The ignorant article by Frank Hayes!

I get bunch of shitty free technology magazines in my mailbox. They come both to my office, and stuff my school mailbox. Some of them I throw out, others I actually scan through for interesting articles when I have nothing else to do.

I found the newest issue of Computerworld in my MSU box today, and I noticed it had some articles on Linux. They seem to be making a big deal out of large scale worldwide adoption of the penguin – which is good, but not necessarily news. But when I turned to the last page I saw an article by Frank Hayes. You can read the online version here.

In short, the author claims that Linux is helping to export American values to different parts of the world. He is apparently trying to say something nice about the OS but he kindoff misses the point. Linux values are not necessarily ours to export them!

Yes, GPL was created by Stallman but Linux was always a global project. For god’s sake Linus is not even American! Some of the biggest Linux companies are located abroad. SUSE is German, Mandrake / Mandriva is French. Knoppix is primarily based in Germany! I’m sorry, but Linux was not created in US or exclusively by US. It is developed all around the world, and we are as much importing Linux as we are exporting it. Claiming that we are “exporting” anything with Linux is ignorant to say the least.

Besides, since when does America has monopoly on Competition, Cooperation and Opportunity? And is opportunity even a value? Does Mr. Hayes assume that other countries do not have these things at all, unless we go there and smack them upside the head? Can we as a nation be a little bit less friken ignorant? If anything these are universal values promoted by Linux development model. These are values promoted by open source, and by the existence of the internet – and the ease of communication.

An American guy once made a cool software license. A Swede used it for his nifty kernel. Bunch of people from around the world contributed and built an OS on top of that kernel. The Linux community forms, and exists beyond national borders, and cultural divisions. It is not tied to a single nation, political system, culture or language. Linux has it’s own culture, it’s own language. It transcends political and cultural differences and allows different kinds of people to work on a project that can accommodate everyone. This is a very interesting phenomena in itself – a topic for an excellent article.

Instead or exploring that, however Mr. Hayes pops up and claims that Linux is exporting good old American values to the unwashed heathens out there in the world. Sigh….


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