[ncolug] Re: Mossberg
- From: david@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
- To: ncolug@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
- Date: Fri, 27 Apr 2007 11:10:23 -0500
<rant>The vast majority of people are interested in one thing: their own comfort. It's truly amazing the lengths people will go to towards this end. Those we consider unwise strive for immediate comfort, those we typically consider as wise are willing to sacrifice in the short term to achieve their long term goals.
For example, when people make sacrifices in their current spending plans so that they can invest towards their future, we consider them wise; conversely when people go into debt so that they can drive the flashiest car, have a bigger house, etc, we consider them.... well, perhaps not foolish but at least average.
The same can be said of social and economic changes. There are those who make sacrifices now to affect changes long into the future, both for their own good, and the good of the community. Rarely are these sacrifices seen in this light, and when they are, people usually view these people with distrust, after all, "how can anyone make a sacrifice for someone else? Doesn't that go against human nature?"
Look at projects like wikipedia, pushing free content to the masses. How many people are there that do not have access to encyclopedias? How many have access to this information now?
How many people can not afford Vista, let alone the hardware it requires to run it? How many of us who are privileged enough to buy hardware that is less than a decade old have reused our old equipment for those who aren't that lucky?
Look at the OLPC project. What are the long term ramifications of it? What difference will it make in the landscape of our future?
There are people who have realized that we've reached a point where digital technology has come to the point of bringing great social and economic change to all people. This is not a new phenomenon, new technologies have been going through this process for thousands and thousands of years. The difference is that people can readily understand that an aqueduct can help food production thereby improving the standard of living, but have a harder time understanding how digital tech can have the same effect.
You are worried about how few people there are who are striving to bring Linux and Open-ness to the privileged masses who can afford proprietary systems such as XP, Vista, and Mac. I urge you to be excited about those who are striving to bring Linux and Open-ness to those who aren't that privileged, not because they dislike Microsoft or feel love for the FOSS community, but because they see the social and economic promise it holds. Not just those at the scale of OLPC, but even those who install Linux on a used box, and give it to someone who wouldn't have a computer otherwise.
</rant> Quoting Henry Keultjes <hbkeultjes@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>:
The more important issue here is that, gathering from the Linux geeks that I have interacted with, few, if any, are interested in helping to change that situation. Henry larry wrote:Walt Mossberg is a columnist that I quote here often, because he really does (for better or for worse) represent a point of view that accurately captures the feelings of the average, non-technical user. Here is what he said this morning:*Q:* /You often mention the Macintosh as an alternative to Windows, why don't you recommend the Linux operating system?/*A:* I aim my columns at mainstream users doing typical tasks who have little or no technical knowledge, no help from experts, and no appetite for becoming techies. These folks want the computer to do things for them. They don't want to have to do much, if any, configuring of, or maintaining of, their computers. They have no patience for geeky procedures. For instance, when they buy a peripheral device, they expect to plug it in and find that it works, often without even installing the CD from the box. I don't believe Linux is yet simple enough and automatic enough and nontechnical enough for these mainstream users. So I don't recommend it. I firmly believe that the Macintosh does meet these criteria, and so I consider it the only practical alternative to Windows for mainstream, nontechie users.To unsubscribe send to ncolug-request@xxxxxxxxxxxxx with 'unsubscribe' in the Subject field.
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