marahmarie: Sheep go to heaven, goats go to hell (Default)

This Blogspot-hosted Linux flame has over 95,000 mentions on the web, over 1,500 results for the home page and nearly 600 backlinks. Google won't mention one trillionth of the backlinks that most blogs get so that last number is most likely conservative.

How did I come upon it? I don't know. The last thing I can clearly recall is that I was on Digg and a comment there lead me to a blog that led me to another comment that led me to this website. Whoops. Think I made a left where I shoulda...and I don't even want to discuss the silly prank he's pulling there. A comment on his website led me to Mr. Linux Hater, which I was weirdly grateful for after the sophism and immaturity of that.

The guy behind it - whoever he is - is no novice judging from the outside in; apparently he was not only a seasoned Linux user but was also a developer who wrote software for them in the past (something he refers to as a "mistake" and a "waste of my time"). The comments are often as hilarious as the author is. What surprised me most was the amount of signed comments in the vein of (paraphrasing):

"I'm a [insert choice] Linux user/developer/IT guy/system admin [/choice] and I read this guy's entire blog and I could not agree more; Linux has all the problems he mentioned and more - in fact, I recommend him if you want to understand everything that's wrong with Linux, and I'm saying that even though I just had Linus Torvald's baby and blah blah blah blah...rock on, Linux Hater!"

What fascinates me is that anyone gives a d@mn. As I've said before about whether to use Firefox or IE, Linux or Windows: just pick one. I don't care which one you pick. Use both operating systems and Firefox and IE and Opera and Safari, too! I do - I use them all, and I cheat on all of them with their competitors - but Windows XP is my "steady" and Firefox 2 is my love of all lifetimes. Who cares? You don't - wake up - just bored you - didn't I? I don't give a flying crap which browser or OS you use. I'm not a hippy going on about "Peace. Make software not war. Here, have a tug on this, maaaaaan..." but on the other hand you will bore me to tears arguing about why your favorite OS or browser is the best one.

What's the point? Who "wins"? What will you get for "winning"? You're either feeding some monolithic corporation like Microsoft more money if you help them "win" or you're propping up market share for what has been described as the "vague and/or missing binaries" of Apple if you help them "win" or well - FLOSS isn't going to benefit if you guys "win" since there's no money in it for you with open source, anyway.

Just for the record: I agree that Linux might be better for servers. I agree that Mac might be better for photo and media editing. I agree that Windows might be better for games. I agree that Firefox is better than IE - and shut up if you don't think so. But I don't care which one you use. And you can't make me. Just pick one already and use it. Or use them all - like I do. And shut up. I don't want to hear it!

So given that the more I use and get to know various OSs, browsers and software, the less I care which flavor of them anyone wants to use, why did I enjoy the Linux Hater's blog? I don't think I did. I was simply swept up at how heated people get over whose bits and bytes power their OSs, and how amazingly technical the conversations can become. It took me over an hour to read one post and the 65 comments that followed it because everyone was so angry and so technical - and they were all rather persuasive and almost brilliant in their arguments - that I could not tear my eyes away.

If you want to feel shock and awe at how tens of thousands of people have nothing better to do than read and respond to him, dive right in. Perhaps you too are a flamer on one side or the other of this equation, in which case I just gave you one of the best links you've seen all night, if you haven't been to his blog already. Maybe like me, you'll feel so much shock at how people will waste their time trying to persuade each other of the unpersuadable that you'll feel your jaw drop open, like mine did - and maybe, like me, you'll have trouble closing it again.