Monday, 10 November 2008 04:55

Ten Reasons why Linux is really a Religion

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(and five why Windows is not!)

After browsing through the amazing feedback in response to the many Linux articles on ITWire, I have come to a very clear conclusion – Linux is a religion.  Here’s a bunch of reasons why its so.

Number 10: There are an amazing number of zealots for whom Linux can do no wrong.  As far as they are concerned, whatever Windows does, Linux does better.  Whether or not there is truth in each situation is totally irrelevant.

Number 9: Speaking in tongues.  Is there another explanation for this: tar -czvf eglinux.tar.gz *.txt

Number 8: So many different churches (distributions), so much in common.  Just as the Catholics, the Anglicans, Pentecostals and the Evangelicals are minor variations on a theme, so are Ubuntu, Suse, Knoppix and Fedora.

Number 7: Adherents of one body of religion almost never ‘change sides.’  Sure an Anglican might become a Pentecostal, but very rare is the Muslim that becomes Catholic.  Similarly, your average Linux devotee will happily move from church to church, will never cross to “the dark side” and join the Winfidels.

Number 6: Linux devotees read their bible (man pages) regularly.  How else can they know the names of all their prophets and how, specifically, to pray to them?

Number 5: Religion is a personal choice – one where the aficionado may take as much or as little as they choose.  With (at a least 313 according to my count of DistroWatch today) many variations on a theme, true-believers may make a specific choice, or become the founder of their very own church.  Try doing that with Windows.

Number 4: In the beginning was the image.iso, and the installer saw that it was good, but the image was without form in the void.  On the first day the installer separated the Linux from the Windows, and he saw that it was good.  On the second day, the installer created the file system and on the third, he separated the programs from the user data.  On the fourth day, the installer created the cron utility to separate the night from the day and to know the seasons.  Come the fifth day, the file system was commanded to teem with programs and eventually, on the sixth day the file system was made to bring forth users.  Not surprisingly on the final day, spare inodes were collected.

Number 3: Tithing.  When did any other OS ever ask you for money?  Note, spam doesn’t count!  There are two choices in the world of software – either pay up front or pay nothing and be nagged to “help the developers.”

Number 2: Step into any church on a Sunday morning – the place is filled with pasty-looking misfits.  Do you see a connection?

Number 1: We all bow down to the great Linus Torvalds.  Need I say more?

As I said, there would be a bonus set of five reasons why Windows is not a religion. 


Here they are (and I’ll keep them quick).

Number 5: Who’s the messiah?  You can’t possibly tell me that Balmer is it!

Number 4: What about prophets?

Number 3: Where are the true believers?

Number 2: Somehow, a PC in an office-block somewhere just doesn’t quite conjure up an image of the fervency needed.

Number 1: No religion has a “blue screen of death.”  Religions need angels and virgins and harps and such.

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David Heath

David Heath has had a long and varied career in the IT industry having worked as a Pre-sales Network Engineer (remember Novell NetWare?), General Manager of IT&T for the TV Shopping Network, as a Technical manager in the Biometrics industry, and as a Technical Trainer and Instructional Designer in the industrial control sector. In all aspects, security has been a driving focus. Throughout his career, David has sought to inform and educate people and has done that through his writings and in more formal educational environments.

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