You know there are some things that really piss me off. Some goof ball using the name “Yggdrasil” posted a comment to my article Trolls and Linux and the rotten little son of a bitch had the gall to call me sensitive!
Actually I find it quite funny. I write about trolls, and lo and behold, Yggie, a fairly well known troll shows up, and proceeds to write a pro-Microsoft screed which accuses me of being dishonest. Think of the odds. I write something critical of Microsoft, on a blog that almost no one knows exists besides a few friends. It gets one mention on a relatively popular site, and I get a pro-Microsoft troll popping up the next day. A fairly well known troll. What does this tell you?
It tells me that no dissent is tolerated. If you are anti-Microsoft, and you get noticed, someone takes action. Someone proceeds to tell you why you are wrong, what you should think, what is allowed and what isn’t.
And the evidence is of this everywhere. The Inquirer used to publish a lot of articles critical of Microsoft. After Mike Magee sold The Inquirer, the articles critical of Microsoft dropped off dramatically. Even Charlie Demerjian, one of the best writers at The Inq no longer calls out Microsoft as often, and as hard as he used to (I have no doubt that Charlie will disagree with me on this, and yes, I will let him know that I wrote it). Also check out the comments to the few stories which aren’t complementary about Microsoft. The trolls are our in force for every one.
The Register also used to be independent. In the early years, it was very critical of Microsoft, it no longer is. It still publishes The Bastard Operator from Hell but The Reg is but a milksop these days.
It was not always easy; you definitely need a thick skin in the FOSS world. It’s a self-selected group, so it’s chock-full of mavericks, the socially-inept, just plain trolls, and all manner of folks who don’t understand the importance of courtesy and respect. But these are not representative of the excellent people who really do things. The best FOSS people are polite and pleasant. I do not believe that anyone is so invaluable and indispensable that they can be excused from common courtesy. The world itself is full of mean people, and there is no remedy other than learning how to deal with it. Girls are still often raised to be passive doormats, and they are not taught how to set and achieve goals, or that they are even worthy of going after what they really want. There are no shortcuts; all we can do is dig in, do our best, and not allow the naysayers to derail us.
In the article that started this, Carla got 58 comments. They are interesting reading, and proof that her article is accurate. Ken at the Helios Project has also noticed the trolls, and that they are getting worse.
Now I don’t hang out at Paul Thurrott’s Windows Super Site. Why would I? I don’t use Windows. So why do so many Windows users show up on Linux blogs? Insecurity. They’ve spent years trying to keep Windows running, through blue screens of death and other disasters, and now they’ve got to try to make the rest of us put up with the same shit? Are they crazy. Well, yes, They have to be. Either than or they are still living in their parent’s basements, and have nothing else to do with their time.
And they reflect the company. Which reflects it’s founder. Lazy. Insecure. Greedy.
That’s my opinion, and I’m sticking to it.