoting:> Who decides they are wrong? You?

By your own analysis, no one else can. :)


The point is that you can't decide right or wrong relative to someone else instead of that somene else.

If you do, you're needlessly straining your brain, not to mention becoming more likely to violate their freedom to think, speak and generally live as they want to live.

Quoting:We are fallible human beings. While we have to make judgments it's always wise to remember that we could be, and often are, wrong.


You could judge a particular act to be a right one because you believe that once you make it you will get the results you desire. If, once you do make that act and observe the results, they do not fit your expectation and are not what you would desire, you have indeed been proven wrong.

That in fact quite a bit resembles a scientific process.

But again, only an individual person can decide for himself or herself what to himself or herself right or wrong, good or bad, is. You can't decide that instead of someone else. You're not the one carrying their brain. You carry only yours.

Quoting:Your current journey is not a new one, pretty much everyone goes through it.


You don't know me that well to be able to make that statement with enough certainty for it to be meaningful. And even so, it is entirely irrelevant to the content of ideas presented.

Quoting:Historically, the two most common methods are divine guidance and group consensus. The resulting range of options leaves something to be desired. :(


I prefer group consensus, though divine guidance is welcome if the individual believing it allows it to lead only himself and seeks not to impose this guidance to others.

The problem is that people keep trying to define right and wrong for other people instead of only for themselves, which leads them to desire controlling other people's actions. This is why we have laws and governments, to control each other in foolish fear of each other.

Dinotrac:

Quoting:A statement that you are in no position to make, except about yourself,because, by your own admission, you don't believe you can be right making statements with reference to others.


Would you prefer if I have said that I am my biggest enemy, not the people I perceive as "wrong"? The point remains the same.

If you take my stance to mean that we should never talk to each other nor describe what we believe each other to think then you didn't quite get what I mean. I can tell you that I don't share your particular view on something and that from my own personal perspective it is wrong, but it just doesn't matter because it isn't me that is going to act according to the view that YOU hold. So long as we can both go our ways we're free and all is good.

The problem comes when one person A insists that person B is wrong as if not convincing B will somehow hurt person A. In fear of this delusion of hurt person A may in extreme cases go as far to by force coerce person B to act in accordance to person A's view.

Now, I'm sure that if I say that this is wrong you will jump at it saying I'm deciding right or wrong for someone else, but this is simply not true. When I say it is wrong I still merely state my own opinion, one which I wont force on someone else because that is exactly what this opinion prevents me from doing!

And if I seem argumentative in conveying such a view I do so only in hope that someone might come to understand and voluntarily adopt it as his own, not in hope to prove someone absolutely and universally wrong. In a sense I'm just asking people to think more about the nature of their beliefs and the consequences of the acts caused by them, and maybe see that some of them might not be worth sticking your own conviction after all.

Dumper,

Quoting:This is an argument that can't be won, or even intelligently discussed.


Oh it can be intelligently discussed because we are already doing so. But that it can't be won you're perhaps right, because the whole point is that winning it doesn't ultimately matter. What matters is what you believe and what you will do based on those beliefs.

If an argument was between a person who believes in no coercive action and a person who does and the former is trying to convince the latter not to force a friend into doing something he otherwise wouldn't, it wouldn't matter to the former person whether he would convince him or not. It only matters to the latter person and the victim of his coercion.

The victim may react to his act of force and that will be perfectly natural and expectable given human nature, or maybe he wont react because he's just weird that way. Consequences of the coercers act will speak for themselves.

Bottom line is, if you can't convince someone let him be and learn on his own, face his own consequences.

Quoting:Libervis has framed the discussion in terms that support his worldview. It's completely circular - thus his focus on paradox and relativist thinking. It can not be argued or valued outside of such a framework.


How incredibly astute of you. :D Did you perhaps expect me to come into this discussion wearing a perspective of someone other than myself?

As far as I can see I am not talking with myself here so the discussion is by all means not framed only by myself. I hope you don't believe I have the power to control your own mind.

Cheers
dinotrac

Jul 31, 2008
4:20 PM EST
>Would you prefer if I have said that I am my biggest enemy, not the people I perceive as "wrong"? The point remains the same.

The point does not remain the same. The use of second person is a statement that your failings apply to somebody other than you. As to whether you are your own worst enemy, I am in no position to judge that.
NoDough

Jul 31, 2008
4:32 PM EST
>> But that it can't be won you're perhaps right, because the whole point is that winning it doesn't ultimately matter.

And yet you write paragraph after paragraph trying to bring us around to your way of thinking (trying to win.)
Libervis

Jul 31, 2008
4:45 PM EST
For those who say my reasoning is circular I guess you want some axioms to hold on to, so here are some:

1. No human individual can think or act instead of another one.

You can convey an idea to a friend, but it is still him who has to process it, not you. You can force someone to act the way you want, but it is still him which executes the acts. If he has no fear whatsoever, and never complies to your threat of force, you'll have to make a choice between making good on your threat or leaving him alone. Another thing for *your* mind to process. Another act *you* have to make for yourself.

2. Everything in the universe is fundamentally a process of action and reaction and then reactions to those reactions and so on.

We as humans are part of that universe and it is in nature of our existence that we can think and act consciously. However, that does not mean we control the universe and that the universe wont, quite coldly and without emotion on its part, react to our every action. No matter what your moral and other value judgments are, every act will have a consequence. Your value judgments are what makes you like one particular consequence and hate another. If you get consequences you don't like you just have to adjust your acts in pursuit of better consequences.

My own moral judgment is that coercing people is wrong, but that is *my own* moral judgment and you can disagree. However, if you do coerce people you will face some sort of a consequence. You decide for yourself whether you like it or not. If you do, good for you (and bad for me if I'm the one you'll coerce next ;) ). If not, then you might come to a consentual agreement with me (and become a fellow voluntaryist. ;-) ).

3. All of the above axioms may be disproven sometime by someone.

And I guess that spoils your dream of certainty a bit. ;) Nothing, no axiom and no scientific truth is really safe from disproval. One could argue that even law of gravity itself can be disproven, and our falling down to earth as we perceive it is actually due to something entirely else, something we're yet incapable to understand.

However, neither of the above axioms nor such scientific laws as gravity seem very likely to be disproved anytime soon to me, and I think that about everyone else here would agree, in which case on that particular point we have ourselves a consensus, a shared premise. And it is on this premise on which we can build a shred of certainty.

What this third axiom does, however, is only serve as a reminder that this premise is indeed forged by a mere consensus, and that this consensus does not equal absolute, infinite and eternal truth.

However, the third axiom does not say that absolute truth does not exist. It merely says that it is always unlikely for an individual to ever assume (s)he has 100% access and understanding of it and actually be right about that in light of that absolute truth.
Libervis

Jul 31, 2008
4:48 PM EST
Quoting:The point does not remain the same. The use of second person is a statement that your failings apply to somebody other than you. As to whether you are your own worst enemy, I am in no position to judge that.


I'm just saying "you" or "I" can essentially mean anyone, but fair enough. I think we sufficiently understand each other on that.

Quoting:And yet you write paragraph after paragraph trying to bring us around to your way of thinking (trying to win.)


Winning is not the only motive there is.
jdixon

Jul 31, 2008
4:50 PM EST
> The point is that you can't decide right or wrong relative to someone else instead of that somene else.

If their actions harm me or mine, I most certainly can and will. And I will act accordingly. As long as they don't harm me or mine, I have no desire to do so.

Now, what value I place on that person and/or their actions is another matter entirely. That too is a judgment.

> You don't know me that well to be able to make that statement with enough certainty for it to be meaningful.

I don't need to. I've known enough people and been through enough myself to know the signs. Whether you believe that or not is up to you.

> And even so, it is entirely irrelevant to the content of ideas presented.

It's relevant in that some (perhaps many) of us have already considered the ideas you're presenting. They're not new to us.
Libervis

Jul 31, 2008
4:58 PM EST
jdixon:

> If their actions harm me or mine, I most certainly can and will.

How? I think we're not speaking the same language here. You can't somehow transfer your persona, soul or whatever, to that other person. Even if you would it would still be you, only in a different body. :P That's what I mean. You just can't have the value judgment of another inside your own head. And trying to think and act as if you can is IMHO an obvious contradiction and consequences can be painful (you're actually hurting yourself and wearing yourself off when you try to think by someone elses mind, because doing that is actually, for all we know, impossible).

If someone's actions harm you then your reaction is something you do based on your own value judgment. You're still controlling only yourself, not the one you're defending from.

Cheers
dumper4311

Jul 31, 2008
4:58 PM EST
>"Oh it can be intelligently discussed because we are already doing so."

Well, some of us are. :)

>"Did you perhaps expect me to come into this discussion wearing a perspective of someone other than myself?"

Not at all. I would expect objectivity, instead of the doggedly closed relativism you remain encased in. Mind you, I understand it well; you're answerable only to yourself, responsible for nothing outside of your own values, and king of your own little universe. As I said above, it amazes me that you haven't grasped the consequences of such philosophy through the many examples provided by the history of the world.

>"As far as I can see I am not talking with myself here so the discussion is by all means not framed only by myself."

You've framed the discussion in terms defined by you. How you define a subject limits dramatically the questions and assumptions that can be made about a given topic. I'm sorry if I didn't express this simply enough earlier.

>"I hope you don't believe I have the power to control your own mind."

I'm not entirely convinced you're displaying the power to control YOUR own mind. :)

>"Bottom line is, if you can't convince someone let him be and learn on his own, face his own consequences."

Sadly, I suspect that is the only way you'll be able to come to a better understanding of such issues - the hard way. Good luck with that.
Libervis

Jul 31, 2008
5:07 PM EST
Dumper:

> I would expect objectivity, instead of the doggedly closed relativism you remain encased in.

I see "closed relativism" as an oximoron. It sounds like "closed open mind". :) What are you refering to? I'm curious.

> I'm not entirely convinced you're displaying the power to control YOUR own mind. :)

Should I? If yes, then we agree. I still don't know what you're refering to.

> Sadly, I suspect that is the only way you'll be able to come to a better understanding of such issues

Yep, another agreement. :D

You seem to be circling something, but not quite stating it. Is there anything to state? If yes I'm curious to hear it. What is it that I'm missing according to you? I'm really not trying to win anything here. I just find discussions like this fun and a good way to challenge what I know and understand. A little exercise.
jdixon

Jul 31, 2008
5:27 PM EST
> How?

If a person harms my property, I will take any necessary actions within my power and the law to insure he doesn't do so again. If I think he's a threat to me or my family, I will take any actions within my power to make sure he is no longer a threat, and I won't be too concerned about the legality of the matter? Is that simple enough? If he's not competent enough to recognize harm when he causes it, then I will make the judgment for him, and enforce it to the best of my ability.

And, adding something I should have commented on earlier;

> Nothing, no axiom and no scientific truth is really safe from disproval.

Fine. To demonstrate how old a discussion this is: Disprove your own existence. We'll wait. :)

The first fundamental act of dealing with reality is to accept that you exist and that something outside yourself exists. The exact nature of this existence may be uncertain, but you have to accept it to have a starting point. That is, by definition, an axiom.

Descartes: "Cogito, ergo sum".
dumper4311

Jul 31, 2008
5:42 PM EST
>"It sounds like "closed open mind". :) What are you refering to? I'm curious."

I've mentioned this earlier as well. I'd recommend you read Allan Blooms 'Closing of the American Mind'.

>"Should I? If yes, then we agree. I still don't know what you're refering to."

It was just a joke, my friend. Don't sweat it.

>"You seem to be circling something, but not quite stating it."

ROTFLMAO. :) I'm just trying to address the concepts you've brought up, you've set the direction throughout. In any case, I've done my best to convey where and why I think you're mistaken. I'm not sure there's much exercise in it for me as we're not covering any new ground, it's becoming a simple expenditure of energy. I have no personal investment in your beliefs, so I'll leave it here and wish you well.

Libervis

Jul 31, 2008
5:43 PM EST
> If a person harms my property, I will take any necessary actions within my power and the law to insure he doesn't do so again.

Well, I'd just defend myself and attempt to detain him until he pays reparations, but we're not here to discuss the finer points of libertarianism. This is a bit more fundamental. I think that may be part of the misunderstanding, that what I'm arguing here isn't even such to me most fundamental moral values as non-aggression, but a layer beneath it.

I mostly agree with you actually. I just disagree that your judging that you have the right to defend yourself from harm done by another person is a judgment you make instead of him. He made a choice to harm you and you made a choice to defend yourself. it's not like you made a choice for him to harm you and he made a choice for you to defend yourself. See what I mean? Can't think with a brain that isn't within your skull, but one that actually is.

Sadly, I think some people actually act as if they can.. and get a severe headache, in the least, or become politicians. :P

> Fine. To demonstrate how old a discussion this is: Disprove your own existence. We'll wait. :)

Well.. I've had some discussions with another friend that goes to those kinds of depths, but you may be right that those are just discussing the nature of existence, not the existence itself. So I concede to your point and accept that axiom in its full. :)

That said, the fact that we can't disprove our existence might not be because it's impossible, but because we just aren't capable of doing it, and it's not like any of us is really particularly motivated to disprove our own very existence. :D

So yeah, I think therefore I am. And I love it. :)

Cheers
Libervis

Jul 31, 2008
5:46 PM EST
Ok, dumper (geez why does your nick almost sound like I'm insulting you when I say it :D )... I'm gonna look for that book. Might even read it at some point (I've got a few more to read first).

Cheers :)
NoDough

Aug 01, 2008
9:32 AM EST
>> geez why does your nick almost sound like I'm insulting you when I say it

Don't be ridiculous. You can't insult him. It is only he that can choose to be insulted or not.

Now imagine the expanse of space. Nothing but space and vacuum. See the vacuum. Feel the vacuum. Be the vacuum.

Hey! Libervis! Where'd ya' go?
dumper4311

Aug 01, 2008
9:41 AM EST
I choose not to be insulted, and there is no spoon.

However, I reserve my right to be insulted at a later date, should I so choose.

Maybe I'd better give this more thought. . . . It's not my fault I'm insulting, you've caused yourself to be insulted. Stick that in your pipe and smoke it. How liberating.

I'm going to have to try this out, who wants to cause themselves to feel insulted? Any takers?? :)
Libervis

Aug 01, 2008
12:35 PM EST
Actually, NoDough, you nailed it. He chooses whether to feel insulted or not. I may choose to *try* to insult him by describing him with words which are consensually considered as "insults", but if he chooses not to feel insulted I have failed. :)

And I might even come to believe he's a better man than I am. :P

About being the vacuum. I can't be the vacuum. And I already agreed with jdixon on the axiom of existence. I also conceded to dumper that I am not a 100% relativist and that I do believe in existence of the absolute truth. So I think we're all much closer to an agreement here than it may have initially seemed.

The difference may merely be one of degrees or semantics, on that level of thought. I can accept as absolute truth only those statements which even after applying a scientific process to it I find I just cannot disprove, like the axiom of existence. And the only room for doubting that truth is in consideration of the possibility that I am merely incapable of disproving it at this point in time, as unlikely as it may seem.

In all honesty, I think this is a case closed. And the point has been beaten enough times. The original intent for my trying to divert this discussion was to encourage participants to follow their own path and stop wasting *that* much energy trying to convince another it is the right one. Now looks like the original perpetrators of the thread have all dispersed so I suppose that's what they might have begun or continued doing. ;)

And I wish all of you good luck, too. :D
azerthoth

Aug 01, 2008
12:38 PM EST
Quoting:The original intent for my trying to divert this discussion was to encourage participants to follow their own path and stop wasting *that* much energy trying to convince another it is the right one.


So basicly you were attempting (successfully) to impose your will onto others?

*couldnt resist*
Libervis

Aug 01, 2008
12:46 PM EST
Azer, I know you're joking, but just to be on the safe side.

"Encourage" is a word. And it has a meaning. And its meaning is not equal to "impose". ;)

If you wish to redefine the word for this discourse, let me know first. :)

Cheers
azerthoth

Aug 01, 2008
2:07 PM EST
Libervis, yup, but you gave such a good set up for that I just couldnt resist taking the bait.
Libervis

Aug 01, 2008
2:11 PM EST
Hehe, understood. :)
jdixon

Aug 01, 2008
3:22 PM EST
> So I think we're all much closer to an agreement here than it may have initially seemed.

Almost certainly. But believe or not, that was obvious from the start.

> I can accept as absolute truth only those statements which even after applying a scientific process to it I find I just cannot disprove,

That's fine, but you'll find that you often have to act without such truths. In such cases, you can only make your best judgment based on the information you have available and act accordingly. And many questions (such as the existence of God or gods) tend to be unprovable one way or the other; while others simply aren't worth the effort to determine

> In all honesty, I think this is a case closed.

For the sake of all concerned, that's probably a good idea. :)
Libervis

Aug 01, 2008
6:35 PM EST
Yeah, I pretty much agree. :)

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