On why I Continue to Prefer Open Source

Below, please find a screenshot (actually a composite of two screenshots pasted together) from an old post to Don_Charisma.org that I have dragged over here from my other blog, which Mssr. Charisma has decided to follow, because this is where I have decided to discuss Web issues, and then linked back there.

What does this critter remind us of? He’s a Bhauji-esque character, is he not? The attitude, the hat! He participates in all the social-interaction media that I despise, not only (gag, barf) Twitter, but even (panic attack, grand_mal_seizure) Facebook! He has even descended to the depths of having two (2) facebook buttons beneath his personal avatar, which is THE scariest phenomenon that I have ever seen on a blog-site, bar none.

In the past, I simply would have dismissed him, but the new post-Bhauji yours truly finds himself unable to do that in the present. He has arrived, from the opposite side of reality, at what has been my own perception about Microsoft for well over a decade, but he delivers the empirical evidence for it in spades. What we see here is several selections from screenshots showing the results of entering the query “Windows 8 is” in the search window of both the Google and Bing search engines. (BTW, Bing is Microsoft’s own search engine). In both cases, the search engine completes the search string with what has been previously searched for by others, and with one exception, all of those are negative with respect to Windows 8.

Cutting to the chase, before I get into the causality of this, what I recommend, if you have more money than time, is Apple. If you have more time than money, and/or have arrived, like yours truly, at a realization that there simply is no collection of industrialists that is ever going to cough up an operating system that does what you want, then my recommendation is open source. the Debian operating system has consistently proven through time to be the fastest, most dependable, most flexible, and most secure operating system that I have found for a personal work station. But Debian is a Guru, and it does what Gurus do: it forces you to learn basics. Specifically, it forces you to deal with the Linux/Unix command line, which is a huge functional demand, a demand that I would not personally be motivated to fulfill without enemies.

So how and why did Microsoft arrive at this stage of (1) routinely losing market share to not only Linux itself, but probably more significantly, to the Linux knock-offs like Android, which have pretty much eaten up the growth sectors of the IT business, namely, smart phones, tablets, and games and (2) spending huge time, money, organizational grief, and ballyhoo, simply to produce operating systems which have proven to be inferior, with respect to actual performance, to their Microsoft predecessors?

It’s a huge hairball, and let’s begin to reverse-engineer it by starting from mere appearances. What does Windows 8 remind you of when you look at the start-up screen? It’s an overgrown tablet or smart phone, is it not? Sure! This is Microsoft’s mindless attempt to take back market share by aping something that others invented and are doing quite well at, and to do that MERELY BY APING APPEARANCES.

So where did this overwhelming, and functionally crippling, priority on mere appearances come from? It’s been there from the beginning. From the outset, Microsoft has emphasized marketing over code that actually works for purposes of communication. Because Bill Gates got there first, and gained hegemony in the market by agressive sales tactics, he learned that for him, perception was more important than reality, and that perception could be controlled by appearances.

Controlling appearances cost a lot of money, and so money became a huge issue, and the code was tweaked to make money, quite specifically, please, the code was opaque, and designed to come to a halt at regular intervals unless the user coughed up money for the next edition. So the users did this. Microsoft was what was out there, so they coughed up the money so that life could go on. And the money so gained went to hegemonistic tactics like exclusive deals with equipment manufacturers, legal attacks on competitors in general and Linux in particular, and perpetual PR about how great Windows was, particularly on Web forums. Microsoft people also launched attacks on machines running Linux.

What suffered throughout all this was not only Windows users but the guts of the operating system: the code. (Linux users didn’t suffer, we learned and survived.) Windows code remained a convoluted mess not only because it started with DOS, which was merely about maintaining a file system on an individual machine, rather than communicating with other machines, but it also became more kludged and buggy through time because of all the barriers that had to be built into it to maintain the opacity that was required to force users to periodically cough up more money.

As opposed to this, from its inception, Linux, which is a direct descendant in the code of the Unix operating system which does and always will control how machines talk to each other, has remained transparent. The code is in the public domain, and anyone who learns to write it can go in and change it and improve it.

The Linux kernal, the basic guts of all Linux distributions, has become a vast piece of code which was invented, and continues to be maintained, by idealists, principally Linus Torvalds, who is literally a Bodhisattva by the Buddhist definition of that term. Today however, the majority of the Linux code was actually not written by idealists anymore. It was written by industrialists who wanted to participate in the functionality of this, and so wrote improvements, and then those improvements became part of the public domain, because that’s the condition of the Linux license: you can write changes and improvements to this, but then what you write comes to the community at large. And why would any hard-nosed industrialist agree to that? Because it works so well, that’s why. Your time and money are well spent making Linux better so that you and your organization can benefit from the increased functionality from something that already had Microsoft beaten functionally into the ground before you even got to it.

All of the people involved in this, whether idealists, Bodhisattvas, or industrialists, are normal human beings who have had, and do have, normal human needs to make money from their expertise, and they have done that, and continue to do it. What differentiates them from Bill Gates and his ongoing crew of money-grubbers is the absence of the overwhelming, hegemonistic greed which must necessarily result in sacrificing the quality of the code to mere appearances. Bill Gates became the richest man in the world by greedily manipulating the user and the public domain for his own personal benefit. The negative karmas from that will continue to descend on Microsoft, until it takes its rightful place as something fundamentally inferior to Linux in market share, which has resulted from the fundamentally inferior motivations of Bill Gates and his organization.

This dynamic is part of the Manifestation of Avatar Meher Baba; it is the human race responding to his spiritual push, which necessarily brings victory to higher motivations.

Avatar Meher Baba ki Jai,
Vishveshwar

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8 Responses to On why I Continue to Prefer Open Source

  1. Pingback: On why I Continue to Prefer Open Sourcea | The Maitreya Broad Meditation Society – 弥勒佛宽广禅会

  2. Don Charisma says:

    After the initial write up of me, not quite sure whether to say thanks or not … I only have one facebook page and yes I am on twitter … mostly as outposts for blog syndication ! And I share your views to a large extent of social media, however they are today a fact of life …

    So thanks for the mention …

    Cheers

    DC

    • Vishveshwar says:

      You should say thanks, Don, if you like traffic. I have a bizarre readership, and half of it is from South Asia and Australia. This isn’t a huge number of people, but they’re dedicated snoopers, and they will hit you. So, name recognition at least, dude! Approval would be nice as well, but I regard that as being up to God.

      Sincerely,
      Vishveshwar

      • Don Charisma says:

        I did actually say thank you ! And traffic isn’t the only thing of importance, relationships are too, glad to have an audience on my blog who interact with me 🙂

        So THANKS my friend, and lovely to hear from you …

        Warm regards

        DC

  3. Vishveshwar says:

    Well, shucks, good buddy, you’re just making my l’il ole thumper go pitter pat!

    Sincerely,
    Vishveshwar

  4. Pingback: China Bans Windows 8 on Government PCs | Mehernagar

  5. Hey! This is kind of off topic but I need some
    advice from an established blog. Is it hard to set up your own blog?
    I’m not very techincal but I can figure things out pretty quick.

    I’m thinking about making my own but I’m not
    sure where to begin. Do you have any tips or suggestions?
    With thanks

  6. Vishveshwar says:

    You should use WordPress as your blog host, it’s user-friendly and safe. WordPress is so prominent and so protective of our rights to free speech that they have been attacked by the Chinese government. So they fixed that. WordPress is now immune to DDOS attacks.

    Jai Meher Baba,
    Vishveshwar

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